Scientists connected the brains of a pair of rodents—one in Brazil, the other in North Carolina—via computers; an Italian jeans maker has trademarked the word “Jesus” thus holding exclusive rights to clothes bearing Christ’s name; meanwhile, a police officer is on trial in New York on suspicion of planning to rape, torture and cannibalize women. These discoveries and more below.
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.
The Cannibal Cop on Trial
Though Gilberto Valle faces life in prison if convicted—he’s been charged with “a heinous plot to kidnap, rape, murder and cannibalize a number of very real women”—the former New York City police officer barely says a word.
If You Take These Jeans’ Name in Vain, Prepare to Meet Their Maker
In a branding coup of biblical proportions, an Italian jeans maker persuaded the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2007 to register the word “Jesus” as a trademark, giving the company exclusive rights in America to sell clothing bearing the name of Christianity’s central figure.
Aaron Swartz Was Right
The suicide of the Internet wunderkind Aaron Swartz has given rise to a great deal of discussion, much of it centered on whether the penalty sought against him by the prosecutor was proportional to his “crime.”