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
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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, June 25

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Wednesday, 25 June 2014 8:33 AM

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

In Bitter Feud, Tiny Nebraska Town Votes Itself Out of Existence
Source: Omaha World-Herald
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In Bitter Feud, Tiny Nebraska Town Votes Itself Out of Existence

A bitter battle over a law banning livestock from a tiny Nebraska town has threatened to wipe the town off the map. Residents there, so upset over the law, voted by one vote to dissolve the town altogether. On the surface, the story of Seneca, Nebraska is very much a local interest piece. But if you dig a little deeper, Matthew Hansen of the Omaha World-Herald says the story of Seneca really is a microcosm of the worst of modern-day America. Hansen says we live in a world where “winning an empty argument always trumps the harder labor of searching for common ground.”

 
Singing Chinese Tycoon to Treat 1000 Homeless to Lunch
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Singing Chinese Tycoon to Treat 1000 Homeless to Lunch

Chinese recycling tycoon Chen Guangbiao is planning to treat 1000 homeless New Yorkers to lunch in the swanky Central Park Boathouse restaurant. After lunch, he’ll hand each attendee $300 in cash. He says he wants to inspire others and prove that Chinese people are generous. But not everyone wants his money. The New York Post caught Guangbiao trying to hand a $100 bill to a homeless man who brushed him off. The South China Morning Post says Guangbiao is also known for his habit of singing “We Are the World” which he plans to do at his series of free lunches. VIDEO

 
Building the Next Generation of Restroom Hand Dryers
Source: Wall Street Journal
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Building the Next Generation of Restroom Hand Dryers

Restroom hand dryers have come a long way in recent years, but many people still prefer the old fashioned paper towel. The Wall Street Journal says dryer manufacturers aren’t giving up. The new generation of hand dryers promises to be more efficient and cleaner. One company describes the sensation as a “fresh breeze off the ocean.”

 
Microsoft Outage Forces Workers to Interact in Person
Source: Washington Post
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Microsoft Outage Forces Workers to Interact in Person

It was just like the old days for a few hours yesterday. If you wanted to talk to a colleague, you had to pick up the phone - or actually get up and walk over to them. The Washington Post says a widespread outage of Microsoft’s email service meant workers throughout North America who rely on Outlook had no access to their email.

 
Experts Say Chronic Pain Statistic Exaggerated
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Experts Say Chronic Pain Statistic Exaggerated

There’s an oft-cited statistic that 100 million Americans (or about 40% of the adult population) suffer from severe chronic pain. But according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, experts say that figure is exaggerated and misleading. The paper found that of the 19 members of the Congressional panel that came up with the statistic, 9 had close ties to the narcotic drug industry. Experts say in reality, only about 20% to 25% of adults are substantially impaired by chronic pain and only half of them can’t work because of it.

 
Despite Debts, College Degrees Still Worth the Investment
Source: USA Today
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Despite Debts, College Degrees Still Worth the Investment

Even with rising tuition costs and falling wages, data suggest college graduates will go on to earn far more over their lifetime than a worker with only a high school diploma. USA Today says the main reason is that average wages for those without college degrees have fallen as well. Over the past 40 years, those with a bachelor’s degree generally earned 56% more than high school graduates.

 

Pat’s Picks: Tuesday, June 24

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Tuesday, 24 June 2014 7:49 AM

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

College to Offer Athletic Scholarships to Video Gamers
Source: Chicago Tribune
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College to Offer Athletic Scholarships to Video Gamers

Robert Morris University in Chicago is looking for recruits for a new slate of athletic scholarships - aimed at gamers. The Chicago Tribune says the school will hand out 30 athletic scholarships to students who play the game “League of Legends.” The school’s associate athletic director says the game, while not physical, is like a sport in that you need to work as a team and know your role. Some students will receive scholarships worth about $19,000 — half the cost of Robert Morris’ tuition and room and board.

