The first strike against science is in the headline. “Is this proof of Aliens?” NO! If there’s a question mark in the headline, the answer is always NO, or it wouldn’t be a question. The only exception is when you read between the lines and find the question “Are people really still falling for this?” In that case, the answer is yes. If we had actually found proof of aliens, the writer would be using more emphatic punctuation and 500-point font to scream “HOLY SHIT ALIENS!”

It’s a common technique to cover a weak story with an exciting headline. It’s also basically editorial alchemy. These inquisitive headlines try to transform known facts into fanciful suppositions, because our brains want to believe in exciting stuff that reminds us of Star Trek instead of accepting the boring evidence that reminds us of AP Biology. But that’s what science was invented to avoid.

The second stage of the alien attack on science is reminiscent of a Scooby-Doo plot. Because behind the masks, it’s really a bunch of humans, and they’re just doing it to make money by discrediting something worthwhile. In other words, “IS IT ALIENS?” headlines earn advertising views, but at the same time, they diminish some of the most amazing advances of our species.

How ‘Is It Aliens?’ Headlines Hurt Actual Science

Calling ALL of tumblr I need your help!!!

The standing rock tribe are being silenced about what is going on up there with the Dakota access pipe line.

I beg of you to help me get the topic out. It will affect millions of lives. The pipe will leak into the tribes only source of drinking water. We are trying so hard to get this out on twitter and facebook, but we are being silenced.

Today a security team came into the middle of a peaceful native american protest and numerous people got maced and bitten by the dogs. 

I want you all to take a look at the terror on these young girls faces. Then I want you to take a look at the two aggressive dogs. When did it become OK to use dogs against children, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters OUR freakin people!!!
The police will only let a dog go if the suspect runs or the suspect is violent and causes a threat to the public of the officer.
Do you see a weapon in these young girls hands? Do these girls look dangerous? The answer would be no. No they don’t.
The people with the dogs aren’t even police officers! They are security guards. They couldn’t even keep control of their own dogs leading to them being attacked also.

This is happening right this second and threatening millions of lives. I have to help.
We can only break the silence if you join us in this fight. Just sharing my post helps the reality of the situation get out there.
I now beg of you to share this post in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Give them a bigger voice. Help them shout this from the roof tops. Please… Rachael <3 <3 #NoDAPL


This Video Calls For Fair Treatment In How Media Covers Black Protests Vs. White Riots

“What if the media portrayed white rioters the same as black protesters?"That is the question proposed in a video addressing the media’s troubling representations of various uprisings, often biased against Black Americans.

Watch the full video to see how different the coverage is when white riot news audio is laid over black protests.  

(Source: Brave New Films)

(source: The Shaderoom)

So, we define folks by their parents now or does this only apply to innocent victims of murderous cops?  I mean, I don’t see the press interjecting little clauses about other folks’ parents such as:

  • Dylan McDermott: stepfather murdered his mother. 
  • Hayden Panettiere: father beats her mother.  Beats, not past tense.  The most public incident was at one of Eva Longoria’s restaurants after which he was put on probation. 
  • Leighton Meester: parents were both federal convicts for their part in a drug smuggling ring.  She was born while her mother was serving her sentence and spent the first 3 months of her life in a halfway house where her mother was allowed to nurse before going back to prison.
  • Drew Barrymore: father was a drug-addicted alcoholic who beat her mother. 
  • Woody Harrelson: father was a hitman who was tried, convicted, and served his sentence…and then continued to carry out hits for cash after he was released.  So he was tried, convicted, and imprisoned again.
  • Tobey Maguire:  father robbed a bank across the street from where the family lived.

