SpaceX cargo mission was forced to delay its launch scheduled for 1:58 p.m. Pacific time Monday due to a helium leak. NASA announced over Twitter that because of a helium leak, the launch won’t happen until Friday afternoon. NASA is trying to launch SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft carrying 5000 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).
The planned launch by the privately-owned Space Exploration Technologies Corp. — which is headed up by Tesla’s Elon Musk — was already off to a rocky start, when NASA announced over the weekend that there was a failure in one of the space station’s backup computers that helps land the cargo ship. The mission managers said on Sunday that they would proceed with the take-off from Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Monday. They said the primary system was running well, and the glitch would not harm the mission.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Dragon’s capsule contains “food, science experiments, and even a set of legs for Robonaut 2, NASA’s humanoid robot aboard the space station, designed to help astronauts with tasks in space.” The supplies will be used by the six astronauts aboard the ISS, including three Russians, two Americans and one Japanese.
The next available launch time is Friday at 3:25 p.m. EST, but that date could be scrapped as well if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Once completed, the mission will be the third of SpaceX’s 12 planned launches for NASA as part of the company’s $1.6 billion contract with the space agency.
Billions of people will witness this year’s first ‘”Blood Moon,” aka “total lunar eclipse.”
Our ancestors had many prophecies surrounding such events. The Mayans, for instance, believed that the blood moon was caused by a cosmic jaguar swallowing the Moon. Others have seen it as a sign the “End Times” are near.
Thankfully, science offers its own explanation for the celestial phenomenon. The excitement this year is that the four consecutive and complete lunar eclipses — or the tetrad — occur at approximately six-month intervals and will all be visible over the United States this year. TIME’s science editor Jeffrey Kluger explains.
Blues-rockers the Black Keys, thanks to their big-stage breakthroughs Brothers and El Camino, occupy an enviable niche: one of the ever-dwindling number of unquestionably rock acts who’ve got an audience and scope larger than the back of a radio-rock playlist or an early-afternoon festival slot. Their longtime producer Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton is in a pretty good spot, too, working this year with on albums as entrenched as U2’s and as anticipated as Frank Ocean’s.
Burton has hinted at more of a psychedelic, loose direction for the band’s upcoming Turn Blue (the album art perhaps does more than hint), but its title track, released today, is as slick as anything off El Camino, string stabs and rattlesnake hisses and a snarl of a bass synth beneath the Keys’ hazed-over vocals all done with perfectionist precision.
A marijuana vending machine debuted in Colorado over the weekend, The Denver Post‘s marijuana news blog The Cannabist reports.
Called “ZaZZZ,” it is made by a company called American Green and will be installed in a medical marijuana dispensary called Herbal Elements of Eagle Veil. Below are images from its debut at a Montana Smokehouse event in Avon:
Herbal Elements (@HerbalColorado) April 12, 2014
9NEWS Denver (@9NEWS) April 13, 2014
“We’re looking forward to using the ZAZZ machine to easily track all this inventory,” Herbal Elements Greg Honan told KDVR. “There’s no room for theft by patients, employees … there’s no way to lose track of the inventory.”
While Medbox marijuana dispensing machines in California are behind sales counters, customers can directly access ZaZZZ without waiting in lines. Stephen Shearin, COO of American Green’s parent company Tranzbyte told The Cannabist that the machine “uses the same technology that checks age/ID fraud under the Control Meth Act. Your identity is confirmed against active biometrics.” Users with a medical marijuana card will swipe their driver’s licenses to identify themselves, KUSA-TV in Denver reports.
Shearin also told The Cannabist that he does not think the concept will not become mainstream for recreational use now or ever. It is simply meant to “enhance legal sales facilities in ensuring that controlled substances (so far as we can control at the time of sale) are dispensed solely into the hands of those who qualify legally.”
(WASHINGTON) — A Native American group is asking the international community to charge the United States with human rights violations in hopes of getting help with a land claim.
The Onondaga Indian Nation says it plans to file a petition at the Organization of American States on Tuesday, seeking human rights violations against the United States government. It wants the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to declare that the U.S. government’s decision not to hear its lawsuit asking for the return of 2.5 million acres in upstate New York to be violations of international human rights agreements.
The nation has argued that about 4,000 square miles in 11 upstate New York counties stretching from Pennsylvania to Canada was illegally taken through a series of bogus treaties. More than 875,000 people live in the area, which includes Syracuse and other cities.
