Dubious Honors

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Is it Natalie, Keira or Winona?

Posted By on Wed, Apr 9, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Who is that sassy glamour-puss, that sexy altogether Bond-y seductress in the Coco Chanel commercial? If you can't tell, you're not alone. Sorting out the Natalie Portman from the Winona Ryder from the Keira Knightly is not a singular problem, as it turns out. Rotten Tomatoes even has a memory test for you. Almost 110 thousand folks have taken it, with an 84% success rate. I scored a hopeless 44%. Surely you can do better.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

UA Students: Spring Break Is Over, Time For The REAL Party

Posted By on Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 4:00 PM

We here at Weekly World Central do our best to keep you updated on all the comings and goings around Tucson, whether it be in regards to politics, sports, arts and culture ... or wild, raging college parties.

A little more than a year after first making a name for themselves by chronicling one of Tucson's largest and craziest student parties, our friends at Blacked Out Media are at it again. And they promise this one will be the biggest (but also safest) soiree yet.

Blacked Out Media reps say the upcoming Spring Break After-Party on Friday, March 28 at student complex Stone Avenue Standard will be "even bigger" than the infamous Aussie Party and its short-run follow-up event, Friday the 15th.

For those who don't remember — shame on you! — the Aussie Party on Jan. 26, 2013 turned the courtyard of Stone Avenue Standard into a mosh pit of booze, DJs, sweaty young adults and minimal clothing ... exactly what any college kid could want from a party. That is, until someone decided to pull a gun and start firing shots into the air out in the parking lot.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Allstate Somehow Thinks Arizona Drivers Are REALLY Good

Posted By on Tue, Aug 27, 2013 at 2:30 PM

I've been with the same auto insurance provider for about three years now, but that doesn't stop me from shopping around every six months to see if I can get a better deal.

I can say, with confidence, that Allstate has never been in my top three in terms of affordable quotes. And now I think I know why: the company needs to overcharge us to pay for ridiculously bad studies like its annual Allstate America's Best Driver's Report that was just released.

How else can you explain the following "findings"?

* Tucson is this country's 20th-safest community, and somehow the safest among all mid-size (population 500K-750K)

* Phoenix is the safest U.S. city with more than a million people.

* Mesa is the safest one with a population of 250-500K.

This is apparently the ninth straight year Phoenix has been the safest "big" city for driving. Whether this includes the myriad of freeways in Maricopa County, which based on tweets from the Arizona Department of Transportation are almost in a perpetual state of crash-related gridlock, is unknown.

And maybe Tucson's info is based on summer driving, when there are no college students or snowbirds here. You know, when people are much less likely to drive because their hands will burn on the steering wheel?

In fact, the way Allstate comes up with its rankings doesn't seem clear. It says they're based on insurance claims submitted and processed during a set time period, but considering the number of instances where people I know have gotten little dings and didn't report it, this approach seems fundamentally flawed.

Maybe it's based only on claims made to Allstate. And if that's the case, since I mentioned before how expensive Allstate's rates have been when I've looked them up, maybe the nine people in Arizona who have Allstate just don't ever drive their cars.

In case you were wondering, No. 1 on the list is Fort Collins, Colo. In case you were on the fence about moving to that college town and needed something to push you in one direction or another.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Lumosity Says Tucson Isn't Among the Nation's 50 Smartest Cities — But Maybe We're Just Not Falling For Their Games

Posted By on Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 5:00 PM

A product of the Arizona public school system, perhaps? (Or a child model in the process of being shamed for loving apples. Could be either.) - SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
  • A product of the Arizona public school system, perhaps? (Or a child model in the process of being shamed for loving apples. Could be either.)
Congrats, Tucson! We're apparently in the top 100 for the smartest cities in the United States — and unsurprisingly, we're beating Phoenix (suck it, losers!). 

Unfortunately, our 68th place ranking isn't anything to crow about, in my opinion. Considering that we live in a city full of mostly-competent college students, tech geeks, engineers and all-around intelligent people, how the hell are we scoring so poorly? (And yes, I'll ignore your jokes about city council members.)

