“It’s amazing, though it shouldn’t be, to see the former vice-president of the United States arguing that the government still should be torturing people, and that torture is one of the things he’s proudest of. I think the worst thing about the Obama administration’s “looking forward” doctrine is that it virtually guarantees that torture will happen again—perhaps even under the very next administration. It not simply that modern America officially condones torture, it is that modern America condemns torture when executed by people we don’t like, and calls it “enhanced interrogation” when we do it. Media has, in disgraceful fashion, bought this Orwellian line. I fully expect to see more enhanced interrogation in my lifetime. I would not be shocked to see it filter down to law enforcement. Foreign terrorists are not the only people who kill.”—Ta-Nehisi Coates (via azspot)
“Completely idiotic critics have for several years used the name of Piet Mondrian as though he represented the sum mum of all spiritual activity. They quote him in every connection. Piet for architecture, Piet for poetry, Piet for mysticism, Piet for philosophy, Piet’s whites, Piet’s yellows, Piet, Piet, Piet… Well, I Salvador, will tell you this, that Piet with one ‘i’ less would have been nothing but pet, which is the French word for fart.”— Salvador Dalí on Piet Mondrian. See the other harshest artist-on-artist insults EVER at Flavorwire. (via flavorpill)
“Typical hurricanes are about 300 miles wide, according to the National Weather Service. Irene is currently almost twice that, extending 290 miles from her center, and thereby taking up about one third of the East Coast. Not only is she big – she’s growing quickly. Her girth has expanded nearly 200 miles since Tuesday, according to Rob Gutro, NASA’s deputy news chief. By Sunday she could be much bigger.”—
Dr. Amir Liaquat Hussain, a Pakistani Islamic televangelist and host of numerous religious shows, has become the epicenter of bloggers’ criticism lately after a behind-the-scenes video was released. The video depicted Dr. Amir, a notable religious scholar who otherwise poses as a humble, moral man, uttering abuse and profanities as well as religious blasphemy.
EXPOSED: A picture of the hacking software shown during the Chinese military program. The large writing at the top says “Select Attack Target.” Next, the user can choose which IP address to attack from. The drop-down box is a list of Falun Gong websites, while the button on the left says “Attack.” (CCTV)
Could using creative storytelling keep middle and high school students from mentally checking out of science class? That’s the hope of a new research project kicking off at three high schools in Queensland, Australia. The researchers hope that by infusing characters and plot twists into science, students will stay invested in the curriculum.
I was actually wondering just the other day about why it’s so hard for science classes to engage students and came to this conclusion: too many numbers, not enough stories. Hell, even history, which should be all about stories, gets mind-numbingly dull if it’s taught as nothing but a series of dates and names. As an industrialized society, we revere facts and figures, but as individuals, it’s probably closer to the truth to say that our brains haven’t quite left the hunter-gatherer era and still need narrative structures to assimilate quantitative information.
Expanding on this idea, the same mechanism is also at work in political discourse. This is not a debate club, and winning arguments based on superior logic and irrefutable data means nothing if you can’t connect with the public. When one side is citing statistics and the other is telling stories, guess who’s going to get their message across better? Hint: it’s not the slide-rule crowd.
You may have received an email telling you cell phones will start to get unwanted telemarketing calls unless you add your wireless number to a special Do-Not-Call Registry.
However, placing telemarketing calls to wireless phones is, and always has been, illegal.
It is unlawful for anyone to place a call using an automatic telephone dialing system or a prerecorded voice message to a telephone number assigned to a paging service, mobile telephone service or any service for which the called party is charged for the call. This applies whether or not your cell phone number is listed on a Do-Not-Call list.
If you receive unwanted calls that you believe violate the do-not-call rules, you can file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission.
Seems that this issue has gotten a lot worse (for me at least) in the last six months or so. Problem is, unethical telemarketers don’t care about the law, and they also disguise their numbers.
“It is uncanny how often good fortune has been in Perry’s corner throughout his political career. His opponents self-destruct, as Jim Hightower did in 1990, when Perry, a big underdog, won his first statewide race, for agriculture commissioner, and as Kay Bailey Hutchison did in 2010. In 2006, when he was at his most vulnerable, Hutchison opted not to challenge him. Perry got only 39 percent of the vote, but because there were four major candidates in the race, he won with a plurality. This spring, he lost two top aides to the Gingrich-for-president campaign, only to see Gingrich self-destruct and the aides return with national campaign experience. The list goes on and on. If you look at Perry’s career, it seems that fate is always arranging the universe so that its favorite son will be in the right place at the right time.”—Eight things you need to know about Rick Perry, from Texas Monthly
The bulk of the article centers on how Texas governor Rick Perry lured Chinese telecommunications-equipment manufacturer Huawei—a company that has ties to the Chinese military and thus presents potential security concerns for the US—to base its American operations in his state. Huawei, in case you don’t know, is now one of the top three global telecom infrastructure providers. Former heavyweights Alcatel-Lucent has been losing market share, Motorola has been split up, and Nortel is, for all practical purposes, an ex-company now.
The original story of Times New Roman’s genesis goes like this: Morison wrote a blistering article in 1929 arguing that Times Old Roman, the font of The Times of London, was dated, clunky, badly printed and in need of help — his help. The paper listened and charged Morison with directing the creation of a new suite of letters. He did, and on Oct. 3, 1943, Times New Roman debuted on the bright white broadsheets of the London daily.
Here’s the problem with this tidy account: Evidence found in 1987 — drawings for letters and corresponding brass plates — suggests that the real father of the font wasn’t a typographer at all, but a wooden boat designer from Boston named William Starling Burgess.
James Richard Perry wants to hang his cowboy hat in the White House. The Texas governor made clear his intention to run for president with appearances in South Carolina and New Hampshire on Saturday and a planned trip to Iowa on Sunday.
For many on the tour, the biggest surprise was learning that, contrary to what they had heard, most of the island’s 23 million residents are not exactly eager to merge with the mainland.
Just before boarding the plane at Beijing International Airport, Gao Guizhen, 59, a retired piano factory worker, dutifully offered the prevailing sentiment about Taiwan and China. “We are one,” she said.
By Day 4, she seemed to have second thoughts. Sitting away from the others as they awaited a train ride along Taiwan’s scenic coastline, she offered a metaphor about two feuding brothers. The elder, she said, runs off with the riches, leaving the younger impoverished and embittered. Decades later, when the bereft brother grows rich and the anger fades, the grandchildren are allowed to spend time together. They discover that they have some differences, but also that they share many things — including an utter lack of interest in keeping up the feud.
One hundred years ago this August, Vincenzo Peruggia walked out of the Louvre in broad daylight with the painting tucked under his smock. The museum didn’t notice until well into the next day, and he wasn’t caught until he outed himself.