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Supreme Court Takes Ax To Voting Rights Act

Supreme Court Takes Ax To Voting Rights Act

he Supreme Court dealt what looks like a mortal wound to the Voting Rights Act today, striking down the law’s key enforcement metric. The court did not, as some had expected, strike down Section 5, which gives the federal government oversight over states and localities with a history of voter discrimination. Instead, in a 5-4 decision, the court’s conservative justices ruled that the formula used to determine which places require oversight is out of date, CNN explains. (The Washington Post has a quick primer on the law’s specifics.) Read more on Newser…

North West Is Not A Direction, Says Kimye

North West Is Not A Direction

Still chortling over Kim Kardashian and Kanye West naming their baby North West? Well, the couple would like you to stop. They’ve been explaining to friends that the name has nothing to do with the direction “northwest,” sources tell TMZ. Their explanation: “What’s north of North? Nothing.” In other words, as TMZ helpfully decodes, the baby is the highest point of their relationship and their “north star.” Read more on Newser…

James Gandolfini’s Last Meal

James Gandolfini's Last Meal

James Gandolfini’s autopsy was conducted today in Italy, and though no official word has been given, a hospital source tells Reuters it confirmed the actor’s cause of death was a heart attack. An Italian official gives the same confirmation to CNN. Doctors will make the official announcement later today, after the US Embassy and Gandolfini’s family are officially informed. Meanwhile, both the New York Post and the New York Daily News ran what are purported to be the last photos taken of Gandolfini, dining on Tuesday night in Rome. Read more on Newser…

Need to Get Creative? Dim the Lights

Need to Get Creative? Dim the Lights

If you’re working on a project that demands a burst of inspiration, try turning down the lights. So say German researchers who conclude that “darkness increases freedom from constraints, which in turn promotes creativity,” reports Pacific Standard, picking up on a study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology. The researchers put test subjects in rooms with dim, normal, and bright lighting and found that the first group performed best on problems that required outside-the-box thinking. Read more on Newser…

Melissa Etheridge Says Angelina Jolie’s Double Mastectomy Was Not ‘Brave’

When Angelina Jolie revealed her choice to have a preventative double mastectomy, celebrities fell all over themselves in their rush to call her courageous—but not Melissa Etheridge. In an interview with the Washington Blade last week that apparently just got noticed by the celebrity media, Etheridge—a breast cancer survivor herself—says, “I wouldn’t call it the brave choice. I actually think it’s the most fearful choice you can make when confronting anything with cancer.” She says she, too, carries the breast cancer gene mutation that caused Jolie to make her decision. Read more on Newser…

After 9-Mile Run, Woman Gives Birth To Baby She Didn’t Know She Was Having

Trish Staine didn't know she was pregnant, gave birth after 9-mile run.

Trish Staine felt pretty crappy after running nine miles as part of her half-marathon training on Sunday. Thinking she was dealing with a pulled muscle or pinched nerve, she tried painkillers, baths, and laying down; nothing worked, and her husband finally called an ambulance the next day. Turns out Staine was in labor—odd, since she’d had no idea she was pregnant. “I said ‘no, no, that’s impossible,’” the 33-year-old told the AP from her hospital room, where she delivered baby girl Mira—short for Miracle—five weeks early at 6 pounds, 6 ounces. Read more on Newser…

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