Friday, July 2, 2010

I’ll Take a Scoop of Prosciutto, Please
By Elizabeth Weil
New York Times

The heavily tattooed woman walking the Shih Tzu ordered Secret Breakfast, the most popular ice cream flavor at Humphry Slocombe. The proprietor, Jake Godby — a man so shy and socially awkward that it never occurred to him when he opened an ice cream parlor that such an establishment might attract children — makes the ice cream with bourbon and toasted cornflakes, including so much Jim Beam that the scoops always run soft. The day was a sunny Friday, ice cream weather. Just before noon customers started lining up near the corner of Harrison and 24th Streets, an unrehabilitated crossroads in San Francisco’s Mission district: first, a gold-chained Latino laborer who ordered Chocolate Smoked Sea Salt; then three 20-something guys — each part hipster, part geek — who stared anxiously at the flavor board, as if they had come in on a dare.
Why Is the Gulf Cleanup So Slow?
There are obvious actions to speed things up, but the government oddly resists taking them.
by Paul H. Rubin
Wall Street Journal

As the oil spill continues and the cleanup lags, we must begin to ask difficult and uncomfortable questions. There does not seem to be much that anyone can do to stop the spill except dig a relief well, not due until August. But the cleanup is a different story. The press and Internet are full of straightforward suggestions for easy ways of improving the cleanup, but the federal government is resisting these remedies.
A Cold Man's Warm Words
Jefferson's tender lament didn't make it into the Declaration.
By Peggy Noonan
Wall Street Journal
The tenderest words in American political history were cut from the document they were to have graced.

It was July 1, 2 ,3 and 4, 1776, in the State House in Philadelphia. America was being born. The Continental Congress was reviewing and editing the language of the proposed Declaration of Independence and Thomas Jefferson, its primary author, was suffering the death of a thousand cuts.
Overcoming taboo, Iraq turns to dogs to fight bombs
By Matt Robinson and Aseel KamiReuters
Washington Post

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A "dirty dozen" bomb-sniffing dogs whose canine nature makes them taboo in the Arab world is helping to win over Iraqis to the idea dogs are man's best friend -- especially when the animal saves your life.
Directory of State Laws
American Pyrotechnics Association (APA)

The state laws are in PDF format.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Arrests of alleged spies draws attention to long obscure field of steganography
By David Montgomery
Washington Post

A year ago in April, the government says, the accused operative known as Richard Murphy and his supposed wife, "Cynthia Murphy," booted up a computer in their comfy suburban Montclair, N.J., home. They visited a publicly available Web site and clicked on a picture. It looked innocent enough. It could have been a bunny rabbit, say, or a sunset. Anything at all.
U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

[This new web site launched today -- July 1, 2010]
'Globish' and the open-sourcing of English
By Ruth Walker
Christian Science Monitor

This form of 'English lite' is out from under the control of native speakers; does that matter?
Keeping Your Phone on a Digital Leash
By Eric A. Taub
New York Times

What happens when you have misplaced your iPhone or Android? You know the feeling — panic. And so many of us can be seen tightly grasping our phones. Maybe we want to be quick on the draw in case a call comes in. Or maybe the cost of replacing the do-everything smartphone is too high. Or maybe the phones have just become a part of our selves.
Older Folks Watch More TV, Get Less Out of It
Those over 65 devote three times more of their waking hours to TV than younger people, study finds.
By Jenifer Goodwin
U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

THURSDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- Too much Wheel of Fortune andCSI may not be good for seniors' mental state, new research suggests.
Climate, Obesity and the Aflac Duck
By Andrew C. Revkin
New York Times

In the wake of Chris Mooney’s latest analysis of ways to bridge the science-society gulf, I’ve been engaged in a fascinating e-mail discussion with a range of people either engaging in, or analyzing, climate communication. Several responses, alluding to everything from the obesity epidemic to the Aflac duck, are worth highlighting here.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Installing Your Own Home Security System
By John Biggs
New York Times

INSTALLING a security system has long been considered the domain of professionals — uniformed men and women who build an electronic shield around your home and monitor it from a command center.
If Cars Could Fly
By Nick Bilton
New York Times

Is it a plane? Is it a car? No, it’s a super flying car-plane!

If you have ever had the burden of trying to decide between driving or flying to work, soon you will be able to do both. Terrafugia, a company based in Woburn, Mass., is building a car that can also fly.

