White House Press Finally Wise Up

The White House press corps have finally gotten tired of having their pool reports messed with by the White House press office (which is just supposed to pass stuff along to press folks on the distribution list, and maybe check for national security issues).

So their new press pool reports are in a Google Group.

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Prayers for Harlan Ellison

He’s in the hospital after a stroke, per Jerry Pournelle’s blog, and doing better now. (Scroll down for a picture.) As you might expect with Harlan, even a week after a stroke he’s apparently talking a mile a minute and ruling the conversation. This is pretty impressive, as my grandma had a pretty good recovery from her stroke but was pretty much lying around with no energy at a similar point in time.

I can understand Harlan’s asking a Catholic hospital to cover his room’s crucifix (actually a fairly devout Jewish thing to do, so there’s an interesting psychological insight into Harlan). But I think it’s surprising that the nurses had to improvise a covering (maybe most people like the crucifix even if not Catholic?), and that the covering itself wasn’t particularly respectful. Not blasphemous, but not nice, either.

On the bright side, the hospital got him a Jewish roommate. :)

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The Lockheed Fusion Reactor. No, Seriously.

And this is why God loves engineers.

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Car Vs. Sacristy

Actually, this is in an area attached to the sacristy, but not the sacristy itself. I’m really surprised the stained glass didn’t shatter.

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What Naruto Means to His Biggest Fans

Naruto is a world with super-weird worldbuilding and one of the oddest premises of any anime. Ninja children being trained for war? A village full of secrets and lies that come back on the kids? And yet it spends a lot of its time as a comedy???

But Naruto is more about sticktoitiveness than even most of the stubborn shonen heroes we tend to like. It has an incredible richness of character and invention that conquers its formulaic shonen roots. It’s overhyped for a reason.

The Naruto manga will be ending soon, and a final movie will finish off the storyline. Here’s a touching thread where fans talk about Naruto and the power of story, and how they learned to overcome depression, loneliness, bullying, and more. We’re going to miss that knucklehead ninja.

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Idiot Judge Endangers Family, Media, Entire City

An idiot employed as a judge in Texas doesn’t have the sense to come in out of the rain, and is determined to catch rain in a bucket and dump it on the rest of us.

Here is the idiot judge breaking quarantine, refusing to take sensible Ebola precautions, bringing it home to his wife and kids, and then going to a press conference to share Ebola with the rest of us.

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Kachin Catholics

Myanmar/Burma is mostly Buddhist, but there are a fair number of Catholics in some cities and a pretty good number in many rural or tribal areas, like Kachin. This photoessay includes a picture of some Catholic ladies in Kachin. They are wearing squares of lace as mini-mantillas. Most missionaries here came from Italy, France, Spain, or Portugal, so they follow the pattern of Southern European customs instead of wearing hats.

A brief history of Catholicism in Myanmar, from the local diocese. In English. There are some amazing stories in a short space: hidden Christians, shipwrecks, beheadings, and incredibly hard work.

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