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  • Why American Apples Just Got Banned in Europe

    MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones
    Tom Philpott
    23 Apr 2014 | 9:01 pm
    Back in 2008, European Food Safety Authority began pressing the chemical industry to provide safety information on a substance called diphenylamine, or DPA. Widely applied to apples after harvest, DPA prevents "storage scald"—brown spots that "becomes a concern when fruit is stored for several months," according to Washington State University, reporting from the heartland of industrial-scale apple production. Read about 7 more dodgy food practices that are banned in Europe—but just fine in the United States. DPA isn't believed to be harmful on its own. But it has the potential to…
  • Darren Aronofsky: We Nearly Abandoned "Noah" Because of Concerns About Diversity

    MoJo Articles | Mother Jones
    Molly Redden
    23 Apr 2014 | 4:55 pm
    The release of Darren Aronofsky's film epic Noah last month left many pop-culture writers wondering: Why was the cast—the film's representation of humanity before the great flood—so white? Ari Handel, who cowrote Noah with Aronofsky, drew critical responses a few weeks ago when he answered that very question, saying that "as a mythical story, the race of the individuals doesn't matter" and that the film's characters were "supposed to be stand-ins for all people." PBS host Tavis Smiley called Handel's comments "one of the most demeaning and dehumanizing portrayals of nonwhite…
  • Not Everyone Needs to Learn Programming, But Every School Should Offer It

    Kevin Drum Feed | Mother Jones
    Kevin Drum
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:27 pm
    From the Washington Post: In a world that went digital long ago, computer science is not a staple of U.S. education, and some schools do not even offer the course, including 10 of 27 high schools in Virginia’s Fairfax County and six of 25 in Maryland’s Montgomery County....Across the Washington region’s school systems, fewer than one in 10 high school students took computer science this academic year, according to district data. That first stat surprises me. My very average suburban high school offered two programming courses way back in 1975 (FORTRAN for beginners, COBOL…
  • We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for April 23, 2014

    Political Mojo | Mother Jones
    23 Apr 2014 | 7:07 am
    Marines with Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, convoy their light armored vehicles across the beach as a Navy landing craft, air cushion with Assault Craft Unit 4 departs the beach of Sierra del RetÌn, Spain, during Spanish Amphibious Bilateral Exercise 2014 Feb. 24, 2014. Spanish PHIBLEX is an annual exercise designed to improve interoperability, increase readiness and develop professional and personal relationships between U.S. forces and participating nations. The MEU is deployed to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility…
  • 6 Photos of the Oldest Living Things in the World

    Blue Marble Feed | Mother Jones
    H.F. Bhojani
    22 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    For the last decade, photographer and artist Rachel Sussman has traveled the world to document its oldest living organisms. Her photographs, stories, and essays are interwoven in her new book, The Oldest Living Things in the World. I talked with Sussman about her first encounter with a very old tree, climate change, and how she tracked down her ancient subjects. Mother Jones: How did you come up with the idea for this project? Rachel Sussman: I had gone to Japan in 2004.  I wasn't having the best time, and was even at one point thinking of going home. I had learned this one…
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    MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones

  • Why American Apples Just Got Banned in Europe

    Tom Philpott
    23 Apr 2014 | 9:01 pm
    Back in 2008, European Food Safety Authority began pressing the chemical industry to provide safety information on a substance called diphenylamine, or DPA. Widely applied to apples after harvest, DPA prevents "storage scald"—brown spots that "becomes a concern when fruit is stored for several months," according to Washington State University, reporting from the heartland of industrial-scale apple production. Read about 7 more dodgy food practices that are banned in Europe—but just fine in the United States. DPA isn't believed to be harmful on its own. But it has the potential to…
  • Not Everyone Needs to Learn Programming, But Every School Should Offer It

