The Perfect Scrambled Egg
Editor's Pick

The Perfect Scrambled Egg

Food author Michael Ruhlman shares his tips for the perfect scrambled egg.

Best Guess Ever on “Wheel of Fortune”
New on the Blog

Best Guess Ever on “Wheel of Fortune”

Pat Sajak says this was the most amazing solve in his 30+ years on “Wheel of Fortune.”

 

Pat’s Picks: Thursday, April 17

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Thursday, 17 April 2014 7:55 AM

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

“Like” Cheerios? Then You Can’t Sue General Mills
Source: New York Times
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“Like” Cheerios? Then You Can’t Sue General Mills

Liking General Mills on Facebook, downloading a coupon or apparently even just buying a box of Cheerios might cost you the legal right to sue General Mills. The New York Times says the food company has added language to its website telling customers they can’t take legal action against the company if they download coupons or connect through social media. Instead, customers must submit to binding arbitration if any disputes arise.

 
The Rise of Catalogs in the Internet Age
Source: Wall Street Journal
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The Rise of Catalogs in the Internet Age

It doesn’t make sense. You do most of your shopping online these days, yet your mailbox is stuffed with more catalogs than ever. The Wall Street Journal explains that retailers are using catalogs as bait - the store window that comes to you - to entice you to go to their website or visit their store and shop.

 
Heartbreaking Text Messages from Students on Sinking Korean Ferry
Source: New York Post
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Heartbreaking Text Messages from Students on Sinking Korean Ferry

The New York Post says students trapped on the sinking Korean ferry sent text messages to parents saying their final goodbyes. Nearly 300 people are feared dead. The students were on an overnight trip to a tourist island when the massive ferry apparently hit something and capsized.

 
Vinyl Records Making a Comeback
Source: San Jose Mercury News
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Vinyl Records Making a Comeback

In an era when we can have thousands of songs in the palm of our hand, vinyl records are making a comeback. The San Jose Mercury News says sales of vinyl records jumped 32% in the U.S. last year. New record stores are opening and more artists are making their songs available on vinyl. Experts say the upsurge is due to both hipster newcomers and nostalgic old-timers.

 
Catching Concrete Blunders
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
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Catching Concrete Blunders

The San Francisco Chronicle profiles a group of enthusiasts who seek out misspelled street names stamped into concrete sidewalks in San Francisco. One man who hunts for them says finding one is like finding an Easter egg. But not everyone finds charm in the misspellings. One local resident was shocked to see “BRODWAY” and “BROADWEY” stamped on different corners of the same intersection.

 
Breeding Out the Bad Seeds
Source: Washington Post
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Breeding Out the Bad Seeds

DNA testing has come to the greenhouse. The Washington Post says more and more plant breeders are using DNA tests to screen plants for desirable genetic traits, instead of the traditional way of selecting seedlings by judging how they look and perform. The Post says marker-assisted breeding doesn’t draw controversy because the plant’s genetic boundaries are not crossed.

 

Pat’s Picks: Wednesday, April 16

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Wednesday, 16 April 2014 7:20 AM

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

The Perfect Scrambled Egg
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The Perfect Scrambled Egg

If coloring Easter eggs has put you in the mood for some scrambled eggs, you might want to take the advice of food author Michael Ruhlman. He whipped up some perfect scrambled eggs for the Seattle Times. He says most home cooks let their eggs cook way too long. His were on the burner for less than a minute. VIDEO

 
Bloomberg Spending $50M to Create Anti-NRA
Source: New York Times
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Bloomberg Spending $50M to Create Anti-NRA

Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is spending $50 million to form a grass roots organization aimed at curbing gun violence. The New York Times says Bloomberg hopes the organization will one day be able to outmuscle the National Rifle Association. Bloomberg says gun control advocates need to use the N.R.A.‘s tactic of punishing lawmakers who don’t support their agenda.

 
Google Plans “Modular” Smartphone
Source: Wall Street Journal
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Google Plans “Modular” Smartphone

Google has unveiled plans for a modular smartphone that users could customize with different hardware options. Owners would purchase different modules, like a better camera or a heart rate monitor, which would then be installed into the phone’s frame. Google would design the skeleton for the phone, while developers would come up with the designs for the different modules.

 
Man Finally Sent to Prison 13 Years After Conviction
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Man Finally Sent to Prison 13 Years After Conviction

Cornealious “Mike” Anderson was sentenced to 13 years in prison for armed robbery in 2000. But when no one ordered him to jail, he went on with his life, getting married, having four children, filing taxes and starting a construction business. Last year, around the time when he would’ve been due for release, corrections officials noticed a clerical error and he was finally sent to prison. Now his attorney is fighting for his release.

