Short Takes: News From All Over

Stroking the Columbia
By Christopher Swain, Resurgence
When Christopher Swain swam the 1,243-mile length of the Columbia River, he wasn’t as scared of grizzly bears and rapids as he was of pesticide runoff and the radioactive waters near the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The energy-draining swim awakened him to a more intimate knowledge of his food choices and inspired him to eat and advocate for organically grown foods. Swain continues his clean-water and organic-agriculture activism with other awareness-raising swims through important bodies of water throughout the US and Canada. — Rose Miller

24 Hour Zine Thing
By Staff, rock scissors paper
If you thought 24-hour film festivals were the new cutting edge of home-brewed, do-it-yourself independent media, think again. Rock scissors paper, an Arizona-based zine group, recently concocted a ’24 Hour Zine Thing,’ the zinesters’ answer to the 24-hour creative challenge. The extravaganza for the small-budget, homemade magazines was inspired by ’24 Hour Comics Day’ and encourages participants to exercise a constitutional right to freedom of the press by making a 24-page publication in the allotted time. — Rose Miller

James Weinstein: 1926-2005
By Miles Harvey, In These Times
James Weinstein, editor and publisher of In These Times magazine, died of brain cancer June 16 at the age of 78. The leading left-wing intellectual took turns as a self-described ‘Groucho Marxist,’ a union-card carrying electrical worker, and a Navy man, and drew on his inherited wealth to fund several progressive causes and publications. In These Times eulogizes him as a lifelong advocate for ‘economic justice, corporate accountability, and human rights.’ — Archie Ingersoll

The Best Political Blogs
By Harry Jaffe, The Washingtonian
With an estimated 300,000 blogs devoted to political discourse, sifting the web for high-caliber content can be daunting. Fear not: based on an informal poll of journalists in Washington, D.C., the national editor of The Washingtonian has narrowed the number to 19 of the best and brightest. — Julie Hanus

To Serve Man
By Vince Darcangelo, Boulder Weekly
Health-conscious cannibals and steel-stomached epicures now can enjoy Hufu, a tofu product with the texture and flavor of human flesh. The vegan treat has ‘one of the cleverest marketing campaigns in recent memory,’ Darcangelo writes. But one question lingers: How do the makers of Hufu know it is an accurate reproduction? (Thanks, — Julie Hanus

Spray-on Mud: The Ultimate Accessory for City 4×4 Drivers
By Ian Sample, The Guardian
In case you’re still unconvinced about the futility of urban SUVs, consider this: bottled mud for the gas guzzlers. With the purchase of the spray-on scum, time-crunched SUV owners can look like they’re out off-roading the Joneses without scratching the truck’s paint job. — Barb Jacobs,12996,1506025,00.html

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