Overheard on CNN.com: Streaming debate strikes chord with music fans
A collection of Les Paul's guitars and recording equipment went up for bid at the end of May. But who 'owns' your music?
June 16th, 2012
03:11 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Streaming debate strikes chord with music fans

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Music is an emotional connection for people. For the people who love it, their favorite songs, bands and artists weave a soundtrack for life, changing to suit growing pains and shifting moods. When one of our writers, Jareen Imam, detailed the shifting ways that people access their music, the emotions of music listeners climbed higher.

By interviewing college-age music fans, Imam discovered that an increasing number of that demographic opts to stream music instead of buy it. They stream music by using online services like Pandora, Spotify, 8tracks and The Hype Machine. Purchasing actual albums in stores or dropping $1.29 for a new single on iTunes? Not so popular with them, because it amounts to 'a lot of work.'

Young listeners opting to stream, not own music

CNN.com's readers immediately took to the comments. The debate tugged back and forth between advocates of streaming vs. downloading or buying their favorite tunes. Many wondered whether streaming is the best way to show your favorite musicians that you care. Or is a download or album purchase the best way?

But then, strains of other, and perhaps older, arguments began over the quality of music today, if artists should just focus on making money on concerts rather than albums and even if people should buy only albums or only singles. Others simply referred those against streaming to another form that has been around for a while: the radio.

For the people streaming music, they were also open to other ways of getting their music fix.

25700_Reg: I just got into st[r]eaming with Pandora. I use it on long rides, but I don't like that I can't control what plays next. Well maybe I don't know how as of yet. I let my son use my iPhone to listen while he was visiting and the next time I went to hook up, it kept playing his kind of raunchy rap crap. I hate it!

Serge Cruz Jr.: Great article... To me it's pretty simple, experience LIVE music whenever possible, own what you LOVE & stream everything else...

einZuschauer: I think people are seeking personalization and customization.  If streaming suits their needs that is great but there is no guarantee that the music will always be available.  Personally, I like having multiple options to find the music that fits my mood, but I always end up purchasing my favorite music.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Music • Overheard on CNN.com • Technology
Overheard on CNN.com: Job offers, letters of support pour in for unemployed father
David Watson of Sanford, Florida, has been unemployed for more than a year. Many readers, touched, offered to help.
June 15th, 2012
05:32 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Job offers, letters of support pour in for unemployed father

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Father's Day is Sunday, so it's fitting that we've got a touching story to conclude CNN's week of in-depth coverage looking at unemployment in the United States.

CNN photographer John Couwels chronicled a day in the life of former Marine and father David Watson to show how everyday life has changed for families coping with long-term unemployment.

Many of our readers saw the photo gallery and felt compelled to reach out to CNN. They asked how they could help Watson and his 14-year-old son, Timothy. So far, 50 people have offered assistance. Watson said he's been deeply affected.

"I have been offered job hunters, places for Tim and I to live, possible job offers, prayers, offers to pay for Tim's hockey, people saying, 'Don't sell anything else, let us know what you need,'" Watson said.

One representative from a major U.S. company reached out to Watson and asked for his resume. Watson's service in the Marines had gotten his attention. FULL POST

Overheard on CNN.com: Unmanned drones ignite domestic surveillance debate
June 14th, 2012
10:30 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Unmanned drones ignite domestic surveillance debate

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Unmanned drones have gotten many readers talking. A Monmouth University poll showed there was strong support for using unmanned aircraft to track down criminals, combat illegal immigration or carry out search missions. On the other hand, respondents oppose using drones to do routine work such as patrolling traffic. Here on CNN.com, the thought of using drones to catch speeders, for example, has made some readers a little nervous.

A commenter using the nickname "Rand Paul" (we don't know if it's really the Kentucky senator) posted what became the comment of the day on Thursday's Mash-up post:

"I saw George Orwell riding on a drone last night. He was waving."

As it turns out, the real Sen. Rand Paul's opinion article about drones got many of our readers talking. Paul writes of the legislation he's introduced:

"This bill protects individual privacy against unwarranted governmental intrusion through the use of these drones. The Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act of 2012 will protect Americans' personal privacy by forcing the government to honor our Fourth Amendment rights."

Paul: Don't let drones invade our privacy

Should we fear drones? Readers who commented disagreed. FULL POST

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Filed under: Aviation • Crime • FAA • Overheard on CNN.com • Politics • Technology
June 12th, 2012
10:05 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: What the $%#;!? Choice words for town's profanity fine

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Some would say it's a bunch of #$%&, while some will swear it's sorely needed. Commenters used all kinds of punctuation marks in their opinions about a town's 183-50 vote requiring police to issue $20 tickets for those who curse in public places. Police say they'll be directing their enforcement efforts at those using profanity to accost others.  The unscientific reader poll on the story seemed to indicate that plenty of readers would defend the right to use salty language; commenters went back and forth about personal responsibility and freedom.

