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Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to helm New Year’s Eve Times Square Ball Drop

The countdown to the new year in Times Square is getting some high-profile help from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The organizers of the annual celebration said Sunday that Sotomayor will lead the final 60-second countdown and push the ceremonial button to signal the descent of the Times Square…

‘Good Morning America’ host Robin Roberts comes out as lesbian

Robin Roberts, who has anchored ABC’s “Good Morning America” show for more than 10 years, revealed that she is gay in a Facebook post thanking her fans for their support through her transplant recovery. Roberts’ message, in addition to thanking family, friends and physicians, also noted that “I am grateful…

Can you hack a car? Congress starts asking questions

“Can you make it go left now,” the hacker says from the driver’s seat, while the car barrels along a back road. Behind him sit two other computer hackers, a laptop and devious intent — to demonstrate that the electronic control units of modern cars are crackable. Imagine someone setting…

The year in insults: 2013′s best put-downs

Aisha Gani, The Guardian “You’ve had three hairstyles, what’s next for your career?” Zack Galifianakis interviews Justin Bieber on his web show, Between Two Ferns. “Murray is indeed the first Brit to win Wimbledon in 77 years, unless you think women are people.” Writer Chloe Angyal takes issue with the…

Ted Cruz ‘taking steps’ to renounce Canadian citizenship

Joanna Walters, theguardian.com Senator Ted Cruz has said that he is taking steps to renounce his mysterious Canadian citizenship – in a move he insists does not in any way indicate a run for the White House in 2016. The junior senator from Texas, who made a name for himself…

Ani DiFranco enrages black feminists after announcing retreat at former slave plantation

UPDATE: Ani DiFranco has been a feminist musical icon for a generation, but her choice of venue to host an expensive songwriting retreat strikes some black feminists as supremely tone deaf. DiFranco announced earlier in December that she planned to hold her annual Righteous Retreat songwriting camp in June on…

Can you be too smart for your own good?

I once had a friend whose life was being ruined by a powerful and irrational fear. He went to see his doctor about the physical tremors that he had become convinced were the first stages of a nasty terminal condition. The GP recognized the illness as hypochondria but he decided…

‘Antiques Roadshow’ discovers $660 painting is $661,000 van Dyck masterpiece

The BBC One program Antiques Roadshow has discovered a “lost masterpiece” by 17th Century master Anthony van Dyck. A priest in Nottingham, Father Jaime, had purchased the painting for $660, and brought it to a filming of Antiques Roadshow to be professionally appraised. Host Fiona Bruce initially thought the painting…

NSA diverted computers and laptops from shipping facilities to install spyware

Der Spiegel reported on Sunday that the NSA’s “Tailored Access Operations” (TAO) has been diverting desktops and laptops shipped to U.S. consumers and installing spyware on them. According to the report, the process, which TAO calls “interdiction,” involves intercepting packages on their way from manufacturers like Dell, Cisco, and Seagate,…

Cardinal Dolan lauds Pope Francis for ‘shattering caricature of Church’ Dolan helped create

In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday’s edition of This Week, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said that Pope Francis “has successfully, finally shattered the caricature of the Church.” “What’s that caricature?” he asked. “That the Church is kind of mean and dour and always saying no and always telling us…

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