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For the first time since 2011, two NYPD officers have been killed in the line of duty; PO Wenjian Liu and PO Rafael Ramos were shot, execution style, while sitting in their patrol car yesterday afternoon in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. The suspect, who shot himself at a subway station nearby, had allegedly shot his girlfriend in Maryland yesterday morning, before posting on social media that he was going to kill cops in retaliation for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Pat Lynch, the president of the largest police union in New York City — the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, has blamed Mayor de Blasio for the murders, and the New York City police officers, already angry with the mayor for his comments about police violence, last night turned their backs on the mayor as he entered the police press conference to address the shooting deaths of two officers in Brooklyn.
"Eventually I got my phone up and called 999. “Ambulance, fire brigade or police?” they asked. “I’m stuck in a chimney,” I replied, and they repeated the question with more urgency. “I don’t know, I’ve never been here before,” I said, then decided on fire brigade."
In 2000, Kiss frontman Paul Stanley (sans makeup) filmed a commercial for Folger's Instant Coffee. It never aired. Now you know why. [SLYT]
Singer Joe Cocker has died at age 70, according to the BBC. Here's his iconic performance of "With a Little Help from my Friends".
Redditor CSMastermind composes an epic timeline of the Sony information breach. Well sourced, and in laymans terms. [more inside]
How David Gregory Lost His Job (SL longform)
If you had to knock over a 100 pound domino with a domino that is 5mm high and 1mm thick (and weighs a few ounces), how would you do it? Give it some thought, perhaps discuss it over a beer, and then enjoy an interesting physics demonstration here.
A couple of years ago a mother / daughter author team wrote a book for dependent kids with parents in the military, in which they decided to replace the traditional "Military Brat" identifier with "CHAMPS" ( Child Heroes Attached to Military Personnel). The book spawned a non-profit called Operation Champs, which provided support services to military dependents and their families. [more inside]
Ramez Naam says that 2014 Was a Good Year: Better Than You Remember.
“Mr. Obama has said multiple times that 'we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards,' as though the two were incompatible. They are not. The nation cannot move forward in any meaningful way without coming to terms, legally and morally, with the abhorrent acts that were authorized, given a false patina of legality, and committed by American men and women from the highest levels of government on down.” The New York Times Editorial Board calls for a criminal investigation into the Bush administration's architects of torture. (SLNYT)
Today, The New Republic's editor-in-chief Franklin Foer and literary editor (and thirty-year veteran of the magazine) Leon Wieseltier both resigned in a shake-up that also includes moving the magazine to New York from Washington and reducing its number of print issues from 20 to 10 per year. Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker reports that "the top editors are gone & mass resignations are imminent." The impetus for the resignations, according to Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine, is apparently that Chris Hughes, a Facebook co-founder who purchased the magazine in 2012 at age 28, and Guy Vidra, its new CEO, "are afflicted with the belief that they can copy the formula that transformed the Huffington Post and BuzzFeed into economic successes, which is probably wrong, and that this formula can be applied to The New Republic, which is certainly wrong." [more inside]
Creedence Clearwater Revival performing 'Born on the Bayou' at Woodstock, 1969. Frontman John Fogerty, dissatisfied with the group's performance, famously prevented it from being included in the subsequent film or soundtrack album. But this, the opening number of their set, is an electrifying performance. Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford perform as if they are plugged in to the electricity supply.
59 years after an all-white jury in Mississippi acquitted Emmett Till's murderers, a majority-white grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the man who killed Mike Brown. [more inside]
Neil Gaiman talks about writing "Good Omens" - "Terry Pratchett and I met in February 1985, in a Chinese restaurant. I was a young journalist. He was a former journalist and Electricity Board PR, and a writer who had just published his second Discworld novel. I was the first journalist who had ever interviewed him."
How Chan-Style Anonymous Culture Shapes #gamergate Twitter user A Man In Black attempts to untangle the gamergater mindset using identity -- any identity as vice, and lack of identity as a chief virtue.
The Satanic Temple is a controversial religious organization whose main purpose is not to worship Satan, but to bring awareness to the varieties of religious freedom in the United States. [more inside]
Ridley Scott's new film Exodus: Gods and Kings recasts the myth of Moses in typically grimdark swords-and-sandals fashion. It... ain't so good. Want something more artful? Look no further than The Prince of Egypt [alt], an underrated masterpiece of DreamWorks' traditional animation era. Directed by Brenda Chapman (a first for women in animation), scored to spectacular effect by Hans Zimmer and Stephen Schwartz, and voiced by, among others, Voldemort, Batman, and Professor X, the ambitious film features gorgeous, striking visuals and tastefully integrated CGI in nearly every scene. It also manages the improbable feat of maturing beyond cartoon clichés while humanizing the prophet's journey from carefree scion to noble (and remorseful) liberator without offending half the planet -- while still being quite a fun ride. Already seen it? Catch the making-of documentary, or click inside for more. [more inside]