Massachusetts town puts $20 fine on profanity

The town in question is Middleborough, Massachusetts. One commenter claiming to be from there was not happy.

pray: "I am a bit ashamed of my hometown for passing this. This makes a mockery of a town once known for its tolerance. I have always predicted the train that brought people into Middleborough would come to no good. First they wanted houses near cranberry bogs saying it was quaint, then they wanted them closed cause of dusty dirty roads and noise. Now, they want to legislate speech? Such a sad day for a town with a great history."

This reader had a different view.

Mike: "Good for them. These rude, crude and obnoxious teenagers need to learn how to act in public. If they don't, hit 'em where it hurts most, in the wallet. It belittles the human race to hear people talking such trash. But, you are how you speak. Have a nice day."

One reader chuckled at the thought of people not swearing in a town about 38 miles from Boston.

Play ball: "Can't wait until the next Red Sox game ... because I am sure when the umpire blows a call ... Middleborough residents are gonna blow their rent money cursing at the TV screen."

A very Honest Abe gave us his uncensored thoughts. FULL POST

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Filed under: Boston • Massachusetts • Overheard on CNN.com
Overheard on CNN.com: 'Shame it took so long' for dingo ruling to be reached
Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton shows reporters Azaria's death certificate outside a court in Darwin on Tuesday.
June 12th, 2012
01:23 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: 'Shame it took so long' for dingo ruling to be reached

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Azaria Chamberlain was just 2 months old when she disappeared from a tent during a family trip to Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock. A coroner ruled Tuesday that a dingo, a wild dog native to Australia, caused her death. The girl's mother, Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, was sentenced to life in jail; the conviction was later overturned. Meryl Streep starred in a movie about the incident, burning the cries of "the dingo's got my baby" into popular consciousness. Chamberlain-Creighton said she was "relieved and delighted to come to the end of this saga."

Readers debated the case, the animal in question, justice and popular culture references to the case.

Coroner rules dingo to blame for Australian baby's death

For many, this new development in the dingo saga brings a sense of closure.

Leigh2: "What a hard life that poor woman has had. You can see it in her face. She and her husband may have won money from a lawsuit, but she and her family have paid dearly themselves over the accusations of murdering their own baby. Besides their child being snatched by a big canine and knowing their baby died a horrible death, that all had to be an immense strain on them. I saw the movie based on what happened years ago. It was a very emotional and upsetting movie. One that I vowed to only view once. So sad. :-("

Plenty of other readers talked about the impact of "A Cry in the Dark," the movie about the incident.

dfwenigma: "When I saw 'A Cry in the Dark' I was completely overwhelmed. This couple was simply trying to make a go of it. Personally I think living out there in the middle of nowhere was probably not a great decision for a couple with a baby, however, they absolutely had the right to do so ... let's lay off the politics in these postings - a child lost her life thirty years ago - and the mother is finally vindicated. That calls for celebration for her - and mourning for the poor child."

NanookoftheNorth: "I feel the same about 'Sophie's Choice' ... only saw it once and it has left a life-time impression on me. Like 'A Cry In The Dark', both movies starred the young and just starting out in her career, Meryl Streep. We could see then that brillant actress was going places ... the Katharine Hepburn of our time !"

This reader was critical of the way the case was portrayed. FULL POST

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Filed under: Animals • Australia • Justice • Overheard on CNN.com
Overheard on CNN.com: Reader 'feeling a bit dirty' for agreeing with KKK on litter pickup
June 11th, 2012
06:36 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Reader 'feeling a bit dirty' for agreeing with KKK on litter pickup

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

You've probably seen those highway adoption signs emblazoned with the names of various local organizations. A North Georgia chapter of the Ku Klux Klan wants to adopt a one-mile stretch of Georgia State Route 515. The group is applying to receive state recognition for cleaning up litter in the Appalachian Mountains near the North Carolina border. The Georgia DOT is considering the matter, as are many of our readers.

KKK chapter wants to adopt stretch of Georgia highway

Some readers said the KKK just might have something there.

Techsupp0rt: "Agreeing with the KKK kinda leaves me feeling a bit dirty. They've got a point. If other racist organizations can do it, they should be able to as well. Treat all racists equally. You do gotta pick up the trash though."

This person would beg to differ.

Clabdurch:
"Dear KKK,
Thank your for your inquiry, but no, you KKKan't have it.
Signed,
The Southerners that are not proud of you."

Some of our readers got ideas.

agentxyz: "At least I'll know where to dump my trash"

Is the move legit? FULL POST

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Filed under: Georgia • Overheard on CNN.com • Race
Overheard on CNN.com: If wishes were horses, 'Another' Secretariat would rise
I'll Have Another won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, but won't be attending the Belmont.
June 8th, 2012
03:32 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: If wishes were horses, 'Another' Secretariat would rise

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Readers' hopes of witnessing the first Triple Crown winner in 34 years sank when the news broke that I'll Have Another was scratched from Saturday's Belmont Stakes. We're seeing all kinds of conversation about this horse, and the high-stakes racing world.

'I'll Have Another' scratched from Belmont

Do horses care about winning? Readers started to reminisce about the champion horse Secretariat, which inspired a movie starring Diane Lane.

Susan Barth: "I'm sure the horse could care less ..."

