Aretha Franklin is the latestcelebrity caught in the Internet death-hoax machine. Rumors that the Queen ofSoul had died started buzzing on the Web two days after Christmas. But arepresentative says Franklin is doing fine. The R & B legend isrecuperating after surgery earlier this month to treat pancreatic cancer.Rumors of Franklin's death come on the heels of reports that Charlie Sheen waskilled in a snowboarding accident. Not true. And rumors that pop singer AaronCarter died of a drug overdose. Carter used his Twitter account to assure fanshe's alive and rehearsing for a New Year's Eve show.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.