For that matter, I don’t even see the press defining anyone by the crimes they themselves committed, such as:

  • Jonathan Rhys Meyers: arrested in 2005 after he abused his 18-year-old girlfriend.  He was 27 at the time. 
  • Tim Allen: served over two years in prison for posession of cocaine back in the 70s.  A white man went to prison for cocaine so you know he had a lot. 
  • Matthew Broderick: drove on the wrong side of the road in Ireland and killed someone.  His fine was $175. 
  • Josh Brolin: arrested for beating up then-wife Diane Lane ten years ago.
  • Mark Wahlberg: beat two Vietnamese men in a racist attack so brutal that one of them is still blind in one eye.  He sought to have his record expunged a couple of years ago so he could apply for a liquor license for his new restaurant.

But CNN would like us to never forget that Freddie Gray’s mother was an addict who couldn’t read because that is just so completely relevant to the fact that he was murdered by the police.  Oh ok.
The Daily Beast takes down article outing Olympic athletes, but it's too little too late
The Daily Beast on Thursday night removed a controversial article from its website after criticism on social media and elsewhere characterizing the story as exploitative.

The Daily Beast is facing well-deserved pushback after publishing a grossly irresponsible, unethical story yesterday in which a straight, married journalist named Nico Hines sought out men in the Olympic Village via Grindr. Then, he wrote about his experience and all the men he found. 

Some of the men he encountered are from countries where it’s still dangerous to be LGBT, and while he didn’t use their names, he provided enough information about each that you could easily figure out who they were. When the article blew up online, the Daily Beast first removed the identifying details, but it took them hours before they took down the whole story. 

Here’s their full apology note, which was also half-assed and didn’t say much about how they’ll fix the irreparable harm they’ve caused:

Today, The Daily Beast took an unprecedented but necessary step: We are removing an article from our site, “The Other Olympic Sport In Rio: Swiping.”

The Daily Beast does not do this lightly. As shared in our editor’s note earlier today, we initially thought swift removal of any identifying characteristics and better clarification of our intent was the adequate way to address this. Our initial reaction was that the entire removal of the piece was not necessary. We were wrong. We’re sorry. And we apologize to the athletes who may have been inadvertently compromised by our story.

Today we did not uphold a deep set of The Daily Beast’s values. These values—which include standing up to bullies and bigots, and specifically being a proudly, steadfastly supportive voice for LGBT people all over the world—are core to our commitment to journalism and to our commitment to serving our readers.

As a newsroom, we succeed together and we fail together, and this was a failure on The Daily Beast as a whole, not a single individual. The article was not intended to do harm or degrade members of the LGBT community, but intent doesn’t matter, impact does. Our hope is that removing an article that is in conflict with both our values and what we aspire to as journalists will demonstrate how seriously we take our error.

We were wrong. We will do better.

This is one of the most flagrant misuses of journalistic power I’ve ever seen. 

This may very well have ruined people’s lives, all for the sake of gay-sex-shaming and one dumbass straight man pointing his finger at guys on Grindr and laughing at them. This is why it’s crucial to have LGBT people in newsrooms (and all workplaces): because this article presumably had to go through several people before it was published, and yet nobody thought to consider how it might harm people who come from countries where they could face literal legal, political ramifications for being gay. (Or how it would harm anybody, for that matter! Because nobody deserves to be outed even if it is safe in their country!) I mean, really? Did this provide any value to the reader? Did this story contribute to the field of journalism or the coverage of the Olympics?

The Daily Beast will have to put in a lot of work in order to again be considered the “steadfastly supportive voice for LGBT people all over the world” they claim to be. Because yesterday, they proved themselves to be the exact opposite. 

The news that charges are being brought against two journalists for the unholy crime of reporting the news out of Ferguson last year is, on the face of it, ridiculous. “Trumped-up” does not even begin to describe what we are talking about.

The Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery and the Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly were sitting in a McDonald’s when a Ferguson SWAT team suddenly entered the premises. When the journalists started filming them—a completely legal activity, by the way—they were violently detained. That’s the whole story. If anyone should face charges from this incident, it’s the police. Instead, Lowery and Reilly (a former colleague of mine at HuffPost) are both being charged by St. Louis County with trespassing (in a public McDonalds) and “interfering with a police officer,” which I guess means that they asked why they were being taken in for no reason.

