Highlighting San Diego’s new found status as “America’s Finest Tourist Plantation” we’d be remiss if we failed to mention the Gaslamp Mardi Gras Celebration this evening, where, for a mere $25, you can join the throngs of crazed Catholics (and wannabe Catholics) seeking just One More Sin before having to endure forty days of self-denial. A slightly less commercial and more hedonistic celebration also takes place up in Hillcrest on University Avenue between First and Fourth.
And since Mardi Gras and Lent are religious events… The fight over birth control that’s dominated news media coverage of the GOP Presidential contests in recent weeks is, in a long, detailed and spooky posting by Daily Kos diarist OllieGarkey, actually a revival of a very old struggle in Catholicism. We’re given insight into an aspect of Opus Dei that lies outside the confines of popular cultural representations like The DaVinci Code. Consider reading it as your atonement for whatever you’ve done that’s sinful recently.
Entertainment Companies Exploit Whitney Houston’s Death… Houston’s death, which has already been exploited by the likes of Fox Spews’ Bill O’Reilly, was also the cause of the removal of her film The Bodyguard from Netflix streaming. Warner Brothers pulled the streaming version of the flick, seizing upon an opportunity for future DVD sales. Sony music, which owns the rights to much of Houston’s music, raised the price her albums by more than 60% within hours of her death being announced. And they wonder why people aren’t enthused about their anti-piracy measures.
The $330,000 Cheeseburger…. No it’s not at Chez LaJollaBucks. Dutch researcher Mark Post has informed attendees at this year’s annual meeting of the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver, Canada that he and others have created muscle tissue that can eventually be mashed together to create something resembling a hamburger patty. Created from stem cells grown in the lab, Post’s aim is to invent an efficient way to produce skeletal muscle tissue in a laboratory that exactly mimics meat, and can eventually replace the entire meat-animal industry. The $330,000 figure is the amount of funding to this research that’s been supplied so far by an anonymous financier. Though companies such as Tyson Foods and JBS have asked about possible meat substitutes, much of the $74-billion beef industry is still in wait-and-see mode, according to the science group.
Back to the Future Back on Sale…. Those of you unfamiliar with the Steampunk genre of fiction, fantasy, alternate history and performance art should take a few minutes to expand your horizons today. Steampunk Magazine has arisen from the ashes of the internet to amuse, befuddle and challenge us in ways that we need to be challenged. The downloadable (free!) 110 page journal even includes an essay on Occupy and Steampunk. What’s the connection? You’ll have to find out for yourself!
It’s been at least a couple of days since we’ve been red baited… With than in mind we offer up this bit of testimony before the U.S. Senate wherein the speaker claims that the Constitution of the United States is vastly inferior to the governing document of the now-defunct Soviet Union. The speaker in question? None other than Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Now that we’ve teased you with that bit, here’s a bit more substantive essay about contemporary Communism in the 21st Century. It’s more interesting than reading a Roger Hedgecock op-ed, but, then again, so’s watching the Dog Channel.
Are They Really That Stupid?… Some vigilant citizens in Phoenix, Arizona are up in arms over a domed church under construction that they wrongly believe to be a mosque. The large building is actually a nondenominational church. The backlash has been severe enough that the church’s leaders have hung a giant banner over the dome: “If you think different you are wrong—We are building a Christian house of worship”
But wait! It Gets Better!… A bill recently introduced in Arizona would impose harsh restrictions on teachers’ conduct, even in their own homes. The bill, SB 1467, states that educators at the state’s public schools and universities can be fined, suspended and ultimately fired if they “engage in speech or conduct that would violate the standards adopted by the Federal Communications Commission concerning obscenity, indecency and profanity if that speech or conduct were broadcast on television or radio.” Among the books that would be illegal for educators to peruse would be: “Catcher in the Rye”, “Slaughterhouse Five”, “Kite Runner”, and, our personal favorite, “The Merriam Webster Dictionary”.