Unusual News

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31% of Federal Employees are Veterans

A new report shows the emphasis on hiring veterans has paid off, at least as far as getting them into federal positions. But keeping them there is another matter. The report by the Office of Personnel Management says 31% of all federal workers are now veterans. But the “bad news is that once veterans get into government, they don’t stay long. They’re more likely to leave their jobs within two years than non-veterans,” wrote Lisa Rein at The Washington Post.   read more

U.S. Spy Agencies Agree to Warn Possible Victims of Attacks and Kidnapping

The possible victims could be Americans or non-Americans, as well as institutions, businesses, structures and locations. The directive, however, contains several examples of when U.S. intelligence agencies could skip notifying someone in the line of fire. For instance, if the notification “would unduly endanger U.S. government personnel, sources, methods, intelligence operations, or defense operations,” an agency could disregard the policy.   read more

Mississippi and Idaho only States without Laws Forbidding Unwanted Sexual Touching

Unwanted sexual contact is a common occurrence for many women—nearly 30% will experience it sometime during their lives, according to the CDC. That’s why legal experts say it is important for states to have laws on their books that address this problem. “Society can condemn this behavior through criminal law and say, ‘You pay a penalty for this.’ It may be a small penalty, but you pay a penalty,” said professor Erin Murphy.   read more

Improved Economy Leads to more Gridlock as D.C. Passes Los Angeles for Worst Traffic

D.C. had an average of 82 hours of delay per commuter, followed by Los Angeles (80 hours), San Francisco (78 hours), New York (74 hours), and San Jose (67 hours). The study says “travel delays due to traffic congestion caused drivers to waste more than 3 billion gallons of fuel and kept travelers stuck in their cars for nearly 7 billion extra hours – 42 hours per rush-hour commuter. The total nationwide price tag: $160 billion, or $960 per commuter.”   read more

July was the Warmest Month in the 135-Year History of Record-Keeping

A high-pressure dome over the Middle East resulted in “what may be one of the most extreme heat indices ever recorded in the world on July 31st,” according to NCEI. The Iranian port city of Bandar Mahshahr weathered an unprecedented temperature of 165°F. The record-breaking scorcher prompted the government to declare a four-day national holiday so people would stay indoors rather than step out into the heat to go to work.   read more

Nebraska School District Asks Teachers to Sign 1951 Loyalty Oath

A Nebraska school district is asking its teachers to sign a loyalty oath created during the McCarthy Red Scare era that was declared unconstitutional more than 50 years ago. Nebraska Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt, spurred by requests from a right-wing Lincoln salesman, wrote a letter to the state’s school districts reminding them of the oath, and another law that requires school districts to create an “Americanism” committee.   read more

Texas Judge Accused of Misconduct for Ordering Defendant to Copy Bible Verses and Marry his Girlfriend

Judge Rogers ordered Bundy to copy Proverbs 26:26: “If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it.” Rogers also required Bundy to marry Jaynes within 30 days as a condition of his probation. Otherwise, the deal was off, and Bundy would spend 15 days behind bars. Bundy chose probation and its conditions because he was afraid he’d lose his job if he missed work. An ethics complaint was filed against the judge accusing him of illegal conduct for which “he should face serious consequences.”   read more

Oregon Court Rules Smell of Marijuana is not Inherently Offensive

The Oregon appeals court heard Lang’s case, and threw out his convictions. The court also said it wouldn’t declare the odor of marijuana smoke offensive. It depends on the “intensity, duration, or frequency” of the smoke, according to the court. “We are not prepared to declare that the odor of marijuana smoke is equivalent to the odor of garbage. Indeed, some people undoubtedly find the scent pleasing,” the court wrote.   read more

Robot Umpire Calls Balls and Strikes in Two Minor League Games

PITCHf/x drew some praise from players and even the umpires whose jobs it might take. They said the system—which leaves them free to watch for foul balls and checked swings, and act as review officials—helped speed the game along. To make its calls, PITCHf/x uses three cameras to look at the strike zone for each batter. In the two Pacifics games, the computer balked only once, when it overheated.   read more

Oil Companies Lukewarm about Drilling in Gulf of Mexico…It’s Not the Environment, It’s the Cost

Analysts say many oil companies aren’t interested in expanding their operations in the Gulf of Mexico for the foreseeable future. Indeed, ExxonMobil, Shell and Chevron didn’t even bother to show up at the auction. The gulf was the site of the nation’s worst oil spill in 2010, but environmental concerns aren’t the issue. The price of oil has plummeted from more than $100 a barrel last summer to almost $40 today, and many experts believe the market won’t rebound for another year or two.   read more

More Police Charged with Murder in Past 5 Months than Average 2-Year Total

At least 14 officers have been charged in the past five months with committing murder, homicide, or manslaughter while on duty. This total is higher than the average two-year total of cops charged for on-duty killings. From 2005 to 2011, there were 46 cases of officers charged for on-duty killings of any kind, or 6.5 cases per year on average, which produces a total of 13 cases over two years. If the rate of the past five months is annualized, the total for 2015 would reach 33.   read more

