[links] Link salad’s flag boy and your flag boy, sittin’ by the fire

Angelesen: Die Räder der Welt (Jay Lake) — What appears to be a positive review of the German language edition of Mainspring.

A natural history — Roger Ebert with a moving essay on growing up, and lost friends.

“Crab” chips, fruity Oreos? They’re big overseas — More on on-USAnian flavors. Snack food crack for me is Maui onion flavored Hawaiian kettle chips in creamy French onion dip.

Tornado near Tokyo kills 1, injures dozens — I’m always a bit surprised when I read about tornadoes outside the North American Great Plains.

Reminders of Secular Authority Reduce Believers’ Distrust of Atheists — Many of my Christian friends seem to have grown fond of the self-valorizing myth that they are being oppressed or persecuted in modern America, but it is still true that atheists poll at the bottom of trustworthiness. Amazing, the power we secular types have as a small and least-trusted percentage of the population.

The ‘Big Four’ markers of the evangelical tribeSlacktivist Fred Clark with some fascinating social history of the Evangelical movement.

Family Battle Offers Look Inside Lavish TV Ministry — This is precisely what our country needs more of, not those godless, immoral liberals.

Biden on gay marriage: ‘Absolutely comfortable with men marrying men, women marrying women’ — Good. As it should be, assuming you value an open, tolerant society. Which conservatives explicitly do not. Another of the many, many reasons I can never be a conservative.

Republicans! Get in my vagina! — Very sarcastic video, funny as hell decidedly not worksafe. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

The Right-Wing’s 20 Biggest Sex HypocritesThe ones who scream the loudest about how godly they are often turn out to be the exact opposite. Only twenty? But, but, but, Clinton had a blow job! (Via [info]danjite.)

How to End This Depression — Paul Krugman is, as usual, sensible.

Republicans on ‘Politicizing’ Terrorism, Then and Now — Well, it was fine when Bush did it, just not when Obama does it. Like so many other things. Just ask any Tea Partier about deficit spending, foreign wars or corporate bailouts. Those only became a problem for conservatives after an African-American progressive was elected to the Oval Office. The GOP: setting the standards for intellectual consistency in political discourse since, well, never.

Schwarzenegger: GOP, take down that small tent — You didn’t mind that ‘small tent’ when it got you elected, Arnie. I despise so-called moderate Republicans almost more than I despise the whackaloon conservatives that dominate the GOP these days, simply because while in a lot of cases the whackaloons really can’t seem to help being who they are, the Republican moderates are people who know better and went along with the nuts anyway for electoral advantage.

Historic campaign collision of race and religion likely to arouse both pride and prejudiceBarack Obama vs. Mitt Romney, an African-American and a white Mormon, representatives of two groups and that have endured oppression to carve out a place in the United States. How much progress has America made against bigotry? By November, we should have some idea. Hint: which man is running from a party that has built and sustains its political fortunes foursquare on bigotry and intolerance?

?otd: Jockamo fee na nay?

Writing time yesterday: 3.5 hours (2.5 hours and 5,600 words on Their Currents Turn Awry, 1.0 hours of WRPA)
Body movement: 1.5 hour suburban walk
Hours slept: 9.25 (solid)
Weight: 240.0 (!)
Currently reading: The Blade Itself Joe Abercrombie

4 thoughts on “[links] Link salad’s flag boy and your flag boy, sittin’ by the fire

  1. Cora says:

    The Mainspring review is indeed very good. At one point, the reviewer even compares the depth of your worldbuilding to Tolkien.

    Regarding the chips and cookies adapted to foreign tastes, I wonder why this is a surprise. American snack food has the reputation of being too sweet (for cookies, cakes and candy) and kind of bland (for chips and crisps) and additive laden. Even for typically American flavours like sour cream and onion, the local product is often better than the import (though those Hawaiian onion chips sound interesting). Pringles entered the German market with a heavy advertising campaign in the 1990s and managed to carve out their space, though their chips are pretty bland IMO and definitely inferior to their German competitor. Lay’s is available as well, though not very popular, probably because their chips are only available in dull flavours. Recently, Oreos have started showing up in general supermarkets, when previously they were only available in the specialty import aisles. There even are Oreo ads on TV. No idea whether they’ll be able to displace the local cookie brand Prinzenrolle, which is similar. I admit I have a soft spot for Oreos, but that’s largely due to memories. I probably wouldn’t even like the actual cookies, were I to try them today.

    As for clueless attempts by American companies to decode foreign tastes, a couple of years ago, Coca Cola and Pepsi noticed that they were losing market share in Germany to a local upstart called Bionade, a brand of organic sodas that had become highly popular without much advertising. So they tried to figure out what made Bionade so successful and decided it had to be the offbeat flavours like Elderberry, Ginger Orange, Herb opr Lychee. So Coca Cola launched Spirit of Georgia, a range of sodas with offbeat flavours, exclusively for the German and Austrian market, totally unaware that what sold Bionade was the fact that it was organic and had no artificial additives. Coca Cola later noticed its error and more recent Spirit of Georgia ads stress the fact that it is low in sugar and free of additives.

    Spiegel Online has an English language article about the Bionade success story.

  2. Cora says:

    Regarding tornadoes, we do get them on occasion (as does Japan, obviously), though they’re rarer and less destructive than their American counterparts.

    On May 1st, I chanced to see a very small tornado dance across a field in North Western Germany. It was nowhere near the scale of the tornadoes seen in the US, just blowing a bit of loose soil around. Still, that was the first tornado I ever saw first hand.

    1. Jay says:

      In the US, we call those small one “dust devils”.

      1. Cora says:

        We use the same term, “Windhose”, for both the big and the small one, probably because the big ones are still rare.

        “Dust devil” would certainly have been appropriate for the one I saw, since it looked not unlike the Tasmanian Devil from the old Warner Bros cartoons.

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