Thursday, March 03, 2011 9:32 AM
Fences made of cluster-bomb casings, water-buffalo wading in pools made from bomb craters, and canoes built from fuel tanks dropped by bombers. Welcome to Laos, five decades after a U.S. bombing campaign.
Why the uprisings in the Middle East are just the first tremor in an oilquake to come.
Could you quit Sarah Palin cold turkey? One reporter for the Washington Post did...and lived to tell the story.
interview with China Miéville that explores the author’s socially nuanced, politically radical, concept-smashing, gristly urban fantasy.
This week the White House released a new report on the status of women in America. The Atlantic asks, “But then what?”
Can’t afford a trip to Barbados but longing to see the sun? Check out this awesome solar flare, recorded on video by NASA last week. You can practically feel it.
How one man thinks “congressional Republicans are badly mistaken in denouncing public radio as a contemptible source of liberal propaganda and snooty elitism that the nation would be better off without” but is all for eliminating funding for it.
The Obamas make history as the first First Family to pour homebrewed beer in the White House. Will hops be the next crop in the White House garden?
We are the frogs in the pot of boiling water that is Facebook. We never notice until it’s too late.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 9:03 AM
Attention, class, if you refer to page four of your syllabus you’ll see that tomorrow’s lesson is about homoerotic shower-scenes on HBO. Next week, we’ll be discussing the economics of pornographic magazine distribution. Now, please find a writing utensil and take notes on shifting power relationships in this stag film.
An academic course about pornography, especially for high-school students, seems outré, but California State University, Long Beach professor Shira Tarrant thinks it is a crucial, missing piece of early education. “Digital technology is increasingly shaping our analog relationships,” writes Tarrant in an essay for AlterNet.
Pop culture infuses our everyday lives. We must put media literacy at the top of our cultural to-do list because this provides the critical skills that enable adults (young, or otherwise) to identify sexism, misogyny and racism in all forms of pop culture, including porn. As a generation of porn-watchers comes of age, it is to society's benefit that they are taught a kind of ‘porn literacy’ that encourages an understanding of what constitutes mutually consensual sex in real life.
Can’t we just make sure that our children and peers aren’t watching pornography? Perhaps write a ban into law? “‘Just say no’ just doesn't work,” Tarrant writes. “This slogan did not erase drug addiction, it is ineffective in terms of sexual abstinence and it does not work for pornography, either.” And,Tarrant argues, society-wide discussions have worked marvelously in the past:
Public conversation about drugs helps promote better solutions to addiction. The HIV and the AIDS epidemic transformed ‘condom’ from a word uttered in private hushed tones to a common vocabulary term on billboards and public service announcements. Effective solutions to social problems require brave conversations that are our cultural realities.
(Thanks, Atlantic Wire.)
Image by lovarakotomalala, licensed under Creative Commons..
Friday, November 07, 2008 9:31 AM
Below the roar of the presidential race and measures on reproductive and same-sex marriage rights, two states approved sweeping changes to marijuana laws on November 4, reports AlterNet.
Michigan voted overwhelmingly to legalize marijuana for medical use, while Massachusetts citizens chose to decriminalize marijuana possession, replacing arrest and possible jail time with a $100 fine.
AlterNet applauds the sensible cost-benefit analysis behind the voters' decisions. The millions of dollars and hundreds of hours the government and the police have committed to arrests, incarceration, and prevention campaigns haven't done much to stymie the drug's use, as seen in statistics gathered by the Bureau of Justice.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, marijuana possession accounted for more than a third of all possession arrests in 2006, and the total number of marijuana-related arrests for that year (829,600) far outnumbers those of heroin/cocaine (582,100).
In light of those numbers, why not take the resources once devoted to processing these minor crimes and instead direct them toward more serious issues like gun crime or drug trafficking?
Michigan is the 13th state to approve the use of medical marijuana, which a number of studies have revealed provides relief from the nausea and pain of several diseases and their treatments.
Image courtesy of
, licensed under
Wednesday, September 24, 2008 2:05 PM
The Left has voiced plenty of criticism of McCain and Palin’s policies, but one facet of the Republican ticket that has been tragically left alone is its anti-science stance, says MIT researcher John Tirman.
Tirman reiterates the Republican candidates’ resistance to stem-cell research and evolution, and their support for offshore and ANWR drilling. But he takes things one step further, going beyond the moral implications of these policies to look at the problem from an economic point of view.
First of all, in order to compete with flourishing markets like those in Asia, the United States must continue its tradition of innovation and scientific excellence. Without it, “hopes for creating the new technologies and processes that fuel sustainable economic activity will surely decline.” Secondly, scientific research offers solutions to crucial problems such as disease and fossil-fuel dependency, and without the necessary funding for advances in technology, our ability to solve these problems would come to a standstill (a dilemma about which Utne.com has previously blogged). Lastly, scientists from other countries would eschew an anti-science United States in favor of a more tolerant community in which to conduct their research, circling back to the author’s first point about scientific excellence being “the font of prosperity.”
We ignore these issues at our own peril, insists Tirman. “The McCain/Palin shakiness on science issues is not just another occasion for SNL skits or jokes about the U.S. being the laughing stick [sic] of the world. They're life-and-death issues for global health and ecology, as well as our own well being.”
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 10:04 AM
AlterNet’s got a rowdy round-up of the 10 most talked-about viral videos of the campaign season. They're worthy of a wee work break. I had missed this one and thoroughly enjoyed it:
Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.
Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!
Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of Utne Reader for only $29.95 (USA only).
Or Bill Me Later and pay just $36 for 6 issues of Utne Reader!