The Googleheim Museum of Art

Rob Walker | @YahooTechGoogle may have set out to "organize the world's information," but thanks to the creativity of a huge variety of artists, designers, hackers and other tinkerers it s become something else: an art museum hidden within a search engine. Because a slew of people have found clever ways to exploit or misuse Google s tools and algorithms and endless troves of data, Google has accidentally become a mother lode of artistic inspiration (and, often humorously, a passive artistic collaborator.) Google has proven such a muse that you could mount an amazing museum show of Google-derived works which is precisely what we ve done. Until we raise the capital to rent out a physical space, you ll have to settle for the virtual version of the Google-heim Art Museum that follows: The most comprehensive collection of Google arts we think you can stand, grouped by specific Google products and services. Enjoy, and please don't touch the artwork/your computer screen.

GOOGLE EARTHIn Juxtapose, Daniel Schwarz gathers Google satellite images of adjacent, remote patches of Earth at different times of year, and pairs them.

Meanwhile, Elena Radice seeks out joints on Google Maps where seasonal shifts are revealed inadvertently: One seasonal set of images abruptly bumps up against another. Her images are collected on the Tumblr Abstract Season Changes.

Onformative, a design studio, has collaborated with Christian Loclair to highlight another landscape feature visible via Google Earth: Google Faces.

From Google Faces. Do you see the face?The spooky video Algorithmic Architecture, by Charlie Behrens, takes viewers on a trip through Google Earth or rather through its many corners where images register improperly. The result is a smeary, blocky, disconcerting landscape, built out of sputtering algorithms.

Clement Valla curates on ongoing collection of charmingly surreal glitch scenes from Google Earth, in the series Postcards From Google Earth.

Peter Root uses Google Earth in his video Digital Detritus. But here it s a backdrop setting for what he calls digital installations wild, sci-fi, 3D-modelled shapes and structures hovering over and sprouting from Earth (or Google s rendition of it, anyway).

GOOGLE ART PROJECTPhil Thompson s Copyrights actually draws on Google s more official interaction with the art world: The Google Art Project, which documents various museums so they can be explored from afar via a Street View-like interface. But evidently there are copyright issues around certain images in certain museums. Thompson seeks those out and captures them with screenshots then he has the pixelated abstraction copied in the form of an oil painting (by companies that offer this service in China; who knew?). Thus a blocked digital image is converted back into a physical art work. GOOGLE STREET VIEWIn this truly lovely short video, The Theory (which openly credits its collaborator, attributing the piece to itself and Google Street View ), stop-motion animation and Street View are combined to show the story of a lonely desk toy who uses Google s tool to make a virtual cross-country road trip.

Two of the most celebrated examples of extracting art from Google data involve using Street View as something like street photography. Jon Rafman's 9-Eyes (a reference to the multi-direction cameras mounted on Google s Street View vehicles) plucks disturbing, funny, beautiful, or otherwise surprising images from the service and collects them on

From And Michael Wolf has created several series culled from captured Street View images, grouped into themes such Portrait (zooming in on faces blurred by Google s system) and Interface (which include Street View s interaction graphics).

by Michael Wolf.As part of an installation project titled Higher Definition earlier this year, Jeroen Nelemans mounted Street View iconography on Plexiglas in front of a home/gallery in Oak Park, Illinois, making the suburban dwelling look in the physical world as it would on a Google-mediated computer screen.

Paolo Cirio s Street Ghosts focuses on the random human beings captured by Street View s documentation, reproducing their semi-blurry forms as street art in the same real-world locations. From Paolo Cirio's Type an address into Street View Stereographic and it converts any Street View image [into] a stereographic projection resulting in a pleasingly insane visual.


Google Goggles is an Android app designed to enable visual searching : Take a picture of a book or a landmark or whatever, and Goggles is supposed to spit back relevant information. Samuel J. Bland got interested in the similar images component of the results, particularly in cases when Googles didn t seem to comprehend what it was seeing. Bland s series Googlology paired images he submitted with a collage of images Goggles served up in response which weirdly mimic the original form, despite being non-sequiturs.


The Art of Google Books tracks unexpectedly compelling images squirreled away in the vast Google Books project often the result of some error or misstep in the digitization process.

GOOGLE MAPS (SATELLITE VIEW)For the series Satellite Collections, Jenny Odell selected specific categories of built-landscape features (swimming pools, nuclear cooling towers, stadiums, parking lots, etc.) and assembled them into fascinating collages. IMAGE SEARCH RESULTSDaniel Mercadante gathered up a massive trove of pictures of spherical objects, most from Google Image Search, and assembled them into the dazzling short super-super-supercut video, Ball.

Ben West and Felix Heyes used Google to search every word in the dictionary, grabbed the top Image result for each, and assembled a 1,240-page book (titled Google ) of the results.

Ken Goldman s series of Google Portraits render Google Image Search results pages in the form of watercolors. Dina Kelberman s I m Google was inspired by wandering through Google Image Search and YouTube, and recreates the journey of similar Web-culled visual leading to slightly similar visual, gradually evolving into completely different visuals infinitely in an endless-scroll Tumblr. (Endless scrolling is currently disabled, but a note on I m Google says it will be restored in a week or two. )

Phew! So, what did I miss? If there are other Google-derived or inspired art projects I should know about, speak up in the comments or tweet them @notrobwalker.

Paula Deen's 'Today' appearance ends in tears

NEW YORK (AP) Paula Deen dissolved into tears during a "Today" show interview Wednesday about her admission that she used a racial slur in the past, saying anyone in the audience who's never said anything they've regretted should pick up a rock and throw it at her head.

The celebrity chef, who had backed out of a "Today" interview last Friday, said she was not a racist and was heartbroken by the controversy that began with her own deposition in a lawsuit. Deen has been dropped by the Food Network and as a celebrity endorser by Smithfield Foods.

"I've had to hold friends in my arms while they've sobbed because they know what's been said about me is not true and I'm having to comfort them," she said.

Deen told Lauer she could only recall using the "n-word" once. She had earlier said that she remembered using it when retelling a story about when she was held at gunpoint by a robber who was black while working as a bank teller in the 1980s in Georgia. In a deposition for the lawsuit involving an employee in a restaurant owned by Deen and her brother, she had said she may also have used the slur when recalling conversations between black employees at her restaurants.

Looking distressed and her voice breaking, Deen said if there was someone in the audience who had never said something they wished they could take back, "please pick up that stone and throw it as hard at my head so it kills me. I want to meet you. I want to meet you.

"I is what I is and I'm not changing," she said. "There's someone evil out there that saw what I worked for and wanted it."

An uncomfortable Lauer tried to end the interview, but Deen repeated that anyone who hasn't sinned should attack her.

Deen said she appreciated fans who have expressed anger at the Food Network for dropping her, but said she didn't support a boycott of the network.

"These people who have met me and know me and love me, they're as angry as the people who are reading these stories that are lies," she said.




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Ecuador says Snowden seeking asylum there

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) Ecuador's foreign minister said Monday his country will act not on its interests but on its principles as it considers an asylum request from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, wanted for revealing classified U.S. secrets.

Speaking to reporters through a translator at a hotel in Hanoi, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said the asylum request "has to do with freedom of expression and with the security of citizens around the world."

Patino spoke briefly to reporters on his way to a meeting with Vietnam's foreign minister. He did not say how long it would take Ecuador to decide.

Snowden was on a flight from Hong Kong that arrived in Moscow Sunday and was booked on a flight to Cuba Monday, the Russian news agencies ITAR-Tass and Interfax reported, citing unnamed airline officials.

"We know that he's currently in Moscow, and we are ... in touch with the highest authorities of Russia," Patino said.

Anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said Snowden was bound for Ecuador "via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisers from WikiLeaks." The organization's founder Julian Assange, was granted asylum by Ecuador last year and has been staying at the country's embassy in the United Kingdom.

The Russian reports said a plane carrying Snowden arrived in Moscow on Sunday and he was booked on a flight to Cuba on Monday. The reports cited unnamed airline officials and said he intended to travel from Cuba to Caracas, Venezuela. There was also speculation that he might try to reach Ecuador.

Snowden had been in hiding in Hong Kong for several weeks after he revealed information on the highly classified spy programs.

Patino said Ecuador would not base its asylum decision on its potential to damage the country's relationship with the United States

"There are some governments that act more upon their own interests, but we do not," Patino said. "We act upon our principles."

