San Diego

A new poll shows Obama up by 2 points in Arizona, but could Obama really win the state?

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Not long ago, I wrote in this space about the discouraging fact that no Ohio newspapers had taken the minimal time needed to uncover the FBI’s investigation I stumbled across into highly suspect campaign contributions from employees of a Canton company to a Republican congressman and Senate candidate in Ohio.

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Facebook’s IPO (Initial Public Offering) is projected to value the company at $104 billion. Reportedly, only Visa has had a larger IPO. Only time will tell if Facebook is really worth such an astronomical sum, but one thing about it is not all extraordinary: Its location in the Bay Area. From 1996 to 2006, 9 percent of all U.S. IPOs were headquartered in the San Francisco metropolitan areas--where Facebook is located--and another 10 percent came from the San Jose metro area. The data come from University of California-Davis professor Martin Kenney and his colleague Don Patton.

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It is increasingly well understood that cities are the primary location and mechanism of innovation and, in turn, prosperity (see “The Triumph of the City” or urban scaling). But which cities are the most innovative on earth? For a long time, getting sub-national economic data for a large number of countries was impossible, but no longer. New data from the OECD show which cities have the most inventors in the world, measured by those who apply for patent protection in multiple countries (under the Patent Cooperation Treaty).

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Western Civilization

Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art 1945-1980 An Initiative of The Getty Foundation I. The bohemian luxe of a big white room full of Beatrice Wood’s ceramics, with dozens of fantastically shaped bowls, teapots, and chalices clothed in shimmering metallic glazes, is one of the capital impressions from “Pacific Standard Time,” an extravaganza involving exhibitions at more than sixty southern Californian cultural institutions.

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A 7-Eleven clerk in San Diego was more confused than frightened on Monday when a would-be criminal dressed as Gumby entered the store and—apparently concerned that his purpose there wasn’t obvious—informed the clerk that the store was being robbed. From that point, things didn’t proceed quite according to plan: As one report tells it, the robber began “fumbling inside the costume as if to pull a gun,” but found the get-up too unwieldy for the purpose. Instead of producing a weapon, the robber ended up dropping 27 cents on the ground and fleeing the scene in a white minivan.

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A new analysis of the 2010 Census shows that over the last ten years, eight major metropolitan areas around the U.S.—including D.C., New York, and San Diego—have become majority-minority. Now, researchers are waiting to see what comes next: Shifts in demographic compositions are likely to have political, economic, and social consequences, and these regions will provide case studies that might help predict the implications of broader demographic changes across the country.

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“You know her,” Debbie Harry croons in the song that plays over the opening credits to Bridesmaids. “Her,” in this case, is Annie (Kristen Wiig), whom we’ve just seen, in the movie’s first scene, having bad sex with a pretty-boy cad (Jon Hamm) and then sneaking into the bathroom at the crack of dawn to reapply her makeup so that he’ll still find her attractive when he wakes up.

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Crime Conundrum

In December 2008, just a few months after the U.S. financial system imploded, New York City was hit by a flurry of bank robberies. On the Monday before New Year’s, four banks were attacked in an hour-and-a-half; one daytime raid took place just steps from the Lincoln Center in downtown Manhattan. The week before, San Diego had seen four bank holdups in a single day. Criminologists wondered if the holiday spree was the first sign of a looming crime wave in recession-battered America.

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Westboro Baptist Church, the hate group noted particularly for its anti-gay pickets at numerous events (including military funerals), showed up to protest this year's Comic-Con in San Diego. Never missing an opportunity to use nerd humor for good, attendants staged a counter-protest.

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