Mar 23, 2012

QVC Bundles Some Accessories With iPad 2, Doubles The Price

The Consumerist

Apple's Siri not as smart as she looks, lawsuit charges


Why Working More Than 40 Hours a Week is Useless

Janesville kids to see Cleopatra. See her yourself here

Folks in the Midwest--including students from Van Buren School in Janesville--are flocking to the Milwaukee Public Museum to see “Cleopatra: The search for the last queen of Egypt.”
Milwaukee is just one of five cities hosting the world-wide tour of newly discovered artifacts related to the ancient queen.
Video List:

Following are two very good news video reports about Cleo from WLUK-TV in Green Bay and a TV station in Ohio where the exhibit was located before coming to Wisconsin. I've also included a video from the Milwaukee Public Museum and one I made of Mark Twain’s visit to Egypt accompanied by a young woman from Janesville who send back stories to the Janesville Gazette. (After the videos, I tell about an Egyptian curse on me!)
Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt will close on April 22, 2012

Egyptian’s curse on me

These videos brings back a lot of memories for me. When I was an investigative reporter at the CBS-TV affiliate in Dallas, Texas, in the late 1970s, I helped to expose an Egyptian selling fake antiquities. And that’s how I met Henry Wade, the famous local district attorney immortalized in the Supreme Court decision Roe Vs Wade.

The Egyptian opened a shop in an expensive North Dallas mall. Riding the popularity of the King Tut exhibition touring the United States, He was selling Egyptian artifacts he claimed were from King Tut's time. Some items such as bows and arrows sold for as much as $7,000.

But a woman who had just come back from vacationing in Egypt called me at KDFW-TV and said something was wrong. She had been told that there are no Egyptian artifacts for sale and hadn't been for hundreds of years. I checked with an expert at Southern Methodist University who confirmed what the woman said. I also called legendary Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade to let him know what was going on. I was invited to his office.

The courthouse is just a few blocks from KDFW-TV so I set out on foot. This was the route taken by President Kennedy's motorcade when he was assassinated in 1963. The Texas Schoolbook Depository, where Lee Harvey Oswald waited for the motorcade, is across the street from the courthouse. When shots were fired, CBS reporter Dan Rather ran to KDFW-TV, a CBS affiliate, and began phoning the latest information to his anchorman Walter Cronkite, broadcasting live in New York to the entire country. Eventually, the news came from the KDFW that President Kennedy was dead at Parkland Hospital.

As I was ushered into Henry Wade's office I was aware of the history hatched here: untold assassination investigations; prepping for the prosecution of Jack Ruby for the murder of Oswald; and strategy that failed in the landmark abortion case Roe vs. Wade, which made abortion legal in the United States.

The Chief, as Wade was known in the Dallas County Courthouse, had a big office and his desk was elevated on a wooden platform so he looked down at me from on high. Wade told me he was on to the Egyptian, and asked me to hold off on my story until they could arrest him.

"We'll let you know when we are going to get him and you can come along and have an exclusive," Wade said.

He asked me about other stories I was working on. As he listened, Wade rocked back and forth in his office chair. At the side of his chair was a tall wastepaper basket that seemed to have a black garbage sack in it. I couldn't figure out what it was for until Henry Wade turned to the basket, bent over and spit tobacco juice into it.

When I left Wade, the deal was set. His men would call me when they were ready to arrest the Egyptian merchant.

I was the only newsperson to have the story of the Egyptian’s arrest. They handcuffed him at his shop and led him through the mall crowd out to the police cars. I asked him if he was selling fake Egyptian artifacts, and he said, "No!"

To keep me out of the courtroom, his attorney claimed I would be a witness and invoked the rule that I couldn't be there before I testified. Henry Wade brought in Egyptologists from Cleveland and New York City museums. Examining the Egyptian’s wares, the experts said they were not authentic.

As a memento, the woman who had originally called me about the fake artifacts gave me a beautiful jade carving of a beetle regarded as sacred by the ancient Egyptians. The scarab as it is called was supposed to bring me good luck, but the day after the Egyptian was convicted of felony theft, he filed a lawsuit against me (which eventually fizzled out).

He was appealing his case because of the threat of deportation, and my attorney felt that the lawsuit was an attempt to keep me quiet.

Marketers to pay $1.5 million for fake news hawking a├žai berry products

Consumer Reports

Fuel-efficient cars test finds winners and losers from Chevrolet, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, and Toyota

Consumer Reports

Sell the house now or wait?

How To Do House Walk-through Before Closing

As Cars Are Kept Longer, 200,000 Is New 100,000

Cash: Where to Find the Best Rates

Saddled with college debt a decade later

The Washington Post

5 Travel Scams Every Traveler Should Watch Out for This Summer


Senate Passes Weakened Version Of Bill To Prevent Lawmakers From Insider Trading

 The Consumerist:

'via Blog this'

Mar 16, 2012

10 outrageous travel fees to avoid

Be on the lookout for pelicans on the Rock River and surrounding areas this spring!

Email from Tom Eighmy, a new friend of mine who lives on he Rock River between Rockford and Byron:
"We saw the Pelicans ... every day for a week or so [in the past several years]. It was amazing, they would come by at about the same time every day and if you weren't watching you would miss them since they were silent (not like the geese!)"

The pelicans stop there in the spring on their northern journey. And some have been spotted flying over Janesville, too.

Thanks to Tom Eighmy's photography, you will see those Rock River pelicans in my video along with more pelicans on the river in Horicon Marsh, and Ixonia and on Beaver Dam Lake. In addition to Horicon, the pelicans have also started colonies on or near Lake Winnebago and Green Bay.

The journey up the Rock River after exiting the Mississippi flyway can treacherous for these birds. In the past few years, Hoo Haven animal shelter just over the state line in Illinois has taken in at least three pelicans apparently burned or mangled colliding with utility wires. Director Karen Herdklotz says they have been seeing more pelicans on the Rock River since Hurricane Katrina. Herdklotz gives talks to Scout groups and schools in Janesville and other Rock County communities. When I spoke to her a few weeks ago, she was still caring for one of the injured pelicans.

Wikipedia vs Encyclopedia Britannica

 Slate Magazine:
I like Encyclopedia Britannica for nostalgic reasons. My wife was a subeditor there when we were young in Chicago. I worked down the street on Michigan Ave. for The Lion magazine.  In the summer, we lunched together by the Chicago River.

Today, though, I use Wikipedia virtually every day. And I was glad to read in this article that it matches up well with or better than Encyclopedia Britannica.

Keyboard Shortcuts That Make It Easier To Use Facebook

The Consumerist

In 1991, 11% of workers said they expected to retire after age 65. Today, that number is 37

60% of workers say their total retirement savings is less than $25,000

Early Retirement Without A Fortune

Huggies Trumpets New Lower Price, Doesn't Brag About Box Having Less Diapers

The Consumerist

5 Tips To Shine In Investing In Gold Coins'

Discount airlines, luxury hotels top service survey by J.D. Power

Racine couple allegedly scammed out of $10,000 by purported roofers


Top 10 best new car deals for March

Consumer Reports:

FTC Goes After Car Dealers For Lying To Customers About Trade-Ins

The Consumerist

Judge Certifies Class-Action Status For Abercrombie & Fitch Gift Card Lawsuit

The Consumerist:

Mar 9, 2012

Hacked my Glen Loyd Twitter account and sent fake endorsement of questionable work-at-home (online trading) ad

A Twitter link to a questionable ad looks like it's coming from me. It isn't. My Twitter account was hacked.
Questionable ad which is not endorsed by Glen Loyd
This hack may be retalitation for my article exposing fake news stories that are automatically localized with the viewers' computer zip code.

Rock River native making National Geographic movies

Since the French brought the written word to the Midwest in the 1600s, we have an impressive list of world explorers and famous leaders who have graced the Rock River--starting with the French explorers, themselves.
I've made videos of some of these men who left foot prints along the river: Chief Blackhawk, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and dinosaur hunter Roy Chapman Andrews of the American Museum of Natural History.
But there are current men of the world associated with the Rock, too. I have also done a video with archaeologist Steve Lekson, who attended Beloit college and went on the to study and write books about the ancient people of the desert Southwest.
And here is a video I made with Jon Bowermaster of National Geographic Magazine who grew up on the Rock River. Jon's visit to Beloit was made possible by Paddle and Trail

(Notice the birds in the background of my Bowermaster interview? I did a video of them a few weeks ago entitled "Rock River air show." In the video, the late afternoon sun reflects off the Paddle and Trail store which is right on the Rock River by the John Rose Canoe & Kayak Launch and the Beloit Bike Path.)

As New iPad Debut Nears, Some See Decline of PCs

I love it when thoughtful people respond to questionable NYT articles about tablets over taking laptops. I always learn more from readers who comment.

Americans Owe More On Student Loans Than Any Other Kind Of Debt

The Consumerist

Avira Free Anti-Virus recommended by Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports

When To Cut The Financial Cord On Your Kids


A Functional Home Is What Homebuyers Want

Just in: 2012 Honda Civic HF

Consumer Reports

6 Tips For Traveling With Credit Cards

Allegation: "Here's An Actual Bait And Switch In Action At Meineke"

The Consumerist

Consumer Reports Spends $107K On Electric Car, It Breaks Down

The Consumerist

Unsafe Kitchen Appliances Account For 1 In 3 Consumer Complaints

The Consumerist