Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dog Escapes Texas Backyard, Somehow Gets To Ohio

Dog Escapes Texas Backyard, Somehow Gets To Ohio

Dog Escapes Texas Backyard, Somehow Gets To Ohio

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 10:40 AM PDT

(HAMILTON, Ohio) — The owners of a small dog that escaped in Texas have no idea how he made it to a southwest Ohio shelter more than 1,000 miles away.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the 3-year-old Chihuahua-Dachshund mix named Corbin dug a hole under a fence in his backyard in Killeen, Texas, on March 25. He was found Saturday — four days later — tied to a bench outside a Hamilton, Ohio, animal shelter.

Local officials hope to identify a woman seen on surveillance footage as she left the dog at the shelter.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal News reports a microchip on the dog helped identify the owners. One says Corbin previously escaped by digging holes but was always found in Killeen.

Corbin is in good shape and is headed home Wednesday.

Summer Jobs: Outlook Brightens, but Start Looking Now

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 10:38 AM PDT

In a sign that the U.S. economy continues to build momentum, summer hiring and pay are expected to jump in 2014. Many seasonal jobs have already been filled. Summer job seekers should act soon to secure the jobs that remain open.

Last year, summer employment for youths aged 16 to 24 jumped by 2.1 million to 19.7 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those numbers should rise again this year, according to an annual survey by Snagajob, an online hourly employment network. The firm polls hiring managers in the retail, hospitality, and food services industries.

The survey jibes with improving overall employment trends. Manpower recently reported the best quarterly jobs outlook since the recession, noting especially positive outlooks in leisure and hospitality, and retail and wholesale trade.

On average, summer jobs will pay $10.39 an hour, which is more than the proposed federal minimum wage of $10.10. The highest paying summer jobs will be in hospitality ($10.89), followed by food service ($10.43) and retail ($10.07). Some 7% of summer jobs have already been filled; 74% will be filled by the end of May. Most employers expect the number of summer job applicants to hold steady this year, but a third expect more.

Some 74% of employers plan to make summer hires and only 14% say the number will be lower than last year, according to Snagajob. On average, employers expect to hire 25 summer workers. The vast majority of these workers—78%—will be new to the company, not returning to a familiar summer role.

The keys to landing a summer job are clear. The top things that hiring managers look for: A positive attitude and eagerness, named most important by 42% of those managers polled; willingness to work any time slot (25%); experience (17%); and a commitment to stay all summer (16%).

Decent paying summer employment has been difficult to find since the recession. So this brightening outlook is encouraging. As Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase, posted last year on LinkedIn:

"Few experiences will do more to build character and teach a young person the value of a job and what it takes to get and hold one. Summer jobs are where we learn to show up on time, to work with a team, to get along with a boss and to enjoy having a job. It's also where we learn the deep satisfaction of a job well done and a paycheck to reward that effort."

Young people who can afford it increasingly have turned to summer travel or additional classes rather than fight for the relatively few summer jobs out there. But, as Dimon suggests, the fight is worth it even if you have other options—and this year it shouldn't be quite so difficult.








Everything You Need to Know About Game of Thrones

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 10:28 AM PDT

HBO's hit series Game of Thrones returns to screens Sunday for season 4 to titillate viewers with gratuitous nudity, violence and Peter Dinklage. But if the show's expansive cast, complex mythology and labyrinthine storylines have you confused, you’re in luck. Here's a visual refresher which shows the characters' many allegiances and animosities — and everything in between.

To explore the graphic on desktop, hover your mouse; on touch screen devices, touch and drag. To view the image at full size, click or tap here.


Designing Smarter Homework

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 10:17 AM PDT

A couple of years ago, I published a piece in the New York Times about how we could improve the effectiveness of homework by incorporating techniques from cognitive science, like spaced repetition and retrieval practice, into students' take-home assignments.

Now someone has tried it, and it worked — really, really well. Researchers made changes to homework assignments in an upper-level undergraduate engineering course at Rice University, adding these features:

Repeated retrieval practice: In addition to receiving the standard homework assignment, students were given follow-up problems on the same topic in two additional assignments that counted only toward their course participation grade.

Spacing: Rather than giving all the problem sets for a week's lectures in one assignment, the researchers spaced the problems over three weeks of assignments.

Feedback: Rather than waiting one week to learn how they did, students received immediate feedback on intervention homework, and they were required to view the feedback to get credit for the assignment.

The website ScienceDaily quotes the instructor of the engineering course, who was also one of the co-authors of the study:

"The results exceeded everyone's expectations," said Richard Baraniuk. "These simple changes produced a larger effect than the average improvement for classroom interventions that require a complete overhaul of curricula and/or teaching methods."

So why aren't we adding these features to homework assignments given to students at all levels? I think we should be, and as the authors of this study point out, technology may make that easier to do.

Annie Murphy Paul is the author of the forthcoming book Brilliant: The Science of How We Get Smarter. Read more at her blog, where this post first appeared.

Poll: Three in Four Say Legalized Pot Is Inevitable

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 10:05 AM PDT

A new poll has found that 75 percent of Americans believe that the sale of marijuana will eventually become legal across the nation—whether they supported legalization or not.

The Pew Research Center Poll, conducted in mid-February among 1,821 adults, also found that the number of people in favor of legalizing pot continues to grow. Four years ago, 52 percent of people said they thought marijuana use should not be legal. Now, 54 percent are in favor of marijuana legalization.

The survey also found that the public believes marijuana to be less harmful than alcohol. Sixty-nine percent of people believed alcohol was more harmful to a person’s health than marijuana, with only 15 percent saying that they believed marijuana was more harmful. Similarly, 63 percent of people believed alcohol was more harmful to society in general than alcohol. A large majority of people surveyed (76 percent) believed that people convicted for possession of small amounts of weed should not have to serve jail time.

Public opinion on marijuana laws could affect changing policies on drug abuse. A new bipartisan effort in Congress hopes to reduce mandatory sentences for some drug crimes.

The national survey also found that 67 percent of Americans believe the government should focus on providing treatment for heroin and cocaine users, whereas only 26 percent of Americans thought the government should focus more on prosecuting drug users. Support for treatment over arrests spanned across demographic groups; even 51 percent of Republican agreed that the government should invest more in treatment.

The gradual sea change corresponds to a growing number of states easing penalties for drug possession. Between 2009 and 2013, 40 states eased their drug laws. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed said it was a good thing that states were moving away from mandatory sentences for non-violent drug crimes.

French Comedian Thinks It’s Hilarious to Sexually Harass Women for YouTube Views

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 10:02 AM PDT

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all; if you don’t have anything funny to say, be a hackneyed YouTube comedian who thinks pretending to have sex with unsuspecting women is hilarious.

The Daily Dot reports that International Jerk Hall of Fame inductee Remi Gaillard has collected over four million views in less than a week on a YouTube video called “Free Sex,” in which he traipses around Paris simulating sexual acts with female strangers. (We won’t link to the video, for obvious reasons.) There he is pretending to screw a woman from behind while she innocently ties her shoe; another woman enjoying an afternoon of reading in the park is interrupted by his jackrabbit air thrusting. The video is markedly disturbing, creepy even, especially if you’re a woman who has ever experienced public sexual harassment (so basically, if you’re a woman at all).

In “Free Sex,” women cease to be people, and instead are relegated to objects, props exploited for the humor of an overgrown frat boy and his cadre of immature fans. It’s the kind of schtick that middle school boys would laugh about until they grew up and got a real girlfriend, someone who could actually imbue in them a genuine sense of just how disgusting and degrading and upsetting experiences like this can be for women.

Because “Free sex” is just another term for sex without consent, which is also known as rape–something that isn’t actually funny at all.

Dear Anti-Vaxxers: You Want Pure Nature? OK, Die Young.

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 09:59 AM PDT

None of the New York parents who are refusing to vaccinate their children today were around the city in the summer of 1916, which is good for them and good for any of the kids they might have had. It was in that summer that 27,000 children nationwide were struck by a polio outbreak, 9,300 of them in New York. Of those 9,300 victims, 2,700 died. The Salk family at 116th St. and Madison Ave. escaped the scourge, meaning that their two-year-old son Jonas was spared. History notes that when he grew up, he had a little score-settling to do with the poliovirus.

‘Messing with nature’ is the whole point of medicine, given that it’s nature that cooked up every disease that ever existed.That hard experience of a city and its people makes the sublime obtuseness, recklessness and flat-out numbskullery of some of today’s New York parents entirely indefensible. A deeply disturbing investigative piece in New York magazine reveals that fully 245 of the city’s private schools have vaccination rates that fall below the 95% level needed to ensure herd immunity — the protection that’s provided to the few unvaccinated members of a community because so many others are protected that a pathogen never gets a foothold. Of those schools, 127 fall below 90% and 37 fall below 70%. Nine schools fall in a dismal range of 18.4% to 41.5%. Numbers like that are the leading cause New York is suddenly suffering a measles outbreak, more than 50 years after the first vaccine against the disease was licensed.

The anti-vaxxers all cite the same imaginary problems to support their resistance: Vaccines are linked to autism (they’re not), they cause autoimmune diseases (they don’t), they are “messing with nature,” as one pediatrician in a Marin County, Calif. practice that indulges parents who don’t want to vaccinate their kids or want to administer the shots on their own schedule, told Mother Jones Magazine. Um, OK.

But here’s the thing the anti-vaxxers need to know, for the one billionth time: You’re wrong. Really, it’s that simple. You’re trafficking in junk science, in thoroughly debunked science, in the dizzy stuff of rumor mills and conspiracy theories. And about nature? “Messing with nature” is the whole point of medicine, given that it’s nature that cooked up every disease that ever existed. You want pure nature? OK, die young.

The authorities cited by the warring camps ought to settle the matter all by themselves. On one side we have the likes of Jenny McCarthy and Kristin Cavalliri. Nothing wrong with naked models, TV hosts, and fashion designers, but they’re not, you know, scientists. On the other side we have the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, UNICEF, the Gates Foundation, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and virtually every serious medical journal on the planet.

