Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April Fools Day Comments

Some of the Best All-Time April Fools' Jokes

April 1 is a day of tomfoolery, tricks, gimmicks, and downright immaturity. But where did it come from?Mystery surrounds the start of April Fools’ Day, but one thing’s for sure: you still have to watch your back. If you’ve ever been victim to the whoopee-cushion-on-seat or “kick me” sign pranks, you might not be a fan of April 1. But where did this tradition of tomfoolery come from?
Accounts vary, but the most popular story about the origin of April Fools’ Day comes from France. In the 1500s, France changed its calendar so the beginning of the New Year would match the new Gregorian calendar that began in January. This meant that winter would usher in the coming year instead of the traditional spring start in early April.
Legend has it that word of the change traveled slowly, and that many people in rural areas continued to celebrate the beginning of a new year during the spring. Because of their delayed response to a national change, these country folks became known as “April fools.”

But some disagree with this theory. They claim that April Fools’ Day stemmed from age-old spring festivals meant to celebrate the coming of warm weather. During these festivals, pranks and masquerades were commonplace, perhaps inspiring a day in which hoaxes and jokes became requirements.
Regardless of how April Fools’ Day came about, it has become a beloved—or frustrating—part of many people’s yearly traditions.

Here are some of the all-time great hoaxes and the fools who fell victim.
1957: Spaghetti crops : Among the BBC's legendary pranks (and they are known worldwide for them) is their report of an early spaghetti harvest in Switzerland, complete with a video of peasants harvesting the noodles from spaghetti trees. Hundreds of people called, asking how to get a spaghetti tree of their own.
1976: Planetary pranks: BBC is at it again, this time publishing a report from astronomer Patrick Moore that got thousands of Brits off their seats. Moore reported that a rare alignment of Jupiter and Mars at 9:47 a.m. on the morning of April 1 would result in a temporary reduction in the Earth’s gravitational field. He told listeners if they jumped at exactly that time they would float momentarily, something that many callers later reported to the station as actually happening, despite the prankish nature of the report.
1996: Patriotic Fast Food: Taco Bell announces it has purchased the Liberty Bell to help relieve the nation’s debt and renamed it the “Taco Liberty Bell”, shuttling the national treasure between Philadelphia and company headquarters in Irvine, Tex. The White House jumped in on the joke, announcing the Ford Motor Company had purchased the Lincoln Monument and had renamed it the Lincoln Mercury Monument. By noon, the hoax was up, though Taco Bell did donate $50,000 for ongoing maintenance of the Liberty Bell.
1997: Garfield? Is that you?: Over 40 of the most well-known cartoonists decide to mix their cartoon strips for the day, with such swaps as Garfield making an appearance in the lives of Blondie and family. It confused and amused comic fans.
1998: Love for lefties: Burger King announces via a full-page ad in USA Today that it is releasing a brand-new left-handed Whopper featuring the same ingredients but with its condiments rotated by 180 degrees. Sales of both the left- and right-handed Whoppers spike.
2008: Penguins Soaring At Crazy Altitudes Scare Unwitting Toucans: The chaps at the BBC are always good for a prank. The "Beeb" is renowned for creating excellent wildlife shows. While filming a series called Miracles of Evolution down near the South Pole, excited BBC film-makers( who perpetrated this elaborate hoax) claimed they had seen the most remarkable event. A large group of Adelie Penguins (like those in Happy Feet) had looked like they were going to huddle together for a bit of warmth, when they started flying instead: The narrator, ex-Monty Python member Terry Jones, explained how these wonderful creatures would fly thousands of miles looking for tropical rainforests and a bit of sun. It was an elaborate and well created prank. This is a wonderful April Fool's Day classic, because just for a minute, you actually believe a rare group of penguins can fly. And if you squint carefully near the end at the background, you can just make out a beautiful flock of pigs. SEE VIDEO BELOW.

Richard Garriott : Millionaire Game Developer Claims To Own A Piece Of The Moon

When Multi-millionaire computer game developes Richard Garriott purchased a missing lunar rover from the Russsians in 1993, his friends thought he was crazy.
However, after scientists recently discovered the long lost Lunokhod 2 rover marooned on the same lunar surface it had vanished from over three decades ago, it may be Garriott who gets the last laugh. Since acquiring the Rover for $68,500 at an auction at Sotheby's, Garriott has boastfully maintained that he is "the world's only private owner of an object on a foreign celestial body."
Now Garriott is taking the braggadocio up a notch, claiming that he may own not only the land on which his rover rests, but the 25 miles of moon that has been disturbed and surveyed by the Lunkohod 2 as well.Dispite very public skepticism towards his claims , we asked Garriott to play Nostradamus and predict what may one day occupy his supposed celestial real estate. If you build one atmosphere-domed enclosure, with a low enough gravitational force, then with only the power exertable [SIC] with the human body, you'll be able to fly unger your own power, he says, "and so flying around in domed habitats akin to "Leonardo Da Vinic's oneman flying machine, I think will be one of the most entertaining things to do on the moon."
Unfortunately, before Garriott can break ground on his "FlyDome" [ not bad, right?]he must first contend with the many cynics who cite the Outer Space Treaty's contention that no one person can rightfully own any extraterrestrial property.
People can say whatever they want, explains Associate Professor Ram Jakhu of McGill University's Institute of Air and Space Law. But what is the legal basis of the argument ? He needs a piece of paper that is supported by law. Jakhu insists that there is no governing body on the face of the earth that can grant Garriott such a document. The land on which the Rover lays down does not belong to him, and it cannot belong to anyone. It's a very simple thing.
Garriott defiantly suggests that people on Earth have no right to place sanctions on any kind of lunar dealing that may or may not occur in the future. None of us [lunar settlers] are going to care what people on Earth say we should or should not be doing on the moon.
Garriott, who amassed his fortune by creating the popular "RPG" series "ULTIMA," paid $ 30 million to visit the International Space Station in 2008, where he spent 12 days. Is he the Richard Branson for the "Dungeons & Dragons" set? The thrill of exploration and discovery that I feel when I travel on the surface of the earth to Antarctica, to the deep sea, and even to space, is identical to the thrill that I feel and love to create when I build these virtual worlds.
My take: I bet it was a thrill of a lifetime to spend 12 days in space. Oh the wonder of it all.............Take that, Space Treaty.

April Fools' Yuk Yuks

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Close to Discovering How the Universe Began...At Last

Scientists applaud their first big success at creating first mini Big BangThis is what a collision of sub-atomic particles looks like on a computer screen.
Mini-Big Bangs are being created in the Large Hadron Collider located near Geneva, as part of the 'Cosmos Origins Project'; an endeavor to determine how the universe was created and how life began. These are the questions which have plagued mankind since since we were first capable of reasoning.

