Texas cities nab No. 1, No. 3 for Best Cities for Love

McClatchy Tribune News Service

Yesterday was the big day for sweethearts. But here in Texas we have two of the top three best cities for love at our disposal at all times, according to The Daily Beast. The news site ranked cities “based on a high prevalence of marriage, a low incidence of divorce, a relatively happy population and a wealth of bars and restaurants to meet and woo a significant other.”

San Antonio came in at No. 1 and at No. 3 was the even closer Austin.

Here’s a list of the top ten and a link to the full list:

#1, San Antonio, TX
Singles: C
Social life: A
Emotional health: A
Marriage: B
Divorce: C

#2, Milwaukee, WI
Singles: A
Social life: A
Emotional health: C
Marriage: F
Divorce: A

#3, Austin, TX
Singles: B
Social life: A
Emotional health: B
Marriage: C
Divorce: C

#4, Virginia Beach, VA
Singles: C
Social life: A
Emotional health: A
Marriage: F
Divorce: A

#5, San Diego, CA
Singles: B
Social life: D
Emotional health: B
Marriage: A
Divorce: C

#6, Boston, MA
Singles: A
Social life: D
Emotional health: A
Marriage: B
Divorce: C

#7, New Orleans, LA
Singles: A+
Social life: A+
Emotional health: F
Marriage: C
Divorce: D

#8, Hartford, CT
Singles: B
Social life: C
Emotional health: B
Marriage: D
Divorce: A

#9, Cleveland, OH
Singles: A
Social life: A
Emotional health: F
Marriage: F
Divorce: A

#10, Portland, OR
Singles: D
Social life: A
Emotional health: B
Marriage: D
Divorce: A

chairs of those in charge

This story makes me wonder how much money Baylor’s big wigs are sitting on?

Ohio lawmakers won’t let college buy $522 chairs

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio legislative panel has rejected Miami University’s plan to spend $167,000 on office chairs after learning officials picked the priciest ones available.

The 333 Aeron-brand chairs cost $522 each.

The Controlling Board, a panel of lawmakers that oversees state spending, voted 6-1 Monday against what normally would be a routine request. Board members say they were dissatisfied with an architect’s explanation for why staff and faculty needed the expensive chairs.

A spokeswoman for the Oxford school didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jay Hottinger, a Republican from Newark, was one of the lawmakers who opposed Miami’s request. He reminded his colleagues on the panel that they were sitting in $2,000 leather chairs.

-Bethany

“Designer Babies”

Last week, the prospect of “designer babies” was brought to America’s attention as a Los Angeles fertility announced that they will offer a service allowing parents to pick from a number of genetic traits for their baby. We’re not talking simply choosing the sex or screening for diseases – both of which have been offered since the late ’90s. Now parents are able to choose their child’s physical traits!

Isn’t it wonderful?  It’s like the “My Twin”doll I had as a child.I was able to choose her hair type and color; eye color and skin complexion. But this is even better; parents can bring their little “doll” to life.

Not only do I believe that this idea is completely shallow, it’s up there with cloning on my list of absurd ways to alter the natural order of things. Humans have found yet another way to manipulate one of God’s creations for cosmetic purposes. I’m trying to imagine what the teenagers of the world will be like in 30 years… physically flawless? How boring.

Here’s the link, enjoy:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29489602/

-liz

congress has gone to the hogs.

Here’s one more thing that Congress is thinking about spending money on. Maybe even $1.2 million. But after spending several summers on the family farm in Iowa growing up and experiencing this smell, I think this is research I can get behind. Well, not literally behind. Believe me: that would be unbearable.

Iowans say pig-odor study passes the smell test
By MICHAEL J. CRUMB
Associated Press Writer

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — On Capitol Hill, a $1.7 million earmark for pig odor research in Iowa has become a big, fat joke among Republicans, a Grade A example of pork. But the people who live cheek by jowl with hog farms in the No. 1 pig-producing state aren’t laughing.

They’re gagging.

“You hold your breath and when it’s really bad you get the taste in your mouth,” said Carroll Harless, a 70-year-old retired corn-and-soybean farmer from Iowa Falls.

In Iowa, where the 20 million hogs easily outnumber the 3 million people, the rotten-egg-and-ammonia smell of hog waste often wafts into homes, landing like a punch to the chest.

“Once, we couldn’t go outside for a week,” said Karen Forbes, who lives near a hog feedlot outside Lorimor. “It burned your eyes. You couldn’t breathe. You had to take a deep breath and run for your garage. It was horrid.”

The proposal to spend money on how to control pig-farm smells is contained in a $410 billion spending bill now making its way through Congress. Among other earmarks that have been criticized: tattoo removal for gang members in Los Angeles; Polynesian canoe rides in Hawaii; termite research in New Orleans; and the study of grape genetics in New York.

Despite the ridicule from Sen. John McCain and other Republicans, Iowa and the federal government have been studying how to control hog odors for years. The latest grant continues efforts under way at the Agricultural Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture labs in Ames, Iowa.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, inserted the earmark.

“While we will likely hear about it on Jay Leno or the Letterman show, where they will be yukking it up, it’s a profoundly serious challenge,” he said. He said the idea is to help the pork industry go about its business “in an environmentally friendly way and be good neighbors.”

The federal study is looking at what hogs eat and how the stench can be reduced. Despite years of work in Iowa and elsewhere, solutions to the problem have proved elusive, though researchers have had success using ultraviolet light to remove odors and planting trees and other vegetation to suck up the smell.

Hog odors have been a perennial issue at the state Legislature, where lawmakers argue over the need to protect quality of life without ruining Iowa’s $12-billion-a-year pork industry.

To those who make light of the smell, Harkin extended an open invitation: Come to Iowa and take a whiff.

Bethany

and i thought my job was tough…

I’ll admit there are days when I get tired of doing my job. But at least when I’m at my job, I don’t get assaulted in a mouse costume in front of a crowd of screaming children. Check out this AP story about some poor schmuck who was just trying to make an honest buck.

Mass. man fined for Chuck E. Cheese mascot assault

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts man has been fined $500 for assaulting a Chuck E. Cheese mouse.
Authorities say 34-year-old Trahan Pires thought the perpetually happy mascot had pinned his 11-year-old son against a video game. Pires, of Fairhaven, ripped off the mascot’s head piece, pointed a finger at the man inside and yelled at him.
The 19-year-old man in the mouse suit told police he put his arms out to get through a crowd of children trying to knock him over and never grabbed anyone. A witness agreed with that account.
Pires pleaded guilty Monday. A judge fined him after rejecting the prosecution’s request for a six-month jail sentence.
Pires’ family was at the children’s restaurant in Dartmouth in May to celebrate his son’s birthday.

I’m sure that was a birthday to remember.

What do you think of transportation in Waco?

The Waco Metropolitan Planning Organization proposed some new amendments last month to their long-term transportation plan. Wacoans can review the plan and the proposals and comment straight to the MPO Policy Board. Want to learn more? Read the Lariat story here or click here to comment on the proposals.

—Anita