|Pat's Picks are the stories we've picked from the Story Stack as our top recommendations for the day.|
Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Tuesday, 20 May 2014 8:40 AM
The best headlines, the most interesting photography and conversation-starting articles from today’s newspapers.
Investigators say a bomb threat that caused a major disruption at the Quinnipiac University graduation ceremony was made by a dropout from the school. 22-year-old Danielle Shea spent the whole year convincing her mom she was still enrolled so she could continue collecting tuition money. She told police she was embarrassed about being exposed in front of her family.
I bet these guys don’t often forget where they put their keys. The New York Times describes the competition at the Extreme Memory Tournament - which pits 16 “memory athletes” against each other in a series of challenges. Researchers were there too - trying to figure out what sets these memory athletes apart. The biggest difference isn’t memory related at all but rather their ability to pay attention.
With no body language to decipher, it can be difficult to figure out when someone is lying to you online or in an email or text message. The Wall Street Journal suggests using a modified version of a law enforcement technique called statement analysis. Pay attention to a person’s use of emphatic language. Also watch out for unanswered questions and noncommittal statements.
If there was any doubt that Donald Sterling would fight the NBA in court, the LA Times puts that to rest. The paper says the lawsuit has been the weapon of choice for Sterling and his wife whenever they have any disputes. They’ve sued over small claims of just a few thousand dollars to appellate matters worth millions, targeting former players, coaches, neighbors, employees, even a former mistress.
The Washington Post weighs in on the controversy surrounding the gift shop at the new September 11th Memorial Museum. The Post says it’s not the first monument to a tragedy to have a gift shop, pointing out there are gift shops at Pearl Harbor, Arlington National Cemetery and the Holocaust Museum. One man who owns a 9/11 memorabilia store near the World Trade Center says it’s not easy choosing items that will appeal to everyone’s sensitivity.
San Francisco is moving to shut down the world famous Lombard Street to cars on summer weekends in an effort to ease congestion and give residents a break. The San Francisco Chronicle says the curvy Lombard Street and an adjacent block where vehicles line up would only be open to residents on selected weekends. Residents say tourists create a traffic jam that spoils an otherwise enjoyable neighborhood.
Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Monday, 19 May 2014 8:30 AM
The best headlines, the most interesting photography and conversation-starting articles from today’s newspapers.
Could California Chrome’s chance at the Triple Crown be undone by the horse’s nasal strips? The New York Daily News says the nasal strips the horse wears are banned in New York State. California Chrome’s handlers have appealed to Belmont Park’s stewards for an exception to allow the colt to wear the strips at the Belmont Stakes June 7th.
More and more restaurants are doing away with the complimentary breadbasket. The Boston Globe says bread has fallen victim to two forces: the economy and the anti-wheat movement. One research firm says in 2005, 18.5 percent of dinners included bread. In 2013, just 14.3 percent did. Some chefs have replaced bread with other appetizers while others charge a small fee for artisanal breads.
AT&T has agreed to buy DirecTV for $49 billion, a deal that would make AT&T a major player in pay television. The Wall Street Journal says companies are teaming up to deal with the changing media landscape. The AT&T/DirecTV deal would create a company with 26 million subscribers, second only to Comcast/Time Warner which would have 30 million if regulators approve that deal.
The New York Times says with only two years until the games, the waterway slated for sailing and windsurfing events at the summer Olympics in Rio remains incredibly polluted. One biologist called it a “latrine” while a sailor said he’d seen bodies in the water. The Times says well-financed efforts to clean up the bay have been hampered by mismanagement and allegations of corruption.
A new study by University of San Diego finds vapor from electronic cigarettes makes the antibiotic-resistant “superbug” MRSA harder to kill. It also reduces the immune system’s ability to fight infection. The San Diego Union-Tribune says if the research is confirmed, it indicates a major potential health hazard for e-cigarettes.
Animal activists in Minnesota are up to their elbows in old fur coats. The Minneapolis Star Tribune says volunteers recycle old fur coats into nesting materials for distressed animals recovering in wildlife sanctuaries. Volunteers say it’s a way to make something positive out of what they see as a tragedy.
The Seattle Times says beginner-friendly programming languages are helping more and more kids get into computer coding. Kids can create their own games, animation and art. The paper says learning to code isn’t just a valuable job skill, but also a way to help kids think, create and express themselves.
Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Friday, 16 May 2014 8:00 AM
The best headlines, the most interesting photography and conversation-starting articles from today’s newspapers.
