The body of a man killed execution style and wrapped in bin liners lies by the side of the Acapulco-Mexico highway November 16, 2006. REUTERS/Stringer
*Drug Wars A stunning set of pictures inside Mexico's drug war. Fair warning, the picture above is one of the least graphic in the set, which includes everything from blinged-out .45s and narco-saints to headless bodies hanging from a bridge. A harrowing look inside how ugly a drug-fueled civil war is.
*New Haven uses SWAT team to crack down on nightlife New Haven, Conn. has apparently decided people drinking and attending strip clubs is such a dire threat that it needs to use the SWAT team — with masks and assault rifles, no less — to round up the patrons, on a search warrant that produced a single, unrelated charge. This comes on the heels of Operation Nightlife where police started rounding up clubgoers and were widely reported to have attacked and tased a Yale student. Bunny Colvin's rant from The Wire — "call something a war, and pretty soon everyone starts acting like warriors" — comes to mind.
*LGBTIQQAA Yes, that's now the going abbreviation. I remember when it was gay and lesbian, then, around the time I was in college, LGBT became popular, and that was fine. But at this point, the acronym's stretching to the point of uselessness.
There is a term, however, that covers all those groups and their struggle for rights without resorting to a ludicrous degree of political correctness or tongue-twistingly garbled abbreviations: human.
*Catholics in US overwhelmingly support homosexual unions Many do this in direct defiance of their official hierarchy, and in percentages greater, in some cases, than the rest of the mainstream populace. A reassuring sign and a reminder that adherents to a creed don't always follow the attendant hierarchy. Again, the lesson is to be careful lumping traditions into too-neat boxes. There is No They.
*Whatever Happened to Alternative Nation? A surprisingly decent series on the rise, hybridization and collapse of a subculture(s?) by Steven Hyden over at The Onion's AV Club. A good look at the way grunge and alt music linked into culture trends in one of the last eras before rock n' roll (along with mass music in general) splintered or become totally retro. Particular kudos for the way Hyden manages to balance enthusiasm with a realistic look at the limits of art.
*Experimentation, orgasms and the rise of anal sex Slate journalist William Saletan looks at changing sexual trends. Interesting material here on a social revolution steadily continuing in the background, though some of the "whoa" tone in Saletan's is a little puerile.
*'39 Queen doing an acoustic (what? yes!) presentation of one of the peppiest, saddest songs ever written about space travel: