Nuggets of Wisdom

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Daily Pony: Season 3 Songs Promos

Friday the 13th tends to bring bad luck for everyone; but for pony fans, it brought good luck. Yesterday saw the leak of not one, but two—count them, two!—songs from season three at Comic Con:

What do you know? Even after three seasons, the songs are just as fresh as ever. And judging from the second promo, Princess Cadence will be making an appearance (hopefully, along with Shining Armor) in one of the episodes.

I know my fellow bronies are jacked up about this. As for my reaction? The same as the Nostalgia Critic’s in his recent Top 11 review: “Music—Music—Music—Music—MUUUUUSSSSSSIIIIICCCCCC!”

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Typical Libertarian Argument

Based off a comic by Kate or Die. (Yeah, I can’t draw worth a crap. So excuse me if this comes across as a tracing of the original comic with a Scott Pilgrim head on the main character. This is a parody, not art theft.)

Just wanted to vent against some of the ignorant comments made against libertarianism. It’s by far the most marginalized and misunderstood political philosophies out there. I can understand the political establishment and mainstream media marginalizing libertarians like myself. At least they have a reason for doing so: maintain power. But when you have normal people marginalize libertarianism—people who would benefit greatly from a freer, more libertarian society—that’s when things become especially frustrating. But what else can you expect from a mainstream media and public education system that indoctrinates people rather than teaches them critical thinking: a populace that works and acts against its own best interests.

NOAA: Mermaids Don’t Exist

Image from Disney Wiki.

Our federal government, ladies and gentlemen! When it’s not testing to see if coffee enemas cure cancer or publishing guides on how to survive the zombie apocalypse, it’s informing us about crap we already know.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced on its website last week that there is no evidence that mermaids exist: “No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found. Why, then, do they occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all seafaring peoples? That’s a question best left to historians, philosophers, and anthropologists.”

This post was created in response to the many inquiries the agency received following the airing of an Animal Planet special called Mermaids: The Body Found. The pseudo-documentary covered the fictional account of a scientific team that discovered the remains of a mermaid while offering possible theories concerning the existence of the mythical creatures. One of these theories was the “aquatic ape hypothesis” which postulates that some of our early ancestors took to the sea and evolved into the creatures that we now know as mermaids.

Of course, despite the disclaimer blatantly stating that nothing in the special was real, many gullible viewers assumed that it was. Many were so intrigued about the possible existence of mermaids that they bothered the NOAA about it, to the point that the agency was forced to release its intelligence-insulting post. In other words, because so many people were too stupid to realize that a fictional documentary about fictional creatures was fictional, the government had to pander to their ignorance by informing them that it was indeed fictional.

Considering the popularity of a certain cartoon about multi-colored talking ponies, I wonder if enough people bother the federal government about it, it will release an official statement that unicorns and pegasi don’t exist either.

Image from Total Media Bridge.

Daily Pony: The Amazing Spider-Mare

Spider-Mare. Spider-Mare. Does whatever a Spider-Mare does.

The Amazing Spider-Mare by *Midnight-Cobra on deviantART

And no, I have not seen The Amazing Spiderman yet. I’m not really interested in seeing a reboot of a movie that only came out a decade ago. (Though from what I can tell from the weekend box office figures, many people have been. Go figure!)

Friday, July 6, 2012

WTF Friday: Disney’s “The Story of Menstruation”

It’s been a long time since I created a WTF Friday post. Haven’t had one since my Top 11 Most Disturbing MLP:FiM Fandoms list. Then again, I’m sure you all needed a break after that one. There’s only so much WTF that a human being can handle.

Anyway, let’s talk about Disney. I’m sure most of you are already familiar with the company. How can you not be? It’s part of everyone’s childhood. Most everyone has seen at least one of its classic movies. Snow White. Bambi. Little Mermaid. Lion King. The Story of Menstruation.

What’s that? You never heard of that last one? Don’t worry! Most people haven’t. In fact, it’s so obscure that the urban legend website Snopes had to verify that it existed.

You see, aside from cartoon shorts and full-length feature films, Disney also produced other material. I’m sure most of you are aware that it created war-time propaganda during WWII. It also produced plenty of educational material for schools.

This is one of those educational films: The Story of Menstruation. (Be warned: this is the only time you’ll hear the word “vagina” in a Disney film.)

