Links — May 7, 2009, 1:08 pm

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1923-01-0132

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This conflict has very little to do with Stanford and gender-neutral housing. It has everything to do with my parents having a hard time adjusting to the fact that I’m out of the house (I’m the oldest), I’m 3,000 miles away, and -especially- that I’m a liberal agnostic while they are conservative Catholics. [The National Review] really should have looked into this situation a little bit before publishing that article.”

Catholic mother yells at son (YouTube, profanity)

Afghanistan’s only known pig has been locked in a room, away from visitors to Kabul zoo where it normally grazes beside deer and goats, because people are worried it could infect them with the virus popularly known as swine flu. The pig is a curiosity in Muslim Afghanistan, where pork and pig products are illegal because they are considered irreligious, and has been in quarantine since Sunday after visitors expressed alarm it could spread the new flu strain. ‘For now the pig is under quarantine, we built it a room because of swine influenza,’ Aziz Gul Saqib, director of Kabul Zoo, told Reuters. ‘We’ve done this because people are worried about getting the flu… most people don’t have enough knowledge. When they see the pig in the cage they get worried and think that they could get ill,’ Saqib said.”

The strip of a pillowcase stained with the blood of Abraham Lincoln is usually locked away in a display case or safe at the Grand Army of the Republic Museum and Library in the city’s Frankford section. But last night it was brought out as Exhibit A during a debate among members of the museum’s board over whether to allow DNA testing of the relic to solve a medical mystery. Was the 16th president dying of cancer, with less than a year to live, when he was shot by assassin John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre? John Sotos, cardiologist and consultant for the television series House, asked to test the artifact to prove Lincoln had a rare genetic cancer syndrome called multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2B (MEN2B).” (via)

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In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.

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"Si told me that various paintings had spoken to him, but he wished they had been hung closer together 'so they could talk to each other.' This observation planted a seed that would come to fruition years later in his mature work."
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"Amid the festivities and the flood of celebrities, it would be easy for Americans to miss that the central plank of the long-standing cold war against Cuba — the economic embargo — remains very much alive and well."
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