Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fighting Crime Where the Criminals Are
by Heather Mac Donald
New York Times

THERE was a predictable chorus of criticism from civil rights groups last month when the New York Police Department released its data on stop-and-frisk interactions for 2009. The department made 575,000 pedestrian stops last year. Fifty-five percent involved blacks, even though blacks are only 23 percent of the city’s population. Whites, by contrast, were involved in 10 percent of all stops, though they make up 35 percent of the city’s population.
Protect Your Move
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
U. S. Department of Transportation
Average Federal Tax Rates: 2007
Congressional Budget Office (CBO)

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Culture of Exposure
by David Brooks
New York Times

The most interesting part of my job is that I get to observe powerful people at close quarters. Most people in government, I find, are there because they sincerely want to do good. But they’re also exhausted and frustrated much of the time. And at these moments they can’t help letting you know that things would be much better if only there weren’t so many morons all around.
The Openness Elixir
In the marketplace of ideas, progress depends on freedom—and the expectation of error
By Trevor Butterworth
Wall Street Journal

The word "slick" did not come to mind as Tony Hayward, the embattled chief executive of BP, foundered in a sea of congressional questioning this week. Never in the face of righteous political indignation did expertise look so unconvincing and so unworthy of its status. But in many respects Mr. Hayward and BP were simply unlucky: They were caught out by an event they didn't think would happen and then compounded the problem by sounding clueless when asked to explain what went wrong or how they would fix it.
Scientists Suggest Links Between Personality, Size of Brain Regions
But openness and intellect didn't correspond to any particular brain structure, researchers found
by Alan Mozes
MedlinePlus (NLM&NIH)

THURSDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- An individual's personality appears to be linked partly to the size of different parts of the brain, new research from the University of Minnesota reveals.
What? No More Coffee and Chocolate?
By: Stephanie | June 25, 2010 | Category: General
GovGab Your U. S. Government Blog

One of my two year old's favorite tricks is when I make his toy caterpillar turn into a toy butterfly under a dishtowel cocoon. He squeals with glee every time the butterfly emerges from the dishtowel! (You have to love inspiration from The Very Hungry Caterpillar.)
America’s Heavy Icebreakers Are Both Broken Down
By Andrew C. Revkin
New York Times

The warnings have mounted for half a decade. The United States, despite having substantial scientific operations in Antarctica and seeing ever more activity in its Arctic waters, has been relying on a pair of aging, decades-old heavy icebreakers to maintain mobility in ice-cloaked seas.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

BP Spills Coffee
UVA Reform: It’s Not PDQ
By Catherine Saint Louis
New York Times

AS summer begins, Americans are buying up sunscreen, confident that applying it diligently will protect them from the rays that can lead to skin cancer, sunburn and wrinkles.
Take Your Dog To Work
How to Remove a Tick
National Institute of Health (NIH)
New iPhone Arrives; Rivals, Beware
By David Pogue
New York Times

Apple’s new iPhone, its fourth in four years, reaches stores on Thursday. Ordinarily, this is where you’d expect to find a review of it. But honestly — what’s the point?
Warm But Watchful Parents Can Keep Kids From Heavy Drinking
Parenting style has a lot to do with whether bad habits form, survey finds.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

THURSDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Although parents may not be able to stop their teen from experimenting with alcohol, a new study suggests that they do have a lot of influence when it comes to preventing their child from developing a heavy drinking habit.
California welfare cards can be used in many casino ATMs
by Jack Dolan
Los Angeles Times

Times review finds that in more than half of the state's casinos and gaming rooms, welfare recipients can get cash from state-issued EBT cards. Officials say they're moving to block such transactions.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Coming in 2011: New Labels for Light Bulb Packaging Labels Will Emphasize Lumens, Not Watts, as a Measure of Bulb Brightness
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Starting in mid-2011, the Federal Trade Commission announced today, consumers shopping for light bulbs will notice new labeling on packaging designed to help them choose among the different types of bulbs on the market – traditional incandescent bulbs, and newer high-efficiency compact fluorescent (CFL) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. The new labels will enable consumers to save money by selecting the most efficient bulbs that best fit their lighting needs.

The Era of the Oil Gusher
by Justin Gillis
New York Times

By some odd twist, oil gushers have come down in American cultural memory as a form of good news — evidence of riches found, like the popping of some geological champagne cork.
Arlington Cemetery officials knew about discarded tombstones found in stream
By Christian Davenport
Washington Post

Offiicials at Arlington National Cemetery were aware that discarded tombstones were lining the banks of a small stream on the grounds for more than a decade but left them in the mud, officials said Tuesday.
Google Voice for everyone
6/22/2010 10:00:00 AM
Official Google Blog

A little over a year ago, we released an early preview of Google Voice, our web-based platform for managing your communications. We introduced one number to ring all your phones, voicemail that works like email, free calls and text messages to the U.S. and Canada, low-priced international calls and more—the only catch was you had to request and receive an invite to try it out. Today, after lots of testing and tweaking, we’re excited to open up Google Voice to the public, no invitation required.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Are You a Workaholic?
Wall Street Journal
Least-Welcome Sign of Summer
by Anne Marie Chaker and Anjali Athavaley
Wall Street Journal

Carolyn Walker collects and sells shade plants from her home in Bryn Mawr, Pa. There's one plant she can't seem to get rid of this year—poison ivy. "I have noticed a lot more little seedlings of it in my garden," Ms. Walker says. She and her 19-year-old son have rashes on their arms. "I normally don't get it at all," she adds.
When Food and Pills Clash
Fresh Concerns on How Diet and Medicines Interact, From Pepper to Pomegranate
by Shirley S. Wang
Wall Street Journal

Americans increasingly view the food they eat as medicine to help lower cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure and control blood sugar. But as with prescribed drugs, the health-improving qualities of foods such as olive oil, nuts and fruit can interact with other medications, causing possible problems.
Sand flies infect U.S. forces with parasite that leaves them with 'Baghdad Boil'
by Eric Athas
Washington Post

Mason Alsaleh was sound asleep when he was attacked at a U.S. Army outpost in northwest Iraq.
Stress assessment: Rate your stress level
By Mayo Clinic staff
Mayo Clinic

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Father’s Gift to Me
by Nicholas D. Kristof
New York Times

When I was 12, my father came and spoke to my seventh-grade class. I remember feeling proud, for my rural school was impressed by a visit from a university professor. But I also recall being embarrassed — at my dad’s strong Slavic accent, at his refugee origins, at his “differentness.”
What Broke My Father’s Heart
by Katy Butler
New York Times

One October afternoon three years ago while I was visiting my parents, my mother made a request I dreaded and longed to fulfill. She had just poured me a cup of Earl Grey from her Japanese iron teapot, shaped like a little pumpkin; outside, two cardinals splashed in the birdbath in the weak Connecticut sunlight. Her white hair was gathered at the nape of her neck, and her voice was low. “Please help me get Jeff’s pacemaker turned off,” she said, using my father’s first name. I nodded, and my heart knocked.
The Toys Are Us
by David Hajdu
Wall Street Journal

NEARLY 2,000 years after St. Paul of Tarsus wrote his poetic epistles to the people of Corinth, we still equate our capacity for selfless love with the putting away of childish things. That is to say, the time comes for each of us to grow up and pack up our toys.
Israel and the Surrender of the West
One of the world's oldest stories is playing out before our eyes: The Jews are being scapegoated again.
By Shelby Steele
Wall Street Journal

The most interesting voice in all the fallout surrounding the Gaza flotilla incident is that sanctimonious and meddling voice known as "world opinion." At every turn "world opinion," like a school marm, takes offense and condemns Israel for yet another infraction of the world's moral sensibility. And this voice has achieved an international political legitimacy so that even the silliest condemnation of Israel is an opportunity for self-congratulation.