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24 May 2008

Criminal Genus

The Kittanning native now living in Trinidad was apprehended after her plane landed in Pittsburgh.
The constables who made the arrest said she appeared surprised and didn't seem to know about the warrants.
"She looked up and said, 'Why do you want me?','' according to constable Tom Rushnock of New Kensington.
However, while she was being fingerprinted, Toy told an Arnold police officer that she was "on her way back" to the Valley to "clear up drug charges" so she could introduce her husband to family and friends.
Police have been looking for Toy since a December drug sweep because she allegedly sold crack cocaine and Vicodin pills to undercover officers last year.

Sharon Platt, 47, is accused of stealing about $5,000 dollars from Murphy Motors in Williston, where she worked as an office manager.

WILLISTON, N.D. -- Authorities say they were tipped to the whereabouts of a woman accused of stealing money from her North Dakota employer when she used him as a reference in looking for a job in Pennsylvania.
Sharon Platt, 47, is accused of stealing about $5,000 dollars from Murphy Motors in Williston, where she worked as an office manager.
Williams County Sheriff's Capt. Bob Stancel said Platt was arrested Thursday, after she applied for a job in Pittsburgh and listed Murphy Motors as a reference.

Long school holidays 'should end'

Long school holidays should be abolished to prevent children falling behind in class, a think-tank says.
BBC News 5/24/08 7:20 PM Education

American Exception: For American Judges, Rendering Justice, With One Eye on Re-election

While most of the rest of the world tries to insulate judges from the popular will, many U.S. judges are elected.
NYT > Home Page 5/24/08 7:12 PM By ADAM LIPTAK Elections Judges United States Politics and Government Wisconsin United States

Toughest Summer Job Is Finding One [summer 2008]

The job market of 2008 is shaping up as the weakest in more than 50 years for teenagers seeking summer work.
NYT > Home Page 5/24/08 6:57 PM By PETER S. GOODMAN Children and Youth Labor Layoffs and Job Reductions United States Economy Retail Stores and Trade Hiring and Promotion Recession and Depression Economic Conditions and Trends Northeastern University Labor Department

Body-Mod: Elf ears

Here's an interesting body mod that turned up on Instructables - elf ears.

For the folks who want to do this without surgery, here are a couple how-tos for applying elf-ear costume ears :)

Elf ears in 5 minutes.

HOW-TO - Apply elf ears.

[Read this article] [Comment on this article]
MAKE Magazine 5/24/08 11:00 AM Phillip Torrone News from the Future

Big Oil's Push to Open the Arctic Refuge


Big Oil's Push to Open the Arctic Refuge

Sponsored by: Care2

  The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most important onshore denning habitats for America's threatened polar bears. Known as America's Serengeti, this stunning            
  refuge teems with wildlife such as caribou, snow fox and millions of migratory birds.

  But with oil prices skyrocketing, the Bush administration and Big Oil are pushing harder than ever to drill in this special place. Even the Bush administration's recent decision                            to protect polar bears under the Endangered Species Act includes provisions to allow drilling in polar bear habitat such as the Refuge.

Take action now -- tell your Senators to reject drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and support permanent protections for this special place.Gas prices are rising. Oil execs testified before Congress the other day that their solution is to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. Please act now to protect the Arctic Refuge. Go to the The Petition Site and... Hot Stories 5/24/08 10:25 AM hurr1 Array Array Array Array Array Comments

23 May 2008

$3.50 a gallon gasoline was breaking point for truck and SUV sales

It's no secret that ever-rising fuel prices have greatly shifted consumer demand from trucks and SUVs to lighter and more efficient cars and crossovers, but at what price point did the shift actually occur? According to Ford CEO Alan Mulally, $3.50 was the breaking point.

