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  • Canada's Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame

    MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones
    James West
    22 Oct 2014 | 2:28 pm
    The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation today gave a master class in calm, credible breaking news reporting. Anchored by the unflappable Peter Mansbridge, news of the shootings in Ottawa unfolded live on the CBC much like they do here in the United States: lots of sketchy details, conflicting reports, unreliable witnesses, and a thick fog of confusion. All of that was familiar. What was less familiar was how Mansbridge and his team managed that confusion, conveying a concise and fact-based version of fast-moving events to viewers across Canada and the world. This live bit of level-headed…
  • Climate Change Is Kicking the Insurance Industry's Butt

    MoJo Articles | Mother Jones
    Tim McDonnell
    22 Oct 2014 | 1:33 pm
    In the months after Hurricane Sandy, insurance companies spooked by rising seas dropped coastal policies in droves. That could become an increasingly common story, according to the largest-ever survey of how insurance companies are dealing with climate change, released today. Global warming is increasing the risk of damage to lives and property from natural disasters beyond what many insurers are willing to shoulder. And most insurance companies aren't taking adequate steps to change that trend, the survey found. That's a problem even if you don't live by the coast: When private insurers back…
  • Housekeeping Update

    Kevin Drum Feed | Mother Jones
    Kevin Drum
    22 Oct 2014 | 7:58 am
    Just a quick update. Yesterday my doctor decided to do a "little bedside test" to get a better reading on the state of my bones. It was indeed bedside, and it was indeed done with just a local anesthetic, but I guess it wasn't a very powerful one. Hoo boy, did that hurt, and naturally I was a total baby about it. In any case, they want to keep me here for at least another day to make sure I didn't get infected etc. Also, today I get my first monthly dose of some bone-strengthening med whose name escapes me. So it looks like it'll be tomorrow at the earliest before I go home. It depends on how…
  • Map: The Most Popular NFL Teams Everywhere in America—According to Twitter

    Political Mojo | Mother Jones
    AJ Vicens
    22 Oct 2014 | 12:39 pm
    For now, even after all the concussions, the domestic violence, and the still-horribly named team from Washington, DC, Americans still love their pro football. Twitter took a stab at measuring the popularity of every NFL franchise by looking at the official Twitter handle for each team and then counting followers of those teams in each county. It's an imperfect measure, for sure, but it's a nifty interface and a lot of fun! Take a look:
  • In Just 15 Years, Wind Could Provide A Fifth Of The World's Electricity

    Blue Marble Feed | Mother Jones
    James West
    22 Oct 2014 | 7:36 am
    Up to one fifth of the world's electricity supply could come from wind turbines by 2030, according to a new report released this week by Greenpeace and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). That would be an increase of 530 percent compared to the end of last year. The report says the coming global boom in wind power will be driven largely by China's rebounding wind energy market—and a continued trend of high levels of Chinese green energy investment—as well as by steady growth in the United States and new large-scale projects in Mexico, Brazil, and South Africa. The report,…
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    MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones

  • Canada's Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame

    James West
    22 Oct 2014 | 2:28 pm
    The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation today gave a master class in calm, credible breaking news reporting. Anchored by the unflappable Peter Mansbridge, news of the shootings in Ottawa unfolded live on the CBC much like they do here in the United States: lots of sketchy details, conflicting reports, unreliable witnesses, and a thick fog of confusion. All of that was familiar. What was less familiar was how Mansbridge and his team managed that confusion, conveying a concise and fact-based version of fast-moving events to viewers across Canada and the world. This live bit of level-headed…
  • Climate Change Is Kicking the Insurance Industry's Butt

