Archive for January, 2012

Proof of education solves crime

Education reduces crime, sociologists tell us. But, in Georgia, proof of education solves crimes. winder-barrow

Amber Fields, whose name really makes me want to sing “America The Beautiful” like Mitt Romney, is charged with felonies in the attempted absconding of metal from a heavy equipment operator in Winder.

An investigator investigating the scene of the crime Jan. 20 found Fields’ wallet-sized diploma from Winder-Barrow High School in a book bag along with metal plates, according to an incident report. The deputy also found a cooler, rolling trash can and more bookbags full of metal that the 130-pound suspect allegedly dragged across the dirt parking lot, leaving a nice, easy-to-follow trail.

The estimated value of the almost-stolen metal is $5,000, according to its rightful owner, Jerry McDaniel, of Dacula.

The diploma was found in a bookbag along with a wallet, said deputy Brian Green in the incident report.

Fields, 22, of Dacula, remained jailed as of Tuesday, said a sheriff’s …

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‘Rate My Rat’ website outs NYC subway vermin

Not to sound like John Rocker, but I’ve met some real rats on the subway.

If it wasn't for Bernie Madoff, Mets fans could drink Heineken.

If it wasn't for Bernie Madoff, Mets fans could drink Heineken. (Image taken from ratfreesubways.com)

In New York City, the problem with the four-legged variety of vermin is so bad transportation workers have created a website to draw attention to the infestation.

The “Rate My Rat” website allows rider to submit pictures of “nasty” rats for a chance to win a free monthly pass. My favorite is a cute little fellow sipping on a can of beer like an addled Mets fan.

Unfortunately, NYC subway riders aren’t exactly Marlin Perkins. Recently a train was evacuated when the first ‘possum ever spotted using public transportation caused a panic, and one submitted pic depicts someone’s rotund pet.

The workers union alleges budgetary “cutbacks mean rats are back,” so the website may be designed to restore jobs instead of reducing rats, but the tactic is interesting. Maybe MARTA could fire up  a similar site to rat out …

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Atlanta ranked 4th most literate city

Reading is FUNdamentil, says this PETA protester in London.

Reading is FUNdamentil, says London PETA protester.

We may be rude, but at least Atlantans is good with books.

A study by some college in Connecticut ranks Atlanta as the forth most literate major U.S. city, trailing only Washington D.C., Seattle and Minneapolis. Atlanta was ranked forth last time, too.

City rankings was based on several facters, including newspaper circulation (hooray!), book perchases, education level of residents and library infurmation.

The Los Angeles Times laments the dumness of Californians, who are surely responsible for that cities 59th position, by making fun of the smartest city in America, Washington D.C.

“Considering the fact that it appears that no one in Congress reads the laws they vote on, this is remarkable news,” the Times writes in parentheses, which means they were too scared to just come out and say it.

I wonder about these ranking myself, since New York City is tied with Austin, Texas, for 22nd and we know neither one of them be that …

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Magazine rudely ranks Atlanta as 7th rudest U.S. city

Being a Southerner and True Gentleman, I could teach a course on manners. I even recall the lost arts of salad forks, soup spoons and which side of the sidewalk to be on when escorting a lady. If I ever take my wife to fancier environs than the Trackside Tavern, I’m ready.

Atlanta visitors often cite the city's slow and outdated taxi service as a cause of outrage.

Atlanta visitors often cite the city's slow and outdated taxi service as a cause of outrage.

Imagine my chagrin when learning Atlanta has been crowned the 7th crabbiest city in America by readers of a magazine I’d never heard of until today.

According to my research (aka Google search), the same publication, New York City-based Travel and Leisure, ranked Atlanta as the 11th rudest city the last time they compiled their list, so residents of our city have regressed a bit.

Fortunately, I have a ready excuse that absolves native Georgians of much guilt: yankees.

Perhaps it is summed up best by reader Craig T. Jones, who read this blog entry and emailed me about it instead of working.

Atlanta’s 7th “only so …

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Thousands of websites offline to protest SOPA, PIPA

Reference librarians are on high alert Wednesday as Wikipedia, the 6th biggest website on Earth, is offline along with thousands of smaller websites.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales explains why he's pulling the plug. (AP Photo)

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales explains why he's pulling the plug. (AP Photo)

The “free encyclopedia anyone can edit” is among the many websites joining an online revolt against two anti-piracy bills currently being considered by Congress.

Other sites joining the protest Wednesday include Reddit, Wordpress, MoveOn, Boing Boing and Twitpic.

On Twitter, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said “I hope Wikipedia [users] will melt phone systems in Washington on Wednesday. Tell everyone you know!”

The anti-piracy bills, dubbed SOPA and PIPA, are backed by the film and music industry and are allegedly designed to prevent the sharing of copyrighted material.

