- Today's comic by Jen Sorensen is Cartoon: Ignoring the warnings:
- Unhappy birthday: Citizens United turns four.
- Couples taking Florida to suit over marriage equality ban:
Today, six same-sex couples and Equality Florida Institute filed a lawsuit in Florida state court in Miami seeking the freedom to marry. The lawsuit argues that Florida’s laws barring same-sex couples from marriage violate the United States Constitution by denying them the legal protections and equal dignity that having the freedom to marry provides.
The couples are from Miami and the surrounding area. Four of the couples are raising children, and another couple has an adult child and two grandchildren.
- Kiev protesters fire catapult against riot police.
- NYT intern creates paper's most visited post in 2013:
When The New York Times released its list of most-visited articles for 2013 a few days ago, the Atlantic spotted that the article leading the pack was actually a dialect quiz, one you will know as “that thing every single person on your Facebook wall posted with comments like ‘I Got Cleveland!’” The quiz was so popular that it eclipsed the traffic of every other article on the Times’ website for 2013 despite going live on December 21—in other words, it took only ten days to beat the rest of the year.
It turns out the writer responsible for the app was an intern. While a graduate student in statistics at North Carolina State University, Josh Katz posted some heat maps he’d made based off a 10-year-old Harvard dialect survey. The maps caught the eye of the Gray Lady, who invited him for a fall internship, during which Katz crafted, along with the paper’s graphics department, the dialect quiz god and everybody took last month. [...]
Oh, and in case you’re wondering what kind of reward an intern gets for crafting the most popular post of the year, the answer is a staff editor position.
- Yale study finds 23% of Americans are climate change deniers.
- Mother Jones: Behind the sometimes fabricated scenes of Animal Planet—death, drugs and neglect:
By the time three orphaned raccoons arrived for emergency care at the Kentucky Wildlife Center in April 2012, "they were emaciated," says Karen Bailey, who runs the nonprofit rehab clinic set in the sunny thoroughbred country just outside of Georgetown, in central Kentucky. "They were almost dead." [...]
These weren't just any raccoons. They were the stars of one of the highest-rating episodes of Call of the Wildman, the hit Animal Planet reality TV show.
- President Obama and Pope Francis will meet in March.
- Oxford study: The robots are coming for half our jobs:
As more and more automated machinery (robots, if you like) are brought in to generate efficiency gains for companies, more and more jobs will be displaced, and more and more income will accumulate higher up the corporate ladder. The inequality gulf will widen as jobs grow permanently scarce—there are only so many service sector jobs to replace manufacturing ones as it is—and the latest wave of automation will hijack not just factory workers but accountants, telemarketers, and real estate agents.
That's according to a 2013 Oxford study, which was highlighted in this week's Economist cover story. That study attempted to tally up the number of jobs that were susceptible to automization, and, surprise, a huge number were. Creative and skilled jobs done by humans were the most secure—think pastors, editors, and dentists—but just about any rote task at all is now up for automation. Machinists, typists, even retail jobs, are predicted to disappear.
And, as is historically the case, the capitalists eat the benefits.
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