Today on the list: Cell phone companies conceal a health warning, Michelangelo’s David the way it was meant to be seen, and Hollywood doesn’t care about poor people — or old people.

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.

Who You Gonna Call? For Bedbugs, an Out-of-Work Actor Ever since [New York] city began suffering from a widespread infestation of the pernicious bugs last year, demand has soared for people to get rid of them. Actors, it turns out, make the perfect bug busters.

Spillcam, vuvuzela are top words of 2010 “Spillcam” and “vuvuzela” were the top words of 2010, reflecting the global impact of the months-long oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the noisy South African horns at the World Cup soccer tournament, according to a survey released on Sunday.

Hollywood’s Vanishing Have-Nots NIGEL COLE, the British director of 2003’s “Calendar Girls,” was only half joking when he said, “In England we only make films about the working class or the aristocracy.”

Why flops are good for the movies An era’s great flops serve countless functions in pushing the art and industry of filmmaking forward. They introduce technological innovations. They help filmmakers and actors — those that manage to work again, at least — learn how to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. And for the people involved in them, flops are something more than a wake-up call: They can even rescue a career.

Great Moments in Academic Research Scenario: You are applying for a job via e-mail — is it a good idea to attach a smiley? 🙂 That depends — according to a report presented at the 25th annual meeting of the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology (2010).

How to Cut the Deficit Without Having to Listen to Simpson and Bowles Anymore The politics on the deficit commission are predictable, but they are another sign of how far removed DC style centrism is from where the American public actually is.

Cell Phone Companies Conceal Serious Health Warning WARNING: Holding a cellphone against your ear may be hazardous to your health. So may stuffing it in a pocket against your body.

Mitch McConnell Played Both Sides of Iraq War George W. Bush got a lot wrong in his administration, but he certainly did figure out Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell.

The Shadow Scholar: Confessions of an Academic ‘Paper-for-Hire’ Writer The request came in by e-mail around 2 in the afternoon. It was from a previous customer, and she had urgent business. I quote her message here verbatim (if I had to put up with it, so should you): “You did me business ethics propsal for me I need propsal got approved pls can you will write me paper?”

Taibbi: the Tea Party Moron Complex By rallying behind dingbats and morons like Palin and Michele Bachmann, the Tea Party has made anti-intellectualism its rallying cry.

MICHELANGELO’S DAVID AS IT WAS MEANT TO BE SEEN Standing on a pedestal high up by Florence Cathedral’s dome, a 400-kilogram (800-pound) fiberglass reproduction of Michelangelo’s David has shown today how the towering sculpture acclaimed for its depiction of male beauty would have looked in the destination first envisaged for it.

True or False? Networks don’t care about old people Pop quiz: What’s the No. 1 scripted series on television these days? If you said “NCIS,” which ropes in 20 million viewers a week — sorry, you’re staying after class.


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