The Carl Online

Blog Roundup: Pink Tentacle by carlmagazine
October 14, 2010, 12:47 pm
Filed under: Internet, Misc.

At some point in time (1970s?) the global culture collectively decided that it would turn to Japan for its bizarre/limit-pushing/hilarious pop culture. It’s a role that creative and design industries in Japan have taken up with zeal, and the writers at Pink Tentacle are building a fascinating chronicle of Japan obscurities.

Covering everything from found futurism to unique design concepts, it’s my preferred libe break. Enjoy.

Odds and New Beginnings by carlmagazine
September 20, 2010, 10:09 am
Filed under: Campus, Internet, Misc.

Just as Superman was retconned back from the dead, so too is The Carl Online being restored to working order after an academic year of uneventful hibernation. No longer will Carls desperate for original writing about campus life, arts, and literature be slavishly bound to paper and ink.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Have a Christopher Hitchens Christmas! by Greg Hunter
December 24, 2008, 3:55 pm
Filed under: Misc., Music, Politics | Tags: , , ,


I’ve expressed my fondness for Christopher Hitchens before on this blog.  In a time when political commentators are judged largely by who among them can shout the loudest, it’s hard not to like someone who’s such an unabashed stylist.  Hitchens is maybe our greatest living polemic writer, and it’s as much because of the control he exerts over his prose as anything else.  His favorite target is probably organized religion, and in this recent Slate article - – he vows to write a fiercer anti-Christmas column every year.  Now while I think Hitchens makes a great Grinch – calling the holiday a “moral and aesthetic nightmare” is an example of the elevated purple prose no one does quite so well – I don’t really buy his argument this year, that the U.S. “turns itself into the cultural and commercial equivalent of a one-party state” at Christmastime.

I’m a lapsed Catholic who plans to celebrate Christmas for the rest of my life.  Part of why I’m at ease with this is because the holiday as it is today seems like a bright, shining triumph of the secular.  At it’s core, Christmas is indisputably Christian, but do we really see Christianity casting a shadow over all American institutions each December?  Or do we see market capitalism using the holiday for all it’s worth, with Christians and non-Christians alike buying and selling lots of junk they don’t need?  (Less cynically: when Christmas gives Americans a pretense for family gatherings and gift-giving, I’d imagine those acts of gathering and giving are more important than the pretense itself for many people.)  Organized religions aren’t going anywhere, Christianity included, but seeing one of the two most popular Christian holidays fixed in such a secularized form should be, for someone like Hitchens, a source of holiday cheer.  And speaking of cheer, I’ve had this on repeat lately:

– Greg Hunter

The Eyeballing Game by daaaaaniel
October 13, 2008, 11:33 pm
Filed under: Misc. | Tags:

How well can you eyeball, dog?

Holy Bannanas, Batman! It’s the economy! by Alex Sciuto
October 10, 2008, 3:42 pm
Filed under: Misc. | Tags: , , , ,

Many of you probably know this already, but the Dow Jones Average is down about 100 points right now, and after an early morning panic (The Dow dropped below 8,000 in the first few minutes of trading, the first time it’s closed so low in god knows how long), such a small loss is pretty comforting. This big initial loss seems to have been the market responding to the huge drop in the Asian markets (see graph below for the Nikkei’s 12% plunge in the first minutes of its trading day). That’s globalization for you. America drops, Japan drops, and the next morning America drops.

What’s causing this tanking of the market? Obviously, a lot has to do with bad mortgages that are now as worthless as the credit of those who got the loans, but really, what we’ve been calling the sub-prime mess is only an initial bang in what is becoming a much larger problem. We’re now dealing with the most serious disease a capitalist system can face, a liquidity and credit crisis. America only grows because people are willing to lend other people their money. That’s what allows everyone from huge corporations to make investments in factories to average homeowners to buy a house. No one is lending anyone else money! And that’s not all! A sign of how serious and how frozen the economy has become is that banks are willing to lend to other banks. The London Interbank Offered Rate, the rate that banks in London charge each other to lend money, has increased. It never increases, literally never because banks are such trustworthy institutions. But look below, LIBOR sat at just under 3% for the past three months. Now its inching towards 5%. Statistics in the US are the same.

The answer to this problem is an extreme one and three months ago utterly unthinkable, but the Federal Government is moving towards it. They’re thinking of partially nationalizing the American Banking system. It’s happened with AIG, America owns a stake in that bank. It’s gonna happen with many other banks. Since the government and Federal Reserve are the lenders of last resort (no matter how bad it gets, they’ll be keeping the economy going. If they fail, we’ll have a much much bigger problem on our hands, won’t we!), people will trust them. If owning a partial stake in the banks doesn’t encourage enough trust, the government may move to insure large swaths of lending.

All of this is designed to get people lending other people money.  Whew. I hope you feel as confused as I do, this ain’t simple stuff.

-Alex Sciuto

Understated Caption of the Day by daaaaaniel
October 7, 2008, 12:05 am
Filed under: Misc. | Tags:

-Dan Sugarman

Puzzle of the Week by Alex Sciuto
October 6, 2008, 4:50 am
Filed under: Misc.

One last chance to figure out the Jonah’s puzzle. Tomorrow, we’ll post the answer.

-Alex Sciuto