Wednesday, June 30, 2010

America's Got Talent

CNN's Larry King Says He's Ending the Show After 25 Years

I wonder if Larry had a DUI in '71

 Larry King, who has interviewed statesmen and stars from a prime-time perch at CNN for 25 years but has seen his ratings sag recently, said Tuesday that he will step down this fall from his nightly show.
"It's time to hang up my nightly suspenders," King said in a message sent to fans via Twitter.
King said he will do occasional specials for CNN. He reached his 25-year anniversary this month and takes pride in a Guinness Book of World Records citation for hosting the longest-running show on the same network in the same time slot.

The long-time radio host was a pioneer in cable television, his desk considered a valued spot to sit for anyone interested in talking to the nation. King's interview style was plain-spoken and critics would suggest occasionally ill-prepared, but he was good at making his guests feel comfortable and ready to talk.
As cable news audiences gravitated toward politically pointed shows and newsmakers found many more outlets for interviews, King slipped behind Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow in the ratings. The 76-year-old broadcast veteran made people wonder if he was disconnected during interviews with the likes of Lady Gaga.
King said he felt no pressure from CNN to leave. He said he began thinking about stepping down as his 25th anniversary week ended, after he interviewed LeBron James, Bill Gates, Lady Gaga and President Barack Obama.
He's conducted an estimated 50,000 interviews during a 53-year broadcasting career.
CNN is in the midst of remaking its prime-time lineup, and last week announced that former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and conservative columnist Kathleen Parker would co-host an 8 p.m. EDT show on politics and current events.
CNN executives often have said that when "Larry King Live" ends, it won't necessarily be replaced by a similar show. Recent published reports have suggested that "America's Got Talent" judge Piers Morgan could be a candidate for a show in that time slot. CBS' Katie Couric has been considered a potential successor, although that talk has cooled lately.
King said if it was up to him, Ryan Seacrest would be the best choice to fill his shoes.

 The full text of Larry King's statement:
Before I start the show tonight, I want to share some personal news with you. 25 years ago, I sat across this table from New York Governor Mario Cuomo for the first broadcast of Larry King Live.
Now, decades later, I talked to the guys here at CNN and I told them I would like to end Larry King Live, the nightly show, this fall and CNN has graciously accepted, giving me more time for my wife and I to get to the kids' little league games.
I'll still be a part of the CNN family, hosting several Larry King specials on major national and international subjects.
I'm incredibly proud that we recently made the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest running show with the same host in the same time slot. With this chapter closing I'm looking forward to the future and what my next chapter will bring, but for now it's time to hang up my nightly suspenders.

Homemade Orange and Walnut Biscotti...Hope you enjoy it G

 You’re sure to have seen biscotti somewhere, even if you’ve never been to Italy. They’re those long chunks of biscuit that you find on sale in the big coffee chains. They’ve often got bits of almond inside – and can be tooth-breakingly hard. In Italy you’ll often get a small biscotto in your saucer with your coffee – you’re meant to dip the biscuit in the coffee, which softens it up. I have always loved dunking biscotti in my coffee.
Biscotti means twice cooked, and there are several variations on the basic recipe: some are sweetened with honey, others flavoured with lemon or anise. They are said to date back to Renaissance times, when banquets included all sorts of sweet treats. The flavour of homemade biscotti is far nicer than many of the versions you can buy. And they’re not as difficult to make as you might think. My friend's father-in-law is Italian and  loves biscotti also, so I hunted up this recipe for him. I  thought it was quite a good one, nice and crunchy.

Homemade Orange and Walnut Biscotti – Recipe:

Ingredients: – makes around 40 biscotti
310g (11oz/2 ½ cups) plain (all purpose) flour, plus extra for rolling
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
170g (6oz/¾ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Grated zest of 3 oranges
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
250g (9oz/2 ½ cups) walnut halves, lightly toasted and roughly chopped

Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl, then stir in the sugar.

Crack the eggs into another bowl, then add the orange zest and vanilla and mix well using a fork. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until nearly combined. Using your hands, knead briefly to form a firm dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead the walnuts into the dough.

Divide the dough into three equal portions. Working with one piece at a time, roll each portion to form a 29cm (11 ½ inch) log. Gently pat the surface to flatten the log to a 4cm (1 ½ inch) width, then place on the baking tray and bake for 30 minutes, or until the logs are light golden and firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F/Gas 2). When the biscotti logs are cool enough to handle, place them on a chopping board and, using a sharp, serrated knife, cut them on the diagonal into slices 1cm (1/2 inch) thick.

Arrange the slices in a single layer on two lightly greased baking trays. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the biscotti are dry, swapping the trays around halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Ocean Developing in Centre of Africa

Africa is witnessing the birth of a new ocean, according to scientists at the Royal Society.
Geologists working in the remote Afar region of Ethiopia say the ocean will eventually split the African continent in two, though it will take about 10 million years.
Lead researcher Tim Wright who is presenting the research at the Royal Society's Summer Exhibition, described the events as "truly incredible".
Used to understanding changes in the planet on timescales of millions of years, the international team of scientists including Dr Wright have seen amazing changes in Afar in the past five years, where the continent is cracking open, quite literally underneath their feet.

In 2005, a 60km long stretch of the earth opened up to a width of eight metres over a period of just ten days.
Hot, molten rock from deep within the Earth is trickling to the surface and creating the split. Underground eruptions are still continuing and, ultimately, the horn of Africa will fall away and a new ocean will form.

Dr James Hammond, a seismologist from the University of Bristol - who has been working in Afar - says that parts of the region are below sea level and the ocean is only separated from the fissure  by about a 20-metre block of land in Eritrea. Eventually the crack  will spread through this last piece of land and the ocean will flood in. The two sides will drift apart and a new ocean will be born.
"It will pull apart, sink down deeper and deeper and eventually... parts of southern Ethiopia, Somalia will drift off, create a new island, and we'll have a smaller Africa and a very big island that floats out into the Indian Ocean."
The researchers say that they are extremely lucky to be able to witness the birth of this ocean as the process is normally hidden beneath the seas. The team hope to conduct experiments in the area that will help understand how the surface of the Earth is shaped.
They believe that the information they glean from observing the shaping of the Earth will help scientists better understand natural hazards such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. That is certainly an area  we need to have more knowledge in with the climate changing for the worse.


Of Course, 'Fun To Be Bad' will continue as always.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Favorite Old Lady Joke

Sex Education at Seven in UK...Explicit Sex Film

A British mother took her little girl out of school in March 2010 after seeing a sex education film the seven-year-old had been made to watch in class. The cartoon film showed a couple in a bedroom, naked and having sex.

The young pupils were made to watch the Channel 4 sex education DVD, "Living and Growing", at their village primary school in Lincolnshire. After seeing the film herself, Lisa Bullivant removed her daughter from the school and placed her in another local primary school.
Mrs Bullivant's complaint was that the cartoon was sexually explicit, very graphic and not suitable for children seven years old. Her daughter had been frightened by what she saw, she said, and children in the class had been trying to copy what teachers had shown them on film. Not surprising because the 'educational' film is in effect a practical how-to-have-sex lesson. For little kids.
"Seven to nine-year-olds should not possess this knowledge." Mrs Bullivant said. "There's no educational or psychological benefit or need for children of this age to have full knowledge of what sexual intercourse actually entails."
The Lincolnshire school had notified parents that a sex education film would be shown to young pupils but Mrs Bullivant said she had had "faith in the head teacher and the school that all they would be learning would be basic puberty. It should have said in the letter that children would learn how to have sexual intercourse."

The head teacher, Lesley Thornes, declined to comment on the charge that the seven-year-old children were in effect being taught how to have sex. Debbie Barnes, assistant director of children's services at the local council, however, did comment. She said: "The DVD has been recommended for use in schools by the [British government's] Department for Children, Schools and Families, and is seen as appropriate for the age group...We are happy with the school's approach in using the DVD for the benefit of its pupils and their
More: Teaching Assistant
Thousands of copies of the Channel 4 sex education film have now been sold to primary schools across the UK. So tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of little kids will have a key part of their childhood innocence forcibly removed by intrusive teachers, pushing explicit sexual detail at them.

The short film can be viewed on YouTube. It does its very best to encourage kids to try what they see. The narrator stresses that sex makes you happy. In fact she tells the children four times, as they are watching the man mount the woman and then the woman mount the man, that having sex is making the couple happy. To underline that, she adds that having sex gives people "a good feeling", that having sex is a "wonderful" thing to do and is "exciting for them both". Just in case the children being made to watch are a bit doubtful of what the woman narrator is telling them, a young child's voice is brought into the narration. The child says the couple do indeed look happy as they are having sex. "They do look happy, don't they!" she says enthusiastically. And the adult narrator underlines that they're happy because they're getting "such a good feeling". She then stresses yet again that they're "so happy" because they're having sex.

Ironically, YouTube asks viewers to confirm that they're over 18 to watch "Living and Growing".
Asked to comment on the use of the film in sex education classes for such young children, a Channel 4 spokesman said, in typical British bureaucrat non-speak:
"'Living and Growing' was developed in response to requests for a resource that promotes sex and relationship education as a developmental process."
Hmmm. Some might say adults herding little kids together and making them watch pictures of naked adults having sex is pretty close to paedophilia. Saying over and over as they watch that having sex is wonderful, exciting and makes people happy is indistinguishable from the child grooming behaviour of paedophiles.
But even if the "teachers" involved in this educational exercise are well-intentioned they're not doing kids any good.
Firstly, it's pretty obvious that children often try to copy adult behaviour they see. Why else do little girls step into mum's shoes even though they're far too big for small feet? Why do little boys jump onto the driving seat of dad's stationary car and grab the wheel? Sexually explicit films can only encourage kids to go further than they otherwise might - and at a younger age - in inquisitively exploring each others' bodies. Especially as the narration says only that sex is wonderful. No hint of disease, no hint that sex can lead to unwanted pregnancy, no mention of possible pressure to have sex or emotional consequences.

