Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Hard Sell on Salt
by Michael Moss
New York Times

With salt under attack for its ill effects on the nation’s health, the food giant Cargill kicked off a campaign last November to spread its own message.
Words and Their Stories: Dog Talk
Voice of America (VOA)

Americans use many expressions with the worddog. People in the United States love their dogs and treat them well. They take their dogs for walks, let them play outside and give them good food and medical care. However, dogs without owners to care for them lead a different kind of life. The expression, to lead a dog's life,describes a person who has an unhappy existence.
Golf in the (Wild) Kingdom
Sharing the fairway with lions, tigers and bears: 'Do Not Retrieve Your Ball'
by John Paul Newport
Wall Street Journal

When Ronel de Bruto, the clubhouse manager at the Skukuza Golf Course in South Africa, says, "Players here don't just concentrate on their golf game, they pay attention to the natural world around them," she isn't bragging that golfers there somehow have a more enlightened, smell-the-roses attitude toward golf. She's merely stating the obvious: They need to survive the round.
In Camouflage or Afghan Veil, a Fragile Bond
Elisabeth Bumiller
New York Times

ABDUL GHAYAS, Afghanistan — Two young female Marinestrudged along with an infantry patrol in the 102-degree heat, soaked through their camouflage uniforms under 60 pounds of gear. But only when they reached this speck of a village in the Talibanheartland on a recent afternoon did their hard work begin.
The Moynihan Future
by James T. Patterson
Wall Street Journal

FORTY-FIVE years ago this month, Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan began quietly circulating a report he had recently completed about the “tangle of pathology” — out-of-wedlock births, fatherless households — damaging low-income black families. The title said it all: “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.”
When Afghans Seek Medical Aid, Tough Choice for U.S.
by C. J. Chivers
New York Times

KHAN NESHIN, Afghanistan — Five-year-old Sadiq was not a casualty of war. He was simply unlucky. The boy had opened a sack of grain at his home early on Wednesday morning, and a pit viper coiled inside lashed up and bit him above the lip.

Friday, May 28, 2010

How We Bury the War Dead
Bringing fallen troops home is a fairly modern idea. Today, the military sees it as a sacred duty
by Yochi J. Dreazen and Gary Fields
Wall Street Journal

The U.S. military didn't always bring home its dead. In the Seminole Indian Wars in the early 1800s, most of the troops were buried near where they fell. The remains of some dead officers were collected and sent back to their families, but only if the men's relatives paid all of the costs. Families had to buy and ship a leaded coffin to a designated military quartermaster, and after the body had been disinterred, they had to cover the costs of bringing the coffin home.
New Breed of Specialist Steps In for Family Doctor
by Jane Cross
New York Times

PHILADELPHIA — By the time Djigui Keita left the hospital for home, his follow-up appointment had been scheduled. Emergencyhealth insurance was arranged until he could apply for public assistance. He knew about changes in his medication — his doctor had found less expensive brands at local pharmacy chains. And Mr. Keita, 35, who had passed out from dehydration, was cautioned to carry spare water bottles in the taxi he drove for a living.
Losing the Lice Without Losing Your Wallet
by Walecia Konrad
New York Times

IT’S a fact of life. If your children go to school or camp, they will each almost certainly end up with at least one case of head lice over the years.
Today's College Students More Likely to Lack Empathy
'Generation Me' tends to be self-centered, competitive, U.S. research shows.
U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (H.H.S.)

FRIDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- A three-decade analysis of prior research reveals that American college students are not quite as empathetic as they used to be.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

An eager beagle digs himself into the neighbors' hearts
When a divorce leaves a beagle in limbo, the dog's venturesome spirit saves the day.
By Kym Campbell
Christian Science Monitor

When we first moved into the quiet neighborhood, our neighbors to the east were a happy family with three preteen children, two cats, and a beagle named Huckleberry. The children would throw balls and chase Huckleberry around the front yard and into the backyard where we could hear the laughter and giggling continue on the other side of the fence.
Disaster Planning for Pets
by Tara Parker-Pope
New York Times

When my neighborhood was evacuated because of Delaware River flooding a few years ago, I had less than 24 hours to prepare. I packed a suitcase and grabbed important documents — but then I suddenly realized that I didn’t have a plan for my pets.
Making Soft Pretzels the Old-Fashioned Way
by Julia Moskin
New York Times

IT’S easy to knock the New York street pretzel — tasteless as “Jersey Shore,” dry as a vacant lot in August, tough as a water bug.
In E. Coli Fight, Some Strains Are Largely Ignored
by William Neuman
New York Times

For nearly two decades, Public Enemy No. 1 for the food industry and its government regulators has been a virulent strain of E. coli bacteria that has killed hundreds of people, sickened thousands and prompted the recall of millions of pounds of hamburger, spinach and other foods.
Easy Money, Hard Truths
by David Einhorn
New York Times

Before this recession it appeared that absent action, the government’s long-term commitments would become a problem in a few decades. I believe the government response to the recession has created budgetary stress sufficient to bring about the crisis much sooner. Our generation — not our grandchildren’s — will have to deal with the consequences.
Why I Don't Trust Gold
by Brett Arends
Wall Street Journal

This is a very sad day for me.

In Part One of this series, when I argued that gold might be about to go vertical, I made a whole bunch of new friends among the gold bugs.

