Sunday, February 7, 2016

On the subject of creepy-ass white vans

Posted By on Sun, Feb 7, 2016 at 10:07 PM


With so much disagreement amongst the people in our nation, it can seem like we have little in common with those with whom we disagree, but on some human level we can still see eye to eye on certain indisputable things. One of those things: the innate creepiness of the white van.

Nothing gets our fight-or-flight going like the slow-rolling, victim-trolling, creepy-ass white van.

What is it, though, about that vehicle that elicits the intuition that a murderous perv, smelling of mechanical grease with tobacco stained teeth and a lazy eye, is definitely scouting for someone to rape and torture before dumping their naked body in a wooded area somewhere around Plant City? We instinctively know it. Can all of us be wrong?

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Poet's Notebook: All the world's a stage

Posted By on Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 1:29 PM

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear...

In 1949, for my 17th birthday, my parents changed my life. They took me to see South Pacific, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that had opened on Broadway earlier that year. Mary Martin sang the part of nurse Nellie Forbush, and a 58-year-old opera singer, Ezio Pinza, became an unlikely American hero as the French plantation owner, Emile DeBacque. Based on James Michener’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning collection of 19 short stories, the music, the acting, and the words knocked my scruffy argyles off.

There’s nothing like real theater (although, as one of the songs tells us, “There’s nothing like a dame,” either). Jeanne and I are movie fans, too, but the vulnerability of real actors on a stage gives theater an extra intensity compared to the distancing permanence of film. South Pacific was the first play I’d seen outside of high school, and I was hooked. (If someone had told me that 40 years later James Michener would have dinner at our house, I would’ve fainted. In 1990, still a fierce liberal at 83, Michener was a popular and gracious “helper” in Eckerd’s fiction-writing classes for a semester.

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Pro-rape dickbag games media, media to continue covering gross things

Posted By on Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 9:36 AM

  • youtube

So raise your hand if you're surprised: A gross human who enjoys garnering attention by speaking loudly about wholly objectionable things says he's going to do something, then cancels said something amid a massive popular backlash — once the initial announcement has done its job of creating exposure and getting people talking.

This actually has nothing to do with the current GOP presidential race. It has to do with "famous" pickup artist (PUA) and accredited misogynist Daryush "Roosh V” Valizadeh, and his recent announcement that he was scheduling a series of nationwide "meetups" ostensibly in favor of legalizing sexual assault on personal property. Yep, the dude wanted to hold rallies in favor of legalizing rape, if said rape happens once the victim is in your house. That's a sealed deal, right? She came home with you, so she's gotta put out.

Not gross and objectionable at all.

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Cards Against Humanity as psychological profiling tool

Posted By on Sun, Jan 31, 2016 at 10:32 AM

  • tom_bullock via Creative Commons

By now, I’m sure most of you have played, or at least are aware of the game Cards Against Humanity: A Party Game for Horrible People. If not, all you need to know is that it’s a Q & A card game, and the writers of the game aim to make the cards as “despicable and awkward as you and your friends.”

I own this game and have played it several times over the last few years, and while it’s unlikely its creators set out for anyone to actually learn anything, Cards Against Humanity can teach us about not only about things we didn’t know were things, but also about our friends and ourselves.

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Dark & Sinful: Whitewash or blackout?

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 3:04 PM

Halle Berry in Monster's Ball.
  • Halle Berry in Monster's Ball.

Oh, Hollywood. Always the drama.

Oscar Boycott 2016: Several black actors, actresses, directors, and producers have said they will not attend this year’s Academy Awards ceremony on February 28 because the vast majority of nominees, in every category, are white.
Will and Jada aren’t going. Spike Lee isn’t going. Nick Cannon isn’t going. (Wait. Was he ever going?)

Danny DeVito chimed in to reassure us that, of course, the Academy is racist because the entire country is racist.
And since we hadn’t heard from everybody yet, Charlotte Rampling, a 2016 best actress nominee for her role in 45 Years, told us that the Oscar boycott is reverse racism: “These days we live in countries now where everyone is more or less accepted.” Thank you, old, white, British woman, for clearing shit up.

