The Real Irony of Reporting on False Pro-Rape Meeting Cancellation?

Making the rounds today is the story that Daryush Valizadeh, leader of a group of manly-men called Return of Kings, has cancelled a gathering of rape-legalization advocates after not being able to find sufficient secure meeting areas. Ironic, right? Actually, no.

The article that many are reporting as the promotion of rape legalization was just a satirical absurdity, and Valizadeh himself has stated repeatedly that it is just a thought experiment and not meant to be taken seriously. But, naturally, the kind of person who doesn’t fact-check took it as real and continuously makes clickbait headlines like This Colossal Douche Thinks Rape Should Be Legalized instead, seemingly preferring the kick they get from being angry or making others angry.

Normally, if there is a satire site, you can find somewhere on the site that states that the article(s) is/are satire, and nobody reports on those as if they were true. However, the people who are continuously fooled into thinking The Onion is real are laughed out of the park because they don’t bother to check. I’m at a loss to explain how so many people simply refuse to make the same acknowledgement of the same kind of disclaimer on the site they claim is pro-rape:

Q: “Why do you want to legalize rape?”

I don’t. Legalizing rape is a notion so insanely absurd I never imagined that people would take it 100% seriously, including politicians. I don’t believe any form of physical violence against men or women should be legalized. I’ve said that “How To Stop Rape” was a satirical thought experiment so many times that it’s clear to me current misinterpretation of it by the media is deliberate.

The Real Irony

The real irony, is that the false reporters are essentially raping this guy’s message for what it is. They are ignoring his declarations of “no, it isn’t” and believing he means the reverse, and taking out abuse on him for something he never claimed to be true. The people who report that he advocates for legalizing rape, when he doesn’t, are basically saying, “we won’t take no for an answer,” and then paradoxically just doing as they please regardless of what he says.

Next perhaps they may also cry out that such-and-such is a namecaller, despite namecaller being a name the accused is called.

An additional irony could be that the false reporters could be actually in danger elevating the satirical article he wrote to classic literature status.

Famed literary writer Jonathan Swift, known to English teachers across the globe, wrote in his treasured hyperbole, “A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public” (usually shorted to A Modest Proposal), that children of the poor should be consumed as food in order to support wealthier people, so that those children are no longer a burden on the public good —

“A young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragout.”

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Linksquib: Apps Like Make It Rain, Magazine-Made Blocks, and Making Trouble

I don’t listen to StoryCorps on NPR very much because most of them seem to be sad — but I did run across one in particular I found quite funny, called Up To No Good. The show itself is generally just brief interviews with random people who have an interesting story to tell. This episode’s topic was about adults recalling stories where they got into mischief, and whether it still affects them today.

Lately I have been hooked on a game app called Make It Rain: The Love of Money (iOS/Android) because it follows in the footsteps of other such “accumulator” (what I call them) games similar to the web browser hit, Cookie Clicker. If you hadn’t heard of Cookie Clicker I must forewarn you, you may blow an entire weekend on it if you’re not careful. There’s not nearly as much story to MIR as CC, but it’s at least a slightly different version than simply tapping the screen — you swipe up as if you’re counting off paper currency from an infinite stack. You start out counting off $1 bills, and once you’ve counted enough you can spend that amount on various upgrades that either increase the amount per swipe, or automatically swipe for you. There are several other kinds of powerups, and can even be accumulated while you’re not even using the app.

I’ve been playing these kinds of games for a while now, and so far have also enjoyed (all iOS, mind you) the questionably-titled Cookie Clickers (unrelated to the web version above), EpicClickers (formerly Hero Clicker), and arguably the best and most advanced app of this kind: AdVenture Capitalist! which I’ve been playing for nearly a year now..

I’ve devised a way to recycle magazines so that they can be turned very simply into a kind of building blocks for structures, although they require hot glue or other adhesive to stack well enough. The basic idea is to (a) tear out a page of a magazine you’re finished with, (b) fold it in half side-to-side so it maintains its original length, (c) fold again the same way, (d) fold again the same way, (e) take a pair of needle-nose pliers and (f) twist one end around upon itself to roll it up, and (g) tape the end to make a neat little cylinder. As I make more and more of these, I’ll make additional posts about structures I’ve made with them — and each blocks only requires a single magazine page. Just imagine how many things could be made, Minecraft-style, with only a single magazine..

