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 Food Trivia Night at Bell House
Save the Date

Pat’s Food Trivia Night at Bell House

Tickets are available for my food-themed trivia night at Bell House on July 29th.

 

Pat’s Picks: Wednesday, July 23

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Wednesday, 23 July 2014 8:35 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.

 

Pat’s Picks: Tuesday, July 22

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Tuesday, 22 July 2014 8:38 AM

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

Sen. Schumer Calls for Open Primaries to Save America
Source: New York Times
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Sen. Schumer Calls for Open Primaries to Save America

In an Op-Ed in the New York Times, New York Senator Charles Schumer blames the party primary system for the incredible polarization in American politics today. He says the partisan primary system has resulted in the election of more extreme officeholders and has become “a menace to governing.” Not only do primary elections typically only draw voters from the extreme right and left, they also usually forbid independents from voting at all. Schumer says we should adopt California’s “top two” primary system, where everyone votes and the the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, enter a runoff.

 
The Optimal Amount of Sleep
Source: Wall Street Journal
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The Optimal Amount of Sleep

In the morning news business, the topic of sleep comes up quite often. The Wall Street Journal says several sleep studies have concluded that seven hours is the optimal amount of sleep, not eight as was long believed. At seven hours, researchers found people achieved their best cognitive performance. Not getting enough sleep impairs memory and performance the next day and getting too much sleep can lead to diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

 
How to Keep Your Toes Safe During a Pedicure
Source: Washington Post
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How to Keep Your Toes Safe During a Pedicure

Summer is pedicure season - but if you’re not careful - you could wind up with a nasty toenail infection or fungus. The Washington Post has some advice on keeping your toes safe. Make sure your salon is properly sterilizing their equipment, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Many salons will even let you bring your own pedicure kit, which you can sterilize at home in the dishwasher.

 
Apple Betting Big on Big Screen Phones
Source: Wall Street Journal
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Apple Betting Big on Big Screen Phones

The Wall Street Journal says Apple is placing huge orders for larger screen phones, in a bid to meet demand from customers who have sought out bigger screens from companies like Samsung and others. Apple has reportedly asked manufacturers to produce 70 million to 80 million combined units of iPhones with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays. Apple’s initial order last year for the 4-inch iPhone 5S and 5C was only 50 million to 60 million units.

 
Will Atlantic City Survive Losing Four Casinos?
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
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Will Atlantic City Survive Losing Four Casinos?

The Philadelphia Inquirer dives into the future of Atlantic City, which faces the prospect of losing four casinos (and a third of its property tax revenue) in a single year. The Atlantic Club has already closed and Trump Plaza plans to close in September. Revel and Showboat could close shortly if they can’t find buyers by summer’s end. As far as all that empty space goes, one college has proposed turning a casino into a campus, complete with housing. Revel could become luxury condos.

 
Running to Your Own Beat
Source: Denver Post
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Running to Your Own Beat

If you want to get the most out of your next run, you may want to consider your playlist. The Denver Post talks with experts who say listening to music can reduce the perception of your exertion level by 10 percent. But the tempo of your playlist can play a key role in determining how much of a boost you get from your music. New apps like RockMyRun can help you choose music based on beats per minute (BPM) to best match your pace.

 

Pat’s Picks: Thursday, July 17

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Thursday, 17 July 2014 8:02 AM

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

Hard Times for Rock Cover Bands
Source: Wall Street Journal
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Hard Times for Rock Cover Bands

It’s not easy being a rock cover band these days. The Wall Street Journal says there are too few gigs and too many aging rockers who don’t want to quit the business. That’s why you’ll see some musicians settling for gigs at the local shopping mall or car dealership. But there are some rock cover bands who still make good money, particularly those who are willing to live on cruise ships or play in tribute bands impersonating rock stars.

 
Dyson’s Bet: You’ll Vacuum More If Your Vacuum is Lighter
Source: New York Times
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Dyson’s Bet: You’ll Vacuum More If Your Vacuum is Lighter

For about a decade, Dyson has spent hundreds of millions of dollars hoping to create a cordless vacuum that works just as well as the company’s highly acclaimed corded versions. New York Times tech columnist Farhad Manjoo says the DC59 Motorhead is like the iPad of vacuums - much more convenient than a desktop computer, but not powerful enough replace your regular vacuum.