He added, "We take care of the human rights of the people."

Patino was to hold a news conference Monday evening in Hanoi.

WikiLeaks said it was providing legal help to Snowden at his request and that he was being escorted by diplomats and legal advisers from the group.

Assange has spent a year inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning about sex crime allegations. He told the Sydney Morning Herald that his organization is in a position to help Snowden because it has expertise in international asylum and extradition law.

South Africans resigned over 'critical' Mandela

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africans appeared resigned on Monday to the inevitability of one day saying goodbye to former president Nelson Mandela after the 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader's condition in hospital deteriorated to critical.

Madiba, as he is affectionately known, is revered among most of South Africa's 53 million people as the architect of the peaceful 1994 transition to multi-racial democracy after three centuries of white domination.

However, with his latest hospitalization - his fourth in six months - a realization has set in that he will not be around for ever.

His deterioration this weekend, two weeks after being admitted in a serious but stable condition with a lung infection, has caused a perceptible switch in mood from prayers for recovery to preparations for a fond farewell.

"If it's his time to go, he can go. I wish God can look after him," said nurse Petunia Mafuyeka, as she headed to work in Johannesburg.

"We will miss him very much. He fought for us to give us freedom. We will remember him every day. When he goes I will cry."

In a statement, President Jacob Zuma's office urged South Africa and the world to pray for Mandela "during this difficult time". But there was some concern among the public about doctors trying to prolong the life of one of the 20th century's most influential figures.

"I'm worried that they're keeping him alive. I feel they should let him go," said Doris Lekalakala, a claims manager. "The man is old. Let nature take its course. He must just rest."

Since stepping down in 1999 after one term as president, Mandela has stayed out of active politics in the continent's biggest and most important economy and his passing is expected to have little political impact.

His last public appearance was waving to fans from the back of a golf cart before the final of the soccer World Cup in Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium in July 2010.

During his retirement, he has divided his time between his home in the wealthy Johannesburg suburb of Houghton, and Qunu, the village in the impoverished Eastern Cape province where he was born.

The public's last glimpse of him was a brief clip aired by state television in April during a visit to his home by Zuma and other senior officials of the ruling African National Congress.

At the time, the 101-year-old liberation movement, which led the fight against white-minority rule, assured the public Mandela was "in good shape", although the footage showed a thin and frail old man sitting expressionless in an armchair.

(Reporting by Ed Cropley and Pascal Fletcher; Editing by Pascal Fletcher)

Facebook admits year-long data breach exposed 6 million users

By Gerry Shih

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc has inadvertently exposed 6 million users' phone numbers and email addresses to unauthorized viewers over the past year, the world's largest social networking company disclosed late Friday.

Facebook blamed the data leaks, which began in 2012, on a technical glitch in its massive archive of contact information collected from its 1.1 billion users worldwide. As a result of the glitch, Facebook users who downloaded contact data for their list of friends obtained additional information that they were not supposed to have.

Facebook's security team was alerted to the bug last week and fixed it within 24 hours. But Facebook did not publicly acknowledge the bug until Friday afternoon, when it published an "important message" on its blog explaining the issue.

A Facebook spokesman said the delay was due to company procedure stipulating that regulators and affected users be notified before making a public announcement.

"We currently have no evidence that this bug has been exploited maliciously and we have not received complaints from users or seen anomalous behavior on the tool or site to suggest wrongdoing," Facebook said on its blog.

While the privacy breach was limited, "it's still something we're upset and embarrassed by, and we'll work doubly hard to make sure nothing like this happens again," it added.

The breach follows recent disclosures that several consumer Internet companies turned over troves of user data to a large-scale electronic surveillance program run by U.S. intelligence.

The companies include Facebook, Google Inc , Microsoft Corp , Apple Inc and Yahoo Inc .

The companies, led by Facebook, successfully negotiated with the U.S. government last week to reveal the approximate number of user information requests that each company had received, including secret national security orders.

(Reporting by Gerry Shih; Editing by Richard Chang)

Mandela's health worsens, condition now 'critical'

By Ed Cropley

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Former South African president Nelson Mandela's condition deteriorated to "critical" on Sunday, the government said, two weeks after the 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader was admitted to hospital with a lung infection.

