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Girl Apologizes To National Park
A man who says he is a ranger at Yosemite National Park posted a letter on Reddit.com from a junior ranger that apologized for taking two sticks home. In the letter, Evie said, “I know I’m not supposed to take things from the park, so I am sending them back. Please put them in nature.” The Reddit user, known as “BestMattEver”, said he contacted the girl and her parents to thank Evie for her honesty and let her know that the sticks were going back to the park. Since the thread on Reddit went viral, “BestMattEver” posted that he would take photos of the sticks in different locations around the park and send them to Evie to see where she wants the sticks to end up. (Reddit)
Expectant Mother to Let Online Voters Pick Her Child’s Name
A 26-year-old Los Angeles woman who’s expecting a baby in September with her fiance has won a contest in which she’s allowing online voters to pick her child’s name in exchange for $5,000. Art teacher Natasha Hill was one of 80 women to enter the contest held by Texas startup Belly Ballot, which allows expectant parents to crowdsource their baby names with friends and family. According to Belly Ballot, voters will be presented laster this month with a list of 10 names — five for boys and five for girls — chosen by the company and advertisers sponsoring the contest to produce a winning name for each gender. They say product names or names that are, quote, “too crazy” won’t be allowed. Hill said she plans to use the cash to pay down credit card debt and start a college fund for her baby. Not surprisingly, there’s been some criticism, but Belly Ballot founder Lacy Moler dismisses it, telling SheKnows.com, “We are allowing baby naming to become more social, and a lot of parents love being able to include their friends and family in the process.”
The Downside of Plastic Bag Bans?
In an effort to help the environment, several cities have passed a ban on plastic bags, which don’t biodegrade, requiring businesses to use paper instead while encouraging shoppers to bring their own reusable bags to the store. But the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that some downsides to the ban have been surfacing. The newspaper cites a Seattle grocer who says that since the ban went into effect in the city, his shoplifting losses have shot up. He says the thieves go into the store with reusable bags, which they can use to more easily hide items since it’s harder to tell what they’ve paid for and what they may have brought in with them. And he’s not alone. A recent survey of Seattle business owners found that 20 percent said shoplifting increased because of the plastic bag ban. Another issue is the risk of food-borne illness from reusable bags. The Post-Intelligencer said a study out last summer found that after the bag ban went into effect, emergency room data showed a spike in the number of E. coli cases and an increase in deaths from foodborne illnesses. Another study from 2011 found E. coli in eight percent of all reusable bags from randomly selected people at grocery stores in California and Arizona grocery stores. The good news is that washing the bags eliminated 99.9 percent of the bacteria, pathogens, although it’s not something that shoppers often do.
Does Your Speedometer Go Higher Than Max Speed Of Your Car?
Some car models have speedometers that suggest the vehicle can reach speeds 30-mile-per-hour or higher than the car is capable of going. Former Nissan product chief Larry Dominique explains that in American culture people like the rush of driving fast, but in reality upwards of 80-percent of cars on the road will not go faster than 110-miles-per-hour. Other experts say that people really want their cars to appear sportier even though they will never drive over 100-miles-per-hour, so they will buy a car with a speedometer that suggests the car can go 140 or 160-miles-per-hour. Additionally, cars sold globally may be designed slightly differently to reflect the driving laws of different countries, but it’s cheaper for the car company to just put the same speedometer in all of the cars. Some experts claim the higher numbers on speedometes encourage drivers, especially younger ones, to drive faster than they should. (Fox News)
Google Co-Founder Calls Smartphones ‘Emasculating’
Google co-founder Sergey Brin has raised some eyebrows with his description of smartphones as “emasculating” while touting Glass, the high-tech augmented-reality eyeglasses his company is planning to launch later this year. Brin made the comment while speaking about Glass at the TED Conference on Wednesday (February 27th), saying of smartphones, “Is this the way you’re meant to interact with people? Is the future of connection just people walking around hunched up, looking down, rubbing a featureless piece of glass? It’s kind of emasculating. Is this what you’re meant to do with your body?” Glass includes most of the features found in Android, including connections to Google Maps, Google and Hangouts, as well as the ability to issue reminders and take pictures and videos.