Tag Archives: Minneapolis

This weekend’s demonstration you probably missed

Over the past week, demonstrations have been held across the United States in reaction to a spate of tragic police killings. Here’s the BBC’s roundup:

In New York City on Friday, protesters briefly laid down in Macy’s flagship store, at Grand Central Terminal and at an Apple store.

Hundreds streamed along Fifth Avenue and other parts of Manhattan, with banners and chants of “Black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe” – a reference to the words of Eric Garner as he was being restrained by a white police officer.

In other protests on Friday:

  • Activists marched through central Miami, Florida, and blocked a major causeway connecting Miami to Miami Beach
  • Hundreds of people in Providence, Rhode Island, blocked streets and police had to stop some from walking on to Interstate 95
  • Crowds of protesters in New Haven, Connecticut, marched to the courthouse
  • Dozens of students from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, brought rush-hour traffic to a crawl and forced the city to postpone a tree lighting ceremony scheduled at Monument Square
  • In Minneapolis, some protesters blocked traffic by marching or lying in the middle of a highway

Meanwhile, in Boston (and possibly elsewhere; I haven’t done the research):

Continue reading This weekend’s demonstration you probably missed


It’s useful in a pinch (pun intended), but is all that salt a good idea?

Continue reading It’s useful in a pinch (pun intended), but is all that salt a good idea?

Another NFL Coverup?

No, I’m not talking about the recent spate of NFL player body-snatching, or even the Drew Brees/Vick’s Nyquil-related conspiracy I identified a month and a half ago.

This conspiracy goes to the top.

Commissioner Roger Goodell recently expressed his approval over NFL All-Stars’ play in Sunday’s Pro Bowl. What he meant was, the football players on the field actually hit one another like football players.

All of them, that is, except one:

Continue reading Another NFL Coverup?

Refining the TSA dirty thievery results

There’s a reason you never check a bag with something valuable in it.

ABC recently released information obtained from the Transportation ‘Security’ Administration (TSA), listing the number of employees fired for theft at various airports. Using the information, ABC put out a list of ‘The top airports across the U.S. for TSA employees fired for theft.’ And while that title might not perfectly encapsulate what the list actually communicates, the headline of the article including that list is even more misleading:

The Top 20 Airports for TSA TheftABC News

There are two problems here. For one, the list tallies only the raw number of firings from 2002-2011, not rates, which skews its results in favor of small airports with fewer employees, and fewer passengers from whom they can steal. As a passenger, you’re more interested in how likely a given passenger is to be robbed than in how often it happens, period. And for two, the list tallies employee firings, without accounting for the fact that not every luggage thief is apprehended.

I can’t really address this second point without additional information, but I thought it would be worth trying to refine ABC’s results to at least account for airport traffic.

So here’s a list of 20 airports that have fired employees for theft, ranked by number of annual passengers per theft. The first column lists the airport, the second how it did in ABC’s primitive estimation, the third adjusts for traffic, and the fourth indicates how much better or worse the airport’s ranking looks when traffic volume has been taken into account. For a concrete example, New Orleans ranked 15th in the number of employees fired for theft, but second when its low traffic volume was taken into account – a drop of 13 spots:

Continue reading Refining the TSA dirty thievery results