Winston Rowntree: 5 Little-Known Reasons Why Modern Pop Culture Sucks (Cracked)
Let's get this out of the way early: I do not think that art sucks now. I am not That Guy. I do not think that rock peaked in 1977 and video games have been going downhill since Mario 3. If anything, I'm too eager to bury the past. Honestly, if I put together lists of my favorite stuff, most of it would be recent, or sequels, or both, because if you ask me, shit never rocked back then like it does now.
Felix Clay: 4 Ways Getting Older Makes You Behave Like an Asshole (Cracked)
The worst day of your life is the day you realize you're old. Well, unless you get hit by a train some day, then that day will be worse. But let's say your life is pretty much devoid of terror, mayhem, and gross bodily harm; then the worst day of your life is that day when you're not the young, awesome badass you used to be, and now you're cynical and grunt when you stand up.
Deepashri Varadharajan: "Report: 21 US cities restrict sharing food with homeless people" (Aljazeera)
Seattle, Houston and Salt Lake City are among places restricting food sharing, advocacy group says.
Douglas Haddow: Sleep is the Enemy of Capital (adbusters)
… it's time to down that sweet brown and get jacked for another big day of whatever it is you do with your life. But what you may not realize is that with each sip, you're thrusting yourself further toward the front lines of capitalism's long war against the institution of sleep.
Woman Opens Professional Cuddling Shop, Struggles to Keep Up with Demand
This Oregon woman is paying her bills by cuddling with people all day. It might not sound like much of a career choice, but believe it or not, Samantha Hess is making a decent living out of hugging. Within a week of opening her store - 'Cuddle Up To Me' - she has already gotten requests from a whopping 10,000 customers!
Cat Ferguson, Adam Marcus & Ivan Oransky: "Publishing: The peer-review scam" (Nature)
When a handful of authors were caught reviewing their own papers, it exposed weaknesses in modern publishing systems. Editors are trying to plug the holes.
James McWilliams: The Exponential Benefits of Eating Less (Pacific Standard)
There's one T-shirt in my drawer that I don't wear, mainly because I think it's sort of offensive. It reads: Eat Less You Pig.
Gladstone: "5 Goth Women of Film (And Why We Love Them)" (Cracked)
I was walking in the mall the other day when I noticed Hot Topic was having its 25th anniversary. Had it really been two and half decades since I first started thinking horribly depraved things about its staff of part-time Suicide Girls? Apparently, it had. But in reality, I've been fascinated by darkly different women my entire life. Certain women came off the screen and spoke to me before I even had a distinct concept of sex or sexuality.
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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 email@example.com.
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
Was supposed to be overcast, but it rained instead.
Special Economic Envoy
Robert De Niro
The prime minister of Antigua & Barbuda has appointed actor Robert De Niro as special economic envoy of the twin-island nation in the eastern Caribbean.
The administration of Gaston Browne said in a statement Saturday that the appointment comes after De Niro signed a memorandum of agreement on Friday for a $250 million hotel investment in Barbuda.
Officials said De Niro and Australian businessman James Packer will help renovate and expand a former five-star luxury resort that closed several years ago.
Browne said he expects the deal to be signed in late December and for construction to begin in the next 12 months.
Robert De Niro
Are Justices Down With Rap?
A case before the U.S. Supreme Court concerning threats that a Pennsylvania man made toward his estranged wife and others on Facebook could hinge on how the nine justices interpret the sometimes violent imagery in rap lyrics.
The justices, not known for their pop culture bona fides, are set on Monday to hear a one-hour oral argument in an appeal filed by Anthony Elonis. He was convicted for making threats aimed at his wife, law enforcement officers and others after posting statements on Facebook in 2010 soon after his wife left him. They are now divorced.
The posts were mostly in the form of rap lyrics in which he fantasized about committing violent acts. One recounted a visit by an FBI agent in which he imagined murdering her: "Pull my knife, flick my wrist, and slit her throat/ Leave her bleedin' from her jugular in the arms of her partner."
It is unclear how much the justices, four of whom are over 70, will focus on the rap lyric element of the case. When it comes to music, the justices are associated more with opera than rap, with Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg regularly attending performances together.
Elonis' lawyers say his statements are little different from lyrics written by performers like rapper Eminem. In his 2000 song "Kim," Eminem rapped about killing his wife and putting her body in the trunk of his car.
Sue Concert Footage Archivist
Don Henley and Glenn Frey of the Eagles have sued a concert footage archivist, accusing the man of violating their copyright after screening unlicensed Eagles footage at a Connecticut theater in October. In a suit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, lawyers for Frey and Henley accuse William Shelley of charging admission to show a bootlegged concert of the "Hotel California" rockers, the New York Daily News reports.
The Eagles are not only seeking to reclaim their concert footage from Shelley, they're also reportedly trying to seize his entire extensive archives. According to the Guardian, the Shelley Archives house more than 100,000 reels of 35mm and 16mm film, or more than 10,000 hours of rare concert footage, television shows, home movies and more. Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac and the Rolling Stones are among the dozens of bands that feature in Shelley's vaults, which the Long Island man started when he began filming concert performances in the Seventies.
According to the lawsuit, the Eagles first filed a cease-and-desist order against Shelley to prevent him from screening the bootlegged footage in October. After Shelley "refused," the band's lawyers took the matter to federal court. The Eagles accuse Shelley of attempting to "bolster his reputation as a purported music industry 'insider' with close connections and ties to many classic rock greats" and getting rich off the unlicensed footage of others.
This latest lawsuit continues a particularly litigious 2014 for Henley, a firm believer in copyright law. In June, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer criticized both Frank Ocean and Okkervil River. The former sampled the Eagles' "Hotel California" for the Nostalgia, Ultra mixtape's "American Wedding" without permission, while Henley prevented the latter for covering his solo "The End of Innocence" and issuing it as a free download.
Henley also filed a lawsuit against clothing maker Duluth Trading Co. this past October because of their punny T-shirt that read "Don a Henley and Take It Easy."
Philippines Seeks To Block Website
The Philippine justice secretary said Sunday she is seeking to block extramarital dating site Ashley Madison in the country -- under charges it facilitates crime.
"The website is a platform that allows illegal acts to be eventually committed. A ban may be enforced," Secretary Leila de Lima said in an SMS statement, referring to Ashley Madison.
The Canada-based firm, which has the slogan: "Life is short. Have an affair", recently launched their website in the Philippines, where the population is largely Roman Catholic and divorce is illegal.
De Lima stressed that "adultery" also remains against the law in the Philippines, even though it has largely been un-enforced and is a country where many powerful men flaunt their mistresses.
Reportedly Investigating Network Hack
Well, the North Koreans did say there would be "stern punishment" for makers of The Interview, and now there appears to be a very real possibility this wasn't just an idle threat.
According to tech site Re/code, the network attack suffered by Sony Pictures Entertainment earlier this week may be linked to hackers working out of China on behalf of North Korea.
On Tuesday SPE released a short statement that acknowledged something was wrong, but didn't elaborate. The statement said: "Sony Pictures Entertainment experienced a system disruption, which we are working diligently to resolve."
Re/code reports that on Monday, a hacker group called the Guardians of Peace or #GOP left an image bearing a message on the screens of computers of SPE employees. The message was said to have threatened to release sensitive data stolen from Sony's servers if the #GOP's demands were not met. The attack also locked SPE employees out of their computers forcing them to use paper and pen.
On Wednesday, some of the sensitive files were said to have leaked on Reddit, though whether these were Sony's files or not has not been independently confirmed.
Rich Guy Protests
A California real estate investor wants the state of Montana to lower his property tax bill by reducing the assessed value of a home he built on an island in Flathead Lake from $41.8 million to $9.8 million.
The Tax Appeal Board heard arguments last week in the appeal filed by Don Abbey of La Mirada, California, Lee Newspapers of Montana reports.
Abbey built the 24,000-square-foot home on Shelter Island in 2011. The home, guest house and boat house on 24 acres now are listed for sale at $59.5 million.
According to the state, the buildings are worth $41.8 million. That valuation would put the annual property taxes at $367,700.
According to an appraiser hired by Abbey, the buildings should be valued at $9.8 million because the house was "overbuilt" in a way that might not add value from a buyer's standpoint.
From family dinner tables to fancy restaurants, plates of pasta are likely to be a little pricier in the coming year because of a disappointing durum wheat crop in the northern Plains and Canada.
Durum is ground into the semolina flour used to make pasta products. About half of the nation's durum is produced in North Dakota, where wet weather during spring planting and the fall harvest led to a crop that's more than 4 percent smaller than last year's, and of much poorer quality.
Nationally, the crop is about 8 percent smaller than last year and similar production problems in Canada and Europe brought the global production to its lowest level in 13 years, North Dakota Wheat Commission Marketing Director Jim Peterson said.
It's led to soaring prices for the best durum, which is bad news for restaurants, particularly family run businesses like The Pasta Shop in Marquette, Michigan, which makes its own noodles. Owner Marc Reilly called the rising price of semolina "a nightmare."
"Ten years ago I paid $8 for a 50-pound bag," he said. "Last week I paid $38.98. It's hard to keep up. I have to pass it on to customers. People think I'm trying to buy a new car, but I'm just trying to keep the doors open."
Weekend Box Office
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part One"
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part One" ruled the Thanksgiving box office for a second weekend in a row with $56.9 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. The total haul for the latest installment of the Lionsgate dystopian series starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen stands at $225.7 million domestically and $254.4 million internationally.
"Penguins of Madagascar" opened in second place with a chilly $25.8 million. The animated spin-off centers on the penguin characters from DreamWorks Animation's "Madagascar" franchise. "Penguins" fared better overseas, where the film earned an additional $36 million.
Disney's animated romp "Big Hero 6" and Paramount's space-time saga "Interstellar" respectively held onto the third and fourth positions with $18.7 million and $15.8 million in their fourth weekend at the box office. The domestic total for "Big Hero 6" has ballooned to $167.2 million, while filmmaker Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" is orbiting $147 million.
The Warner Bros. comedy sequel "Horrible Bosses 2" with Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day reprising their roles from the original 2011 movie debuted in fifth place with $15.7 million.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1," $56.9 million ($67 million International).
2. "Penguins of Madagascar," $25.8 million ($36 million international).
3. "Big Hero 6," $18.7 million ($4.8 million international).
4. "Interstellar," $15.8 million ($44.4 million international).
5. "Horrible Bosses 2," $15.7 million ($11.7 million international).
6. "Dumb and Dumber To," $8.2 million ($4.5 million international).
7. "The Theory of Everything," $5 million.
8. "Gone Girl," $2.4 million ($10.5 million international).
9. "Birdman," $1.8 million.
10. "St. Vincent," $1.7 million.
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part One"
Mark Strand, a Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. poet laureate widely praised for his concentrated, elegiac verse and graceful command of both humour and despair, has died. He was 80.
Strand, whose works were translated into more than 30 languages, died Saturday morning at his daughter's New York home from liposarcoma that had spread throughout his body, just weeks after entering hospice care, said his daughter, Jessica Strand.
A distinctive presence to the end of his life, with his lean build, white hair and round glasses, Strand received numerous honours, including the Pulitzer in 1999 for "Blizzard of One," a gold medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a National Book Award nomination this fall for "Collected Poems." He was appointed poet laureate for 1990-91, although he did not count his time in Washington among his great achievements.
Strand, author of more than a dozen books of poetry and several works of prose, was haunted even as a young man by absence, loss and the passage of time, sometimes peering just beyond the contents of the page and wondering what, if anything, was out there. Some of his most famous lines appear in "Keeping Things Whole," a poem from "Sleeping With One Eye Open," his 1964 debut.
Strand also wrote children's books and art criticism, helped edit several poetry anthologies and translated the Italian poet Rafael Alberti. He was a committed doubter, even about poetry. He went through occasional periods when he stopped writing verse and once quarreled with his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, because he considered his 2012 collection "Almost Invisible" to be prose, not poetry.
He was born in Prince Edward Island in Canada, his mother a painter, his father a salesman whose work led to the family living everywhere from Peru to Cleveland. Strand originally thought of himself as a visual artist, and would dismiss his adolescent poetry as "feverish attempts to put 'my feelings' on paper, and little more."
He majored in art at Yale University, but felt "stifled" and by graduate school had decided he was better suited for writing, with Philip Larkin and Thomas Hardy among the poets he was reading. He received a master's degree from the University of Iowa's prestigious Writers' Workshop, and later taught at Iowa, Columbia University and the University of Chicago among other schools.
In the long poem "Dark Harbor," Strand set down his belief that art could change the world "for a while," but not save it. The most profound absence in his work was that of God, his atheism passed down to him from his father, who had terrified his son with stories of heretics burned at the stake. In "Poem After the Last Seven Words," from the 2006 collection "Man and Camel," Strand imagined how it felt "To open the dictionary of the Beyond and discover what one suspected, that the only word in it is nothing."
His daughter said her father found comfort in art.
Besides his daughter, Mark Strand is survived by a sister and a son, Thomas, who lives in Seattle.