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Ear to the Ground

Vancouver Bids Adieu to Doorknobs

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Posted on Nov 27, 2013

In an effort to make doors more accessible to the majority of its inhabitants, the Canadian city has banned doorknobs in favor of lever handles; two Saudi Arabian men were arrested for offering strangers “free hugs”; meanwhile, the Supreme Court will decide in two cases whether corporations have religious beliefs or not. 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.

Vancouver Bans Doorknobs
In a move to make housing more universally accessible, the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, has banned doorknobs in private homes and apartment buildings.

‘In a Single Moment, I Stopped Being Religious’
In 2010, the man who was Sephardi chief rabbi of Israel and an Israel Prize laureate, Rav Ovadia Yosef, was still what he had been throughout much of his long life: a powerful political machine, exercising a broad and profound influence on Israeli politics and society.

Should the Supreme Court Have Unpaid Interns?
Hopefully, one day some young turk’s lawsuit complaining about an unpaid internship makes it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, because there it would put a spotlight on a great irony: The Supreme Court has unpaid interns, too.

Why Gamers Can’t Stop Playing First-Person Shooters
In the fall of 1992, a twentysomething college dropout and former juvenile offender named John Carmack was hard at work in Mesquite, Texas, on a new concept for a video game.

Blockbluster - Who Needs Hits?
In 1976, a music executive named Walter Yetnikoff launched a campaign that came to be known as Walter’s War.

America’s Least-Favorite City Has Become Television’s Favorite Subject
One strain brought on by “The West Wing,” the White House drama that ran from 1999 to 2006 on NBC, was a feeling of being trapped with the show’s creator, Aaron Sorkin, and forced to watch him play with his action figures, or possibly himself.

Free Hugs Get Saudi Men Arrested
We’ve all seen the photos of people standing on street corners with a big sign that says “FREE HUGS.” T-shirts with the slogan are popular and there’s always someone at every big gathering wearing one with open arms.

As Feds Ponder Future of E-cigarettes, Some Colleges Move Against Them
While the federal government decides how to regulate electronic cigarettes, many university officials across the country are moving ahead with their own rules about e-cigs on campus.

Corporations Are People, the Biblical Sequel
The Supreme Court will decide whether companies don’t have to cover contraception because they have religious beliefs.

US, UK Officials Worry Snowden Still Has ‘Doomsday’ Collection of Classified Material
US and British intelligence officials say they are concerned about a “doomsday” collection of highly classified, heavily encrypted materials they believe former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden may have stored away.

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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