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State of the Union

  1. In Which President Obama Name-Checked Mad Men While Talking About Equal Pay For U.S. Women

    Firsts

    Last night's State of the Union was very much like the Academy Awards. People were honored, people were bored, camera operators got a workout trying to find the right people in the audience. Just swap the political and pop-culture references (one or two political mentions at the Oscars vs. one or two pop-culture items at SOTU). Check out this relevant clip from President Obama's SOTU last night then hit the jump to look at a depressing image of how many Congressmen stood up for this part of the speech.

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  2. Tonight’s State of the Union Will Have More Social Media, Probably More Statiness and Unionness as a Result*

    Or maybe just more selfies. *Actual statiness and unionness may vary.

    The White House is trying to punch up the State of the Union stream this year with added social media integration. You can tweet all of your nodding and incessant clapping right along with government officials, and you can Vine, Instagram, Tweet, and Facebook—the things hip, young voters like to do—your concerns in an online Q&A session afterwards.

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  3. Obama Plans 10-Year Project to Map Human Brain

    In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama made several mentions of a commitment to science that caught our attention. Now it seems some details about those plans are surfacing. One area of study he mentioned in his speech was that scientists are working to map the human brain, and it's now being reported that the President wants to launch a decade-long program to create the most detailed map of the active human brain to date.

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  4. North Korea Probably Detonated A Nuke This Morning — Here’s What’s Different This Time

    I hope you like things that are scary, because an unstable regime led by an untested young man probably just detonated its latest atomic bomb. All signs this morning point to a successful nuclear bomb test in North Korea, which the country has been threatening for some weeks. The move comes in defiance of the international community -- or as they are known in North Korea, "western devils jealous of the power and virility of glorious leader Kim Jong Un" -- which had urged North Korea not to undertake what is seen by the rest of the world as a clearly provocative and threatening action, probably because it is totally meant that way by North Korea.

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  5. Candy Crowley Will Be the First Female Presidential Moderator in 20 Years

    We told you a while ago about three rather impressive teenage girls who were petitioning the Commission on Presidential Debates for the commission to appoint a female moderator to the presidential debates. When we last checked in on them, the trio weren't doing so well; the office of the commission wouldn't see them. News came out today, however, that either someone was listening or they'd had their own plans all along: The first female presidential moderator in 20 years has been named for this election season; another will moderate the vice-presidential debate. So let's congratulate them.

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  6. Obama Wants High-Speed Wireless for 98 Percent of Americans by 2016

    Yesterday's State of the Union address had a heavy dose of geek as President Obama expressed America's need for further technological innovation. There was a strong focus on "rebuilding for the 21st century" and making sure America keeps pace with other countries -- from both an industrial and scientific standpoint. Most excitingly was Obama's plan for 98 percent of Americans to be covered with wireless high-speed internet in the next five years.

    We're the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook. In America, innovation doesn't just change our lives. It is how we make our living. Within the next five years, we'll make it possible for businesses to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98 percent of all Americans. This isn't just about faster Internet or fewer dropped calls. It's about connecting every part of America to the digital age. It's about a rural community in Iowa or Alabama where farmers and small business owners will be able to sell their products all over the world. It's about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning building onto a handheld device; a student who can take classes with a digital textbook; or a patient who can have face-to-face video chats with her doctor.
    The White House as a whole has become increasingly up-to-date: following the President's speech, government officials monitored Twitter and Facebook for a Q&A session with we the people, and on Thursday, Obama will be answering user-submitted questions live via YouTube (and we fully hope Obama responds in kind to YouTube's regular demographic).

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