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Somebody find me a cult to join.


Does anybody else think the UAE are getting just a little bit silly?

The Arab emirate of Dubai will build a replica of Lyons under a $685M deal signed with the French city last week

[here, via BLDGBlog]

$685m sounds pretty cheap for an entire city, though. Or is that just what they’re paying to the real Lyon?

I want one

(explanation; linked from a comment here)

And no, you aren’t getting an update on my life. It’s been enough months now that I wouldn’t know where to start, and there aren’t many familiar names to link in any case. Maybe another day…

Appreciation of marketing

This is the only article I’ve read on the US presidential elections which hasn’t been a waste of time. Briefly, Obama is more fond of behavioral economics than Clinton. Therefore she wants small targeted changes that have the most effect cheaply; he is suspicious of policies which rely on everybody being a rational actor, fully informed about government policy. Why hasn’t anybody else mentioned that?

On a vaguely-related topic, I find it fascinating watching the campaign idly from afar, and so being on the outer reaches of massive, smart media campaigns. They twist everything I read so thoroughly hat I end up with firm feelings about the candidates, without (barring the article above and maybe two or three others) having the faintest idea what they stand for. The only thing that comes close is Apple’s marketing, which is perfectly capable of convincing me that I need an iWhatever even when the rational part of my head knows it’s overpriced rubbish.

Sterling on Pakistan

Bruce Sterling:

Pakistan could very easily smash to bloody pieces in 2008. If it does, nobody anywhere is gonna try and stitch Pakistan back together. Pakistan has a bigger population than Russia. It is just too big for any of the other power-players to handle. So if it ignites, it’ll burn.

I’m not entirely convinced – China benefits from Pakistan’s existence, and a breakup of Pakistan would be ’47-scale messy. But it’s well-placed cynicism, nonetheless.

LOL Bigots

Some of the funniest emails I receive come from the American Family Association, a conservative Christian group dedicated mainly to gay-bashing.

Well, gay-bashing comes second only to distributing ‘disgusting’, ‘offensive‘ soft gay porn. Which is what’s so endlessly funnly; it’s hard not to wonder how many of their readers are only subscribed because they want a peek at those god-forsaken hedonistic gays. So the average email contains something like:

Ford continued to show support for the homosexual agenda, running a full page ad in the Dec. 07 – Jan. 08 homosexual publication OUT!

The ad, for Ford’s Volvo brand, was adjacent to a photo of three men taking a shower together. To see the ad and the shower photo, click here.

(Warning! The photo is extremely graphic and offensive.)


To see all the behaviors covered by the term “sexual orientation,” please click here . Warning! This listing is offensive.

Their website is full of things like footage from Dallas gay pride (‘

WARNING! The video is highly offensive, but it is real footage from the actual parade.

‘), and a few of the offensive photos taken at the last Gay Games. Or they link to pictures from the Folsom Street Fair (hosted at, with warnings like:

By clicking the link below, you are agreeing to leave the American Family Association website to view disgusting photos of the Folsom Street Fair event. These photos are provided for verificatons purposes only. Click here to see the disgusting photos.

So I was disappointed that yesterday’s email, titled

New DVD! Homosexual Activists Take Control of City Government

, didn’t include any links to ‘graphic and offensive’ videos of orgies in Town Hall. Maybe we should make some?