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December 04, 2009

Archaeologists to dig through Shakespeare's trash

Archaeologists to dig up Shakespeare’s rubbish - Times Online
A team of archaeologists began digging on the site of Shakespeare’s last home yesterday in a search for clues that might reveal more about his life. They hope to discover remains of clothing, documents and even household waste. The dig is at New Place, where he lived from 1597 until his death in 1616. Richard Kemp, of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said: “We are hoping to find organic debris that will teach us what the great man had for dinner. Our dream find would be the first draft of The Tempest, which we know Shakespeare did write here.”

December 03, 2009

I Like the Internet Because it Brings Me Other People's Joy

This starts out as a standard issue Borat-esque "making awkwardness...

Continue reading "I Like the Internet Because it Brings Me Other People's Joy" »

Breast-feeding mother accidentally smothers child

Report: Breast-feeding mother smothers baby on jet - Yahoo! News
LONDON – A breast-feeding mother accidentally smothered her four-week old child aboard a United Airlines flight from Washington, D.C., to Kuwait, a British tabloid reported Tuesday. The Sun newspaper said that the mother, who it said was a 29-year-old Egyptian-born woman, fell asleep as she breast-fed on the jet and awoke to find that the child had been smothered. The paper said the plane was diverted to London's Heathrow in an attempt to save the baby's life. The paper cited an unnamed police source in its reporting. Scotland Yard confirmed that a United Airlines plane had been diverted to Heathrow in late November after reports that a four-week-old girl was in distress. The police said in a statement that the baby was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead. It added that an autopsy had been performed, but the results were still pending. "The death is being treated as unexplained and the Child Abuse Investigation Team is investigating the circumstances," the statement said.

Is date-rape drink-spiking an urban legend?

Date-rape drink spiking 'an urban legend' - Telegraph Initial research in England and Australia at least suggests it's very, very rare and that when people think they have been slipped something they were probably just blackout drunk.
A study of more than 200 students revealed many wrongly blamed the effects of a "bad night out" on date-rape drugs, when they had just drunk excessively. Many are in "active denial" that drinking large amounts of alcohol can leave them "incoherent and incapacitated", the Kent University researchers concluded. Young women's fears about date-rape drugs are so ingrained that students mistakenly think it is a more important factor in sexual assault than being drunk, taking drugs or walking alone at night. The study, published in the British Journal of Criminology, found three-quarters of students identified drink spiking as an important risk – more than alcohol or drugs. More than half said they knew someone whose drink had been spiked. But despite popular beliefs, police have found no evidence that rape victims are commonly drugged with such substances, the researchers said.

Newsgathering is not a commodity

Govt will need to help shape U.S. media: Waxman | U.S. | Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A top Democratic lawmaker predicted on Wednesday that the government will be involved in shaping the future for struggling U.S. media organizations. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, saying quality journalism was essential to U.S. democracy, said eventually government would have to help resolve the problems caused by a failing business model. Waxman, other U.S. lawmakers and regulators are looking into various options to help a newspaper industry hurt by the shift in advertising revenues to online platforms. Tweaks to the tax code to allow newspapers to spread losses over a greater number of years, providing a nonprofit structure to allow for public and foundation funding, and changes to antitrust laws are being considered by lawmakers and policymakers. "Eventually government is going to have to be responsible to help and resolve these issues," Waxman told a conference hosted by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on the future of journalism. Free Press, a public interest group, said the search for solutions to the crisis in journalism should be premised on the idea that news-gathering is a public service, not a commodity.