U.S. courts have refused to hear the lawsuit asking for the return of their land, with the Supreme Court turning away a final petition in October.
“The problem is that we can’t get the governor to sit down with us and the United States to live up to its treaty rights,” said the Onondaga Nation’s attorney, Joe Heath.
While in Washington, the group plans to display a belt that George Washington had commissioned to commemorate one of the treaties that was supposed to guarantee the Onondaga their land and “the free use and enjoyment thereof.”
The group says it is not seeking monetary damages, eviction of residents or rental payments. Instead, it wants a declaration that the land continues to belong to the Onondagas and that federal treaties were violated when it was taken away. Onondaga leaders have said they would use their claim to force the cleanup of hazardous, polluted sites like Onondaga Lake.
The petition against the United States was brought by the Onondaga Nation and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, which is made up of the Onondaga, Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga and Seneca Nations.
It could be years before the commission decides whether to hear the nation’s complaint, Heath said. Even then, there is nothing that could force the government to follow international recommendations, Heath said. The hope is that public pressure would bring state and federal officials to the table.
“Yes, they can just ignore it but there’s only so long we think can they do that,” said Heath.
Even if nothing happens, they will have made their stand, they said.
“We’re here, we’re speaking out and they know where we stand,” Onondaga Clan Mother Freida Jacques said. “Maybe you won’t write it in history, but we’ll know we made this effort and we’re not letting the people down.”
Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8.1 has a hidden trick that Apple might not be thrilled with.
Users can apparently download passes from Apple’s Passbook system and access them through Windows Phone’s Wallet app. This capability was discovered by Tom Warren of The Verge, who says it worked perfectly for boarding passes.
Passbook is Apple’s system for digital payment cards, loyalty cards, coupons and tickets. It allows iPhone users to pull up all their passes from one place instead of having to dig through multiple apps.
Although Windows Phone and Android offer similar services, they’re not as widely adopted by app developers as Passbook. Microsoft may be supporting Passbook passes as a way of filling the gap.
As iMore points out, there’s nothing particularly special about the Passbook data itself. Passbook files are basically a package of web languages that the Passbook app reads and formats, so it seems Microsoft has simply found a way to read and format the same bits of code in its own Wallet app.
The special sauce for Apple is in the way cards are added and updated on users’ iPhones. Some apps allow users to add cards to their Passbooks by pushing a button within the app, but this option isn’t available through apps on other platforms. Instead, users can only download passes from an email or text message, or by scanning a barcode.
Also, Apple has its own system for pushing updated information (such as a gate change for a flight) to users’ devices. A third-party system may have to employ workarounds, such as periodic checks for updated info.
Maybe that explains why Apple hasn’t cracked down on other platforms’ use of Passbook. The experience just won’t be as good, and may end up luring people back to iOS.
Besides, neither Google nor Microsoft are advertising Passbook support as a key feature of their operating systems. If they did, it’d be kind of like when Palm advertised iTunes sync support for its Pre smartphone in 2009. Apple did take action in that case, prompting a cat-and-mouse game in which Palm tried (and ultimately failed) to get around Apple’s roadblocks.
Cue the “put his foot in it” jokes. On April 12, at his “Forecourt to the Stars” imprint ceremony — the Hollywood honor of leaving of hand- and footprints at the TCL Chinese Theater — comedian Jerry Lewis made an impression in something other than cement. MoreJudge: Michael Jackson’s Mom Should Pay CostsWATCH: Hunger Games Stars Pay Tribute to Philip Seymour HoffmanMen Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostInside Prince William and Kate's Night at a Luxury Lodge People
Back in 1998, Lewis was at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival when he said, “I don’t like any female comedians.” When asked specifically about Lucille Ball, he said he didn’t even like her. He went on to clarify that women in comedy didn’t offend him, but that he was unable to enjoy the comedy because he thinks of a woman “as a producing machine that brings babies in the world.” At that point, his audience reportedly got up and left.
Now, he’s backtracked — except not really.
He said at the hand-print ceremony that Ball was, in fact, “brilliant” and that he was impressed by Carol Burnett as well. However, he ended up digging in deeper on the baby-machine idea, saying:
Seeing a woman project the kind of aggression that you have to project as a comic just rubs me wrong. And they’re funny — I mean you got some very, very funny people that do beautiful work — but I have a problem with the lady up there that’s going to give birth to a child — which is a miracle.