Ford — as well as the rest of the industry [...]
Leftlane - news, reviews, and info for the auto-industry 5/23/08 10:09 AM dejz28 Ford News SUV Truck Comments

Majestic Star Casino to Bring Over 1,000 Jobs to Pittsburgh

Guest Blooger Heather Johnson is a regular commentator on the subject of how to become a pharmacist. She welcomes your feedback and potential job inquiries at

Although the gaming industry is something new to the Pittsburgh area, the Majestic Star casino could be very beneficial to the local workforce. The establishment will be offering more than 1,000 new jobs to the area in May 2009. This could be a great opportunity for many jobseekers, as the casino will be offering competitive salaries and benefits. However, working in a casino is not for everyone.
Luckily, the Northside Leadership Conference (NSLC) and the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) are working together in order to create free workshops for potential casino employees. These workshops seek to answer questions about applying for a casino job, what it is like to work in the gaming industry and what kind of future it holds for employees.
These community workshops will be called "So You Think You Want To Work in a Casino?" and will begin later in the month. Although the workshops will share some information that was provided by Majestic Star, the instructors will be completely objective. The potential drawbacks to working for the gaming industry will definitely be covered, as well.
As noted above, working for a casino is not for everyone. Naturally, there are people who may not agree with gambling and those people will certainly not want to work for Majestic Star. Also, the establishment may require some very odd hours and demanding job performances. On the other hand, there is some great room for promotion and the industry offers competitive hourly wages.
Even though the Majestic Star casino will not open its doors for another year, the establishment will begin its hiring much sooner. Also, some positions may require credentials from the state of Pennsylvania. If you are uncertain about your ability or desire to work for Majestic Star, a free workshop could come in very handy. For more information, citizens are encouraged to visit the NSLC's
official site.

Related: Majestic Star Casino to Bring Over 1,000 Jobs to Pittsburgh

The 'Burgh Works, A Pittsburgh Jobs Blog 5/23/08 10:54 AM Pittsburgh Employment Guide (R) Pittsburgh Job News Pittsburgh Hospitality Jobs

Poor People With Checks

What kind of people use check-cashing places? How do they work? Do such places contribute to inequality? And most important -- why are people paying for their own money? In their video "Checkmate," the Internets Celebrities, a.k.a. Dallas Penn and Rafi Kam, explore these questions and eventually, in their words, "make it rain."
Freakonomics 5/23/08 12:07 PM Freakonomics General inequality poverty Youtube

Guns Over Gas. But Why? [...put your car out of its misery?]

A Missouri used car dealership has a unique promotion, offering buyers a choice between a $250 gas card or a $250 check toward the purchase of a gun. Most have chosen the gun. But why?.
NYT > Home Page 5/23/08 6:23 PM By RICHARD S. CHANG

Is Japan facing a post-car society? [ is the United States? ]

PHOTO: off-hour osanpo (walk) by Shenghung LinCould the country that gave us the NSX, Godzilla -- and the other Godzilla -- and The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift be on the verge of giving up cars for good? With car buying down by close to 33-percent since 1990, Japan is claimed to be in the grips of kuruma banare, which, for Japanese carmakers, is the polar opposite of hakuna matata.

It's being labeled the "demotorization" process, and it involves large numbers of people in Japan's urban centers not buying cars. Surveys have revealed a variety of reasons, from the cost of purchase and ownership, to vehicles simply not being status symbols anymore, to cars being passé -- as in "so 20th century." The greatest worry is that young folks are simply not into cars, preferring cell phones and gadgets to Cubes and keis. Losing their audience before the love affair has even begun is no doubt causing JDM manufacturers to lose sleep.

And the even worse news is that the trend is expected to continue, with another 1.2-percent drop in sales predicted this year. Japanese carmakers are fighting the perception that cars aren't cool or worth the price by expanding their marketing and sales efforts in an attempt to form emotional bonds in other ways. It is certain, however, that they aren't the only ones interested in the outcome: Japan's kuruma banare is expected to befall Europe as well. Thanks for the tip, catgirlshyla!

