- tudent receives free cocaine with Amazon textbook order. Is this where we’ve going wrong with our textbook sales? [via]
- How College Football Bowls Earn Millions In Profits But Pay Almost Nothing In Taxes. Are you ready for some economic disparity?! [via]
- The Texans who live on the ‘Mexican side’ of the border fence: ‘Technically, we’re in the United States’ [via]
- Roger Ebert on why movie revenue is dropping:
The message I get is that Americans love the movies as much as ever. It’s the theaters that are losing their charm. Proof: theaters thrive that police their audiences, show a variety of titles and emphasize value-added features. The rest of the industry can’t depend forever on blockbusters to bail it out.
- And finally, Scott Tobias on why 2011 was secretly a really good year for movies:
I don’t mean to be bullying or schoolmarmish about it, only to point out that when great films get pushed to the margins in our technology-rich times, far more than just a handful of self-selecting New Yorkers have a chance to see them. The key is to not let awards-season hype color your perception. We consider 2007 a monumental year because its strongest achievements—movies like There Will Be Blood, No Country For Old Men, and Zodiac—happened to have healthy budgets and the backing of major studios. Compare that to a 2011 where a pleasant-but-disposable trifle like The Artist is leading the charge, and it’s little wonder that perception marks it as a weak year. (The Tree Of Life may be the only 2011 film high in both ambition and visibility, and will almost certainly top every critics’ poll as a result.) But for the adventurous—and again, you don’t have to venture off the couch to be among them—2011 was an embarrassment of riches, full of lively, diverse, form-busting visions across all genres and around the world. And the best of them ask something of the viewer, offering rewards in exchange for an active engagement. Just don’t expect all the question marks to turn into exclamation points: To quote some advice to Michael Stuhlbarg’s spiritual seeker in A Serious Man, “Accept the mystery.”
- A Manufactured ‘Crisis’: Congress Can Let The Post Office Save Itself Without Mass Layoffs Or Service Reductions
- Undocumented Pregnant Women Forced To Give Birth While Shackled In Front Of Police
- Companies Use Immigration Crackdown to Turn a Profit
- Stony Brook University Student Is Being Deported Despite Being In America Since She Was 20 Months Old
- And finally, White House Starts a Mini-War in Africa. Hopey-changey.
- I’ve been having a lot of fun using my iPad this past week, but it’s never occurred to me to embed it in a kitchen cabinet. This is simultaneously a ridiculous and very cool use of the device.
- Also at the crossroads of the ridiculous and very cool (with a little bit of creepy thrown in): Dinseyland’s new Living Character technology. There is a little “Uncanny Valley” action going on here, but none of the children in the audience seem too perturbed. [via]
- I was glad to hear that author Peter Watts will not be serving jail time for an incident that happened at the US/Canadian border back in December. But I’m still ashamed that this is the way we (sometimes) treat our visitors in this country. [via]
- Of course, we are the nation that gave the world Justin Bieber, who doesn’t even know what the word ‘German’ means.
- Then again, we did give the world Ricky Jay via]: