The upcoming transfer of power in the United States will be a time with much pomp and music, with people singing along to "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America," but "Hail to the Chief" remains instrumental, even though there are lyrics, as sung by the Mormon Tabernacle. And if we sang those lyrics, we'd be missing its origin as a song to celebrate Roderick Dhu, or Black Roderick, a fictional medieval Scottish outlaw, which was re-written a number of times before becoming the song that Julia Tyler, wife of President John Tyler, requested for presidential entrances. [more inside]
Tyler Cowen is an economics professor and chairman / general director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Since April 2015, he has been hosting "Conversations with Tyler", lengthy, one-on-one podcast interviews with "thought leaders from across the spectrum — economists, entrepreneurs, authors and innovators. All have one thing in common — they are making an impact on the world because of their ideas." His latest is with Steven Pinker. [more inside]
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(including Laverne Cox, Nick Offerman, Jonathan Banks, Kristen Schaal and Aisha Tyler) that touches on topics outdated lessons may be ignoring.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]
Abandoned Silverdome Becomes BMX Dream Playground - Watch the final session that will shut down the abandoned stadium outside Detroit. Includes photos. (previously)
In this series of ISIS orientation films, Dr. Krieger will be answering frequently asked questions from new team members. Season five of Archer premieres Monday, January 13th on FX. [more inside]
Former MTV State member Ken Marino will make you fall in love with him all over again! Did you love The State on MTV? More recent collaborations like Reno 911? The Ten? Party Down? Adult Swim's Children's Hospital? You may enjoy the Yahoo web series Burning Love, a pitch-perfect parody of reality shows like The Bachelor, but with so much more DRAMA! Narcissism! Alcoholism! Sexuality! Crazy eyes! Homelessness! Pantslessness! [more inside]
Total Eclipse of the Heart (Literal Version) (SLYT). This video has a cracktasticness-surreality quotient that's through the roof. [more inside]
"Americans talk about institutions that are 'too big to fail.' In parts of Europe, it's more apt to speak of those 'too big to be saved.'" Last Man Standing by Tyler Cowen of Marginal Revolution fame.