Taking a Tech Timeout
Editor's Pick

Taking a Tech Timeout

Parental controls aren’t just for kids. Tips to force yourself to take a break from your devices.

Did This Man Invent the Selfie?
Editor's Pick

Did This Man Invent the Selfie?

Lester Wisbrod says he’s been taking photos of himself with celebrities for decades.

 

Pat’s Picks: Friday, August 1

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Friday, 1 August 2014 8:46 AM

The best headlines, the most interesting photography and conversation-starting articles from today’s newspapers.

There’s No “Song of the Summer”
Source: Wall Street Journal
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There’s No “Song of the Summer”

It seems every summer there emerges a hit song that is unofficially labeled “The Song of the Summer.” Think 2013’s Blurred Lines. But so far, the summer of 2014 hasn’t produced a signature anthem. The Wall Street Journal says while Iggy Azalea’s Fancy sat at the top of the charts for seven weeks, it lacks that universal appeal that inspires people of all ages to hit the dance floor.

 
WWII Portrait Artist Brings Veterans Back in Time
Source: LA Times
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WWII Portrait Artist Brings Veterans Back in Time

The Los Angeles Times introduces us to Chris Demarest, a painter whose latest project is creating portraits of World War II veterans in their prime. Over the past few years he’s painted dozens of these portraits, which he now brings with him to museums and libraries as a self-funded traveling exhibition. As he travels, he creates new works for people he meets along the way. He says many veterans see the war as the most significant time in their lives.

 
Kim Kardashian Could Earn $60 Million from Video Game
Source: New York Post
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Kim Kardashian Could Earn $60 Million from Video Game

The New York Post details the curious case of the company behind “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” the popular smartphone game. The Post says shares in Glu Mobile soared in the first few weeks of the game’s release. But the company’s shares took a big hit after it announced its gross margins would be lower than expected. The main reason: Kardashian earns 30 to 40 percent of in-game revenue, which could net her $60 million to $80 million annually.

 
It’s a Jungle Out There: Learning to Drive in New York City
Source: New York Times
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It’s a Jungle Out There: Learning to Drive in New York City

If you’ve ever driven in New York City, you know how stressful it can be. Imagine learning how to drive there. The New York Times has a fun read about the perils of learning to drive in Manhattan where pigeons, taxis and pedestrians looking to get hit to earn a quick buck all present a challenge to the student driver. One instructor says driving is 80 percent confidence and 20 percent common sense.

 
Stand-Up Paddleboarding Gains Popularity
Source: Des Moines Register
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Stand-Up Paddleboarding Gains Popularity

The Des Moines Register has some good information for those looking to try stand-up paddleboarding. Instructors say it’s much easier than it looks and once you get the basics down, you’re in good shape. Instructors recommend starting out on your knees and getting a feel for the movements before trying to stand.

 

Pat’s Picks: Thursday, July 31

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Thursday, 31 July 2014 7:53 AM

The best headlines, the most interesting photography and conversation-starting articles from today’s newspapers.

Air Traffic Control Jobs: No Experience Required
Source: Chicago Tribune
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Air Traffic Control Jobs: No Experience Required

The Chicago Tribune says since the FAA changed its requirements in an effort to expand hiring, more than half of all air traffic controller job offers have gone to people with no aviation experience. Of the 22,500 people without an aviation background, 837 were offered a job. The FAA says its biographical assessment test helped the agency select from a larger pool of qualified applicants.

 
Player-Tracking System Coming to NFL
Source: USA Today
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Player-Tracking System Coming to NFL

Football fans will soon know a lot more about their favorite players, thanks to tiny sensors in their shoulder pads. USA Today says the sensors will measure speed, acceleration and other information. The league says the data will add to the fan experience and could also change the way coaches look at the game.

 
Opinion: Treat Gun Regulation Like Car Regulation
Source: New York Times
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Opinion: Treat Gun Regulation Like Car Regulation

New York Times Op-Ed columnist Nicholas Kristof draws an interesting parallel between car safety and gun safety. He says we could have easily made the case decades ago that “Cars don’t kill people—people kill people …” But instead we passed speed limits and air bag requirements and drivers license requirements. But Kristof says the country has passed up on similar opportunities to innovate in gun safety.

 
It’s All the World Cup’s Fault
Source: Wall Street Journal
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It’s All the World Cup’s Fault

Television sales soared while other appliance sales slowed - and it’s all thanks to the World Cup. The Wall Street Journal says no less than 100 public companies have commented about how the World Cup affected their business. Makers of snack foods and sports drinks did particularly well - but companies like American Airlines and Denny’s saw less business.

