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Censorship Doesn’t Just Stifle Speech—It Can Spread Disease

The Saudi Arabian government has been tight-lipped about the spread of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), a disease first discovered in 2012 that has "killed more than half of those who contracted it", "responding slowly to requests for information and preventing outside researchers from publishing their findings about the syndrome. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Aug 24, 2013 - 13 comments

Internet Ecosystem

How the Internet Ecosystem Works. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Aug 11, 2013 - 11 comments

sold.. to Jeff Bezos

The Washington Post will be sold to Jeff Bezos for $250 million, ending four decades of the Graham family. Amazon will have no role in the purchase.
posted by stbalbach on Aug 5, 2013 - 130 comments

Who gets to speak, where, in front of whom, and about what  

Why the controversial (and somewhat backfired) Lauren Green interview of Reza Aslan is is about more than just Fox News idiocy.  
posted by Artw on Jul 31, 2013 - 162 comments

Beyond the Finish Line

The NYTimes tracks the recovery of Jeff Bauman, one of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 8, 2013 - 15 comments

Live from Tahrir Square

Live from Tahrir Square courtesy BitTorrent Live [more inside]
posted by item on Jul 3, 2013 - 63 comments

DOMA Unconstitutional, Yippie-Ki-Yay!

SCOTUS declares DOMA Unconstitutional, 5 - 4. The gay rights movement saw a significant victory at the Supreme Court Wednesday, where the justices struck down part of a law barring federal benefits to married same-sex couples. In a 5-4 ruling, the court struck down a provision of the 17-year-old Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denies federal benefits -- like Social Security benefits or the ability to file joint tax returns - to same-sex couples legally married. The impact of the DOMA case, United States v. Windsor, is clear for the nation's approximately 130,000 married same-sex couples. Section 3 of the law, the provision that was struck down, denies same-sex couples federal benefits. That provision impacts around 1,100 federal laws, including veterans' benefits, family medical leave and tax laws.
posted by theora55 on Jun 26, 2013 - 761 comments

Search the memory of The Netherlands

The Memory of the Netherlands is an image library making available the online collections of museums, archives and libraries. The library provides access to images from the collections of more than one hundred institutions and includes photographs, sculptures, paintings, bronzes, pottery, modern art, drawings, stamps, posters and newspaper clippings. In addition there are also video and sound recordings to see and listen to. The Memory of the Netherlands offers an historic overview of images from exceptional collections, organized by subject to provide easy access
Search 833928 objects from 133 collections from 100 institutions.
posted by infini on Jun 22, 2013 - 4 comments

John Oliver: "The most formative comedy of my teenage years."

There was no wink and they never sold it out for these half-hour, densely, beautifully produced pieces, which is, for all possibilities, obscuring that this doesn’t at all sound like a comedy show. It is all the production elements you would use in a full-scale news production. All the gravitas, but just inflated to a point that it has no gravitas whatsoever. And I think that is where it became this excitingly subversive thing because it just showed that BBC Radio 4 and everything it stood for was just a big bag of shit.
John Oliver on why he's a fan of On the Hour. On the Hour, of course, is the legendary BBC news radio program created by, among other people, Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It, In The Loop, Veep), Christopher Morris (Jam, Brass Eye, Four Lions, Why Bother?), Stewart Lee (41st best stand-up comic ever), and Steve Coogan (Knowing Me Knowing You With Alan Partridge, I'm Alan Partridge). Short-lived but influential, On the Hour mimicked the tone and production of other radio news shows but replaced the content with what Oliver describes as "unremitting bullshit". On the Hour was aired in two six-episode series (S1E1 S1E2 S1E3 S1E4 S1E5 S1E6; S2E1 S2E2 S2E3 S2E4 S2E5 S2E6), and begat a television series called The Day Today. That show in turn added Graham Linehan (Black Books, Father Ted, The IT Crowd) to On the Hour's already all-star lineup, upped the already-insane levels of overproduction, and ran for six short-but-glorious episodes (one two three four five (WAR!) six), as well as a special 9/11 radio report. [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich on Jun 10, 2013 - 64 comments

Hero Dog returns home after epic journey!

