Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Most Dangerous US Cities

The Most Dangerous US Cities were ranked based on crime statistics from the FBI:
1. Detroit, Michigan
2. St. Louis, Missouri
3. Flint, Michigan
4. Oakland, California
5. Camden, New Jersey
6. Birmingham, Alabama
7. North Charleston, South Carolina
8. Memphis, Tennessee
9. Richmond, California
10. Cleveland, Ohio


Simpsonize Me

As part of a promotion for the new Simpsons Movie, Burger King has teamed up with the Simpsons to create a “Simpsonizer.” This application allows user to upload a headshot and create their very own Simpsons character. So far this website seems to work very well, but sometimes it gets overloaded with traffic. Additionally, you need to have a clear, high resolution head shot to generate your character. Overall, it’s fun and easy to use.

The federal minimum wage has officially been increased from $5.15 an hour to $5.85 an hour. The seventy cent increase is the first change in 10 years, and since the last increase in the federal minimum wage, “bread prices have risen 25 percent, health insurance costs have risen 97 percent, and the price of regular gasoline jumped 149 percent” according to

This wage increase will earn the average worker (40 hours a week) an extra $28 a week. More good news — the minimum wage will be raised to $6.55 by July 2008 and $7.25 by July 2009.

The following is’s best places to live in the U.S. in terms of weight. These counties’ residents have the lowest average body mass index. Here’s the top ten:

  1. Marin County, California
  2. Blaine County, Idaho
  3. La Plata County, Colorado
  4. Teton County, Wyoming
  5. Garfield County, Washington
  6. San Francisco County, California
  7. Boulder County, Colorado
  8. Los Alamos County, New Mexico
  9. Summit Count, Ohio
  10. Alexandria City, Virginia

On July 11th Forbes announced that Virginia was the best state for business in the US for the second year in a row. The fifty states were ranked based on business costs, labor, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects, and quality of life. Here’s the top ten:

  1. Virginia
  2. Utah
  3. North Carolina
  4. Texas
  5. Washington
  6. Idaho
  7. Florida
  8. Colorado
  9. North Dakota
  10. Minnesota

Even though the “Old Dominion” was number one for the second year in a row, apparently the biggest story was the state of Washington was coming in at number five. Washington is home to Boeing, Starbucks,, and Microsoft.

On July 7, 2007 (7/7/07), the New Open World Corporation (NOWC) announced the New Seven Wonders of the World in Lisbon, Portugal.

Chichen Itza

Christ the Redeemer

Great Wall

Machu Picchu


Roman Colosseum

Taj Mahal

A lovely reader left this wonderful comment this morning.

“Is this the only think you’ve got to do–posting an NBA Mock Draft? That and the stupid picture, whatever you’re trying to imply, is simply a waste of time and a fraud. If you’ve got all the education you CLAIM, you should be spending your free time helping at a homeless shelter or a soup line or some relgion-based social service organization!! Instead of pissing people off grow up and do some good for the world–quit thinking of yourself/you narcissist!”

Wow. I’m glad that I elicited a response from a reader, but I wasn’t expecting such a response on an NBA Mock Draft — I didn’t know they were so controversial.

To clarify his comments about the “stupid picture,” I had posted a popular picture of Greg Oden dancing with a coed at an Ohio State party. This picture may have been offensive, so I will admit that I changed it to a “politically correct” picture of Kevin Durant covering his head with a basketball net.

“If you’ve got all the education you CLAIM, you should be spending your free time helping at a homeless shelter or a soup line or some relgion-based social service organization!!”

I suppose the reader didn’t browse through the contents of my blog. In the past I’ve used my blog to raise awareness on local events and issues that local residents might find pertinent (e.g. energy saving tips, historic preservation ideas, local recreational activities). I do like to write posts concerning professional athletics, but I do so because it’s fun and harmless. Also, during the day I work for a non-profit environmental organization on pollutant modeling and K-12 education. So I like to think that I do some good for the world, but I don’t want to pat myself on the back and be narcissistic.

For those unfamiliar with what a narcissist is, a narcissist is a person with an inordinate fascination with oneself. I guess the reader thought that I was using my NBA Mock Draft to glorify myself and my amazing NBA mock draft skills — I guess I shouldn’t have predicted that I would be the #1 pick.

The top 10 most expensive cities include:

1. Moscow
2. London
3. Seoul
4. Tokyo
5. Hong Kong
6. Copenhagen
7. Geneva
8. Osaka
9. Zurich
10. Oslo

According to the latest Cost of Living Survey from Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Moscow, Russia is the most expensive city in the world. Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey covers cities across six continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location. For example, the survey looks at housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. So you might want to cancel that summer vacation in Russia.

Graffiti Tracking

Graffiti Tracker is a company that uses global positioning systems (GPS), digital photography and computer databases to help U.S. cities catch graffiti artists.

“Graffiti Tracker takes pictures of graffiti before it is painted over, using GPS cameras that record the date, time and exact location. The company analyzes the graffiti, for example checking whether it is gang-related, and stores the pictures in its database.”

“Police use the information to track or predict where a particular tagger will strike next. Once caught, they have evidence to prosecute for a string of offenses.”

“Clean-up crews in Los Angeles County — where graffiti ranges from gang scrawls on lamp posts to walls of bold color regarded by some as underground art — painted over more than 40 million square feet of graffiti last year, according to authorities. Pico Rivera — a city of 65,000 residents east of Los Angeles — has made 60 arrests since buying the system nine months ago to boost its $300,000 annual anti-graffiti program.”

Personally, I think that some Graffiti art is beautiful and it can add character to a public space. However, the problems with graffiti art are that much of it contains cryptic symbology (gang signs, etc.), often times it is created in unwanted areas, and it is expensive to clean up (a $1 can of spray paint can cause hundreds of dollars worth of damage).

On May 8th Queen Elizabeth II went to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to view Science On a Sphere.

“Among other things, the Royal visitors were shown data sets including a Hurricane Katrina sequence, climate change models such as Sea Ice Change, Nighttime Lights of the Earth, and images of deep space and the planets.”

The “Queen and Duke had raved about Science On a Sphere…it was a real highlight of their entire visit…The British Science Minister wants to install one at the British Museum of Natural History.”