Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Saturday, 15 December 2012

ABC, NY Times reporters go full-on vulture tweeting friends, family of Connecticut massacre targets -

ABC, NY Times reporters go full-on vulture tweeting friends, family of Connecticut massacre targets - 

An ABC News editorial producer earned the online equivalent of a hard slap to the face Friday, after she used Twitter to approach two people for interviews who were painfully close to the morning massacre of a Connecticut elementary school.

Nadine Shubailat tweeted interview requests to a man who said his “good friend” had a child in kindergarten at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and to a woman whose cousin was a first-grade teacher killed in the Friday morning gun rampage.

In the second case, Shubailat was not the only reporter to go after a victim’s relative. A second ABC producer, a New York Times reporter and a Los Angeles-based producer of a YouTube-only news program also approached the grieving woman for interviews just hours after her 22-year-old relative was shot to death.

Shubailat’s LinkedIn profile boasts that she books interview subjects for Diane Sawyer, George Stephanopoulos, Barbara Walters, Robin Roberts, Jake Tapper, Bob Woodruff and other ABC journalists. It also says she was previously a senior producer for “Larry King Live,” and the press secretary to Queen Noor of Jordan.

“[C]an we talk to your friend who lives in Sandy Hook and whose daughter goes to kindergarten?” Shubailat asked Twitter user @artayd2 at 1:52 p.m., according to archived Twitter records. “I’m w [with] ABC News.”

Her target had tweeted that his friend “lives < 10 minutes from Sandy Hook Elementary and has a daughter in kindergarten.”

@artayd2′s response was instantaneous and blunt, telling Shubailat to “eat a dick.”

A screen-capture of the exchange quickly made the rounds on the social media website Reddit before it was reported by Gawker.

He later tweeted that his “Friends [and] family from Newtown checked in. All O.K.”

At approximately 5:00 p.m., according to Twitter archives maintained at Topsy.com, Shubailat attempted to line up an interview with Kayla Pjatak, who had tweeted earlier in the day, “Burn in hell Ryan Lanza. You took my 22 year old cousins life.”

At the time, reports were swirling that the killer’s first name was Ryan because Adam Lanza, who was found dead at the scene and is presumed to be the shooter, carried his brother Ryan’s identification to the school.

“Kayla I am so sorry for your loss,” Shubailat tweeted in response. ”May I speak to you please? I’m with ABC News.” Shubailat also provided her email address.

Shubailat later deleted both of her tweets, but she had company.

About 75 minutes after Pjatak tweeted a link to a photograph of her unnamed, deceased cousin,  New York Times Metro reporter Sam Dolnick responded.

“Kayla, my deepest condolences. Such a terrible day,” Dolnick tweeted, including his email address. “I’m with the New York Times. Can I speak with you?”

Luiz Gomez, a producer for the “Newsbreaker with David Begnaud” YouTube show, approached Pjatak less than ten minutes lated. “I just stumbled upon this photo,” he wrote. “Very sorry for your loss. I’m w/ Newsbreaker. I’d like to learn more about her.”

An online profile of Gomez describes him as an online marketing manager for the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and a “course advisor” for social media classes offered by Mediabistro.com.

Shubailat did not respond to an email request for comment. Reached late Friday via phone, she declined to comment and hung up on The Daily Caller.

Late Friday night, @artayd2 retweeted a message from a friend who asked, “Why do shooters get famous? Maybe because reporters are so desperate for ratings, they’ll interview freshly-traumatized children.”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/12/15/abc-ny-times-reporters-go-full-on-vulture-tweeting-friends-family-of-connecticut-massacre-targets/

Texas Police Officer Writes Ticket, Includes $100 Bill -

Texas Police Officer Writes Ticket, Includes $100 Bill - 


When Hayden Carlo was pulled over for an expired registration, he got a little more than he expected from the police officer.

Carlo, 25, was forced to tell a Plano, Texas police officer the truth about his outdated registration sticker, reported WIBV. He just didn't have the money to update the vehicle.

"I said it was either feed my kids, or get this registration done," Carlo told the news source.

That was when the Plano cop wrote Carlo a ticket.

In a heartwarming gesture, however, the anonymous officer also slipped something extra inside the folded citation.

"I opened it up and there's a 100 dollar bill. I broke down in my car -- what else could I do?," Carlo told WTVR.