[Source: Newsweek, Photo: Shenghung Lin | CC 2.0]
Autoblog 5/23/08 3:43 PM Jonathon Ramsey car buying car buying trends car sales CarBuying CarBuyingTrends CarSales demotorization japan japanese market JapaneseMarket kuruma banare KurumaBanare Comments

22 May 2008

Proximity to Pain

May 19, 2008 (3 days ago)

Proximity to Pain
from Seth's Blog by Seth Godin

The closer you are to the point of need, the more you can charge.

Pizza at the airport costs five times more than pizza on the way to the airport.

Tax audit services in the middle of an SEC investigation cost triple what they cost before one.

Scalped tickets cost more than ones bought in advance, by mail.

Emergency towing in a strange town costs more too.

The single easiest way to increase your fees is to get closer to the pain. It's interesting to note that no large-scale advertising ventures are closer to the pain than the Yellow Pages or Google. Both of which are insanely successful.

Baby Drop-Box [???return to sender???]

The Associated Press is reporting on a new Japanese program where mothers who don't want (or can't take care of) their babies can drop them off anonymously.  There is a similar program in the U.S.

In the first year of the program in Japan, 17 babies were dropped off.

Interestingly 13 were boys and 4 were girls.

14 were less than 1 month old,  2 were less than a year old and one was a preschooler!  (talk about scarred for life)

Japundit 5/22/08 5:00 PM Brian Engel Japan Really? Revealed Comments

Genetic Discrimination [must be quashed!]

President Bush signed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) into law today, making it a crime for employers or insurers to use your genetic data against you.

Wired News 5/21/08 4:20 PM Wired Science

21 May 2008

Taxes Help Pump Up Chicago Gas Prices

As gas prices continue to soar, some of the highest pump prices in the country can be found in Chicago. State and local taxes on gasoline contribute to average prices that recently surpassed $4 a gallon.

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[UK] Youth crime drive has 'no impact'

Re-offending rates remained highest among those who had a custodial sentence - but lower for those dealt with before reaching court.
A drive to cut youth offending has had "no measurable impact", an independent study suggests.

BBC News 5/21/08 6:47 AM UK

20 May 2008

Football, Sex, and Parking

An old adage is that a university is a happy place if the administration provides football for the alumni, parking for the faculty, and sex for the students. I assume that the free market is working well at my university for the students; and the university administration always works hard on football for the alumni: [...]
Freakonomics 5/20/08 12:13 PM Daniel Hamermesh General Daniel hamermesh incentives parking

Six Local High Schools Make National Best High School List

Newsweek ranks Quaker Valley High School, Pittsburgh Allderdice, Upper St. Clair and three others in top list. Inside you will find all local schools who made the list, list...

Thousands Of Students Graduate From DARE Program

More than 2,000 students graduated from the D.A.R.E. program today at a special ceremony at Heinz Field.

Who's Caring for Our Babies?

The term "infant mortality" refers to babies born alive who die before their first birthday. The cause of death can range from complications of premature birth and low birth weight to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and accidents. Infant mortality has declined in the U.S. over the past 50 years, but our country still has the second worst newborn rate in the developed world. And the rates for infant death among African Americans remain alarmingly high.

African-American News 5/20/08 8:52 AM

19 May 2008

Third World needs food, not shopping malls

As global food shortages devastate some of the world's poorest countries, a British government-owned international development fund set up 60 years ago this month
stands accused of…
The First Post: Latest 5/19/08 4:53 AM Opinion

Google Health: Great idea, but scary as all get out


Google has launched its personal health portal, Google Health. It's a clear and straightforward hub where users can store their medical information, and look up information on conditions and medications relevant to them. See the video for the pitch from product manager Roni Zeiger, a physician who left his practice to run this project (although he still keeps his hand in, as it were, by doing urgent care medicine on weekends).

