Daily Archives: November 26, 2014
Could be delicious
Viola Davis, who plays defense attorney Annalise Keating on ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder, is trying her hand at exploring the other side of the courtroom. She’s producing a new ABC drama inspired by Kym Worthy, the badass Detroit prosecutor who has led the charge to investigate the city’s 11,000 backlogged rape kits. (Read more about her quest to revive cold cases here.)
Worthy, who has been called the toughest woman in Detroit, is known for prosecuting former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick for obstruction of justice, conspiracy, and perjury, which led to his resignation from office (along with other high-profile scandals.) A sexual assault survivor herself, she’s also revamped the way her office handles rape cases, pioneering a “victim-centered” approach that puts the emphasis on catching rapists rather than questioning victims.
Viola and her producing…
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The first brilliant take on Kanye West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” was the brainchild of Zach Galifianakis, who brilliantly (and inexplicably) lip-synced the song while gyrating on a tractor. The second comes courtesy of Carlos Serrano, whose SoundCloud page is a tiny universe of creative mash-ups. Serrano layered West’s 2007 Grammy-nominated song over Sam Smith’s heart-wrenching ballad “I’m Not the Only One” to surprisingly successful results.
The simple piano melody and lilting strings of Smith’s track imbue the rap song with a sense of calm and resignation not found in the original. Does it work thematically? It’s definitely a stretch. One song is about money and bravado, and the other, about the victim of an unfaithful partner. But no matter, because the mash-up is all about the sonic blend.
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Twitter is rolling out a new feature that will track which apps you have installed on your phone, the company revealed Wednesday. The new feature, called “app graph,” is being pitched as a way for Twitter to deliver “more relevant tailored content” to its users.
“To help build a more personal Twitter experience for you, we are collecting and occasionally updating the list of apps installed on your mobile device so we can deliver tailored content that you might be interested in,” Twitter’s app graph page reads.
While Twitter promises it’s not collecting any data from within non-Twitter apps, it’s not hard to see this new feature raising privacy concerns — especially because many users will have to opt out of app graph, rather than being asked to opt in.
If you’d like to disable the app graph feature before it appears, you can turn on “Limit Ad Tracking” in…
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At home with a pardon –beat this!
On the third floor of the Willard InterContinental Hotel in downtown Washington, a stone’s throw from the home of President Obama, four people (the author included) armed with a giant roll of clear tape, wrapped brown paper, and three large bags of pine shavings faced an important task.
In a couple of hours (the time fluctuated thanks to Monday afternoon traffic) two 50-pound turkeys would need to call the foyer of room 326 their home. There was much work to be done.
Why would two birds be spending the night in a hotel that typically houses dignitaries (many of whom, I’m sure, eat poultry) on the same floor that houses the Martin Luther King Jr. Suite? The answer is simple: these are no ordinary birds.
For the past four months, Cole and Gary Cooper of Cooper Farms in western Ohio have been raising a pair of turkeys that will on…
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Truthful (and sobering) meal
Twenty years ago, James Loewen’s book Lies My Teacher Told Me addressed the paradox that American history was full of gripping stories that bored students silly. The problem, Loewen decided, lay with the textbooks, written in a tone he called ‘mumbling lecturer,’ and in content off-putting even to adolescents of white European descent whose ancestry received the most attention. For the rest, these books were either irrelevant or offensive.
Loewen began with the ‘first Thanksgiving’ in 1621, which in the approved version was full of beguiling assumptions. The Pilgrims, it seemed, had carved a world from a wilderness, and everyone else — the Spanish, the Dutch, the Indians — was invisible or passive or wrong. The story had…
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eating in more distant space
They may be in orbit 260 miles above Earth, but that doesn’t mean the astronauts aboard the International Space Station won’t enjoy some traditional Thanksgiving fare to celebrate on Thursday. Though their meal may look a little different than what your family has planned.
The smoked turkey, corn-bread dressing, green beans, and candied yams that these space explorers will eat have been irradiated, thermostabilized, or freeze-dried. Regardless, the six astronauts on board—Americans Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Flight Engineer Terry Virts, Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov, Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova of Russia’s Roscosmos and Italian Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency— are looking forward to their holiday feast. In a video message, Commander Butch Wilmore also shared what he’s most thankful for this holiday: our troops.
“People around the globe that are…
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And so it is, sobering and true. A reality feast
In 1971, a riot broke out at the Attica Correctional Facility in New York during which prisoners demanded more political rights and better living conditions. About 1,000 inmates out of 2,200 took control of the prison, holding 42 staff members hostage. Negotiations went on for days before state police stormed the prison, resulting in 43 deaths. Attica has since become a pop culture reference in movies, songs, and TV shows. Even children’s shows like SpongeBob Squarepants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Sabrina: The Teenage Witch have referenced it. The word “Attica” is no longer about what happened in that prison 43 years ago, but is now simply a synonym for political oppression.
I hope the chanting of “Ferguson! Ferguson!” and the symbolic upraised arms of surrender will become a new cry of outrage over social injustice that will embed itself in our popular culture as deeply as Attica…
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