Kabang the hero returns home to the Phillipines to a parade! Kabang, previously mentioned here on the MeFi, returns home after surgery in the States. But the story might be a little deeper than just that, with some hints of patriotism and, while we're at it might as well segue into racism! But no really, this is just a story about one really awesome dog.
posted by eparchos on Jun 8, 2013 - 4 comments

It's No News Week

"By following this process, I’m not looking for ignorance – I’m looking for a way to remove irrelevance and stress from my daily routine, so I can be more aware of relevant things." The value of ignoring the news.
posted by mippy on Jun 5, 2013 - 36 comments

You could go to jail for a year for sharing HBO Go passwords

Jail for sharing HBO Go passwords New York Times tech journalist Jenna Wortham made a confession that could be used to send her to prison for a year or more. What was the startling criminal admission? She uses someone else’s password to sign into the cable-subscriber-only HBO Go app to watch ‘Game of Thrones.’
posted by sona on Jun 2, 2013 - 88 comments

"No! I'm Not okay!"

As May evaporates into the lazy haze of June, why not take some time to reflect on that which really matters: The Best May News Bloopers (Some cursing), compiled by NewsBeFunny - a veritable treasure trove of flubs, goofs, spills, and camera-crashing.
posted by The Whelk on May 29, 2013 - 29 comments

The Cartography of Bullshit

On the 15 May, Max Fisher of the Washington Post penned an article titled A fascinating map of the world’s most and least racially tolerant countries. Fisher surmised that Anglo and Latin American countries are the most tolerant, linking racism to economic freedom based off of a study by two Swedish economists. Siddhartha Mitter responds, who, in The Cartography of Bullshit writes, "Although the results don’t pass the sniff test in the first place, I took a look at the data as well, in an effort to identify the exact problems at play..." [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on May 18, 2013 - 32 comments

"A finished work is exactly that, requires resurrection." ~ John Cage

In the beginning, Phillip Patterson decided to write out every word in the Bible.
posted by Fizz on May 15, 2013 - 21 comments

“Don’t go around asking the question, ‘Is this character likeable?’

Claire Messud: “A woman’s rant” [National Post] "Over the last week, discussion surrounding Claire Messud’s new novel, The Woman Upstairs, has shifted from the book to an interview its author recently gave to Publishers Weekly, in which Messud took issue with the following question: “I wouldn’t want to be friends with Nora, would you? Her outlook is almost unbearably grim.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 10, 2013 - 23 comments

Music has the right to robots

"Designed in collaboration with interactive designer Jonathan Chomko, the COLORS News Machine turns your tweets into headlines, but only after they’ve been passed through all the media filters and technological platforms that disseminate and distort the news today."

"A megaphone will read your tweet out loud. Its tape recorder listens, converting what it hears into text so that the television can show it onscreen. A camera watching the television converts what it sees into a signal to the radio antenna, which broadcasts the tweet. And the waiting microphone interprets this radio address as text again for printing."

Tweet to here: @ColorsMachine. Live stream here.
posted by bdz on Apr 30, 2013 - 10 comments

Is too much news bad for you?

Rolf Dobelli describes the negative effects of the overconsumption of news. An edited extract of his essay is in the Guardian here and the full text of his argument is here. The text in the Guardian was linked to in a metafilter thread here. According to Dobelli, news misleads, is irrelevant, has no explanatory power, is toxic, increases cognitive errors, inhibits thinking, works like a drug, wastes time, makes us passive and kills creativity. Dobelli has a new book on clear thinking.
posted by MighstAllCruckingFighty on Apr 30, 2013 - 39 comments

Dow tanks briefly after fake AP tweet

The Dow tumbled nearly 150 points this afternoon after a fake tweet about White House explosions was posted from the AP's hacked twitter account. Markets recovered almost completely after the AP clarified that the news was false.
posted by Westringia F. on Apr 23, 2013 - 134 comments

