Today in Harvard Square

This line started small on Tuesday and now has grown to about 4 blocks long snaking it’s way down Church Street. Why are they waiting in line for days on end? Sneakers go on sale Saturday.

A little past the line headed up Brattle Street I ran into this kiosk:

There’s no sign stating what it is so you have to hunt through the cards to find this:

From Wicked Local Cambridge:

Question: where do you go to find out if Santa is real? For reassurance in true love after a rough break-up? To find out why there is so much hatred in the world?

Answer: Harvard Square, where on June 14 Cambridge artist Johnny Monsarrat unveiled his Wheel of Questions/Wheel of Answers project’s new public venue, along with the hopes of breaking a world record for the most written questions answered in a year. The wheel will remain outside the Citibank at Brattle Square until October.

“Ministers, therapists…they help about a dozen people a day,” said Monsarrat, as black and red clad folk dancers from Belmont group Red Herring Morris performed as part of a recent unveiling ceremony. “I want to help 100.”

Partnered with a yet-to-be-revealed beer company, Monsarrat plans to answer at least 10,000 community questions posted on his “Tibetan prayer wheel” by the end of 2009.

So come to Harvard Square if you want to stand in a ridiculously long line for tennis shoes or if you want to see what Google would be like as a kiosk.

Court orders Jammie Thomas to pay RIAA $1.92 million

From CNet:

Jammie Thomas-Rasset was found guilty of willful copyright infringement on Thursday in a Minneapolis federal court and must pay the recording industry $1.92 million.

In a surprise decision, the jury imposed damages against Thomas-Rasset, who was originally accused to sharing more than 1,700 songs, at a whopping $80,000 for each of the 24 songs she was ultimately found guilty of illegally sharing..

In 2007, the Recording Industry Association of America claimed in a lawsuit that Thomas-Rasset pilfered 1,700 songs. The RIAA eventually culled that number down to a representative sample of 24.

Thomas-Rasset lost a previous trial in October 2007 when a jury rendered a $222,000 verdict against the Minnesota native. U.S. District Judge Michael David threw out the decision after acknowledging he erred when giving his jury instructions.

According to Ars Technica reporter Nate Anderson, Thomas-Rasset gasped when the dollar amount was read in court.

Quarter of Men in South Africa Admit Rape, Survey Finds

From The Guardian:

One in four men in South Africa have admitted to rape and many confess to attacking more than one victim, according to a study that exposes the country’s endemic culture of sexual violence.

Three out of four rapists first attacked while still in their teens, the study found. One in 20 men said they had raped a woman or girl in the last year.

South Africa is notorious for having one of the highest levels of rape in the world. Only a fraction are reported, and only a fraction of those lead to a conviction.

The study into rape and HIV, by the country’s Medical Research Council (MRC), asked men to tap their answers into a Palm Pilot device to guarantee anonymity. The method appears to have produced some unusually frank responses.

Professor Rachel Jewkes of the MRC, who carried out the research, said: “We have a very, very high prevalence of rape in South Africa. I think it is down to ideas about masculinity based on gender hierarchy and the sexual entitlement of men. It’s rooted in an African ideal of manhood.”

Jewkes and her colleagues interviewed a representative sample of 1,738 men in South Africa’s Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces.

Of those surveyed, 28% said they had raped a woman or girl, and 3% said they had raped a man or boy. Almost half who said they had carried out a rape admitted they had done so more than once, with 73% saying they had carried out their first assault before the age of 20.