And they prefer to be addressed by their avatars’ names

World of Warcraft may soon be a job-related skill
By Aaron Pressman August 20, 2014; Yahoo Finance

“It’s been perfectly acceptable for years to list certain leisure activities on a resume, such as golf, bridge or even poker. But what about some of the more modern and digital pursuits — say World of Warcraft, Minecraft or fantasy baseball?

“As the Wall Street Journal recently noted, some avid video gamers are starting to include their gaming prowess on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles. After all, many young people enjoy video gaming instead of traditional leisure pursuits including golf and tennis, which have seen their popularity take a dive…”

From employers’ points of view, the advantage of hiring avid gamers is that their social lives are far less likely to interfere with work. However, they are significantly more likely to go on a shooting spree in the office.

Burn Your Money

A Line Is Drawn in the Desert
At Burning Man, the Tech Elite One-Up One Another

By NICK BILTON AUG. 20, 2014; The New York Times

“…If you have never been to Burning Man, your perception is likely this: a white-hot desert filled with 50,000 stoned, half-naked hippies doing sun salutations while techno music thumps through the air.

“A few years ago, this assumption would have been mostly correct. But now things are a little different. Over the last two years, Burning Man, which this year runs from Aug. 25 to Sept. 1, has been the annual getaway for a new crop of millionaire and billionaire technology moguls, many of whom are one-upping one another in a secret game of I-can-spend-more-money-than-you-can and, some say, ruining it for everyone else…”

I asked my friend, Rainbow, about this phenomenon, since he’s been attending since the mid-90s. Here’s what he had to say:

“Man, we were just, like, tripping off these guys. The Facebook cat–starts with a Z–he had obviously coke all over his face, and he’s running around yelling, ‘We’re the one percent, motherfuckers! You all can suck it!’ He started peeing on my friend T-Bone, then asked, ‘How do you like me now?!’ My dog’s all chill, so he’s just like, ‘I do not like this. This is not cool and you’ve got to chill, bro.’

“Let’s see, then there was some guy walking around in just a suit and tie. No fucking pants or nothing! Can you believe that shit? Someone told me they had sold him some fake E earlier. I don’t know if he was high on other shit or just a natural douchebag. He was chilling with some guy who was a big shot banker. He was trying to take people’s tents and shit. He messed with the wrong guy who got in his face and was like, ‘If you don’t go back to your spot, we’re gonna’ burn you.’ Then the guy sat down and cried for about half an hour. I really felt bad for him, you know?”

Tired of Watery Eyes?

Facebook “satire” tag could wipe out the Internet’s terrible hoax-news industry

By Caitlin Dewey; August 19, 2014; The Washington Post

In a move that could permanently cripple the Internet’s unchecked hoax industry (… and ruin at least a couple of decent punch lines), Facebook this week announced that it’s experimenting with a tag that will mark sites such as the Onion, Clickhole and Empire News as satire — and, hopefully, alert the millions of gullible people who share these sites as truth each week.

The perception of phony news stories as legitimate ones is the number four crisis spawned by the Internet age, according to Willard O’Brian of Pepper State University. Its damage is only superseded by that brought by identity theft, hacking of government and corporate data, and sexual crime. Poor Wifi connections rounded out the top five.

“Our goal as a publicly-minded service,” commented a Facebook spokesperson, “is for people to maximize their use of Facebook as a social and commercial tool. Do you like this picture of your cousin’s cat? Do you have more friends than your co-workers? We don’t want people to have to question what is real and what is not. Leave that to the philosophists.”

In response to the problem, the language instruction company Rosetta Stone will begin offering Satire Recognition courses in April, 2015.

Sick of Being Shut Up and Shut In

Julian Assange will leave embassy ‘soon’

By Justin Moyer; The Washington Post; August 18, 2014

“…Assange, whose organization facilitated the publication of materials leaked by Bradley Manning (now Chelsea Manning), has been in exile at the Ecuadoran embassy in London for more than two years…”

Although banal, Assange has been compiling data for a Wikileak on the embassy’s going-ons. He has released a few excerpts of the revelations:

–“Manuel never washes his hands after using the bathroom. GMWAS.”