And now I'm going to lose them all.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

BillShrink (New beta)
Find new television service
Tour Facebook's new privacy settings (screenshots)

Once again, Facebook has changed its privacy settings. Like the last time this happened, Wednesday's improvements are still a mixed bag, but a better one: they are generally easier to use but not as simple as they could be. There are a couple of curve balls thrown in, too. In this screenshot tour, we'll show you what's new--and what to watch out for.
The New Touch-Face of Vending Machines
by Stephanie Rosenbloom
New York Times

Vending machines in neon-splashed Tokyo have electronic eyes that evaluate customers’ skin and wrinkles to determine whether they are old enough to buy tobacco. In bathrooms at upscale Canadian bars, vending machines with flat irons enable women to defrizz their locks. In Abu Dhabi, the lobby of a luxury hotel has a vending machine that dispenses gold bars and coins at more than $1,000 an ounce.
A Taste for Hotter, Mintier, Fruitier
The Increased Craving for Intense Flavors Suggests That the American Palate is Changing
by Miriam Gottfried
Wall Street Journal

The buttery taste found in packaged foods isn't just butter flavor anymore. Increasingly, it is browned-butter flavor, formulated to taste deeper and more savory than plain butter, says International Flavors and Fragrances, one of the leading laboratories for developing flavors used by food companies.
Showing Gratitude for Partner's Generosity Strengthens Bonds
Solid romantic relationships built on mutual appreciation, researchers say.

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

(HealthDay News) -- When you do something for your romantic partner, is it the thought that counts?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Easy Money is a Fairy Tale
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The 10 Biggest Choking Hazards
by Laurie Tarkan
New York Times

According to a 2008 study, the 10 foods that pose the highest chokinghazards for young children are hot dogs, peanuts, carrots, boned chicken, candy, meat, popcorn, fish with bones, sunflower seeds and apples.
And Hattie McDaniel's Oscar went to? 1940 prize, Howard U. play roles in mystery
By J. Freedom du Lac
Washington Post

After winning the 2010 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, Mo'Nique noted that she was wearing a royal blue dress, along with a gardenia in her hair, because that's what Hattie McDaniel wore 70 years earlier, when she became the first African American to receive an Academy Award.
NODC Coastal Water Temperature Guide (CWTG)
National Oceanographic Data Center (part of NOAA)

To display water temperatures in a region of your interest, point and click on the region shown on the map below or select it from the side menu at left.
Study: Many Sunscreens May Be Accelerating Cancer
by Andrew Schneider

AOL News

WASHINGTON (May 24) -- Almost half of the 500 most popular sunscreen products may actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer because they contain vitamin A or its derivatives, according to an evaluation of those products released today.

Is E-Mail Checking You?
By Natalie Houston
Chronicle of Higher Eduation

Gentle Readers: do you know what your email inbox looks like right now?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tracking the Ancestry of Corn Back 9,000 Years
by Sean B. Carroll
New York Times

It is now growing season across the Corn Belt of the United States. Seeds that have just been sown will, with the right mixture of sunshine and rain, be knee-high plants by the Fourth of July and tall stalks with ears ripe for picking by late August.
New threat to public Wi-Fi users: Typhoid adware
The new threat is passed on to computers sharing an unsecured wireless connection.
By Leslie Meredith
Christian Science Monitor

A new strain of adware created by researchers at the University of Calgary demonstrates how easy it may be to infect untold numbers of computers signed on to public Wi-Fi networks.
More Workers Start to Quit
by Joe Light
Wall Street Journal

As the job market begins to loosen up, human-resource managers might increasingly be surprised by an announcement from employees they haven't heard in a while: "I quit."
Secret Lives – inspired by Mollie and Frankie
Procrastination: How to spot it. How to stop it.
A new book, 'Procrastination,' examines the different ways people procrastinate and solutions to motivate them.
By Trent Hamm, Guest blogger / May 23, 2010

Procrastination by Jane Burka and Lenora Yuen focuses on the challenging issue of procrastination. Why do we put off important, challenging work?
Some dogs are just too smart for our own good
Stay off the bed? Most dogs know that their owners can't possibly be referring to them!(Courtesy Fauquier Spca)
by John Kelly
Washington Post

That old admonition to never work with children or animals doesn't apply to newspaper columnists. There's nothing but gold there, especially animals, especially dogs. My column last week about the occasional untruthfulness of my black Lab, Charlie, prompted readers to share their own dog tales.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Academies’ March Toward Mediocrity
by Bruce Fleming
New York Times

THE idea of a football star receiving lenient treatment after testing positive for drug use would raise no eyebrows at most colleges. But the United States Naval Academy “holds itself to a higher standard,” as its administrators are fond of saying. According to policy set by the chief of naval operations, Adm. Gary Roughead, himself a former commandant of midshipmen at the academy, we have a “zero tolerance” policy for drug use.
Moonshine or the Kids?
By Nicholas D. Kristof
New York Times

There’s an ugly secret of global poverty, one rarely acknowledged by aid groups or U.N. reports. It’s a blunt truth that is politically incorrect, heartbreaking, frustrating and ubiquitous:
In a Land of Cynics and Saps, the Skeptic Is King
by Alina Tugend
New York Times

MANY of us have faced this situation at some point: a stranger approaches and tells us that he is visiting the city and lost all his money and identification, or it was stolen. He just needs $20 more to buy a bus ticket/fix his car/get a motel room.
Stabilize the U.S. Debt: An Online Exercise in Hard Choices
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget