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December 29, 2013 7:13 AM Odds & Ends

By Martin Longman

Distractify has a cool article up on the 38 most haunting abandoned places on Earth. They’ve found some spooky and strange stuff.

For an above-ground bunker, this is pretty good, but I wouldn’t go with grey. Who wants to live in a grey house?

Remember, Facebook in now a publicly-traded stock:

Facebook is “dead and buried” to older European teenagers, who’ve all been fleeing the Facebook galleon for Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat. Since European teens are ahead of the curve on everything, it’s only a matter of time before their parochial, arithmetic-challenged American counterparts also set fire to the desiccated corpse of Facebook and perform a ritual dance around it (metaphorically).

Less interesting than it might seem, the Guardian does a piece on (OMG!) Muslims living near Las Vegas.

…a couple of miles in the opposite direction lies what one would imagine to be the worst place in the world for an even halfway-strict Muslim - something, indeed, not unlike hell.
Masjid-e-Tawheed [mosque] is a 10-minute drive from Las Vegas Boulevard, the famous Strip - undisputed world capital of gambling, fornication, adultery, prostitution, immodesty, licentiousness, drinking, gluttony, vanity, ostentation and not a little taking God’s name in vain when visitors’ luck runs out in the gambling halls. The sheer amount of sin, as measured by any religion, is unfeasibly high in Las Vegas; for Muslims, it is off the scale.

One wonders if the author has been to “the famous Strip” in the last 20 years, because it’s a lot more like DisneyWorld these days than Dodge City, Kansas in Wyatt Earp’s day. Suburban Vegas doesn’t seem to present any problem for Mormons, so this article is stupid. It is interesting, however, to learn that the suburban Muslim population is 10,000-strong. In a normal world, they would take their conservative beliefs about family, marriage, child-rearing, etc., and (along with most Mormons) side with the Republican Party. But, for now, the Democrats are the only welcoming and tolerant party, so the GOP loses a lot of votes in Nevada that they cannot afford to lose. It’s a trend with them, see: evangelical blacks, Latinos, Asians, gays, women.

Remember those bumper stickers that said, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention”? Well, now it seems that “If you’re outraged, you must be mentally ill.”

Is nonconformity and freethinking a mental illness? According to the newest addition of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it certainly is. The manual identifies a new mental illness called “oppositional defiant disorder” or ODD. Defined as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior,” symptoms include questioning authority, negativity, defiance, argumentativeness, and being easily annoyed.

Yes, you’re “odd” if you argue and demonstrate defiance against authority. Nice. Half the people I know are argumentative and easily annoyed. It’s called “being from Jersey.”

Want to see 100 year old long-lost Antarctic photographs? Go here.

Lastly, after having a night to reflect on the difference between the truth about the Benghazi attacks and what the Republicans have said about them, I am left to wonder whether our political discourse is so idiotic that we should just give up on discourse and conduct our politics strictly by voting. After all, trying to correct the Republicans on Benghazi is the equivalent of howling into a hurricane (of stupid).

What do you think?

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