–“Maria tells EVERYONE to have a nice day, but everyone knows she’s just a big phony.”

–“Hugo has re-gifted 3 times since I’ve been here. And I’m sure the gift certificates he’s given me are invalid b/c I can’t go out and VERY FUNNY assh*le!”

–“There are hardly any rapeable women here. WTF, Ecuador?!!!”

Ti-ti-tit for Ta-ta-tat

Local researchers get in on Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money, awareness for ALS
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun, August 13, 2014

“…Sattler dumped ice water over her head Wednesday to help Packard, which had raised about $25,000 in the past few days from the campaign, which involves taking the chilly bath within 24 hours of being challenged or making a donation to an ALS cause…”

To reciprocate, hypothermia researchers have started their own baseball league.

Old Friends

I’ve written on this blog before about my buddy Mike, my older buddy who got booted from the Marines for selling pot on base. Here’s part of our conversation from this morning:

“You’re never gonna’ make that one, son.”

I am not good at real basketball, but I love trying to make shots of litter into the trashcan. The trickier and more difficult the attempt, the better. I have come up with some good ones.

“Oh yeah? I’ll take it up a notch.”

I made a behind-the-back attempt from a ridiculous distance. The empty plastic jar of instant coffee was off by five feet.

“Nice try,” commented another down-and-outer who fritters away his mornings in the federal plaza. He laughed when I said that my specialty was empty vodka bottles.

“Good,” Mike joked as I returned to our bench, “now that you’re out of coffee maybe you’ll chill the fuck out!”

Like all my friends, Mike hates to see me wasted. But I also bug him out when I’ve got too much coffee in me.

“Actually, the term of my generation, or Generation Y or some shit, is ‘Chillax’.”

“‘Chillax?’ As in, ‘Take a break from chopping wood’?”

“Nice try, but it’s a combination of ‘Chill out’ and ‘Relax.’ Because, you know, they save two syllables with that neologism.”

“And then you go and waste ’em right back with whatever that last word was.”

“Yeah, but these stupid kids only use words that can be texted.”

“No fucking shit. They do that shit more than they actually talk. I was at my ex’s last month, and she’s on the front porch, texting my son who’s in his old room. I’m like, ‘Why don’t you actually walk to his room’?!”

“Are they fat? Or scrawny fucks like you?”

“They’re in shape, you know. It’s just a stupid thing.”

“Speaking of stupid things, I had lunch with that lady yesterday. She’s straight-laced herself, but her daughter is 21 and already an alcoholic. I don’t know if she really is or if it’s just the normal drinking of someone that age.”

“Could be either.”

“That’s basically what I said. But–you’ll love this–she said that she was doing fine until she went to that Otakon shit.”

Otakon is one of three or four conventions that entail that Baltimore has several Halloweens each year. People dress up like anime characters and you’ll see people dressed up like the characters throughout downtown. Everyone else laughs at them.

“Fuck, if my kid was into that shit, I’d become an alcoholic myself.”

He instantly laughed when he realized what he’d said, since we’re both drunks.

“I know you say you’re from a redneck area of Bawmore, but I’m from the edge of Pennsyltucky. And my dad was from pure redneck stock. But when I went through my freaky, skate fag stage, he had no problem with that. When I wore shit like a pink sock and a yellow sock to school, my refined mom worried that I was gay.”

“One of my boys went through a Grunge thing, with like black nail polish and a little light make-up. I was cool with that.”

“I could see you taking him aside and saying, ‘Son, I don’t care if you’re gay or what, but stay the fuck away from that goddamn Otakon shit. And if you look for more than two seconds at a My Little Pony horse [a Bronycon reference], I’ll fucking kill you’.”

“‘Here’s a bottle of Jack. Take that costume off and drink it. Want me to get you some coke’?”

“‘How about some whores, son?’ You’d get a call at four in the morning: ‘Mr. Lykens, we’ve got your son down here at Central Booking.’ ‘What’d he do?’ ‘Sir, he attacked an officer so we had to kick his ass.’ ‘Did he have a costume on? Did he really assault them or did he use a toy sword?’ ‘He just kept yelling, “Fuck you all”!'”

“That’s my boy!”