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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Aletta Becomes Western Hemisphere's First Tropical Storm Of 2012

Aletta spins off the Mexican coast.
NOAA

Aletta — a modest tropical storm spinning of the western coast of Mexico with 40 mph winds — is already special because of two reasons: It the first tropical storm in the Western Hemisphere and it has now broken a 41-day streak in which Earth did not see a cyclone.

Jeff Masters at Weather Underground provides a little more detail:

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Asia
10:53 am
Tue May 15, 2012

The Price Of A Swift Pigeon: Try $328,000

Xing Wei, who raises pigeons for lucrative races in China, is shown in Beijing with his favorite bird, Ike. He sells Ike's offspring to wealthy buyers for $15,000.
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 3:46 pm

To the average observer, they look like ordinary pigeons, caged into a balcony in a high-rise Beijing apartment. But make no mistake. These cooing birds, according to breeder Yang Shibo, are like top-of-the-line sports cars.

"These are the Ferraris of the bird world," he says. "They're the most expensive, and the fastest."

The price of racing pigeons is soaring sky-high, pushed up by wealthy Chinese buyers.

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It's All Politics
10:36 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Americans Elect Could Field Third-Party Candidate – But For The Candidate

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 11:15 am

Americans Elect, the nationwide effort to launch a credible third-party presidential campaign, has money, media attention and — most importantly — access to the ballot in dozens of states.

What it doesn't have is a candidate for president.

So if it follows its own rules, the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization won't field a presidential candidate alongside President Obama and presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Nov. 6, it announced Tuesday.

But the group also left the door open to bending those rules.

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The Two-Way
10:23 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Report: Justice Dept. Probing JPMorgan's Big Loss

Standing behind a banner with a picture of J.P. Morgan Chairman and CEO James Dimon, protesters gathered outside the bank's annual meeting today in Tampa.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 10:45 am

  • Two soundbites from CEO Jamie Dimon at today's shareholders meeting

The Justice Department has begun looking into JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion-and-counting loss from a hedge account, The Wall Street Journal reports. It cites "a person familiar with the matter" as its source.

The Journal adds that "the probe is at an early stage and it isn't clear what possible legal violation federal investigators may be focusing on."

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Education
9:45 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Why So Many Ph.D.s Are On Food Stamps

The number of people with graduate degrees — master's degrees and doctorates — who have had to apply for food stamps, unemployment or other assistance more than tripled between 2007 and 2010.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 6:16 pm

With the economic troubles of the past few years, it's no surprise that the number of people using food stamps is soaring. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that an average of 44 million people were on food assistance last year; that's up from 17 million in 2000.

What might be surprising, though, is one subgroup that's taken a particularly hard hit.

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