 
Stoppage Time Means No One Knows When a Soccer Game Will End
Source: New York Times
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Stoppage Time Means No One Knows When a Soccer Game Will End

One of soccer’s oddities came back to bite the United States in its 2-2 draw with Portugal on Sunday - stoppage time. In soccer, the game is over when the referee decides it is. At the end of each 45 minute half, the referee adds on an amount of time he or she feels will account for time lost to substitutions, injuries, goals and other delays. The New York Times says people in the soccer community have mixed feelings over whether this setup is part of the charm or in need of more clarification.

 
Slouching Really Is Bad For You
Source: Wall Street Journal
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Slouching Really Is Bad For You

Looks like your mom was on to something when she told you to “sit up straight.” The Wall Street Journal says evidence is mounting that good posture contributes to a host of health benefits, from reducing back and joint pain to boosting one’s mood. Doctors say many people develop poor posture sitting in front of a computer and carry over that posture while standing and walking.

 
Customers Flooded With Satisfaction Surveys
Source: Boston Globe
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Customers Flooded With Satisfaction Surveys

If you think you’re being asked to fill out more and more surveys - you’re right. The Boston Globe says the best known online survey platform, SurveyMonkey, is now processing survey responses at the rate of 2.2 million per day, up from 1 million a day in January 2013. Experts say companies want to get real-time feedback quickly, before negative reviews can spring up on social media. The surveys actually serve a dual purpose; to see how a company is doing and to gather information that might help draw more customers.

 
Retro Television Bigger Than Ever
Source: Orange County Register
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Retro Television Bigger Than Ever

You don’t need an antenna to enjoy your favorite reruns these days. The Orange County Register says a few changes in technology have led to an explosion of classic television series’ being rerun on cable and through streaming video services. And it’s not just older viewers tuning in - Antenna TV says a good segment of its audience is in its 30s and 40s.

 
White Artists Transforming Hip Hop
Source: New York Daily News
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White Artists Transforming Hip Hop

New York Daily News music critic Jim Farber says more Caucasian artists have risen to prominence in the past year than ever before - helping to transform the rap genre. From Grammy winners Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, to breakout star Iggy Azalea, industry experts say whiteness has become an advantage. Some observers wonder if rap will end up like rock and the blues, started by blacks but eventually dominated by whites.

 

Pat’s Picks: Monday, June 23

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Monday, 23 June 2014 8:19 AM

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

Is Gluten-Free Actually Healthy?
Source: Wall Street Journal
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Is Gluten-Free Actually Healthy?

Gluten-free products are everywhere. An estimated one-third of Americans are trying to avoid the element found in grain. But is going gluten-free actually good for you? The Wall Street Journal says many health experts believe there are no proven benefits to a gluten-free diet, unless you’re one of a small percentage of people whose bodies can’t process the protein. In fact, many gluten-free foods contain fewer vitamins, less fiber and more sugar.

 
U.S. Troops Relearning Lost Horseback Riding Skills
Source: USA Today
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U.S. Troops Relearning Lost Horseback Riding Skills

Horseback riding skills were once a key part of the U.S. military. Now, USA Today says the military is placing a new emphasis on horsemanship. Horses are still seen as an effective way to move through the battlefield in certain situations. So troops, usually Army Special Forces soldiers, are being taught how to control, care for and load horses.

 
High School Students Design, Manufacture Prosthetic Hand
Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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High School Students Design, Manufacture Prosthetic Hand

A Texas man has a new prosthetic hand, thanks to some local high school students studying advanced engineering. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram says the students designed and built the prosthetic hand using a 3-D printer and instructions from the internet about creating low-cost prosthetics. The hand cost the students less than $50 in materials.

