TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: November 10

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Food touches everything in our lives. Yet we have no national food policy. That must change.

By Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan, Ricardo Salvador and Olivier De Schutter in the Washington Post

2. Electronic Medical Records should focus more on patient care and less on meeting the needs of insurance companies and billing departments.

By Scott Hensley at National Public Radio

3. Anonymous social media often hosts vicious harassment targeting women and minorities. A new plan to monitor threats online is working for a solution.

By Barbara Herman in International Business Times

4. “You can’t wear a Band-Aid for long, particularly when the wound keeps bleeding.” Two years after Hurricane Sandy, New York is far from stormproof.

By Lilah Raptopoulos in the Guardian

5. China and the U.S. should take aim at a new “grand bargain” to head off tensions and mistrust in their relationship.

By Wei Zongyou in the Diplomat

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME National

Couple Who Found $10 Million in Gold Coins Will Likely Keep The Loot

This image provided by the Saddle Ridge Hoard discoverers via Kagin's, Inc., shows one of the six decaying metal canisters filled with 1800s-era U.S. gold coins unearthed in California by two people who want to remain anonymous. Saddle Ridge Hoard discoverers via Kagin's, Inc. / AP Photo

A heist from 1901, from which coins were never recovered, appears unrelated

It looks like the lucky California couple who found $10 million worth of 19th-century gold coins will get to keep their loot, after all.

Not long after it became public last month that the unnamed couple had found the coins on their property, news outlets dug up an old newspaper clip showing a suspiciously similar amount of coins had been stolen from the San Francisco branch of the U.S. Mint circa 1900. That led to speculation that the government might stake a claim to the money. Additional records reviewed by TIME show the branch did indeed have coins go missing that year. “It is with regret, however, that I record that the count of coin in the mint at San Francisco at the close of the fiscal year revealed a shortage of $30,000,” the director of the mint wrote in his annual report in 1901. “The case is in the hands of the Secret Service for investigation.”

The coins the anonymous California couple stumbled upon, buried in eight cans on their property, would have been worth about $28,000 at the time. But experts and the coin dealer handling the couple’s booty say that’s the only sign they might be the same coins—while many factors suggest they couldn’t possibly be.

Nancy Oliver, who wrote two books on the San Francisco mint, says the mint was generally in the business of making new money—not collecting old money—whereas the coins discovered by the couple are dated over a span of almost 50 years, from 1847 to 1894. Further, coin dealer Don Kagin says, some of those coins are stamped with the imprints of other mints around the U.S., from New Orleans to Philadelphia to Carson City. “There’s no relationship,” Oliver says, noting that the coins in the 1901 theft came from the cashier’s vault, which only contained coins minted during that fiscal year.

This is a photograph of a photograph of money in the San Francisco branch of the U.S. mint around the turn of the 20th century. Katy Steinmetz—TIME

Adam Stump, a spokesman for the U.S. Mint, says officials there have reached the same conclusion after reviewing records. Stump says officials found no connection to the so-called Saddle Ride Hoard and the government is not pursuing any connection.

Other people have tried to lay claim to the money. Kagin says several people have contacted his firm saying their great-grandfather might have some claim or that they were sure the coins came from this heist or that heist. He says he asks the individuals to submit an inventory of what they believe they are the owners of, but no one has taken him up on it yet. When asked if anyone has threatened legal action, Kagin says, “Nothing credible.”

He and Oliver both subscribe to the theory that the coins were stashed away over time, likely by someone working gold mines. “It was probably someone in the mining industry who was getting his bonuses and not trusting the banks,” Kagin says. At this point, he says he has no doubts whatsoever that the couple, which discovered the coins in February 2013, can lay legal claim to them.

Things have been hectic for Kagin since he made the couple’s find public in February. Media outlets have barraged him from all over the world, even though he’s often dealt with discoveries of old coins worth much more than the Saddle Ridge Hoard. This discovery, he says, just resonates with people. “People can actually find coins on their property. They don’t think they can don scuba gear and go find shipwreck treasure,” he says. “People fantasize about that. And here’s a couple that did that, and they weren’t even looking for it!”