For those who are interested, here’s some more information from the YouTube description:
The Story of Menstruation is a 1946 10-minute animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions in 1946. It was commissioned by the International Cello-Cotton Company (now Kimberly-Clark) and was shown to approximately 105 million American students in health education classes.

It was one of the first commercially sponsored films to be distributed to high schools. It was distributed with a booklet for teachers and students called Very Personally Yours that featured advertising of the Kotex brand of products, and discouraged the use of tampons, where the market was dominated by the Tampax brand of rivals Procter & Gamble.

The Story of Menstruation is believed to be the first film to use the word vagina in its screenplay. Neither sexuality nor reproduction is mentioned in the film, and an emphasis on sanitation makes it, as Disney historian Jim Korkis has suggested: "a hygienic crisis rather than a maturation event."

Daily Pony: Guardian of the Night

Looks like I have new wallpaper for my desktop.

Guardian of the Night by =Niban-Destikim on deviantART

And here's another image featuring Celestia in the same style. (But Luna is still my favorite princess ever!)

Die et Nocte by =Niban-Destikim on deviantART

Can Romney Even Win?

The Amazing Atheist places the upcoming November election in perspective: no matter who wins, we lose!

No matter who wins the election, they’re going to continue a set of policies that benefits the military-industrial complex, the wealthy elite, and big business to the detriment of everyone else. So you can always take some comfort in knowing that no matter who wins, the really important things stay the same. We’re still going to have the drone strikes. We’re still going to continue the drug war. We’re still going to keep every citizen under constant surveillance. We’re still going to trample on your First Amendment rights. We’re still going to trample on your Fourth Amendment rights. We’re still going to be involved in perpetual conflicts in the Middle East for no discernible reason. So breathe a sigh of relief America: nothing’s going to change.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Daily Pony: The Pony Destined

The Nostalgia Critic recently had a kickass crossover with JesuOtaku reviewing Digimon: The Movie. That reminded me of the following fanart of the ponies as digidestined.

The Pony Destined by ~Iemikas on deviantART

Of course, this raises the question as to what their digimon partners would be. Any ideas?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Is America The Greatest Country?

Image from Flickr.

I know this is the Fourth Of July. I know I should write about how great America is and how we’re Number One and how every other country sucks in comparison. I know I should be like every other patriotic right-wing blogger and post a music video of Lee Greenwood’s Proud To Be An American or Martina McBride’s Independence Day.

But I won’t do that. Instead, I want to share something more thought-provoking.

The following is from the opening scene of the first episode of HBO’s The Newsroom. During a political debate, news anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniel) is asked what makes America the greatest country in the world. He replies by saying that it’s not, and follows up with this speech:

[T]here’s absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re seventh in literacy. Twenty-seventh in math. Twenty-second in science. Forty-ninth in life expectancy. A hundred and seventy-eighth in infant mortality. Third in median household income. Number four in labor force and number four in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next twenty-six countries combined, twenty-five of whom are allies.

Now none of this is the fault of a twenty-year-old college student, but you nonetheless are without a doubt a member of the worst, period, generation, period, ever, period. So when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I dunno what the f*** you’re talkin’ about. Yosemite?

Sure used to be. We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons. We passed laws, struck down laws, for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed. We cared about our neighbors. We put our money where our mouths were. And we never beat our chest.

We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and we cultivated the world’s greatest artists and the world’s greatest economy. We reached for the stars. Acted like men.

We aspired to intelligence. We didn’t belittle it—it didn’t make us feel inferior.

We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election, and we didn’t scare so easy. We were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed. By great men. Men who were revered. First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.
After this episode was first released, it predictably received flack—mostly from conservatives—for being unpatriotic. I disagree. This speech wasn’t unpatriotic. This was actually one of the more patriotic moments on television.

Patriotism, by its very definition, is love for your country. Love doesn’t always entail showering the one you love with praise. Sometimes it means confronting them with the truth even when it’s not flattering. Does a loving parent not rebuke their child when they misbehave? In that regards, would not a true patriot rebuke his country when it’s clearly in the wrong?

I can think of nothing more unpatriotic that lying about my country. It would be nothing short of slander. I love my country far too much to slander it. It deserves nothing but the truth. And the painful truth is that, contrary to what other “patriotic” Americans would claim, America is not the greatest country in the world—at least, not anymore. Jeff Daniels already gave some good reasons as to why that is the case, but I would like to add my own.

