Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The most valuable brand

What's the most valuable brand in all the world? Not surprisingly, it's Apple. The strength of sales of the iPad pushed Apple past Google as the world's most valuable brand in Millward Brown's BrandZ 2011 study of global brands.

Here is the list of the top 20 global brands along with their brand value and percentage change from the year prior.

1. Apple: $153,285M; up 84%
2. Google: $111,498M; down 2%
3. IBM: $100,849M; up 17%
4. McDonald's: $81,016M; up 23%
5. Microsoft: $78,243M; up 2%
6. Coca-Cola: $73,752M; up 8%
7. AT&T: $69,916M; n/a
8. Marlboro: $67,522M; up 18%
9. China Mobile: $57,326M; up 9%
10. General Electric: $50,318M; up 12%
11. ICBC: $44,440M; up 1%
12. Vodafone: $43,647M; down 2%
13. Verizon: $42,828M; n/a
14. Amazon: $37,628M; up 37%
15. WalMart: $37,277M; down 5%
16. Wells Fargo: $36,786M; up 97%
17. UPS: $35,737M; up 35%
18. HP: $35,404M; down 11%
19. Deutsche Telekom: $29,774M; n/a
20. VISA: $28,553M; up 15%

(Sources: Millward Brown BrandZ 2011, Advertising Age)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday morning coffee

Happy Memorial Day weekend, dear readers! Here in the Midwest, it feels like anything but the unofficial start of summer given cool temps and cloudy skies.

Let's throw it around a bit, shall we?

- Check out 715 restaurant in Lawrence. The small-ish space, in one of downtown Lawrence's historic buildings, is modern yet intimate. The focus here is fresh ingredients--yesterday's menu included lamb fresh off a local Kansas farm. Everything we had, from smoked salmon appetizer to cauliflower soup to spinach and ricotta ravioli was first-rate. And, the grilled peach with homemade vanilla ice cream was the topper to an excellent meal.

- If you're not watching The Killing on AMC, you need to catch up.

- Speaking of AMC, Jon Hamm will follow in fellow actor John Slattery's footsteps and will play a role behind the camera on Mad Men. Hamm is directing the series' first show of Season Five with filming not starting until August of this year. The series will begin airing again in early 2012.

- For fans of The Hobbit, director Peter Jackson has caused a stir by casting Orlando Bloom, in his Lord of the Rings role of Legolas, in The Hobbit movies. The issue, for purists, is that Legolas doesn't appear in J.R.R. Tolkien's Hobbit novel. One post on Jackson's Facebook page accused the director of "blatant fanboyism."

- Leave it to Lawrence to come up with this. In Kansas City, we have "First Fridays" in the Crossroads District, a monthly celebration in the midst of art galleries in the Union Station/Freighthouse area of town. In Lawrence, they have "Final Fridays," a quirky art exhibition where, in last night's case, student artists displayed their wares in a vacated space downtown.

- Motorists in Los Angeles recently lined up at a local gas station. The occasion? A computer glitch allowed unleaded gas to be purchased at $1.10 a gallon instead of the usual $4.29 per gallon.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Tis the season for television finales and, per the usual, some shows are hitting the mark and others are going out with a whimper. Two high profile network TV shows concluded seasons last night and both finished on a reasonably high note although one had a very up-and-down second season.

Dancing With the Stars (ABC) crowned Hynes Ward as the champion last night. Ward, the Pittsburgh Steelers football star, beat out Kirstie Alley and Chelsea Kane in a year which featured some of the best celebrity dancers in DWTS history.

Ward and his partner, Kym Johnson, displayed a strong chemistry throughout Season 10, so much so that the rumor media mills had the two as a potential couple off of the dance floor. Ward brought an athlete's mentality to the competition and was praised throughout the season for his preparation and solid technique.

DWTS has built a loyal viewership among the older adult demo and succeeded this season after a less-than-stellar group of competitors in Season Nine.

As for Glee, the hit show on FOX stumbled throughout this second season following the kids from McKinley High. The show capitalized on the talent of the actors and became much more about the singing and dancing than the life lesson stories which highlighted last season. New actors, most notably Darren Criss, received increasing air time throughout this season and a guest appearance by Gwyneth Paltrow went on for far too long. Jane Lynch's Sue Sylvester character moved from acerbic to downright mean for most of Season Two and Chris Colfer's Kurt was reduced to a complementary role until late in the season.

