Pat's PicksPat's Picks are the stories we've picked from the Story Stack as our top recommendations for the day.

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

“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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

“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

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

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

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.

 

Pat’s Picks: Tuesday, April 8

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Tuesday, 8 April 2014 8:32 AM

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

Inside the World of Sweepstakes Addicts

Inside the World of Sweepstakes Addicts

Enter for your chance to win! The San Jose Mercury News introduces us to a few of the people who are obsessed with sweepstakes. Some have won upwards of a million dollars worth of prizes. There’s one woman who bought “cold cuts by the armful” to win a $50,000 grand prize that she’ll put toward a Mexican cruise with her sons and grandkids.

 
Is the Women’s Pay Gap Just a Myth?

Is the Women’s Pay Gap Just a Myth?

Today is “Equal Pay Day,” a day aimed at raising awareness of the gender pay gap. It’s often said that women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. But in the Wall Street Journal, two scholars claim the pay gap evens out when you consider education, marital status and occupation. Mark Perry and Andrew Biggs say making it easier for women to sue for gender discrimination would create disincentives for firms to hire women in the first place.

 
Sailboat Family Rescue Spurs Parenting Debate

Sailboat Family Rescue Spurs Parenting Debate

The New York Times says when Eric and Charlotte Kaufman were rescued from their disabled sailboat along with their 1 and 3 year-old daughters, it launched a debate over whether they were bad parents for embarking on such a journey or just unlucky. The family set out from Mexico for what was to be a month’s-long journey to New Zealand before running into trouble less than two weeks later.

 
Report: Al Sharpton Worked as Mob Informant

Report: Al Sharpton Worked as Mob Informant

The Smoking Gun website has released hundreds of pages of court filings and FBI reports detailing the Rev. Al Sharpton’s work as an FBI informant in the 1980s. Sharpton apparently wore a wire to help take down members of the Genovese crime family. He allegedly became an informant after being caught on tape discussing cocaine deals with a drug kingpin. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Sharpton acknowledged working with the FBI, but denied much of what was in the Smoking Gun’s report.

 
Is Organic Better for Your Health?

Is Organic Better for Your Health?

The Washington Post looks at the research behind organic food, examining the differences between regular and organic meat, milk, eggs, produce and fish. The results seem to be that in most cases, organic products don’t offer significant benefits. But in a few cases, such as in milk, there are some studies that show that fewer hormones in organic milk could lead to a lower risk of cancer.

 
How to Build a Robot Firefighter

How to Build a Robot Firefighter

Engineers all over the world are working on building robots that can be sent in to dangerous situations - such as fighting fires or shutting down damaged nuclear plants. The Boston Globe describes just how difficult it is to fine tune a robot for these types of tasks. This summer, the Navy plans to test a firefighting robot on one of its ships.

 

Pat’s Picks: Monday, April 7

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Monday, 7 April 2014 8:46 AM

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

What Can Apple Do With $159 Billion?

What Can Apple Do With $159 Billion?

Like many tech giants, Apple is sitting on a boatload of cash. But what to do with $159 billion? The New York Times says for that kind of money, Apple could fund a human mission to Mars with the goal of building a colony. It could buy Tesla Motors for around $30 billion. Or if Apple wanted to bypass telecom companies to offer direct service for iPhones and iPads - it could buy T-Mobile and Sprint and still have $90 billion left.

 
Nine-Month-Old Charged with Attempted Murder, Granted Bail

Nine-Month-Old Charged with Attempted Murder, Granted Bail

This one is a bit of a head-scratcher. A nine-month-old boy in Pakistan was granted bail by a judge after appearing in court on attempted murder charges. The Independent says police arrested the boy along with 30 others for allegedly throwing stones at police during a raid on their house in Lahore. The judge noted the absurdity of the case in granting bail, but he did not have the power to dismiss the charges. The inspector behind the arrest has been suspended.

 
Best 3-Row SUV for $40,000

Best 3-Row SUV for $40,000

USA Today put several popular 3-row SUVs to the test to find out which one offers the best value for $40,000. In addition to a panel of experts, a real family in the market for an SUV tested each vehicle. The Hyundai Santa Fe ranked first - loaded with features at that price point. The Dodge Durango and Toyota Highlander rounded out the top three.

 
Remembering Mickey Rooney

Remembering Mickey Rooney

“Everyone knows (Mickey) Rooney, who died at the great age of 93, precisely because he lived so long.” Rooney was the last surviving member of Hollywood’s 1930s Golden Age. Los Angeles Times Film Critic Kenneth Turan says Rooney made the young adult stage of life an object of fascination decades before Ferris Bueller took a day off.

 
Hillary Has 2016 Race Frozen

Hillary Has 2016 Race Frozen

Hillary Clinton hasn’t said if she’s in or out and that, the Wall Street Journal says, has frozen the 2016 presidential race. Potential candidates should be busy raising money at this point, but the paper says no candidate has been able to build up an organization that comes close to the “shadow Clinton campaign.” Instead, some potential candidates are seen as trying to “plant flags” in case Clinton chooses not to run.

 
Oil Spills in Galveston Bay Happen Nearly Every Day

Oil Spills in Galveston Bay Happen Nearly Every Day

As crews were working to clean up oil from a 170,000 gallon spill in Galveston Bay, a storage tank nearby began overflowing, spilling 160 gallons of light crude into the water. The Houston Chronicle says oil spills happen about 285 times a year in Galveston Bay. While most are less than a gallon, the spills happen frequently enough to cause concern for the health of the bay.

 

Pat’s Picks: Friday, March 28

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Friday, 28 March 2014 7:20 AM

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

Baseball Makes Major Defensive Shift

Baseball Makes Major Defensive Shift

The infield shift - employed since the days of Ted Williams - is now common in baseball. The Wall Street Journal says it represents the biggest change in baseball strategy since Reconstruction. Teams now have defensive alignment plans for every batter - and they adjust their positioning during each at bat, depending on the count. Some teams now employ defensive coordinators - like NFL squads do.

 
A Working Mom’s Response to Gwyneth Paltrow

A Working Mom’s Response to Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow ruffled a few feathers when she said in an interview with E! that being an actress is so much harder than being a regular working mom. Working mom Mackenzie Dawson responds with an open letter in the New York Post. She says she tells herself almost every day, “thank God I don’t make millions of dollars filming one movie a year!” She goes on to mention how easy it is to balance work and home life, what with reliable babysitters readily available, as opposed to the drag of having your own staff.

 
NCAA Annual Revenue Approaches $1B Mark

NCAA Annual Revenue Approaches $1B Mark

How big can it get? That’s the question the Indianapolis Star asks of the NCAA. The collegiate athletic association is approaching $1 billion in annual revenue. Revenues have increased every year since 2001. The NCAA is now being targeted like never before by players seeking a cut of the profits.

 
College as a Business Transaction

College as a Business Transaction

Richard Pérez-Peña of the New York Times writes that the ruling that Northwestern University must treat football players as school employees highlights the fact that college has become less of a rite of passage and more of a business transaction. Competitiveness among colleges has “crystallized the understanding that higher education is a market,” says one University of Pennsylvania professor.

 
Taco Bell Recruits Ronald McDonald to Pitch New Breakfast Menu

Taco Bell Recruits Ronald McDonald to Pitch New Breakfast Menu

Taco Bell has a new pitchman - Ronald McDonald. A new commercial touting Taco Bell’s breakfast menu features men named Ronald McDonald all saying they love Taco Bell’s new breakfast. The Chicago Tribune says McDonald’s responded via Twitter with a tongue-in-cheek tweet, “Mayor McCheese confirms: Ronald, in fact, still prefers McDonald’s.” VIDEO

 
Autism Rates Soar, 1 in 68 Now Affected

Autism Rates Soar, 1 in 68 Now Affected

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds autism affects 1 in 68 children, up from 1 in 88 just two years ago. USA Today says that means virtually every grade in every elementary school has a least one child with autism. Most experts believe the higher rates are due to better awareness and diagnosis and not an actual increase in the number of children affected with the condition.

 

Pat’s Picks: Thursday, March 27

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Thursday, 27 March 2014 6:58 AM

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

Union Case Shows Northwestern Taught Students Well

Union Case Shows Northwestern Taught Students Well

Chicago Tribune columnist Phil Rosenthal says Northwestern University should be proud of its student athletes who won a victory against the school when the National Labor Relations Board ruled that football players are essentially employees of the school and should be allowed to unionize. Rosenthal says the school taught its students enough about ethics, economics, history, political science and math to realize how unfair the college athletics system is for student athletes.

 
North Korean Men Ordered to Copy Kim Jong Un’s Haircut

North Korean Men Ordered to Copy Kim Jong Un’s Haircut

At first I thought this was something from The Onion. The New York Post says men in North Korea have been ordered to get the same haircut as their leader, Kim Jong Un; shaved close on the back and sides, with longer hair on top brushed back off the forehead. Prior to now, North Korean men had their choice of 10 state-approved haircuts.