Fostering China’s Taste for Nuts
By William Neuman
New York Times

How might the Chinese best like to snack on their almonds? Pickled with chili peppers? Wrapped in seaweed like sushi? Or perhaps mixed with donkey hide glue, a substance prized in traditional Chinese medicine?
Goalkeeping Gets Easier in the Finances Arena
New Feature Offers User-Friendly Options That Help Savers Set Up Budget Objectives and Stick to Them
By Katherine Boehret
Wall Street Journal

When most people hear the word "budget," they groan about all the numbers and spreadsheets involved in setting financial goals. Instead they procrastinate and continue spending without any specific savings goals. Case in point: I recently postponed a meeting with my financial planner because I didn't have the energy after a long business trip to work through my finances.
Into the Great Green Beyond
By John Collins Rudolf
New York Times

At the end of an eco-conscious life, there is a final choice a person can make to limit his or her impact on the planet: a green funeral.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Discovering the Virtues of a Wandering Mind
By John Tierney
New York Times

In the past, daydreaming was often considered a failure of mental discipline, or worse. Freud labeled it infantile and neurotic. Psychology textbooks warned it could lead topsychosis. Neuroscientists complained that the rogue bursts of activity on brain scans kept interfering with their studies of more important mental functions.
Bill Wilson’s Gospel
by David Brooks
New York Times

On Dec. 14, 1934, a failed stockbroker named Bill Wilson was struggling with alcoholism at a New York City detox center. It was his fourth stay at the center and nothing had worked. This time, he tried a remedy called the belladonna cure — infusions of a hallucinogenic drug made from a poisonous plant — and he consulted a friend named Ebby Thacher, who told him to give up drinking and give his life over to the service of God.
Health Tip: Keeping Fire Extinguishers at Home
Suggestions for where to store them
By Diana Kohnle
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

(HealthDay News) -- Smoke detectors aren't the only devices that should be kept throughout the home in the event of a fire.
Health Tip: Choosing Athletic Shoes
Suggestions for finding the right pair
U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

(HealthDay News) -- With all of the choices for athletic shoes, how do you make sure you're buying the right pair?

Monday, June 28, 2010

In Faulty-Computer Suit, Window to Dell Decline
By Ashlee Vance
New York Times

After the math department at the University of Texas noticed some of its Dell computers failing, Dell examined the machines. The company came up with an unusual reason for the computers’ demise: the school had overtaxed the machines by making them perform difficult math calculations.
Online Bullies Pull Schools Into the Fray
by Jan Hoffman
New York Times

The girl’s parents, wild with outrage and fear, showed the principal the text messages: a dozen shocking, sexually explicit threats, sent to their daughter the previous Saturday night from the cellphone of a 12-year-old boy. Both children were sixth graders at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgewood, N.J.
Manute Bol's Radical Christianity
by Jon A. Shields
Wall Street Journal

As any churchgoer who tuned in to watch the recent NBA finals contest between the Lakers and Celtics already knows, the term redemption is probably now heard more often in NBA sports broadcasts than in homilies. A Google search under "redemption" and "NBA" generates approximately 2 million hits—more hits than "redemption" and "Christianity." The term can also be found in more than 2,600 stories on
Justices Expand Gun Rights
Ruling Says Right to Bear Arms Supersedes Local Laws, Setting Off New Fights
By Jess Bravin
Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court ruled Monday that armed self-defense is a constitutional right, a historic conclusion to a long battle over the meaning of the Second Amendment. See this interactive graphic for state laws.
Foreclosure alternative gaining favor
Short sales have been the hot solution for financially stressed homeowners and their lenders for the past year, but here's another potent.
By Kenneth R. Harney
Seattle Times

WASHINGTON — Short sales have been the hot solution for financially stressed homeowners and their lenders for the past year, but here's another potent foreclosure alternative that's about to take center stage: deeds-in-lieu.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

How to Turn an Old iPod Into Cash
By Jennifer Saranow Schultz
New York Times

Earlier this year, we started a recurring feature here at Bucks where we highlight others online who present novel cost-saving strategies we wish we had thought of. In our first installment, we detailed a creative tip for keeping thieves from trying to steal your important possessions. In this second installment, here are some tips we’ve found online for turning your possessions into cash and for saving on your commute that go beyond craigslist and public transportation.
Cellphone Charges, Rung Up by a Thief
by David Segal
New York Times

IT’S summer vacation time, people, and that is the perfect moment for a vacation bummer story. This one is brought to you by T-Mobile.
When Capitalism Meets Cannabis
By David Segal
New York Times

ANYONE who thinks it would be easy to get rich selling marijuana in a state where it’s legal should spend an hour with Ravi Respeto, manager of the Farmacy, an upscale dispensary here that offers Strawberry Haze, Hawaiian Skunk and other strains of Cannabis sativa at up to $16 a gram.