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Parallels
4:14 am
Sat June 22, 2013

Amid Ire At U.S., Germany Does Its Own Domestic Spying

Protesters display a cutout figure of President Obama in Berlin on Wednesday. Germans were protesting the National Security Agency's eavesdropping on foreign communication.
Gero Breloer AP

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 3:26 pm

Revelations of widespread U.S. spying on foreign Internet communications put a damper on President Obama's first state visit to Berlin. The German chancellor and other officials there say they want to know more about what the National Security Agency is looking at.

Yet the backlash has been more muted than expected. One reason is that the German government is doing similar surveillance.

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Book Reviews
11:29 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

A Deceptively Simple Tale Of Magic And Peril In 'Ocean'

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 1:03 pm

With The Ocean at the End of the Lane, best-selling fantasy author Neil Gaiman has written his first adult novel in almost a decade. It's a deceptively simple tale that feels like escapism — until you realize that it isn't.

Ocean is told from the point of view of a melancholy but successful artist returning to his childhood home in Sussex, England. On a lark, he visits an old farm where he played as a boy, and is suddenly overwhelmed by memories of being entangled in a magical conflict with roots stretching back before the Big Bang.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:29 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Wired: Come Hear New Music That Uses The Manhattan Bridge

So Percussion.
Janette Beckman, 2012 courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 2:31 pm

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
11:13 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Name Five Women In Philosophy. Bet You Can't.

A rare moment of gender parity in philosophy: Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre at a Paris cafe in May 1970.
STF AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 12:32 pm

Last Friday I found myself in a lovely lecture hall at Brown University with some 50 philosophers and psychologists attending the annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, affectionately known as "SPP." Daniel Dennett was in the seat just ahead of me; additional luminaries were scattered about the room.

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Code Switch
11:12 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

For People Of Color, A Housing Market Partially Hidden From View

Barriers to housing are a major reason for the disparity in household wealth between people of color and whites.
AP

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 5:53 pm

We've written before about the wealth gap between whites and people of color — a divide that's only grown wider over the past half decade. And since so much of Americans' household wealth is wrapped up in homes, a significant amount of that wealth gap has been chalked up to an array of barriers to homeownership for people of color.

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The Protojournalist
11:06 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

A History Of The World — In One-Liners

Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska, at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md.
Pete Marovich Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 11:10 am

Speaking to the Faith & Freedom Coalition's "Road to Majority" Conference on Saturday, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — in a speech broadcast on C-SPAN — let loose a barrage of bons mots aimed at President Obama and political Washington.

Now that Fox News has re-signed Palin as a commentator, we will likely be hearing a lot more one-liners from the Wit of Wasilla.

In this Twitter Age, in which brevity = wit, we are witnessing the expanding power of one-liners. And the drawbacks.

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Monkey See
8:15 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

The NFL To Your Purse: Drop Dead

Nichols iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 10:45 am

Last Thursday, the NFL announced a policy change in which only clear plastic bags would be allowed into stadiums — one per person. Nothing they can't see through. The league says that the change is meant to ensure safety while speeding up security checks and preventing gate backups, which sounds good enough at the outset.

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Monkey See
8:14 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

An 'Adventure' For Kids And Maybe For Their Parents, Too

Finn is in the middle, with the skinny arms. Jake is the dog. Together, they have Adventure Time.
Cartoon Network

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 12:27 pm

Count plenty of grown-ups among the millions of fans of Adventure Time, a kids' show on Cartoon Network. Some are surely Emmy voters. (It's won three.) Others are very possibly stoners. Still others are intellectuals. Lev Grossman falls in the last category. He wrote two best-selling novels, The Magicians and The Magician King, and he's Time's senior book critic.

Grossman's critique of Adventure Time? "It's soooo smart! It's sooo intelligent!"

Hang on. He's just getting started.

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The Two-Way
8:12 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Obama To Name Top Lawyer As Guantanamo Closure Envoy

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 6:37 pm

Washington lawyer Clifford Sloan is expected to be President Obama's pick to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, NPR has confirmed.

The Associated Press, which first reported the news, said Sloan will reopen the Office of Guantanamo Closure, which was shut in January. A formal announcement is expected Monday.

Sloan is a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP law firm. His bio on the firm's website says:

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The Two-Way
8:12 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

NSA Leaks Caused Terrorists To Change Tactics, Senator Says

Sens. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speak to the media about the controversial National Security Agency programs.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 12:22 pm

Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss tells NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday that information leaked to the media by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has caused terrorists to change their tactics to thwart detection.

Asked if Snowden, believed to be in hiding in Hong Kong, qualified as a "traitor" who should face U.S. justice, Chambliss, R-Ga., replied, "If he's not a traitor, then he's pretty darn close to it.

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