 It's an assault on their childhood and their privacy. There's a time and a place for everything and being made to watch adults - even cartoon adults - have explicit sex on film when you're a seven year old sitting in primary school isn't either. Kids of that age need to have their childhood protected as far as possible, not stripped away from them. They need to be free to play and imagine and live in a kids' world separate, as far as possible, from the worries and concerns of adult relationships and activities.

The sex "educators" really should leave kids in peace at this age. They can waffle on as much as they want about age-appropriateness and developmental processes but there are some things a kid needs to know and other things that can wait till later. A seven year old doesn't need to know, and shouldn't be taught, how to arrange a mortgage, organise a funeral, drive a car - or have sex.

Disgracing the Family

A young girl  was going out on a date for the first time and her grandmother was concerned. Her grandmother said, "Sit here and let me tell you about what young boys do. He is going to try to kiss you;  you are going to like that, but don't let him do that."
She continued, "Then he is going to try to touch your breast; you are going to like that, but don't let him do that."
"He is going to try to push his hand between your legs; you are going to like that, but don't let him do that."
Finally, the grandmother said, "But, most importantly, he is going to try to get on top of you and have his way with you. You are going to like that, but don't let him do that. It will disgrace your family."

With that excellent advice in mind, the granddaughter went on her date and could not wait to tell her grandmother all about it.
The next morning she told her grandmother that her date went just as the old lady predicted.
She said, proudly, "But Grandmother, I didn't let him disgrace our family. When he tried, I rolled him over, got on top of him and disgraced his family."

Alex...First Named Atlantic Storm Moves Into Gulf

BELIZE CITY, Belize - Tropical Storm Alex moved into the Gulf of Mexico Sunday after weakening to a depression as it swirled across Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, dumping rains that left at least four people dead across the region.
Alex is expected to regain strength in the coming days as it moves over warmer waters in the Gulf and possibly become a hurricane headed toward Mexico's eastern coast, well away from the area where BP PLC is trying to stop a massive oil leak, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

On Sunday, Alex soaked parts of Central America and the Yucatan Peninsula with torrential downpours, forcing hundreds of tourists to flee resort islands. Winds were at 60 mph (95 kph) when the storm made landfall in Belize on Saturday night but had decreased to 35 mph (55 kph) by Sunday.
The hurricane centre said Alex is expected to become a tropical storm again on Monday. Rains will likely keep falling on southern Mexico and Guatemala until Monday afternoon.
The heavy rains prompted a landslide in northwestern Guatemala that dislodged a large rock outcropping, killing two men who had taken shelter from the storm underneath, according to the national disaster-response agency.
In El Salvador, Civil Protection chief Jorge Melendez said two people were swept away by rivers that jumped their banks. About 500 people were evacuated from their homes.
Authorities in both Guatemala and Belize were keeping an eye on rising river levels. One bridge in western Belize was swamped entirely, cutting off a remote Mennonite community. Seven homes in the Belize River Valley, outside Belize City, had their roofs blown off, and at least one structure collapsed.
Belize officials opened storm shelters in the island tourist resort of San Pedro, as 1,400 people fled for the mainland by plane and by boat.

Now all eyes are on the Gulf of Mexico.
When Alex became the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, officials immediately worried what effect it could have on efforts to contain the millions of gallons of crude spewing into the Gulf.
A cap has been placed over the blown-out undersea well, directing some of the oil to a surface ship where it is being collected or burned. Other ships are drilling two relief wells, projected to be done by August, which are considered the best hope to stop the leak.
For the time being, the storm appears likely to miss the oil-slicked region and make landfall in Mexico, apparently in Tamaulipas state — but meteorologists warned that a storm's track can quickly change.

The Heat Of Light Fuels The Spirit To Live !

Right here and now is a bad spot to be.Don't Give up ! Don't run away from it ! Stand firm ! Take a deep breath, and another, and another.I will stop beating up on myself. I won't blame anyone else. Breathe. Now , I'll ask myself : Why is this in my world? What do I need to see to know about myself through this situation? Breathe agin. Now, I will ask God : Blessed and Divine Father , heal me of whatever has contributed to this experience. Bring me the lesson of this experience lovingly and gently. Keep my mind and heart open that I may know the truth. Open my eyes that I may recognize your will. Thank you, God.
Now Breathe . Don't you feel better already, I know I do?
I will visualize myself succeeding at my goals. How does it feel, in every part of my body? What do I see as I work towards success? Holding this image in my mind will help me achieve my goals.
My spin: Just a little pep talk for myself and hope others will try it, it really makes you focus on what's always , kicking back and keeping it real, and of course having fun.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

G8/G20.... Riots in Toronto

Violent protesters smash windows, set fires to greet G20 leaders in Toronto

TORONTO - The world's most powerful leaders have begun work at the G20 Summit on a long-term plan to stabilize the faltering global economy, undeterred by violent protesters determined to stymie their efforts.
Leaders flew in from around the globe Saturday to kick off a day and a half of discussions on financial regulations, budget cuts and economic stimulus.
They arrived to chaos around the heavily secured summit site in the heart of downtown, a thick plume of smoke rising into the air as bands of roving militants dressed in black smashed shop windows, taunted police, and set at least four police cruisers ablaze.Hundreds of police in riot gear marched in waves through the streets, pounding their shields and clearing protesters far from the security zone.

