- North Oaks tells Google Maps: Keep out – we mean it (Star Tribune) — A suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota has demanded that Google remove all images from Street View, citing its laws against trespassing. The city’s roads are privately owned by its residents. Google has complied with the request. In other Street View news, Google is experimenting with face blurring technology to quell privacy concerns and avoid embarrassing incidents.
- Corn price is factor in rising movie ticket prices (Kansas City Star) — Yet another weird way in which high oil prices are causing inflation. As increased demand for ethanol raises the price of seed corn, movie theaters are raising prices for popcorn. Which means fewer people will buy popcorn. The fewer people that buy popcorn, the lower the profit for movie theaters, who make up to 45% of their profit selling overpriced junk food. The lower the profit on concessions, the more they charge for tickets. Regal Entertainment’s CEO claims, “If we didn’t charge as much for concessions as we did, the tickets to the movies would cost $20.” Some theaters are going beyond that — a Redmond theater opening this fall plans to charge $35 per ticket. And the popcorn is extra.
- Economist traces height trends (Chicago Tribune) — What does height have to do with economics? A German economist claims that it reflects a nation’s wealth and income equality. He finds that the tallest people are in countries with universal healthcare. “Today the average height for Dutch males is a shade less than 6 foot 1, making them the tallest people in the world. Scandinavian males run a close second.” He doesn’t seem to take into account the effects of immigration, which undoubtedly lower U.S. averages. via Erica Schlosser
- Designer of Pringles can is buried in his invention (AP/CNN) — Frederic J. Baur was so proud of the Pringles can that he designed that he chose to have his ashes buried in one. Talk about devotion to your work. Baur was granted a patent for the can design. Although that patent is too old to for the USPTO’s online database, a search for “pringles” finds 35 patents that mention the snack, including a chair that uses a “PRINGLES potato chip shape,” “Electron source for food treating apparatus and method,” “Method for preparing sauteed vegetables,” and “ Method and apparatus for vending food products from a roller-type grilling apparatus.” I think you might be able to find that last one at the Kwik-E-Mart. via Molly Stevens