Chicago7: "I disagree with the sentiment that the horse couldn't care less. I think champion racehorses know very well that they're special when they're running. How could anyone doubt that while watching Secretariat shut out the competition at the lengthy Belmont Stakes, pass the finish line and then just keep running at full tilt ... and running ... and running ... and running. He knew all eyes were on him, that everyone was breathless, and that he was doing something extraordinary, and didn't want it to end. I'd call that horse a machine except he had too much heart to reduce him to that. I'm hoping for another Secretariat someday although I know there'll never be another horse like him. I was rooting hard for Smarty Jones and was so sad when he didn't win the Belmont. I feel just like that now – I'll Have Another reminded me of him a lot."

Mwolve: "I don't know about the feeling of having eyes on him, though dogs are definitely known to find joy in performing for their owners and sometimes one up each other, but it is obvious that some horses love to run and run fast. It is not a stretch to think some horses like to out run others. That being said, Secretariat was a bit of a machine. He literally had a lot of heart. He was physically much more gifted, including having a larger heart (literal organ), than any other horse he faced."

Some were hoping to witness a historic moment. FULL POST

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Filed under: Overheard on CNN.com • Sports
Overheard on CNN.com: Teen janitor's story 'like Good Will Hunting,' readers say
Dawn Loggins scrubs floors and cleans bathrooms at her school in addition to going to class.
June 7th, 2012
07:06 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Teen janitor's story 'like Good Will Hunting,' readers say

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Dawn Loggins, a student at Burns High School in Lawndale, North Carolina, knows what it's like to live without electricity or running water. But she's working hard as a janitor at the school and has been accepted into Harvard's class of 2016. CNN's profile garnered a very interesting conversation about working your way up in life, and the factors that contribute to success. That is, the oft-referenced American dream.

From scrubbing floors to Ivy League: Homeless student to go to dream college

Several readers talked about the movie potential for this story, a la "Good Will Hunting," and even getting Matt Damon to play the role of Loggins' brother.

ForGoodOfAll: "Wow, what a heartwarming story. It just goes to show that there are plenty of kind-hearted and caring people in this country. I am sure that a movie will be made about this girl's life, too. Congratulations and best wishes, Dawn!"

t0ofly2: "This is like Good Will Hunting."

kit8: "There is a lot of Goodwill in this story and Hunting for (Matt) Damon to play her brother might be a good idea. But something tells me he is to big a star and would be to old."

Robert Buchler: "I hope they find a way to give this bright, brave, lovely young woman a full scholarship. She is an inspiration. Why can't they make a reality show about her?"

One of the biggest conversations that took place was about the perspective of the country as a land of opportunity. Some drew political parallels.

Dionysus86: "Beautiful story. It should be noted that once again the American dream is achieved through a combination of hard work and a good support system. Our political arena has become so polarized to the extremes that we tend to think that either people should be given everything or that they should brave everything alone. We forget that there is a middle ground where people can receive a helping hand, capitalize on the opportunity through dedicated effort, and succeed."

Laughing__Man: "That was reasonable, bipartisan and probably accurate. We'll never hear anything like that from the halls of Congress."

The idea of a community helping someone succeed, and not the government, was encouraging for many. FULL POST

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Filed under: Economy • Education • Overheard on CNN.com
Overheard on CNN.com: Ray Bradbury was 'very down to Earth,' or maybe Mars
Sam Green of Burbank, California, shared this photo of his son meeting Ray Bradbury in 2008.
June 6th, 2012
08:42 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Ray Bradbury was 'very down to Earth,' or maybe Mars

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

"Once you've read Bradbury, can you ever look at a tattoo the same way again?"
–Thinks2010

The death of Ray Bradbury brings to mind many great books, and here at CNN, a few memorable interviews. His characters set books alight in the dystopian "Fahrenheit 451," populated colonial Mars in "The Martian Chronicles" and danced on the tattooed markings of "The Illustrated Man." But there's more, too, and CNN iReporters and readers were eager to share their tributes to the famed, prolific author.

Sci-fi author Ray Bradbury dies

Film producer John Dayton of Los Angeles says he has worked with Bradbury on some projects. He has a photo showing him with his daughter Alexandra at Ray Bradbury's home last year.

"'Ray was my inspiration and surrogate father," Dayton said. "He taught me to latch onto my dreams, and blessed my life in general."

Chris Kacher of London says he counts Ray Bradbury as a friend. He sent along a photo that was taken in 2010, but he had been reading the author's work for awhile.

"Ray Bradbury talked about how he would write a few pages each day. At the time (back in the early 1990s), he said he only skipped this daily writing ritual twice - once for his wedding, and once when he was in hospital. In terms of sci-fi, his 'Fahrenheit 451' is a seminal work about what could be if we're not careful, akin to George Orwell's '1984.' Both works left a deep impression on my young, developing mind when I was a young teen."

Gene Beley of Stockton, California, sent along a photo of Ray Bradbury in 1968. He has taken many photos of the author over the years.

"Ray was MUCH more than a sci-fi writer, and this is almost an insult to him to ask this question," Beley said. "He was the most underrated writer in all mediums."

