Recently in Notable and Analysis Category

New Yorkers take $5,000 taxi ride across the country

Two New Yorkers paid a cab driver $5,000 to drive from New York to Los Angeles in one trip.


Mohammed Alam told CNN he left his crying family behind to take investment banker John Belitsky, 31, and English professor Dan Wuebben, 32, 3,000 miles across the country in six days.


One of the stops included along the way included Las Vegas, where the pair won $2,000, according to The Telegraph.


Belitsky wanted to take a taxi across the country after his father, a former New York taxi driver, told him no cab driver would take him across America.


It has been estimated that it would have cost $17,000 if the meter had been running the entire time.

Numi, the latest luxury toilet by Kohler, is looking to make a splash when it launches in the U.S. next month with its high end technology.


The Numi "Smart Toilet" gives its users adjustable seat positions, ambient lighting, a built-in audio system and an integrated stainless steel, self-cleaning bidet wand with adjustable water temperature and pressure and a dryer.


According to the Huffington Post, the Numi will cost consumers $6,300 to partake in the luxurious loo.


"This product is targeted at those consumers who want the best--they want the latest in design and technology (and) want a fashion statement in their home," Kohler's President and Chief Operating Officer David Kohler said to USA Today.


The Numi has been in production for five years, Kohler said. Kohler added that video capabilities may be next on the horizon for the Numi.

Ohio man charged for barking at police dog

An Ohio man was charged with a misdemeanor for barking at a police dog.


Ryan James Stephens, 25, was charged with teasing a police dog in Mason, according to the Associated Press.


Officer Bradley Walker saw Stephens barking and hissing at Walker's K-9 officer, Timber, about 2 inches away from the back window of the police car after Walker was responding to a crash at the Mason Pub, in a MSNBC story.


Walker suspected Stephens to be intoxicated because he smelled of alcohol and his speech was slurred.


When Walker asked Stephens why he was barking at the dog, Stephens replied, "He started it. He was harassing me."


Stephens is set to appear in municipal court on April 21 for misdemeanor of willfully teasing a police K-9 officer.

Cancer-stricken, 66-year-old woman tackles bank robber

A 66-year-old woman dying with cancer tackled a bank robber to the ground in an Oakland Park, Fla. bank on Friday.


Helen Dunsford tackled Renee Breen to the ground as Breen reached in her purse, said she had a gun and told everyone to get on the ground, in an MSNBC story.


Breen demanded $10,000 from the bank, though she later claimed that the robbery attempt was an April Fool's joke.


A man who entered the Bank of America with Breen exited the building, but entered again while shouting that Breen was mentally ill as he tried to retrieve her. The man was taken into custody and shouted to reporters from the back of the police car that Breen was mentally ill, according to the Palm Beach Post.


Although officials typically discourage people from taking the law into their own hands, authorities commended Dunsford for her "Selfless and Brave," actions. Dunsford is currently living with stage 4 cancer and claimed she had nothing to lose in tackling Breen.

Analysis: Obituary for Elizabeth Taylor

The New York Times obituary of Elizabeth Taylor by Mel Gussow is a very extensive portrait of the legendary hollywood icon.


It depicts her illustrious acting career that spanned over 70 years, using famous directors as sources, such as Mike Nichols and Joseph L. Mankiewicz to give the reader a better idea of how people in the business viewed her.


The lead is written in standard New York Times obituary format, giving her name, her iconic status, where and when she died and how old she was when she died. The lead works well, because it still does a good job of showing the reader how important she was in the Hollywood industry.


The obit differs from a resume, because it doesn't simply list every movie role she has ever been in and accolades she has received. It quite often mentions her most famous roles and awards, but it does so within the context of a story.


Gussow shows us many of the aspects that defined Taylor, such as her beauty, her personality, and her philanthropic work.


Though oftentimes an obituary does not mention how many times a person has remarried, but since Taylor was infamous for her eight marriages, so it was relavant to mention them in a tasteful manner.