 
Poll: Most Americans Unhappy With Obama’s Handling of Border Crisis
Source: USA Today
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Poll: Most Americans Unhappy With Obama’s Handling of Border Crisis

USA Today reports on a new Pew Research Poll that finds only 28% of Americans approve of the way President Obama has handled the influx of children from Central America. That’s one of the lowest approval ratings of any issue since Obama has been president. 53% said the United States should speed up the deportation process, even if it means some children eligible for asylum get sent back.

 
Manuel Noriega Sues Activision Over Portrayal in “Call of Duty”
Source: New York Post
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Manuel Noriega Sues Activision Over Portrayal in “Call of Duty”

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega has been in prison since 1990 for for smuggling drugs, laundering money and murdering political rivals, but now he’s suing Activision, the makers of “Call of Duty: Black Ops II,” for using his likeness in the game without permission. The New York Post says among the claims in Noriega’s lawsuit is that the former strongman has suffered damage to his reputation.

 
Sports Pawn Shop Offers Cash and Secrecy for Championship Rings
Source: Washington Post
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Sports Pawn Shop Offers Cash and Secrecy for Championship Rings

When former professional athletes fall on hard times, they may visit a pawn shop in Kansas City specializing in championship rings and trophies. Central Pawn owner Don Budd tells the Washington Post he’s bought more than 3,000 championship rings since 1988. A major reason athletes come to him is anonymity. He won’t reveal the names of his clients and even buyers must sign legally binding confidentiality agreements.

 
Breastfeeding Wars Hit Instagram
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
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Breastfeeding Wars Hit Instagram

The battle over what’s appropriate regarding breastfeeding has hit social media. The San Francisco Chronicle talks to several moms who have had breastfeeding photos removed by Instagram. Instagram, for its part, says it only removes content that violates policies, though many of the women the Chronicle spoke to says they don’t believe they broke the site’s rules.

 

Pat’s Picks: Wednesday, July 16

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Wednesday, 16 July 2014 8:41 AM

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

The Downside of Sexy Profile Pics
Source: Oregonian
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The Downside of Sexy Profile Pics

New research finds teens and young women who post sexy Facebook profile pictures will likely be judged harshly by their female peers. The Oregonian says researchers used two different photos of the same 20-year-old woman and created a mock Facebook profile for her. One photo showed Johnson wearing jeans and a short-sleeve shirt with a scarf draped around her neck. The other photo showed Johnson in a low-cut red dress with a slit up the leg and a garter visible. Those who viewed the non-sexy photo of the woman found her to be more physically and socially attractive and more competent than the subjects who viewed the sexier photo.

 
Searching for the Perfect Dunkin’ Donuts Location
Source: Orange County Register
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Searching for the Perfect Dunkin’ Donuts Location

It may be time to make the donuts, but where should we do it? The Orange County Register rides along with one Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee looking for an ideal spot in Southern California. Among the factors he considers: It should be accessible by right hand turns on a major route to the freeway, close to residential areas not businesses (since most coffee drinkers stop on their way to work) and far enough from unequal competition (like a competitor with a drive-thru window).

 
Summer Cooking Made Easy
Source: New York Times
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Summer Cooking Made Easy

The New York Times offers a summer cooking guide featuring simple ingredients and cooking techniques you can use all season. Your go-to cooking device should be your grill - and you’ll need to learn how to cook using direct and indirect heat. The paper also offers tips on grilling meats, vegetables and fish, plus tips for side dishes (add big flavor there).

 
Once Unlikely Partners IBM & Apple Team Up
Source: USA Today
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Once Unlikely Partners IBM & Apple Team Up

One-time rivals Apple & IBM have joined forces to create a host of new business apps. The partnership will take advantage of IBM’s big data capabilities and Apple’s user-friendly devices. The companies are working on more than 100 software programs for Apple’s iOS.