David Nitchman of Scarborough, Maine, talked about the breadth of Bradbury's work. FULL POST

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Filed under: Celebrity • Overheard on CNN.com
Overheard on CNN.com: Do Americans take enough personal responsibility?
Readers are debating the role of personal responsibility in health and the economy.
June 5th, 2012
04:03 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Do Americans take enough personal responsibility?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

The obesity debate is about people as much as it is about calories or large sodas. LZ Granderson's opinion article about the availability of healthy food garnered a huge response, and brought forth a powerful discussion about the individual and society. We've seen a lot of readers talking about personal responsibility, with some saying we need to foster more of it.

Poor and fat: The real class war

Are poor people spending their money on the wrong things and digging a deeper hole?

tspaquin: "I live in a true mixed-income community. You could draw some easy conclusions by comparing my apartment building with the public housing next door. We both have access to two businesses a block away - a large grocery store selling plenty of healthy food (and the bad stuff too), and a video game store. Guess who are the vast majority patrons at the video game store? The public housing residents. If they have money for video games (which I feel I don't) - then they certainly have enough money to buy potatoes instead of potato chips. This is not about politics so much as it is about personal choices. It is no surprise that there are strong correlations between education, income, and health outcomes. My median income family spends a modest amount on healthy foods that we prepare ourselves - without meat. It's not a choice between expensive lean meat and fatty meat - you don't need meat, you're healthier without it. And it's not about buying more calories for the dollar - healthy food is subsidized by the government and is perfectly affordable. Organics are irrelevant. Yes, there are certain cases of income so low that there is a barrier to buying any food at all - that's why food assistance exists, and its no small sum. LZ is the perfect spokesman for the victimized, government solution oriented liberals of this country."

Or, conversely, is the concept personal responsibility applied selectively?

Brad Potter: "I can understand the liberal view, where government has a role in presenting solutions for problems, I can also understand the libertarian view regarding personal responsibility. So if government shouldn't be providing solutions to problems then the government shouldn't be reimbursing hospitals for those people who don't have insurance and can't pay their bill. To take it a step further then there is no role for government regarding medicare, welfare, foreign aid, defense, prisons, corporate subsidies etc as these are all victim driven problems that government feels it needs to step in to try to solve. They all relate to personal responsibility but to most people who tout personal responsibility, the application of this concept ends with foreign aid, defense, prisons, and corporate subsidies. Miraculously these victim driven problems do require government intervention according to the advocates of personal responsibility whereupon the safety net sponsors come flying out in support of medicare, welfare etc. It's a vicious never ending circle ..."

Long hours and low wages get in the way of healthy meals for this reader: FULL POST

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Filed under: Economy • Food • Overheard on CNN.com • Wisconsin
Overheard on CNN.com: Monarchy debate reigns in commenting kingdom
iReporter Chaleen Botha says her daughter got to meet Queen Elizabeth II in Brisbane, Australia, in 2011.
June 4th, 2012
07:15 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Monarchy debate reigns in commenting kingdom

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

The Revolutionary War is now a thing of history books, but conversation about the value of monarchies - constitutional or otherwise - in modern society is still very much alive. Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee has encouraged further discussion about the real meaning of royalty. Where do you stand?

Buckingham Palace rocks in queen's honor

We noticed that two commenters claiming to be British debated Americans' attitudes toward the monarchy. Are queens and kings and princes and princesses still relevant, or should they be relegated to history and fairy tales?

UKsideofpond: "I am totally flabbergasted by the total ignorance, respect and appreciation of other countries customs, etc. There are 44 monarchies around the world, some of which are 'absolute' and some of which are 'constitutional'. I can't believe that some Americans believe that Britain is ruled by the Queen! Do these people take time to have a look at countries outside of their own? I doubt it. Do they believe that we are living in medieval times? I think some of them believe we do. Fortunately, I'm big enough and ugly enough to realize that the majority of comments here are from a minority of Americans whose live revolves around the X Box and whom many have never been out of their own state. Thank heaven for the normal, intelligent American that I have come to know and like."

soaprano: "Wake-up call from this contributor. I am English born and bred and live in England. The fact that the royals are rubber stamps does not in anyway change the reality of the facts of what they really are, pampered, kept parasites of no value or use whatsoever to the nation ... tourism do I hear you bleat? So the thinking person is to accept that Shakespeare, the Brontes, Dickens, The Beatles, Stonehenge, etc., are all sideshows and looking at Buckingham Palace is what makes the majority of tourists spend money coming to Britain? What an insult to all the artists and musicians and history of Britain that anyone in any great numbers should believe looking at inbred parasites is the primary reason for flying across the world to Britain.

Of course, many of our readers are quite fond of the royals.

Moira Little: "Just watched the Diamond Jubilee concert for Queen Elizabeth. What a fantastic show for an amazing woman, 86 years old and still working for her subjects. I live in Philadelphia but am on vacation in the UK at the moment and am glad I am here to witness such a fantastic show of respect for her work over the last 60 years. Love that I am still British."

angrycandy: "This USA'er sees the value of intermediaries such as the Queen of England whose role actively encourages nationalistic celebrations. The USA, on the other hand, trots out the same old religious dogma and expects its citizens to partake of a meagerness that somehow defies mold."

