Articles by bluemana

First Gay PresidentBill Clinton only got to be America’s first “black” president. Interesting take from Eric Randall in the Atlantic Wire:

Newsweek’s cover this week declares that Barack Obama is the “First Gay President,” playing on the reader’s knowledge that Obama isn’t himself gay, but his support for same-sex marriage earns him an honorary rainbow halo. The headline obviously calls back to 1998, when Toni Morrison declared Bill Clinton the first black president in The New Yorker, which at the time was edited by current Newsweek editor Tina Brown. “Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald’s-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas,” Morrison wrote, laying out the formula for how to declare a President has attained the identity of someone else through actions and behaviors. Newsweek‘s cover has been called “controversial” and “pretty shocking,” but it’s merely the most recent in presidential firsts that weren’t for the country’s actual first black president.


433 ErosThe mission would not occur until the 2020s, so we all can rest assured that no harbinger of doom is on the way …? As Richard Gray reports in the Telegraph:

It is a space mission straight from the Hollywood film Armageddon

A team of astronauts, however, have already started preparing for just such a mission. Among them is Major Tim Peake, a former British Army helicopter test pilot who is now the first official British astronaut with the European Space Agency.

Next month they will begin a training programme that will teach them how to operate vehicles, conduct spacewalks and gather samples on the surface of an asteroid.

While the primary goal of a mission to an asteroid will be scientific to learn more about their hostile environments, the skills needed to work on their surface could also prove invaluable should scientists discover one on a collision course with Earth…


Very interesting perspective from Garry Wills in the New York Review of Books given the current media circus regarding President Obama’s personal support of same-sex marriage: Why do some people who would…



West VirginiaNot big fans of Mr. Obama in the state of West Virginia. Reports ABC News:

President Obama has never been particularly popular in West Virginia, and even though he’s an incumbent president running essentially unopposed, Tuesday’s Democratic primary in the Appalachian state didn’t change that dynamic.

More than 40 percent of Democrats voting chose to cast their ballot for Keith Russell Judd, an inmate at the Beaumont Federal Correctional Institution in Beaumont, Texas, where he’s doing time for extortion and threats made at the University of New Mexico in 1999.

Judd scored 42.28 percent of the vote — or 49,490 votes — compared with President Obama with 57.72 percent, or 67,562, according to unofficial state results.

Neither Mr. Obama nor Mr. Judd – who is in prison – physically campaigned in the state.











Travis Riddle writes in Scientific American: In the mid 1990’s, Apple Computers was a dying company.  Microsoft’s Windows operating system was overwhelmingly favored by consumers, and Apple’s attempts to win back market…







Jamie Condliffe writes on Gizmodo: Talking to yourself is the preserve of mad men, right? Not according to a new study, which reveals that the seemingly irrational act of chatting to oneself…


NunsReports Agence France-Presse via the RAW Story:

The Vatican has issued a scathing condemnation of the main association of Catholic nuns in the United States for taking liberal stances on contraception, homosexuality and female priests.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) said in a statement on Thursday it was “stunned” by the Vatican report which pointed to “serious doctrinal problems” and “unacceptable positions” on a range of issues.

It accused members of LCWR, which represents around 45,000 US nuns, or 80 percent of the total, of “corporate dissent” with the Church’s teachings against homosexuality and said it was pursuing “radical feminist themes”…




AtheistChris Morran writes on the Consumerist:

Consumerist reader Mike has a Capital One credit card. He’d hoped to get one of the bank’s customizable “Image Cards” printed with a big red “A” for atheism. His initial upload was rejected by Capital One, which sent him a long list of possible reasons. And when he called to appeal, things just more bizarre.

The first person Mike spoke with said they had no idea why it was rejected and submitted his appeal.

Then the image was rejected a second time. “I spoke to someone after the second rejection that someone there said that there was a note in my file regarding the fact that they do not allow religious or anti-religious images,” Mike tells Consumerist.

And yes, far down that list of possible reasons for rejecting a card, CapOne does list “Controversial subject matter such as political or religious statements and/or images.”