Morning radar: Three things we're talking about this morning.
Things just got easier for our neighbours south of the border with less progressive laws: Through the power of Skype, a gay couple in Texas, where same-sex marriage isn't legal, can be wed by an official in the District of Columbia, where it is. This exact situation played out earlier this week when Dallas residents Mark Reed and Dante Walkup were part of the world's first digital gay wedding. "When we walked down the aisle, as soon as we reached the front, [Sheila Alexander-Reid, the marriage official]comes on the screen like The Wizard of Oz," Mr. Reed told news site dallasvoice.com. The union was coordinated in part by The Legal E-Marriage Project, an initiative started by two law professors. They say Skype weddings can also be useful for couples who are separated by distance.
Bracing yourself for what may be a disappointing (or just plain non-existent) end-of-year bonus? If you want to feel appreciated, maybe it's time to move to Silicon Valley. TechCrunch reports that an engineer at Google had been courted by another web heavy-hitter: Facebook. To convince this talented employee to stay, Google offered him $3.5 million in company stock. The price turned out to be right. If only all our bosses cared that much about our loyalty...
We see them every year in those "university students are too wild" stories that hit the newsstands during frosh week or at homecoming. Indiana University wanted to curb drunken belligerence among its undergrads and implemented a three-prong program over the span of two and a half years to do just that. Freshmen who lived on campus were the target: They were all required to take an online class related to binge drinking, their residence assistants took special training courses related to alcohol and the students were also exposed to educational campaigns around campus. Researchers noted a significant results: The number of drinks per week dropped by 15.9 per cent (compared to 7.5 per cent for non-freshmen living off campus), the number of binge-drinking students dropped by 12.2 per cent (compared to 1 per cent in the other group) and the number of students who drank at least once a week dropped by 17.5 per cent (versus 6.7 per cent for the other group). Still, researchers found that there was no significant attitude change among students after the intervention: most still saw booze as a necessary social lubricant. No surprise there.