It’s a tale so widely believed that it’s even in the official media guide. The black-eyed Susan, doesn’t bloom in time for the Preakness. So florists dab black paint in the center of thousands of yellow daisies to make them look like Maryland’s state flower. The Baltimore Sun reveals that for at least a decade, the blanket of flowers draped over the Preakness winner has been made of neither Susans nor daisies, but rather the viking pom, which has a brown center and is apparently close enough to black that no one’s noticed the difference.
The skull of a 15 year old girl, found in an underwater cave on the Yucatan Peninsula may help determine the origins of the earliest Americans. A paper published in the journal Science says the difference in the way Paleoamericans and more recent Native Americans looked is likely the result of rapid evolution and not migration. The Washington Post says along with the girl, archaeologists also found remains of 26 large mammals, many of which are now extinct.
The New York Times says Barbara Walters’ retirement coincides with the end of the must-see interview, or the “big get.” Longtime news anchor Connie Chung says there’s no payoff for landing an exclusive interview anymore. Newsmakers no longer need the networks to reach the masses. Today celebrities and politicians can target their audience, the way President Obama did by appearing on “Between Two Ferns” to talk about health care.
It’s a far cry from the North Pole, but hundreds of Santa Clauses have descended on Tampa, Florida for an annual Santa convention. The Tampa Tribune says it’s a chance for St. Nicks to swap stories and tips on bringing holiday cheer. Some come from as far away as Norway. One tip offered to new Santas, always wear your white gloves, and make sure they show in every photo.
For the first time in a century, the entire state of California is said to be in a state of severe drought. That has elevated the risk of wildfires substantially. Already thousands of homes have been destroyed from at least nine fires in southern California. A climatologist at the National Drought Mitigation Center says a similar drought occurred in 1976-77, but the effects of this one are more severe because California’s population has doubled since then while the water supply has remained the same.
It’s a big weekend for Rinku Singh. The 25-year-old native of India is the man whose story is told in the new Disney film, “Million Dollar Arm.” Singh, a minor leaguer in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that all the attention from the film is nice, but he’d rather be pitching in the Major Leagues. Singh had never thrown a baseball before when he won a contest to see who could throw a ball the hardest and most accurately. The winner was to be groomed to be a professional pitcher in the U.S.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the St. Louis Rams had no idea Michael Sam had signed on with the Oprah Winfrey Network to create a documentary series chronicling his efforts to make an NFL roster. The league had signed off on the project prior to the draft without alerting any of the 32 teams. Columnist Joe Strauss says the uplifting narrative of Sam being the first openly gay player drafted in the NFL now becomes tinged by collateral controversy.
Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Thursday, 15 May 2014 7:08 AM
Washington Post television critic Hank Stuever calls retiring Barbara Walters “one of America’s last great listeners.” He says she asked many of the questions we wanted answers to and never seemed to make her interviews about her. A Barbara Walters interview, Stuever says, meant that whatever the issue of the moment was, it had reached its apex.
The New York Post takes us into the new September 11th Museum set to open next week. Steve Cuozzo’s article is accompanied by several pages of stunning photographs of some of the exhibits. He says the museum is as beautiful as it is horrific.
As cars become more fuel efficient, states are finding that the idea of funding infrastructure projects through fuel taxes is becoming obsolete. The Detroit Free Press says a new report is sparking debate over the concept of charging drivers a fee based on the number of miles they drive. Some analysts say privacy concerns are the biggest hurdle.
When First Lady Michelle Obama recently posted a photo of herself holding a sign that said #BringBackOurGirls, in reference to the kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian girls, it marked the latest effort to attract attention to a cause using a hashtag campaign. San Jose Mercury News columnist Michelle Quinn says hashtag activism is the digital equivalent of slapping a bumper sticker on your car. And while it can help draw attention very quickly, Quinn says the danger of a hashtag campaign is that it can cause people to feel as though they’ve done something for a cause without taking time to understand it or actually taking steps to solve it.
Since American Airlines and US Airways merged, both airlines have been selling seats on each other’s flights while their reservation systems are being combined. The Wall Street Journal’s Scott McCartney says that’s led to different prices for the same flight depending on which airline’s site you check. In some cases, the difference can be in the hundreds of dollars.