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Gen X Tampa memories

Posted By on Sun, Jan 24, 2016 at 11:58 AM

The old entrance to Lowry Park's Fairlyand, circa 1980. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • wikimedia commons
  • The old entrance to Lowry Park's Fairlyand, circa 1980.

Some things are quintessential Tampa, like our annual celebration of a fictional pirate, Ybor City and the Todd Couples Superstore. These, and many other local gems have stood the test of time. But what about some of our other old beloved Tampa institutions that are no longer around?

I grew up in Tampa in the 1980s and early '90s, and thinking back, so many things that were popular didn’t make the cut for whatever reasons. Here are a few I remember.

1. Fairyland at Lowry Park Zoo. Yeah, it was a pretty shabby by the ‘80s but my little kid self just wanted to live there. That shit was magical.

2. Jai alai was all the rage. What was that about?

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Poet's Notebook: Trumping ignorance

Posted By on Thu, Jan 21, 2016 at 2:44 PM

  • jeanne meinke
One of the low on whom assurance sits
As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire...

While this will seem to some to be a weakness, I couldn’t help but shake my head while listening to President Obama’s State of the Union address. Wouldn’t anyone listening to this eloquent and generous speech recognize that Obama is the exact opposite of Donald Trump in every way? The fact that millions of Americans have gone crazy about The Donald represents, if not simple racism, a massive coarsening of American education. Where is Mr. Rogers when we need him?

Recently, I received a series of right-wing “jokes” that are flooding the internet, among which was a list of “Things I Trust More than Hillary Clinton,” including “an elevator ride with Ray Rice,” “taking pills offered by Bill Cosby,” “a Pakistani on a motorcycle,” etc. — but the most amazing thing about them is that they’re sent and believed by people eager to vote for Trump, whose lies are so large and numerous, no one keeps track anymore, not even Politifact. (I’m reminded of Mary McCarthy’s remark about Lillian Hellman: “Every word’s a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the’.”)

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Health & Fitness Issue 2016: Go with the flow

Posted By on Thu, Jan 21, 2016 at 4:10 AM


It all happened so fast. One moment it was me and my yoga mat in an empty room listening to my carefully constructed playlist; the next moment it was me and my yoga mat in a far-from-empty room of 30 blank faces, all waiting for what would come out of my mouth next.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been the center of attention, but as someone who already has an unusual amount of butterflies flying around in her stomach, this sort of anticipation can send me over the edge.

Here I was, after a year and a half of training, ready to teach my first yoga class. I sat through countless trainings, listening to the dos and don’ts of how to set the mood for a lesson, sequence poses, adjust those who are OK with being adjusted, and keep far away from those who clearly don’t want your hands on their sweaty bodies.

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Weekend Shift: Fecal yourself thin

Posted By on Sun, Jan 17, 2016 at 2:55 PM


We all know how tough losing weight can be. Many of us have wished there was some magic pill that would melt away the pounds. But what if that magic pill contained freeze-dried poop? Still interested? If so, you may be in luck.

Later this year Massachusetts General Hospital will run clinical trials in which feces donated from lean healthy people will be freeze-dried, encapsulated, and given to 21 obese patients once a week for six weeks to see if it helps them shed some pounds. It worked in mice, so clearly this is legit.

The process, called Faecal Microbiota Transplantation, or in lay terms, eating shit, may help with metabolic disorders by improving the microbiome situations in our guts. In fact, this sort of so-called transplantation has even outperformed antibiotics against certain life-threatening infections, though in that case the means of administration are somewhat unsavory, i.e. it goes in one of two holes that aren’t your mouth.

Who’d of thunk it? Maybe dogs have been on to something all these years.

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Real or Fake? Watch this dolphin jump over a Tampa Bay paddle boarder (VIDEO)

Posted By on Sat, Jan 16, 2016 at 12:18 PM

Is that the St. Pete surfer-jumping dolphin? - YOUTUBE / TY SULLIVAN
  • YouTube / Ty Sullivan
  • Is that the St. Pete surfer-jumping dolphin?

Would a dolphin ever jump over a paddle boarder? Well, Tampa can be odd, and the ocean is strange. The internet is even weirder. Plus, didn't one just jump over a St. Pete surfer last year? Just watch this video of the perp allegedly jumping over the person shimmying across the water just outside the Tampa Convention Center.

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