Saturday, September 4, 2010

Who's Hurting (Interactive Graphic)

Wall Street Journal

Freedom Trains

New York Times

In the winter of 1916, as Americans read the news of unimaginable slaughter in a distant yet rapidly spreading European war, it was easy to overlook stories like the one in The Chicago Defender reporting that several black families in Selma, Ala., had left the South. A popular African-American weekly, The Defender would publish dozens of such stories in the coming years, heralding the good jobs and friendly neighbors that awaited these migrants in Chicago, even printing train schedules to point the way north. Smuggled into Southern railroad depots by Pullman porters, dropped off by barnstorming black athletes and entertainers, The Defender emerged as both cheerleader and chronicler of an exodus that would lead about six million African-Americans to abandon the states of the Old Confederacy between 1915 and 1970. “If all of their dream does not come true,” it confidently predicted, “enough will come to pass to justify their actions.”

Please Omit Music (or Else)

Iran's top ayatollah doesn't like it—and he's not alone
Wall Street Journal

Advice to music lovers: Stay the hell out of Iran. According to the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's maximum politico- spiritual leader, the promoting and teaching of music—not just Western music, but any kind whatsoever—is "not compatible with the highest values of the sacred regime of the Islamic Republic." He "suggests" that Iranian youth should instead "spend their valuable time in learning science and essential and useful skills and fill their time with sport and healthy recreations instead of music." Those Iranians who prefer to do as they please run the risk of getting themselves stoned, by which I don't mean high.

How Debt Can Destroy a Budding Relationship

New York Times

Nobody likes unpleasant surprises, but when Allison Brooke Eastman’s fiancé found out four months ago just how high herstudent loan debt was, he had a particularly strong reaction: he broke off the engagement within three days.

Venerable Craft, Modern Practitioner

New York Times

Robert Ambrosi sweeps into the restaurant kitchen, past sizzling chicken and buttery mashed potatoes, and goes straight for the knives — carving knives and chef’s knives, paring knives and fillet knives, all made dull by clashes with flesh and bone. He picks them up and replaces them with identical twins. Slide Show.

Religious Outlier

New York Times

With all of the consternation about religion in this country, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of just how anomalous our religiosity is in the world.

Friday, September 3, 2010

'Upsetting the Natural Order': Managing Employees Old Enough to Be Your Parents

Published: September 01, 2010 in Knowledge@Wharton

If one looks at the research on older workers -- those who are at or close to retirement age -- one finds what Peter Cappelli, director of Wharton's Center for Human Resources, calls "an incredible amount of discrimination, bigger even than discrimination against race or gender." Older people, he says, often find it difficult to get a job, partly because relatively young supervisors are reluctant to hire and then manage employees who are decades older, even though these employees are the type of worker many employers say they want.

The Bed Bug Registry

The Bed Bug Registry is a free, public database of user-submitted bed bug reports from across the United States and Canada. Founded in 2006, the site has collected about 20,000 reports covering 12,000 locations.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Men’s Cosmetics Becoming a Bull Market

New York Times

WHEN cosmetics began disappearing from her bathroom drawer a few years ago, Gretchen Bain, who lives in Merchantville, N.J., knew the culprit.

Her husband, Jarrod.

Is Print Dead? (Infographic)

Is Print Dead? (Infographic)

The Top of Pops: 100 Most Populated Cities (Graphic)

Click the image to enlarge
Top 100 cities by population
Source: Fixr

Student Loan Debt Clock


This clock reports an estimate of current student loan debt outstanding, including both federal and private student loans.

Total student loan debt outstanding exceeded total credit card debt outstanding for the first time in June 2010.

Opening Statements: What to Wear to Court

Pleas of 'Not Guilty by Reason of Temporary Fashion Insanity' Won't Cut It; Lawyers and Witnesses Are Also Offenders

Wall Street Journal

There's a place where first impressions are even more crucial than at a job interview or at dinner with our future in-laws: the courtroom.

Yet court officials are constantly surprised by the imprudence of people's courtroom-clothing choices. Interactive Graphic and Slide Show

Dancing Merengue Dog

Smoking & Tobacco Use: Hookahs

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Hookahs—sometimes called water pipes—are used to smoke specially made tobacco. Hookah tobacco is available in a variety of flavors, such as apple, mint, cherry, chocolate, coconut, licorice, cappuccino, and watermelon.Hookah smoking is typically practiced in groups, with the same mouthpiece passed from person to person.

Rose Water Adds a Subtle Kick

New York Times

LET’S just get this out of the way first: Yes, rose water does smell like your grandmother’s linen drawer. O.K., let that thought go.

Now, imagine walking past an Arabian garden, cool and green in the bright sun, with a fountain splashing softly in the background and a faintly sweet, almost undetectable fragrance of roses lingering in the air.

That’s rose water, too. Now, don’t you feel better about cooking with the stuff?

Shrek fish: Japan's aquatic ogre

Shrek fish? A huge fish that resembles the animated character is discovered off the coast of Japan
By Alicia Pflaumer
Christian Science Monitor

The 'Shrek' fish was recently discovered by scuba divers and is actually called an Asian Sheepshead Wrasse, which is commonly seen off the Japanese coast.

Young Women's Pay Exceeds Male Peers'

Wall Street Journal

The earning power of young single women has surpassed that of their male peers in metropolitan areas around the U.S., a shift that is being driven by the growing ranks of women who attend college and move on to high-earning jobs.

Want My Advice? Um, Not Really

Wall Street Journal

When Amy Turek informed her parents that she wanted to have a destination wedding—on the beach in South Carolina—they gave her their best advice.

"They told me, Don't do it. It's too inconvenient for guests, too 'vacationy,' too selfish."

Her parents and other older relatives "were actually horrified," says Ms. Turek, who is 28 years old and lives in Wheaton, Ill. Ms. Turek disregarded her elders' advice and is getting married later this month by the ocean.

The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government

Partnership for Public Service

The Best Places to Work rankings are the most comprehensive and authoritative rating and analysis of employee satisfaction and commitment in the federal government. The 2010 rankings are the fifth edition of this ongoing series, following the 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009 versions.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How America's opinion of the Iraq war has changed

The Economist

OVER seven years after the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, America's direct military involvement is now coming to an end. President Barack Obama will set out his new policy in a speech from the Oval Office on Monday August 31st. American public opinion on the war has changed enormously during that time. (Graph)

Teen Substance Use Seems to Differ by Race
U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A new California survey suggests that Hispanic middle-school students are more likely to smoke, drink and use marijuana than other kids their age, while Asians are the least likely to experiment with these substances.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Roll-Your-Own Cigarette Machines Help Evade Steep Tax

Wall Street Journal

WOOD DALE, Ill.—Scores of tobacco retailers in the U.S. are taking advantage of a federal tax loophole to offer deep discounts on roll-your-own cigarettes. But the practice is attracting scrutiny from regulators and cigarette manufacturers.

Ten Fallacies About Web Privacy

We are not used to the Internet reality that something can be known and at the same time no person knows it.
Wall Street Journal

Privacy on the Web is a constant issue for public discussion—and Congress is always considering more regulations on the use of information about people's habits, interests or preferences on the Internet. Unfortunately, these discussions lead to many misconceptions. Here are 10 of the most important:

Chart Book: The Legacy of the Great Recession

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Smart Seafood Guide 2010

Food & Water

Our Dirty Dozen: Here’s a quick guide to our “dirty dozen” of common seafood choices nationwide that we give a big thumbs down.

Kids, Reading and Pets

A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

Health Tip: Signs That People With Dementia Shouldn't Drive

Who may be at risk for driving badly
U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

(HealthDay News) -- People with dementia may no longer be able to drive safely. Recognizing this may be a very difficult conclusion, the U.S. National Library of Medicine says.

The agency says these symptoms indicate that a person with dementia is no longer safe behind the wheel:

Monday, August 30, 2010

They Crawl, They Bite, They Baffle Scientists


Don’t be too quick to dismiss the common bedbug as merely a pestiferous six-legged blood-sucker.

