Archive for July, 2012

Science: Pop music louder, blander than ever

There's less to salute these days.

There's less to salute these days.

A long vacation can expose you to many things — sun, surf, expensive fuel prices and lots of music on Ye Olde Car Radio.

Maybe I’m getting old, but modern music no longer rocks my world.

Back in the day, I remember waiting outside Adam’s Music City in Valdosta for an album — what my little brother called “giant black CDs” after he found a trove of them in the attic — for a copy of R.E.M.’s “Fables of the Reconstruction.”

Now, there’s very few record stores left, my phonograph has needed a new needle for a decade, and I’m not sure there’s much new music worth waiting in line for.

Science, it seems, agrees with my assessment.

Researchers in Spain broke down the musical and lyrical content of a million songs released between 1955 and 2010 and came to what my ears believe is a non-startling conclusion: recent music is “too loud and all sounds the same.”

Reuters reports “songs have become intrinsically louder and more bland in terms of the chords, …

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Suspect calls 911 over unflattering mug shot

(Barrow County Detention Center)

(Barrow County Detention Center)

Some mug shots are just criminal.

Tonya Ann Fowler was so incensed at the Winder police photo a local publication used she called Barrow County 911 to complain. It wasn’t that the picture was not of Fowler, it’s just that it wasn’t that flattering.

The photo appeared on the front page of ‘Bad & Busted,” which publishes pictures of people who have been arrested, but it was taken after an earlier run-in with the law, according to

Calling 911 to complain, however, might not have been the smartest move. Fowler, 45, was arrested Sunday and charged with unlawful use of 911 and disorderly conduct.

But there is a silver lining: Fowler got to take an updated mug shot at the Barrow County Detention Center to replace that caused her to snap.

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Housing authority’s ban of U.S. flag overturned

Children react favorably to Gov. Patrick's decision. (AP)

Children react favorably to Gov. Patrick's decision. (AP)

Communists running Wrentham, Mass., public housing were struck a blow Thursday when the state overruled a decision to ban the U.S. flag.

Residents of Garden Lane Apartments were told they got a little too patriotic July 4th and a letter taped to each door July 11 told them the U.S. flag could only be displayed indoors.

The Wrentham Times has a series of articles explaining the series of events.

State Rep. Dan Winslow began looking into it and called Gov. Deval Patrick, who quickly moved to strike down the ban.

“We were not aware of this decision when it was made, and it was a mistake that is being corrected immediately,” the governor said.

Wilson was a little more fired up.

“I am outraged that tax dollars are paying the salary of state employees who do not instantly recognize the idiocy of such a decision. They should be invited to find jobs in the private sector and unemployed veterans hired in their place,” he …

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Sex helps ‘World’s Fattest Woman’ shed 100 pounds

I’ve gained a little weight lately and I thought it was due to hitting middle age.

But, a recent article I read about a woman who lost 100 pounds by having lots of sex has me rethinking that theory.

Clearly, the solution is to have sex seven times a day like Pauline Potter, who was once dubbed the “World’s Fattest Woman” by Guinness, a company that at one time created both delicious beer and a book of world records.

Potter, no relation to Harry, alleges her sex life became magical after her ex-husband, who had read about her record weight of more than 700 pounds, decided to visit her.

The Closer Online article states “they now make love up to seven times in one day, despite [140-pound] Alex risking suffocation if Pauline gets on top.”

Wiry Alex allegedly does “most of the work in the bedroom,” but Pauline says “it’s great exercise just jiggling around.”

The 47-year-old Californian began binge eating Big Macs when she and Alex split in 2008. She gained so much weight she …

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First website photo was not porn

Scientists do all right with the ladies. (CERN)

Scientists do all right with the ladies, despite those guys on The Big Bang Theory. (CERN)

CERN, aka the European Organization for Nuclear Research, may be comprised of some of the smartest people on Earth, despite their inability to figure out how acronyms are supposed to work.

Recently, they announced “our understanding of the universe is about to change” because some super tiny particle only they understand allegedly exists. I won’t bore you with the details, but it has something to do with someone named Higgs’ bosom.

Speaking of bosoms, CERN, 20 years ago this week, also posted the first picture ever on a website.

Tim Berners-Lee, who has a hyphenated last name even though he’s not a liberated woman, worked with Al Gore to create the first web client (aka web browser) and server in 1990. That turned out to be a pretty big deal. Without that, you’d probably be reading this on a cave wall or something equally primitive like a dead tree.

Two years later, Berners-Lee posted …

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Mom not charged for dumping disabled daughter at bar

Lynn Cameron (Caryville Police Department)

Lynn Cameron (Caryville Police Department)

Abandoning a child who needs help is never right, but it’s not always illegal.

A Chicago-area woman who drove to Tennessee to dump off her mentally disabled 19-year-old daughter will not be charged, police said Tuesday in The Knoxville News Sentinel.

Police in the tiny town of Caryville had tried since June 28 to figure out the identity of the young woman. A break in the case came 10 days later when a Chicago-area resident recognized the daughter on a missing persons website and alerted authorities, who contacted the mom – Eva Cameron, 45, of Algonquin, Ill.

The mom traveled back to Tennessee to speak to police, not to pick up her daughter, Lynn Cameron, who has the mental capacity of a toddler and could not identify herself or her mother.

“[The mom] said that she did not want her, that she couldn’t take care of her and that she wasn’t going to take her back to Illinois,” said Caryville police Assistant Chief Stephanie Smith in The …

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Mayor cuts cop, firefighter pay to minimum wage

The mayor of Scranton will likely have to buy his own coffee cup too.

The mayor of Scranton will likely have to buy his own coffee cup too.

The Michael Scott style of management must be infectious.

In Scranton, Penn., home of the mythical Dunder Mifflin paper company, the mayor has reduced the pay of all city workers, including his own, to the federal minimum wage — $7.25.

Let’s hope Mayor Chris Doherty doesn’t need a firefighter or cop anytime soon. He’s not likely to receive quality service.

NPR reports Doherty made the move after city council voted to reject a proposed tax hike. Scranton, the sixth largest city in the state, had only $5,000 in the bank and owed $1 million in pay to its 400 or so employees.

There’s no indication in the article that salaries for city workers are out of control — one firefighter said his gross income was $1,500 every two weeks. Now his check is for $600 after deductions. He’s probably pawning the fire station’s Dalmation to pay his mortgage.

Employees are suing. Lackawanna County Judge Michael Barrasse issued …

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‘50 Shades’ gives Sugar Daddy websites, bondage a boost

After reading the Wikipedia entry, I assume this knot can be used for more than a dapper suit.

After reading the Wikipedia entry, I assume this knot can be used for more than a dapper suit.

Literature has often changed society.

Tracts by Thomas Paine helped rile up pre-Americans seeking government independence while Karl Marx riled up those seeking government dependence.

“50 Shades of Grey” by British author E. L. James is nothing like those books, but the erotic tome has boosted traffic at “Sugar Daddy” dating sites, reports Business Insider.

I’ve never read “50 Shades of Grey,” but trust a co-worker, who says she wanted to “stab her eyes out” while reading it with her book club.

A reader of this blog has a higher opinion of the book, saying “The 3-book series begins with Anastasia Steele, a young woman, meeting and falling for millionaire Christian Grey, a gorgeous man with a dark past who draws her into his world of BDSM.”

Whatever you think of the novel, it’s certainly getting people’s attention. “50 Shades” has sold 20 million copies and surpassed “Harry Potter & …

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