April 6th, 2012

PotO bear + aretha hat
  • rjdaae

President Obama and Star Trek’s Uhura Flashing Vulcan Salutes. In the White House.

As writer John Hodgman once said, President Obama is America's first modern nerd President. He's a huge Trekkie and loves Superman. A certified nerd.

So when Nichelle Nichols, perhaps best known for her groundbreaking role as Uhura in Star Trek, visited the White House for Black History Month last February, the President and her didn't just get a photo op together in the Oval Office. Oh no, they got a photo op in which they gave Vulcan salutes.

While flashing a Vulcan salute in public is neither a first for President Obama nor Mrs. Nichols, flashing one in the Oval Office has to be a first for both a sitting U.S. president and a Star Trek star. Perhaps?

The photo was taken back on Feb. 29, but Nichelle Nichols uploaded it to her Twitter earlier this evening, adding, "A photo came to me in the mail that I've kept for myself for over a week, but now it's time to share it with Trekkers everywhere." Live long and prosper.

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What If You Had an Anti-Bullying Dream and the Entire School Was There?

The Most Anti-Bullying School We’ve Ever Seen
Last week, the student body at Cypress Ranch High School came together to create a anti-bullying video to the song “Who Do U Think U R?,” a song written and sung by student Kaitlyn K. The project was filmed and performed entirely by the students in Cypress, TX.

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Source 1, Source 2, Source 3.

something in my eye

ETA: This is their entry in the Great American No Bull Challenge. If you like it, go vote for them.
  • yeats

'Complete Lawlessness' at Orleans Parish Prison

The notorious New Orleans jail where inmates were abandoned during Katrina faces a new lawsuit over egregious conditions.

As hellholes go, there are few worse places in America than the Orleans Parish Prison.

New Orleans' teeming city jail first hit the radar of most Americans following Hurricane Katrina, when thousands of inmates were abandoned for days in flooded cells without food, water, ventilation, or electricity—some of them "standing in sewage-tainted water up to their chests," according to the ACLU. But OPP’s problems did not begin with Katrina, nor end in the storm's wake, when prisoners were shipped back to the jail's surviving buildings.

This week, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal class-action lawsuit on behalf of OPP's inmates. The 38-page complaint—which names as defendants Sheriff Marlin Gusman, along with the jail’s wardens and medical directors—describes a facility where prisoners "are at imminent risk of serious harm." About 44 percent of the inmates are there awaiting trial, and haven't been convicted of the crimes they were charged with. But pretrial detention at OPP, the suit contends, is in itself a brutal punishment that can expose people to physical and sexual abuse, and even death.

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sailor moon

Bosnia-Hercegovina marks 20th anniversary of war

Ceremonies in Sarajevo are marking 20 years since the start of the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina, a conflict that saw the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.

The conflict began in April 1992 as part of the break-up of Yugoslavia.

About 100,000 people were killed and nearly half the population forced from their homes in four years of fighting.

Red chairs fill the street in Sarajevo where the conflict began - 11,541, one for each victim in the city.

People have been placing white flowers on some of the chairs as they walk alongside them.

A teddy bear, toys and schoolbooks have been placed on some of the small chairs which symbolise children killed during the four-year long siege by Serb forces.

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