So anti-vaxxers, you lose. Or actually, your kids lose.

Parents who oppose vaccines are not only misinformed, they’re spoiled, having grown up in a world that stands behind the berms built by the scientists and vaccine developers who came before them. If you’ve never seen measles — or polio or whooping cough or mumps — you have the luxury of believing they don’t exist.

“We live in a very healthy community,” said one of the sublimely glib doctors cited in the Mother Jones story. “The incidence of these diseases are very low, not only here but nationwide. And so it’s safe to do a modified vaccine schedule, in my opinion.”

But the incidence of these diseases is very low precisely because most doctors and parents don’t think the way you do and do vaccinate on schedule. “We live in a very dry community,” the doctor might as well have said. “So it’s safe not to maintain the levees and flood walls that have protected us until now, in my opinion.”

And so you drown; and so unvaccinated children get sick. The words “in my opinion” are not themselves some kind of rhetorical vaccine. They can, instead, be the pathogen. Like all pathogens, they can kill.



Judge Halts Execution, Cites Drug Source Secrecy

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 09:52 AM PDT

(HOUSTON) — A federal judge in Houston has stopped the scheduled execution of a serial killer until Texas officials provide his attorneys information about the supplier of a new batch of drugs that would be used to kill him.

U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore on Wednesday issued a temporary injunction stopping the lethal injection of Tommy Lynn Sells. He was set to die Thursday.

State officials have insisted the identity of the supplier must be kept secret to protect it from threats of violence.

Attorneys insist the name is needed to verify the quality of the drug and keep the inmate from unconstitutional pain. Another inmate set to die next week, Ramiro Hernandez-Llanas, also is involved in the lawsuit.

It’s not immediately certain if lawyers for the state will appeal Gilmore’s ruling.

Here Are the Safest Cars You Can Buy for Your Young Driver

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 09:49 AM PDT

One of the sad realities of the GM Cobalt ignition/airbag defect saga is that most of the victims were relatively young. That makes sense in that younger people, or their parents, are more likely to buy smaller, more affordable cars. GM developed the Cobalt, priced around $14,000 for the 2005 model, specifically to counter its weakness in small cars. The first victim was reportedly 16-year old Amber Rose of Maryland, who perished in 2005 when the airbags in her Cobalt failed to inflate on impact.

Although all cars are getting safer every year with the widespread availability of collision avoidance and active safety systems, inexperienced drivers are still vulnerable to accidents. Ideally, you'd want to put them in a tank with a lawnmower engine. That's not possible, so which cars are best for them? And which are the most affordable?

Here are a couple of lists compiled by that might help. In looking at the Top Picks for First Time Drivers, editor in chief Patrick Olsen said he put a heavy premium on safety, "because young people are don't drive very well." His top picks include a small GM car, the 2014 Chevrolet Sonic (MSRP $14,995), which says "drives like a bigger car," but has "plenty of teen-friendly tech, including hands-free voice texting." The Sonic is the only American car on the list. gives top grades to Hyundai's best- selling Elantra ($17,760) for "top crash-test scores and intuitive electronics." The list also includes models from Toyota, Honda, VW and Subaru.

But if you can't afford new metal for junior, but still want to feel at least a little bit secure, also crafted a list of used cars with an eye on safety. The caveat is that you have to look around for the specific used car models that contain safety options such as antilock brakes. The includes a lot of basic sedans such as the 2009 Ford Focus or the 2007 Nissan Altima that are not going to turn any heads on the highway. But teenagers just want wheels.


To Sleep or to Sleep With? Study Shows Night-Owl Women Have More Sex, Fewer Relationships

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 09:49 AM PDT

You know what Ben Franklin said: Early to bed, early to rise makes a woman rested, safe, and married.

A new study from the University of Chicago shows that women who stay up late tend to have similar risk-taking tendencies as men, and that night-owls of both genders were less likely to be in long-term relationships.

Researchers found that men generally have higher levels of cortisol and testosterone than women, but that night-owl women have just as much cortisol as men. High levels of cortisol are usually associated with high energy, arousability, stress and even cognitive function, and some research has shown that successful people usually have higher cortisol levels. The researchers found that high cortisol levels may explain why night-owls take more risks.

In other words, women who stay up late tend to get laid more often, but women who go to bed early and get up early might be more likely to be in stable relationships.

Apparently the tendency to stay up late may have been an evolutionary trait that enabled our caveman ancestors to get frisky after the kids went to bed. "From an evolutionary perspective, it has been suggested that the night-owl trait may have evolved to facilitate short-term mating, that is, sexual interactions that occur outside of committed, monogamous relationships," lead researcher Dario Maestripieri told UChicago News. “Being active in the evening hours increased the opportunities to engage in social and mating activities, when adults were less burdened by work or child-rearing.”

By the way, men who are night-owls have twice as much sex as men who are early birds. But since sleep loss might cause brain damage, you might have to choose between sex partners and brain cells.

[Journal of Evolutionary Psychology]


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