America is supposed to be the land of the free and home of the brave, but over the past decade, it has become the exact opposite. It has become a country where the government can wiretap calls and search library records without a warrant. Where terror suspects can be tortured for information under the guise of “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Where passengers, before boarding a plane, are forced to remove their shoes, hand over their nail clippers and shampoo bottles, and submit to virtual strip searches and genital fondling. Where American-born citizens can be targeted for assassination without habeas corpus. Where surveillance drones can be launched over civilian airspace with little to no oversight. Where private property can be seized and sold to corporate boondoggles. Where citizens can be strip-searched for even the most minor offenses. Where the internet is constantly under attack by those seeking to censor and regulate it. And where citizens can be indefinitely detained without trial or due process.

If any of those things happened in another country, we would consider it a dictatorship. So why is it that when they happen here, we continue to pretend that this country is still the greatest in the world?

We consider America to be the freest nation on earth. But is it really? We’re not free to marry anyone of the same sex or to marry more than one spouse. We’re not free to smoke pot or shoot heroin or drink raw milk or procure a prostitute. We’re not free to drive a car without a seatbelt or ride a motorcycle without a helmet. We’re not free to legally share our music or movies online. We’re not free to feed the homeless in public parks. We’re not free to have our children sell lemonade. We’re not free to videotape the cops when they’re on duty, especially if they’re doing something wrong. We’re not free to build or do anything on our own property without first consulting city code and obtaining a permit. There are countless things we are not free to do. So why do we insist that we live in the freest country?

America used to be the city on a hill. We used to be the bastion of freedom. We used to be the envy of the world, a country that other nations looked to in order to emulate. It used to be that our Constitution and Bill of Rights were the blueprints for new and developing countries; now that role has been usurped by Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedom. The world prefers Canada over us! How shameful is that?

But it doesn’t have to be this way. We were the greatest nation on earth, and we can be the greatest again. But first we have to stop deceiving ourselves into thinking that we already are the greatest. We have to take off our star-spangled blinders, unwrap ourselves from the flag, and stop waving the cross, and accept us for what we really are: a once-great nation that has since fallen from grace. Then, and only then, can we retain our former greatness.

Dwell upon these things, and have a happy Independence Day.

Daily Pony: Happy 4th of July 2012

Silly Derpy! That’s not a firecracker!

Happy 4th of July 2012 by *johnjoseco on deviantART

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Daily Pony: Pregnant Ponies

Everyone’s favorite six ponies carrying and ready to burst.

But this raises the question as to who the fathers are.

Pregnant Twilight Sparkle by *xniclord789x on deviantART

Pregnant Rarity by ~xniclord789x on deviantART

Pregnant Pinkie Pie by ~xniclord789x on deviantART

Pregnant Apple Jack by ~xniclord789x on deviantART

Pregnant Rainbow Dash by *xniclord789x on deviantART

Pregnant Fluttershy by ~xniclord789x on deviantART

Most of you already know who I think Fluttershy’s baby daddy is. (Eeyup!)

Monday, July 2, 2012

CHART: Alcohol More Dangerous Than Marijuana

The following chart was compiled from data from a scientific study on the relative harm of drugs:

Image from Thomas Kleppestø.

As this chart clearly shows, alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana or any other illegal substance. So why haven’t we banned it yet?

Oh wait! We did try banning it once, and the result was increased crime due to it being forced into the black market to be controlled and distributed by criminal gangs.

At least politicians back then were smart enough to realize how much of a failure alcohol prohibition was and repealed it over a decade after its implementation. Meanwhile, the War on Drugs has been ongoing for over 40 years even with the overwhelming evidence that it has been an abject failure.

The bitter irony is that we are more informed now—or at least we’re supposed to be—than we were during Prohibition. Back then, people only had newspapers to rely on for their news and information. Radio was still a novelty, as were motion pictures, and television would not be invented until several decades later. With the mainstream media and internet at our disposal, we have better access to information than we did back then.

So why is it taking longer to end the War on Drugs than it took to end Prohibition? Shouldn’t social progress be increasing at the same rate as our technological progress?

Daily Pony: Fluttermac Animated Fanfic

Best. Fanfic. Ever!