But many are quite baffled. Where do you stand? FULL POST

Overheard on CNN.com: Richard Dawson, TV 'Hero' and smooching game-show host
Richard Dawson appears with cast members of "Eight Is Enough" on "Family Feud" in April 1978.
June 4th, 2012
01:57 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Richard Dawson, TV 'Hero' and smooching game-show host

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

"It's like my dad said, 'There are people dying now who never died before.' RIP Richard, you were a big part of my childhood.
- Jim Steele

Richard Dawson, longtime "Family Feud" host and actor, died Saturday night in Los Angeles. Readers responded to news of Dawson's death, fondly recalling his TV shows and acting roles, his penchant for kissing female guests on "Family Feud" and that show's famous phrase, "survey says." Several "Hogan's Heroes" fans jumped in to comment. What would be on your list?

Former 'Family Feud' host Richard Dawson dies

Several readers mentioned "Family Feud."

Snowball12: "Survey SAYS!: Thanks for all the great years of entertainment. You had wit, swagger and charm, and we’re going to miss you. RIP, Richard and condolences to your family and friends."

ReallyJersey: "His salute on the cheek was appreciative while never crossing the line into salaciousness. This was a gentleman who knew how to do that politely, with class and flair. He wanted to be a nice guy you would feel comfortable sitting next to. ... He succeeded by making us feel like we were all invited to be part of playing a party game among our friends and neighbors. Bless you Richard, for making us laugh and smile. My sincere sympathy to his family and many friends."

"Hogan's Heroes," a sitcom set in a World War II German camp, left a particular mark on many readers. Some of the actors had served in the military, and some were Jewish and had fled Germany. Dawson portrayed Corp. Peter Newkirk, one of the Allied officers.

2nova: "Aw - Richard - you'll always be Newkirk to me. My brother liked 'Hogan's Heroes' when I was just little, so of course I watched it, too. Our parents, a WWII vet and a refugee of the Holocaust, always grumbled that it made the Nazis too likable and goofy, but even they had to smile at it. A different time. A time whose positive aspects you were representative of.  RIP, sweetheart."

One person said they had a personal connection to Dawson's family. FULL POST

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Filed under: Overheard on CNN.com • Showbiz • TV
Overheard on CNN.com: Doughnut lovers' lament, washed down with a giant soda
A selection of sweets from Sublime Doughnuts in Atlanta, Georgia.
June 1st, 2012
08:56 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Doughnut lovers' lament, washed down with a giant soda

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been talking about a proposal to ban selling sodas and sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces at restaurants and food carts. This move generated a huge amount of conversation from our readers, and we highlighted a selection of comments on the CNN Mash-up.

New York City seeks to ban big sodas from restaurants, food carts
Big Gulp? Meet Big Brother

Friday happens to be National Doughnut Day, and a few readers are tying the soda and pastry issues together.

omegaworks: "Didn't he (Bloomberg) just cut the doughnut this morning for National Doughnut Day? National Doughnut Day... we can't drink soda, but we can celebrate National Doughnut Day ... I guess doughnuts aren't fattening."

Bloomberg's signature is on a proclamation declaring June 1, 2012, to be "NYC Donut Day" in honor of the 75th year of this tradition, which honors dessert-serving Salvation Army volunteers during World War I. The proclamation is posted on a New York Times blog.

A special gift, then? (Krispy Kreme is also marking its 75th birthday this year.)

Top_News: "National doughnut day? I think I'll send 2 dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts to NYC Mayor Bloomberg just for the heck of it. LOL"

And, for that matter ...

Jeff: "How am I supposed to wash down my 12-inch doughnut with this piddly little 16 ounce drink?"

The most-liked comment from the "Big Gulp" piece suggested giving the proverbial sibling something to do. Others said they think obesity is becoming too big a problem. FULL POST

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Filed under: Food • New York • Overheard on CNN.com • Politics
Overheard on CNN.com: Are we all 'zombies'?
Recent news events have got readers talking about what constitutes a zombie. Is there one within all of us?
June 1st, 2012
03:20 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Are we all 'zombies'?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Unless you've been hiding under a rock, and we don't necessarily blame you in this case, you are probably familiar with a few recent and very gruesome incidents. Some readers are saying they seem straight out of a zombie apocalypse thriller, while others say the real horror is in making such comparisons. In some cases, it's hard to know what to say about these stories. (Not to mention the New Jersey man who stabbed himself repeatedly and then threw bits of his intestines at police officers.)

Face-attack suspect's mother: My son 'was no zombie'

Is "zombie" the appropriate term here?

rev: "If it walks like a zombie, growls like a zombie and eats human flesh like a zombie, well then, it's probably a zombie."

ma & pa: "If a word label is made up and talked bad about, people will begin to believe it exists. Put that label on anyone and that person is smeared while doing nothing deserving of it. Be careful to not label ... rather describe. Please. That makes facts easier to find."

Readers debated the mother's reaction and the police's proper action. FULL POST

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Filed under: Crime • Overheard on CNN.com
Overheard on CNN.com: 'Being a slimy dirtbag doesn't equal being a criminal'
John Edwards makes a statement outside the courthouse.
May 31st, 2012
07:39 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: 'Being a slimy dirtbag doesn't equal being a criminal'

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

The federal jury in the trial of former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, apparently had some difficulty coming to a decision, acquitting him on one count and remaining deadlocked on the other five. Readers talked about what that result means and whether Edwards' behavior should be considered criminal.

Edwards gets acquittal on one count, mistrial on others

Most readers seemed to have less than favorable views of Edwards' behavior, but they didn't agree on whether justice is being served.

sarcastr0: "Being a slimy dirtbag doesn't equal being a criminal. That was known going in, and this just proved it. Thanks for wasting taxpayer money on a show trial that had no chance to get anywhere."

crzycatldy: "Face it folks, there is never justice for we the taxpayers when the defendant is a John Edwards. They will always get away with it and then apologize to the camera as if that makes it OK. Until we decide to take back this country...but I don't see that happening anytime soon as we've become spineless sheep."

One person speculated about what jurors were debating.

Sphy: "It seems pretty clear that there is at least one juror who understands that Edwards did not break the the letter of the law and at least one juror who wants to hang him for being a bad husband."

From a broader perspective, many expressed disappointment in the behavior of our leadership. Have we simply found another version of the nobles of yore? FULL POST

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Filed under: John Edwards • Overheard on CNN.com • Politics
Overheard on CNN.com: Do I have to talk to grocery clerks?
May 28th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Do I have to talk to grocery clerks?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Smart phones, Facebook, Twitter and text messages give people the ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere at anytime? But what about the person right in front of you.

Psychologist and MIT professor Sherry Turkle says technology is giving users companionship without the demands of a relationship. Her essay has generated an interesting etiquette debate.

We expect more from technology and less from each other

Many said acknowledging someone who's helping you is just the right thing to do, while other CNN.com commenters thought making small talk was pointless.

JustinAT88 says "I hate it when store clerks talk to me. 'Hi how are you today?' Like they care, they get paid $7.25 an hour. I'd much rather prefer someone who doesn't give two craps and just rings me out with the quickness. No small talk, no nothing. It annoys me, you are not happy and cheerful at $7.25 an hour working at a store, you're just not."

Lexagon agreed, saying "so, in the example given, the person should forgo communicating with people with whom she has a personal relationship to trade empty pleasantries with the supermarket checkout guy?"

woodartist said those pleasantries weren't always empty.

"Perhaps you'd also appreciate a cashier who looks at what you're buying at someplace like Home Depot and then points out that you've got the wrong products and they won't work together. Just maybe that casual conversation that you abhor will save you a bunch of effort, time, and...oh yeah...some money too.

I can't count the number of times I stopped someone who was clearly doing a "plumbing project" with pipe that can't be used for water. DOH! When I asked, and they responded, not one complained when I explained the potential problems and see that they ended up with the right stuff."

Commenters like Jo said it was about manners, not technology.

"It is quite rude to ignore anyone who is speaking to you. It's not asking too much to pass the time of day with a clerk. Their job is boring and mundane as it is, and chatting up a customer is just good business - it creates a personal relationship between you and the store.

If it's a call you simply MUST take, simply excuse yourself with a simple, 'Excuse me, but I have to take this call.' If it's something that can be put off, simply say to the person on the phone, 'Excuse me, but I am in the checkout line just now. May I call you back?'

Good manners aren't changed by technology, except by people who haven't got the finesse to be courteous to begin with."

Many commenters said that seeing people messing with their phones instead of having dinner conversation was a sad commentary on society, but others, like seyedibar, had a sunnier view of technology:

"It's not sad. It's amazing. Now that we can be linked with all our friends at any time we want, accommodations must be made for the time spent communicating. Life hasn't gotten colder, only more communicative. What you call a neurosis is a scientific blessing, especially for those who have so many friends and associates that they can't see them all in a day."

What do you think? Is it OK to text in line? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or click on the blue button below to file an iReport with your webcam.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.


Filed under: Overheard on CNN.com
Overheard on CNN.com: What's prison for?
May 24th, 2012
04:46 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: What's prison for?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Norway's Bastoy Prison seems almost idyllic. Inmates have almost everything they could possibly want on the lush, 1-square-mile island except for their freedom.

CNN.com commenters had mixed reactions to the story. Some agreed that getting inmates ready for life after prison is the most important thing - even if it means giving them jobs and spa-like living conditions. Others said Bastoy fails at a prison's most important job, which they said is punishing and deterring crime.

Welcome to the world's nicest prison

intventor121 "Caging of the offender serves a two fold purpose. 1. Takes away the "liberty" of the offender. 2. Protects the rest of society. I can't think of any other purposes for prison can you?

yellownumb5 "Rehabilitate the offender into a productive member of society rather than pay to house them and release them with no prospects or reform only to offend again.

