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Danny Goldberg on the Digital Music Revolution

Is there a social consequence to the increasing numbers of consumers who expect to get information and entertainment for nothing? Can there be too much of a good thing? “Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age” by Steve Knopper provides a useful autopsy.

Posted on Jun 26, 2009 READ MORE


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Michael Jackson
AP photo / Joel Ryan

The King of Pop Is Dead

Michael Jackson was rushed to an L.A. hospital Thursday, where he was pronounced dead. He was 50 years old. His astonishing musical career, perhaps unparalleled among solo artists, unraveled into a tabloid mess of child molestation, doctor-sanctioned self-mutilation, bizarre parenting and, ultimately, debt. He was about to launch a comeback tour.

Posted on Jun 25, 2009 READ MORE


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The Case of the Whacked-Out Wallabies

Australians have found the source of a rash of mysterious crop circles: drugged-out wallabies. According to the attorney general of Tasmania, the kangaroo-like creatures have been eating opium poppies in fields grown for medical purposes, getting high and walking around in circles. Are you listening, Mel Gibson?

Posted on Jun 25, 2009 READ MORE


Ed McMahon and Johnny Carson
AP photo / Douglas C. Pizac

Ed McMahon Was an Everyman Till the End

Despite his fame, money and extraordinary résumé—he had been a Marine, pitchman, newsboy, ditch digger, talent show host and, of course, the most famous sidekick in the history of television—Ed McMahon came off as a likable everyday guy. Before his death Tuesday at the age of 86, McMahon even experienced the wrong end of the mortgage crisis, albeit with a Beverly Hills mansion.

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE


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Flickr / michal_hadassah

Women Push Boycott of Berlusconi

Three Italian women academics have called upon the wives of world leaders attending the G-8 summit in Italy next month to boycott the gathering in a stance against Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi’s “sexist” and “offensive” attitude toward women. Could they be referring to his harem of call girls, his rumored affair with an 18-year-old, or his nominations of ex-showgirls to the European Parliament?

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE


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Sarkozy Dresses Down the Burqa

French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared that burqas worn by Muslim women are no longer welcome in France. The full-body veil, symbol of women’s “enslavement,” he said, is a threat to gender equality and to France’s long-standing secular democracy. Only a minority of women among the roughly 6 million Muslims in France wear such attire, but Sarkoz’s new hard line is sure to fan the debate.

Posted on Jun 22, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / phauly

Google Caves to Porn-Weary China

Is China experiencing a pornography epidemic? Beijing’s obsession with porn blocking now rivals its attempts to stifle political dissent. On top of censorship software soon to be packaged with every computer sold in the country, China has told Google to limit its search functionality for fear of accidentally helping Chinese users find the good stuff.

Posted on Jun 21, 2009 READ MORE


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Troy Jollimore on God’s Evolution

Can Robert Wright, the acclaimed author of “The Moral Animal,” square the circle in his new book on the persistent and vexing issue of what role religion plays in how human societies seek to comport themselves? Just how crucial to our modern ethical ideas like universal rights and equality among all persons is the notion of a single, all-powerful god?

Posted on Jun 19, 2009 READ MORE


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U.S. Senate Is Sorry About Slavery

On Thursday, the Senate adopted a resolution that apologizes for the evils of slavery on behalf of the people of the United States, and “acknowledges the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity of slavery, and Jim Crow laws.” The resolution does not, however, offer any form of reparation for the descendants of slaves.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE



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Sean Penn Bails on 2 Movies

Sean Penn has pulled out of two upcoming film roles and may be taking a year off from acting. No word yet on his politicking schedule. The star had been set to appear in “Cartel” and “The Three Stooges.” Yes, those Three Stooges.

Posted on Jun 17, 2009 READ MORE


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