Stick Battles, Animated Graphics:

DragonBall StickGame Go!
Kuronin Red versus Blue
Kill the Wall White versus Black

One of the first visual memes that was born of the Net were simple stick figure battles. They've come along way, thriving on the quick entertainment they provide and on the animation and psychology of fighting games. If it can be said that gratuitous violence exists in a world with no flesh, then the sticks are no exception. One great source of the most recent stick battles is StickPage dot Com. Here are a few of my own favorites:

Celebrating the Marlboro Monopoly Act

I thought I'd celebrate today with a very brief review of case studies on smokers, a bit of info on previous smoking bans and some random other tidbits. As of today, the Marlboro Monopoly Act (aka, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act) has made all cigarettes containing these flavors illegal: (not menthol), strawberry, grape, orange, clove, cinnamon, pineapple, vanilla, coconut, licorice, cocoa, chocolate, cherry, and coffee. This is restricted only to cigarettes (wrapped in paper) and not cigars (wrapped in tobacco), so the clove industry (the only tested smoke with health benefits) has already begun making cigar versions of their clove products. This is also the beginning of a 12-year plan for the FDA to greatly reduce the amount of tar and nicotine in all American cigarettes at a slow rate.

The negatives are well-known at this point, so here are some positives that've gone without mention:

* Smokers are more honest than non-smokers (to the point where a commentator on the study referred to this as "abrasively honest"). [1]

* Smokers generally have an increased sex drive, 55% of aged 19-27 smokers being in sexually active relationships as opposed to 15% of non-smokers (the gap increasing as age does). [2]

* Smokers have an increased reaction-time (7% quicker), process information more quickly (21.65% quicker) and have improved short-term memory (5.76% higher retention). [3]

* A fifth of smokers only smoke four days out of the week. Men populate the majority of heavy smokers while women have less success quitting. [4]

* Most smokers believe smoking is worse for you than it really is, overstating health disorders and mortality rates. [5]

As to non-smokers, there is a long history of anti-smoking policies found most heavily in totalitarian governments. From the closure and burning of smoking cafes in Persia to early American 9-pin alleys, but the only one that beats out current U.S. policy is that of Nazi Germany. It should be noted that this most recent policy is nothing new, as America has trended more and more towards both Fascism and Communism for close to a century. Here are tidbits on anti-smoking from the master race:

* From Hitler, himself: "Tobacco is the wrath of the Red Man against the White Man for being given hard liquor." [6]

* Smoking was banned in all public places, government offices, shared living quarters and by any uniformed police and officers. [7]

* Smoking rose by almost 50% during the Nazi anti-smoking propaganda period. [8]

* Germany raised more than a billion Reichsmarks a year from 1937 to 1941, contributing to 1/12th of the funding used to build their army and launch the war. [9]

* "Passivrauchen" (trans. "Passive Smoking") was coined by the Nazi Anti-Tobacco League. Fritz Lickint, its author, gave no evidence to support its claim against environmental poisoning nor for the claim that coffee caused cancer, although both his statements were worked into Nazi propaganda. [10]

* The Nazi Reich Health Office produced posters stating that smoking was the filthy habit of Jews, Gypsies, blacks, intellectuals and Indians. [directly from preserved posters]


1. "Smoking: The Artificial Passion", David Krogh

2. "Smoking, Personality and Stress", Hans J. Eysenck, King's College, London, England

3. "Effects of nicotine and smoking on event-related potentials: a review", Pritchard W & Sokhadze E & Houlihan M., St Thomas College, New Brunswick, Canada [summary]

4. "Individual Differences in Smoking and Nicotine Addiction", Saul Shiffman, University of Pittsburgh

5. "Smoking: making the risky decision", "Patterns of Risk Perception", W.Kip Viscusi, Harvard

6. "Hitlers Tischgesprache im Fuhrerhauptquartier", Picker H., Bonn: Athenaum Verlag, 1951

7. "Die Genussgifte", Rauchverbot fur die Polizei auf Strassen und in Dienstraumen, 1940;36:59

8. "Smoking and death", Smith G D & Strobele S A & Egger M, BMJ1995;310:396

9. "Der Tabak, sein Anbau undseine Verarbeitung", Reckert FK. Tabakwarenkunde, Berlin-Schoneberg: Max Schwabe, 1942.

10. "Berlin: alcohol, tobacco and coffee", JAMA 1939;113:1144-5

Information on Marlboro's Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act:

Lastly, one more factoid on smokers: the majority of innovators, as well as early adopters, are smokers. With the heavy research going into locating, securing and maintaining a pool of innovators within each company, the profile of an innovator is very well known at this point. For my last three months before leaving my previous job, the top three performing agents in the world were all found most often in the forest outside the building smoking together. Rock! Here is one of the first studies that discovered this:

"Psychological characteristics of innovators", Abraham Pizam, European Journal of Marketing, ISSN:0309-0566

Suicide Through Pleasure by ~Ally23 on deviantART