Todd K. Platts (Missouri): Locating Zombies in the Sociology of Popular Culture. From Cyborgology blog, Sarah Wanenchak on drone sexuality, part 1: Knowledge and consent; and part 2: Boundary conditions. What is a brand? Slavoj Zizek on how marketing redefines our lives in strange new ways. Brad Plumer on seven things you should know about the expiration of unemployment benefits. Deadly mix in Benghazi: The reality behind the attack on American outposts in Libya is murkier and more complex than initially believed, but months of investigation turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda had any role in the assault. JFK conspiracy theories at 50: David Reitzes on how the skeptics got it wrong and why it matters (and more at TNR). Is JFK in hell? Joseph Pearce wonders. Robert J. Joustra on the “Crack-Smoking Mayor of Toronto” and the politics of middles. George J. Marlin on the moral dilemmas of Obamacare. Technology for the elderly grows more ambitious and, arguably, more adventurous — the paper “Development of Anal Position Detecting System for New-Toilet System” sets a new standard. Who cares if we wreck that million dollar painting? JP Morgan's $19m-a-year boss Jamie Dimon under fire for “opulent” Christmas card of him hitting tennis balls around palatial home. George Monbiot on materialism, a system that eats us from the inside out. It has been neither the best of times nor the worst of times, but it has been Robert Paul Wolff’s time.

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