Opponents of SOPA read like a who’s who of the Internet. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist, eBay, Mozilla, Yahoo, AOL, and LinkedIn wrote a letter to key members of the U.S. Senate …

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UGA ranked 2nd in aspiring ‘Sugar Babies’

The University of Georgia, one of the oldest public universities in the U.S., has many noble, time-honored traditions.

This blog isn’t about one of them.

Once UGA topples Sugar Baby powerhouse NYU, they will indeed be No. 1.

Once UGA topples Sugar Baby powerhouse NYU, it will indeed be No. 1.

Instead, a report issued today concludes potential gold-diggers have made Athens their second most popular higher education destination.

Georgia State is No. 11, which seems odd considering many could easily date walk down the safe streets of Atlanta and find an employable North Avenue Trade School grad.

The results of the report will be featured on ABC News’ 20/20, says SeekingArrangement.com, a dating site that helps moneyed men hook up with cash-strapped women looking for little more than a proper education.

The number of ladies seeking a free ride grew in 2011.

“In 2011, we saw an explosion in the number of college students seeking Sugar Daddies to help pay their college tuition”, says website founder and MIT graduate Brandon Wade. “One in every two …

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Honey they shrunk the supermodel

As a teen, I thought Cindy Crawford was the epitome of hot.

Cindy "Chunky" Crawford rocks a runway in 1995, years before forcing me to buy a house full of Rooms To Go furniture.

Cindy "Chunky" Crawford rocks a runway in 1995, years before forcing me to buy a house full of Rooms To Go furniture.

Imagine my chagrin today as I perused an article in the January issue of PLUS Model Magazine that alleges Cindy wore a size 6, the same size as many of today’s non-super models.

It was quite a blow to learn I should have been buying Kate Moss calendars all those years.

The article says Cindy and other renowned hotties from a more portly era of posing (Paulina Porizkova and Billy Joel’s ex-wife) would be too chunky to make it onto the runways of today’s slimmer, and perhaps dangerously trimmer world of fashion. To prove their point, the magazine provides pics of a plus size model alongside a much thinner “straight size model.”

Fox News has a worksafe writeup, but for the pics you have to click on the full meal deal.

The pictures should “open the minds of the fashion industry,” which is stepping further …

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Bold predictions for the year 2112

Predicting the future is difficult, but that’s never stopped some clever folks from trying.

In 2112, people will still be buying this guy's 600-year-old book.

In 2112, people will still be buying this guy's 600-year-old book.

French seer Nostradamus is most famous. Among his many prognostications is that of his own death. Feeling ill, he told his secretary “You will not find me alive at sunrise” and he was right. He was found dead the next morning way back in 1566.

But the truth is that Nostradamus’ writings were so nebulous that future generations of crackpots were able to warp (or mistranslate) them into something resembling the facts of history. Truthfully, he struck out more than Babe Ruth and had zero home runs.

Less famous is John Elfreth Watkins Jr., a writer for the Saturday Evening Post who, in 1900 after interviewing the movers and shakers of the day, attempted to predict what life in America would be like in 2000. [See article]

Compared to Nostradamus, he was a genius. The Saturday Evening Post recently dug the 1900 article out of …

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Mississippi Gov. Barbour pardons convicted killers

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

Get Out of Jail Free cards aren't just found in Monopoly. There seems to be quite a few at the Mississippi Governor's Mansion.

Get Out of Jail Free cards aren't just found in Monopoly. There seems to be quite a few at the Mississippi Governor's Mansion.

David Gatlin knows he killed his estranged wife in 1993.

But Gatlin and three other convicted killers also know outgoing Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour — they worked as trusties at the Governor’s Mansion in Jackson — and they know they are now free men. They left state custody this past weekend.

Barbour, governor since 2004, granted pardons to at least four convicted killers during his last days in office, the Associated Press reports.

Barbour leaves office today. He’s not returning reporter’s phone calls.

The pardons have outraged family members of the victims.

Gatlin, 40, was sentenced to life in prison for killing Tammy Ellis Gatlin and shooting her friend Randy Walker.

Walker’s mother, Glenda Walker, told the AP Monday that Gatlin shot his estranged wife while she was holding their young baby, then shot …

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Apple’s iPhone turns 5 today

What were you doing five years ago today?

Apple CEO Steve Jobs with the original iPhone Jan. 9, 2007.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs with the original iPhone Jan. 9, 2007.

If you’re a techie, you may have been listening to Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveil the first iPhone.

AppleInsider takes us back to that day, Jan. 9, 2007, which Jobs rightly called “historic.”

“Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything,” said Jobs.

Even the most ardent Android fan would have to agree — the iPhone, after all, helped transform Apple into the world’s largest company according to market value.

Jobs may not have invented the MP3 player or the smartphone, but he found the popcorn kernel of truth in Orville Redenbacher’s business philosophy still holds true: “produce the best quality and sell in quality retail outlets.”

In 1996, when Jobs returned to Apple, the company was in a shambles. Cheap PCs running Windows had destroyed Apple’s computer sales.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, believe it or not, gave Apple the $150 million it …

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