Dave Gilson

Senior Editor

San Francisco native, word wrangler, data cruncher, chart drawer, pun maker. Recent areas of interest: campaign finance, income inequality, prison riots.

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Dave Gilson has worked at Mother Jones since 2003. Previously, he worked for the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and the Northern California bureau of the New York Times.

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Watch: The IRS's "Star Trek" Training Video

| Wed Mar. 27, 2013 12:16 PM PDT

Last week, CBS News got its hands on a copy of a Star Trek-themed training video the IRS made for its employees in 2010. The video and a Gilligan's Island-themed one also shot in the tax agency's in-house studio reportedly cost $60,000 to make. William Shatner is not amused:

Predictably, congressional belt-tighteners have set their phasers to outrage. "There is nothing more infuriating to a taxpayer than to find out the government is using their hard-earned dollars in a way that is frivolous," fumed Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.). (Meanwhile Congress is acting highly illogically by spending $380 million on photon torpedoes that don't work and no one wants.) Cowed by its critics, the IRS has apologized for "the space parody video."

At least none of your tax money was spent on acting lessons:

And so far, no one is freaking out about these Star Trek-themed spots produced by the Social Security Administration. Probably because they feature George "Sulu" Takei, who is awesome.

And let's not forget the time NASA decided to name a spaceship after the USS Enterprise.

Star Trek crew with space shuttle
NASA

Pope Francis Vs. Black Francis

| Thu Mar. 14, 2013 2:04 PM PDT

Yesterday's selection of Pope Francis got me wondering: How does the new Holy Father compare against indie rock godfather and former Pixies frontman Black Francis?

  Pope Francis Black Francis
Namesake St. Francis of Assisi Name his dad wanted to give his next son
Means of elevation to current status College of cardinals College radio
Mass attendance Excellent Dropped out of UMass
Animal lover cred Named after patron saint of animals Named Doolittle after man who talked to animals
Spanish skills Fluent Amusing
Controversy involving B/breeders Says only straight people should be able to get married or adopt kids More critical acclaim for Kim Deal's post-Pixies work
Believes God is number… One Seven
Followers 1.2 billion Catholics Backing band called The Catholics

Chart: Generational Attitudes on Sushi and Gay Marriage Correlate Almost Perfectly

| Wed Feb. 27, 2013 1:56 PM PST

The younger you are, the more likely you are to support gay marriage. But what if there's another dimension to this generational shift—the sushi gap? Raw data from a new survey of Americans' food preferences shows that age-based unwillingness to put delicious uncooked fish in your mouth correlates nearly perfectly with existing data about who disapproves of marriage equality.

Sushi vs. gay marriage
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