David Weigel: How Harry Reid Tapped Liberal Bloggers to Stop Bush's Agenda (Bloomberg)
Facing the apex of Bush's second term, it was clear to Reid that the Democrats could not come back to power unless they shifted the terms of debate.
HENRY ROLLINS: MY GO-TO HOT WEATHER HENDRIX TRACK (LA Weekly)
Not wanting to treat fine wine like bathwater, I listen as intently as I can to a record, and often take notes to determine if I will come back for another spin. This is how I attempt to reconcile the fact that I have an espresso shot of a lifetime in which to gulp down a sea of music.
James J. Krupa: Defending Darwin (Slate)
I teach human evolution at the University of Kentucky. There are some students I'll never reach.
Harriet Brown: The Weight of the Evidence (Slate)
It's time to stop telling fat people to become thin.
Benenden Health: 100 Years of Fitness in 100 Seconds (YouTube)
"… the first couple of decades in this video were the days that women spent a huge amount of time carrying buckets of water from the well to the house, washing diapers by hand, and hauling firewood or coal for the heating stove. They deserved a good stretch! Later, when modern appliances and office jobs replaced household drudgery, we had to get more serious about fitness. - Neatorama
Cezary Jan Strusiewicz: The 5 Filthiest Jokes Ever Hidden In Famous Movies (Cracked)
There's no greater pleasure in life than tricking people into watching smut. Although you have to be smart about it. Inserting, say, an out-of-nowhere dick pic into the middle of a movie would technically accomplish the job, but there's just no finesse to it. No, you have to make the filth a sneaky and (above all else) integral part of your work. Then, when it slips undetected into the audience's mind, that's when you know you've won. A good example would be how the first letters of the previous sentences spell out the word "taint."
Robert Evans, Anonymous: 5 Strange Things You Learn as the Madam in a Brothel (Cracked)
Cracked wanted to know if such places are really everything the movies make them out to be, and also how to find one, and what you do when you're in there (it's mostly pillow fights, right?). So we interviewed a woman who once worked as a madam at an illegal brothel. Here's what she told us.
Hannah Arendt: thinking versus evil (UK Times)
Jon Nixon asks what Arendt's work can tell us about the value of universities as places of thinking together.
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Michelle in AZ
From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'
from Marc Perkel
Hello Bartcop fans,
As you all know the untimely passing of Terry was unexpected, even by him. We all knew he had cancer but we all thought he had some years left. So some of us who have worked closely with him over the years are scrambling around trying to figure out what to do. My job, among other things, is to establish communications with the Bartcop community and provide email lists and groups for those who might put something together. Those who want to play an active roll in something coming from this, or if you are one of Bart's pillars, should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bart's final wish was to pay off the house mortgage for Mrs. Bart who is overwhelmed and so very grateful for the support she has received. Anyone wanting to make a donation can click on this the yellow donate button on bartcop.com
But - I need you all to help keep this going. This note isn't going to directly reach all of Bart's fans. So if you can repost it on blogs and discussion boards so people can sign up then when we figure out what's next we can let more people know. This list is just over 600 but like to get it up to at least 10,000 pretty quick. So here's the signup link for this email list.
( mailman.bartcop.com/listinfo/bartnews )
from that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
Sunny and nearly seasonal.
'Worst Tech CEO'
Carly Fiorina (R-Gender Traitor), the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, now wants to run for president as a Republican and believes that she has diagnosed a major problem with the United States economy, and it has to do with the on-the-job online viewing habits of American workers.
While many potential voters may be wondering who Carly Fiorina is, exactly, business analysts will quickly recall the former tech chief as one of the "worst CEOs of all time," as she was often characterized following her six-year tenure at the head of the Silicon Valley giant.
According to reports from that time, Fiorina tripled her own salary while CEO of HP, while at the same time rendering about 30,000 of the company's workers jobless in layoffs and firings while presiding over a 50 percent plunge in Hewlett-Packard stock value. Morale reportedly became so poor within the once-great technology firm that employees would openly boo Fiorina at company meetings.
But the seeming lack of respect between workers and Fiorina remains mutual, even a decade after she was given a $42 million "golden parachute" by HP in exchange for leaving the company.
"How many Inspector General reports do we need to read that say, you know, you can watch porn all day long and get paid exactly the same way as somebody who's trying to do their job?" she said to Wallace on the Fox News broadcast.
Museum Gets Grant
They were the best of lines, they were the worst of lines - and the desk where Charles Dickens wrote them has been saved for the British public.
London's Dickens Museum has received a 780,000 pound ($1.2 million) grant from a government-backed heritage fund to buy the desk at which the 19th-century novelist wrote books including "Great Expectations."
The desk remained in the Dickens family until it was sold for charity in 2004.
Dickens used the desk during the last years of his life, when he wrote works including "A Tale of Two Cities," which opens: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
A singer-songwriter behind the 1969 rock hit "Spirit in the Sky" has been critically injured in a Northern California car accident that killed a motorcyclist.
The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa reported Sunday that 72-year-old Norman Greenbaum wrote and sang the hit song featured in 50 movies and several TV shows.
Sgt. David Derczo of the California Highway Patrol tells the newspaper that Greenbaum, a longtime resident of Santa Rosa, was the passenger of a Subaru Outback on Saturday afternoon that turned left, crossing into the motorcycle's path.
Derczo says the motorcycle's 20-year-old driver, Ihab Usama Halaweh, died at the scene; his passenger was also critically injured.
Grandma Is A Centerfold
The stars of a charity calendar are in their 80s and 90s, but that didn't stop the men and women from an assisted living facility in Ohio from showing a little skin.
Miss March, who's 88, wears a green top hat and not much else in the calendar from Pleasant Pointe Assisted Living, and the centerfolds are two women in their 90s who seem to be playing poker with strategically placed oversize cards.
Flip to February and you'll see a smiling, white-haired Dottie Rutter soaking in a bubble bath and flower petals, with chocolates and lingerie nearby.
Money from the $12 calendars goes toward a fund providing shoes for children in the local schools in the city of Barberton.
A bucketload of human excrement flung at a statue has toppled a symbol of British imperialism in South Africa, marking the emergence of a new generation of black protest against white oppression.
The senate of the University of Cape Town (UCT) on Friday bowed to student demands that a brooding bronze statue of colonialist Cecil John Rhodes should be removed from the campus.
UCT, the oldest university in South Africa and regularly ranked as the best on the continent, was built on land donated by Rhodes, a mining magnate who died in 1902.
The large statue of a notoriously racist Rhodes gazing across an Africa that he coveted for the British empire made them feel alienated on a campus still dominated by white staff, they said.
The "poo protest" was launched by a small group of students earlier this month, sparking a series of demonstrations demanding that the statue be torn down.
Greece Condemns British Refusal Of Mediation
Greece on Saturday criticised the "negativism" of the British Museum in rejecting mediation by UNESCO to help resolve the decades-old dispute over returning ancient Parthenon sculptures to Athens.
The sculptures are part of the collection popularly known as the "Elgin Marbles" which were acquired by Lord Elgin in the early 1800s when he was ambassador to the Ottoman court. The British parliament purchased the art treasures in 1816 and gave them to the museum.
For the past 30 years Athens has been demanding the return of the sculptures which had decorated the Parthenon temple on the Acropolis in Athens from ancient times.
The UN cultural agency had offered to mediate between Greece and Britain over the ancient artworks during a meeting in October 2014.
But Sir Richard Lambert, the director of the British Museum, said in a letter to Athens this week that at a meeting on March 19 the trustees "decided respectfully to decline this request".
Sterilization Part Of Plea Deals
Nashville prosecutors have made sterilization of women part of plea negotiations at least four times in the past five years, and the district attorney has banned his staff from using the invasive surgery as a bargaining chip after the latest case.
In the most recent case, first reported by The Tennessean, a woman with a 20-year history of mental illness had been charged with neglect after her 5-day-old baby mysteriously died. Her defense attorney says the prosecutor assigned to the case wouldn't go forward with a plea deal to keep the woman out of prison unless she had the surgery.
Defense attorneys say there have been at least three similar cases in the past five years, suggesting the practice may not be as rare as people think and may happen more often outside the public view and without the blessing of a court .
"The history of sterilization in this country is that it is applied to the most despised people - criminals and the people we're most afraid of, the mentally ill - and the one thing that that these two groups usually share is that they are the most poor. That is what we've done in the past, and that's a good reason not to do it now," said Paul Lombardo, a law professor and historian who teaches at Georgia State University.
Food manufacturers and restaurants are taking the dairy industry by the horns on an animal welfare issue that's long bothered activists but is little known to consumers: the painful removal of budding horn tissue from calves so farm workers or other animals don't get gored later.
It's routine to remove the horn tissue from young calves before it attaches to the skull, either by burning it out with heat or chemicals or digging it out with sharp instruments. While veterinary groups recommend pain treatment, only about 10 percent of calves are properly medicated, according to Vermont dairy cattle breeder Mark Rodgers.
Certain cows carry a dominant no-horn genetic trait, and are called polled cows. Research has shown it's cheaper to breed polled cattle than to dehorn cows, but experts say the dairy industry has been slow to expand polled genetics because it's been focused on boosting milk productivity. Yet, the change may come sooner than producers expected, as some of the nation's largest food companies, such as General Mills, Nestle and Dunkin' Brands, are asking dairy suppliers to incorporate polled cattle into their herds.
The beef industry already has largely adopted polled cattle. Less than 1 percent of the nation's dairy herds carry the hornless polled gene, but 10 times more polled animals have been registered with breeding programs in the past three years, Rodgers said.
Weekend Box Office
Business was brisk at the weekend box-office, where the DreamWorks animated alien adventure "Home" beat out the Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart comedy "Get Hard" with a resounding debut of $54 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
While the two films had been expected to vie for the top spot at North American theatres, "Home" came in well above expectations, handing DreamWorks Animation a much-needed hit. Though a distant second, "Get Hard" also opened strongly with an estimated $34.6 million, rewarding the Warner Bros. pairing of two of the most bankable stars in comedy.
Last week's top film, the young-adult sequel "The Divergent Series: Insurgent," slid to third with $22.1 million.
The wild card of the weekend was "It Follows," a critically acclaimed indie horror film from Radius, the Weinstein Company label. After the film drew packed theatres in limited release, plans for a subsequent video-on-demand release were postponed and "It Follows" expanded to 1,218 theatres over the weekend. It pulled in $4 million over the weekend.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "Home," $54 million ($24 million international).
2. "Get Hard," $34.6 million ($4.6 million international).
3. "The Divergent Series: Insurgent," $22.1 million ($29.9 million international).
4. "Cinderella," $17.5 million ($38.7 million international).
5. "It Follows," $4 million.
6. "Kingsman: The Secret Service," $3.1 million ($25 million international).
7. "Run All Night," $2.2 million ($2.1 million international).
8. "Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," $2.2 million ($2.3 million international).
9. "Do You Believe?" $2.2 million.
10. "The Gunman," $2 million
Gene Saks, a prolific actor-director who teamed with playwright and fellow New Yorker Neil Simon on hit Broadway and movie productions of such Simon comedies as "The Odd Couple" and "Brighton Beach Memoirs," has died. He was 93.
Saks, who won three Tony Awards for his direction, died from pneumonia Saturday at his East Hampton home in New York, according to his son Daniel.
Saks' grab bag of hits also included many without Simon. Among them were the musicals "Mame" (1966), starring Angela Lansbury and his then-wife Bea Arthur; "Half A Sixpence," starting British pop star Tommy Steele (1965), and "I Love My Wife" (1977), as well as such comedies as "Enter Laughing" (1963) and "Same Time, Next Year" (1975).
The Simon-Saks collaboration had its beginnings in 1963 when Simon asked Saks - then a Broadway actor - to come to New Hope, Pennsylvania, and critique a tryout of "Barefoot in the Park." Simon didn't need much help. The play - under Mike Nichols' direction - turned out to be one of Broadway's biggest hits of the 1960s, running for more than 1,500 performances.
But three years later, when Simon was preparing the film version of "Barefoot in the Park," he persuaded producer Hal Wallis to hire Saks as director of his first movie. The film, which starred Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, was a huge success.
Their other films were "The Odd Couple," - with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau - "Last of the Red Hot Lovers," ''The Prisoner of Second Avenue" and "Brighton Beach Memoirs."
Saks was born in 1921, in New York City, and grew up in Hackensack, New Jersey, where his father ran a women's wholesale shoe business. He wanted to become a basketball star, but changed his mind when he played the title role in "Charley's Aunt," a venerable old farce in which a young man disguises himself as a woman.
Saks graduated from Cornell University in 1943 and joined the Navy. Being in the service in wartime changed his mind about acting. "I realized that life can be short and you'd better do what you want to do," he reasoned.
After serving for three years, he studied at the New School for Social Research and the Actors Studio.
He appeared in such plays as Paddy Chayefsky's "The Tenth Man" (1959), "A Shot in the Dark" (1961) and the Herb Gardner comedy "A Thousand Clowns" (1962) in which he played a children's TV performer known as Chuckles the Chipmunk, a role Saks recreated in the film version.
But he decided he wanted to direct. "I liked telling people what to do," he said.
Saks married Arthur in 1950 and they had two sons, Matthew and Daniel, before the marriage ended in divorce. With his second wife, Karen, he had a daughter, Annabelle.
Miroslav Ondricek, the Czech director of photography who was twice nominated for the Academy Awards, has died. He was 80.
Czech public television announced Ondricek's death Sunday, citing his son David, also a filmmaker. No cause was given.
Ondricek was behind the camera in some 40 movies but was best known abroad for his co-operation with his friend, director Milos Forman, who settled in the United States after the 1968 Soviet-led invasion crushed the Prague Spring's liberal reforms in Czechoslovakia.
His work on Forman's "Ragtime" and "Amadeus," which examined the relationship between Mozart and rival composer Antonio Salieri, earned him Oscar nominations.
In 2004, Ondricek received the International Achievement Award from the American Society of Cinematographers.