Posts Tagged ‘Interracial Marriage

09
May
12

Roundup – Minimal Mad Men

Line O’ the Day:

[Werner Herzog:] “After 35 years of knowing John Waters I turn to my wife and I said to her, ‘I have the feeling that this man is gay.’”

– Vince Mancini, Amazing Video: Werner Herzog discovers John Waters is gay [On the Ecstasy of Ski-Flying: Werner Herzog in Conversation with Karen Beckman via FilmDrunk]

Best of the Best:

World’s Richest Worth $1 Trillion on Billionaire List [Alexander Cuadros and Devon Pendleton on  Bloomberg]

The 40 richest individuals on Earth lost a combined $6.2 billion yesterday as stocks dropped amid disappointing U.S. earnings, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the wealthiest people.

Three Stooges producer demands cease & desist from Three Stooges XXX parody [Vince Mancini on FilmDrunk]

HOW DARE YOU INFRINGE ON THE COPYRIGHT OF THREE GUYS* WHOSE CORPSES WE’VE BEEN RAPING! And for pornography?! Disgusting! Sex is supposed to be something that happens behind closed doors, metaphorically, between lawyers and dead comedians!

‘New Poor’ Grows from Greek Middle Class [Johannes Korge and Ferry Batzoglou on Der Spiegel]

The psychologist Eleni Bekiari knows what dark thoughts the crisis and its consequences have brought to Athenians. She staffs Klimaka’s telephone number “1018.” It is a 24-hour suicide hotline, and its statistics are clear. In 2010, there were about 2,500 calls made to the number. In 2011, there were twice as many. “Most of those who call us are women,” she says. “On the other hand, it’s usually the men who end up taking their lives.” Greece traditionally has one of the lowest suicide rates in Europe, but the increase has been dramatic. Since the beginning of the crisis, the suicide rate has almost doubled.

Old Milwaukee’s End Run Around Super Bowl Advertising [Felix Gillette on Bloomberg Businessweek]

Like many of its deeper-pocketed rivals, Old Milwaukee beer rolled out a new TV commercial on Super Bowl Sunday. The ad featured a celebrity endorsement of sorts from comedian Will Ferrell. But rather than targeting all of the 111.3 million viewers that Nielsen (NLSN) estimates tuned in to NBC stations and affiliates for the Nov. 5 gridiron championship, the Old Milwaukee spot aired in front of a tiny subgroup—those watching the Super Bowl on NBC affiliate KNOP-TV 2 in the country’s second-smallest TV market, North Platte, Neb.

Hazard of the Trade: Bankers’ Health [Leslie Kwoh on Wall Street Journal]

During their first two years, the bankers worked on average 80 to 120 hours a week, but remained eager and energetic, she says. They typically arrived at 6 a.m. and left around midnight. By the fourth year, however, many bankers were a mess, according to the study. Some were sleep-deprived, blaming their bodies for preventing them from finishing their work. Others developed allergies and substance addictions. Still others were diagnosed with long-term health conditions such as Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disorders.

26 Years on the Job and Not One Sick Day [Sue Shellenbarger on The Wall Street Journal]

“I just love my job,” Mr. de Sousa says. He remembers the faces and occupations of repeat guests, greeting them by name and asking, “‘How’s your business?’ People love to talk about their business. Their eyes light up.” His boss, hotel manager Derrick Morrow, calls Mr. de Sousa, 53, “the mayor of Tampa Street,” where the hotel is located; some repeat guests choose the hotel because of him, he adds. “He is our chief marketing guy out front.”

How the Iran Nuclear Standoff Looks From Russia [Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Institute via Bloomberg]

Russians are watching warily as tensions around Iran continue to rise. Sanctions, they think, beyond those already authorized by the UN Security Council, would weaken Iran’s pragmatists and empower its ideologues. Russia believes that the even more stringent sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its European allies not only won’t do what the West wants — stop the Iranian nuclear program or turn the Iranian people against their government — but also will fail to stave off an Israeli airstrike. Such an attack inevitably would drag the U.S. into the fray. That means, unless diplomacy is given one last chance, the two things that concern Russian leaders most — a U.S. war against Iran, and an Iran armed with nuclear weapons — may become a reality soon.

