Wired’s Table of Malcontents blog closed up shop last week but John Brownlee, the principal blogger behind ToM, has opened up a new blog called Ectomo. Or is it Ectoplasmosis? Nevertheless, go here and wish him a warm welcome.
An important question that Todd Alcott analyzes. (And damn you Lucas for those prequels!)
So. Anakin Skywalker turns into Darth Vader, and twenty years or so later he requires the services of a bounty hunter. He puts out a call and a handful of bounty hunters show up at his Star Destroyer. Boba Fett is among them. This gets no reaction from Darth Vader. He doesn’t say “Okay, guys, go find me the Millenium Falcon, except for you, Boba Fett, we’ve got unfinished business,” rather he goes the opposite way — he singles him out of the crowd as worthy of attention. Now, Boba Fett may or may not know that Darth Vader is Anakin Skywalker, but Vader must know that this is the kid who’s father tried to kill Padme and who was beheaded by Mace Windu at the Jedi Battle of Geonosis.
Is this the first time Vader has seen Boba Fett since that fateful day in the dusty, droid-filled arena? What is going on in his mind? Is he thinking “holy shit, that’s that Boba Fett kid, I hope he doesn’t recognize my voice” or “poor kid, I got his father killed, I hope he doesn’t hold it against me,” or “Well, even though his dad tried to kill my girlfriend, the past is past and I need him now” or “well, my boss killed his dad, but his dad tried to kill my girlfriend, so I guess we’re kind of even,” or what?
(via SF Signal)
And this god just didn’t happen to melt. It was Deicide!
Up to 400,000 Hindu pilgrims in northern India are facing disappointment after it was revealed that a naturally formed ice stalagmite – worshipped as an incarnation of Lord Shiva – has melted. Those making the 10-mile trek will at best be confronted by a puddle.
“Yes, there will be some disappointment for the pilgrims as the main [stalagmite] has completely melted,” said Arun Kumar, a senior official with the organisation that oversees the annual pilgrimage.
The phallus-shaped icy stalagmite, or lingam, forms annually in a cave in Indian Kashmir and over a two-month period it attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who come to pray in front of the incarnation of the Hindu god of destruction and regrowth.
The so-called Amarnath shrine is located at an altitude of around 13,500ft and most years the stalagmite lasts the duration of the pilgrimage. However, this year – as with last – that has not been the case. Experts say that one of the reasons for the melting of the ice is the heat created in the cave by countless numbers of pilgrims, many of whom are carrying candles. Some of the pilgrims fly in by helicopter and there are lights specially set up for people.
James Earl Jones: in 1998 the actor was erroneously pronounced dead during a radio broadcast of a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game by play-by-play man Lanny Frattare; Frattare had confused him with James Earl Ray, Martin Luther King’s assassin, who had just died.
Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s death was erroneously announced in the Australian media in 1993 after a London-based Sky News employee saw an internal rehearsal for her future death (one of many conducted by the UK media over the years). Thinking it was for real, he phoned his mother in Australia with the ‘news’, who passed it on to the media. The time zone difference may have made it difficult for the Australian media to check the story during UK night-time. The employee was sacked for the mistake, but then won a tribunal for wrongful dismissal.
Abe Vigoda (actor): in 1982, People magazine referred to him as ‘the late Abe Vigoda’. He then posed for a photograph showing him sitting up in a coffin, holding the magazine in question. Vigoda claims that during the 1980’s the widespread belief that he was dead cost him work.
Word of the day from Wikipedia:
According to Rummel, genocide has three different meanings. The ordinary meaning is murder by government of people due to their national, ethnic, racial, or religious group membership. The legal meaning of genocide refers to the international treaty, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This also includes nonlethal acts that in the end eliminate the group, such as preventing births or forcibly transferring children out of the group to another group. A generalized meaning of genocide is similar to the ordinary meaning but also includes government killings of political opponents or otherwise intentional murder. It is to avoid confusion regarding what meaning is intended that Rummel created the term democide for the third meaning.
Rummel defines democide as “The murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder”. For example, government-sponsored killings for political reasons would be considered democide. Democide can also include deaths arising from “intentionally or knowingly reckless and depraved disregard for life”; this brings into account many deaths arising through various neglects and abuses, such as forced mass starvation. Rummel explicitly excludes battle deaths in his definition. Capital punishment, actions taken against armed civilians during mob action or riot, and the deaths of noncombatants killed during attacks on military targets so long as the primary target is military, are not considered democide.