news you should know about

newsmongering 05/28

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> Right, so that feeling when you’re derping about the day and then realize you have to be at work in three hours and your to-do list is pretty long… Good times. And what am I doing? Blogging. Hmm.

> A Gallup poll suggests that Americans believe 25% of people are gay. I’d like to suggest that these are the same people who think that NPR gets 5% of the national budget (tote bags for everybody!), but mostly I think it indicates a bit of an issue with applying mathematical concepts; either those polled genuinely believe that one in four of the people they interact with on an everyday basis are gay, or else they feel like they’re suddenly seeing gay people everywhere (thank you, Glee) and it’s like that thing where you see one yellow car and then every car you see is yellow.

On the upside, a slim majority of respondents also believe that Teh Gay is not a choice. And on the one hand, that’s great, if only because the 1,800 people I know who’ve gotten “born this way” tattoos in the last six months are now, interestingly, mainstream. On the other – so what if it wasn’t? Would homosexuality not be valid if it was a choice?

Just food for thought.

> Russia has changed teams (no, not like that) at the G8 summit, now saying that Qaddafi has forfeited his right to rule Libya and agreeing to help mediate his exit (possibly in the form of an Apache helicopter). Russia was initially opposed to NATO actions in the region.

> The Patriot Act has been extended to 2015. Obama signed the extension at the last minute in Paris.

> Jared Loughner, the man who killed six people and injured thirteen more, including congresswoman Giffords, has been declared unfit to stand trial. Loughner has pleaded not guilty to the attack.

> Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stated that the US must maintain its “strategic relationship” with Pakistan:

“There have been times when we have had disagreements. There have been times when we’ve wanted to push harder and for various reasons they have not. Those differences are real. They will continue,” Clinton said.

“But the fact of the matter is that the international community has been able to kill more terrorists on Pakistani soil than anyplace else in the world,” she added. “We could not have done that without Pakistani cooperation.”

She appeared to be referring to U.S. drone attacks and covert action against militants, which Pakistani authorities have publicly denounced in response to public hostility, but privately condoned, according to Western officials.

“I believe strongly it is in our national security interest to have a comprehensive, long-term partnership with the government and people of Pakistan,” Clinton said.

> The Guardian reports that Chinese prisoners are forced to play online games such as World of Warcraft for credits that guards would then trade for real money:

It is known as “gold farming”, the practice of building up credits and online value through the monotonous repetition of basic tasks in online games such as World of Warcraft. The trade in virtual assets is very real, and outside the control of the games’ makers. Millions of gamers around the world are prepared to pay real money for such online credits, which they can use to progress in the online games.

The trading of virtual currencies in multiplayer games has become so rampant in China that it is increasingly difficult to regulate. In April, the Sichuan provincial government in central China launched a court case against a gamer who stole credits online worth about 3000rmb.

The lack of regulations has meant that even prisoners can be exploited in this virtual world for profit.

> Radioactive water appears to be leaking from Fukushima, and Greenpeace is reporting that sea life 20 kilometers away is showing radiation far above the legal limits (fifty times over those limits, in some cases).

> A French minister of parliament sparked uproar in France last week by comparing gay weddings to “unions” with animals. She has since (clumsily) apologized.

> Brazil has suspended a plan to incorporate sex ed videos aimed at fighting homophobia into the curriculum, with opposing evangelical groups suggesting that the films encouraged homosexual behavior. I’m fairly sure that if you’re gay, homosexual behavior tends to happen all on its own and a grainy fifteen-minute PSA isn’t going to do much either way, but oddly, the Brazilian legislature hasn’t requested my two cents yet.


Written by whackanarwhal

May 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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