Monday, December 10, 2007

We're moving!

On the Record has evolved.

We've got a new home at WordPress; we hope you'll stop by. The new site has a much cleaner look and some cool new features. It'll also help us grow our web offerings in the months ahead.

We have a new feed, so make sure to change your feed subscription if you read us by RSS.

If you don't - try it! Then you can keep up with us even more easily.

Not to worry - our archives will still be accessible on our new Web page.

All the best,

-JACKIE SAUTER, Multimedia Editor

Law blog round-up

Here's an instructive anecdote about two lawyers talking capital gains and child support over coffee. The upshot: judges must consider recent capital gains in any requested recalculation of child support but are not required to then factor them into a revised support amount.

A bit about blog law on a law blog: The Volokh Conspiracy speculates about the differing levels of protection various media may have against charges that they - Canada's McClean's magazine, in this case - are publishing hate speech.

Today from the Supreme Court: Below-guidelines sentencing is OK in certain cases. Most notably for cities like Baltimore, judges can consider the disparity in prescribed punishment for crack cocaine vs. powder cocaine crimes.

-BRENDAN KEARNEY, Legal Affairs Writer

Quoth the Ravens: Never more … is football a club just for men

I used to hate football. I used to loathe Sundays when the television was commandeered for hours on end of what appeared to be mere chest-thumping male chauvinism.

Then, one day, I decided to stop ignoring it and to start asking questions. And as it turns out, men really love to talk about football.

What does it mean to be “2nd and 2”?
Do you need both feet in for a catch to count?
What is a safety?
Why did the ref stop the play with a flag?
What makes the special teams “special”?

Through this process I learned many things, but most importantly I learned how much I truly love the strategy, hard hits, story lines, play calling (sometimes), and fan and community camaraderie that all come with football.

I thought I was an anomaly, but 46 percent of Ravens fans are female. More than ever, women are putting down their apron, donning a jersey and trekking out to M&T Bank Stadium for the beer-drinking, brat-eating and touchdown-cheering revelry that is football.

This has not gone unnoticed by the Baltimore Ravens, who hold an annual Football 101 Festival for women and recently introduced a women-only fan club called Purple. But if you ask me, we women already enjoy plenty of perk without a special fan club.

For instance, our wait to get in the stadium or use the restroom is considerably shorter than that of our male counterparts. When my boyfriend and I attended training camp, he received one autograph and I received six. Women even save money on jerseys by purchasing them in youth sizes.

Really though, the biggest perk is standing in the stadium, wearing a Ray Lewis jersey, screaming out the players names (“Reeeeeeeed”) and being a part of a club that is bigger than just football. And I, for one, am glad that it’s coed.

Any fellow female fans care to share their love of the game?

-EMILY ARNOLD, Special Publications Editor

Friday, December 7, 2007

Pearl Harbor attack remembered at Port of Baltimore

This morning, the Baltimore Maritime Museum and Port of Baltimore commemorated the 66th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor aboard the United States Coast Guard Cutter Taney.

The USCGC Taney, the last surviving warship still afloat from the attack of Pearl Harbor, hosts one of the largest commemorations in the country annually on December 7th. Every year, survivors attend the ceremony to remember “the day that will live in infamy” and to share their personal accounts with others.

Above, WWII Pear Harbor survivors onboard the USCG Taney, left to right: Edward Robertson, Thomas Talbott, and Warren Coligny. Photos by Eric Stocklin.

Baltimore: Middle of the drunken pack

Well, it could have been better, but it could have been worse. Baltimore is the 46th safest drunken city in a recent survey by Men’s Health magazine. Not bad out of 100.

The survey, which is being reported by KNBC in Los Angeles, looked at drunken driving, liver disease, and other alcohol-induced crimes. But seriously folks, I have never felt that Baltimore is a city that drinks to excess, though we are prone to a certain type of brew.

However, some of our neighbors are more extreme examples from the survey. Richmond, Va. was the ninth best, while Washington was the eighth-worst.

So what do you think? Is Baltimore really that much safer than Washington when it comes to alcohol consumption?

-ANDY ROSEN, Business Writer

Give me the holiday experience, or not

With holiday shopping now hitting a fever pitch, shopping centers are doing everything they can to lure consumers and get them to stay and shop longer. Examples include the ubiquitous Santa’s Villages and traditional dressings of the season.

Baltimore-based marketing firm the Becker Group takes it one step further and gives its clients everything from 70-foot trees to interactive 20-foot high snow globes, with the goal of making a mall’s common space an immersive holiday experience for busy families.

How important is this to you? Sure, you can pop in and out of free-standing Target or Best Buy, but would it be a better experience to trundle the family up and head to the mall to enjoy the atmosphere instead?

-BEN MOOK, Assistant Business Editor

Women who launch businesses explain motivation

No surprise here: a survey has found that the desire for work-life balance and the ability to self-manage were the reasons women wanted to start their own businesses.

This summer’s Make Mine a Million $ Business survey sent voluntary e-mail questionnaires to women registered on the organization’s Web site. Almost two-thirds of the women who participated in the survey said they were mothers.

“After having a successful career in corporate America, I wanted to create some options,” said Maureen Borzacchiello, president of Creative Display Solutions, a West Hempstead, N.Y.-based firm. “It was (about) taking control of my life and being able to say, ‘If I want to have a child and work part-time or work at 2 in the morning, I have that option.’”

Make Mine a Million $ Business is a program that sponsors contests and provides financing, mentoring and workshops to help women entrepreneurs reach $1 million in annual revenues.

-JACKIE SAUTER, Multimedia Editor

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Comcast rolls out yule log in HD

Comcast wants you to know that the “cultural viewing phenomenon” of the yule log will be available this holiday season, in HD.

That’s right - through January 4, Greater Baltimore area customers can watch the yule log on their televisions at any time … even, as Comcast suggests, “as the backdrop for a weekend holiday party or on Christmas morning as families open their presents.”

It will be a high-tech log: the newly-produced version was filmed in 1080i picture and Dolby 5.1 sound.

According to the cable provider, last year Comcast customers viewed the yule log in HD more than twice the number of times as the standard-definition version.

-JACKIE SAUTER, Multimedia Editor

The jobs of the future

We’re going to need more makeup artists in the future (high-def TV, you know). Financial advisors, too. By the year 2016, we’ll be crawling with ‘em.

At least, according to the Department of Labor, which released a 10-year forecast for the hottest 30 occupations in the near future.

Of note: information technology folks (of course), home health care workers (to care for aging Baby Boomers).

Of interest: theatrical and performance makeup artists, veterinarians and gaming surveillance officers.

Other expectations: minorities will make up a greater percentage of the workforce, and seniors will work longer.

Click here to read the full list.

-JACKIE SAUTER, Multimedia Editor

Patriots-Ravens game draws largest-ever cable audience

Even though the home team wasn’t victorious, the Baltimore Ravens may be able to find solace at the top of the cable ratings.

Monday night’s game on ESPN averaged more than 12.5 million homes and 17.5 million viewers, the largest audience yet on cable.

Alright, maybe the Patriots had something to do with it, too.

The AP reports:

The previous highs were 11.8 million households for last year’s Giants-Cowboys “Monday Night Football” game and 17.2 million viewers for Disney Channel’s “High School Musical 2″ movie in August.

-JACKIE SAUTER, Multimedia Editor