Moving the Mexican Border
The whole point of setting the border between Mexico and the United States at the deepest channel of the Rio Grande was that the river was not supposed to move. That was the thinking in 1848 [...] [more inside]
What happened to pay toilets in the USA? In the early 1900s, when railroads connected America’s biggest cities with rural outposts, train stations were sometimes the only place in town with modern plumbing. To keep locals from freely using the bathrooms, railroad companies installed locks on the stall doors—only to be unlocked by railroad employees for ticketed passengers. Eventually, coin-operated locks were introduced, making the practice both more convenient and more profitable. Pay toilets then sprung up in the nation’s airports, bus stations, and highway rest stops. By 1970, America had over 50,000 pay toilets.
By 1980, there were almost none.
the struggle over gun rights and regulation in America, in the aftermath of the Newtown school shootings and the ongoing congressional stalemate over federal gun legislation. An investigative report from
"29 students from 16 journalism schools, as well as an experienced staff of editors" for Carnegie-Knight News21. [more inside]
: "Young called his creed 'the religion of nature' and 'the religion of nature’s God.' And he made abundantly clear that, in his own mind, this radical philosophical religion was the axis on which the Revolution turned. For him, the project to free the American people from the yoke of King George III was part of a grander project to liberate the world from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion." [more inside]
Why Did Michael Brown Die in Ferguson?
- According to the police of Fergusson, Missouri it was because he reached for an officer's weapon, necessitating that he be shot multiple times as he ran away empty handed. Eyewitness tell a different story
. Whatever happened the killing has prompted demonstrations and looting. Ferguson police responded in full force, firing teargas
and wooden rounds
into crowds of protestors and sealing the area off from the media
. In the wake of the tragedy questions of racial profiling
, the paramilitarization of police
and media depictions of black shooting victims
have been raised. Meanwhile the shooter has not been named to preserve his safety
“Republicans always saw libertarians as nice to have around in case they wanted to score some weed, and we always knew where there was a party. And for a while it made sense to bunk up with them. But after a while, it would be like, ‘So if we agree on limited government, how about opening the borders?’ No, that’s crazy. ‘How about legalizing drugs? How about giving gays equal rights?’ No, come on, be serious. And so I thought, There’s nothing in this for me.”
From Silicon Valley technologists
to NYU postgrads
, the ‘Libertarian Moment’ may have finally arrived.
The highway, however, is getting mighty crowded. Hundreds of different beers debut weekly, creating a scrum of session IPAs, spiced witbiers, and barrel-aged stouts scuffling for shelf space. For consumers, the situation is doubly confusing. How can you pick a pint on a 100-brew tap list? Moreover, beer shops are chockablock with pale this and imperial that, each one boasting a different hop pun.
America has too many craft brewers
One of the more ubiquitous formats for "infographics" these days is the U.S.A. Map Comparing Individual States and promoting interstate rivalries. After all, wherever you live in the U.S. of A., you need bragging rights for something, right?
Recently, Business Insider featured "27 Maps That Explain America"
including ones that compared each state's percentage of residents with passports
, most overrepresented job in every state
, percentage of each state's population with a 4-year degree
, number of billionaires in each state
, number of Starbucks locations in each state
, states' stances on climate change (judged by Think Progress)
, fast food consumption
and exercise frequency
(detail in a weird format here
), and cavities per capita
But Business Insider is certainly not the only site 'mapping the states'... [more inside]
How the US Stumbled into the Drone Era [WSJ] As ubiquitous as Predators, Reapers, Global Hawks and their ilk may now seem, the U.S. actually stumbled into the drone era. Washington got into the business of using drones for counterterrorism well before 9/11—not out of any steely strategic design or master plan but out of bureaucratic frustration, bickering and a series of only half-intentional decisions.
Test Pattern: Downscaling 2997fps 10Min.
Reviews are streaming in for Test Pattern: Downscaling 2997fps. Test Pattern: Downscaling 2997fps. Test Pattern: Downscaling 2997fps. Test Pattern: Downscaling 2997fps.
Satisfied viewers are saying "Not as good as the book" but still a "A start to finish THRILL RIDE!" and "Deeply. Riveting". It's currently the most popular Netlix movie on Instant Watcher
and destined to be a classic.
The Republican Party began selling new web domains
ending in .gop today at www.join.gop
. Public interest has definitely been sparked, but perhaps not for the reasons Republicans have hoped. [more inside]
I love your poise
Of perfect thighs
When they hold me
in paradise ...
If I had you today, I’d kiss and
fondle you into my arms and
hold you there until you said
‘Warren, oh, Warren’
Warren G. Harding, perhaps the worst chief executive in U.S. history, was a poet
to longtime mistress
and possible German spy Carrie Fulton Phillips
is a perfect introduction to one of the Obama era’s great conservative subcultures: the men and women who “roll coal.” For as little as $500, anyone with a diesel truck and a dream can install a smoke stack and the equipment that lets a driver “trick the engine” into needing more fuel. The result is a burst of black smoke that doubles as a political or cultural statement—a protest against the EPA, a ritual shaming of hybrid “rice burners,” and a stellar source of truck memes." [more inside]
World War II veteran Joe Bell — who gained internet fame when a video of runners shaking his hand went viral — was honored as grand marshal in the San Jose 4th of July Parade
yesterday; he led the parade in a motorcycle sidecar driven by his son, Matt. [more inside]
With the completion of the group stages, three quarters of the matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup
have been played. Now, it's a straight round-by-round elimination
for the remaining 16 teams in their quest to reach the final. There's been biting
, alternative commentary
, mood swings
, (allegedly) sulky England players
, exciting matches
, the USA vs Ronaldo
, Europeans taking early return flights
, deep analysis
, a fantasy league
and many goals
- but who will finally lift the trophy
in Rio's Estádio do Maracanã
on Sunday 13th July? [more inside]
"And looks like an almost goal. If that whole goal system would have been moved over maybe thirty more feet, we would have been looking at a goal."
