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Name Ben Popken WritesLocation Brooklyn, NY
Ben Popken is a blogger, freelance journalist, public speaker, and improv actor. Starting in 2006, Ben built up Consumerist.com from its infancy to national and international renown by taking a wry look at our consumer-driven lifestyle. He’s a natural at using social media to enhance his reporting, especially with investigations and stories on consumer activism. Ben also enjoys writing comedy sketches and updating his comedy blog, Ben Popken Is Just Kidding.
Also check out…
Medical State of Mind A glimpse into the daily life of a year two medical student, chronicling the journey both within and without class.
Dear Meat A collection of submitted letters to and from anything or anyone.
Black, White and Grey A senior in high school who interned at Walt Disney Animation Studios with a passion for animation.
Permalink thecultofgenius:

Listen to Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch:


Stop S.O.P.A and P.I.P.A


Historical Nonfiction: Stuff That Happened Today


On February 22nd,

  • 1295 BCE - The coronation of Ramses II, on whose face the sun’s rays fall each year in Abu Simbel temple.”
  • 1630 CE - Indians introduce pilgrims to popcorn, at Thanksgiving
  • 1632 CE - Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems is published.
  • 1784 CE - First…

(Source: )


Ethan Klapper: Google's Suggested Searches for the GOP Field: Not Too Flattering


Type something into Google, and a couple of additional searches are suggested.

Do that for the field of GOP presidential candidates, and you get a number of less than flattering suggestions.

Here’s former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who’s on his third marriage.

Gingrich’s chief…


The Hipster Libertarian: MLK on War


Below are excerpts from his speech entitled “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.” I’m not such a fan of his economics, but how much of this could be too easily applied to our modern interventions in the Middle East!

On cruel irony:

[I]t became clear to me that the war was doing far more…

Permalink fuckyeahdrugpolicy:

“People who are making decisions for themselves don’t always come up with the right answer. They don’t necessarily make tradeoffs between health and other values in an informed or carefully considered manner. Sometimes they regret their decisions. But they know their own tastes and preferences, and they have access to myriad pieces of local information about the relevant costs and benefits that no government regulator can possibly know. They will not always make good decisions, but on balance they will make better decisions, as measured by their own subsequent evaluations, than any third party deciding for them. Leaving aside the question of who is better positioned to decided whether a given pleasure is worth the risk associated with it, there is an inherent value to freedom: When it comes to how people feel about their lives, they may well prefer to make their own bad choices rather than have better ones imposed on them.”
— Jacob Sullum - An Epidemic of Meddling | Reason Magazine, May 2007
Permalink staff:

Two days ago, you guys stepped up once again to show the world just how much we care about protecting the Internet.  Together, we generated more than 140,000 calls to Senators, spent more than 4,200 hours on the phone with their staffers, and blacked out 650,000 of our blogs to make our point and inspire others to get involved.  And what’s more, this was on top of the 90,000 calls we sent to members of the House of Representatives a month ago.  Incredible.
It’s now becoming clear just how much impact our action is having.  On January 18th, only 31 members of Congress opposed these bills.  Just one day later, 101 members of Congress publicly stood with us in opposition.  We are being heard.
And as of today, it looks like both the Senate PIPA and House SOPA bills have been shelved, for the moment.  It seems pretty likely that the bills won’t pass as written—a big first win.  We now hope that Internet companies, the creative community and the content industry join together to innovate and devise new partnerships to combat online piracy.  We’re confident there are effective ways to do this without damaging the Internet or diminishing our freedoms.
You’ve made a big difference in keeping the Internet a safe and open place for creators.  Thank you again.