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In the News June 30th, 2008

Gar Prices Hit a New High
Retail gas prices rose to a new record high overnight while diesel prices fell slightly. According to AAA, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline climbed to $4.086, up seven-tenths of a cent from $4.079 the previous day. According to an Associated Press-Yahoo! poll, soaring gas prices are inflicting pain throughout the U.S. , Nine in 10 voters expect the ballooning costs to squeeze them financially over the next half year.

Yet another use for your cell phone.

Verizon Wireless is introducing Rhapsody's subscription music service , allowing its customers to download as much music as they want to their phones for $15 per month.
The service will work with seven current handsets and three to be launched soon, including the third version of the popular music-oriented LG Chocolate.

It's Vista

Microsoft Corp. is scheduled to stop selling its Windows XP operating system to retailers and major computer makers Monday, despite protests from a slice of PC users who don't want to be forced into using XP's successor, Vista.

Remember the guy on eBay?
Ian Usher

Ian Usher wanted a fresh start after his wife left him so he sold his life on eBay

The winning bidder agreed to pay Aust$399,300 ($380,286) for all of his worldly goods, which also include his friends, a motorcycle and a jetski. This was quite the bargain as the seller was hoping to get Aus $100,000 ($96,000) more than the winning bid. Bids had reached as high as A$2.2 million, due toa glitch on eBay's system which allowed the participation of non-registered bidders who had put in bogus offers.


New police hires have arrest histories

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Buying a new carBefore you shop and before you buy

Research is the key to buying a car. If you know exactly what kind of used car you are looking for, how much it is worth, and what you are willing to pay for it, it will be much easier for you to negotiate for a good deal. Luckily, there are great websites now that compare car models and provide information about safety, fuel economy, model ratings, prices, and general car buying tips.

Once you find a car that you like, you should also be prepared to do some more research.

  • Examine the car yourself using an inspection checklist.
  • Test drive the car under varying road conditions on hills, highways, and in stop-and-go traffic.
  • Review the car's maintenance record.
  • Talk to the previous owner.
  • Have the car inspected by a mechanic you hire.
  • Use the car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number to secure a vehicle history from either the state or a private vehicle history company.

Dealerships vs. Individuals

  • When you buy from a dealer, you have the option of paying up-front or financing the car.
  • You also have the advantage of using the Buyer's Guide (a sticker on the car which describes any warranty).
  • There may be less pressure on you to buy if you purchase the car directly from the owner than at a dealership.
  • You may be able to negotiate a lower price with an owner than with a dealership.
  • If you buy a car from someone you know and trust you are more likely to get full disclosure about any defects.

Regardless of whom, you buy the car from, remember there may be damage to the car that the seller does not disclose or does not know about.


Used Car Inspection Checklist

Make sure you or your mechanic check for leaks, cracks, breaks, odd noises, and missing or inoperable parts in the systems of the car. Here are a few key problems to look for. You can also find a more complete list online.

  • Frame and body: Is the frame straight and solid?
  • Engine: Is there excessive oil leakage? Are the belts in place? Is the block or head cracked? Is the exhaust normal?
  • Transmission and drive shaft: Is the transmission fluid the right color and seepage normal? Is the transmission solid? Is the drive shaft in good shape?
  • Cooling system: Does the water pump function properly? Is there any leakage, including any from the radiator?
  • Electrical system: Does the battery leak? Do the alternator, generator, battery, and starter work properly?
  • Brake system: Do the warning lights work? Is the brake pedal firm under pressure? Does the vehicle stop in a straight line? Check the hoses, drum and lining for soundness. Are structural and mechanical parts solid?
  • Steering system: Is there too much free play in the steering? Are the front wheels aligned properly? Check the power unit belts for cracks or slippage and the unit fluid levels.
  • Fuel system: Is there any visible leakage?
  • Accessories: Do gauges and warning devices work? Do the air conditioner, heater, and defroster work?
  • Tires: Check the tread for depth of wear, unusual wear patterns, the tire sizes for matching, and for any other obvious damage.
  • Wheels: Look for any visible cracks, damage, or repairs. Check for loose or missing mounting bolts.
  • Exhaust system: Check for leakage and exhaust smoke when the engine is running.


