Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha hinted that a coup was possible amid violence in the streets between supporters and opponents of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
In the 1960s, catching a flight wasn't much of a hassle. No lines, no security screenings and no need to show ID. But the ease of travel brought with it some serious consequences.
North Dakota and western Canada are producing crude oil faster than rail cars and pipelines can take it to refineries. Now, one company wants to ship it by barge across the Great Lakes. That worries environmentalists, who say a 2010 tar sands oil spill near Lake Michigan has yet to be fully cleaned up.
As baby boomers retire and drilling increases, energy companies are hiring, adding 23 percent more workers between 2009 and 2012. But the hiring spree has come with a terrible price: Last year, 138 workers were killed on the job, twice as many as in 2009.
Is that a cross? A ship with a figurehead? It's only human to wonder what the future will hold, especially on the threshold of a new year. In one German tradition, fortune-seekers drop molten lead into cold water — then it's anyone's guess what the strange shapes portend.
This final note from reality television: The cable channel A&E announced this afternoon Phil Robertson and the whole "Duck Dynasty" gang are coming back.
Robertson was put on indefinite hiatus earlier this month for comments that were controversial, relating to how the Bible informs his view of gays.
A&E now says:
Duck Dynasty is not a show about one man's views. It resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family, a family that America has come to love.
A&E also says it's going to launch a public service ad campaign promoting: "unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people."
Long-form journalism is trendy, but isn't new. (Think magazine writing.) Today, we've given it an earnest name. And, saddled it with a collective hope, that'll it'll save our brains from the viral videos and snarky commentary that dominate the internet.
When we talk "long-form journalism,” we're talking, often, about narrative story telling. Craft-journalism. Stories like this, from freelance journalist Brooke Jarvis.
Many of the graves had no headstones at all. Just white wooden crosses with names stenciled in black paint. These were clearly among the most recent memorials. The earth beneath them was still heaped up, still decorated with bedraggled stuffed animals, and faded plastic flowers, unopened beers with rusty caps.
Brooke's story is titled "When We Are Called to Part." It's about her experiences in a settlement for leprosy patients, on a remote part of Hawaii.
“Definitely what I like doing best is when you have the time and space to dive deeply into a topic,” says Jarvis. And, it's a relatively good time to be that kind of writer. The number of online sites publishing long-form stories is growing. Jarvis is able to make a go as a freelancer.
Working with non-traditional online outlets like The Atavist, which published her story.
“We launched three years ago,” says The Atavist’s co-founder, Evan Ratliff, “at that time we felt like we had to make this argument that it's not true that people only read short things on line, it's not true that people's attention span has deteriorated.”
The Atavist publishes stories between 5,000 and 30,000 words. For a little perspective, that could be more than a thousand tweets. Or, six pages of news print. “Something you can read in anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half,” says Ratliff.
The Atavist charges per story; it splits profit with the author. It also makes money selling software that helps other websites publish long stories. “You can throw a rock on the web and hit a publication that's trying to do long-form writing,” says Ratliff. A trend that he thinks is fantastic.
Online, you’ll find sites dedicated to long-form journalism, like the Atavist. And sites ike Buzzfeed and Politico, mixing longer journalism with quick hits and snappy headlines. “Their ambition from the beginning has been to drive and to own the Washington conversation,” says Susan Glasser, the editor of Politico’s new magazine. Making the move into longer-form journalism is a natural. The first cover story of the print magazine was a 7500 word piece about the Obama White House. Glasser says it got a million page views. "I do think that there's a sense that it'll be good business to pull out of that news cycle and to dominate that Washington conversation in a whole different way,” says Glasser.
These stories help build a brand. “Longer, in-depth stories have a lure of gravitas and smarts to them that allow media outlets to stick a claim in the intellectual space,” says Patti Wolter, a professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. They give the publication, and the journalist, an aura of importance. Significance.
Long-form stories, at their best, reveal bigger truths. They also win awards. “To be a media outlet to do that and compete at that level is the pinnacle of the craft,” says Wolter.
So, good-bye conventional wisdom: that the internet has killed journalism, that all we want is slideshows of baby hamsters.
And, hello depth and length. Hello storytelling. Now, you're going to have to earn and keep our time and attention.
This final note comes courtesy of entertainment site TMZ. According to the site, Paris Hilton is paid between $100,000 and $350,000 an hour to DJ at nightclubs in Europe:
Paris Hilton claims she's one of the TOP 5 highest paid DJ's in the world.