    Kevin Drum
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:27 pm
    From the Washington Post: In a world that went digital long ago, computer science is not a staple of U.S. education, and some schools do not even offer the course, including 10 of 27 high schools in Virginia’s Fairfax County and six of 25 in Maryland’s Montgomery County....Across the Washington region’s school systems, fewer than one in 10 high school students took computer science this academic year, according to district data. That first stat surprises me. My very average suburban high school offered two programming courses way back in 1975 (FORTRAN for beginners, COBOL…
  • Darren Aronofsky: We Nearly Abandoned "Noah" Because of Concerns About Diversity

    Molly Redden
    23 Apr 2014 | 4:55 pm
    The release of Darren Aronofsky's film epic Noah last month left many pop-culture writers wondering: Why was the cast—the film's representation of humanity before the great flood—so white? Ari Handel, who cowrote Noah with Aronofsky, drew critical responses a few weeks ago when he answered that very question, saying that "as a mythical story, the race of the individuals doesn't matter" and that the film's characters were "supposed to be stand-ins for all people." PBS host Tavis Smiley called Handel's comments "one of the most demeaning and dehumanizing portrayals of nonwhite…
  • Net Neutrality Finally Dies at Ripe Old Age of 45

    Kevin Drum
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:38 pm
    Apparently net neutrality is officially dead. The Wall Street Journal reports today that the FCC has given up on finding a legal avenue to enforce equal access and will instead propose rules that explicitly allow broadband suppliers to favor companies that pay them for faster pipes: The Federal Communications Commission plans to propose new open Internet rules on Thursday that would allow content companies to pay Internet service providers for special access to consumers, according to a person familiar with the proposal. The proposed rules would prevent the service providers from blocking or…
  • Here Is "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's Wonderful Defense of Gay Marriage

    Ben Dreyfuss
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:37 pm
    Hello. Good afternoon. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's defense of gay marriage is filled with cursing and common sense. All in all, pretty great! I don't give a shit if two guys, two gals, guy-gal, whatever it is, I believe that any human being in America, or any human being in the goddamn world, that wants to be married, and if it's same-sex, more power to 'em. What also chaps my ass, some of these churches, have the high horse that they get on and say, 'We as a church do not believe in that.' Which one of these motherfuckers talked to God, and God said that same-sex marriage was a no-can-do?
 
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    MoJo Articles | Mother Jones

  • Darren Aronofsky: We Nearly Abandoned "Noah" Because of Concerns About Diversity

    Molly Redden
    23 Apr 2014 | 4:55 pm
    The release of Darren Aronofsky's film epic Noah last month left many pop-culture writers wondering: Why was the cast—the film's representation of humanity before the great flood—so white? Ari Handel, who cowrote Noah with Aronofsky, drew critical responses a few weeks ago when he answered that very question, saying that "as a mythical story, the race of the individuals doesn't matter" and that the film's characters were "supposed to be stand-ins for all people." PBS host Tavis Smiley called Handel's comments "one of the most demeaning and dehumanizing portrayals of nonwhite…
  • There's an Award for Comprehensible Writing in Government. Guess Who Won.

    Tim Murphy
    23 Apr 2014 | 1:05 pm
    It's like the Oscars, but for paperwork. The Clearmark Awards, sponsored by the DC-based Center for Plain Language, are handed out annually to the government agencies, corporations, and nonprofits that produce the most coherent literature. On Tuesday, for the 11th-consecutive year, the nominees gathered at the National Press Club in downtown Washington to nibble on chocolate mousse and celebrate their colleagues for making bureaucratic copy comprehensible. Up for awards were the Social Security Administration, for its redesigned website; the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, for its…
  • Quiz: Match The Word to Its Creator

    Michael Mechanic and Brett Brownell
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Are you a literary muscleman or a munchkin? A word ninja or a spewer of malaprops? And who came up with these terms anyway? In Authorisms, out this week, Paul Dickson traces writerly coinages (a coinage of the Elizabethan scribe George Puttenham) of words and expressions ranging from assassination (Shakespeare's Macbeth) to zombification (the poet Andrei Codrescu). Dickson takes things too far sometimes—while Jane Austen may have been the first to mention base ball in print­, for instance, it wasn't the baseball we know. Yet I was fascinated to discover that sayings I'd mistaken for…
  • The "Knockout Game" Isn't a Real Trend. These Lawmakers Are Trying to Ban It, Anyway.

