10:16am

Fri August 31, 2012
Morning Trail Mix

Mitt Romney, empty chair, take center stage at RNC

Good Morning! Here's your pre- Labor Day Trail Mix:

If you're hitting the road this holiday weekend, expect higher gas prices.

Was Mitt Romney overshadowed by an empty chair at the RNC?

Plus, where does New York state's best tasting water come from?

Politics

Mitt Romney gave his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention last night in Tampa, vowing to defeat President Obama and turn the economy around (Jeff Zeleny, New York Times).

But many commentators say Romney was somewhat overshadowed by Clint Eastwood's speech, which has been described as bizarre, rambling, and weird

In case you missed it, here is Eastwood talking to an empty chair with an imaginary President Obama:

Someone quickly created an @InvisibleObama Twitter account, which has over 40,000 followers and counting.

Emails obtained by the Associated Press show that women who accused Assemblyman Vito Lopez of harassment originally sought $1.2 million in damages before Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver negotiated a $103,000 payout.

Innovation

The cities of Rochester and Buffalo have been listed as "underrated" hotbeds of innovation by the business publication Fast Company (Matthew Daneman, Democrat and Chronicle).

Researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a technique that could pave the way toward building better batteries (Innovation Trail).

Fracking

Despite projections that low natural gas prices could trigger a downturn, data released by Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection show that gas production continued to rise in the first half of 2012 (Steve Reilly, Gannett).

Controversy over SUNY Buffalo's new Shale Institute continues to simmer, as students and faculty question its affiliations with the gas industry (Daniel Robison, Innovation Trail).

As New York state's fracking decision nears, legal battles loom (Innovation Trail).

State Fair

Where is New York's best tasting water? Apparently it's in the town of Niskayuna in Schenectady County, which took home the top prize at the State Fair, beating out nine other entries, including New York City (NY Dept. of Health).

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