Virginia Postrel writes: Are you better off now than you were 10 years ago? For middle-class Americans, a common answer to this version of Ronald Reagan’s old question is no. Nor are they optimistic about the future. The recession may be over officially, but a lot of smart people are convinced that broad-based improvements in the standard of living are largely a thing of the past.
Before you embrace the idea that today is worse than yesterday and tomorrow won’t be much better, however, consider a common experience:
On a flight across the country, you watch the playoff game on live television, listen to some favorite playlists as you catch up on work, then relax with some video poker. Arriving home, you delete the game from your DVR and consider your options. Too tired for an intense cable drama — which you prefer to experience in immersive weekend marathons of at least three episodes each — you stream a first-season episode of “Duck Dynasty” from Amazon.com, then run last week’s “Elementary” from your DVR queue. While watching, you check IMDB.com to see where you’ve seen that familiar-looking guest star before, then you jump to your Facebook and Twitter feeds. You finish the evening with “SportsCenter,” recorded just far enough ahead that you can skip most of the commercials.
Not all scientists agree that global warming is man-made. Nearly half of meteorologists and atmospheric science experts don’t believe that human activities are the driving force behind global warming, according to a survey by the American Meteorological Society.
The survey of AMS members found that while 52 percent of American Meteorological Society members believe climate change is occurring and mostly human-induced, 48 percent of members do not believe in man-made global warming.
Furthermore, the survey found that scientists who professed “liberal political views” were much more likely to believe in the theory of man-made global warming than those who without liberal views.
Richard L. Fox and Jennifer L. Lawless write: During the 2012 presidential election, we conducted a national survey of more than 4,200 high school and college students. We asked about their attitudes toward politics and current events, their career aspirations and their political ambition. The results are stark. Only 11 percent of our survey respondents reported that, someday, when they were older, they might consider running for political office.
In one set of questions, we presented these high school and college students with four career options — business owner, teacher, salesperson or mayor of a city or town — and asked which they would most like to be, assuming that each position paid the same amount of money. Nine out of 10 respondents chose a career other than mayor as their first choice. Nearly 40 percent reported that mayor would be their least-desired job.
We also asked which of the following higher-echelon jobs they found most appealing: business executive, lawyer, school principal or member of Congress. Serving as a member of Congress came in dead last, with just 13 percent of young people choosing it. It placed first on the least-desirable list.
A mother is furious after being banned from a Hepzibah, Georgia elementary school several weeks ago, which she says stemmed from her posting a picture on Facebook of her concealed weapons permit, WRDW reports.
“I feel like a criminal. I want to be heard. I want a public apology,” Tanya Mount said.
— Techworm (@Techworm_in) October 28, 2013
Faith Braverman reports: Japan has given us many gifts over the years: sushi, anime, and 300 tons of toxic waste into the ocean per day. Now, for a mere $20-95, you can send your cuddle companion on a trip to the land of the rising sun.
Unagi Travel, possibly the most adorable travel agency ever, has already granted dream vacations for over 200 stressed stuffed animals. You’ll get updates of your toy’s trip through Facebook photos, allowing you to live vicariously through your teddy bear or stuffed hippo. According to the company’s website, your toy can enjoy a trip to Tokyo, Kyoto, Tohoku, or even an intriguing “mystery tour.” (The cheapest option.)
Whatever your reason for wanting to use Unagi’s services, some people gain a lot from the experience. Japan News tells the story of one 51-year-old woman from Saga Prefecture. Read the rest of this entry »
In an amateur video posted on Youtube, the latest talent discovery will bring goosebumps, as she performed the former child star’s latest hit. She was singing with a mic in one hand and braille lyrics, in another.
Two days after uploading, the video had reached close to 60,000 views and has since made the rounds of social media. “Blind Girl Sings Wrecking Ball,” is also fourth in the hot picks list of Yahoo in the Philippines as of Friday, October 25.
Erin McClam writes: Google hopes a little browser tool will help change the world.
The company that revolutionized Internet search is now unveiling a sort of online underground tunnel — a way for people in restrictive countries like Iran and Syria to get around digital censorship and surveillance.
The idea behind the tool — essentially a button for browsers — called uProxy, is simple: People in countries such as the United States provide their trusted friends a secure connection so that they can see and use the unrestricted Internet.
Google showed it off earlier this week at a conference called “Conflict in a Connected World.” Google also rolled out technology to map cyberattacks around the world, including by repressive governments.
The innovations, from a division of the company called Google Ideas, come at a time when the Internet, and social media in particular, is playing an increasing role in popular upheaval around the world, most notably in the Middle East.
The White House and Senate Democrats may need a refresher course on how to leak a juicy story.
The White House today was forced to backtrack on a rumor Obama administration officials started about a Republican House leader who purportedly insulted President Obama to his face, telling the president, “I cannot even stand to look at you.”
Turns out, it never happened.
How do we know?
The same White House that was responsible for starting the buzz now says there was a “miscommunication” and a “misunderstanding.”
Here’s how it went down:
During The Shutdown:
House Republican leaders and committee chairmen met with the president at the White House to discuss the government shutdown and debt ceiling on Oct. 10. Vice President Joe Biden, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, and White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors also sat in on the meeting.