Carlo's grandfather, Billy McIntire, was so moved by the kind gesture he wrote a letter to the police department.

"I get emotional when we talk about this type of thing," McIntire said to CBS. "You just don't find that many officers who would do this type of thing."

The police officer wants to remain anonymous, however, his co-workers plan to honor him anyway.

"As he told me, this man needed it more than him, and it was the right thing to do," fellow officer and department spokesperson David Tilley told CBS.

"He helped me out when I needed it and I appreciate that. I'll never forget that man," Carlo added. "It definitely restored my faith in God."

With the $100 gift, Carlo was able to update the registrations on his and his wife's car.

Read more -

Can Facebook Make You Fat and Poor? -

Can Facebook Make You Fat and Poor? - 

You may want to think twice after posting a new photo or update to your Facebook profile.  That’s because new research has found that social media use can lower some users' sense of self-control over their lives.
"Using online social networks can have a positive effect on self-esteem and well-being. However, these increased feelings of self-worth can have a detrimental effect on behavior," said researchers Keith Wilcox of Columbia University and Andrew Stephen of the University of Pittsburgh. "Because consumers care about the image they present to close friends, social network use enhances self-esteem in users who are focused on close friends while browsing their social network. This momentary increase in self-esteem leads them to display less self-control after browsing a social network."
In other words, social media users had more self-esteem after using networks like Facebook.  However, that momentary improvement in self-esteem lowered their self-control and led them to indulge in a number of negative behaviors.    
In particular, the researchers found that social media users were more likely to binge eat and have a higher body-mass index. Frequent Facebook users also were more likely to have certain financial problems, including a lower credit score and higher levels of debt.
The researchers tied these feelings to the observation that social media users are less likely to exhibit modesty on their profiles, since feedback is not immediate.
"These results are concerning given the increased time people spend using social networks, as well as the worldwide proliferation of access to social networks anywhere, anytime via smartphones and other gadgets," Wilcox and Stephen wrote. "Given that self-control is important for maintaining social order and personal well-being, this subtle effect could have widespread impact.
"This is particularly true for adolescents and young adults who are the heaviest users of social networks and have grown up using social networks as a normal part of their daily lives."

Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/technology/2012/12/13/can-facebook-make-fat-and-poor/?intcmp=fbfeatures

China's Chang'e 2 deep-space probe made an amazing flyby of the asteroid Toutatis this week -

China's Chang'e 2 deep-space probe made an amazing flyby of the asteroid Toutatis this week - 

China's official news agency is reporting that the country's Chang'e 2 deep-space probe made an amazing flyby of the asteroid Toutatis this week, snapping a series of pictures as it passed just 2 miles away. The achievement signals China's entry into yet another exclusive space club.
Only four of the world's space efforts have managed close encounters with asteroids: NASA (with NEAR Shoemaker and Dawn, for example), the European Space Agency (with Rosetta), Japan (with Hayabusa) — and now China with Toutatis.

The official Xinhua news agency quoted officials at the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, or SASTIND, as saying that Chang'e 2 buzzed past the 3-mile-long (5-kilometer-long) asteroid at a relative speed of 24,000 mph (10.73 kilometers per second).
Chang'e 2 was launched in 2010 primarily to serve as a lunar orbiter, but after a successful mission at the moon, the $132 million spacecraft was repurposed as a deep-space explorer. The encounter with Toutatis had been planned for months, but Chinese media kept mum about the results until Saturday.
Aficionados of planetary science hailed China's success.
"Oh my goodness, did they succeed. This is awesome," the Planetary Society's Emily Lakdawalla said in a blog post passing along the news. On the Unmanned Spaceflight discussion forum, Ted Stryk wrote, "Welcome to the interplanetary club, China."
Toutatis is a near-Earth object that's big enough to cause a mass extinction if it were to hit our planet — but fortunately, it isn't projected to come all that near in the foreseeable future. This week it passed by Earth at a minimum distance of 4.3 million miles (7 million kilometers). That provided scientists with an opportunity to study the peanut-shaped space mountain at a relatively close but totally safe distance.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory conducted a series of radar observations using the Goldstone radio antenna in California, and on Friday, JPL released a grainy time-lapse video showing Toutatis' rotation.

Read more -