Under Constrution

15 Panopticon Designs You Need NOW!!!!

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2014, 12:30pm

From Jeremy Bentham to Michel Foucault, everyone is talking about this hot new architectural style.  Here are a few great ways to spruce up your prison, workplace, or even your home!

1.  There’s nothing like an original.  Bentham’s Panopticon prison is still a classic, proving that you don’t need any bells and whistles to achieve perfect surveillance!

Bentham Panopticon

2.  Just because you want to watch everyone at all times doesn’t mean you can’t take some time to enjoy the finer things in life.  This grand Roman-style compound comes complete with 360-degree viewing tower, luxurious gardens, and a below-ground steam room!


3.   Who says that form and function can’t work together? These back-to-basics panopticon prisons beautifully echo the rolling Cuban hillside that surrounds them.

Cuban Prisons

4. Sick of round panopticons? Stand out from the pack with this elegant penta-panopticon!  Comes in two sizes, and easily integrates with modular expansion packs to fit all of your surveillance needs!


5. Something old, something new, something borrowed, but you won’t be blue! This modern-rustic panopticon is perfect for newlyweds or for empty-nesters starting a new chapter in their life!


6. Studying hard or hardly studying? In this neo-classical library-prison, everyone will know! Kiss procrastination (and privacy) goodbye!


7. One man’s dystopia is another’s paradise. We’re all just leeches on the back of society, and this futuristic co-working space acknowledges that fact with a sleek design that can only be described as Ikea meets Steve Jobs!

cube slugs

8. Finally, a panopticon for the sports fan in your life.  This brutalist gymnasium-domicile is the perfect way to bring together all of your fitness friends, regardless of whether they play pickup basketball, are crossfit devotees, or belong to an ironic four-square league!

sports panopticon

9. Spice up your life with this elegant palace-panopticon in the classic Spanish mudéjar style.  Pairs perfectly with a premium manchego and organic fig paste!


10. Are you equal parts mysterious and inquisitive? If so, this moody, atmospheric forest panopticon is perfect for you. Gaze through the enchanted fog to see the deepest secrets and fears of your enemies and friends alike!


11. This open-air panopticon is a real brain-puzzler.  It simultaneously imprisons and sets free by combining sturdy cement pillars with a complete lack of windows, proving that the strongest shackles are in the mind!

open air

12. Discipline AND punish drabness with this contemporary minimalist panopticon.  No right angles means no wrongdoing!

modern panopticon

13. I know why the caged bird sings, and you will too in this spacious, well-lit industrial-gothic prison/ loft space.  Just because you’re serving a life-sentence doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy streaming sunlight, exposed brick, and iron-beam flying buttresses!

gothic prison

14. Screens, screens, screens, screens, screens, screens!  With this fiberoptic Closed-Circuit TV network, any building can be your very own panopticon, regardless of what shape it really is!


15. More is more in this maximalist panopticon-museum. As you marvel at the many achievements of arts, sciences, and technology, the real exhibit is you!


Underthinking It: On Alcohol and Pop Culture

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2013, 12:30pm

[Enjoy this guest post by Angela Jorgensen!!! ]7upspot

DrinkSo, you’re probably thinking that alcohol isn’t actually part of pop culture.  It’s a drink.  Well, you’re wrong.

First of all, pop culture wouldn’t even exist without alcohol. Whenever you watch a movie or a TV show or anything about an artist, they’re always a depressed alcoholic.  All of the writers and directors and actors working in Hollywood are alcoholics.  That’s how they make their art, is by drinking a lot.  So no movies or music or anything would exist without alcohol.

Alcholic DrinksAlso, alcohol is useful to appreciating art.  A lot of pop culture is just bad, but if you drink while you’re watching it, you’ll enjoy it a lot more.  That’s why people play drinking games for movies and TV.

There are some times when you don’t want to mix alcohol and art.  Like music, for example.  If you’re driving and listening to the radio, you don’t want to drink and drive.  Also, you shouldn’t get too drunk in public, because the police might arrest you for drunk and disorderly conduct.  So, be careful with your drinking.

In conclusion, alcohol is sometimes good and sometimes bad for appreciating pop culture.

Underthinking It: A Review of “Canterbury Tales” by Chaucer

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2013, 12:15pm

[Enjoy this guest post by William O’Connor!!! – Ed.]7upspot

chaucerIs it just me, or were some of the so called great English writers the worst kind of incompetent hacks?  The time has come to think seriously about our supposed titans of literary culture, the time has come for us to finally acknowledge that Geoffrey Chaucer couldn’t write. I mean, have you ever tried to read Chaucer? It’s basically gibberish. How anyone has ever been able to tolerate it I have not the vaguest idea. Shakespeare was bad enough, what with his obsessions with thees and thous, whereto and therefores. But at least he was somewhat comprehensible. I defy you, dear reader, to comprehend this nonsense, those ugly, ugly words with which our so-called poet was so enamored.