    Dana Liebelson
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    The Connecticut state Legislature's Judiciary Committee passed a bill last week that would ramp up penalties for people who commit assault as part of the so-called "knockout game." Reports of black teens randomly punching bystanders and then uploading videos to YouTube sparked a media frenzy last year. After the hype died down, it became clear that there was little law enforcement data to suggest the knockout game is a trend among black teens—or anyone else—and plenty of critics have noted that the obsessive media coverage perpetuates racist tropes. (Remember "wilding" and…
  • WATCH: Rand Paul Says Jimmy Carter Was Better on the Budget Than Ronald Reagan

    David Corn
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    As Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) ponders a presidential bid, he has lately made efforts to wrap himself in the banner of Ronald Reagan. In op-eds and speeches, the libertarian tea partier has increasingly invoked the Republicans' most holy icon, especially after being attacked by members of his party's establishment who have accused him of isolationism. Writing in the Washington Post last week, Paul likened his nuanced approach to foreign policy to what he claimed was Reagan's embrace of "strategic ambiguity." A few days earlier, at a so-called "Freedom Summit" in New Hampshire,…
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    Kevin Drum Feed | Mother Jones

  • Not Everyone Needs to Learn Programming, But Every School Should Offer It

    Kevin Drum
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:27 pm
    From the Washington Post: In a world that went digital long ago, computer science is not a staple of U.S. education, and some schools do not even offer the course, including 10 of 27 high schools in Virginia’s Fairfax County and six of 25 in Maryland’s Montgomery County....Across the Washington region’s school systems, fewer than one in 10 high school students took computer science this academic year, according to district data. That first stat surprises me. My very average suburban high school offered two programming courses way back in 1975 (FORTRAN for beginners, COBOL…
  • Net Neutrality Finally Dies at Ripe Old Age of 45

    Kevin Drum
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:38 pm
    Apparently net neutrality is officially dead. The Wall Street Journal reports today that the FCC has given up on finding a legal avenue to enforce equal access and will instead propose rules that explicitly allow broadband suppliers to favor companies that pay them for faster pipes: The Federal Communications Commission plans to propose new open Internet rules on Thursday that would allow content companies to pay Internet service providers for special access to consumers, according to a person familiar with the proposal. The proposed rules would prevent the service providers from blocking or…
  • The Fourth Amendment Takes Yet Another Body Blow

    Kevin Drum
    23 Apr 2014 | 11:21 am
    This week the Supreme Court has handed down decisions on affirmative action and child porn that have gotten a lot of press. But the affirmative action decision was probably inevitable, and the child porn case is an oddball example of statutory interpretation that probably has no greater significance. More important is Navarette vs. California, which has real potential to do some long-term damage. In this case, a 911 caller reported an erratic driver, who was then pulled over and eventually convicted of transporting four bags of marijuana. The police had no probable cause to stop the driver…
  • Rand Paul Apparently Thinks Republicans Controlled Congress in 1978

    Kevin Drum
    23 Apr 2014 | 10:14 am
    Over at the mother ship, David Corn has assembled a bunch of clips of Rand Paul being less than reverential toward Ronald Reagan. Here's an example from 2009: People want to like Reagan. He's very likable. And what he had to say most of the time was a great message. But the deficits exploded under Reagan....The reason the deficits exploded is they ignored spending. Domestic spending went up at a greater clip under Reagan than it did under Carter. Ouch! That's not just a hit on Reagan, it's a direct suggestion that his fiscal policy was worse than Jimmy Carter's. Jimmy Carter's! David has a…
  • Medicaid Expansion Now an Even Better Deal For States