Last night's Glee ended with a bit of a twist yet also nicely tied a bow around this hodge-podge Season Two storyline. The network knows it has a franchise hit on its hands and is playing it a bit safe in prep for next year's Season Three.

Over on CBS, perhaps the best drama on television, The Good Wife, finished its first season last week with a juicy ending. Julianna Margulies' character, Alicia Florrick, finally succumbed to her attraction for Will Gardner (played by Josh Charles.) The couple enters a hotel room only to have the camera pan back to an empty hallway, yet a hallway where the question seems to be "is somebody watching?" In a show with a topical storyline, terrific ensemble cast, and Margulies' stoic brilliance, The Good Wife will be much anticipated next fall.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday morning coffee

- Happy Birthday to Mr. T.--dude turns 59 today. Whaddup fool!?

- Apple is reportedly close to offering a cloud music service--the ability to upload and store music on the Web so that one can listen to it on smartphones, computers or tablets. I've tried out Amazon's version of the service and it's okay--a bit clunky and basic, and the uploading is not a quick process. Apple's likely entry into this space, which could be announced as soon as next month, would represent another occasion where the brand came into a space already occupied, and likely will offer something better and more user-friendly.

- I'm a little late to the game but I saw Thor this week. My review? A solid C+.

- Did you know...? Workers in Chicago and New York walk faster than those of us suburban types, thus elevator companies program the doors to shut faster in buildings there.

- Sign of the apocalypse: Ronald McDonald is under attack from health-care professionals and consumer groups who recently have asked McDonald's to retire the clown spokesperson. Thank you, McDonald's, for standing firm and defending Ronald. While the company has been fairly diplomatic in its response, mine would be "Hey, all you parents out there--grow a pair and guide your children on what constitutes healthy eating versus not. It's not a food chain's responsibility to parent for you!" It's unfair to single out McDonald's in this fashion given the improvements the fast-food chain has made in its menu to offer healthy eating alternatives.

- American Idol improved dramatically this season, what with the addition of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler as judges, and the overall final group of singers was the best in many seasons. Yet, in one area, the song remains the same for Idol--the finalists tend to be middle-of-the-road, no risk singers. Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery both seem to be nice young people but neither has the vocal chops of jettisoned contestants like Pia Toscano or James Durbin.

- Idol, by the way, continues to put up killer audience delivery numbers--on Thursday night, over 21 million viewers tuned in.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

CBS at the Upfronts

Are you used to watching CSI on Thursday night? Don't get comfortable--that time is changing this fall. How about The Good Wife on Tuesday night? Yep, it too is changing its time slot.

The big news coming out of CBS' upfront presentation today was the shift of successful dramas to new times in order to provide better opportunity for success by new programs. And, oh yeah, the other news? In case you didn't know, that show Two and a Half Men has a new co-star.

CBS is planning two new comedies and four new dramas for next season, with three of the dramas in the established cops formula which has worked so well recently for the network.

All three of the CSI dramas will return--CSI: Miami remains on Sunday nights, CSI will move to Wednesday nights and CSI: New York goes to Friday nights. Blue Bloods, which is finishing up a very successful first season, will stay on Friday nights, airing right after CSI: New York.

The new comedies are How to Be a Gentleman, which stars Kevin Dillon of Entourage fame, and Two Broke Girls, about twenty-somethings living in Brooklyn. The rookie shows join successful comedies The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother.

On the drama front, the new entries are a J.J. Abrams-produced drama, Person of Interest, about an ex-CIA agent, long thought dead, who partners with a billionaire to stop crime. Jim Caviezel will star alongside Michael Emerson (Lost.) One of the police dramas is Unforgettable, starring Poppy Montgomery (Without A Trace.) Montgomery's character is able to remember everything which, obviously, is a big plus at work but a bit problematic on the homefront. The 2-2, about six NYPD rookies, is produced by Robert De Niro and stars Leelee Sobieski.

One more drama, A Gifted Man, stars Patrick Wilson as a surgeon whose dead ex-wife gives him life lessons from the great beyond.

What didn't make the CBS cut? Mad Love is out as is $@*! My Dad Says and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior.

