John Oliver talks “dick pics” with Edward Snowden

“How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime” (TED Talk)

“Native Advertising” (Last Week Tonight with John Oliver)

“Daylight Saving Time: How Is This Still a Thing?” (Last Week Tonight with John Oliver)

John Lennon and Paul Simon (1975 Grammy Awards)

“Between the hammer and the anvil”

Virunga is an Oscar-nominated documentary about the efforts of rangers and others associated with Virunga National Park, located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to protect its fragile wildlife from poaching, war, and oil exploration. Home to the last mountain gorillas, the park is “one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth,” and the movie tells the story of four very brave individuals who risked their lives to “build a better future in a part of Africa the world’s forgotten.” Though it would be easy to heap blame on the villainous British oil company Soco International for its soullessness and for its attempts to rape the region with impunity, I am much more inclined, instead, to honor the courage of the park rangers and a young French journalist who fought against and exposed the unspeakable evil all around them. The film also stands as an elegant testament to the fact that we humans are no more, nor less, than the gorilla, the forest elephant, the okapi.

Extraordinary Jon Stewart clip on racism in the US

Want to be inspired? Watch this.

Don’t hate me.

A new test, known as the “finger-trap test” or, more pointedly, the “Beauty and Ugliness Identification Method,” can clear up any confusion you might have had about your comeliness: Simply place your index finger along your chin and nose — as if to say “shush.” If your lips touch your finger, you are “not the brightest star in the sky” — at least according to a Vocativ article. If there is a space between your lips and finger, though, consider yourself a knockout.

While I may lack a thigh gap, a prominent collarbone, or protruding ribs — all apparent signs of beauty among the adolescent set — it turns out you can drive a car through the space created between my mouth and finger when I try this exercise. If only I had known, all along, that I was so fetching.

Old news is no news

Since the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 began, I have read literally hundreds of online articles about it from across the globe and have come to the following conclusions: 1) print journalism is all but dead and 2) the advent of digital reporting as a primary source of news requires a more discerning and critically thoughtful world citizenry than ever before.

With breaking news just a keystroke away, I found myself smirking and sighing yesterday afternoon as I scanned the front page of a lone, none-too-fresh-looking copy of the New York Times sitting on a rack in the market—declaring inwardly that the paper’s missing plane coverage was, for me, very old hat.

So demanding have I—and my nervous system—become for information fixes that I could not help but think about the Comcast commercial, now several years old, that perfectly captures the entitlement I have come to feel about my news:

We pay a steep price, though, for demanding ready access to information. It means media  outlets are more and more pressured to publish in real time, which, in turn, means accuracy in content and form can go wanting. A opinion piece, for instance, took my breath away with its clear inattention to copyediting:

  • Headline with repeated word: “Missing Malaysia Airlines plane — what has incident has taught terrorists?”
  • Paragraph three with faulty grammatical parallelism: “But let’s flip the topic from what we do or don’t know about the missing plane to what does the event and our response to it reveal about us?”
  • Paragraph seven with missing word: “What have THEY learned us?  Quite a bit, actually.”
  • Paragraph sixteen with wrong words: “Fifth, Third World countries don’t screen pilots are crew are vigorously as we do.”

Although it is true that I might be more cranky than other readers about these kinds of errors, they make me wonder what else the writer might have gotten wrong.

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