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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:
Flor Arely Sánchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San Julián region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases — first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.
Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didn’t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.
Average duration of a Japanese prime minister’s tenure since August 1993, in months:
Brain shrinkage has no effect on cognition.
An Indianapolis fertility doctor was accused of using his own sperm to artificially inseminate patients, and a Delaware man pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his former psychiatrist.
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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.'”