CBS also revealed that the story line of Two and a Half Men will change in order to accommodate the addition of Ashton Kutcher. Execs sounded almost giddy about the addition of Kutcher which finally allows the network to move on from the Charlie Sheen media circus of the past few weeks.

(Sources: USA Today, AdAge.com)

What's on your mind?

"What's on your mind?" That's a seemingly ubiquitous question now that we live in a world of Facebook where every time one visits the page, you are faced with that probing question.

What to say? What to reveal? How to word it so that my friends and those viewing my wall will have their curiousity piqued versus a reaction of "that poor S.O.B.--such a pitiful life he leads."

A group called Buddy Media researched the making of a good wall post on behalf of companies and individuals, trying to determine which lengths, which days and even which times were best for engaging viewers of the site. Here's what they found out:

- Posts of 80 characters long or shorter cause a 27% increase in engagement. Thus, the adage of "give me the headline" seems to be true here.

- Posts made outside of business hours caused a 20% increase in engagement. Does this mean that employers can rest easy, knowing that their employees are more dialed into Facebook away from work versus at work?

- Posts on Thursday or Friday were likely to cause an 18% increase in engagement. Hmm...getting ready for the weekend, perhaps?

- Posts that end with a question cause a 15% increase in engagement. What's that you say...?

What decreases engagement? According to Buddy Media, there is an 18% decrease in engagement if the post is on a Saturday versus other days of the week. In other words, don't screw around with Saturdays. And, the weekend hangover causes a decrease in engagement as readers are 3.5% less engaged with posts on Monday through Wednesday versus other days of the week.

There you have it--lessons for those struggling with how best to answer "what's on your mind?" Go forth, Facebook posters, and write great things (but just do it on Thursday or Friday and make it 80 characters or less, ending with a question.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

ABC at the Upfronts

You have to give ABC credit--they're rolling the dice by ordering up 13 new shows while throwing in the towel on all but two shows from this past season.

Perhaps the biggest source of optimism for the number three network is Good Christian Belles, a prime-time soap set in Dallas (sound familiar?) and starring Kristin Chenoweth, Annie Potts and Leslie Bibb. The show is from Darren Star, best known for Sex and the City.

Another hoped-for hit is Apartment 23, even though the storyline is tired and over-used. Krysten Ritter is a naive girl from the Midwest (no word if she's from Kansas) who has big dreams which take a hit in New York.

Among the 13 new shows are remakes (Charlie's Angels) and a period piece (Pan Am) which sounds similar to what NBC is attempting with its Playboy Club.

Former TV star Tim Allen returns on the network in Last Man Standing--Allen plays the sole male in a large household.

ABC's only holdovers are Body of Proof, starring Dana Delany, and Happy Endings. Mr. Sunshine did not make the cut meaning that, once again, a Friends alumnus (Matthew Perry) was part of a losing effort. Others cancelled are Better With You, No Ordinary Family, Detroit 1-8-7, Brothers & Sisters, V and Off the Map.

What's working for ABC, long mired in third place behind FOX and CBS? Well, Dancing With the Stars had another successful season and Modern Family is perhaps the best sitcom on TV. Paul Lee, ABC's programming chief, has to hope that he can mine similar gold with one of the lucky 13 he served up to media execs and advertisers earlier today.

It's a wacky, wacky world...

Let's see if I have this all straight...

- The governor of California had a child out of wedlock with a woman on his household staff.

- A mother admitted to injecting her eight-year old daughter with Botox and subsequently had the child taken from her custody.

- Good Morning America reported on a man who has eaten 25,000 Big Macs, dating back to 1972.

- Donald Trump decided not to run for President...and the media treated that revelation as major news.

- 57% of Americans say that college isn't worth it. (Source: TIME)

- Lady Gaga hit the 10 million mark for Twitter followers.

- The Winklevoss twins are taking the Facebook case to the Supreme Court.

- Vin Mazzaro of the Kansas City Royals gave up 13 runs last night...in three innings.

- And, a couple named their newborn after the Facebook "like" symbol.

That, my friends, is "news" from only the past 24 hours. Oh yeah, there's also this "the world will end on May 21" thing coming up too.

Weird, wacky stuff...

FOX at the Upfronts

Can you say Glee? Can I have an "amen!?"