 
Hundreds of Obama Administration Rules Technically Illegal
Source: Washington Post
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Hundreds of Obama Administration Rules Technically Illegal

The Washington Post says about 1800 rules passed by the Obama administration over the past two years are technically not valid - because they were never reported to Congress as required. But there’s not much anyone can do about it. Congress also barred such federal rules from judicial review, meaning no one can demand the administration submit the required paperwork.

 

Pat’s Picks: Wednesday, July 30

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Wednesday, 30 July 2014 8:29 AM

The best headlines, the most interesting photography and conversation-starting articles from today’s newspapers.

Europe Bankrolling Terror by Caving In to Ransom Demands
Source: New York Times
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Europe Bankrolling Terror by Caving In to Ransom Demands

The United States, famously, refuses to pay ransoms. But that’s not the case everywhere. The New York Times makes the case in a front page story that European nations essentially bankroll Al Qaeda and its affiliates by caving in to ransom demands. While European governments deny paying ransoms, an investigation by the Times found that Al Qaeda has taken in $125 million in revenue from kidnappings since 2008. In some cases the governments mask the payments as development aid.

 
Give Yourself a Tech Timeout
Source: Wall Street Journal
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Give Yourself a Tech Timeout

Want to reduce your reliance on technology? There’s an app for that. The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern introduces us to some ways to set up tech-timeouts. She says you can use parental controls to avoid spending too much time on your devices, especially during the summer or while on vacation. She recommends a $2 iOS app called Parental TimeLock or for Android users, Trustlook’s free Screen Time Control. She also recommends disabling notifications and hiding tempting apps.

 
President Harding’s Steamy Love Letters Revealed
Source: New York Daily News
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President Harding’s Steamy Love Letters Revealed

The Library of Congress has released thousands of pages of handwritten letters sent by President Warren G. Harding to his mistress. The New York Daily News says Harding repeatedly writes about his pal Jerry. The expert opinion is “Jerry” was a code name for his private parts. In one letter he wrote, “I hope Jerry will be welcomed cordially.”

 
Beyoncé & Jay Z to Split Once Tour Finishes
Source: New York Daily News
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Beyoncé & Jay Z to Split Once Tour Finishes

It looks like the end is approaching for Beyoncé and Jay Z. Sources tell the New York Daily News, the power couple is orchestrating the breakup of their marriage. But being the savvy business people that they are, Beyoncé and Jay Z will stay together for the duration of their lucrative On the Run tour, which wraps up in late September.

 
Spanx Jeans: Stretching the Limits of Slimming Products?
Source: Washington Post
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Spanx Jeans: Stretching the Limits of Slimming Products?

Do Spanx jeans live up to the hype? The Washington Post’s Robin Givhan says Spanx claims the magic of the jeans is not just in their slim fit, but also in their design. From the wider waistband, to the dark wash, to the faux wrinkles and the pocket placement, Spanx claims their jeans really do make you look slimmer. Givhan was not convinced, ultimately deciding the jeans were just another option in a sea of options.

 
Fist Bump May Replace Handshake in Hospitals
Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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Fist Bump May Replace Handshake in Hospitals

A recent study found handshakes transferred more than twice as many bacteria as fist bumps. The Cleveland Plain Dealer says that’s adding ammunition to the arguments of doctors who say handshakes should be banned in hospitals. Some doctors’ groups say handshaking in hospitals generates unnecessary risks.

 

Pat’s Picks: Thursday, July 24

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Thursday, 24 July 2014 8:42 AM

The best headlines, the most interesting photography and conversation-starting articles from today’s newspapers.

Judge Calls for Return of Firing Squads
Source: Arizona Republic
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Judge Calls for Return of Firing Squads

The latest execution gone awry, this time in Arizona, has advocates both for and against the death penalty squaring off. In the Arizona Republic, columnist EJ Montini writes about the federal appeals court judge who called for the return of the firing squad. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski was upset over the court’s decision to stay the execution of Arizona killer Joseph Rudolph Wood (a ruling that was overturned by the Supreme Court leading to yesterday’s execution). Judge Kozinski argues that drugs are to be used to help people with medical conditions, while no one can argue with the intended purpose of firearms and ammunition. He says we need to own up to the brutality of executions or not carry them out at all.

