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  • News of the Weird: Norway's Battle Against Chaos

    News of the Weird: Norway's Battle Against Chaos
    Norwegian public television (NRK), which introduced the now-legendary continuous, live log-burning show (12 hours long, with “color commentary” on the historical and cultural importance of fire), scheduled a new program for this week in its appeal to serenity (labeled “Slow TV”). On Nov. 1, NRK was to televise live, for five hours, an attempt to break the world record for producing a sweater, from shearing the sheep to spinning the wool and knitting the garment (current record: 4:51, by Australians). (In addition to the log, NRK viewers have been treated to live cams on a salmon-fishing boat and, for five days, on a cruise ship.) Said an NRK journalist, “You would think it's boring television, but we have quite good ratings for these programs.”
  • 'I would rather lick a toilet seat than a cellphone' - microbiologist comes clean

    'I would rather lick a toilet seat than a cellphone' - microbiologist comes clean
    'I would rather lick a toilet seat than a cellphone' - microbiologist comes clean. A toilet seat. Seriously. Microbiologist David Coil writes on slate.com that bacteria exist everywhere and some are perfectly fine and actually beneficial. Including,...

    How Canada is not like the United States: Home mortgage edition

    How Canada is not like the United States: Home mortgage edition
    Those of us who write about the housing market and the virtues of the 30-year fixed home loan -- as we did Wednesday -- can calibrate our watches by how long it takes a reader to respond as follows: "Hey, Canada doesn't have 30-year fixed mortgages, and...

    Creationism again stalks the classroom

    In a sane world, the ringing denunciation of intelligent design and creationist "science" delivered by a federal judge in 2005 would have eradicated these concepts from the schoolroom. District Judge John E. Jones III of Harrisburg, Pa., ruled then that...

    Income inequality begins to hit business in the pocketbook

    There's a new element in the debate over U.S. income inequality, and it's one that may actually get our political leadership talking about ways to address the issue: businesses are beginning to notice that their middle-class customers have disappeared....