Some commenters argued that Norway's low crime rate suggests that the system is working

max555544333 "I personally think the approach sounds nuts, but I'm no expert on crime and criminals. You don't really need any expertise to see that the U.S. system doesn't work."

Civildiscors "If you think this isn't harsh enough, or punishment enough, and it's rewarding the criminal, look again. If you value humanity and human beings, you will see that they are worth rehabilitating, treating and being given a chance to prove themselves worthy. If you don't value human life, you will say 'just kill them to save taxpayers money,' as if money is more valuable than people. And if that's your philosophy on life, you are surely doomed."

Scooter111 "Norway has a very low crime rate. Whatever works for them. You are twice as likely to be the victim of a violent crime in our state of Oregon and 4 times more likely in Texas. The goal of any justice system is to keep the non-criminal population safe. So Norway is doing a pretty good job, better than we are."

Others, like Goose66 said that focusing on rehabilitation misses the point:

"It may 'work,' but what about basic fairness. Is it fair to pay to house and feed outlaws in a resort-style environment, where they can fish and eat without working, while law abiding citizens toil away everyday and can't afford to buy food or a cottage of their own? When did fairness go out the window?"

RPTX "I'm sorry. While I'm all for lenient sentences for drugs, white collar crimes, and theft, as a parent I could not fathom someone strangling my daughter and getting a 10-year sentence on some resort island. I don't care how "enlightened" Norway seems to be, that is not fair to victims and their families. Period!"

mathews0723 "Where is the punishment? You stay in a dorm and get to call your parents? Sounds like college to me. I wonder what the murder victims' families think about the way the criminals are being treated. I am not a super vengeful person but I do think they should live without some of the extra perks. Geez."

What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. You can also use your web cam to record your response on CNN iReport. Just click on the blue button below and record your response.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.


Filed under: Norway • Overheard on CNN.com • Prisons
Overheard on CNN.com: 'I saw this one coming a mile away,' reader says of Facebook
This thumb points upward at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California, but many readers see things differently.
May 23rd, 2012
07:11 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: 'I saw this one coming a mile away,' reader says of Facebook

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

We've seen a lot of talk about the Facebook IPO's less-than-stellar debut. Some are surprised; some aren't. We decided to look back at the comments from our readers and see how views have changed or indeed whether they have changed. Here's some comments from before and after the IPO; looks like many are saying "I told you so."

BEFORE

Back at the end of January, we were seeing a lot of cynicism about the IPO. Much of it was centered around the idea that going public might affect the course of a business' mission. We also heard from a lot of readers who said they didn't like Facebook in general. To be fair, there were also plenty of folks who said they thought it was a good move for CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Co.

Facebook IPO's meaning: Zuckerberg faces reality

People at that time were talking about increased focus on profit after an IPO.

BossMoney: "Facebook is now 100% profit-driven ... expect it to turn into an advertising billboard and your personal info to be sold to commercialists as shareholders demand mega-profits from this ... Facebook and Zuckerberg are on the way out ..."

zeitsev: "This will be the end of Facebook. Just like all other companies that thought this was a good idea, a business-minded (not consumer-minded) Board of Directors will oust the CEO, and install another businessman who will ruin everything that Zuckerberg built. Like him or not, Zuckerberg has largely been consumer-oriented and won't allow ads to impede usability. That won't be the case when an MBA gets a hold of it."

Fr33Th1nk3r: "I miss the old, non-corporate capitalism. Where small business thrived, and big business didn't sell your privacy to the highest bidder."

Others were feeling cynical about Zuckerberg.

URKiddinMe: "Now he's going to have to answer to shareholders. I hope they beat him down to a pulp. Can't stand the guy or FB."

whatfor2name: "You cannot compare Zuckerberg to Gates and Jobs. The first one is manipulative and sick, the other two are creative and mature."

BanHammer: "Jealous much?"

This reader was more optimistic. FULL POST

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Filed under: Business • Facebook • Finance • Overheard on CNN.com • Social media • Technology
Overheard on CNN.com: Is Mount Everest like 'a morgue'?
This photo, submitted by iReporter Chelsie Kozera, shows a Mount Everest base camp.
May 22nd, 2012
04:08 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Is Mount Everest like 'a morgue'?

What is being called a "deadly traffic jam" of climbers ascending Mount Everest might be a factor in the death of four people descending the world's tallest mountain.

The news came amidst the celebration of a landmark climb for Tamae Watanabe of Japan, who, at 73 years old, became the oldest woman to climb Mount Everest on Saturday morning. She broke her own 10-year-old record.

Bad weather has also been blamed. Sandra Leduc, a Canadian woman who is climbing Mount Everest, has been tweeting about the storms. She saw lightning in the distance and tweeted that the peak winds were roaring at 100 kph.

She also tweeted that two or three hours from the summit, her sherpa wanted the team to descend immediately, because it was the worst weather he had ever seen. The very low temperatures appear to have affected a regulator she was using, which also has an effect on her oxygen supply.

What is altitude sickness?

But her most chilling tweet referred to those who did not survive their trek.

Michael Harley also made an observation that many are considering, perhaps for the first time.

