April 9, 2013;
Realtor buzz: Good news for those who get their party cues from real estate companies – Atlanta is the 8th most exciting city in the U.S. Before you rush out and relocate, consider the validity of any list that makes Oakland the big winner over traditional powerhouses such as New York City and Fargo, Ga. The curious formula for success puts race front and center. “The smaller a city’s majority race, the higher the score,” writes Movoto Real Estate. Atlanta ranked high despite the number of fast food restaurants due to “strong marks for having a young population, bars, and music.” The spate of recent carjackings, while exciting, were not mentioned.
Too hot teacher: A Florida school teacher says she was asked to resign after her modeling photos were shown to the principal. Olivia Sprauer’s pictures would get her a raise in some circles, but at Martin County High School they got her escorted off campus. Sprauer, who models under the name Victoria James, said she is not upset, but does miss her students. It was not reported if her male students (and co-workers) miss her.
No Morales to story: The required ingredient of cocaine, the coca plant, tastes terrible. That’s a problem in Bolivia, where thousands of acres of the plant fuel the international drug trade and President Evo Morales, the longtime leader of the coca growers union, wants to use the crop to “whip up wholesome treats.” Such a plan would go nowhere in a capitalist society, but Morales, who nationalized many industries when he became president in 2005, got a $900,000 donation from his pal Hugo Chavez to build a coca plant snack factory. But no one is buying the bitter snacks. The union leader in charge of making the coca treats says “It doesn’t help putting in much coca.” It takes two acres of land to make one kilo of cocaine, or several thousand bags of uneaten coca puff snacks. Seems like in one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere that land could be used to grow more nutritious food.
It’s all about respect: China, where your iPhone is made, is investigating film director Zhang Yimou, the architect of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, for having more than one child. City folks are only allowed to have one child in China. Country folks can have two if the first child is a girl. Zhang, 61, could be fined up to $26 million for having seven children with four women. Zhang’s fertile ways are ruining the country’s reputation, locals say. “Why is China unable to win the world’s respect?” asked author Christopher Jing. “Rich people with groups of mistresses, old celebrities changing wives, Zhang Yimou getting so many privileges. Four women and seven kids, if this was an ordinary person they would have killed you or fined you an unreasonable amount of money, but he is fine … he is no better than ordinary people, such an unfair world will never gain respect.”
Tiny mastermind: An Oregon man arrested for stealing a case of beer did so with a pet mouse in his pocket, reports a local TV station. John Jacobson, 20, must have been thirsty when he swiped a case of beer from a distributor outside a Portland convenience store. When chased, he struck the distributor with the case of beer. Police found the man and his mouse hiding in some bushes. Deputies called Jacobson’s father to come pick up the mouse, named Mousey. Jacobson is the primary suspect in a beer theft committed earlier in the day.