January 28th, 2006

Chris Keeley

governments become despotic

1946 short film on how governments become despotic

Picture 4-25 Robyn Miller says: "[Here's] an old Encyclopedia Britannica short film on how democracy becomes despotism." Check out the updated version on the same page.


Despotism - Encyclopaedia Britannica Films
Measures how a society ranks on a spectrum stretching from democracy to despotism. Explains how societies and nations can be measured by the degree that power is concentrated and respect for the individual is restricted. Where does your community, state and nation stand on these scales?
Keywords: Political science
Chris Keeley

most of them are criminals and bums

"Thousands live in tunnels" under Sofia, Bulgaria


(Click on thumbnail for enlargement)
Jordan Todorov says: "I was surprised to learn recently
about the underground tunnel in Mexico. Exactly at the same time some Bulgarian newspapers
published simmilar kind of stories. "According to Standart daily newspaper under the Bulgarian
capital Sofia there's a thousands of kilometres of tunnels built between Roman times and
Communist regime. They shelter about 20 000 people - most of them are criminals and bums."
Chris Keeley

(no subject)

Oprah's Bunk Club

We should have known the guy was not really a bad-boy, tattooed "It's time to throw down" brawler when he had to bring his mom on the Larry King show to protect him.

On Thursday, the unmasked memoirist's proud mother was replaced by a punitive national matriarch. Watching Oprah flay Frey was riveting. At The Times and at Doubleday, staffers were glued to their TV sets.

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Chris Keeley

Mr. Frey, whose book has sold more than two million copies, and perhaps more than three million sinc

Questions for Others in Frey Scandal

In all of the attention focused on James Frey and his book "A Million Little Pieces" in recent weeks, two main characters in the drama — Mr. Frey's literary agent and the book's editor — have largely escaped scrutiny.

But yesterday, in the wake of Mr. Frey's appearance on the Oprah Winfrey television program on Thursday, a number of people in the publishing business suggested it was time for Kassie Evashevski, Mr. Frey's agent, and Sean McDonald, who edited both "A Million Little Pieces" and Mr. Frey's follow-up, "My Friend Leonard," to talk about their roles in selling and shaping the books.

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Chris Keeley

Internet hackers uncovered hidden scenes in the game that allow the player's digital avatar to engag

Los Angeles Sues Video Game Makers

The Los Angeles city attorney's office has sued the makers of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, accusing them of deceptive business practices and making false statements in marketing the game. The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court on Thursday, asks that the producers of the game surrender "any and all profits" earned from its sale. The game, released in 2004, is set in an approximation of Los Angeles and is an unabashedly violent interpretation of urban life. Last year, Internet hackers uncovered hidden scenes in the game that allow the player's digital avatar to engage in simulated sex acts with female characters. After Democratic senators, including Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, called for an investigation of the game, the industry's rating board changed its designation from Mature to the more restrictive Adults Only, prompting major retailers, including Wal-Mart, to pull it from shelves. The game has since been rereleased without the hidden sex scenes. In the suit, the city attorney, Rockard J. Delgadillo, accused the game's publisher, Take-Two Interactive Software and Rockstar Games, of misleading the public in marketing the original version. A Rockstar spokesman did not respond yesterday to a request for comment. SETH SCHIESEL

Chris Keeley

charges of attempted second-degree arson, reckless endangerment and possessing a pipe with crack res

Courtesy F.D.N.Y.

The Fire Department said a surveillance video showed a woman, Savanna Johnson, stealing clothing from an H & M department store in Harlem. As a diversionary tactic, fire officials say she set fire to a rack of lingerie and fled with panicked shoppers.

A Fire Unset Led to a Thief's Arrest, Officials Say

The solo shoplifter looking to make a getaway has relatively few options. Stroll nonchalantly out the front door. Make a run for it. Hide in the bathroom until closing time.

Savanna Johnson, the authorities said, favored a different approach: set fire to a rack of flimsy negligees and flee with the panicking shoppers.

This method, fire officials said, served Ms. Johnson relatively well. Twice last April, they said, she set fires in large stores in Harlem — an H & M and an Old Navy — and made off with bags of clothing. At the H & M store on West 125th Street, fire officials said, she was caught on a security videotape stuffing bras and panties into a duffel bag, firing up a lighter, and heading for the exit two minutes later as large flames flickered from the lingerie section.

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