    Kevin Drum
    23 Apr 2014 | 9:10 am
    Need some more good news on Obamacare? How about some mixed news instead? Here it is: Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates released last week show that health reform’s Medicaid expansion, which many opponents wrongly claim will cripple state budgets, is an even better deal for states than previously thought....CBO now estimates that the federal government will, on average, pick up more than 95 percent of the total cost of the Medicaid expansion and other health reform-related costs in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) over the next ten years…
 
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    Political Mojo | Mother Jones

  • We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for April 23, 2014

    23 Apr 2014 | 7:07 am
    Marines with Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, convoy their light armored vehicles across the beach as a Navy landing craft, air cushion with Assault Craft Unit 4 departs the beach of Sierra del RetÌn, Spain, during Spanish Amphibious Bilateral Exercise 2014 Feb. 24, 2014. Spanish PHIBLEX is an annual exercise designed to improve interoperability, increase readiness and develop professional and personal relationships between U.S. forces and participating nations. The MEU is deployed to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility…
  • How Taxpayers Subsidize the Multi-Million Dollar Salaries of Restaurant CEOs

    Stephanie Mencimer
    22 Apr 2014 | 12:35 pm
    As the fight to raise the minimum wage has gained momentum, the restaurant industry has emerged as the biggest opponent. This is no surprise, since the industry claims the highest percentage of low-wage workers—60 percent—of any other business sector. Front-line fast-food workers earn so little money that about half of them rely on some form of public assistance, to the tune of about $7 billion a year. That hidden subsidy has helped boost restaurant industry profits to record highs. In 2013, the industry reaped $660 billion in profits, and it in turn channeled millions…
  • We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for April 22, 2014

    22 Apr 2014 | 7:04 am
    Marines with 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Battalion Landing Team, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, participate in a Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise during Exercise Ssang Yong 14 at Su Seung-ri Range, Pohang, Republic of Korea, April 4, 2014. SY 14 is conducted annually in the Republic of Korea to enhance interoperability between U.S. and ROK forces by performing a full spectrum of amphibious operations while showcasing sea-based power projection in the pacific. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew Kuppers/Released)
  • Can the Democrats Mobilize Voters Without a 47% Video Moment?

    22 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    David Corn joined guest host Joy Reid on MSNBC's Hardball to discuss the Democrats' prospects in the upcoming midterm elections. Historically the Democratic coalition doesn't show up for midterm elections. Can the Dems use the Koch Bros to galvanize voters? How can the party attach the general issue of inequality to specific state races? David Corn is Mother Jones' Washington bureau chief. For more of his stories, click here. He's also on Twitter and Facebook.
  • READ: Conspiracy Theorist Dick Morris Blasts Clinton Conspiracy Theorists in Unsealed '95 Memo

    Andy Kroll
    21 Apr 2014 | 10:15 am
    Dick Morris, the one-time adviser to President Bill Clinton, has carved out a strange, multi-faceted career in recent years, engaging in questionable political dealings, pitching misguided punditry (he predicted Mitt Romney would win in a landslide in 2012), and peddling conspiracy theories. On his website, Morris argues that the CIA, FBI, and the mob were behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He co-wrote a book pushing right-wing conspiracy theories about the United Nations, international agencies, and the like. ("Black helicopters is the crazy word for the UN…
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    Blue Marble Feed | Mother Jones

  • 6 Photos of the Oldest Living Things in the World

    H.F. Bhojani
    22 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    For the last decade, photographer and artist Rachel Sussman has traveled the world to document its oldest living organisms. Her photographs, stories, and essays are interwoven in her new book, The Oldest Living Things in the World. I talked with Sussman about her first encounter with a very old tree, climate change, and how she tracked down her ancient subjects. Mother Jones: How did you come up with the idea for this project? Rachel Sussman: I had gone to Japan in 2004.  I wasn't having the best time, and was even at one point thinking of going home. I had learned this one…
  • Poll: More Than Half of America Doesn't Believe in the Big Bang

