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so what's in that 0.1%?

DNA used to ascertain race of unidentified serial killer. Florida company DNAPrint Genomics claims their test can identify the race (ie, African, Caucasian, East Asian or American Indian) of a person from their DNA. CEO Tony Frudakis says that "of over 2,200 blind samples tested, the test is yet to get one wrong."
posted by shoos on Jun 5, 2003 - 12 comments

Khaki and Camo

Paul Krugman writes that the Bush administration will fight a "khaki election" next year, taking advantage of the general good feeling after the Iraq war. The original khaki election was the British election of 1900, contested during the Boer War. Our armed forces don't really wear khaki so much anymore and I think we need a new term. I suggest calling 2004 the "Camo Election." Any better suggestions?
posted by Mekon on Jun 3, 2003 - 26 comments

The Shallowing of American Taste

The Shallowing of American Taste First tastebuds and palates fall to McDonalds, now the eyes, ears, and minds fall to Wal-Mart, according to this NY Times article (free registration required)...
"The growing clout of Wal-Mart and the other big discount chains ? they now often account for more than 50 percent of the sales of a best-selling album, more than 40 percent for a best-selling book, and more than 60 percent for a best-selling DVD -- has bent American popular culture toward the tastes of their relatively traditionalist customers...But with the chains' power has come criticism from authors, musicians and civil liberties groups who argue that the stores are in effect censoring and homogenizing popular culture. The discounters and price clubs typically carry an assortment of fewer than a thousand books, videos and albums, and they are far more ruthless than specialized stores about returning goods if they fail to meet a minimum threshold of weekly sales."
Add in Clear Channel Radio and sanitized text books, and all I can say is that the internet has come along at the time it's needed. With the fingers of big commerce all over our culture, the web can serve to reverse an old mega-trend to "high-touch, high-tech." With Wal-Mart, et al, touching our minds, we need to resort to tech to add some depth and breath to their narrow and shallow offerings.
posted by fpatrick on May 17, 2003 - 45 comments

Suckers!TM

Jeb Bush has asked a court to appoint a guardian for the fetus of a developmentally disabled rape victim. (reg: mefi, mefi) Never mind that in a 1989 case, the Florida Supreme Court declared that it was "clearly improper" to appoint a guardian for a fetus.

The 22-year-old woman is so disabled that her pregnancy is considered a product of rape, is incapable of consenting to a DNA test and cannot otherwise help the police find the father; but I'm sure she'll make a great mom!
posted by magullo on May 16, 2003 - 45 comments

The Grey Lady Falters

Times Reporter Who Resigned Leaves Long Trail of Deception The New York Times runs a long article detailing its preliminary findings in the matter of Jayson Blair, The Times' young staff reporter who made up sources, facts, and anecdotes in potentially hundreds of stories. Does this investigation help the Times avoid permanent disgrace? Or does this just confirm what you've always thought about the Times? Slate magazine is attributing part of the problem to affirmative action (Blair is black). Is AA relevant here?
posted by hhc5 on May 10, 2003 - 39 comments

Playing Politics with Video Games?

Electronic Arts released it's latest in the popular "Command & Conquer" series, "Command & Conquer: Generals" C&C are strategy and warfare games, that have bloodless and non-explicit violence. But this month the German government listed the game on their index of media that can not be advertised or displayed on shelves in Germany, although they may be kept under store counters and sold to adults. Most video games on this list show "especially brutal acts of violence," unlike C&C [more inside]
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood on Mar 27, 2003 - 23 comments

New York Times Headlines: March 19, 1920

Senate Defeats Treaty, Vote 49 to 35; Orders it Returned to the President (NY Times reg. req.) "America Isolated Without Treaty: Its Defeat, Washington Feels, Will Add to Our Unpopularity Abroad" (83 years ago today)
posted by boost ventilator on Mar 19, 2003 - 13 comments

Geeks without Borders?

Chasing the Wish was one of those websites that people suspected of being everything from another 8march2003 to another Push Nevada or Cloud Makers. What it turned out to be however was a announcement for a free ARG or Alternate Reality Game as hosted by such groups as the ARGN, Unfiction, Collective Detective, to name a few. Mentioned in this BBC article and this NYT article, as potential ways to study collective problem solving dynamics, it would seem that this type of crossover treasure hunting could yield some very real world knowledge. I bet the folks at Princeton will have an eye on this one. It's already spawned a funny parody site too.
posted by metameme on Mar 16, 2003 - 4 comments

The Next Time You Hear that Beep, remember you can be on Supermarket Sweep!