Six people have died on Mount Everest this year, but it's not the disaster faced by climbers in 1996, the deadliest year to date for the mountain, with 16 deaths. On May 10, 1996, 10 teams were stranded by a storm and white-out conditions, with temperatures reaching 40 degrees below zero.

Adventurer Bear Grylls, who was one of the youngest climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest, shared his perspective on the tragedy.

Readers had much to say about the dangers of the climb versus the rewards. We received more than 1,500 comments on CNN.com.

Madhu: "Everest: Earth's highest graveyard."

daddy2010: "At least they died doing what they enjoy. Better than dying in a cubicle on Friday and having no one find the body till Monday."

darcechoke: "This is why I don't climb Mt. Everest. Well, this and the fact that I get winded climbing a flight of stairs."

Isocyanide: "Everest is the Disneyland of mountain climbing. Standing in line for hours and hours for the ride a million other people have taken."

Some talked not only about the dangers but about the bodies, the expenses involved and the waste left behind. The following commenter suggested a deposit to cover recovery expenses.

Unit34AHunt: "Everest has in excess of 200 known corpsicles, and massive heaps of discarded trash. Seems properly respectful of this earth to clear out all that detritus rather than allowing it to accumulate. 'They died doing what they love?' Tell it to the corpses of the ones who begged not to be left behind as they froze to death."

djfl00d: "Going up after dead bodies or trash means you bring less with you, which means you won't be carrying what you need to survive, and there's another dead body to go after."

For many, the sherpas who accompany climbers on some treks are indispensable.

MrsColumbo: "I hiked to Everest Base Camp in 95. The Sherpa's are unbelievable. They leave after you with your heavy pack, run by you get there ahead of you and have camp set up. It is not them who get paid the big bucks to take you to the top, it is the companies that sponsor them. You will not meet a nicer group of people than the Nepalese Sherpas."

Others were quite saddened by the news.

smc77: "I feel for these people and their families. I hike mountains, nowhere near this challenging, and have turned back when I thought the risk was too great. I can only imagine the draw to complete this goal, the costs (planning, physical, financial) involved, and the disappointment one must ponder when making the go / turn-back decision. I hope that all can take solace in knowing they died doing something they enjoyed and was important in their lives."

Would you climb Mt. Everest? What do these attempts say about humanity? Comment below and tell us what you think.

You can also sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Overheard on CNN.com: Robin Gibb fans say Bee Gees' legacy far beyond disco
Maurice, Barry and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees pose together in 1973. Robin Gibb died Sunday at the age of 62.
May 21st, 2012
06:56 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Robin Gibb fans say Bee Gees' legacy far beyond disco

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

As readers remember Robin Gibb, 62, who died Sunday, they're also looking back at The Bee Gees' legacy. While the Brothers Gibb are sometimes associated with the disco era, many commenters pointed out that they had a career well before "Saturday Night Fever." They performed together as kids and had several hits in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Robin Gibb, member of the Bee Gees, dies after battle with cancer

The Bee Gees were more than "Saturday Night Fever," many readers said.

ganderse: "They call this guy a disco singer, but the Bee Gees were so much more than that. These guys wrote some amazing songs! They were not just rockers, but balladeers as well. Songs like 'The First of May,' and 'Dearest' still make me cry. Thanks, guys for some great music."

Laura Shafer: "I'm pretty sure that people who don't appreciate the brilliance of the Bee Gees are those that have never listened to music outside of their favorite FM radio station. There were Bee Gees before SNF, during SNF and after SNF. And if disco music itself was such a travesty, why are we still listening to it and talking about it 30 years later? Godspeed, Robin. With now only one brother left to us, it is a sad day."

One reader paid tribute to the songwriting.

WmPreece: "First of all it's sad to loose another music talent. Robin was one of the key voices of the Bee Gees. The song 'I Started a Joke' always endured time and really made people think a lot about things. Every time he performed it, the level of excellence was always the same ... The other thing is that while some never heard of the Bee Gees or remember them have probably heard a song or two that was written by them done by other performers and groups. Almost anyone in the music business that scored a hit in the past 20 years probably have had a it written or co-written by one of the Bee Gees. As for the people getting on here making stupid or rude comments, you would think that there would be more respect or maturity rather than acting too poorly. It takes less effort if you just let people who do care make comments and move on.

Getting back to Robin's passing, he will be missed by millions of fans and condolences goes out to the Gibb family on another loss. Andy was to young and unfortunately was beyond saving. Maurice and Robin endured a lot of suffering before they passed on. May his children and beautiful wife know his voice touched a lot of people. The rest of the Gibb family and especially Barry the last of the brothers know prayers and support goes out to them during this time. Thanks to all the Gibb brothers for making such great music over several decades and endured the test of time. Whether it was an early hit or later hit background harmonies on many tunes or writing some of the best tunes the talent you shared is much appreciated ... bless you all ..."

iReporter Allen Mealey of Moreno Valley, California, looked back fondly on the stages of the Bee Gees' career and said the loss of Robin Gibb leaves a hole. FULL POST

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Filed under: Celebrity • Music • Overheard on CNN.com • Showbiz
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