 
Eating Well for $4 a Day
Source: New York Post
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Eating Well for $4 a Day

Writer Joanna Prisco tests recipes from “Good and Cheap” a new cookbook that claims you can eat well on $4 a day. Prisco had scones for breakfast at $.75 a serving and soup for lunch at $.84 per serving. She broke the bank, however, with a shrimp dish for dinner. While author Leanne Brown estimates it to cost $3 per serving, Prisco actually spent almost $6 per serving on the dish.

 
The White House’s Third Wheel
Source: Washington Post
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The White House’s Third Wheel

When a government official sits down for an interview, he or she will nearly always have a chaperone - from the White House. The Washington Post says nearly every officially sanctioned interview with a “senior administration official” is done with a White House press staffer in the room. The paper says journalists see these monitors as an attempt to shape the news coverage and control the message. The papers have to play along with the system or else risk not getting the interview at all.

 
Keep Cool With an Unlined Suit
Source: Wall Street Journal
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Keep Cool With an Unlined Suit

Good news for guys who have to wear a suit in the summer. More and more designers are coming out with unlined suits that are suitable for the boardroom. The Wall Street Journal highlights a number of unlined or partially lined suits from high-end labels. The director of menswear at Saks Fifth Avenue says unlined suits were once a “kiss of death” but he now expects 15 to 20% of the suits the store carries for next year to be unlined.

 
Is Your Dog the Jealous Type?
Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
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Is Your Dog the Jealous Type?

Did you ever get the feeling your dog gets jealous when you pay more attention to someone else? You may be right. A new University of California San Diego study finds dogs are capable of displaying jealous behaviors, suggesting dogs are more emotionally complex than once thought. The San Diego Union-Tribune says the study also supports the theory that jealousy is a primordial emotion, that is not limited to humans.

 

Pat’s Picks: Wednesday, July 23

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Wednesday, 23 July 2014 6:50 AM

The best headlines, the most interesting photography and conversation-starting articles from today’s newspapers.

New Crop of Gardeners: Young Guys
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
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New Crop of Gardeners: Young Guys

The Minneapolis Star Tribune says gardening is gaining popularity among guys in their 20s and 30s. But most young guys aren’t growing flowers. They’re growing their own vegetables for grilling and their own hops for home brewing. The gardening industry is taking notice too, because these younger guys tend to be big spenders.

 
Review: The Amazon Fire Phone
Source: Wall Street Journal
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Review: The Amazon Fire Phone

The Wall Street Journal’s Geoffrey Fowler reviews Amazon’s first smartphone, the Fire. He says the phone has plenty of gimmicks, like the ability to operate it by moving your head. But the phone has some basic flaws like poor battery life and an inability to transfer many app purchases from previous phones. Fowler says the root of the problem is Amazon’s oversize ambitions for the phone.

 
The Science of Animation
Source: LA Times
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The Science of Animation

Gone are the days when a cartoon character would run off a cliff and defy gravity (at least for as long as he was able to avoid looking down). These days, animators are looking to create the most realistic elements possible. To achieve that, the Los Angeles Times says, many film studios have turned to high-level physicists, engineers and other scientists who have left careers in aerospace or academia to work in the movie business. They help create algorithms that simulate realistic water, fire, dust and other elements.

 
Contradictory Rulings on Health Care Law
Source: Washington Post
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Contradictory Rulings on Health Care Law

Hours after a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down a key part of the Affordable Care Act, a separate panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond, issued a contradictory ruling. The DC court ruled that insurance subsidies that help millions of Americans pay for coverage are illegal in three dozen states that did not set up their own healthcare exchanges. The Washington Post says the rulings could set up another Supreme Court challenge.

 
Bloomberg: Flight Ban to Israel Is Victory for Hamas
Source: New York Daily News
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Bloomberg: Flight Ban to Israel Is Victory for Hamas

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg boarded an El Al flight to Tel Aviv yesterday to show solidarity with the Israeli people - while urging the FAA and European nations to lift their bans on flights to Israel. Bloomberg says the decision to suspend flights handed a victory to Hamas.

 
How to Cook the Perfect Pot of Rice
Source: New York Times
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How to Cook the Perfect Pot of Rice

New York Times food writer Kim Severson embarks on a quest to make the perfect pot of rice - a skill that has eluded her throughout her culinary career. The first thing she discovered is that those who cook rice well, don’t necessarily know how to explain it. She offers what she did learn along the way: the kind of rice you buy matters, rinse it well, salt it well and measure precisely. Or as one of her colleagues told her, just use a rice cooker.

 

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