The worsening of his condition is bound to concern South Africa's 53 million people, for whom Mandela remains the architect of a peaceful transition to democracy in 1994 after three centuries of white domination.

A government statement said President Jacob Zuma and the deputy leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), Cyril Ramaphosa, visited Mandela in his Pretoria hospital, where doctors said his condition had gone downhill in the last 24 hours.

"The doctors are doing everything possible to get his condition to improve and are ensuring that Madiba is well looked after and is comfortable," it said, referring to him by his clan name.

Mandela, who became South Africa's first black president after historic all-race elections nearly two decades ago, was rushed to a Pretoria hospital on June 8 with a recurrence of a lung infection, his fourth hospitalisation in six months.

Until Sunday, official communiques had described his condition as "serious but stable" although comments last week from Mandela family members and his presidential successor, Thabo Mbeki, suggested he was on the mend.

Since stepping down after one term as president, Mandela has played little role in the public or political life of the continent's biggest and most important economy.

His last public appearance was waving to fans from the back of a golf cart before the final of the soccer World Cup in Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium in July 2010.

During his retirement, he has divided his time between his home in the wealthy Johannesburg suburb of Houghton, and Qunu, the village in the impoverished Eastern Cape province where he was born.

The public's last glimpse of him was a brief clip aired by state television in April during a visit to his home by Zuma and other senior ANC officials.

At the time, the 101-year-old liberation movement, which led the fight against white-minority rule, assured the public Mandela was "in good shape" although the footage showed a thin and frail old man sitting expressionless in an armchair.

"Obviously we are very worried," ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu told Johannesburg station Talk Radio 702. "We are praying for him, his family and the doctors."


Since his latest admission to hospital, well-wishers have been arriving at his Johannesburg home, with scores of school-children leaving painted stones outside the gates bearing prayers for his recovery.

However, for the first time, South African media have broken a taboo against contemplating the inevitable passing of the father of the post-apartheid "Rainbow Nation" and one of the 20th century's most influential figures.

The day after he went into hospital, South Africa's Sunday Times newspaper carried a front-page headline saying it was "time to let him go".

"He's absolutely an icon and if he's gone we just have to accept that. He will be gone but his teachings, what he stood for, I'm sure we've all learnt and we should be able to live with it and reproduce it wherever we go," said Tshepho Langa, a customer at a Johannesburg hotel.

"He's done his best," he added. "We are grateful for it and we are willing to do the good that he has done."

Despite the widespread adulation, Mandela is not without detractors at home and in the rest of Africa who feel that in the dying days of apartheid he made too many concessions to whites, who make up just 10 percent of the population.

After more than 10 years of affirmative action policies aimed at redressing the balance, South Africa remains one of the world's most unequal societies, with whites still controlling much of the economy and the average white household earning six times more than a black one.

"Mandela has gone a bit too far in doing good to the non-black communities, really in some cases at the expense of (blacks)," Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, 89, said in a documentary aired on South African television this month.

"That's being too saintly, too good, too much of a saint."

(Additional reporting by Pascal Fletcher, Leon Malherbe and Bart Noonan; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

Iceland businessman says plane ready for Snowden

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) An Icelandic business executive said Friday that a private plane is on standby to transport National Security Agency secrets leaker Edward Snowden from Hong Kong to Iceland.

Olafur Vignir Sigurvinsson said he has not spoken directly with Snowden but has been in touch with a third party representing him.

The businessman, who has connections to the WikiLeaks secret-spilling organization, said he has access to planes in Hong Kong and mainland China that Snowden could use.

But Iceland's government says it has not received an asylum request from Snowden, who has revealed his role in providing secret NSA documents about widespread surveillance programs.

Iceland Interior Ministry spokesman Johannes Tomasson said Snowden hasn't approached the ministry and could initiate an asylum request if he was already in Iceland.

When asked about the reports of Sigurvinsson chartering a private plane to fly Snowden to Iceland, Tomasson said: "We don't object to that. But we don't have any knowledge other than what has been in the news. We can't comment any further on that."

U.S. officials have expressed an interest in prosecuting Snowden for his admitted role in the publication of the documents. Snowden fled to Hong Kong and is hiding.

