In Chicago and other cities that depend on the glow of restored historic buildings to lure tourists and create jobs, there were mixed emotions over the $1.5 trillion tax package that Congress approved Wednesday -- relief that legislators did not kill a major economic incentive for preservation, but uncertainty over the incentive's future impact because it's been weakened. The existence of the decades-old incentive, the federal historic preservation tax credit, was thrown into doubt last month when the House voted to abolish it. The final bill keeps the credit, but instead of allowing developers to reap its full 20 percent benefit when a restored building opens, as they can now, the credit will be parceled out over five years. read more
Mike Lofgren: When I was in elementary school in the early 1960s, Summit County, Ohio was ranked second among all the counties in the United States by median household income. All four of the major American tire manufacturers of the time -- Goodyear, Goodrich, Firestone, and General -- had enormous production facilities in Akron, the county seat. The money rolled in, and life was good. Twenty-three years later, on a dismally cold January morning, I left Akron, Ohio, and the Midwest, never to return except for the briefest of visits. What had happened? According to Jon K. Lauck, an adjunct professor of history and political science at the University of South Dakota, it's because the Midwest, like Rodney Dangerfield, just doesn't get any respect from anyone ... he argues that the Midwest at the beginning of the 20th century was perhaps the most dynamic and most "American" of all the country's regions, as well as a hub of American literary excellence. read more
Men under the influence of alcohol are more likely to see women as sexual objects, a study has found. Researchers from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the US went beyond the mere anecdotal evidence to investigate some of the circumstances and factors that influence why men objectify women. The study, published in journal Sex Roles, involved 49 men in their twenties and was conducted in the safe space of a college laboratory. Eye-tracking technology noted which part of the women's bodies men were looking at ... They spent less time looking at faces and focused far longer on chests and waists. This was particularly true when viewing women who had been rated high in attractiveness. The findings suggest that whether a man will sexually objectify a woman depends on the alcohol intoxication of the man ... read more
Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi, known for his hard-hitting reporting on Goldman Sachs in the wake of the 2008 Subprime Mortgage Crisis, fell from grace this October after controversial passages from an old book he'd co-authored, The eXile: Sex, Drugs, and Libel in the New Russia, resurfaced and were spread online. eXile purports to be the memoirs of Taibbi and co-author Mark Ames, both of whom headed the notorious tabloid magazine by the same name in Moscow in the 90s. Indeed, a disclaimer on the copyright page calls the work nonfiction. However, this is not entirely true. Put simply, like the original magazine, much of eXile was made up for the purposes of satire. Paste was able to trace the effort to cast eXile as a factual memoir back to an alt-right author named Jim Goad in 2011. Goad, whose magazine, ANSWER Me!, had been parodied by The eXile, began tweeting about the Natasha passages, and tagging the outlets that hosted Ames work or had him on as a contributor. read more
Porn stars hate this loss of freedom. Watch one of their explainers above about why the disappearance of net neutrality sucks harder than they ever could... The FCC decision is intensely controversial on other levels. Perhaps the most unsettling is this: apparently a vast number of comments made in support of doing away with net neutrality were fake, leading opponents to understandably conclude there's something super sketchy about the whole thing. The FCC decision is intensely controversial on other levels. Perhaps the most unsettling is this: apparently a vast number of comments made in support of doing away with net neutrality were fake, leading opponents to understandably conclude there's something super sketchy about the whole thing.