Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Perils of 'Wannabe Cool' Christianity

By Brett McCracken
Wall Street Journal

'How can we stop the oil gusher?" may have been the question of the summer for most Americans. Yet for many evangelical pastors and leaders, the leaking well is nothing compared to the threat posed by an ongoing gusher of a different sort: Young people pouring out of their churches, never to return.

A Global Graveyard for Dead Computers in Ghana

Packing for College, 2010 Style

Hidden financial traps are snaring even the best and brightest on campus—and their parents. Here is how to make sure you don't flunk Money 101.
By Karen Blumenthal
Wall Street Journal

As you help pack up the minifridge, laptop and extra-long twin sheets for your college freshman, you might consider a few other last-minute chores:

The Power Trip

Contrary to the Machiavellian cliché, nice people are more likely to rise to power. Then something strange happens: Authority atrophies the very talents that got them there.
By Jonah Lehrer
Wall Street Journal

When CEO Mark Hurd resigned from Hewlett-Packard last week in light of ethics violations, many people expressed surprise. Mr. Hurd, after all, was known as an unusually effective and straight-laced executive.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Who's a Pirate? In Court, A Duel Over Definitions

By Keith Johnson
Wall Street Journal

NORFOLK, Va.—Not since Lt. Robert Maynard of the Royal Navy sailed back triumphantly to nearby Hampton Roads in 1718 with the severed head of Blackbeard swinging from his bowsprit has this Navy town been so embroiled in the fight against piracy. Interactive Graphic

Baby sitters too costly? Check out rates in these Top 10 sitter cities.

By Mark Trumbull
Christian Science Monitor

Virginia Beach, Va., may be the best city in the United States for parents to find a baby sitter, according to a ranking by the online service Sittercity. The service, which matches parents with sitters who post their availability on the Sittercity's website, weighed metro areas based on both costs and the number of sitters available.

The Secrets of Songwriters

Whether they're poets or hired guns, modern lyricists are fighting to keep their words in tune with a wildly changing music business. How top writers, from country to hip-hop, nail the phrases they hope will last forever.
By John Jurgensen
Wall Street Journal

It's close to midnight in a Manhattan recording studio, and a songwriter is listening to a work in progress, one that he hopes millions will soon know by heart. He'd recently improvised the lyrics in the vocal booth, including the chorus: "If you're the country, I'm your new citizen." Now, he sings along with the playback in a soft, high voice. If all goes to plan, however, the voice forever linked to "Citizen" will be that of Beyoncé Knowles, the superstar singer in the next room, who's been gathering songs for a new album.

The top countries on Facebook (chart)

Posted in Main on August 12th, 2010 by Pingdom

Facebook recently passed an incredible milestone, 500 million active users. And it keeps growing.

Although Facebook initially focused on the United States, it soon turned its eyes towards the horizon and the rest of the world. And it’s a tactic that’s been working extremely well. Facebook’s current user base is more than 1.6 times the size of the entire US population. If Facebook were a country, it’d be second only to China and India.


A CDC-HealthMap Collaboration

Social Media in Disasters and Emergencies

By American Red Cross

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Web Photos That Reveal Secrets, Like Where You Live

By Kate Murphy
New York Times

When Adam Savage, host of the popular science program “MythBusters,” posted a picture on Twitter of his automobile parked in front of his house, he let his fans know much more than that he drove a Toyota Land Cruiser.

Embedded in the image was a geotag, a bit of data providing the longitude and latitude of where the photo was taken.

Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Moving From South Asia to U.S.

By Donald G. McNeil Jr.
New York Times

A dangerous new mutation that makes some bacteria resistant to almost all antibiotics has become increasingly common in India and Pakistan and is being found in patients in Britain and the United States who got medical care in those countries, according to new studies.

Are Americans Bigots?

Wall Street Journal

When in 1983 Ronald Reagan characterized the Soviet Union as an "evil empire," the reaction from his betters was swift. Writing in the New York Times, Anthony Lewis called it "primitive"—and wondered (naturally) what the Europeans would think. A headline in Time referred derisively to "The Right Rev. Ronald Reagan." All agreed on one thing: this kind of black-and-white moralizing had no place in American politics.

Discovering Hats, a New Generation Brims With Anxiety Over Etiquette

By Ray A. Smith
Wall Street Journal

Hector Ramirez sort of knows, from watching old movies, that men are supposed to take off their hats when indoors. But the 19-year-old Brown University student wears fedoras in class—with jeans—anyway. Slideshow: A History of Hats

'Twilight' leads Quileute tribe to help museum tell its true story

By Lynda V. Mapes
Seattle Times

Wolves that once roamed the wild Olympics, the stories say, were the first Quileute ancestors, transfigured by Kwati, a shape shifter and transformer as old and familiar here as the mist that rolls in from the Pacific.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Leaving a Job With a Bus, Not a Slide

By Michael Wilson
New York Times

How thrilling the ride off the back of a jet and down that inflatable emergency slide must have been for Steven Slater, flight attendant — cold beer in his hand, wind in his hair, the seat of his JetBlue uniform gliding merrily toward the runway. Woo-hoo!