“AS IS” vs. Warranty

Once you find a car you like and are ready to make an offer on it, pay close attention to how the car is being sold. As is vs. warranty is an important distinction to note when you buy a used car since the most important job a car does is keep us safe. Owners who sell cars “ As Is,” offer no warranty and take no responsibility for any damage, safety issues, or deficiencies that the car has. Watch out for lemons when you buy as is. Accidentally buying a cars that can’t pass inspection, don’t run properly, or can’t carry the load you need them to, may be difficult to get fixed or return. Remember, implied warranties or verbal promises that a car will run are difficult or impossible to enforce in court. Warranties in writing are preferable to buying “AS IS” because they give you the security of knowing that if specific systems of the car don’t function properly, the dealership that you purchased the car from will pay for repairs. Always remember, if you have a problem that you think is covered by a warranty or service contract, follow the instructions to get service. If a dispute arises, there are several steps you can take.


A Word About Certified Used Cars

Since the mid-1990s, dealers have been selling a special type of used car - the "certified" used car. Cars which have been leased or traded-in are evaluated to see if they qualify for certification. Vehicles that qualify are usually in very good condition, with low mileage. The dealers have their mechanics perform a detailed inspection and they offer various warranties Certification can mean different things to different car manufacturers, so it's important to check with each dealer to get the details of their certification program. Review the warranties carefully to see which repairs are covered and which are not. You can check the websites for car manufacturers or contact dealers for information on their certification programs.


Check for Car Safety Features

Some features are mandatory and some are optional. Safety features on many recent models include:

  • Front and side air bags.
  • Head injury protection such as head air bags (shield you from impact with the upper interior of the car).
  • Anti-lock brake systems (ABS).
  • 4-wheel drive with traction control (usually with ABS).
  • Automatic dimming rear-view mirrors (to reduce glare).
  • Daytime running lights.
  • New child seat attachment systems.
  • Built-in child safety seats.

For detailed information on these features and the crash-test rating of the car you are interested in, check out the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) web page on "Buying a Safer Car."

AAA car-buying expert and an auto dealer to find out what NOT to say once you're on a car dealer's turf and what TO say.

Don't talk about monthly payments
You should just focus on negotiating the purchase price.

Dealers will try to get you to negotiate monthly payments instead of purchase price because they'll make more money that way. They are attempting to get you to commit to a longer payment structure and doing the financing, because they're making more money off you in interest payments.

Don't tell a car dealer about your trade-in
They may not be willing to budge on a sticker price of a new car if they are giving you deal on your trade in.

Definitly check out CarMax. Not only is it convenient to research cars from your own home, they have a lot of valuable information.

Get your own financing to save on interest rates. Check out local bank rates online before you leave your home. You may even want to get pre-approved.

Buy or Sell your home with ZipRealty, and save $$$

In the News; June 29, 2008

California Wildfires out of Control.

US President George W. Bush declared a state of emergency in California.
He has ordered federal aid to help authorities battle more than 1,000 wildfires burning out of control. Hundreds of lightning-sparked wildfires have turned the air of Northern California into an unhealthy stew of smoke and ash, forcing the cancellation of athletic events and other outdoor activities.
A satellite image taken Thursday shows most of Northern California obscured by wildfire smoke and ash.

A satellite image taken Thursday shows most of Northern California obscured by wildfire smoke and ash.

Health advisories urging residents to stay indoors to limit exposure to the smokey air were issued Saturday from Bakersfield north to Redding, a distance of nearly 450 miles.

Model Plunges to her Death

Supermodel Ruslana Korshunova

European Vogue cover model Ruslana Korshunova, fell to her death from her Manhattan apartment building in an apparent suicide, according to published reports by the New York Post, the Daily News and Newsday .The newspapers cited unnamed officials and police said.

The 20 year old model, died around 2:30 p.m. in a fall from a building on Water Street, in Manhattan's Financial District. Police say the fall is under investigation.
Originally from the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, Korshunova appeared in advertisements and on runways for such designers as Marc Jacobs, Nina Ricci and DKNY. British Vogue hailed her as "a face to be excited about" in 2005.


Dodgers beat Angels — without getting a hit

Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo combined to no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night — and it still wasn't good enough for the Los Angeles Angels.

The Dodgers became the fifth team in modern major league history to win a game in which they didn't get a hit. They defeating the Angels 1-0. Weaver's error on a slow roller led to an unearned run by the Dodgers in the fifth.

The Dodgers' Joe Torre said "I'd really have to reach down, and I don't really remember too much, but that's about as bizarre as you can get."
Because the Dodgers didn't have to bat in the ninth, the game doesn't qualify as a no-hitter. It was only the fifth such game since 1900, and first since Boston's Matt Young in 1992, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Authorities are monitoring a group of 15 bottlenose dolphins frolicking in the Shrewsbury River.

Lost Dolphins
photo wnbc
A federal official said that state police and U.S. Coast Guard boats were enforcing a 50-yard stay-away buffer around the dolphins.

A spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said plans were being made to shoo the dolphins out of the river. She said such a measure would be a last resort, since one or more of the dolphins could die. NOAA biologists reported the dolphins to be in good health as they feasted on fish in the river.

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Six Flags Roller Coaster Death

Life Jacket from The Titanic Sold

A life preserver from the Titanic found during the initial search for bodies and owned by the same family for 96 years has been auctioned in New York for $68,500.

Christie's auction house said it's one of about six believed to have survived to this day. It had been expected to sell for $60,000 to $80,000.

The identity of Wednesday's winning bidder hasn't been disclosed.

Ironically, the cork-filled life jackets were one of the leading causes of death on the Titanic. If a person jumped overboard from 10 feet up or higher, their necks would be broken upon impact with the water. The jackets were made by "Fosberry London" manufacturing stamp. The jackets were made of solid cork, wrapped in canvas. Although the cork provided buoyancy, many people died because of this material. When jumping or being pushed into the water from over 10 feet up, the cork would catch the person under the jaw, effectively snapping the head back and breaking the neck.

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In the News; June 28 2008

Man Versus Muskrat

In Winfield Mo, volunteers put together a heroic effort to hold back the Mississippi River. The effort Friday thanks to a burrowing muskrat. Seems that the rodent dug a hole through the earthen levee allowing water to penetrate the floodwall, which failed shortly before dawn.


Asleep in the cockpit.
An Air India flight headed for Mumbai overshot its destination and was halfway to Goa before its dozing pilots were woken out of a deep slumber by air traffic control, a report said.The napping pilots flew 359 miles past the airport and were still at cruising altitude when nervous air traffic controllers woke them up.

The flight had about 100 passengers on board.

"The plane took off from Dubai at 1:35 a.m. Indian Standard Time and then from Jaipur at 7 a.m. After operating an overnight flight, fatigue levels peak, and so the pilots dozed off after taking off from Jaipur," an unidentified source told The Times of India.

Air India is denying the incident.

Banning ALL kinds of smoking in bars.

Amsterdam's famed marijuana bars have weathered many challenges over the years and are still smoking. On July 1, the Netherlands will be one of the last European countries to ban smoking in bars and restaurants in compliance with EU law. No word yet one whether the bar will offer the drug in other forms.
Do we need to know about Mini-Me's Mini Sex Tape?

The Famed Austin Power's Mini-Me seems to be the latest Hollywood star caught up in a sex tape frenzy (which proves that it can happen to anyone). A 25-second snippet of video showing actor Verne Troyer and a former girlfriend having sex, has been a hot view online.
Verne Troyer, best known for playing Mini Me in "Austin Powers," says a sex tape was stolen from his home.

Verne Troyer, aka Mini Me, says a sex tape was stolen from his home. A federal judge granted a temporary restraining order requested by Troyer's attorneys that prevents porn distributors from taking orders for the full-length video and prevents TMZ from broadcasting any more clips. Thank you Judge.

The celebrity Web site posted the short segment on its site Wednesday; Troyer sued the site and porn distributors for $20 million in damages. (Shouldn't we be suing also?)

TMZ removed the snippet of the tape redirecting Web viewers to its home page.

Raw Video: Officer slams woman to the ground

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Summer Heat Emergencies

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
  • Body temperature usually normal or only slightly elevated.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Fatigue, weakness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea, sometimes vomiting.
  • Weak and rapid pulse.
  • Sweating.
  • Cool, clammy, pale skin.

NOTE: Symptoms take time to develop - sometimes several hours after dehydration occurs.

Treatments for heat exhaustion:
  • Get out of the sun and into a cool place.
  • Drink more fluids (electrolyte sports drinks may help), but don't drink too fast or you could become nauseous.
  • Eat salty snacks.
  • Rest.
  • Loosen clothing.

Be aware that heat stroke can come after heat exhaustion, but it can also develop quickly and independently if one's core body temperature rises too high.

Symptoms of heat stroke include:
  • Very high body temperature (103 degrees or higher).
  • Hot, dry, red skin.
  • No sweating.
  • Disorientation, hallucinations, delirium
  • Rapid breathing and fast pulse, then slow breathing and weak pulse.
  • Convulsions.
  • Loss of consciousness.

NOTE: Symptoms can come on quickly.
Heat stroke can occur within 10 - 15 minutes of the first symptoms. If treatment is not given immediately, permanent damage can occur to internal organs.