Even when he tries to write properly, he can’t spell, at all. Practically ever other word he wrote is misspelled. Didn’t he have a dictionary? I mean okay, we all make mistakes. Few of us can correctly spell every word ever devised. But at least you and I know where to turn to when we need help, and we aren’t so full of ourselves that we think we don’t need help. Not Geoff, no, he preferred the tried and true method of jamming a bunch of letters together and hoping for the best.  I mean, seriously, where was his editor? I can’t imagine any editor would be happy with what Geoff was producing. His editor must have either been profoundly lazy, or profoundly drunk.  I mean, nobody can read the damn things, no one.

What kind of an idiot was he? Not only can’t he spell, he’s a poet who cannot, repeat, cannot rhyme, at all. Nothing rhymes, and he’s supposed to be this big poet! Not to mention, he never actually got around to finishing his big thing. Imagine, the gall, the sheer laziness, of handing in an incomplete project like it’s some huge accomplishment. Nobody likes a quitter, least of all me. How can it be a great work if the author himself couldn’t even bring himself to finish it. If he was bored by the story, why should anyone else care?

And his whole set up is terrible. So he decides to make a story about a pilgrimage. Does he set it in the actual holy land? No, he sets it in the middle of England, of all places, because we’ve all read that extra chapter of the bible where Jesus chills on the Thames. And then, he has the gall, the gall, to rip off the Arabian Nights. Yeah, buddy, the whole “story within a story” thing? Real original. I’m sure nobody has every thought of that before. Oh wait, everybody has. I mean seriously, is there any bigger sign of a hack than using that tired premise? If you read something with a story within a story, alarm bells should be going off. This is a writer who is trying to tell us how deep, and complex he is. Well guess what? I don’t care, and dear reader, neither should you.

Now, why is this man so highly esteemed. I’d argue it is a matter of self delusion, at least to a great extent. Well, I am here to tell you, the Emperor has no clothes, the Emperor has no clothes, the Emperor has no clothes, and Chaucer could not write. Chaucer could not write, and it is so pitiful to pretend otherwise.

While we are on this subject why is Lewis Carroll so widely esteemed? His works don’t make any sense either. It is time for us to stop judging works according to what established opinion says about them and it is time to start judging them according to commonsense. Commonsense tells us that everything Chaucer wrote was misspelled, or otherwise incomprehensible gibberish. That’s just common sense.

Underthinking It: Project Runway: Teams – Look upon Human Nature, and Despair

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2013, 12:00pm

[Enjoy this guest post by Jessica Lévai!!! – Ed]7upspot

So, the creative forces behind Project Runway decided that this season, every challenge would be a team challenge. Designers would be forced to work together to solve creative problems, and in the end be rewarded when one representative of their team was deemed worthy of either the prize or the hook. In modeling the competition this way, the show has peeled away the veneer covering humanity’s bitchy, back-biting essence and shown conclusively why the world sucks so much.

If you believe in the fundamental decency of people in the face of adversity, you have never watched a group of them try to create a runway-ready look out of flowers and hardware. Why hold out hope that humanity will someday cure cancer or solve global warming, when it’s clear that people can’t even set a sleeve without fighting over “personal vision” or who threw whom under the bus last week? In a world of infinite diversity, the standard way to handle a difference of opinion is to stick to your guns, mock the others from the privacy and comfort of a confessional camera, and reduce them to tears when the judges ask, always helpfully and in the spirit of progress, who deserves to go home this week.

Confined to these miserable individuals, this would be bad enough. But it’s on TV, and you’re watching it. What, you’re not? Okay, well, you know that guy you know? HE watches it. Yeah, that’s right. Him.

Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

Underthinking It: AP English Portmanteau Names

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2013, 7:00am

Portmanteau names for all your shipping needs.

Othello x Desdemona: Desilo

Oedipus x Jocasta: Joctopussy

Catherine x Heathcliff: Heathcat Bar

Huckleberry Finn x Tom Sawyer: Huckster

Don Quixote x Dulcinea: Dulce de Xote

Jay Gatsby x Tom Buchanan: TomGats

Leopold Bloom x Stephen Dedalus: Lepolus

Sidney Carlton x Madame Defarge: Sid & Knitsy

Van Helsing x Mina Harker x Lucy Westenra: Hels’ Belles

Big Brother x Winston: Big Win

Jane Eyre x Bertha: Bert & Eyrnie

Billy Pilgrim x Kilgore Trout: Kil Bill

Odysseus x Penelope: Penus

Adam x Raphael x Yahweh x Eve x Lucifer the Morning Star: Arweh Evenstar

Rosencrantz x Guildenstern: Dead

Underthinking It: The Top Ten Things I Would Print If I Had a 3D Printer

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2013, 12:05am

[Enjoy this guest post by Robert Northrup!!!7upspot

ZPrinter 850The Gutenberg printing press revolutionized printing, because before that it was just scribing. Printed books became cheaper than handwritten ones, so more people were able to read them. Some people still took them back to the library before finishing though.