Leaving aside Lewis’ personal likes and dislikes in comedy, since there’s no accounting for taste, there are a few reasons his sort-of-explanation is already drawing raised eyebrows. The logic of his statement negates his positivity on Ball and Burnett: he says that a comic has to project aggression and that he doesn’t want women to do that. So even if he’s admitting that women can be funny, he’s in effect saying that even those who are funny, like the two examples he gives, shouldn’t be professional comedians. That is, ladies can be funny, but only men should get paid for it.
In reality, however, not every successful comic is aggressive (Mitch Hedberg, for example), but plenty of women who do project aggression are successful (Sarah Silverman, for example). Also, not every lady is going to give birth to a child, and those who do might not want someone else defining them by that choice — a viewpoint that’s pretty much the same as the “producing machine” idea and also echoes the more recent pregnant-women-as-hosts political gaffe. Plus, while the idea of childbirth as a miracle is easy to agree with, it’s a pretty aggressive and crude miracle; just today, over at Slate, Cheryl Strayed of Wild fame lays out the 43 hours of intense pain and work that went into that miracle in her experience.
Lewis’ comments have some of the women who are counterexamples to his ideas up in arms. Then again, not everyone thinks the record needs to be set straight:
Caring what Jerry Lewis thinks about women comics is like caring that grandpa doesn’t like all the loud music today
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) May 24, 2013
Taco Bell made news with its Waffle Taco, a breakfast item born to be Instagramed. Now McDonald’s is pushing back with a new campaign for an old breakfast fusion plate: The pancake wrapped breakfast sandwich, the McGriddle.
At the tail-end of its free coffee promotion Monday, a rebuttle to Taco Bell’s anti Egg McMuffin campaign, the company released a new ad for its sweet-meets-savory product, first launched in 2003:
There has yet to be a big social media push—McDonald’s Twitter has been Coachella-heavy recently—but the McGriddles portion of the McDonald’s website reads: “You know it’s a McGriddles Morning when the dog drools enviously at you. And you don’t even have a dog.”
The new McGriddles spot emphasizes the pairing of McDonald’s coffee with the promotional sandwich. According to research firm Technomic, McDonald’s already owns 31% of fast food chains’ $31.7 billion breakfast market.McDonald’s did not respond for immediate comment about its new campaign.
(BANGUI, Central African Republic) — A local official in Central African Republic says Muslim fighters have overrun his town, killing several residents and sending others fleeing to the bush.
Eric Kongbo said Monday that the fighters arrived in Grimari, in the country’s center, a day earlier. Kongbo, who was himself in the bush, said it was unclear how many people had been killed because residents were too afraid to return to the town.
Capt. Ahmat Nidjad Ibrahim of the Muslim fighters said Christian militias had attacked the town and his fighters were merely chasing them.
Central African Republic exploded into sectarian violence last year amid mounting resentment toward a Muslim rebel government. French and African Union forces are trying to bring stability and the U.N. has approved a peacekeeping force.
At Guantanamo Bay, the wheels of justice turn not so much slowly, as seldom. Twelve and a half years after 9/11, the five men accused of planning and launching the attack are in pre-trial hearings at a military tribunal there. On Monday, the tribunal held proceedings for the first time since December. Within minutes, the hearing recessed.
As the indefatigable Carol Rosenberg reports in the Miami Herald, Army Col. James Pohl, who is the presiding judge on the tribunal, called the recess after lawyers for the accused terrorists said the FBI had tried to turn a member of the defense team into a confidential informant:
Defense lawyers alleged Monday that in at least one instance, two FBI agents enlisted a civilian on the defense team of accused plot deputy Ramzi bin al Shibh as a confidential informant.
The FBI had no immediate comment.
But the development seemed to stun the chief prosecutor, Army Brig. Mark Martins, who told the judge, Army Col. James L. Pohl, that he was unaware of the FBI activity.
Martins is struggling to keep proceedings moving. While his primary task is to prosecute the five men, he also is under scrutiny for the effectiveness of the tribunal itself. The Obama administration tried to bring the plot’s ringleader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, to the United States for trial early in Obama’s first term but found it politically impossible to do so. Since then, every development at the tribunal has been viewed as a potential judgment on whether military trials are more or less effective than the U.S. court system, where al Qaeda terrorists continue to be brought to justice with some regularity.
