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Daily Briefing

Deep buzz for the content-deprived

Every weekday, while you get showered and dressed, we pluck these dewy- fresh, breaking stories from the info-clogged byways of the datasphere. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and stoke up on everything you need to know, or at least enough to fake it.

Mexico's President Tries To Change Country's Name
Associated Press | Mexico's President Tries To Change Country's Name | November 23, 2012

Mexico's president is making one last attempt to get the "United States" out of Mexico -- at least as far as the country's name is concerned.

The name "United Mexican States," or "Estados Unidos Mexicanos," was adopted in 1824 after independence from Spain in imitation of Mexico's democratic northern neighbor, but it is rarely used except on official documents, money and other government material.

Still, President Felipe Calderon called a news conference Thursday that he wants to make the name simply "Mexico."...

Mexico's president is making one last attempt to get the "United States" out of Mexico - at least as far as the country's name is concerned.

The name "United Mexican States," or "Estados Unidos Mexicanos," was adopted in 1824 after independence from Spain in imitation of Mexico's democratic northern neighbor, but it is rarely used except on official documents, money and other government material.



Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/84168.html#ixzz2D3mK0ZHI
New Photos Of Einstein's Brain
Terri Randall, Nova | New Photos Of Einstein's Brain | November 23, 2012

Researchers who've studied Einstein's brain have long known that parts of his parietal lobe—a part of the brain involved in spatial imagination—were unusually large. But now, a collection of 14 photographs missing since 1955 have revealed that Einstein's right frontal lobe has four ridges instead of the standard-issue three, giving him more brain power. And, in an unusual twist, it turns out that the host of NOVA scienceNOW, David Pogue, shares this same trait...

 

The Cranberry Sauce Has Something To Say
Will Stephen, The New Yorker | The Cranberry Sauce Has Something To Say | November 21, 2012

Look, do you think I don't see what you see? I'm repulssive. I stick out like a sore thumb. A red, wobbly sore thumb. Plopped down on this table with the ridges from my can still branded into my side, othering me, shaming me -- your store-bought freak, your high-caloric Hestyer Prynne. You could at least slice me and give me an ounce of dignity. But no, that's life, baby. That's me: Thanksgiving's Elephant Man. Just the cold, wet afterthought to a piping-hot feast cooked with patience and love. Here to jiggle for you, to be cut with a spoon, and to silently weep...

LolNo, trust me, I get it. I’m the cute one. I’m sweet, I’m red, and I plop out of a can. It’s fun. It’s endearing. It’s hilarious.

But enough is enough. My therapist told me to be direct about my feelings—to really engage with them—so before you all dig in and give your thanks, I would like to say a few things that have been on my mind for a while now. Because damn it, I’m a legitimate part of the meal, and it’s about time I was treated as such.

Ahem



Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/shouts/2012/11/the-cranberry-sauce-has-something-to-say.html#ixzz2Cs7GECys

No, trust me, I get it. I’m the cute one. I’m sweet, I’m red, and I plop out of a can. It’s fun. It’s endearing. It’s hilarious.

But enough is enough. My therapist told me to be direct about my feelings—to really engage with them—so before you all dig in and give your thanks, I would like to say a few things that have been on my mind for a while now. Because damn it, I’m a legitimate part of the meal, and it’s about time I was treated as such.

Ahem.



Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/shouts/2012/11/the-cranberry-sauce-has-something-to-say.html#ixzz2Cs7CEdYW
After Obama, Christie Wants A G.O.P. Hug
Michael Barbaro, The New York Times | After Obama, Christie Wants A G.O.P. Hug | November 20, 2012

A few days after Hurricane Sandy shattered the shores of New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie picked up the phone to take on a different kind of recovery work: taming the Republican Party fury over his effusive embrace of President Obama.

On Nov. 3, Mr. Christie called Rupert Murdoch, the influential News Corporation chief and would-be kingmaker, who had warned in a biting post on Twitter that the governor might be responsible for Mr. Obama’s re-election.

Mr. Christie told Mr. Murdoch that amid the devastation, New Jersey needed friends, no matter their political party, according to people briefed on the discussion. But Mr. Murdoch was blunt: Mr. Christie risked looking like a spoiler unless he publicly affirmed his support for Mitt Romney, something the governor did the next day...