Leaders were able to attend a working dinner at the regal Royal York Hotel where they were to make short presentations about how they would put their economies on a stable path.They're consumed with a riddle: how can deficit-ridden countries cut spending and clean up their books without undermining the fragile strength in their economies? Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other leaders appeared to be making progress on their call for steep government spending cuts to restore fiscal order.

"On the economy, you rightly say we have a big deficit problem which we have to address. But of course we want to do it in a way that encourages growth, which is why we are focusing on spending reductions," newly minted British Prime Minister David Cameron said Saturday."We are aiming at the same target, which is world growth and stability. But those countries with big deficits like ours have to take action in order to keep that level of confidence in the economy which is absolutely vital for growth."
In the wake of the Greek sovereign debt crisis, Cameron and several European leaders have introduced harsh budget cuts in order to control his large deficit, and also buy the confidence of financial markets.

 President Barack Obama has a different approach, however. He, too, has an enormous deficit, but wants to make sure the recession is completely stamped out and people are back to work before he starts tightening his belt. He has suggested having more stimulus at the ready, just in case the global economy takes another turn for the worse.Both approaches have serious implications for the world. Belt-tightening in Europe means weaker domestic consumption and less demand for imports. But adding to an already-large deficit risks inviting the wrath of investors.
So the G20 asked the International Monetary Fund to put together some policy options that would get the global economy out of its funk. The IMF's response was obtained by The Canadian Press, and it suggests countries that respond like Cameron's are on the right path.
Indebted countries need to cut, but carefully, the report says. Cuts should be made to government spending in a way that doesn't weaken the private sector. They shouldn't be too deep at first, and ramp up when economic growth is more solid. And if governments have to raise taxes too, they should raise their sales taxes, not their income taxes, the IMF report advises. Harper has recommended that advanced, indebted countries cut their deficits in half within three years, and put their debt loads on a downward track within five years — a proposal that is gaining considerable support among the G20 leaders. European Commission President Jose Manuel Earroso said that proposal will likely be accepted.

After wrapping up the G8 summit in cottage country north of Toronto earlier Saturday, Harper was convinced that the world leaders would be able to work out their differences on financial regulations and balanced growth.
"Given the nature of the events and the challenges that confront us, I have never seen a G8 more fundamentally united in purpose, more frank in its discussions," he said. "And I think that will carry forward into the G20."
He said there was broad agreement among the G8 leaders on the need to prevent any "cascading events" that could lead to another financial meltdown.

Harper won moral and financial support for his maternal-and-child health initiative despite controversy over his insistence that Canada will not let its money go to pay for abortions. The $5 billion committed was less than many had hoped for, but insiders say Harper never aspired to more than that, given the fiscal straits many of the G8 countries are in.
Several thousand protesters marched peacefully through the streets of  Toronto to protest a range of issues, from poverty to financial reform. Later, another group of several hundred moved into the financial districts where a smaller number of instigators turned violent.
Riot police armed with a tear gas cannon kept them away from the security zone before moving to clear the streets.

The 43-point G8 communique admonishes Iran and North Korea for their nuclear activities. The countries have become international pariahs for their nuclear ambitions, oppressive regimes and inflammatory rhetoric.
There was little new on the environment, other that to reiterate a commitment to cut global greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050 and ensure economies are "climate resilient."
Among other key points in the communique:
— Recognition that the situation in Gaza is "not sustainable" and a call for progress on the establishment of a State of Palestine.
— Continued support for African development.
— Reaffirmation of a commitment to support Afghanistan in its process of transition and development.
— A call on the government of Myanmar to allow for free and fair elections.
— Concern about the threat of terrorist groups and their increasing presence in Yemen, Somalia and across the Sahel, and the threat of growing links between terrorists, other criminals and insurgents.

The G8 consists of Canada, the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia

Thursday, June 24, 2010

When Someone Steals Your Kodak Moment

Don't take life too seriously. No one gets out alive anyway.

BP Well Gushes Unchecked as Robot Bumps 'Top Hat'

After robot accident on Wednesday you can see the well gushing freely

NEW ORLEANS — Oil had spewed uncontrolled into the Gulf of Mexico for much of the day Wednesday before engineers re­attached a cap being used to contain the gusher and direct some of the crude to a surface ship. BP confirmed the cap was back in place, and said it had been hooked up around 6:30 p.m. after more than eight hours of inactivity.

Most recently, the system, which has been in place since June 4, was sucking up about 29,000 gallons of crude oil an hour; crude that spewed into the Gulf  unabated on Wednesday. At that rate, it could mean about 290,000 extra gallons escaped into the water before the system restarted. Another ship was still collecting a smaller amount of oil and burning it on the surface.BP engineers removed the cap after a robotic sub bumped it . The sub had been investigating an apparent leak , creating a possible safety hazard because of the flames above, and they were concerned icelike crystals might clog  the mechanism.