    Tim McDonnell
    22 Oct 2014 | 1:33 pm
    In the months after Hurricane Sandy, insurance companies spooked by rising seas dropped coastal policies in droves. That could become an increasingly common story, according to the largest-ever survey of how insurance companies are dealing with climate change, released today. Global warming is increasing the risk of damage to lives and property from natural disasters beyond what many insurers are willing to shoulder. And most insurance companies aren't taking adequate steps to change that trend, the survey found. That's a problem even if you don't live by the coast: When private insurers back…
  • Map: The Most Popular NFL Teams Everywhere in America—According to Twitter

    AJ Vicens
    22 Oct 2014 | 12:39 pm
    For now, even after all the concussions, the domestic violence, and the still-horribly named team from Washington, DC, Americans still love their pro football. Twitter took a stab at measuring the popularity of every NFL franchise by looking at the official Twitter handle for each team and then counting followers of those teams in each county. It's an imperfect measure, for sure, but it's a nifty interface and a lot of fun! Take a look:
  • Fox News Thinks Young Women Are Too Busy with Tinder to "Get" Voting

    Inae Oh
    22 Oct 2014 | 12:09 pm
    Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, a woman, shared some advice for us feeble-minded young ladies out here: Let's not burden ourselves with voting! After all, we're far too busy swiping for a man on Tinder to cast an educated vote in the midterm elections, or any election for that matter. "It's the same reason why young women on juries are not a good idea," Guilfoyle explained to her approving co-hosts. "They don't get it!" "They’re not in that same life experience of paying the bills, doing the mortgage, kids, community, crime, education, healthcare. They’re like healthy and hot…
  • The Midwest's Vast Farms Are Losing a Ton of Money This Year

    Tom Philpott
    22 Oct 2014 | 11:57 am
    Think you have it tough at work? Consider the plight of the Midwest's corn and soybean farmers. They churn out the basic raw materials of our food system: the stuff that gets turned into animal feed, sweetener, cooking fat, and even a substantial amount of our car fuel. What do they get for their trouble? According to a stunning analysis (PDF) by Iowa State ag economist Chad Hart, crop prices have fallen so low (a bumper crop has driven down corn prices to their lowest level since 2006), and input costs (think seeds, fertilizers, pesticides) have gotten so high, that they're losing $225 per…
 
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    MoJo Articles | Mother Jones

  • Climate Change Is Kicking the Insurance Industry's Butt

    Tim McDonnell
    22 Oct 2014 | 1:33 pm
    In the months after Hurricane Sandy, insurance companies spooked by rising seas dropped coastal policies in droves. That could become an increasingly common story, according to the largest-ever survey of how insurance companies are dealing with climate change, released today. Global warming is increasing the risk of damage to lives and property from natural disasters beyond what many insurers are willing to shoulder. And most insurance companies aren't taking adequate steps to change that trend, the survey found. That's a problem even if you don't live by the coast: When private insurers back…
  • Here's What's Happening With the Shooting at the Canadian Parliament

    Jenna McLaughlin
    22 Oct 2014 | 10:37 am
    Click here for the latest updates. Downtown Ottawa is under lockdown as police investigate reports of shootings in two locations: the National War Memorial and Parliament Hill. Police have confirmed that, contrary to earlier reports, no shooting incidents occurred at the Rideau Centre shopping mall.  Police have confirmed reports that an unknown gunman shot and killed a soldier, Corporal Nathan Cirillo, standing guard by Canada's National War Memorial with a rifle, then moved on to Canada's Parliament Hill and Centre Block and opened fire, resulting in the ongoing lockdown at Canada's…
  • George W. Bush's Revenge: A Federal Appeals Court Goes on the Rampage

    Stephanie Mencimer
    22 Oct 2014 | 3:30 am
    When George W. Bush departed the White House, he left behind a giant deficit and expanded government spending for Medicare drug benefits that caused conservatives to grumble. But he did make a mark that right-wingers can cheer—by shaping the federal courts for years, perhaps decades. As Bush has retreated to painting, federal judges he placed on the bench have been implementing a conservative vision in some of the most contentious areas of federal law. The best example of this is a string of recent decisions on hot-button issues from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which the ABA…
  • Lawsuits: Alabama Jailers Allowed 3 Inmates to Die of 19th-Century Ailments

