Reddit Libertarians Accuse Obama Administration of 'Planting' Questions in AMA

Max Read · 08/31/12 02:30PM

President Barack Obama did a Reddit "AMA" (Ask Me Anything) this week, answering ten questions over about 30 minutes and causing the site to crash repeatedly. But it wouldn't be a real Reddit experience without mob paranoia — and, right on cue, a bunch of libertarian Reddit detectives have assembled a case that the White House "planted" one of the few questions the president answered. An unconvincing case, to say the least.

CNN's Ali Velshi Learns How Important the Word 'No' Is

Max Read · 08/24/12 09:47AM

Around 10:15 CNN's Ali Velshi tweeted: "BREAKING: law enforcement source tells CNN there appears to be terrorism connection to the #ESBshooting." This happened several minutes after local New York City outlets reported that the man who opened fire outside the Empire State Building, so the tweet spread like wildfire. And then Velshi deleted it. Why?

Top 20 Party Schools, Top 20 Sober Schools All Sound Equally Horrible

Max Read · 08/20/12 05:34PM

We now take such things for granted, but it's important to remember that for hundreds of years after the fall of Rome, Europe underwent a long age of violence and terror, bereft of the wisdom and knowledge of the ancients, completely ignorant of which colleges were among the 20 Party Schools. We must consider ourselves lucky, then, that we live in an age where every year Princeton Review blesses us with a list of not just the Top 20 Party Schools but also a list of the Top 20 Stone-Cold Sober Campuses — a cornucopia of Schools We Would Never Want to Go To.

Phyllis Diller, 1917-2012

Max Read · 08/20/12 02:47PM

Legendary comedian Phyllis Diller has passed away, TMZ reports. She was 95, and had been under hospice care following a fall. Her family was with her when she died.

You Should Read the Pussy Riot Defendants' Powerful Closing Statements

Max Read · 08/10/12 04:16PM

The Pussy Riot trial — in which three members of a Russian punk collective were charged with "hooliganism" and held in jail for months over a guerrilla performance Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral (you can read more about it here) — ended yesterday with two of the defendants, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (on the right and the left, respectively, in the above photo), giving closing statements. You should read them.

David Rakoff, Essayist and Performer, Dead at 47

Max Read · 08/10/12 09:48AM

Writer, performer, and frequent NPR contributor David Rakoff has died following a three-year battle with cancer. Rakoff was born in Montreal, and lived, variously, in Toronto, London and Japan before settling in New York City, which he called "the great love of my life" and was the subject of much of his writing. Rakoff worked as an actor — usually playing, he later wrote, "Jewy McHebrew" or "Fudgy McPacker" — and in publishing before quitting to become a full-time writer, penning the interview column "The Way We Live Now" for The New York Times Magazine for several years in addition to his work as a freelance journalist and contributor of personal essays to This American Life.

The Mars Rover's Insanely Cheery Twitter Account Is Creeping Me Out

Adrian Chen · 08/09/12 05:50PM

I love space travel as much as the next huge dork. I still have my personalized certificate for participating in NASA's 2008 "send your name to the moon" project somewhere in my file cabinet. (Not to mention the certificates for "Space Hitler," and "Poophead McGee," whose names I also sent to the moon. Hey, I was in college.) I'm thrilled that the Curiosity rover is on Mars beaming back awesome panoramic pictures. But NASA's bubbly anthropomorphized Twitter account for the rover is creeping me out.

Please Help This Woman Who Hooked Up with 100m "Finalist" Find Out If He's Still Living with the Mother of His Child

A.J. Daulerio · 08/06/12 04:20PM

Soon after NBC re-aired Usain Bolt dominating the 100 meter final, we received this email from a woman who would like to spill the details of her ongoing fling in London with one of the other sprinters who is presumably not Usain Bolt. But she would like to sell her story anyway, even though most publications would probably not purchase the story unless it was about her sleeping with Usain Bolt. She tells us: