This week in What I’ve Been Reading: the sky may not really be blue! Say whaaaaaaaat? Read on if you’re confused. (Read on if you’re not confused, too.)
- Thought the sky was blue? Well, think again! Sociologist Lisa Wade explains that referring to the sky as “blue” might be a cultural construction. In fact, the colours we ascribe to certain objects are dependent on our upbringings. For example, in some parts of the world, red onions are actually called “blue onions.” (They’re freakin’ purple, I tells ya!) Chew on that for a bit while you reevaluate your entire perception of the world.
- Zynga, makers of Facebook time-wasters such as FarmVille, CityVille, FishVille, CastleVille, and the not-so-popular AnalProbingVille, is being sued by Electronic Arts. EA is accusing Zynga of copying their game, The Sims Social, in order to make The Ville, which, if my powers of deduction are correct, is a definite article simulator. Dan Rogers has a rundown of the case and what it might mean for both companies. Personally, I’m hoping for Zynga and EA to have a go in a good old-fashioned fist fight, staged in BarBrawlVille, of course, followed by a stay in OvernightLockupVille.
- Malcolm Kelly of CBC Sports believes that the International Olympic Committee should stop letting underqualified athletes compete at the Olympics. He sees the presence of athletes who aren’t qualified as deliberately-designed, patronizing, feel-good stories that allow the IOC to pat itself on the back for allowing a couple of poor athletes from developing countries to compete. I’m inclined to agree. Bringing sport to countries all across the world, including the less fortunate ones, is a noble goal. But bringing in athletes who aren’t qualified is insulting. It’s insulting to the audience, who knows that they’re being emotionally manipulated. It’s insulting to their fellow competitors, who didn’t get a leg-up from the IOC. It’s insulting to their country of origin, implying that it isn’t capable of producing world-class athletes without an affirmative action programme. It’s insulting to the spirit of the Games, because the competition is supposed to represent athletes of the highest calibre. And most of all, it’s insulting to the athletes themselves, putting them on the world stage to become objects of ridicule just so that the IOC can feel good about itself. The IOC would do better to make legitimate investments in sport in developing countries and then trot those athletes out to compete at the Games once they become qualified. (My tongue spent a little too much time out of its cheek in that mini-rant.)
- Last week, CNN’s Joe Peacock wrote this editorial about “fake” geek women who feign interest in geek culture and cosplay at geek conventions in order to stroke their own egos and make nerdy guys salivate over them. Apparently, this is a phenomenon that occurs in Peacock’s version of the universe, which I would like to visit some time if it includes so many attractive female cosplayers. Anyway, writer John Scalzi shot back with this rebuttal, in which he repudiated the notion of “fake” geeks. To that I say, if we reject the idea of “fake” geeks, then how will we be able to separate the women who can recite Serenity’s script verbatim from those who can’t? Besides, everyone knows that hot chicks don’t read comic books or play video games. It’s been, like, statistically proven, with, uh, numbers and stuff.
And here’s this week’s video roundup, which is a new thing that I’m doing because videos aren’t things that you read.
- MovieBob discusses censorship and violence in the wake of the Aurora tragedy. It’s an intelligent look at why censorship won’t prevent future tragedies.
- Inspired by an episode of Adventure Time, Feast of Fiction has created the Everything Burrito. It’s both disgusting and glorious.
Well, that’s it for this week. Stay tuned for more bloggy goodness, and feel free to leave comments below.