Man as Machine [Max Byrd on The Wilson Quarterly]

In early 1738, following another obscure bout of illness, he rented a showroom in the center of Paris and announced, like a Gallic P. T. Barnum, the exhibition (to paying customers) of his own mechanical man. This, we know from numerous witnesses, including Denis Diderot, who wrote about it for his Encyclopédie, was a large wooden automaton—more precisely, an android—painted entirely white to look like marble and modeled after a well-known statue in the Tuileries Garden called The Flute Player. It is almost impossible to overstate the sensation it caused. Like the golden-haired doll in the Museum of Technology, the Flute Player was no simple music box. Vaucanson’s wooden android really played the flute: His lungs pumped air through his trachea and mouth, his lips opened and closed around the mouthpiece, his fingertips—possibly covered with bits of human skin—moved confidently across the various stops on the instrument.

Federal judge complicity [Glenn Greenwald on Salon]

Indeed, even Guantanamo military commissions — once scorned as due-process-free zones that would reflexively churn out convictions — have treated Muslim defendants accused of Terrorism links far better than U.S. federal courts have, as advocates of civilian trials, somewhat perversely, often point out. Just ponder that: if you’re a Muslim, even an American Muslim, accused of some serious crime relating to Terrorism, you’re more likely to receive a fair trial — a chance for acquittal on some charges — if you face a U.S. military tribunal than an American federal court. By stark contrast, look at what federal judges are willing to do when white non-Muslims face dubious, speech-based charges of Terrorism: the court will dismiss the entire indictment on the (correct) ground that the accused Terrorists have the First Amendment right even to advocate violence against the U.S. Government, an affirmation of core Constitutional principles which one almost never sees a federal judge brave enough to protect in the case of a Muslim facing similarly defective accusations.

What Cocktail Parties Teach Us: The Brain Is Wired to Focus on Just One Thing; Which Tasks Are Easier to Combine [Melinda Beck on The Wall Street Journal]

Dr. Strayer’s studies have also found that talking on a cellphone is far more distracting than conversing with a passenger—since a passenger can see the same traffic hazards and doesn’t expect a steady stream of conversation as someone on a cellphone does. Listening to the radio, to music or to a book on tape also isn’t as distracting, because it doesn’t require the same level of interaction as a conversation. But Mr. Simons notes that even drivers may miss some details of a book on tape if their attention is focused on merging or other complex driving tasks. Some people can train themselves to pay extra attention to things that are important—like police officers learn to scan crowds for faces and conductors can listen for individual instruments within the orchestra as a whole. And the Utah researchers have identified a rare group of “super-taskers”—as estimated 2.5% of the population—who seem able to attend to more than one thing with ease. Many more people think they can effectively multitask, but they are really shifting their attention rapidly between two things and not getting the full effect of either, experts say.

California’s Law-and-Order Culture Shows Cracks [Steven Greenhut via Bloomberg]

During a state Senate hearing in 2007 on a bill that would have overturned provisions of the state Supreme Court decision keeping police disciplinary matters confidential (Copley Press Inc. v. Superior Court of San Diego County), the law-enforcement unions showed up in force, and legislators from both parties killed the bill. Democrats even removed the civil-libertarian committee chairman who favored the changes.

Ex-Chargers Linebacker Junior Seau Dies From Gunshot Wound [Erik Matuszewski on Bloomberg]

Seau is the eighth member of the Chargers’ 1994 Super Bowl team to die. The most recent had been Lew Bush, who died of a heart attack in December. Other members of the 1994 Super Bowl team who have died are running back Rodney Culver, linebackers Dave Griggs and Doug Miller, defensive tackle Shawn Lee, defensive end Chris Mims and center Curtis Whitley. Griggs died in a 1995 car crash, Culver was killed in a 1996 plane crash, Miller was struck by lightning in 1998, Whitley overdosed in 2008, Mims died of an enlarged heart the same year and Lee suffered cardiac arrest in March 2011.

DEA Ignored All My Cries [Sarah Grieco and Rory Devine on NBC San Diego]

Chong said he was at a friend’s house in University City celebrating 4/20, a day many marijuana users set aside to smoke, when agents came inside and raided the residence. Chong was then taken to the DEA office in Kearny Mesa. He said agents questioned him, and then told him he could go home. One agent even offered him a ride, Chong said. No criminal charges were filed against him. But Chong did not go home that night. Instead, he was placed in a cell for five days without any human contact and was not given food or drink. In his desperation, he said he was forced to drink his own urine. Chong said he lost roughly 15 pounds during the time he was alone. His lawyer confirmed that Chong ingested a powdery substance found inside the cell. Later testing revealed the substance was methamphetamine. After days of being ignored, Chong said he tried to take his own life by breaking the glass from his spectacles with his teeth and then attempting to carve “Sorry mom,” on his arm. He said nurses also found pieces of glass in his throat, which led him to believe he ingested the pieces purposefully.

