Two new scandals have emerged from the Middle East; a hole larger than the Grand Canyon has been discovered under an Antarctic glacier; meanwhile, nobody is even bothering to pretend Obama’s NSA speech was any good. 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.

Lifestyles of Israel’s Rich and Rabbinical Israel could easily be an outstanding exporter of scandals.

No, Atheist Intolerance Is Not Destroying Western Society The latest cover story in The New Statesman, the British weekly that The New Republic shares content with, is a controversial article by Cristina Odone, a former editor at the magazine.

Youth and Media: News Literacy Reports Over the past few months, the Youth and Media team has collaborated with Chicago-based organizations that encourage and support youth to be active, engaged, news-literate community members.

German Designers Transform Homes Into Elaborate Cat Playgrounds For the past several years, German design firm Goldtatze has been transforming regular rooms into fancy cat playgrounds.

The Present and Future of Facial Recognition Software A few days after Christmas Mike Riggs emailed some pictures of himself to a stranger he met online.

Jewish Suitmaker Wins Accidental Gay Following Three years ago, Toronto-born Daniel Friedman was a newly minted architect whose livelihood evaporated when the economy crashed.

Massive Hole Discovered Under Antarctica, Bigger Than The Grand Canyon A giant valley deeper than the Grand Canyon is buried beneath several miles of glacial ice in West Antarctica, according to a new study by British scientists.

The Tenure System Is Broken Academic reward systems are fascinating to study because they reflect assumptions, values, goals, and aspirations held by institutions and fields.

Obama Fans Aren’t even Pretending That Was a Good Speech President Barack Obama gave a eulogy for the Fourth Amendment on Friday, and not even his fans are proclaiming victory.

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig