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In 2001 Stars released Nightsongs, a sleek soundtrack for after-hours spent under bedside lamps instead of city lights. Despite lyrics about breakups, it sounded a little like Portishead for people who haven't had sex yet. Eleven years later, the Montreal quintet is still singing about young lovers, but their gimlet eyes have narrowed. On "The Theory of Relativity," the first single from their sixth studio album The North (out now on ATO), frontman Torquil Campbell beseeches someone to "stop to think a little." Blooming with...
Does this look like the face of a killer? Well, OB/GYNs have been warning pregnant ladies for years about the risks of the cat-borne parasite toxoplasma gondii, which causes toxoplasmosis. The parasite can cause serious birth defects and miscarriages, and can kill newborns. But now it turns out adults are at greater risk of infection than previously believed. According to the CDC, toxoplasmosis has infected 22.5 percent of the human population in the United States. The CDC lists toxoplasmosis as one of the leading causes of...
    During the Democratic National Convention, double-named CNN contributor Erick Erickson tweeted, "First night of the Vagina Monologues in Charlotte going as expected." Apparently this guy doesn’t know the difference between Eve Ensler's blockbuster play and a convention full of well-spoken female politicians. (Here's a hint: the former involves a lot more mentions of clitoris and labia). To give you more evidence of this guy’s distaste for women in politics--and probably women who speak, in general--Erickson defended Rush Limbaugh after his...
You’ve been hearing plenty about Hurricane Isaac this summer, but did you ever wonder why Isaac is called Isaac, and not Isa or Ingrid?   Until 1979, hurricanes were always named after women. The system started during WWII, when U.S. Air Force and Navy meteorologists needed a way to identify hurricanes while analyzing weather maps. Many of those meteorologists – male, of course - began naming the hurricanes after their wives and girlfriends in a twisted sort of tribute. Interesting idea, but who would...
  In this paperless e-world of ours, it's fun, retro, and just plain courteous to send an actual thank-you note, emblazoned with a stamp and everything. (And no, a text that reads "kthanxbai" does not count as a thank-you note.) According to Nancy Sharon Collins' book, The Complete Engraver: Monograms, Crests, Ciphers, Seals, and the Etiquette of Social Stationery, it's a practice that we should keep up. "A thank-you note is always appropriate. Any act of thoughtfulness, kindness, or recognition should be reciprocated promptly with a...