Saturday, June 5, 2010

Betting on the Bad Guys
Cartoonist Scott Adams's personal road to riches: Put your money on the companies that you hate the most
by Scott Adams
Wall Street Journal

When I heard that BP was destroying a big portion of Earth, with no serious discussion of cutting their dividend, I had two thoughts: 1) I hate them, and 2) This would be an excellent time to buy their stock. And so I did. Although I should have waited a week.
Does the Internet Make You Smarter?
Amid the silly videos and spam are the roots of a new reading and writing culture, says Clay Shirky.
By Clay Shirky
Wall Street Journal

Digital media have made creating and disseminating text, sound, and images cheap, easy and global. The bulk of publicly available media is now created by people who understand little of the professional standards and practices for media.
Does the Internet Make You Dumber?
The cognitive effects are measurable: We're turning into shallow thinkers, says Nicholas Carr.
by Nicholas Carr
Wall Street Journal

The Roman philosopher Seneca may have put it best 2,000 years ago: "To be everywhere is to be nowhere." Today, the Internet grants us easy access to unprecedented amounts of information. But a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that the Net, with its constant distractions and interruptions, is also turning us into scattered and superficial thinkers.
County Sin Rankings
Colleges Extend the Welcome Mat to Students’ Pets
by Jacques Steinberg
New York Times

COLUMBIA, Mo. — When Allison Frisch goes shopping this summer for furnishings to decorate her freshman dorm room at Stephens College, she will be looking for a comforter for herself — and a matching doggie bed for her roommate.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Video for animal lovers: Otterly adorable lessons

Learning to swim can be a difficult experience for any species. It's wet and cold. I might drown. Are you crazy? No way. What if I die? Oh, the drama!

Underground Parking at Home
by Bob Tedeschi
New York Times

Louis Coleman is director of sales for Vasari, a Guthrie, Okla., business that recently began selling residential car lifts. Hydraulic lifts in multicar garages are nothing new, but what makes Vasari’s system special is that instead of raising one car above another, it lowers one car into a subterranean chamber, allowing another car to be parked on top of the lift’s canopy (which now serves as the floor of the garage). Prices start at around $40,000, installed. 
The company's web site
Barbecue Food Safety
By: Ginger | June 04, 2010 | Category: Health
GovGab Your U. S. Government Blog
Airborne Diabetes Risk?
U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Terrariums Make a Comeback
by Emily Weinstein
New York Times

IT was an unseasonably hot Saturday in April, and the three dozen terrariums on display in a booth at the Brooklyn Flea were sweating, the moisture turning into beads on their glass containers. Katy Maslow and Michelle Inciarrano, who were selling the miniature gardens, answered questions from passers-by. An antique magnifying glass sat nearby, for those who wanted a closer look.
'Vanity' Press Goes Digital
by Geoffrey A. Fowler and Jeffrey A Trachtenberg
Wall Street Journal

Writer Karen McQuestion spent nearly a decade trying without success to persuade a New York publisher to print one of her books. In July, the 49-year-old mother of three decided to publish it herself, online.
Clean House Linked to Better FitnessPeople who take care of their home tend to get more exercise, research finds
by Robert Preidt
MedlinePlus

(HealthDay News) -- People with tidy homes are more likely to be physically active than those with messy dwellings, new findings suggest.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

It Isn't Iron and It Isn't Brewed, But Irn-Bru Hews to Its Orange Hue
Scotland's 'Other National Drink' Hopes Nobody Will See Tweak in Its Secret Recipe
by Paul Sonne
Wall Street Journal

CUMBERNAULD, Scotland—Every month, a retired 72-year-old accountant named Robin Barr pulls up to an industrial complex in this suburban Glasgow town to carry out a secret mission.
Mad About Blue in the Garden
By Anne Marie Chaker
Wall Street Journal

When Peggy Bowditch drives to her summer home in Maine each May, she ships her clothes by UPS so she can load the back of her station wagon with seedlings, including three trays of Himalayan blue poppies.
With advanced sensors, cars become increasingly capable of driving themselves
by Nic Fleming
Washington Post

With his jeans, white trainers and stripy top, Bob is every inch the well-dressed 6-year-old. He's standing in the middle of a hotel parking lot and, scarily, I'm driving straight at him. Instead of hitting the brakes, I put my foot down on the accelerator. With only about 10 yards to go, a row of red lights flashes across my windshield, and there's an urgent, high-pitched beeping sound. An instant later, I am jerked forward as the brakes slam on automatically and the car screeches to a halt just short of Bob's stomach.
Acupuncture May Trigger Natural PainkillerNeedle insertion stimulates production of chemical known to reduce discomfort, scientists say
by Alan Mozes
MedlinePlus

SUNDAY, May 30 (HealthDay News) -- The needle pricks involved in acupuncture may help relieve pain by triggering a natural painkilling chemical called adenosine, a new study has found.
FCC SURVEY FINDS 4 OUT OF 5 AMERICANS DON'T KNOW
THEIR BROADBAND SPEEDS
Agency Announces Plans for National Speed Testing, Starts Recruitment for 10,000 volunteers


Washington, DC -- Today the Federal Communications Commission released the results
of a survey on the consumer broadband experience. The survey found that 80 percent of
broadband users in the United States do not know the speed of their broadband connection.
Test your broadband speed

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Vatican Archive: the Pope's private library
From Hitler to Henry VIII - the secret Vatican archives are a secret no more.
By John Preston

The man standing outside the Porta Santa Anna Gate of the Vatican wearing a blue Gap shirt and none-too-expertly pressed Muji trousers could easily pass as an academic, or the cultural correspondent of an obscure television channel.
Supreme Court Says Suspects Must Disclose Intent to Remain Silent
by Jess Bravin
Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON—Criminal defendants won't get the benefit of the Miranda rule against self-incrimination unless they specifically invoke it, the Supreme Court said Tuesday.
Dot Shot: Sinkhole in Guatemala City
by Andrew C. Revkin
New York Times

This astonishingly unnerving photograph was posted today on the Flickr.com feed of the Guatemalan goverment and shows a seemingly bottomless sinkhole that opened up on Sunday in Guatemala City as a swath of Central America was drenched by tropical storm Agatha. Click here for the high-resolution version, if you dare. The storm only briefly hit tropical storm strength on Saturday as it came ashore from the Pacific Ocean over the weekend, but the death toll had risen to 115 at last count. Here’s a street-level view.
Contaminated Cocaine Can Cause Flesh to Rot
Report finds veterinary medicine in drug may cause outer layer of skin to die.
By Kathleen Doheny
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

TUESDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Cocaine abusers -- already at risk for an abnormal heartbeat, blood pressure problems, hallucinations, convulsions and stroke -- can add another potential health complication to the list: rotting flesh.

Monday, May 31, 2010

When Online Gripes Are Met With a Lawsuit
by Dan Frosch
New York Times

After a towing company hauled Justin Kurtz’s car from his apartment complex parking lot, despite his permit to park there, Mr. Kurtz, 21, a college student in Kalamazoo, Mich., went to the Internet for revenge.
A Spill Afar: Should It Matter
By Elisabeth Rosenthal
New York Times

For the last month, Americans have watched with growing horror as a huge leak on a BP oil rig has poured millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. As I wrote on Sunday in the Week in Review section of The Times, there is also shock that technology has so far not been able to control it.

But it is important to remember that this mammoth polluting event, so extraordinary here, is not so unusual in some parts of the world.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Frenchman Builds a Dream Ch√Ęteau on a Grand Estate in the Ozarks
Castle Built With 13th-Century Techniques; Oh, for a Modern Power Tool!
by Stephanie Simon
Wall Street Journal

LEAD HILL, Ark.—Boone County Judge Mike Moore has seen plenty of dreamers promise the world to this humble corner of the Ozarks.
A Tour of the World's Depths (Graphic)
By Bill Marsh