Link round-up for 17 July 2011
Bootleg fireworks provide entertainment.
DJ kittens create techno-scratch.
Deal with it -- Harry Potter's better.
The end of the world has a long history.
Russian hair salon owner Olga Zajak taught a burglar a good lesson.
This Japanese night-club is.....different.
Palin's film isn't exactly packing in the crowds.
A fundie preacher explains the real cause of economic problems: demon-shagging in high places (found via Politics Plus).
Murr Brewster looks at floods, flatlands, and well-funded self- delusion.
Learn the new official language, Teabonics (found via [an older posting on] Parsley's Pics).
Believe them when they tell you, the country is going broke (found via Hello Mr. President).
This story about rabbis ordering a dog stoned to death, which I linked to earlier, was false (found via Daphne Anson).
Qaddhafi? Unemployment? Default threats? No, what's outraging America is a slight price increase at Netflix.
A childhood spent with books builds the mind for life.
Here's a huge surprise: Ann Coulter doesn't understand how technological innovation works.
A Christian questions how the Rand cult meshes with Christianity.
An escapee describes the viciousness of Mormon "gay conversion" therapy (found via Republic of Gilead).
Click here to sign a petition against the persecution of whistle- blower EllenBeth Wachs in Florida (found via Preliator pro Causa).
The movie industry looks set to repeat the disastrous mistakes of the music industry.
Try the ISI civic literacy exam (found via Politics Plus) -- I got 32 of 33 questions right.
Someone is harassing employees of the Florida Museum of Natural History.
The meat industry is pushing laws to ban filming of how they treat animals. Here's why (found via What Would Jack Do).
"Green" projects now account for more US jobs than the fossil-fuel industry.
Here's what Republicans have been doing since their 2010 win -- hardly surprising considering what they believe. Yes, defeating Obama is their top goal -- McConnell just said it again.
Romney rejects the theocratic "Family Leader" pledge Bachmann signed. More on the pledge here.
Need a reason to vote next year? Here are four.
Most of the current deficit originates with Bush.
The latest poll on the economy shows Democrats in the stronger position.
Oliver Willis has some sensible ideas for reforming US capitalism.
Increased profits don't raise wages -- they come at the expense of wages.
Banks lobby for more of the same deregulation that caused the recession.
Orrin Hatch needs to look at the distribution of wealth in the US.
Here's a look at how extreme inequality can damage a society.
Is socialism killing the private sector?
It's dawning on Republicans that their hostility to gay marriage is a political negative.
Oklahoma's governor -- a Republican, naturally -- calls for prayers against the heat wave.
Obama closes the trap the Republicans built for themselves. More here. Some say he knew they were bluffing.
If Obama does use the Fourteenth Amendment option, what are the Republicans going to do about it -- sue to force the country into default?
Big business raises the pressure on House Republicans to cut a deal, and other countries are getting worried. Boehner is starting to school the House teabaggers on economic and political reality.
Would the public blame Obama for a default? McConnell doesn't seem to think so.
Bernanke and the CBO explain how cutting spending too fast would harm the economy.
Is it true that Cantor owns shares in a fund that shorts Treasury debt, and thus would personally profit from a default? Sort of.
On Perry's watch, Texas's government debt has grown faster than the federal debt.
This year's Tea Party convention has been canceled due to lack of interest (found via Green Eagle).
Frank Schaeffer looks at the theocratic roots of the debt-ceiling crisis.
As the Murdoch phone-hacking scandal engulfs Britain, recall that Murdoch's main property in the US, Fox News, has been accused of similar abuses.
Far fewer people in the US say they accept evolution than in other advanced countries (predictable, since the US is more religious).
Here's a relic of a student anti-war protest movement that really took guts (found via Mendip).
For ten years Portugal has had the most liberal drug laws in Europe, and the experiment is a huge success.
An American in Britain has a revealing encounter with socialized medicine (read the comments too).
The Vatican still isn't cooperating with Ireland's investigations of molesting priests.
Government cuts in Britain may already be costing lives.
Australia gets tough on face-covering Muslim head-gear, while a better alternative wins the day in Austria.
India's Tata Group launches a product that could improve life for billions: a basic house that can be built in a week and costs $700.
Egyptians and Tunisians return to the streets to protest interim leaders' foot-dragging on reform.
The US formally recognizes the Libyan rebels as their country's legitimate government. The regime's forces are weakening, as captured soldiers confirm.
Syrians are still being murdered in the streets by their rulers. There are things we can do to help.
Saudi women who win scholarships to study abroad can't use them unless accompanied by a male "guardian" (found via Butterflies and Wheels).
Why does the US have a shorter life expectancy even than other countries with similar obesity problems? Rising inequality is a big part of the reason.
Tornadoes and hurricanes aren't the biggest climate threat -- the current "drought" and heat in much of the US may actually be the beginning of desertification.
Yesterday was the 66th anniversary of the world's first nuclear explosion.
If there's life on other planets, it will be much weirder than our movies depict it.
You've heard of 3D printing -- now watch it in action (found via Mendip). But read this too.
A second human clinical trial of stem-cell therapy for macular degeneration has begun in California (the first trial began earlier this year). Work on a treatment for paralysis inches forward.
Uncertainty about funding and regulation continues to hold back the US in the field of stem-cell research.
Several specific genes associated with human longevity have been identified.
I wish I'd been at this lecture on efforts to save five billion lives (visuals here).