Paul Krugman: China, Coal, Climate (NY Times)
The agreement between China and the United States on carbon emissions is a pretty big deal.
Paul Poisuo: 4 Famous Mysteries With Really Obvious Answers (Cracked)
You like secrets, I like secrets. Let's like secrets together. That is, if your concept of liking involves scrutinizing the shit out of them, because that's what I meant and what this column is all about.
Oliver Burkeman: Political correctness really works! Sorry, conservatives, but science just said so (Guardian)
The PC menace may not be real, but snobby liberals are definitely winning the war on the War on Christmas now. We'll have our quinoa and eat it, too, thank you very much.
Jessica Valenti: Taylor Swift in the Blank Space video is the woman we've been waiting for (Guardian)
The artist is mad that you think she's 'boy-crazy' - and you don't want to make Taylor Swift mad.
Arthur Chu: Nerd is the new normal (Guardian)
It's time to stop identifying ourselves as misunderstood weirdo outsiders. Because nerds run the world.
Tim Parks: Why Read New Books? (NY Review of Books)
As a reviewer of books she would often pan, Virginia Woolf thought one of the pleasures of reading contemporary novels was that they forced you to exercise your judgment. There was no received opinion about a book. You had to decide for yourself whether it was good.
Diane Ravitch: The Myth of Chinese Super Schools (NY Review of Books)
One response of the Obama administration was to support an initiative called the Common Core standards, which set demands so high for students in every grade from kindergarten to senior year that most of those who have taken the tests associated with the standards have failed them.
Alice Jane Axness: In Defense of Lena Dunham and People Who Hate Her (Cracked)
Lena Dunham, everyone's favorite adult preteen, wrote a memoir recently called Not That Kind of Girl. There's a good chance you at least know it exists, and that's mostly because of one specific trademark-Lena-Dunham-uncomfortable passage. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, get ready to be uncomfortable right now.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
David Bruce's Smashwords Page
David Bruce's Blog
David Bruce's Lulu Storefront
David Bruce's Apple iBookstore
David Bruce has approximately 50 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
"Doug's Most Shared Facebook Post" Today
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
Mostly overcast, but no more rain.
Wins Again Against Sirius XM
Flo & Eddie
A 1960s rock band on Friday won a second victory against Sirius XM Holdings Inc in a closely watched copyright battle affecting digital media.
U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon in Manhattan rejected Sirius' request to dismiss the lawsuit accusing the satellite radio company of playing pre-1972 songs from the band the Turtles, best known for the hit "Happy Together," without permission or paying royalties.
She said that unless Sirius by Dec. 5 raises any factual issues requiring a trial, she will rule outright for the plaintiff, Flo & Eddie Inc, a company controlled by founding Turtles members Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, and begin to assess damages.
Harvey Geller, a lawyer for Flo & Eddie, said his client is pleased. "From coast to coast, the owners of pre-1972 recordings are finally getting what is owed to them," he said.
Though songs recorded before Feb. 15, 1972, are not covered by federal copyright law, some recording artists and labels have been seeking copyright protection under individual state laws.
Flo & Eddie
John Oliver's Appeal
Remember John Oliver's enthusiastic appeal made on HBO's Last Week Tonight
Since then, The Verge sent a request to the FCC, under the Freedom of Information Act, asking to see email exchanges between employees related to Oliver's show segment, and was granted access to them.
Apparently, FCC employees were amused by Oliver's jokes on cable companies and net neutrality while admitting that these companies were not particularly pleased about the video, which went viral on YouTube.
The media assaulted the FCC with questions about Oliver after the show, and the Commission told them that it wasn't able to determine whether Oliver's actions have actually contributed to the site's crash, but admitted they experienced a traffic spike following the HBO show.
Students Drown Out Westboro Protesters
Students at Texas A&M University rallied to drown out a protest organized by the Westboro Baptist Church members this week over the school's acceptance of gays.
Earlier this week, protesters from the Topeka-based group who had swarmed the campus were met by more than 100 students outside the school's student center in College Station. The Aggies countered Westboro's antigay messages with love, holding signs that read "God Hates No One" and "All You Need Is Love."
In a press release, Westboro - which is notorious for picketing the funerals of U.S. soldiers with antigay signs that claim the deaths are God's punishment for America's tolerance of homosexuality - said it was protesting the school's nondiscrimination practices as well as its love of football.
Fittingly, dozens of students also decided to hold their traditional "midnight yell practice," which is normally held the night before Texas A&M football games, at 8 a.m. to drown out the protesters.
"Their message is just one of pure hate, and it's not something we want people to listen to," Elyssa De Caprio, who organized the yell practice, told KBTX.
New Jersey Hall of Fame
Six cast members of "The Sopranos" are on hand as the man who played mob boss Tony Soprano is inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
James Gandolfini died in Italy last year.
In comments before Thursday night's ceremony in Asbury Park's Convention Hall, Vincent Pastore, who played mobster Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero, said Gandolfini was a Jersey guy through and through. He says Gandolfini never missed a chance to let people know how great his home state is.
Other inductees include NBC News anchor Brian Williams, jazz great Dizzy Gillespie, chef Alice Waters, author Dorothy Parker, basketball great Patrick Ewing, The Shirelles and former Gov. Jim Florio.
A Caesars Entertainment Corporation spokesman says the company has already started notifying several hundred employees facing layoffs.
Gary Thompson said Thursday that the layoffs would affect fewer than 680 people across the entire company and its divisions.
Caesars Entertainment employs about 68,000 people worldwide and operates 52 casinos under the Caesars, Harrah's and Horseshoe brands.
Caesars lost $908 million from July through September and has $22.8 billion in long-term debt.
Newspaper Asks Reporters To Help With Deliveries
Orange County Register
One of California's largest newspapers has asked reporters and other employees to help deliver papers on Sundays, according to a memo obtained by Reuters, the latest sign of the toll that financial woes are taking on print journalism.
The Santa Ana-based Orange County Register, which recently stopped contracting with rival Los Angeles Times for delivery services, is offering $150 gift cards to staff members if they deliver 500 to 600 papers, according to the memo sent on Thursday, which was confirmed by the paper's top editor.
"The entire company -- all departments, including our newsroom -- has been asked to help during what has clearly been a difficult situation," editor Rob Curley said in an email to Reuters. "It's strictly voluntary."
Employees have also been asked to help out in customer service, personally telephoning subscribers who had not been able to reach a live agent, according to the memo sent to the staff.
Orange County Register
Installing Showers For Homeless
Homeless people around the Vatican are getting more than just handouts from charitable passers-by. They're getting a shower.
The pope's chief alms-giver, Monsignor Konrad Krajewski, says three showers will be installed in the public restrooms off Bernini's Colonnade in St. Peter's Square to cater to homeless men and women.
Krajewski, whose small acts of charity in Francis' name are well known, told La Stampa's Vatican Insider website that he came up with the idea after meeting a homeless man named Franco while coming home from confession one day.
Krajewski said he offered to take Franco to dinner after learning it was his 50th birthday, but he declined because of his stench.
"I brought him with me anyway. We had Chinese," Krajewski was quoted as saying. "While we were at the table, he told me that you can always find something to eat in Rome. But what is missing are places to wash yourself."
Psychiatric Drug Crisis
Many of the drugs that treat mental health problems are discovered by serendipity, and because new drugs are scarce, researchers may need to look more closely at the possible psychiatric effects of existing prescription and illegal drugs, one scientist argues.
In an editorial published today (Nov. 12) in the journal Nature, Dr. David Nutt, a British psychiatrist, wrote that there is a crisis in the drug-discovery pipeline of mental health medicines. Scientific research could benefit from taking note of what people who are already using drugs say about their side effects; specifically, any unexpected positive effects that drugs have on mood and anxiety, he said.
"The drugs that we need to ease the burden of mental illness could be out there - we just need to look," wrote Nutt, who is a former drug adviser to the British government and a long-time critic of the government's existing drug policies.
Nutt cited the drug psilocybin, the psychedelic ingredient found in "magic" mushrooms, as an example of a long-used illegal drug that has recently been thought to hold mental health benefits. What started as anecdotal reports of the effects of psilocybin on mood has now led to the idea that the compound may be beneficial for treating depression, and a clinical trial is set to start in 2015. The trial will study whether the compound alleviates depression in people who haven't been helped by drugs that are currently approved to treat the disorder.
Psychiatric Drug Crisis
Voice Gives Woman Seizures
Ne-Yo surely wants to move people with his music, but not like this. British mother Zoe Fennessy recently revealed to The Daily Mail that the R&B crooner's music causes her to have violent seizures.
The 26-year-old had brain surgery to remove her left temporal lobe in June in the hopes of fixing the problem, but still suffers from crippling seizures, which cause her to freeze and vomit the moment she hears the singer's voice.
Fennessy was diagnosed as an epileptic in 2008, but had her first music-induced seizure in 2011 when she heard Ne-Yo's hit "Give Me Everything." To scientifically prove that his voice was the cause of her fits, Fennessy was forced to be monitored by doctors while listening to Ne-Yo's music.
She was soon diagnosed with a rare illness which causes musicogenic seizures. Fennessy has to wear headphones when she goes into stores in case the singer's songs are playing.
Space Camera Sells for $275,000
The first Hasselblad camera to be used in space has sold for $275,000 to a UK collector who says in some respects the rare artifact was a bargain.
The historic camera's new owner, who spoke exclusively with collectSPACE.com on the condition of anonymity, won the Hasselblad on Thursday (Nov. 13) during a special, one-lot live sale organized by RR Auction of Boston. The camera included parts that were flown into space in 1962 and 1963 with two of NASA's original Mercury 7 astronauts and was used to capture the first professional-quality photos of the Earth from orbit.
The Hasselblad 500c body and 80-millimeter Zeiss lens launched with astronaut Walter "Wally" Schirra on NASA's Mercury-Atlas 8 mission on October 3, 1962. Schirra, who died in 2007, said that he had bought the camera himself from a shop in Houston after consulting LIFE and National Geographic magazine photographers as to the best model to use in space.
The camera's same lens and its film magazine then flew with Gordon "Gordo" Cooper on the last and longest flight, Mercury-Atlas 9, from May 15-16, 1963. Cooper held onto the parts, somehow ending up with Schirra's camera body as well, such that it originated from his collection when he wrote letters attesting to its authenticity it 1995.
Ancient Latrines & Sewers
Archaeologists picking through latrines, sewers, cesspits and trash dumps at Pompeii and Herculaneum have found tantalizing clues to an apparently varied diet there before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius destroyed those Roman cities in 79 A.D.
Much of what residents didn't digest or left on their plates went down into latrine holes, became remnants in cesspits built up over the centuries or was thrown away in local dumps. At a three-day conference ending Friday in Rome, archaeologists discussed their discoveries, including gnawed-on fish bones and goose eggshells that were possibly ancient delicacies for the elite.
Much of what the inhabitants ate was local. Archaeologists noted that some types of mollusk shells found in the sewers of Herculaneum came from the ancient town's beach. Notable exceptions include grain, which was likely imported from Egypt; dates from the Middle East and northern Africa; and pepper spice from India. Although flour left no traces across such a long time, grain weevils apparently survived the milling process, ending up in a Herculaneum sewer that served a block of shops and home.
Today's Romans are big on pork - pork slices known as porchetta are a popular filling for lunchtime sandwiches. Trash dumps from roughly the 1st century B.C. and the early 1st century A.D. in the Pompeii neighborhood of Porta Stabia yielded an abundance of pig bones, a sure sign that pork was popular then, noted Michael MacKinnon from the University of Winnipeg. Particularly tasty mollusks known as telline were popular on ancient tables; now telline as an ingredient for a seafood sauce is a much sought-after item on present-day Roman menus.