April 21, 2017 / From the Editor
In a moment when so much information is unreliable and even more distressing, we feel …
July 4, 2014
Howard Megdal makes a defense for the hot dog:
Let’s be honest: When you are eating a hot dog, you are making a bargain with God. There’s a certain amount of information you normally receive when you purchase food. You buy a hamburger, there’s a certain level of belief that it’s ground beef. The same goes for a chicken sandwich. But really, a hot dog is a flying leap. Or, as it is written is the Online Etymology Dictionary: “The suspicion that sausages contained dog meat was ‘occasionally justified.'”
Channing Tatum is not messing around in the new film Foxcatcher:
We’ve extolled the surprising and under-utilized comic abilities of Channing Tatum before. He’s an actor who tends to get squeezed into beefcake-action-hero roles even though he can do much more. Now he’s trying to prove his dramatic bona fides in Foxcatcher, the much-anticipated movie about wrestler Mark Schultz and his creepy sponsor (Steve Carell), from the director of Moneyball and Capote.
The show Drunk History is back:
The second season of TV’s Drunk History starts this week. In it, people recount genuine historical events while sloshed, and actors dressed up in period clothing re-enact the drunk person’s story. Here’s a taste:
You may have participated in a Facebook sociological experiment without knowing it:
Most of the attention has been focused on the particulars: how almost 700,000 Facebook users were subjected to a psychological experiment without their knowledge or explicit consent, the decision to manipulate their News Feeds to suppress either positive or negative updates, and why this study was accepted to a journal without academic ethics approval. But beyond this horizon, some truly difficult questions lie in wait: What kinds of accountability should apply to experiments on humans participating on social platforms? Apart from issues of consent and possible harm, what are the power dynamics at work? And whose interests are being served by these studies?
Have Americans lost an ear for poetry? Maybe not:
One hears a certain baleful cry regularly in writerly circles that Americans don’t care about poetry anymore. A widely read Atlantic piece by Dana Gioia in 1992 was a signature statement. Granted, that was a while ago now, but times don’t seem to have changed much: Comments in the wake of Charles Wright’s anointment last week as America’s poet laureate kept the lamentation going.
Ross Douthat of the New York Times considers the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case:
Today’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, in which the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Obama White House’s mandate requiring employers to pay for the morning-after pill, sterilization and contraception unduly burdened the religious liberty of Hobby Lobby’s Christian owners, is the latest evidence that we inhabit a very different political and jurisprudential landscape on these issues than we did from the 1960s (or 1940s, even) through the 1990s.
Charles P. Pierce takes a look at Major League Baseball under Bud Selig:
But I am a fan of beginnings and of endings, of the opening of an era and of its closing. So I note with interest that, on July 15, Bud Selig will celebrate his final All-Star Game as the only commissioner baseball has. With any luck at all, this event will come off somewhat better than did the one in 2002, which was his 10th All-Star Game as the only commissioner baseball had. The game went into 11 innings. The two teams ran out of pitchers. Facing a horrendous cluster of that of which you do not want a cluster, unless you’re Caligula, and doing so in his home ballpark in Milwaukee, Selig declared a tie. He declared himself both embarrassed and terribly sad. America declared itself amused and moved on.
Bono criticizes Apple for lack of Product Red promotion: ‘they’re like a religious cult’:
Over the years, Apple has raised over $75 million for Product Red. The initiative — started by U2 frontman Bono — directs a chunk of profits from various products to the fight against AIDS. But few people know about Apple’s contributions; the company rarely boasts about or issues press releases marking Product Red milestones. And Bono isn’t happy about that. He wants to see Apple do more to increase Red’s visibility; much more than it’s doing now, anyway. “Apple is so fucking annoyingly quiet about the fact they’ve raised $75 million,” Bono told an audience during his recent Cannes Lions presentation. “Nobody knows!” To its credit, Apple does have an entire page of its website dedicated to Product Red. Here, the company proudly shares that it’s generated over $70 million for the cause.
This Wired.com blog posts breaks down the science of the penalty kick and blocking it:
In Saturday’s World Cup match between Brazil and Chile, it came down to penalty kicks. If neither team is ahead after two extra 15 minute time periods, each team gets 5 penalty kicks. The team that scores the most of these 5 wins the match. Brazil won. Oh, was that a spoiler? No, it can’t be. Surely you know the score by now. It seems pretty tough to stop one of these penalty kicks. How about a quick analysis?
David A. Garner