    Molly Redden
    22 Oct 2014 | 3:15 am
    On August 6, 2013, officers at the Madison County jail in Huntsville, Alabama, moved an inmate named Duendrez Woods to a medical watch cell. Woods, 19, was suffering from an open wound on his foot and had begun hallucinating. But the jail didn't provide him with any medical treatment. In the following days, they tased Woods for being uncooperative—three times. Woods began lying naked on the floor. He barely moved except when officers dragged him into the showers to hose off the stench of his injury. At no point did anyone treat Woods' oozing foot or even take his blood pressure. On…
  • Stop Going Cuckoo for Coconuts

    Maddie Oatman
    22 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Alison Seiffer We've entered the age of the coconut. While the lactose intolerant quaff Starbucks' new coconut milk lattes, the gluten averse are busy baking with coconut flour. The number of coconut oil products—for both cooking and skin moisturizing—grew by 800 percent between 2008 and 2012. Of course, the craze started with a different part of the hairy tropical fruit: its liquid center. Ethnic markets in the United States have sold coconut water for decades, but it didn't go mainstream until 2004, when, as the New York Times'David Segal reported earlier this year, two separate…
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    Kevin Drum Feed | Mother Jones

  • Housekeeping Update

    Kevin Drum
    22 Oct 2014 | 7:58 am
    Just a quick update. Yesterday my doctor decided to do a "little bedside test" to get a better reading on the state of my bones. It was indeed bedside, and it was indeed done with just a local anesthetic, but I guess it wasn't a very powerful one. Hoo boy, did that hurt, and naturally I was a total baby about it. In any case, they want to keep me here for at least another day to make sure I didn't get infected etc. Also, today I get my first monthly dose of some bone-strengthening med whose name escapes me. So it looks like it'll be tomorrow at the earliest before I go home. It depends on how…
  • Housekeeping Note

    Kevin Drum
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:00 am
    No blogging today, I'm afraid. I've been having lower back problems for several months, and on Friday night it got a lot worse. Saturday morning I couldn't get out of bed, and had to be transported to the ER. It turns out that I had a compression fracture of one of my lumbar bones. I've been in the hospital ever since. I can walk again, but I'm pretty much bedbound for a while. Beyond that, further tests will tell us what's going on here. Without either oversharing or being coy, there's a chance this could turn out to be pretty serious. We'll know more by the end of the week. In the meantime,…
  • Friday Cat Blogging - 17 October 2014

    Kevin Drum
    17 Oct 2014 | 11:15 am
    I don't know about you, but I could stand to have catblogging a little earlier than usual this week. What you see here is one of the many cat TVs now installed in our home. This is the dining room TV. There are also cat TVs in the kitchen and the study. The kitchen TV apparently has most of its good shows at night, and it's not clear what those shows are about. But they are extremely entrancing. The dining room TV, by contrast, is sort of our workhorse cat TV. They both love it all day long. Needless to say, this is something new for both Hopper and Hilbert, since they spent the first ten…
  • What World Leader Has Done the Most Damage to the Global Economy?

    Kevin Drum
    17 Oct 2014 | 10:57 am
    Who's worse: Amity Shlaes or Angela Merkel? You have to give the nod to Merkel, of course. Unlike Shlaes, who is limited to cheering on horrifically bad ideas that would immiserate millions, Merkel has the power to actually implement horrifically bad ideas that immiserate millions. And she has. So Merkel it is. Now, if instead the question were how Merkel compares to, say, John Boehner and Paul Ryan, then it would be a tougher choice. I think Merkel would still win, though. When it comes to bullheaded insistence on terrible economic policy, she's hard to top.
  • WHO Admits That It Failed Utterly In Its Response to Ebola

    Kevin Drum
    17 Oct 2014 | 8:39 am
    The Guardian has a fairly chilling story today about an internal report from the World Health Organization that basically concludes WHO completely botched its response to the Ebola outbreak in Africa: The UN health agency acknowledged that, at times, even its own bureaucracy was a problem. It noted that the heads of WHO country offices in Africa are “politically motivated appointments” made by the WHO regional director for Africa, Dr Luis Sambo, who does not answer to the agency’s chief in Geneva, Dr Margaret Chan. ....At a meeting of WHO’s network of outbreak experts…
 
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    Political Mojo | Mother Jones

  • Map: The Most Popular NFL Teams Everywhere in America—According to Twitter

    AJ Vicens
    22 Oct 2014 | 12:39 pm
    For now, even after all the concussions, the domestic violence, and the still-horribly named team from Washington, DC, Americans still love their pro football. Twitter took a stab at measuring the popularity of every NFL franchise by looking at the official Twitter handle for each team and then counting followers of those teams in each county. It's an imperfect measure, for sure, but it's a nifty interface and a lot of fun! Take a look:
  • We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for October 22, 2014

    22 Oct 2014 | 7:28 am
    A US Marine Sgt. speaks with a local child while on patrol in Afghanistan. (US Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Darien J. Bjorndal)
  • Elizabeth Warren Demands An Investigation Of Mortgage Companies

    Erika Eichelberger
    21 Oct 2014 | 9:12 am
    On Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called on the Government Accountability Office to investigate non-bank companies that service Americans' mortgages, noting in a letter co-signed by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) that an increasing number of lawsuits has been filed in recent years against these firms—which are not regulated as strictly as banks. Mortgage servicers, whether they are owned by banks or not, handle mortgages after they've been sold to a customer. That means they take care of administrative business including collecting mortgage payments and dealing with delinquent…
  • Rwanda Hits Back at America's Ebola Paranoia

    Inae Oh
    21 Oct 2014 | 8:40 am
    Rwanda will be begin screening all Americans entering the country for Ebola, regardless if they're exhibiting symptoms or not, government officials in the East African nation announced Tuesday. Coincidence? The new measure comes just days after two Rwandan students were denied enrollment at a New Jersey school over Ebola fears, even though Rwanda has had zero cases of Ebola. The United States, on the other hand, has had three confirmed cases. Rwanda is also more than 2,500 miles from the closest Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The US Embassy in Rwanda explains the situation: On October 19, the…
  • Everything You Need to Know About Ebola in America, in One Fantastic Quote

    Ben Dreyfuss
    20 Oct 2014 | 8:13 pm
    Meet a man made of very stern stuff indeed Peter Pattakos spent 20 minutes Saturday in an Akron bridal shop, getting fitted for a tux for his friend's wedding. Thursday, his friend sent a text message, telling him that Ebola patient Amber Joy Vinson had been in the store around the same time. Pattakos, 36, a Cleveland attorney who lives in Bath Township, called the health department, which told him to call back if he exhibits any Ebola symptoms. He called a doctor, who told him not to worry. "I didn't exchange any bodily fluids with anyone, so I'm not worried about it," he said. "I'm much…
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    Blue Marble Feed | Mother Jones

  • In Just 15 Years, Wind Could Provide A Fifth Of The World's Electricity

    James West
    22 Oct 2014 | 7:36 am
    Up to one fifth of the world's electricity supply could come from wind turbines by 2030, according to a new report released this week by Greenpeace and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). That would be an increase of 530 percent compared to the end of last year. The report says the coming global boom in wind power will be driven largely by China's rebounding wind energy market—and a continued trend of high levels of Chinese green energy investment—as well as by steady growth in the United States and new large-scale projects in Mexico, Brazil, and South Africa. The report,…
  • Drinking a "Medium" Soda Every Day Can Age You As Much As Smoking Does