Likewise the 3D Printer will revolutionize several industries, including Technology, Manufacturing, Arts, Snacking, Social Scientists, and Industries. It will impact the popular culture because everyone will want to do it and have one (i.e., popular.)

A 3D Printer is similar to the replicator in Star Trek, but just slightly lame because you’d still have to put steel or plastic or gears into it for the printer to turn that raw material into guns or whatever. It can put these things together gradually not just on a piece of paper. I know, right? But like a layer of paper with thick ink on it. And then more thick ink piled on that. And then more thick ink, but in a slightly different area, until you have a little horse or a skateboard or something. I guess you pull the paper off the bottom of it at that point.

Here are the Top Ten Things I will 3D Print someday when I get one:

1. A stack of $100 bills twenty feet tall. But thinner than normal bills, so I could have even more of them to fit in twenty feet worth.

2. A gun. Either a SPAS-12 shotgun or a Heckler & Koch VP70z pistol, which was the only pistol in the James Bond role-playing game that let you fire off bursts of 3 shots instead of one at a time.


3. A piece of new technology that would be so awe-inspiring, the editors of BoingBoing.net would write about that every day and forget to write about 3D printers and laser cutters for six months.

4. Same as number 3 above, except Engadget and Technorati.

5. A video game with excellent graphics.

6. A clone of myself.

7. A laser cutter.

8. The best ever bowl of chili, which I could enter into contests to win them.

9. Flying Robot and voice-activated remote control wristwatch, keyed to my voice. With a lock on the door of his storage shed so Johnny Sokko can’t accidentally get the watch first and mess up everything.

10. A fully functional T-X Terminator like the villainous one in Terminator 3, but not already programmed to fall in love with me, just open to the possibility of it so I could gradually court her and win her love. Because that would be gross otherwise.

11. Another 3D Printer in case the first one breaks.

Thank you for your time.

Underthinking It: The Top 10 Episodes of Mad Men (Based on the Quality of Christina Hendrick’s Boobs)

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2013, 12:04am

[Enjoy the guest post by Brad Lawrence!!!] 7upspot

hendricksMad Men is a great show, but for most fans, there’s one thing we love about it more than anything else (well, technically two, but people usually don’t refer to them individually). I’m talking of course about Joan’s (Christina Hendricks) boobs! I don’t think any further explanation is really necessary, so let’s get right to the list of the ten best episodes of Mad Men, rated on the only criteria that matters:

10. Season 1, Episode 1 “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” – Gotta start with this one. It’s our first introduction to our favorite part of the show. Maybe we don’t get the best look at them, but it’s definitely a promising start.

9. Season 1, Episode 9 “Shoot” – Now here’s what I’m talking about! This is a low-cut dress, like it’s super low cut! Woo!

8. Season 3, Episode 1 “Out of Town” – Some observant fans of the show say that Joan dresses to match her moods. I wonder is her boobs get bigger based on her moods, too? Because it seems to be the case here.

7. Season 4, Episode 8 “The Summer Man” – In this one, that little tool Joey insults Joan, and her boobs! You don’t insult the boobs, Joey! Never! He gets promptly fired, which is pretty appropriate – someone who can’t appreciate those boobs has no business being in advertising.

6. Season 4, Episode 4 “The Rejected” – I didn’t think boobs could be this hot without being at least a little bit showing, but man, that blue dress covers everything and it still looks amazing. A true testament to the power of Joan’s rack.

5. Season 1, Episode 6 “Babylon” – This time it’s not Joan’s boobs, but her butt that looks great, as she bends over a table to show things off for the guys. Who says we can’t appreciate a good butt, too? Certainly not Ken, who says “I wanna stand and salute that,” demonstrating that he either likes what he sees, or else does understand how the government works and possibly believes Joan’s rear is the president or something.

4. Season 3, Episode 8 “Souvenir” – Sideboob alert! Sideboob alert! The 2nd best kind of boob after underboob!

3. Season2, Episode 7 “The Gold Violin” – Do Joan boobs ever not look good in a red dress with a low neckline? Of course not, that’s crazy.

