Brightest ideas of the week: Sunday, May 16, 2010 

1. Video tributes
Museum displays 3,000 9/11 victims

The details: In one room above the bedrock of the former World Trade Center, nearly 3,000 portraits will glow on a brightly-lit wall. Walk into another and hear spouses, children and siblings describe their lost loved ones while words flash on a screen saying where they were on Sept. 11. The mini-movies to play continuously at the National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum are one of the most carefully planned exhibitions for the museum commemorating the nation’s worst terror attack.

2. Healthy children

First lady Michelle Obama launches Let’s Move

The details: First Lady Michelle Obama announced an ambitious goal of solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight — and she unveiled a nationwide program to help achieve it. The Let’s Move campaign will combat the epidemic of childhood obesity through a comprehensive approach that will engage every sector impacting the health of children to achieve the national goal, and will provide schools, families and communities simple tools to help kids be more active, eat better and get healthy.

3. Pets rock

most Americans say they’ll get next pet from a shelter

The details: According to a new poll, more than half of respondents say they would adopt their next pet from a shelter rather than a pet store. More than 40 percent also said they’d be more concerned about health problems with a store animal rather than a shelter dog or cat. Some respondents said pet store or breeder animals are overbred and that there are many animals who would be euthanized at shelters, so going for adoption was an obvious choice.

4. Adoption option
Russia opens door for US adoptions after ban

The details: Russia and the United States set a new bilateral agreement on adoptions. Russia had stopped U.S. adoptions after a 7-year-old Russian boy was sent back to Moscow last month alone on a one-way flight by his adoptive American mother in Tennessee. American adoption officials also were embarrassed at the drastic action taken by the mother. Russian officials demanded more control over U.S. adoptions of Russian children and their living conditions in the United States.

5. Tech time

Wi-Fi to come in a faster option

The details: Wi-Fi could soon become 10 times faster at short distances. The Wi-Fi Alliance is teaming up with the Wireless Gigabit Alliance to develop a new way to take advantage of the
60 gigahertz frequency band that is used for extremely high data speeds between devices that are in the same room. Though it might take two years to be implemented in products, it will most likely first show up in Blu-ray players that send a high-def signal wirelessly to televisions.

6. Free word processing

Microsoft to offer free Web version of Word program

The details: The Seattle based megacompany rolled out a new edition of its Office programs for businesses this week, and for the first time is adding a version that works in a web browser — making it free for consumers. The free web apps will be available in June.

7.Race time
Electric cycle race hits Bay Area

The details: Twelve racing enthusiasts who have been building their bikes to compete in the TTXGP eGrandPix at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma today will, on top of speed and safety, also be worrying about whether their battery juice will last. The 30-minute race, about 25 miles — 11 laps — with 12 bikes that produce zero carbon emissions and top out at about 150 mph, is the second one in the world involving these types of motorcycles, and race organizers say the historical aspect is just as appealing as pushing electric vehicles.

8. Kids these days
Birthday girl holds cleanup party at park

The details: Lily Mein invited her friends to her eighth birthday party intent on cleaning up Stulsaft Park in Redwood City. Lily wanted to set up recycling bins, pick up trash and hold a scavenger hunt. Mom Nancy said she worried at first that her daughter wanted the party for the wrong reasons, like recognition, but that turned out not to be the case. Redwood City is honoring Lily anyway and thanking her for giving back to her community.

9. Your money back
Soccer team refunds tickets for bad game

The details: Mortified after a bad loss, a Seattle Sounders player said people shouldn’t have to pay to watch that kind of soccer ... and the Sounders’ front office agreed, parlaying it into a marketing ploy. The Sounders are refunding season ticket holders’ money for that game. The refund is actually a credit for a game next season, but analysts say the move makes fans happy anyway. Some sports marketing analysts are saying other teams could go even farther and donate proceeds to charity.

10 Rankings scores go up

San Mateo County schools get major boost in latest rankings

The details: Rankings of eight or higher for county schools jumped up to 71 schools from 67 last year, according to the latest Accountability Progress Reporting results released this week. The rankings go from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best. More schools in the county also were included in the top 100 in the state, based on the Academic Performance Index scores also released this week. Those scores measure the academic performance and growth based on a variety of academic measures. Las Lomitas in Menlo Park clinched No. 1 out of more than 1,000 districts statewide while the Hillsborough City district landed third and Portola Valley came in ninth.

Bright light of the week: Dallas Braden

Who: The A’s left-hander made Major League Baseball history by pitching the 19th perfect game when he retired all 27 batters to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0.

Why: Braden, not exactly a star player, accomplished the feat on Mother’s Day with his grandmother and many of his Stockton followers in the stands, appropriately in Section 209 — Stockton’s area code. Braden pointed to the sky after the final out in honor of his mother, who died of skin cancer when he was a senior in high school.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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