Saturday, May 18, 2013.
ABC News Denver: "Witnesses tell police a Federal Heights woman was killed when the new assault rifle she was showing to friends accidentally fired on Tuesday night. Witnesses and the husband told police the group had been drinking in the garage of the couple's home at 10024 Elliot St. when 22-year-old Anastasia Adair, a new gun enthusiast, went upstairs to a bedroom to get her recently purchased assault rifle."
AP: "Two commuter trains packed with rush-hour commuters collided in an accident that sent about 70 people to the hospital, severely damaged the tracks and threatened to snarl travel in the congested Northeast Corridor."
AP: "French President Francois Hollande has signed a law authorizing gay marriage and adoption by same-sex couples, after months of nationwide protests and wrenching debate. His signature means the first gay marriages may be celebrated in France within about 10 days. Hollande’s office said he signed the bill Saturday morning, a day after the Constitutional Council struck down a challenge to the law."
AP: "North Korea fired three short-range guided missiles into its eastern waters on Saturday, a South Korean official said. It routinely tests such missiles, but the latest launches came during a period of tentative diplomacy aimed at easing tensions."
Chicago Tribune: "Siding with patients who say cannabis is the only drug that can safely ease their chronic pain, the Senate sent Gov. Pat Quinn a measure Friday that would make Illinois the 19th state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes."
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"
Politico's Late Nite Jokes:
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."