Immediate care for a heat stroke victim includes:
  • Move person to cool place indoors or in the shade outdoors.
  • Lower body temperature as soon as possible.
  • Remove clothing and wrap person in a wet sheet, or wet their cotton clothing.
  • Fan person with electric fan or manually (do not place wet items too close to electric fan).
  • Place ice packs or cold compresses on the neck, under armpits, and in the groin area.
  • If child is unconscious, carefully place them in cool water up to their neck.
  • If child is conscious, try to get them to drink cool water, slowly.
  • Person may not be able to drink if delirious (do not force them).

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In the news June 27th, 2008

US Supreme Court Says Go Ahead and Make My Day...

The Supreme Court has affirmed a decision the right to have guns for self-defense in the home. In a 5-4 decision overturning Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban is the biggest gun rights ruling since the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791.

The Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home," Justice Antonin Scalia, the court's arch-conservative, wrote in the majority opinion.
"It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose," Scalia wrote.
"The ruling gives a constitutional green light to a wide range of gun restrictions." Scalia said the Court's decision "should not be taken to cast doubt" on many existing restrictions against gun possession, including handgun possession by felons and the mentally ill, possession in schools and government buildings and rules governing commercial arms sale.

At issue in the present case, District of Columbia (once the murder capitol of the US) v. Heller, was the city's ban prohibiting ownership of handguns that were unregistered as of 1976.

Justice John Paul Stevens called Scalia's argument "strained and unpersuasive." He also blistered the majority for its expansive reading of the Amendment's "ambiguous" text. "Until today, it has been understood that legislatures may regulate the civilian use and misuse of firearms so long as they do not interfere with the preservation of a well-regulated militia," Stevens wrote. "The Court's announcement of a new constitutional right to own and use firearms for private purposes upsets that settled understanding."

Up up and away....
Oil prices have climbed to a record above $141 a barrel in Asian trading thos morning. Asian investors have flocked to oil as a hedge against inflation.
Check out the rise in barrel prices over the past year. They have nearly doubled!

Millionaire 'slave' owner sentenced

A millionaire who inflicted years of abuse on two Indonesian housekeepers. The housekeepers were held as virtual slaves in her Long Island mansion. Justice was served now that the millionaire was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

The victims testified that they were beaten with brooms and umbrellas, slashed with knives, and forced to climb stairs and take freezing showers as punishment. One victim was forced to eat dozens of chili peppers and then was forced to eat her own vomit when she couldn't keep the peppers down, prosecutors said.

The women, whose relatives in Indonesia were paid about $100 a month -- the women themselves received no cash -- said they were tortured and beaten for misdeeds that included sleeping late or stealing food from trash bins because they were poorly fed. Both women also said they were forced to sleep on mats in the kitchen.

Scientists say that The North Pole may be briefly ice-free by September

According to scientists from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, it's all due to global warming melts away Arctic sea ice.

Woman turns airplane into home

Gardeners Choice

Beat the Heat- Tips from the Red Cross

With the summer travel season peaking and the temperatures peaking with it, I thought it would be a good time to refresh everyone on how to handle the heat.

According to the Red Cross, Heat-related illnesses can cause serious injury and even death if unattended. Signs of heat-related illnesses include nausea, dizziness, flushed or pale skin, heavy sweating and headaches. Victims of heat-related illness should be moved to a cool place, given cool water to drink and ice packs or cool wet cloths should be applied to the skin. If a victim refuses water, vomits or loses consciousness, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately.

Red Cross Heat Safety Tips:

  • Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun's energy. It is also a good idea to wear hats or to use an umbrella.
  • Drink water. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid high-protein foods, which increase metabolic heat.
  • Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 and 7 a.m.
  • Stay indoors when possible. If air-conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine. Remember that electric fans do not cool, they simply circulate the air.
  • Be a good neighbor. During heat waves, check in on elderly residents in your neighborhood and those who do not have air conditioning.
  • Learn Red Cross first aid and CPR.

Know What These Heat-Related Terms Mean:

  • Heat cramps: Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Although heat cramps are the least severe, they are an early signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.
  • Heat exhaustion: Heat exhaustion typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim may suffer heat stroke. Signals of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale flushed or red skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion. Body temperature will be near normal.
  • Heat stroke: Also known as sunstroke, heat stroke is life-threatening. The victim's temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly. Signals include hot, red and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing. Body temperature can be very high—sometimes as high as 1050 F.