Physicists smashed sub-atomic particles into each other with record energy on Tuesday, creating thousands of mini-Big Bangs like the primeval explosion that gave birth to the universe 13.7 billion years ago. Scientists and engineers in control rooms across the sprawling European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) near Geneva burst into applause as the $9.4 billion project to probe the origins of the cosmos scored its first big success.
"This opens the door to a totally new era of discovery," said CERN's director of research Sergio Bertolucci. "It is a step into the unknown where we will find things we thought were there and perhaps things we didn't know existed."
"It just shows what we can do in pushing knowledge forward on where we came from, how the early universe evolved," CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer said, speaking, like Bertolucci, on a video relay from Tokyo.

Colorful images of the collisions, at the center of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project which will continue for over a decade, were flashed onto screens across CERN. CERN scientists say the images reflect what happened a fraction of a second after the Big Bang as matter and energy was spewed out, leading to the formation of galaxies stars and planets, and eventually the appearance of life.

Over the coming months and years some 10,000 researchers in laboratories around the globe, as well as at CERN, will analyze the huge volumes of data that will be produced from billions of LHC particle collisions to see how that happened. Among the stuff of the universe they hope to track down are invisible dark materials making up 25 percent of the cosmos, a particle dubbed the Higgs boson that gives mass to matter, and perhaps new dimensions to add to the four already known.
"These are the known unknowns, but there are unknown unknowns out there which could make us radically revise our view of how the universe works," Bertolucci said.

Soon after 1100 GMT (7 a.m. EDT) on Tuesday, and after two efforts earlier in the day were aborted due to technical glitches, the LHC slammed beams of particles together at a collision energy of 7 TeV, or 7 million electron volts. This was three and a half times more than ever achieved in a particle accelerator. The particle beams were traveling at a fraction under the speed of light when they hit each other in a tunnel 100 meters (330 feet) under the Swiss-French border.

Oliver Buchmueller, a German physicist on the project, said hard information on what the many billions of collisions over the coming years reveal would emerge only slowly.
"But by the end of 2010 we think we will find evidence of dark material," he added. The Higgs boson was likely to prove more elusive, and perhaps appear only after 2013, when the collider is boosted to collision energy of 14 TeV. The boson is named after Scottish physicist Peter Higgs, who proposed it three decades ago to explain how the disparate matter produced by the Big Bang was converted to mass.

They also dismissed suggestions from some outside scientists -- echoed by doomsday theorists -- that the fleeting mini-black holes that the project is likely to produce could sooner or later swallow up the Earth..... Now hold on there! Is this concievable? I am all for the progress of science and I am as curious as anybody about how we came to be but maybe we should re-think these particle collisions and mini Big Bangs if there is the slightest chance the world will be swallowed by a black hole....Right???

Jesse James: The Foolish Tattoo Lady "WTF"!!!

When Sandra Bullock thanked her bad-boy husband , Jesse James as she accepted her best actress Oscar for "The Blind Side,"she may not have known that while she was away shooting the film, Jesse was carrying on a steamy affair with a tattoo model. While Jesse has had an 11-month affair, including five weeks of sex , with Michell "Bobbshell" McGee, she believed he and Sandra was no longer together, I would never have hooked up with him if I thought he was still a married, Michelle tells "IN Touch" magazine in an exclusive interview. He gave me the impression they was separted. For weeks while Sandra was in Altanta shooting "The Blind Side," Michelle had sex at least once a week with the "Monster Garage " star. Far from a one night stand, his relationship with Michelle was intimate and highly charged. Michelle even says she calls Jesse, who didn't wear underwear or condoms, by a special pet name, Vanilla Gorilla," because he was so "well endowed."
While Jesse was in Altanta with Sandra when she started to film The Blind Side, Michelle sent West Coast Choppers a friend request because she hoped to snag a modeling gig there. She was surprised that it was Jesse who wrote back to tell to e-mail him personally at his personal e-mail. From the start Jesse wanted to meet Michelle, and it was never about business: He started saying , do you want to hang out? So a week after he got in touch, Michelle drove two hours from her San Diego home to West Coast choppers in Los Angeles. I got there around 9 at night, remembered Michelle, who was star-struck at first, I was like holy s**t, it's really "Jesse James," after taking Michelle on a tour of his garage, Jesse brought her into his office and locked the door. We ended up on the couch, she says. He wanted to watch movies, but I asked him , what's going on with you and Sandra? jessive was evasive, he said she doesn't live here, she has a house in Austin, she's filming, and I can't talk about it. Assuming he and Sandra were separated , Michelle continued talking to Jesse, she says, and then we had intimate relations.
Michell says she and Jesse had sex three times that night - and began what she believed was a serious relationship, texting each other several times a day, and meeting up for sex at least twice a week for the next five weeks. Stay tuned: the saga continues: updates as they become available.
My spin on the tattoo bimbo: Many people cheat physically on their spouses,but it is absolutely wrong to do so knowing you are putting she/he at risk of catching an "STD." (SO WRONG) I believe the lying hussy knew Jesse and Sandra was still together, she knew Jesse was a dog, so she waited her chance to get her 15 mintues of fame. Can't you see the trend, to lazy to wrok or maybe the bimbos have stretched their choochies out of shape and know they can't keep a man of their don't take a rocket scientist to know when a man is lying...Michelle say they had sex five weeks and she didn't know Jesse was lying....oh please...give me a break.

My Back Yard

Monday, March 29, 2010

Popes Letter of Apology Inadequate - Vatican Takes No Responsibility

DUBLIN — Pope Benedict XVI's unprecedented letter to Ireland apologizing for chronic child abuse within the Catholic Church failed last week to calm the anger of many victims, who accused the Vatican of ducking its own responsibility in promoting a worldwide culture of cover-up.
Benedict's message – the product of weeks of consultation with Irish bishops, who read it aloud at Masses across this predominantly Catholic nation – rebuked Ireland's church leaders for "grave errors of judgment" in failing to observe the church's secretive canon laws.

The pope, who himself stands accused of approving the transfer of an accused priest for treatment rather than informing German police during his 1977-82 term as Munich archbishop, suggested that child-abusing priests could have been expelled quickly had Irish bishops applied the church's own laws correctly. He pledged a church inspection of unspecified dioceses and orders in Ireland to ensure their child-protection policies were effective.
He also appealed to priests still harboring sins of child molestation to confess.
"Openly acknowledge your guilt, submit yourselves to the demands of justice, but do not despair of God's mercy," he wrote.
But Benedict offered no endorsement of three official Irish investigations that found the church leadership to blame for the scale and longevity of abuse heaped on Irish children throughout the 20th century. The Vatican refused to cooperate with those 2001-09 probes into the Dublin Archdiocese, the rural Ferns diocese and Ireland's defunct network of workhouse-style dormitory schools for the Irish poor.

The investigations, directed by senior Irish judges and lawyers, ruled that Catholic leaders protected the church's reputation from scandal at the expense of children – and began passing their first abuse reports to police in 1996 only after victims began to sue the church.
Nor did Benedict's letter mention recent revelations of abuse cover-ups in a growing list of European nations, particularly his German homeland, where more than 300 claimants this year have alleged abuse in Catholic schools and a choir long run by the pope's brother.