FOX network executives took the stage yesterday afternoon for their upfront presentation to media execs and advertisers and, not surprisingly, used smash hit Glee to tie their performance together and not so subtly say "we're number one!"

The network's show opened with the Warblers, led by Darren Criss, singing "Hey Soul Sister," and featured other Glee Cast members singing and dancing. Jane Lynch, in full Sue Sylvester mode, followed and, true to form, used her time to insult the audience.

What shows did FOX trumpet? Not surprisingly, The X Factor was the headliner. Simon Cowell's new show will take over the time slot of American Idol this fall with Idol then starting up after the NFL's NFC Championship Game (if there is one) on January 22, 2012.

Terra Nova, another Stephen Spielberg project, was the other new FOX show which received lots of buzz. Nova was promoted at last year's upfront but got delayed--the show is about a family who travels back in time to when dinosaurs ruled the earth.

J.J. Abrams has created Alcatraz, which could be interesting. The premise? No one ever escaped Alcatraz until one night when 302 men disappeared, never to be heard from again.

Other shows unveiled included Touch, a new outlet for Kiefer Sutherland, and The Flintstones, another animated show from Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy.

FOX played to its strengths by showcasing Glee, Idol and the upcoming X Factor, affirming why the network is rated first among adults 18-49. The one-time fourth network has come a long way in its 25-year history.

Monday, May 16, 2011

NBC at the Upfronts

Perhaps it's fitting that NBC--the network which once gave us "must see TV"--kicks off this week of upfront presentations by the television networks to media planners, buyers and advertisers. NBC has given us anything but "must see TV" of late given the network's fourth place standing among the major networks in terms of total viewership.

Here are the highlights of what advertisers will see today from the network of the Peacock:

- Wonder Woman, the re-make from David E. Kelley and starring Adrienne Palicki (Tyra on Friday Night Lights) didn't make the cut for the fall lineup.

- Christina Applegate, one of my favorite comedic actresses, is back in Up All Night, a sitcom about a working mom and stay-at-home husband, played by Will Arnett. Applegate was last seen on Samantha Who?, an engaging comedy which only lasted one season. Up All Night will air on Wednesdays, followed by Free Agents, a comedy starring Hank Azaria which is about co-workers on the romance rebound.

- Smash will premiere on Mondays next year--it's a musical set behind the scenes of a Broadway show and is based upon an idea from Stephen Spielberg.

- The Firm, based upon John Grishman's novel and movie of the same name, will air on Sunday nights.

- Awake is a brain-twister show set in two alternate realities--one in which the protagonist's wife dies in an accident and the other in which his son dies.

- Mario Bello will star in Prime Suspect. This show is a remake of the British detective series which starred Helen Mirren.

- Finally, The Playboy Club--perhaps NBC's riskiest bet--is a prime-time soap opera about this famed Chicago hideaway and the club's various ties to celebrities and gangster types. There's no word whether Playboy owner Hugh Hefner might be asked to make a cameo.

The shows which didn't make NBC's fall lineup include Law and Order: Los Angeles and The Event.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saturday morning coffee

- Wow, Joe Queenan, who writes for the Wall Street Journal, isn't a fan of the sneaker set. And, I have to agree that the prevalence of sneakers as a fashion statement has gone a bit too far. Queenan writes, "Young people say they worry about their future. This may be because it's hard to muster much optimism about a country where so many adult males in positions of power think that stone-washed denim jeans with white sneakers is still a good look. It is not. It was not a good look when it was introduced on April 12, 1973, and it is not a good look now." Continuing, Queenan opines, "White sneakers, particularly on a tall man, make him look like a duck. A sad, clownlike, poorly shod duck."

- Researchers in Brisbane, Australia, in an attempt to better understand human altruism, went to three T-shaped intersections where motorists who stopped had to wait for an opening in traffic flow. In 959 different interactions, drivers slowed to let the other driver in about 40% of the time. In general, men and women acted equally altruistic, but men were--surprise, surprise--more altruistic than women when the waiting driver was a female. Also not surprising, drivers of high-status cars were less likely to slow down than drivers of average cars. Of all the factors measured, the one that was most important was peer pressure--drivers with at least one passenger acted altruistically 25% more often than those traveling by themselves.