The latest problem with the nine-week effort to stop the gusher came as thick pools of oil washed up on Pensacola Beach in Florida and the Obama administration sought to resurrect a six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling. In court papers, the Justice Department has asked  U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans to delay a ruling that overturned the moratorium. The Interior Department imposed it last month after the disaster, halting approval of any new permits for deepwater projects and suspending drilling on 33 exploratory wells. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement that within the next few days he would issue a new order imposing a moratorium that eliminates any doubt it is needed and appropriate.

In the worst-case scenario, as much as 104,000 gallons an hour — 2.5 million gallons a day — is flowing from the site where the offshore rig Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20, killing 11 workers. In May, a similar problem doomed the effort to put a bigger containment device over the blown-out well. BP had to abandon the four-story box after the crystals clogged it, threatening to make it float away.The smaller cap had worked until now. To get it to the seafloor, though, crews had to slice away a section of the leaking pipe, meaning the flow of oil could be stronger than before.
Careless, negligent, reckless, rash and thoughtless is how I sum up British Petroleum's actions and attitude. If they had given it much thought they would have had workable protocols and solutions in place for possible accidents. If they had given it enough thought, this would never have happened.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Day Off : "Are You Kidding Me ?"

So you want a day off. Let's take a look at what you are asking for.
There are 365 days per year available for work, there are 52 weeks per year in which you already have two (2) days off per week, leaving 261 days available for work.
Since you spend 16 hours each day away from work, you have used up 170 days, leaving only 91 days available .
You spend 30 minutes each day on coffee breaks that accounts for 23 days each year, leaving only 68 days available for work.
You normally spend 2 days per year on sick leave, this leaves you only 20 days available for work,we are off for five (5) holidays per year, so your available working time is down to 15 days.
We generously give you 14 days vacation per year, which leaves only 1 day available for work and I'll be damned if you're going to take that day off !
My spin : Here's a little humor to make your husband has this saying framed and in his office in plain view for all employees to you can understand why I don't work for him....if I worked for him and asked for a day off and he points at his sign, well folks I would just have to fire his long 'a**.'

Kicking back having fun and poking fun at my man [giggles].

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Seeing Double in Bulgaria's 'Twin' Village

RUDNIK BULGARIA : There may not be many reasons for visitors to stray to Rudnik, a tiny village in south-east Bulgaria, but once there they could be forgiven if they think they're seeing double.
This otherwise rather unremarkable miners' village of around 5,000 inhabitants gives new meaning to the term "twin town", with its unusually high -- and so far inexplicable -- twin population.
The phenomenon has yet to be scientifically investigated but the locals insist it has something to do with the water.
Tereza Todorova is a twin as was her mother. And both Tereza and her twin sister have given birth to twin daughters. Furthermore, their aunt -- that is to say, their mother's twin -- married a man who is also a twin. In fact, all in all, there are five pairs of twins in Tereza's family.
They are not alone: the official statistics show that a total of 56 pairs of twins have been born in Rudnik since 1944.
Last year, out of 60 births in the village, four resulted in twins, a ratio of 6.7 percent, way above the national average of 1.5 percent.
In fact, the village is so proud of its apparently special twinning powers that it launched an annual "twin" festival five years ago, a reunion to which every pair of local twins, both young and old, is invited each spring.
This year, two teenage girls in traditional dresses planted a tree in a small garden outside the mayor's office, while two Roma girls swirled around in their magenta dresses, impossible to tell apart.
"When I was married, my aunt, who has twins, told me not to lose hope if I didn't have twins the first time. But I wanted them so much, it worked!" Milena Slavova, a 29-year-old mother, told AFP, as her carbon-copy three-year-old sons Dimitar and Stoyan, dressed in identical khaki shorts and green T-shirts, climbed a nearby tree.
"Here it's normal, we are twins like many others... our grandmother was also a twin," say 59-year-old fraternal twins Urmuz and Amide Mustafa, two unemployed miners.
The Mustafas are Roma, and it is not only among the Bulgarian population of Rudnik that multiple births are common, but among Roma families too.
As a result of increasing use of in-vitro fertilisation, multiple births in Bulgaria, as in other countries, have surged in recent years. Last year, out of a total 80,956 births nationwide, some 1,181 pairs of twins were born.
But in Rudnik, which lies 15 kilometres (nine miles) south-west of the Black Sea port city of Burgas, the locals insist the twins are conceived and born naturally.
"Whoever drinks from Rudnik's mineral water, breathes the local air and stumbles over the stones in Rudnik, will definitely have twins," says Dimka Katelieva, who masterminded the annual spring twin festival.

Could be. Who really knows? I think if you live in Rudnik and you really want twins it just might happen. So if you want to go there and check it out....drink lots of water.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The actual Top Grossing U.S. Movies of All Time

Lengthy lines, sold-out theaters and high-profile premieres are commonplace for Hollywood's blockbuster productions. But when the credits have rolled and the receipts are tallied, the most commonly referenced movie calculation is missing one key player: inflation. When it comes to ranking movies by revenues, today's higher admission prices give more recent films an unfair advantage.
Recent box office prices have easily outpaced inflation, but when comparing the revenues of new movies to those of previous years and especially decades, it is important to make the necessary adjustments. In the first quarter of 2010, the nationwide average price of a movie ticket increased 8% from the same period last year. (Summer movie season can be a major money maker for big studios, especially if they can produce a smash-hit.

