Kiera Butler

Kiera Butler

Senior Editor

A senior editor at Mother Jones, Kiera covers health, food, and the environment. She is the author of the new book Raise: What 4-H Teaches 7 Million Kids—and How Its Lessons Could Change Food and Farming Forever (University of California Press).

 

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Now: Even Easier for Teens To Embarrass Each Other!

| Thu Nov. 20, 2008 7:10 PM EST

Oh my God, you guys. Rejoice, teens of the world. It's just gotten a whole lot easier to pursue one of your favorite interests: torturing each other on the Internet. On a new site called High School Tabloid, teens can submit pictures and scandalous stories from their very own high schools. Just think: The angst and growing pains of your friends, enemies, and frenemies memorialized—and laid bare for literally the whole world to see! Check out this screen shot from the home page:

hst500.jpg
And its motto pulls no punches: "Gossip, Publicity, Popularity."

Teens who post are awarded points, two for comments posted to a story and "10 points for posted headline with story." (So are the points for the headline or the story?) Earn enough points and this fabulous prize could be yours:

Obtain 50,000 points you become an official High School Tabloid columnist which will give you the opportunity to write a cover story, which will be featured on the HighSchoolTabloid home page! .GOSSIP.PUBLICITY.POPULARITY.

Folks, there may be hope for journalism yet.

HT YPulse.

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In Congo Conflict, Endangered Gorillas Are Pawns

| Tue Nov. 18, 2008 4:00 PM EST

gorilla150.jpg This is a truly heartbreaking story. The New York Times reports on yet another facet of the bloodshed in the Congo: Endangered mountain gorillas are among the rebels' targets:

Congo's gorillas happen to live in one of the most contested, blood-soaked pieces of turf in one of the most contested, blood-soaked corners of Africa. Their home, Virunga National Park, is high ground — with mist-shrouded mountains and pointy volcanoes — along the porous Congo-Rwanda border, where rebels are suspected of smuggling in weapons from Rwanda. Last year in Virunga, 10 gorillas were killed, some shot in the back of the head, execution style, park officials said.

According to this AP story, the rebels often eat the slaughtered gorillas. But it's unlikely that the militias are killing them solely for their meat. The reason? Read on after the jump.

Prop 8: Mormons For Gay Marriage

| Mon Nov. 17, 2008 5:34 PM EST

prop8little.jpgIt's been widely reported that the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) helped tip the balance in favor of California's Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state. But not all Mormons voted yes. On the site Seeking Forgiveness, LDS Church members apologize on behalf of their church to the gay community—and express their regret that Prop 8 passed.

The apologies are worth a read. After the jump, I'll quote a few that moved me:

What Do You Do With Your Newspaper Sleeves?

| Fri Nov. 14, 2008 3:50 PM EST

newspaper150.jpgEarly next year, the NY Times plans to ditch its old plastic newspaper sleeves in favor of this one, a "biodegradable polybag." Here's the scoop:

With this new technology an additive is mixed with the plastic that causes the finished product to degrade over time, as it is exposed to oxygen in the open environment or in a landfill. In addition to being "oxo-biodegradable" the bag can be recycled along with any other plastic bags. The Times will be the first national newspaper to commit to using this environmentally friendly bag. While this new bag is more expensive, we believe it is an important change to make.

If the paper on your doorstep isn't the Gray Lady, though, your plastic sleeves are most likely still bound for landfill purgatory. Blogger Kate Galbraith recommends reusing them for storing food in the fridge—if you're ambitious, knock yourself out with bag crafts like these.

But after the jump, here's another idea, inspired by a post from Danny Seo. (He's kind of the green Martha Stewart):

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