General Care for Heat Emergencies:

  • Heat cramps or heat exhaustion: Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position. If the person is fully awake and alert, give half a glass of cool water every 15 minutes. Do not let him or her drink too quickly. Do not give liquids that contain alcohol or caffeine. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths, such as towels or sheets. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number if the person refuses water, vomits or loses consciousness.
  • Heat stroke: Heat stroke is a life-threatening situation! Help is needed fast. Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the body. Immerse victim in a cool bath, or wrap wet sheets around the body and fan it. Watch for signals of breathing problems. Keep the person lying down and continue to cool the body any way you can. If the victim refuses water or is vomiting or there are changes in the level of consciousness, do not give anything to eat or drink.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization – not a government agency – and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

In the News, June 13th, 2008

Nabbed...the Brothel Tour Bus....
It may appear to be a regular black limousine bus but, officials say that this one parked just a block from Miami Beach Police Department headquarters was being used as a "brothel on wheels". This bus was used as a place where clients could come to solicit sex from prostitutes, police said.

Miami Beach undercover detectives busted the bus after paying the $40 entry fee. While onboard they found women offering oral sex and lap dances for money, authorities said.

Police have charged the operators with charges including offering to commit or engage in prostitution, conducting business without a license, directing another to a place of prostitution and deriving support from prostitution.
The bust was part of a nationwide undercover sweep called "Operation Cross Country" that was aimed at finding child prostitutes and headed by the FBI. Operations in 16 cities led to the recovery of 21 children, the FBI said.
No longer in the "Axis of Evil"

Good news for the 'war on terrorism'. The Bush administration is lifting trade sanctions against North Korea in a move to take it off the U.S. terrorism blacklist. Seems to be a remarkable turnaround in policy toward the communist regime, which President Bush once branded as part of an "axis of evil."

Do ya think?
A government survey of teens from 2002 to 2006 says slightly more than half had engaged in underage drinking and they are turning to their parents or other adults for free alcohol.
An estimated 40 percent of the 10.8 million underage drinkers say they got it from an adult for free over the past month. The study says that one in 16 got it from a parent or guardian and one in 12 got it from another adult family member. And this is all new to us......

Teachers don't know math?
The study by a nonpartisan research and advocacy group says that it's the teachers who don't know their math. This study comes just a few months after a federal panel reported that U.S. students have widespread difficulty with fractions, a problem that arises in elementary school and prevents kids from mastering more complicated topics like algebra later on.

The problem- teacher's preparation. The study found the teaching programs, within colleges and universities, spend too little time on elementary math topics. Teacher candidates know their multiplication tables, but "they don't come to us knowing why multiplication works the way it does," said Denise Mewborn, who heads the University of Georgia department of math and science education.

The report also criticized the tests education students take when they complete their coursework, which are generally relied on by states in granting teacher licenses. In many cases, the prospective teachers are judged on an overall score only, meaning they could do badly on the math portion but still pass if they do well in the other areas.

Get Great Tickets on!

Pizzas 4 Patriots

Thank you for visiting Illinois!: Pizzas 4 Patriots

Pizzas 4 Patriots



Photo courtesy of Daily Herald
Mark Evans and his son, Kent, put their heads together to start a fundraising drive to send 300 Lou Malnati's pizzas to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Evans says he and his 16-year-old son Kent came up with the idea while eating pizza. At first Evans planned on sending 300 pizzas overseas. But he says when a local newspaper reported on his operation pizza, many offers of help came in. He now hopes to send the troops 3,000 pizzas. Evans, a retired Air Force master sergeant, had sent 50 of his favorite Chicago-style pizzas to troops in Bosnia in the 1990s.

Mark Evans has already had earned the money to send 300 pizzas for a Fourth of July re-enlistment ceremony. That was his original goal, but now he hopes to push that number up to 600 pizzas. DHL Global volunteered to donate its services to ship the pizzas.They will be frozen and packed in dry ice before heading to the Middle East.

Anyone interested in contributing to the "Pizzas 4 Patriots" project can write Mark Evans at

Video shows child prostitutes, hundreds arrested


In the News, June 25th

Kentucky Plant Shooting
An employee shot at Atlantis Plastics in Henderson, Kentucky, killed four people plant before killing himself according to police.
The employee used a handgun he retrieved during a break and according to police, "It appears the shooting was random at this time ".

3 Year Old Saves Mom- 911 Song
3-year-old girl used the song lyrics "911 green" to call 911 and get help after her pregnant mother fainted. The mother taught her daughter the song a week before she fainted.
When her mom fainted, the girl picked up her mother's BlackBerry phone and pressed 911 and the green button and was connected to a dispatcher.

Just when you thought the world econmy was worsening.

