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On the first day of Prohibition, January 17, 1920, Bat Masterson, a 66-year-old relic of the Wild West now playing out the string as a sportswriter in New York, sat alone in his favorite bar, glumly contemplating a cup of tea. In Detroit that night, federal officers shut down two illegal stills (an act that would become common in the years ahead) and reported that their operators had offered bribes (which would become even more common). On the Maine-Canada border, reported a New Brunswick paper, “Canadian liquor in quantities from one gallon to a truckload is being hidden in the northern woods and distributed by automobile, sled and iceboat, on snowshoes and skis.” –“Wayne B. Wheeler: The Man Who Turned Off the Taps,” Daniel Okrent, Smithsonian
Bring on the puffery! Arizona’s windbag-in-chief doesn’t need your money;
Hugo Chavez will bury, I mean, tweet you;
nitrous oxide on Mars: evidence of life, or is the Red Planet a haven for Dead Heads?
Larry Summers is a clumsy public liar. His noxious, condescending manner helps explain why he failed as president of Harvard. But it is the crude mendacity that ought to bother people now. The man is President Obama’s top economic adviser. Watching Summers befog the mild-mannered interviewer on the PBS NewsHour the other night, I found myself yelling back at the TV. It takes real arrogance for the former Harvard professor to imagine he can get away with such evasions and falsehoods. I lost count on the fibs. If this is how Summers explains the financial mess to the president, maybe that’s why Obama has been a reluctant reformer. –“Professor Pants-on-Fire,” William Greider, The Nation
Join a Japanese sex cult;
“Abe Vigoda, Emily Deschanel would appreciate a call,” and other famous people who should make babies;
sick Brazilians must have more sex
Guess what, “a body of research” coming out indicates that if you’re ten pounds or so overweight, well, hell, what’s the difference? It’s not gonna make you die any earlier. And a little pot belly is a manly thing, why can’t your wife understand that you’re in just as good shape as you were in high school, a few freaking pounds are not a big deal, you don’t need to be walking around looking like some god damn Ken doll, she didn’t marry a freaking male model, come on, give you a break, so what if you like barbecue, god forbid you be happy for a few hours a week, right? –“America’s Divine Right to Junk Food,” Hamilton Nolan, Gawker
More from TedRoss:
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Average speed of Heinz ketchup, from the mouth of an upended bottle, in miles per year:
After studying the fall of 64,000 individual raindrops, scientists found that some small raindrops fall faster than they ought to.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighbors’ loud lovemaking.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”