2. Season 1, Episode 13 “The Wheel” – Most cleavage in the history of the show! Right here! So awesome!

1. Season 5, Episode 10 “Christmas Waltz” – Joan’s boobs + Jaguar XKE = Awesome.

Underthinking it: Our Top 18 Shakespearean Porn Parody Titles

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2012, 9:52pm

The Ladies Won't Protest At All, Methinks.

Or, "Phil M. Great-Spear" as he was otherwise known.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Pornos are listed in the order presented in the First Fellatio Folio, 1623.

~ The Comedies and Romances ~

Two Gentlemen in Ramona.

The Cherry Pies of Windsor.

Pleasure Her Treasure.

Much Ado About Muffing.

A MILFhunter’s Night Ream.

The Merkin of Dennis.

As You Lick It.

Balls Swell, Rear-ends Smell.

The Winter’s Tail.

~ The Histories and Tragedies ~

The Life and Little Death of The King’s Johnson.

II Richards.

Henry IV’s Naughty Parts, 1.

Henry IV’s Naughty Parts, 2: Erotic Boogaloo.

Troilus and Cressida and Cressida’s Hot Boarding-School Roommates.


Titties Androgynous.

Make Beth. (Sometimes called “The Scottish Lay.)

King Rear.


Got some of your own?  Unfurl them in the comments!

Underthinking It: Top 10 Things to do with Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom or Maybe Infinite Jest

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2012, 3:00pm

10. Sometimes when you get a window-mounted air conditioner, you forget ahead of time to check if your house has storm windows. This isn’t a Franzen problem if you own the house really, because you can control the storm window installation and maybe take them out if it is a really huge issue. But if you are renting a house, this can be a problem, because nowadays window-mounted air conditioners are designed to catch at the top on your bottom sash while resting on your windowsill in such a way as to tilt the air conditioner out of your window without letting it fall (it helps to secure the air conditioner with a screw at the top into your bottom sash, but if you rent, again, this could be a problem).

This is important because that way water drains out of your window rather than into your house. Condensation is a byproduct of air conditioning, and that water is going to come out somewhere, so that is why window-mounted air conditioners are designed so that the water will drain out of your house rather than into your room without you even thinking about it.

But if you have storm windows, this can be a problem, because the inside rim of the storm window, even when it is open all the way, is usually going to be higher than your interior windowsill, meaning your air conditioner is going to be very precariously balanced on the rim. Also, it is usually going to be far enough forward that you won’t get the proper tilt outside the window, and the water is going to drain into your house — that is, if your air conditioner doesn’t just fall out the window and kill somebody.

The best way to fix this is to get wood blocks and drill into your windowsill so you can secure the wood blocks, rest your air conditioner safely, and tilt it safely out the window without it falling. But again, if you are renting and it is August and you are moving out in like a month, this can seem excessive, even when it is necessary.

This is where Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom comes in. You put Freedom on the inside windowsill, and rest the interior base of the air conditioner on Freedom. Sometimes you can use other books too to interfere with the airflow around your air conditioner. This will let your air conditioner rest comfortably along the storm window and tilt properly outside the window and drain outside of your room rather than into it.

I did this one time. Don’t actually do this. It is a terrible idea and really dangerous.

I forgot the others.


Underthinking It: Stuff Wrong with the Wikipedia Article about the Yu-Gi-Oh! Egyptian God Cards

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2012, 1:00pm

My favorite Wikipedia page has always been whatever page talks about the Winged Dragon of Ra, a specific Yu-Gi-Oh! card that wasn’t actually a card you could play in the card game for a long time, but which featured heavily in the latter half of one of the seasons of the children’s cartoon, which I watched and enjoyed in my early-mid 20s (DEAL WITH IT).

I always loved that the Winged Dragon of Ra had its own Wikipedia page, and stuff like “gravity” also had its own Wikipedia page. It showed how human beings tend to actually feel about stuff.

Anyway, as Wikipedia has become more systematized and organized (and, one could argue, more lame), they pared down the Winged Dragon of Ra’s coverage, lumping it in with the other Egyptian God Cards (Slifer the Sky Dragon and Obelisk the Tormentor — btw, “sky dragon” and “winged dragon” seem redundant), because, hey, let’s be reasonable and not give entire Wikipedia pages over to things as trivial as just one Egyptian God Card in Yu-Gi-Oh! Triple that shit up!

But, as Wikipedia is a moving and changing beast, they are still working on perfecting the Wikipedia coverage of the Egyptian God Cards, even 10 years after their first appearance on Wikipedia. Here is a list of all the stuff Wikipedia says is currently wrong with the Egyptian God Cards Wikipedia page:

The article relies on references to primary sources or sources affiliated with the subject, rather than references from independent authors and third-party publications.