The number of people around the world with at least $1 million in assets passed 10 million for the first time last year, according to a report byMerrill Lynch & Co. and consulting firm Capgemini Group.
The combined wealth of the globe's millionaires grew to nearly $41 trillion last year, an increase of 9 percent from a year before. Millionaires account for less than one-fifth of 1 percent of world's 6.7 billion people. The supperrich are those with at least $30 million in assets.


Sorry Ladies...Ruben is getting married

photo courtesy of Ruben Studdard's MySpace

"American Idol,"
star Ruben Studdard is getting married this weekend.
The "Velvet Teddy Bear" has released three albums since his 2003 win, including the platinum CD "Soulful." He is working on a new album.

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The Age Old Question. Can you fry an egg on the sidewalk?

Photo: a man cracking an egg into a small stream.
Demonstrating an egg cooking in the water of Hot Creek Gorge thermal area, California.
USGS Web site.

Photo: two women  with a frying pan on a concrete wall,.  U.S. Capitol in the background,
Women frying eggs on cement wall near U.S. Capitol.
Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Wit the summer heat rising, there are some of us who like to say "it's so hot you can fry an egg on the sidewalk". It's unclear who really started that metaphor however, if you stop and think about it, can you really fry an egg on the sidewalk?

In theory maybe you could but, does the sidewalk actually get hot enough?

In a scientific nutshell, an egg needs a temperature of 158°F to become firm. In order to cook, proteins in the egg must denature (modify), then coagulate, and that won’t happen until the temperature rises enough to start and maintain the process.

The sidewalk presents several challenges to this.
According to an experiment reported in Robert Wolke’s book, What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained, sidewalk temperatures can vary depending on the composition of the sidewalk, whether it is in direct sunlight, and of course, the air temperature. Dark objects absorb more light, so blacktop paving would be hotter than concrete.
More often than not, sidewalks are concrete. Wolke found that a hot sidewalk might only get up to 145°F. Once you crack the egg onto the sidewalk, the egg cools the sidewalk slightly. Pavement of any kind is a poor conductor of heat, so lacking an additional heat source from below or from the side, the egg will not cook evenly.

So if you cannot fry your egg on the sidewalk, where can you fry it (besides the stove)?
Something closer to the conditions of a frying pan would be the hood of a car. Metal conducts heat better and gets hotter, so people actually have been able to cook an egg on a car hood's surface. Would you need an item such as Pam to prevent sticking?

Getting back to the sidewalk idea, the city of Oatman, Arizona, hosts an annual Solar Egg Frying Contest on the 4th of July. Contestants get 15 minutes to make an attempt using solar (sun) power alone. Oatman judges, however, do allow some aids, such as mirrors, aluminum reflectors, or magnifying glasses, which would help to focus the heat onto the egg itself. It turns out that eggs also have a bit of an advantage in Arizona, the land of low humidity and high heat. Liquids evaporate rapidly when humidity is low. The eggs have a bit of “help” while they cook, and they dry out faster.

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In the News; June 24, 2008

Wildfires again in California

Reports say that more than 840 wildfires sparked by an "unprecedented" lightning storm are burning a swath of Northern California, alarming the governor and requiring the help of firefighters from Nevada and Oregon. At risk- the Napa Valley wine country. One wildfire started in Napa County and quickly moved into Solano County, and threatened about 250 homes about 40 miles southwest of Sacramento,.
The Return of Don Imus' Mouth

Don Imus is once again defending on-air remarks regarding race.
During an on-air conversation about the arrests of suspended Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam Jones, Imus asked, "What color is he?"

Don Imus said Tuesday morning on his radio show that he was trying to "make a sarcastic point" with his latest on-air remarks about race, but that they had been misunderstood. This happened nearly a year after returning to the radio with a pledge to mend the wounds caused by his comments about a women's basketball team,

"What people should be outraged about is that they arrest blacks for no reason," Imus said a day after his current faux pas. "I mean, there's no reason to arrest this kid six times. Maybe he did something once, but everyone does something once."
When he returned to work, Imus gave a lengthy on-air apology and pledged to use his new show to foster an open dialogue on race relations.

WABC and Citadel Broadcasting Corp. Vice President Phil Boyce said Monday that it was unlikely the broadcasters would take disciplinary action against Imus.
China's Death Toll

The death toll from last month's massive earthquake in southwestern China is expected to exceed 80,000, state media reported Tuesday.
Officially 69,181 people are dead with another missing 18,498, according to authorities.

"Because it is presumed that the missing people are already dead, the total death toll of this disaster is likely to exceed 80,000," said Vice Premier Hui Liangyu.

Man Versus Gator

  • orlando news channel 6 photo
  • "He dragged me under the water five times," Edwards said. "Finally, (the arm) ripped off and I wasn't aware at the time. (It) hit me in my stomach and knocked the wind out of me and I dug and took my finger and gouged its eye. It spun and turned around and went away from me. (I) didn't know I was missing an arm until I was swimming back."

    Kasey Edwards, 18, was swimming with some friends in a canal near Lake Okeechobee, when he was attacked.

    "(The alligator) took my left arm off about 4 inches above the elbow," Edwards said. "It was a pretty humbling experience."

    Edwards said he was face-to-face with the gator during the attack.

    "I looked back and the gator surfaced and I looked him right in the face and stared at him for 10 seconds," Edwards said from Holmes Regional Medical Center in Central Florida.

    Edwards said during the fight with the alligator, he was not aware he was missing an arm.
    The alligator was captured and Edwards' arm was found inside its stomach, the Palm Beach Post reported.

    MLB to discuss safety of maple bats

    16 Great Sites to Check Out

    Learn how to do something;
    1. Howcast
    2. Expert Village
    3. eHow
    4. WonderHowTo

    Where's the cheapest gas?
    1. GasBuddy Real-time prices from 750,000 volunteer price "spotters," who send in daily updates from their local stations.
    2. MapQuest's Gas Prices
    3. Gas Price Watch.

    Got mental-health concerns?
    1. PsychCentral Where you can take quizzes to get a general sense of whether you might have a problem.
    3. National Institute of Mental Health

    1. TripKick,
    2. Tells you which floors are best and which rooms to avoid and which rooms had the best view
    3. SeatGuru
    4. WikiTravel is an invaluable travel resource
    5. Thorn Tree Travel Forum
    6. TripAdvisor are useful for seeing other folks' photos and reviews, only WikiTravel keeps a concise, current directory of nearly 20,000 destinations.

    Nutrex Lipo 6

    In the News; June 23, 2008

    Getting back to normal in the Midwest.
    Experts say that the Mississippi still well above it's banks as the river is cresting.
    In Mark Twain's hometown, Hannibal the town's levees would hold as the river begins to recede.
    Now to get back to normal, count your blessings and attempt to get back to farming. The big concern in the future will be the invasion of mosquitoes as a result of the water.
    Baby Dolphin finally saved.
    In early June, teams from Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute were taking photographs in the Indian River Lagoon when they found a baby dolphin wrapped in a motor boat belt.
    The teams lost track of the calf at the time. Luckily, after two weeks of searching, a team of rescuers located the baby and its mother near the Sebastian Inlet.
    They were able to cut the belt off from around the neck of the baby dolphin.


    Daycare Gone BAD.

    This photo released by the Smith County Sheriff's Office shows Patrick Kelly.  On Monday, June 23, 2008, Kelly is scheduled to stands trial in Tyler, Texas, for his alleged role in the 'Mineola Swinger's Club' where prosecutors say four children, ages 5 through 7, were forced to have sex and dance for an audience of adults.  (AP Photo/Smith County Sheriff's Office)
    photo released by the Smith County Sheriff's Office shows Patrick Kelly. Patrick Kelly, 41, is charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child, tampering with physical evidence and engaging in organized criminal activity.

    In a small Texas community, defendants have been convicted of grooming kids for sex shows in "kindergarten" classes. They gave Vicodin to the kids and called the drugs "silly pills". Residents thought there were swinger parties going on; didn't know children involved
    The front rooms of a former day care center had no windows. Children as young as 5 were fed powerful painkillers they knew as "silly pills" and forced to perform sex shows for a crowd of adults.

    Two people have already been convicted in the case. Now a third person with ties to the club, is set to go on trial. In all, six adults have been charged in connection with the case, including a parent of the three siblings involved.
    According to a Mineola police report, the department first investigated a complaint in June 2005 in which the siblings' foster mother said one of the girls described dancing toward men and another child saying that "everybody does nasty stuff in there."

    Remember the guy who put his life up for sale?

    Bidding is at around $150,000. The man is selling his house, car, job and even an introduction to his friends on eBay. "On the day it's all sold and settled, I intend to walk out of my front door with my wallet in one pocket and my passport in the other, nothing else at all," he said on his Web site,

    Buy or Sell your home with ZipRealty, and save $$$

    Raw Video: Mother abandons boy at Wal-Mart

    CBS - Shop now!

    Comedian George Carlin dies of heart failure

    OFten called groundbreaking, comedian George Carlin died Sunday in Los Angeles. He was 71.

    Carlin was best known for his routine "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television," which appeared on 1972's "Class Clown" album. Carlin will always be known for his raunchy but insightful humor .