The Next Time You Hear that Beep, you can be on Supermarket Privacy Sweep! I'm sure most of us own Supermarket Discount Cards, I mean who can resist the savings? If you don't like being monitored, help out the always popular Rob at Cockeyed.com become the Ultimate Shopper by using his card (NYT Article here). I'm always a bit wary when I use mine, I'm afraid they may find out how boring I really am. I'm tempted to sexy up my database profile: "I'd like to buy come chocolate chip cookies... and ah.. some vaseline and hamster food. Oh, and straws!" Then Safeway will give me a discount on new underwear, fo shizzle my nizzle!
posted by Stan Chin on Mar 13, 2003 - 33 comments

The Seven Capital Sins - Revised!

Hey, It's Not Enough We Die Of Obesity without having to go to Hell too? Some enlightened Frenchmen are bending the Pope's ear, trying to spring Gluttony from the Deadly Sins blacklist. Well, even clever old Thomas Aquinas did his damnedest to narrow the seven buggers down. So: which sins would you excuse today's poor sufferers from and which ones would you insist on keeping, if any? [Something tells me MetaFilter is ideally suited to put in a good word for Sloth. I wonder why? Speaking of which, NYT reg. is required but you can read about it here instead. Via Arts and Letters Daily.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Mar 12, 2003 - 19 comments

Coming to America!

Coming to America! Rejected by several countries, this relatively small tribe that has been living in slavery and in violent refugee camps is coming to the US. NY Times reg. req.
posted by Plunge on Mar 10, 2003 - 43 comments

environmental spin memo

Spinning the Environment
One section of the memorandum, "Winning the Global Warming Debate," asserts that many voters believe there is a lack of consensus about global warming among scientists. "Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly," it says. "Therefore you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue." Among the ways to "challenge the science," the memorandum says, is to "be even more active in recruiting experts who are sympathetic to your view and much more active in making them part of your message" because "people are more willing to trust scientists than politicians."

So much for science based decisions regarding the fouling of our nest. Sounds Green = Is Green in the bizarro world of spin.
posted by nofundy on Mar 4, 2003 - 35 comments

Twins Reunite After 20 Years

Twins Reunite After 20 Years You need free registration to get this story but it is well worth the slight effort. Twins, adopted, born in Mexico, one becomes Catholic and the other Jewish. Both register at same college and meet up. A story that will warm your heart and, at the same time, perhaps tell us a bit about Nature and Nurture.
posted by Postroad on Mar 3, 2003 - 2 comments

Jury Duty is something many of us face.

We all must do our civic duty. But how many of us can fill in President of the United States on the questionnaire when it asks for former jobs held? A bit of mirth for today. NY Times req. required.
posted by Plunge on Mar 1, 2003 - 20 comments

People-Rating on the Web?

David Pogue in today's NYTDirect/CIRCUITS: "Wouldn't it be great if you could look up a person and read the real scoop about what he or she is really like? Think how many weeks of dating you'd be able to avoid if you had capsule summaries available: "Comes across great on a first date, but beware — runs out of stories by Day 2." Or, "A bit unkempt, but you'll never meet a more loving, loyal mate." Or, "Sharp dresser, warped mind." "Of course, a Web site where you could review friends and coworkers probably wouldn't work. I'm kind of kidding about this whole thing." (Rate-A-Mate.biz still available.)
posted by azul on Feb 20, 2003 - 11 comments

Ambient Information

Ambient Information (NYT reg. required) Ambient information can be defined as material objects, such as computers, watches or furniture, which interact with digital information and react in certain ways such as sound, color, or light. Apple has filed an intriguing patent for a computer that could change color when you get an e-mail, for example. So, is this concept the next “new thing” or the next pet rock?
posted by jeremias on Jan 13, 2003 - 15 comments

CRACK

MeFiers have gotten into this before, in terms of forced sterilization. Although it has been around in California for some time, the idea of optional, paid sterilization or long-term birth control is presenting itself in New York City. (NYT reg.req) The founder of the organization that sponsors this paid sterilization/LT birth control has her experience with drug-addicted children, seeing as she adopted four. The FAQ is certainly interesting, but equally as compelling is the 'natural response' to this organization. This is a fact sheet presented by Communities Against Rape and Abuse (Acrobat), and more links here, here, here, and here.
posted by oflinkey on Jan 6, 2003 - 17 comments

