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The federal government mistakenly made public a 266-page report, its pages marked “highly confidential,” that gives detailed information about hundreds of the nation’s civilian nuclear sites and programs, including maps showing the precise locations of stockpiles of fuel for nuclear weapons. The publication of the document was revealed Monday in an online newsletter devoted to issues of federal secrecy. That set off a debate among nuclear experts about what dangers, if any, the disclosures posed. It also prompted a flurry of investigations in Washington into why the document had been made public. — “U.S. Accidentally Releases List of Nuclear Sites,” William J. Broad, The New York Times
Swine flu still on the march; Indian train conductor asleep at controls; “Members of Congress have called the leaders of [Obama's] auto task force to complain about the closing of a single Chrysler dealer.” (via)
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., the third-largest U.S. life insurer by 2008 sales, has bought gold for the first time the company’s 152-year history to hedge against further asset declines. “Gold just seems to make sense; it’s a store of value,” Chief Executive Officer Edward Zore said in an interview following his comments at a conference hosted by Standard & Poor’s in Brooklyn. “In the Depression, gold did very, very well.– “Northwestern Mutual Makes First Gold Buy in 152 Years,” Andrew Frye, Bloomberg
“Gold officially exited the Early Adopter stage of market development and entered the Early Majority stage”; private sector jobs down by 532,000; regulations are destroying British pub life, but beer sales up 5.6 percent this year (donuts up 4.3 percent) (via); Starbucks pays $10 million to be the official coffee of Morning Joe (via)
The death of the author– a fatality acted out in critical theory more than in poetry– supposedly was yet another moment of such cleavages in the history of reading, writing & attention. Conceptual poetry both notices these recurring break points, not to mention the uglier reality that the earlier modes never actually go away– intellectually, the anti-modernists are still afraid to look down as they venture across that gap in the mountains– and tries to both replicate that moment yet again & step outside the paradigm at the same time. But it’s not possible to do both simultaneously: “glorious failure,” Conceptualism’s antidote for the “adorable detail,” is in fact just another mode of detailing & glorious as a category is all about mastery. — “Wednesday, June 03, 2009,” Ron Silliman, Silliman’s Blog
Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
Average number of bacteria living in a pound of U.S. mud:
Canadian doctors saved a baby from drowning in his own drool by using Botox on his salivary glands.
A black bear named Pedals, famous for walking upright on his hind legs through Rockaway Township, New Jersey, was reported killed by a hunter, and a hiker in California was attacked after he interrupted two bears mating. It was a “pretty good bear attack,” said the local police chief.
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"She never thanked me, never looked at me—melted away into the miserable night, in the strangest manner I ever saw. I have seen many strange things, but not one that has left a deeper impression on my memory than the dull impassive way in which that worn-out heap of misery took that piece of money, and was lost."