This note is in a big box at the top of the article, dated December 2010. And yet, at no point in the last year and a half, despite this clear and ever-present warning, has anybody gone to the trouble of finding information on the history of the Egyptian God Cards from sources other than Yu-Gi-Oh! itself. What is the real story? Where are the dissenting opinions? The secret history? I for one think drawing all the information you have about the Egyptian God Cards from the card game in which they are published and the television show in which they appear is really irresponsible. I hope they correct this and find some more reliable third-party sourcing in the future.

When is Big Yu-Gi-Oh! going to get out of the classroom?

The introduction of the article needs to be rewritten to comply with Wikipedia’s lead section guidelines.

This note was made in April 2011, and still no action in the last year. The lead section guidelines are fairly expansive, and the intro to this article is, frankly, a bit of a mess. But let’s look at the specific guidelines:

“The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview. It should define the topic, establish context, explain why the topic is interesting or notable, and summarize the most important points—including any prominent controversies. The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic, according to reliable, published sources, and the notability of the article’s subject is usually established in the first few sentences. Significant information should not appear in the lead if it is not covered in the remainder of the article.”

It is true that the article fails to explain why the Egyptian God Cards might be interesting or notable to somebody outside of Yu-Gi-Oh!, and it does very little to cover the many prominent controversies over the cards, which are apparently about on par in importance with the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

And yes, there is a severe shortage of reliable, published sources, and a general failure to establish notability.

So get on that people! You’ve had a year! What’s keeping you?

The seizure of the Winged Dragon of Ra and Slifer the Sky Dragon by antagonist Marik Ishtar, along with the acquisition of Obelisk the Tormentor by his sister Ishizu Ishtar in the 52nd episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! requires additional citation.

The author has dutifully cited the aforementioned 52nd episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! as proof of his assertion that these events did in fact happen in the 52nd episode of Yu-Gi-Oh!, but I understand that this is pretty irresponsible and insufficiently researched. He should have gone to other primary sources from the time period and found other descriptions from independent journalists and historians of the actions of fictional Yu-Gi-Oh! antagonist Marik Ishtar.

The scan of Slifer the Sky Dragon in the article is not public domain and may not be protected by Fair Use.

This debate is more involved, and you only get to it if you click on the Slifer the Sky Dragon image. Apparently, there is unsettled case law at issue – it is “generally believed” that low-resolution images of cards from card games can be used as illustration under fair use, but that the copyright is held by Konami (the game publisher), and they could withdraw permission to keep it up there at any time.

The image page includes a four-point argument in favor of the fair use rights of Wikipedia to use this image to illustrate the Egyptian God Card article, along with three paragraphs on the potential controversy surrounding its presence.

We can only hope and pray that Konami show it mercy. And that Wikipedians go forth and correct all these grevious errors.

Underthinking It: A Beginner’s Guide to Mozfarting

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2012, 12:00pm

Mozfarting is the new thing. It is like doing the Dougie, except now I will teach you how to do it cause nobody taught me how to Dougie even though I asked like a million times. Mozfarting is when Mozart is playing and you fart. It is like ghost riding the whip, except you are farting and the car is playing Mozart and the car and not driving it are optional.

If you didn’t know what Mozart is, this is Mozart.

If you farted like twice you are as good at Mozfarting as me. If you farted once or only like one good time and another time where you said it counted but it totally didn’t count, you are not as good. You are probably not as good.

Mozfarting is hard, because a lot of the places where people play Mozart like for real are quiet and full of people. That sometimes makes me nervous and it is hard to do good ones.

The beginner’s guide to Mozfarting is simple.

Put Mozart on your iPod like this one:

And then take a dump while you listen to it. Play it again if you have to, in case you just played it and didn’t read past it and forgot to take a dump when it was on.

I’ll wait.

Here is the same Mozart again in case you are being stubborn about not dumping and Mozfarting, or in case it was hard to perform with those paintings watching you poop:

This is the easiest way to Mozfart because farts you make while taking a dump totally count.

The other way that is easy is to bring your iPod to the gym with Mozart on it and listen when you are at the gym. That way when you fart at the gym a lot which you do anyway it counts.

You can also have them put it over the speakers and that way everybody can do it, which is a great way to share. And sharing is really what Mozart is all about. And elegance.

If you want to try to fart in a place where Mozart is playing and it is kind of serious, right after you fart, put your pointer finger on the front of your chin, and your thumb underneath your chin, and say “Ah, I see…” in a very dramatic way, like you’re really listening with intensity. Then if anybody asks you if you farted, you can say, “I’m sorry, what?” And then they can be like “You farted!” and you can be like, “Shhh, this is the best part!” and then you can dance around your finger in the air and crinkle your eyebrows and people will think you really like Mozart and not just Mozfarting, even though Mozfarting is twice more awesome. This will help you Mozfart more.

Also, Mozart was totally into farts and poop and stuff. For reals.

Underthinking It: My Hunger Games – Terminator Crossover Fanfic

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2012, 11:00am

So cold…

I’m naked…

Where am I?

What’s happened?

The last thing I remember before losing consciousness was Gale shoving me into a field of searing white light and yelling “No fate but what we make, Katniss!” as he did so. As I regain consciousness, I gather my thoughts. Gale and I hadn’t spoken for years. He moved to District 2 after the war, and I had returned to District 12 to start a new life with Peeta. We rarely kept in touch. Which is why I was so surprised to see him right before he knocked me unconscious, and again when I came to, right before he sent me through the…

…the what? Some sort of portal to another place? I’m not in District 12 anymore. My familiar trees and hills are nowhere to be seen. I’m in a dark alley, surrounded by tall buildings. It reminds me of a dirtier version of The Capitol. I shudder at the memories of my terrible experiences in The Capitol. A wind picks up and blows a large piece of paper to my feet. Los Angeles Times, it says. Los Angeles? Was that the ancient name of one of the Districts? May 12, 1984. 1984? My mind reels. I recognize this as the system of dates used by the ancients.

Gale has sent me back in time.

But why?

I look again at the Los Angeles Times and find my answer. I see a vaguely familiar face under the words “UCLA Professor to Receive Prestigious Computer Science Award.” My mind reels again when I read the words under the picture. “Professor Robert Snow.”

I am looking at the face of an ancestor of President Snow.

Gale has sent me back in time to kill President Snow.

Before he’s even born.

Now clothed, and armed with a bow and arrow (tucked away underneath my coat), I run through my plan for what must be the hundredth time. Professor Snow is speaking at Boelter Hall at the University of California Los Angeles. When I see him, I will kill him and save my loved ones–and my future self–from so much pain and suffering.

I sneak into the back of Boelter Hall. My blood turns to ice as I look upon Snow at the podium. I had spared him once, but I won’t show such mercy to his ancestor. I know this makes no sense. I don’t care.

Snow’s voice is at once familiar, yet alien. “…I’m so grateful that my research on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity is finally being recognized. But this is only the beginning. As Cyberdyne Systems and other companies make significant advances in autonomous computer software, our field needs to continue this vital work of guaranteeing human control and safety fallbacks for any such software that interfaces with mission critical systems. The work will be difficult. We face significant industry opposition. But the odds, I believe, are in our favor.”

“The odds are NOT in your favor!” I roar as I pull an arrow back and let it fly. Snow screams as pandemonium breaks out in the crowd. I rush to the stage to make sure he’s dead. The arrow had pierced his heart, but there is still life in his breath.

“Hasta la vista, baby,” I say, as I drive a knife through his heart. I don’t know why I say these words. I’ve never heard or spoken them before. But in the moment, they are the only words that come to mind.

I look up from Snow’s corpse and see uniformed guards enter the room. I know they are here to kill me. Before they do, I whisper to myself, “Gail…Peeta…I’ll be back.”


Underthinking It: Immanuel Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2011, 2:01pm

I mean, look at that dude. Totally sweet wig.

The coolest thing about this book by Immanuel Kant is that when you are a kid they teach you that there was a time once when everybody wore powdered wigs, and everybody you learn about from that time was either on the British side or the American side of the American Revolution. Except some of them were French, but they were on America’s side because of Ben Franklin.

Then, when you get to college, you learn that there is this other guy who is not English or American, and probably not French, who also either wore a wig or just had hair like that, and he wrote crazy books. Like, books that don’t make any sense at all, like you can’t even read them, and it’s not like they’re in French or anything (he’s not French, as I said already, I think).

This is cool because when you are a kid you sometimes think you’ve already learned everything cool, and then when you grow up you only learn things that are boring. Like, how when you were a kid there were cool codes in video games, but now we have walkthroughs for whole games, or the way to have infinite lives is just to select it on the difficulty level screen, which while kind of fun to be able to do, isn’t very cool at all.

So it is cool that there were other people with wigs and that they were crazy. This book is about the categorical imperative.

Underthinking It: Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2011, 2:00pm

I google image searched this. This man's sombrero is sad because of magical realism.

I looked this up on Wikipedia, and this is what it said:

One Hundred Years of Solitude (Spanish: Cien años de soledad, 1967), by Gabriel García Márquez, is a novel which tells the multi-generational story of the Buendía Family, whose patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía, founds the town of Macondo, the metaphoric Colombia. The non-linear story is narrated via different time frames, a technique derived from the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges (as in The Garden of Forking Paths).

