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In the end, though, I’m happy with how things turned out for the Knicks, and you should be, too. That’s kind of my specialty: convincing fans that their uneven, flighty team is in fact a thing of beauty. And, with a dark age about to fall where next to no team, other than Miami, has a shot at a title, this kind of off-beat charisma and a sense of danger is about the most you can hope for. Forget the competitive pressures of playing in New York; in large part, New York City athletes just need to justify their celebrity status. –“Why New Yorkers Should Still Be (Kind Of) Excited About The Knicks,” Bethlehem Shoals, The Awl
Jon and I met in World of Warcraft, a game that my wife, Cat, and I have played ever since it launched in 2004. We met because he and Cat had the same dress. Jon plays a (male) character of the same in-game race as her – they’re both Tauren Druids – and when he saw her walking past sporting a “white wedding dress” he quickly equipped an identical item. This was so, he later explained, he could use the “looks like we both shop at the same store” line to break the ice. –“Friendship, travel and World of Warcraft,” Tom Chatfield, What Happens Next?
Indeed, it is truly remarkable how little new information “Top Secret America” presents. The last entry in the three-part series, “The Secrets Next Door,” discusses what the NSA does in its massive sprawl of buildings in Ft. Meade, MD: cryptology, eavesdropping, linguistics, and so on. It sounds scary, but that’s all publicly available on the NSA website. You don’t need special access to see, as the paper points out in “National Security, Inc.,” that the entirety of the Dulles Toll Road is lined with military and intelligence contractors—as journalist Tim Shorrock has noted, you can drive around in your car, unrestricted, and see all of these buildings. Authors Dana Priest and Bill Arkin make a point to remind readers that they aren’t posting addresses or identifying buildings of any agencies… but even the supposedly secret Liberty Crossing, which houses the National Counterterrorism Center and the Director of National Security, is easily found in Google Maps based on their description (you can even see the entrance to the facility in Street View). –“What’s Secret in ‘Top Secret America?’” Joshua Foust, Columbia Journalism Review
More from Rafe Bartholomew:
Percentage increase in the annual number of polio cases in Pakistan since 2005:
A bowl of 4,000-year-old noodles was found in northwestern China; and a spokesman for the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that “this is the earliest empirical evidence of noodles ever found.”
A federal judge sentenced the journalist Barrett Brown to 63 months in prison for sharing a link to information stolen from the private-intelligence firm Stratfor by a hacker in 2011. “Good news!” Brown said in a statement. “They’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”