Story StackStory Stack is where stories first appear on the site. These stories have made our first cut, but haven't necessarily earned the "Smartly Selected" designation for inclusion as one of Pat's Picks.

Testing an Electric Harley Without the Vroom (VIDEO)

Written by Pat Papers | Friday, 8 August 2014 7:54 AM

Testing an Electric Harley Without the Vroom (VIDEO)

Harley-Davidson is giving fans a first look at its new electric motorcycles. The question is - will riders go for a bike that doesn’t roar? The electric Harley has no exhaust, no vibration and no fumes. But there’s also no roar of the engine. Instead, the bike makes a jet-like whine. The company says the bikes reach 60 miles per hour in about 4 seconds and can go around 60 miles between charges. The Seattle Times says the company hopes the bikes will appeal to younger, tech-savvy riders. VIDEO

 
 

State Fair a Bonanza for Scientific Research

Written by Pat Papers | Friday, 8 August 2014 7:40 AM

State Fair a Bonanza for Scientific Research

If you want to take a break from riding the rides or seeing the sites, why not sign up for a scientific experiment? The Minnesota State Fair sets up every summer next to the University of Minnesota - and researchers have learned to take advantage. The Minneapolis Star Tribune says more than 30 scientists will be recruiting fair goers for studies. Researchers say the fair is a great way to gather so many subjects from such a wide geographical area.

 
 

Tick Bite Can Make You Allergic to Meat

Written by Pat Papers | Friday, 8 August 2014 7:29 AM

Tick Bite Can Make You Allergic to Meat

If you get bitten by a Lone Star tick, you may want to be careful the next time you eat a burger. The Associated Press reports doctors across the country are seeing cases of tick bites that cause a meat allergy in some people. Some patients have reactions so severe, they end up in the hospital. Doctors say the allergy doesn’t appear to be permanent, but additional tick bites do bring it back.

 
 

California Assembly Passes Cellphone Kill Switch Bill

Written by Pat Papers | Friday, 8 August 2014 7:11 AM

California Assembly Passes Cellphone Kill Switch Bill

Because of the size of its market, when California enacts a law about a consumer product, it often becomes the standard for the rest of the country. So it’s worth reporting that California’s assembly passed a measure requiring smartphones made after July 1, 2015 to feature a kill switch that would render the phone useless in the event that it’s stolen. The San Jose Merscury News says the state senate has already passed the bill and Governor Jerry Brown is expected to sign it.

 
 

Where are the Women Sports Pundits?

Written by Pat Papers | Friday, 8 August 2014 6:59 AM

Where are the Women Sports Pundits?

The Washington Post says while women have made major strides in sports journalism over the last two decades, there remains shockingly few women on sports-talk shows. ESPN has had only two women among the 33 regular and guest panelists who have appeared on Around the Horn. One simple reason may be that men are often in hiring positions in this industry - and they tend to hire other men.

 
 

What We’re Streaming on Netflix

Written by Pat Papers | Friday, 8 August 2014 6:47 AM

What We’re Streaming on Netflix

Despite its origins as a movie rental service, television shows have become even more popular among Netflix subscribers. USA Today has the results of a marketing survey showing the top shows streamed on Netflix. House of Cards was number one, followed by Breaking Bad and Dexter. But the next survey might have different results, as Netflix has said Orange is the New Black was its most watched show ever.

 
 

Six More 1980s Cartoon Films Michael Bay Should Make

Written by Pat Papers | Thursday, 7 August 2014 8:22 AM

Six More 1980s Cartoon Films Michael Bay Should Make

With the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles being the latest of the 80s and 90s cartoons to be transformed into a live-action film, the Omaha World-Herald has suggestions of six more classic cartoons Michael Bay should make into movies, complete with posters, plot lines and suggested cast members. The gritty, grown-up version of Super Mario Brothers might star Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum. The tagline: “This time, it’s about more than mushrooms.”

