Is buying locally produced food always a good thing?
Sir Terry Pratchett has made an emotional plea for the right to take his own life, saying: 'I live in hope I can jump before I am pushed.'  
The fantasy novelist gave his views following last week's landmark House of Lords controversial judgment in the case of Debbie Purdy.  
'I believe that if the burden gets too great, those who wish should be allowed to be shown the door,' he said. 'In my case, in the fullness of time, I hope it will be in the garden under an English sky. Or, if wet, the library.'  
Sir Terry, 61, author of the hugely successful Discworld books, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's diseasein 2007.  
The Oxford Project
Posted by ultrafastx in it's the arts 10 years ago
In 1984, Peter Feldstein photographed every resident of Oxford, Iowa, pop. 676. He returned 20 years later to take follow-up photos of as many of them as possible. The pairs of photos were compiled in an award-winning photo book, the Oxford Project. See our gallery of some of the town's residents.
A 441 lb crystal grown for making sapphire wafers.
Nearly one-third of 265 active U.S. bishops must submit letters of resignation to the pope within five years because they will have reached the mandatory retirement age of 75. More than half the bishops will reach the milestone within 10 years.  
I suspect this rebirth will likely lead to a more conservative Catholic Church in the US.
"We tend to feel that extroversion is the gold standard, that it's more 'normal,' " she says. "But that's because it's all we see, on TV and elsewhere. After all, a television show about someone just sitting quietly or reading a book wouldn't draw many viewers. And then, as introverts, we don't get together and share our experiences, so we assume we're all alone."  
Far from it. Research analyzing the results from a national representative sample of 3,009 people who have taken the Myers Briggs test shows that introverts actually outnumber extroverts, 50.8% to 49.3%. More men (54.1%) than women (47.5%) are introverted. And lest you think the title of Gelberg's book is an oxymoron, consider this: Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA, Fortune 500) CEO Warren Buffett, Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) chairman Bill Gates, Sara Lee (SLE, Fortune 500) CEO Brenda Barnes, Steven Spielberg, and Charles Schwab all describe themselves as introverts.
If you ever argued with your mother when she told you to get some sleep after studying for an exam instead of pulling an all-nighter, you owe her an apology, because it turns out she's right. And now, scientists are beginning to understand why.
The medical journal JAMA contains an article that describes a disturbing collision of medical science and the US legal system. Written by a pair of lawyers, the article describes how a national medical organization's attempts at formulating treatment standards for Lyme disease has been run off the rails by an alliance between an organization that advocates a minority medical viewpoint and a state Attorney General. Over two years later, the standards are being revised, and the organization that produced them has spent a quarter of a million dollars on legal fees.
The identity and origin of tiny, potentially hazardous particles emitted from common laser printers have been revealed by a new study at Queensland University of Technology.
Researchers have long assumed that SIVcpz, the chimpanzee virus that infected humans and triggered the AIDS epidemic, caused no harm to the apes. But new data presented here today at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections reveal that wild chimps infected with SIVcpz are more likely to die than uninfected chimps. The animals also show AIDS-like damage to their immune systems. The finding raises the possibility that chimps, too, are suffering from an AIDS epidemic.
Here in the great evergreen-and-gray metropolis of Portland, Ore., we like to think of our city as a thriving wonderland of forward thinking. We prefer our urban planning carefully considered, our light-rail and bicycle routes plentiful, our indie musicians erudite and inscrutable, and our movie theaters stocked with beer—progressive policies, all. So when we kicked off 2009 by swearing in Sam Adams, as the first openly gay mayor of a major American city, the occasion left a lot of us pretty pleased with our nonchalant open-mindedness: "Oh, did we just make civil rights history? Funny, we weren't even paying attention." But the back-patting didn't last long. Within weeks of taking office, Portland's new mayor found himself embroiled in a scandal so lurid and combustible that it resembles a plotline from The Young and the Restless. Which now leaves Portland as an innovator of something quite different. The Adams imbroglio may be the first true 21st-century political sex scandal: one that only a gay politician could survive.
Smoke on the Water
Posted by ultrafastx in it's the arts 10 years ago
A unique take on Deep Purple.
A week ago, Father Geoffrey Farrow stood before his Roman Catholic parishioners in Fresno and delivered a sermon that placed him squarely at odds with his church over gay marriage.  
With Proposition 8 on the November ballot, and his own bishop urging Central Valley priests to support its definition of traditional marriage, Farrow told congregants he felt obligated to break "a numbing silence" about church prejudice against homosexuals.  
Fr. Geoff Farrow Blog
The Great Schlep aims to have Jewish grandchildren visit their grandparents in Florida, educate them about Obama, and therefore swing the crucial Florida vote in his favor. Don’t have grandparents in Florida? Not Jewish? No problem! You can still become a schlepper and make change happen in 2008, simply by talking to your relatives about Obama.  
This friggin' cracks me up every time I watch it.  
NSFW (language)
On the Sept. 10th edition of The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, a new American citizen preparing to vote in his first US election asks, "Are we so lost we have to be sold our own democratic right!?"