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Writing? Blue room Editing? Red room

Gay marriage gets boost in 2 states …

Nine years after becoming the first state to permit civil unions, Vermont moved a step toward legalizing gay marriage Friday. A bill that would allow same-sex unions was introduced in the Legislature, causing a crowd of several hundred supporters to gather at the Statehouse in celebration. "This really is a great day and a part of moving forward to a time when all Vermont couples will be treated equally under our laws," said a sponsor, Rep. Mark Larson. The House legislation has 59 sponsors, none of them Republican, though some GOP lawmakers have said they will vote for the bill, Larson said. Despite the enthusiasm, it's un-clear if the measure will advance this session, with lawmakers preoccupied with the state's fiscal crisis. Also Friday, the Wyoming House killed a bill that would have allowed voters to decide whether to amend the state constitution to deny state recognition of same-sex marriages.

… and gay divorce in New Jersey

Gay marriages performed in other states are recognized in New Jersey for the purpose of divorce, according to a ruling Friday by a state judge presiding over a case in which a lesbian couple married in Canada are seeking to split. Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson said New Jersey has a long history of recognizing marriages that are valid where they were performed. The women — La Kia Hammond of Trenton and Kinyati Hammond of New Castle, Del. — were married in British Columbia in 2004. About three years ago, La Kia left Kinyati and moved to Trenton. She says she is in love again and wants to marry before she dies. (She was found to have a terminal form of muscular dystrophy in 2005.) Her lawyer said she couldn't simply file for divorce in Canada because only residents can be granted divorces there. New Jersey allows civil unions.

Associated Press

Gates' powerful point invites jokes

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates probably didn't think this all the way through: He opened a jar of mosquitoes onstage to make a point about malaria prevention at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference Wednesday in Long Beach, Calif. "Malaria is spread by mosquitoes," the billionaire said. "I brought some here. I'll let them roam around. There's no reason only poor people should have the experience." Audience members including technology leaders laughed nervously as the insects swarmed across the auditorium. Then Gates assured them that the bugs were not carrying malaria. TED curator Chris Anderson reportedly quipped that the video of the talk posted at would be headlined "Gates releases more bugs into the world." Malaria kills more than 1 million people a year, mostly in Africa. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $1.4 billion to fight malaria and is backing a vaccine that could reduce deaths by more than two-thirds, Gates said. A blogger suggested that if Gates were serious about getting more funding for research, he should have really infected the well-heeled crowd at the invitation-only conference.

Trying to improve performance at work or write that novel? Maybe it's time to consider the color of your walls. If a new study is any guide, the color red can make people's work more accurate, and blue can make people more creative.

In the study, published by Science, researchers at the University of British Columbia conducted tests with 600 people to determine whether cognitive performance varied when people saw red or blue. Participants performed tasks with words or images displayed against red, blue or neutral backgrounds.

Red groups did better on tests of recall and attention to detail, like remembering words or checking spelling and punctuation. Blue groups did better on tests requiring imagination, like inventing creative uses for a brick or creating toys from shapes.

"If you're talking about wanting enhanced memory for something like proofreading skills, then a red color should be used," said Juliet Zhu, an assistant professor at the university, who conducted the study. But for "a brainstorming session for a new product," Zhu said, "you should get people into a blue room."

The study said nothing about mixing red and blue to make purple.

New York Times

Writing? Blue room Editing? Red room 02/06/09 [Last modified: Friday, February 6, 2009 10:06pm]
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  1. Rays' Blake Snell erasing memories of his poor start

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — As Blake Snell strides up the mound at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night with an 10-game unbeaten streak, doesn't the miserable start to his sophomore season, when he was winless in eight starts and got demoted to Triple-A, seem like a long time ago?

    To him, too.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) in the dugout during the fourth inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  2. St. Petersburg youth baseball concession stand vandalized

    Public Safety

    ST. PETERSBURG — The early-morning phone call warned Charles Castle, president of Burg Baseball, to "expect the worst.'' The organization's concession stand had been vandalized.

     Cliff Williams, Vice President of the Burg Baseball Inc., St. Petersburg, looks at a damaged and trashed concession stand at the Lakewood Baseball Complex, home of the Burg Baseball. According to Williams someone vandalized the concession stand either Saturday or Sunday. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

  3. Tampa charter school teacher charged with firing handgun at ground


    TAMPA — A Tampa charter school teacher was arrested Sunday after she fired a gun into the ground during a dispute with her boyfriend, police said.

    Melody Patrice Bing, a teacher at the Village of Excellence Academy in Tampa, emerged from her home holding a weapon and dropped it when police confronted her at gunpoint. [Tampa Police Department]
  4. Tuesday's Nothing More concert moved from the State Theatre to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg


    Nothing More was one of the highlights of April's 98 Rockfest, a thoroughly entertaining rock outfit with a larger-than-live stage presence.

    Nothing More performed at 98 Rockfest 2017 in Tampa.
  5. Triad Retail Media names Sherry Smith as CEO


    ST. PETERSBURG — Triad Retail Media, a St. Petersburg-based digital ads company, said CEO Roger Berdusco is "leaving the company to pursue new opportunities" and a member of the executive team, Sherry Smith, is taking over.

    Roger Berdusco is stepping down as CEO at Triad Retail Media to pursue other opportunities. [Courtesy of Triad Retail Media]