Vatican axed trial for priest accused by deaf boys:

The Vatican on Thursday strongly defended its decision not to defrock an American priest accused of molesting some 200 deaf boys in Wisconsin and denounced what it called a campaign to smear Pope Benedict XVI and his aides.
Church and Vatican documents showed that in the mid-1990s, two Wisconsin bishops urged the Vatican office led by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — now the pope — to let them hold a church trial against the Rev. Lawrence Murphy. The bishops admitted the trial was coming years after the alleged abuse, but argued that the deaf community in Milwaukee was demanding justice from the church.

An American protester in Rome on Thursday called the Murphy case an "incontrovertible case of pedophilia."Despite the extensive and grave allegations against Murphy, Ratzinger's deputy at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ruled that the alleged molestation had occurred too long ago and that Murphy — then ailing and elderly — should instead repent and be restricted from celebrating Mass outside of his diocese.
The official, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone — now the Vatican's secretary of state — ordered the church trial halted after Murphy wrote Ratzinger a letter saying he was ill, infirm, and "simply want to live out the time that I have left in the dignity of my priesthood."
After a further interview with Murphy a church official reported that the priest showed no remorse for what he had done and did not seem repentant .

Why are these men allowed to hide behind the church, with it's full approval, I might add ? Why are they given a slap on the wrist, a few Hail Marys and absolution? They merely have to say they repent and they can go freely about their business. Most of them are just transferred to another post when the complaints get too many and too angry.
The Vatican, that holy of holies, must protect the reputation of the Catholic Church at all costs. What is the sacrifice of a few hundred thousands of children compared to that ?
The situation must be addressed by the church and the government. Perhaps the government could provide it's own investigators, on a local level, who would regularily review each church .

I also believe there are many men who join the priesthood for all the wrong reasons, with just such nefarious purposes in mind. There should be an investigation into the backgrounds of all prospective priests for any clue of inappropriate behavior. A liason between church and government could conduct these investigations. If I was a Catholic , my faith in the church would be severely undermined.

If you are a survivor of abuse by a priest you can contact the website below:
SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

Scientist Says:"Climate Change Killed Dinosaurs"

Was it long-term climate change, rather than a rogue asteroid, that killed off the dinosaurs?
That's the conclusion of German paleontologist Micael Prauss, who studied 65-million-yar-old fossils drilled out of the earth in the Brazos River area of Texas and argues that radical changes to the flora and fauna of the era began long before arrival of the massive space rock widely associated with one of the largest mass extinctions in the history of the planet.
The impact, at what is now Chicxulub, Mexico, in the past 30 years has become the primary suspect in the death of the dinosaurs, it was the subfect of an acticle in the journal "Science" earlier this month in which 41 scientists from around the world argured that a wealth of global data show the extinctions began at the same time that the asteroid's crash sent debris across the atmosphere and blocked out the sun for years. A German scientist refutes the widely accepted theory that an asteroid led to dinosaurs extinction, saying long-term climate change was to blame instead.
The resulting chronic stress, to which of course the meteorite impact was a contributing factor, is likely to have been fundamental to the crisis in the biosphere and finally the mass extinction, Prauss said. Those events include the massive , years-long volcanic activity in what is now the Deccan Plateau of India, and which, like Chicxulub asteroid impact, is conventionally used by paleontologists to separate the cretaceous period from the Paleogene period.The Cretaceous, with a relatively warm climate at high sea levels , was the last era of the dinosaurs and the large marine reptiles that lived at the same time.The actual impact took place well before the geochemically and micropaleontologically defined Cretaceous Paleogene boundary, he said.In support of his theories , Prauss cites his analysis of samples taken from drill cores and rock sections dating to the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary near Brazos, which is about 620 miles from the Chicxulub crater.
Prauss said the fern spike began well before the Paleogene period began, and that the Cretaceous period again, and that the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary - and the asteroid impact - marked only the peak of a trend that began millions of years earlier. In the light of new data, both of these points have to be refuted, Prauss said. Still, it's almost impossible to change the skeptics minds, Tamara Goldin said. But we hope to we can communicate to the sicentific community and the public that this impact-induced environmental catastrophe did happen.
My spin: What are the scientists telling us....Earthquakes are erupting around the world and one is more destructive than the last one....take a look at all the earthqurakes...Haiti and Chile...they was very powerful....climate change is here folks, it's time for us to take our heads out of the sand and help ourselves.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Easter Yuk Yuks

My favorite Easter joke

So that's where Easter eggs come from.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Vanishing Arctic and Vanished Island in Bangladesh

These shocking satellite images from the European Space Agency show how the Arctic summer ice pack has changed in just one year. The left image was taken in August 2005 - the right in August 2006. See the difference?
In both images, pink represents pack ice and the colour blue open water. Intermediate colours orange, yellow, and green indicate lower ice concentrations of 70%, 50% and 30%, respectively. In the 2006 image, the low concentration ice pack can seen by the high concentration of yellow, orange and green colours.

A tiny island at the centre of a territorial dispute between India and Bangladesh has disappeared beneath the waves due to rising sea levels and erosion, scientists say. The uninhabited outcrop -- called New Moore island by India and South Talpatti by Bangladesh -- was 3.5 kilometres (about two miles) long and 3.0 kilometres wide before it was swallowed up by the Bay of Bengal.
"There's no trace of the island anymore. After studying satellite images, I confirmed this from fishermen," Sugata Hazra, a professor from the School of Oceanographic Studies at Jadavpur University in Kolkata, told reporters.
Hazra said global warming and erosion were responsible for solving a point of contention in the sometimes fractious relations between India and Bangladesh, which both claimed the island.
"Climate change has obliterated the source of dispute," he said.

Hazra said temperatures in the region had been rising at an annual rate of 0.4 degrees Celsius (0.8 degrees Fahrenheit). In 1981, the Indian navy planted its national flag on the island, but no permanent settlement was established. The island, which is thought to have been created by a cyclone only about 40 years ago, sat in the Sundarbans mangrove delta in the mouth of the Hariabhanga River that divides India and Bangladesh. At its height, it was never more than two metres (about six feet) above sea level.

Hazra said a larger island, called Lohachara, disappeared in the Bay of Bengal in 1996 after 4,000 inhabitants had fled. At least five other islands in the region are also threatened, he said.
Bangladesh is one of the countries worst affected by climate change with some scientists predicting 20 million people will be displaced by 2050 because of rising sea levels.

So where are we going to put these people?? All you idiots at the climate change summit, (who solved nothing because of your oversized egos and undersized concern) have not volunteered to take these people in or any of the other millions who will be displaced in the next fifty or so years. You seem to think you have plenty of time to slow global warming. YOU DON'T !!

Unique Wedding Entrance

Seems these days brides and grooms aim for something different.

A Bunch of Funny Wedding Bloopers

Real life sure is funny. You can't make this stuff up

Gene Siskel - Roger Ebert : " At The Movies" Canceled

On August 14, "At The Movies" balcony will officially be closed for good.
This was a very difficult decision, especially considering the program's rich history and iconic status within the entertainment industry, but from a business perspective it became clear this weekly, the half-hour, broadcast syndication series was no longer sustainable, the distributer said in a statement.
The show originated in 1975 under the title "Sneak Previews," with hosts Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.
Siskel and Ebert would of course , go on to become household names thanks to a syndication deal with Buuena Vista Entertainment in 1986 that would launch Siskel and Ebert and the Movies ( later shortened to ' Siskel and Ebert' in 1989). The duo would continue reviewing movies together throughout the 90's, until Siskel's death in 1999.
In September 2000, Ebert named Siskel's official replacement : Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times, who stayed with the show until 2008. Ebert left the show two years prior, due to his ongoing battle with thyroid cancer, and never returned.
That same year, Disney decided to take the show in a new direction and hired E!
correspondent Ben Lyons, son of critic Jeffrey Lyons, and Turner Classic Movies Ben Mankiewicz as its new hosts. The hosts, Lyons in particular, were criticized by viewers and fellow-critics alike - including Ebert himself , who penned his now-infamous, "Little Rule Book" in 2008, attacking Lyons Hyperbolic review of "I Am Legend," among other things.
The two Bens were fired the following year and were replaced by esteemed critics and current hosts, Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune and A.O. Scott of the New York times.
Roger Ebert tweeted his reaction to the news, Saying, "RIP" At The Movies Memories."
My spin: My older brothers and sisters say a thumbs up by Siskel and Ebert was a must see movie. A sad goodbye to a much loved show.

Funny Wedding Video

These days the bride and groom seem to go for laughs

See Bush Wipe His Hand on Clinton

Today, a new video is flying around the Internet of Bush - in Haiti with Bill Clinton helping to raise money for the quake-devastated country - appearing to wipe his hands on his fellow former president after shaking hands with a Haitian. Check it out:

Sarah Jessica Parker

Is this dress sexy, high fashion or is it trashy, bad taste?? I'm not sure.

Who's Most Like Steve ???

Which actor (Brad or Daniel) do you think resembles Steve the most ?? And who could portray him best in his life story ??

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Steve McQueen : "My Little Ferrari"

The 1953 Siata 2085-Spyder (above) that actor Steve mcQueen affectionately dubbed his "Little Ferrari" is being offered for sale by California's Fantasy Junction for $1.295 million.
The Italian roadster, one of only 35 built, was one of the foreign sports cars acquired by the "King of Cool" who came to be famous for his stable of exotic autos. Featured in the 2007 book "McQueen's Machines," it was formerly part of the "Cars of Steve McQueen" exhibition at the Petersen Auto Museum in Los Angeles.
Bruce Sand, the doctor and former UCLA Medical School student who acquired the car from McQueen recounts that the actor had removed the Siata's front nose badge, put a "Ferrari" shield on it and called it his "Little Ferrari."
In addition to a 2.3 Litre 8-cylinder "Fiat" engine, the car features a very rare set of Tag Hever racing instrurments ( watch & stop watch) which are affixed to the dashboard.
Paintakingly restored to perfection with the engine completely rebuilt, the car has won honors at several "Concours D`elegance.
My spin: Love Steve's old movies....Maybe Jay Leno will be bidding on Steve's car, Jay got his old job back maybe he can afford the car. What about it Jay?

Stars Support Poor Sandra Bullock

Jesse James might want to avoid showing his face in Tinseltown -- or any town -- for a while. Not only has Sandra Bullock gained the public's sympathies (if your friends are anything like ours, they're firmly on Team Sandy), but celebrities are also coming out to show their support in messages ranging from diplomatic to scathing.
In the midst of the second "Blind Side" premiere cancellation -- neither the Berlin premiere nor the London first showing will be graced with Sandra's presence. -- stars have been revealing their feelings about the turmoil surrounding Bullock, whose husband of nearly five years, Jesse James, allegedly cheated on her with a tattoo model while Bullock was filming "The Blind Side."

Bullock's "Speed" co-star Keanu Reeves sent his sympathy and support.
Fellow Oscar winner Mo'Nique offered to lend Bullock an ear, saying, "Sandra, if you need me, sugar, call me, baby..."
Betty White is reportedly furious at James and can't say his name without cursing. Apparently White, who co-starred with Bullock in "The Proposal," "wants to kick James' a--."
A number of stars took to Twitter to express their feelings.
An angry Patti Stanger of "The Millionaire Matchmaker" said, "Sandra: don't need to be with a loser like Jesse" while Meghan McCain was perplexed: "what the hell Jesse James?!?!"
Maria Menounos was equally heartbroken: "sandra b: my heart bleeds for you. Sending you a huge hug, lots of love and hope-there is a good man for you out deserve better."
These messages and hundreds more come in the wake of tabloid reports that Bullock and James are consulting with divorce attorneys.

While Bullock is taking a break from the public eye at the moment, James hasn't shirked his job responsibilities. Word has it he went back to work at his motorcycle shop, West Coast Choppers, over the weekend. That doesn't necessarily mean it's business as usual for James, though. Reports of his return to the job have described him as "very upset" and "very quiet."

It's always the way; the useless husband of a star gets jealous and feeling neglected in the shadow of their spouse's fame and screws some bimbo and totally screws up their marriage. They have this need to draw attention to themselves and hurt their wives.--Assholes,all.

Bride and Groom's First Dance - a Little Tweek on Tradition

Monika & Nicholas were married 5/31/08 and put together this amazing dance which was a surprise to all their guests!

Overweight People Have Different Bacteria From Normal Weight People

Germs in the digestive tract may help drive appetite, says new research into the link between obesity and bacteria. Previous studies show overweight people and normal-weight people harbour different types and amounts of microbes that naturally reside in the intestine. To determine why, scientists are examining mice.
Emory University researchers noticed that mice with an altered immune system were fatter than regular mice, and had a collection of disorders - high blood pressure and cholesterol and insulin problems - called metabolic syndrome, often a precursor of heart disease and diabetes.
Everyone is born with a sterile digestive tract that within days is flooded with bacteria from first foods and the environment. Altered immunity in these mice meant somewhat different bacteria grew in their intestines than in normal rodents - driving bigger appetites, metabolic syndrome and a low-grade inflammation believed key to obesity's illnesses, Emory associate pathology professor Andrew Gewirtz reported Thursday in the journal Science.

To prove it, Gewirtz transferred bacteria from the fat mice directly into the germ-free intestines of normal newborn mice - and those mice began eating more and developed inflammation and insulin problems. Restrict access to food and the altered mice don't gain weight but still experience the other symptoms, he noted.

"People are getting obese because they're eating more, but research suggests the reason they're eating more may not simply be that calories are cheap and available," Gewirtz said. "The reason they're eating more may be an increased appetite resulting from changes in intestinal bacteria."
His next step: Studying how bacteria changes in people undergoing weight-loss surgery.