Weak Economy Forces Tooth Fairy to Cut Back on Payouts

Practical Money Skills, a financial literacy website, says the going rate by the Tooth Fairy these days has declined for the second year in a row. It says the average amount of money left under a child’s pillow in exchange for a tooth is $3.19 so far this year. That amount is down from $3.43 last year and $3.70 in 2013. The most common gift is a one-dollar bill, which is left by 32% of the parents.   read more

More Scientists, More Money, More New Drugs…but Little Progress in Life Expectancy

Since 1965, the U.S. has had a nine-fold increase in the number of scientists, while the NIH budget has expanded four-fold. The rate of new drugs hitting the market has not been as strong, but the number has doubled during this span. But life expectancy gains have remained constant at about two months per year. “There is something wrong in the process, but there are no simple answers,” Bowen said. “It may be a confluence of factors that are causing us not to be getting more bang for our buck.”   read more

Trump Supporters Make Twice as many Grammar Errors as Fiorina Supporters

Grammarly, an automated-proofreading company, evaluated the grammar of those backing the 2016 Republican presidential candidates. The analysis was based on the comments posted on the official Facebook pages of each contender. Trump’s supporters, according to Grammarly, had 12.6 grammar errors per hundred words, which put them dead last. Carly Fiorina’s supporters had the fewest grammar mistakes, with 6.3 errors per hundred words.   read more

After Toxic Spill in Colorado River, Mining Companies Avoid Responsibility for Cleanup Thanks to Outdated 1872 Law

“Under this outdated law, mining companies are able to extract billions of dollars of minerals on America’s public lands essentially for free, often with no liability for environmental cleanup,” said Claire Moser of the Center for American Progress. “The Animas spill disaster highlights the broader need for reform of this 143-year-old law to ensure that taxpayers receive a fair share of publicly-owned resources and that mining companies are responsible for cleanup.”   read more

Percentage of Americans without Health Insurance Drops to Record Low

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics reported last week that the uninsured rate among all Americans in the first quarter of 2015 fell to 9.2%. The nation hasn’t had that low a rate for uninsured people of all ages since 1972, when the NCHS began keeping track of such data. The 9.2% represented 29 million Americans, 7 million fewer than were uninsured in 2014.   read more
1 to 16 of about 1493 News
1 2 3 ... 94 Next

Unusual News

1 to 16 of about 1493 News
1 2 3 ... 94 Next

31% of Federal Employees are Veterans

A new report shows the emphasis on hiring veterans has paid off, at least as far as getting them into federal positions. But keeping them there is another matter. The report by the Office of Personnel Management says 31% of all federal workers are now veterans. But the “bad news is that once veterans get into government, they don’t stay long. They’re more likely to leave their jobs within two years than non-veterans,” wrote Lisa Rein at The Washington Post.   read more

U.S. Spy Agencies Agree to Warn Possible Victims of Attacks and Kidnapping

The possible victims could be Americans or non-Americans, as well as institutions, businesses, structures and locations. The directive, however, contains several examples of when U.S. intelligence agencies could skip notifying someone in the line of fire. For instance, if the notification “would unduly endanger U.S. government personnel, sources, methods, intelligence operations, or defense operations,” an agency could disregard the policy.   read more

Mississippi and Idaho only States without Laws Forbidding Unwanted Sexual Touching

Unwanted sexual contact is a common occurrence for many women—nearly 30% will experience it sometime during their lives, according to the CDC. That’s why legal experts say it is important for states to have laws on their books that address this problem. “Society can condemn this behavior through criminal law and say, ‘You pay a penalty for this.’ It may be a small penalty, but you pay a penalty,” said professor Erin Murphy.   read more

Improved Economy Leads to more Gridlock as D.C. Passes Los Angeles for Worst Traffic

D.C. had an average of 82 hours of delay per commuter, followed by Los Angeles (80 hours), San Francisco (78 hours), New York (74 hours), and San Jose (67 hours). The study says “travel delays due to traffic congestion caused drivers to waste more than 3 billion gallons of fuel and kept travelers stuck in their cars for nearly 7 billion extra hours – 42 hours per rush-hour commuter. The total nationwide price tag: $160 billion, or $960 per commuter.”   read more

July was the Warmest Month in the 135-Year History of Record-Keeping

A high-pressure dome over the Middle East resulted in “what may be one of the most extreme heat indices ever recorded in the world on July 31st,” according to NCEI. The Iranian port city of Bandar Mahshahr weathered an unprecedented temperature of 165°F. The record-breaking scorcher prompted the government to declare a four-day national holiday so people would stay indoors rather than step out into the heat to go to work.   read more

