The U.S. military bans FiveFingers shoes because they “detract from a professional military image”; Rupert Murdoch sells MySpace for a measly $35 million; and Google teams with the Getty Museum to create a smartphone application for art lovers. These discoveries and more, below.

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.

The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.

U.S. Military Gives ‘Toe Shoes’ the Boot No, you did not misread the headline. The Army has indeed banned those funky shoes with five individual slots for your toes.

The Importance of College: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy As long as employers insist that a degree is necessary, it will continue to be.

Birthers Have No Sense of Humor. Duh. Leading birthers Joseph Farah and Jerome Corsi are suing Esquire for $120 million because the magazine published a satirical article headlined, “BREAKING! Jerome Corsi’s Birther Book Pulled From Shelves!”

Why We Need a Supreme Court Ruling on Gay Marriage Most Americans now support gay marriage. But they can’t legalize it, thanks to the voters of 2004.

Murdoch Takes a Bath on MySpace Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has finally found a buyer for MySpace, but the $35 million sale price is only a fraction of how much the company had been asking for.

Google and Getty team up for pictures worth a thousand links The team behind Google Goggles, the smartphone application that among other things lets users take a photograph of a bottle of wine to find out whether it’s worth $10 or $100, has partnered with the Getty Museum to provide information on hundreds of paintings from its permanent collection.

Evolution machine: Genetic engineering on fast forward Automated genetic tinkering is just the start – this machine could be used to rewrite the language of life and create new species of humans.

The rise of the indie author As American John Locke becomes the first self-published writer to sell a million Kindle electronic books, the first “indie authors” to top the UK e-books chart explain their success.

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