Tuesday, May 21, 2013.
New York Times: "Jamie Dimon, the nation’s most powerful banker, can hold onto his title of chairman after JPMorgan Chase's shareholders decisively defeated a proposal to split the two top jobs. The vote to split the roles of chairman and chief executive — both of which have been held by Mr. Dimon since 2006 — received only 32.2 percent of shares voted. That is down from a vote of roughly 40 percent in support of a similar proposal last year. All 11 directors of the bank’s board were also re-elected."
New York Times: "Emergency crews and volunteers continued to work through the early morning hours Tuesday in a frantic search for survivors of a huge tornado that ripped through parts of Oklahoma City and its suburbs, killing at least 91 people, 20 of them children, and flattening whatever was in its path, including at least two schools." The Oklahoman currently has links on its front page to many tornado-related stories. ...
... The Lede has updates here.
Monday, May 20, 2013.
New York Times: "Homes were flattened, cars were flung through the air and at least two schools packed with children were destroyed as a huge tornado, perhaps a mile wide, tore through towns near Oklahoma City on Monday, killing at least 37 people and sending rescuers and residents dashing to dig out survivors buried in rubble." The Lede has updates here; it includes live video. A map shows the path of the tornado.
AP: " Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy ... warned that Monday's commute is expected to be 'extremely challenging' following the collision and derailment of two trains outside Bridgeport last week that injured 72 people."
New York Times: "Three months after hackers working for a cyberunit of China’s People’s Liberation Army went silent amid evidence that they had stolen data from scores of American companies and government agencies, they appear to have resumed their attacks using different techniques, according to computer industry security experts and American officials."
New York Times: "Vast stretches of Texas farmland lying over the [High Plains] Aquifer no longer support irrigation. In west-central Kansas, up to a fifth of the irrigated farmland along a 100-mile swath of the aquifer has already gone dry. In many other places, there no longer is enough water to supply farmers’ peak needs during Kansas’ scorching summers. And when the groundwater runs out, it is gone for good. Refilling the aquifer would require hundreds, if not thousands, of years of rains."
Reuters: "At least 43 people were killed in car bomb explosions targeting Shi'ite Muslims in the Iraqi capital and the southern oil hub of Basra on Monday, police and medics said. About 150 people have been killed in sectarian violence over the past week and tensions between Shi'ites, who now lead Iraq, and minority Sunni Muslims have reached their highest level since U.S. troops pulled out in December 2011."
Reuters: "North Korea fired two short-range missiles on Monday, making six launches in three days, and it condemned South Korea for criticizing what it said were its legitimate military drills."
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New York Times: A Swedish study "associate[s] antidepressant use during pregnancy with an increased incidence of autism in exposed children."
10:00 am ET: President Obama makes a statement about the tornadoes & severe weather in Oklahoma
12:30 pm ET: Jay Carney's press briefing
If you don't see the livefeed here, go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.
Politico's Late Nite Jokes:
New York Times: "On the program she invented, on the network where she worked for the past 37 years, on the medium where she broke barriers and rules for more than 50 years, Barbara Walters will announce on Monday morning, definitively and with no regrets, that she is calling it a career." ...
... ** UPDATE. Alex Pareene of Salon: Walters "is a national icon and a pioneer, and probably as responsible as any other living person for the ridiculous and sorry state of American television journalism. She has announced her retirement a year in advance, so that a series of aggrandizing specials can be produced celebrating her long and storied career. So let’s get things started off right, by reminding everyone how her entire public life has been an extended exercise in sycophancy and unalloyed power worship."
Margalit Fox if the New York Times on "Alice Kober, an overworked, underpaid classics professor at Brooklyn College," who "working quietly and methodically at her dining table in Flatbush, helped solve one of the most tantalizing mysteries of the modern age."
The Kids are All Right. Elspeth Reeve of the Atlantic: contra Time magazine's cover story "The Me Me Me Generation," young people of every generation are more narcissistic than older people. A mighty fine takedown. ...
... AND, as Marc Tracy of The New Republic writes, " Time and [the story's author Joel] Stein reveal themselves to be guilty of taking culturally and ethically specific ideas about how people should live their lives as normative facts.... It is an unrigorous application of pre-existing biases, taking those biases for gospel. It is typical not so much of Gen Xers or baby boomers but of, simply, old people. Stein’s article is dressed up as objective description, which hides the fact that most of it — to paraphrase a boomer icon — is just, like, his opinion, man."
Britain's Prince Harry has tea at the White House:
... AND he isn't a complete goof: Yahoo! News: "Prince Harry made a visit to Capitol Hill yesterday to tour an exhibit on landmines, a cause dear to the heart of his late mother Princess Diana, and inadvertently won the hearts of flocks of female admirers who followed him to the exhibit. The CEO of the HALO Trust, the charity that organized the Capitol Hill exhibit, told Power Players that Prince Harry 'is really carrying on that mantle' of his mother’s work by bringing public attention to the cause."
A Tale of Two Spocks. And one kind of auto ad: Zachary Quinto vs. Leonard Nimoy: "The Challenge"
Perhaps it's in bad taste to put an obituary of a beloved mother in the Infotainment section. But still. ...
... Forrest Wickman of Slate: "Margaret Groening, mother of Simpsons creator Matt Groening, died peacefully at age 94 recently. She is survived by the longest running sitcom in American television, much of which she and her family helped inspire." Read the whole thing.
Washington Post: "The first plane that can fly day and night powered only by the sun on Friday began a transcontinental journey that will reach Washington by mid-June." ...
... AP Update: "The Solar Impulse — considered the world's most-advanced sun-powered plane — set down about 12:30 a.m. [Saturday, May 4,] at Sky Harbor Airport [in Phoeniz, Arizona], completing part of a journey that its pilot described as a 'milestone' in aviation history."
Alex Pareene of Salon: "Howard Kurtz comes out as illiterate." ...
Dylan Byers of Politico: "The Daily Beast is dropping Howard Kurtz, the veteran media critic who made headlines this week for his erroneous report about NBA star Jason Collins.... The decision comes after Kurtz published a blog post that falsely asserted that Collins, who announced he was gay in an article for Sports Illustrated, had neglected to mention his previous engagement to a woman. In fact, Collins mentioned that engagement in the article and in a subsequent interview with ABC News." ...
... Update: "... CNN also announced that Kurtz’s longtime weekend media criticism show, 'Reliable Sources,' was under review." CW: It's a rare day that a fawning, phony VSP goes "under review."
... The Daily Beast: "The Daily Beast has retracted a May 2, 2013, blog post by Howard Kurtz titled 'Jason Collins’ Other Secret.' The piece contained several errors, resulting in a misleading characterization of NBA player Collins...." ...
... CW: I'm not sure why Collins would be expected to tell people he was once engaged to a woman. This is only going to call attention to the woman & might embarrass her. His past & present personal relationships are his own business. He chose to share the information, but I don't see that it was a necessary element to his coming-out. Kurtz is just an all-around idiot. ...
... AND, yeah, Howie's video -- which everybody says is awful -- is really awful. BuzzFeed has it here. Evidently, Howie is unaware that many people who are gay have carried on long heterosexual relationships, have married opposite-sex people and have had children with them -- before they came out. There is nothing even remotely unusual about Collins' having carried on a long-term relationship with a woman. Kurtz is just an all-around idiot.
New York Times: "Archaeologists excavating a trash pit at the Jamestown colony site in Virginia have found direct evidence of the cannibalism that had long been known to have occurred among the desperate population. Cut marks on the skull and skeleton of a 14-year-old girl show her flesh and brain were removed, presumably to be eaten by the starving colonists during the harsh winter of 1609."
Space.com: "The best view of Saturn available to Earth dwellers in six years should be on Sunday (April 28), with the planet reaching its opposition point, when Earth lies directly between it and the sun. You can watch the celestial show live online via the Slooh Space Camera, which will be broadcasting a feed from its telescopes in Spain's Canary Islands. You can watch the Saturn webcast live on SPACE.com beginning at 9:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday (0130 GMT Monday)."
See Will Shakespeare Spin. "Thou Protestes Too Much." Or Something. Michele Bachmann plays Queen Gertrude, the mother of Prince Hamlet:
Winnie-ther-Propagandist. Prachi Gupta of Salon: "New documents reveal that venerated 'Winnie-the-Pooh' author A.A. Milne, a steadfast pacifist, secretly served as a wartime propagandist for a top-secret intelligence unit called MI7b during WWI." The Telegraph story, though poorly-written, is interesting.
WikiPedia, Your Source for Sexism. Amanda Filipacchi in a New York Times op-ed: "... gradually, over time, [WikiPedia] editors have begun the process of moving women, one by one, alphabetically, from the 'American Novelists' category to the 'American Women Novelists' subcategory. So far, female authors whose last names begin with A or B have been most affected, although many others have, too."