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Current Topic: Society

How Beer Saved The World -/ Discovery Channel (Part 1 of 3)
Topic: Society 10:48 pm EST, Nov 22, 2011

Did you know that beer was critical to the birth of civilization? That’s right – beer.
Scientists and historians line up to tell the amazing, untold story of how beer helped create math, poetry, pyramids, modern medicine, labor laws, and America.

How Beer Saved The World -/ Discovery Channel (Part 1 of 3)

More Money Can Beat Big Money
Topic: Society 11:52 am EST, Nov 17, 2011

Nine senators introduced a resolution early this month that would amend the Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court’s decisions in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010) and Buckley v. Valeo (1976). These two cases had restricted Congress’s power to limit contributions to political campaigns and independent political expenditures, by both individuals and corporations. Under the amendment, Congress and the states would have the power to limit both contributions and independent expenditures.

Lawrence Lessig, a professor of law at Harvard, is the author of “Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress — and a Plan to Stop It.”


Good read and recommended solution by Lessig.

More Money Can Beat Big Money

Henry Rollins Braves Conflict Zones in New Photo Book
Topic: Society 10:46 pm EDT, Oct  1, 2011

Punk rock luminary Henry Rollins has been many things in his life: musician, actor, spoken word artist. With his latest effort he puts yet another identifier on his resume: conflict zone photographer.

In his new book Occupants, Rollins collected years of pictures he took while traveling in places as far-fetched as Cambodia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and Iraq. It's an impressive collection built entirely out of Rollins' desire to expose readers to corners of the world they may otherwise never see.

Henry Rollins Braves Conflict Zones in New Photo Book

Police: Vermont man killed in gun prank
Topic: Society 3:18 pm EST, Nov 26, 2010

(CNN) -- A 24-year-old Vermont man was fatally shot by a friend who used a gun in a prank, police said. The alleged shooter apparently tried to prank his sleeping friend by waking him up with the loud sound of an air rifle, police said.

However, police said, the man mistakenly used a real rifle in the prank. Nicholas Bell, 23, was charged with manslaughter after the incident Thursday, Manchester police said.

"The accused fired the weapon, which was a loaded .22 cal rifle hitting the [victim] in the chest," a police statement said. "The victim died at the scene."


Some prank.

Police: Vermont man killed in gun prank

TSA Speedo Protester
Topic: Society 11:52 am EST, Nov 24, 2010


TSA Speedo Protester

Value of a Chinese College Degree: $44?
Topic: Society 3:08 pm EST, Nov 22, 2010

Despite entering a robust economy that seemed to weather the financial crisis as if were it a middling squall, China’s college graduates on average make only 300 yuan, or roughly $45, more per month than the average Chinese migrant worker, according to statistics cited over the weekend by a top Chinese labor researcher and reported today by the Beijing Times (in Chinese).

“It’s the first time China has faced such a situation,” the paper quoted Cai Fang, head of the Chinese Academy of Social Science’s Institute of Population and Labor Economics, as saying Saturday at a conference on Chinese youth. “It’s hard to say how long this situation will last.”

By Mr. Cai’s calculations, college graduates have consistently earned around 1,500 yuan a month since 2003. Migrant workers, meanwhile, have seen their monthly wages rise from an average of 700 yuan to 1,200 yuan over roughly the same time period, MR. Cai said, according to the Beijing Times.

Value of a Chinese College Degree: $44?

New York Times: Waving Goodbye to Hegemony
Topic: Society 10:20 pm EST, Jan 27, 2008

Long article, but a really great read.

Turn on the TV today, and you could be forgiven for thinking it’s 1999. Democrats and Republicans are bickering about where and how to intervene, whether to do it alone or with allies and what kind of world America should lead. Democrats believe they can hit a reset button, and Republicans believe muscular moralism is the way to go. It’s as if the first decade of the 21st century didn’t happen — and almost as if history itself doesn’t happen. But the distribution of power in the world has fundamentally altered over the two presidential terms of George W. Bush, both because of his policies and, more significant, despite them. Maybe the best way to understand how quickly history happens is to look just a bit ahead.

New York Times: Waving Goodbye to Hegemony

AFP: Israel may have to take military action against Iran: Bolton
Topic: Society 8:08 pm EST, Jan 22, 2008

HERZLIYA, Israel (AFP) — Former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said on Monday that Israel may have to take military action to prevent its archfoe Iran from acquiring an atomic bomb.

Bolton also said that further UN sanctions against the Islamic republic will be ineffective in stopping Iran's controversial nuclear programme which Israel and the US believe is aimed at developing a bomb -- a claim denied by Tehran.

AFP: Israel may have to take military action against Iran: Bolton

Ten reasons why you should never accept a diamond ring
Topic: Society 9:00 pm EDT, May 22, 2005

] Ten Reasons Why You Should Never Accept a Diamond Ring
] from Anyone, Under Any Circumstances, Even If They Really
] Want to Give You One

uh.. YA!

Ten reasons why you should never accept a diamond ring

MSNBC - War-Gaming the Mullahs
Topic: Society 11:22 pm EDT, Sep 19, 2004

] The Iran crisis is more immediate in the eyes of the Bush
] administration, in part because Iran is among the
] president's "Axis of Evil." Israel, which has long
] regarded Iran as a more dire threat than Iraq, is making
] thinly veiled threats of a unilateral pre-emptive attack,
] like its 1981 airstrike against Iraq's Osirak nuclear
] reactor. "If the state decides that a military solution
] is required, then the military has to provide a
] solution," said Israel's new Air Force chief of staff,
] Maj. Gen. Elyezer Shkedy, in a newspaper interview last
] week. "For obvious reasons," he added, "we aren't going
] to speak of specifics." U.S. defense experts doubt that
] Israel can pull it off. Iran's facilities (which it
] insists are for peaceful purposes) are at the far edge of
] combat range for Israel's aircraft; They're also widely
] dispersed and, in many cases, deep underground.

MSNBC - War-Gaming the Mullahs

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