Samantha sends this in:

Explaing the financial crisis

Tom sends this in:

Connor sends this in:

Intelligence agencies hunting for terrorists in World of Warcraft
The FBI raided the apartment of two University of Michigan students to investigate "potentially fraudulent sales or purchases of virtual currency that people use to advance in the popular online role-playing game World of Warcraft."
Two students, a sophomore and a junior, share a University Towers apartment in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but claim the feds have the wrong people as neither of them even play WoW. Records show that "laptop computers, hard drives, video game systems, credit cards, a cell phone, paperwork and other computer equipment" were seized. The college sophomore told, "They thought we were involved in some kind of fraud. I'm pretty sure they have the wrong people, but they took all my stuff."
[Full article here]

Tangible Holograms

Yen Joe sends this in:

Framing things as "Not Real" with Language

As mentioned in class...

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Pap Smears at Walgreens
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Benjamin sends this in:

65 Ways That Everything That You Think That You Own Is Being Systematically Taken Away From You

Everything that you own is slowly being taken away from you.  It is being done purposely and it is being done by design.  Many Americans like to think of themselves as "well off", but as will be demonstrated below, we don't "own" nearly as much as we think that we do.  The truth is that most of us have to frantically run around accumulating wealth as rapidly as we can so that we can somehow stay ahead of the rate that wealth is being taken away from us.  The entire system is designed to take what you have away from you.  There are many ways that this is accomplished - taxation, inflation, debt, interest, fines, fees, tickets, government seizures and good old-fashioned corporate greed.  If you tried to just sit back and do nothing but hold on to the wealth that you already have you would find out that it would disappear rather quickly.  When you take the time to really analyze our system the conclusion is undeniable - everything that you think that you own is being systematically taken away from you.

Full article here]

Benjamin sends this in:

When Fantasy Things are Stolen

Meagan sends in an episode of The Big Bang Theory that I can’t seem to get to embed...

Sheldon’s World of Warcraft things are stolen.

South Park on Wrestling

Connor sends this in -- the very smart (as always) South Park episode on WWE.

Fantasy Island

The point is always: The fantasies you want aren’t good for you. We need to think more about this whole dynamic, and why we (people? Americans?) are so interested in the idea that fantasies will always go wrong.

My paper including Densha otoko

Again, remember to read it as a talk, not an article. It is a very different genre!

Densha otoko appears toward the end.

PDF is here.

Female Android

From Martin as well (by way of Osaka Japan):

This is a great example of “the uncanny valley” (also originally theorized in Japan), which is something we’ll continue to think about over the course of the semester.

Innovations program

Martin sends this in:

Techno / Military / Fantasy Mimicry

Connor sends this in. He sees similarities between “BigDog” and the Metal Gear Gekko from Metal Gear Solid 4.

From Metal Gear Solid:

Pasted Graphic


Unconditional Love

This week, in a conversation about something not particularly related to fantasy, I found myself recommending this radio show to a student. It is quite amazing and I am posting it here in case others might also want to listen. There are certainly possible connections with fantasy and, given our conversation about the conditions of possibility for love, I would be happy to hear your reactions.

The embedded font is a bit hard to read, so I’ll paste a description below.

Originally aired 09.15.2006
Stories of unconditional love between parents and children, and how hard love can be sometimes in daily practice.

Hard as it is to believe, during the early Twentieth Century, a whole school of mental health professionals decided that unconditional love was a terrible thing to give a child. The government printed pamphlets warning mothers against the dangers of holding their kids. The head of the American Psychological Association and even a mothers' organization endorsed the position that mothers were dangerous—until psychologist Harry Harlow set out to prove them wrong, through a series of experiments with monkeys. Host Ira Glass talks with Deborah Blum, author of Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection. (9 minutes)
Alix Spiegel tells the story of a couple, Heidi and Rick Solomon, who adopt a son who was raised in terrible circumstances in a Romanian orphanage, unable to feel attachments to anyone...and what they do about it. (27 minutes)
Song: "Loveless Town", Sarah Blust
Dave Royko talks about the decision he and his wife faced recently about his autistic son's future, and whether he should continue to live with the family. (19 minutes)