OkayDoc, so if the bacteria in fat people's intestines make them eat more and get fat and the bacteria in thin people make them thin; what happens if you put bacteria from a skinny person into a fat person , huh?????

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tiger Woods : "Has The Serial Cheater Changed?"

Serial cheater Tiger Woods has agreed to pay his heartbroken wife Elin Nordegren a whopping $150 MILLION if she'll stay with him - but the Swedish beauty has told him there's no way she's calling off their divorce !
Elin is a very proud woman, and can't be bought, says a source. Elin married Tiger because she loved him and believed he loved her, but his cheating and betrayed any love she thought he had for her. Tiger humiliated and hurt her very,very deeply, she says he can pay her a billion dallors and it won't influence her final decision whether to stay or not. Elin's taking her time, making sure he's really changed, as he keeps claiming he has.
Elin's staggering "loyalty bonus" was reportly negotiated by her twin sister Josefin Lonnborg, a high-powered corporate lawyer. The stunning financial pact calls for Elin to pocket $150 million now - another $150 million if she sticks with the love cheat until 2012 ! Sources say even the promise of a staggering $300 million payoff can't pay off the betrayed blonde. She's angry, hurt and sick at heart - and she's going to keep the threat of divorce hanging over Tiger's head.
Elin, 30, and Tiger, 34, are reporteding living under the same roof in their Windermere, Fla. mansion since he completed a six week stint at a Mississippi sex-rehab clinic where Elin spent five(5) days particioating in his therapy.While Elin isn't wearing her wedding ring, the big freeze she put on Tiger after the scandal broke last Thanksgiving has thawed a bit says sources. Tiger and Elin was spotted kissing on March8. They were hugging and kissing out in the open, an eyewitness in their neighborhood tells, they've come a long way, there was a time when she wouldn't even look at him.
A source says Elin agreed to move back in to "help restart his life" and for the sake of their children, but she knows he has issues and is afraid to go near him romantically. Woods 5 year marriage and billion-dallor career exploded four months ago with the revelation he'd been having an affair with New York party girl "Rachel Uchitel . In the weeks following a bizarre early-morning episode where Tiger smashed his car into a tree, at least 19 women have revealed they, too, had affairs with the golf great. The scandal caused some of Tiger's sponsors to cancel multimillion-dallor endorsement deals and he went into a self-imposed 5-month exile from golf.
Elin's first reactin was to dump the skirt-chaser, but her sister Josefin talked her out of doing anything rash, partly out of corcern for the children. Now, even as Tiger reportly prepares to restart his golfing career, making his PGA return at the Masters on April 5, his focus is on trying to prove to Elin that he's changed his stripes, says a source. The Saga continues: updates as they become available.
My spin on the cheater: Tiger can throw all the money he wants at Elin - but the proof is in the pudding....Tiger has to earn Elin's trust again, if that's possible...Tiger has to devote himself totally to her and the kids welfare. But with 19 women .... it's going to be a long hard rocky road. I waiting to see how long he will be on tour before the scandals break out again with some more women. But hey, that's just me.
Kicking back and having fun and keeping it real.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Johnny Depp :Trouble in Paradise -- " Vanessa Paradis" That Is

Johnny Depp's furious galpal tried to get him to quit his new film after learning he was going to shoot a steamy shower sex scene with movie mantrap Angelina Jolie, sources revealed.
Singer-actress Vanessa Paradis , 37, was fuming when she discovered her man was going to kiss and embrace a naked Angie, say sources. The 34-year-old screen siren is notorious for snaring her leading men, like current lover Brad Pitt, who was married to sitcom superstar Jennifer Aniston when they met on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
The mom of Johnny's two children was reportedly so upset she told him he had to pull out of the multimillion-dallor movie, "The Tourist." Vanessa was apparently incandescent with rage, says a set insider, it appears she didn't know a love scence was involved until the final stages of preparation. I've no idea if Johnny had tried to hide this part of the plotline from her, or how she found out, but when she realized what was going on, Vanessa hit the roof.
It's no wonder Vanessa was spooked . In the thriller , Johnny plays an American visitor to Italy who's seduced by sexy interpool agent Angie when he catches her naked in the shower. According to the script , Johnny lifts Angie and kisses her passionately as she wraps her legs around him .
But Johnny was,46, was reportedly so shaken by Vanessa's anger, he begged the producers to let him out of the movie, says a source. The bigwigs were so convinced that Johnny was going to leave, they began considering replacing him with Brad Pitt or Leonardo DiCaprio, says sources.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star was finally talked into staying and filming began at the end of last month. He and Angie were recently spotted laughing and joking on set at the Palazzo Moretta in Venice. Johnny's pals believe Angie's reputation for twisting her co-stars around her finger had Vanessa in a tizzy.
The Lara Croft beauty hooked up with - later married - Billy Bob Thornton after shooting scenes with him when he was still engaged to actress Laura Dern. She later found love with co-star Brad Pitt, who is the father of her children. In 1997, Lolie Jolie hooked up with Jerry hall's hubby Mick Jagger when she appeared in the video "Anybody Seen My Baby," according to a new book on the screen vixen.
A Jolie source insists Angie and Johnny's relationship is a purely professional one. I'm sure that neither of them will allow themselves to be distracted from focusing on this very important be continued as updates become available.
My spin : Well Angie is up to her old tricks...we all know Angie is a maneater. But don't think she will have an easy time with Depp..# Johnny loves his family # Vanessa is no Jennifer Aniston, Vanessa is no pushover and she will not give up her man without a fight and just hand him over to Angie like Jen did Brad...Where's Brad you ask, why he's at home playing Mr. Mom.
Kicking back and keeping it real:

Eye Witness Testifies Murray Delayed CPR to Hide Evidence

Michael Jackson's doctor halted CPR on the dying pop star and delayed calling paramedics so he could collect drug vials at the scene, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press that shed new light on the singer's chaotic final moments.
The explosive allegation that Dr. Conrad Murray may have tried to hide evidence is likely to be a focus as prosecutors move ahead with their involuntary manslaughter case against him. The account was given to investigators by Alberto Alvarez, Jackson's logistics director, who was summoned to the stricken star's side as he was dying on June 25. His statement and those from two other Jackson employees paint a grisly scene in Jackson's bedroom.

Alvarez told investigators that he rushed to Jackson's room and saw the star lying in his bed, an IV attached to his leg. Jackson's mouth was agape, eyes open and there was no sign of life. Murray worked frantically, at one point performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while Alvarez took over CPR. Two of the star's children, Prince and Paris, came in the room and cried as they saw Murray trying to save their father. A nanny was called to usher them away and they were taken to wait outside in a vehicle.