Want to pay only for the cable channels you actually watch? Be careful what you wish for. The New York Times’ Upshot column crunches the numbers to find that cable unbundling won’t save you money and may end up costing you more. Cable companies would likely raise the basic charges, and cable channels would likely raise carriage fees to make up for the loss of revenue.
Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Wednesday, 14 May 2014 6:44 AM
It can be tricky to know how much we can take on before we get overwhelmed. The Wall Street Journal has some advice for recognizing when we’re about to be overloaded. Some symptoms: missing an appointment, losing sleep, getting minor illnesses more often, becoming irritable or anxious.
Mikel McLaughlin is like many of us. He has hundreds of Facebook friends, most of whom he never sees. So he set out to visit as many as he could. The Minneapolis Star Tribune says so far McLaughlin has traveled 6000 miles to meet with 85 people over 31 days. That includes some Facebook “friends” he’d never actually met. He’s been documenting his experiences in a blog, www.werefriendsright.com.
National Review Online Editor Jonah Goldberg pens an opinion piece in the Boston Herald on why Jeb Bush likely won’t be the third Bush to occupy the White House. Goldberg says contrary to popular belief, the GOP chooses a candidate whose “turn” it is, not out of a sense of loyalty or order but because that candidate often spends a lot of time wooing the conservative base. Goldberg says Jeb Bush has instead been antagonizing the base on hot-button issues.
The Houston Chronicle offers some advice for having an amicable divorce. Along with getting sound financial and legal advice, there are many things you can do to avoid a toxic divorce. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin made the phrase “conscious uncoupling” ubiquitous recently. It refers to splitting up in a way that promotes healing and helps to avoid bitterness.
From body mist to vodka, red velvet flavoring is everywhere these days. The New York Times offers a rundown of some of the most peculiar places where red velvet can be found, while offering a history lesson of how this craze came to pass. One food author says what’s happened with red velvet is a microcosm of American capitalism, where we take any sort of advantage we can and expand on it.
Splitting the check or going in on a birthday gift is getting easier than ever thanks to a slate of mobile apps that allow you to transfer money to friends. The Wall Street Journal looks at several of the top payment exchange apps to see how they stack up. With its social network-like newsfeed, Venmo is popular among young people. But writer Joanna Stern says she found Square Cash faster and easier to use. If you use a debit card with Google Wallet or Paypal you’ll be hit with a fee, while the other two services offer debit card transactions for free.
Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Tuesday, 13 May 2014 6:58 AM
New York Times op-ed columnist Frank Bruni says teens need to read more. Bruni cites statistics that show teens today are reading much less than their counterparts 30 years ago. He says that’s a shame since he believes reading does something to the brain, heart and spirit that movies, television and video games cannot.
Joining the military is no longer a last resort. The Kansas City Star says qualifying for the armed services is tougher than ever. Only 20% of those who apply qualify for service. An Army ROTC instructor say military budget cuts have led recruiters to seek out the same highly qualified high school graduates that colleges are going after.
Time’s up for toll booth workers on Orange County’s toll road network. The Orange County register caught up with some of the workers who are being replaced by cashless toll collection systems. Many said they’ve formed bonds with regular customers despite their brief interactions. That includes the man who never wears pants, whom workers describe as polite. No one has ever asked why he doesn’t wear pants.
Two groups of scientists say the collapse of the giant West Antarctica ice sheet is underway - and it’s unstoppable. As a result, researchers say the sea will rise 12 feet, though it will take between 200 and 1000 years for that to happen. The Washington Post says these new projections of sea level rise are higher and more devastating than the projections from an international report released last year and the National Climate Assessment issued last month.
With results still being counted, the North Carolina businessman locked in a primary challenge with former American Idol finalist Clay Aiken died suddenly yesterday. 71-year-old Keith Crisco died after falling at his home, according to the Asheboro Courier-Tribune. In a statement, Aiken said, “I am stunned and deeply saddened by Keith Crisco’s death.” Aiken was leading in the race to challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers.
The New York Times says it’s taken 100 years, but the way fielders position themselves on the baseball diamond is changing. The shift that used to be employed only for select hitters is now becoming the norm as teams position their players according to statistical data on where batters are likely to hit the ball. Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon says soon it will be unusual not to employ a shift.
Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Monday, 12 May 2014 9:02 AM
The Minneapolis Star Tribune says as organic food gets more mainstream, consumers can expect to see prices drop. Experts say most consumers make the shift to buying organic food when they have children. The paper says some insiders fear a decrease in the quality of organic food as major food companies enter the market.
