Short Takes: News From All Over

Black Google Saves Energy
By Celine Ruben-Salama, TreeHugger
Changing Google’s homepage from white to black would make the internet a lot greener. Blogger Mark Ontkush estimates that Google would save 750 megawatt-hours per year with a black background, since black web pages take less energy to display than white ones. That’s why developers created Blackle, a site that mirrors Google, allowing you to search the same content from an energy-saving black display. — Natalie Hudson

A Eulogy For The NewStandard
By Steve Anderson, COA News
After more than three years of publishing, the nonprofit, noncommercial, reader-funded website the NewStandard has officially ceased publication. According to COA News publisher Steve Anderson, the news source ‘truly redefined what independent media can be.’ Anderson laments the passing of another independent media stalwart, and ends with an ominous update: that the media watchdog and information clearinghouse, is also thinking about ‘ceasing operations.’– Bennett Gordon

Iraq: Residents Come Together to Help Displaced Families
The efforts of one Iraqi boy who wanted to help his displaced friends have blossomed into a support system of hundreds of families in six Baghdad neighborhoods. IRIN reports that families are now sending food and supplies to internally displaced people across Baghdad every day. Many of the aid recipients are living in desperate and volatile situations, and NGOs have said they welcome the aid. — Natalie Hudson

Rediscover Mother’s Day
By Ploughshares Fund
Instead of giving flowers or balloons this year, the Ploughshares Fund is encouraging sons and daughters to brush aside a Hallmark visit and ‘rediscover’ the peaceful spirit of the original Mother’s Day. The campaign offers ‘the gift of peace’ through donations, which are all matched dollar-for-dollar by an unnamed group of philanthropist mothers. All donations are then given directly to groups working for peaceful change throughout the world. — Natalie Hudson

Republican and Democratic Candidates Debate
The Annenberg political watchdog site is back on election-season task, exposing the lies and half-truths in the recent Democratic and Republican presidential debates. On the Republican side, California Representative Duncan Hunter ‘greatly exaggerated’ the number of non-Mexican immigrants coming across the southern border. On the Democratic side, there was ‘spinning’ but no ‘whoppers’ as Illinois Senator Barack Obama stated truthfully that he accepts no money from ‘federal registered lobbyists.’ Obama does, however, accept money from the spouses, family members, and business partners of lobbyists. — Bennett Gordon

BattleLines on ‘US News’
By Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed
The presidents of 12 liberal arts colleges — including Earlham College in Indiana and Dickinson College in Pennsylvania — are boycotting the annual US News and World Report college rankings. In a letter sent to hundreds of colleges nationwide, the presidents call the annual report ‘misleading,’ saying that the rankings rely on data that ‘imply a false precision,’ ‘encourage wasteful spending and gamesmanship’ as colleges angle to secure high ratings, and ‘say nothing or very little about whether students are actually learning.’ — Bennett Gordon

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