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Daily Briefing

Deep buzz for the content-deprived

Every weekday, while you get showered and dressed, we pluck these dewy- fresh, breaking stories from the info-clogged byways of the datasphere. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and stoke up on everything you need to know, or at least enough to fake it.

How Ray Bradbury Became A Literary Icon
Adam Kirsch, Barnes & Noble Review via Salon | How Ray Bradbury Became A Literary Icon | August 23, 2011

These days, when it's common to see adults engrossed in Harry Potter on the subway, and the edgiest shows on HBO are about vampires and dragons, it's hard to believe there was once a time when sci-fi and fantasy fiction were confined to a cultural ghetto...

Print vs. Online
Jack Schafer, The New York Times | Print vs. Online | August 22, 2011

The ways in which old-fashioned newspapers still trump online newspapers...

The Republicans' New Voodoo Economics?
Greg Ip, The Washington Post Opinions | The Republicans' New Voodoo Economics? | August 22, 2011

When John McCain was running for the Republican presidential nomination nearly 12 years ago, he declared that Alan Greenspan was so critical to the economy that, if the then-Federal Reserve chairman died, he’d put sunglasses on the body, prop him up and hope no one noticed.

It’s safe to say that GOP opinions of the Fed have slipped a bit since....

Battle for Tripoli Updates
BBC | Battle for Tripoli Updates | August 21, 2011

Fierce fighting is reported around Col. Gaddafi's compound after rebels swept into Tripoli almost unopposed...

Joplin Tornado Volunteers Seek Out Owners of 27,000 Photos Found In Rubble
Sharon Cohen, The Huffington Post | Joplin Tornado Volunteers Seek Out Owners of 27,000 Photos Found In Rubble | August 21, 2011

White-gloved workers line the long tables, carefully sifting through photos of proms and weddings, baby's first day, proud soldiers in their uniforms. They gently clean off any dirt, dry rain-damaged pictures – and salvage a city's lost treasures. The history of Joplin, Mo., is slowly coming into focus here, one snapshot, one portrait at a time. A church room in this nearby town has been converted into collection central for more than 27,000 photos buried or blown away in the monster May tornado that left 160 dead and obliterated a third of Joplin...

Mapping Antarctic Ice In Motion
Felicity Barringer, The New York Times | Mapping Antarctice Ice In Motion | August 19, 2011

Put the arguments over how fast Antarctic ice is melting to one side for the moment. The latest study of the southern continent, by a group of scientists led by Eric Rignot of the University of California, Irvine, shows how fast the ice rivers are moving and where they are going...

Unlikely Echo of Ghandhi Inspires Indians to Act
Jim Yardley, The New York Times | Unlikely Echo of Gandhi Inspires Indians to Act | August 19, 2011

In a “new” India often obsessed with wealth and status, where cricket batsmen and Bollywood movie stars are wildly idolized, Anna Hazare is a figure from an earlier, seemingly discarded era. His pointed white cap and simple white cotton clothes evoke a Gandhian simplicity. His rural, homespun demeanor ordinarily might elicit snickers from India’s urban elite...

Why Did Japan Surrender?
Gareth Cook, The Boston Globe | Why Did Japan Surrender? | August 19, 2011

Sixty-six years ago, we dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. Now, some historians say that's not what ended the war...

Bashing E.P.A. Is New Theme in G.O.P. Race
John M. Broder | Bashing E.P.A. Is New Theme in G.O.P. Race | August 18, 2011

The Environmental Protection Agency is emerging as a favorite target of the Republican presidential candidates, who portray it as the very symbol of a heavy-handed regulatory agenda imposed by the Obama administration that they say is strangling the economy...

Michele Bachmann: Crazy Like A Fox
Tim Murphy, Mother Jones | Michele Bachmann: Crazy like A Fox | August 18, 2011

She won the Ames straw poll on Saturday and is the clear favorite to win the Iowa caucuses in January. There's a method to Michele Bachmann's madness...