Current minimum wage earners can’t make it above the poverty line, but this wasn’t the case before the ’80s; a radioactive bomb can be used to clear out the AIDS virus in the body; meanwhile, a new study finds a correlation between intelligence and drinking. 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.

Minimum Wage Was Once Enough To Keep a Family of 3 Out of Poverty Amid protests across the country over retail and service jobs that pay little better than the minimum wage, it’s easy to forget that this income benchmark once meant something slightly different. Sells Counterfeit Prints Of Banksy’s ‘Destroy Capitalism’ You really can get anything at Walmart. Even a Banksy print, sort of.

Crisis and Critique The Chinese word for “crisis,” as generations of commencement speakers have reminded us, is written using the same character as “opportunity.”

Only in America: The Attack on Pensions First, they came for the pensions of private-sector workers. And they won. Now, as in Detroit and Illinois, they’re after the pensions of public-sector workers. And they’re winning.

Workers Take A Stand Against Boeing This is how the middle class dies, not with a bang, but a forced squeeze.

Targeted Radioactive Bomb Might clean Out AIDS Virus, Study Finds A radioactive smart bomb might help mop up the last bits of AIDS virus hiding out in a patient’s body, even getting into the brain, researchers reported Tuesday.

A Major Scholarly Group Affirms a Boycott Over Palestine In recent years, we have seen greater recognition in the United States that religious acrimony and ancient blood feuds are not the source of the Israel-Palestine conflict, whose progenitor in fact is Jewish colonization.

MSNBC Fires Pottymouth Reporter Just over two weeks ago, MSNBC host Martin Bashir delivered a harsh piece of commentary that culminated in the suggestion that someone should “s-h-i-t” in former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin‘s (R-AK) mouth.

Max Blumenthal: I Knew Alterman Would Freak Out Thousands of protesters worldwide joined in a “Day of Rage” late last week to decry Israel’s despicable Prawer Plan, a government policy (wildly underreported in this country) to destroy 35 Arab villages in the Negev desert, which will lead to the forced displacement of up to 70,000 Bedouin Israeli citizens.

As States Adopt Same-Sex Marriage, Showbiz’s Role Isn’t So Simple Last year, Vice President Joseph Biden gave credit to the public shift in attitudes toward gay relationships to “Will & Grace,” bolstering the notion that Hollywood has played a central role in the turnabout in public opinion to the point where a steady stream of states are adopting same-sex marriage.

Imgur: The Biggest Little Site in the World What does Imgur, one of the most highly-trafficked sites on the web, want to be when it grows up? Television.

Coffee as Medicine? Japanese Scientists Show How It Helps the Heart The next time you take a coffee break, you might want to consider a triple espresso. The extra caffeine may reduce your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

Energy Drinks Speed Heart Contractions, MRIs Show This is your heart on an energy drink, and it’s contracting significantly faster than it was before you opened that can full of liquid stimulant.

News Nonprofit Starts Taking Donations in Bitcoin San Diego news nonprofit inewsource began accepting donations in the online currency Bitcoin Monday.

Do Smarter People Drink More? It’s the booziest time of the year, and also the most hung over: According to one study, 96 percent of Americans have been hung over at work after a holiday party, or know someone who has.

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