- Sofia Coppola turns 40 today. Francis' little girl is quite the director but her turn in
The Godfather III as Michael Corleone's daughter is still one of the hardest acting performances ever to observe in a major film.

- People, people, people--please...there is no such word as "anyways."

- Speaking of The Godfather trilogy, is anyone else surprised that Al Pacino accepted a role in an upcoming film about John Gotti?

- The media upfronts begin in New York on Monday and today's New York Times has a story about how media executives are more and more working to appeal to the 55+ year old set. The upfronts are the annual preview of the fall television season and kicks off the time period where media planners and buyers negotiate with the network for "upfront" inventory. The focus on this boomer audience reverses what had been a trend of working hard to appeal to the 24-35 year old segment. Why the shift? For one, the 55+ audience is more likely to hold a job, and thus have disposable income, compared to younger audience demos.

- As successful as American Idol has been this season, the process of picking a winner showed its flaws again this week. James Durbin, a competitor who was different than the normal Idol contender, was booted off, following in the footsteps of another worthy singer, Pia Toscano and her premature exit. We are left now with three vanilla competitors who bring little in the way of unique styling--Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery, and Haley Reinhart. The show continues to deliver whopping numbers as a total of 21.6 million viewers watched Thursday night's elimination show.

Friday, May 13, 2011


In the wake of the death of Osama Bin Laden, accolades for the Navy Seals rolled in and there was a seemingly insatiable appetite for information about the successful raid. As a result, word that a canine was part of the operation elevated interest in the role of military dogs.

Dogs in Afghanistan are primarily used to sniff out bombs, particularly the homemade varieties which have proved so lethal to U.S. troops in country. By the end of this year, it is projected that nearly 650 dogs will be involved with U.S. troops in Afghanistan out of a total of 2,700 dogs on active duty in the U.S. military.

Pfc. Colton Rusk was a handler of one of these military canines. Rusk, a machine gunner, was a 20-year old Texan who sent his family back in the States a consistent diet of photos and news about his beloved dog and partner—Eli.

In December, Rusk was gunned down by sniper fire in Sangin, one of the deadliest areas in Helmand in Afghanistan. As Rusk’s body lay mortally wounded, Eli crawled on top of his companion in an attempt to guard him from further harm.

When the obituary was written for Rusk, the first survivor listed was Eli, the black Labrador Retriever. Fittingly, Rusk’s parents adopted Eli and brought the dog home to much fanfare in Colton’s hometown of Orange Grove, Texas. After a ceremony at Lackland Air Force Base, the Rusks took Eli home with them.

Upon entering the Rusk home for the first time, Eli made straight for Colton’s bedroom. After sniffing out the room, Eli jumped up on the bed and assumed the spot formerly occupied by his fallen owner, trainer and friend.

The identity of the dog who took part in the Bin Laden raid is still a mystery, except to a chosen few which now includes President Barack Obama. When the President said his “thank you’s” to the Navy Seals last week, the group included the commando dog who was there when the secret raid eliminated America’s, and the world’s, greatest terrorist risk.

Eli, the anonymous dog who helped seal Bin Laden's fate, and the hundreds of others in harm's way each day--these animals deserve our appreciation. Rebecca Frankel, deputy managing editor of ForeignPolicy.com, summed it up by saying "I think people go weak in the knees for these dogs. But, their contribution is significant. These are serious dogs."

(Source: The New York Times)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Catching up...

I'm sorry, loyal readers, for a slow blog week last week. Let's try to catch up, shall we?

- Mike Wallace turns 93 today. As most know, the broadcast journalist served on CBS' 60 Minutes for 37 years. But, it was his early career jobs which may come as a surprise. In the 1950s, Wallace hosted several games shows--in that era it was fairly common for newsmen to also double as game show hosts. Not only did Wallace follow this career path but so too did journalists like Walter Cronkite, Douglas Edwards and John Cameron Swayze.

- Isn't it amazing the number of Facebook and Twitter messages, posts and the like which were devoted to mothers yesterday? It makes Mother's Day even more special although we know that few were actually seen by the motherly set in the 65 and up age range given this audience's lack of interaction with social media.

- Oprah's last episode is next week and the venue is moving to one suitable for the audience and hype--the United Center in Chicago.

- For all of you Lady Gaga fans, the pop star is releasing a new song, "The Edge of Glory," today at 3:00 p.m. CDT. The song will be available via iTunes.

- Remember the photo released from last weekend's successful raid on Osama Bin Laden's lair which showed President Obama and his national security team in the Situation Room? Well, the Hasidic newspaper, Der Tzitung, has removed Secretary of State Hollary Clinton and another woman, counterterrorism director Audrey Tomason, from this now iconic photograph. The newspaper, which is "ultra Orthodox" (according to Jewish Week), apparently has a policy that it never publishes photos of women because it thinks it could be sexually suggestive. In the photo, Clinton has her hand over her mouth and a look of attentive anxiety.
(Source: The Huffington Post)

- A study released today by the Pew Research Center for Excellence in Journalism found that Facebook is influencing what news gets read online as
users share and recommend content. While Google remains the leader in this space, Facebook and other sharing tools/sites are empowering users to rely upon their circle of online friends and acquaintances to recommend interesting stuff.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The devil and Bin Laden

DEVIL: “Welcome, Mr. Bin Laden. We’ve been waiting for you. While I expected you sooner, we’re glad you’re here.”

BIN LADEN: “It’s a bit hotter than I expected here. I trust that you have superior accommodations for me similar to my palace where those American infidels invaded my privacy and shot me through the eye.”

DEVIL: “Yes, yes, a very nice accommodation for you, sir. And, we have a doctor on staff who can take a look at that nasty looking left eye. I’m sure he can repair it—Dr. Martin Bormann is an excellent physician.”

BIN LADEN: “Good, good…now, let’s take a look at where I’ll live.”

DEVIL: “Live? Hmm…that’s an interesting choice of words. But, yes, follow me down to our special wing of suites. We have a very nice place for you here—you’ll be next to Mr. Hitler and just down the hallway from Pol Pot and Genghis Khan. Watch out for that Khan fellow though—a bad temper, that one. You’ll also notice that we keep the temperature nice and hot for you fine fellows down here. You'll have no square meals a day, zero water and you'll burn here forever. Enjoy!"

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday morning coffee

It's been another busy week so let's catch up on some of the action, shall we?

- Did you get a load of the headgear sported by those attending the William and Kate nuptials on Friday? Sarah Lyall, writing for The New York Times, described it best: "The outfits of the guests were generally tasteful and royal-friendly. A few things stuck out...The hats worn by the ladies, which resembled, variously, overturned buckets, flowerpots, lampshades, fezzes, salad plates, tea cozies, flying saucers, abstract artworks or, in one case, a pile of feathers."

- No tweeting was allowed from Westminster Abbey at the royal wedding but in the month leading up to the big event, there were roughly 600,000 posts per day.

- Traveling from midtown to downtown New York in a cab is bad enough but cross-country? Mohammed Alam, a New York cabdriver, received the fare of a lifetime--$5,000 to drive John Belitsky and Dan Weubben of New Jersey from New York to Los Angeles. The trip took six days and was Belitsky's idea for a birthday adventure. Not only did Alam get a huge fare, he also got to see Universal Studios--a dream of his since childhood.

- In our house, we have a hard time getting our cat to use the kitty door. In Florida, a woman discovered that an alligator had figured out the kitty door--she found the creature in her bedroom.

- Katie Couric confirmed that she is stepping down as anchor of the CBS Evening News. That once proud news franchise--the home of Walter Cronkite--is bringing up the ratings rear among nighttime news shows.

- Back to the royal wedding, Christopher Hitchens had this to say on Slate.com: "Every decade or so, the pathetic bunch of scandal-prone, dowdy misanthropes Britain calls 'the royals,' seems to require a 'human sacrifice'--a fresh-faced outsider like Diana or Kate who is forced to live an unendurable existence of constant scrutiny, and then is 'punished or humiliated when they crack up.'"

- Here is another sign of the growing irrelevance of print media: In the past decade, 18 newspapers have closed their foreign bureaus. The Boston Globe, Miami Herald and The Philadelphia Inquirer are among those on this list.

- And finally, some juicy tidbits from today's Parade magazine: West Virginia has the most strip clubs of any state in the U.S. and is also the state which has the highest percentage of adults who report not getting enough rest; Minnesota is the top state for physical activity; Connecticut's residents visit the dentist most frequently; and Vermont leads the nation in the consumption of fruits and vegetables.