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Posted on May 19, 2010

Chinese swingers head to jail, Australia hunts down and grounds the founder of WikiLeaks, and David Lynch does Dior. All this and more on today’s list.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

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WikiLeaks founder has his passport confiscated
This is a reminder that one can’t run around exposing the secrets of the most powerful governments, militaries and corporations in the world without consequences . ...

Equating sexual orientation with ‘sex life’
Perhaps it’s naïveté, but I’ve been amazed by the outraged objections of many Good Liberals to the mere discussion of Elena Kagan’s sexual orientation.  Without realizing it, they’ve completely internalized one of the most pernicious myths long used to demand that gay people remain in the closet:  namely, that to reveal one’s sexual orientation is to divulge one’s “sex life.” 

A computer program is writing great, original works of classical music
Composer David Cope has a knack for describing music in the least romantic terms possible. Whenever Mozart heard something, Cope says, “He was able to digest it and store it in his database. He could recombine it with other things so that the output would be hardly recognizable.”

David Lynch does Dior


Good Results of Bad Habits? Research Explains Paradox
When people are under chronic stress, they tend to smoke, drink, use drugs and overeat to help cope with stress. These behaviors trigger a biological cascade that helps prevent depression, but they also contribute to a host of physical problems that eventually contribute to early death.

Google Wave Has Officially Opened Its Doors
Google Wave has switched from an invitation-only offering to one open to all interested users, the popular service announced Wednesday.

These Shoes Were Made for Walking ... Away From Smith
They wore mostly black on their feet for Ivy Day and Commencement 2010. Still, there was wide variety among the heels and straps adorning graduates’ feet. Here is a sample of the shoes they wore. Which one of these is not like the others? Also, see if you can spot the footwear worn by the commencement speaker.

Indexing America
Is there an American character? Are there any generalizations that one can safely make about a nation of 300 million people, 40 million of whom were born elsewhere?

Financial Regulatory Bill Leaves Big Loophole Open
Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and other big Wall Street firms have been able for years to set up commercial banking businesses while avoiding the strict regulation this activity typically entails.

China: No Partner-Swapping Allowed
A college professor accused of organizing a swingers club and holding private orgies in China was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison, officials said, in a case that touched off national debate about sexual freedom.

Who’s Afraid of Rand Paul?
Count me as one lefty liberal who is not the least bit unhappy with the victory by Rand Paul in Kentucky’s Republican primary for the U.S. Senate.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication.

A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

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