Treasure-hunters out there, don’t despair. A man named Walter Dimmick, once a chief clerk at the San Francisco mint, was found guilty of stealing the $30,000 worth of gold coins in 1903. But the loot, to this day, has not been found.

TIME National

The New York Times Shows It’s Never Too Late To Issue A Correction

The paper issues a '12 Years A Slave' correction...161 years later

In 1853, the New York Times ran a profile on Northup, a free man kidnapped in the 1840s, sold into slavery, and then rescued 12 years later. That story was eventually made into the Oscar winning film 12 Years A Slave.

But some particularly observant readers noticed that the 1853 article spelled Northup’s name wrong, on two different occasions.

The article was corrected, 161 years later.

Watch video above for more.

TIME Education

Someone Stole the Letters Spelling “YOLO” From Loyola University

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Happy Mardi Gras?

You only live once. YOLO for short. It’s the motto Drake came up with in 2011 that, somehow, remains popular today.

Some Mardi Grad revelers apparently decided that taking this motto to heart — and making the most out of the one life you’ve been given — should involve a healthy dose of vandalism. The unidentified people apparently stopped by Loyola University and stole the large L-O-Y-O letters from the campus’s front lawn, local news outlet WDSU reports. The pranksters left behind the L and A, so clearly, they planned to rearrange the pilfered letters to spell out YOLO.

No further details are known, and officials say the school was simply a “victim of Mardi Gras.”

If caught, we suspect these Mardi Gras pranksters will be charged with the following crimes: 1) trespassing 2) vandalism 3) theft and, most egregiously, 4) perpetuating “YOLO.”

Here’s the vandalized sign:

TIME National

This Medical Marijuana Ad Will Be First To Appear On Major Networks

A marijuana leaf is displayed at Canna Pi medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle
A marijuana leaf is displayed at Canna Pi medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle, Washington, November 27, 2012. Anthony Bolante—Reuters

The spot will start airing on stations such as FOX, CNN, and ESPN in New Jersey

The new commercial from MarijuanaDoctors.com might seem to make perfect sense to a medical marijuana patient who has just taken a dose of their medicine. For most others, the logic may take a moment to sink in.

During the one-minute spot, which the company is touting as the first ever medical marijuana business commercial to air on major networks, a faux dealer pushes sushi in the street, opening up a coat filled with raw fish like cartoon thieves open trenchcoats filled with black-market Rolexes. “You wouldn’t buy your sushi from this guy,” the voiceover concludes. “So why would you buy your marijuana from him?”

“We felt the viewing public would agree that in the states providing safe access, continuing to obtain medicine illegally is as absurd as purchasing raw fish from a drug dealer,” the company’s CEO Jason Draizin said in a press release. Of course, purchasing “sushi” from the “sushi dealer” remains the only option for those who are obtaining the “sashimi” for recreational purposes, as opposed those who require “California rolls” for medical reasons, in most places.

Currently, 20 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The spot will begin airing in New Jersey, one of those states, via Comcast on stations such as Fox, CNN and ESPN, according to the release.

MarijuanaDoctors.com operates as a middleman, connecting people seeking marijuana for medical purposes with doctors who provide those prescriptions. The commercial will be airing nearly two decades after California became the first state to legalize medical weed in 1996.

While the ad may break a grass ceiling of sorts on marijuana-related commercials, it’s worth noting that political ads for legalizing marijuana have also run on major networks. Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, say that advocates in Colorado aired this ad during the Today Show and Ellen in 2012. And they aired this ad during the Democratic National Convention that year on stations like CNN and MSNBC.

In the release, Draizin emphasizes that getting the commercial accepted by big name broadcasters was no easy task, a battle that Tvert knows well. “Marijuana has been demonized by our government for decades, so many people still have a knee-jerk negative reaction to anything that even mentions the substance,” Tvert says. “Over the past decade, we have been rejected by countless TV networks and billboard companies.” This new ad may be a (memorable) sign that the tide is turning.