The Geography of U.S. Economic Confidence [Richard Florida and Charlotta Mellander via The Atlantic Cities]

Outside of wealthy and all-urban D.C., it was highest in Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Maryland. Economic confidence was lowest in West Virginia, Maine, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Mississippi…Class factors in as well. States with greater concentrations of knowledge, professional, and creative workers had higher levels of economic confidence than those with larger blue-collar workforces. The percentage of creative class workers was positively associated with the percent of people who saw current economic conditions as good (.71) and getting better (.29) and negatively associated with percent who saw economic conditions as bad (-.41) and getting worse (-.77).   The opposite was true of states with larger concentrations of the working class. The percentage of blue-collar workers was positively associated with the percent who believed current economic conditions were bad (.28) and getting worse (.67), and negatively associated with the perception of current economic conditions being good (-.61).

Competition Heats Up In Canada’s Ice Hotel Market [Will Connors on The Wall Street Journal]

There is an extensive list of do’s and don’ts: If you must bring your cellphone, keep it inside your sleeping bag. Fold your boots inward to keep them from getting too cold overnight. Both hotels strongly recommend using the restrooms, located in non-ice facilities, before curling into bags for the night, which are placed on top of covered mattresses on the ice beds. Room temperatures range from 23 degrees to 28 degrees. Construction of the temporary hotels, made of ice and snow, begins about a month before they open. The Snow Village is built using giant inflatable forms, which are deflated and taken away after the snow structure sets. The Hotel de Glace is built with an internal metal structure that stays in place for the hotel’s entire run. The 36-room Hotel de Glace offers rooms at $350 and up. The 30 rooms at Snow Village start at $195 for individual igloos. Neither hotel has doors on its rooms; instead, they use heavy curtains.

More Marriages Cross Race, Ethnicity Lines [Miriam Jordan on The Wall Street Journal]

About 15% of new marriages in the U.S. in 2010 were between individuals of a different race or ethnicity, more than double the share in 1980, according to a report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center. Among those married in 2010, 9% of whites, 17% of blacks, 26% of Hispanics and 28% of Asians married outside their ethnic or racial group…Shifts in behavior, attitudes and demographics—including immigration—have contributed to the intermarriage trend, which the report analyzes based on historical data and Census Bureau figures from the annual American Community Survey from 2008 to 2010. In particular, attitudes have changed markedly since the Supreme Court declared antimiscegenation laws unconstitutional in 1967. Until then, whites were still banned from marrying nonwhites in 16 states…Younger adults, especially those under the age of 30, tend to have a more positive view of intermarriage than older adults, according to a Pew survey that is part of the report. College graduates are much more likely to regard intermarriage positively than those with only a high-school diploma. Of the 275,500 intermarriages in 2010, 43% were white-Hispanic, 14.4% were white-Asian, 11.9% were white-black and the rest were other combinations. Mixed couples are most likely to reside in the Western states, where 22% of all newlyweds between 2008 and 2010 found a partner outside their group. More than four out of 10 marriages in Hawaii were mixed, the highest intermarriage rate of any state. Vermont had the lowest rate of intermarriage, 4%. New Mexico boasted the biggest prevalence of white-Hispanic marriages, or 20%. Rates of white-Asian marriages are highest in Hawaii, Washington, D.C. and Nevada. The top three states for white-black unions are Virginia, North Carolina and Kansas, which have rates of about 3%.