-- MeFi favorite Reggie Watts (previously
) doing World Cup commentary alongside MeFi favorite Peter Serafinowicz (previously
) on his Mixlr account, where Serafinowicz has been providing comedic commentary for the games for the last week. [via]
Today at 6 PM Eastern, the United States plays Portugal in the World Cup. The United States has never been very successful in World Cup soccer (football), but it has come close. The United States shocked the world by coming in third in 1930
and again by defeating England in 1950
. In 2002, the U.S. had an upset against Portugal
, but could it happen again?
Playing for Portugal is Cristiano Ronaldo, possibly the best player in the world, whose fancy footwork
The Guardian on the decline of America's shopping malls.
"Dying shopping malls are speckled across the United States, often in middle-class suburbs wrestling with socioeconomic shifts. Some, like Rolling Acres
, have already succumbed. Estimates on the share that might close or be repurposed in coming decades range from 15 to 50%. Americans are returning downtown; online shopping is taking a 6% bite out of brick-and-mortar sales; and to many iPhone-clutching, city-dwelling and frequently jobless young people, the culture that spawned satire like Mallrats
seems increasingly dated, even cartoonish.
The trend is especially noticeable in the Midwest, a former blue-collar bastion where ailing malls have begun dotting suburban landscapes. Outside of Chicago, Lakehurst Mall
was levelled in 2004 and the half-vacant Lincoln Mall
is costing its host village millions in botched redevelopment plans. Dixie Square
Mall sat vacant for more than 30 years after serving as the backdrop for the iconic chase scene in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. It was finally demolished in 2012. Many others will similarly lie dormant as they wait for the wrecking ball."
Presdient Obama gave a speech (video
) at the United States Military Academy last month that outlined American foreign policy.
has been mixed. [more inside]
In the Indianapolis suburbs, officers said they needed a mine-resistant vehicle to protect against a possible attack by veterans returning from war. A look at the redistribution of surplus tools of combat to state and local law enforcement. (SL NYT)
To be gay, Christian and black in Harlem
West African asylum seekers face a new kind of discrimination in the US
"It was the dark ages of American soccer,
with the United States preparing to host a World Cup for a sport that its public had virtually no common appreciation for. Since the collapse of the North American Soccer League in the 1980s, the country didn’t even have a professional top division – Major League Soccer was a mere glimmer in Doug Logan’s eye.
It was a time when the notion that airing football matches in the US could be a viable, lucrative endeavour received “zero respect”, in Keane’s words, from broadcasters. Burdened by extortionate broadcasting agreements with pay-per-view carriers, Keane would often record European matches for diehard fans who had no idea which teams won over the weekend."
Why Men Love War.
"What people can't understand is how much fun Vietnam was. I loved it. I loved it, and I can't tell anybody."
Longtime veteran courtroom sketch artist
Gary Myrick gives us a look inside his profession.
"With over 200 breweries, Oregon is often considered the craft beer capital of America
. Beer geeks and casual drinkers across the country can also thank the state’s farmers for their brews: hops, the essential ingredient that gives beer its bitter flavor, is a rare crop throughout the U.S. but not in Oregon. Last year, Oregon State University established the Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives (OHBA)
, the first archive in the U.S., dedicated to preserving and telling the intertwined story of hop and beer production and the craft brewing movement. They're posting materials from their collection to Tumblr
Military infographics are completely insane
-- An analysis of some of the baffling infographics that the US military have made public on the web for some reason.
The Gold Standard in Executions.
For two years now, Texas has used a single drug
, the barbiturate pentobarbital, instead of the three-drug regimen used in neighboring Oklahoma
. Prison administrators from other states often travel to Texas to learn how it performs lethal injections and to observe executions. Texas officials have provided guidance and, on at least a few occasions, carried out executions for other states
Alan Dershowitz and Michael Hayden (for); Glenn Greenwald and Alexis Ohanian against. Tonight.
“I consider him and Alan Dershowitz” – the two men Mr. Greenwald, 47, will face at Friday’s Munk Debates – “two of the most pernicious human beings on the planet. I find them morally offensive. There’s an element of hypocrisy to being in the same room with them, treating them as if I have outward respect, because I don’t.”
The US is a little closer to a popular vote for president. Governor Cuomo added New York State
to the National Popular Vote
interstate compact. [more inside]
How Americans Die
- a visual tour through surprising trends in mortality among Americans in the last several decades
The most recent story in ProPublica's Living Apart: Examining America's Racial Divide
series is "Segregation Now
," which focuses on the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, city school district "and its fleeting experience with the challenges and virtues of integration." But beyond Tuscaloosa, "almost everywhere in the United States, the gains of integration have been eroded. And nowhere has that been more powerfully and disturbingly true than in the South – once home to both the worst of segregation and the greatest triumphs of integration. Freed from the federal oversight that produced integration, schools districts across the 11 former states of the Confederacy have effectively re-instituted segregation for large numbers of black students, in practical terms if not in law.
" [more inside]