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Linksquib: Marginalia, Markov Chains, and the ‘Rein’ of Taeyeon in the Kpop Kingdom

Found a web comic generator called Calvin and Markov that creates remixes of Calvin & Hobbes comics based on something called Markov chains, a concept based on work of Russian mathematician Andrey Markov.

Have had several encounters lately with a recency illusion in real life.. in my particular case, out of the blue I decided to look up why page margins are a thing, because wouldn’t all that space just be wasted? Why not just print to the edge? I guessed maybe that older books might suffer a lot of wear and tear from being transported or stored in less-ideal locations, but actually, it was for purposes of creating marginalia, or notes that a book-maker would use to scribble in notes about the book. Think of them like the DVD commentary track for a movie, except in the margins of a book. The very next day, I was listening to a new episode (s08e01) of Museum of Curiosity, with Holly Walsh as a panelist, who mentioned a fondness for marginalia, and then not but perhaps 2 days later I was watching an episode of QI (M12 “Medieval & Macabre’) that mentioned it.

I am super excited about the upcoming release of Taeyeon’s new music video, Rain, on Feb 3 (Teasers 1, 2).

I’ve been an SNSD fan for a while now, and Hoot was the first MV I got to see on the release day. SNSD holds a special place in my heart because their debut song Into The New World because about that time I’d learned of a nerve disorder I have and was entering my own ‘new world’ at the time. Taeyeon is SNSD’s “kid leader” and has become my ultimate bias over the years, and I am quite excited to help admin the gigantic Facebook group TaeYeon 태연 International Fan Club currently boasting 26,000 members <3

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

State of the Dead Sea Blogs Address: Jan 2016

You may notice the site become gradually populated with articles dated for much later than you’re familiar with seeing — or, perhaps you may be unfamiliar with this one and notice that several sites from the ablestmage press appear to be lifted from there and pasted here. I am, however, the person that runs the ablestmage press myself, and I’ve decided to start migrating several of my most popular posts from there to here.

In the early 2000s, possibly around 2001-2004 thereabouts, I had a linkpost blog called the “Dead Sea Blogs” that I posted weird/silly/interesting links to, and I’ve grown to miss those days so I decided to revive it. My previous project at the ablestmage press *(t-a-p) above has started to get bizarrely popular, but I have no way to monetize it since it is hosted by wordpress and they don’t allow ads/etc. If I do manage to add ads one day, they will be preferably quite minimalist if I can help it. T-a-p is starting to bring in hits on a magnitude of 5000-9000 per week, and I thought maybe if I duplicated a few of the best hit-grabbers here I could eventually migrate.

I’m not convinced that it is the ‘brand’ of ablestmage that has become reliable, but moreso the pagerank or search results, since a vast majority of hits all come from search results and people linking articles directly, rather than repeat readership. I realize that I began t-a-p in 2007 and have nearly 10 years of content that contributes to that aspect, so I figure I had better get started now, so that perhaps in 2026 I might be able to draw a slim dollar or two from writing, perhaps even as a living =)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Did the Largest Rally Against Islam In The History of the World Take Place In France Recently? No. Here’s Why.

Making the rounds is a meme that proposes that you won’t hear from the American mainstream media that the largest rally against Islam took place in France recently — because it didn’t.

“The largest rally against Islam in the history of the world took place in France recently. But you’d never know it by watching mainstream media!” are the words emblazoned accross a photo of a large group of people.

There was, in fact, a massive rally in France against terrorism. It was attended by 3.7 million, and covered by CNN (video included), that took place on January 11, 2015. It was covered by all the major American networks (Fox, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, NYT, etc.)

So.. why didn’t you see it recently? Look at the year again. 2015. Is that this year? No, it isn’t.

It didn’t take place recently. It wasn’t covered by mainstream media recently because it didn’t even happen recently.

Do you expect a news agency to cover stories, again, and from over a year ago?

The dominating theme of the gathering was “Je Suis Charlie,” being French for “I am Charlie” as the people identified themselves with the victims of the attack on Charlie Hebdo. The emphasis was upon solidarity and unity, against terror in general, not specifically from a single source. Were there people in attendance who were against Islam? I think that sounds entirely plausible, but it wasn’t a dominating theme according to observable accounts.

To everyone that believed this before looking it up, and who was sent here by someone who linked to this article: The fact that you’re willing to believe a Facebook picture or meme without researching it first is indicative of how horrible of a source for information YOU are. You encountered information, and then instantly believed it, because you have a FALSE understanding of the world.

If your criticism is that this story didn’t appear on the “mainstream media” then you have quite possibly the worst research methods ever. Furthermore, YOU ARE ON THE INTERNET. There are THOUSANDS of news sources to check and cross-check, at your leisure — but you, you sit there and complain that perhaps 5 of them didn’t cover something recently, and those news sources that have to squeeze the entirety of world history into a single hour of coverage somehow doesn’t match the mind-boggling standards that make up the impossibly small bubble you live in — that, not only did they actually cover, but it happened well over a year ago AND you complained about it then, too.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Did YouTube Lower the SNSD/Girls’ Generation “Gee” Music Video from 150m views to 800k? NO. Here’s Why.

Today there has been uproar from Sones, (fans of Girls’ Generation, or SNSD for short), especially on twitter using the hashtag #JusticeforGEE, from the idea that YouTube has somehow reduced the number of views that SNSD’s music video “Gee” down to about 800,000 views, when previously it was up to about 150,000,000.

This is not true.

But here’s the real story we do know so far:

There are two official posts of SNSD’s Gee video, which were posted by SM (SNSD’s publisher) on different official YouTube channels. The video with the 150 million hits was taken down by YouTube based on an unspecified copyright claim, and the one with 800 thousand views is still up. The view count on the 800k video stayed the same.

Link to the 150m-view Gee MV: here *
Link to the 800k-view Gee MV: here
* this address is what the Wikipedia entry for Gee links to as the official video.

SM Entertainment has at least 2 YouTube channels: sment and SMTOWN, both of which have official SNSD videos on them. Both of them have/had Gee music videos, but only one of them was taken down.

The removal is not permanent, it is only a copyright claim. I personally have had copyright claims against my own videos being taken offline temporarily while the content issue was discussed, and when it was resolved as not being my fault, the video was restored with the same number of views still intact. Let’s just wait to see what happens.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is That Ship Loaded With Syrian Refugees? NO. Here’s Why.

Making the rounds lately is a photograph of hundreds of people loaded onto a single ship, practically spilling out over the edges.. along with the claim that it is a photograph of the Syrian refugees of ~2015 — except it’s from 1991. For some reason in the popularized version has the letters L and O out of the ship’s name VLORA are removed or blurred, but in other photos from that particular even show the ship’s letters very clearly.

Biggest perpetuator I could find: “Political Veracity” (as if).. with 17,762 Likes and 54,833 shares as of this article’s writing:

This article, which also seems to use it as a broader illustrative purpose rather than for historical merit (and even seems to label them as refugees from Libya), seems to describe a general migration pattern all flooding into Europe over the years.. but also has a lot more images of the same VLORA ship and from different angles.

I couldn’t locate the original photographer’s name for credit, but if known I’d like to know also, perhaps also if they could give an account of what they saw that day.

According to the below YouTube video, in 1990 the social unrest and economic collapse after the fall of a communist regime lead to a mass migration from Albania to Italy, all aboard one ship called the VLORA. In 1991, this ship loaded down with passengers arrived at the Bari pier and Italian administrators were unprepared for the arrival, resulting in many deaths.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lots of Strange Facebook Friend Requests With Rasimlar.CN Profile Pics

In the last few summer months of 2015 I have been getting a lot of friend requests on Facebook from people who show their home city to be my city, but have no other friends in common with me. One thing I have noticed in common among them is that many have a profile pic (usually needs to be viewed full screen) that has “RASIMLAR.CN” down in the bottom corner or bottom center, which looks like it might be Chinese dating site or similar to instagram.

