"In every modern society, the people who hold the levers of state power control the deployment of vast riches; every decision about a change in the tax code or the issuance of oil drilling licenses is worth billions to someone."

Neil Irwin speaks the obvious but eloquent truth for The New York Times Upshot blog.  (via brooklynmutt)

(Source: carlfranzen, via brooklynmutt)

pbsthisdayinhistory:

April 21, 1989: Tiananmen Square Protests Begin
On this day in 1989, students began protesting in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, the symbolic central space of China. Several weeks later, when the government sent in the army to end the demonstrations, the citizens of Beijing poured into the streets in support of the students.The demonstrations ended in a massacre on the night of June 3-4, when the government sent the troops into the city with orders to clear Tiananmen Square. One day later, a single, unarmed young man stood his ground before a column of tanks on the Avenue of Eternal Peace. Captured on film and video by Western journalists, this extraordinary confrontation became an icon of the struggle for freedom around the world.
In 2012, FRONTLINE took a look back at how the iconic image of the “tank man” came to be, more than twenty years after the massacre at Tiananmen Square. Photo: A Chinese man stands alone to block a line of tanks heading east on Beijing’s Changan Blvd. in Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989. (AP/Jeff Widener)

pbsthisdayinhistory:

April 21, 1989: Tiananmen Square Protests Begin

On this day in 1989, students began protesting in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, the symbolic central space of China. Several weeks later, when the government sent in the army to end the demonstrations, the citizens of Beijing poured into the streets in support of the students.

The demonstrations ended in a massacre on the night of June 3-4, when the government sent the troops into the city with orders to clear Tiananmen Square. One day later, a single, unarmed young man stood his ground before a column of tanks on the Avenue of Eternal Peace. Captured on film and video by Western journalists, this extraordinary confrontation became an icon of the struggle for freedom around the world.

In 2012, FRONTLINE took a look back at how the iconic image of the “tank man” came to be, more than twenty years after the massacre at Tiananmen Square.

Photo: A Chinese man stands alone to block a line of tanks heading east on Beijing’s Changan Blvd. in Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989. (AP/Jeff Widener)

(via brooklynmutt)

nevver:

Free Speech

nevver:

Earth-size planet in ‘Habitable Zone’ discovered

If I worked at NASA, I’d be pretty excited right now…Oh, wait.  This is exciting for everyone.

(This picture is an artists’ rendering of what they believe the planet looks like.) 

"Good Looking People Have it Tough. Please."

Handsome Rob Lowe says good-looking people have it tough. Please.

liberalsarecool:

April 3, 1968. Forty-six years ago today. On the eve of his assassination, Martin Luther King Jnr. delivers a speech that brings tears to my eyes with “what could have been” nostalgia, yet gives me the resolve and inspiration to walk through walls to get shit done.

My thoughts are with of my old friend, Martin.

Very rare for me to do two posts in a day but the anniversary of Rev. Dr. King is important.

(via brooklynmutt)

wordpeggio:

From my L.A. Times piece, April 2, 2014:

In 2009, I sent my parents DVDs of “How I Met Your Mother” so that they’d have a better idea of what my life was like as a single twentysomething in the modern urban dating culture. All of the characters reminded me of people I knew (and occasionally…

"

The Republican members of the committee made it clear that not only do they lack the slightest interest in addressing climate change but they are about as ignorant about the nuances of science as a stone. Leading the charge was Texas congressman Randy Weber:
 
Several members, for example, appeared to be trying to mock rather than engage Holdren on climate change. “I may want to get your cellphone number, Dr. Holdren,” said Representative Randy Weber (R–TX), “because, if we go through another few cycles of global warming and cooling, I may need to ask you when I should buy my long coat on sale.”
 
Weber, a freshman from the Galveston area, began his interrogation by asking Holdren whether “when you guys do your research, you start with a scientific postulate or theory and work forward from that? Is that right?” Holdren gamely played along, explaining that “it depends on the type of science, but the notion of posing a hypothesis and then trying to determine whether it is right is one of the tried and true approaches in science, yes.”
 
But Weber’s question was really just a setup for his concluding statement. “I just don’t know how you all prove those theories going back 50 or 100,000 or even millions of years,” Weber said.

Perhaps Weber also wants to discount theories in astronomy, cosmology and paleontology? After all even those theories are based on evidence going back millions of years. I don’t know Weber’s views on evolution but I would be hardly surprised if he turns out to be in favor of “teaching the controversy”.

"

The House of Representatives Committee on Science is turning into a national embarrassment (via wilwheaton)

(via wilwheaton)

Charlie Watts’ laughter makes this music video.