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Obama honors Star Wars creator George Lucas

President Barack Obama Wednesday honored luminaries of the arts, including Star Wars creator George Lucas, praising his special effects for freeing movies from “planes in space” with visible strings. Obama presented National Medals of Arts and National Humanities Medals to a group also including musician Herb Alpert, rhythm and blues…

Navy’s experimental X-47B drone successfully lands on aircraft carrier

A US Navy drone successfully landed on the deck of an aircraft carrier on Wednesday, in an historic first for robotic flight, officials said. The X-47B experimental plane had taken off earlier from the Patuxent River naval air station in Maryland before heading to the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft…

Why is ALEC protecting animal abuse?

Fighting ALEC’s ‘Ag-Gag’ (via Moyers & Company) Muckrakers and activists have been working to expose the brutality of industrialized meat production since Upton Sinclair’s writing of The Jungle in 1906. But an ALEC model bill known as “The Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act” would make it…  …

Bill would establish national park on the Moon

The site where astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first landed on the Moon in July 1969 could receive the same federal protection as Yellowstone. Democrats Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas and Donna Edwards of Maryland — both members of House Committee on Science, Space and Technology — proposed…

Watch: This space rocket blasts off only to return to its launch pad — without exploding

If a standard space rocket blasts off and ends up back at its launch pad, something has gone terrible wrong. That is not the case for SpaceX’s “Grasshopper” rocket, however. The first-of-its-kind reusable rocket made its highest leap to date last month before gently returning to Earth. Video recently released…

Victim’s lawyer hopeful that federal investigations will force UNC to stop persecuting sexual assault victims

The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill faces yet another U.S. Department of Education investigation — this time over allegations that the university retaliated against sophomore Landen Gambill for filing a federal complaint against UNC-Chapel Hill over its handling of sexual assault cases, reports the News & Observer. The new federal…

UN: Iraq violence could lead to civil war

Violence in Iraq is on the rise and could lead towards civil war, the head of the UN human rights mission warned on Wednesday. “Iraq is really at a crossroads. I wouldn’t say we’re at a civil war yet, but the figures are not looking good,” Francesco Motta told AFP.…

Vanity Fair Italy names Pope Francis ‘man of the year’

Vanity Fair in Italy on Wednesday named Pope Francis its “man of the year”, saying the pontiff’s first 100 days at the Vatican had already made him one of the world’s top leaders. Splashing on its front page a picture of the 76-year-old in his simple white robes, the magazine…

Radio host: Vanderbilt football player ‘allowed’ teammates to rape girlfriend

Former Tennessee Volunteers quarterback Erik Ainge, who now hosts a show on Tennessee Sports Radio, revealed this morning that a Vanderbilt football player under investigation for sex crimes “allowed” three teammates to rape his girlfriend. Earlier this month, The Tennessean reported that sex crimes detectives and the Tennessee Bureau of…

Geeks Out on ‘Ender’s Game’ boycott: Orson Scott Card’s views ‘insulting’ to LGBT activists

The LGBT activist group spearheading a boycott against a film adaptation of the science-fiction novel Ender’s Game on account of author Orson Scott Card’s anti-gay activism shot back on Wednesday against Card’s statement calling for tolerance from their community. “Leaving aside the fact that Card thinks gay civil rights didn’t…

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