A roundup of stuff that wouldn’t necessarily make it on the blog, but is worth noting:
• The Dallas City Council – and councils throughout the area – passed school zone cellphone bans to great fanfare last year. Turns out that they may have wasted their time. A Fort Worth-based traffic researcher says bans don’t work. "People are going to talk on their cellphones when they’re driving," he said. "This is an epidemic. We’ve got to do something about it." And it’s not surprising. I was driving through a school zone one morning a couple of weeks ago and a woman in the next car was chatting away, oblivious to the law.
• Colonel Sanders’ handwritten recipe for fried chicken has returned from five months in hiding while KFC upgraded security around the recipe. It is now protected by an array of high-tech security gadgets, including motion detectors and cameras. Before, it has been kept in a locked filing cabinet. And, just to show how small the world is, KFC’s security expert is Bo Dietl, an ex-New York City cop who once appeared with me on a panel about crime fiction.
• And, because we can’t ignore Valentine’s Day (no matter how how hard some of us try), how about this: The Toronto branch of Habitat for Humanity is holding a Valentine’s Day singles mixer at one of its building sites. “Instead of staying home and pondering the prospect of a dateless Valentine’s, Torontonians are invited to meet their match at the most unique singles event in the city – The Singles Build and Afterparty,” says the group.