Boston in lockdown as hunt for marathon bombers unfolds

What started as a report of a convenience store robbery near the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last night has sprawled into a chaotic manhunt for the perpetrators of the recent terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon. The deadly pursuit, involving a policeman's murder, a carjacking, a violent chase with thrown explosives, and the death of one suspect, has resulted in Governor Deval Patrick ordering an unprecedented lockdown of the entire Boston metropolitan area as an army of law enforcement searches house by house for the remaining gunman. The Associated Press has identified the duo as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, who remains at large. Both are immigrants from wartorn Chechnya in southwestern Russia. The Guardian liveblog is good for quick updates, and Reddit's updating crowdsourced timeline of events that has often outpaced mainstream media coverage of the situation. You can also get real-time reports straight from the (Java-based) local police scanner.
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 19, 2013 - 4937 comments

Gun control amendments defeated

Despite widespread popular support, on April 17th, 2013, the US Senate voted to defeat four legislative amendments that would strengthen background checks for gun purchases and place a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Victims and survivors of victims of recent shootings who were in the Senate audience were heard to yell "Shame on you" at legislators as the final votes were tallied.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 17, 2013 - 288 comments

Wikipedia Live Monitor

Wikipedia Live Monitor is an experimental site that scans Wikipedia edits real-time searching for frenzied editing sessions. Matches are compared with "plausibility checks" on Facebook, Google etc.. to see if there is something in the news, thus quickly pinpointing unexpected events.
posted by stbalbach on Apr 17, 2013 - 17 comments

"with the dog who looks like she has to poop."

On Sunday, reddit user TeaGuru enlisted the help of r/nyc and dozen of strangers to propose to his girlfriend, Laura, in Central Park.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 16, 2013 - 50 comments

From NPR News, it was the talk of the nation.

Talk of the Nation, NPR's beloved afternoon call-in show, is going off the air at the end of July, replaced by Here and Now, which is jointly produced by NPR and WBUR. NPR is running a $7 million deficit, but the organization says it is responding to demand for "a stronger news presence in the middle of the day". Host Neal Conan will leave the organization after 30 years. Science Friday will continue.
posted by jbickers on Mar 29, 2013 - 106 comments

Women, they're just like us!

Women enjoy video games, to the astonishment of local TV newsreaders. Women enjoy science, to the astonishment of Facebook users.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 21, 2013 - 48 comments

Caturday Crackup

Local newsreader loses it when trying to do a story on a fat kitty that loves to swim
posted by The Whelk on Mar 16, 2013 - 54 comments

"Politics determine who has the power, not who has the truth."

Breitbarted! [BUSINESSINSIDER.COM] "Conservative news site Breitbart.com duped by fake story that Paul Krugman declared dankruptcy. A satirical item published last week purporting that economist Paul Krugman had filed for bankruptcy has spread to Boston.com and the conservative website Breitbart this morning. The item originated in The Daily Currant, a satirical news site. Austria's Format online magazine picked it up, and their report was subsequently cited by Boston.com [It has since been taken down 404 error.]. Then it spread to Breitbart. It has since been taken down this morning, but here's a screenshot:" [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Mar 11, 2013 - 59 comments

New Parasites for 2013/ The Cat That Screamed Like A Man/ Coffin Bro

Liar Town Usa: An alternate USA where our products, signage, headlines, and fads are all slightly more surreal, sinister, and threatening.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 7, 2013 - 93 comments

Silent No More: Women In The Military Speak Out Against Sex Crimes

Sexual Assault In The U.S. Military is the focus of a serious contender for Best Documentary Feature at this year's Academy Awards. The Invisible War is a groundbreaking investigative doc that sheds light on the under-reported epidemic of sexual abuse against female members of the military, as well as the lack of punitive action in these crimes: of the 8 percent of sexual assault cases that are prosecuted in the military, only 2 percent result in convictions. A female soldier in a combat zone is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.

