The Tibetan Labrang Monastery in Gansu, northwestern China, is normally a place of tranquility. Now, it is also known for tragedy. Early this morning, a Tibetan farmer known as Dhondup headed to Labrang to perform the Buddhist ritual of walking around the monastery in prayer. Near the prayer hall inside the gold-roofed monastery, Dhondup lit himself ablaze in protest of Chinese rule in Tibet.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 3:10 pm
What is the point of the best-seller list? Depends who you are. If you're a reader, it's a guide to what's popular — what's new, what your neighbors are buying, and what you might like to read next. If you're a publisher, it's a source of feedback and a sales tool: It tells you how your books compete, and gives you triumphs to crow about on paperback covers.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 12:33 pm
Add all of us up, all 7 billion human beings on earth, and clumped together we weigh roughly 750 billion pounds. That, says Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson, is more than 100 times the biomass of any large animal that's ever walked the Earth. And we're still multiplying. Most demographers say we will hit 9 billion before we peak, and what happens then?
Across the nation, the number of people who have lost the right to vote because of a felony conviction has grown dramatically in the past three decades. Currently, almost 6 million people don't have that right — and about 1.5 million of them live in Florida.
While some states are making it easier for felons to get their voting rights back, Florida has taken the opposite approach — and the path for former convicts trying to get those rights back is often an arduous one.
About 300 people have been wrongfully convicted and exonerated in the U.S. thanks to DNA evidence. But overlooked in those stories are the accounts of jurors who unwittingly played a role in the injustice.
One of those stories is playing out in Washington, D.C., where two jurors who helped convict a teenager of murder in 1981 are now persuaded that they were wrong. They're dealing with their sense of responsibility by leading the fight to declare him legally innocent.
In one North Carolina county, mugging too much for a mug shot can get you locked in a cell indefinitely.
First off, though, why would you smile for a mug shot? Thumb through those publications like TheSlammer magazine filled with nothing but mug shots and you can find entire sections of people grinning it up.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 1:53 pm
Television, the ever-present babysitter, the companion that asks nothing of you, is changing. It is changing because we're asking questions of it, and making new demands about how we watch TV, and even what we consider to be "TV."
No longer is the prime concern how big your TV should be or what furniture should point at it. For some, the box isn't even the first place they go when they want to be entertained, for we now truly live in the multiscreen age.
For the first time, the nation's pediatricians are wading into the controversy over whether organic food is better for you – and they're coming down on the side of parents who say it is, at least in part.
In January, Ava DuVernay became the first African-American woman to win Sundance's best directing award for her second feature-length film, Middle of Nowhere. The film is about a young black woman named Ruby, who puts her life and dreams of going to medical school on hold while her husband is in prison.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 4:25 pm
Celebrity couples always get our attention: Kim & Kanye, Brangelina, Gosling & Totenberg. The Grilled Cheese Doughnut is just such a pairing: Two titans together as one. We'll call it Gronut.
Take a glazed doughnut, slice it open, flip both halves around so they're cut-side out, slap on some cheese, and grill it in butter. We think Ohio's Tom & Chee Restaurant did it first, and we're guessing they did a better job than we did.
Ian: Ew. I think the proper pronunciation here is "grilled cheese DO NOT."
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 2:28 pm
At Monday night's foreign policy debate, the first round of questions for the presidential candidates will involve "America's role in the world."
The answers from President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney likely will focus on military readiness and anti-terrorism efforts. That's what most Americans would expect to hear, given that their country has been involved continuously in overseas combat since the terrorist attacks of 2001.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 3:32 pm
Here's a new idea for a Presidential Debate Drinking Game: Every time someone says "Presidential Debate Drinking Game" today, take a drink. Just kidding.
But drinking games have become a familiar part of the American political landscape — like buttons, bunting and bumper stickers. Where there are political rallies, there are protesting groups. Where there are campaign speeches, there are fact checking teams. And where there are presidential candidates' debates, there are drinking games.
Six Italian scientists have been sentenced to six years in prison for what a judge said was a faulty forecast of the 2009 earthquake in L'Aquila.
The BBC reports that prosecutors said the scientists, who work for the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks, "gave a falsely reassuring statement before the quake, while the defense maintained there was no way to predict major quakes."