Sigurvinsson said that Snowden's potential private flight is being funded by private donations.

"There are a number of people that are interested in freedom of speech and recognize the importance of knowing who is spying on us," he said. "We are people that care about privacy."

Money is being raised on Snowden's behalf by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee based in the United States, but it was not expected to be tapped to help with the cost of a possible flight to Iceland.

Spokesman Matt Wall said Friday that more than $20,800 had been raised so far to pay for possible legal fees but that this would not be put to use for Snowden's personal expenses.

Sigurvinsson is a former director of DataCell, a data hosting service provider that, as one of its services, processed donations for WikiLeaks. He previously worked for investment and technology companies, including Baugur Group, MerkurPoint and iCell.

He said his group hopes to obtain Icelandic citizenship for Snowden.

"We are hoping that the government does what they did with Bobby Fischer," he said, referring to the late chess master who went to Iceland to escape U.S. prosecution for breaking sanctions imposed on the former Yugoslavia. "We will see what happens."

You don't need a beautiful weather app to know which way the wind blows

by Rob Walker | @YahooTechLast week, Business Insider published its picks for the 15 companies that are dominating mobile design right now. Perusing that list, I was struck that four of the examples involved weather apps. Weather apps! Remembering too that Apple s recent demo of its forthcoming iOS upgrade focused pretty heavily on the new version of its weather app, I got to wondering: How can it be that more than a quarter of dominant design involves such a workaday category?

Upon reflection, this storm of weather apps makes sense if you think about it from the design-world point of view. Designers love creating new things, but what they really love is trying to make a better version of something that already exists. This is why, for example, pretty much every industrial designer creates a chair. It s not as though the core problem something to sit on has never been tackled, or changed much. But a fresh take on an iconic thing is a catnip-level challenge, and a possible ticket to immortality via object.

Perhaps, then, weather is the chair of apps.

That explains the appeal to interaction designers: It s the opportunity to place an auteur s stamp on a familiar category. But what about the rest of us?

The fact that weather apps are popular, and likely occupy prominent spots on untold numbers of smart phone home screens, does not mean we want to spend a lot of time with them. Quite the opposite: If you want to know how cold it is outside, you want to know now. If you re trying to decide whether to pack an umbrella for a weekend jaunt to the coast, even drool-worthy aesthetics are a problem if they delay your access to the relevant data. In this case, truth is more important than beauty: Actual weather information is pretty close to being a commodity, so the interaction designer s challenge is to get out of the way as beautifully as possible.

As with chairs, this is harder than it sounds: A gorgeous chair that s uncomfortable to sit in is also known as landfill.

When I looked at the overwhelming selection on the Apple and Google Play app stores, I was suddenly thankful for that mobile-dominance list narrowing things down for me; you don t need 27 weather apps to know which way the wind blows. Let s examine this handful of lauded takes on the weather app see how variable the conditions really are in this category.

1. Yahoo! Weather. Screamingly obvious disclosure: You are reading a Yahoo News page right now. Factor that in as you wish.

This happens to be the weather app I use, and no, that s not out of some sort of weird corporate loyalty. The typography is clean and engaging, it offers three screens of data for every city I choose, and I have a weakness for the app s most prominent gimmick: rotating geographic-and-weather-specific background imagery crowdsourced from a dedicated Flickr pool. (Yahoo! owns Flickr.) This actually makes it mildly fun to check the app even when I already know that it is pouring rain.

Also: This is the only app in this roundup available for Android and iOS devices. And it s free.

2. Sun. Go from Yahoo! Weather to this and there s no denying that approaches to solving the weather-app challenge can vary wildly. If you re into the super-flat, ultra-minimal tiles-and-icon aesthetic, this one is for you.

Looks aside, Sun has two features I like a lot. One: You can see current-condition summaries, elegantly simplified, on a single page. If (like me) you re a multi-city weather-tracker, this is cool. Two: The home screen icon shows the current temperature wherever you are, so you don t have to open the app. (Why don t all weather apps do this?)

Downsides? It s a little light on data, and a weird wavy-line forecast tool is slightly neat to play with, but it s not exactly intuitive, and actually adds to user effort.

A screenshot of the Sun app, on the iPad.This is a Web-based app for iOS devices; it s free.