Think of it, rather, as Cimex lectularius, international arthropod of mystery.

Here's The History of Bed Bug Management by Michael F. Potter

More U.S. businesses abandon outsourcing overseas

Bailey International has joined the emerging trend of re-shoring — companies bringing back overseas operations because the cost savings they expected from moving production to less expensive countries didn't happen.
(The Knoxville News Sentinel)
Seattle Times

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The story of Bailey Hydropower Private Limited might sound like that of many U.S. manufacturers, except it happened in India — one of the world's top destinations for offshore operations.

Tough New Workout Gear That Goes Easy on the Joints

Wall Street Journal

Greg Berman works out with the TRX Suspension Trainer at his San Francisco home.

Every week, Greg Berman squeezes in a total-body workout at home. He doesn't lift barbells and there's no room in his 1,000-square foot condo for a treadmill. (Scroll to the bottom for details on all the equipment mentioned in the article.)

The Jewelry Prescription

Medical Bracelets Go High-Tech. Style Aside, More People Find They Should Wear Them.
Wall Street Journal

It's a simple step, but one many doctors forget to remind patients to take: Wear a medical-alert bracelet.

Things Forgotten: Simple Lapse or Serious Problem?

NIH News in Health
National Institute of Health (NIH)

Chances are you’ve walked into a room and forgotten why you went there. And misplaced your keys or eyeglasses at least a few times. Many people worry about these memory lapses. They fear they’re heading toward a serious condition like Alzheimer’s disease, an irreversible brain illness.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hurricane Katrina History and Numbers (Infographic)

Mesa family grows food in swimming pool


MESA, AZ - Do you have an abandoned swimming pool that you just don't know what to do with? One family in Mesa, Ariz., decided to turn theirs into an organic greenhouse in their backyard. Web Site

Remembrances of Lives Past

New York Times

IN one of his past lives, Dr. Paul DeBell believes, he was a caveman. The gray-haired Cornell-trained psychiatrist has a gentle, serious manner, and his appearance, together with the generic shrink décor of his office — leather couch, granite-topped coffee table — makes this pronouncement seem particularly jarring.

In that earlier incarnation, “I was going along, going along, going along, and I got eaten,” said Dr. DeBell, who has a private practice on the Upper East Side where he specializes in hypnotizing those hoping to retrieve memories of past lives.

Neighborly Borrowing, Over the Online Fence

THE first time I unboxed my gleaming Roomba, I beamed like a proud new parent as I placed it gently on my hardwood floor.

That evening, I watched it putter around my apartment, sweeping and inhaling dust bunnies. When it gamely bumbled around bulky pieces of furniture, I dashed about, too, lifting the obstacles out of its way. After the Roomba finished its chaotic dance, I put it back into its case and patted the sweet little machine good night. The next morning, I returned it to its rightful owner.

The Roomba was mine for only 24 hours. I had rented it through a service called SnapGoods, which allows people to lend out their surplus gadgetry and various gear for a daily fee.

E-Cigarettes Spark New Smoking War

Wall Street Journal

ELMHURST, Ill.—Victoria Vasconcellos, the petite founder of an Internet retailer in this Chicago suburb, is in the thick of a regulatory battle that could affect millions of American cigarette smokers.

Ms. Vasconcellos imports electronic cigarettes from a Chinese manufacturer and sells them on her website,, to 14,000 customers. The 48-year-old is part of a growing legion of e-cigarette purveyors who are defying the Food and Drug Administration, which contends the nascent nicotine products are drug devices that require pre-market approval and may pose their own health risks.

’Vettes That Blow Their Tops

New York Times

CHRYSLER minivans with air-conditioning problems and Corvette convertible tops that tear at high speed are the subjects of some of the latest technical service bulletins.

The bulletins are compiled by and offer automakers’ insights into some recurring problems with various models. The bulletins, known as T.S.B.’s, are not recalls; they are information provided by manufacturers to dealers’ service departments and mechanics.