    Kiera Butler
    20 Oct 2014 | 11:28 am
    Just as soda companies plunk down millions of dollars to defeat local soda-tax ballot measures, researchers have found a link between regular soda consumption and premature aging. Published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Public Health, a study of 5,300 adults compared the cells of people who drink soda every day to those of their non-soda-drinking counterparts. In the soda group, the ends of the chromosomes—known as telomeres—were shorter, a sign of their cells' diminished ability to regenerate. Our telomeres naturally shorten as we age, but scientists have discovered that a few…
  • Now Congressional Republicans Are Digging Through Scientists' Grant Proposals

    Tim McDonnell
    17 Oct 2014 | 2:22 pm
    When scientists across the country need money for research projects, one place they often turn is the National Science Foundation. The NSF is an independent federal agency with an annual budget of about $7 billion, which it doles out to fund about a quarter of all federally supported science research. Of course, the agency doesn't just give money away to anyone who asks. Proposals have to survive a rigorous review process that includes close scrutiny by a panel of top scientists in the relevant field. Competition is fierce: Of the 49,000 proposals submitted in 2013, only a fifth were…
  • Hurricane Gonzalo Is Going to Slam Bermuda Today

    Tim McDonnell
    17 Oct 2014 | 8:47 am
    The photo above was taken yesterday by an astronaut on the International Space Station. It shows Hurricane Gonzalo barreling across the Atlantic Ocean toward Bermuda. Gonzalo, currently a Category 3 hurricane, is expected to make landfall in Bermuda this afternoon before veering back out to sea and away from the US East Coast. AccuWeather.com meteorologists are warning that the damage could be severe, with "a large and life-threatening storm surge [that] could exceed 10 feet and cause a major rise in water levels over coastal areas and causeways." Stay safe, Bermudans.
  • People Are Trying to Sell Cinnamon Bark as an Ebola Cure

    Kiera Butler
    16 Oct 2014 | 12:57 pm
    Marion Nestle reports that several supplement manufacturers are selling vitamins that promise to prevent or treat Ebola. The claims caught the attention of the FDA, which has issued warning letters to three of the manufacturers: Natural Solutions Foundation, Young Living, and DoTERRA International LLC. The agency lists specific claims it finds worrisome; for example, on a Young Living consultant's website, "Ebola Virus can not live in the presence of cinnamon bark." Here's a screenshot from Natural Solutions Foundations' website: An article on the Natural Solutions site talks about "the…
 
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    Politics | Mother Jones

  • Here's What's Happening With the Shooting at the Canadian Parliament

    Jenna McLaughlin
    22 Oct 2014 | 10:37 am
    Click here for the latest updates. Downtown Ottawa is under lockdown as police investigate reports of shootings in two locations: the National War Memorial and Parliament Hill. Police have confirmed that, contrary to earlier reports, no shooting incidents occurred at the Rideau Centre shopping mall.  Police have confirmed reports that an unknown gunman shot and killed a soldier, Corporal Nathan Cirillo, standing guard by Canada's National War Memorial with a rifle, then moved on to Canada's Parliament Hill and Centre Block and opened fire, resulting in the ongoing lockdown at Canada's…
  • George W. Bush's Revenge: A Federal Appeals Court Goes on the Rampage

    Stephanie Mencimer
    22 Oct 2014 | 3:30 am
    When George W. Bush departed the White House, he left behind a giant deficit and expanded government spending for Medicare drug benefits that caused conservatives to grumble. But he did make a mark that right-wingers can cheer—by shaping the federal courts for years, perhaps decades. As Bush has retreated to painting, federal judges he placed on the bench have been implementing a conservative vision in some of the most contentious areas of federal law. The best example of this is a string of recent decisions on hot-button issues from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which the ABA…
  • Lawsuits: Alabama Jailers Allowed 3 Inmates to Die of 19th-Century Ailments

    Molly Redden
    22 Oct 2014 | 3:15 am
    On August 6, 2013, officers at the Madison County jail in Huntsville, Alabama, moved an inmate named Duendrez Woods to a medical watch cell. Woods, 19, was suffering from an open wound on his foot and had begun hallucinating. But the jail didn't provide him with any medical treatment. In the following days, they tased Woods for being uncooperative—three times. Woods began lying naked on the floor. He barely moved except when officers dragged him into the showers to hose off the stench of his injury. At no point did anyone treat Woods' oozing foot or even take his blood pressure. On…
  • How the World Series Might Just Help the GOP Win the Senate

    Patrick Caldwell
    21 Oct 2014 | 3:23 pm
    Kansas City sports fans aren't used to celebrating. The town's NFL team, the Chiefs, hasn't won a playoff game since 1994. The Royals, the other major sports franchise in town, hadn't made a playoff appearance since 1985. But local baseball fans are experiencing a rare bit of jubilation this year. Not only did the Royals sneak into the playoffs as a wild card, they won the AL pennant last week and are hosting the San Francisco Giants in game one of the World Series Tuesday night. That's an exciting development for any millennial-aged sports fan from Kansas City who has lived a full life…
  • Two SWAT Raids. Two Officers Dead. One Defendant Is Black, One White. Guess What Happened.

    Shane Bauer
    21 Oct 2014 | 2:25 pm
    One Friday last May, the sun had not yet risen when a SWAT team ignited a flash-bang grenade outside Marvin Guy's apartment in Killeen, Texas. Officers were trying to climb in through a window when Guy, who had a criminal record and was suspected of possessing cocaine, opened fire. Four officers were hit; one of them was killed. Five months earlier, 100 miles away, a SWAT officer was shot during a predawn no-knock raid on another house. In that case, too, police threw a flash-bang grenade and tried to enter the residence. Henry "Hank" Magee, according to his attorney, grabbed his gun to…
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    Environment | Mother Jones

  • Climate Change Is Kicking the Insurance Industry's Butt

    Tim McDonnell
    22 Oct 2014 | 1:33 pm
    In the months after Hurricane Sandy, insurance companies spooked by rising seas dropped coastal policies in droves. That could become an increasingly common story, according to the largest-ever survey of how insurance companies are dealing with climate change, released today. Global warming is increasing the risk of damage to lives and property from natural disasters beyond what many insurers are willing to shoulder. And most insurance companies aren't taking adequate steps to change that trend, the survey found. That's a problem even if you don't live by the coast: When private insurers back…
  • Stop Going Cuckoo for Coconuts

    Maddie Oatman
    22 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Alison Seiffer We've entered the age of the coconut. While the lactose intolerant quaff Starbucks' new coconut milk lattes, the gluten averse are busy baking with coconut flour. The number of coconut oil products—for both cooking and skin moisturizing—grew by 800 percent between 2008 and 2012. Of course, the craze started with a different part of the hairy tropical fruit: its liquid center. Ethnic markets in the United States have sold coconut water for decades, but it didn't go mainstream until 2004, when, as the New York Times'David Segal reported earlier this year, two separate…
  • The World Just Had its Hottest "Year" on Record

    Eric Holthaus
    21 Oct 2014 | 1:24 pm
    This story originally appeared in Slate and is republished here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. A few days ago, I told you that—according to NASA data—we just finished the warmest six-month streak on record. Welp, it just got worse. According to data released Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, last month was the warmest September on record globally. What's more—and here's the kicker—the NOAA says the Earth has just completed its warmest 12-month period on record. From the NOAA: The past 12 months—October 2013–September…
  • The 5 Stupidest Paranoid Responses to Ebola

    Inae Oh
    20 Oct 2014 | 1:41 pm
    As President Barack Obama noted in his weekly address Saturday, Ebola is a serious public health issue. But the level of paranoia that has surfaced across the country since Thomas Duncan became the first patient diagnosed with the disease in the United States is not only unwarranted—it's  dangerous. Ripped straight from the headlines, here are just five of the more surreal incidents of Ebola panic. Syracuse University disinvites photographer. Ebola has an incubation period of up to three weeks. If someone hasn't gotten sick within 21 days of exposure, they're in the clear. But News…
  • Why Did Top Scientific Journals Reject This Dr. Bronner's Ad?

