Obama dodges Netanyahu’s attempts to suck the U.S. into a war against Iran; Stephen Colbert’s many fictional faces are interfering with real world politics; meanwhile, the Argentine LGBT community is combatting the country’s deep-rooted stereotypes. 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 links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.

Obama Seeks to Distance U.S. from Israeli Attack President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are engaged in intense maneuvering over Netanyahu’s aim of entangling the United States in an Israeli war against Iran.

Banksy inspires Polish art student’s gallery stunt An unknown art student has boosted his profile after hanging one of his own works at the National Museum in Poland.

Porn yesterday: Roman brothel tokens and the rise of erotic art Bronze discs depicting sex acts, like the one discovered in London, were used to hire prostitutes — and directly led to the birth of pornography during the Renaissance.

How Many Stephen Colberts Are There? There used to be just two Stephen Colberts, and they were hard enough to distinguish.

Muslims revere the Koran. But its study is not taboo Religions invite stereotypes, holy texts even more so.

Should we erase painful memories? “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” could soon become a reality — but the concept raises some thorny questions.

How Gay Populations Influence Housing Prices Exactly how gay populations affect the urban housing market is something of an open question.

Newt has super PAC buyer’s remorse Not long ago Newt Gingrich seemed to be a big fan of super PACs.

The illusion of Internet freedom How many people made New Year’s resolutions to spend less time on the Internet?

Same-sex marriage legal, Argentinians ready to fight for full equality LGBT rights advocates secured a major legal victory last year in Argentina, but culture change will be a much slower process.

Mountain Dew Will Dissolve Rats On Contact Defending itself from a lawsuit claiming that an Illinois man found a dead mouse inside a can of Mountain Dew, PepsiCo contends that a rodent would have disintegrated and been transformed into a “jelly-like” substance between the time of the soft drink’s bottling and the day the plaintiff reportedly purchased the soda from a vending machine at his office.

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