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Net neutrality protest at the White House, Nov. 6, 2014 Credit: Joseph Gruber.

A data-visualization deep dive into North Korean news propaganda: who they mention, word frequency, topic frequency over the year, and more.

Some of the findings: 

1. It follows a calendrical uniformity that might even be called ritualistic. 

2. Marx, Lenin and communism are mentioned less often than one might think. 

3. The Kims aren't described as being involved in political maneuvering, which is left to organs of the state. 

4. They love reporting on international functions. 

5. "KCNA spends about a quarter of the time praising and honoring the Kims, another quarter critiquing North Korea’s adversaries, and the rest extolling North Korea’s economic and cultural development and its cooperative disposition." 

I get screeners from SAG. Some, not as much as I got from the Academy. I lend them to my neighbor.

Can't teach an old Italian mobster actor new tricks? A shocking admission from Carmine Caridi, the Godfather actor who was kicked out of the Academy for sharing his copies of screeners.
↩︎ The Hollywood Reporter

Thirty years after Warhol's death, a medical historian discovers how a "routine" surgery turned fatal.

Prior to his death on Feb. 22, 1987, Warhol had been ill for at least a month, but had delayed treatment due to his fear of hospitals. He needed gall bladder surgery, which many assumed would be a simple operation, enough that it triggered a wrongful-death lawsuit four years later:

Dr. Cox [Warhol's attending physician] said he first diagnosed a gall stone in 1973, but Mr. Warhol adamantly rejected surgery because he feared hospitals...

He described how Mr. Warhol had tried other treatments, including an experimental drug, and some untraditional remedies, such as wearing staples as earrings and carrying crystals in his pocket, to ward of maladies.

"He was convinced if he was hospitalized, he would die," Dr. Cox said.

Ryan found that Warhol's hypochondria probably killed him. When Warhol finally checked into the hospital for surgery—after at least a month of illness—the operation turned out to be anything but routine:

[T]he sick man was at last on the operating table at New York Hospital (now NewYork-Presbyterian). The surgeon found a gallbladder full of gangrene; the organ fell to pieces as he removed it, he said.

As Dr. Ryan learned in his research, Warhol was dehydrated and also emaciated from having barely eaten in the previous month; had for years been taking a daily dose of speed; and was still suffering from the effects of a brush with death in 1968, when he was shot by an enraged hanger-on, Valerie Solanas. Only a brilliant surgeon and brilliant luck had saved his life then—he had been declared dead in the emergency room and had nine damaged organs.

Andy lives on, though, at @WarholLives, which "live" tweets The Andy Warhol Diaries—and it was hard to pick just three:

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Meet Christian Fuchs, Peruvian artist and photographer, who's been dressing up as his illustrious ancestors since the age of 10.

"As a child I looked at the portraits and played with them. If I didn't know the names of the characters, I invented them. I remember watching them for hours and feeling that they were watching me back. Sometimes I would talk to them, and eventually that led to my reinterpretations of them."

Trump's war on leaks will likely cause more chaotic leaking.

A reading of different reports on contemporary leaking in government reaches the following conclusion: "Leaks are part of how the government manages the press and maintains its own popularity. A leak can get a story onto the front page, or if the first leak did not create the right impression, the information flow can be massaged by yet another leak."

Meaning, as we are learned to expect chaos from the Trump White House, we should expect ongoing examples of chaotic leaking. As Obama’s former chief of staff William Daley noted, “I’m all for leaking when it’s organized.”


Very excited today to publish a new piece by J. Oliver Conroy, "The Long Tail of the Attica Prison Riot." Highly relevant for today's political climate, and perfect for your lunchtime read.

The Attica prison uprising lasted five days. Some people have spent four decades living with the cover-up. It took a historian 13 years to get to the bottom of what actually happened.

To decipher current Left-Right battles, only reading the broad strokes obscures the details that matter.

As liberal as we are, we do like reading things that don't necessarily carry water for the White House, but shade in some blank spots.

1. "How disorderly is Sweden really?", Marginal Revolution

It remains correct that an American city such as Orlando typically will have more murders than all of Sweden in a year.  But it is also important to process the distinction between objective and subjective metrics of disorder. A jaywalker in Germany disrupts public order and flouts norms more than is the case for a single jaywalker in New Jersey, for instance. Sweden is relatively orderly, in part, because the public and psychological reactions to acts of disorder are relatively severe and traumatic, even if those same acts might be perceived as less significant in other contexts. It is quite possible that Swedish norms are being threatened by the level of disorder currently in the country, even if to a Nigerian it all might seem absurdly neat and tidy.

2. Bill Maher takes credit (not convincingly) for Milo Yiannopoulos's downfallNew York Times

When I say, “That’s not unreasonable” [to not want to share a bathroom with a transgender person] it’s because women have said that to me: “I want to know,” or “I’m not comfortable with someone in the bathroom, even if they, in their minds, have decided they are a woman.” Doesn’t that opinion count at all?

3. "Reality Begins to Set in on Obamacare—For Both Sides," Mother Jones

Reality has set in for everyone. The Republican rank-and-file has finally figured out they never really cared all that much about taxing the rich an extra three points to provide health care for everyone. The Democratic rank-and-file has finally figured out that Obamacare is a pretty good program and it's worth fighting for... Did we really have to elect Donald Trump to figure this out?

4. "When the Enemy of Your Enemy Is... Your Enemy," National Review

The Left’s identity politics is focused on racial, ethnic, and sexual identity—aspects of identity that place you somewhere in the hierarchy of intersectionality. The Right’s identity politics comes with a label: enemy of the Left. So long as you’re wearing that button, you’re presumptively on our side and you’re nearly bulletproof. Until it turns out that you’re not. Until we jump the wrong way because we substituted political laziness for a philosophy. Until we embrace somebody nasty because the other side hated him or her and stop caring about truth so long as the other side is triggered. Then we become the bad guys. And that’s a problem.


Decades after Barron Hilton dreamed of a hotel in space, humans seem to be getting ready for actual space tourism.

That's a big deal here, that parliament elected the popular favorite and the man seen as the least corrupt candidate.

Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, a dual Somali and American citizen who helped govern Buffalo, NY, has been elected as Somalia's new president.
↩︎ NPR
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