The widely acclaimed story, considered to be the author’s masterpiece, was first published in Spanish in 1967, and subsequently has been translated into thirty-seven languages, selling more than 20 million copies.[1][2] The magical realist style and thematic substance of One Hundred Years of Solitude established it as an important, representative novel of the literary Latin American Boom of the 1960s and 1970s,[3] that was stylistically influenced by Modernism (European and North American), and the Cuban Vanguardia (Vanguard) literary movement.

Contents [hide]
1 Biography & publication
2 Plot
3 Historical context
4 Symbolism and metaphors
5 Characters
5.1 First generation
5.2 Second generation
5.3 Third generation
5.4 Fourth generation
5.5 Fifth generation
5.6 Sixth generation
5.7 Seventh generation
5.8 Others
6 Major themes
6.1 The subjectivity of reality and Magical Realism
6.2 The fluidity of time
6.3 Incest
6.4 Solitude
7 Interpretation
8 Literary significance and acclaim
9 Critiques
10 Internal references
11 Adaptations
12 See also
13 Notes
14 External links

These are only some of the reasons why Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s’ One Hundred Years of Solitude is a book about the multi-generational story of the Buendía Family, whose patriarch José Arcadio Buendía, founds the town of Macondo, the metaphoric Colombia. It is also about the human spirit.

Underthinking It: The Musical Talmud: “The Star Spangled Banner” By Jimi Hendrix

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2011, 11:01am

This is quite possibly the worst Jimi Hendrix song of all time.


Where to start? The lyrics? I mean, there…are…NO…lyrics. None. You’d think that this supposedly great musician would actually sing while playing his guitar, but no. We are meant to be content with listening to almost 4 minutes of utterly self-indulgent noise-making that passes for music.

And I haven’t even gotten to the worst part. He makes a MOCKERY of “The Star Spangled Banner,” which, in case you didn’t know, is the national anthem of the United States of America, which, in case you didn’t know, is the most awesomest country in the world. And we were at war at the time! In 1969, over 11,000 Americans died in Vietnam. You’d think that musicians would try harder to play a faithful rendition of the national anthem during a time of war, to, you know, support our country and our troops, but NO. He has to “make a statement” or “protest the war.” I bet at least 5,000 of those 11,000 dead soldiers could have been saved if he inspired our country with a better rendition of this song.

Pinko commie. When has the United States ever been in a war worth protesting? Especially with whiny guitar music?

Underthinking It: Catch-22

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2011, 11:00am

What is this crap? They think they're cool because the numbers are tilted. Give me a break.

I have read this book and I still have no idea what a Catch-22 is, or why it is number 22. Are there 21 other catches? Are there catches that are past 22? I don’t know.

Not recommended.

Underthinking It: An Analysis of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2011, 7:01am

General Prologue: B

Knight’s Tale: C-

Miller’s Tale: A- (*, †)

Reeve’s Tale: B (*)

Cook’s Tale: Incomplete

Man of Law’s Tale: B-

Wife of Bath’s Tale: A- (*)

Friar’s Tale: Don’t remember this one

Summoner’s Tale: A- (†)

Clerk’s Tale: D-

Merchant’s Tale: C- (*)

Squire’s Tale: Never read it

Franklin’s Tale: B+

Physician’s Tale: D

Pardoner’s Tale: A

Shipman’s Tale: B (*)

Prioress’ Tale: F

Sir Thopas: A+

Melibee: F-

Monk’s Tale: D

Nun’s Priest’s Tale: A

Second Nun’s Tale: C-

Canon’s Yeoman’s Tale: B

Maniciple’s Tale: Don’t remember this one

Parson’s Tale: D

* = sexy times and/or rape

† = farts

Underthinking It: Learning Perl, 5th Edition

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2011, 7:00am

Lots of shaggy animals in this book. You can tell.

Learning Perl, 5th Edition is a great book that you should definitely buy whether or not you are interested in Perl specifically. It is engagly written, and the plots and characters really speak to me. Like when they have graphs or tables that tell you what is going on in the book even when the text is a little less clear, which happens, because this is a complex book with a rich texture. This is a high-level, general purpose, interpreted, dynamic book that exists in multiple paradigms at once and has a lot of cool things to say as it reflects about class and objects.

I am not just saying this because Randal Schwartz is a friend of this website who has appeared as a guest on our totally awesome podcast. Book reviews in major publications and media outlets like this one have to confront the reality of traveling in the same social circle all the time. Do you think The New York Times says nice things about books just because they are written by either their friends, or people they like and would want to be friends with, or the kind of people they sort of share a kinship with and want to be like and impress? Or that they say bad things about books by people they don’t like? Let’s not be silly.

Learning Perl 5th Edition is a magnum opus, a triumph of the human spirit, and the feel-good book of the year. It’s like Forrest Gump meets Ordinary People meets Beloved meets the owner’s manual to a really sweet dune buggy.

You should buy it. Buy buy buy. Obey what we say and consume.

Underthinking It: Omar from the Wire is so Freaking Awesome

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2011, 2:02am

He has a shotgun!  BLAM! And he doesn’t take crap from ANYBODY.

He’s also awesome because he’s a criminal that robs from other criminals.  Like, they think that they’re so hard because they’re breaking the law.  But they’re not harder than Omar!  He straight-up robs them!  Like, all the time.  He’s not afraid of the cops either.  Lots of the people on The Wire act all tough in front of the cops, but you can tell that Omar gives even less of a damn.  So awesome!

I wish I had a shotgun.

The other thing that’s awesome about Omar is how he’s so cool.  When he wants to say “yes,” he doesn’t just say “yes.”  He goes “indeed.”  “Indeed.” Like that.  It’s just so freaking cool.  The rest of The Wire is pretty confusing sometimes, because the people you think are going to be awesome end up not being so awesome, plus I can’t understand the dialogue always, and everyone has to do paperwork.  But Omar doesn’t do paperwork!  He shoots paperwork in the leg and steals its gel-packs.

He also shoots accents in the leg.

The other cool thing about Omar is that he’s gay.  But unlike normal gay people he’s totally badass!  He’s all like — BAM! BAM! STEAL! — and then he like, totally makes out with a guy.  Which is like awesome because, you know, challenging preconceptions and junk.  And like, violence.  Don’t worry, they don’t show too much gay stuff, and there’s a badass lesbian too, so it equals out.  They show more of her.

Anyway, the point is that Omar is awesome.  He has a shotgun, and a code, and he’s gay, and this one time he jumped right out a window and we were all like “Aaaaaah!!” but he didn’t die.  I’m not too clear about the code, actually — they never come right out and explain what it’s supposed to be.  Probably something about not taking any crap from anyone, and having an awesome shotgun and a trenchcoat, and maybe challenging people’s preconceived notions of homosexuality, and having an awesome scar right across your face like that.  They were really lucky when they hired that guy to play Omar that he turned out to have a scar on his face, because otherwise it would have been hard to make him look like that.


I wish I challenged people’s preconceived notions of homosexuality.


Also I wish that Omar was real and lived near me so that we could be friends.  That way everyone would think that I was cool too, because I hang out with Omar from The Wire.

We’d probably get along really well!

Underthinking It: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2011, 1:27am

This is the cover of the book. It looks boring.

This is an okay book, which I can say even though I haven’t read it. A lot of the ladies like this book, which is kind of funny, because when I think of people who are prejudiced and proud of it, most of them are dudes.

Like, dudes are all up on themselves about how much they hate on people based on rules they determined beforehand. Like, they’re all “Fuck Derek Jeter!” even though they haven’t met him, so how do they know to hate him so much? That is I guess another way of saying that these guys are proud and prejudiced.

Although I guess it is kind of more acceptable nowadays for a lady to also be prejudiced, at least as much as it is okay for a guy to be prejudiced. Like, racist women aren’t as afraid of being racist just because they are women. It’s like progress, but progress that also has irony and isn’t really progress. Which is what novels are about in general, I think.

It’s like “Yeah, I hate immigrants, but I’m a mom, too!” That’s Pride and Prejudice. The concept. The book I am not so sure, because I have not read it.

There was a lot of talk I think about a zombie version of the book, but whatever. If I want zombies, I can read a regular zombie book.

Oh, and Colin Firth is in one of the movie versions of this. I know this because every woman I know has fantasized about him in this movie.

Sometimes they talk about Colin Firth to themselves or each other when they don’t think I am listening. Like in their sleep. Or during the physical act of love.

Underthinking It: The Five Hottest Hitchcock Blondes

this was written by by — posted Apr 1, 2011, 12:20am

Say what you like about Hitchcock, the dude knew his women! He surrounded himself with some world-class hotties – a fine stable of prime wool for himself, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart to pick from. He had game before The Game even had game.

Let’s scope out The Five Hottest Hitchcock Blondes, bro.

5. Janet Leigh

A good girl gone bad, Janet Leigh turned heads in Psycho. Not just good-looking, she knew how to jack that paper, too. Leigh made film history – and erection history – with her infamous shower scene. Word has it that if you freeze frame and look carefully, you can totally spot nips.