This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

Lunchtime Diversions for Monday, July 23

Posted by: James Lileks under Gripes, Praise, Restaurants, Technology Updated: July 23, 2012 - 11:56 AM

Happy Monday; hope it’s going well, although if it isn’t, there’s not much I can do. Except provide some diversion from whatever came rolling down on your head after you returned to work from the weekend the steamy weekend. It’s supposed to rain today, but nothing looks likely. Wish it would. My lawn looks as flammable as a field of straw dusted with gunpowder. One dropped match, and WOOSH.

OLYMPIC FEVER is often traced to contaminated drinking water, or is a statement the media uses to describe the all-consuming interest in the quadrennial games. If you have neither you may still be interested in this:

* A collection of images from the 1948 Olympics, when cash-strapped England put on a show for 70,000 pounds.

* A look at Olympic logos in recent years, from the cool Helsinki logo to the ugly boulders-in-an-earthquake 2012 version.

YOU THERE! SMITH WINSTON! Do you have the right to be anonymous on the internet? You may say “of course I do,” and that’s why you use a pseudonym. And by “you” I mean Mr. John W. Martinson of Fletchervile Indiana, IP address 102.45.34.2.

That made him get up and turn off the computer and close the windows. He won’t leave the house today. Probably lost him as a reader forever, too. Anyway, do you have the right? I’m not sure it’s one of those natural Creator-endowed rights that accrue to mankind in any place or time. It’s not one of those rights international organizations like to weave out of whole cloth. It’s just assumed you don’t have to use your real name on the internet if you don’t want to. SpiffyMartian47 is perfectly fine for trolling comment threads, and you probably have a legit gmail account for business, and another for grandma so she doesn’t clog up your inbox with things that start out fwd:fwd:fwd:fwd:fwd:fwd:re:re:re:re:re:re.

Anonymity also means people act like idiots, and say horrible things. That’s one of the things that makes YouTube comment threads such a zesty bouillabaise of stupidity. Any idiot can post, and any idiot usually does, without worrying that his parents or teachers or boss or anyone else from whom he hides his brackish soul will see what he wrote. 

Google wants to change this. Google, it seems, is pushing people to use their real name on YouTube. 

Privacy advocates will be concerned: chilling effect on whistleblowers. If you’re uploading pictures of police misconduct, maaaaybe you don’t want your real name on that vid. The Troll-American community will laugh, because anyone with half an ounce of savvy can create multiple backup identities in a minute. This will affect the Upright Citizens, maybe, but that just means that comment threads on YouTube videos will be full of JohnSmith56932 and JohnSmith56933 and JohnSmith56934, each with the same annoying smug V for Vendetta mask for an avatar.

Of course, there’s another solution to screening out the comments: this.

One final question: who reads comments on YouTube? Clarification: what person, who isn’t between the age of 12 and 19 and relishes unpunctuated sub-literate arguments, reads the comments?

Speaking of internet video:

 

 

This needs to be posted everywhere once a week.

STATE FAIR: Buzzfeed has 25 things that are excellent on a stick. Not all are at the Fair. This is a grave mistake that needs immediate correction, but of course the Fair has no ready-response team when it comes to food; those matters are carefully planned, long in advance. You have to apply. You need a good idea, something unique. You have to wait. There must be space available - don’t think the buzzards haven’t been circling around BRAT MIT KRAUT for ten years, waiting for them to pack it in.

BATMAN Haven’t seen the new one yet; can’t wait. I know nothing about it, so I don’t know if Stately Wayne Manor has been completely rebuilt. I hope so - living in a Miesian skyscraper was cool enough in the last one, but that’s a rather rootless way to live. Here’s an infographic with the estimated value of Wayne Manor.

The article says they assumed, for purposes of valuing the real estate, that Gotham City is Chicago. Of course it is. The movies are full of Chicago buildings; in “The Dark Knight Rises,” the building where Joker interrupts the party is the Executive House hotel.

Enjoy the rest of your afternoon! Rain tonight, perhaps. If not, it might be time to start drastic measures. EVERYONE WATER YOUR LAWNS AND WASH YOUR CARS. 

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