Friday, August 21, 2009

Chicago: Where Your Dollar Will Get You Fatter

To recap today in Chicago news:
  • Alligator found in the Chicago River
  • The parking meter saga continues on
  • But most importantly, Chicago has the lowest amount of time needed working to earn enough to get a Big Mac.
I'm proud to work in Chicago.
An alternative Big Mac Index:

How many minutes to earn the price of a Big Mac?

THE size of your pay packet may be important, but so is its purchasing power. Helpfully, a UBS report published this week offers a handy guide to how long it takes a worker on the average net wage to earn the price of a Big Mac in 73 cities. Fast-food junkies are best off in Chicago, Toronto and Tokyo, where it takes a mere 12 minutes at work to afford a Big Mac. By contrast, employees must toil for over two hours to earn enough for a burger fix in Mexico City, Jakarta and Nairobi.

It's worth checking the comments to see the hate for Chi-town. I don't care that L.A. and New York weren't represented. They get all the press most days.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Shared: Tiny Tiger is world's youngest wing-walker

A few things about this:
-I want to see their family portrait. Those paints are bitchin'.
-How long before an infant shatters this kid's record. The next story I read better be about a baby sliding around on the wing.
-Tiger's mantra is "go away fear." How about "go away reason"?

Tiny Tiger is world's youngest wing-walker: "He was born into a family of stuntmen and performers but today was the day that eight-year-old Tiger Brewer earned his stripes. A thousand feet above Rendcomb Airfield in Gloucestershire, the London schoolboy became the youngest person in the world to wing-walk.

A Twist on Twist

That's like the anti-Oliver Twist.

"Putpockets" give a little extra cash: "LONDON (Reuters) - Visitors to London always have to be on the look out for pickpockets, but now there's another, more positive phenomenon on the loose -- putpockets.

IAAF Asks South Africa For Gender Test On Semenya - CBS News

I believe there is a much easier way to check gender. Just saying.

IAAF Asks South Africa For Gender Test On Semenya - CBS News: "IAAF Asks South Africa For Gender Verification Test On Women's 800-meter Favorite"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Shared: After 67 Years, Archie Chooses Veronica

Now THAT is a courtship.

After 67 Years, Archie Chooses Veronica: "

In the first of a six-issue series, the longest-running love triangle in comics history appears to come to an end: Archie Andrews proposes — not to Betty, the blond girl next door, but to Veronica, the dark-haired beauty and Riverdale's rich girl.

» E-Mail This     » Add to



Heard this story yesternight on StarDate. Makes me want to catch up on Greek Mythology again.

Lyra: "Myth and data about the constellation Lyra"

Shared: Language Log » A word on the wall

Fantastic for those who deal with words every day.

Language Log » A word on the wall

Have we met?

Must have been someone I've taken out.

A little of A, a little of B.: "Classy Lady: 'Either it's a small world, or I'm a whore.'

- Cornelia & Seminary

-- Submitted by Mary Low

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I Say Spend. You Say No. We’re in Love. -

General rule: Any story that has the word "connubial" gets shared.

Plus, I've met the NU professor who co-authored the study.

I Say Spend. You Say No. We’re in Love. - "A new study shows that when it comes to money, opposites do attract: “spendthrifts” and “tightwads” tend to marry."

Bob Dylan Update: Picked Up by Cop in Jersey

Bob Dylan Update:
Earlier this week it was announced that Dylan is coming out with a Christmas album. More recently, he was found wandering in New Jersey in the wee smalls. I think he was trying to clear his head to let the Christmas spirit in.

Bob Dylan Picked Up by Cop in Jersey: "

Let's say you run into an old man in a hood and sweatpants wandering around your neighborhood all alone in the pouring rain. Let's say that man tells you he's Bob Dylan. You probably wouldn't believe him, right? You'd probably think he was a lunatic.

That's exactly what happened to police officer Kristie Buble of Long Branch, New Jersey, on July 23. Except the guy actually was Bob Dylan. As ABC News reports, 24-year-old Buble picked up Dylan in a Long Branch front yard, after the home's occupants called in a report of a suspicious person.

Buble told ABC, 'I asked him what his name was and he said, 'Bob Dylan'. Now, I've seen pictures of Bob Dylan from a long time ago and he didn't look like Bob Dylan to me at all.'

She continued, 'So I said, 'OK Bob, what are you doing in Long Branch?' He said he was touring the country with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp. So now I'm really a little fishy about his story. I did not know what to believe or where he was coming from, or even who he was. We see a lot of people on our beat, and I wasn't sure if he came from one of our hospitals or something.'

Eventually, Buble brought Dylan back to his tour buses and his identity was verified. And everybody made fun of her. But come on! Hanging out by yourself in a stranger's front yard in the pouring rain is CREEPY, no matter who you are!

So what the hell was Dylan doing in that front yard, anyway? ABC News guesses that he might have been looking for the house that Bruce Springsteen lived in when he wrote Born to Run." Acquires Everyblock

Only a matter of time before this got picked up by larger media.

Data Is Journalism: Acquires Everyblock: "

everyblock logo

Everyblock, Adrian Holovaty's local data aggregator, has been acquired by Many are hailing it as local news acquisition. For 15 major US cities Everyblock aggregates crime data, restaurant reviews, health inspections, local news and more. This is data that is only of interest to people within a certain area. I care much less about crime ten blocks away than I do about crime two blocks away. Everyblock lets me know what is happening within three blocks of my home and filters everything out (on the web and iPhone). So Everyblock is a hyperlocalnews acquisition, but that is only half of the story (maybe less).

The future of news is data and Everyblock is the premier startup in this area. As Adrian phrased it on his site this past May in a post entitled The definitive, two-part answer to 'is data journalism?':

It's a hot topic among journalists right now: Is data journalism? Is it journalism to publish a raw database? Here, at last, is the definitive, two-part answer:

1. Who cares?

2. I hope my competitors waste their time arguing about this as long as possible. stopped wasting time just in time.

everyblock data snapshot

There is a coming deluge of data from the new administration. Sites like, and are hopefully just the beginning of new data sources. It's already too much for many organizations to make sense of. Without the proper tools many stories will never be covered. People will not get the info they need. Everyblock has proven that by taking free local government data sources and making them readily available to interested citizens you can create value. Now it's time to turn those tools and thinking onto a problem of a national scale. (If you'd like to learn more about the Obama administrations efforts to release data check out Anil Dash's latest piece The Most Interesting New Tech Startup of 2009.)

It's important to note that Everyblock recently open-sourced the code to their site and as Techcrunch pointed out their traffic is not that high. So MSNBC could have easily duplicated Everyblock and just turned their traffic hose at the new property. Instead realized that they are facing a new problem and they needed a new team to tackle it head on. Enter Adrian and Everyblock.

Of course many people know Adrian as one of the co-creators of DJango. In his acquisition blog post he states that he will have more time to work on Django, that Everyblock will stay Python (and presumably continue to roll their own maps) and that this does not effect ebcode, the open-sourced version of Everyblock (Radar post).

Congrats Adrian it looks like you solved the dilemma (Radar site) of what to do once you've open-sourced your site; you tackle a bigger problem.

Post updated to reflect that it was, not MSNBC, that bought Everyblock.


Bill McGraw: Media giant buys Detroit home for reporters to track city | Detroit Free Press |

Throw in a camera crew and we have ourselves a show.

Bill McGraw: Media giant buys Detroit home for reporters to track city | Detroit Free Press | "You can take a short-term view of Detroit's problems or you can settle in for the long haul. Media giant Time Inc. has chosen the latter."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Snowin' in the Wind? Dylan Christmas album due

This sounds depressing.

Snowin' in the Wind? Dylan Christmas album due: "LONDON (Reuters) - Bob Dylan is set to release an album of Christmas songs, including 'Here Comes Santa Claus' and the carol 'O Little Town of Bethlehem,' according to music websites.

Obama an entry in latest slang dictionary

Laziness abounds. Nevertheless, I try to stay current with the language of the streets.

Obama an entry in latest slang dictionary: "LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The sixth edition of 'UCLA Slang' is being published this month and it is just 'presh!'


Airline Food Is So Bad… | Emails From Crazy People

Thanks Farah.

Airline Food Is So Bad… | Emails From Crazy People: "It’s your hamster Richard. It’s your hamster in the box and it’s not breathing."

Water Dance

Can't go wrong with a picture of water droplets.

Water Dance: "

Water Dance

photo ©2009 connie publicover