 
Review: The Ultra-Secure Blackphone
Source: USA Today
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Review: The Ultra-Secure Blackphone

USA Today’s Ed Baig reviews the Blackphone. He calls it the handset for people with something to hide. The phone works by using a custom operating system and a suite of applications that allow you to make calls, exchange text messages and browse the web anonymously. Baig says the phone is not quite ready for the mainstream yet, but it is well-suited for those who need the highest levels of privacy.

 
Romance a Rarity in Today’s Television
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
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Romance a Rarity in Today’s Television

Love is definitely not in the air on the air. The San Francisco Chronicle’s David Wiegand says three shows debuting Thursday sum up perfectly the way romance is depicted on television these days. Married, Satisfaction and You’re the Worst all offer “exceptionally bleak views of modern relationships and marriage.”  Wiegand says while the shows are all actually pretty good, they reflect the cynicism of the times, not just about romance.

 

Pat’s Picks: Tuesday, July 15

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Tuesday, 15 July 2014 7:18 AM

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

Did This Man Invent the Selfie?
Source: LA Times
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Did This Man Invent the Selfie?

The idea of the selfie exploded into the public consciousness in the past couple years, but a Hollywood camerman says he invented the concept. Lester Wisbrod has more than 150 photos of himself with celebrities dating back way before cell phones or digital cameras. The Los Angeles Times says Wisbrod took his first celebrity selfie in 1981 with a Canon Sure Shot 35-millimeter compact camera. Being a camerman, Wisbrod was confident in his ability to take the photos himself. He says taking the picture himself seemed to disarm the stars, allowing for a more personal photo.

 
The Most Endangered Jobs in America
Source: Wall Street Journal
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The Most Endangered Jobs in America

A company called CareerCast did a survey of the most endangered jobs in America. Top of the list is the mail carrier. That career will face a 28% decline in hiring by 2022. Meter readers and print reporters are not far behind. The publisher of CareerCast tells the Wall Street Journal the common link in many of these jobs is paper. That also explains why lumberjack jobs are on the list.

 
Study: Practice Not as Important as Natural Talent
Source: New York Times
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Study: Practice Not as Important as Natural Talent

Practice all you want…you may never get to Carnegie Hall. It mostly depends on how naturally gifted you are. An oft-cited 1993 study found practice accounted for about 80 percent of the difference between elite performers and committed amateurs. But the New York Times says a new analysis of studies into a wide range of skills finds practice time accounts for only 20 to 25 percent of the difference in performance for activities like for music, sports and games like chess.

 
Israel’s Iron Dome a Game-Changer in Hamas Fight
Source: Washington Post
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Israel’s Iron Dome a Game-Changer in Hamas Fight

Israel has endured some 1,000 rocket attacks in the past week - and yet there has not been a single fatality. The country’s Iron Dome antimissile system has been able to successfully intercept about 90 percent of the rockets from Gaza. The Washington Post says the system has allowed Israel to avoid sending in ground troops to Gaza, and it’s led Hamas and its allies to try to find more creative ways to attack Israel. Some critics say Iron Dome has taken the pressure of Israeli leaders to reach a settlement with the Palestinians.

 
Regrets of Aging Americans
Source: USA Today
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Regrets of Aging Americans

USA Today has results of a survey on the regrets felt by older Americans. Nearly half of adults 60 and over surveyed wished they had saved more money. About one-third regretted not taking better care of their health or not making better investments. The paper says the results offer a look ahead for younger Americans that can help shape their futures.

 
Carmakers Push for Changes to Europe-U.S. Trade Rules
Source: New York Times
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Carmakers Push for Changes to Europe-U.S. Trade Rules

Before they are sent to America, Mercedes cargo vans are fully assembled in Germany, test-driven, disassembled and loaded onto cargo ships. Once they arrive in the U.S., they are put back together before they are shipped to dealers. The New York Times says Daimler is trying to avoid costly tariffs by doing a token portion of the assembly in America. New trade talks this week
between the U.S. and Europe aim to change some of these restrictions.

 

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