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News Is Not Just Any Old Business

28 Aug

Somehow I missed this news about The Onion (via Tank Riot):

Andrea Hansen, advertising sales manager at Capital Newspapers, which publishes The Onion locally, sent out an email this week explaining that the newspaper was not renewing its contract with The Onion. Hansen could not be reached for comment. Todd Sears, Capital Newspapers’ general manager, did not respond to a request for comment.

Bob Marshall, a spokesman for The Onion’s corporate headquarters in Chicago, confirmed the news in an email.

“Unfortunately, yes, the Madison print edition will discontinue at the end of the month,” Marshall wrote. “The local readership of the paper remains strong, yet with the changing landscape of media, the advertising dollars needed to keep a Madison print edition going just weren’t there.”

I can’t help but lump this mentally in with the sale of The Washington Post to Jeff Bezos, and related developments, such as the blog, The Monkey Cage, moving from independent to WaPo listing (via Marginal Revolution). Leaving aside that The Monkey Cage‘s new paywall deal sounds improvised, Neil Irwin at Wonkblog explains the problems newspapers have today.

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Speeches We Didn’t Hear On August 28, 1963

25 Aug

Let’s not commemorate – let us debate.

Also note some modern perspectives.

Another Revolt Against Fate Is Not Korean

24 Aug

duck faceJust when I thought I had left South Korea, it pulls me back in! Rob Beschizza (incorrectly, it seems) thinks he’s identified a new fad – Joker face, or duck face. Westerners are responsible for this bizarre revolt against genetics and – life.

The trend of Duck Face photos can be attributed to the emergence of social networking profiles, most notably with the launch of MySpace in 2003 and its rise to mainstream popularity in July 2005. Myspace users could create profiles including biographical information and photographs of themselves, many of which exhibited the facial expression that eventually became known as the “duck face.” On May 13th, 2006, the first Urban Dictionary[2] definition for “myspace face” was submitted by user Crohnser, which described the female version of the expression as a combination of pouty eyes and pursed lips (shown below). On September 13th, an Urban Dictionary[3] definition for “duck face” was submitted by user Mair Mair, which defined the mannerism as a two-lipped pout.

What seems to have changed from 2003 is that the intent fuelling the procedure has evolved from flirtation to mood. The original emphasis on poutiness almost sounds ironic, but trying to look happy is depressing. At the risk of sounding morose, being able to read on a person’s face, that he/she is sad is useful. If no one can tell if one is having a bad day, how would anyone know when to intervene? Reading faces is a very important skill for humans.

But, it’s clear that Americans, not Koreans, started this bad practice.

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