But a Living Wage for McDonald's Workers Would Be Way Too Costly: The Wall Street Journal reported that the $23,900-per-night luxury suite at the Connaught Hotel in London is booked so far in advance that the hotel is building two more similarly priced suites. Imagine paying $23,900 a night and checking in to discover construction noise! Super-expensive suites aren't just for Eurotrash: the Four Seasons in Dallas offers a $7,500-a-night suite.
How Long 'Til Barbie Zombie? Inspired by the "Hunger Games" and "Divergent" movie franchises, in which teen girls look fabulous while killing people, toymakers began producing pink-themed death toys -- "a sleek, fashionable blaster" and bow and arrows. There's a great idea -- teach young girls to emulate the worst thing about boys.
More Proof of the Decline of Western Civilization: ESPN sent a tech crew plus three on-air analysts -- Todd McShay, Sal Paolantonio and Ron Jaworski -- to Orlando, Florida, to watch Blake Bortles jogging around in gym shorts for his pro day.
At Least It Was Baked, Not Computer-Animated: A Belgian baker concocted a life-sized cookie version of Barack Obama. From the patisseries of Old Europe, I'd prefer a courtesan au chocolat, the elaborate pastry the central character is obsessed with in Wes Anderson's indie hit "The Grand Budapest Hotel."
The flick takes place in an imaginary Eastern European nation in the 1930s. At the train station, a sign points toward Zilchburg, or Zero Town; a character buys a ticket to Nebelstadt, or Fog City. A German bakery created the previously unknown courtesan au chocolat for the flick. Real European patisseries now offer this treat, which has a great name, both words suggesting the delightful.
TMQ Retracts Punting Data, Blames Dust on Notebook: The above examples concern researchers who thought they'd proved something, but hadn't. Everybody makes mistakes. Fraud is different. From 2006 to 2010, technical journals in medicine, biology and pharmacology, the sciences with most impact on daily life, published 772 of them. Articles? No, retractions. That's the total number of journal articles retracted as falsified, according to a Wall Street Journal investigation by Gautam Naik.
This July, Nature, the most important technical journal for biology, retracted two prominent research articles that claimed pluripotent stem cells could be made easily from adult cells, which would solve the ethical questions of stem-cell use -- if it were true. The claims were not honest mistakes, rather, fabricated data. That same month the Journal of Vibration and Control retracted 60 technical articles, admitting authors and reviewers had worked together to fake data. Unlike Nature, the Journal of Vibration and Control has little influence on public policy. But a paper published in this periodical can make an engineer's career, bringing him prestige jobs and expert-witness money. Sixty papers were counterfeit -- where, now, are the people who signed them?
Adding insult to injury, last winter high-end academic journals admitted they had published at least 120 papers consisting entirely of computer-generated gibberish. One paper said its goal was "disproving that spreadsheets can be made knowledge-based, empathic, and compact." This nonsensical statement was strung together by a nonsense-generating program written by MIT students.