Short Takes: News From All Over

War Pornography
By Chris Thompson, East Bay Express
Thought the photos from Abu Ghraib prison were depraved and degrading? Well the ante’s been upped. Snapshots of mutilated and dismembered war dead taken by American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and posted on get to the heinous root of war. But here’s the kicker: In exchange for their gory pics, soldiers are given access to amateur porn. — Archie Ingersoll

Tingo, Nakkele and Other Wonders
By Georgina Pattinson, BBC News
To English speakers, foreign words can be a great mystery and a great boon. Some things are impossible to express in a compact phrase, and borrowing words from others is often an agreeable solution to this problem. If your neighbor trades in stolen felines, it is far more economical to use the Russian epithet koshatnik than ‘stolen-cat dealer.’ If skipping stones doesn’t sound poetic enough, use a little Dutch, go down to the lake, and engage in the act of plimpplampplettere. Adam Jacot de Boinod explores the joys of foreign vocabulary in his book, The Meaning of Tingo, and unlocks some wonderful turns of phrase that will leave your tongue spinning. — Rose Miller

Lego Theorists
By Staff,
Meet Michel Foucault and Judith Butler rendered in Legos. The British website introduces you to the most important minds in cultural theory via the small plastic interlocking toys and guides you on the road toward a greater understanding of our age. (Thanks, Cabinet.) — Rose Miller

Armed and Dangerous — Flipper the Firing Dolphin Let Loose by Katrina
By Mark Townsend Houston, The Observer
An armed posse of dolphins may be roaming the Gulf of Mexico. No joke; 36 Atlantic bottlenose assassins, trained by the US navy to identify and shoot enemies with ‘toxic dart’ guns, might have been loosed after their coastal Louisiana confine was breached during Katrina’s onslaught. Ocean-goers beware. — Archie Ingersoll,6903,1577753,00.html

Now Let’s Rescue America: Nine Key Steps
By Van Jones, The Huffington Post
It wasn’t just the Bush administration that botched the response to Hurricane Katrina. Progressives came up woefully short, too, veteran activist Van Jones writes. As the left languished amid a lack of organizational capacity, or ‘guts,’ thousands of black Americans went without food, clothes, medicine, and shelter. It’s time to ‘act quickly to recover our balance and seize the political initiative,’ Jones writes. To this end, he lays out a nine-step plan for healing New Orleans and the country, beginning with rolling back the tax breaks and ending with a sustainable future for the Gulf Coast. — Sarah Wash

Meth Saves!
By Anna Weinberg, The Book Standard
After Ashley Smith talked Brian Nichols into turning himself in, she was embraced as a Christian hero. She had drawn on her faith and The Purpose-Driven Life to convince a man who had allegedly just shot three people in an Atlanta courthouse to let her go. But Smith had some other help, too. Namely, crystal methamphetamine. In an interview with The Book Standard, the former drug addict discusses why she gave Nichols meth — a revelation just published in her book, Unlikely Angel. She also talks about how she read her captor only a paragraph from the Christian best seller, focusing instead on her own life story to persuade him to release her unharmed. — Hannah Lobel

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