- Turns out polar bears are not recently descended from brown bears, as previously believed. DNA tests indicate the ursus branches split from a common ancestor about 600,000 years ago. The species has apparently survived warming periods and loss of sea ice before.
- Yesterday was 420 day. What’s that? You’re not alone, it was the 7th and 13th most popular Google search of the day. Curious why #420 didn’t trend on Twitter? It’s not a conspiracy, Mashable explains.
- Speaking of 420 fans, ancient bone box displaces Pat Robertson as the oldest known Christian artifact. Or maybe not.
- Evangelical students at Liberty University mount a populist revolt over the impending commencement address of Mormon Mitt Romney. Willard’s new gay BFF should definitely stay back at the office and just tweet some more that day.
- Carl Paladino says Romney’s not a conservative. Martin Bashir knows the country is dying to know what that crazy guy who lost to Gov. Andrew Cuomo by 30 points thinks.
- Paul Ryan, winning, duh! More very serious people in the media are discussing Ryan’s VP potential than Marco Rubio, 27 percent versus 24 percent, according to a HighBeam Research study. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell a distant third at 11 percent.
- You can’t do that! Netflix CEO Reed Hastings finds himself in the One Percenter dog house. Note to boardrooms: we plebs call that “accountability.”
- Bloomberg Businessweek checks in with the wealthiest elite in Egypt to see how life is going for them one year post-Mubarak.
- Worried about unfettered nano-technology invading your food? The FDA is on it.
- Sen. Scott Brown is on the wagon until election day. Betting he pours himself a good stiff one the evening of Nov. 6.
- Aspirin, the Swiss army knife of medicine: pain-reliever, heart attack preventative, now, cancer-fighting, fat-burner?
- The Student Non-Discrimination Act and Safe Schools Improvement Act receive the endorsement of the Obama administration. Education Secretary Arne Duncan:
“Bullying can no longer be seen as a normal rite of passage. As a country, we must all work together to take action against bullying and improve the safety climates of our schools and communities. That’s why I support the Student Non-Discrimination Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act. I would like to thank Sen. Al Franken, Sen. Bob Casey, Rep. Jared Polis and Rep. Linda Sanchez for introducing these bills and for their commitment to putting an end to bullying, discrimination and harassment in our nation’s schools. I also want to thank Rep. Danny Davis for his leadership on this issue to help keep every student safe and learning.”
In your court, Speaker Boehner.
- Burning man comes to Capitol Hill on April 30, to introduce Congressional leaders and their staffs to the Burning Man community.
- Houston Chronicle: “We are seeing deep-water drilling coming back with a vengeance in the Gulf,” says a technical adviser for the oil and gas industry. What could go wrong?
- USA Today reporters working on a story about military’s “information operations” program (aka propaganda) in Iraq and Afghanistan, become targets of a propaganda campaign themselves. Attacks come from Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia and even website domains registered in their names. All arrived curiously concurrent with their investigation. “If the websites were created using federal funds, it could violate federal law prohibiting the production of propaganda for domestic consumption.”
- HBO premieres Julia Louis-Dreyfus inside-beltway, political comedy Veep on Sunday. Screenwriter Armando Iannucci, tells The Hollywood Reporter researching in DC was easy: “They were happy to open up to me. You know, they are terrible gossips in Washington. They love telling what goes on there.”
- Early voting began Thursday in North Carolina. Courage Campaign has teamed up with Protect ALL NC Families to create a remote phonebank to defeat anti-gay Amendment One. More info here.
- Step right up and nominate a fellow blogger, or apply for yourself, to get a Netroots Nation Scholarship:
Democracy for America and America’s Voice Education Fund have teamed up to provide financial assistance to fifty outstanding bloggers and activists so they can attend this year’s Netroots Nation conference.
We want to see you in Providence, so sign up today!
Midday open thread
Posted by admin on April 21st, 2012
Old souls: Ursus maritimus (Steve Amstrup/Wikicommons)
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