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New Left Media, a duo of college documentarians, has previously been known for interviews with Tea Party activists at rallies who have little to say beyond talking points and who seem surprisingly misinformed about politics. However, this new video by NLM of last weekend’s Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, hosted on the National Mall by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central, shows that there is plenty of misinformation to go around.

One man, holding a sign reading “Exaggerated Hyperbole will Sink Important Legislation,” confessed he had no idea what the sign meant. One woman says she has a problem with “all the politics one way and the other. I mean really, we can do this without freaking the fuck out,” yet later admits she hasn’t followed her local congressional elections. And of course, a group of 9/11 conspiracy theorists made their way to the rally; whether they were serious or satirical remains to be seen. You can watch the video below.

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UN names official space host [via The New York Post]

It’s been depicted many times in movies, but the United Nations is preparing for a real-life first contact by naming Malaysian astrophysicist Mazlan Othman Earth’s official ambassador to any extraterrestrials who may visit our planet. Othman already heads the UN’s Office for Outer Space Affairs, which is also charged with decision-making should an extinction-level asteroid be heading toward Earth. “Othman is absolutely the nearest thing we have to a ‘Take me to your leader’ person,” said professor Richard Crowther, a space law expert with the United Kingdom Space Agency.

Did John Milton write filthy, innuendo-laden rhyme? [via The Guardian]

The literary world is up in arms over a ribauld poem discovered by University of Oxford lecturer Jennifer Batt in a forgotten 18th-century anthology attributed to “Milton,” possibly referencing “Paradise Lost” author John Milton, who died in 1674. “An Extempore Upon a Faggot” “likens a young woman to a faggot, a bunch of damp sticks, which, when cast upon the fire, produces moisture “at both ends”, like (according to the poem) a weeping virgin when sexually aroused. By contrast, the more sexually experienced woman is more like dry wood, which becomes joyfully enflamed when put on the fire.” Experts are fairly certain the ditty is not of Milton’s lofty, Christian hand, though “if the attribution were correct, it would prompt a major revision of our ideas about Milton.”

Rikers guard wins $54 million lottery jackpot [via The New York Post]

34-year-old Garina Fearon, a prison guard at Rikers Island in New York, recently won $54 million in the lottery, but the formerly homeless, bankrupt robbery victim said she has no plans to quit her day job. Fearon is “too loyal” to walk away from her part-time prison guard job, though she said she does want to cut down on her hours. Her sick mother is a top priority, Fearon noted. “I’m from Jamaica,” said said. “I have a sick mother. She has diabetes, and I’m going to buy my mom a house in Jamaica.”

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Are libraries worthwhile or a waste of taxpayers’ money? That’s the question a local Fox reporter investigated when she placed hidden cameras in Chicago’s Harold Washington Library. The footage showed most people using the computers, not in the stacks. As with most local news, it’s shockingly sensationalist, with pointless vox pops tossed in and, for some reason, a clip discussing libraries from “Seinfeld.”

Even worse, as library futurist Joan Frye Williams pointed out on NPR’s Here and Now, the footage of shelves was from a storage area of the library not used by patrons. Shocking.

[Side note: When did library futurist become a job? What does one do, exactly? How does one become one? Does it pay well?]

Libraries are busier than ever and are useful for job seekers, library strategist George Needham said, and offer internet access to those who cannot afford it. “Part of the library’s economic engine is helping people get jobs and start businesses,” he said. “There’s sort of this idea that a library is nothing but a warehouse of books. I think that idea went out the window years ago if it was ever true in the first place.”

“The library is not a single destination. People visit libraries as part of a round of other destinations,” Williams said. Needham upgraded libraries to two-stop destinations, once to pick up books and another to return them, something retailers located close by like.

Bottom line: cutting library funding now leads to snowballing community issues later.

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