It’s been more than half a century since Route 66 was the main east-west highway in the United States. And now even those traveling the route for nostalgic purposes have dwindled. The Los Angeles Times profiles one motel owner who is tirelessly promoting the culture of Route 66 in an effort to keep the tourists coming, especially young people.
New York Times media writer Bill Carter says after a decade atop the ratings pile, music-based television shows are now in steep decline. The show with the biggest decline of all is American Idol - once a ratings juggernaut so strong rival networks stopped competing with it. Carter says it’s not the first time we’ve burned through a television genre. From westerns to variety shows to prime time game shows, networks have overextended several genres in the past.
USA Today has its “Grown-Up Guide to Summer Films” for those who would rather skip the blockbuster and watch a more thought-provoking film this summer. One film that’s got the critics buzzing is Locke, starring British actor Tom Hardy. The paper offers a dozen more films due out that summer that are geared toward adults.
With the number of companies firing employees for something they said over social media, the Wall Street Journal brings in two experts to debate whether companies should be monitoring their employees’ tweets and posts. Nancy Flynn of the ePolicy institute says companies should monitor posts to protect their reputation and corporate information. Lewis Maltby of the National Workrights Institute says companies should only monitor employees’ posts when they suspect wrongdoing.
New York Daily News music writer Jim Farber gives Michael Jackson’s new album “Xscape” four stars. Farber says although the concept of the posthumous album sounds strange, in reality, this one works. Farber says the pieces added to fill in Jackson’s unfinished tracks don’t sound overly artificial. Farber also writes “Jackson’s vocals on “Xscape” have more range, and certainly more joy, than anything on that final official work released in his lifetime.”
Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Wednesday, 7 May 2014 8:28 AM
It’s being called a strange coincidence. A Colorado pilot flying a plane towing an advertising banner crashed into a house he once owned 10 years ago. No one was hurt in the crash. The Denver Post says the pilot was looking for an open field to land when his plane started losing power. He didn’t even realize he had crashed into his old house until he later saw news reports on television.
The New York Times tells the unlikely story of Sister Cristina Scuccia, a 25-year-old nun who has become a sensation on the Italian version of The Voice. Wearing a full habit, she’s belted out top-notch versions of “No One” by Alicia Keys and won a sing-off of the Cyndi Lauper hit “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” She’s led to a surge in the ratings for the show - and has stirred a huge reaction in Italy and beyond. VIDEO
Istagram butt selfie star Jen Selter pens her fitness column debut in the New York Post. Selter dedicates the column to her mother, who she helped whip into shape. Now MamaSelter can be found on Instagram too. The Post also gives us a column on the story behind Selter’s rise to fame.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne laid out a bold, 5-year plan yesterday. The automaker announced plans to kill the Avenger and the Grand Caravan models, breathe new life into Alfa Romeo and to give Fiat a stronger sense of identity. Detroit Free Press Business Columnist Tom Walsh says while Chrysler’s plans sound unconventional, the company has been successful of late “zigging while others zagged.”
With hundreds of thousands of pieces of trash floating around in space, the threat to important satellites is growing. The Washington Post says that while the military is set to award a contract for a new Space Fence to track all the debris, some are wondering if more should be done to actually clean up all that junk. But of course that’s incredibly expensive. One Naval War College professor says people won’t be supportive of that idea until there’s a crash that affects them, say by knocking out cell phone service.
Wall Street Journal Tech Columnist Geoffrey Fowler reviews some of the most popular online password storage systems. Fowler says LastPass is a good choice for people who use newer technology like fingerprint scanners. 1Password offers the most control over where your password vault gets stored. For most people, he recommends the easy-to-use, yet relatively expensive Dashlane.
Kitchen gadgets aren’t just for lazy cooks. The Las Vegas Review-Journal asked some top chefs about their favorite kitchen gadgets. One chef can’t live without his “Spoodle” a cross between a ladle and a spoon. Others say they can’t live without their Microplane zesters. One executive chef even admits to relying heavily on the Slap Chop - the As Seen on TV gadget.
Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Tuesday, 6 May 2014 7:17 AM
When homicide detectives get a case, they typically seek out digital evidence to help solve the crime. Text messages, emails and social media posts can all lend valuable clues to previously unknown disputes. But what happens when you have no electronic footprint? That’s what investigators are dealing with in the case of 65-year-old Philip Welsh. The Washington Post says Welsh’s rejection of instant communication may enable his killer to get away with the crime.