    Ben Dreyfuss
    21 Apr 2014 | 12:33 pm
    According to a new poll, 51 percent of Americans do not believe in the Big Bang. Fifty-one percent of Americans are wrong. Forty-two percent of Americans are not falling for this "evolution" mumbo jumbo. They too are wrong. Thirty-seven percent of Americans are not convinced that humans are causing global warming. Wrong. Thirty-six percent of Americans are not buying this whole "the Earth is 4.5 billion years old" thing. Wrong wrong. Fifteen percent of Americans are unsure that vaccinations are safe and effective. Wrong wrong wrong. Have a nice day.
  • This Climate Scientist Just Won Another Victory in Court

    Tim McDonnell
    18 Apr 2014 | 1:15 pm
    Michael Mann, the perennially embattled climate scientist best known for his "hockey-stick" temperature graph, came out victorious yesterday in a court battle against a Virginia legislator and a conservative think tank that had sought to obtain thousands of Mann's emails and research documents from his time as a University of Virginia professor. The Virginia Supreme Court ruled that unpublished scientific research can be exempted from the state's Freedom of Information Act requirements, because disclosing such information would cut into the university's competitive advantage over other…
  • NASA Just Found the Most Earth-Like Planet Yet

    Ben Dreyfuss
    17 Apr 2014 | 1:12 pm
    Hello. Good day. NASA just announced that astronomers have discovered the most Earth-like planet yet. Kepler-186f is the first Goldilocks planet—not too hot for water, not too cold for water—ever identified that is roughly the same size as Earth. (It's a bit larger.) So, is there life on that planet? It hasn't been disqualified yet. So, maybe! But probably not. But maybe! But almost certainly not. But maybe! And even if there's not its mere existence means there are very likely more planets like it out there, meaning Earth is maybe not necessarily unique, meaning life is maybe not…
  • No, the "Blood Moon" Does Not Mean the World Is Ending

    Ben Dreyfuss
    14 Apr 2014 | 1:46 pm
    Why is this night different from all other nights? Tonight the clouds will part, the heavens will open, the stars will shine, and the moon will bleed. Groovy! The blood moon, a deliciously named full lunar eclipse rendering the moon red, will be visible in the skies above North America around 2 a.m. Eastern time. In the olden days the sudden appearance of a big red bloody moon probably sent people into a panic. Terrified, they probably ran around screaming, "Help me! Help me! My God, the moon has turned red! The moon has turned red! We're all going to die!" But then the moon would…
 
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    Politics | Mother Jones

  • There's an Award for Comprehensible Writing in Government. Guess Who Won.

    Tim Murphy
    23 Apr 2014 | 1:05 pm
    It's like the Oscars, but for paperwork. The Clearmark Awards, sponsored by the DC-based Center for Plain Language, are handed out annually to the government agencies, corporations, and nonprofits that produce the most coherent literature. On Tuesday, for the 11th-consecutive year, the nominees gathered at the National Press Club in downtown Washington to nibble on chocolate mousse and celebrate their colleagues for making bureaucratic copy comprehensible. Up for awards were the Social Security Administration, for its redesigned website; the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, for its…
  • The "Knockout Game" Isn't a Real Trend. These Lawmakers Are Trying to Ban It, Anyway.

    Dana Liebelson
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    The Connecticut state Legislature's Judiciary Committee passed a bill last week that would ramp up penalties for people who commit assault as part of the so-called "knockout game." Reports of black teens randomly punching bystanders and then uploading videos to YouTube sparked a media frenzy last year. After the hype died down, it became clear that there was little law enforcement data to suggest the knockout game is a trend among black teens—or anyone else—and plenty of critics have noted that the obsessive media coverage perpetuates racist tropes. (Remember "wilding" and…
  • WATCH: Rand Paul Says Jimmy Carter Was Better on the Budget Than Ronald Reagan

