Bits: 04.13.11

Portland sidewalk stencil via pdxgraffiti

Animal NY: "[T]he Yes Men, posing as General Electric, issued a press release announcing that the company would be 'gifting its entire 2010 tax refund, worth $3.2 Billion, to the US Treasury on April 18, Tax Day.' Which is funny, cause last year they paid no taxes, despite profits exceeding $14 billion. Amazingly, the AP ran with the bogus story." Business Insider has more.

• A man in France is suing Facebook because his account was suspended after he changed his profile picture to Gustave Courbet's 1886 painting, L’Origine du monde (The Origin of the World), which is essentially a close-up of a woman's nether regions. Gawker writes that "he's demanding Facebook immediately reinstate his account and 'compensate him in a substantial manner'—he presumably wants that compensation in vagina-painting form."

• The federal budget deal includes cuts to the arts, Tyler Green reports, including $13 million for for the National Endowment for the Arts, $13 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities, $8 million that would've gone to renovations at the National Gallery of Art, and $7 million from the budget of the National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs grant program.

• And the 2011 Muzzle Award goes to... Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough for removing David Wojnarowicz’s A Fire in My Belly video from the National Portrait Gallery exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture. (Ok, he's really number 3 in the annual project of The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression.)

• The Walker launches a smart blog feature, Book/share, in which book buyer Paul Schumacher marks up new finds with Post-It notes and sends them on to blogger Kristina Fong.

• Rickrolled! Oregon legislators slip lyrics from Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" into floor speeches.

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