 
The Battle Over Vice Media
Source: New York Times
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The Battle Over Vice Media

Suitors are lining up for a piece of Vice Media, with Disney, 21st Century Fox and Time Warner all clamoring for a piece of the company and its young audience. The New York Times says Vice could be valued at anywhere from $1.5 to $2.5 billion. Although Vice has only produced 11 hours of television programming, the company wants its own TV network, a movie deal and the maximum price for investors.

 
Taller Vans a Rail Challenge for Ford
Source: Detroit News
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Taller Vans a Rail Challenge for Ford

Rail cars have been a key mode of transportation for automobile makers since the 1950s. But when Ford started producing its Transit cargo van, the company soon realized it had a problem. The van is 110 inches tall, but each level of the standard, double-decker auto transport rail car is only 90 inches. The Detroit News says Ford has modified hundreds of rail cars to keep shipments of the Transit van running smoothly.

 
Excavating New Jersey’s First Rest Stop
Source: Newark Star-Ledger
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Excavating New Jersey’s First Rest Stop

Rest stops are plentiful along the New Jersey Turnpike. Long before the highway was built - the Cedar Bridge Tavern welcomed travelers. It was a popular rest stop in the 1700s. The Newark Star-Ledger says Monmouth University students are spending the summer conducting an archaeological dig at the site. They’ve turned up relics from those early travelers - and from Native Americans who frequented the area even before the tavern was built.

 

McDonald’s Scores With World Cup Ad

McDonald’s Scores With World Cup Ad
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Is this McDonald’s commercial the best World Cup ad ever?

 

Pat’s Picks: Friday, June 13

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Friday, 13 June 2014 7:42 AM

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

Tesla Opens Its Patents to Encourage Electric Car Development
Source: USA Today
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Tesla Opens Its Patents to Encourage Electric Car Development

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced his company is suspending enforcement of its patents to encourage new electric car development. Musk says he’s frustrated more car companies haven’t been able to develop better electric cars. The longest range Tesla Model S gets about 300 miles per charge while most other current electric vehicles get around 100 miles per charge. USA Today says one reason for the unusual move is that Tesla is building a new battery plant and is likely looking for other customers.

 
Trump Sign Irks Chicagoans
Source: Chicago Tribune
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Trump Sign Irks Chicagoans

In a city known for its architecture, Donald Trump’s 96-story Trump International Hotel along the Chicago River is not winning over many people - mostly because of the giant, “TRUMP” sign being put on it. The Chicago Tribune says the sign, while ugly, does follow Chicago’s rules and will likely stay. In an editorial, the paper says the scaffolding being used to erect the sign is attractive by comparison. The paper says it’s a shame because the building really is beautiful, but its sign strips away the building’s elegance.

 
Rep. Kevin McCarthy Likely to Replace Cantor as Majority Leader
Source: Washington Post
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Rep. Kevin McCarthy Likely to Replace Cantor as Majority Leader

The Washington Post says that in just 48 hours, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has become the front-runner in the race to replace Eric Cantor as Majority Leader. McCarthy is only in his fourth term, but fellow members of Congress says McCarthy is a master of relationships who has worked hard to reach out to members of the Republican party.

 
Teen Smoking Hits Landmark Low
Source: USA Today
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Teen Smoking Hits Landmark Low

Teen smoking is on the decline. Just 15.7% of U.S. high school teenagers were smokers in 2013 - that’s down from 27.5% when officials began tracking teen smoking rates in 1991 and down from a peak of 36.4% in 1997. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey also finds teens are drinking less alcohol and fewer sodas, getting into fewer physical fights and having less sex with more birth control.

 
Softball Players Fight for Level Playing Field
Source: Buffalo News
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Softball Players Fight for Level Playing Field

A group of high school softball players in upstate New York learned a valuable lesson when after years of playing on a substandard field, they sued their school district in federal court - and won. The Buffalo News says the Batavia High School players were upset that the boys varsity baseball team played in a local minor league stadium, while their softball field had fallen into disrepair. The district has settled and agreed to make $175,000 worth of improvements.

 

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