    David Corn
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    As Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) ponders a presidential bid, he has lately made efforts to wrap himself in the banner of Ronald Reagan. In op-eds and speeches, the libertarian tea partier has increasingly invoked the Republicans' most holy icon, especially after being attacked by members of his party's establishment who have accused him of isolationism. Writing in the Washington Post last week, Paul likened his nuanced approach to foreign policy to what he claimed was Reagan's embrace of "strategic ambiguity." A few days earlier, at a so-called "Freedom Summit" in New Hampshire,…
  • How We've Created a Booming Market for Border Security Technology

    Todd Miller
    22 Apr 2014 | 4:22 pm
    This story first appeared on the TomDispatch website. With the agility of a seasoned Border Patrol veteran, the woman rushed after the students. She caught up with them just before they entered the exhibition hall of the eighth annual Border Security Expo, reaching out and grabbing the nearest of them by the shoulder. Slightly out of breath, she said, "You can't go in there, give me back your badges." The astonished students had barely caught a glimpse of the dazzling pavilion of science-fiction-style products in that exhibition hall at the Phoenix Convention Center. There, just beyond their…
  • Meet the Doctor Who Gave $1 Million of His Own Money to Keep His Research on Gun Violence Going

    Lois Beckett, ProPublica
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:10 pm
    UC Davis This story was originally published in ProPublica. Federal funding for research on gun violence has been restricted for nearly two decades. President Obama urged Congress to allocate $10 million for new research after the Newtown school shooting. But House Republicans say they won't approve it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's budget still lists zero dollars for research on gun violence prevention. One of the researchers who lost funding in the political battle over studying firearms was Dr. Garen Wintemute, a professor of emergency medicine who runs the Violence…
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    Environment | Mother Jones

  • Darren Aronofsky: We Nearly Abandoned "Noah" Because of Concerns About Diversity

    Molly Redden
    23 Apr 2014 | 4:55 pm
    The release of Darren Aronofsky's film epic Noah last month left many pop-culture writers wondering: Why was the cast—the film's representation of humanity before the great flood—so white? Ari Handel, who cowrote Noah with Aronofsky, drew critical responses a few weeks ago when he answered that very question, saying that "as a mythical story, the race of the individuals doesn't matter" and that the film's characters were "supposed to be stand-ins for all people." PBS host Tavis Smiley called Handel's comments "one of the most demeaning and dehumanizing portrayals of nonwhite…
  • Monsanto GM Soy Is Scarier Than You Think

    Tom Philpott
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Soybeans are the second-largest US crop after corn, covering about a quarter of American farmland. We grow more soybeans than any other country except Brazil. According to the US Department of Agriculture, more than 90 percent of the soybeans churned out on US farms each year are genetically engineered to withstand herbicides, nearly all of them involving one called Roundup. Organic production, by contrast, is marginal—it accounts for less than 1 percent of total American acreage devoted to soy. (The remaining 9 percent or so of soybeans are conventionally grown, but not genetically…
  • Watch Live: Darren Aronofsky Discusses "Noah" and Climate Change

    Chris Mooney
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    For a brief moment in Darren Aronofsky's hit religious epic film Noah, we see the great Flood from space. From that vantage point, it looks much like an atmospheric event of the sort that a NASA satellite might photograph, so we can all share it on Facebook. So what does biblical cataclysm look like from orbit? Beautifully, and yet terrifyingly, the entire Earth appears to be draped in a quilt of hurricanes, each cyclone nestled alongside the next. "There is a huge statement in the film, a strong message about the coming flood from global warming," Aronofsky told The New Yorker in an…
  • Apple: Climate Change Is Real, and It's a Real Problem

    Adam Vaughan
    22 Apr 2014 | 2:52 pm
    This story originally appeared in the Guardian and is republished here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Climate change is real and a real problem for the world, Apple said on Monday, announcing its progress on environment targets ahead of Earth Day. The technology company, publishing a video narrated by CEO Tim Cook on its green initiatives and updated environment web pages, claimed that 94 percent of its corporate facilities and 100 percent of its data centers are now powered by renewable energy sources such as solar power. Lisa Jackson, the former administrator of the US…
  • Wall Street Wants to Lend You Money to Fight Climate Change

