Blogging History: CNN/NPR's handling of Manning's gender; Plush cell model; Removing anti-theft clothes tags

One year
CNN and NPR can't be bothered to address Manning as female (UPDATED): "Manning hasn't taken any steps yet toward gender transition so use masculine pronouns ('he' and 'him')," the internal guidance reads. "First reference, refer to him as 'Bradley Manning' and on subsequent references use 'Manning.' Also mention he has asked to change his first name to Chelsea. The guidance will be re-evaluated if Manning officially changes his/her name."

Five years
HOWTO make a plush cell model: Instructables user ChrysN has a sweet plush cell model HOWTO up on the site. ChrysN suggests that this would be a great project for students assigned to produce a cell model.

Ten years
Lazyweb request: Removing anti-theft devices still attached to purchased clothing: Most people suggested using a magnet, which did nothing. Another large group of people said take it back to the store and have them do it. Screw that; it's more fun to try it myself than to give up and drive to a loathsome mall. Some people told me to try putting a rubber band between the two pieces and twisting more and more loops around the the pin. That didn't work either. Other people suggested pinching the "nose" part of the clip on both ends with two pairs of pliers, and then pulling out the pin. Nope. Finally, I tried one guy's suggestion to hit the button with a hammer, which would cause it to split the clip open. The only thing that did was pinch the button down against the shirt. Since I already had the hammer, I hit the side of the clip, along its seam. After a few whacks, it split open. Here's what the innards look like. Nothing magnetic in there. I think the people who suggested pinching or bending the clip were on the right track.