January 7, 2011
In this TED talk, Neil Pasricha of the blog 1000 Awesome Things talks about how to have an awesome life.
Michelle Obama promotes an anti-obesity campaign, telling her children that "dessert is not a right." Sarah Palin takes a shot at her on a reality show, making s'mores and saying, "This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert." There's hooting and hollering from all sides. And then there's this -- is Sarah Palin courting the fat vote?
Barely into the new year on Khalil Hamda street in Alexandria Egypt: "A devastating New Year’s Day terrorist bombing at a Coptic church in Egypt that killed 21 people was the latest in a spate of violent assaults against the Middle East’s vulnerable Christian communities. The car bomb explosion also injured 79 people just after midnight Saturday as worshipers were leaving a New Year’s Mass at the Saints Church in east Alexandria, Egyptian officials said." The Egyptian people responded. [more inside]
'Illinois wants Amazon to collect 6.25 percent sales tax and send it back to the state.' Amazon fights back. Under current law, only companies with a physical presence in the state have to do this, but the new bill declares that even having affiliates in Illinois counts as "presence." 'An e-mail sent from the company to all of its Illinois affiliates this morning warns that, should Illinois Governor Pat Quinn sign a just-passed tax bill, Amazon is cutting off every affiliate in Illinois. "We regret to inform you that the Illinois state legislature has passed an unconstitutional tax collection scheme that, if signed by Governor Quinn, would leave Amazon.com little choice but to end its relationships with Illinois-based Associates," said the e-mail.' [more inside]
Chick-Fil-A partners with the Pennsylvania Family Institute for "The Art Of Marriage", an event intended to be a launching point for Pennsylvania to return to "the biblical definition of marriage."
On August 30, 1978 a Polish airliner was hijacked and redirected to Tempelhof airport in West Berlin. Torn between a policy of supporting defection and a recently-signed anti-hijacking treaty, the West German government ceded jurisdiction over the defendants to the United States government, which was still technically an occupying power and had an interest in the case because of the US Air Force Base at Tempelhof. The result was the one and only decision rendered by the United States Court for Berlin, United States v. Tiede. [more inside]
On January 6, 1961, the University of Georgia was desegregated when Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes were admitted to the University of Georgia, with the ruling issued by U.S. District Court Judge William Bootle. The process had taken lengthy legal battles, following their applications to attend the school starting in the fall of 1959. With the 50th anniversary of that ruling, NPR has two interviews with Charlayne Hunter-Gault (née Charlayne Hunter). [more inside]
In an upcoming episode of Fringe, Walter meets the keyboard player for his favorite band, Violet Sedan Chair, who will be played by Christopher Lloyd. And while the band is fictional, they have, in fact, released an album called Seven Suns, which was shipped to record stores across the country a couple of months ago. Fringe previously
The Monkeys You Ordered : Literally titled New Yorker cartoons.
Butt (previously) interviews Didier Lestrade, former publisher of classic French gay zines and periodicals like Magazine (scanned archives) and Têtu. “Unlike many young fags today, we knew our gay history. We were learning all the time about all kinds of stuff and we were always eager to lean more…. It freaks me out to think how quickly we went from creating our own history to not caring about gay history anymore! It happened so fast. No one has even begun to collect and preserve all the material from the Paradise Garage, the Saint, etc., and now gay people don’t seem to even care.” [more inside]
Writer Harry Mathews' epically challenging recipe for Roast Boned Rolled Stuffed Shoulder of Lamb (Farce Double) in text and audio form.
"Just months before the Nazis launched their attack on the Soviet Union, they had nothing better to do than to obsess about this dog." Introducing Jackie, the Finnish dog that infuriated the Nazis.
Mapping Slavery. In September 1861 Edwin Hergesheimer of the United States Coast Survey produced a map based on data from the 1860 census showing the distribution of slaves across the South. It's interesting to compare this to other maps. [more inside]
Animal Farm; or, a Short and Somewhat Political History of Comics in Poland by Tomasz Kołodziejczak, translated by Michael Kandel. More Polish comics info here.
Miami Police Set to Become First State in the US to Use Drones. As also discussed here on TPM, the new drones offer "unique hover and stare capability... advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) with real time video documentation." If things proceed to plan, this will represent the first use of such devices both in the US and outside of combat environments. The resemblance between these Honeywell-manufactured devices and the ubiquitous, menacing City Scanners that populate the dystopian landscape of the popular video game series Half-Life is striking.
Rocaterrania is a country located in part of what's often known as the North Country of New York State, bordering on Canada. At least, it's there in the mind of Renaldo Kuhler, its creator, who has been imagining -- and sometimes physically creating -- the nation's politics, fashion, and artifacts since he was a teenager on his family's ranch in Colorado just after World War II. The son of Otto Kuhler, who designed the Hiawatha passenger trains of the Milwaukee Road railway, Renaldo needed an escape from ranch life. He invented a nation of forward-looking Eastern European immigrants with a vibrant, distinctly un-American culture. He warns, though, "it is not a Utopia." He has drawn, painted, and been the nation's history. He created its language, Rocaterranski, and alphabet from Yiddish and Spanish and German. Rocaterrania is a large-scale work of fiction but sometimes the way Kuhler speaks, it sounds like he believes it's really there. Kuhler now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina and is known about town for his Rocaterranian garb. [more inside]
Il était une fois... les technologies du passé. (YouTube) Adorable Francophone kids will make you feel old as they try to figure out technology from the 1980s.
See that Mechanical Red Eye? That's YOU, and you are an Insane Rogue AI. (Friday Flash Fun) [more inside]
We Are Those Lions. Sepia Mutiny discusses the death of Jayaben Desai, trade unionist.
Gulet Mohamed is an 18-year-old American citizen who has, since December 20, been detained and tortured in Kuwait. The U.S. Embassy has subsequently informed him that he is now on a no-fly list, effectively barring him from returning to the United States. Glenn Greenwald has posted a recording of a 50-minute telephone interview with Mr. Mohamed. [more inside]
176 Horn Lane, Acton, London, probably isn't an address you think of when it comes to death sentences in Arizona and California. It is the home of a small driving school. And Dream Pharma, a mom and pop pharmaceutical wholesaler. [more inside]
Yes, it's Canadian, of course. I like the way the promo overreacts to the possibility that some people might find the sport a little slow, or, perhaps not a sport at all. Snazzy music. Shots of the guys horsing around. Black and white and slo-mo. Killer, eh.
The British Medical Journal has called Andrew Wakefield, the lead author of the study that initially claimed a link between the MMR vaccine and autism, a fraud. Investigative journalist Brian Deer went through the original medical records of the children included in the study and found that, amongst other things, some of them didn't have autism. Language this strong in a journal like this is pretty unusual, especially given the UK's libel laws. The Lancet retracted the original paper (PDF) last year due to concerns about breaches of research ethics (previously on Metafilter), but the BMJ is claiming deliberate manipulation and misrepresentation of data for financial gain.