In the United States, only 22 states require that sex education should be taught in their schools. Of those, only 13 insist upon medical accuracy. There is no federal standard. As a result, classroom lessons that teach purity culture – the idea that virginity is a state of moral accomplishment – are pervasive. John Oliver's Last Week Tonight covers Sex Education in America. (NSFW) The end of the segment features a modern sex education video created by LWT, narrated by several celebrities (including Laverne Cox, Nick Offerman, Jonathan Banks, Kristen Schaal and Aisha Tyler) that touches on topics outdated lessons may be ignoring. [more inside]
John Oliver and Last Week Tonight do an extended piece on Net Neutrality.
After the controversial decision last month (previously) to leave actress and activist Laverne Cox out of their "Time 100" issue, Cox has become the first transgender person to grace the cover of Time magazine.
Published in 1910, William T. Cox's Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, With a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts is one of the earliest written accounts describing fabulous beasts of lumberjack lore, together called "fearsome critters." Read of tales of the peculiar wapaloosie, the spiky, hairless hodag that swallows trees whole, and the bizarrely violent splinter cat, which smashes trees with its head until it finds food. When you've been there a spell, take a gander through Paul Bunyan's Natural History, in which the goofang fish swims backwards to keep water out of its eyes and the teakettler walks backwards, nostrils steaming. For more harrowing yarns on yesterday's monsters, thumb through Henry Tryon's Fearsome Critters, which closes with a tantalizing snipet about an eternally elusive bird.
Gelatin foodstuffs have a long culinary history. The ancient Egyptians made a gelatin-like substance from protein-rich animal materials that they used in their cuisine. It wasn't until the 17th century invention of pressure cooking devices that the process of creating gelatin became significantly less labor and time intensive. The process was refined in the following decades, with the US inventor Peter Cooper filing the patent for Improvement in the preparation of portable gelatine in 1845. He never made much of the patent, and sold it to Pearle B. Wait, who's wife, May Davis Wait, helped turn the gelatin into Jell-O, both naming the product and turning it into a sweet, fruit-flavored dessert. They, too, had no luck selling Jell-O, and sold the patent for $450 to Orator Francis Woodward, who struggled for a period, before turning to marketing to increase interest in the dessert (NYT). By 1902, Jell-O was "America's Favorite Dessert," at least according to the advertisements. And now you know the history of gelatin and Jello. [more inside]
Four Men. Forty Years. An interview with Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox about Deliverance, on the film's 40th anniversary. Additional interviews: Collider. THR
Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward: 40 years after Watergate, Nixon was far worse than we thought. [more inside]
Harvey Cox, one of the foremost American theologians of the twentieth century, recently retired from Harvard, where he held the oldest tenured professorship in the nation. You've seen him discussed here before for more bovine pursuits. But more importantly, he has argued that atheism is a passing fad; his new book contends it emerges in response to factors that will change the face of faith in the coming generation. Why should you care about an old theologian's last hurrah? His prior predictions have been right.
"Bruce Springsteen" sings the glories of Vista SP1. I wouldn't be surprised if the real Springsteen leads a strike force into Microsoft headquarters when he sees his duplicate (complete with faux Courtney Cox in the audience) singing "See what's on employees' desktops / with AIS and M-DOP".