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South Park

South Park is an American animated sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone and developed by Brian Graden for the Comedy Central television network. The series revolves around four boys—Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, Kenny McCormick—and their exploits in and around the titular Colorado town; the show became infamous for its profanity and dark, surreal humor that satirizes a wide range of topics towards a mature audience. Parker and Stone developed the show from The Spirit of two consecutive animated shorts; the latter became one of the first Internet viral videos leading to South Park's production. The pilot episode was produced using cutout animation, leading to all subsequent episodes being produced with computer animation that emulated the cutout technique. South Park features a large ensemble cast of recurring characters. Since its debut on August 13, 1997, 307 episodes of South Park have been broadcast, it debuted with great success earning the highest ratings of any basic cable program.

Subsequent ratings have varied but it remains one of Comedy Central's highest-rated shows and is slated to air new episodes through 2022. Since 2000, each episode has been written and produced in the week preceding its broadcast, with Parker serving as the primary writer and director; the show's twenty-third season premiered on September 25, 2019. South Park has received numerous accolades, including five Primetime Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, numerous inclusions in various publications' lists of greatest television shows; the show's popularity resulted in a feature-length theatrical film, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, released in June 1999, less than two years after the show's premiere, became a commercial and critical success, garnered a nomination for an Academy Award. In 2013, TV Guide ranked South Park the tenth Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time; the show follows the exploits of four boys, Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick. The boys live in the fictional small town of South Park, located within the real-life South Park basin in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado.

The town is home to an assortment of frequent characters such as students, elementary school staff, other various residents, who tend to regard South Park as a bland, quiet place to live. Prominent settings on the show include the local elementary school, bus stop, various neighborhoods and the surrounding snowy landscape, actual Colorado landmarks, the shops and businesses along the town's main street, all of which are based on the appearance of similar locations in Fairplay, Colorado. Stan is portrayed as the everyman of the group, as the show's website describes him as an "average, American 4th grader". Kyle is the lone Jew among the group, his portrayal in this role is dealt with satirically. Stan is modeled after Parker, they are best friends, their friendship, symbolically intended to reflect Parker and Stone's friendship, is a common topic throughout the series. Eric Cartman is loud and amoral portrayed as an antagonist, his anti-Semitic attitude has resulted in a progressive rivalry with Kyle, although the deeper reason is the strong clash between Kyle's strong morality and Cartman's complete lack of such.

Kenny, who comes from a poor family, wears his parka hood so that it covers most of his face and muffles his speech. During the show's first five seasons, Kenny would die in nearly every episode before returning in the next with little-to-no definitive explanation given, he was written out of the show's sixth season in 2002, re-appearing in the season finale. Since Kenny's death has been used by the show's creators. During the show's first 58 episodes, the boys were in the third grade. In the season four episode "4th Grade", they entered the fourth grade, have remained there since. Plots are set in motion by events, ranging from the typical to the supernatural and extraordinary, which happen in the town; the boys act as the voice of reason when these events cause panic or incongruous behavior among the adult populace, who are customarily depicted as irrational and prone to vociferation. The boys are frequently confused by the contradictory and hypocritical behavior of their parents and other adults, perceive them as having distorted views on morality and society.

Each episode opens with a tongue-in-cheek all persons fictitious disclaimer: "All characters and events in this show—even those based on real people—are fictional. All celebrity voices are impersonated.....poorly. The following program contains coarse language and due to its content it should not be viewed by anyone."South Park was the first weekly program to be rated TV-MA, is intended for adult audiences. The boys and most other child characters use strong profanity, with only the most taboo words being bleeped during a typical broadcast. Parker and Stone perceive this as the manner in which real-life small boys speak when they are alone. South Park makes use of carnivalesque and absurdist techniques, numerous running gags, sexual content, offhand pop-cultural references, satirical portrayal of celebrities. Early episodes featured more slapstick-style humor. While social satire had been used on the show earlier on, it became more prevalent as the series progressed, with the show retaining some of its focus on the boys' fondness of scatological humor in an attempt to remind adult viewers "what it was like to be eight years old."

Parker and Stone began further developing other characters by giving them larger roles in cer

Steve Henderson (game designer)

Steve Henderson was the co-designer of several role playing game titles and supplements. Henderson, Steve Perrin and Warren James, began working on an idea for an original gaming system for Glorantha, were soon joined by Ray Turney from the original failed design team. Henderson's work includes RuneQuest, Worlds of Wonder and Superworld, a partner in DunDraCon, he was one of the founders of the Society for Creative Anachronism, where he was known as Sir Steven MacEanruig. He wrote the first RuneQuest adventure supplement, Ballastor's Barracks with assistance from Steve Perrin and Warren James; the adventure is a dungeon crawl where the adventurers seek a powerful magic item as the primary quest. The adventure is intended as an introductory adventure for new players and game masters who are new to the RuneQuest system, providing practical demonstrations of many of the mechanics of this game system; as Sir Steven MacEanruig, Henderson developed many techniques which advanced the state of the art of the martial arts as recreated in SCA armed combat.

