No Bad News

In today’s world, there seems to be more bad news than good news. The truth is, there’s just as much good news out there; the media just isn’t reporting it. If you’re tired of being fed only bad news by the media, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find lighthearted news: inspirational, funny, uplifting and interesting.

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A British Computer Hacker Who Did NOT Have the Last Laugh

Raphael Gray (above, right) has been described as the Bill Gates of hacking. The title comes as a result of the hacking he performed when he was just 19 years old. The Welsh man decided to hack many computers all over the world, and he did it for 6 weeks. He took over computers in a multi-million-dollar credit card scheme to point out the weakness of online security systems. After hacking into the computer systems, he published the details of 6,500 credit cards on his website. He even posted a public message, boasting that law enforcement would never find him because “the police couldn’t hack their way out of a paper bag.” The comment infuriated ex-hacker Chris Davis, who made it his mission to track down Gray. As it turns out, it only took him a day to find the teenage hacker. Once Davis located Gray, he forwarded the information to the FBI. It wasn’t long before the FBI and officers from the local police department were pounding on Gray’s door. He was hauled off to jail and appeared before a judge shortly thereafter. The judge, believing that Gray had an emotional problem, sentenced him to 3 years under psychiatric care. Leaving the courtroom, Gray smiled and said that he regretted not what he had done, but the way he had done it. He said if he had it to do over again, he would still point out the ineffectiveness of computer security systems, but he would do it in a legal way. The financial industry was outraged that Gray faced no jail time, pointing out that he had caused them to have to issue new credit cards to those 6,500 people whose information was compromised, a feat that cost them $3 million.
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Whitney Houston’s Lip-Sync Controversy Was a "Riddle, Wrapped in a Mystery, Inside an Enigma"

In 1991, Whitney Houston was to sing her rendition of the National Anthem at Super Bowl XXV, which she did. However, in the days that followed, a controversy arose when it was reported that she lip-synced to her own pre-recorded version of the song. Accounts of the performance vary. Bob Best, an NFL pre-game entertainment official, stated that the NFL chose to air a pre-recorded version because they felt there were too many risks involved in doing it live. However, Dan Klores, a spokesman for Whitney Houston explained that Whitney did sing, but the microphone was turned off. He said it was a technical decision, partially based on the noise factor. Two years later, Kathryn Holm McManus, former executive director of the orchestra, said that everyone was playing and Whitney was singing, but there were no live microphones. She claimed Whitney was lip-synching and the orchestra was “finger-synching.” Rickey Minor, who was Whitney Houston’s musical director, said that she had actually sung the anthem live, but the audience had heard a pre-recorded version of the song. In slight contrast, Super Bowl engineer Larry Estrin said that TV viewers actually heard the studio version of Houston’s song “plus her live voice, plus the audience reaction.” However, Houston’s personal publicist said, “Our understanding is Whitney sang live into a live microphone.” Whether we will ever know the true version of what actually happened that day remains a mystery.
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When Homework Was Considered “A National Crime”

Homework was once hugely controversial. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, social commentators and physicians crusaded against it, convinced that it was causing children to become weak and nervous. An article entitled "A National Crime at the Feet of American Parents" by Edward Bok appeared in the Ladies' Home Journal, charging that parents were "blind as bats" because they didn't see the danger in homework. In 1901, the California legislature banned homework for students under 15, but the law was taken off the books in 1917. Homework has fallen in and out of favor ever since, often viewed as a force for good when the nation feels threatened — for example, after the Soviets launched Sputnik in 1957 and during competition with Japan in the 1980s. The homework wars have reignited in recent years, with parents arguing that children are being given too much. Much of the debate is driven by the belief that today’s students are doing more work at home than their predecessors, but student surveys don't bear that out. Instead, studies show that today’s increasingly competitive race for college admission results in student schedules that are increasingly packed with clubs, sports and other activities in addition to homework.
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An Abandoned Walmart Is Now America’s Largest Single-Floor Library

There are thousands of abandoned big box stores sitting empty all over America, including hundreds of former Walmart stores. With each store taking up enough space for 2½ football fields, Walmart’s use of more than 698 million square feet of land in the U.S. is one of its biggest environmental impacts. However, at least one of those buildings has been transformed into something much more useful: the nation’s largest single-floor library. Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle transformed an abandoned Walmart in McAllen, Texas, the 124,500-square-foot McAllen Public Library. MSR stripped out the old ceiling and walls of the building, gave the perimeter walls and bare warehouse ceiling a coat of white paint, and set to work adding glass-enclosed spaces, bright architectural details, and row after row of books. The library even has an acoustically separated lounge for teens, as well as 6 teen computer labs, 16 public meeting spaces, 14 public study rooms, 64 computer labs, 10 children’s computer labs, and 2 genealogy computer labs. Other new features include self check-out units, an auditorium, an art gallery, a used bookstore, and a cafe. While you can still see hints of what the library once was in its sprawling shape and industrial ceilings, it seems like an entirely new space. The library saw new user registration rise by 23% within the first month following its opening.

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