 
Teen Researches How Music Affects the Brain
Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch
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Teen Researches How Music Affects the Brain

The Richmond Times-Dispatch profiles 15-year-old Michelle Marquez, a remarkable young woman who has discovered the mathematical structure of sound that triggers emotions. She began working on this concept as a 12-year-old after seeing the movie, “Inception.” Her research into how sounds affect our emotions could have applications for attention disorder and PTSD treatment.

 
Superhero Window Washers Boost Spirits at Children’s Hospital
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Superhero Window Washers Boost Spirits at Children’s Hospital

In what’s becoming a semi-annual tradition, window washers at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago donned superhero costumes yesterday. The Chicago Tribune says Batman, Captain America and Spider-Man descended from the roof, stopping to interact with the young patients. They posed for photos and fist bumps, hoping to lift the spirits of those undergoing treatment for cancer or other serious disorders. VIDEO

 

Pat’s Picks: Friday, April 11

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Friday, 11 April 2014 7:10 AM

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

Thousands Losing Tax Refunds Because of Parents’ Old Debts
Source: Washington Post
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Thousands Losing Tax Refunds Because of Parents’ Old Debts

Talk about saddling the next generation with debt. The Washington Post says the government has confiscated refund checks from thousands of taxpayers - to cover debts owed by someone else in their family - usually their parents. Some of these debts go back several decades. The government’s effort to collect these outstanding debts goes back three years - when a single line tucked into the farm bill lifted the 10-year statute of limitations on government debts.

 
The Real Stephen Colbert Tapped to Replace Letterman
Source: New York Times
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The Real Stephen Colbert Tapped to Replace Letterman

CBS has made it official - naming Stephen Colbert as David Letterman’s successor. New York Times media writer Bill Carter says Colbert was an immediate front-runner who had made it clear over the past couple of years that he wanted this opportunity. Carter says Colbert has never really played himself on TV. We all know him as the right-wing blowhard who he says he’ll leave behind.

 
Planting a College Prank
Source: Houston Chronicle
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Planting a College Prank

When maroon colored bluebonnet flowers started popping up on the campus of the University of Texas, groundskeepers were confused, since they’d only planted regular bluebonnets. As more maroon flowers started to sprout, they began suspecting their rivals at Texas A&M University (whose school colors are maroon and white). Horticulturists at A&M confirm they bred the special maroon bluebonnets - and they say it’s unlikely they would just sprout up someplace - but so far no one at the school has confessed to the botanical high jinks.

 
Hillary Takes Shoe-Throwing Incident in Stride
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Hillary Takes Shoe-Throwing Incident in Stride

A female protester was arrested for throwing a shoe at Hillary Clinton during an appearance at a metal recycling conference in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Review-Journal says Clinton, after realizing someone had thrown a shoe, made several quips. “Is that part of Cirque du Soleil?” Clinton asked. She followed up by saying, “thank goodness she didn’t play softball like I did.” The audience gave Clinton a standing ovation. VIDEO

 
Foxes are Popular Mascots for Startups
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
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Foxes are Popular Mascots for Startups

The San Francisco Chronicle says the Fox is Silicon Valley’s spirit animal - becoming the mascot for a number of startup tech companies. They’re a popular choice since they’re seen as sneaky and clever - yet non-threatening and cute. There’s also the parable of the fox and the hedgehog - which says the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.

 

Pat’s Picks: Thursday, April 10

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Thursday, 10 April 2014 7:08 AM

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

New Newspaper Takes On LA Times
Source: USA Today
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New Newspaper Takes On LA Times

USA Today says it would’ve been a bold move in even the best of times - launching a newspaper to compete with the Los Angeles Times. But in this era where newspapers struggle to stay alive - starting a new paper is almost unthinkable. But that’s what Aaron Kushner, the publisher of the Orange County Register is doing. The Los Angeles Register debuts next week.

 
Enough of the Crybaby Oscar Pistorius
Source: New York Post
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Enough of the Crybaby Oscar Pistorius

The New York Post’s Andrea Peyser has had enough of the “retching, crying, sniveling, vomiting degenerate” Oscar Pistorius. She says he deserves an “Oscar” for his performance as he stands trial for killing his girlfriend last year. Peyser says he also played the sympathy card by removing his prosthetic legs for the jury to show how vulnerable he is without them.

 
Coca-Cola Sticks With Its Formula
Source: Wall Street Journal
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Coca-Cola Sticks With Its Formula

Soda sales have taken a nose-dive amid concerns about sugar intake and obesity. But despite that, the Wall Street Journal says, Coca-Cola is doubling down on carbonated soft drinks by increasing advertising, introducing new products and adding Taylor Swift as a spokeswoman. Coke’s CEO says he’s convinced of the power of the company’s brand name.

 
Disney Parks Host “It’s a Small World” Sing-along to Mark 50th Anniversary
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Disney Parks Host “It’s a Small World” Sing-along to Mark 50th Anniversary

It’s one of the most performed and translated songs of all time, and possibly one of the most annoying. “It’s a Small World” turns 50 years old today. The Tampa Bay Times says Disney Parks celebrated by holding a sing-along. More than a billion people have gone on one of the rides that made the song famous at the various Disney parks around the world. VIDEO

 
Ultimate Warrior the Latest Wrestler to Die Early
Source: Washington Post
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Ultimate Warrior the Latest Wrestler to Die Early

The professional wrestling world was shocked this week to learn of the death of the wrestler known as the Ultimate Warrior. The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi says the 54-year-old Warrior, who was born James Hellwig, is one of more than five dozen wrestlers who died before his time. He says wrestlers have a mortality rate that would be considered a crisis if it were any other sport like boxing or racecar driving.

 
Baseball Attendance Lags
Source: New York Times
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Baseball Attendance Lags

A week and a half into the Major League Baseball season, the New York Times says attendance has been particularly bleak at many ballparks. Getting fans to sit through games on chilly evenings is always a difficult sell. But it’s impossible to know exactly how bad attendance is since baseball attendance figures only go by the number of tickets sold, not the number of people actually going to the game.

 

Pat’s Picks: Wednesday, April 9

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Wednesday, 9 April 2014 9:02 AM

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

Make Pizza From Scratch
Source: New York Times
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Make Pizza From Scratch

New York Times National Editor Sam Sifton shares the secrets for making pizza from scratch that he says will rival some of the best pizza on the planet. One of the keys is the dough - and Sifton gives us the recipe for dough recipe used by Roberta’s of Bushwick, Brooklyn, which I visit often because it’s fantastic.  When it comes to topping your pie, Sifton says, don’t overdo it. Otherwise your pizza will end up soggy.

 
Is it Better Not to Have an HR Department?
Source: Wall Street Journal
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Is it Better Not to Have an HR Department?

The Wall Street Journal says more companies are deciding to do away with traditional human resources departments. The argument is they stifle innovation and bog down companies with inefficient policies. But employees at firms without HR departments say they have more difficulty resolving workplace disputes and paycheck issues.

 
“Duelin’ Banjos” Writer Dead at 93
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“Duelin’ Banjos” Writer Dead at 93

Arthur Smith, the guitarist and banjoist who wrote and recorded “Guitar Boogie” and “Duelin’ Banjos,” has died at the age of 93. The Washington Post says “Guitar Boogie” was known as the song that launched a million guitar lessons. Smith wrote and recorded “Feudin’ Banjos” in 1955, which was later renamed “Duelin’ Banjos” when it was featured in the 1972 film, “Deliverance.” The back-and-forth between two musicians has been recreated countless times, even by Kermit the Frog and Steve Martin. VIDEO

 
Experts Shocked at Speed of Washington Landslide
Source: Seattle Times
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Experts Shocked at Speed of Washington Landslide

The Seattle Times says geologists are baffled by the speed of the landslide that devastated a small town in Washington. One estimates the slide was traveling at 60 miles per hour. It also traveled nearly a mile, more than three times as far as similar slides. Experts will soon begin a detailed study aimed at preventing similar tragedies.

 
Extreme Weather Sends Beef Prices Soaring
Source: LA Times
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Extreme Weather Sends Beef Prices Soaring

Expect your summer barbecue to cost a lot more. The Los Angeles Times says extreme weather has thinned the nation’s beef cattle herds to levels not seen since the 1950s - when the population of the U.S. was half what it is today. That’s raised beef prices to all-time highs.

 
Redesigned Twitter Looks A Lot Like Facebook
Source: New York Post
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Redesigned Twitter Looks A Lot Like Facebook

Twitter is rolling out a redesigned layout for user profiles. It’s drawing criticism for looking too much like Facebook. The New York Post says Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has been working to keep users’ interest amid concerns the microblogging website’s growth is starting to slow.

 

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