    Carlin was born on May 12, 1937. By December of the same year his parents were seperated. In 1941 Carlin moved movesd to New York. He spend the next 25 years developing what was to be his style.
    In 1953 he dropped out of school and a year later he joined the Air Force.
    Carlin Received three court-martial and numerous Article Fifteens (form of punishment just below court-martial). Attitude toward military service can be discerned by noting history of changes in rank: A/B, A/3c, A/2c, A/3c, A/2c, A/3c, A/B, A/3c.

    In 1956 - Carlin became a disc jockey at radio station KJOE, Shreveport, La.
    In 1957 he received a general discharge under honorable conditions from USAF.
    In 972 - First appearance at Carnegie Hall, New York City. According to Carlin, "Mother appalled that people applaud filthy, blasphemous, anti-American material."
    In 1972 He was arrested at Summerfest in Milwaukee for using indecent language in front of wheelchair-bound children.

    During the 70's it was his ability to raise eyebrows that made him famous.

    Carlin was best known for his routine "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television," which appeared in 1972's "Class Clown" album. When Carlin mentioned all seven at a show in Milwaukee in 1972, he was arrested for disturbing the peace, the AP reported. The comedy sketch prompted a landmark indecency case after WBAI-FM radio aired it in 1973.

    The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court where the justices ruled on a 5-to-4 vote that the sketch was "indecent but not obscene," giving the FCC broad leeway to determine what constituted indecency on the airwaves.

    He produced 23 comedy albums, 14 HBO specials, three books, a couple of TV shows and appeared in several movies, from his own comedy specials to "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" in 1989 -- a testament to his range from cerebral satire and cultural commentary to downright silliness (and sometimes hitting all points in one stroke).

    "Why do they lock gas station bathrooms?" he once mused. "Are they afraid someone will clean them?"

    He won four Grammy Awards, each for best spoken comedy album, and was nominated for five Emmy awards .

    Carlin was 71.

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    In the News June 22nd

    More oil on the way but, will gas prices go back down to where they were a year ago?

    Saudi Arabia will increase its daily oil production to 9.7 million barrels from 9 million to counter the sharp rise in international oil prices, Saudi King Abdullah said Sunday.
    The increase will take place in July. It would be Saudi Arabia's highest production rate since 1981.

    The Saudi government will also invest in oil projects that would allow the nation to produce 12.5 million barrels per day by the end of the year.

    Anna's Ex Pays Big Bucks for her lingerie

    Anna Nicole Smith's former boyfriend spent nearly $3,000 lingerie once worn in a Playboy shoot by the late playmate at a celebrity auction .

    Birkhead said he is trying to make sure his 1-year-old daughter, Dannielynn, has something to remember her mother by. Birkhead said he hoped the items would help his daughter learn her mother's life story — when she's old enough.

    "I have a lot of history I have to put together that she doesn't really know about," Birkhead told The Associated Press. "Playboy was such a big part of Anna's career."

    Amy Winehouse (Pic:Focus) Amy Winehouse (Pic:Focus)

    More about Amy.

    Amy Winehouse's father gave an exclusive interview with a British paper. In it he says that Amy has lung damage and irregular heart beat, says her father.
    The damaged to her lungs is fromsmoking crack cocaine and cigarettes.

    Amy has an early stage emphysema and has been warned that she will have to wear an oxygen mask unless she stops smoking drugs.

    "The doctors have told her if she goes back to smoking drugs, it won't just ruin her voice, it will kill her," Mitch Winehouse was quoted as saying.

    "There are nodules around the chest and dark marks. She has 70 percent lung capacity."

    She is scheduled to sing at a concert in London on Friday celebrating 90th birthday of Nelson Mandela. .

    In an emotional interview, her devastated father Mitch told the Sunday Mirror how watching his daughter deteriorate reminded him of his own 78-year-old mother struggling for breath on an aspirator before she died of lung cancer.

    Gardeners Choice

    Raw video: Bus attack caught on tape

    Nitro RC Car Lamborghini

    The Ugliest Dog in the World

    photo courtesy of

    Gus -- a one-eyed, three-legged Chinese Crested from St. Petersburg, Fla. -- has won the annual World’s Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.

    Gus, a Chinese-Crested, was named 2008's ugliest dog . He competed against 11 other dogs from all over the U.S., winning in the pedigree-class category and then going on to win in the overall competition.

    Gus took home two trophies and $1,600 in prize money, which his owners are going to put toward his radiation treatments. Gus has skin cancer, which led to the amputation of one leg.His missing eye was the result of a fight with a tomcat, fair officials said

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