The documents also detail an odd encounter with Murray after Jackson was declared dead at a nearby hospital. Murray insisted he needed to return to the mansion to get cream that Jackson had "so the world wouldn't find out about it," according to the statements, which provide no elaboration. Jackson, 50, hired Murray to be his personal physician as he prepared for a series of comeback performances in London. He was participating in strenuous rehearsals and Murray would routinely meet him at the star's home in the evening for treatments.

The Los Angeles coroner ruled Jackson's death a homicide caused by an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol and two other sedatives given to get the chronic insomniac to sleep. Propofol, a milky white liquid, is supposed to be administered only by anesthesia professionals in medical settings. Patients require constant monitoring because the drug depresses breathing and heart rate while lowering blood pressure, a potentially deadly combination. California Attorney General Jerry Brown's office has asked a court to suspend Murray's license pending the outcome of criminal proceedings against him.

Alvarez told police he arrived at Jackson's home around 10:20 a.m. He was awaiting instructions for the day in a security trailer outside Jackson's rented mansion when, at 12:17 p.m., his phone rang. It was Williams ( another Jackson emplyee), who told Alvarez that Murray had just called to say Jackson was in trouble. Alvarez rushed into the mansion and up the stairs to Jackson's room, where he saw Murray standing at the pop star's bedside, performing CPR with one hand, according to the statements. Alvarez asked the doctor what had happened.
"He had a reaction, he had a bad reaction," Murray replied, according to Alvarez's statement.

Murray then grabbed a few vials with rubber tops and told Alvarez to put them in a bag. Alvarez picked up a plastic bag from the floor and Murray put the bottles inside, then Murray told Alvarez to put that plastic bag inside a brown canvas bag. Alvarez said Murray then told him to remove an IV bag from a stand and put it in a blue canvas bag. He did, and noticed the bag had a connector with a milky white substance in it. Alvarez didn't say what happened to the bags, nor did he identify what was in the vials.

Two days after Jackson's death, under several hours of questioning by police, Murray eventually directed them to a closet in Jackson's bedroom. In it, they found propofol and other sedatives in a bag. On the day Jackson died, Murray waited until the bags were filled before telling Alvarez to call for an ambulance, according to Alvarez's statement.
"I need an ambulance as soon as possible," Alvarez told a dispatcher. "We have a gentleman here that needs help and he's not breathing." The dispatcher told Alvarez to put Jackson on the floor.

At that moment, Muhammad ( also worked for Jackson) rushed into the room and began helping with chest compressions while Murray attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Murray told the men it was his first time performing CPR, Alvarez said. Murray then placed a dark brown machine with wires onto Jackson's fingers, Alvarez said. Police later said they found a pulse oximeter at Jackson's home, a medical device that shows heart rate and the amount of oxygen in the blood.

By 12:27 p.m., paramedics arrived at the house. According to their report, Jackson was not breathing and had no pulse at 12:29 p.m. However, Murray stated he could feel a weak pulse in Jackson's upper thigh area, Alvarez and Muhammad said. According to the paramedic report, emergency responders tried two rounds of resuscitation attempts and were ready to discontinue treatment, but Murray said he would take responsibility and insisted resuscitation be continued in the ambulance.

At 1:07 p.m., the singer was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where doctors attempted a range of resuscitation techniques. Jackson was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m.
At the hospital, after the death had been called, Williams said he saw Murray crying.
Murray asked Williams if he or someone else could take him back to the mansion so he could pick up the cream, according to Williams' statement. Williams said he didn't think it was a good idea for Murray to return to the house. He spoke to Muhammad and they agreed they wouldn't take Murray back. They concocted a story that police had taken all the keys to the vehicles as part of the investigation. Murray said he would take a cab, and Williams said he saw him leave the hospital through a side door.

Now we know the testimony that is being given in court by a witness who was in the room with Michael and corroborated by two others. Process it for a minute and see what conclusions you draw from it. Do you think it supports the indictment for involuntary manslaughter?? More testimony will be forthcoming in the next week or two. We'll see if it supports what we have already learned.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Scientists Develop Invisibility Cloak - How About That Harry??

German scientists have created a three-dimensional "invisibility cloak" that can hide objects by bending light waves. The findings, published in the journal Science on Thursday, could in the future make it possible large objects invisible, but for now the researchers said they were not keen to speculate on possible applications.
"For now these...cloaking devices are just a beautiful and exciting benchmark to show what transformation optics can do," said Tolga Ergin of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

Transformation optics use a class of materials called metamaterials that guide and control light. In their study, Ergin and his colleagues used photonic crystals with a structure that looks like piles of wood to make an invisibility device, or cloak. They used the cloak to conceal a small bump on a gold surface -- a bit like hiding a small object underneath a carpet and then making both the bump and the carpet invisible. The "cloak" was composed of special lenses that work by partially bending light waves to suppress the light scattering from the bump.

"This is very exciting, because mankind has always thought about being invisible or having invisibility cloaks," Ergin told journalists in a telephone interview. "This is the first proof of principle. It shows that the technique works."
He added, however, that it would be many years before anything as large as a person, car or tank could be made to disappear with this technique.
"There have been proposals in the field of transformation optics for different devices like beam concentrators, beam shifters, super antennas which concentrate light into one point from all directions, and much, much more," he said.
"It is really hard to say what the future will bring, but the field is definitely very broad and the possibilities are very large."

They can make things invisible folks. Scientists have been working on the theory for years. Think of the applications: An invisible army creeping up on a totally unaware enemy, invisible spies, invisible bombs, invisible warships. Oh yes, that's where it will gravitate. Terrorists will have a field day. Or will we cloak anything that is ugly; for example factories, slums, the people living in the slums. How about criminals ?? Thieves and serial murderers would find it very useful. Oh boy and Geez Louise, I think we're standing in a minefield again.

Micheal Jackson's Kids : What's next for them???