Menzies and Amateur Scholars

Is Gavin Menzies the Stephen Wolfram of history? That's the question today's New York Times (login: dr_mabuse, pw: mabuse) suggests in a Menzies profile. Menzies has a new book out, 1421, which claims that the Chinese discovered America seven decades before Columbus did. Some people have made similarly precise claims about this planet's developments. Others have seen their amateur claims initially mocked and later proven to be correct. Is Menzies onto something or is he a crank? And how do we place the passionate amateur within the realm of scholarly pursuits?
posted by ed on Jan 5, 2003 - 17 comments

Missile Defense and Theodore Postol

It's about Time this guy was recognized with accolades as the premiere whistleblower in the US. Just think of all the tax money that could be saved if everyone learned what Postol already knows!

Is NMD more theology than science? It would appear so.
posted by nofundy on Jan 3, 2003 - 9 comments

Paul Martin --or-- Sayed Anwar

Is the Washington Times perpetuating a fraud? the Palestine Media Watch is reporting on a rumour that has been floating around for a while, that the Washington Times' "Sayed Anwar" is actually Paul Martin, a correspondent out of their London office. Now while this Times doesn't boast the circulation of the NYTimes or even the LA Times, it still lands on the doorstep of the President of the US every day. How's this for journalistic integrity?
posted by djspicerack on Dec 27, 2002 - 15 comments

Best Ideas Of 2002

Best Ideas Of 2002: From 'The Ambulance-Homicide Theory' to 'Women Are Just as Jealous as Men', the NYTM 2nd Annual Year in Ideas details 97 recent Gibsonian additions to life in these modern times.
posted by yonderboy on Dec 23, 2002 - 9 comments

NYT: Oops

No giant sea sparrow is known to be endangered by the eating habits of goats. ...so quoth the NYT. Funniest correction I've seen in a while; even better than the ones in the Guardian.
posted by Vidiot on Dec 16, 2002 - 7 comments

Philip Berrigan Obit - Prrotest obsolete?

Peace Activist Philip Berrigan Dead at 79 Yes, I know, obituaries are depressing. But this man was one of my very few heros. He fought a good fight, but in this age of corporate sponsored and government promoted dimunation of conscience can a single person "bearing witness" to the immoral actions that go on in this world really make a difference? Or is the idea of citizen protest just a quaint vestige of another era? [NYT link]
posted by ahimsakid on Dec 7, 2002 - 8 comments

Koppel

ABC lets Koppel do his thing. Have you watched "Up Close", Ted Koppel's in-depth interview segment? NYTimes does a good job describing how Ted has chosen to be himself (i.e., high-brow and ministerial) with scant disregard to ratings. Is this type of program the antidote to the media's obsessive and corruptive focus on ratings?
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy on Dec 3, 2002 - 19 comments

Can Poetry Matter - Part 2

Can Poetry Matter - Part 2 (nyt reg req) "Today photography is considered by many to be the most effective way to convey the plight of war's combatants, victims and mourners. But during World War I it was through poetry that many Britons came to share the horror of life and death in the muddy trenches of northern France.....To this day, every time Britons go to war, the opening lines of Rupert Brooke's 1914 poem, "The Soldier," are remembered: "If I should die, think only this of me:/That there's some corner of a foreign field/That is forever England."..."
posted by Voyageman on Nov 30, 2002 - 10 comments

Osbournes

Yesterday's NYT magazine section (reg req'd) featured a profile of Jack Osbourne---whose family's show premieres its second season tomorrow---and discussed the unpleasant repercussions of his new fame: a prescription to Zoloft, a discontinued high school education and severe threats that warrant his own eye-patched bodyguard. Is this kind of exposure (especially in a reality TV context) too much for a 17 year old kid to handle?
posted by adrober on Nov 25, 2002 - 17 comments

A much more medicated Camelot

Inside the JFK medical files. Very interesting article from Sunday's NY Times (reg. req'd) about the long-term health of John F. Kennedy, from World War II to his death. Corresponding Yahoo News item here also. [more inside...]
posted by PeteyStock on Nov 19, 2002 - 11 comments

Pentagon Plans a Computer System That Would Peek at Personal Data of Americans

Pentagon Plans a Computer System That Would Peek at Personal Data of Americans And this is justified because of National Security. We will lose much that is personal, private, but in turn we will be protefted against the bad guys. Or will we? When NASA and CIA claim they need to spy domestically, and computers gather all data on Americans, what is left that is not what Orwell had suggested might our future be like?Or, as Morth Sahl once labelled a comic record: TheFuture Lies Ahead."
posted by Postroad on Nov 9, 2002 - 97 comments

The CIA is back in the business of committing assasinations on foreign soil. Meanwhile, the administration still objects to Israel's policy of targeted killings because of its effect on the peace process.
posted by alms on Nov 5, 2002 - 38 comments

Cruelty.

