Today in 10: Dec. 12, 2012

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It’s 12/12/12! Happy repetitive date day! Today we’re breaking down what right-to-work is and why it matters. Here’s what else had people chatting, tweeting, posting, and arguing today.

PERSON

Tributes are flowing today for Indian sitar genius Ravi Shankar, who mentored the Beatles and died yesterday. Shankar is also Norah Jones’s father. Here he is tearing it up at the legendary 1967 Monterey Pop Festival (can you spot the other iconic musician in the audience?):

QUOTE

“The world is not falling apart, like some would say, but at the same time this is not a joke.”

- Asia politics and security expert Philip Yun, commenting about North Korea’s successful rocket launch. North Koreans celebrated, but the rest of the world did not. The concern is that it’s a step toward having nuclear weapons.

IMAGE

An ad promoting a new Victoria’s Secret Pink “consent” line of underwear – with phrases like “Ask First” and “No Means No” – turned out to be a prank aimed at the company and the messages it sends. Customers were overwhelmingly disappointed – they loved the idea of VS running a consent campaign.

NUMBER

Two people were killed and many others injured in a shooting spree at a Portland, Oregon, mall last night during the busy holiday shopping season. Throughout the mall, workers and shoppers ran and took cover while the gunman fired off dozens of shots. The shooter also died, apparently from a self-inflicted wound.

The gunman was identified as a 22-year-old named Jacob Tyler Roberts. The two people killed were Steve Forsyth, 45, and Cindy Ann Yuille, 54. A 15-year-old girl named Kristina is in serious condition in a hospital.

HEADLINE

Anne Hathaway

“SAG Awards Nominations 2013: Snubs and Surprises!” – in E! Online. Today the Screen Actors Guild awards nominees (including Anne Hathaway, above) were announced. The SAG awards ceremony will air on TNT and TBS on Jan. 27.

WORD

Recognition. The U.S. and about 100 other countries in the so-called Friends of Syria alliance formed a new coalition supporting the Syrian people against their brutal ruler, Bashar al-Assad. There’s basically a civil war in Syria, and the people are trying to overthrow Assad.

The U.S. also said it was formally recognizing the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces as the country’s representative, instead of Assad’s government. So far the support is all in official languages and announcements, not in the form of material support like weapons or troops, but we’ll see if that changes.

VIDEO

Google released its annual zeitgeist video, capturing what the world Googled in 2012:

TWEET

The Pope (@pontifex) posted his first tweet:

He followed up by posing a question …

and answering it.

CONTROVERSY

A TV journalist’s response to a Facebook comment. Remember the news anchor who responded to a viewer’s Facebook post calling her overweight by calling him out on TV? Well, now TV meteorologist Rhonda Lee was criticized on Facebook for wearing her hair short. This time, the reporter, who is black, replied on Facebook, not on the air. And she was fired.

CAUSE

Healthy food for poor kids. Sign a pledge to support Snoop Lion’s Mind Gardens project, which builds community gardens in impoverished neighborhoods.

Bonus: NEWS YOU CAN USE

Are you ‘liking’ things on Facebook that you don’t truly like? You may want to make sure you don’t.

Images used under Creative Commons licensing, including icons from The Noun Project.

Holly Epstein Ojalvo

Holly’s mission is to inform, inspire, and empower engaged activists who will change the world. She was previously an editor at The New York Times and a high school teacher. She spent her brief 20’s slump at a mousepad factory. Holly earned a B.A. at Lafayette College and M.A.'s at U Delaware and NYU. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter, and cat, Tomie Twotone. Follow: @heoj.

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