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The first White House state dinner was given in 1874 by President Ulysses S. Grant for King Kalakaua, of Hawaii. According to Barry Landau’s book The President’s Table, there were only 36 guests but “as many as 29 courses,” all French. Rutherford B. Hayes’s 1877 state dinner for the czar of Russia’s son featured filets de boeuf à la Richelieu and punch au kirsch. Grover Cleveland gave a candlelit dinner for the King of Spain’s daughter in 1893. Theodore Roosevelt hosted a stag dinner for Prince Henry of Prussia, the brother of Kaiser Wilhelm II, in February 1902, a few months before work began on McKim, Mead and White’s restoration of the White House, which, among other things, enlarged the State Dining Room to accommodate up to 100. –“The White House’s Dinner Theater,” Bob Colacello, Vanity Fair
When the truth is a lie then God will have to set you free, or something like that–it’s Alabama, folks;
money is like Vietnam, filed under “things rather liberal folks like to say in print and at cocktail parties”;
Robin Hood: racist xenophobe?
The video games I love allow me to observe and control fictional characters, and when I am at the helm, I try to make these characters behave not as how I would but how I feel they want to—a strange sympathetic process for which there is, as of now, no good name. While I frequently wish video games were better written and more multifarious in their subject matter, this observation-while-in-partial-fictive-control is wholly unique to games. None of which, of course, automatically makes video games into art, much less those who play them into artists, but it does suggest that video games are bringing civilians within range of an interactively transformative experience previously available only to artists. –“Dismissives: Two Angry Letters Responses to ‘Cave Painting’ & ‘On Gordon Brown,” Tom Bissell, N+1
You too can be the next broke, corrupt, badly-managed, and disgraced second-world nation;
corpse-wood pizza in Naples (the new artisanal);
Vermont–hotbed of international terrorism (some jokes never stop being funny)
An iPhone, as coveted as it may be, is not a baby. I get it. But in terms of personal choice, consumption, and global interdependence, the two are on a relevant continuum. Americans, most of them anyway, live in a time of relative abundance, even in this economic recession. We are faced with daily choices that impact the rest of the world in very concrete ways, and this new reality requires what Daniel Goleman calls “ecological intelligence” — the capacity to analyze what we consume so as to make the most sustainable decision. -“The Population Debate Gets Personal,” Courtney E. Martin, American Prospect
More from TedRoss:
For the past three years my dosimeter had sat silently on a narrow shelf just inside the door of a house in Tokyo, upticking its final digit every twenty-four hours by one or two, the increase never failing — for radiation is the ruthless companion of time. Wherever we are, radiation finds and damages us, at best imperceptibly. During those three years, my American neighbors had lost sight of the accident at Fukushima. In March 2011, a tsunami had killed hundreds, or thousands; yes, they remembered that. Several also recollected the earthquake that caused it, but as for the hydrogen explosion and containment breach at Nuclear Plant No. 1, that must have been fixed by now — for its effluents no longer shone forth from our national news. Meanwhile, my dosimeter increased its figure, one or two digits per day, more or less as it would have in San Francisco — well, a trifle more, actually. And in Tokyo, as in San Francisco, people went about their business, except on Friday nights, when the stretch between the Kasumigaseki and Kokkai-Gijido-mae subway stations — half a dozen blocks of sidewalk, which commenced at an antinuclear tent that had already been on this spot for more than 900 days and ended at the prime minister’s lair — became a dim and feeble carnival of pamphleteers and Fukushima refugees peddling handicrafts.
One Friday evening, the refugees’ half of the sidewalk was demarcated by police barriers, and a line of officers slouched at ease in the street, some with yellow bullhorns hanging from their necks. At the very end of the street, where the National Diet glowed white and strange behind other buildings, a policeman set up a microphone, then deployed a small video camera in the direction of the muscular young people in drums against fascists jackets who now, at six-thirty sharp, began chanting: “We don’t need nuclear energy! Stop nuclear power plants! Stop them, stop them, stop them! No restart! No restart!” The police assumed a stiffer stance; the drumming and chanting were almost uncomfortably loud. Commuters hurried past along the open space between the police and the protesters, staring straight ahead, covering their ears. Finally, a fellow in a shabby sweater appeared, and murmured along with the chants as he rounded the corner. He was the only one who seemed to sympathize; few others reacted at all.
Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:
Young bilingual children who learned one language first are likelier than monolingual children and bilingual children who learned languages simultaneously to say that a dog adopted by owls will hoot.
An Oklahoma legislative committee voted to defund Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, accusing the curriculum of portraying the United States as “a nation of oppressors and exploiters.”
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“He could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein — literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.”