• Outside North Carolina bathrooms? Gender Monitors

    Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    North Carolina’s new law aimed at controlling transgender access to public restrooms might seem stupid and unenforceable, but actually that’s only half true.   The law can definitely be enforced. All you need are thousands of paid Gender Monitors, stationed diligently at the doors of every public restroom in the state.   North Carolina lawmakers have declared that the gender of a bathroom user must match the gender listed on his or her birth certificate. Most people don’t usually bring their birth certificates to the toilet, but perhaps reminders could be posted on highway billboards, social media and in airport terminals.

  • Clinton investigation likely to extend beyond election | Washington Examiner

    Published: Sun, May 1, 2016

    An FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton's conduct could extend well past the election, a former chairman of the House Oversight Committee said Sunday. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., argued the scale of potentially wrongful activity Clinton engaged in while leading the State Department is slowing down investigators.

  • Sanders vows to fight on, promises a contested convention | Washington Examiner

    Published: Sun, May 1, 2016

    Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said Sunday that he will continue his challenge to front-runner Hillary Clinton even at the party's convention in July. The convention will be a contested contest, Sanders said at a Washington, D.C. press conference Sunday. Sanders' pledge to push superdelegates behind Clinton to support him during the nominating contest raises the chance the Republicans' Cleveland gathering will not be the only convention fight this summer.

  • Facebook or Google? Here's the difference between working at 2 of the best employers in America

    By Rachel Gillett, Business Insider | Published: Sun, May 1, 2016

    If you're faced with the decision of whether you should accept a job at Facebook or Google, congratulations — you are one of the privileged few. Both employers rank in the top five on this year's list of  the 50 best companies to work for in America , based on exclusive data from  PayScale . And both are extremely competitive in their quest to hire the best and the brightest. Once you've passed the  intense interview process  at each respective company, a number of awesome perks, great compensation, and most likely extreme contentment in your new job await you — but which job do you choose? To make your decision a little easier, here's a head-to-head comparison of how Facebook and Google stack up as employers. View As:  One Page   Slides

  • Woman Files $5 Million Lawsuit Against Starbucks For Putting Too Much Ice In Her Drinks

    By NINA GOLGOWSKI, Huffington Post | Published: Sun, May 1, 2016

    An Illinois woman is reportedly suing Starbucks for $5 million over the amount of ice it puts in customers’ drinks. Stacy Pincus accuses the coffee chain of packing almost half of their cold beverages with ice as a means to skimp on serving actual coffee to customers, according to the suit  obtained by Courthouse News. When it comes to ordering a 24-ounce “Venti” coffee, for example, Pincus claims a customer only receives 14 ounces of actual coffee, and ice takes up the remaining 10. The miffed customer further notes that hot Starbucks beverages typically cost less than cold ones, even though they contain more coffee because of the lack of ice. Among the accusations hurled at the coffee conglomerate are fraud, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment. Pincus expresses her intent to represent everyone who ever purchased a cold drink from the coffee chain over the last 10 years.

  • Free the Night leads nonsmoking trend at local bars and clubs in Oklahoma City

    By Greg Elwell, Oklahoma Gazette | Published: Sun, May 1, 2016

    Free The Night campaign manager Kathleen Thomas says more longtime smoking establishments in Oklahoma City are changing.

  • Why America's Schools Have A Money Problem

    By NPR | Published: Sun, May 1, 2016

    Let's begin with a choice. Say there's a check in the mail. It's meant to help you run your household. You can use it to keep the lights on, the water running and food on the table. Would you rather that check be for $9,794 or $28,639? It's not a trick question. It's the story of America's schools in two numbers. That $9,794 is how much money the Chicago Ridge School District in Illinois spent per child in 2013 (the number has been adjusted by  Education Week  to account for regional cost differences). It's well below that year's national average of $11,841. Ridge's two elementary campuses and one middle school sit along Chicago's southern edge. Roughly two-thirds of its students come from low-income families, and a third are learning English as a second language. Here, one nurse commutes between three schools, and the two elementary schools share an art teacher and a music teacher. They spend the first half of the year at different schools, then, come January, box up their supplies and swap classrooms. "We don't have a lot of the extra things that other districts may have, simply because we can't afford them," says Ridge Superintendent Kevin Russell.

