Santa Claus, Christopher Dorner, and David X Cohen

Will the Real Santa Claus Please Stand Up?Collector’s Weekly
“We always think of Santa Claus as an incredibly old man—positively ancient—but the fact is, he’s exactly 150-years-old, born in 1863. Indeed, we might be thinking of Santa’s predecessor St. Nicholas, who is far older, believed to have been a Turkish Greek bishop in the 300s. But the first European winter gift-bringer is even more of a geezer, going back to ancient Germanic paganism and the Norse god Odin. When he wandered the earth, the deity disguised himself as a bearded old man wearing a broad-brimmed hat and cloak and carrying a traveler’s staff. He looked a lot like Gandalf the Gray in “Lord of the Rings.””

Final Delivery: David X Cohen on the End of FuturamaThe Verge
“Futurama is over. No, really this time. After seven seasons, a few cancellations, and multiple visits to parallel universes, the long-running sci-fi animated series finally ended its run on September 4th, with the final episode “Meanwhile.” Executive producer and head writer David X. Cohen has been along for the whole bumpy adventure, taking charge of the show following stints writing for Beavis and Butthead and The Simpsons. With the complete series now bundled in a big, expansive box set, we took the chance to talk to Cohen about mixing science fiction and comedy, the pitfalls of being canceled, and Futurama‘s legacy.”

Why We Will Need Genetically Modified FoodsMIT Review
“It’s breezy, and though the summer is over, it’s still warm and humid. “Perfect weather for blight,” says Mullins. Bending over the conventionally bred plants, he firmly pulls back the wilted stems and leaves to show that the tubers, half-exposed in the ground, are scarred with black blotches. Then he picks at a green leaf from one of the genetically engineered plants, which have been modified with a blight-resistant gene from a wild potato that grows in South America. The defenses of the potato plant have fought off the spores, rendering them harmless. The plant, says Mullins simply, “has performed well.””

7 Reasons the TSA Sucks (A Security Experts Perspective)Cracked
“That’s all bullshit. The TSA couldn’t protect you from a 6-year-old with a water balloon. What are my qualifications for saying that? My name is Rafi Sela, and I was the head of security for the world’s safest airport. Here’s what your country does wrong.”

The Art of DyingLapham’s Quarterly
“Jane was eighty-four, and during the three years in which I’d been her neurologist she’d been having what she called the “dwindles”. First one stroke, then the next, then a series of small strokes, each imprisoning her vibrant mind in her small body. Incapacitated, weighing no more than a hundred pounds but still in control of her thoughts, she was living in her apartment on Fifth Avenue, ten blocks from my office at Park Avenue and East 76th Street.”

The Manhunt for Christopher Dorner LA Times
“It was Wednesday, Feb. 6. An impromptu war room sprang up on the fifth floor of LAPD’s downtown headquarters. Detectives in the robbery-homicide squad tore through Christopher Dorner’s online tirade and tallied the names on a white board. They quickly counted 30 people who needed protection.”

The Financial Crisis: Why Have No High-Level Executives Been Prosecuted?New York Review of Books
“Who was to blame? Was it simply a result of negligence, of the kind of inordinate risk-taking commonly called a “bubble,” of an imprudent but innocent failure to maintain adequate reserves for a rainy day? Or was it the result, at least in part, of fraudulent practices, of dubious mortgages portrayed as sound risks and packaged into ever more esoteric financial instruments, the fundamental weaknesses of which were intentionally obscured?”

Photo courtesy of French Maid TV.

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