Contractor in Pakistan peddling bricks from Bin Laden compound [Larry McShane on New York Daily News]

Ahmed was hired earlier this year by the Pakistan government to destroy the home where U.S. Navy SEALs gunned down Bin Laden in a daring raid one year ago Tuesday. After Ahmed tore out everything from the pipes and curtains to the olive trees and bathtubs, the house was bulldozed — leaving the huge pile of bricks on the property. When the rubble was put up for auction, he paid about $5,300 for the whole lot after other frightened local businessmen declined to bid. Visitors from across Pakistan began making the trek to the property to buy a piece of blood-spattered history. Ahmed said he’s now traveling with a bodyguard — just in case Islamic militants find fault with his making a buck off Bin Laden. “My family is very worried that my life now is in danger,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

How Companies Learn Your Secrets [Charles Duhigg on The New York Times]

As Pole’s computers crawled through the data, he was able to identify about 25 products that, when analyzed together, allowed him to assign each shopper a “pregnancy prediction” score. More important, he could also estimate her due date to within a small window, so Target could send coupons timed to very specific stages of her pregnancy…Pole applied his program to every regular female shopper in Target’s national database and soon had a list of tens of thousands of women who were most likely pregnant. If they could entice those women or their husbands to visit Target and buy baby-related products, the company’s cue-routine-reward calculators could kick in and start pushing them to buy groceries, bathing suits, toys and clothing, as well. When Pole shared his list with the marketers, he said, they were ecstatic. Soon, Pole was getting invited to meetings above his paygrade. Eventually his paygrade went up. At which point someone asked an important question: How are women going to react when they figure out how much Target knows? “If we send someone a catalog and say, ‘Congratulations on your first child!’ and they’ve never told us they’re pregnant, that’s going to make some people uncomfortable,” Pole told me. “We are very conservative about compliance with all privacy laws. But even if you’re following the law, you can do things where people get queasy.” About a year after Pole created his pregnancy-prediction model, a man walked into a Target outside Minneapolis and demanded to see the manager. He was clutching coupons that had been sent to his daughter, and he was angry, according to an employee who participated in the conversation. “My daughter got this in the mail!” he said. “She’s still in high school, and you’re sending her coupons for baby clothes and cribs? Are you trying to encourage her to get pregnant?” The manager didn’t have any idea what the man was talking about. He looked at the mailer. Sure enough, it was addressed to the man’s daughter and contained advertisements for maternity clothing, nursery furniture and pictures of smiling infants. The manager apologized and then called a few days later to apologize again. On the phone, though, the father was somewhat abashed. “I had a talk with my daughter,” he said. “It turns out there’s been some activities in my house I haven’t been completely aware of. She’s due in August. I owe you an apology.”

A Decade Without a Mexican [Joseph Lawler on RealClearPolicy]

While many countries have high rates of immigration, only the U.S. has such high immigration from poor countries. About half, or fewer than half, of migrants to countries like Norway, Sweden, and France, come from other European or North American countries. A much higher percentage — closer to 80 — of immigrants to the U.S. are from Mexico or other less wealthy countries. In other words, a significant part of the reason the U.S. lags behind other advanced economies along the key metrics of inequality and income mobility is the huge number of poor and uneducated Mexican immigrants who have come to the U.S. over the past 40 years. A reversal of the immigration trend should also improve the U.S.’s standing in such measures. Such a reversal would be not be all good news. The evidence is far from clear that America would be better off with drastically fewer immigrants. Furthermore, Mexico’s per capita GDP is one-third that of the U.S.’s: reduced immigration could mean that more poor Mexicans are trapped with little opportunity for advancement. Nevertheless, the Mexican-American migration of the past 40 years was a historically important one. We may only be able to fully discern what it’s meant for the U.S. now that it’s over.

How the U.S.-Iran Standoff Looks From Iran [Seyed Houssein Mousavian via Bloomberg]

Both sides have made miscalculations, worsening an already strained relationship. From 2003 to 2005, Iran’s team in nuclear negotiations with the so-called EU3 (the U.K., France and Germany) and the IAEA stressed repeatedly that Iran’s right to enrich nuclear fuel was non-negotiable. The team, of which I was part, argued that the EU3 should not be able to deprive Iran of its legitimate right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to acquire nuclear technology, including uranium enrichment. We made it clear that actions such as prolonging the negotiations or suspending the enrichment program would not stop Iran. Rather, Iran would restart the enrichment program, even at the cost of sanctions that could cripple the country’s economy, or of a military strike. The EU3 ignored these warnings. On the other side, those in Tehran with a great deal of sway over nuclear policy ignored warnings that if Iran restarted enrichment unilaterally, that would result in Iran’s nuclear file being referred to the United Nations Security Council, citing Iran’s nuclear program as a threat to international peace and security. Once referred, the way would be paved for imposing further sanctions on Iran and further escalation. Unfortunately, these Iranian policy makers saw the threat of referral as a Western bluff aimed simply at intimidating them. Hopefully, both parties have learned their lessons: Iran will not forgo its rights under the non-proliferation treaty, and the West will follow through with its threat of sanctions and referral.

Vancouver’s Supervised Drug Injection Center: How Does It Work? [Paul Hiebert Interview of Tim Gauthier, InSite’s current clinical coordinator and registered nurse on The Awl]

I approached her to see how she was doing, but she didn’t open up to us very much. She didn’t listen to anything her doctor told her. She just wouldn’t take it in. One day, when she was extremely sick, she brought us a note from her doctor. It had all these things on it. The note said she was septic. She had cavitating lung lesions and abscesses all along her spine. She also had endocarditis, which is an infection in the lining of the heart. Any of these things by themselves are super serious infections—and she had, like, four or five of them. I had to tell her what this note meant. She was so overwhelmed when I started mentioning the first couple things. She kept asking, “Am I going to die? Am I going to die?” And I had to tell her, if you don’t take care of this, it’s very likely you’re not going to live through these infections. It still took us days to get her to a hospital because she just didn’t want to go. She was so scared. One of our staff agreed to take her to the hospital and spent the whole night with her in her room, just stroking her hair and being with her. That, to me, was beautiful.  But this participant wouldn’t stay in the hospital because of her addiction. She needed her drugs. So, we were able to connect her with a local community program that administered antibiotics, which she was too sick to be a part of, but they let her in anyway because it was better than the alternative of no care at all. All the doctors were nervous about this. They thought she’d die. She has since improved significantly.

‘Magic City’ TV show struggled to find real breasts in Miami casting [Kenny Malone on The Miami Herald]

Producers discovered many women of South Florida have been surgically enhanced beyond anything natural to the late 1950s. “I’ve actually had better luck finding synchronized swimming groups than I did finding real boobs,” said Bill Marinella, local extras casting director. “We did a lot of research and reached out to burlesque clubs and just finding people on the beach and literally walking up to them on the street and saying, ‘Hey, you look like you’re right out of The Great Gatsby.’ ” Magic City was left particularly exposed to issues of the chest. Like a lot of premium cable shows, the series does not shy away from skimpy attire or full frontal nudity.

Curiously Strong Remains:

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Zero Hedge: “Goldman Answers Why People Log On To Social Networking Sites

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Reuters Tumblr: “Amazon Battleground States

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Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism: “Digital Advertising and News: The Financial Industry is the Most Prevalent Buyer of Ads on these News Websites

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‘Magic City’ TV show struggled to find real breasts in Miami casting

21
Aug
11

Roundup – Now You’re a He-Man

Line O’ the Day:

I bet you thought I was joking yesterday when I said I was going to continue covering the Abercrombie/Situation Douchegate story like it was the Cuban Missile Crisis. To be honest, I kinda was. Then — THEN — I woke up this morning, fired up the old LOLbox and saw that the Taiwanese animation people had made a video about it. AND. IT. IS. GLORIOUS. For the love of God, it starts with The Situation and some girl emptying a giant salt shaker onto the torso of what appears to be a dead stripper. And near the end, for reasons I don’t understand whatsoever, there’s a hostage situation. It’s got everything.

– Danger Guerrero, I Love You, Taiwanese Animation [Warming Glow]

Best of the Best:

The Terrazzo Jungle [Malcolm Gladwell via The New Yorker (March 15, 2004)]

Fifty years ago, Victor Gruen designed a fully enclosed, introverted, multitiered, double-anchor-tenant shopping complex with a garden court under a skylight—and today virtually every regional shopping center in America is a fully enclosed, introverted, multitiered, double-anchor-tenant complex with a garden court under a skylight. Victor Gruen didn’t design a building; he designed an archetype. For a decade, he gave speeches about it and wrote books and met with one developer after another and waved his hands in the air excitedly, and over the past half century that archetype has been reproduced so faithfully on so many thousands of occasions that today virtually every suburban American goes shopping or wanders around or hangs out in a Southdale facsimile at least once or twice a month. Victor Gruen may well have been the most influential architect of the twentieth century. He invented the mall.

