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  • In recent years, social media has become an integral part of modern-day political campaigns, but it's a double-edged sword that can prove harmful or even disastrous. President Barack Obama's campaign found that out the hard way on Tuesday, as a careless reblog on its official Tumblr had to be taken down. The post, an e-card with the caption "Vote like your lady parts depend on it" and the subsequent comment "because they kinda do," was picked up by conservative bloggers who took issue with the language in the card. Some even felt that the e-card's words diminished women.

    Obama's campaign commented that the reblog had not gone through the normal approval process, and it was removed. The Tumblr blogger who had originally posted the image was unsure why the e-card post had suddenly gone viral, until another user chimed in that the president had reblogged it.

    Even though the blog was taken down, the hashtag #LadyParts quickly gained popularity on Twitter. In fact, as of Tuesday, the

    Read More »from Obama Campaign’s ‘Lady Parts’ Gaffe Sparks Twitter Storm
  • When it comes to Internet pranks, sometimes they are good-natured, harmless, and fun, but then there are those pranks designed to be mean-spirited. One of the latest Internet pranks involves country music superstar Taylor Swift and a contest for a concert giveaway to the school with the most Facebook votes. Mischievous members of the Internet community known as 4chan and some members of social news site Reddit banded together to have Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, located in the Allston neighborhood of Boston, win the Papa John's and Chegg's-sponsored free concert.

    More than 14,000 schools participated in the contest to have Taylor Swift perform on their campus. Thousands of people voted for the Horace Mann School, and when principal Jeremiah Ford heard about the prank, he was not offended. Instead Ford said that even though his students are disabled, a Taylor Swift concert would be a welcome event for the student body because his students love live music. Ford

    Read More »from School for Deaf Children Receives $50,000 after Internet Prank Backfires
  • What do an endangered spider and highway construction have in common? Well, in San Antonio, Texas, the discovery of a Braken Bat Cave meshweaver, an eyeless spider named for the unique web it spins, has halted a highway construction project.

    The $15 million project was stopped until authorities can determine how to protect the spider's habitat, which happens to be in the middle of the construction zone. The meshweaver had not been seen in three decades, and biologists like Jean Krejca have been on hand to "observe and preserve" the site because it is filled with natural resources like songbirds and cave animals. Krejca compared the discovery of the meshweaver to "stumbling on a new Galapagos Island in terms of the biological significance of the region." Though only one spider was found, researchers believe the entire area might be a habitat for the meshweaver.

    So this week brought the news that the construction plan will have to be redesigned. A Texas Department of Transportation

    Read More »from Endangered Spider Halts, Reroutes Construction of $15 Million Texas Highway
  • Bears are majestic creatures and fun to look at from a distance, but you may not want to interact with one for fear of its sheer strength and size overpowering you. Would you have the courage to stand up to a bear if it invaded your property?

    The bear encounters started for YouTube user Nayana Grillo when he noticed that a large black bear started appearing in his backyard. Grillo began recording the bear's adventures on his property. Over the course of six videos, Grillo and an unnamed man narrate and chronicle how the bear paws and sniffs its way around the porch. The bear even opens a bird feeder and climbs all around Grillo's backyard deck.

    But it's what takes place in the seventh video, titled "The Bear Meets Nishanto," that has people watching and the number of views increasing rapidly. The bear wanders around the backyard and makes its way up the stairs and onto the back deck of Grillo's neighbor, a woman named Nishanto.  Grillo yells out, "Nishanto, the bear is here." Instead

    Read More »from Woman Scares Away Wild Bear on Her Porch
  • It might seem reasonable to assume that a prison guard and an inmate would not naturally be friendly to one another. A recent incident in the Texas Corrections System, however, is belying that notion -- with a social media twist.

    Heath Lara, a prison sergeant at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, was fired from his job after officials learned that he had friended inmate Gary Wayne Sanders on Facebook. Sergeant Lara was dismissed for violating a rule that prohibits fraternization between officers and prisoners. Sergeant Lara appealed the decision, claiming that he had known Sanders in high school and was not aware that Sanders was an inmate in the jail where he worked.

    The appeal was initially denied but later upheld, and Sergeant Lara was reinstated two weeks ago. A review found that Sergeant Lara had no real relationship with the inmate. The Texas State Department of Criminal Justice also decided that friendship on Facebook between inmates and guards is permitted. The department

    Read More »from Texas Prisons Approve Facebook Friending between Inmates and Officers

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