Olympic gold medal skier Lindsey Vonn has been forced to drop out of the upcoming Sochi winter games after her knee gave out during a race in France on December 21st. Her rep released a statement saying, “Lindsey Vonn will be unable to compete in the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. After the incident in Val D’Isere, an MRI showed an MCL sprain, which coupled with the torn ACL, has made it impossible to stabilize her knee and be ready to safely ski again next month. She will have surgery shortly and is expected to make a full recovery in time for the 2014/15 World Cup season and the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships in Vail-Beaver Creek.” Vonn tweeted back in September after a seven month hiatus, “I’m BACK!!! #sochi2014 #cantkeepmedown”
Super Bowl Commercials Work Worse Than Regular Ones
Advertisers will be paying $4 million for a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl next month, up from $3.8 million last year, but for all that money and all the creativity that goes into Super Bowl ads — which have become almost as big an event as the game itself — new research found that these spots actually do a worse job of influencing customers than regular TV ads do. AdAge reported yesterday (January 6th) on the study from research firm Communicus, which found that 80 percent of Super Bowl ads failed to increase sales of their products, compared to a failure rate of 60 percent for regular ads. When asked four weeks after the Super Bowl about ads they’d seen, people remembered the Super Bowl spots at a higher rate than standard ones. But only 35 percent remembered the brand the Super Bowl ad was associated with, compared to regular ads, which have a recall rate of around 50 percent. The study suggests that it’s the same creativity that makes the ads so memorable that makes them less effective, since the commercials concentrate too much on telling a story or creative idea, and not the main purpose of promoting the product.
Should Doctors Google Their Patients?
Did you ever think that your doctor might have Googled you? Dr. Haider Javed Warraich wrote in the New York Times‘ health and wellness blog, Well, yesterday (January 6th), “Doctors do ‘Google’ their patients. In fact, the vast majority of physicians I know have done so.” He says that Googling is natural to his generation, and that knowing more about patients as people can help build empathy, but at the same time writes, “It surprises me that more physicians don’t pause and think about what it means for the patient-doctor relationship.” Warraich suggests that the only legitimate reason to Google a patient should be if there’s a safety issue, for example, if there’s a concern about suicide, or there’s suspicion a child is being abused, or if a patient appears to be psychotic to look into whether claims they make are true. For anything else, the best course is to ask the patient for any information. He states: “If the only reason a doctor searches online is to gather personal information that patients don’t want to share with their physicians, then it is absolutely the wrong thing to do.”
Rodman Lashes Out During CNN Interview from North Korea
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman, who’s been facing a barrage of criticism for his trip to North Korea with seven other ex-NBAers and four street players for an exhibition game, lashed out at CNN’s Chris Cuomo during an interview yesterday (January 7th). Speaking from North Korea about the game, set for today to celebrate totalitarian leader Kim Jong Un‘s birthday, Rodman called it a “great idea for the world,” and, as he has before, spoke glowingly about Kim, saying, “I love my friend. This is my friend.” But when Cuomo pressed Rodman about American missionary Kenneth Bae, who’s been held by North Korea for a year, Rodman yelled, “I don’t give a rat’s a** what the hell you think.” Rodman also seemed to suggest he believes Bae is being rightfully held, saying, “Kenneth Bae did one thing, if you understand — if you understand what Kenneth Bae did, do you understand what he did in this country?” When Cuomo answered, “What did he do”?, Rodman shouted back, “No, no, no, no! You tell me! You tell me! Why is he held captive?” Meanwhile, one of the players who went with Rodman, former NBA All-Star Charles Smith, said what they are doing is positive, but he feel remorse for going because the game has become overshadowed by politics and tainted by Rodman’s comments. AP reported that many of the other players also expressed second thoughts privately because of all the criticism at home. The plan to hold the game has been slammed because of North Korea’s horrible human rights record and its development of nuclear weapons and threats to use them against the U.S. and South Korea, as well as because of Bae.
App Will Let Strangers Identify You Just By Taking Your Photo
Does the idea of a stranger who sees you on the street being able to identify you just by taking your photo with their phone concern you? CNet reports that the ability is apparently coming soon, via an upcoming app called NameTag for Android, iOS and Google Glass. After the photo is taken, the app sends it wirelessly to NameTag’s server, which compares it to millions of online records to come up with a name, photos and social media profiles. App creator FacialNetworking is working on technology that will enhance NameTag by also scanning profile photos on online dating sites, as well the National Sex Offender Registry and other criminal databases. CNet cited FacialNetwork’s Kevin Alan Tussy as saying, “I believe that this will make online dating and offline social interactions much safer and give us a far better understanding of the people around us.” To address privacy concerns, Tussy said people will be able to login to NameTag’s website and choose whether or not they want their name and information displayed to others, a situation that CNet describes as opt-out instead of opt-in, meaning you have to take action to ensure you can’t be searched for, instead of having to indicate you want to be able to be identified via the app.
‘Tiger Mom’ Says Some Ethnic, Religious Groups More Likely to Succeed
Amy Chua, who made headlines with her controversial 2011 parenting book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which contended that Chinese mothers raise more successful children because of strict, cultural tendencies, is stoking outrage again with her new book, The Triple Package. This one, written with husband Jed Rubenfeld, claims that there are eight ethnic and religious groups that are inherently more likely to succeed. They argue this is because of three specific traits: a superiority complex; insecurity; and impulse control. The eight groups singled out as superior are: Jews; Indians; Chinese; Iranians; Lebanese-Americans; Nigerians; Cuban exiles; and Mormons. Chua, who is Chinese, and her husband, who’s Jewish, belong to two of the groups. The book has led to charges of racism and disparaging reviews, an uproar they seemed to anticipate, writing in the introduction, “That certain groups do much better in America than others — as measured by income, occupational status, test scores, and so on — is difficult to talk about. In large part, this is because the topic feels so racially charged.”