Google Health is an important initiative, if only because it shows users how completely broken medical record-keeping is right now. But this product comes with a warning label...MORE

Boys to Men

Do you have to go away to war to become a hero?
On the face of it men today are under little formal pressure to join the armed forces. Quite the opposite sometimes. In Peterborough, last year, anti-military sentiment became so strong that local airmen were told not to leave their base in uniform.
BBC News 5/19/08 8:07 AM Magazine

5 Ways Your Gadgets Will Betray Your Privacy

5 Ways Your Gadgets Will Betray Your Privacy

I’ve spent a considerable amount of my personal and professional time mocking conspiracy theorists, but it is true that as we open our homes and our wallets to electronic devices, we are also opening up our lives to surveillance. So if you plan on doing something risky, read the list below. Then then check out your ISP’s terms of service, wrap your phone in tinfoil, and call a cab (leave your wallet at home).

Mall Watchers: Like mall walkers, mall watchers aren’t so much evil as they are annoying. A firm called Path Intelligence isn’t tracking YOU, it’s tracking your particular cell phone — everything else is anonymous. Except for the country you live in. Because such data is helpful to mall owners and marketers who want to see where that cell phone travels inside their buildings. And we love to help them out, right?

Web Stalkers: Already vilified in England and under investigation in Canada, these programs track your web surfing habits (again, not you, just anonymous data) and sell ads based on that data. And now the evils of deep-packet inspection have landed stateside, with Charter offering tracking to subscribers as an “enhanced service.”
Location-Based Services/Advertising: Ever issued the little white lie to your boss or significant other, like saying you’re home sick when you’re waiting in line for tickets to the latest “Indiana Jones” flick? Thanks to the combination of location-based services delivered via cell phone and social networks, you may find yourself caught or at least having to prepare a bit before you tell your tale.

Automotive black boxes: These services, which began with On-Star, are now so advanced they can track whether or not you (or someone with your ID chip) are driving the car. The boxes are not only outfitted with GPS chips that can be used to track where you are if the car gets in an accident, but contain hardware to disable a car in case of a theft. The boxes are tied to police systems, which means it’s easy enough for governments to track the car at any time. I wonder how long route data is stored.
Digital IDs: And for those of you who walk to work, don’t own a cell phone and refuse broadband service, there’s still your driver’s license or work-issued identity card, which can contain a chip that holds the key to your identity and can broadcast your data to anyone with the equipment to read it.

Rockability dancers of Harajuku-Video

Japundit 5/19/08 5:00 PM David Weber Cool! Entertainment Harajuku Japan Tokyo Comments

The Wires that Control the Public Mind

CMD research director Sheldon Rampton gave a talk recently to employees at Google, titled "The Wires that Control the Public Mind." The talk, part of Google's "tech talk" series, described the history of the public relations industry, dating back to the early 20th century and the work of PR industry founder Edward Bernays.

Center for Media and Democracy - Publishers of PR Watch 5/19/08 5:13 PM Sheldon Rampton corporations propaganda public relations Comments

daily bREAD

18 May 2008

The Odd World of 谷口崇 [yt playlist][Japanese Only]

An odd series where everyone has the same face and voice (and most everything in the production was done by one man). I'll start you off with Salaryman-man.

Japan Probe 5/18/08 1:06 PM Claytonian Odd / Strange Otaku & Anime Comments

(Japan) 97% of new college grads find jobs

People who graduated from college in March had found jobs as of April 1 at a rate of 96.9 percent, up 0.6 percentage point from a year earlier, according to a government survey.

U.S. to quickly identify deserters, provide info to Japanese police

The U.S. military will quickly provide information on deserters to Japanese authorities and ask Japanese police to arrest them, according to a formal agreement between Tokyo and Washington last week.

Stopping Race Wars Behind Bars

News & Notes , Living in confined spaces can put a magnifying glass on racial tensions. NPR's Tony Cox talks to Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, who has had his share of dealing with racial incidents in the county's prison system.

African-American News 5/18/08 8:10 AM

Black women missing in April and May 2008


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