Cruelty. (.swf file) Via the NYT Review of Books. Felix Jung hijacks your cursor (briefly) for a poetry break.
posted by Skot on Oct 14, 2002 - 6 comments

Use P2P? You might be unknowingly stealing money from one of your favorite websites. Add-on software that come with the programs divert commission money from affiliate sales on popular websites like Amazon.com to the creators of the file sharing programs. Follow the link for instructions on how to uninstall the software. Yet another reason I use KaZaa Lite. I've got to get those MST3K episodes from somewhere.
posted by Pinwiz on Sep 28, 2002 - 17 comments

Reporters Find New Outlet, and Concerns, in Web Logs

Reporters Find New Outlet, and Concerns, in Web Logs according the Gray Old Lady today. I never read the blog by Steve Olafson, a.k.a. Banjo Jones, but it was shut down at the request of his employer, the Houston Chronicle. Today's NYT article confirms he was fired over it. Other journalists mentioned: Eric Alterman, Dan Gillmor, Mickey Kaus, and Sheila Lennon (professional blog | personal blog).
posted by tbc on Sep 23, 2002 - 4 comments

It seems that Pakistan is back in business

It seems that Pakistan is back in business "Officials from three Pakistani militant groups said in interviews this week that the government of Pakistan has allowed Islamic guerrillas to resume small-scale infiltrations into Indian-controlled Kashmir. " (NYTimes - regd' required)
posted by nish01 on Sep 21, 2002 - 1 comment

Nu Shortcuts in School R 2 Much 4 Teachers

Nu Shortcuts in School R 2 Much 4 Teachers That's the actual headline from the NY Times. Can you guess what the teachers are concerned about? A point the story doesn't mention: as these kids grow up, will they change what we consider proper English?
posted by smackfu on Sep 20, 2002 - 33 comments

George Bush's Article in NYTIMES.

George Bush's Article in NYTIMES. I was surprised to see an article by the prez on nytimes.com. We are used to presidents communicating through TV- but there the speech is picked up by all major channels in that case. It seems odd to see a sitting president use one newspaper to put forward a viewpoint. Perhaps, Al Gore's articles in the same space spurred dubya. Oh, by the way, what did you think of the story? Is this the work of a speechwriter or do you think it is genuine? Did everyone notice the absence of the word Iraq in this article? (The customary apology for the nytimes post applies. I believe you can still register as metafilter, metafilter.)
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy on Sep 11, 2002 - 36 comments

"Any further strikes against Americans will thus be a painful reminder that the war has not been won.

"Any further strikes against Americans will thus be a painful reminder that the war has not been won. Sadly, a main reason will be America's reluctance to focus on the political roots of the terrorist atrocity of Sept. 11." opinions on this piece from the original sponsor of the Mujahideen? username: metafilter46 password: metafilter
posted by specialk420 on Sep 1, 2002 - 23 comments

What is going on at the New York Times?

What is going on at the New York Times?
More than 100 years ago, the New York Times, under owner Adolph Ochs, adopted the slogan: "All the news that's fit to print". But, critics are now asking if the New York Times only prints news it considers ideologically fit. What has been happening at the Times is far more ominous than just veering to the support of one party or one ideology. There is a type of liberalism, pioneered in America, which tries to be fairer than fair. But trying to be better than fair is like trying to bend over backwards to be straighter than vertical or defining "objective" as being neutral between good and evil. That path leads straight to moral equivalence. Perhaps the slogan should be re-written: "All the Newspeak fit to print".
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood on Aug 26, 2002 - 39 comments

The Right Way to Change a Regime....By James Baker III

The Right Way to Change a Regime....By James Baker III Oh no, I'm starting to think that James Baker is making some sense.
posted by bas67 on Aug 25, 2002 - 44 comments

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building." Have we actually ever heard worse from this month's news-darling Ann Coulter? I don't think so, maybe other do. If this was from an Islamic Jihadist, we'd be at war with whatever country he came from (if Saudi Arabia, then we'd blame Iraq somehow.) How come the Bill Maher "we're the cowards" quotes get people fired, while something like this- and trust me, there's much more fun from Ann in this interview- makes Coulter a best-selling author?
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Aug 22, 2002 - 115 comments

More conjoined twins.