What Karl Rove Learned From Jorge Luis Borges
Alec Nevala-Lee, The Daily Beast | What Karl Rove Learned From Jorge Luis Borges | November 20, 2012

Years ago, or so we’re told, a reclusive southern businessman, contemptuous of the world around him, decided to invent a country of his own. Using his vast fortune, he bankrolled a secretive organization of writers and intellectuals whose mission was to construct nothing less than every last detail of an alternate reality, similar to our own in many ways, but more orderly and elegant, in which anything could come true as long as enough people believed in it. The result was an enormously convincing fictional world, and its reception exceeded its creator’s most optimistic expectations. Presented with such a beautiful falsehood, the rest of humanity gratefully embraced the illusion. It began to study, teach, and debate a totally imaginary history and science, until the real thing, neglected, was all but forgotten.

That is the plot of "Tion, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius," one of the most famous stories by Argentine fabulist Jorge Luis Borges, who belongs on any short life of the greatest writers of the 20th century...

Tuning Out
Chris Bovey, The Pacific Northwest Inlander | Tuning Out | November 20, 2012

In the land of the two-eyed people, the blind man can somtimes be king.

I own a basic cellphone. Very old. If they still made those huge brick ones, I would probably have one.

I own my phone out of necessity, not entertainment, and I only got it a couple of years ago.

 

I see my friends clamor and claw for the latest nerd catnip from Apple, but I can’t see the need, I guess. In the hunter-gatherer sense, it’s pointless. It seems like just another distraction...

Obama, In Burma Speech: 'We Always Remained Hopeful About You'
David Nakamura, The Washington Post | Obama, In Burma Speech: 'We Always Remained Hopeful About You' | November 19, 2012

For 15 years, Aung San Suu Kyi waited in her lakeside villa, confined to the small plot of land under house arrest, dreaming of her return to the world.

On Monday, the world, or a big piece of it, came calling on her.

The gates, topped with barbed wire, swung open and a black presidential limousine pulled into the driveway. Out stepped President Obama, pressing his hands together and bowing ever so slightly — a gesture the Burmese democracy leader, dressed in a green scarf, peach blouse and black sarong, returned.

They shook hands, and then another figured rushed forth and hugged her in a long, emotional embrace. It was Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton...

England's Batting Falls Flat Again And India Win Test By Nine Wickets
Mike Selvey, The Guardian | England's Batting Falls Flat Again And India Win Test By Nine Wickets | November 19, 2012

India won the first Test by nine wickets and in grandstanding style an hour into the afternoon session on the final day, an outcome that had appeared inevitable ever since MS Dhoni enforced the follow-on on the third day with a lead of 330 and a deteriorating pitch to utilise.

Thanks almost entirely to the monumental effort of Alastair Cook and the belligerence and skill of Matt Prior, England managed to run India closer than they might have expected and, at the end of the fourth day, with that pair still at the crease, there was still the faintest sniff of salvaging something from the wreckage...

In Conversation: Tina Brown
Michael Kinsley, New York | In Conversation: Tina Brown | November 19, 2012

Days after the election and a month before she'll retire the print edition of Newsweek, the pioneering editor talks with Michael Kinsley about the future for newsweeklies, American Anglophilia, and personally presiding over the end of the twentieth century...

Mumbai On Edge With Shiv Shena Founder Bal Thackery Ill
Dilip D'Souza, The Daily Beast | Mumbai On Edge With Shiv Sena Founder Bal Thackeray Ill | November 16, 2012

As Bal Thackery, the founder of one of India's most violent and aggressive political groups, lies on his death bed, Mumbai is silent in fear of what's to come from the grief over his passing. Dilip D'Souza on how one man came to rule a great city - and why their agenda rings hollow.

In August 2001, a politician in Thane, the sprawling city northeast of Mumbai, died in the Singhania hospital there. His name was Anand Dighe. He must have been some kind of popular in Thane, because when the city got news of his death, a crowd of his supporters “spontaneously” expressed their “grief.”

What form did this expression take?

Well, they looted and burned a garment store nearby. They siphoned out the fuel from several parked ambulances, then overturned them and set them on fire, along with 30 cars and three buses. They beat up several journalists, though two particularly intrepid ones escaped the thrashing by feigning death. (This is true). As if all this wasn’t nauseating enough, they attacked the hospital and went after its nurses. No, it’s worse still. They went after its patients. One, suffering from renal failure, had been in the ICU bed next to Dighe. He had to rouse himself and run for his life through the hospital, hiding with the terrified nurses behind locked doors. “I had given up hope,” his son told the press later. “I thought I would lose my father.”...