You've heard reports that ZOMG TEH BACUNZ CAUSEZ TEH CANCURZ LIKEZ TEH SMOKINGZ!!!!! Well, Sarah Zhang at Wired advises us that we should take that with the proverbial grain of salt. The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer did declare that the scientific evidence linking processed meat (including bacon) to cancer is as solid as the evidence for linking tobacco to cancer -- but that doesn't say bacon is as likely to give you cancer as tobacco is, and, the scientific evidence linking, for example, sunlight to cancer is equally strong. Verdict: you should of course eat fewer servings of processed meat, but you shouldn't go off the deep end worrying about it. If you're smoking, on the other hand, quit. I know it's hard, but do it.
Outdoor retailer REI declares it will not only close on Black Friday this year, but will give its employees a paid day off on that day. It's the right thing to do, letting workers spend time with their families, and it won't cost REI in the long run as much as Wall Street thinks, but the haters are already saying REI is a co-op and thus isn't as "hamstrung" in doing the right thing as big corporations with shareholders are, as if it's somehow unfair to organize your business as a co-op that's actually more accountable to your customers. But very few propagandists are good enough to provoke widespread sympathy for those poor, poor huge corporations that can't close on Black Friday because of money.
As you may know, the Copyright Office evaluates digital rights management (or DRM) exceptions every few years, and The Consumerist reports on the most recent exemptions. Gamers will be pleased to learn they can jailbreak games for local use where far-away servers have gone under, and security researchers can continue to hack into cars, medical devices, and voting machines as long as they don't cause anyone actual harm (i.e., hack into a pacemaker that someone's using). You still won't be able to move Kindle books to your new Nook, however -- apparently their creators feel the .mp3 file was a serious tactical error.
You've heard, perhaps, that Sen. Marco Rubio doesn't enjoy being in the Senate because things move so slowly? Well, the Miami Sun-Sentinel editorial board reminds us that the voters sent Mr. Rubio to the Senate to do a job, and if he doesn't like it, he ought to resign it, as Rep. Boehner did. They note, also, that Sens. Paul and Sanders have hardly missed any votes while campaigning, that Sen. Rubio is a hypocrite for calling out VA workers for failing to do their jobs when he's hardly at his own, and that Floridians actually have pressing issues, including "clogged highways" and "eroding beaches," requiring a staunch Senate advocate. This editorial contains all the campaign ad fodder Democrats would need to beat him soundly -- including Mr. Rubio's contention that "voting is not the most important part of the job." After John Kerry's voting record crippled him in 2004, you'd think Democrats would be sensitive to that.
In a perhaps related note, Ohio Gov. John Kasich says, at a debate "send-off" rally in western Ohio, that he's "about had it" with the "nonsense" in the Republican Presidential race. He may yet emerge as the establishment answer to Messrs. Trump and Carson, but let's remember that he'd govern this country as a far right-winger just as surely as the rest of them -- and he might be worse, since he'll have convinced everyone he's a "moderate" next to Messrs. Trump and Carson, when virtually anyone looks like a "moderate" next to those two. They love moving the center ever further right, when the real center in America is actually moving left.
Finally, courtesy one of our readers, here's a list of news sites, including some satirical ones and some other "satirical" ones, which pump out fake news that shows up in "liberal" media reports with alarming regularity. The list isn't comprehensive -- just yesterday I saw a "news" story from usatoday.com.co, which is most definitely not USA Today -- but it is instructive. Sadly, this development is more likely to provoke more "cybersecurity" legislation from Congress than to provide teachable moments about parsing truth from lies. I'd be happy to be proven wrong about that.