Saturday, May 8, 2010

What You Need To Know: New Credit Card Rules
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
The Federal Reserve's new rules for credit card companies mean new credit card protections for you. Here are some key changes you should expect from your credit card company beginning on February 22, 2010:
Having a Cow About Steak Quality
Mass output and U.S. rules have diminished flavor; what aficionados should demand
by Mark Schatzker
Wall Street Journal

Let's talk about steak for a moment. Was the last one you ate good? How about the one before that? Be honest.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Social Security Administration (SSA)

There’s a new queen of baby names.  Isabella took the crown from last year’s winner, Emma, to claim the top girl baby name of 2009.  Jacob continued his remarkable run by holding onto the top boy name for the 11th year in a row over a new number two for boys, Ethan.  New to the top 10 this year for boys are Jayden and Noah, and for girls, Mia.
Mother's Day
Obsessively Seeking Original Occupant
By Christopher Gray
New York Times

THIRTY-ODD years ago, when I was a young architectural historian moving into the Cornwall, at Broadway and 90th Street, I began wondering who had first slept in my apartment. Four years later, I had emptied my bag of tricks in researching the building.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Megacities of the world: a glimpse of how we'll live tomorrow
By Harry Bruinius
Christian Science Monitor

By 2050, 7 out of 10 people will live in megacities, offering the benefits of concentrated living but also some of the biggest public-works challenges in human history.
Gardens That Grow on Walls
by Kristina Shevory
The New York Times

GIVEN the chance to accompany a team of botanists on a plant-collecting expedition to South America, most gardeners would probably be satisfied with the experience. They wouldn’t come home and try to recreate the rain forest in Manhattan.
Learning About Everything Under The 'Cloud'
by Walter S. Mossberg
Wall Street Journal

The digital world loves to revel in its own jargon, and one of its most popular phrases today is "cloud computing." You see the expression everywhere new uses for the Internet are discussed. But what do techies and companies mean when they refer to doing things in "the cloud"? They aren't talking about meteorology, and all they see when they use the term—which is always singular—is sunshine, not rain.
Va. launching portable housing for aging relatives
By Fredrick Kunkle
Washington Post

SALEM, VA. The Rev. Kenneth Dupin, who leads a small Methodist church here, has a vision: As America grows older, its aging adults could avoid a jarring move to the nursing home by living in small, specially equipped, temporary shelters close to relatives.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Founding Amateurs?
by Gordon S. Wood
New York Times

THE American public is not pleased with Congress — one recent poll shows that less than a third of all voters are eager to support their representative in November. “I am not really happy right now with anybody,” a woman from Decatur, Ill., recently told a Washington Post reporter. As she considered the prospect of a government composed of fledgling lawmakers, she noted: “When the country was founded, those guys were all pretty new at it. How bad could it be?”
The Limits of Policy
by David Brooks
New York Times

Roughly a century ago, many Swedes immigrated to America. They’ve done very well here. Only about 6.7 percent of Swedish-Americans live in poverty. Also a century ago, many Swedes decided to remain in Sweden. They’ve done well there, too. When two economists calculated Swedish poverty rates according to the American standard, they found that 6.7 percent of the Swedes in Sweden were living in poverty.
Why Do Compliments Cause So Much Grief?
by Elizabeth Bernstein
Wall Street Journal
Ric Morgan was in a receiving line at a fancy dinner honoring him for his nonprofit work. He was shaking hands with ambassadors and other Washington dignitaries when an elderly lady came up and congratulated him. After chitchatting for a moment, she placed her hand lightly on his chest, leaned in and said, "You certainly do dress well ... for a fat man."
Shanghai Is Trying to Untangle the Mangled English of Chinglish
By Andrew Jacobs
New York Times

SHANGHAI — For English speakers with subpar Chinese skills, daily life in China offers a confounding array of choices. At banks, there are machines for “cash withdrawing” and “cash recycling.” The menus of local restaurants might present such delectables as “fried enema,” “monolithic tree mushroom stem squid” and a mysterious thirst-quencher known as “The Jew’s Ear Juice.”
A Sampling of Chinglish
New York Times
Surviving the Age of Humiliation
by Jeffrey Zaslow
Wall street Journal

Steven Fink recently received an unsolicited email containing nude photos of a woman whose jilted ex-boyfriend wanted to embarrass her. The guy presumably hoped these private photos would go viral online, and now countless strangers are obliging him in his mean-spirited campaign.
7 things to stop doing now on Facebook
Consumer Reports Magazine: June 2010
Babies' Responses to Prenatal Stress Differ by Gender
Boys, girls adjust their growth patterns in distinctive ways, study finds.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

WEDNESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay 
News) -- Male and female babies have different responses to a mother's stress during pregnancy, such as being in poor health or suffering psychological stress, say Australian researchers.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Left Foot: The High Costs of Fallen Arches
By Gbenga Akinnagbe
New York Times

SEATTLE — I have had pes planus, or flat feet, all my life, and the condition never stopped me from doing anything I wanted to do. Like most people, I never thought of it as a serious medical problem. That was until last year, when the pain got so bad I could barely walk or stand.
Prepare for Disasters
By Joanne | May 04, 2010 | Category: General
GovGab Your U.S. Government Blog
It’s not unusual to hear stories of bombs going off in markets, public places, and government buildings in far off lands. This weekend was different because the car bomb was on U.S. soil.
Recall of Liquid Products for Children: What Consumers Need to Know
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants consumers to stop using liquid infant’s and children’s products that are part of a voluntary recall announced on April 30, 2010.
Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds
by William Neuman and Andrew Pollack

New York Times

DYERSBURG, Tenn. — For 15 years, Eddie Anderson, a farmer, has been a strict adherent of no-till agriculture, an environmentally friendly technique that all but eliminates plowing to curb erosion and the harmful runoff of fertilizers and pesticides.

But not this year.
Browser Market Share
by NetMarketShare

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Show Stopper: How Plastic Popped the Cork Monopoly
by Timothy Aeppel
Wall Street Journal

ZEBULON, N.C.—In a nondescript factory in this small, wooded town, 10 giant machines worked around the clock last year to churn out 1.4 billion plastic corks, enough to circle the earth 1.33 times if laid end-to-end.

Unknown to most American wine drinkers, the plant's owner, Nomacorc LLC, has quietly revolutionized the 400-year-old wine-cork industry. Since the 1600s, wine has been bottled almost exclusively with natural cork, a porous material that literally grows on trees in Portugal, Spain and other Mediterranean lands.
Shoppers Who Can’t Have Secrets
By Natasha Singer
New York Times

IT’S called behavioral tracking:

Cameras that can follow you from the minute you enter a store to the moment you hit the checkout counter, recording every T-shirt you touch, every mannequin you ogle, every time you blow your nose or stop to tie your shoelaces.
Now Don’t Hear This
by George Prochnik
New York Times

LAST Wednesday was International Noise Awareness Day, but if you missed it, you weren’t alone. Begun in New York 15 years ago as a grass-roots effort to educate people about the harmful health effects of excessive noise, Noise Awareness Day rapidly gained attention and advocates around the world. Gradually, though, America’s enthusiasm for the day began to abate. This year, in New York City, a mobile unit offered free hearing tests behind City Hall — that was about it for one of the noisiest cities on earth.
FTC Helps Prepare Kids for a World Where Advertising Is Everywhere
FTC's New Campaign Seeks to 'Ad-ucate' Tweens []
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

With American youth exposed to more advertising than ever before, the Federal Trade Commission is kicking off a new advertising literacy campaign to help older children understand the ads they see and become smarter consumers.