Best-selling children’s book writer Terry Deary claims the concept of providing the “impoverished access to books” is outdated and irrelevant; despite hopes that the next pope will be less homophobic than the last, the likely candidate supports “Kill the Gays” laws; meanwhile, PayPal and Lenovo aim to finish off passwords in order to move on to more secure measures. 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.

Libraries ‘Have Had Their Day’, says Horrible Histories Author Libraries “have been around too long” and are “no longer relevant”, according to Horrible Histories author Terry Deary, an apparently lone literary voice to believe that libraries have “had their day”.

The Inside Story of Why Aaron Swartz Broke Into MIT and JSTOR Despite the many hundreds of thousands of words that have been written about Aaron Swartz since his suicide last month, there remain a number of unanswered questions about the life of the computer-prodigy-turned-political-activist.

Registry Helps Guests Avoid Wearing the Same Dress There’s one diplomatic disaster the new administration may be able to avoid: women arriving at an inaugural ball in the same dress.

Cars and Robust Cities Are Fundamentally Incompatible Big roads and parking garages are so common in American cities that it’s easy to forget these places once functioned exceptionally well without them.

Gains for Minority Actors in NYC, but Whites Continue to Be Overrepresented The percentage of minority actors working on Broadway and at the top 16 not-for-profit theater companies in New York City rose to 23 percent during the 2011-2012 season, but whites continue to be overrepresented, according to a new report.

The Real Trouble with Jonah Lehrer He’s apologized for intellectual dishonesty. But not for intellectual laziness.

What Obama Said — and What He Meant — About Climate Change, War and Civil Liberties The words in President Obama’s “State of the Union” speech were often lofty, spinning through the air with the greatest of ease and emitting dog whistles as they flew.

U.S. and Israel Push the Boundaries of International Law In 2009 the former head of the international law department of Israel’s military establishment, Daniel Reisner, said that “International law progresses through violations.

The Last Time a Pope Resigned, Mass Media Was Called … Mass A pope hasn’t stepped down from office for 600 years. What was the “media frenzy” like in 1415?

Top Papal Candidate Has Defended ‘Kill the Gays’ Laws in Africa In the wake of Pope Benedict XVI’s unprecedented announcement yesterday that he would resign the papacy effective February 28, many people took to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media to express hope that the next pope would look more kindly on the LGBT community than the notoriously homophobic Benedict.

Greek Economy Finally Under Control Workers’ control, that is.

PayPal, Lenovo Launch New Campaign to Kill the Password A new standard that gives phones and PCs a bigger role in authentication could disarm attacks that rely on stealing passwords.

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