Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Happy second…much more fun than an hour

Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:02 am by rabbitpirate

So today sees the start of World Homeopathy Awareness Week and I thought what better way to get the party started than with a homeopathic cocktail.


How to make an Avogadro Slammer


You will need:


A Martini Glass

A Cocktail Shaker

A Large Jug (the bigger the better)

A Pipette




1 part Gin

1 part Vodka

1 part Dry Vermouth

Tonic Water

A Lemon

A Lime

Green Olives

Red Cherries


500,000 Gallons of Water






  • Use the pipette to place one drop of each spirit into a large jug full of water.
  • Stir gently.
  • Use the pipette to place one drop of the mixture into the cocktail shaker along with some crushed ice.
  • Strike the cocktail shaker forcefully until thoroughly shaken.
  • Pour the contents of the cocktail shaker into a fresh jug of water.
  • Stir gently.
  • Repeat steps 3 to 6 until not a single molecule of the original spirits remain.
  • Place one drop of the final mixture in a chilled Martini glass and serve with tonic water, a slice of lemon, a slice of lime, two olives and a cherry.




WARNING: Due to the way in which it is made the Avogadro Slammer in an extremely potent drink. The League of Reason accepts no responsibility should you become intoxicated or hospitalised as the result of drinking one. Side effects can include liver damage and long term brain damage. Please drink responsibly. Do not drive a vehicle for at least a month after consuming a Avogadro Slammer and give up operating heavy machinery all together.

Supporting the Free Speech of “Them” (Guest Blog)

Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:44 am by AndroidAR

I’m sure most Leaguers (especially those who frequent chat) have heard of my creationist archive project FundieVideoHell or FVH for short. As the name might suppose, FVH is a treasure trove (or virtual hell, depending on the user) of creationist and fundamentalist seminars, presentations and other assorted videos.

While I had anticipated support and thanks from my fellow rationalists, I was surprised to see support from creationists too. It seems that FVH is a common ground for both sides: rationalists can use it as a resource for material to debunk (though, sadly, I have yet to see it used this way), and creationists have a source of entertainment.

So why do I spend my time and hard drive space on the opponents to rationality, freethinking, and science? The answer is simple: as long as FundieVideoHell exists, they cannot (or rather, shouldn’t) claim they are being censored by us. Well, at least they cannot claim all atheists are censoring them.

Now, I have, so far, done this entirely on my own resources. I enjoy finding out what is new and happening from the other side. But when I came across the brochure for the “2010 Creation Supercamp,” which is only a few hours drive away, I realized something. Something that deeply frightened me: I wanted to go to this conference. I want to film creationist conferences. But I also don’t want to be an e-begger like VenomFangX.

So I was wondering, should I start a PayPal so that I can take donations from those who are willing to support FundieVideoHell? And would you (the lucky readers) be able to spread the word about FVH? I think there may be creationists out there who would help support the spread of their message, both by word-of-mouth and monetarily.

Shutter Island (2010)

Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:52 pm by TheYoungAndRestless

Martin Scorsese’s oeuvre has passed me by. I hear the name. And I know of a few of the movies. But, on the shelf in my mind, I would probably arrange those DVDs by their leading actor, not their director. Hitchcock. Woody Allen. They get their own section.

So, I’m not making comparisons to Raging Bull (1980) or Taxi Driver (1976). Good movies. But there’s no comparison. It’s not even worth trying and it’s not fair.

Shutter Island (2010) is – and now I regret mentioning Hitchcock – a psychological thriller. But, the experience isn’t thrilling and the psychology isn’t a maze of insanity and delusion that we need to keep us from checking our iPhones for more than two hours. It’s more like a long commute. We know where we’re going; we know how to get there; we don’t really want to go.

The central power of the psychological thriller is that we, as viewers, aren’t afforded with our ordinary omniscience. As we ponder whether the protagonist is actually insane, we realize that we can’t possibly answer the question based purely on the evidence – all the evidence we encounter could be part of the insanity. We have to just endure not knowing and enjoy the complexity of the puzzle. And, ultimately, it all reveals itself and we laugh a little. And, it turns out, we’re not insane.

But, Shuttle Island takes the potency of psychological thriller and forfeits it within about twenty minutes. And, so, without revealing it now – I promise you: you’ll know whether the protagonist is crazy or not pretty quickly. And then, once you’ve figured it out, you can leave the theater.

Leonardo DiCaprio is certainly a fine actor, let me add. I hated him for years. So very cute, adorning the lockers of every teenage girl in my middle school. I suppose I thought of him as competition. But, I suppose I can forgive him. It’s not like the competition was down to him and me.

2/5 stars. Competent acting. But, the rules of the thriller are broken to the point of boredom.

So say we all

Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:09 pm by rabbitpirate

Last night on Sky 1 they showed the first two episodes of the Battlestar Galactica prequel series Caprica. I can’t say I was all that impressed, though it is still early days yet, but the show seemed to lack any of the immediacy or tension that the parent show had by the bucket load. Choosing to set the show in a time of peace and having it focus so heavily on the deeply personal loss of two families just seems a rather odd choice to me given the planet spanning, humanity wide issues at stake in the original. That said however it did raise a number of topics that I feel would be more at home on this blog than on a Battlestar Galactica forum, namely the issues of monotheism vs polytheism and the idea of life after death by way of technology. Here are a couple of things the show got me thinking about.



Movie Review: Legion (2010)

Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:45 pm by TheYoungAndRestless

My favorite genre, or perhaps second favorite, is religious horror. Essentially, those horror movies where people die but the bad guys are demons or something and the whole movie follows sort of Biblical plot. It’s the intersection between pointless violence and horror… I mean, pointless violence and the Bible (little joke there.)

The Omen(1976) was good. The Exorcist (1973). The Prophecy(1995).

Legion(2010), for the record, is certainly not a shameful entry into the genre, but it’s certainly not going to be the standard by any stretch of the imagination. It involves a supposed second “flood,” but this one, carried out by angels. An extermination of the human race. Unlike Noah, there is no family earmarked for repopulating the planet and this second destruction of the earth also coincides with the birth of child. This child, incidentally, makes no sense. Is he the second coming? Why would God destroy the earth moments before the second coming? Seems bizarre.

There are far less cool angel scenes and a lot of the violence is just trite, ordinary zombie-like violence. The whole world is being destroyed and our vision is limited to a few small miles of desert boredom – unsatisfying.

The movie does, however, make one interesting stab at Christian fundamentalism, whether they realize it not. The main good guy in the movie is the Archangel Michael and he has been ordered by God to lead the extermination of mankind and kill the child… whoever the child really is. Michael searches his conscience and refuses the order, instead joining the humans and protecting the child. You would have gotten that from the trailer so don’t be too mad!

Gabriel, the equally bronzed archangel who takes over after Michael’s departure, is less sensitive to sympathy but argues that following orders is what really matters. Obviously, sympathy wins over blind obedience in the end, but certain parallels to the story of Abraham and Isaac and the Nazis, of course, are somewhat transparent. Sometimes I can understand Abraham’s decisions; sometimes I can’t. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t kill Isaac, but would that be because I had placed sympathy over obedience as an act of courage or because generally I was scared shitless.

For my part, I’m glad that somewhere in cinema “God told me to do it” isn’t a good reason.

★★★☆☆ If you have the time, go have a little fun. But, if you miss it, you didn’t miss anything.

Daybreakers – a beautiful movie

Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:06 am by TheYoungAndRestless

