Where I live, the news this weekend was dominated by the threat of an impending, and possibly deadly tornado outbreak. In fact, much of the workweek’s news was also dominated by this threat, because local meteorologists had been forecasting it for days. Fortunately, the weather system was nowhere near as powerful as was predicted, which is one of the many things to be grateful for this week.
Hundreds donate money to world’s tallest man: Being America’s tallest man has brought 29-year-old Igor Vovkovinskiy a small amount of fame, but it’s also brought him even more trouble, namely, his inability to find a pair of shoes that fit. After six years of wearing improperly fitting shoes, Vovkovinskiy, who stands 7 foot 8 inches, ended up with foot problems requiring several surgeries. He repeatedly contacted shoe manufacturers asking them to make him custom shoes, but was turned down every time – until Reebok agreed, but said the shoes would cost $16,000. So, at the encouragement of his friends, Vovkinovsky turned to the Internet, asking for donations for the much-needed pair of shoes. After less than four weeks, he’d received more than $30,000 – enough for two pairs of shoes.
Etsy offers coding scholarships for women: One glance at Etsy makes it clear it’s a female-dominated site, with women selling everything from vintage and collectible items to handmade quilts and jewelry. Now the site wants to help women succeed not only in business but also in technology, by offering several scholarships to allow women to study computer programming. Programming, like many other technological fields, has long been a boys’ club, with women sometimes struggling to be taken seriously. Etsy hopes to change that with its scholarship, which funds study at Hacker School, a three-month program held at Etsy headquarters. Etsy will award 20 scholarships.
Beer makes men smarter? It may seem counterintuitive, but beer – in moderation – may boost men’s brainpower. A new study conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that men were better at creative problem solving after drinking one or two beers. Researchers studied two groups of men –those who had consumed alcohol and those who were sober – and found that the men who had had the equivalent of two pints of beer answered 40 percent more test questions correctly.