 
 

Angels Work to Win Over Young Dodgers Fan

Written by Pat Papers | Thursday, 7 August 2014 8:11 AM

Angels Work to Win Over Young Dodgers Fan

When several players from the Los Angeles Angels visited patients at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, they met Luke, a 7-year-old, diehard Dodgers fan. Over the course of a few more visits, some of the Angels players worked hard to win Luke over as a fan. The Orange County Register says Luke finally did accept an offer of Angels tickets - but for a game against the Dodgers.

 
 

More Options for Round-the-World Flights

Written by Pat Papers | Thursday, 7 August 2014 7:45 AM

More Options for Round-the-World Flights

You can get around the world in far fewer than 80 days. The Wall Street Journal says it’s getting easier and cheaper to book tickets to circumnavigate the globe. Longer nonstop flights mean flying around the world can be accomplished with just a few connections. The three major airline alliances are offering more options with big savings for round-the-world trips.

 
 

Impossible to Win Twitter Fights

Written by Pat Papers | Thursday, 7 August 2014 7:28 AM

Impossible to Win Twitter Fights

How do you win an argument on social media? You can’t. The New York Times’ Nick Bilton says he learned the hard way that it’s impossible to come out on top when the fight is on Twitter. Experts say part of the problem is we are able to react so quickly on social media - and it’s difficult to gauge someone’s tone online.

 
 

Wireless Phone Charging Coming Soon

Written by Pat Papers | Thursday, 7 August 2014 7:11 AM

Wireless Phone Charging Coming Soon

Your days of looking for an outlet to charge your phone at Starbucks may soon be over. The New York Times says the coffee shop is teaming up with Powermat, an industry leader in wireless charging technology, to embed charging mats in tables and counters. Cadillac announced plans to use the technology in car dashboards and other carmakers are following suit.

 
 

Cyberattack Fatigue Setting In

Written by Pat Papers | Thursday, 7 August 2014 6:46 AM

Cyberattack Fatigue Setting In

Did you change your password after hearing about the latest security breach by Russian hackers? Many people haven’t. The Arizona Republic says we’re suffering from “breach fatigue.” Most people know that we’re at risk of having our information stolen, but we do little to protect ourselves from identity theft.

 
 

Ebola Drugs a Low Priority for Pharmaceutical Companies

Written by Pat Papers | Wednesday, 6 August 2014 8:47 AM

Ebola Drugs a Low Priority for Pharmaceutical Companies

While the world experiences the deadliest Ebola outbreak ever, the disease remains one that has no drugs to treat it. The San Francisco Chronicle says drug makers have little incentive to spend time and money on a disease that predominantly affects people in impoverished countries. Health officials tell the Chronicle this outbreak could encourage pharmaceutical companies to speed up the development process or lead small groups in risky drug trials.

 
 

NRA Commentator: Blind People Should Have More Guns (VIDEO)

Written by Pat Papers | Wednesday, 6 August 2014 8:38 AM

NRA Commentator: Blind People Should Have More Guns (VIDEO)

The New York Daily News jumped on this story of a news commentator on the National Rifle Association’s online news site defending the right of blind people to own guns. In a video, commentator Dom Raso says blind people should be able to have whatever guns they want, and those who disagree don’t understand the Constitution. One gun control advocate compared the idea to allowing blind people to drive.

 
 

Becky Hammon Hired as Spurs’ Assistant Coach

Written by Pat Papers | Wednesday, 6 August 2014 8:22 AM

Becky Hammon Hired as Spurs’ Assistant Coach

As a young girl, Becky Hammon asked her dad if she would ever play in the NBA. He broke the news to her that she wouldn’t. Well, now she’s the first woman hired by an American men’s professional sports team as a full-time assistant coach. The NBA champion San Antonio Spurs didn’t mention her gender once in announcing her hiring - saying their decision was based on her basketball IQ. Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News says Hammon will begin working with the Spurs after wrapping up her 16th and final season in the WNBA.