We don’t know what’s going to happen, of course, but it would be surprising if Lowery or Reilly were actually convicted of anything. They are both backed by large media companies with good lawyers, and the charges are patently absurd. But that’s what makes the situation so insidious. This isn’t a serious attempt by St. Louis County to prosecute these reporters. It’s a very real threat against journalists everywhere, and it’s just the latest in a disturbing war on reporting that we’ve seen in the past few years.

Two reporters from major media outlets face outlandish charges for reporting on unrest in Ferguson


You are looking at the first-ever photos of a male moustached kingfisher!

Chris Filardi is director of Pacific Programs at the Museum’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. This month, he’s blogging from the remote highlands of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, where he is surveying endemic biodiversity and working with local partners to create a protected area. He writes, “In the western Pacific, first among these ghost species is the moustached kingfisher (currently classified as Actenoides bougainvillei excelsus), a bird I have sought for nearly 20 years. Described by two female specimens brought to collectors by local hunters in the 1920s, the bird has only been glimpsed in the wild once. Scientists have never observed a male. Its voice and habits are poorly known. Given its history of eluding detection, realistic hopes of finding the bird were slim.

Until on our third morning we heard an unmistakable “ko-ko-ko-kokokokokokokoko-kiew” of a bird that could only be a large forest kingfisher. We paused, waited for what seemed like eternity, and then heard another cry from the mossy forest. It had to be the bird.

Within moments our eyes caught movement: a large shadow of wings and a thick body abruptly stopped in a tangle. Our recordist Frank Lambert saw the bird first and called me over. There in plain sight pumping its tail, crest alert, in full colors, was the moustached kingfisher. And then, like a ghost, it was gone.”

But not for long! Read the full blog post.

By now, you’ve probably seen the photo of Aylan Kurdi, the 3-year-old refugee from Syria who died with his 5-year-old brother and mother after their small rubber boat capsized on its way to Greece. You might remember his velcro shoes. His red shirt. His lifeless body lying face down in the sand.

The image has opened a debate about the ethics of publishing photos of children suffering and dying. But regardless of one’s position, the photo is now part of a tradition — another iconic image of a child that has shaped our understanding of global events and that will likely live on in our minds for years to come.

In 2000, former Washington Post photographer Carol Guzy spent time at a refugee camp in Albania during the Kosovo crisis and took a photo that won the Pulitzer Prize — one of four in her career. It depicts a young boy being passed through a barbed wire fence at the border.

“It’s actually a joyful photo,” Guzy says. “Families that had escaped ethnic cleansing did not know if their loved ones had survived or not, were lined up on along that fence.” When one family saw their relatives on the other side of the barbed wire, they celebrated and handed their young children back and forth while waiting to be reunited.

Guzy says images of children are particularly moving. “It’s something about being completely at the mercy of events happening around you, and being unable to protect yourself — children especially — that reaches the heart and soul of people,” she says.

An Image Of A Child Can Change The Way We See The World

Top image: Family members, reunited after fleeing Kosovo, pass 2-year-old Agim Shala through the barbed wire fence into the hands of his grandparents at a camp in Albania. The photo was taken on March 3, 1999.Carol Guzy/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Bottom image: James Dorbor, age 8, was suspected of having Ebola. Medical staff in protective gear carried him into a treatment center on September 5, 2014, in Monrovia, Liberia.Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

The American economy is recovering, but not everyone has felt it equally. The wealth gap between black and white households has grown dramatically, and is now the widest it’s been in nearly three decades. 

Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal explains why, in the latest video for our “How the Deck Is Stacked” collaboration with @marketplaceapm and @newshour.

WATCH: The recovery’s racial divide

WATCH: Poverty-stricken past and present in the Mississippi Delta

READ/LISTEN: Far from convention lights, life in Cleveland, Mississippi

READ/LISTEN: The other Cleveland: Crossing the divide