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Fix UC

A student group has a novel idea to reduce college costs: pay nothing up front, instead paying out 5% of their income to the UC system for 20 years after graduation.
posted by reenum on Feb 10, 2012 - 123 comments

Don't Phone Home From America's Prisons

Inmates and their families pay much higher rates for phone calls than average consumers. Most of this is due to kickbacks received by the prison system from providers. This has led to a marked increase in the use of contraband cell phones. Government recently commissioned the GAO to explore lower cost alternatives.
posted by reenum on Feb 9, 2012 - 36 comments

States Target Foreign Law

There are several groups trying to pass bills in different states to ban the application of foreign laws in a US court, especially Sharia law. These groups are almost all using model legislation drafted by anti-Muslim activist David Yerushalmi.
posted by reenum on Feb 8, 2012 - 97 comments

An Epic Background, A Pun On The Name, Mix and Shake Well For Best Results

You may not know who the Costacos Brothers are. But if you were a sports fan in the US during the 1980's, chances are that you had one of their posters up in your room.
posted by reenum on Jan 30, 2012 - 19 comments

Rise of the Glock

How the Glock Became America's Weapon of Choice The Glock was created in 1982 by a curtain rod manufacturer named Gaston Glock. Glock didn't like the handguns available on the market and decided to manufacture a new gun from scratch. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Jan 24, 2012 - 123 comments

United States v. Jones

In a unanimous decision [PDF], the Supreme Court has ruled on United States v. Jones and found that placement of a GPS tracker on a car by police is a violation of the fourth amendment—but is the ruling as clear-cut as it seems? [more inside]
posted by reductiondesign on Jan 23, 2012 - 35 comments

The Brand

David Grann of the New Yorker writes about the power of the Aryan Brotherhood inside America's federal prisons.
posted by reenum on Jan 23, 2012 - 20 comments

Burning bodices

The first sexual revolution: lust and liberty in the 18th century
posted by Artw on Jan 21, 2012 - 17 comments

The Waffle House Terrorists

This past November, news broke of a rather odd domestic terror plot that had been broken up by the FBI. Four senior citizens in northern Georgia who met regularly at a local Waffle House, were allegedly planning to spread ricin and botulinum toxin in Atlanta and Washington, DC, in order to kill millions of people and "save the Constitution." But was there ever really a conspiracy?
posted by zarq on Jan 20, 2012 - 86 comments

Ying-Ling? I thought that was Chinese?

Everyone knows America's Oldest Brewery is D.G. Yuengling & Son (and daughters) of Pottsville, PA (and Tampa, FL) This family owned brewery was established as the "Eagle Brewery" in 1829 by a German immigrant named David Gottlob Jüngling. After the original brewery burned down in 1831 it was relocated to its current location. It was built into a mountain with caves dug into the side, a common practice to preserve beer and to achieve the cool temperatures required to make lager before refrigeration. Yuengling spent most of its history as a small regional brewery and only began to attract national attention years after the launch of Yuengling Traditional Lager in 1987, which went on to become the flagship product of the company and now accounts for 80% of Yuengling's production. On the strength of that growth, and with other brewers being bought out by or outsourcing production to foreign companies, Yuengling has now passed The Boston Beer Company to claim the title of America's largest brewing company as well. In this globalized beer era where giants war for market share, products from America's new largest brewer are only available in 14 states.
posted by furiousxgeorge on Jan 17, 2012 - 113 comments

It's not about personal gain, not about ego, not about power...

The Gay Rights Movement in 7 minutes. [SLYT]
posted by schmod on Jan 17, 2012 - 25 comments

Storm in a tea state

Shakespeare's The Tempest banned by Arizona schools
posted by Artw on Jan 17, 2012 - 131 comments

Ensign Flipper? Dolphins in the U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program has been training the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) in mine and swimmer detection for many years. (The program was declassified in the 1990s.) Military dolphins were used in the first and second Gulf Wars, and there are rumors they are deployed in the Gulf today. These animals could be important if Iran blockades the Hormuz Strait as threatened.
posted by blob on Jan 14, 2012 - 31 comments

Porn again.