 
 

School Cafeteria Food Healthier Than Packed Lunches

Written by Pat Papers | Wednesday, 6 August 2014 7:16 AM

School Cafeteria Food Healthier Than Packed Lunches

The San Francisco Chronicle reports on a new Tufts University survey that found school cafeteria lunches are often much healthier than lunches packed at home. Researchers found nearly a quarter of packed lunches lacked what would be considered an entree - such as a sandwich or leftovers. School lunches, which are held to federal standards, must provide specific amounts of milk, fruits, vegetables, grains and protein.

 
 

Need a New Laptop? Get a MacBook Air

Written by Pat Papers | Wednesday, 6 August 2014 7:01 AM

Need a New Laptop? Get a MacBook Air

The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern puts the best Windows PCs, Chromebooks and MacBooks to the test. If you’re in the market for a laptop, the short answer is to get a MacBook Air. But if you’re looking for a Windows-powered Ultrabook, Stern recommends Lenovo’s Yoga 2 Pro or Acer’s Aspire S7. The $600 Asus VivoBook is good for those on a budget and if you’re really tight on cash, go for a Chromebook, such as Acer’s C720.

 
 

Russian Crime Ring Steals 1 Billion Passwords

Written by Pat Papers | Wednesday, 6 August 2014 6:39 AM

Russian Crime Ring Steals 1 Billion Passwords

Will this be the straw that breaks the Internet password’s back? A Milwaukee cyber security firm says Russian hackers have amassed 1.2 billion username and password combinations and half a billion email addresses to form the largest known collection of stolen Internet credentials. The New York Times says so far the criminals have not sold many of the passwords and are instead using them to send spam on behalf of others.

 
 

Ebola Containment Efforts Thwarted by Lax Enforcement

Written by Pat Papers | Tuesday, 5 August 2014 9:04 AM

Ebola Containment Efforts Thwarted by Lax Enforcement

Amid the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola, nations in West Africa are enacting strict measures meant to control the spread of the virus. But the New York Times says in many cases, those rules are being thwarted by lax enforcement. In some areas, people seem to challenge the very notion that Ebola is responsible for the deaths of their loved ones. Walter Lorenzi, the chief of the Doctors Without Borders’ mission in Sierra Leone says you can’t fight the spread of Ebola halfway.

 
 

A Little Pessimism is a Good Thing

Written by Pat Papers | Tuesday, 5 August 2014 8:51 AM

A Little Pessimism is a Good Thing

Maybe Debbie Downer is on to something. The Wall Street Journal says occasionally having a pessimistic outlook can help you manage anxiety and stay healthy. While optimism is generally seen as being the preferred trait for health and well-being, psychologists say those with a more negative outlook tend to handle stress better, as they typically have prepared for the worst. Ideally it’s best to be generally optimistic with a slight streak of pessimism thrown in.

 
 

Scrabble Adds 5,000 Words

Written by Pat Papers | Tuesday, 5 August 2014 8:34 AM

Scrabble Adds 5,000 Words

You can take a “selfie” with your “frenemy” and you’ll earn 24 points in your Scrabble game when you do. Merriam-Webster is adding 5,000 new words to the updated version of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, due out August 11th. The book’s editor tells the New York Daily News when slang becomes part of our culture, it becomes part of the dictionary. Purists say they fear the words will disappear from pop culture as quickly as they arrived.

 
 

When Your Star Pitchman Gets Traded

Written by Pat Papers | Tuesday, 5 August 2014 8:07 AM

When Your Star Pitchman Gets Traded

When the Red Sox traded ace pitcher Jon Lester to the Oakland Athletics, it wasn’t just Sox fans who were disappointed. Just days before the deal, People’s United Bank had featured Lester, their longtime pitchman, on a massive billboard near Fenway Park. Executives tell the Boston Globe that it’s always a risk to sign endorsement deals with athletes, but it’s often worth the gamble. Typically, as was the case in Lester’s deal, the endorsement contract ends if the player gets traded.