With "Avatar" and "Titanic," director James Cameron can lay claim to the two highest grossing movies of all time in the United States. Domestically, the films brought in roughly $750 million and $600 million, respectively.
Ranked by box office domestic revenue, here are the top five highest grossing movies of all time:
1. "Avatar" (2009) $749 million ( money values not adjusted to inflation)
2. "Titanic" (1997) $600 million ( money values not adjusted to inflation)
3. "The Dark Knight" (2008) $533 million (ditto)
4. "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" (1977) $460 million (ditto)
5. "Shrek 2" (2004) $441 million (ditto)

And The Inflation-Adjusted Winner Is:
The list of highest grossing inflation-adjusted movies is commonly found by using current day movie ticket prices and adjusting them to reflect the change in dollar purchasing power. After considering inflation, the list of top breadwinners undergoes a massive rewrite. (Success in Hollywood isn't just measured by ticket sales - development costs play a large part, too.
After accounting for inflation, "Gone With the Wind" is the highest grossing movie of all-time, having earned over $1.6 billion. Avatar falls to fourteenth on the list, after being bested by several pictures ranging from The Exorcist to 101 Dalmatians. Ranked by box office revenue in terms of today's dollars, the top five highest grossing movies are:
1. "Gone With the Wind" (1939) $1.6 billion
2. "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" (1977) $1.4 billion
3. "The Sound of Music" (1965) $1.1 billion
4. "E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial" (1982) $1.1 billion
5. "The Ten Commandments" (1956) $1.0 billion
Of course, each movie on the list has time on its side. The most recent of the top five movies was originally released over thirty years ago, whereas "Avatar" is less than one year old. "Gone With the Wind" also has the advantage of multiple releases over the course of the seventy-plus years since its original release.

Try This BP....There Are Lots More Ideas Out There

Satellite Images of Oil Slick From NASA

( click to enlarge)
Oil from the Deepwater Horizon rig was visible on the surface of Gulf of Mexico waters on June 18, 2010. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite took this picture the same day. The oil appears in meandering, interlocking patterns of varying shades of off white. The angle of the Sun plays a role in the oil slick’s visibility, as the oil is illuminated by sunglint.

(click to enlarge)
On June 12, 2010, oil from the still-leaking Deepwater Horizon well was particularly visible across the northern Gulf of Mexico when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image at 1:55 p.m. Central Daylight Time. Oil appears to have reached beaches and barrier islands in Alabama and the western Panhandle of Florida.
Close to the location of the well, the oil appears gray, but to the northeast, it is bright silver. The increased brightness does not necessarily mean the oil is thicker or more concentrated there; it may simply be that the oil is located in the sunglint region of the image—the spot where the Sun’s reflection would appear if the water surface was as perfectly smooth as a mirror.
Normally, waves blur the Sun’s reflection, diffusing its brightness. Oil smooths the water surface, making it a better mirror. When the slick appears in that part of the image, viewing conditions are ideal, and the patches and ribbons of oil are extremely bright. When the oil slick is not in the sunglint part of the image, however, it may be imperceptible against the dark background of the ocean.
Twice-daily images of the Gulf of Mexico are available from the MODIS Rapid Response Team.

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Oil from the Deepwater Horizon rig lingered near the Mississippi Delta on June 10, 2010. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image the same day. The oil slick is pale gray, and the most conspicuous portion of the oil slick in this image appears near the Deepwater Horizon rig. A smaller, though still sizable, extension of the slick appears northeast of the rig. Clouds somewhat obscure the Mississippi Delta, northwest of the rig.
In photo-like satellite images, the mirror-like reflection of the Sun off the ocean surface makes the oil slick easier to see. Normally, waves blur the perfect reflection of the Sun into a wide, washed-out strip. Oil smooths the surface of the water, making it a better mirror. Depending on the location of the oil, the angle of the Sun, and the satellite’s angle of view, the oil may appear brighter or darker than the surrounding oil-free surface waters.

Attention, ladies and gentlemen of NASA: You have a pool of brilliant minds, scientists and engineers. Can't you apply all that brain power to finding a practical solution to the oil gushing into the Gulf ?? If Kevin Costner and his brother can invent a machine to separate the oil from the water surely you can come up with something.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Sir Paul McCartney : Daughter Mary Ties The Knot In Secret

Sir Paul McCartney's eldest daughter Mary has secertly married at the same place the ex-Beatle wed Linda Eastman in 1969.

The ceremony took place at Marylebone Register Office on Saturday, June 12, with the bride and groom deciding to keep their marriage a secert until news of it emerged on Twitter three days later - even the illustrious father of the bride was in the dark, it seems.

Mary McCartney's new husband, writer and director Simon Aboud, wrote on twitter , "We got married on Saturday, Marylebone Registry, just us and the kids, the rings driven up the aisle to us by one of the boys on a remote control dune buggy, Lovely day."