By official estimates from The Department of Defense, 19,000 violent sexual crimes occurred in the military in 2011 alone. Sexual assault is grossly under-reported in the military. In 2011, 3,191 assaults were reported when its likely that somewhere between 19,000 and 22,000 assaults occurred. The women in the film speak about the physical and mental abuse they underwent while serving in the military - and about the the lawsuit they joined and the verdict in which their experiences were labeled "occupational hazards". The film is already garnering much attention, especially as front-running Oscar Nominee - and lawmakers are taking notice. [more inside]
posted by fantodstic on Feb 19, 2013 - 46 comments

People full of shit, both liberal and conservative, most of the time.

False memories of fabricated political events [ABSTRACT]. In the largest false memory study to date, 5,269 participants were asked about their memories for three true and one of five fabricated political events. Each fabricated event was accompanied by a photographic image purportedly depicting that event. Approximately half the participants falsely remembered that the false event happened, with 27% remembering that they saw the events happen on the news. Political orientation appeared to influence the formation of false memories, with conservatives more likely to falsely remember seeing Barack Obama shaking hands with the president of Iran, and liberals more likely to remember George W. Bush vacationing with a baseball celebrity during the Hurricane Katrina disaster. A follow-up study supported the explanation that events are more easily implanted in memory when they are congruent with a person's preexisting attitudes and evaluations, in part because attitude-congruent false events promote feelings of recognition and familiarity, which in turn interfere with source attributions. [FULL TEXT PDF AVAILABLE HERE] [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 13, 2013 - 78 comments

The Christopher Dorner Manhunt

Timeline: Christopher Dorner is a former U.S. marine and police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. He is wanted in the largest manhunt in LAPD history. Dorner is wanted for the alleged murder of a police officer and a young couple from Irvine (though evidence linking the murders to him is still largely circumstantial). During the ongoing investigation, LAPD officers have wounded various civilians in three separate cases of mistaken identity. In once incident, officers fired dozens of shots at a car in Torrance, CA, wounding two women who were delivering newspapers. [more inside]
posted by fantodstic on Feb 10, 2013 - 724 comments

This Post Cures and/or Causes Cancer

The (New) Daily Mail Oncological Ontology Project tumblr, (previously) "an ongoing quest to track the Daily Mail's classification of inanimate objects into two types: those that cause cancer, and those that cure it." Inspired by The Daily Mail Oncological Ontology Project, now defunct.
posted by Scientist on Jan 28, 2013 - 7 comments

The News-Boy to His Customers

The Carrier's Address In the first two centuries of American newspapering, printers ended the year with elaborately worded decorated holiday messages, often in verse, written in the voice of the printer's boy or news carrier, hinting that the end of year would be a great time for a Christmas or New Year's tip.
posted by Miko on Jan 1, 2013 - 1 comment

The Year Of Horsey Dancing In The Background

2012's Best News Bloopers
posted by The Whelk on Dec 29, 2012 - 33 comments

Its mission was to explain America to itself

The First Rough Draft of History: A Behind-the-Scenes History of Newsweek Magazine
posted by zarq on Dec 24, 2012 - 2 comments

Grauniad Down Under?

The Guardian, the 191-year-old British daily newspaper whose name is synonymous with broadly left-leaning values, is reported to be planning to open an Australian online-only news operation. The venture (which has not been confirmed) is said to be headed by current Saturday Guardian editor Katherine Viner, and to be a joint venture with Australian philanthropist Graeme Wood, who already runs a not-for-profit media site). The Guardian already runs a US online news operation (previously) with local reportage and commentary. [more inside]
posted by acb on Dec 17, 2012 - 57 comments

Escaping the hamster wheel of web publishing

Brian Lam quit Gizmodo after feeling burnt out from a frantic digital existence. “I was tired of doing posts that were obsolete three hours after I wrote them,” Mr. Lam said. “I wanted evergreen content that didn’t have to be updated constantly in order to hunt traffic. I wanted to publish things that were useful.”
posted by winecork on Dec 17, 2012 - 53 comments

"The statistics don't matter, until they happen to you."