    Tom Philpott
    20 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    David Bronner, CEO of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, presides over a company with famously wacky product labels. Sample sentence, from the 18-in-1 Hemp PEPPERMINT soap bottle: "Each swallow works hard to be perfect pilot-provider-teacher-lover-mate, no half-true hate!" But Bronner himself, grandson of the founder (the one with the elaborate prose style), has emerged as a serious, though fun-loving, activist, particularly around pesticides and genetically modified crops, as Josh Harkinson's recent Mother Jones profile shows. Read "How Dr. Bronner's Turned Activism Into Good Clean Fun" But…
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    Culture | Mother Jones

  • Canada's Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame

    James West
    22 Oct 2014 | 2:28 pm
    The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation today gave a master class in calm, credible breaking news reporting. Anchored by the unflappable Peter Mansbridge, news of the shootings in Ottawa unfolded live on the CBC much like they do here in the United States: lots of sketchy details, conflicting reports, unreliable witnesses, and a thick fog of confusion. All of that was familiar. What was less familiar was how Mansbridge and his team managed that confusion, conveying a concise and fact-based version of fast-moving events to viewers across Canada and the world. This live bit of level-headed…
  • The Darker Side of Jason Mraz

    Gabrielle Canon
    21 Oct 2014 | 3:45 am
    It was the early aughts and the American pop scene was closing out the chapter on a decade of boy bands. Singer-songwriters were up to bat, as John Mayer and Jack Johnson crooned their way up the charts and into the hearts of a nation weary of synchronized dance moves and contrived collaborations. Armed with an acoustic guitar and an aptitude for wordplay Jason Mraz fit the profile when he burst onto the scene in 2002—and he came with his own distinctive flavor. Hailing from small town Virginia, he cultivated his talent at a New York City conservatory before rounding out the edges in…
  • Numero Group Releases a Stellar Retrospective

    Jon Young
    20 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    UnwoundNo EnergyNumero Group Part three of Numero Group's stellar Unwound retrospective picks up with the 1995 album The Future of What, followed by 1996's Repetition, and includes eight singles sides and some previously unreleased recordings. What's most immediately striking about these 33 tracks is how little interest the Olympia, Washington, trio has in repeating itself. While Justin Trosper (vocals, guitar), Vern Rumsey (bass) and Sara Lund (drums) still draw on deep roots in punk and hard rock, they often seem to be navigating uncharted territory. The songs are dark and jagged, more…
  • Sallie Ford, the Exhilarating Provocateur

    Jon Young
    20 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Sallie FordSlap Back Vanguard Raucous, profane, and unapologetic, Sallie Ford relishes playing the provocateur. On the exhilarating Slap Back, the Portland, Oregon-based singer-songwriter debuts her new all-female backing band, sounding like the early, badass Elvis Costello who fronted the Attractions. Buoyed by waves of punky garage rock, Ford addresses urgent issues like romance and lust in her usual blunt language ("Give Me Your Lovin'"), while illuminating her own struggles ("So Damn Low") and pausing for moments of surprising tenderness, observing, "Loves may come and lovers may go. But…
  • Why Jessie Ware Hates Encores But Loves Condom Ads

    Patrick Caldwell
    20 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Jessie Ware's music manages to walk a fine line between the despair of heartbreak and the soothing of emotional wounds, all paired with a sheen of pop ethos that compels you to dance through the pain. The 30-year-old British singer started off following in her father's footsteps as a journalist, but ditched writing when a successful stint doing guest vocals for the UK dubstep band SBTRKT pushed her down the music path. In 2012, she released her debut album, Devotion, a mixture of soul, R&B, and pop that climbed the British charts and earned her glowing reviews. Her new album, Tough…
 
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