Spider-Dad and Son

Daniel Garcia of Houston, Texas, surprises his three-year-old son Oliver by getting them matching Spiderman costumes to wear on a trip to a trampoline park. Daniel says he was inspired to do so by Adam Sandler’s movie Big Daddy. In the film, Sandler dresses up as action-hero Scuba Steve to establish a stronger emotional bond with a young boy. H/T My Disguises

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Having a Ball

Don Rickles, best-known for his piercing brand of insult comedy,  says performing at the second inaugural ball of President Ronald Reagan in 1985 was the highlight of his career. Rickles, who’s earned such monikers as “The Merchant of Venom” and “Mr. Warmth,” not only takes on President Reagan and his wife, Nancy, but also then-Secretary of State George Schultz, actor Charlton Heston and world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham. Please join us on LOL every Tuesday for a stroll through the lighter side of life. –The Wickel

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‘Kruiser Control’ Cruises By 100

Stephen Kruiser, the animated conservative commentator once likened to “a charging rhino,” has passed a milepost, having now produced more than 100 shows of his weekly “Kruiser Control” on PJTV. Here, we offer his 101st show, including a visit to Planet Sharpton, speculation on a possible Anthony Weiner resurrection, and righteous mockery of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest follies, suggesting that police officers nationwide go on strike until gun control laws are tightened. Visit Kruiser’s website at stephenkruiser.com

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Beck Bigger Than Beatle

The tale of the tape is now in…Crazy like a Fox Glenn Beck sold more than 40,000 tickets this weekend to his Restoring Love event at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, outperforming the 36,000-seat draw of ex-Beatle Paul McCartney in 2009. Beck can now legitimately post a claim to answering the conundrum posed by “Strawberry Fields Forever”: He buried Paul.

Love him or hate him, one thing you’ve got to give credit to Beck: Who else in contemporary America could fill a stadium anxiously awaiting a keynote address framed by an eloquent recitation of Rudyard Kipling’s 1919 poem “The Gods of the Copybook Headings?” I’m not waiting with bated breath for Madonna or Lady Gaga to tap that same vault before popping a bra strap or cranking up the techno-synth.

The one question I have for Beck: What’s with that eyeball you’re wearing on your T-shirt? The red shoes and blue denims signify conservative coolness. The white T-shirt with the Eye, I dunno.

Don’t get me wrong. I get the symbology behind wearing the red, white and blue. But along with Kipling, I’d prefer to see some concrete American icon evoked on your shirt — Washington, Ben Franklin or TJ — and not just some ubiquitous eye. But that’s just me.

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It’s Monday! Go Meatless!

Fox and Friends reports on a U.S. Department of Agriculture newsletter that encourages employees to go meatless every Monday on the grounds that raising cattle, chickens, sheep and other animals can cause global warming. You’d think that the USDA would be duty-bound to promote US livestock, but apparently, pop stars like Paul McCartney and Moby have been pushing the “Meatless Monday” meme for a few years, so it’s now gaining traction among the subalterns within the rank and file of the federal bureaucracy.

We say: It’s high time to plant a counter-meme. If the planet’s heating up, come Tuesday, go topless. H/T small dead animals

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How Colleges Fight Free Speech

If you aren’t careful about what you say or where you say it, you can run afoul of authorities at nearly two-thirds of the top universities and colleges in the United States. So says the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, which surveyed 392 campuses and found that 65 percent of them have instituted “red-light” policies that “both clearly and substantially restrict freedom of speech.”

“You can get in trouble for saying almost anything these days on a college campus,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff declares. One common practice: Campuses outlaw debate, protest or political discourse except in designated “free speech zones.” And the zones aren’t necessarily free: Students often need advance approval from administrators before presenting an argument, even within the confines of these zones. Lukianoff asserts that such policies diminish the value of open debate, and ill-serve students by only preparing them for “a culture of uncritical thinking.”

Reason correspondent Kennedy interviewed Lukianoff at this month’s FreedomFest in Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition to discussing FIRE, the conversation also touched on Lukianoff’s new book Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate.

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Frankenweenie Sneak

Director Tim Burton offers a glimpse of his upcoming 3-D black-and-white stop-motion animation, a parody of and homage to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. This is Burton’s second treatment of  the same material, as he previously created a short version of Frankenweenie in 1984. The new feature, due out on Oct. 5, tells the story of young Victor, who harnesses the power of science to bring back to life his beloved dog Sparky.  Victor tries to keep Sparky under wraps, but the creature can’t stay penned up, escaping to wreak havoc with Victor’s friends and neighbors. Vocal talents include several Burton regulars — Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara and Martin Landau, among them, with Christopher Lee in an uncredited cameo portraying Dracula in an old movie playing on TV.

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Lady Warriors of Kurdistan

From Boudica of the British Celts to Corporal Klinger, few things unsettle the male mind like a lady in arms. The Kurds of Northern Iraq have long recognized this principle and incorporated it into their quest to build a Kurdish homeland in the overlap between Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria. Fighting alongside their male comrades in a region not exactly known for its progressive stance on women’s rights, the female Peshmerga guerillas of the Kurdish Liberation Movement built a reputation for themselves in the 70s and 80s as demure diaboliques with the deadly poise of Leila Khaled or Tania-era Patty Hearst.

Having secured the northern third of Iraq in the aftermath of the first Gulf War, the Kurds have spent the last two decades divesting themselves of their guerilla jamjams, building up a stable and booming economy in their semi-autonomous little hamlet, and generally enjoying not being in the middle of the current Iraq War. Up in the hills abutting Iran and Turkey, however, the struggle for a Greater Kurdistan continues for boy and girl alike — Thomas Morton, Vice News http://vice.com

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