The heiress dropped the bombshell at LAX, after returning from a trip to Moscow ... when we asked if her foray into the world of electronic music has been paying off financially.
Her response -- "I'm one of the top 5 in the world, so..."
Here's the thing, it's definitely possible ... as we previously reported, Hilton inked a HUGE contract with one of the biggest clubs in Ibiza back in the summer after packing the house for several months in a row.
The 113th Congress has come to be defined more by what it failed to do than what it did. But the two warring parties controlling either end of Capitol Hill managed to accomplish a few things in 2013.
Marketplace's Lizzie O'Leary and John Carney from CNBC look back, not just on the past week of business news, but on all of 2013 and the economic legacy of the year.
"The economy is doing very, very well. All that can happen now is things can get screwed up," John Carney, who blogs at NetNet on CNBC, says. "Most economists are saying things will go very well. So as long we don't end up in some sort of epic political fight where we're going to tank the economy again, things will go well in 2014."
Marketplace's O'Leary adds a bit of a skeptical note:
"Tomorrow, millions of Americans lose their unemployment benefits. We'll see what happens when that happens," says Marketplace host O'Leary. "There's a split, a schism if you will, between where data show the economy is going and where people's hearts and wage power for the middle class feels where the economy is, in their gut."
Bloomberg reduced smoking in New York City but failed to match that much copied success with other campaigns, such as one to lower obesity rates by regulating the size of sodas sold in city fast-food restaurants.
Last year, conservatives rallied around Chick-fil-A's president. Now, some are doing the same for Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, who was briefly suspended from his show for things he said about homosexuals. And they're planning a similar show of support.
At least three people are dead and more than 250 arrested just days after the Muslim Brotherhood was declared a terrorist organization.
Over the past year, a roaring debate has erupted among physicists about what exactly would happen if you fell into a black hole. Would it be "spaghettification," or a quantum firestorm and oblivion where space ceases to exist? The answer has big implications for fundamental physics.
Head injuries have long been considered a risk factor for Alzheimer's, but the evidence on that is mixed. A study finds that people who have memory problems decades after a concussion are more likely to have the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer's.
Though 40 million credit and debt accounts may have been affected, Target says the hackers should not be able to decrypt sensitive information they obtained.
Rejecting a challenge by the ACLU to the program, U.S. District Judge William Pauley said Friday that the collection of data represented "a government counter-punch" against al-Qaida. The ruling comes less than two weeks after another judge said the program violated the Constitution.
This year has been full of ‘what-ifs’ for the delivery industry. Like, “What if Amazon uses drones to deliver that coffee maker to your house?”
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told CBS’ Sixty Minutes that’s a possibility.
Or, "What if driverless cars hit the road a lot sooner than expected?”
We’re going to add one more – “What if the rideshare company Uber goes full robo-cab?”
Right now, Uber acts a lot like a taxi cab you hail from your smart phone. You use an app to call a car, and the car shows up. That simplicity has earned the company a lot of fans, including Amber Leonti. She lives in Sacramento, and she loves Uber. One time, Leonti used Uber three times in the same day – and she kept getting the same driver. At first, Leonti says the driver was real perky and happy – but later in the night, the guy was just dragging.
“But he had like eight, king sized candy wrappers,” Leonti says, adding that the tired driver offered to share a candy bar with her. “I didn’t take it, because I don’t take candy from strangers, but I liked it. I liked that he was fueling himself on sugar.”
But what if a driver didn’t have to fuel himself at all?
What if the driver was a robot?
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick spoke at a tech conference earlier this year, and it sounds like that’s where his company is headed -- robo-cabs, without drivers, taking people where they want to go.
“We’re in the business of delivering cars. We’re delivering a car to you that you can do whatever you want with,” Kalanick told the crowd, before adding, almost as an afterthought:
“Um, well the car has a driver as a well.”
Well, for now at least. Uber has gotten almost a quarter billion dollars investment from Google, and the tech giant has been a leader in developing self-driving cars. Robo-cabs would work the same as driverless cars. They would use lasers and cameras to autonomously navigate the city streets. And for the almost 250,000 human drivers working in the US, that’s bad news. On average, these drivers make about eleven bucks an hour. Mark Rogowsky, a tech writer with Forbes, says those jobs will be lost when robo-cabs hit the roads.
“I think that whether the self-driving car shows up in five or ten years, once it does, the cab driver is an endangered species,” Rogowsky says.