Daybreakers, the vampire horror film from Peter and Michael Spierig and starring Ethan Hawke, William DeFoe, and Sam Neil, is a disappointing modernization of Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday novella A Christmas Carol. Much of the original’s political commentary has somewhat obviously and probably necessarily been replaced with more contemporary concerns: immigration, the energy crisis, the corruption of big banking, and the half-human-half-vampire bat monsters than live in the sewers. The movie, in this regard, struggles for relevance, which I can appreciate as I have really been feeling depressed lately. I don’t know… I guess it’s the winter or maybe it’s that I didn’t get a lot of Christmas presents this year. I mean, I think I only got two actual presents. And I just broke up my boyfriend a few weeks ago… and it’s not like seeing him in this movie helped. He was good in White Fang, I guess. I’m thinking of opening a deli. It doesn’t seem that hard. We used to talk about that, Ethan and I. And, interestingly enough, I think this movie would have been a little bit more dramatic if more of its scenes were set in a deli. Instead, the movie imagines a future when all humanity has been turned into vampires and their economy revolves around the diminishing supply of human blood. I’m sure this is not what Dickens had in mind! But, still, the audience is invited into an imaginative vision of the future. Blood is mixed into coffee and purchased at coffee stands in the subway. There’s something terrifyingly realistic about how quickly advertising united sex appeal and the pale skin of vampires. It’s almost as if advertising is the real vampire. But, who are we kidding… the real vampire is the movie star who thinks he can just call whenever he feels like it! And when he does, he wants an “open” relationship, whatever the fuck that means! I miss, also, the intense sexuality that is usually evident in vampire films. When I was writing Dracula, it was important to me to depict the feelings of lust that the allure of blood must offer vampire and the fear turning to submission in vampire’s victims. But, in Daybreakers, the vampires are depicted as almost boringly human. The only redeeming excitement of the movie are the occasional bodies ripped apart by mobs of vampires and the cameras relentless willingness to not look away. Fans of gore will enjoy Daybreakers to some extent; fans of Dickens will be shocked.

It’s just a game people

Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:07 pm by rabbitpirate

For a long time now the claim that violent video games cause people to commit real world acts of violence has been floating around the planets collective consciousness, without any really supporting evidence to my mind, but now it seems that things are going one step further. A recent study into games carried out by two Swiss human rights organisations, Trial and Pro Juventute, investigated a number of recently released games to see which of them allowed their players to break humanitarian laws with regards to war crimes. The study focused on how games treat civilians, combatants who surrender and “protected objects” such as churches and mosques, looking for violations of the Geneva Conventions and its Additional Protocols.

Twenty games were scrutinised to see if the conflicts they portrayed and what players can do in the virtual theatres of war were subject to the same limits as in the real world.


“The practically complete absence of rules or sanctions is… astonishing,” said the study.



The games were analysed to see “whether certain scenes and acts committed by players would constitute violations of international law if they were real, rather than virtual”.


Unsurprisingly they found that many games violated the rules of war with reckless abandon. But what exactly is the problem with this and what do they want games designers to do about it?


It said games were sending an “erroneous” message that conflicts were waged without limits or that anything was acceptable in counter-terrorism operations.


“This is especially problematic in view of today’s reality,” said the study.


In particular, it said, few games it studied reflected the fact that those who “violate international humanitarian law end up as war criminals, not as winners”.


The authors said they did not wish to make games less violent, instead, they wrote: “[We] call upon game producers to consequently and creatively incorporate rules of international humanitarian law and human rights into their games.”


Ok seriously, we are talking about computer games here right? The games they looked at included Far Cry 2, Metal Gear Solid and 24: The Game. Does anyone think that these games have anything to do with reality? Do they really think that playing a game like Army of Two will cause people to go out and commit real life war crimes? Just as playing Doom doesn’t cause people to go on a homicidal rampage, playing war games doesn’t turn you into Hitler or Stalin. Computer games are a form of escapism and as such should, first and foremost, be entertaining and fun. Sometimes after a hard day at work there is nothing more relaxing than loading up your favourite game and taking out your frustration on a few innocent civilians. This doesn’t mean for a second that I would ever do the same thing in real life and no matter how realistic the blood spatter or how convincing the cries of pain I, and the vast majority of games, are intelligent enough to remember that it is, at the end of the day, only a game.


This just strikes me as yet another pop at gamers from a group of people who neither understand them nor the games they play.

Speaker’s Corner

Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:06 pm by Th1sWasATriumph

Some of you may have heard of Speaker’s Corner, in Londonbox – an area of Hyde Park where, for over 100 years, people have turned up (generally on Sundays) to speak their brains about whatever they feel is important. The majority of this consists of religious nutbarness, as you might expect, but with a smattering of political, social and ecological viewpoints.

You’re not protected by law, as many people seem to think – but police do tend to steer clear, so as long as you don’t try to wash the colour off a black man or anything similarly importunate you’re probably ok.


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