The current fits and starts at Gitmo are inevitably unfolding as part of that debate. The December delay came thanks to questions of whether one defendant, Ramzi Bin Al Shibh, was competent to stand trial after repeated outbursts at his hearings. Monday’s delay, with luck, will be shorter: proceedings are expected to start again Tuesday.
Kids these days are all about finding clever, offbeat ways to ask potential dates to go to prom with them. Most kids, however, are asking fellow humans.
One Chicago teen named Muthana Sweis for some reason decided to ask Netflix to prom instead. Maybe because he, like many of us, has had plenty of “dates” at home alone with the streaming service and wanted to carry out some kind of avant garde-social commentary-performance art thing. Probably not. But maybe! Anyway, Sweis worked up the courage to ask the brand on Twitter:
Turns out Sweis had already locked down a date with an actual human, but Netflix still said yes!
“Third wheeling” basically meant that the company hooked Sweis up with three prom essentials: suit, ride and driver, all based on movies and TV shows. The 17-year-old chose James Bond’s tux from Skyfall, the ’55 Buick from Grease, and, for his chauffeur, Danny Zuko from Grease. Then, a Netflix camera crew followed Sweis around for the evening to document his newfound popularity.
Man, if only Sweis had proposed to Netflix at the end of the evening. That would give a whole new meaning to “brand engagement.”
The 2014 Pulitzer Prize for public service journalism was awarded Monday to The Washington Post and The Guardian’s U.S. edition for their reporting on National Security Agency leaks from its former contractor Edward Snowden.
According to the Pulitzer committee, each media organization was awarded journalism’s highest honor “for its revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, marked by authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.”
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden first approached documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras with his cache of documents. Poitras assisted Snowden in bringing the documents to The Washington Post and Glenn Greenwald at The Guardian, which first published reports about the leaks. Both papers share this year’s Pulitzer for their ongoing coverage of Snowden’s leaks, which have shed new light on the agency’s tactics and operations, and provoked a vigorous international debate on the rights and wrongs of government surveillance.
The Long Island, NY, newspaper Newsday was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer for “its use of in-depth reporting and digital tools to expose shootings, beatings and other concealed misconduct by some Long Island police officers,” the committee said in its announcement.
(NEW YORK) — The Washington Post and the Guardian have won Pulitzer Prizes in public service for revealing the massive U.S. government surveillance effort.
The awards, American journalism’s highest honor, were announced Monday.
The newspapers’ disclosures about the National Security Agency’s spy programs show the government has collected information about millions of Americans’ phone calls and emails based on its classified interpretations of laws passed after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The stories are based on thousands of documents handed over by NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
The Boston Globe has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize in breaking news, and The New York Times has won two Pulitzers in photography categories.
French police are demanding DNA samples from 527 male students and staff members in its search for the perpetrator of a high school rape case. The teenage victim says that she can’t identify her assailant since he attacked her from behind in a dark bathroom at the school on Sept. 30. After running out of leads — the police tested DNA recovered from the girl’s clothes but found no match in the country’s database — authorities have decided to simply take DNA samples from every male who was on the closed campus at the time of the alleged rape. The testing began Monday. MoreKansas City Shooting Suspect to Face Hate Crime ChargesDutch Teen Reportedly Arrested For Tweeting Threat at American AirlinesMen Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostGinnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas Step Out After Their Wedding People
Authorities have warned students and staff that if anyone opted not to give a DNA sample he would be considered a suspect and taken into custody.”It’s clearly a situation where people do not have a choice,” Catherine Bourgain, a genetic researcher and author of DNA, Superstar or Supercop, told the Associated Press. ”Once you have a DNA file it’s very difficult to get that information erased.” So far, nobody has refused to give over a sample, prosecutor Isabelle Paganelle told the Associated Press.
“The choice is simple for me,” Paganelle said. “Either I file it away and wait for a match in what could be several years, or I go looking for the match myself.” Authorities promised to trash the samples of the children under investigation once each student was eliminated as a suspect.
The head of the school agreed that asking for DNA samples from every man at the school was the right decision. “This happened during the school day in a confined space,” Chantal Devaux, the private Roman Catholic school’s director, told French media. “The decision to take such a large sample was made because it was the only way to advance the investigation.”
