Prince Harry flew back from America on Virgin Atlantic, the airline owned by his pal Richard Branson, but no word yet on whether the young Prince was propositioned by other flyers via the new Virgin inflight chat system. While most airlines seem to make a habit of arresting passengers who get too fresh in the air, Branson has been encouraging customers to flirt using the new inflight chat system, in the way that this chat excerpt posted online demonstrates.
A sad story in the New York Times, which reports on the shocking decline of the High Plains Aquifer, the lifeblood of farmers from the South Dakota and Wyoming all the way down to west Texas. (I frequently refer to the Ogallala Aquifer, which is the largest in the High Plains system.) Two years of severe drought, coupled with the massive water demands for growing irrigated corn, have taken their toll on the source of the plains' Garden of Eden.
An Italian organization is bringing new meaning to the concept of rehabbing old materials. Barrique is turning used wine barrels into high-concept furniture—all for the benefit of a renowned substance abuse treatment facility.
Touring the downstairs gallery at SoHo’s Poltrona Frau last weekend, you’d notice two common themes: every piece of furniture is constructed from the slats of wine barrels, and each is accompanied by a photo of what looks like adult summer camp. Those adults, at work and at play, are patients at the San Patrignano rehab facility outside of Milan.Barrique: The Third Life of Wood is the brainchild of Letizia Moratti, the former Mayor of Milan and Italian Minister for Education.
But doesn't take as much as expected.
Star Trek Into Darkness boldly went to the top of the box office this weekend, though it didn't haul in the money that Paramount Pictures expected. The second installment in J.J. Abrams's franchise raked in $70.55 million in its debut weekend, short of the expected $84 million gross. Into Darkness was well-received by most critics, and also had a healthy bump in Saturday ticket sales, suggesting word of mouth was good for the film. Live long and prosper, Star Trek.
Can baseball continue to define an America that’s fending off decline rather than rocketing to the top? Yes, look beyond the major leagues to the lowest level of the minor leagues. First-time author Lucas Mann recounts the season he spent with the single-A Clinton LumberKings.
A Major League Baseball stadium, when populated with well-matched teams on the field and a capacity crowd in the stands, can be the height of America expressing itself. There's the tradition, the rivalry, the bloated paychecks, the sheer human achievement of the physically ideal players enjoying the fulfillment of their boyhood dreams. But depart this big-league scene and travel down through the minor-league farm system, down through AAA ball, past AA, wave to the “World’s Biggest Truck Stop” on I-80 and arrive finally at the stadium of the single-A Clinton LumberKings in rural Iowa, and the metaphors change drastically from ones of public triumph to private travail.
Landfills are generally useless, smelly eyesores. But many towns are finding new, profitable uses for the piles of junk that dot America’s landscape.
Many states and cities have long been turning trash into treasure by burning garbage to create heat and electricity, or by harvesting the methane gas that is released as junk decomposes. But in a new twist on this theme, several cities and municipalities are transforming capped landfills—the ultimate waste of space—into solar-power plants.“When you get done with a landfill, that property’s primary function can no longer be used anymore. It’s a great pyramid of waste,” said Mark Roberts, vice president of HDR, an engineering company that constructs solar-voltaic landfills.
Unlike the ‘Real Housewives,’ prisoners aren’t really exercising free will when they sign up to exploited on TV. Mansfield Frazier on how the genre just hit an ugly, new low.
When Andy Warhol said everyone would one day have 15 minutes of fame, he was probably not picturing pampered and vacuous housewives or Honey Boo-Boo and her proudly inbred clan. But at least those people are free agents who made a conscious choice to display their shortcomings in public.There is another, much uglier class of reality “stars,” however, and although some of them are surely happy for the attention, it would be hard, if not impossible, to describe any of them as making an entirely free choice.
From America’s manufacturing prince to adulterated generic drugs, The Daily Beast brings you the best in business and finance journalism from the week of May 18, 2013.
“Manufacturing’s Mouthpiece” Mina Kimes, Bloomberg BusinessweekAmerican manufacturers produce more and employ fewer, and one of them—Caterpillar—is going gangbusters.“How the Case For Austerity Has Crumbled” Paul Krugman, The New York Review of BooksAmerica’s most influential economist argues that the intellectual foundations for the global move toward austerity were built on sand well before the most infamous Excel error in history.“Aiming for the Top, Again” Randall Smith, The New York TimesFred Eckert had it all: a New Jersey mansion, 18 vintage cars, a 1,500-bottle wine collection, and a partnership at Goldman Sachs.
Apple joins Samsung, Blackberry on approval list.
Nothing says ‘boss’ like being chosen as the phone network for a pack of spies. The defense agency announced Friday that they have approved Apple products for use on their networks, meaning that iPhones and iPads, along with other gadgets, can be used by its employees. Apple joins Samsung and Blackberry on the list of smartphone manufacturers secure enough to meet the Pentagon's high standards. Needless to say, it’s great news for Apple. Instragram just got real, people.
We like to think that the United States is unique among nations in the way it attracts and integrates immigrant. But in our increasingly globalized and prosperous world, the data suggests America is just average.
American exceptionalism has become a theme of our immigration debate. From both sides, we hear that America is a uniquely desirable place that, for good or ill, draws an outsized share of the world’s immigrants.That may have been true a century ago, when Ellis Island welcomed the world’s huddled masses. But it’s not true today. Large-scale immigration is a worldwide phenomenon tied to contemporary globalization. Porous borders and rising education levels have allowed tens of millions of people in developing societies to become more mobile, and new communications and transportation technologies give everyone access to information about other countries and ways to get there.
International Business Times
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After a University of Massachusetts student found significant errors in a study beloved by budget cutters world over by Harvard economists Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart, Stephen Colbert does what he does best -- leaves them in the dust.
eBooks are finally changing how we write, as well as how we read