Amelia Earhart stepping out of a Northwest Airways plane assisted by pilot Mal Freeberg.
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Happy Amelia Earhart Day! The American aviation pioneer and author is pictured above, standing in front of a plane and wearing her aviator cap and goggles c. 1927.
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The Intelligent Operations Center combines technologies acquired by IBM in recent acquisitions with the company’s own analytics technologies created in collaboration with cities around the world
In mid-February of this year, IBM’s Watson supercomputer — named after company founder Thomas Watson — all but dismantled Jeopardy “super champions” champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Throughout the tournament, there were interstitial elements of commentary about the potential for a Watson-like supercomputer to eventually help medical personnel triage patients’ various levels of needed care as well as other decision-based intelligence collection. More than once during these little commercial interludes I wondered to myself how this technology could also be applied to the massive difficulty facing cities and towns with regard to threat analysis and police response. Four months hence, I received an email from an IBM representative inviting me to speak with IBM Director of Public Safety Mark Cleverley on the topic of how “IBM is taking a leadership position in helping municipalities around the world keep their citizens safe.”
Now, bear in mind that Watson is a prototype — purpose built for the three-night trivia throw-down with Jennings (who won a record 74 consecutive ‘Jeopardy!’ games) and Rutter (who holds has won more money on ‘Jeopardy!’ than any other competitor in the show’s history) — but IBM has a history of using prototypes to demonstrate the real-world capabilities the company is capable of creating. Some of us are old enough to remember the two-part chess tournament between Garry Kasparov and a supercomputer named Deep Blue (Kasparov took round one in 1996, Deep Blue won the rematch in 1997).
The technology Cleverley and I discussed is called the IBM Intelligent Operations Center for Smarter Cities, touted by the company as “a new solution designed to help cities of all sizes gain a holistic view of information across city departments and agencies.” Cleverly said that this entire endeavor falls under the company’s “Smarter Cities” initiative, which seeks to address the technology needs of entire municipalities. Although the solution is capable of gathering and analyzing on information about a wide variety of city systems and services such as municipal transportation, water and other utilities, building inspection, social services and whatnot, we largely limited the scope of our discussion to public safety.
Four couples still standing at a dance marathon in Chicago, c. 1930.
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I just bought some shares in an index fund that tracks the Wilshire 5000, which means I just bought shares in the 5000 largest American companies. I did this because I wished to take substantive action immediately upon learning of Standard & Poor’s downgrade of US credit. Standard & Poor’s, and to…
Ratio of Single Men to Single Women in NYC
New York City’s population is 53% female and 47% male. This is a widely cited statistic that often supports an argument that the gender imbalance makes it more difficult for some women to find a partner. Using Census data, we analyzed only the population who are never married singles between the ages of 20 and 34. In this subgroup, men outnumber women—742,400 to 729,500.
More interestingly, the ratio varies widely by neighborhood (we used Census Public Use Microdata Areas). On the Upper East Side, young single women outnumber young single men nearly 2 to 1. Jackson Heights, Queens is on the other end of the spectrum—where there are 1.7 males for every female. The neighborhoods with ratios of 1 to 1? Jamaica, Queens and Pelham Gardens in the Bronx.
On a related note, spending at the City’s roughly 1,200 bars is approximately $855 million per year. This works out to $140 per resident age 21 and over, which is 58% higher than in the United States as a whole.
StatsBee is a column featuring interesting statistics about NYC, written by economists at the Economic Research & Analysis department within NYCEDC’s Center for Economic Transformation.
THE AWARD-WINNING CRIME NOVEL THAT LAUNCHED A LEGENDARY WRITING CAREER IS NOW AVAILABLE AS AN E-BOOK.
Stuart Woods is the author of fifty books, the last twenty-eight of which have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller list. His remarkable career began in 1981 when W. W. Norton published his debut novel Chiefs, the crime novel that introduced his beloved Will Lee series. This acclaimed book won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel and was adapted into a TV mini-series starring Charlton Heston. Now, thirty-one years after first appearing in print, Chiefs is available as an e-book.
We asked Mr. Woods if he could tell us more about what inspired his debut novel. He was kind enough to share this fascinating origin story with us:
More than sixty years ago, while rummaging in a closet in my maternal grandmother’s home, I found a large chief-of-police badge. It had been torn and pockmarked by buckshot and still bore traces of dried blood. It had belonged to my grandfather, who had died wearing it more than ten years before my birth. The story of his death, as related to me by my grandmother’s sister, my great aunt Ruby, formed the basis of Chiefs. Later, James S. Peters, upon whom the character Hugh Holmes is based, sat down with me for a long interview and filled in many blanks about the founding of my hometown, Manchester, Georgia. In addition to Will Henry and Holmes, a number of other characters were based on real people, all of whom are long dead.
I began writing the novel in Ireland, in February 1973, and did not finish it until November 1980. It was finally published in March 1981 and was made into a six-hour television miniseries two year later, which starred Charlton Heston, Billy Dee Williams, John Goodman, Brad Davis, Tess Harper, Danny Glover, Paul Sorvino, Stephen Collins, and Victoria Tennant.
The book established me as a novelist, and from that time onward I have earned my living as a writer. In January 2012 I completed my fiftieth novel, to be published in September of that year. A complete list can be found on my Web site, stuartwoods.com, along with an interview, a biography, and other features.
I intend to continue writing as long as I can think and move my fingers.
Chiefs is available for your e-reader from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google eBookstore, iBookstore, Kobo, and Sony.