Taxi driver Travis Johnson heads the San Francisco Cab Drivers Association, and he says cab drivers will actually be safer than automated cars.
“The big problem when you eliminate the driver is the automated vehicle can’t make snap judgments for safety or route…like you might have to break a law to safely avoid an accident,” Johnson says.
But tech experts say as more automated cars hit the road, the safer the cars will be. That’s because those cars will be able to communicate with each other when changing lanes or when they’re in gridlock.
Some expect the first robo-cabs to be on the road in as soon as five years. But that question of safety is a big concern for the insurance industry. Pete Moraga is with the Insurance Information network of California. He says insurers will have a hard time figuring how much risk automated cars pose.
“There has to be that transition period, where these cars get on the streets whether they’re robo-cabs or personal cars, and we have a history of how they operate,” Moraga says.
Many in the insurance industry say it'll be more than a decade before you can log into Uber, order a cab, and be whisked away by a self-driving car.
Just 10 games into his comeback from a left knee injury, former NBA MVP Derrick Rose hurt his right knee last month. That’s bad news for the Chicago Bulls. And for Adidas, the maker of the D-Rose signature line of basketball sneakers. Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant is also out with a knee injury, but his new Nike sneakers made their debut earlier this month.
Total retails sales of basketball sneakers hit $3.7 billion dollars last year. But before there were Air Jordans – long before – there were Chuck Taylors. The bestselling sneakers of all-time started out as cutting-edge basketball technology nearly 100 years ago. They bear the name of a Hall of Fame player, but the shoe’s days on the hardwood are over.
“I like to say the Chuck Taylor All Star was born on the basketball courts, raised by rock n’ roll and really adopted by street culture and fashion over the years,” Converse All Star Vice President Magnus Wedhammar says.
Converse, which is owned by Nike, sells about 70 million pairs of the canvas sneakers worldwide every year. But who was the man behind the signature on the iconic ankle patch?
Charles Taylor was born in Indiana in 1901. He played high school basketball and later, some semi-pro ball. Wedhammar says the All Star sneaker was already on the market when Converse hired Taylor as a salesman in 1922.
“Chuck Taylor himself was really the first endorsed performance athlete back in the day,” Wedhammar says. “And he really helped evolve the All Star to the Chuck Taylor All Star over time.”
Taylor put on basketball clinics all over the country, selling sneakers to high school and college teams. His name was added to the ankle patch in 1932. He retired in the mid-1960s and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor to the sport.
“People who were buying his shoes by the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and beyond, they just thought of Chuck Taylor as a brand. But there really was such a person as Chuck Taylor,” says Abraham Aamidor, author of the biography Chuck Taylor, All Star.
But when Taylor died in 1969, his sneaker was in crisis. So, Converse turned to Dr. J.
Julius Erving wore All Stars from his childhood right through his college career, but when he turned pro in the 1970s, Dr. J endorsed new, leather Converse sneakers. Adidas and Puma already sold leather basketball shoes and Converse needed to catch up.
“Converse actually called me in to talk to their engineers. And we spent a lot of hours in terms of the design and obviously, feel and comfort and durability,” Erving says.
All of that helped pave the way for Michael Jordan’s groundbreaking partnership with Nike in 1984. According to SportsOneSource, today the Jordan Brand controls more than half of the basketball market. Overall Nike holds a 92 percent share.
Marshal Cohen is the chief retail analyst at the NPD Group. He says Jordan’s post-career dominance as a spokesman is unprecedented.
“By being able to take the person and then ultimately become the brand, that’s a very rare exception,” Cohen says.
According to Cohen, 75 percent of all basketball sneakers are purchased for style, not performance, in part because of retro reissues.
“It’s all about brand, and it’s all about celebrity product,” he notes.
Fans aren’t the only ones picking up Air Jordans. Other elite athletes like the NBA’s Blake Griffin and baseball’s Derek Jeter are happy to sign with Jordan’s team and to wear his name and silouhette, too.
“Jordan as a brand, will certainly outlive Jordan the player,” says Cohen.
On the court, LeBron James, another Nike spokesman, has a chance to equal Jordan’s accomplishments. But don’t expect King James –- or anyone else -- to knock Jordan off the throne of sneaker endorsements anytime soon.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft focused on one of the planet's poles, and produced an image that resembles a hand-painted Christmas ornament. There's also a new photo of Saturn's largest moons that makes it appear they're stacked on top of each other.