Newsweek to cease publishing print magazine

via Columbian 

LOS ANGELES — Newsweek will print its final edition at the end of this year. After nearly 80 years of publication, the news magazine will shift to a digital-only format, available online and on tablet computers, editor-in-chief Tina Brown said on the magazine’s website Thursday morning. Its last will be the Dec. 31 issue.

“We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it,” Brown said. “We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents. This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism — that is as powerful as ever. It is about the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution.”

The digital-only publication, supported by paid subscriptions and dubbed Newsweek Global, will be aimed at a “highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context,” Brown said.

Newsweek’s announcement marks a significant transition for the magazine, which was founded in 1933 and has been undergoing its own identity crisis and financial turmoil in recent years. Its problems are emblematic of the disruptions faced broadly by the print media industry, as readers shift online and away from the most valuable advertising.

In 2010, Newsweek and The Daily Beast announced they would merge, jointly owned by Sidney Harman, an audio equipment magnate who died last year, and IAC, the media and advertising company run by Barry Diller, chairman and senior executive.

Brown cited a Pew Research Center report that found 39 percent of Americans get their news from an online source.

“In our judgment, we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format,” she wrote. “This was not the case just two years ago. It will increasingly be the case in the years ahead.”

Brown said the shift would entail “staff reductions,” though she didn’t elaborate.

GUTSY: Expedia’s Gay Marriage Ad Is Narrated By A Homophobic Father

via Business Insider: 


Expedia is publishing a series of videos under the rubric “find yours” which focus on why Americans make the journeys they do

Sounds dull, right? In fact most of the videos in the series have received fewer than 10,000 views on YouTube.

The latest video, however, got more than 2.2 million views since Oct. 2. It’s an unexpectedly moving tale told by retired business owner Artie Goldstein, who describes the less-than-enthusiastic reaction he had to his daughter Vickie’s announcement that she was going to marry another woman. “That startled me. I told her, this is not the dream I had for my daughter,” he says.

He books a plane ticket anyway, and the ad follows him on the trip. At one point he drives past a church, and the shot is delivered in silence.

(Of course, the ad has a happy ending when he sees his daughter in her wedding dress.)

The spot — made by agency 180LA for Expedia clients senior marketing director Vic Walia and vp/gm Joe Megibow — is unexpectedly subtle, for a major brand.

Gay-audience targeted campaigns are commonplace in advertising these days, and they already have their own set cliches (smiling whitebread couples in spotlessly tasteful homes, rough-housing with their adorable kids, etc.).

What makes this ad worthy of note is the fact that it’s told entirely from the point of view of a member of a generation that, frankly, isn’t entirely on board with the whole equal rights thing.

The ad thus addresses its supporters and critics at the same time — which is what makes it so clever. Take a look:


Alleged 9/11 mastermind: America killed more people than hijackers did

via Reuters 

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, (R), the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks, speaks with his defense lawyer on the third day of pre-trial hearings in the 9-11 war crimes prosecution as depicted in this Pentagon-approved courtroom sketch at the U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, October 17, 2012. Mohammed's nephew Ammar al baluchi sits with his translator in the background. REUTERS-Janet Hamlin

(Reuters) – – The alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks told the Guantanamo courtroom on Wednesday that the U.S. government had killed many more people in the name of national security than he is accused of killing.

Khalid Sheik Mohammed was allowed to address the court at a pretrial hearing focused on security classification rules for evidence that will be used in his trial on charges of orchestrating the hijacked plane attacks that killed 2,976 people.

“When the government feels sad for the death or the killing of 3,000 people who were killed on September 11, we also should feel sorry that the American government that was represented by (the chief prosecutor) and others have killed thousands of people, millions,” said Mohammed, who wore a military-style camouflage vest to the courtroom.

He accused the United States of using an elastic definition of national security, comparable to the way dictators bend the law to justify their acts.

“Many can kill people under the name of national security, and to torture people under the name of national security, and to detain children under the name of national security, underage children,” he said in Arabic through an English interpreter.