3. Haze. This app is for those who like a little more razzmatazz in the graphic representation of basic weather data. The home screen shows the current temperature, and then alludes to the forecast by way of animated, colored bars pulsing either upward or downward in the background. Tap once to get a similar presentation of precipitation chances.

Pleasurable to interact with, Haze also skimps (for my taste) on data, or at least didn t make it easy to find what I wanted: Forecast high temperatures are plainly visible, but sometimes you want to know what the low might be two or three days from now, and I don t see how to do that. It also makes sounds (these can be disabled), which doesn t do anything for me.

This iOS app costs $2.99.

4. Dark Sky. The disconcertingly threatening name of this app is echoed by its look. It opens to a black-and-blue map with spooky radar-like depictions of cloud cover that you can manipulate with a slider along the bottom. When the skies over New York proved to be clear, the app suggested I check out its visualization of storms over some place called Solon Springs, WI.

Okay. Indeed, that s pretty entertaining for a moment or two make the apocalyptic-looking clouds move with your finger! Cool! But you can t get a real forecast from Dark Sky this is definitely a supplemental app, for true weather freaks who enjoy minute-to-minute predictions, depicted in a way that makes you feel like you re sitting in some Mission Control bunker.

Also an iOS app, this one goes for $3.99

Screenshots from the Dark Skies weather appIn short: Yes, this does turn out to be an impressive array of design responses to a single notion. But I wouldn t mind seeing some of this interaction creativity finding its way to newer categories. And after spending the day manipulating these clever bits of mobile design, I can say with confidence I d rather have another chair than another weather app.

Could Paula Deen's words bring down her empire?

NEW YORK (AP) Paula Deen should hope for more fans like Jennifer Everett of Tyler, Texas, who carried a shopping bag filled with $53 worth of merchandise from the celebrity chef's Georgia store on Thursday. A day earlier, it was revealed that Deen admitted during questioning in a lawsuit that she had slurred blacks in the past.

"Who hasn't ever said that word?" Everett said. "I don't think any less of her. She's super friendly. She's a warm person who wouldn't hurt a fly."

Deen's admission that she had used the N-word in the past wasn't the first time the queen of comfort food's mouth had gotten her into big trouble. She said in 2012 that for three years she hid her Type 2 diabetes while continuing to cook the calorie-laden food that's bad for people like her.

Hypocrisy is one thing, hostility another. From her days as a divorced mother selling bag lunches on the streets of Savannah, Deen has parlayed her folksy, Southern gal charm into an empire that includes Food Network TV shows, cookbooks, magazines and a wide swath of product endorsements.

Now there's at least some risk to that image and her empire. The Food Network, which began airing "Paula's Home Cooking" in 2002 and added "Paula's Best Dishes" in 2008, has said it does not tolerate discrimination and is looking at the situation. She is one of the network's longest-running and most recognizable stars, although her show airs in daytime not prime-time. About three-quarters of her audience is female. The network, using Nielsen data, said it did not break down its audience racially.

Deen is also the author of 14 cookbooks that have sold more than 8 million copies and her bimonthly magazine "Cooking with Paula Deen," has a circulation of nearly 1 million, according to her website.

Outside of her loyal fans, Deen is now best known as the woman with diabetes who cooks fatty food and has made racially controversial statements, said Matthew Hiltzik, a New York public relations specialist.

"Those are usually not the ingredients no pun intended for a successful brand," he said. "However, she has very loyal, dedicated followers who are most likely to accept her apologies and explanations."

Where it will most hurt Deen is in her ability to expand her business, Hiltzik said.

Deen's business expansion began in earnest in 2011, when she began putting out a full line of cookware sold at major retailers including Wal-Mart, food items like spices and even furniture. In addition to her restaurant, The Lady and Sons, she owns a Savannah seafood restaurant with her brother Bubba. There are Paula Deen Buffets at Harrah's Tunica in Mississippi and at Horshoe Southern Indiana Casino, and restaurants at other Harrah's.

Deen's racial statements came to light as part of a deposition in a lawsuit brought by a former manager of Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House, who claimed to be sexually harassed and said the restaurant was rife with innuendo and racial slurs.

Deen was asked in the deposition whether she had ever used the N-word.

"Yes, of course," Deen replied, though she added: "It's been a very long time."

The chef's representatives issued a statement Thursday saying that it was a different time when Deen admitted using the N-word, and she does not condone its use today.

"She was born 60 years ago when America's South had schools that were segregated, different bathrooms, different restaurants and Americans rode in different parts of the bus," the statement said. "This is not today."

Under questioning in the lawsuit, Deen was also asked to explain why she had suggested that all black waiters be hired for her brother's wedding in 2007. She said she had been inspired by another restaurant where the entire wait staff was middle aged black men. The idea was quickly dismissed.

The situation has made Deen the subject of some online mockery, with Twitter users suggesting new "Paula's best dishes" that include "Cotton Pickin' Fried Chicken" and "We Shall Over-Crumb Cake."

Last year, her career took a serious knock when she revealed that she had diabetes for three years while promoting high-fat, high-sugar recipes like deep-fried cheesecake and bacon-and-egg doughnut sandwiches. She made the revelation as she signed on as the face of an initiative by a diabetes drug company.

Deen lost weight after the admission and now tells people to eat fatty recipes in moderation, but she hasn't backed away from the butter. In fact, she recently came out with her own line of "finishing butters."

In Savannah on Thursday, Waridi Stewart of Brooklyn, N.Y., took a pass on the buffet at Deen's restaurant. She said it was because the wait was too long.

"I feel nothing toward her in terms of her being white and me being black," Stewart said. "The food is good. I'm not here because of Paula. I'm here because of the food."

But she said Deen needs to be careful about what she says.

Connie Caprara of Norwalk, Ohio, brought her family to lunch at The Lady and Sons Thursday even though she had read about Deen's remarks. She said boycotting the restaurant would unfairly punish its employees.

"We've all said things we didn't mean to say," said Caprara, a 48-year-old billing agent for a medical practice. "But somebody in her position really needs to filter whatever comes out of her mouth."


Associated Press Writer Russ Bynum in Savannah, Ga.; Food Writer J.M. Hirsch and National Retail Writer Anne D'Innocenzio in New York contributed to this report.

Flooding may force 100,000 from west Canada homes

HIGHWOOD RIVER, Calgary (AP) As many as 100,000 people could be forced from their homes by heavy flooding in western Canada, Calgary city officials said, while mudslides forced the closure of the Trans-Canada Highway, isolating the mountain resort towns of Banff and Canmore.

Torrential rains and widespread flooding throughout southern Alberta on Thursday washed out roads and bridges, left at least one person missing and caused cars, couches and refrigerators to float away. Communities were hit hard just south of Calgary, a city of more than a million people that hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics.

Many downtown neighborhoods were ordered evacuated as the evening went on. Officials said the evacuation would take place in stages over the next few days. The province reported that 12 communities were under states of emergency.

Water levels were expected to reach their maximum around noon on Friday.

One woman who had been stranded on top of a trailer was missing after it was swept away, STARS air ambulance spokesman Cam Heke said.

Motorists who were trapped overnight Wednesday by water spilling over Canada's main western highway had to be rescued by helicopter, Town of Canmore spokeswoman Sally Caudill said.

"I woke up at about three o'clock in morning to the sound of this kind of rumbling, and it was the creek," said Wade Graham, a resident of Canmore. "At first it was just intense, pretty powerful, amazing thing to watch. As daylight came, it just got bigger and bigger and wider and wider, and it's still getting bigger and bigger and wider and wider."

He added, "I watched a refrigerator go by, I watched a shed go by, I watched couches go by. It's insane."

Bruce Burrell, director of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, said water levels on the Bow River aren't expected to subside until Saturday afternoon. The Bow River Basin already has been battered with up to 100 mm (3.9 inches) of rain.

"Depending on the extent of flooding we experience overnight, there may be areas of the city where people are not going to be able to get into until the weekend," he told a news conference.

In High River, Mounties asked people with motorboats to help rescue at least a dozen stranded homeowners.

"We have people on their rooftops who were unable to evacuate fast enough," said RCMP Sgt. Patricia Neely.

Environment Canada issued a rainfall warning for the affected areas, estimating as much as 100 millimetres more rain could fall in the next two days.