Study claims 1 in 10 Americans think HTML is an STD

Updated: Wednesday, March 05, 2014
By: Christian Bryant

Trending on Facebook

HTML is nothing to be ashamed of. It's a treatable problem. 

According to one company, that's the thinking coming from more than 1 in 10 Americans who thought HyperText Markup Language was an STD. It's really a computer language for creating web pages. (Via YouTube / Derek Banas)

Vouchercloud, a U.K. coupons website, reportedly conducted a survey to see how knowledgeable users were when it came to tech terms. 

Now, there's reason to doubt the validity of the findings — we'll get to that later — but if true, they are hilarious. According to the Los Angeles Times, the survey involved nearly 2,400 men and women ages 18 and up.

>> Read more trending stories

Twelve percent thought "USB" was an acronym for a European country. A USB is actually a type of connector. Nevermind what the letters stand for. (Via Wikimedia Commons / ApsuwaraToehead2001)

Fifteen percent thought "software" was a type of comfortable clothing, when it's actually the general term for computer programs. I guess chain mail would be considered hardware. (Via Flickr / voodooangelWikimedia / SakuramboJonathan Cardy)

Twenty-three percent thought an "MP3" was one of the droids Stormtroopers were looking for on Tatooine when it's actually just an audio file. (Via Flickr / AlotorWikimedia Commons / Appogiatura_execution.png)

And again with the geography: 27 percent thought a "gigabyte" was an insect found in South America, when it's actually a unit of measurement for storage in electronics. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Harold Maxwell LefroyEveraldo Coelho)

But while the Los Angeles times cites a statement from the company and some percentages, one website calls codswallop on the whole thing, questioning whether the survey actually happened. 

A writer for iMediaEthics says it's kind of conspicuous that no major outlet has seen or linked to the survey. 

Not only that, but the PR firm for Vouchercloud specializes in "social media influencing," "viral marketing services," "reverse graffiti ... fake protests and flash mobs." 

But let's say the survey actually is legit and 11 percent of Americans really do think HTML is an STD. A writer for CNET says that wouldn't be so bad. At least 89 percent know that HTML is not something you catch. 

He says, "The instant lack of recognition of many tech terms might also offer that Americans have other — perhaps even better — things to think about."

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What, where is the American University of Afghanistan?

Updated: Wednesday, August 24, 2016
By: Cox Media Group National Content Desk


            What, where is the American University of Afghanistan?
Afghan security forces rush to respond to a complex Taliban attack on the campus of the American University in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. “We are trying to assess the situation,” President Mark English told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

On reports that American University of Afghanistan in Kabul is under attack with gunfire and explosions heard there on Wednesday, here’s a brief look at the university and it’s student body.

What is the American University of Afghanistan?

According to its website, “The American University of Afghanistan is Afghanistan’s only private, not-for-profit, non-partisan and co-educational university. It opened its doors in 2006 with an initial enrollment of 50 students.

How many students?

AU has an enrollment of more than 1,700 full and part-time students. It has produced 29 Fulbright Scholars, the school’s website said. It has partnered with Stanford University, Georgetown University and the University of California, among other schools worldwide.

What is the school’s history?

Again, from its website, a brief history of the school:

2003: In an address to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), U.S. First Lady Laura Bush announces support for educational initiatives in Afghanistan, and U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad gives strong support for establishing the American University of Afghanistan.

2005: On a five-acre site that is part of the land lease, two buildings heavily damaged in combat between Afghan and Soviet forces in the 1980s and the resulting factional war are repaired for office and classroom use.

2006: In March, AUAF admits its first group of 53 students to its Foundation Studies Program, designed to strengthen student’s English language and study skills. In September, the first credit-bearing undergraduate courses are offered, along with the first adult professional level programs.

2008: In June, U.S. First Lady Laura Bush announces $42 million in funding from USAID over five years. By the end of the year, enrollment in the undergraduate and Foundation Studies programs reaches almost 350 students.

2011: The university opens the spring semester in January with its first convocation. Enrollment rises to 789 students, including 21 percent women. In May, the university holds its first graduation ceremony and holds groundbreaking ceremonies for faculty and staff housing on the new campus. In August, a new faculty office building opens on the original campus.

2013: In January, the Department of Law is created, and the first students begin classes. Spring enrollment rises to 958 students, and 50 percent of the 2013 freshman class is female. 123 students – including the first cohort of MBA students – graduate at a ceremony in May held in front of AUAF’s new International Center for Afghan Women’s Economic Development (ICAWED), a $5 million, state-of-the-art facility designed to support female Afghan business owners. Former Ambassador Ryan Crocker returns as private citizen to deliver the commencement address. The ICAWED Center hosts its first major international conference just weeks after opening. The university signs another five year cooperative agreement with USAID valued at more than $40 million. Fall enrollment tops 1,000 students, a major university milestone, with females comprising 30% of the overall student body. 