Well, for one, it seems that we're not all doing our part by taking the tests on Lumosity.com, who put the list together based on the people using their training games.

From Lumosity's blog:

Traditional smartest cities rankings often use indirect measures—college education being the most common—to extrapolate intelligence. While there is value to this well-worn metric, most of us can agree that not only are degrees unequal across institutions and eras, but college degrees aren’t the final word on intelligence. Here in Lumosity’s local San Francisco metro area, for example, we rub elbows with college dropouts Mark Zuckerburg and Steve Wozniak—sound familiar?

So instead of college degrees, Lumosity concentrated on a new measure of intelligence: Brain Performance Index, or BPI. Generated as a number, BPI is a snapshot of a person’s cognitive abilities at the precise moment they complete a Lumosity exercise. What’s more, BPI is calculated based on data from 400 million global gameplays, making it an incredibly rich source of information available only to Lumosity. Because BPI is a more direct measure—and a potentially more accurate portrayal of actual cognitive ability—Lumosity scientists compared over 1,000,000 initial overall BPI scores to compile a ranked list of the smartest cities in America.

So, in an attempt to help raise our bell curve (and also because I like clicking things and getting points for it!) I signed up for this "Lumosity" doo-hickey, where my "BPI" was gauged using only three training games. That's opposed to the five games that full users get, because I'm too cheap a bastard to purchase the $15-per-month package that would tell me whether or not I was smarter than the average 25-year-old dork.

When I got there, I threw myself right into the fire of the games, doing fairly well (I thought) on a speed-memorization game, kicking ass at a pattern-recognition game, and doing well on a game that involved flashes of birds and numbers to gauge my attention -- or to subliminally implant Audubon Society propaganda into my mind. 

My BPI scores, based on this game: 158 in Speed, 522 in Memory and 365 in Attention. Now, what does that mean?

I have no idea.

Because I didn't pay for my membership, I have no clue. After all, Lumosity is providing a service where they gamify intelligence and allow you to compare yourself against other people in order to feel better about yourself — or, if you're terrible at first, to improve at the games and then feel better about yourself, because you got used to a game and now you're better at it than other people!

In other words, Lumosity's scheme smells like bullshit. Sure, it's fun bullshit, and it's cheaper than training your reflexes by playing Call of Duty for hours on end, but it's all still a game -- and for that matter, a game that they want you to pay $15 a month for.

Take solace in the fact that you didn't throw your money out the window to prove that you're better than other people in other parts of the country, Tucson. Hell, reward yourself with a beer! Might as well kill off some of those hard-working brain cells — call it an early retirement, maybe.

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

If You're a Terrible Tucson Driver, You Might End Up on Reddit

Posted By on Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 4:00 PM


There are only two posts so far, but a new subcategory on link-sharing behemoth Reddit has been set up to shame Tucson's inconsiderate drivers.

Here's what will apparently get you in trouble:

Double parking.
Parking in places not meant for vehicles.
Parking in handicap spaces without proof of ability to do so.
Parking too damn close to other vehicles.
Parking in any failtacular way.
Driving like an asshat.
Leaving children/pets/Elderly locked up in your parked vehicle in the hot sun without AC. (Seriously, if you do this, you're a douche).
Hindering the normal flow of traffic.
Road rage.
Anything else along these lines.

The good news if you're terrible at operating a vehicle? The admin asks that posters remove personal or identifying information on the photos. So, you feel the shame, friends and family who know you well enough to recognize your car can give you funny looks, and the general public is unlikely to find you and engage in Steven Seagal-style vigilante justice. Everyone wins!

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Arizona Is Still Not a Top Party School, Despite Its Best Efforts

Posted By on Mon, Aug 5, 2013 at 4:30 PM

So says the Princeton Review, which within its annual 'Best Colleges' report included a ranking of the top 20 party schools in America.

Sadly, the University of Arizona did not return to the list for 2014, despite a number of high-profile and near-deadly raging keggers put on by Australian exchange students and recorded for posterity by upstart student promotion outfit Blacked Out Media.