"Premature babies born at the edge of viability force us to debate the most difficult questions in medicine and in life. After just 23 weeks of pregnancy, Kelley Benham found herself in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with a daughter born so early neonatologist doctors would call her a "micro preemie." New technologies can sometimes keep micro preemies alive, but many end up disabled, some catastrophically so. Whether to provide care to these infants is one of the fundamental controversies in neonatology. This is the story of how Benham and her husband, Tom French, made the difficult choice: Fight for the life of their micro preemie baby or let her go?" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 8, 2012 - 70 comments

Times of India

The times of The Times of India - world's largest broadsheet English daily
posted by Gyan on Dec 6, 2012 - 11 comments

Next year it will start around Halloween.

From the Atlantic's In Focus:2012: The Year in Pictures [more inside]
posted by OmieWise on Dec 4, 2012 - 69 comments

"An Uncovered Woman and Beatle-Haired Men Will Never Liberate Our Holy Places."

From the BBC blog of documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis: "Save Your Kisses For Me: How the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and the Israeli Right became co-dependents in an abusive relationship." Includes images / film clips from the BBC news archive. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 3, 2012 - 37 comments

Sun sets on The Daily

The Daily, much-lauded iPad-only news operation is "ceasing standalone publication" on December 15. The News Corp publication launched Feb. 2, 2011 with cooperation from Apple and its nascent Newsstand app. Previously.
posted by brentajones on Dec 3, 2012 - 24 comments

The Times They Are a-Changin'

In 1962, fifty years ago this month, striking union printers shut down four New York City newspapers in resistance to computerized, automated technologies that were being introduced in newsrooms across the country. Five other area papers shut down voluntarily. The strike lasted 114 days and sounded the death knell for four newspapers. For a brief period, New York was a laboratory that demonstrated what can happen when newspapers vanish. Today, new technology is again shaking American newspapers as the Internet drains away more and more advertising revenue. Is this The Long Good Bye? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 30, 2012 - 25 comments

The Last Resort?

According to multiple sources, as of a few hours ago, Syria has been disconnected from the internet as rebels converge on the capital in an attempt to shut down the airport. [more inside]
posted by empath on Nov 29, 2012 - 53 comments

The Brief - A daily briefing of technology news worth caring about

NASA will send you an email or text alert when the International Space Station is visible from your area. IBM scientists have recently made significant advances in nanotechnology. A mathematician thought a poorly-encrypted headhunting email from Google was testing him, but he had actually discovered a major security hole. All of this found via The Brief: A Daily Briefing of Technology News Worth Caring About from MeFi's own nostrich. [via mefi projects]
posted by davidjmcgee on Nov 9, 2012 - 15 comments

Elliot Carter, 1908 - 2012

Elliot Carter, icon of modern American classical music and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, has died. [more inside]
posted by daisystomper on Nov 5, 2012 - 26 comments

Who writes this crap?

The 4th Estate corrects its numbers - "That journalism struggles with racial diversity is old news, but a study released on Thursday by The 4th Estate tried to quantify the magnitude of the problem. The organization released an infographic showing that, among the 38 most influential newspapers in the country, 93 percent of front-page articles about the 2012 election were written by white reporters. The infographic received a host of coverage." [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Oct 29, 2012 - 44 comments

Every Year of the Twentieth Century, Lampooned by the Onion

The Onion's great for a witty skewering of current events. But its historical editions, as collected in the book Our Dumb Century, are a gem all their own, full of razor-sharp satire, trenchant social commentary, period-accurate advertisements, running gags, historical irony, photoshoppery, and even some editorial cartoons for every year of the twentieth century. Luckily for history (and humor) buffs, nearly the whole run of the series is available piecemeal on their website. Click inside for an organized timeline of links to all the front pages from this brilliant work (plus a bonus!). [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 25, 2012 - 52 comments

Thomas Quick: the Swedish serial killer who never was

Then, he changed his name and revealed his confessions were all faked
posted by episodic on Oct 23, 2012 - 27 comments

From a fluke of cartography to a fluke of geology

A beautifully written saga of a long-distance traveler's in-progress kayak journey from the Northwest Angle to Key West. [more inside]
posted by Ickster on Oct 18, 2012 - 12 comments

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