I had initially begun accepting them without looking, because I am an admin for a large Korean Pop fan club (~20,000 members) on Facebook and many of the members like to friend me despite a pretty significant language barrier, and I don’t mind. However, after accepting a few of them, I started getting a lot of messages from real-life friends asking if I knew someone who showed me to be a mutual friend. It turned out a lot of them had profile pics with this particular website watermark or tag in the bottom right corner. After reporting most of them for possible fraudulent accounts, few of them seem to even exist anymore.

It looks to me like whoever runs Rasimlar.CN is engaging in some kind of social engineering trick to advertise their site or some other mysterious purpose (which I am perhaps playing into their ploy to further identify), perhaps with origins in China since “CN” is the Chinese domain extension similar to how “” addresses are generally for British sites. I don’t find any articles that pop up about it yet, so I figured I’d just throw this out there to see if anyone else was getting them or if it was just me.

Are you getting these, and what region of the world are you from? I’m from northern Texas in the US.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Are 800,000 Bikers Preparing to Confront 1 Million Muslims in DC? No. Here’s Why.

Popular today among the people who couldn’t figure out how to google if it were the only ransom required to save their own mother: “already over 800,000 bikers on the road to confront 1 million Muslims in Washington.”

Actually, the photo was taken by Tech. Sgt. Cherie Thurlby, USAF in 2005, as part of an event called Rolling Thunder (official site) that is repeated annually since 1998 to recognize fallen soldiers from Vietnam and missing soldiers from all conflicts. You can see it being used in this article and this article dating to 2005 and takes place in one of the the Pentagon’s parking lots.

But there’s more to it..

The photo also appears in a lot of other misattributed biker-protest articles like this one as if it were part of a 2013 event, so it looks like it’s just used as a “proof” photo so someone can just make up something about bikers to get excited about, but not even be real.

While the 2013 “2 million Bikers” event does appear to be partly true (mostly, according to this and this, at least), the photo shown is not part of it, nor were there even a “million Muslims” to ride out to confront.

The “million Muslims” actually only had a turnout of “a few dozen” (per wiki) and even the Council for American-Islam Relations (CAIR) refused to endorse it despite being reported to have been invited to help plan it — so even the idea that the bikers would ride there to “confront 1 million Muslims” isn’t even real, either. Looks like someone is either trying to fool a lot of bikers by using that photo, or thinks bikers don’t don’t have enough sense to make sure what they’re riding thousands of miles for is even real.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is the photo of Inola Oklahoma Tornadoes real? Nope. Here’s Why.

Original Digital Art Post @ DeviantArt:

For some reason, someone who didn’t do their research, or a prankster perhaps, decided to post a digital artwork called “Cthulhu Rising” by artist DaShadeE from DeviantArt, as if it were a photograph of tornadoes in the distance on a road. The reason that it looks fake is because it is fake. Those are tentacles, not tornadoes.. and the bumps at the top are wings. And yet, the forwarding of this, as if it were an amazing storm system continues to get circulated. Also, Inola Oklahoma is flatland, not mountainous.

The actual location, according to the artist, is a highway near Sophia Bulgaria (which is in Europe, not even in the US). The artist used a photograph of the roadway found on Google, and painted the Cthulhu above it. The artist has stated that it’s okay to share, but does not offer it commercially or sell it.

The artist submitted the work to an FB page about HP Lovecraft, and is credited properly.

Biggest propagators so far:
“This group of tornadoes was around Inola, Oklahoma last night!! Unbelievable…I have never seen anything like it!” 9,461 shares as of April 6, 2015.

“Thiw was taken on I-40 headed towards Pigeon Forge!!!! Wth!” 96,962 shares as of May 17, 2015

3015 upvotes, 285 comments as of April 6, 2015:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment