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06 Feb 2010 23:23


Politics: Sarah Palin’s Tea Party speech is a freaking nightmare

  • Sarah Palin’s speech at the Tea Party Convention got these points across in its first minute and a half: 1.) Thanks to all our servicemen. 2.) Happy birthday Ronald Reagan!  3.) Hi to everyone watching on C-SPAN, which is airing this even when they don’t air the health care debate. 4.) References to barbecue and sweet tea (as well as an awful “Alaska is cold” iced-tea joke). It’s not as bad as her resignation speech, but we just had to stop watching at some point. Her voice makes our brain hurt.

06 Feb 2010 22:56


Tech: Facebook as news source: The danger of getting news from friends

  • Facebook is a unique and wonderful artery to our friends’ lives and interests. But if we define our reading by our friends’ libraries, we will all find what we already expected rather than what we need to know.
  • Atlantic writer Derek Thompson • Regarding recent reports that Facebook has become a primary source of finding news for many people. He brings up a good point, one that news like this only emphasizes: With the change in journalism to something suggested to us by friends, all cookies instead of a well-balanced meal, we end up limiting our information to what we want to know rather than what we need to know. And, considering how often it shows up in politics already, that’s pretty dangerous. source

06 Feb 2010 22:41


Culture: Why was this banned? GoDaddy’s kinda racy Super Bowl ad

  • In honor of Danica Patrick’s killer debut in NASCAR today, here’s the ad she was in for the Super Bowl. CBS denied the ad, which is about a football player whose voice gets higher the second he retires. Lola becomes a lingerie maker, which we’re guessing has less to do with the denial (the skin is on Victoria’s Secret level) than the fact that it’s hinted that Lola is gay. CBS has shown clear discomfort with homosexuality in its Super Bowl ads already.

06 Feb 2010 22:17


Music: Cymbals Eat a Soft Pack of Guitars on our Saturday Mixtape

  • 1. Remember 2004, when the Von Bondies’ “C’Mon C’Mon” became an unavoidable hit after singer Jason Stollsteimer kicked Jack White’s ass? Yeah, neither do we. Anyway, six years later, we have The Soft Pack, who lose a “C’Mon” but keep the basic elements of what made that song pretty cool. But disinterested vocals push it over the edge.
  • 2. “I think we need more post-coital, and less post-rock.” It’s a dirty joke, sure, but a good one. And in the hands of Los Campesinos! (on track “Straight in at 101”), it comes off as a little funny and a little sad, like an Art Brut song. OK, more funny than sad.
  • 3. Back in September, we saw up-and-coming indie rockers Cymbals Eat Guitars open up for The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and were super-impressed. Their somewhat traditional take on indie rock is nonetheless exhilarating, as “Some Trees (Merrit Moon)” shows. It has at least five clumps of songs mixed into two minutes, yet somehow they all work.
  • 4. Speaking of somewhat traditional indie rock, Lou Barlow is kind of the king of that, and “Ocean” is the closest his baby Sebadoh got to a hit. (Granted, Barlow is a former-and-current member of Dinosaur Jr. and side project Folk Implosion did pull off a hit of its own.) But it’s got a killer hook on it and it’s done in three minutes. You should love it.
  • 5. Keeping with our trend of of guitar-driven indie rock on this week’s mixtape, we present you with Sonic Youth’s “Teen Age Riot” – perhaps the best guitar-driven indie rock song of the last 25 years. Makes sense. Think of it as a love letter to noisy electric guitars.

06 Feb 2010 20:46


U.S., World: Is Iran ready to come to terms with the world on nuclear energy?

  • yes This weekend, Iran made a bold-faced claim that the they were finally close to an agreement with the United Nations on their nuclear program. About time.
  • no The U.S. and Germany laughed at the thought. “I don’t have the sense we are close to an agreement,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates rebuffed. source

06 Feb 2010 20:20


U.S.: Mudslides: The left coast has its own weather-related problems

  • 2 California homes destroyed by a crapload of mud or something source

06 Feb 2010 20:10


Politics: The Tea Party movement wants to win, but can’t seem to organize

  • The movement is maturing. The rallies were good for last year, because that’s what we could do last year. This year we have to change things. We have got to win.
  • Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips • Regarding his organization’s goals (along with the overall movement’s goals) for 2010, which they tried to push at this weekend’s convention in Nashville. They want a conservative congress in 2010 and a conservative president in 2012. Problem is, the movement doesn’t really have a leader and kinda shares disdain for Republicans and Democrats. “This movement doesn’t need a leader,” said Anthony Shreeve of the Tennessee Tea Party Coalition. “It’s a ‘We the People’ movement.” Too bad he undercut his point by protesting the convention outside. Get organized, kids. source

06 Feb 2010 20:03


U.S.: The 2010 D.C. Snowpocalypse, as brought to you by Flickr

  • Well, that’s a little bit of snow, eh? The Snowpocalypse is mostly over at this point, but the photos do an amazing job of telling how wide-ranging one of the craziest storms D.C. has ever gotten really is. If you live in the city proper (or in a handful of outlying areas like Arlington), by the way, it was actually kinda fun, because the Metro was still running underground, which meant that you could get to some of the snowball fights shown here. source

06 Feb 2010 13:16


U.S.: Know all that swine flu vaccine? It’s just kinda hanging around

  • 70 million out of 120 million doses have been used source

06 Feb 2010 13:00


U.S.: Obvious health insurance protip: The uninsured are more likely to die

  • 45,000 people die in the U.S. due to the lack of health insurance
  • 40% the increased risk of death for uninsured people under age 64 source