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Posted on November 4, 2014

Today’s Morning Buzz is brought to you by our favorite day of the year: Election Day. We’re avowed newshounds here at ELGL, and we’ve spent the last few months watching the election spectacle unfold in countless races across the country. Now it’s your turn. Put down the Morning Buzz (it’ll be here all day) and get out there and vote!

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High Five

50 Nifty

  • Former site of Eminem’s childhood home in Detroit still sits empty – Nearly a year after Eminem’s childhood home on the city’s east side was torn down by the State of Michigan due to safety concerns, the future of the vacant lot it sat on in a blighted neighborhood remains unclear.
  • Women and minorities underrepresented in government – Come on, tell us something we don’t know! At the state level, representation in New Hampshire most accurately reflected the state’s population, while Georgia’s representation was most skewed.
  • A simple handwave to dispel tension between cyclists and motorists? – Everyone has to just get along better. To that end, a new shared streets campaign in Austin, Texas, has a simple solution: waving.
  • The national case for a per-mile driving fee – A 10-cent increase to the current gas tax, which has been at 18.4 cents a gallon since 1993, would yield $13.21 billion in 2014 and $78.12 billion by 2020—just about covering the $80 billion deficit in the national highway fund.
  • Half of all public school students in Illinois now considered low-income – Numbers released by the Illinois State Board of Education in its annual school report card show that—for the first time ever—low-income children now outnumber middle-class students in the state’s public schools. It’s a trend that could affect everything from the state’s economic competitiveness to college-going rates to concerns over upward economic mobility in a time of increasing income inequality.

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Technology & Social Media

  • What does your brain require to process new info? – A new study suggests that taking a break and reflecting on what you’ve learned in the past can actually help you learn something new in the future.
  • Spotify in trouble as Taylor Swift pulls her music – That faint sobbing sound you can hear is ELGL found Kent Wyatt whimpering over this lost catalogue. Hopefully Spotify and T. Swift will be back on terms soon enough.
  • This bike seat transforms into a sturdy lock – It’s not uncommon to see a cyclist walking down city streets with an expensive bike seat tucked awkwardly under an arm, trying to avoid yet another form of bike theft. Why not turn the seat itself into a lock that could protect the entire bicycle?

Politics, Politics

  • Republicans on the cusp – It’s looking more and more like Tuesday is going to be a big Republican night. With most late polls breaking the GOP’s way, Democrats would need multiple surprising victories in red states to keep control of the Senate for the final two years of the Obama presidency.
  • It’s cheaper to buy a judge than a state senator – Spending on state judicial elections—which increased tenfold between 2002 and 2012—might be affecting verdicts in criminal cases.
  • Latino voters’ wrenching choice – Abandoned by Democrats and shunned by Republicans (many of whom have exploited anti-immigrant sentiment as an election-year wedge), should they stay home to punish the politicians who disregarded them? Or should they show up and vote for Democrats anyway, rewarding the undeserving in order to demonstrate their electoral clout?
  • Can Obama reboot? – And does he want to? The administration might be facing that reality depending on how the polls shake out on Tuesday.
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