And we’re off to the races:
• Printed-on-demand robots allowing the average person to design and print a 3-D machine in 24 hours will be a reality by the end of the decade. Wonder if I can make one of those personal jet-packs they promised us with this thing.
• Corporations are getting the message that supporting far-right “think tanks” can cost them customers. General Motors and AT&T have withdrawn their support from the anti-climate science Heartland Institute, while Kraft, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have withdrawn their support from ALEC over its promoting of voter suppression laws and “stand your ground” gun laws. Hmm. Guess what’s good for ExxonMobil and Wal-Mart isn’t always good for everyone else.
UPDATE: Intuit is also out of ALEC.
You know what? I’d be happier if every corporation stopped funding think tanks — all of them. Aren’t you guys supposed to be funneling your profits back into your companies, innovating and creating new products and markets, creating jobs and prosperity? So all of your wonderfulness trickles down on us peons? Isn’t that how Ayn Rand says this works? So stop diverting your profits to politically motivated “think tanks” whose only purpose it to spread bullshit and game the system.
• Scientists in China have discovered remains of a previously-unknown species of dinosaur: a feathered, flightless, meat-eating cousin of T-Rex called Yutyrannus.
• The Dept. of Justice is suing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for civil rights violations, charging that the department illegally targeted Latinos.
• Five former New Orleans police officers were sentenced for shooting unarmed residents on the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina. One officer was convicted of helping orchestrate a coverup in the aftermath.
• The Texas Democratic Party has won its lawsuit against Houston Tea Party group King Street Patriots. KSP tried to claim it’s a non-partisan, not-for-profit group whose mission is to unearth voter fraud, but the judge wasn’t buying it.
• Native American tribes turn to renewable energy production as a revenue source, which could be a “game changer” for alternative energy:
[...] if just one-third of the solar capability on the Navajo nation’s vast reservation lands were developed, it would produce enough energy “to power the entire nation through the rest of this century.” Wind resources of tribal lands on the Great Plains from Texas to Canada could power 50 million homes.
• Myanmar’s opposition party said Aung San Suu Kyi won a seat in parliament Sunday, despite what they said were “rampant irregularities” on voting day. The Nobel Peace Prize winner had been kept under house arrest for years by the country’s military rulers.
• FedEx is putting its muscle behind energy efficiency. Here’s another company that maybe should stop putting money into groups like ALEC and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who are working at cross-purposes with FedEx’s goal of energy innovation.
Good News, Tennessee Edition:
• Tennessee’s guns-in-parking-lots bill is dead.
• Congressman Steve Cohen of Memphis, one of the strongest progressive voices in the House of Representatives, has received an endorsement from President Obama.
• Nashville author Ann Patchett has been nominated to Time’s 100 Most Influential People list.
• Food & Wine Magazine has named chefs Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson of Nashville’s Catbird Seat “Best New Chefs in America.” I should add, I tried to take Mr. Beale there for his birthday and the place is booked up months ahead of time.