 
 

Living Memorials Help Terminally Ill Patients Celebrate Life

Written by Pat Papers | Tuesday, 5 August 2014 7:17 AM

Living Memorials Help Terminally Ill Patients Celebrate Life

They go by several different names; healing services, life celebrations, living memorials, but the Minneapolis Star Tribune says more and more terminally ill people are choosing to celebrate their lives before they pass away. The gatherings offer friends and family a chance to say goodbye and share stories. The patient gets a chance to say thank you and acknowledge the role that others have played in their life.

 
 

Remembering James Brady

Written by Pat Papers | Tuesday, 5 August 2014 6:57 AM

Remembering James Brady

The Washington Post pays tribute to former White House Press Secretary James Brady, who died yesterday at 73. Writer Jon Thurber details Brady’s courageous comeback from the gunshot wound that nearly took his life during an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. Brady and his wife Sarah became the faces of the gun control movement in the United States. Brady was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Clinton in 1996.

 
 

Nickelodeon’s New Web Series

Written by Pat Papers | Monday, 4 August 2014 9:10 AM

Nickelodeon’s New Web Series

Nickelodeon is growing up. The network today debuts “Welcome to The Wayne,” on its revamped nick.com website and Nickelodeon app. It’s the network’s first original animated series created exclusively for the web and mobile. The New York Times says the 36-year-old network is trying to reach a new generation of viewers “who barely distinguish between among a television set, a laptop, a tablet and a mobile phone.”

 
 

Toledo’s Water Crisis

Written by Pat Papers | Monday, 4 August 2014 8:54 AM

Toledo’s Water Crisis

It seems there’s no easy fix for the algae problems that have led to the water crisis in Toledo, Ohio. The Toledo Blade says the rapid deterioration of Lake Erie seems to have caught many by surprise, yet the problems that have led to the lake’s “pea green” color go back years. The founder of Lake Erie Waterkeeper group says this should be a warning sign for the other great lakes.

 
 

Robotic Pets for Seniors

Written by Pat Papers | Monday, 4 August 2014 8:13 AM

Robotic Pets for Seniors

There’s a new wave of interactive, robotic pets helping seniors and people with special needs. Paros are outfitted with microprocessors and sensors that respond to light, touch, voices and movement. The San Jose Mercury News says while there are some ethical concerns with using robots, researchers say the “animals” can have a calming and socializing influence on people who may otherwise feel anxious or isolated.

 
 

Why Auto Recalls Take So Long

Written by Pat Papers | Monday, 4 August 2014 7:26 AM

Why Auto Recalls Take So Long

The Wall Street Journal looks into why it takes so long for automakers to issue a recall to fix a defect. Blame falls on both car makers and regulators - and once a recall is issued, regulators rarely issue a strict deadline for repairs to be completed. The paper says regulators began investigating fires in Jeeps back in 2010 and only last year did Chrysler agree to issue a recall. Even now, almost none of the 1.6 million defective Jeeps have been fixed.

 
 

Hotel “Fines” Guests $500 for Bad Reviews

Written by Pat Papers | Monday, 4 August 2014 6:58 AM

Hotel “Fines” Guests $500 for Bad Reviews

If you stay at the Union Street Guest House in Hudson, New York, you might want to keep your complaints to yourself. The New York Post says the hotel charges couples who book weddings $500 for every bad review posted on Yelp and other sites by their guests. It’s actually spelled out in an online policy. When negative reviews do make it online, the innkeepers typically respond aggressively, blaming the reviewer for their bad experiences.

 
 

It’s a Jungle Out There: Learning to Drive in New York City

Written by Pat Papers | Friday, 1 August 2014 8:46 AM

It’s a Jungle Out There: Learning to Drive in New York City

If you’ve ever driven in New York City, you know how stressful it can be. Imagine learning how to drive there. The New York Times has a fun read about the perils of learning to drive in Manhattan where pigeons, taxis and pedestrians looking to get hit to earn a quick buck all present a challenge to the student driver. One instructor says driving is 80 percent confidence and 20 percent common sense.

 
 

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