5 news stories I wish were April Fool's pranks.
An identical sculpture in Napa Valley, CA. Presumably a self-portait of everyone in Napa.
(photographer: Michael Bowles / via HallWines.com)
1. The United States is spending $400,000 in taxpayer money on a metaphor for rich people being unable to enter heaven. That's four hundred thousand smackaroos for a sculpture of a camel looking at the eye of a needle to be placed outside our embassy in Karachi, Pakistan. Yeah, that's right. In Pakistan, where the average yearly income is $1,250. In Pakistan, where people already hate us for blowing up stuff with expensive drones that make sure the only people at risk are Pakistanis. In Pakistan, where the Taliban doesn't really need another easy talking point about why the US sucks. Seriously, State Department, what were you thinking?
Meanwhile, the guy shooting vertical video gets no punishment at all. (via ENTRoom)
2. This cop decking a girl during an Arizona riot. After the Wildcats lost to Wisconsin in the NCAA Elite Eight, a small riot broke out at the University of Arizona (and keep in mind, this is a "drunk college students" riot, not a "major civil unrest" riot), at which this cop speared this small woman. He did this for what I would call "no reason at all," but pro-authority Internet commenters insist it is because the cop needed to "guard the rear" of the other cops in the video and prevent them from getting hurt. Of course, if he was really trying to prevent that, he might have considered not flattening a skinny female kid in front of an already-rowdy mob. That's the kind of action that makes rioters feel like they're doing the right thing. This guy is a thug. You can also check out this somewhat-amusing riot video of a U of A bro taking pepper balls fired by the police to the chest and laughing (while everyone else stood around filming, not being violent), until 8 of them tackled him.
A killer whale, seen here pondering whether suicide is such a bad idea.
3. SeaWorld keeps its killer whales drugged on massive doses of whale Valium and whale Xanax. SeaWorld's orcas are kept on a steady diet of benzodiazipenes, a class of drugs that includes Valium and Xanax, to keep them from going insane in their pens. I really wish I didn't live in Miami as a little kid, because now I have to admit that I gave these jerkwads money. There was a time when I thought SeaWorld was super cool. No more. Look, you don't really need to think about much besides this: those animals are really, really big, and the pools they live in are not very big by comparison. It's like keeping Clifford the Big Red Dog confined to the basement, or putting you in, you know, jail. Not great for mental health, and cetaceans are smart enough that their mental health is a big concern.
Usually on my newsstand, it's 'Home and Garden.' (via MotherJones)
4. 'Newsweek' is now owned by crazy cult members who also churn out plagiarized content-mill Internet crap. And to think there was a time I read that thing every week. Newsweek has been purchased by IBT Media, the barely-conceealed corporate arm of The Community, a cult that's like a cross between the Moonies and Scientology. It's headed by a guy named David Jang, who claims to be the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and believes in gay conversion therapy. He converts vulnerable people and convinces them to attend a bogus school, Olivet University, which is actually a shady and probably illegal labor and visa scam that provides IBT's businesses with cheap "interns" who make far below-poverty-line incomes (with 10% tithed to the church, naturally). Those interns run a network of low-quality content-stealing clickbait sites (not high-quality clickbait like I make), with the flagship operation being the International Business Times. Their other publications largely have Christian themes, and in many cases are imitating Christian publications that have called them out on being a cult (Christian Today vs. Christianity Today, which did an investigative report on IBT), presumably to confuse readers. In conclusion, Newsweek no longer really exists.
So, gay marriage is bad, but fox-on-planet love is OK? You're sick, Mozilla.
5. OKCupid is asking FIrefox users to switch browsers because Mozilla's stupid CEO opposes marriage equality. It was revealed recently that Mozilla's newly-appointed CEO, Brendan Eich, gave $1000 to support California's notorious Proposition 8 law banning gay marriage in 2008. While he's entitled to that opinion, it doesn't fly well on OKCupid or in the techier parts of California. In response, OKCupid is asking users to consider four other browsers (yes, even Internet Explorer) over Firefox. While the donation is old, the revelation is new, and one of Mozilla's board members has already resigned over it. Eich gave a weaselly response and essentially claimed to be pro-LGBT while making it clear he would not actually change his views or actions. Mozilla also put out a statement claiming the company as a whole was pro-marriage equality. Although they didn't help the "these are just words" feeling by including a disclaimer that while they originally had a section about actions they were taking, they didn't have time to decide what actions they would be.
(by Johnny McNulty)