Competing For a Mate May Shorten Men's Lives, Study Suggests
U. S. Department of Health and Human Services

TUESDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In certain situations, competing for a mate may shorten a man's life.

U.S. researchers found that when men reach sexual maturity in settings where they far outnumber women, they live an average of three months less than males from areas with a more equitable gender ratio.

Google's Widening Reach

Wall Street Journal

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Stephen Hawking: mankind must move to outer space within a century

By Richard Alleyne
Telegraph (U.K.)

The renowned astrophysicist said he fears mankind is in great danger and its future "must be in space" if it is to survive.

Slumdog Tourism

By Kennedy Odede
New York Times

SLUM tourism has a long history — during the late 1800s, lines of wealthy New Yorkers snaked along the Bowery and through the Lower East Side to see “how the other half lives.”

That Middle-of-the-Night Bellyache: Appendicitis?

By Perri Klass, M.D.
New York Times

Let’s start with “Madeline.” In that classic children’s story by Ludwig Bemelmans, published in 1939, the little French girl of the title is awakened in the night by severe abdominal pain, and the doctor races to get her to the operating table.

China Seizes on a Dark Chapter for Tibet

By Edward Wong
New York Times

GYANTSE, Tibet — The white fortress loomed above the fields, a crumbling but still imposing redoubt perched on a rock mound above a plain of golden rapeseed shimmering in the morning light.

A Masterpiece of Nature? Yuck!

By Natalie Angier
New York Times

A friend recently sent around an e-mail with the subject line “lost cat bulletin.” Open the message and — gack! — there was a head-on shot of a star-nosed mole, its “Dawn of the Dead” digging claws in full view and its hallmark nasal boutonniere of 22 highly sensitive feelers looking like fresh bits of sirloin being extruded through a meat grinder. Slideshow

How Parkinson's Alters the Brain

By Shirley S. Wang
Wall Street Journal

Patients with Parkinson's disease are known to exhibit slowed movements and tremors, but one aspect of their condition is often overlooked: cognitive impairment.

Unlike with Alzheimer's and other dementias, patients with Parkinson's don't lose their memory. Instead, they may develop trouble with planning, making decisions and controlling their emotions, and often exhibit changes in personality as a result.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Top 3 Things Not to Carry On Your Flight

By: Editor | August 09, 2010 | Category: Travel
GovGab Your U. S. Government Blog

Airline travel has gotten so complicated. Security lines are long; there are extra fees for baggage; adults need to keep out their federal or state-issued ID through the checkpoint; and there are restrictions on what can be carried onto the flight. TheTransportation Security Administration’s (TSA) website is the first place to go to find out the truth about these restrictions.

Cellphone Service by the Day, Month or Tankful

By Thomas J. Fitzgerald
New York Times

The two-year contract.

To the cellphone carriers, it is the centerpiece of their business model, promising a steady stream of revenue by handcuffing customers to their phones.

On the other side of the contract is the consumer, locked to a phone or a carrier as competitors offer less expensive or better alternatives.

Many Girls Now Begin Puberty at Age 7, 8
U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

MONDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The onset of puberty is continuing to drop among American girls, with many girls as young as 7 and 8 now showing the beginnings of breast development, new research shows.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

"Breaching for Heaven"

All You Can Say is "Wow"
Read the short description of how the photo was taken.

This Bedbug’s Life

By May Berenbaum
New York Times

I had been a professor of entomology for 15 years before I saw my first live bedbug. It crawled out of a plastic film canister that had been mailed to me by a distraught student in the Boston area who had no idea what it was. I was so thrilled to see a live bedbug, I showed it off to every graduate student I ran into that day: Cimex lectularius — a small, flat, wingless, brown ectoparasite that hides in cracks and crevices in human dwellings and emerges under cover of darkness to feast on human blood.

Touch Affects Impressions, Decisions

National Institute of Health

Something you’re touching can influence how you feel about unrelated events, situations and objects without you realizing it, according to new research.

But Will It Make You Happy?

By Stephanie Rosenbloom
New York Times

SHE had so much.

A two-bedroom apartment. Two cars. Enough wedding china to serve two dozen people.

Yet Tammy Strobel wasn’t happy. Working as a project manager with an investment management firm in Davis, Calif., and making about $40,000 a year, she was, as she put it, caught in the “work-spend treadmill.”

So one day she stepped off.

Divorce Insurance (Yes, Divorce Insurance)

By Jennifer Saranow Schultz
New York Times

Here’s a new option for those worried they’ll end up on the wrong side of the statistics that show so many marriages ending over time: divorce insurance.