  • How a Dallas suit may bring trouble to landlords who ban renters with criminal records

    By Julieta Chiquillo, Dallas News | Published: Sun, May 1, 2016

    Many prospective renters dread the part of the lease application that asks about their criminal history. In some places, a conviction — or even an arrest — is a deal-breaker. Now the federal government says landlords who deny homes to people because of their criminal histories can be sued under the Fair Housing Act. That’s because minorities nationwide are disproportionately arrested and imprisoned, so housing providers with blanket policies that reject ex-offenders might be unintentionally discriminating based on race, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The agency’s new guidance relies on a legal theory called disparate impact. A housing policy that inordinately harms minorities can be considered illegal even if the discrimination is inadvertent. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the principle of disparate impact last summer while deciding  a housing case out of Dallas . But will landlords change their rules?

  • How to Shrink the College Graduation Gap Between Latino Men and Women

    By EMILY DERUY, The Atlantic | Published: Sun, May 1, 2016

    The number of Latino men enrolling in college increased 75 percent between 2005 and 2014, from 718,500 to 1.26 million. Yet compared to Latino women, these young men make up a disproportionately small percentage of college students. In 2014, Latino men made up just 43 percent of Latinos enrolled in college to Latinas’ 57 percent. The disparity at the graduate level is even more pronounced.

  • Alabama boy, 11, shoots burglar, mocks him for “crying like a little baby”

    By Daniel Politi, Slate | Published: Sun, May 1, 2016

    An 11-year-old boy from Talladega, Alabama was home alone on Wednesday when he suddenly heard a strange noise. When Chris Gaither went to look, he saw a suspected home intruder. Chris says he was scared but grabbed a 9mm handgun to protect himself.

  • Could knowing how much your coworker earns help close the gender pay gap?

    By Nancy Modesitt, The Conversation | Published: Sun, May 1, 2016

    Currently, in the United States, women earn approximately 21 percent less than men. The gap between men’s and women’s wages remains even when taking into account factors such as career choice.

  • Turns Out You Really Do Think Brilliant Thoughts in the Shower

    By Cari Romm, New York Magazine | Published: Sat, Apr 30, 2016

    It's true - you really do have brilliant thoughts while in the shower. Here's why.

  • Snapchat Scores Unique Deal With NBC to Showcase Olympics

    By Sarah Frier, Bloomberg Technology | Published: Sat, Apr 30, 2016

    The Olympics are coming to Snapchat.

  • Poetry Behind Bars: The Lines That Save Lives — Sometimes Literally

    By Colin Dwyer, NPR | Published: Sat, Apr 30, 2016

    The way  Jimmy Santiago Baca  tells it, poetry saved his life — but he's not speaking in hyperbole. Long before the poet won an American Book Award, Baca was in prison on a drug conviction, where he was facing down a prison-yard fight with another inmate. Baca sought padding however he could get it. "So I got a bunch of tape and a bunch of books on the library cart and strapped them around my stomach," he recalls, "and when this guy pulled out his shank, I was like, wow, this ain't just a fight — this guy wants to kill me." The guy he was fighting connected on a few swipes, he says, but each time, the books — and one big one, in particular — took the blow. "Had the book not been there, I would have been dead; it would've cut all the way to the tailbone. When i went back to my cell, I looked at this one book where he had gouged it about an inch deep. And it was a thick anthology of Romantic poets." "That's when I sat down on the cot in my cell and started looking at this book that saved my life and realized that these poets had in a very real, real way saved me," he says. "And when I began to read the words, I was astounded by their beauty and eloquence, and how the arrangement of words made me happy." It's no coincidence, then, that these days — decades after that prison term — Baca serves as the final judge in a contest designed to encourage some of the country's youngest prisoners to turn to poetry themselves. He hopes poetry, that vessel of a million meanings that saved his own life, may do the same for them.

  • The Spirituality of Snoopy

    By JONATHAN MERRITT, The Atlantic | Published: Sat, Apr 30, 2016

    How the faith of Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip, shaped his work.

  • Can You Be a Sperm Donor If You’re Dead?