Though the mass DNA sampling may seem like the logical conclusion for the French police, it’s unlikely that U.S. authorities would take similar steps to catch a rapist. The cost alone — a reported $6,900 — would likely be a deterrent.
But the more pressing issue is one of privacy. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits unreasonable search and seizure without a warrant backed by probable cause. This includes seizure of DNA. The American Civil Liberties Union called it a “serious blow to genetic privacy” when the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in June of 2013 that police may take DNA samples from people after they are arrested in connection with a serious crime: “The ruling allows the police to seize the DNA of innocent Americans who have never been convicted of any sort of crime, without a search warrant.” Imagine what the ACLU would have to say about police taking DNA samples before they obtained a warrant.
American authorities would have a hard time arguing that 500 people attending school would constitute probable cause for search and seizure of the students’ DNA. And it would certainly cause an uproar if police in the U.S. were able to take someone into custody for refusing to voluntarily provide a DNA sample. Though the technology is relatively new, the principle is as old as the Fourth Amendment itself.
So we probably won’t be seeing such tactics employed by American police any time soon. But there are also larger questions about an emerging concern for “rape culture” at play. My colleague Charlotte Alter argued last week that rape culture and sexual assault awareness can unfairly place “good guys” under suspicion for acts they would never commit: this incident seems to be the prime example since the police are arguing that every male in the school is a suspect merely because of their location and chromosomal makeup.
Then again, however problematic the tactic may be, it’s heartening to see the French police force take such a proactive stance on identifying a rapist when there is a backlog of 400,000 rape kits still waiting to be tested in the U.S.
It’s a sad and stinky tale —with an ultimately happy ending.
Lenny the cat was found as a stray by the Scottsville Veterinary Hospital and Pet Adoptions in Rochester, N.Y.. The shelter nursed him back to health and set out to find the adorable cat a permanent home.
Happily, he was adopted in March, but, as occasionally happens, the adoption didn’t take and poor Lenny was returned to the shelter after living with his new family for only two days. The reason? He “farts all the time,” reported the Democrat & Chronicle.
Upon his return to the shelter, the supposedly farting feline didn’t display any indicators that he had earned his new nickname of “smelly cat,” however the cat may be best suited to a life outdoors.
Lenny was made a minor celebrity after the Scottsville Veterinary Adoptions’ posted his story to their Facebook page. That’s when one brave — and perhaps hard of smelling — family stepped up and adopted Lenny. Happy trails, happy tails.
[Via Democrat & Chronicle ]
When one of Africa’s biggest celebrities was honored as one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2013, she found that it served to amplify her influence as a human-rights and environmental activist.
“I speak, and I shout even louder,” said Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, the actress, singer and reality television star known as “Omo Sexy” in Nollywood, Nigeria’s movie industry.
Ekeinde continues to speak out about issues affecting Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Niger River Delta in her native Nigeria.
There’s a growing mountain of evidence that obesity and other health factors can be determined as early as your time in the womb. While research has shown that too much weight gain during pregnancy can lead to an obese child, new research shows that too little weight gain can be a nearly equally risky factor in childhood obesity.
Researchers studied the electronic medical records of 4,145 women who had a baby between 2007 and 2009, and reviewed the medical information of their children between ages 2 and 5. Their findings, which are published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, showed that women who started at a normal weight before pregnancy, but gained more than the recommended amount, were 80% more likely to have an overweight child. Women with a normal weight before pregnancy who gained less than the recommended amount were 63% more likely to have a child who became overweight or obese.
Healthy weight gain during pregnancy is somewhere between 11 and 20 pounds.
When looking at the group as a whole, researchers found that among the women who gained too much weight, slightly more than 20% of their children were overweight. Among women who gained too little weight, 19.5% of their kids were overweight. And for those who gained the normal amount, only 14.5% had overweight kids.
Researchers are still looking into why weight gain outside the optimal range influences obesity, but one hypothesis is that gaining too much or too little weight interferes with the child’s ability to normalize energy and metabolism.
(ANNAPOLIS, Md.) — Gov. Martin O’Malley has signed a bill that decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana starting in October.
Maryland is now the 17th state in the U.S. to decriminalize marijuana. The Democratic governor says the law should improve public safety by freeing police officers to focus on more serious threats.
The Maryland State’s Attorneys Association sent O’Malley a letter Friday, urging him to veto the measure. The group’s president says the bill was passed too hastily. Charles Smith wanted amendments that would keep it a crime to smoke pot in public or carry it onto school property.
