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Roundup: Ronald Reagan Memorial Bridge Edition

August 9th, 2007 · 1 Comment · Activism, Apple, Comics, Culture, Human Rights, Infrastructure, Journalism, LGBT, Lit, Macintosh, Media, Nature, News, Poetry, Politics, Religion, Roundup, Science, Tech, Torture

1-35W Bridge

  • This is brilliant. Peter Smith at the Huffington Post has a proposal for renaming the new I-35W bridge in Minneapolis that will replace the one that collapsed: “For a while there, back when the Republicans held the White House and both houses of Congress, they were naming things after Ronald Reagan everywhere. Airports. Aircraft carriers. Federal buildings. There was even talk of replacing Roosevelt with Reagan on the dime. Now, with the national landscape cratered with reminders of the apocalypse their public policy has wrought since 1980, maybe it’s time to revisit the concept and start naming American disasters after the people and policies that caused them. Obviously, the new 35W bridge in Minneapolis should be named for The Great Communicator. Infrastructure on the cheap began on his watch.”
  • Further down on that page, a commenter suggests naming the Ninth Ward of New Orleans “Grover’s Bath Tub,” after Grover Norquist’s infamous remark about wanting to drown the federal government in his bath tub.
  • From the people who brought you the great African-American voter purge of 2000, you’ll love the sequel: According to this Daily Kos diary, Greg Palast is predicting that the Republicans’ voter purge target for 2008 will be Latinos, and that their cover story will be that they’re just trying to stop illegal immigrants from voting.
  • If your local newspaper is in need of a progressive columnist (and what local paper isn’t these days, now that Molly Ivins is no longer with us?), David Sirota has an action step for you.
  • A new study reports that both gay men and lesbians vote in dramatically higher percentages than the rest of the population.
  • I’ve been wondering this for a while myself: If God didn’t make Adam and Steve, how did they get here?
  • THE GREEN SECTION: So long, and thanks for all the fish. As of yesterday, the Yangtze river dolphin (also known as the baiji) has been declared officially extinct, ending its 20-million-year history on Planet Earth. The baiji is believed to be the first member of the cetacean category (which includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises) to become extinct due to human activity.
  • Dr. Sam Turvey, the biologist who led the recent expedition that failed to turn up any surviving specimens of the baiji, spoke movingly: “The loss of such a unique and charismatic species is a shocking tragedy … There is a lot of interest now in the baiji — but it has come too late. Why does no one pay attention to a species until there are none left? We really have to use the baiji as a wake-up call to act immediately to prevent it happening again.”
  • Meanwhile, scientists have discovered six new animal species in a “lost forest” in the Congo — including one new bat, one new rat, two shrews, and two frogs. (Which sounds like the beginning of an idea for a Dr. Seuss book …) Click through for pictures.
  • Rare olive ridley turtles are being threatened by Tata Steel, India’s largest corporation, which is planning to build a gigantic port near the endangered turtles’ breeding grounds.
  • The anti-bottled water movement continues to grow, and Pepsi has agreed to start admitting on its labels that Aquafina is made from tap water. (As is Coca-Cola’s Dasani.)
  • Organic cotton is booming in Britain.
  • LIT: A profile of new US Poet Laureate Charles Simic. (h/t Norm Sloan.)
  • Three poems from Guantanamo, at the Boston Globe.
  • WEIRD SCIENCE: First it was invisibility. Now it turns out levitation might be possible, according to theoretical physicists at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
  • TECH: The iPhone is a long way off in my future, if at all, because I’m just not interested in signing up with AT&T. But a recycling-friendly aluminum iMac with an internal hard drive you can bump up to 500 GB? I think I just met my next desktop.
  • Also, I keep reading stories that say the new iMacs come in three configurations — nobody seems to be mentioning the fact that if you order from the Apple site, there are actually four. The Apple Store on the Web shows a top-end version that comes with 2 GB of RAM and a 2.8 GHz processor for $2399. Maybe it’s a Web exclusive sort of thing?
  • COMICS: Tom the Dancing Bug: Super Fun-Pack Comix! Also, remember, if you find yourself in trouble, all you really need to do is seek forgiveness from your wife and God. The rest will sort itself out!
  • Tom Toles: Who’s really supplying arms to the US’s enemies in Iraq?
  • Slowpoke: the newest message on the Goodyear blimp.
  • … and Berkeley Breathed delivers a Carl Sagan kind of moment.


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