    By Cari Romm, New York Magazine | Published: Sat, Apr 30, 2016

    Even for people who, for whatever reason, can’t conceive naturally, there’s an ever-growing list of alternative ways to make a kid.  Uterus transplants  are now a reality, even if the first one failed last month due to complications. Earlier this year, an FDA panel recommended approval for “ three-parent babies ,” a not-quite-accurate term for a technique that replaces diseased mitochondrial DNA in the mother’s egg with DNA from a healthy donor to avoid passing genetic conditions on to the embryo (As the BBC reported last year, the resultant baby has only around 0.1 percent of its genetic material from the donor, who has no legal claim to the child; it’s not really three parents so much as two parents and change.) In October,  GQ  profiled Ed Houben, a prolific Dutch sperm donor who provides his services the old-fashioned way, sleeping with women who want to get pregnant without the cost or hassle of a sperm bank; at the time the article was published, he’d fathered 106 babies. But what about when the medical issue standing in the way of conception is death? In  Mosaic yesterday, Jenny Morber detailed the legally and ethically fraught practice of harvesting sperm from men who are already deceased (typically within 36 hours after death, though a handful of cases have had a longer window). The procedure, she explains, can be done in one of a few ways: removing the sperm with a needle, stimulating the corpse into ejaculation, or removing a larger section of the reproductive system, and either taking the sperm from there or preserving the entire piece of tissue for later use. In some cases, spouses or partners want the sperm to have a child with the man they’ve lost. In others, the parents of the deceased want their child’s sperm to create a grandchild — a request that becomes even more complicated if the dead man’s partner doesn’t want the kid, or if there’s no partner to speak of. Morber’s story is fascinating, sad, uncomfortable, and worth reading in full, but at the heart of the issue is who, exactly, needs to give consent — is it okay to treat a dead man as a sperm donor if he hadn’t expressly indicated that it was okay before he died? On the other hand, posthumous sperm retrieval likely isn’t a scenario that many men prep for, so who gets to decide what he would have wanted?

  • Cops may feel biggest impact from driverless car revolution

    By JBay L. Zagorsky, The Conversation | Published: Sat, Apr 30, 2016

    While the goal of police and law enforcement is to reduce and prevent serious crime, much of their actual day-to-day work involves enforcing traffic rules and responding to accidents. Self-driving cars would mean far fewer police would be needed for these tasks.

  • Your dog doesn't like your hugs

    NPR | Published: Sat, Apr 30, 2016

    We all love our dogs. But depending on how you show that love, you may be doing more harm than good, according to one expert.

  • Police say this boy, once his 8th-grade graduation speaker, became a killer at 17

    By Peter Hermann, Hamil R. Harris and Emma Brown, Washington Post | Published: Sat, Apr 30, 2016

    From the time he was in grade school, Maurice Bellamy struggled to stay focused and control his temper. But within the structure of specialized private schools in Maryland, the young man seemed to show promise. He won a citizenship award for exhibiting “a model of behavior and social respect,” and he spoke at his eighth-grade graduation. He wanted to run a company and design computer games. Later, at a high school for children with learning disabilities, Bellamy passed all his classes, even earning an A in algebra. All that changed in December 2013, when his family moved to Southeast Washington. For five weeks, Bellamy, then 15, drifted while his mother tried to get the school system to enroll him at Ballou High School, within walking distance of the family’s new home. When Bellamy finally started classes, absences, bursts of anger and failing grades quickly piled up. He threatened staff members, and was arrested and put on probation. The city eventually moved the teen to a private school, but he missed more days than he attended. Those months appear to have marked a steep decline for a young man who, according to authorities, would become a killer at age 17. Police said Bellamy gunned down a 15-year-old boy at the Deanwood Metro station in March because of a glance he thought was disrespectful. Months earlier, police said, the youth fatally shot a Secret Service officer during a robbery. Both victims were strangers to Bellamy.

  • Andrew Jackson’s adopted son Lyncoya: Why did Jackson bring home a Creek Indian?

    Published: Sat, Apr 30, 2016

    n the wake of the Treasury Department’s announcement last week that Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson  on the front of the $20 bill, Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) wrote  an editorial defending Jackson in theWashington Post . “Far too many of our important discussions are being debated emotionally, without full regard for historical facts,” Webb argued. Glossing the issue of Indian Removal, Webb ended a paragraph excusing Jackson’s actions toward Native Americans with this salvo: “It would be difficult to call someone genocidal when years before, after one bloody fight, he brought an orphaned Native American baby from the battlefield to his home in Tennessee and raised him as his son.” Jackson named this “son” Lyncoya (sometimes spelled “Lincoyer”). A  monument to his short life , near the site of the lopsided 1813 battle that claimed the lives of most of the people in his village, shows how defenders of Jackson have long used Lyncoya to finesse Jackson’s historical reputation in relationship to Native Americans. The monument reads, in part: "At this site … Gen. Andrew Jackson found a dead Creek Indian woman embracing her living infant son. … Because of his compassion, Gen. Jackson took the infant to Fort Struther … where he nursed him back to health. Gen. Jackson then took the baby to his family home, the Hermitage, in Nashville, Tennessee, where he and his wife Rachel named the child Lincoyer and adopted, raised, loved, and educated him as their son." Why would Jackson, who made war on the Native tribes of the Southeast for decades, and was instrumental in their removal to Indian Territory, “adopt, raise, love, and educate” a Creek orphan? Jackson was  famously orphaned himself , during the Revolutionary War, at the age of 14. Does this seemingly compassionate act really reveal some kind of buried altruism toward Native people, as Webb would have us believe?