How badly are we being ripped off for eyewear?
Former industry exec: “It’s ridiculous” 
L.A. Times

E. Dean Butler, founder of Lens Crafters, said he recently visited factories in China where many glasses for the U.S. market are manufactured. Improved technology has made prices lower.
“You can get amazingly good frames, with a Warby Parker level of quality, for $4 to $8,” Butler said. “For $15, you can get designer-quality frames, like what you’d get from Prada.”
And lenses? “You can buy absolutely first-quality lenses for $1.25 apiece,” Butler said.
Yet those same frames and lenses might sell in the United States for $800.
Butler laughed. “I know,” he said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s a complete rip-off.”

The real powerhouses that drive the world economy
City Lab


… the obsession with nation-states does not fit the reality of today’s highly-clustered knowledge economy, centered in and around global cities. And, it’s not just individual cities and metropolitan areas that power the world economy. Increasingly, the real driving force is larger combinations of cities and metro areas called mega-regions.

  • Bos-Wash, which extends from Boston through New York and Philadelphia down to Washington, D.C., is the world’s largest mega-region of nearly 50 million people, generating almost $4 trillion in economic output.  If this mega-region were its own country, the economy would be equivalent to the world’s seventh largest, bigger than the United Kingdom’s or Brazil’s.


Federal Judge Upholds Challenge to Money Bail
Courthouse News Service
A federal judge said she could find no justification for San Francisco’s bail schedule Monday in a ruling that could affect the outcome of constitutional challenges to money bail throughout the country.

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said the two lead plaintiffs in the case, who languished in jail for more than 24 hours before their families could secure bail, had shown that their poverty significantly deprived them of their right to freedom.

Wisconsin kid thought it was “funny” to spike
stepdad’s drink with cattle tranquilizer
The Smoking Gun

kidInvestigators allege that Tyler Rabenhorst-Malone, 17, adulterated his kin’s drinks last year. The teen, cops say, used a sedative often administered to cows giving birth. The victim, a dairy farmer, had stored the drug in a barn.

According to a criminal complaint, after Rabenhorst-Malone first spiked his stepfather’s drink, the victim was left stumbling and suffering slurred speech, a droopy face, and heavy breathing. Doctors at a Madison hospital concluded that the symptoms were a result of stress, lack of sleep, and the victim’s consumption of energy drinks.


Deaths from alcohol, drugs and suicide in 2017 hit the highest level since federal data collection started in 1999, according to an analysis of Centers for Disease Control data. The national rate for deaths from alcohol, drugs, and suicide rose from 43.9 to 46.6 deaths per 100,000 people in 2017, a 6 percent increase.


France Plans 5% Digital Tax as Governments Chase Internet Giants

Teen gets 22 years for school massacre plot foiled by grandmother

… Joshua O’ Connor, 19, a former student at ACES Alternative High School, Everett, WA. …. pleaded guilty in December to first-degree attempted murder, first-degree robbery with a firearm and possession of explosive device …. investigation began when his grandmother, Catherine Katsel O’Connor, called 911 in February 2018 to report what she believed were credible threats by her grandson to shoot other students at his high school… In a written statement to the court, O’Connor apologized, saying he’d been suicidal and abusing drugs and alcohol.
<> Video shows O’Connor robbing a gas station at gunpoint the night before his arrest.

Scotsman may have faked drowning to avoid 24 rape charges
Cal Coast News

Authorities conducted a three-day search by land and water and found no signs of Kim Gordon. Sheriff’s investigators questioned Gordon’s son about the story and determined his answers were not adding up.

These Cameras Can Spot Shoplifters Even Before They Steal



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