STAFF & GUEST BLOG
February 19th, 2009, by Staff

Of course you don’t speak Kashaya. That’s because the dying language found on the California coast near the mouth of the Russian River is one of nearly 2,500 worldwide languages that UNESCO has classified as endangered or extinct (out of more than 6,000 total world languages).

UNESCO created an interactive atlas of the world’s endangered languages. 192 of those languages are in the United States. As with endangered species lists, the atlas seeks to inform policy-makers, communities and authorities of languages that need to be targeted for preservation.

And if you are one of the 24 people still speaking Kashaya, please let us know.

STAFF & GUEST BLOG
February 16th, 2009, by Staff

In honor of Presidents’ Day, Marvel Comics released the “Gettysburg Distress” online for free today.

The six-page digital comic is the tale of Captain America and Spider-Man doing a little time travel to witness Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Marvel Comics is also playing up its “Amazing Spider-Man No. 583,” which features President Barack Obama (see Sean’s January post about the comic). No. 583 is now in a rare fifth printing.

STAFF & GUEST BLOG
February 13th, 2009, by Staff

The winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Documentary Thursday night was a critically acclaimed HBO documentary called “The Black List: Volume One.” The producers interviewed African American luminaries from art, government, business and sports and allowed them to tell their stories in their own words. Just in time for African American History Month, “The Black List: Volume Two” debuts Feb. 26 on HBO (see trailer below).

STAFF & GUEST BLOG
February 12th, 2009, by Staff

The nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization turns 100 today and kicks off a one-year celebration (Click here for the NAACP timeline).

The Baltimore-based organization has come a long way in its 100-year history and recently drafted a list of priorities for the Obama administration‘s first year in office.

Image: NAACP Chairman Julian Bond looks at a 1963 portrait of himself when he was a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

STAFF & GUEST BLOG
February 11th, 2009, by Staff

The following video could be mistaken for an SNL skit.

During Wednesday’s House Financial Services Committee‘s hearing on TARP accountability, Congresswoman Maxine Waters referred to the eight bank CEOs as “captains of the Universe.” There was some confusion during her grilling of the bank chiefs and a call for the California congresswoman to calm down.
 

STAFF & GUEST BLOG
February 9th, 2009, by Staff

There was Change.gov. Then there was the revamped WhiteHouse.gov, which looked an awful lot like Change.gov. And did you know there was a USA.gov?

Well, there’s another “dot gov.” The Obama administration created Recovery.gov so that Americans can keep track of the stimulus bill (a.k.a. the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and “see how and where their money is being spent.”

The Recovery.gov site will be functional after the bill is passed, and the site promises that an “oversight board” will update the site “as part of an unprecedented effort to root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending in our government.”

Okay. We’ll be watching.

STAFF & GUEST BLOG
February 6th, 2009, by Staff

If you have a Facebook account, then you already know about the latest social networking craze – “25 Random Things About Me.” The chain-letter style list has annoyed some (The Washington Post and Time) and has been defended by others (The Huffington Post). Slate is trying to track down the origins (no one, including Facebook, knows how it got started). And California Attorney General Jerry Brown’s list (yes, he’s on Facebook) reveals the following: “I was a cheerleader at St. Ignatius High School.”

As you can imagine, since each list requires the writer to tag 25 people who then make lists and tag 25 other people, the “random” list is “spreading like wildfire.” And it all coincides rather neatly with Facebook’s five-year anniversary. Hmmmm …

STAFF & GUEST BLOG
February 5th, 2009, by Staff

Can you imagine searching for a place to land a plane with double engine failure? How about explaining that your plane will likely crash into the Hudson River at any moment?

Apparently, the pilot of US Airways Flight 1549 has nerves of steel. The FAA released the audio tapes of Chesley Sullenberg III’s conversation with New York air traffic control just before the plane landed in the Hudson River. Sullenberg says, “We may end up in the Hudson” as if his life (and that of the others on the plane) weren’t in jeopardy. He was calm. New York air traffic control was calm. After listening to the audio, it’s no surprise that everyone lived to tell the story.

STAFF & GUEST BLOG
February 2nd, 2009, by Staff

Now that Obama is in the White House and there’s no use for all of those countdown clocks, a couple of meters have popped up.

1) The Change-o-Meter, run by Slate, assigns a daily score to President Obama based on how much his “administration is changing Washington.” Highest score so far is 60. Slate gave Obama that score on the day that he signed orders to ban torture and close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

2) The Obameter, run by the St. Petersburg TimesPolitiFact.com, keeps track of about 500 promises that Obama made during his campaign. He already broke a promise, according to PolitiFact, when he signed his first bill into law without “giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House Website for five days.”

Obama said he wanted transparency. He just might be getting some help with that.

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