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Roundup: Where All the Corn Cobs Are Edition

October 29th, 2007 · No Comments · Advertising, Books, Climate Change, Comics, Culture, Death Penalty, Fantasy, Fiction, Film, Food, Health, Healthcare Crisis, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Internet, Labor, Law, LGBT, Music, Nature, New Wave, News, Organic Food, Pets, Politics, Roundup, Science, Tech

In order to keep these roundups fresh as a spring daisy, I usually discard any links I’ve been keeping around that are more than a week old. But since this is OcPot’s first roundup in more than six weeks, I’m extending the freshness window slightly to include a few things that were just too good to chuck in the dustbin.

Corn Cob Mystery

  • Wondering if the California wildfires are connected to climate change? Bob Harris makes a pretty airtight case, which includes this prescient citation: “In studies released five years ago, Neilson and other OSU researchers predicted that the American West could become both warmer and wetter in the coming century, conditions that would lead to repeated, catastrophic fires larger than any in recent history.”
  • The title of this DKos diary is fairly self-explanatory: “Indian slave children found making low cost clothes for the Gap.” Includes a good roundup of anti-sweatshop resources, including a couple of places to buy union-made clothes.
  • The American Bar Association is calling for a nationwide moratorium on executions, after a new report studying death penalty cases in eight states found serious, widespread problems with fairness and accuracy. Among the problems cited in the report: false confessions by defendants, poor handling of DNA evidence, misidentification by eyewitnesses, and persistent racial disparities in sentencing.
  • Genarlow Wilson, the black teenager imprisoned for having consensual oral sex with another teenager, is finally free after his conviction was overturned by Georgia’s Supreme Court. Now if the authorities can just find a way to restore the nearly three years of his life they stole from him.
  • If I made the rules, it would be illegal for credit card companies to ever raise the interest rate on purchases you’ve already made. I’m still not sure how they get away with doing that. At any rate, apparently there’s at least one presidential candidate who might do something about it, according to this DKos diary: “I found out not too long after I got my first credit card that these companies were out to get me. If I sent my bill on time, but didn’t give the mailman at least 7-10 business days to get the bill to them, I was looking at a $40 late fee. Edwards has a plan to reinstate the 10 day grace period on late fees. I’ve also heard horror stories about how credit card companies will raise the interest rate on past purchases. Edwards will ban that practice.”
  • A This Modern World reader coins the term “Wide Stance Republican” after the latest report of a Republican failing to live up to his conservative “family values” rhetoric.
  • Indian call center jobs are starting to seem less appealing to young Indian job seekers, according to Time.
  • THE PINK SECTION: Possibly the best piece written about the coming out of Dumbledore: “In addition to the braying of hatemongers, there’s already been some umbrage taken at the appropriateness of Rowling’s decision to uncork this news in front of children, a brand of sanctimony for which I have no patience. At least one out of 25 of those children will eventually self-identify as homosexual. The other 24, having made their way through an epic series that includes multiple murders, demonic possession, and the psychic toll of having mentally ill parents, will, I imagine, be able to handle the bulletin that some people are gay, and will likely benefit from the richer understanding of the world that such knowledge provides.”
  • Gay baby poster causes ruckus in Italy.
  • Shame on Singapore. Led by its bigoted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore decides to remain in the dark ages and keep its oppressive law against gay sex on the books.
  • THE GREEN SECTION: A four-year investigation funded by the European Union finds that organic food has far more nutritional value than conventionally farmed food, including up to 40 percent more antioxidants in produce and higher amounts of vitamin E in milk. And from the NY Times, five easy ways to go organic.
  • The future is drying up.
  • Holy Mirkwood forest. “Monstrous network of sheet-like webs” found in Texas state park, baffling biologists. Via AKMA.
  • Be free, little minks!
  • Itchmo has the top ten items surgically removed from pets. I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting number 7.
  • FILM: Henry Bean and Tim Robbins take on obnoxious car alarms in their new film. I’ve long felt that car alarms should be flat-out illegal. They’re useless — nobody ever comes when they go off — but I can’t tell you how many times they’ve kept me awake for hours because someone accidentally walked too close to some pointlessly boobytrapped SUV.
  • Uh-oh. New Star Trek movie isn’t inviting Shatner on board the Enterprise, and the Shat isn’t happy. And if the Shat isn’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
  • Wolverine movie scheduled for May 2009 release.
  • Actual headline I enjoyed just an eensy bit more than I was supposed to: “Wahlberg Bones Up for Gosling.”
  • MUSIC: “Loud, sexy rock & roll with the beat pumped up to hot pink”: Rolling Stone looks at the forthcoming B-52’s album. Plus a review of the songs and some interview with Keith here.
  • Tautology watch: Sex Pistols reunion described as “raucous” and “chaotic.” You were expecting a bubble machine, maybe?
  • TECH: This is what your Web experience will look like once the big providers manage to kill off Net Neutrality. Via AKMA, again.
  • HEALTH: Drug-resistant staph infections have been getting a lot of media attention the last couple of weeks, as the fact that they’re now killing more people in the US each year than HIV hits the public consciousness, and several high school deaths drive the point home. The Chicago Reader had a disturbing cover story a couple of weeks back, about MRSA infections running rampant in the Cook County Jail and then being carried home to inmates’ communities when they’re released. And from the NY Times, “what you need to know” about drug-resistant staph.
  • The Roman Catholic Church’s ban on condoms is helping to spread AIDS in Latin America, according to the UN AIDS program.
  • COMICS: This Modern World: going medieval is for wimps. On Parallel Earth, Republicans are going straight to Neanderthal! Also: toddler birthday party scandal! And Alan Greenspan, comedic genius.
  • Justin Bilicki on Blackwater’s extra-special body armor. Also, Bush’s slippery grasp of the children’s healthcare issue.
  • Mike Luckovich: Bush is ready to tackle those wildfires.
  • “I’ll land my chopper any damn place I want!” Slowpoke looks at Nobel Prize losers.


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