“The president can take someone and throw him into the sea under the name of national security and so he can also legislate the assassinations under the name of national security for the American citizens,” he said in an apparent reference to the U.S. killing and burial at sea of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and the U.S. use of drone strikes against U.S. citizens accused of conspiring with al Qaeda.

He advised the court against “getting affected by the crocodile tears” and said, “Your blood is not made out of gold and ours is made out of water. We are all human beings.”

The judge, Army Colonel James Pohl, gave Mohammed permission to speak and did not interrupt him, but said he would not hear any further personal comments from the defendants.

Mohammed’s lecture to the court came during a week of pretrial hearings at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba for him and four other captives accused of recruiting, funding and training the hijackers.

He did not indicate why he wore a camouflage vest, but his wardrobe choice suggested he might try to invoke protections reserved for soldiers.

Pohl had ruled on Tuesday that the defendants could wear what they want to court, so long as it did not pose a security risk or include any part of a U.S. military uniform like those worn by their guards.

Mohammed’s lawyers had argued that he should be allowed to wear a woodland-patterned camouflage vest to court because he wore one as part of a U.S.-armed mujahideen force fighting against Russian troops that occupied Afghanistan in the 1980s.

“Mr. Mohammed has previously distinguished himself on the battlefield by wearing a military-style vest or clothing. He did it in Afghanistan for the U.S. government during that proxy war, he did it in Bosnia and he has a right to do it in this courtroom,” his defense attorney, Army Captain Jason Wright, argued on Tuesday.

The United States is trying Mohammed and the other alleged al Qaeda captives as unlawful belligerents who are not entitled to the combat immunity granted to soldiers who kill in battle.

They could face the death penalty if convicted of charges that include conspiring with al Qaeda, attacking civilians and civilian targets, murder in violation of the laws of war, destruction of property, hijacking and terrorism.

Under the Geneva Conventions, one of the things that separate soldiers from unlawful belligerents is the wearing of uniforms that distinguish them from civilians. Soldiers must also follow a clear command structure, carry arms openly and adhere to the laws of war.

Wright had argued that forbidding Mohammed from wearing military-style garb could undermine his presumption of innocence in the war crimes tribunal.

“The government has a burden to prove that this enemy prisoner of war is an unprivileged enemy belligerent,” Wright said.

Appeals Court Says The Defense Of Marriage Act Is Unconstitutional

via Business Insider: 


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Thursday found the Defense of Marriage Act violates the right to equal protection guaranteed by the Constitution.

edith windsor doma

DOMA defines marriage as between a man and a woman and says states don’t have to recognize same-sex marriage.

It has the practical effect of sometimes requiring gay couples to pay more federal taxes.

In striking the law down, the Second Circuit sided with a 83-year-old Edith Windsor, who was forced to pay estate taxes after the death of her wife in 2009.

The history of DOMA goes back to 1993, when Hawaii’s Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional for the state to deny gay couples the right to marry.

That ruling sparked concern among gay marriage opponents, and Bob Barr, then a member of the House of Representatives representing Georgia, authored DOMA to “defend” opposite-sex marriage.

DOMA breezed through the Republican-controlled Congress, and Clinton signed the bill into law in 1996.

Since then, a number of states have passed laws allowing gay marriage, and DOMA has been challenged in several federal courts.

Because the law says the federal government doesn’t have to recognize same-sex marriages, gay couples don’t have access to some of the same federal tax benefits that straight people enjoy.

The gay-friendly Obama administration stopped defending the law in February 2011. Since then, House Republicans have been bankrolling the fight to preserve DOMA, which has had several fronts.

The First Circuit Court of Appeals in Massachusetts already found DOMA unconstitutional in May.

After a federal appeals court weighs in on a law, the U.S. Supreme Court usually decides whether to take the case and, if so, whether to uphold or reverse the decision.

While the Supreme Court isn’t under any obligation to take the DOMA case, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said the issue of gay marriage will almost certainly come before the court this term.


Scientists Discover Two Ways To Actively Forget An Unwanted Memory

via Business Insider: 


Many of us probably have memories we would like to forget. If that includes you, I have some good news — researchers have discovered two ways we can make our own brains erase memories.

brain mind

Researchers from the University of Cambridge published a study of these two ways in a paper today, Oct 17, in the journal Neuron.

