Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tyler Clementi's Story Unfolded Online, But Offers Real Life Lessons

This is just so sad.


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via Towleroad News #gay by Andrew Belonsky on 9/30/10


We've never seen anything quite like the Tyler Clementi tragedy. While anti-gay bullying and taunting are, sadly, part and parcel of contemporary life, 18-year old's Clementi's story includes many dangerous elements that are rarely put together on the national stage, thus helping to illuminate the impact of the 21st century's brand of homophobia. The end result, if we're lucky, will be a revival of a seemingly outdated concept: civility.

"This is a highly rare occurrence," a Rutgers University official said about Clementi, the freshman who committed suicide after his roommate, Dharun Ravi, and another student, Molly Wei, streamed his hookups with other men across the campus. They have been charged with invasion of privacy.

The events leading to Clementi's suicide unfolded online, starting with a computer camera and Ravi's Twitter account, through which he invited other students to watch, and ending with Clementi's Facebook message, "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry." There also appears to be evidence of Clementi's anguish at the gay site JustUsBoys.

Gawker posted messages left by a user calling himself "cit2mo," who describes a situation very similiar to Clementi's: "the other night I had a guy over," he wrote, "[My roommate] tweeted I was using the room ...And that he went into somebody else's room and remotely turned on his webcam." The reaction, according to cit2mo, was not good: repulsed people commented on the roommate's profile asking, "How did you manage to go back in there?"

The user cit2mo, whose postings match the time line of Clementi's struggle, goes on to discuss how he felt the entire thing was homophobic: "I feel like it was 'look at what a fag my roommate is'... And the fact that the people he was with saw my making out with a guy as the scandal, whereas, I mean come on, he was SPYING ON ME... Do they see nothing wrong with this?"

Sadly, too many people would focus on the "negative" aspect of gay sex, rather than the malicious invasion of privacy.

Cyber-bullying remains a persistent problem in America: over 40% of teenagers report being bullied online. As our lives become even more intertwined with the internet, age old homophobia will only continue to fester in virtual realms.

Just look at the Andrew Shirvell case: his own boss, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, calls him a cyber bully, again against a gay person. That doesn't mean, of course, that bullying doesn't exist in the real world, too.

In addition to showing the dangers of cyber-bullying, Clementi's story, rare for all the attention it has received in mainstream media, shows the dangerous repercussions of homophobia, something we all saw this week with the deaths of Asher Brown and Seth Walsh, both of whom committed suicide.

Clementi's life and death come just as Rutger's University launches its Project Civility, a series of lectures and discussions that intends to create a "more charitable campus culture" and provide an "ongoing inquiry about the nature of true respect for others."

In light of Clementi's suicide, unique, yet involving so many ubiquitous, oft-ignored themes - cyber-bullying, homophobia and suicide - Rutger's announced they will incorporate his story into Project Civility's programming. Hopefully all the attention will help spread civility to the general public, too, for they must sit up and realize that seemingly minor jabs or taunts, online or off, are fueling a crisis that's claiming lives.


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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Maurizio Cattelan Erects Giant Middle Finger Sculpture In Milan


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via Laughing Squid by Scott Beale on 9/28/10


"L.O.V.E.", the latest work by controversial artist Maurizio Cattelan, features a giant 36′ high middle finger sculpture erected in front of the stock exchange building in Milan.

via design boom


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Monday, September 27, 2010

Segway accident kills owner of Segway company

good lord


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via Boing Boing by Rob Beschizza on 9/27/10

Jimi Heselden, the businessman who bought the Segway company from Dean Kamen, died Sunday after driving his Segway off a cliff. [Indy]


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Friday, September 24, 2010

HOWTO fast-infuse your booze with nitrous


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via Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow on 9/23/10

Here's a fast way to infuse booze with flavors -- cacao nibs, herbs, etc -- using nitrous oxide and a whipped-cream maker:

Put room-temperature booze into the cream whipper. Add herbs, seeds, whatever. Close the whipper and charge it with nitrous oxide (N2O -the regular whipped cream chargers). Swirl gently 30 seconds and let stand 30 seconds more. Quickly vent the N2O out of the whipper, open it, and strain out the infusion. Done.
Infusion Profusion: Game-Changing Fast 'N Cheap Technique


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Fabric salad


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via Boing Boing by Lisa Gansky on 9/22/10


Bon Bon Kakku allows people to design, sell, and vote on fabric designs they like. It's a "Meshy" business -- a shared space for encouraging crowd-sourced design. With her design, Vesa Savikko of Helsinki advises, "Create your own burger."


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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Government Seeding Americans With Gay-Causing MSG In Juice Boxes, Claims Rat...

He's kidding right?


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via Queerty by ryant on 9/22/10

Texas-based radio host Alex Jones, of The Alex Jones Show, knows America's real problem isn't with more gays on television, but more gays in real life. Who's to blame? The government, of course: Jones says he's seen the documents proving the feds are engaged in a "chemical warfare operation … so that people don't have children." And how are they feeding distributing these nefarious nelly chemicals? By putting MSG in juice boxes! It makes dudes want to wear skirts and put on lipstick! Mr. Jones also happens to operate the websites and, which alternate between attacking Lady Gaga fans and pumping up gold prices. (Update: Appears this clip has been circulating for a few months.)

[via Gawker]

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Irish President Turns Down Invite to Grand Marshal NYC St Patrick's Day Para...

Nice, way to hold your ground


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via Towleroad News #gay by Andy Towle on 9/23/10

Mary McAleese, the President of Ireland, has said no to an invitation to be grand marshall of New York City's St. Patrick's Day parade because it continues to discriminate against gay people, the Irish Times reports:

Mcaleese "The turn down is said to be connected to the issue of gays being refused the right to march in the parade under their own banners, and McAleese's strong relationship with gay and lesbian organizations in Ireland. As she will also be in the last year of her term in 2011, officials in the president's office were reluctant to become embroiled in a major controversy about her taking part in the parade which has excluded gay organizations for over 20 years...McAleese's refusal to accept the grand marshal invite will come as major blow to parade officials who were intent on making the day an historic showcase. New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York is now being considered a likely replacement. Despite a reputation as a conservative Catholic when she took office, McAleese has become a firm advocate for marginalized groups in Irish societies including gay groups. She is very popular with such groups and was risking putting one of the signature accomplishments of her presidency at risk if she accepted the New York invite to lead the parade."

Homophobe Dolan has insisted "we're not anti-gay...we're pro-marriage."


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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Moebius Comic Strip by Jim Woodring


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via Laughing Squid by Scott Beale on 9/21/10

Moebius Comic Strip

Fantagraphics is featuring a really cool Moebius Comic Strip created by Jim Woodring.

via Coudal Partners


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