Media Blames Facebook Trend For Man’s Death
A man in Australia fell to his death while “planking” (AKA playing the Lying Down Game), a less-fatal example of which can be seen above. Acton Beale, 20, fell seven stories in an attempt to photograph himself balancing on a balcony at 4:30 am in the Kangaroo Point suburb of Brisbane. [Must . . . not . . . make kangaroo joke . . .] The New York Post quotes the Queensland police saying people are trying to out-do each other for the Facebook trend, and the Post says the Facebook page for “Planking Australia” has over 55,000 fans. So a guy chooses to do something reckless and falls to his death, and the news media is going to act like Facebook is somehow complicit? Next up, the media will take on the pernicious killer IN YOUR OWN HOME which some experts are calling “gravity”.
IMF Chief Blows His Presidential Chances
Dominique Strauss-Kahn is the managing director of the IMF and a potential Presidential candidate in France. He’s also under arrest in New York City on charges of “a criminal sexual act, attempted rape, and unlawful imprisonment”. It’s alleged that a housekeeper entered what she believed was an empty hotel room to clean it, and Strauss-Kahn allegedly emerged from the bathroom naked, at which point she says she attempted to leave. He’s accused of dragging her around his hotel room, forcing her to perform oral sex, and attempting to remove her underwear. The unnamed 32-year-old maid was treated for minor injuries. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer, Ben Brafman, told Reuters that he will be pleading not guilty. Brafman is the same lawyer who won an acquittal for P. Diddy on weapons and bribery charges, and Brafman was also on Michael Jackson’s legal team during the child molestation trial in 2005. He probably shouldn’t bring up that resume during the trial.
Oil Should Cost How Much?
Several interesting disclosures came out during the Senate hearing on tax subsidies to the oil industry last week. CEOs from the sixth most powerful oil companies testified. Among the findings: the average cost of producing one barrel of oil is $11, even though the price is currently over $100 per barrel. The CEOs warned that they would take their ball and go overseas if the taxpayer subsidies didn’t continue (I may be paraphrasing here). They started getting tax deductions for intangible drilling expenses in 1960. At that time oil cost $15 to $17 per barrel. None of the CEOs were able to explain why they still need those deductions now that oil is selling for nearly ten times the cost of extraction. ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson testified that, based purely on supply and demand, oil should cost between $60 and $70 per barrel, rather than the $100+ it currently costs. If only he were in a position where he had some influence over the oil industry . . .
- Sony is bringing the PlayStation Network back online in several countries. It should be back up in the U.S., Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, and South America. Sony is updating their American and European Twitter pages with the countries they’re bringing back online. (PCMag, picture via)
- 26-year-old Jason Citron just sold his social gaming mobile platform for $104 million. (SAI)
- In other mobile phone news, the next time there’s an emergency in your area, FEMA might be texting the emergency notification to you. (Wired)
KNOW YOUR STATS
- Here’s another disturbing piece of information about the oil industry: in a study of 900 papers skeptical of “man-made” global warming, 90% of the top ten contributors (who wrote 186 of the papers) had financial ties to ExxonMobil. (GOOD)
- The Washington Post Company’s earnings fell 66% last quarter. Oddly enough, the decline of the newspaper industry isn’t the lead culprit this time; the company also owns Kaplan, and new enrollments in their test prep services dropped 48%. So they own two big businesses both competing with the internet? That’s not what people mean by diversifying your income streams, guys. (Mogulite)
- Speaking of companies hemorrhaging cash, AOL’s profit has fallen 86% over the past year. Their overall ad revenue fell 11% during that time, and subscription revenue dropped 24%. Wait, there are people still subscribing to AOL? Can we have their addresses? We have a crate of Zubaz to sell. (Mashable)