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March 17, 2017

This week: The priceless Oxford comma / Trump and Spicer tangle with GCHQ / Paris Hilton: Empire builder / Reversing Earth’s rotation / Find free money

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. White House Tries to Soothe British Officials Over Trump’s Wiretap Claim
By Peter Baker and Steven Erlanger | The New York Times | March 17
“The GCHQ quickly and vehemently denied the contention in a rare statement issued by the spy agency on Thursday, calling the assertions ‘nonsense’ and ‘utterly ridiculous.’ By Friday morning, Mr. Spicer’s briefing had turned into a full-blown international incident. British politicians expressed outraged and demanded apologies and retractions from the American government.”

2. Paris Hilton: I’m not the dumb blonde people thought
By Richard Johnson | The New York Post | March 16
“[T]he Champagne-quaffing, table-dancing party monster has morphed into a businesswoman who’d rather stay home and cook dinner for her boyfriend than go out clubbing into the wee hours.”

3. If Earth’s spin reversed, everything would be different
By Hannah Fry and Andrew Pontzen | BBC Future | March 15
“What would happen if our planet suddenly started turning the opposite way, or slowed to a crawl? One thing is for sure, it wouldn’t be a smooth outcome for civilisation …”

4. Is Trump Trolling the White House Press Corps?
By Andrew Marantz | The New Yorker | March 20
“At daily briefings, Sean Spicer calls on young journalists from far-right sites. The mainstream media sees them as an existential threat.”

5. Lack of Oxford comma costs Maine company millions in overtime dispute
By John Waller | The Boston Globe | March 16
“A class-action lawsuit about overtime pay for truck drivers hinged entirely on a debate that has bitterly divided friends, families and foes: The dreaded — or totally necessary — Oxford comma, perhaps the most polarizing of punctuation marks.”

6. Racing in Cocaine Valley
Witness :: Al Jazeera | February 2017
“In the jungles of Peru, young coca farmers risk everything to win a deadly motor race, now a vibrant local tradition.”

7. The Nazi Spy with 1,000 Faces
By Marc Worthman | The Daily Beast | February 2017
“‘Come and get me,’ he taunted authorities, but this spy and killer could not be taken down — until his Nazi spy masters slipped up.”

8. The Right Words for the Job: How Gendered Language Affects the Workplace
By Deb Liu | Medium | February 2017
“What surprised me was how deep our gender-specific language runs. These words were not said with misogynistic or negative intent, but rather they were used in apparently innocuous ways.”

9. Free, Official Sources to Find Unclaimed Money
USA.gov | February 2017
“There might be unclaimed funds or property waiting for you from savings or checking accounts, wages and pensions, tax refunds, life insurance policies, and a lot more. Companies may offer to find this money for a fee. And scammers may try to trick you with fake promises of money from the government. But you can find your unclaimed money yourself for free.”

10. When J.F.K. Secretly Reached Out to Castro
By Michael Beschloss | HistorySource :: The New York Times | December 2014
“Ambassador William Attwood, a Kennedy delegate to the United Nations, secretly called Castro’s aide and physician, Rene Vallejo, to discuss a possible secret meeting in Havana between Attwood and Castro that might improve the Cuban-American relationship. …”

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