Arizona hasn't been on the Princeton Review list since 2010, while it hasn't made it on the even more (!) prestigious list released by Playboy in more than a decade. (NOTE: That classy publication is set to release it's 2013 list in the next few months, so let's all keep our fingers crossed)

The UA is set to start up again in the next two weeks, and with the 2013-14 school year will come the opening of a number of high-profile (and, in the case of Level, at Speedway and Park, high-rise) student complexes, expect a big push to get the Wildcats back on the rankings list.

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Monday, July 15, 2013

The Dream Is Gone: Home Under Construction For 18 Years Goes Up In Flames

Posted By on Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 11:23 AM

That smoke you saw early this morning on your commute along Interstate 10 to work? That was a generation's worth of plans and hard work wafting into the Tucson sky.

Fire gutted an 8,000-square foot custom home on West Green Street, northwest of I-10 and 22nd, on Monday morning, turning black the clock on a construction project that has been ongoing since 1995.

  • Tucson Fire Department

The love child of local small business owner Jose Herrera, the three-story 'Green House' as it came to be known caught fire just after 6 a.m. When firefighters arrived not long after, the flames were so bad the approach quickly became a defensive one that was meant mostly to stop the fire from spreading to other properties.

The Green House, which could easily be seen rising up from above its one-story neighbors in Barrio Kroeger as you drove along I-10, was finally starting to show some progress in the last few months after years of almost laying dormant as Herrera struggled to finance and get proper permits for the project.

Tucson Fire has not determined the cause of the fire, which caused no injuries to either area residents or the 23 firefighters from 10 units that were called out to battle the blaze.

I had a chance to speak with Herrera about four years ago when working on a story about his dream home for another (ahem) publication, and despite all of the hurdles he'd faced to build the structure he still seemed optimistic. Who knows if that'll be the case now.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Congratulations, Arizona! Our State Is a Super-Trashy Spring Break Destination!

Posted By on Tue, Mar 26, 2013 at 11:44 AM

So we're clear, that's actually a pretty terrible thing. Go us?

According to Coed Magazine (itself an honorable model of taste and restraint, featuring a story on the "40 Sexiest Mila Kunis GIFs"), our beloved state of copper, cactus and citrus — among other "c" words — features two locations among the nation's 15 trashiest spring break destinations.

Which kinda makes sense, when you check out Coed Magazine's criteria for selection, which consists of "Girls Gone Wild, bike weeks, Hooters, tattoo parlors, etc." And they've handily included local liquor laws, so you know when bars close and whether or not you can walk around with open containers (such as when you and your bros feel like rolling down the street with an open sixer of BL 'Numz).

With that in mind, let's check out the blurbs for Lake Havasu and Scottsdale (which are accompanied by handy slideshows, for those who are interested in the details of this spring break debauchery — so they can more easily combat it, of course):

#13: Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale is to Phoenix as South Beach is to Miami—it’s essentially the wilder extension of Arizona’s capital. Unless you happen to have the same Spring Break as ASU (located next door to Scottsdale in Tempe), there’s a good chance that you’ll see a lot of college revelers out and about.

Don’t expect to come to Scottsdale though if you’re looking to rage during the day. Locals tend to use the daylight hours working on their tans and uploading shitty gossip to the blog TheDirty. Instead, they tend to come out at night where they can spend absurd amounts of money in nightclubs.

#6: Lake Havasu, AZ
Anytime you see videos of drunk American women dancing or stripping on a boat, it’s a safe bet to assume you’re watching footage of Lake Havasu. As one of the premiere (we use that word lightly) destinations for West Coast Spring Breakers, you’re always guaranteed to see some ridiculous stuff here. Nipple tassles and tattoos are par for the course once things start getting rowdy. The only price of admission you have to pay is securing a working boat.

I'm so, so damn proud. Good job, folks.

If you're so inclined, check out the full list of, uh, "winners" at coedmagazine.com.

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Staff Pick

Tucson's 242nd Birthday Celebration

Tucson's Birthday Celebration. This year the event continues to grow as a family-friendly informative and food tasting… More

@ Presidio San Agustín de Tucsón Mon., Aug. 21, 5:30 p.m. 196 N. Court Avenue

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