Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Meditation Techniques for Children: How to Calm Your Kid - The Daily Beast

Can a 3-year-old really reach a Zen-like state—or is it just a good way to shut him up?

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States Sue Over Health Care, Accept Subsidies - The Daily Beast

Some states have no shame: The Associated Press says that seven states are suing to overturn health-care reform after having already begun to claim new federal health-care subsidies for retired state workers. The states are Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, and Nevada.

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Shaping Up Recruits Without Sit-ups - The Daily Beast

The Army has a new physical training plan for its 145,000 recruits this year, and planners hope it will tackle one of the military’s most pressing modern problems: Recruits are overweight and out of shape.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

U.S. Wasted $5B in Iraq - The Daily Beast

More than $5 billion—10 percent of the $50 billion spent on reconstruction—has been wasted, according to the audit, and some say this amount could be an underestimate.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tea Party Activists Seize on MLK Mantle - The Daily Beast

Tens of thousands of Tea Partiers—and counterprotesters—are descending on Washington, D.C. this weekend to rally on the National Mall on the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech—ironic, since they’ve often been accused of racism. But the Tea Party sees no irony. Feeling persecuted and ignored by Washington, its activists, mostly middle-class white men, have seized on the language of the civil-rights movement.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Hand-Engraving Could Make Your Old iPhone Feel Beautiful Again

Knives and Engravings via Reddit via

Awesome. Why not engrave the entire bezel?

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Monday, August 23, 2010

The Tea Parties' Billionaire Backers  - The Daily Beast

The Kochs are on a whole different level. There's no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I've been in Washington since Watergate, and I've never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.
Charles Lewis via The New Yorker via

Posted via email from Firesaw / Science fiction and fantasy / Blog posts / Why Science Fiction?

Common sense is a none-too-subtle stand-in for “shut up and suck it up.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

NC Bungled Death-Penalty Prosecutions - The Daily Beast

Could North Carolina have executed prisoners without giving them a fair trial? North Carolina’s crime lab omitted, overstated, or falsely reported blood evidence in dozens of cases—including three that ended in executions (and also the murder of Michael Jordan’s father).

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"I'm Pat Fucking Tillman" - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Sheila Broflovski said it best:

Remember what the MPAA says: Horrific, deplorable violence is okay, as long as people don't say any naughty words!

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Venting Frustration Will Only Make Your Anger Worse

Common sense says venting is an important way to ease tension, but common sense is wrong. Venting – catharsis – is pouring fuel into a fire.
David McRaney, You Are Not So Smart blog via

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Why Poor People Don't Eat Nutritious Food | Poverty in America |

"You want people to eat better? Give them enough money, a place for cooking and storage, and access to a decent variety of food. Then you can worry about the finer points of nutrition."

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Anarchy Beneath the Border - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

There is a case to be made for putting a lot more of our foreign policy resources into this hemisphere, and dedicating a lot less treasure and attention to matters overseas. I'd also like to see changes in drug policy so that our failed yet ongoing efforts at prohibition stop empowering paramilitary drug armies from growing ever more powerful.

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Sally Kern: Gays Want "Equality and Freedom," and Must Be Stopped | Gay Rights |

I honestly think [homosexuality is] the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam — which I think is a big threat, okay?" the fiercely conservative Kern insisted. "This stuff is deadly, and it's spreading, and it will destroy our young people, it will destroy this nation.

Wait, what? Get your priorities straight.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

10 Historical Anti-Immigrant Quotes That Sound ... Familiar | Immigrant Rights |

In fact, our nation was founded on immigration, and immigration has always strengthened, enriched, and shaped our identity. How ironic then that the very descendants whose ancestors were targets of demonization are now the leaders of anti-immigrant movements.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

53% of Americans Don't Want the Government to Push Broadband to Poor and Rural Areas, are Dicks

America! The land of selfish assholes. At least that's what a new survey seems to show, with 53% of respondents against the idea of the government making high-speed broadband available to those it has yet to reach.

