BEST OF THE WEB: Wednesday’s Feature Highlights from Newspaper Sites

By: Kathryn Blaze Carlson

Each day E&P combs the Internet to bring you some of the best features newspaper Web sites have to offer. Here are today’s picks.

Locations of Starbucks Stores Closing Across the Nation
The Seattle Times
Online Feature
By Seattle Times staff

Some Starbucks frequenters may have to walk an extra block to buy their Venti non-fat, 120-degree, light-on-the-foam, half-syrup, vanilla bean latte. About 600 Starbucks stores are closing across the country, and the company hasn’t yet announced which ones will be first to get the axe. But “news is trickling out through baristas, the media, and others,” allowing The Seattle Times to plot the possible shut-downs on this Google map. For those fearing withdrawal from a round-the-corner caffeine fix, not to worry — you won’t have to go far, as many of the ill-fated stores were “being cannibalized by nearby Starbucks locations,” according to this related article by Melissa Allison.

Aliens and UFOs
The Denver Post
Photo Gallery
By Denver Post Staff

With extra-terrestrial hit flick WALL-E in theatres, it seems only fitting to explore the idea that there’s something else out there. This Denver Post photo gallery shows you the serious and slightly goofy side of believing such things — from Area 51 and the Roswell Incident to “UFO trinkets including alien pens” and a woman walking her Chinese crested dog, Misty, whilst sporting “full alien regalia.” Note: be sure to scroll over the photos to read the captions.

The Varying Impact of Gas Prices
The New York Times
Online Feature
By New York Times Staff

People in Wilcox County, Ala., spend the largest percentage of their income on gas, while those in Hunterdon County, N.J., spend the least. Mono County, Calif., boasts the highest gas prices at $4.79, while Campbell, Wyo., is home to the lowest prices at $3.67. So where does your home city fit into the gas-tastrophe equation? Find out by navigating through this online feature compiled by the New York Times.

McCain Vs. Obama: The 2008 Summer Olympics
Animated Editorial Cartoon
By Walt Handelsman

Walt Handelsman continues to crack us up with his cartoons. Watch McCain and Obama tackle events such as the “long-distance Hillary hurdles” and “the far-right wing javelin.” Looks like Obama struggled in the “Internet rumor dome” during the turban-toss trials.” Just watch it.

Judging the Bridge’s Five Suicide-Barrier Designs
San Francisco Chronicle
Illustration Gallery
By San Francisco Chronicle Staff

“Changing the design of a landmark such as the Golden Gate Bridge is sure to provoke controversy — even if the goal is to save lives,” according to a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle. While the idea of mounting suicide barriers has been debated for decades, a study released yesterday was the “most comprehensive to date” and analyzes five designs (shown here). According to the Chron, “each design would cost an estimated $40 million to $50 million if built today.”

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