The story also includes her history with alcohol and drugs, albeit briefly. This is normally not included in an obituary, but as with the marriages, Taylor was also famous for her battle with drugs, alcohol, and overeating.


It would be more noticeable if these unfortunate facts were not included about her, so Gussow was obligated to include them.


Overall, the story does a good job of showing us just how important Elizabeth Taylor was not only to Hollywood, but also the nation.

Ohio DUI suspect drinks in front of police officer

An Ohio man took a swig from an open can of beer and replied, "yes," when he was asked if he was drinking on Wednesday, northern Ohio police said.


25-year-old Stephen Supers was pulled over by police fo speeding and failed a series of sobriety tests after drinking in front of the officer, MSNBC news reported.


After searching Supers' car, police found a glass pipe with white residue and a small bag of marijuana, to which Supers admitted to smoking crack cocaine, Fox 8 News found in the police report.


Police searched Supers driving record to find that Supers' license was suspended on Feb. 11, 2011.


Supers was charged with driving under the influence, driving under suspension, possession of marijuana and possession of a drug abuse instrument and is awaiting his court appearance.

Oscar night looks to attract younger viewers

The viewership for the Academy Awards have increased over the past few years, but the Academy is still looking to increase their viewership by attracting a new generation of viewers.


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have been trying to increase younger viewership by employing two younger hosts, Anne Hathaway and James Franco, as well as increasing the number of best picture nominees from five to 10, the Wall Street Journal reported.


The 83rd annual ceremony on Sunday night will probably be boosted by an increase in awards show viewership helped by twitter and iPod applications.


Another help with younger generation viewership is blockbusters like "Inception" and "Toy Story 3" up for best picture, though ABC News, along with most other news outlets, are predicting a win for "The King's Speech."


Other changes for the Oscars may include moving the date of the ceremony and, possibly, internet voting for the Academy members.

Knife removed from man's head after 4 years

Surgeons from southern China removed a 4-inch-long blade from a man's head after four years of being lodged there.


Li Fuyan was complaining of of severe headaches, breathing problems, and bad breath without knowing a knife in his head was the cause, ABC News reported.


Fuyan was stabbed by a robber four years earlier, but never realized that the knife broke off, leaving the blade lodged behind the man's throat, narrowly avoiding his carotid artery, the Associated Press said.


Doctors were astounded that the blade narrowly missed every important structure, such as the esophagus and windpipe.


Although the blade was corroded and rusty, the rust should not be a long-term health concern for Fuyan.

"Polite Robber" also known as "Transaction Bandit"

A Seattle man has gained notoriety for being the "Polite Robber" after robbing a Seattle convenience store Saturday with what the owner thought to be remarkable politeness, USA Today reports.


Gregory P. Hess has been suspected to be the alleged "Polite Robber."


He was a convicted bank robber known to the FBI as the "Transaction Bandit." He received the nickname after he was known for asking bank tellers for small change before telling them to empty their drawers, in a Seattle Times report.


Hess has also apparently used the "Polite Robber" routine before in a string of robberies back in 2003.


Unlike his claims in the video, Hess apparently lived in the basement of a home, did not have kids living with him, and had not paid rent on a regular basis, King County Sheriff's Sergeant John Uruquart said in a KIRO Radio story.

New SeaWorld killer whale show without trainers in the water

SeaWorld trainers will no longer work in the water with killer whales during shows after the death of an Orlando trainer last year forced organizers to change their approach.


The classic show, now called "One Ocean," will feature the killer whales performing with fountains, underwater imagery, and giant LCD screens, the Los Angeles Times reports.


This reworking has been in the works since Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by a six-ton orca at SeaWorld last February.


New safety measures will be implemented to the facilities as well, Julie Scardina, SeaWorld Parks' curator of animal training, told the Orlando Sentinel.


The new killer whale show will be a part of a $200 million renovation that will add 10 new attractions to SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, making for the largest single-year capital investment in the company's history.

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