Nebraska School District Asks Teachers to Sign 1951 Loyalty Oath

A Nebraska school district is asking its teachers to sign a loyalty oath created during the McCarthy Red Scare era that was declared unconstitutional more than 50 years ago. Nebraska Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt, spurred by requests from a right-wing Lincoln salesman, wrote a letter to the state’s school districts reminding them of the oath, and another law that requires school districts to create an “Americanism” committee.   read more

Texas Judge Accused of Misconduct for Ordering Defendant to Copy Bible Verses and Marry his Girlfriend

Judge Rogers ordered Bundy to copy Proverbs 26:26: “If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it.” Rogers also required Bundy to marry Jaynes within 30 days as a condition of his probation. Otherwise, the deal was off, and Bundy would spend 15 days behind bars. Bundy chose probation and its conditions because he was afraid he’d lose his job if he missed work. An ethics complaint was filed against the judge accusing him of illegal conduct for which “he should face serious consequences.”   read more

Oregon Court Rules Smell of Marijuana is not Inherently Offensive

The Oregon appeals court heard Lang’s case, and threw out his convictions. The court also said it wouldn’t declare the odor of marijuana smoke offensive. It depends on the “intensity, duration, or frequency” of the smoke, according to the court. “We are not prepared to declare that the odor of marijuana smoke is equivalent to the odor of garbage. Indeed, some people undoubtedly find the scent pleasing,” the court wrote.   read more

Robot Umpire Calls Balls and Strikes in Two Minor League Games

PITCHf/x drew some praise from players and even the umpires whose jobs it might take. They said the system—which leaves them free to watch for foul balls and checked swings, and act as review officials—helped speed the game along. To make its calls, PITCHf/x uses three cameras to look at the strike zone for each batter. In the two Pacifics games, the computer balked only once, when it overheated.   read more

Oil Companies Lukewarm about Drilling in Gulf of Mexico…It’s Not the Environment, It’s the Cost

Analysts say many oil companies aren’t interested in expanding their operations in the Gulf of Mexico for the foreseeable future. Indeed, ExxonMobil, Shell and Chevron didn’t even bother to show up at the auction. The gulf was the site of the nation’s worst oil spill in 2010, but environmental concerns aren’t the issue. The price of oil has plummeted from more than $100 a barrel last summer to almost $40 today, and many experts believe the market won’t rebound for another year or two.   read more

More Police Charged with Murder in Past 5 Months than Average 2-Year Total

At least 14 officers have been charged in the past five months with committing murder, homicide, or manslaughter while on duty. This total is higher than the average two-year total of cops charged for on-duty killings. From 2005 to 2011, there were 46 cases of officers charged for on-duty killings of any kind, or 6.5 cases per year on average, which produces a total of 13 cases over two years. If the rate of the past five months is annualized, the total for 2015 would reach 33.   read more

Weak Economy Forces Tooth Fairy to Cut Back on Payouts

Practical Money Skills, a financial literacy website, says the going rate by the Tooth Fairy these days has declined for the second year in a row. It says the average amount of money left under a child’s pillow in exchange for a tooth is $3.19 so far this year. That amount is down from $3.43 last year and $3.70 in 2013. The most common gift is a one-dollar bill, which is left by 32% of the parents.   read more

More Scientists, More Money, More New Drugs…but Little Progress in Life Expectancy

Since 1965, the U.S. has had a nine-fold increase in the number of scientists, while the NIH budget has expanded four-fold. The rate of new drugs hitting the market has not been as strong, but the number has doubled during this span. But life expectancy gains have remained constant at about two months per year. “There is something wrong in the process, but there are no simple answers,” Bowen said. “It may be a confluence of factors that are causing us not to be getting more bang for our buck.”   read more

Trump Supporters Make Twice as many Grammar Errors as Fiorina Supporters

Grammarly, an automated-proofreading company, evaluated the grammar of those backing the 2016 Republican presidential candidates. The analysis was based on the comments posted on the official Facebook pages of each contender. Trump’s supporters, according to Grammarly, had 12.6 grammar errors per hundred words, which put them dead last. Carly Fiorina’s supporters had the fewest grammar mistakes, with 6.3 errors per hundred words.   read more

After Toxic Spill in Colorado River, Mining Companies Avoid Responsibility for Cleanup Thanks to Outdated 1872 Law

“Under this outdated law, mining companies are able to extract billions of dollars of minerals on America’s public lands essentially for free, often with no liability for environmental cleanup,” said Claire Moser of the Center for American Progress. “The Animas spill disaster highlights the broader need for reform of this 143-year-old law to ensure that taxpayers receive a fair share of publicly-owned resources and that mining companies are responsible for cleanup.”   read more

Percentage of Americans without Health Insurance Drops to Record Low

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics reported last week that the uninsured rate among all Americans in the first quarter of 2015 fell to 9.2%. The nation hasn’t had that low a rate for uninsured people of all ages since 1972, when the NCHS began keeping track of such data. The 9.2% represented 29 million Americans, 7 million fewer than were uninsured in 2014.   read more
1 to 16 of about 1493 News
1 2 3 ... 94 Next