Paul Krugman: Wall Street Vampires (NY Times)
The plot against financial reform continues, despite the fact that one important measure is actually working.
Kai Friese: The Porn Star Sunny Leone's Bollywood Makeover (NY Times)
Sunny Leone is a walking, talking double meaning. In "Leela" she has a double role (itself a favorite convention of South Asian cinema), playing both a simple Rajasthani village girl and, some three centuries later, a model with an international career. It's a story of reincarnation, echoing the real-life tale of this porn star's rebirth as a mainstream Bollywood heroine.
MARK BAUERLEIN: What's the Point of a Professor? (NY Times)
But while they're content with teachers, students aren't much interested in them as thinkers and mentors. They enroll in courses and complete assignments, but further engagement is minimal.
PERRI KLASS: The Plagiarism Jitters (NY Times)
A few years ago, I went out for a night at the opera, right after approving a book review I had written that would soon be sent to the printer, posted on the Internet and generally released into the world.
Andrew Tobias: Four More Years
One of the crazier themes afloat is that Hillary, if she's the nominee, will need to distance herself from the President, lest she be slammed as "four more years of Obama." Really? Like that would be bad? Who wouldn't want four more years of continuous private-sector job growth?
Ann Robinson: What can parents do to stop their children becoming obese? (Guardian)
Children in the UK are the fattest in Europe, risking lifelong health problems. There is a lot parents can do to prevent the problem, starting with the baby in the womb.
Peter Bradshaw: "Sex on the beach: a brief history of Cannes and erotic cinema" (Guardian)
From the topless starlets of 1960s to Gaspar Noé's pornographic entry this year, there has always been plenty of flesh at Cannes - on screen and off. As the red carpet is rolled out, Peter Bradshaw awards his own Palme Phwoar.
Paul Poisuo: 4 Weird Problems Only Celebrities Suffer From (Cracked)
Everyone wants to be famous these days -- or, at least, that's what the people who want to be famous keep telling us. It's not easy, and once you've achieved fame, hanging on to it is even harder.
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Michelle in AZ
David E Suggests
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
Sunny and seasonal.
Files Lawsuit Against Al-Jazeera
Al-Jazeera English journalist Mohammed Fahmy, who faces a retrial in Egypt after more than a year behind bars on terrorism-related charges, says he has filed a lawsuit in Canada against the Al-Jazeera network.
At a press conference Fahmy, who at the time of his arrest was Al-Jazeera English's acting bureau chief in Egypt, accused the Qatari-funded network of endangering him and his colleagues.
His lawyer Joanna Gialason told reporters that the lawsuit filed at the British Columbia Supreme Court on May 5 seeks $100 million in punitive and remedial damages and accuses Al-Jazeera of negligence, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract.
Fahmy accused Al-Jazeera Arabic platforms of advocating for the Muslim Brotherhood, the party of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi that has been branded a terrorist organization by the Egyptian government. He said Al-Jazeera's local affiliate Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr provided cameras to Brotherhood members and took raw footage from them, without making Al-Jazeera English staff aware of their practices.
Fox Sticks A Fork In It
Fox is lowering the curtain on "American Idol," ending a series that dominated television throughout the 2000s and made stars of the likes of Simon Cowell, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.
The network announced Monday that "American Idol" will go off the air after its 15th and final season next spring. The cast from the past few seasons, with Ryan Seacrest as host and Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. as judges, will return for a season-long celebration of the show's history.
"It was not an easy decision.' American Idol' has been such a vital part of Fox for its run," said Gary Newman, Fox Television Group co-chairman and CEO. He promised a season-long celebration that matches the show's significance, with the suggestion that its big-name contestants and past judges may be involved.
"American Idol" faded over the past few years, eclipsed in the music competition genre it pioneered by NBC's "The Voice." Personnel changes didn't help, and neither did tinkering with the format, as the show fell victim to what usually kills off most television series - old age. Still, it was a solid performer for a Fox network that struggles in the ratings.
Breaks All-Time TV Piracy Record
'Game of Thrones'
HBO's "Game of Thrones" has hit a new high - or low, if you prefer - on the piracy meter with its latest episode: It has been downloaded more than 2.2 million times worldwide in less than 12 hours since airing on TV.
The first pirated copies of episode five of the current season of HBO's popular fantasy epic showed up on file-sharing sites shortly after its initial U.S. broadcast 9-10 p.m. ET Sunday, according to piracy-tracking firm Excipio. The 2.2 million individual Internet addresses tracked by the firm were recorded as of 10 a.m. ET Monday.
The new piracy record for "GoT" comes about a month after HBO launched HBO Now with Apple and Cablevision, a $15-per-month broadband-only service that doesn't require a pay-TV subscription. HBO Now is available only in the U.S. for now - but the fact that America remains the No. 1 country for "Game of Thrones" piracy shows that even an over-the-top Internet offering won't necessarily put a damper on digital pilfering.
"Thrones" previously set the one-day piracy record with its season four premiere, which registered 1.86 million in the first 24 hours after air. For HBO - and other TV networks as well as movie studios - piracy has been intractable and is clearly something they wish would go away. Still, industryites have tried to see the silver lining, viewing piracy as building buzz to potentially garner legitimate audiences: Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes, for one, famously quipped two years ago that piracy was "better than an Emmy" in generating awareness.
'Game of Thrones'
Painting Sets Record
A vibrant, multi-hued painting from Pablo Picasso set a world record for artwork at auction, selling for nearly $179.4 million on Monday night.
"Women of Algiers (Version O)" was part of a sale at Christie's auction house that also featured Alberto Giacometti's life-size sculpture "Pointing Man," which set a record as the most expensive sculpture sold at auction, at $141.3 million. They were among two dozen masterpieces from the 20th century Christie's offered in a curated sale titled "Looking Forward to the Past."
The Picasso price, $179,365,000, and the Giacometti price, $141,285,000, included the auction house's premium. The identities of the buyers weren't immediately disclosed.
"Women of Algiers," once owned by the American collectors Victor and Sally Ganz, was inspired by Picasso's fascination with the 19th-century French artist Eugene Delacroix. It is part of a 15-work series Picasso created in 1954-55 designated with the letters A through O. It has appeared in several major museum retrospectives of the artist.
What Climate Change?
America's oldest city is slowly drowning. St. Augustine's centuries-old Spanish fortress sits feet from the encroaching Atlantic, whose waters already flood the city's narrow streets about 10 times a year - a problem worsening as sea levels rise. The city relies on tourism, but visitors might someday have to wear waders at high tide.
St. Augustine is one of many chronically flooded communities along Florida's coast, and officials in these diverse places share a concern: They're afraid their buildings and economies will be further inundated by rising seas in just a couple of decades. The effects are a daily reality in much of Florida. Drinking water wells are fouled by seawater. Higher tides and storm surges make for more frequent road flooding from Jacksonville to Key West, and they're overburdening aging flood-control systems.
But the state has yet to offer a clear plan or coordination to address what local officials across Florida's coast see as a slow-moving emergency. Republican Gov. Rick Scott (R-Skeletor) is skeptical of man-made climate change and has put aside the task of preparing for sea level rise, an Associated Press review of thousands of emails and documents pertaining to the state's preparations for rising seas found.
Despite warnings from water experts and climate scientists, skepticism over sea level projections and climate change science has hampered planning efforts at all levels of government, the records showed. Florida's environmental agencies under Scott have been downsized, making them less effective at coordinating sea level rise planning in the state, documents showed.
Florida Road Dispute
George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder charges in the 2012 shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Florida, suffered a minor wound after being shot at in his vehicle on Monday, police said.
Zimmerman did not fire a gun in the Monday incident, his latest brush with law enforcement since his 2013 trial, according to police.
No charges were immediately filed in the shooting, which took place on a roadway in Lake Mary, Florida, a suburb of Orlando.
The other man involved was Matthew Apperson, police said. Apperson previously accused Zimmerman of threatening to kill him during a September 2014 roadside dispute, but declined to press charges.
More Climbers Eye Another Route
Climber Carsten Pedersen has not given up his childhood dream of scaling Everest, despite last month's avalanche that killed 18 people at base camp after a devastating earthquake. But if he does try again, it may well be from China, not Nepal.
Frustrated at the Nepal government's silence over whether his permit to scale Everest will be extended due to the disaster, the Danish amateur is one of a growing number of climbers considering another route up the world's highest peak.
"To every reaction, there is going to be a reaction," said Pedersen, who has spent more than $110,000 on three previous attempts to conquer Everest.
"My reaction if they don't extend the permit? I will probably go to Tibet to climb it. It is not that complicated."
Benjamin O. Davis Jr. entered West Point in 1932 as its only black cadet and spent the next four years shunned. He roomed alone, and no one befriended him. The future Tuskegee Airman and trailblazing Air Force general later said he was "an invisible man."
A new cadet barracks being constructed among the fortress-like buildings of the U.S. Military Academy will be named for Davis - a rare privilege previously granted to graduates with names like MacArthur and Eisenhower. Officials at the storied academy say Davis was a natural choice by dint of his career and character. It also gives the academy a chance to belatedly do right by Davis.
"If you want to know what, 'Duty, Honor, Country' look like, just read a little bit about Benjamin O. Davis Jr., and your jaw will drop because he is the epitome of what we want at a time when we didn't know what 'right' looked like," said Col. Ty Seidule, the head of West Point's history department and a head of the naming committee. "So it's our chance to acknowledge one of our greatest graduates."
Davis, who died in 2002 at age 89, has a history-soaked resume that includes commanding the all-black 332nd Fighter Group, known as the Red Tails, and becoming the first black general of the Air Force, which he joined in 1947. He retired as a three-star general in 1970 and was awarded a fourth star in 1998 by President Bill Clinton.
The dodo bird was not the only wacky animal inhabitant of the island of Mauritius: Bad-tempered parrots, wart-faced pigeons and several other now-extinct but noteworthy indigenous animals called this land home, new research suggests.
Historians had previously identified the animals that lived on the island before Dutch settlers arrived in the 17th century, but the details about these creatures had remained largely unknown.
"There are lots of reports of the original wildlife of Mauritius," said Julian Hume, an avian paleontologist and artist with London's Natural History Museum. "But almost all of them only say things like, 'This bird was easy to catch,' and 'It was good to eat.'"
Now, Hume's colleague Ria Winters has discovered a report on these animals written by a Dutch settler. A translation of the report, which Winters found in the Netherlands' National Archives in The Hague amid thousands of other yet-to-be translated documents, provides far more information about the behavior, ecology and physical appearance of the animals that once roamed the island, Hume told Live Science.
Elizabeth Wilson, who built a career as a character actress in films such as "The Graduate" and "Nine to Five," has died. She was 94.
Wilson, who lived in Branford with her sister, died Saturday at Yale-New Haven Hospital, actress Elizabeth Morton, a spokeswoman for the family, said Monday.
Wilson played Dustin Hoffman's mother in "The Graduate" and the character Roz in "Nine to Five." She had roles in almost 30 films, including "Catch-22" and "Regarding Henry," and appeared in numerous stage and television shows, playing Archie Bunker's cousin on "All in the Family."
Wilson won a Tony Award for her performance in 1972's "Sticks and Bones." She made her Broadway debut in 1953 in "Picnic," and appeared in the Broadway revival of "Uncle Vanya" in 1973.
"I had no desire to be a star," she told The Hartford Courant last July. "I wanted to be a character actress and be able to do all kinds of parts and work on a lot of things. That was my unconscious choice. I wanted to be an undercover actress."
Wilson was born on April 4, 1921, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.
Wilson is survived by her younger sister, Mary Muir Wilson, with whom she lived, and several nieces and nephews.
Elizabeth Wilson was a staunch liberal Democrat.
When Chris Burden stood in front of a camera in 1971 and had a friend open fire on him with a rifle he was making a bold statement to the world: a new artist had arrived, one who was willing to push the limits of art as far as his imagination would take it.
Over the next 44 years, that imagination would prove all but limitless as Burden had himself nailed to the back of a Volkswagen beetle, locked into a school locker for nearly a week and built a 65-foot skyscraper entirely out of Erector Set parts.
To top it off, he constructed one of Los Angeles' most stunning landmarks, "Urban Light," a maze of 202 restored antique street lights that welcomes visitors to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. At night it illuminates an entire block of the city's famous Wilshire Boulevard.
Burden, who died of cancer Sunday at age 69, also predicted the arrival of driverless cars when he unveiled "Metropolis II" at the same museum in 2012. The huge, intricate kinetic sculpture, made partly out of Lego blocks, features 1,100 miniature cars racing through a high-rise city at a scale-model speed of 240 mph.
Born in Boston, Burden came to California to earn bachelor's and master's degrees in fine art from Pomona College and the University of California, Irvine. He was awarded the latter after submitting as his thesis "Five Day Locker," in which he locked himself in a small school locker.
Burden lived in Los Angeles' Topanga Canyon arts colony with his wife, artist Nancy Rubins.
His wife survives him.