Michael Jackson's kids are in danger! That's what child welfare experts are saying after one of the children's cousins brought a stun gun into the family home to use on Michael's youngest son Blanket.
Now the experts are calling for the late King of Pop's three children to be immediately removed from the custody of his 79-year-old mother Katherine Jackson. Take these children away , famed Beverly Hills psychologist Dr Lillian Glass tells Globe. Dr. Glass says Katherine clearly loves them, but it appears she has completely lost control of her house and Michael's children are in danger.
Debbie Rowe, mom of Michael's two older kids, is said to be "quite upset" over the incident. Right now she's mortified and very, very concerned for the welfare of her children,says Marc Schaffel, a friend of Rowe, Jackson's ex-wife is also complaining she hasn't been allowed to see her children despite a court order granting her visitation rights. Sources suggest trouble may be brewing.
Earlier this month, officials from Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services went to Katherine's Encino, California home on two consecutive days to investigate the distrubing stun gun episode. According to reports, Jermaine Jackson's 13-year-old son , who also lives in the house ordered at least one gun and possibly two over the Internet, the children was playing with the weapons inside the house three days before they were caught. The weapon reportly a Scorpion 300,000-volt stun gun, is said to be the most powerful single battery unit on the market, it temporarily disables victims by jolting them with electricity, the zapping sound of the weapon going off is what led family security guards to go upstairs, where they stopped Jermaine kids from stunning Blanket with it and confiscated the gun, an insider says.
Dr. Glass says the whole incident is disturbing, someone could get hurt
A Jackson insider says the latest incident is just the tip of iceberg in a household filled with stride, power struggles and jealously as family members fight each other fo control of Michael.s money. The whole house is an absolute mess, says the insider, everyone is at war and Katherine is caught in the middle,it wouldn't be a surprise if one of them that called child protective services..
As many as 14 people regularly ive in the mansion. Along with Jermaine Jackson's youngest children Jaafar and Jermajesty, both stay there with their mother, Alejandra. Her children with Jermaine's brother Randy, Genevieve and Randy, Jr. also live there. I think jealous could play a huge role in all of this, says Dr. Glass, Michael grew up in this kind of environment and was scarred for life, the bullying looks likes a frightening replay of the abuse Michael once endured.Dr. Glass believes the kids should move in with another family member who is better able to look after them.The jackson's insider warns Katherine would be absolutely devastated if the chrildren was taked away from her. It would kill her, those kids are all she has left of her son, says the insider.
To be continued as updates become available: the saga continues.
My spin: The most important thing is the children...what's it going to take to make these people wake up....Katherine is 79 years-old.... take the kids so maybe they will have a better life than their father....Katherine's not going to die until her time ...the kids need a chance, Katherine didn't stand up to Joe with her own kids. What's so different Now? Enquirering minds want to know.

Sugar Free Chocolate Fudge Supreme PIe

This great chocolate pie is made with Splenda sugar substitute and wheat flour for a healthier version.

8 oz semisweet chocolate, cut up
1/4 cup margarine
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
3/4 cup Splenda Baker's Blend sugar substitute
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 frozen deep-dish unbaked pie crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 2-quart saucepan on low heat, melt margarine and chocolate, stirring constantly. Slowly add evaporated milk, a little at a time. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar substitute, eggs and vanilla. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add chocolate mixture slowly until well mixed. Place strips of aluminum foil around crust edges. Pour pie mixture into shell. Carefully place in middle of oven, and bake 60-70 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Mmmmmm a little whipped cream and a fork and you're in heaven.

Hi Nee, I put up three recipes just to keep you busy and out of trouble...HA!...LUV JEANNIE

Dreamy Sugar Free Banana Cream Pie

8 oz cream cheese
2 cups 2% milk
2-3 cups no sugar added vanilla ice cream
2-3 cups light or sugar free whipped topping
1 envelope plain gelatin
1 large pkg instant pudding or to taste
5-6 bananas, sliced and soaked in lemon-lime soda
1 large package instant banana pudding (or vanilla with a little banana extract)
Soften cream cheese with a mixer. Add a small amount of milk and beat until smooth. Gradually add remaining milk. Add pudding mix slowly and then add plain gelatin. Do not over mix. Fold in ice cream and whipped topping. Drain bananas and incorporate into mixture. Spoon into a prepared graham cracker crust. Cool then refrigerate to set. I make my own crust with graham cracker crumbs and Splenda plus enough melted butter to make it hold together when sqeezed in your hand. If you choose, add some chopped nuts. Place crust in oven and brown at 350 degrees but watch carefully, as the butter burns easily.
Notes: Very good even for non-diabetics. I add more ice cream and gelatin as I like it a little firmer.

Very Easy Magic Cream Puff Cookies

Moist, tender cookies made with no sugar--perfect for diabetics or your favorite carb counter.

1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 1.4 oz package sugar free vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
1/4 cup sugar replacement
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large baking sheet. In a mixing bowl with a spoon, combine cream cheese, pudding packet, sugar replacement, egg and vanilla until well blended. Drop dough by spoonful, about the size of a walnut, on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with extra sugar replacement, if desired, before baking. Bake 14-16 minutes then cool slightly before removing from pan.

Notes: Very easy.
Number of Servings: 18 Cream Puff Cookies

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Famous Marketing Screwups

1. Coors put its slogan, "Turn it loose," into Spanish where it was read as "Suffer from diarrhea."
2. Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.
3. Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick", a curling iron, into German only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the "manure stick."
4. When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the beautiful Caucasian baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what's inside, since most people can't read.
5. Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine.
6. An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of "I saw the Pope" (el papa), the shirts read "I saw the potato" (la papa).
7. Pepsi's "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" translated into "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave", in Chinese.
8. Frank Perdue's chicken slogan, "it takes a strong man to make a tender chicken" was translated into Spanish as "it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate."
9. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Ke-kou-ke-la", meaning "Bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax", depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent "ko-kou-ko-le", translating into "happiness in the mouth."
10. When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, "it won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you." Instead, the company thought that the word "embarazar" (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read: "It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant."

It's nice to know everyone screws up sometimes, not just me.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Email Scam Targets Facebook Users

Computer hackers are targeting Facebook users with an email scam that attempts to steal their passwords, according to Web security firm McAfee.
McAfee said on Wednesday some users of the world's most popular social networking site were receiving emails that appeared to be from Facebook informing them their Facebook password had been reset and to click on an attachment to retrieve it.
The security firm said the attachment is actually a "password stealer" that is installed when a user clicks on it and can potentially access any username and password combination on that computer, not Facebook-related information.

"This threat is potentially very dangerous considering that there are over 350 million Facebook users who could fall for this scam," McAfee said in a statement.
The subject line of the scam email reads: "Facebook Password Reset Confirmation! Customer Support." McAfee advised anyone receiving the password-reset message to delete it and to not open the attachment. Because of its huge membership, Facebook is a frequent target of computer hackers seeking to steal passwords.

In its 2010 Threat Predictions report released in December, McAfee said email "was increasing in popularity as the preferred method for targeting attacks against individual users, corporations and government institutions."
Guard yourself, trust no one, and check your security often. Computer hacking and identity theft are every day occurrences now. It's dangerous out there friends.

Most Dangerous Cars of 2010---As Judged By Forbes

Top Two Most Dangerous Cars

Chrysler PT Cruiser

Chevrolet Aveo
The way a car handles itself during a crash determines much about the severity of the occupants' injuries. Some cars hold up better than others: Tiny cars and low-level sedans are especially at risk, according to crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Bigger cars, because of their mass, generally fare better in tests--but may be more likely to roll. This helps explain why the Chevrolet Aveo and Chrysler PT Cruiser, both inexpensive, smaller cars, have the worst crash-test ratings in their class--they each received "marginal" test-results for side- and rear-impacts. They join the Cadillac STS and Mercury Grand Marquis as some of the most dangerous vehicles of 2010.
The list of the most dangerous cars was compiled using IIHS crash-test results on 2010 model-year vehicles. After each crash, test dummies are checked for trauma in 28 body regions for front crashes and 37 regions for side crashes. A "poor" rating means severe and possibly fatal trauma happened to drivers and/or passengers during the crash, while a "good" rating means little to no trauma occurred. Cars were awarded values for each overall front, side and rear ratings, with more points awarded for better results ("good" received 4 points, "acceptable" received 3 points, etc.), for a maximum possible total of 12 points. The cars on the list scored the lowest number of total points in their segment.
Except in the case of mini cars, they did not evaluate roof strength, as not all 2010 vehicles have been tested for it yet by the IIHS. It's crucial to note that all of the cars on the list more than meet federal safety standards, and they're all much safer than anything on the road even 15 years ago. "Automakers have really taken over the lead in safety," says Russ Rader, an IIHS spokesman, because consumers prioritize it when they make a purchase. Furthermore, some cars on the list, while earning the lowest scores in their class, still scored as many as 10 points out of the 12, such as the Mitsubishi Galant and Nissan's Titan truck. These vehicles make the list because they score only slightly lower in otherwise overwhelmingly safe classes.

