Buying to rent, asteroids, Google Glasses, and why the Harlem Shake matters
Global investors have been active in the US for several years, but recently they’ve moved into a new arena: buying to rent. The Wall Street Journal explores how overseas firms are slicing into an arena usually dominated by local mom and pop investors.
We were all shocked by the asteroid that caused havoc in Siberia last Friday. While no one died (and local collectors are profitting), if the angle had been slightly different we might be writing a different story. MSNBC‘s cosmic blog explains the difference between asteroid, meteorode, meteorite, and a whole range of other terms – in short it comes down to size, mass and how bright the thing burns. And Wired looks at how scientist around the world are working to protect the Earth from future impacts.
It’s been a YouTube sensation for less than a month, but the latest internet meme of dancing to the song Harlem Shake has exploded around the world. While fan-uploaded videos basically show people dancing to a goofy song, the trend is important and widespread enough that the powers that be are taking notice. Several brands, including Pepsi, Nintendo, Puma and others have all uploaded videos. And more than that, the meme is a good measure of how music is being consumed these day. Record companies, once reluctant to let their songs appear for free on YouTube, are now capitalizing on the publicity (and earning some $$ via YouTube’s profit sharing mechanism). And the venerable Billboard recently announced that it’s now incorporating YouTube streams into its chart rankings. The little known song, released last May, is now the number 1 download on iTunes in several countries.
The U.S. Marine Corps introduced their new mascot this week. Chesty the bulldog will assume his duties at the end of March after some rigorous obedience training. At this point, the adorable 9-week old pup is to ‘cute’ what regular marines are to ‘tough’.
Homesteading on Mars, IL agents scramble for class hours, and former careers of REALTORS
Interested in colonizing the moon or other planets? One big hurdle to overcome (and there are lots of course): no private property. Several international treaties on space and the moon prohibit sovereignty claims and private property. But if we want to jumpstart colonization and exploration, some scientists are suggesting these treaties be scrapped or wiggled around.
The census released a study recently that shows the economic recession and high gas prices continue to impact the farthest ex-urban regions of metro areas. Population growth for counties on the fringes of metropolitan regions has collapsed while closer in counties continue to see growth. USA Today has great sliding tool to compare 2006 data with 2011. One big growth area that stands out: the oil boomtowns of northwest North Dakota.
April 30 is the deadline for Illinois salespersons to upgrade their license to the new minimum standard of broker. The state gave salespersons two years to get the training to upgrade, but as of March 30, only 35% of agents have transitioned to broker.
A new Super-PAC is born: Friends of Traditional Banking to make an impact on the American legislative and regulatory process. How will this PAC effect real estate finance and lending? Only time will tell.
What is the perfect career for an ex-rapper, hand model or actress? Real estate of course. The New York Times profiles 3 brokers who have made the transition from entertainment to real estate.
Gone are the glory days when only PCs had to worry about viruses. Macs have gotten popular enough that ne’er-do-wells are targeting them for mischief. The latest virus is called Flashback and targets a vulnerability in Java. With a slow release of a patch from Apple, an estimated 1 million or more Macs might have been infected. Check to see if yours is with this simple guide from Wired.
The 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking is approaching. The New York Times explains how high tides and optical illusions could have contributed to the disaster.
As librarians, we watch for updates to the banned books lists. The ALA recently noted that the Hunger Games trilogy has cracked the top 10 list of most challenged books, though it appears that some of the complaints are more directed at the movie than the books themselves…I’m not sure how any of these books are anti-family, satanic, or anti-ethnic, but there you go.