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|Friday, April 12th, 2013|
|WA grants MSFT $1.5B tax amnesty, resorts to taxing dance-clubs to make up shortfall
Jeff Reifman sez,
After granting Microsoft amnesty on its $1.5 billion Nevada tax dodge, state tax collectors are aggressively targeting Seattle dance clubs and night clubs over an obscure 'opportunity to dance' tax. Auditors search the Internet to find out whether people dance at specific clubs. One clubowner reports an auditor told him: 'You have the opportunity to dance, and we verified it by 8 or 10 different references on Yelp.'
"My auditor came in with an obituary of a girl who committed suicide,"says another club owner. "When I argued that we aren't primarily a dance club -- we have 'No Dancing' signs up everywhere -- she flashed this obit that said the girl liked to dance at [our club].
The Legislature gave up $100 million annually to Microsoft so it can target the city's music scene to try to make up $880,000. The Century Ballroom, a popular dance club, is holding ongoing fundraisers to offset its $250,000 in back taxes. Dancers are effectively funding Microsoft's Nevada tax dodge.
Seattle Dance Clubs Fundraise to Pay Microsoft’s Tax Bill (Thanks, Jeff!)
|It's time to eat insects
Not only are insects a more resource-efficient food source than meat (and more nutritious, to boot), you're also already
eating them, writes Mary Hall at Mind the Science Gap. Insect parts are considered unavoidable, natural "defects" in foods and the FDA makes allowances for them,
including up to 30 insect parts per average chocolate bar, up to 10 whole aphids for 2.5 cups of spinach, and up to 10 fly eggs (or, if you prefer, 5 eggs and one maggot) per serving of tomatoes. It all sounds gross, but when you consider all the benefits of bug eating (and the fact that many, many reviews proclaim them to taste delicious) it might be best to think of this news as a wakeup call. You're eating bugs already. Why not do it intentionally?
|Explain why Jews are evil
Dan Amira writes,
An unnamed English teacher at Albany High School who wanted to "challenge" his/her students to "formulate a persuasive argument" tasked them with writing an essay about why "Jews are evil," as if they were trying to convince a Nazi official of their loyalty
Time for a teacher training day!
|The important business of mess-resistant toddler snack containers
Today's Cool Tool is about the Munchkin Snack Catcher, a container with a multi-flapped lid. You fill it with whatever your toddlers or sysadmins like to eat, snap the lid on, and hand it to them with the confidence that they aren't going to spill everything on the floor.
It turns out there are other solutions for mess-resistant snacking.
Boon Snack Ball. You don't even have to fill it with a snack. This Kubrik-like container stares down the child until he or she is frightened away.
Gyro Bowl. This is designed to challenge kids to knock the snack out of the gimbaled bowl. A simple shake defeats it!
Munchkin Click Lock Super Suction Bowl. Paging Kathie Lee.
|Thursday, April 11th, 2013|
|Friday, April 12th, 2013|
|Update on Maine hermit arrested after 27 years' living in the woods
Update: Patrick adds, "Maine crime writer is dubious about the veracity of a great deal of that Maine 'hermit' story."
More of the story has come out about the Maine hermit that David blogged about on Wednesday. When Christopher Knight was 19, he abandoned his plans (documented in his high-school yearbook) to become a "computer technician" and moved to the Maine woods. That was 27 years ago. Since then, he's been living as a hermit in a secret camp supplied by high-end food and camp-gear he burgled from other campsites, cottages, homes, and "Pine Tree Camp, a facility for special needs people." After decades of evading locals, he has finally been arrested and is awaiting trial. One local cottage owner, Dave Proulx, says he experienced "more than a dozen break-ins," he attributes to Knight, and says Knight "was a fussy eater," who "never made off with meat that wasn't in its original packaging," and claims that he once chased Knight to a dock, only to lose Knight in a daring canoe escape.
Authorities filled two pickup trucks on Thursday as they took apart Knight's camp, later displaying what they were calling evidence for local folks to sort through to try to recover their stolen goods. There were several Nintendo Game Boys and a wristwatch, along with shovels, rakes, coolers, cooking gear, a coffee pot and toilet paper.
Authorities said Knight used logs on the ground as a makeshift commode, and at one point attached an antenna to a treetop so he could get reception on a battery-powered TV in his tarp-covered camp.
Christopher Knight: inside the Maine hermit's lair [AP]