Cool Baby may be the most unsettling Kickstarter campaign of 2015.
It's "[a]n expressive, customizable, hands-free beverage insulator that looks like a baby. Drinking in public is now adorable."
Rewards include, for example,
THE ALMOST-PREEMIE (you're still early): You get a Cool Baby. It's a real baby. Minus the biology. Plus an insulated place for your drink. Multiplied by the use of both of your hands. For infinity. Estimated delivery: Aug 2015
The zombie craze has hit the legal world. That's according to this new paper, with the great title of "The Zombie Lawyer Apocalypse".
Here's the abstract:
This article uses a popular cultural framework to address the near-epidemic levels of depression, decision-making errors, and professional dissatisfaction that studies document are prevalent among many law students and lawyers today.
Zombies present an apt metaphor for understanding and contextualizing the ills now common in the American legal and legal education systems. To explore that metaphor and its import, this article will first establish the contours of the zombie literature and will apply that literature to the existing state of legal education and legal practice — ultimately describing a state that we believe can only be termed “the Zombie Lawyer Apocalypse”. The article will draw parallels between the zombie state of being — the state of being mindless, thoughtless, and devoid of hope — and the state of some aspects of legal culture and legal education today.
This article will then offer solutions to the problem of legal zombies. Those solutions draw on the positive psychology literature and include 1) mindfulness, 2) a shift in attribution style (the way people think about their experiences), 3) reliance on core strengths, and 4) an effort to developing meaning in work and life. Through the application of these and other interventions, we believe it may be possible to stem the tide of lawyer and law student distress and dissatisfaction and protect future students and lawyers from falling prey to the Zombie Lawyer Apocalypse.
Game players might confuse the living with the dead, argues a very strange lawsuit in California courts. Let TechDirt explain with full Gothic flourishes:
CMG Worldwide lawyers are necromancers.
Wait, let's rewind a bit.
We live in a strange world, folks. How else can one describe an era in which intellectual property has morphed into a form of publicity rights necromancy, in which dead celebrities haunt the living to the tune of lots of dollars? First it was the CMG Worldwide's quest against Twitter on behalf of James Dean. Now CMG has shaken its summoner's staff in the direction of Maximum Games, siccing none other than General George S. Patton (zombie) on them.
if you somehow think that I'm being unfair in calling this world a stupid place, please understand that the estate of George Patton, who has been dead for just shy of seven decades, is suing the video game maker claiming false endorsement. Yes, the use in a game of a historical figure who died roughly just as the computer was being invented, has been construed to potentially confuse people into thinking that Patton was endorsing the product personally, from the grave.
The dolls were atop bamboo stakes and had been placed in Bear Creek Swamp, close to County Road 3, the dirt road that travels through the wetland. The swamp is located between Prattville and Autaugaville. The majority of the dolls are porcelain and have the appearance of antiques. Many had the faces and hair covered in what looked like white spray paint.
Was it part of a ritual? Art project? Or teens in high spirits:
Bear Creek Swamp is a massive bog with a bit of a reputation locally. As a rite of passage, generations of teenagers have entered the area at night looking for creatures and haints said to roam the mist-covered realm. And it's not unusual to hear reports of loud booms coming from its depths.
Bonus points to a local for coming up with a Gothic combo:
"If somebody says they've seen a clown out there putting up dolls, I'm never going to Autaugaville again," said Jan Taylor, who had business in the courthouse Tuesday.
With the aid of a special device, people started pressing banned jazz and rock n’ roll music on thick radiographs scavenged from the dumpsters of hospitals. X-rays were plentiful (not to mention cheap), and while the records could only be pressed on a single side, the music they produced using a standard turntable was passable.
Tighten up the Gothic: "The recordings even had a catchy name: bone music."
Would the state have considered these dangerous and therefore fear them? Could this be a new case of fearsome technology and media?
The Atlantic offers a superb and surprising Gothic metaphor in an article this week. A discussion of a slang term's decline (the word is bae) offers this imaginative comparison:
At that point, the term bae had already been used by the official social-media accounts of Olive Garden, Jamba Juice, Pizza Hut, Whole Foods, Mountain Dew, AT&T, Wal-Mart, Burger King and, not surprisingly, the notoriously idiosyncratic Internet personas of Arby’s and Denny’s. Each time, the word was delivered with magnificently forceful offhandedness, the calculated ease of the doll that comes to life and tries to pass herself off as a real girl but fails to fully conceal the hinges in her knees. (“What hinges? Oh, these?”) (emphases added)
We're back in Kleist land, suddenly, with the term lurching into semihuman, uncanny life. Well done, James Hamblin.
"Grace appears most purely in that human form which either has no consciousness or an infinite consciousness. That is, in the puppet or in the god."
"Does that mean", I said in some bewilderment, "that we must eat again of the tree of knowledge in order to return to the state of innocence?"
"Of course", he said, "but that's the final chapter in the history of the world."