This week has seen a lot of discussion of the American criminal justice system and its failings, and a lot of concern about what can be done to fix it.
In 1947, a working class black man looked like he was about to have the full weight of the system brought down on him for taking justice into his own hands. But after Chicago leftists - including labor unions, religious leaders, artists, civil rights activists & others - launched a movement, James Hickman was set free after an all-white jury, in a trial presided over by a white judge, failed to convict, and the DA chose not to re-try because of the magnitude of public support for Hickman.
According to a review in The Nation, a new book tells the story in a way that turns the typical right-wing biases of the true crime genre on their head. [more inside] posted by univac at 2:44 PM PST - 11 comments
One of the most radically original TV shows in recent memory is Louie. It's written, directed, edited, and produced by comedian Louis C.K., who stars as a (thinly) fictionalized version of himself. The A.V. Club recently sat down with Louis C.K. to talk through the show's second season, episode by episode. He sheds light on many aspects of the show, including the much-discussed Dane Cook episode.
Part 4. (Louis C.K. previously: 1234) posted by naju at 12:26 PM PST - 85 comments
Mansoor 'Tiger' Ali Khan, erstwhile Indian cricket captain, has died. His legacy evokes a previous era in Indian history: a last-generation Royal blinded in one eye as a young man, he captained the Oxford then the Indian teams (his father had played for Oxford and England before captaining India), and married movie actress Sharmila Tagore with whom he had children who went on to become movie stars themselves. Some memories of a man known for his cricketing skill, style and charisma. posted by the mad poster! at 12:17 PM PST - 20 comments
It's long been thought that there is a high incidence of autism (and autism-related disorders like Asperger's) in IT fields. Now one company is looking to turn that into sales. [more inside] posted by Chrysostom at 11:43 AM PST - 33 comments
Neutrinos discovered to be faster than light at CERN. If confirmed, these results will overturn a century of one of the most basic assumptions in modern physics. 'Thousands of experiments have been undertaken to measure' the speed of light 'ever more precisely, and no result has ever spotted a particle breaking the limit. But Antonio Ereditato of the Orion collaboration and his colleagues have been carrying out an experiment for the last three years that seems to suggest neutrinos have done just that.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 11:01 AM PST - 266 comments
Tomorrow, Friday the 23rd of September 2011, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas will go before the UN and set out his request for formal recognition of the state of Palestine. There are many problems with this, and not just for the Palestinians... [more inside] posted by dougrayrankin at 10:52 AM PST - 101 comments
[...]There was still talk of snipers, of a counterattack by Qaddafi’s men, of a fifth column of “sleeper cells” lurking inside the capital. Victory had come too easily. Only weeks earlier, the rebels seemed in disarray, and Qaddafi’s forces, having withstood more than four months of NATO air strikes, seemed poised to hold out for many more. Then, on Aug. 20, a planned uprising broke out in Tripoli, as the ragged rebel army converged on the city from various directions. The final battle, expected to last weeks, was over in two days. Qaddafi and his top lieutenants fled almost immediately. Now it was hard to know who was a killer and who a mere dupe.[...] The Surreal Ruins of Quaddafi's Never-Never Land, Robert F. Worth
(Note: nytimes. Via longform.com) posted by JHarris at 9:08 AM PST - 13 comments
TV Fact Checkers "Behind every smart TV show, there is a tireless script coordinator, technical adviser, researcher or producer who makes sure the jargon is right, the science is accurate and the pop culture references are on-point." This week, Wired "is speaking with fact-checkers behind the fall TV season’s geekiest shows." [more inside] posted by zarq at 7:30 AM PST - 73 comments
Guinea pigs are sociable animals and Swiss law prohibits owners from keeping the furry rodents on their own. But what happens when one dies? Don't fret, just call Priska Küng, who runs a 'rent-a-guinea pig' service. posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:44 AM PST - 60 comments
"The prominent literary critic Marjorie Perloff has recently begun using the term 'unoriginal genius' to describe this tendency emerging in literature. Her idea is that, because of changes brought on by technology and the Internet, our notion of the genius—a romantic, isolated figure—is outdated. An updated notion of genius would have to center around one's mastery of information and its dissemination. Perloff has coined another term, 'moving information,' to signify both the act of pushing language around as well as the act of being emotionally moved by that process. She posits that today's writer resembles more a programmer than a tortured genius, brilliantly conceptualizing, constructing, executing, and maintaining a writing machine." --Kenneth Goldsmith on why "genius" is an archaic concept, and how literature in English has fallen half-a-century behind advances in visual arts and music posted by bardic at 3:57 AM PST - 44 comments