“This study is the first demonstration of two distinct mechanisms that cause such forgetting: one by shutting down the remembering system, and the other by facilitating the remembering system to occupy awareness with a substitute memory,” study researcher Roland Benoit said in a statement from the journal.

The researchers studied 36 individuals that were asked to remember word pairs like “beach Africa.” They were then told to forget the word pairs using one of two methods: Half the participants were told to just forget the word “Africa” while and the other half were supposed to substitute “Africa” for the word snorkel.

The researchers scanned the participants brains using a functional MRI to measure brain activity while they were actively forgetting. They found different, distinct brain activity for the two different forgetting approaches.

During direct suppression — active forgetting — a brain structure called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex inhibits activity of the hippocampus, an area involved in memory forming, organizing, and storing.

During thought substitution — thinking “snorkel” instead of “Africa” — the brain’s remembering power (controlled by two spots in the brain that call attention to the thing you are trying to remember) is split between the two words, so it had trouble recalling “Africa” later.

These mechanisms both impair remembering and weaken traces of the unwanted memory. These approaches may help develop new treatments for things like post-traumatic stress disorder. For example a therapist could work with a shaken soldier to dampen the traumatic memories.

The New Face Of CoverGirl Is A 13-Year-Old Cancer Patient

via Business Insider: 

13-year-old Talia Joy Castellano of Orlando has had a tough past six years.

Talia covergirl

At the age of seven, she was diagnosed with neuroblatoma, the most common extracranial solid cancer for children, and in August of this year she was found to have pre-leukemia.

Despite her hardships, Talia has found happiness in make-up and in creating YouTube make-up tutorials. The description on her videos says, “I don’t like wearing wigs so I wear makeup to feel good and pretty inside — and I guess outside.”

Talia’s makeup tutorial videos each get around 75,000 clicks and her YouTube page has been viewed  over 14.5 million times over.

In September, Talia caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres and the daytime talk show host featured the 13-year-old on her September 13th episode — and as usual, had a big surprise for her guest.

DeGeneres revealed that Talia had been chosen as an honorary CoverGirl and that the beauty company had sent her a make-up table, make-up, and a check for $20,000.

Talia’s CoverGirl campaign image was released today.

Watch Talia’s appearance on Ellen below:

Watch Talia break the news of her leukemia diagnosis to her fans. She says, “I’m a very strong person when it comes to dealing with what I’m being told, and taking it in very easily. But, basically there are not really a lot of options for treatment anymore.” She tells her fans she is considering not getting the bone marrow transplant because her doctors told her it would be the hardest thing she has had to do thus far.

Watch one of Talia’s many make-up tutorials.


The Makers Of Axe Now Say It Can Cure Homosexuality

via Business Insider: 


Unilever’s Lynx, better known in the U.S. as Axe, posted a photo on its “Lynx Effect Hong Kong” Facebook wall that claims one spray can turn lesbians straight.

lynx cure gay china

The questionable post (right) was created by BBH Asia Pacific and prompts dudes to “Unleash the Lynx Effect and claim your [HK $500 million, $65 million U.S.] reward from Cecil.”

The reward refers to recent headlines of Hong Kong tycoon Cecil Chao, one of the richest men in China, offering $65 million US to the man who marries his openly gay daughter, Gigi.

(Gigi said she was “touched” by her father’s “marriage bounty,” although she’s happy with her wife Sean Eav).

But don’t expect everyone to be “touched” by the Lynx campaign.

Unilever has been critiqued in the past for only marketing Axe (and Lynx) to a straight demographic.

Even though a 2010 Canadian billboard, reaching out to “men who’d rather be with a woman than on a horse,” was a jab at Old Spice’s campaign, some called out its hetero-only message.

Although gay blog Queerty conceded, “I don’t know a single self-respecting gay man who uses any Axe product (that car fragrance-esque bodyspray product ruined it for us), so this Canadian billboard shooting back at Old Spice doesn’t really [faze] me.”

Thus far, Lynx’s post has only been shared 17 times.

What do you think? Funny or offensive?