Posted on May 2, 2009.
Jon Stewart had a pretty great interview last week with Cliff May where they discussed the merits of torture, which was excellent on many levels. What got a lot of traction was Stewart's assertion that Truman was a war criminal for using the A-Bomb against Japan; he acknowledged that he could understand the decision at the time, but looking back it was an atrocity and should be considered as such by Americans, who should learn from this particular mistake in the past.
Seeing a commentator speak in this way was novel, which was why it got the attention it did. Stewart was essentially forced into admitting this to defend his position on torture without resorting to double standards which Cliff May would have surely jumped on. Unfortunately, Stewart has now retracted what he said, saying it was stupid. I don't believe that's true; it's a valid opinion that can be defended (as Stewart himself did to some extent in the original interview). From a (relative) outsider's perspective, it seems like he's being forced to say it simply because his original statement wasn't popular. It's unfortunate that Cliff May doesn't have a chance to respond, because I think he would have relished the chance to be someone to score a (rare) point against Stewart.
Project deadline is looming, so as a bit of a shortcut for content, a selection of links that I've run across over the last couple of weeks and found worth enough of bookmarking. Not sure if I'll do this consistently (it's very easy to do), but it's a relatively quick way to get a bulkier blog post with genuine content.
- Slagcoin Joystick Controller page - I've been fighting the urge to build an arcade stick for the Xbox 360 for a little while now; I can't act on it while I'm at uni, but if the urge is still there when I get home over the summer, this certainly seems like a resource I'd want to tap.
- Textorizer - vectorize a picture using text strings - I don't have a reason to use this yet, but it's something that I could quite easily suddenly think of the perfect use for out of the blue.
- YouTube - 40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes - Sent to me as required watching before exams. Very entertaining.
- Making the World a Better Place, One Evil Mad Scientist at a Time - I've only skimmed it so far, but I'm already completely sold on this blog. Seems to link to exactly the sort of stuff that I'd enjoy making. They're the source of the electric motor above, but the whole blog is solid gold.
- Ninja Ropes Extreme - Simple in its gameplay, yet epic in its scope - Ninja Ropes! I ran across this courtesy of the Dr Horrible Commentary - The Musical!
- Tinyarro.ws - Shortest URLs on Earth - Uses Unicode domains and characters to provide absolutely miniscule URLs. Unfortunately, a lot of Twitter (where it'd see a lot of use) clients don't yet support it. And then there's the whole debate about URL shorteners in the first place...
- How to make the simplest electric motor - Definitely making one of these when I get home, if not before.