    Todd Woody
    22 Apr 2014 | 1:06 pm
    This story originally appeared in The Atlantic and is republished here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. The latest series of reports from the United Nation Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned in stark terms the catastrophic consequences of the world's governments' decades-long foot-dragging on limiting greenhouse gas emissions. But what can you do? For one thing, fix up your damn house. That furnace, from the Reagan era, the inefficient water heater, the drafty windows? They're directly contributing to climate change. Homes consume 22 percent of the US's energy and,…
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    Culture | Mother Jones

  • Net Neutrality Finally Dies at Ripe Old Age of 45

    Kevin Drum
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:38 pm
    Apparently net neutrality is officially dead. The Wall Street Journal reports today that the FCC has given up on finding a legal avenue to enforce equal access and will instead propose rules that explicitly allow broadband suppliers to favor companies that pay them for faster pipes: The Federal Communications Commission plans to propose new open Internet rules on Thursday that would allow content companies to pay Internet service providers for special access to consumers, according to a person familiar with the proposal. The proposed rules would prevent the service providers from blocking or…
  • Quiz: Match The Word to Its Creator

    Michael Mechanic and Brett Brownell
    23 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Are you a literary muscleman or a munchkin? A word ninja or a spewer of malaprops? And who came up with these terms anyway? In Authorisms, out this week, Paul Dickson traces writerly coinages (a coinage of the Elizabethan scribe George Puttenham) of words and expressions ranging from assassination (Shakespeare's Macbeth) to zombification (the poet Andrei Codrescu). Dickson takes things too far sometimes—while Jane Austen may have been the first to mention base ball in print­, for instance, it wasn't the baseball we know. Yet I was fascinated to discover that sayings I'd mistaken for…
  • Music Review: "Undefeated" by Bobby Bare Jr.'s Young Criminals' Starvation League

    Jon Young
    21 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Bobby Bare Jr.'s Young Criminals' Starvation LeagueUndefeated Bloodshot Bobby Bare Jr., the offspring and namesake of one of the greatest country crooners of all time, has forged an intriguing and consistently unpredictable career of his own since the late '90s, exploring rootsy rock, alt-country, and singer-songwriter styles with witty verve. Undefeated finds the likable troubadour crafting a tantalizing hybrid of down-home and epic pop sounds, and reflecting on romance, betrayal and heartbreak in ambitious yet rough-hewn tracks like "If She Cared," "My Baby Took My Baby Away", and "As…
  • "Veep" Just Aired Its Best Episode Yet

    Asawin Suebsaeng
    20 Apr 2014 | 8:00 pm
    This post contains some spoilers. When I spoke with Veep creator Armando Iannucci last year, we had some fun discussing (among other topics) how he does his research for the HBO satire and why he would never, ever, ever allow Joe Biden on the show. But what really stood out to me was when Iannucci talked about his characters' professional and personal frustrations—and how those frustrations reflect his view of Washington's effect on the soul: I don't want [the characters in Veep] to seem like caricatures—I want them to be viewed as real people, with their own problems, and hopes,…
  • The 2,000-Year History of GPS Tracking

    Brett Brownell
    15 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Boston Globe technology writer Hiawatha Bray recalls the moment that inspired him to write his new book, You Are Here: From the Compass to GPS, the History and Future of How We Find Ourselves. "I got a phone around 2003 or so," he says. "And when you turned the phone on—it was a Verizon dumb phone, it wasn't anything fancy—it said, 'GPS'. And I said, 'GPS? There's GPS in my phone?'" He asked around and discovered that yes, there was GPS in his phone, due to a 1994 FCC ruling. At the time, cellphone usage was increasing rapidly, but 911 and other…
 
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