Sir Paul was busy playing a gig in Dublin as the pair tied the knot.

A source told the Daily Mail, " Sir Paul and Mary are close and always have been," but that the photographer bride wished to keep the wedding from her family to prevent the event from becoming a 'Macca thing'."

Mary recreated the famous scenes from 41 years ago when her father wed American photographer Eastman, who was four months pregnant with Mary at the time.

My spin : Thank goodness there are still women with morals and values in this world ....Mary may you and Simon Aboud have many happy years together...
PIC and I hope you all the good things that life can bring....Mary don't forget , marriage is just like a job, you have to work on it each and every day for it to succeed....many years of hapiness to you and your lovely family.
Kicking back and keeping it real and having fun.

Andre Rieu

Friday, June 18, 2010

Mr. Obama, You Can Learn From Canada

To start with, it has a healthy financial system and affordable higher education. Many Americans think mainly of Eskimos and hockey when they think of Canada. Some might think of Michael J. Fox and James Cameron. They should be thinking of a functioning financial system and the most robust economy in the developed world. Unlike the U.S. and Europe, Canada has emerged relatively unscathed from the financial crisis. Its unemployment rate has been improving for the past year and stands at 8.1%. Canada's minister of finance, Jim Flaherty, is already calling for an end to government stimulus, even though the government debt stands at less than 35% of gross domestic product, less than half the level in the U.S.

Why is Canada doing so well while America's doing so poorly? For one thing, its financial regulations have emphasized dullness rather than encouraging exotic financial instruments. The big five banks have never been allowed to merge, and they've only dabbled in investment banking and subprime mortgages. Also, the banks' chiefs have never received huge bonuses like Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman Sachs. In other words, the banking system has been forced to be conservative--as a banking system should be.

Canada also has good immigration and education policies that have set it up for continued strength. There are lessons President Obama can learn from Canada as worries of a double-dip recession in the U.S. linger.
A speech by Jean Charest, the premier of the province of Quebec, says it best. He said that Qubec needed to continue to attract the best people from around the world to come and work there. It is the policy in all our provinces. This is something that is going all wrong in the U.S., as America erects yet more obstacles to immigration in the name of preserving American jobs. Those anti-immigration policies are foolish and will hurt America in the long term.

Let me tell you a story to illustrate just how useless America's immigration policy has become. A young Harvard graduate who also was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University got a job offer in the US. He was a very impressive and brilliant young man. He had an offer in hand from one of the big private equity firms in New York--but despite his credentials, he couldn't get a working visa. Yes, a Harvard graduate and Rhodes scholar with a job offer in hand was unable to get a visa from the U.S. government. As a result, a Canadian company snatched him up and he will greatly enrich the thinking pool in that business.
This young man is exactly the kind of person America, or for that matter any nation, needs. Why couldn't he get a working visa? Because immigration is an issue that has become so freighted with fear that people can't think about it rationally. This has been especially true recently, as scared people like the Tea Partiers have looked for scapegoats for America's economic mess--though in reality the pendulum has been swinging this way since Sept. 11, 2001. Immigrants are easy targets, but rarely are they the problem.

The Planet's Only Immortal Animal

A species of jellyfish has evolved the potential for immortality - and they're starting to spread.
The species turritopsis nutricula is able to transform itself from its mature state back into a polyp (immature jellyfish) and then back again.The species, which is only 4-5 mm in diameter, performs this miraculous feat using a process known as transdifferentiation, in which one type of cell transforms into another. While this sounds a lot like what happens in stem cells, the process is distinct.

Turritopsis nutricula isn't the only species to use the technique; salamanders use the process to regrow limbs, while chickens utilize it to repair damaged eyes. Turritopsis nutricula, however, is the only species able to regenerate its entire body. The entire transformation from adult to polyp takes place very rapidly, helping to explain why it has never been observed in the wild. The process, however, has been observed in the lab, and so far 100 per cent of specimens have been capable of the transformation.

Theoretically, the process can go on indefinitely, which may help to explain why scientists have noticed a spike in the number of these jellyfish in the oceans. "We are looking at a worldwide silent invasion," said Dr Maria Miglietta of the Smithsonian Tropical Marine Institute.
The jellyfish are believed to have originated in the Caribbean, but, due to the common shipping practice of emptying ballast water in foreign ports, is now found all over the globe.
While the jellyfish can potentially live forever, it's unlikely that one ever will.
That's because like other jellyfish, Turritopsis nutricula is often eaten by other animals and readily succumbs to disease.

Other larger long-lived species have a better chance at reaching impressive ages. Bowhead whales, tortoises and koi fish can all live to be more than 200 years old. Plant species can live even longer. The oldest known bristlecone pine tree is nearly 5,000 years old.
That isn't stopping scientists around the globe from searching for the secret that allows this unique jellyfish to reverse the aging process.

Mastering transdifferentiation could be the key to discovering a real fountain of youth....and when we do that, we could live, if not forever, at least a very, very long time; enough time to do over all those things we did badly the first time.

