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.

Pope Benedict XVI claims that, thanks to a sixth-century monk’s mistake, the most commonly used calendar is off by several years; topless feminists disguised as nuns protest anti-gay marriage in Paris; meanwhile, mainstream media pile on the same cliches about Israel and Palestine we’ve been hearing for 40 years. These discoveries and more below.

Jesus was born years earlier than thought, claims pope The entire Christian calendar is based on a miscalculation, the pope writes in a new book, claiming that Jesus was born several years earlier than commonly believed.

Who Won Israel’s Latest War? There is a measure of thanksgiving, or at least relief, in the land of Israel.

Will Next Year’s BRICS Summit Leave Another Disgrace In Durban? The heads of state of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa BRICS network are coming to Durban in four months, meeting March 26-27 at the International Convention Centre (ICC), Africa’s largest venue.

Grand Bargain Is the Wrong Solution Americans, listening to the intensifying debate about the fiscal showdown in Washington, must think they’ve entered an “Alice in Wonderland” world.

Art in the Age of Growing Inequality Felix Salmon reports that “the art market has stopped being a source of fascination and crazy numbers, and has started to be a source of sheer disgust.”

Oliver Stone: America is an ‘outlaw nation’ Across a four-decade career in the movie business that has encompassed three Academy Awards, 18 narrative films and several documentaries as a director, and innumerable side projects as a writer and producer, Oliver Stone has been obsessed with one topic: America.

Micro-Apartments So Nice You’ll Wish Your Place Was This Small This week the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will consider amending the city’s building code to let micro-apartments become even more micro.

Topless ‘Nuns’ Clash With Anti-Gay Marriage Catholic Protesters Dressed (somewhat) as nuns, today the Ukraine-based feminist group FEMEN staged a topless counter-protest of an anti-gay marriage march in Paris, where they were attacked by Catholic activists. The “nuns” sprayed the activists with powdered “sperm” while chanting slogans such as “In Gay We Trust.”

‘Little Revolution,’ Big Fracking Consequences There’s a war going on that you know nothing about between a coalition of great powers and a small insurgent movement.

Journalistic Cliches: ‘Surgical Air Strikes,’ ‘Rooting Out Terror’ and ‘Cyber-Terrorism’ Cannot Conceal Reality Terror, terror, terror, terror, terror. Here we go again. Israel is going to “root out Palestinian terror” – which it has been claiming to do, unsuccessfully, for 64 years – while Hamas, the latest in “Palestine’s” morbid militias, announces that Israel has “opened the gates of hell” by murdering its military leader, Ahmed al-Jabari.

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