Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - May 15, 2012
May 15, 2012
I'm a Poll Man:
Americans mostly think today's economy stinks but they're optimistic about the future.
A new Gallup poll finds 71 percent of participants rating the economy poor, but nearly two-thirds think they'll be better off a year from now.
More than one-third said they're better off than they were a year ago --the highest number since before the recession kicked in (though four in 10 say they're worse off.)
USA Today says "the sense that the recession's impact finally is lifting should be good news for PRESIDENT OBAMA, since an improving economy typically boosts the prospects for a White House incumbent running for re-election."
The Gallup numbers also found that Democrats are happier with Obama than Republicans are with Romney: Eight in 10 Democrats are satisfied with their nominee versus 59 percent of Republicans.
Regardless, survey participants predict by a 56-to-36-percent margin that Obama will win in November. (Maiman)
Should pedestrians be ticketed for texting while walking?
Police in Fort Lee, NJ, have been handing out $85 tickets to pedestrians spotted texting while walking.
There have been three fatal pedestrian-involved accidents in Fort Lee this year and a study shows that people texting while walking are 60 percent more likely to veer off course.
Sounds like it can be a good idea if the citations can stop this sort of thing, but then, what good is a cell phone if you can't use it on the go? Except when the pedestrian paying too much attention to his phone, walks out in the middle of traffic and gets hit by a car.
Phoner: Is it a good idea to ticket people who text and walk? Or is it going too far?
Recent Pew Internet surveys find that one in ten Americans have used their cell phone to make a charitable contribution by text message, that more than one-third of smartphone owners have used their phones to do online banking services like paying bills or checking a balance, and that 46 percent of apps users have purchased an app using a mobile device. (Kaye)
Idle gossip & unconfirmed rumors:
It's official. BRITNEY SPEARS and DEMI LOVATO are going to be seated at the judges' table for the new season of "The X Factor." They'll be with L.A. REID and series creator SIMON COWELL who said he's (quote), "absolutely delighted" that the two ladies are joining the team. (Marino)
Today's "Diva du Jour" award goes to BRITNEY SPEARS, who will get the princess treatment on the set of "The X-Factor." Sources tell AbsoluteNow.com she's requested the seat right next to SIMON COWELL and wants a number of jokes written expressly for her. (Lee)
Idiots or Insane:
A restaurant in Kyoto, Japan, serves what is probably the hottest ramen ever.
Weird Asia Newssays the Men Baka Ichidai ramen house has created a flaming-hot ramen by mixing in 680-degree green onion oil. The dish creates flames that can shoot up to a foot high (video). A flaming hot plate of the stuff will run you about 11-bucks. It's not recommended for children. And, diners are advised to bring a fire extinguisher. (Still)
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