O’Malley also approved a measure to improve the distribution of medical marijuana.
Anyone who’s been on a diet knows that hunger can make you cranky. With less fuel, your brain doesn’t exert as much self control, so you let your impatience and irritation go unchecked. MoreMen Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostEva Longoria Dishes on Her 'Good Dresser' Boyfriend and Why She Loves Flying PeoplePeter King's Monday Morning Quarterback Sports Illustrated'Game of Thrones' recap: 'The Lion and the Rose' Entertainment Weekly
Researchers speculate that such hunger-fueled anger could even affect your marriage. Brad Bushman, at The Ohio State University, and his international group of colleagues set up a study involving 107 married couples, using voodoo dolls to track how angry spouses felt toward each other. Over a period of 21 days, the couples had their blood glucose measured every night before they went to bed, and every morning before they ate breakfast, as a barometer of their hunger. The voodoo dolls were stand-ins for their spouses; each partner had 51 pins and poked the doll each night to represent how irritated he or she was at his or her spouse.
Who poked the most? Those who had the lowest glucose levels on average stabbed their voodoo partner more than twice as many times as those with the highest glucose levels. Even after the scientists controlled for how happy the spouses reported their relationship as being, the hunger-aggression connection remained strong.
“We don’t say that glucose levels explain everything, but we took repeated measures over the 21 days and found these pretty robust results,” says Bushman.
It’s possible that the people with higher glucose levels were simply more forgiving or feeling more generous after a fulfilling meal – levels of mood hormones like serotonin tend to go up after a meal, ushering in a feeling of satiety. But Bushman believes that the consistency of the results hint that something more may be involved, and that may have to do with how hunger can contribute to less self-control and more irritable behavior.
In the second part of the study, he and his colleagues asked the spouses to play a competitive computer game, and awarded the winning partner the opportunity to blast the loser with a cacophony of sounds, including dentist drills, sirens, and fingernails dragging across a chalkboard. The scientists told the participants they could make the sounds as loud or as quiet as they desired, and leave them on for as long as they wanted (researchers actually controlled the volume so no eardrums were harmed). Those who recorded the lowest glucose levels over the past 21 days were more likely to blast the sounds at higher volumes and for longer periods of time if they won than those who had higher glucose levels.
That skipping meals or cutting back on calories could escalate aggression among spouses leads Bushman and his colleagues to suspect that hunger could even be behind some cases of domestic violence, although the study did not go as far as to test that theory. But Bushman says the findings make it clear that low glucose levels, and its resulting lack of self-control, should be considered part of the constellation of factors that can contribute to marital strife. That means that people on diets should be aware of how their drop in calories can affect their mood and the way they interact with others, including their spouse. And, says Bushman, “If couples have something to talk to their spouse about, they should do it over dinner, or better yet, after dinner.”
Captain Underpants rides again!
The American Library Association has released their annual State of America’s Libraries report, which includes the list of the most “challenged” books of the previous year. Those are the books that are the subject of formal, written complaints filed with libraries or schools “requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness.” The 2013 report notes that the year’s 307 recorded instances of challenges is down from 2012 — to the tune of more than 100 complaints.
But the books receiving those fewer complaints were, in many cases, the same as before. Just as in 2012, the potty humor of the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey brought the books to the top of the list. Other repeat offenders in the top ten included Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James and Looking for Alaska by John Green. The newcomers to the top ten were:
- The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison (second place)
- The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
- A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
- Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
- Bone (series), by Jeff Smith
As I noted last year, it’s not so surprising that something like Captain Underpants would be seen as more worthy of complaint than something as blatantly out-there as Fifty Shades. Though the presence of the BDSM blockbuster in a public library might bother some patrons, adult books for adults are harder to muster outrage over. Books for kids are clearly much more likely to be the subject of formal, written complaints. One of the most common reasons for complaint is, in fact, “unsuited to age group.” (Why that’s one of the reasons people complained about 50 Shades too is, however, a complete mystery.)
As for trying to keep kids away from Hunger Games due to its “religious viewpoint” (which is what?) and it being “unsuited to age group” — good luck with that, concerned citizens. The ALA’s annual list is a nice barometer of what has people wringing their hands, but The Hunger Games is as good a reminder as any that a book being challenged is not the same thing as it being suppressed.