It's also true that the IIHS tests are more severe than those administered by the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. David Zuby, senior vice president of vehicle research at IIHS, says his organization's more-stringent standards are truer to reality than the government measures. He also says the Jeep Wrangler two-door and four-door on our list are somewhat special cases, since their removable doors hurt their side-impact test scores compared to their competitors. They received "poor" and "marginal" side-impact ratings, respectively.

Bigger is Better Even though they separated the cars on the list by segment, there's no getting around physics: In a crash, vehicles with more mass will fare better than smaller vehicles. A 5,500-pound Chevrolet Tahoe will beat a 1,000-pound Nissan Micra every time.

"Our recommendation would be for people to look at midsized cars," Zuby says. "There are a number of midsize cars that if you buy the less powerful engine of the options available, you get gas mileage that is comparable to many of the smaller cars. And by being midsize as opposed to small, you have the size advantage, and there are a lot of midsize cars with good crash-test ratings. Crossovers and wagons count as well."

Something else to notice: Part of the reason why no luxury cars ( except for the Cadillac STS which fared poorly in rear-collision tests) appear on the list is because automakers often put the newest, most expensive safety options in their high-end line first, to test driver acceptance. Then, as awareness increases and production volumes rise, manufacturers install the same features in mainline vehicles, with less cost attached.
Come on guys; 'safety first' in all makes and models please.

Chevrolet Aveo
Chrysler PT Cruiser
Mitsubishi Galant
Mercury Grand Marquis
Cadillac STS
Jeep Wrangler - two door
Jeep Wrangler - four door
Nissan Titan

Catholic Education : $20 Million Gift

A retired grocer who credits its Catholic schools for providing a crucial safety net for his family when his mother died has given $20 million to a center at Boston College charged with revitalizing Catholic education in America.
The gift from Patrick Roche, a co-founder of "Roche Brothers" supermarkets, and his wife, Barbara, will be used by the center for Catholic Education to help train Catholic school teachers and administrators, the "Boston Globe reports. President of Boston College the Rev. William P. Leahy said he hoped the gift would prompt others to support and promote thw mission of Catholic schools.
According to the Boston Globe, Roche is among a small group of wealthy Catholics devoting their philanthropy to Catholic schools at a time when the archdiocese of Boston - and dioceses elsewhere - are closing small parish schools in the wake of rising costs and falling enrollments.
Peter Lynch, the former Fidelity money manager and a longtime supporter of Catholic education in urban communities, says the newly named Barbara and Patrick Roche Center for Catholic Education at Boston College will improve the quality of Catholic schools nationwide.
Roche, who's now 80 and living in Florida, was 9 when his mother died, leaving his father with four (4) sons to raise. He told the Globe his parish and school, then called St. Francis Xavier, took them in during their time of need.
"It hurts, really, to think of what's going on with the financial trouble," Roche said of the struggling schools in Boston. "We want to see if we can correct those problems now, and I'm fortunate enough to be able to try."
My spin: It all has been said and there is a lot of students and others that will benefit from the generosity of the Roches; there are still people who made it and don't forget where they come from: But hey, that's just me.
Kicking back and keeping it real.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jackson Still Raking in the Millions

The estate of Michael Jackson has landed the late King of Pop the biggest recording deal in history: a $200 million guaranteed contract with Sony Music Entertainment for 10 projects over seven years, according to insider information. The record-breaking contract, up to and through 2017, could be worth up to $250 million if certain conditions are met. One of the albums will be of never-before-released Jackson recordings.

Future projects may also include a video game, a DVD compilation of videos and a re-release of "Off the Wall," Jackson's fifth studio album, which first came out in 1979, accompanied by some unreleased material. Before his sudden death in June/09 at age 50, the pop star had wanted to re-issue the album. One of the projects already counted in the contract is the two-disc album that accompanied "This Is It," the film based on footage of concert rehearsals for what was to have been Jackson's comeback in London. Including the more than 5 million copies of that special release, Jackson has sold some 31 million albums since his death in June/09, about two-thirds of them outside the United States.

"During his life, Michael's contracts set the standard for the industry," said John Branca, the co-administrator of the Jackson estate, in a statement prepared for release Tuesday. "By all objective criteria, this agreement with Sony Music demonstrates the lasting power of Michael's music by exceeding all previous industry benchmarks."
Rob Stringer, chairman of Sony Music's Columbia Epic Label Group, said in prepared remarks, "We're dedicated to protecting this icon's legacy and we're thrilled that we can continue to bring his music to the world for the foreseeable future."

The landmark deal is worth more than all other benchmarks, such as the all-encompassing rights deals that concert promoter and ticket-seller Live Nation Entertainment Inc. had previously signed with Madonna at $120 million and Jay-Z for $150 million. The deal with Jackson's estate is even more remarkable because it does not include royalties from merchandise. The contract shows the value of legacy artists. It also comes at a time of decline for the music industry, with sales down about half from their peak in 2000 mainly due to free file-swapping. The money will go a long way to settling Jackson's debts, estimated at around $400 million at the time of his death.

The singer whose life was plagued with scandal has had a resurgence of popularity in death. Distribution rights for "This Is It" were sold to Sony Pictures, another unit of Sony Corp., for $60 million and the movie went on to gross $252 million worldwide, the most of any concert film ever. Revenue from that, song sales and merchandising agreements brought into the estate revenues of about $100 million. The Walt Disney Co. even brought back the 17-minute Jackson movie "Captain EO" to its Disneyland theme park in Anaheim last month. The original began running at the park in 1986 but was pulled in 1997.

Jackson's most lasting and valuable asset is the 50 per cent stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a company that owns publishing rights to music by The Beatles and numerous other artists, including Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. The copyright catalogue itself is estimated to be worth $2 billion.

The new financial windfall comes even as circumstances around his death remain in legal limbo. Dr. Conrad Murray faces an involuntary manslaughter charge for allegedly giving Jackson a lethal combination of sedatives. He is due back in a Los Angeles court April 5.

Michael is still taking care of his children. Kudos MJ, for making sure they'll be alright.