What would YOU do with Newsweek?

Last week The Washington Post Company put Newsweek up for sale. Much ink – physical and digital – has been spilled about what should be done with the ailing magazine. Neiman Journalism Lab has a round-up in their week-in-review post from last week – I particularly like Derek Powazek’s post.

If your long-lost crazy rich uncle bought Newsweek and called you up and said “I bought you this, I thought you might want it” – what would you do? (Assuming you get the magazine for free but actually have to find some way to sustain it – Uncle Moneybags won’t keep it on life support forever.)

Gideon bibles in hotels down 18%, condoms and sex toys becoming more common

What might be surprising to many Americans is that the Bible-free room isn’t a development just in hip New York City hotels. Across the country upscale accommodations are doing away with the Bible as a standard room amenity. And in its stead have arrived a slew of “lifestyle” products that cater to a younger, hipper (and presumably less religious) clientele. Since 2001 the number of luxury hotels with religious materials in the rooms has dropped by 18 percent, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association. The Nashville-based Gideons International, which has distributed copies of the Christian scripture to hotels since 1908, declined to comment on this trend.

Edgier chains like the W provide “intimacy kits” with condoms in the minibar, while New York’s Mercer Hotel supplies a free condom in each bathroom. Neither has Bibles. Since its recent renovation, the Sofitel L.A. offers a tantalizing lovers’ dice game: roll one die for the action to be performed (for example, “kiss,” “lick”) and the other for the associated body part. The hotel’s “mile high” kit, sold in the revamped gift shop, includes a condom, a mini vibrator, a feather tickler and lubricant. The new Indigo hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz., a “branded boutique” launched by InterContinental, also has no Bibles, but it does offer a “One Night Stand” package for guests seeking VIP treatment at local nightclubs and late checkout for the hazy morning after.

Full Story: Newsweek.

(via Hit and Run).

See also: Alabama legislator attempting to repeal sex toy ban.

How a Mississippi dentist may be sending innocent people to jail

But even in an already imprecise field, Dr. Michael West has taken forensic odontology to bizarre, megalomaniacal depths. West claims to have invented a system he modestly calls “The West Phenomenon. n it, he dons a pair of yellow goggles and with the aid of a blue laser, he says he can identify bite marks, scratches, and other marks on a corpse that no one else can see-not even other forensics experts.

Conveniently, he claims his unique method can’t be photographed or reproduced, which he says makes his opinions unimpeachable by other experts.


West has received his share of media scrutiny, including expos?s in Newsweek and on 60 Minutes. A 1994 article in the National Law Journal reported that when one defense attorney asked West on the stand about his rate of error, he replied that it’s “something less than my savior, Jesus Christ.”


After the media expos?s and persistent work of Holdridge, West resigned from two professional organizations, and was suspended for a year from another. … Nevertheless, the court found, Dr. West still possessed the “knowledge, skill, experience, training and education necessary to qualify as an expert in forensic odontology.”

Full Story: Reason.

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