Saying he had obviously been rehabilitated, a Missouri judge ordered the release of Cornealious “Mike” Anderson, whose sentence for armed robbery was delayed for 13 years by a clerical error. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Circuit Judge T. Lynn Brown noted that Anderson got married, raised a family, ran a business and paid taxes since his conviction in 2000. Judge Brown credited Anderson’s behavior while he was at large for his decision to free him.
Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, two of the three women kidnapped and held for a decade by Ariel Castro, publicly acknowledged the anniversary of their freedom. DeJesus said it’s been a year of healing and hope, and she said she’s enjoying experiences like learning new technology and how to drive. Berry said, “I have grown. I am strong. And I have so much to live for, to look forward to. The future is bright.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Lee Schafer says the departure of Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel is not a sign of how troubled the company is, but rather how healthy it is. Schafer says holding executives accountable has always been one of the reasons for Target’s success. He says it’s quite rare for CEOs of S&P 500 companies to be forced out. Schafer says that beyond the consumer data breach, there were other issues under Steinhafel’s watch.
If you’re stuck in a creative rut, you might do well to get up and take a stroll. A new study finds going for a walk, even a short one around the office, can significantly increase creativity. The New York Times says this is one of the first studies to actually provide data to the idea that exercise spurs creativity. One theory is that walking may help the brain break through some of its filters.
USA Today dedicates two pages to Barbara Walters and her 50+ year career on television. Reporter Ann Oldenburg says Walters can get a great interview out of anyone. She’s chatted up countless world leaders and Hollywood celebrities. She says she still can’t believe some of the things she’s been able to do in her career. VIDEO
The Philadelphia Inquirer takes a look back at the history of Rawle & Henderson L.L.P., a Philadelphia law firm founded in 1783. Founder William Rawle was one of America’s most prominent lawyers in his day. He was known for keeping meticulous logs, many of which are still intact and on display at the Temple University law school library.
Written by Pat Papers | UPDATED: Monday, 5 May 2014 8:47 AM
The thing about being named “The Oldest Man on Earth” is you only get the title when the guy ahead of you dies. That’s the situation New Yorker Alexander Imich has found himself in. At 111 1/4 years, he is now the oldest man on Earth. The New York Times says upon hearing the news he said, “Not like it’s the Nobel Prize.” To put his age in perspective, Imich was 10 months old when the Wright Brothers made their famous first flight.
A trio of new studies have found that infusing older mice with the blood of younger mice reverses some of the effects of aging. The Washington Post says researchers found dramatic improvements in the muscles and brain of the older mice. The older mice navigated mazes faster and ran on a treadmill for longer than counterparts without blood transfusions. Old blood transfused into younger mice seemed to bring about premature aging.
A Silicon Valley startup is hoping to do for medicine what Wikipedia has done for knowledge. The San Jose Mercury News says a new website, www.crowdmed.com, aims to harness the collective knowledge of its users to help diagnose your ailments. The aim is not to replace your doctor, but to give you hundreds of second opinions at once. Critics are concerned about the credibility of those giving advice and the security of the sensitive medical information users post online.
The New York Post gives us a where are they now with the cast of Friends, which went off the air 10 years ago this week. The Post says despite all the tabloid headlines, Jennifer Aniston is clearly doing better than the rest of her castmates in terms of net worth and box office success. In fact, all the ladies are doing better than the guys. David Schwimmer, “always the least popular of the cast” remains the one furthest out of the spotlight.
Many evergreen trees aren’t living up to their names this spring, thanks to the unusually rough winter experienced by much of the country. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says horticulturists recommend waiting to see what happens with your evergreens this spring, since many will bounce back. Wait until later this month before pruning any dead branches.
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Lester Wisbrod says he’s been taking photos of himself with celebrities for decades.
- 7/15 Did This Man Invent the Selfie?
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Save the Date
Tickets are available for my food-themed trivia night at Bell House on July 29th.
- Listening to @DOPEITSDOM with my girl Yanna. I can't wait for him to come to Howard !!
3:23 PM Oct 9th from twitterfeed
- O Facebook tá uma confusão de fotos de crianças com desenhos animados no perfil. '-'
3:21 PM Oct 9th from twitterfeed
- CRAVING that cake!!!! Just oh my God... #GBBO #greatbritishbakeoff
3:21 PM Oct 9th from twitterfeed