2014: In 2014, AUAF’s Professional Development Institute opened a new branch in Mazar-e-Sharif. The university also launched the MA in Education program with funding from the World Bank and Afghan Ministry of Education, which currently has an enrollment of 320 students from around the country. The International Campus expanded rapidly this year, with extensive landscaping and infrastructure improvements and occupancy of the new staff/faculty apartment block on the new campus. The Business Innovation Hub launched in February with headquarter offices on the International Campus, and subsequently opened a branch office in Herat. To top-off this productive year for the university, a total number of 180 undergraduate and graduate students, AUAF’s fourth and largest class, graduated in December in a ceremony held on the International Campus.

Who runs  the school?

Dr. Mark A. English is the president of the school.He worked in Oman, where he managed an International Education and Training Program, and Amman, where he was a US Fulbright Scholar and Associate Head of the English department at the University of Jordan, according to Friends of American Univeristy in Afghanistan. Dr. English received his Ph.D. in Foreign Language Education and Arabic Studies from the University of Texas. He also has a Master’s degree in Civil Government from Campbell University and earned his Bachelor’s from the United States Military Academy, West Point in Engineering. He speaks fluent Arabic. He is married and has a grown daughter. He was a U.S. Army officer for 27 years prior to heading up the school.

Where is it located?

In Kabul, Afghanistan.

How much is tuition?

Tuition per semester is roughly $3,220 in American dollars.

Big donors to the University?

The United States Agency for International Development and the U.S. Embassy in Kabul are lead donors for the University.

In addition, former first lady Laura Bush has been closely connected to the school.

Why people lie and how to catch them

Updated: Tuesday, August 23, 2016
By: Cox Media Group National Content Desk


            Why people lie and how to catch them

We've heard a lot about lies lately.

Some bigger than others. Some new, others seem to be resurfacing. It's something we all do, if you say you don't,  you just  did.

According to some experts, we are lied to as many as 200 times in a day. We do it to get something, get away with something, and, at least on some occasions, we do it for others.

So what happens when it's done to us?  Is there a way to know if what you are being told is the truth?

Here are a few tips that may help you sort the wheat from the chaff, as it were. 

First, let’s look at some numbers

• According to Liespotting – a website that offers “proven techniques to detect deception” – we are lied to as many as 200 times a day. Now, those aren’t necessarily big, harry lies, they can be little white ones. (“That dress doesn’t make you look fat at all.”)

• On top of that, apparently, we can only figure out we are being lied to about half the time.

• If you make a practice of lying, here’s some good news  --  between 75 and 82 percent of the time you are going to get away with it.

• Twenty-five percent of lies are done, bless our lying hearts, for the benefit of others, according to a study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.  

• While we’re not that great at catching a lie, according to some, with training we can be a bit better at it.

So how do you spot deception in others? Here’s a few tips.

Most people think that the trick to telling if someone is lying rests in facial expressions. That’s true, but it isn’t the only clue to figure out if someone is lying.

Lying in written form

According to a paper published by the American Psychological  Association, University of Texas at Austin psychology professor James Pennebaker and his associates have developed computer software that analyzes written content and can predict whether someone is lying. The software looks for these written markers:

• Lack of or fewer first-person pronouns. We generally are not the stars of our lies, distancing ourselves from our untrue stories.

• More negative emotion words. Liars feel more negative and use words such as “hate” and “sad.” 

• Fewer exclusionary words. According to Pennebaker, words such as “except”, “but” or “nor”  are not often seen in written lies. 

It’s written on their faces

Those trained in recognizing liars will look for facial clues and body language to help determine who is lying and who isn’t.

Here are a few of those clues that may indicate someone is lying to you:

• They avoid eye contact

• Their body is angled away from yours.  

• They fidget 

• They touch their faces, especially their nose. Your nose heats  up as you lie.

• They have fewer hand movements. Hand movements illustrate actions. Liars may not use hand movements because they didn’t’ do what they are saying they did.

Having said that, we do those things  when we are not lying, so judge carefully.

How  they say what they say

When a person is lying they can add or omit information to stories. Here are some verbal clues:

• Selectively answering questions

• Omitting critical information 

• Too much detail indicating they have created a complicated lie

• Liars generally take longer to answer questions, unless they have had time to plan, then the answer comes quickly.