TIME National

This Interactive Map Shows How Baby Names Have Spread Nationwide

Find out how much of a trendsetter you are

This interactive map shows how the popularity of baby names has spread across the U.S. from the early 1900s to the present. Type in a name, and see how common it is in different geographic regions based on Census data, which reportedly boasts more than 29,000 available names, including some that have been used by both genders, according to a blog post by creator Brian Lee Yung Rowe, a professor at the City University of New York and founder of boutique R&D firm called Zato Novo.

(h/t The Guardian)

LIST: Unusual Baby Names of 2013

LIST: Jacob and Sophia Are The Top Baby Names for 2012

TIME National

12 Hilariously Revealing U.S. Maps You Won’t Find in a Textbook

We've never felt more patriotic

The Echo Nest’s recent round-up of each state’s most distinctive band generated quite a bit of discussion—and not just because it revealed Kentucky’s secret obsession with Fall Out Boy, and Illinois’ soft spot for Sufjan Stevens. But it’s hardly the first meme-able U.S. map to surprise, delight and/or disturb us.

1. The map that may help you career-switch.

More info here

2. The map that revels in stereotypes.

More info here

3. The map that suggests you might want to date more New Mexicans.

How-long-states-last

More info here

4. The map that will drive you to drink.

More info here

5. Or eat.

More info here

6. The map that puts America in perspective.

More info here

7. The map that could give you bragging rights.

The United States of Awesome
More info here

8. And the map that takes ‘em away.

More info here

9. The map that shows, in real time, how many Americans are not reading American news sites.

More info here

10. The map that’ll make you proud to be a Smith (or not).

More info here

11. The map that suggests Florida’s most famous brand is Hooters.

More info here

12. The map that introduces the forgotten city of Fort Raccoon.

More info here

TIME National

Kerry Kennedy Acquitted of Driving Impaired

Kerry Kennedy, second from left, walks with her mother, Ethel Kennedy, third from left, as she leaves the Westchester County Courthouse, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 in White Plains, N.Y.
Kerry Kennedy, second from left, walks with her mother, Ethel Kennedy, third from left, as she leaves the Westchester County Courthouse, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 in White Plains, N.Y. Jim Fitzgerald / AP

The daughter of the late New York Sen. Robert Kennedy said she took a sleeping pill and did not remember causing an accident in July 2013. Her lawyers argued the behavior was accidental, not criminal

A jury found Kerry Kennedy not guilty of impaired driving on Friday.

The daughter of the late New York Sen. Robert Kennedy testified during the trial that she’d taken a sleeping pill by mistake before getting in the car, and did not remember the events that led to her sideswiping a truck on a New York interstate in July 2013, the Associated Press reports. Prosecutors agreed that Kennedy, 54, had taken the sleeping medication zolpidem by accident instead of her thyroid medicine, but focused their case on if she realized she was drugged and whether she should have stopped the car before swerving out of control. Kennedy’s lawyers said the behavior was accidental, not criminal.

Kennedy failed sobriety tests at the scene of the accident, but passed several tests hours later at the police station.

“I’m incredibly grateful to the jury for working so hard on this case… and to my lawyers… and to my family and friends and so many other people who supported me,” Kennedy said. “I’m happy justice was done.”

[AP]

TIME Economy & Policy

10 States Where Income Inequality Has Soared

Getty Images

A surprising number one

Although average real income in the United States increased by more than a third between 1979 and 2007, not all workers benefited equally. In each of the 50 states, income growth among the top 1% of earners rapidly outpaced that of the bottom 99%, according to a recent study.

In four states — Alaska, Michigan, Nevada and Wyoming — average income increased exclusively for the top 1% and declined for the bottom 99%. In another six states, the top 1% accounted for more than two-thirds of all income growth between 1979 and 2007, while the income of the bottom 99% grew at a much slower pace. Based on a report published by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 states with the most lopsided income growth.

MORE: America’s Most Content (and Miserable) States

In many of the states with the most lopsided income growth, real average income rose little, if at all, between 1979 and 2007. While the average income of the bottom 99% rose 19% nationwide, it rose less than 5% in eight of these states.

In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Mark Price, coauthor of the study and a labor economist at the Keystone Research Center, said that to many observers the issue of income inequality is a story about Wall Street’s growth. But “It’s not just a story of the financial markets in New York City,” Price said. “Over time, that [top] group in each state is accruing an increasingly larger share of the growth in income.”

In fact, as of 2012, the financial sector comprised a larger share of the economy than in the United States overall only in three of the 10 states with the most imbalanced income growth. Additionally, the financial sector contributed among the least in four of these states. The financial industry accounted for just 2.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) in Wyoming in 2012, the lowest share of any state.

Another factor that does not appear related to uneven gains in income is economic growth. Price told 24/7 Wall St., “Looking at growth and GDP over time is a pretty blunt instrument,” and the relationship between unbalanced income gains and economic growth is weak.

MORE: 10 Weird Things Thieves Steal

GDP growth was the largest in Nevada, Arizona and Florida between 1979 and 2007 — all among the 10 states with most imbalanced income growth. However, among the remaining seven states were also Alaska and Michigan, for example, where GDP growth lagged much of the rest of the nation.

State tax structures, too, may not play as large a role as many observers may believe. Price noted that, for most Americans, the decision of where to live was not tied to taxes. While three states with the most uneven income growth did not levy an income tax, three of the other 10 states — Hawaii, New York and Oregon — had exceptionally high top income tax rates.

However, Professor Richard Burkhauser, the Sarah Gibson Blanding Professor of Policy Analysis at Cornell University, added that taxes and transfer payments should not be ignored. In an email to 24/7 Wall St., Burkhauser, who has argued against the significance of income inequality said, “Government tax and transfer policies [can] dramatically redistribute income from those who have large amounts of taxable market income to those who do not.”

Still, according to Price, inequality in income growth “is a trend which should concern policy makers independent of the impact of taxes and transfers,” and that incomes — net of such considerations — have still disproportionately risen for the wealthiest 1%.

To determine the 10 states with the most skewed growth in incomes, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed income growth figures from 1979 to 2007 from “The Increasingly Unequal States of America,” a study by Estelle Sommeiller and Mark Price published by the EPI. We also reviewed figures from 2009 to 2011 from the same study. The authors derived average income growth from taxable income data, net of inflation. Additionally, we also reviewed state GDP figures from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and an assortment of figures from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey.

These are the top 5 states where income inequality has soared:

1. Alaska
> Share of growth captured by the top 1%: All
> Real income growth 1979-2007: -10.3% (the least)
> Income growth, bottom 99%: -17.5% (the least)
> Income growth, top 1%: 118.6% (10th least)

The average real income for all workers in Alaska dropped by more than 10% between 1979 and 2007, making Alaska the only state where total income declined during that period. Despite this, the average income of Alaska’s top 1% of earners more than doubled, and incomes among the wealthy represented the only income growth in the state. Alaska’s average income per worker in the bottom 99% was $58,482 in 2011, second highest in the nation, trailing only Maryland. Due to the state’s high corporate tax collections, as well as no state sales or income taxes, Alaska has among the lowest tax burdens in the country. Alaska also benefits from its petroleum profits tax, which is paid by companies based on the value of the oil and natural gas they produce.

