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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In the News: November 16, 2010

Lots going on people! Let's get to it:

Panic as Ohio tower falls in the wrong direction

"The planned demolition of the Ohio Edison tower in Ohio in the US went wrong after a malfunction caused the structure to fall in the wrong direction.

The tower brought down power lines, leaving at least 4000 householders without electricity, and sent spectators scurrying for cover.

Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan
Normally I would back the woman going up against ridiculous sharia laws, and not that I think the punishment is just or fair, but this woman has to be more aware of her surroundings.

"A Christian woman has been sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan, two police officials told CNN Thursday.

Asia Bibi was convicted of insulting Islam's prophet, Mohammed, while working in a field with several Muslim women in a village southwest of Lahore.

She told them the Quran was "fake" and made comments about one of Mohammed's wives and about his health in his final days, the police complaint against her said.

She said that "the Quran is fake and your prophet remained in bed for one month before his death because he had worms in his ears and mouth. He married Khadija just for money and after looting her kicked her out of the house," local police official Muhammad Ilyas told CNN.

Kinect Camera Data Could Be Sold for Ad Targeting
Sounds scarier than what would really happen, but you never know...

"When the multinational corporation began tempting us to purchase a network-connected camera to place in our living rooms, the Orwellian parts of us should have predicted this: Microsoft is hinting that it would like to use the Kinect to better target its content to users. That means gathering data from the camera – everything from basic demographics to what shirt you’re wearing – and use it to tailor its media offerings. That is, to better cater marketing to you by allowing marketers access to Kinect-driven data.

That’s not to say that Microsoft is toying with ideas that other companies like Facebook don’t already employ, nor does it mean your Kinect is spying on you right now (although it could be – it’s probably best just not to think about it). But at a conference last week Microsoft’s Dennis Durkin, a VP in the company’s interactive department, said at a conference he would like to use the Kinect to better target the media and advertising it presents to users.


Kyle Orton, Broncos jump out early, follow through to rout Chiefs
Not really a headline in itself, but I thought this was interesting:

"Haggan, Knowshon Moreno and Kyle Orton all had career days as the Broncos steamrolled the Kansas City Chiefs 49-29. The only time the Broncos scored more was in 1963, when they put up 50 on the San Diego Chargers, and they could have topped that but eschewed a makable field goal late in the game.

That didn't prevent Chiefs coach Todd Haley from refusing to shake Broncos boss Josh McDaniels' hand afterward.

McDaniels seemed perplexed when Haley wagged his finger in his face and appeared to scold him before quickly turning away.

In his postgame interview, Haley didn't directly answer a question about the exchange. He talked about how his players continued to play hard when the game got out of reach and "sometimes you see indicators" of where the opponent "thinks the game is."

I know there's that whole "sportsmanship" thing and you're not supposed to run up the score, but 49-29? I wouldn't really call 20pts in football a rout.
Pretty sure they're all professionals... Whining about losing just seems childish to me. If I were a coach, I'd utilize the situation to play some backups, or at least punish the starters more for not playing hard enough. But that's just me.

California officials seek driver of car that caused crash, killing 5

"California authorities were still looking early Monday for the driver of a car who fled the scene after causing a wreck that left five people dead.

The victims comprised of four motorcyclists and a passenger in another car.

The crash took place on a two-lane highway in El Centro, Imperial County, just east of San Diego, on Saturday.

A gold Honda Civic tried to pass a group of 12 motorcycles and crossed into the oncoming lane to do so, the California Highway Patrol said.

The Honda passed the motorcycles, but a Dodge Avenger swerving to avoid hitting the Honda struck the motorcycles head-on, said Deeann Goudie, a spokeswoman for the highway patrol.

[Gold Honda Civic? My money's on the Triads.]

Viacom plans to sell Rock Band creator Harmonix

"In a major reversal of fortune, media giant Viacom Inc. plans to sell Harmonix Music Systems Inc., the Cambridge-based maker of the Rock Band line of video games.

The move comes four years after Viacom spent $175 million to acquire Harmonix, one of the Boston area's most prominent video-game developers.

In a statement issued by Viacom, a spokesman said: "Harmonix has and will continue to create terrific video games. But for us, it is about focus. Viacom is in discussions with several potential buyers and will continue to fully support the business until a sale is completed."

End to US military gay ban 'would not harm war effort'
So.... What's the problem?

"Most US troops think allowing gays to serve openly in the military would have a minimal effect on US war efforts, the Washington Post newspaper reports.

Some 70% of troops surveyed said the effects of repealing the ban would be positive, mixed or nonexistent, the paper said, citing a Pentagon report.

US President Barack Obama has called for an end to the policy.

But hopes for a repeal dimmed this month amid conservative Republican gains in the US Congress.

According to the newspaper, which spoke to people who had read the unreleased 370-page study, the survey results have led the report's authors to conclude that objections to openly gay colleagues would drop once troops were able to live and serve alongside them.

[And why didn't Obama let it pass when Dems held the House??]

Ethics committee won't grant Rangel's delay request
Not sure this behavior is helping your case any Rangel...

"[Posted at 9:49 a.m.] Rep. Charlie Rangel walked out of his ethics committee hearing Monday morning, complaining that he has not had sufficient time to hire a legal team.

The committee then continued meeting behind closed doors.

"[Updatedat 10:31 a.m.] California Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the chairwoman of the House ethics committee, said Monday the subcommittee reviewing allegations against New York Rep. Charlie Rangel will not grant his request for a delay in order to raise funds for a new legal team."

Obesity's link to sense of smell
Sure, another partial cause, but how about 'lack of self control'?

"People who are overweight have a greater sense of smell for food, a study has found.

Researchers from the University of Portsmouth say their early findings may go towards explaining why some people struggle to stay slim.

Experts already know that part of the brain that processes information about odour is also connected to the feeding centres of the brain.

And finally, read. this. article.

Rich, Black, Flunking

"The black parents wanted an explanation. Doctors, lawyers, judges, and insurance brokers, many had come to the upscale Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights specifically because of its stellar school district. They expected their children to succeed academically, but most were performing poorly. African-American students were lagging far behind their white classmates in every measure of academic success: grade-point average, standardized test scores, and enrollment in advanced-placement courses. On average, black students earned a 1.9 GPA while their white counterparts held down an average of 3.45. Other indicators were equally dismal. It made no sense.

When these depressing statistics were published in a high school newspaper in mid-1997, black parents were troubled by the news and upset that the newspaper had exposed the problem in such a public way. Seeking guidance, one parent called a prominent authority on minority academic achievement.

UC Berkeley Anthropology Professor John Ogbu had spent decades studying how the members of different ethnic groups perform academically. He'd studied student coping strategies at inner-city schools in Washington, DC. He'd looked at African Americans and Latinos in Oakland and Stockton and examined how they compare to racial and ethnic minorities in India, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and Britain. His research often focused on why some groups are more successful than others.

Be sure to read the rest!
(link thanks to Mike)

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