More conjoined twins. Here's hoping they don't get abducted. NY Times link.
posted by swift on Aug 17, 2002 - 13 comments

The Axis of Medieval.

The Axis of Medieval. Claims of support for women and women's rights in the current regime are nothing more than hot air according to Mr. Kristof. He says their record and the facts tell a different story. The details are shocking. Kowtowing to religious fundamentalists in the US causes devastating results abroad. Would programs like these qualify for using some of the wealthiest persons dollars instead of a tax cut?
posted by nofundy on Aug 16, 2002 - 46 comments

Another smoking gun.

Another smoking gun. Tobacco companies fought the marketing of anti-smoking products in the 1980s and '90s, by exerting financial pressure on companies that make nicotine gum and patches--like Dow Chemical. (NYT, reg req'd - CBS News version here)
posted by gottabefunky on Aug 14, 2002 - 3 comments

If cyberspace were organized into a giant neural computer...

If cyberspace were organized into a giant neural computer... [NYT, reg req] ...one could in theory "upload" a person's mental software into it: thoughts, feelings, memories, the works. - an interesting sci-fi premise by author john darnton complete with a contemporary 'mad scientist!'
posted by sixtwenty3dc on Aug 7, 2002 - 29 comments

"It is not an overstatement to describe the arrests in Tulia as an atrocity. The entire operation was the work of a single police officer who claimed to have conducted an 18-month undercover operation. The arrests were made solely on the word of this officer, Tom Coleman, a white man with a wretched work history, who routinely referred to black people as "niggers" and who frequently found himself in trouble with the law."
posted by artifex on Jul 29, 2002 - 29 comments

Net Users Try to Elude the Google Grasp

Net Users Try to Elude the Google Grasp (NYT) "The Internet, which was supposed to usher in an era of limitless information, is leading some people to restrict the information that they make available about themselves."
posted by dayvin on Jul 25, 2002 - 41 comments

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People I've been waiting for months to post about this. Since I don't remember anyone posting the NYT article about this and Toby Young amuses me to no end, I thought this article is an ideal introduction. (more inside)
posted by rodz on Jul 17, 2002 - 11 comments

Scalia

Scalia gives divinity school students a peek at what his activism is really about. I can't say it any better than he does so I'll quote: "The reaction of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure the divine authority behind government should not be resignation to it, but the resolution to combat it as effectively as possible." Of course we knew Scalia detested democracy on 12/12/2000 with his decision that infamous day but now he admits favoritism to theocracy.
posted by nofundy on Jul 10, 2002 - 42 comments

Ah, the law in Florida. (NYT)

Ah, the law in Florida. (NYT) The rich princess pushed her maid down a flight of stairs, but will be allowed to plead no contest to a misdemeanor charge of battery without having to appear in court, pay a $1,000 fine and give a judge a letter of regret about injuries to her Indonesian maid in the incident. All this because the maid cannot be in court. After she went home to Jakarta in May for her mother's funeral, the United States Embassy there denied her a visa to return to Florida and testify on the grounds that she might try to stay in this country illegally. The maid is also the primary witness in a federal investigation of the princess for possibly employing Ms. Soryono under conditions of involuntary servitude, the Justice Department said. After the court hearing in Orlando, this federal investigation appears likely to end without charges.
posted by semmi on Jul 2, 2002 - 4 comments

Department of Homeland Security to be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act?

Department of Homeland Security to be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act? The last episode of NOW ran a piece on the FOIA which described how back in 1974 President Ford and his staff, which included Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, opposed Congress' strengthening of the FOIA, and Ford tried unsuccessfully to veto it. Now this new exemption looks like the continuation of a 28 year-old feud. Ridge says it is in order to not "draw a road map of critical infrastructure vulnerabilities," but are complete exemptions really necessary for that? The potential for abuse seems quite dangerous. (Some previous discussions of FOIA revelations here and here).
posted by homunculus on Jul 1, 2002 - 17 comments

Textbook Publishers Learn to Avoid Messing With Texas.

Textbook Publishers Learn to Avoid Messing With Texas. "Out of Many," the work of four respected historians, is one of the biggest sellers among American history college textbooks in the United States, but it is not likely to be available to Texas high school students taking advanced placement history. Conservative groups in Texas objected to two paragraphs in the nearly 1,000-page text that explained that prostitution was rampant in cattle towns during the late 19th century, before the West was fully settled.
posted by ncurley on Jun 30, 2002 - 24 comments

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