context before clarity

Aug 6 2014

'Ideal Marriage' Book Returned 54 Years Late

That’s what happened, however, when the New York Public Library received a copy of “Ideal Marriage,” a 200-plus page book on sex — along with an apology note. Texas Man Booked For Not Returning a Library Book The book, authored by Th.H. van de Velde, a Dutch doctor, was due to the Mid-Manhattan Library on Aug. 17, 1959, but was just received at the library in May of last year.

Aug 5 2014

Here’s Why Your Cable Guy Never Shows Up on Time

Now we know why Comcast’s customer service is so terrible — basically, Comcast puts enormous pressure on its employees to upsell its customers on more expensive services while putting significantly less pressure on them to resolve customer problems effectively. The Verge talked with more than 100 different Comcast technicians and they said that Comcast basically tries to book their schedules so tightly that it leaves them no room for error if unexpected complications arise at a certain job. In fact, the technicians said that Comcast will often intentionally overbook them because the company figures that at least one of the appointments will call in to cancel anyway.

Aug 5 2014

Syracuse University Ranks as No. 1 Party School

Syracuse University has claimed the title of nation’s top party school. The No. 1 ranking was revealed Monday by The Princeton Review based on a nationwide survey of 130,000 students. Syracuse’s student newspaper ranked second best among the 379 colleges surveyed, and its sports scene, rated third best, likely helped the party mood.

Aug 4 2014

Mom Accused of Killing Her Toddler, Cutting Teen

A Washington state woman going through a divorce and custody battle is accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter and severely cutting her teenage daughter at a popular inn on the northern Oregon coast, a crime that has shocked tourists and residents. Jessica Smith, 40, was in custody Monday on murder and other charges. Authorities began looking for her Friday after a housekeeper at the Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach found the body of Smith’s 2-year-old daughter in a room.

Jul 14 2014

In South Korea, Ex-spy Remains Stuck in the Cold

Once their espionage cases are resolved, some former North Korean spies find that life in the South can be pretty good. A year after finishing a five-year espionage sentence for using sex to obtain military secrets and plotting to assassinate intelligence officers, Won is a 40-year-old single mother eking out a living on an $800 monthly government subsidy.

Jul 14 2014

Ukraine President to Be at World Cup Final in Rio

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will attend the World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro — along with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian authorities said Saturday. An official in Brazil’s government with direct knowledge of the trip and a press officer for Brazil’s Foreign Ministry both confirmed that Poroshenko would be at the match. The World Cup final pits Argentina against Germany — and it was German Chancellor Angela Merkel who persuaded Poroshenko to attend the game, the government official said.

Jul 13 2014

California High Court Softens 'three Strikes' Law

By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - California’s highest court has softened implementation of the state’s “three-strikes-and-you’re-out” criminal sentencing law, marking the second time the rules for identifying and imprisoning career criminals have been loosened in recent years. “The voting public would reasonably have understood the ‘Three Strikes’ baseball metaphor to mean that a person would have three chances - three swings of the bat if you will - before the harshest penalty could be imposed,” Associate Justice Kathryn Werdegar wrote in the court’s opinion, released late on Thursday.

Jul 13 2014

Japan Able to Aid US Ships Under Attack, Says Minister

Japan’s new policy on military action would allow its forces to come to the aid of a US naval ship under attack, Tokyo’s defense minister said Friday. In a visit to Washington, Itsunori Onodera cited the hypothetical scenario as he sought to explain the Japanese government’s controversial decision to ease decades-long restrictions on the country’s military. If US warships were sent to defend Japan, and those ships were attacked, the Japanese “constitution was interpreted to say we could not help that ship,” Onodera told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

Jul 12 2014

Britain Bars Russian Delegation From Farnborough Air Show

Britain said Saturday it had barred a Russian delegation from attending the Farnborough air show because of the Ukraine crisis, sparking an angry reaction from Russia. The Russian embassy in London expressed “regret” that Britain had not issued visas to a large part of its delegation and demanded an urgent explanation. The Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) is a key event in the aviation sector calendar, with Russia usually sending a sizeable contingent as it seeks foreign sales.