Groupon Therapy [Lauren Etter on Vanity Fair]

In a letter to potential shareholders, Mason vowed that his trademark persona is here to stay. “We are unusual and we like it that way,” he wrote. “We want the time people spend with Groupon to be memorable. Life is too short to be a boring company.” But the pretense that Groupon is a scrappy start-up is wearing thin. Mason takes great pains to emphasize that the company is staying true to its idiosyncratic roots, but it’s hard to maintain that a publicly traded multi-national business being valued at $20 billion will remain a quirky outsider. Rob Solomon recently announced his departure from the company. He and Mason have a good relationship by all accounts, but Solomon prefers the bustle of a start-up atmosphere—something that Groupon no longer has.

See also: Groupon’s Accounting Lingo Gets Scrutiny [Wall Street Journal]

A Good Joke Spoiled: Reviewing An Autobiography of Mark Twain: Volume 1 by Mark Twain [Michael Lewis via The New Republic]

In any case, Twain clearly thought of himself, and enjoyed thinking of himself, as heedless. For a writer of his caliber he had surprisingly little interest in assuming a fully adult role in the world, partly because adulthood struck him as an inferior state. Reflecting on the death of his eldest daughter, Susy, he writes that “Susy died at the right time, the fortunate time of life; the happy age—twenty-four years. At twenty-four, such a girl has seen the best of life—life as a happy dream. After that age the risks begin; responsibility comes, and with it the cares, the sorrows, and the inevitable tragedy. For her mother’s sake I would have brought her back from the grave if I could, but I would not have done it for my own.” When Twain was in his late sixties, after the death of his wife, he found companionship in a series of young girls. He took twelve-year-old girls as his dates to grown-up parties and entertained eleven-year-old girls for the weekend at his home. The Angel-fish, he called these young friends—though he does not have much to say about them in his memoir. And while it sounds completely creepy, it also feels deeply characteristic. There doesn’t seem to have been a hint of sexuality in these relationships, at least from his side. The man just preferred to feel like a boy.

Egyptians Turn Against Liberal Protesters [Wall Street Journal]

Six months after young, liberal activists helped lead the popular movement that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, the hard core of these protesters was forcibly dispersed by the troops. Some Egyptians lined the street to applaud the army. Others ganged up on the activists as they retreated from the square that has come to symbolize the Arab Spring. Squeezed between an assertive military and the country’s resurgent Islamist movement, many Internet-savvy, pro-democracy activists are finding it increasingly hard to remain relevant in a post-revolutionary Egypt that is struggling to overcome an economic crisis and restore law and order…Monday’s turmoil in Tahrir followed a massive Friday demonstration on the same square by hundreds of thousands of Islamists, who called for transforming Egypt into an Islamic state—and railed against the liberal and secular youths who had helped motivate millions to rise up against Mr. Mubarak. The Islamists’ numbers dwarfed those of the activists who have re-occupied Cairo’s central square since July 8, criticizing the slow pace of reforms, calling for police accountability and pressing for speedier trials of Mr. Mubarak and his associates.

Former Intel Chief: Call Off The Drone War (And Maybe the Whole War on Terror) [Noah Shachtman on The Danger Room on Wired]

Ground the U.S. drone war in Pakistan. Rethink the idea of spending billions of dollars to pursue al-Qaida. Forget chasing terrorists in Yemen and Somalia, unless the local governments are willing to join in the hunt. Those aren’t the words of some human rights activist, or some far-left Congressman. They’re from retired admiral and former Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair — the man who was, until recently, nominally in charge of the entire American effort to find, track, and take out terrorists. Now, he’s calling for that campaign to be reconsidered, and possibly even junked.

Oddly, the same does not apply when markets are falling: then, journalists’ language becomes less homogenous. The authors have no real explanation for this.

Jurgen Klinsmann: America’s Newest Soccer Jesus [Luke O’Brien on Deadspin]

How incongruous. A savior who intends to try to do what we need him to do, not just what we dream he’ll do. For now, Klinsmann is saying all the right things. His first order of business, however, will be to name a team for the Aug. 10 friendly against Mexico, a rematch of the traumatic June 25 Gold Cup final that precipitated Bradley’s exit. It’s a symbolic assignment but a fitting one, given the contrast between youth development in Mexico and the United States (a battle Mexico has, for the time being, won). If Klinsmann gets past El Tri, we’ll congratulate him. If he achieves World Cup success, we’ll praise him. If he molds an American style of play that strikes fear into the hearts of enemy teams, we’ll canonize him. But let’s not get our hopes up, eh? Ah, screw it. Let’s.

See also: Klinsmann and the Meaning of Soccer [Matthew Futterman on The Wall Street Journal]

If Albert DeSalvo Wasn’t The Boston Strangler, Who Was? Bill James Investigates [Excerpted from the book Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of Violence by Bill James via Deadspin]

In serial murder cases, if you plot the crime scenes on a map and connect the dots, very often they will form a sort of circle, and very often the murderer will live near the center of that circle. This is well known now, although it wasn’t recognized until about 1980. If you draw a circle on a map which is a one-mile radius from Coolidge Corner, it doesn’t include any of the murder scenes. But if you draw a circle which is a three-mile radius around Coolidge Corner, it includes virtually all of the murder scenes in Boston and Cambridge—all but one—and there are murder scenes at all points of the compass.

Daniel Ek’s Spotify: Music’s Last Best Hope [Brendan Greeley on Bloomberg Businessweek]

Without Spotify, labels know only when an album is sold. If a CD is ripped for a friend or borrowed for a party, they know nothing. Spotify gives them a record, by location, age, and gender, of every single time a track is played. Jay-Z used to think he was big in London, based on U.K. album sales; it turns out he’s big in Manchester. Spotify has discovered that radio plays—on real, terrestrial, electromagnetic spectrum—still drive interest in artists, as do Sweden’s summer talk shows. Sundin has a Spotify chart tracking Rihanna and Lady Gaga over seven weeks. Both show a bump on Friday and a spike on Saturday. They are weekend artists. Spotify knows when your party plays Gaga. “We know now,” says Sundin, “that the ROI on TV commercials doesn’t work.” Outreach to 15- to 30-year-old female bloggers does. Hits and stars are still important, he says. For albums—both CDs and MP3s—revenue spikes with the release, then trails off, then disappears. On Spotify, whenever an artist appears on a talk show or releases a new single, plays of her entire catalog increase on Spotify, then plateau at a higher level. Albums follow a bell curve. Spotify is a ratchet, a step function. “LOP,” Sundin says, “life of product, it used to be six months. Now it’s 10 years.”

An Interracial Fix for Black Marriage: Black women could find more partners across the race line—and it might just spur more black couples to wed [Ralph Richard Banks, the Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Law at Stanford Law School via The Wall Street Journal]

Some black women resist interracial marriage for a more primal reason. Long before Cecelia began her ill-fated relationship with her now ex-husband, she dated a white law-school classmate. They broke up because she couldn’t imagine having children with him. “I wanted chocolate babies,” she explained to me. Given her milk-chocolate complexion, green eyes and curly hair, Cecelia worried that a biracial baby might come out looking white. Cecelia wanted chocolate babies not just so they would stay connected to black culture, but for another reason as well: So that no one would ever question whether they were hers. With biracial children, she feared that she might be mistaken for the nanny. Many black women share her anxiety about having a biracial child.

Mistakes in Scientific Studies Surge [Gautum Naik on The Wall Street Journal]

It was the kind of study that made doctors around the world sit up and take notice: Two popular high-blood-pressure drugs were found to be much better in combination than either alone. “There was a ‘wow’ reaction,” recalls Franz Messerli, a New York doctor who, like many others, changed his prescription habits after the 2003 report. Unfortunately, it wasn’t true. Six and a half years later, the prestigious medical journal the Lancet retracted the paper, citing “serious concerns” about the findings. The damage was done. Doctors by then had given the drug combination to well over 100,000 patients. Instead of protecting them from kidney problems, as the study said the drug combo could do, it left them more vulnerable to potentially life-threatening side effects, later studies showed. Today, “tens of thousands” of patients are still on the dual therapy, according to research firm SDI.

The Mysterious Imagery of The Dollar Bill [Colin Dorbin on Credit Sesame]

The fact is, numerous symbols adorn our currency and there has been intense debate over the decades of their meaning. Conspiracy theorists believe the imagery is rooted in Freemansonry and tied to the Illuminati (if you’ve read The Da Vinci Code or seen the movie, you know who they are). Others contend the imagery is strictly American and represents the foundations of our nation. In this infographic, we explain each symbol from both perspectives.

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