Nullary Sources

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No link found between saturated fat and heart disease

Sarah Knapton of The Telegraph on a meta-analysis by folks at Cambridge University:

The team, whose results appear in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, conducted a “meta-analysis” of data from 72 studies involving more than 600,000 participants from 18 countries.

A key finding was that total saturated fat, whether measured in the diet or the bloodstream, showed no association with heart disease.

'Ili: brb eating a stick of butter

Colin: It’s hilarious to me how absolutely little we know about nutrition.

Colin: This is why the question “What can we know and how do we know that we know it?” is important.

'Ili: I liked this part of the article, by the way:

Prof Tom Sanders of King’s College London said: …

"Studies like this just cause a lot of confusion and undermine sensible dietary advice by given in the UK which has had some degree of success in reducing heart disease in the UK.

"Indeed, death rates from cardiovascular disease have fallen by 55 per cent since 1997 despite the increase in obesity so we must be getting something right."

'Ili: THIS META-ANALYSIS IS WRONG BECAUSE REAAASOOOOOOOOOOOOOONS

Colin: That’s not

Colin: This

Colin: DID YOU NOT TAKE STATISTICS

'Ili: If he's a nutritionist, probably not.

Colin: looooool accurate :(

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Whoops, forgot what day it was and didn’t post a song yesterday. It’s part of the Nullary Sources charter that it’s always time for the Ka’au Crater Boys, so today we have their cover of “Under the Boardwalk” from their 1996 album Making Waves. The original version by the Drifters is of course  highly recommended as well.

Colin: It must suck to be my neighbor. was just singing “Under the Boardwalk” at the top of my lungs

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Female Representation in Desktop Dungeons

Rodain Joubert of QCF Design on adding female portraits to Desktop Dungeons halfway development:

Quite frankly, we wanted the women in DD’s universe to be adventurers first and runway models second. This adjustment turned out to be startlingly non-trivial – you’d think that a bunch of supposedly conscious, mindful individuals would instantly be able to nail a “good female look” (bonus points for having a woman on our crew, right?), but huge swathes of our artistic language tended to be informed by sexist and one-dimensional portrayals. We regularly surprised ourselves with how much we took for granted.

… Shorthands for the feminine kept crawling into our work when we weren’t paying attention – smooth skin, homogenised facial structures, evidence of makeup, you name it. Even characters who we thought would easily sidestep trouble (like the female wizard) simply looked like young, pretty women in grunge costume rather than hardboiled dungeoneers.

It’s a pretty honest assessment of where they succeeded and where they failed.

This isn’t especially related to the content of that post, but the trailer for the game on the front page of their site is fairly bizarre.

Colin: What on earth @ the end of that video

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NBA's Silver on openly gay pro athletes: "We fell behind"

If you haven’t heard, the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA signed veteran player Jason Collins to a 10-day contract in order to fill a hole in their roster. This is notable because in 2013, Collins publicly came out as gay. This makes him the first openly gay person to play in one of the United States’s four major professional sports leagues (baseball, football, basketball, and hockey).

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who took over the league from David Stern on February 1, had some strong words about this, as reported by Tim Bontemps for the New York Post:

"I have mixed feelings, because I’m enormously proud that the first openly gay player is playing in the NBA," Silver told The Post in a phone interview prior to Sunday’s game. "On the other hand, this is so long overdue that I don’t think this should necessarily be on the list of the greatest accomplishments of the NBA.

"This is an area where no one in sports should be too proud. Sports has led society in so many critical areas … this is one where we fell behind."

Colin: As he would agree, it’s sad that that that attitude is so surprising

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Red Bull takes on video gamer Jann Mardenborough in GP3

ESPN staff report:

Video game player turned racing driver Jann Mardenborough has been taken on by Red Bull’s driver development programme and will race in the GP3 series this year for Arden.

Mardenborough won the Playstation GT Academy in 2011 - a competition based around the computer game Gran Turismo - and has been working his way through the motorsport ranks ever since. Last season he competed in Formula 3, at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and took part in tests in both GP3 and Formula Renault 3.5.

'Ili: the_last_starfighter.html

Colin: Amazing

'Ili: What if all video games were like that.

'Ili: Being really good at Call of Duty gets you drafted into the army.

'Ili: Okay never mind

Colin: What would happen if you got really good at Mario?

'Ili: The Koopa War is a hell to be.

Colin: I was thinking more like, do a lot a mushrooms, hang out in sewers.

'Ili: I don't think that's something you need recruits for.

'Ili: btw wanna do shrooms and hang out in a sewer tomorrow

Colin: You know it

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The Games Industry Doesn't Have a Citizen Kane, It Is Citizen Kane

Robert Rath on The Escapist:

I’ve never liked the phrase “the Citizen Kane of videogames.” I suspect no one actually does, which is why it’s become a joke about gamers’ desperate need for validation. But what bothers me most about this ridiculous meme is that it misses the actual message Citizen Kane imparts, and it’s something the game industry needs to hear. With systemic hubris driving business decisions and an almost palpable condescension toward the people that buy their products, one thing’s become increasingly clear: games may not have a Citizen Kane, but the game industry is Citizen Kane.

Colin: OOHHHHHHHH

Colin: BURN

Colin: BURN

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Until last week, Colin had managed to live his entire life without knowing that Bruce Willis is a musician with his own band, the Accelerators. I searched for a video to show him, and this performance of “Devil Woman” was the first result.

Neither of us feel this is a particularly good song, but keep an eye of that guy in the white hat, shades, and red tie during the eight(!) minutes of this video. At 1:50, he starts playing a cowbell by striking it with a tambourine. At 2:50, he’s doing a menacing fist shake while holding a tambourine. At 5:50, Bruce Willis drops to his knees during a harmonica solo and the guy bends over and starts hitting the tambourine in Willis’s direction like he’s beating him into submission.

I have absolutely no idea who this dude is but he’s amazing.

Colin: He looks like coolpup crossed with Colonel Sanders

Colin: Coolnel Sanders

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The Year We Broke the Internet

Luke O’Neil on Esquire magazine’s Just Now Ago news blog, writing about viral hoaxes on the internet and the poisonous prioritization of traffic over verification:

Media malpractice like this didn’t trigger the collapse of traditional revenue models, but it’s hastening the job. Everyone wants everything for free now—news, music, movies, etc.—which means the companies don’t have any money to pay people to produce original work. None of this is anything you haven’t heard before, but it bears repeating. In order to make a living, those of us who had the bad sense to shackle ourselves to a career in media before that world ended have to churn out more content faster than ever to make up for the drastically reduced pay scale. We’re left with the choice of spending a week reporting a story we’re actually proud of (as I do just frequently enough to ensure a somewhat restful sleep every other night), reaping a grand sum of somewhere in the ballpark of two hundred to five hundred dollars if we’re lucky, or we can grind out ten blog posts at twenty-five to fifty bucks a pop that take fifteen minutes each. That means the work across the board ends up being significantly more disposable, which in turn makes the readers value it less, which means they want to pay less for it, and so on. It’s an ouroboros of shit.

Colin: I think it is important to recognize that the reason why we call journalism a civic institution etc is that it doesn’t just happen naturally or automatically

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Michigan Legislature OKs initiative to require insurance rider for abortion coverage

Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press:

A controversial initiative requiring women to buy additional insurance if they want abortion coverage in their health insurance plans passed the Legislature Wednesday afternoon and will take effect 90 days after lawmakers adjourn for the year.

The initiative would require most private and all public health insurance plans to offer a separate rider for an abortion. And a person would have to buy that rider before knowing if they needed an abortion. They would not be able to buy the rider after getting pregnant by any means, including rape or incest.

Colin: Welp

Colin: That’s so messed up

Colin: It’s basically just more expensive now to get insurance as a woman

Colin: Fuck this earth