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Huckabee: Don’t Change 14th Amendment - The Daily Beast

Huckabee dismissed calls from within the Republican Party to change the part of the 14th Amendment that automatically gives citizenship to children born in the United States. "The Supreme Court has decided that, I think, in three different centuries,” Huckabee told NPR. "In every single instance, they have affirmed that if you are born in this country, you are considered to be a citizen. The only option there is to change the Constitution." Asked if he would support an effort to make such a change, he said “No.

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Work of Art: Opposites Attract a Litany of Common Art World Myths

That art should be subtle and complicated is common mis-representation of how the art world evaluates art — it actually privileges unique expression — and it’s this confusion that continually creates vague, inarticulate discussion even amongst professionals.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why Marriage Rights Should Never Be Up For a Vote | Gay Rights |

Minority rights that are derived from claims against the majority cannot be subject to a referendum process where majorities are needed,
Supreme Court, Costa Rica via

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Memories of space flight | JessicarulestheUniverse

Yes, it is much cheaper and way safer to send unmanned probes out into space, and it is hard to sell and defend a vision given humanity’s more pressing needs. But when we stop dreaming, we die. The rest of our lives becomes a formality.

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Google Says There Are 129,864,880 Different Books In Existence

Google, who's been determinedly digitizing the world's books, thought it might be prudent to figure out just how many books are actually out there to begin with. They made a special algorithm, natch, and came up with 129,864,880.

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Meaning Of The First Amendment - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

I treasure the way the 1st Amendment protects my rights to worship. But I also understand that the 1st Amendment -- the "first draft" of which was written by one of my ancestors -- exists more to protect religious minorities than those of us in the majority.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Those Full-Body Scanners We Were Told Wouldn’t Save Images? Yeah, They’re Saving Images. Shock.

Who saw this coming? Oh, right: most everyone. Gotcha. The Federal Government has admitted to storing those full-body scan images that had privacy advocates so worked up over the past few months. This, despite the fact that it said it wouldn’t store the images. Say one thing, do another. Yay.

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California Gay Marriage Granted: Prop. 8 Ruled Unconstitutional - The Daily Beast

A federal judge in California ruled Wednesday that Proposition 8—which legally defined marriage as between a man and a woman—violated the U.S. Constitution. Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker said Proposition 8 violated the 14th amendment, which calls for equal protection under the law. "Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians," Walker wrote in his decision. But victory, almost two years after voters approved the measure, is not guaranteed: Supporters of Proposition 8 have filed an appeal.

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Add Your Voice | Freedom to Marry

When the federal court struck down Proposition 8, we moved one step closer to winning the freedom to marry nationwide. It’s a time to celebrate a major victory -- but also to focus on the challenges ahead.

The courts don't operate in a vacuum. Add your voice and tell the nation "I'm helping to defeat Prop 8, and I’m going to work to win the freedom to marry in the 45 states that still exclude loving and committed same-sex couples from marriage.

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Bloomberg Defends 'Ground Zero Mosque' - The Daily Beast

Are you listening, Sarah Palin? New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered a stirring defense on Tuesday of the so-called Ground Zero Mosque that has conservatives up in arms.

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Official – Vatican does compare child abuse with ordaining women | Atheist Ireland

For example, sexually abusing a child is listed not as a crime against the child, but as a crime against the Biblical commandment forbidding adultery. And attempting to ordain a woman attracts a more serious punishment than sexually abusing a child. This is the type of morality that results when people put theology ahead of reality.

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Monday, August 2, 2010 - The Most Activated Windows Resource

If you stop thinking of Microsoft as an innovator and start thinking of them as a fast, low cost, mass market follower, you'll stop being disappointed in their inability to divine new markets and realize they are staring at some of their largest growth opportunities ever.
Jefferies analyst Katherine Egbert via

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Why Nothing Happens in the Senate - The Daily Beast

The tools of Senate politics are no longer about voting deals and creative legislation, he writes, but rather arcane rules, elaborate techniques of obstructionism, and minute points of senatorial procedure as senators fall back behind party lines.

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