PIC...A Fitting Joke,Considering Our recent Conversation

Three friends die in a car accident and they go to an orientation class in heaven. They are all asked, "When you are in your casket and friends and family are mourning you, what would you like to hear them say about you?
*The first guy says,"I would like to hear them say that I was a great doctor, who saved many lives, and a great family man."
*The second guy says, "I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher and made a huge difference in our adults of tomorrow."
*The last guy replies, "I would like to hear them say ... Look, He's Moving!"

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tony Takes the Flack......Angry Congressmen

BP chief executive Tony Hayward has been told by an angry US Congressional panel his firm ignored dangers when drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. House committee on energy and commerce chairman Henry Waxman said BP's "complacency" before the 20 April rig explosion had been "astonishing". He accused Mr Hayward of "stonewalling" for failing to answer his questions.
As a public relations exercise for BP, the hearing was a disaster, a BBC correspondent says.

Over and over, the BP chief refused to agree with the conclusions of a group of angry, hostile Congressmen and women who seemed in no doubt, after their own lengthy enquiries, that BP had shown a reckless lack of attention to safety, Paul Adams reports. Infuriated by Mr Hayward's inability or unwillingness to answer their questions, committee members resorted to expressing their disgust, more than one saying he felt insulted.Eleven people died in the Deepwater Horizon drill rig accident, which left a ruptured well spewing hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Despite BP efforts to contain the leak, oil continues to enter the sea, threatening states along the Gulf coast.

BP says it will withhold dividends until the end of the year as part of its response to the spill.
The long-term hope for ending the spill rests with two relief wells now being drilled, one of which has reached two miles (3km) below the seabed, or about two-thirds of its way to its target, US disaster coordinator Admiral Thad Allen reported on Thursday.
It is planned is to seal the leak with concrete but that is not likely to happen until August at the earliest. BP's shares rose more than 6% after it agreed to put $20bn (£13.5bn) in a fund to compensate victims of the spill. The increase halted falls that had led to the company's stock value halving in recent weeks.

Congressman Waxman said in his opening remarks that BP had "cut corner after corner" in order to save money, which led to the explosion and fire on board the Deepwater Horizon.
"We could find no evidence that you paid any attention to the tremendous risks BP was taking," he went on.
"We reviewed 30,000 pages of documents from BP, including your e-mails. There is not a single e-mail or document that shows you paid even the slightest attention to the dangers at this well."
He told Mr Hayward: "You're not taking responsibility, you're kicking the can down the road."
One by one, other Congressmen, both Democrats and Republicans, questioned BP's activities in America in a hearing which lasted some seven hours.
"We are not small people but we wish to get our lives back," said Bart Stupak, playing on a comment made the day before by BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg about how BP sympathised with the "small people" of the Gulf, and a recent remark by Mr Hayward about wanting his "life back".

Mr Hayward faced a barrage of questions about the drilling rig. Texan Republican Michael Burgess expressed surprise when the BP chief said he had not known anything about the well in question until he was told in April that drilling had confirmed an oil discovery.
"But you're the CEO of the company," Congressman Burgess said.
"With due respect," Mr Hayward replied, "we drill hundreds of wells around the world."
"Yeah, that's what scares me right now," said Mr Burgess.
A row erupted within Republican ranks after another Texan Republican, Joe Barton, suggested BP had been subjected to a "$20bn shakedown" by the Obama administration. Mr Barton, the senior Republican on Mr Waxman's committee, was rebuked by his own party leaders and retracted his words, the Associated Press reports.
"I regret the impact that my statement this morning implied that BP should not pay for the consequences of their decisions and actions in this incident," he said in a statement.

Earlier, as Mr Hayward prepared to testify, a protester briefly disrupted the hearing, shouting that he should be "charged with a crime" before she was removed. She was identified as Diane Wilson, a fisherwoman from Seadrift, Texas, near the Gulf Coast.
Expressing his "deep regret" for the spill, Mr Hayward repeatedly stressed he was constrained in what he could say by the fact that a number of investigations into the explosion had yet to finish.
"There is nothing I have seen so far that suggests that anyone put costs ahead of safety," he said at one point. "If there are, then we'll take action."
He said he had focused on improving safety for the three years he had been in his post and his priority was ending the spill and clearing uo the oil.
"I give my pledge as the leader of BP that we will not rest until we make this right," he said.
Mr Hayward's inability to answer specific technical questions about the situation on the rig angered the panel particularly. BP's chief executive said answers would be supplied by his firm when they were ready.

The questions, set out in a letter to Mr Hayward on Sunday by Mr Waxman and fellow committee member Bart Stupak, include allegations that BP:
1)Went against the advice of its own plan review regarding the well's design and chose a riskier, cheaper and quicker casing option.
2)Used only six centralisers to make sure the casing ran down the centre of the well bore, rather than the 21 recommended by sub-contractor Halliburton.
3)Rejected warnings by its own plan review and Halliburton in preparations for a cementing job
4)Decided to forego a recommended safety step in the circulation of drilling mud
Did not deploy a "lockdown sleeve" that would have prevented the seal from being blown out from below .
If these allegations can be proven without a doubt, then I agree with the fisherwoman that BP should be 'charged with a crime.'