Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court came down on a decision that will change the way we fund elections. In a 5-4 vote, the court removed a cap on how many candidates or committees a person can support per election cycle. Although the amount is still restricted to $2600 per candidate, an individual can now gift that amount to as many politicians as he or she wants. Opponents of the ruling worry the decision may suppress ordinary voices: “where enough money calls the tune,” said Justice William Breyer, “the general public will not be heard.” But supporters like Chief Justice Roberts say that this case follows first amendment rights. “Integration and access are not corruption,” said Roberts, “they embody a central feature of democracy that constituents support candidates who share their beliefs and interests.
Superior judge Richard McNamara heard arguments Monday on whether New Hampshire's Attorney General has the authority to continue the suspension of Rockingham County attorney Jim Reams. The Attorney General suspended Reams in November, and then pursued an investigation into alleged employment discrimination and financial mismanagement.
New Hampshire’s two largest electric utilities are piloting new billing programs, aimed at getting people to save electricity. These programs could be part of a sea change in the way we are billed for electricity, aimed at encouraging efficiency and conservation. And while convincing Americans to use less energy has always been a bit of a slog, these two pilot programs in New Hampshire hope to change that. One uses the brunt force of economics and the other uses the subtle science of psychology.
Going up? Today on Word of Mouth, we're lifting you to new cultural heights with a look into the history of two architectural advancements in history - the elevator and escalator. We'll hold the door for you when we stop on a story about a family of mannequins. Last stop, a discussion about why we should all stop singing that pervasive birthday song.
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Andreas Bernard, author of Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator, calls the elevator a kind of "secular confessional".
The moment where people get stuck in an elevator together is always a moment of truth. Let's say a couple who has hidden secrets gets stuck together - they confess it. The room, which is so narrow and which is so close, is like a real confessional - a space where you're forced to say the truth.
That push towards truth is just one reason elevators have played so many pivotal roles in film and television. Whether cramped or quiet, large or small, slow or altogether stuck, elevators have served as makeshift matchmakers, provocateurs, and architectural comedians. Here are a a few of our favorite elevator scenes from film.