2. Nevada
> Share of growth captured by the top 1%: 218.5%
> Real income growth 1979-2007: 8.6% (2nd least)
> Income growth, bottom 99%: -11.6% (2nd least)
> Income growth, top 1%: 164.0% (24th highest)

The average income in Nevada rose just 8.6% between 1979 and 2007, among the lowest increases in the nation. However, most of the state’s residents actually lost money during that time, as average real income dropped by 11.6% for the bottom 99% of earners. For the remaining top percentile of earners, average incomes rose by 164% between 1979 and 2007. As of 2007, the top 1% accounted for 28% of state residents’ total income, the fifth highest percentage in the United States. The gap between the top percentile and other earners has further increased in recent years. Incomes for the top 1% rose by 4% between 2009 and 2011, while incomes for the bottom 99% of earners slipped by a nation-leading 6.7%. Nevada has struggled with high unemployment in recent years, including an average unemployment rate of 11.1% in 2012, the highest in the nation that year.

MORE: Cities With Highest and Lowest Taxes

3. Wyoming
> Share of growth captured by the 1%: 102.3%
> Real income growth 1979-2007: 31.5% (23rd least)
> Income growth, bottom 99%: -0.8% (3rd least)
> Income growth, top 1%: 354.3% (4th highest)

While Wyoming’s wealthiest residents have enjoyed the benefits of the state’s immense resources, the average income of the bottom 99% of workers in the state slid by 0.8% between 1979 and 2007. The state’s overall real income grew by 31.5% in the same period, however, due entirely to a 354% increase in the average income of the top-earning 1%. The income gap continued to grow between 2009 and 2011 as well. Average income of the bottom 99% of workers rose 6.9%, and that of the top 1% increased by 13.6%. Roughly 12.7% of the state’s labor force worked in the agriculture and mining industries in 2012, the most in the nation.

4. Michigan
> Share of growth captured by the 1%: 101.7%
> Real income growth 1979-2007: 8.9% (3rd least)
> Income growth, bottom 99%: -0.2% (4th least)
> Income growth, top 1%: 100.0% (4th least)

Despite some good economic news for Michigan since the 2008 financial crisis, the state’s average real income growth between 1979 and 2007, as well as from 2009 to 2011, still trailed the nation as a whole. The wealthiest 1% enjoyed a 100% increase in average income between 1979 and 2007, while the average income of the bottom 99% dropped by 0.2% during those years. The income growth gap has remained wide in the years following the 2008 economic crisis. Between 2009 and 2011, the average income increase of the top 1% was 12.8%, while the average income increase of the bottom 99% was 0.2%. The good news for the bottom 99% of Michigan workers is that the U.S. auto industry has bounced back in terms of job creation and car sales.

MORE: States Where Children Are Struggling the Most to Read

5. Arizona
> Share of growth captured by the 1%: 84.2%
> Real income growth 1979-2007: 17.0% (8th least)
> Income growth, bottom 99%: 3.0% (6th least)
> Income growth, top 1%: 157.8% (23rd least)

In 1979, the top 1% of earners accounted for just 9.1% of all income in Arizona. By 2007, the top 1% accounted for a full one-fifth of all income. Incomes of the top 1% of earners soared by more than 157% during that time, while incomes of the bottom 99% rose by just 3%. Since then, matters have not changed. Between 2009 and 2011, the average real income of the bottom 99% of earners fell by 1%, even as incomes of the top 99% rose by nearly 6%. While real income growth in the state lagged the national rate over both periods, the state’s economy was among the fastest growing in the U.S. between 1979 and 2007. One possible explanation for why GDP grew as incomes remained flat is that Arizona added more than 1 million non-farm jobs between 1990 and 2007.

For the rest of the list, click here.
TIME Music

And Here Is a Map Of Every State’s Most Hated Band

Texas and New Mexico really hate Bon Iver

Disklike music map

Virginians still love Dave Matthews Band and Rick Ross still reigns as the Teflon Don in Florida, according to the Echo Nest’s map published this week that showcased the most popular bands in the U.S. on a state-by-state basis.

However, what bands do people hate most? Search no further: engineer and blogger Randal Cooper has compiled his own map based on the top 50 artists on Spotify in relation to where they are despised most geographically in America. Unsurprisingly, it appears the South and Midwest never warmed to reggae icon Bob Marley, while residents in the Pacific Northwest don’t seem to have been big fans of R. Kelly’s newest LP Black Panties.

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