Well, it’s Friday at lunch, and you know what that means: time to clean out the accumulated News Chum links:
- Financial Robbers and Barons. Let’s start with a few financial items. Verizon Wireless is completely overhauling their phone plans. This is of interest to me, as we’re currently with Verizon on a 700 family share plan with unlimited text, but only my daughter’s phone has a data plan. We’ve occasionally thought about getting smart phones, but three separate data plans would be too pricey. So if this plan allows sharing of data across a family, it might be reasonable. Next, science has done some analysis, and it turns out that robbing banks isn’t worth the effort for the amount of money you get and the risk you take (this is also why low-level drug dealing isn’t worth it). So what type of robbery is worth it? Well, cell phone data plans, for one :-), as well as skimming a little off the top, as credit card companies do. Perhaps this is why there is now a Karl Marx MasterCard. Planet Money is running a contest to come up with a tag line, such as “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. For everything else, there’s MarxCard”.
- Of Historical Interest. A number of history-related items of interest. This year is the bicentennial of the War of 1812 … and the US doesn’t care much about it. Canada, on the other hand, does. Next, if I was to ask you about the first space shuttle, you might think “Enterprise” (which was just moved to NYC) or “Explorer” (the one just moved in Houston). But you would be wrong: the first was a full-size marketing markup made by Rockwell, which is just about to be put on display in Downey. Lastly, today is the anniversary of the opening of the Cahuenga Pass Freeway, better known today as the Hollywood Freeway. Four lanes in each direction, with mass transit in the center. Today, the freeway has more lanes, and less mass transit above but more below.
- Where In The World. Two geographic items. First, how would you like to visit Tokelau. It would take some effort. But if you’ve ever used a URL ending in .tk, you’ve used their domain, for they have a large web presence. How do they make their money? By quickly placing ads on expired or lightly used domain names. Next, an interesting article on a fellow who hand-draws maps to Los Angeles communities.
- Coming to Stage. A few reports on projects on stage or in development. Susan Stroman is going to direct and choreograph a musical version of Bullets Over Broadway, which is going to use period music. Craig Lucas and Christopher Wheeldon Developing An American in Paris for Broadway, with the predictable Gershwin score. And most interesting, Simon Stephens has evidently developed a stage (non-musical, whew) version of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, which is evidently going to be broadcast in the UK.
- And Lastly… an interesting article on Yau-Man from Survivor, who evidently works in the bowels of the Chemistry Dept at UC Berkeley as the chief technology officer for the UC Berkeley College of Chemistry.
Music: When I Need You (Roger Whittaker): A Weekend in New England