Articles by ralph

Bobby Rush HoodieThe ONLY person to beat Barack Obama in an election. Reports Peter Grier in Christian Science Monitor:

Hoodies on the House floor are verboten, apparently. Rep. Bobby Rush (D) of Illinois was scolded and escorted from the chamber of the House of Representatives on Wednesday morning, when he attempted to give a speech on the need for a full investigation of the Trayvon Martin shooting while wearing sunglasses and a gray hooded sweat shirt. “Racial profiling has to stop, Mr. Speaker,” said Representative Rush while doffing his suit jacket to reveal his hoodie garb. “Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum.”


Mariana TrenchMore people have been to the Moon than to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Reports Steve Gorman on the Christian Science Monitor:

Returning from humankind’s first solo dive to the deepest spot in the ocean, filmmaker James Cameron said he saw no obvious signs of life that might inspire creatures in his next “Avatar” movie but was awestruck by the “complete isolation.” The Oscar-winning director and undersea explorer said his record-setting expedition to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, 7 miles beneath the surface of the western Pacific, not only capped seven years of painstaking preparation but was the “culmination of a lifelong dream.”


Starfish PrimeIt was hypothesized at the time, the radiation might provide a defensive shield above the U.S. against Soviet nukes, but aside from the light show, it ended up frying many of our satellites. The radiation took 10 years to dissipate, which made study of our natural radiation belts, the Van Allen belts, problematic during that period.

Wikipedia has a good article explaining the test and NPR has a good article and video about it from a few years ago:

Back in the summer of 1962, the U.S. blew up a hydrogen bomb in outer space, some 250 miles above the Pacific Ocean. It was a weapons test, but one that created a man-made light show that has never been equaled — and hopefully never will:


Mike DaiseyVia Mike Daisey’s blog for audio and transcript on The Atlantic :

Last night, at a long-scheduled appearance at Georgetown University, Mike Daisey gave his first public talk since the news broke last Friday that This American Life was retracting the now-infamous episode featuring his work. Daisey is a complicated and conflicted figure, and, it’s hard not to feel complicated and conflicted about him and about his work. His talk last night, which I’ve transcribed below as best I could, provides a new dimension to the story that is now at the center of a scandal.

This is my first scandal. (Laughter)

I haven’t had another one like it.

And, as they say, if you’re going to go, go big.

And so, I was on the train down here today, and I was keenly aware that I was coming down to talk about “Art and the Human Voice in the Global Labor Struggle,” and I was keenly aware of the situation that I have been embroiled in, that I embroiled myself in …





iTunes | Download (mp3) The Disinformation Company is excited to announce the return of the Disinformation Podcasts with The Disinfocast, hosted by Matt Staggs. Matt Staggs is a writer and longtime aficionado…


I’m really wondering if the goal now of the Republican Party is to get Barack Obama re-elected. Scott Collins reports in the LA Times:

Rick Santorum has not been a frequent presence on the Sunday morning chat shows during his Republican presidential campaign. But when he shows up, he really makes an impression.

On Sunday, the former Pennsylvania senator told ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that a 1960 speech by John F. Kennedy to Baptist ministers in Houston made him want to “throw up.” In the speech, Kennedy, then running for president, tried to reassure critics that, as a Catholic, he would not take orders from the pope and that he believed in “absolute” separation of church and state.


Interesting self-created Q&A found on Jay Rosen’s PressThink: Q. You’ve been using this phrase, “the view from nowhere,” for a while— A. Yeah, since 2003… Q. So what do you mean by…






It’s like watching a robot self-destruct … David Frum opines on CNN:

Mitt Romney ended a very bad week with a pretty good weekend.

Tuesday, Romney lost two caucuses and a nonbinding primary to Rick Santorum. Saturday, Romney won the also nonbinding Maine caucuses and the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Four weeks from now, no one will remember the Maine caucuses. I’m guessing though that people will remember a phrase from Romney’s speech to CPAC on Friday, in which he described himself as a “severely conservative” governor of Massachusetts.



Dead TwitterReports Lucas Shaw via Reuters:

Did social media just prematurely kill off the leader of North Korea?

Rumors that Kim Jong-un, the country’s supreme leader, has been assassinated just months after he took power originated on Chinese microblogging service Weibo and have now spread all over Twitter.

Others are reporting that Jong-un, believed to be 28 years old, may be on the run rather than dead, but both reports claim that some kind of coup is taking place.

One person on Weibo wrote (loose translation): “north korea’s biggest leader kim jung un, this morning in beijing time 2:45 am, had his residence broken into and was assassinated by unidentified people, who were shot dead by his bodyguards in korea’s embassy in beijing, vehicles are rapidly increasing in number, and have surpassed 30 of them, this sort of battle formation hasn’t been seen in over two years. please verify this.”







Maybe Jack Nicholson was right after all. Via Yahoo News: Leonid Ksanfomaliti, an astronomer based at the Space Research Institute of Russia’s Academy of Sciences, analyzed photographs taken by a Russian landing…