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Could there be a tie between Chelsea Bruck, Julia Niswender, and Chelsea Small?

I wrote about the Chelsea Bruck case back on October 29; she still hasn’t been found — going on close to two months now — and the biggest news in the interim seems to be three families of Michigan missing/murdered girls coming together and the gradual increase of reward money. In the Chelsea Bruck case, aside from that sketch we got of the suspect initially, there hasn’t been very much developing — I mean, at least that law enforcement is reporting. They could know a ton and not be leaking it, although that doesn’t seem to be the case. Many people at the Halloween party she went missing from were drunk and/or high.

In some other national attention female missing cases, we seem to be closer with Christina Morris — because Enrique Arochi has been arrested — and you just have a feeling that social media / Anonymous hackers will break the Jessica Chambers case wide open. So here we are with Chelsea Bruck, two months hence and unsolved. What do we know?  Read more

National parks are still quite popular, via Facebook and rich people

Facebook did a year in review, as major websites are wanton to do, and they included a top 10 list of checked-in places in the United States. 3/10 of the list is national parks — Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone — and out of the other seven spots, two are theme park-ish (Disney properties / Universal Studios), two are ‘crossroads of the world’ places (Las Vegas Strip and Times Square), two are arenas (Yankee Stadium, MSG) and one is the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This comes a few months after MMGY Global released a report on ‘the affluent traveler’ — cue “The Martini Report,” baby! — that showed their top destinations headed into 2015 were Hawaii and the national parks. (Interestingly, Instagram had no national parks on their top 10 U.S. destinations list.)

When you combine the “affluent travelers” info — older people tend to have more money — and the Facebook info (which probably skews older than Instagram), you come to a reasonable conclusion that the Boomers want to experience vast, wide-open spaces before their 30-year descent into health and financial misery. Just kidding! (Or am I…) Read more

Remember: social media isn’t a real relationship

F’n woke up this morning at about 3:44am. Normally when I do that, I go get some water, maybe pee, and then go back to sleep. That works 8 times out of 10. This morning was one of two times it didn’t. I lay there for a while, thinking about work, thinking about my life, whatever. After about 45 minutes, I gave up. I went outside and emptied the dishwasher, fired up the laptop, looked around at some Serial conspiracy theories, messed around on social media, considered writing a post for this blog, didn’t, and then went to the gym. Came back, and on the walk back — despite just exercising for 1 hour — I started having these creeping feelings of self-doubt. This happens to me a lot, so it’s not necessarily a new thing, but the form this time was that I felt irrelevant. Like I felt — does anyone really care that I’m around this holiday season? It was depressing. After a while, I mostly shook it off. Admittedly, aspects of it are still in my head as I start writing this. But then I came across something interesting, and it made me feel a little bit better.

Read more

What do Google’s top 10 searches of 2014 say about humanity?

Had this e-mail dialogue with my friends last night (by “dialogue” I mean I responded to one e-mail, then no one responded after me). Figured I’d move it over here. If you’d like to see a little bit about the top 10 searches of the year, read the official Google blog, or a couple of other profiles, like this one and this one.  Read more

The New York Times probably doesn’t understand gentrification

Gentrification is a fairly important social construct, although admittedly probably a bunch of people overuse the word in the modern world. If you’ve never heard of it, first remove the rock above your body, and then read this: it’s basically when urban communities shift away from their core tenets and towards a wealthier tenet. If you want to be crass about it, it’s typically when minority populations (African-American/Hispanic) start getting forced out of their areas of a city so that white yuppies/hipsters can come in and bring cool craft beer bars and supermarkets. Obviously, that’s a generalization.

The New York Times is, by some measure, the most important newspaper in America. (You can easily argue that, but probably more people believe that than don’t believe that.)

Gentrification is a major social issue. It’s re-shaping cities, and cities are where more and more people are moving. The New York Times is a pre-eminent trend-spotting newspaper.

And yet, it may have absolutely no idea exactly what gentrification is. Read more

If you think gender relationships to work are changing, uh, look at this chart

Back in February, I wrote a post about how men were actually working from home and taking care of kids more than women in some contexts. I’m always dubious of these studies because, while I want to believe them, I also think the male attitude about work — and what to derive from it — is very different than the female attitude about work (and what to derive from it). I think that’s actually the cornerstone debate around work; most people tend to assume that a woman’s ultimate goal is a family life, and a man’s ultimate goal is getting-the-hell-after-it-and-getting-that-next-promotion, and that colors a lot about how we think of management, leadership, promotion, etc. This is all a frustrating topic, because the connection between self-worth and your job should be perilous at best anyway.

There’s some data in The New York Times‘ Upshot blog today, though, that kind of re-casts this discussion. Read more

If Serial Podcast Season 2 is about crime, how about the David Thorne case?

We know there will be a Season 2 of Serial, but we have no idea what it will be about. If I had to guess, I doubt it will be about crime. I feel like it will be a more conventional NPR story — probably something about a financial crisis, or something that seems like a Michael Lewis book. I kind of have this feeling/belief that bigwigs at NPR look at the success of Serial and think that true crime is a “beer and peanuts” fascination of the masses. So, in sum, I doubt there’s a true crime / miscarriage of justice story again, but regardless, I’m going to nominate a candidate in case they decide to go in the same direction.

How about the David Thorne case? Read more

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