Among these were the development of dynamic fighting styles that feature fluid movement on the part of the combatant and coordinating footwork with the timing of sword-blows in such a way as to allow the combatant to deliver forceful blows without pausing in their movement. He was one of the founders of the "BART" fighter practices held at the Rockridge BART station in Oakland, California; the BART practice has been the starting point for many people who participate in SCA combat, as well as serving as a laboratory for the improvement of training practices, the development of combat recreation techniques to better and more safely simulate medieval combat. Henderson was at the initial event of the SCA on May 1, 1966. Henderson died on March 2006, as the result of a stroke. SCA announcement SCA Today obituary Steve Henderson, An Appreciation by Steve Perrin

Dan Sperber

Dan Sperber is a French social and cognitive scientist. His most influential work has been in the fields of cognitive anthropology and linguistic pragmatics: developing, with British psychologist Deirdre Wilson, relevance theory in the latter. Sperber holds the positions of Directeur de Recherche émérite at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Director of the International Cognition and Culture Institute. Sperber is the son of Austrian-French novelist Manès Sperber, he was born in France and raised an atheist but his parents, both non-religious Ashkenazi Jews, imparted to the young Sperber a "respect for my Rabbinic ancestors and for religious thinkers of any persuasion more generally". He became interested in anthropology as a means of explaining how rational people come to hold mistaken religious beliefs about the supernatural. Sperber was trained in the University of Oxford. In 1965 he joined the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique as a researcher in the Laboratoire d'Études Africaines.

He moved to the Laboratoire d'ethnologie et de sociologie comparative, the Centre de Recherche en Epistémelogie Appliquée and from 2001, the Institut Jean Nicod. Sperber's early work was on the anthropology of religion, he conducted ethnographic fieldwork among the Dorze people of Ethiopia. Sperber was an early proponent of structural anthropology, having been introduced to it by Rodney Needham at Oxford, helped popularise it in British social anthropology. At the CNRS he studied under Claude Lévi-Strauss, credited as the founder of structuralism, who encouraged Sperber's "untypical theoretical musings". In the 1970s, Sperber came to be identified with post-structuralism in French anthropology, criticised the theories of Lévi-Strauss and other structuralists for using interpretive ethnographic data as if it were an objective record, for its lack of explanatory power. Sperber has persistently defended the legacy of Lévi-Strauss' work as opening the door for naturalistic social science, as an important precursor to cognitive anthropology.

After moving away from structuralism, Sperber sought an alternative naturalistic approach to the study of culture. His 1975 book Rethinking Symbolism, outlined a theory of symbolism using concepts from the burgeoning field of cognitive psychology, it was formulated as a reply to semiological theories which were becoming widespread in anthropology through the works of Victor Turner and Clifford Geertz. Sperber's work has continued to argue for the importance of cognitive processes understood through psychology in understanding cultural phenomena and, in particular, cultural transmission. His'epidemiology of representations' is an approach to cultural evolution inspired by the field of epidemiology, it proposes that the distribution of cultural representations within a population should be explained with reference to biases in transmission and the "ecology" of the individual minds they inhabit. Sperber's approach is broadly Darwinist—it explains the macro-distribution of a trait in a population in terms of the cumulative effect micro-processes acting over time—but departs from memetics because he does not see representations as replicators except for in a few special circumstances.

The cognitive and epidemiological approach to cultural evolution has been influential, but as a means of explaining culture more it is pursued by only a small minority of scholars. His latest work, published with cognitive scientist Hugo Mercier, has developed their argumentative theory of reason, his most influential work is arguably in linguistics and philosophy: with the British linguist and philosopher Deirdre Wilson he has developed an innovative approach to linguistic interpretation known as relevance theory which as of 2010 has become mainstream in the area of pragmatics, artificial intelligence and cognitive psychology. He argues that cognitive processes are geared toward the maximisation of relevance, that is, a search for an optimal balance between cognitive efforts and cognitive effects; as well as his emeritus position at the CNRS, Sperber is part time professor in the departments of Cognitive Science and of Philosophy at the Central European University in Budapest. He is the Director of the International Cognition and Culture Institute, a scientific discussion and research website.

He is a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and in 2009 was awarded the inaugural Claude Lévi-Strauss Prize for excellence of French research in the humanities and social sciences. In 2011 he gave a Turku Agora Lecture. Le structuralisme en anthropologie Rethinking Symbolism On Anthropological Knowledge Relevance. Communication and Cognition Causal Cognition: A multidisciplinary debate. Explaining Culture Metarepresentations: A multidisciplinary perspective Experimental Pragmatics and Relevance, The Enigma of Reason, ISBN 9780674368309 Scott Atran Maurice Bloch Pascal Boyer Official pa