January 16, 2014 |
Neiman Marcus Group offered more details Thursday about the data breach it disclosed late last week, saying that although credit and debit card information was stolen, customers' social security numbers and birth dates were not. And because the company doesn't use PIN pads in its stores, the identifying numbers that are usually punched into the machines appear to be safe, Neiman Marcus said. And, as of Wednesday, the company said accounts linked to its Neiman Marcus card aren't showing signs of fraudulent activity.
January 13, 2014 |
It turns out reality TV can sometimes be good for you. At least that seems to be the take-away from a report issued Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research which finds that the MTV reality series "16 and Pregnant" has actually had a positive impact on reducing the number of teen pregnancies. "16 and Pregnant," which has aired on MTV since 2009, follows a series of pregnant teens through the birth of their child and their first days as a new mother. According to the study , an increase in Internet searches related to the series led to a 5.7% reduction in the number of teen births in the U.S. in the 18 months following the series premiere.
January 7, 2014 |
Debuting Tuesday as part of the PBS series "American Experience," "The Poisoner's Handbook" offers a fascinating look back at how the chemical age changed police work. Based on Deborah Blum's 2010 book "The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York," it is divided into toxin-specific "chapters," (cyanide, arsenic, carbon monoxide, lead, radium, denatured alcohol and so on), but there is nothing particularly instructional about it. A certain sort of viewer might get ideas, of course, but should he watch to the end he will learn that poisoning is a hard crime to get away with anymore.
January 3, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Obama administration lawyers strongly urged Justice Sonia Sotomayor and her fellow Supreme Court members to drop an appeal from the Little Sisters of the Poor and other Catholic groups who object to the so-called contraceptive mandate in the new healthcare law. Nonprofit religious charities already can opt out of the requirement to pay for insurance coverage for contraceptives and therefore have nothing to complain about, U.S. Solicitor...
December 26, 2013 |
Talk about a Christmas news peg; try this headline: “1 in 200 mothers reports a 'virgin' birth, study finds.” Now, full disclosure, the study was actually published on Dec. 17. But some folks, like me, are just getting around to writing about it because, well, it fits in with the holidays in a shameless and somewhat tasteless way. (A little insight into the secret world of the so-called journalism profession: This is sometimes called “saving string.”...
December 25, 2013 |
Recently, in my old hometown in Montana, a man died of exposure. According to news reports, he was a Wal-Mart employee in the town of Miles City, homeless and living in his car when the weather plunged to 27 degrees below zero. We tend to shrug off the homeless when we see them pushing their shopping carts or holding up signs asking for money. They're mentally ill, we assume, or drug addicts. But I know from experience that a lot of the homeless are like that man in Montana: struggling to make it but not quite able to. For the 6 1/2 years I was homeless, I never had a shopping cart, nor did I have a mental illness or a drug problem.