 
The Decline of Local News Reporting

The Decline of Local News Reporting

Paul Farhi of the Washington Post examines the gradual decline in local news reporting. He says more and more news gathering operations target a broad and borderless audience online, resulting in less coverage of local news and events. A report from Pew found that just 30 national and international news sites accounted for 60 percent of all new digital journalism jobs in the last five years.

 
Study: Autism May Begin During Pregnancy

Study: Autism May Begin During Pregnancy

A new study finds autism begins during pregnancy with subtle disruptions in patches of a fetus’ brain. The San Diego Union-Tribune says the small study examined the brains of 11 children with autism who had died. 10 of the 11 children were found to have disruptions in the normal organization of the cortex, the area of the brain that controls social interaction and language skills.

 
Population Shifting from Suburbs to Cities

Population Shifting from Suburbs to Cities

New data released by the Census Bureau finds population growth has been shifting toward the country’s 381 metro areas, especially since the economic recovery began in 2010. USA Today says the growth is being driven by young professionals and retiring baby boomers who prefer to live in the city. Another factor is young people delaying or deciding not to have children, which often leads to a move to the suburbs.

 
Why Do Luxury Sheets Cost So Much?

Why Do Luxury Sheets Cost So Much?

The Wall Street Journal examines the world of luxury bedding, breaking down the cost of a $500 set of sheets. A set of Boll and Branch sheets costs about $150 to make, ship, package and warehouse. The company sells direct to customers for $250 for a King sheet set. Bedding manufacturers say it’s difficult to see what goes into an expensive sheet, noting that the common measure thread count can be easily inflated.

 

Pat’s Picks: Wednesday, March 26

Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Wednesday, 26 March 2014 8:06 AM

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

Little-Known Scores Rank Your Customer Value

Little-Known Scores Rank Your Customer Value

The Sacramento Bee has an interesting look into the thousands of scores businesses use to rank consumers. From customer loyalty to purchasing power, so-called e-scores or predictive scores are used by companies to determine everything from which coupons to send you to how easy it will be for you to open a bank account. These scores have drawn scrutiny since they aren’t regulated by the government, and unlike your credit score, you have no legal right to see how you’re ranked.

 
Video Shows Chicago Subway Derailment

Video Shows Chicago Subway Derailment

Surveillance video posted to YouTube shows the moment a Chicago Blue Line train derailed at O’Hare Airport - sending the train hurtling up an escalator. The Chicago Sun-Times says the original clip posted to YouTube was quickly deleted. Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the crash. VIDEO

 
Thief Gets Out of Jail, Robs Same Store the Next Day

Thief Gets Out of Jail, Robs Same Store the Next Day

“The guy is either really stupid or he just really likes it in jail.” That’s how one New Jersey Corrections Department describes Christopher Miller in the New York Post. Miller spent 15 years in prison for robbing a Stride Rite Shoe store. The day after he got out of prison, police say he went right back to the same store and robbed it again. The manager on duty during the first robbery was there again, she said she recognized Miller immediately.

 
The Right Size Phone for Your Hand

The Right Size Phone for Your Hand

Smartphones have been getting noticeably bigger the past few years. The Wall Street Journal’s Geoffrey Fowler says bigger phones make life easier. But, you need to be able to reach all of your phone’s key features with your thumb. The Journal has a handy thumb measuring system to make sure your hand will fit your phone’s screen.

 
Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge Winner: Quicken Loans

Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge Winner: Quicken Loans

It was the longest of long shots - coming up with a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket to win one billion dollars. The brackets were all busted within days, but there was one big winner, Quicken Loans. USA Today says the company sponsoring the contest claims it received one billion social media and PR mentions since it began. And brand awareness for Quicken Loans is up 300%.

 
Art Museum Offers Multisensory Experience for the Visually Impaired

Art Museum Offers Multisensory Experience for the Visually Impaired

The Dallas Morning News says Southern Methodist University’s Meadows Museum is on the cutting edge of efforts to reach out to visually impaired patrons by offering multisensory experiences involving touch, sound and taste. Visitors can hold a pipe similar to the one in Diego Rivera’s Portrait of Ilya Ehrenberg or hear music from the time and place of a particular work. Scents are also used to evoke atmosphere.

 
Monopoly Seeks Out Best “House Rules”

Monopoly Seeks Out Best “House Rules”

Many of us have come up with a few of our own rules for the classic board game Monopoly. Now Hasbro is asking players to submit their favorite “house rules.” The New York Times says the top picks will be incorporated into a special edition of the game due out this fall.  Jeff Lehman, who wrote a book about Monopoly strategy, predicts the new version won’t make much of a difference, saying people who have made up their own rules obviously feel they don’t need Hasbro’s permission.

 

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