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The U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research recently unveiled their “Unhappy Cities” study which compiles survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about life satisfaction across America, and evidently, those Duck Dynasty dudes are onto something. For the surveys, the CDC asked residents around the country to self-report their own levels of overall life satisfaction, then adjusted the results for income, age, race and gender. When the results were calculated, the state of Louisiana was home to the top five happiest cities in the country, with Lafayette, leading the way. Other non-Louisiana cities in the “happiest” top ten included Rochester, Minn., Corpus Christi, Texas, Nashville, Tenn., and Fort Walton Beach, Fla. New York City ranked dead last, making it officially the “unhappiest” place to live in the country. The infograph below, created by The Huffington Post's Alissa Scheller shows the entire rundown ... Discuss

 

Book designer Adam Greene wants to turn the modern, printed Bible into a visually beautiful, easy-to-read, redesigned work of art. Greene’s Kickstarter has raised more than $750,000 for the intensive project that—by drawing inspiration from the dimensions of the Ark of the Covenant—turns the Bible into a re-organized, four volume series, each the size of a contemporary novel. As he explains, the vision of the Bibliotheca project is taken from the history of scripture:

The literature of the Bible was experienced by its ancient audiences as pure literary art—written or oral—with none of the encyclopedic conventions we are accustomed to today (chapter divisions, verse numbers, notes, cross references, etc.). Furthermore, the texts were appreciated as individual works of literature, which gradually accumulated into what we recognize as the biblical anthology. By separating the text into several volumes, and by applying classic & elegant typography, Bibliotheca is meant to provide a fresh alternative to the reader who wants to enjoy the biblical library anew, as great literary art.

You can learn more about the project, and see images of the four-volume set here ... Discuss

 

Yesterday in Arizona, convicted double-murderer Joseph Wood “gasped and snorted” throughout an execution that lasted nearly two hours. Leading up to the lethal injection, Wood’s attorney had attempted to have it stayed because prison officials would not reveal where they acquired the combination of drugs used. Ultimately, the Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s ruling that would have stopped the execution. Many drug companies do not want the association with capital punishment, and prisons are, in turn, increasingly hesitant to reveal their drug suppliers.

Arizona had never before used the two-drug cocktail, but the same drugs were used in criticized, prolonged executions in two other states. Wood’s public defender told NBC, “"The state of Arizona today conducted a failed experiment. It was horrible to watch." In 1989 Woods murdered both his girlfriend and her father. In interviews with several news outlets, members of the victims’ family said that the public attention should be on Wood’s crimes, not the execution ... Discuss

 

Hot Wheels toymaker Mattel has just unveiled what’s possibly the world’s most villainous sports car. The modified Corvette—that is inspired by Darth Vadar’s sinister looking helmet and was made with the help of the Star Wars team—will also be made into a series of toys. Unfortunately, the actual car won’t be sold, and if you want to see it in person, you’ll have to a make a trip to Comic-Con ... Discuss

 

Today is 'Batman Day', honoring the 75th anniversary since the Batman first caped crusaded into the national conscience. In that time, he's been a grim defender, a campy comic, a smiling "put-'er-there-old-chum" mentor, a shadowy vigilante, a dark knight and a box office bonanza. But in all that time, he's rarely been what he started out as: a pulp hero. Bruce Timm—the genius behind the landmark Batman: The Animated Series recently returned to craft a new animated short from Batman's earliest "Lost Days" featuring an egg head villain in Hugo Strange, a menacing henchman, a damsel in distress—the whole Golden Age thing. He even snagged B:TAS voice actor Kevin Conroy to return for a brief line. Happy birthday, Batman ... Discuss

 

Jack White is playing in Chicago this week, and he decided to spend part his trip taking part in the great American pastime. And he had the time of his life. Just look at him. Can you blame him? The crack of the bat. The roar of the crowd. Even the most tortured rock star can't help but let free his inner child when once taken by the spirit of baseball. Have an extra hot dog for the rest of us, Mr. White! ... Discuss