After two months in the Ecuadorian embassy, Julian Assange speaks.
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
(This is, by the way, the same Todd Akin who last week revealed he knew nothing about morning-after pills he hopes to outlaw.)
The extraordinary, 62-year-old Diana Nyad is making great progress in her swim from Cuba to Florida.
It is now possible to make assault rifles with 3D printers.
Remember how Hank Williams, Jr., was once a lovely, charming young man? What happened?
Roger Ebert on the Wall of Separation.
Ulster Unionist Party pol puts his foot in it; fellow pols react:
... the UUP released a statement of “clarification” after Magherafelt councillor Jackie Crawford’s comment about homosexuality had led to criticism.
Cllr Crawford made the remark after a meeting of Magherafelt council on Tuesday night which discussed a Sinn Fein motion calling for same-sex marriage.
The meeting also heard two DUP councillors describe homosexuality as “an abomination”.
... Cllr Crawford, who was elected in 2005, said after the council meeting: “I’m not against gays, it’s a pity for them.
“It’s a pity they have that disease and they can’t help it. It’s the same as you being born with a disability. They can’t help what they are."
In which gay novelist Kergan Edwards-Stout lets his sons play football:
Now [that our sons are] 10 and 12, we decided that the time was right ... What we failed to consider, however, was how our unique family structure might factor into the dynamics of such a macho team sport, and the potential for consequent emotional injury.
While the kids have practiced the last several weeks, loving and hating every grueling moment, last night found one son’s team on the field, in the middle of a drill, when one of the assistant coaches yelled, “What are you? A bunch of pansies?”
I heard his words, echoing across the grass, and felt like I’d been punched in the gut. All those taunts through the years stay with you, even if you’ve risen above them. I immediately walked over, called my son off the field, and told the coach we were done. We were going to switch teams.
Here's the new Pussy Riot single. It's good! The only thing that could improve it, maybe, would be Lora Logic blowing sax.
Twice last week, CNN's Soledad O'Brien improbably caught fire on air. Her veins filled with a righteous journalistic hatred of campaign trail/party-line BS, and she did mightily smite two lesser surrogates of Gov. Mitt Romney.
The first was New Hampshire's Gov. John Sununu, who on Tuesday was so perturbed by being asked actual questions on national television that he concluded his interview by telling Ms. O'Brien to paste an Obama bumper-sticker to her forehead. The next day, Tim Pawlenty stumbled onto Soledad's show, and you can see what happened AFTER THE JUMP ...
Manhattan Businessman's Last Will And Testament: My Son Will Get Straight, Or My Grandkids Get Nothing
When Manhattan businessman Frank Mandelbaum died in 2007, he left behind a $180,000 trust for his grandchildren. There are now three Mandelbaum grandchildren, one of whom belongs to Frank's gay son, Robert, and his husband, Jonathan O'Donnell. But Frank Mandelbaum was apparently a terrible person, so in his will he left a proviso: The funds could be disbursed to Robert's kids only if Robert married their mother, "within six months of the child's birth."
It's not that Frank Mandelbaum was particularly attached to the mother of Robert's child. (At the time Frank wrote his will, Robert didn't have a child.) He just didn't like that his son was gay. Happily, Robert Mandelbaum is uniquely suited to fight his father's twisted will. He's a judge.
From the New York Post:
... [the] will prompted Robert Mandelbaum, a Manhattan Criminal Court Judge, to argue in a court battle over the estate that his longtime partner Jonathan O’Donnell is the only “mother” their 16-month-old son, Cooper, knows.
... The Manhattan Surrogate’s Court has yet to approve a settlement to ignore Frank Mandelbaum’s demand as discriminatory and against New York law.
The settlement is the only way to solve the dispute over Cooper, Robert Mandelbaum claims in court papers, because the will “imposes a general restraint on marriage by compelling Robert Mandelbaum . . . to enter into a sham marriage” — which he says violates state law supporting marriage equality.
Frank Mandelbaum's widow, a loveless old biddy named Ann Freeman, has testified in court papers that Robert's son, 18-month old son, Cooper, is undeserving of his inheritance because he's being raised by gay parents.
Russell Crowe's a busy dude. He's in Iceland at the movement to shoot a film called Noah, but yesterday he took a break from his on-camera work to perform not one, not two, but three brief rock'n'roll concerts around Reykjavik, perhaps in celebration of Reykjavik's annual "culture night."
He was joined onstage by his friend, the musician and actor Alan Doyle, and during his latter two appearances Patti Smith made a cameo, driving the crowds into a totally justifiable frenzy. AFTER THE JUMP, see Smith join Russell and Doyle in the intimate bar at the KEX Hostel, performing "Because The Night." Patti's godlike.
Andy reported Tuesday on the police attack on and subsequent arrest of 44 gay activists in Harare, Zimbabwe, who were meeting peaceably to discuss past infringements of their rights by police. The activists were members of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, or GALZ:
“Four police officers attempted to gain entry into the premises before calling for back up where about fifteen (anti) riot squad members descended on the office and effected arrest. Thirty one men and thirteen women members were detained overnight at Harare Central Police Station on 11 August 2012.”
Galz claimed that some of the police officers appeared drunk and assaulted most of the members using baton sticks.
“Police, some of them visibly drunk, assaulted most of the members using baton sticks, open hands and clenched fists before detaining them without charge. Such use of force is in direct contradiction to the Global Political Agreement,” Galz said.
Now, Zimeye reports that both the American embassy and the diplomatic delegation from the European Union have condemned the assault:
“The targeting and abusive treatment of non-governmental groups by members of the police is deeply disturbing part of life in Zimbabwe,” the US Embassy in Harare said.
“Too often, the Zimbabwe Republic Police becomes an instrument of political violence for use against citizens exercising their democratic rights, rather than maintaining its proper role of the people’s protector and guardian of law and order.”
The EU welcomes President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s recent public calls for peace and for people to avoid resorting to violence. We encourage all Zimbabweans to join these unambiguous calls against violence and violations of human rights.
Zimbabwean president-for-life Robert Mugabe has famously declared that gays and lesbians are "worse than dogs and pigs." He's also insisted that homosexuality violates womens' rights and leads to the eventual extinction of the species, and he once jailed a fellow politician for suggesting he, Mugabe, might be gay.
The Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, which uses something called "drift scanning" to document the vastness of the sky, has been snapping pictures of the heavens for twelve years as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The Survey's findings have been compiled into a 3D map of space, picturing 200 million galaxies and "7 billion years worth of cosmic movement." The map will get bigger, soon.
The data from the survey, and the map itself, is largely impenetrable to non-specialists. Happily, somebody involved in the project has produced a video tour of the map as it exists today. AFTER THE JUMP, take a tour of what might be the most comprehensive map in the universe. It's certainly the most comprehensive map in our corner of it.