What's one thing the major GOP candidates can all agree on? Why, the need to be hard on porn, of course. Morality in Media (MIM, previously) recently revealed that presidential hopefuls Santorum, Romney, and Gingrich had all affirmed the group's drive for "enforcement of obscenity laws". And the multi-billion-dollar per year industry? Adult Video News responds to the campaign (nsfw ads).
posted by stinkycheese on Jan 14, 2012 - 61 comments

...act now before Canada becomes too similar to the US to make these jokes anymore

Canada declares its "canadacy" in the race for US President (The Canada Party on Twitter; also spotted on HuffPo)
posted by flex on Jan 10, 2012 - 67 comments

“All the weaker people have left. Now I’m the weakest one left.”

US Army Pvt. Danny Chen, 1992–2011
posted by zarq on Jan 7, 2012 - 105 comments

X-37B spaceplane spying on Chinese space station?

In March last year, the unmanned X-37B US military spaceplane launched from Cape Canaveral on mission USA-226, to "demonstrate various experiments", sensors and technology. Its original 270 day mission was extended in November "as circumstances allow" for "additional experimentation opportunities", but a dedicated group of optical tracking specialists in the US and Europe believe that the X-37B is in fact spying on the Chinese space station Tiangong-1. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon on Jan 5, 2012 - 59 comments

The Inconsequential Spy

The Big Russian Life of Anna Chapman
posted by vidur on Jan 4, 2012 - 10 comments

‘Technically, we’re in the United States’

The Americans who live on the "Mexican" side of the border fence in Texas face unusual hardships.
posted by reenum on Dec 30, 2011 - 62 comments

Accountability is something that is left when responsibility has been subtracted

The goal of the [education reform] program that Finland instituted was never excellence. It was equity. Excellence was merely a happy byproduct.
posted by DRMacIver on Dec 30, 2011 - 43 comments

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...and it might be a good idea to get used to it

"From extreme drought, heat waves and floods to unprecedented tornado outbreaks, hurricanes, wildfires and winter storms, a record 12 weather and climate disasters in 2011 each caused $1 billion or more in damages". The US National Weather service has put together a great online exhibit of what was a whirlwind (*ahem*) year for extreme weather events. The exhibit has lots of videos and photographs of these events, such as satellite imagery of the Grounhog Day Blizzard from back in February and a picture of a car damaged by a tornado in Ft. Benning, GA.
posted by MattMangels on Dec 29, 2011 - 20 comments

Gingrich punk'd in perpetuity?

Shockingly, Newt Gingrich does not own newtgingrich.com. Instead, a group of pranksters called American Bridge 21st Century have used the domain to redirect visitors to various sites and stories that cast him in a negative light. For maximum entertainment, copy and paste the URL into your address bar. Lather, rinse, repeat. [more inside]
posted by gman on Dec 22, 2011 - 53 comments

This Lowdown Bitchin Got My Poor Feet a Itchin.

Holiday blues? Cabin Fever? Simple solution. [more inside]
posted by timsteil on Dec 22, 2011 - 5 comments

Mohammed el Gorani

Mohammed el Gorani, the youngest prisoner held at Guantánamo, has written a memoir of his time there, the lead up to his imprisonment, and subsequent release years later.
posted by gman on Dec 14, 2011 - 65 comments

How Knitting Behind Bars Transformed Maryland Convicts

After she retired, Lynn Zwerling decided to teach knitting to prisoners. The program has seen some success.
posted by reenum on Dec 7, 2011 - 19 comments

You can't stop Katy Perry

Penn Jillette: An Atheist's Guide to the 2012 Election. [SLYT] Via BigThink, "A knowledge forum featuring the ideas, lessons, stories and advice of leading experts from around the world."
posted by furiousxgeorge on Dec 4, 2011 - 103 comments

The Bomb Buried In Obamacare Explodes Today-Hallelujah!

"This is the true ‘bomb’ contained in Obamacare and the one item that will have more impact on the future of how medical care is paid for in this country than anything we’ve seen in quite some time. Indeed, it is this aspect of the law that represents the true ‘death panel’ found in Obamacare—but not one that is going to lead to the death of American consumers. Rather, the medical loss ratio will, ultimately, lead to the death of large parts of the private, for-profit health insurance industry."
posted by the young rope-rider on Dec 3, 2011 - 147 comments

Trapped In China?

Anticipating a season long lockout, several NBA players signed contracts with teams in the Chinese Basketball Association. Now that a labor deal has been reached, leaving for the NBA won't be easy.
posted by reenum on Dec 2, 2011 - 25 comments

In Japan, they farm like this; in American, they farm like that.

Japan's youth, unable to find jobs in the city, look to life on the farm. [more inside]
posted by asnider on Dec 1, 2011 - 36 comments

2012=1968?

In 2008, Barack Obama lit a fire among young activists. Next year, Occupy Wall Street could consume him.
posted by moorooka on Dec 1, 2011 - 129 comments

Netanyahu Government Suggests Israelis Avoid Marrying American Jews

The Netanyahu government has paid for US TV ads saying US Israelis will never understand what it means to be Israeli, and American Jews will lose their religion
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Nov 30, 2011 - 189 comments

The Stealthy Wealthy

As the Occupy protests spread, the latest phenomenon to emerge is the Stealthy Wealthy. Sensitive to negative perceptions of extreme wealth inequality in hard times, and concerned about the possibility of history repeating itself, the super-rich have been swapping their limousines for nondescript-looking yet luxuriously outfitted cargo vans.
posted by acb on Nov 29, 2011 - 94 comments

Beattitudes

The Nation's William Deresiewicz looks at Ann Beattie's evolution as a writer.
posted by reenum on Nov 28, 2011 - 5 comments

Integrating Chinese Students into American Universities

American colleges find the Chinese-student boom a tricky fit [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Nov 18, 2011 - 58 comments

Obama in Australia

US President Barack Obama is in Australia today. The main policy announcement is a new, permanent US Marine Corps presence on Australian soil. This is interpreted unambiguously as a 'containment strategy' for China and other Asian nations, with Australia playing the loyal deputy Sheriff. Most Australians don't think we should be forced to choose.
posted by wilful on Nov 16, 2011 - 130 comments

The durable Mike Malloy

In 1933, Anthony Marino, Joe Murphy, Frank Pasqua and Dan Kriesberg decided to make money by taking out life insurance on drunks and then letting the victims drink themselves to death. Then they encountered Mike Malloy...
posted by reenum on Nov 11, 2011 - 17 comments

Is the 2011-2012 Sitcom Schedule the Worst in a Decade?

Splitsider asks "Is the 2011-2012 Sitcom Schedule the Worst in a Decade?"
posted by reenum on Nov 10, 2011 - 163 comments

Scoops, Swoops, and Perry's "Oops."

Texas Governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry is booked on all the major morning shows tomorrow, and with good reason. After two months of gaffes, impolitic stands, and bizarre speeches that quickly waned his once-strong odds of winning the Republican nomination, Perry went into Wednesday's CNBC debate sorely needing a win... only to deliver a tortuous, cringingly forgetful attempt [video] to recall just which three cabinet departments he'd vowed to abolish, a stunning failure political scientist Larry Sabato deemed "the most devastating moment of any modern primary debate" in his memory. While Perry's slow-motion flameout has boosted the fortunes of dark horse candidate Herman Cain, the unlikely challenger is facing troubles of his own in a volley of sexual harassment claims -- an oddly ineffective scandal Cain is doing his best to (somewhat dubiously) disavow. If Cain collapses, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may reap the benefits, but his moribund campaign has issues of its own. Pawlenty, Bachmann, Perry, Christie, Cain, Gingrich... the base is loathe to rally round him, but after so many failed, flawed, or forfeited challenges, can anyone topple Mitt Romney?
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 10, 2011 - 208 comments

America's First Suburb Turns 60

America's First Suburb Turns 60 Almost 60 years ago, a planned community embodied the hopes and prosperity of America. Now, it represents a more realistic picture of the American experience. The BBC investigates Levittown, Pennsylvania, as part of a year-long series. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Nov 8, 2011 - 91 comments

Oops!

Carbon dioxide emissions increased by the largest amount on record in 2010, exceeding the worst case scenario outlined by the IPCC four years ago.
posted by jeffburdges on Nov 8, 2011 - 93 comments

There's No Such Thing As Aliens

You asked, The White House answered: "The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race"
posted by The Whelk on Nov 6, 2011 - 105 comments

“We shall have a man in the White House who will feel as responsible for American civilization as he does for American power and prosperity.”

"It was no accident that arts funding was once again brought to national attention with the exhibit Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture. Since the 80s, the enemies of the NEA have not been those with differences of opinion about what art should be supported or how. Instead they oppose any support at all for art of any kind." Hide/Seek, Culture Wars and the History of the NEA (NSFW, art)
posted by The Whelk on Nov 1, 2011 - 115 comments

Meet the natives of England and America

Not content to keep funding expeditions of Westerners to learn about Tanna, in 2007 the National Geographic funded an expedition of five men from Tanna's Prince Philip movement cargo cult to visit England, stay with families, and eventually meet Prince Philip himself whom they revere as the son of their God. Jimmy, who was a member of the expedition and the narrator for the film has posted the video on his youtube account. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In 2009 the Travel Channel aired Meet the Natives: USA, which brought five men from another group from Tanna to the United States. Their tribe within Tanna reveres Tom Navy, an American World War II sailor who generations ago had taught the inhabitants to live in peace. The Tanna ambassadors were taken across, visiting five states, and eventually meeting former United States Secretary of State Colin Powell and verifying with him that the spirit of peace taught by Tom Navy lives on in the current U.S. President, Barack Obama. While visiting with a family on Fort Stewart, a US Army Major-General conferred a World War II Victory Medal and an Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal upon the chief in representation of the contribution the people of Tanna in World War II. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Be sure to look for Jimmy's responses to questions in the mercifully uncharacteristic youtube comments [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Oct 31, 2011 - 16 comments

Local Twitter Slang, And All That Jawn

The Awl takes a look at how Twitter has allowed local slang to go global, and the unhappiness this causes for some.
posted by reenum on Oct 28, 2011 - 34 comments

Did McDonalds cause the decline of violence in America?

Did McDonalds cause the decline of violence in America?
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Oct 26, 2011 - 49 comments

The NoDeficits club

How the Austerity Class Rules Washington. Tracing the origin of a political meme. (Via Paul Krugman.)
posted by Kevin Street on Oct 21, 2011 - 28 comments

Is That Cupcake Vegan or Just Butter- and Egg-Free?

Vegan bakeries are churning out increasingly tasty treats. Due to the negative connotations associated with veganism, many of these bakeries are forced to keep their vegan identities on the down low.
posted by reenum on Oct 20, 2011 - 111 comments

(That's 9% Income Tax, 9% Sales Tax, 9% Corporate VAT)

Effect of Herman Cain's proposed "9-9-9" tax reform plan on average household tax liability. Cain is leading the field of GOP Presidential candidates in polls of Iowa, South Carolina and Florida. Previously 1 2
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Oct 20, 2011 - 283 comments

This Year’s Hot TV Trend Is Anatomically Correct

There has been a noticeable uptick in the use of the word "vagina" in network TV shows, reports the NY Times.
posted by reenum on Oct 19, 2011 - 131 comments

"Big Bang" in Belarus

Watched every episode of the "Big Bang Theory" and still want more? There's always Belarus's unauthorized copy of the show, titled "The Theorists".
posted by reenum on Oct 13, 2011 - 94 comments

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