• Repeated words and phrases. (Hey, it sounded good the first time you made it up, why not bring it out again.)

What we lie about

Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., described in Psychology Today some truths learned in a study about lying:

• Lying was more common in phone calls than in face-to-face chats.

• What is a lie to some, may be an exaggeration to most others. About 10 percent of the lies DePaulo studied were more along the lines of exaggerations than deceit. Sixty percent were lies. The other 30 percent were more subtle mistruths.

• Would we lie again? You bet. More than 70 percent of liars surveyed say they would tell their lies again. 

How do you spot a lie?

There are a few things to look for that would indicate that something you heard is not the truth.

 Here are a few tips from WebMD:

• Inconsistencies: Look for stories that just don’t add up. 

• Ask the unexpected: There is only a small percentage of people who are accomplished liars, the rest of us aren’t that good at it. If you want to trip-up a liar, asked a  question that will throw them off their game. 

• Gauge against a baseline: You have to know the person for this one to work. Pay attention to whether a normally clam person is agitated, a loud person quiet or an anxious person calm. Changes like that could mean a lie is on their lips.

• Look for insincere emotions: Fake it until  you can make it probably won’t work for you if you plan to lie – at least not for long. Look for smiles that don’t seem full and natural, or looks of anger with a smile on top.

• Pay attention to gut reactions: Going “with your gut” is, really, a pretty good idea. How many times have you said, “I KNEW that guy was lying, why didn’t I listen to me.” 

Every British Olympian had the same red bag; baggage claim chaos ensues

Updated: Wednesday, August 24, 2016
By: Cox Media Group National Content Desk


            Every British Olympian had the same red bag; baggage claim chaos ensues
(Twitter/GBR FX Girls)

Some athletes who represented their countries during the Rio Olympics left Brazil after they finished their events, and other stayed until the closing ceremony. A number of athletes stayed in the country for days after the games ended.

>> Read more trending stories  

Among those was Team Great Britain, which flew home on Tuesday.

The team members, each of which went to Rio with a red suitcase, dealt with a debacle when they arrived at the airport's baggage claim.

Eventually, everyone got their bag, according to Sports Illustrated, but it's unknown how long it took the British athletes to collect their bags individually when arriving in Rio or back in Great Britain.

Face-biting slayings: Dad says son may have mental illness

Updated: Wednesday, August 24, 2016
By: Palm Beach Post


            Face-biting slayings: Dad says son may have mental illness
Austin Harrouff

The father of a 19-year-old man accused of stabbing two people to death and biting one of their faces in a Florida home said his son may be suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness.

Wade Harrouff told The Palm Beach Post on Tuesday evening that unlike what his son's friends have told Martin County sheriff's investigators, Austin Harrouff had been acting strange the last few months. Harrouff believes his son's behavior was not a result of drug use, but instead of mental illness.

>> Read more trending stories

"I don't think he did (use drugs)," Wade Harrouff said. "I guess we'll find out when the test comes."

On Aug. 15, Austin Harrouff was out to dinner at Duffy's Sports Grill in Jupiter with his father. Harrouff said his son left, went to his mother's house and attempted to drink cooking oil. After, Harrouff said his son's mother, Mina, brought him back to the restaurant. There, Harrouff said he became upset with his son and grabbed him by the collar.

>> Related: Radio calls of face-biting slaying shows deputies’ worries increasing

It's unclear if there was a fight, but Austin Harrouff eventually left the restaurant and made his way to John Stevens and Michelle Mishcon's home on Southeast Kokomo Lane, just north of the Jupiter border.

The sheriff's office said the couple did not know the teen.

There, the sheriff's office said he stabbed the couple in their garage, attacked a neighbor who tried to intervene, then was found on top of Stevens, biting his face and his abdomen.

Harrouff told The Post he believes his son may suffer from schizophrenia, though he has never been formally diagnosed. He said the mental illness runs in the family. His mother told police her son said he had superpowers and was immortal, according to a Jupiter police report.

>> Related: Suspect in stabbing, face biting case may have ingested chemical from garage, sheriff says

When deputies arrested Harrouff last week at the scene, he dared them to perform drug tests on him.

"Test me. You won't find any drugs," he said.

Austin Harrouff remains in the hospital in critical condition at St. Mary's Medical Center, according to authorities.

On Tuesday, the sheriff's office released radio transmissions of first responders saying Harrouff is "abnormally strong" and that he had bitten the man's abdomen and face.

"I got this guy wrapped around him, and he's biting him," a first responder said of Austin Harrouff via the radio transmission. "This guy won't let go."