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Pull-off areas for texters and callers who just can't wait.

By Rich_Maloof Sep 24, 2013 4:56PM

In the latest effort to curb distracted driving in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday that dozens of pull-off areas along state roadways will be designated as “Texting Zones.” 

Highway and thruway signs reading TEXT STOP and IT CAN WAIT: TEXT STOP 5 MILES will provide a cue to clueless drivers who fail to recognize, or fail to care about, the dangers of operating a smartphone while driving. 

New York ​Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a news conference at a highway rest stop (New York Governor's Office/AP)


Get hoistin’ the Jolly Roger, ye lily-livered landlubbers.

By Rich_Maloof Sep 19, 2013 3:05PM

Oleksiy Maksymenko/Getty ImagesThe change of seasons this week is a time for remembrance and self-reflection, and there’s a holiday nestled into the calendar today marking this pensive transition to autumn. We’re speaking, of course, of International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Why hurl salty insults at your friends and loved ones today like you're a one-eyed raider of the high seas? The intent behind today’s holiday is for young and old alike to enjoy the seafaring dialects that first entered pop culture when "Treasure Island" was published in 1883 and peaked around the time Johnny Depp first appeared in "Pirates of the Caribbean" as Keith Richards’ flamboyant younger brother. Mistaking the holiday for an opportunity to terrorize people in a dinghy while speaking Somali could get you arrested. Sure, they used to do the same awful things back in the early 18th century’s “golden age” of piracy, but back then they wore hoop earrings and baboushkas and said things like, “I’ll slash ye guts and feed yer to the sharks, ye pox-faced sea dog.” Being pillaged was a lot more fun in the old-timey days.


William "Freddie" McCullough's obituary reads: "He attracted more women than a shoe sale at Macy's."

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Sep 18, 2013 9:10PM

Those who knew William "Freddie" McCullough loved the larger-than-life 61-year-old father of six. Strangers near and far fell in love when they read the Georgia man’s obituary published Saturday in the Savannah Morning News, which painted the colorful storyteller in a fantastical light.

​William ‘Freddie’ McCullough (Mark McCullough via Facebook)
“Men wanted to be him and women wanted to be with him,” reads McCullough’s obituary. "Freddie loved deep fried Southern food smothered in Cane Syrup, fishing at Santee Cooper Lake, Little Debbie Cakes, Two and a Half Men, beautiful women, Reeses Cups [sic] and Jim Beam. Not necessarily in that order."


Looking in vain for signs the gun conversation will change.

By Rich_Maloof Sep 18, 2013 5:51PM

Number of deaths in the deadliest mass shootings (12 or more lives lost) in America, 1900–1999: 106

Number of deaths in the deadliest mass shootings, 2000–2013: 112

Signs that mass shootings impact meaningful legislative changes: 0

Dr. A. Charles Catania, a behavior analyst and experimental psychologist at the University of Maryland, shared a difficult statistic with producers of “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC after the Sandy Hook tragedy last year. Catania had reviewed a Washington Post report on the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history and plotted the data on a graph.



The "Liberator" gun was developed by a University of Texas law student.

By Associated_Press Sep 16, 2013 6:20PM

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Victoria & Albert Museum says it has bought a working gun made on a 3-D printer, which sparked alarm among anti-firearms campaigners when it was unveiled in the United States.

Cody Wilson points to his laptop screen displaying an image of a prototype plastic gun on the screen, while holding in his other a weapon he calls The museum says the gun is an addition to its collection of "new, influential, innovative or experimental" contemporary design.


Lesson learned: Sometimes it pays to ask nicely.

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Sep 16, 2013 5:55PM

When Eileen Remedios had her bike stolen, instead of turning to the police she opted for a path of kindness. The 55-year-old nurse from England wrote a pleading note to the thief, asking very nicely for the safe return her old blue bike and only mode of transportation. She stuck the note on a nearby lamppost.

Nurse Eileen Remedios and the note she posted saying she'd like her stolen bike back, along with the note she received back containing an apology and a bike lock key to retrieve her stolen bike (SWNS)“I was feeling quite cross,” Remedios told the Daily Mail. “I thought, 'Why would someone want to take my old bike?' I thought maybe someone was drunk and had borrowed it.”


The value of a bachelor’s degree, in dollars and cents.

By Rich_Maloof Sep 16, 2013 4:51PM

With the average tuition and fees for private colleges at a gut-punching $29,056 per year, students and their gently weeping parents may be wondering which fields of study stand to see the greatest financial returns. 

Of course, an untold number of additional factors beyond a student’s major influence employability and income. And there is more value in a good education than setting up a high starting salary. But for anyone who wants to evaluate the worth of a college degree in dollars and cents, the numbers have officially been crunched.

Offshore oil rig. (© Mayumi Terao/Getty Images)


Balloonist forced down in Newfoundland.

By Rich_Maloof Sep 13, 2013 4:42PM

Jonathan Trappe, the man who was attempting an Atlantic Ocean crossing by balloons in the fashion of the animated movie “Up,” has landed far short of his goal.

Jonathan Trappe balloon liftoff (NorthernMaine via YouTube, http://aka.ms/JonathanTrappe)

AP reports that Trappe, who struck a cartoonish figure suspended beneath 300 colorful helium-filled balloons, has landed in Newfoundland. He had lifted off Thursday morning from Caribou, Maine, about 350 miles from his landing point, and hoped to cross the ocean in a fashion never attempted before. But even before he launched, wind forecasts did not auger well for his journey.

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