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Thursday, April 15, 2010

In the News: April 15, 2010

Three-year-old shredding his way to be next Shaun White?
This kid is amazing.

"Three-year-old Wesley Muresan wants to be the next Shaun White and he's grabbing a whole lot of attention and lots of internet traffic because of his skills.

He may be small - but his tricks aren't. When his instructors first met him, the bunny hill wasn't even an option. It was half pipe for Muresan from the get-go - which according to his videos was only at the end of 2009.

"I wanna snowboard with Shaun White in his secret half pipe and do tricks," Muresan said in a YouTube video. "Half-pipe is my specialty. I like it. I go really fast like Superman.""

Unpleasant “smell of success” at MIT finals week
Oh MIT...

Is anyone really surprised here?

"Student leaders at MIT are trying to rid the campus of a foul situation.

Students say that some are working so hard during finals week, they are failing when it comes to personal hygiene.

“Sometimes people will have marathon study sessions where they won’t necessarily shower or brush their teeth,” said a student.

So now, free samples of everything from deodorant to toothpaste are being handed out.

The school’s student senate put more than $400 of its funding to purchase the samples. They will be handing them out for free during the week of finals."
(WHDH and CNN)

------------More news!------------

Men ditch 'nice guy' style, get more dates
Yes, let's start creating a generation of assholes.

Thank you CNN for such wonderful stock photos

"Everyone probably knows a Mr. Nice Guy like Melcher, who is now 46. He's the guy who patiently listens to a girl complain without interrupting her. Because of his sweet nature, he puts the girl's demands first, altering his weekend plans to fit her schedule. He may be uneasy about making a decision for fear of being domineering.

But after all his diligent efforts to be a gentleman, she turns him down, and he is left to wonder: Do nice guys finish last?

"Girls might say they want a nice guy, but what they really want is the cool guy," said Arthur Malov, founder of New York Dating Coach, a relationship consulting agency with primarily male clients. "A jerk is rarely so bad that no one wants to hook up with him.""

And for all the jerks with too many women:
Finding love online, despite health problems
Prescription 4 Love is a dating site for people with special conditions.

"Lana, a 38 year-old publicist in Los Angeles, California, was diagnosed with genital herpes in 1997.

Since then, she has "kind of been hiding" from the dating scene.

Let's face it: How do you drop that bomb on a potential love interest? And when?

She considered a number of online dating venues, but she says Match.com asked too many questions on its enrollment form, eHarmony was too "religious," and MySpace was too much of a "hookup zone.""

"Niche sites are also a lot less expensive. Prescription 4 Love, which started charging in May 2009, is $9.95 per month, while most of the features on No Longer Lonely (including the dating service and chat rooms) are still free.

(Access to the site's full features is available for $24 per year. That's substantially cheaper than sites like Match.com and eHarmony, which can cost upwards of $35 per month.)

"To me, that's pressure right there," says Robert Watson, the executive director of the nonprofit dating service DateAble.org, which caters primarily to those with physical and mild psychiatric handicaps. "If it's the 30th day of the month, you're thinking, 'I've got one more day to find someone or it's another $35.'""

Watching TV 'is bad for children'

"Children under two should not be allowed to watch any TV, experts say.

Older children should watch no more than two hours a day, the researchers at the Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Centre in Seattle said.

Each hour in front of the TV increased a child's chances of attention deficit disorder by 10%, their research in the Pediatrics journal showed."

Wii Fit injury turns woman into a sex addict!
This is just bizarre...

"Amanda Flowers, a catering worker in Manchester, needs 10 sex sessions a day - courtesy a fall from her Wii Fit board which turned her into a sex addict.

Even the slightest of vibrations, from mobile phones to food processors, turns her on, reports The Daily Star.

She said: "It began as a twinge down below before surging through my body. Sometimes it built up into a trembling orgasm."

A doctor diagnosed her with persistent sexual arousal syndrome due to a damaged nerve.

Single Amanda, 24, from Harpurhey, said: "With no cure I just have to try to control my passion by breathing deeply. Hopefully one day I'll find a superstud who can satisfy me.""
(link thanks to Seth)

U.S. standards on beef are lax, inspector general says

"The U.S. government is not fully guarding against the contamination of meat by traces of antibiotics, pesticides or heavy metals, a new report warns."

"In 2008, Mexican authorities turned away an American shipment of beef, because it did not meet Mexico's limits when tested for copper traces. But the very same rejected meat could be sold in the United States, since no limit has been set, the analysis says."

OK, if Mexico is rejecting our food something has to change...

Inmates bilk Uncle Sam for millions

"Officer Mark Lindback started his day off with a routine contraband check of a jail cell. He pulled up the inmate's mattress, and ducked his head under the bed. He didn't find any shanks or drugs, but he did find papers -- lots and lots of papers.

The inmate immediately became irate.

"He was very insistent on getting back his paperwork," Lindback said. "It made me look more thoroughly to see what it was."

Lindback says he found tax forms, papers with instructions on how to fill out the forms along with various social security numbers and birth dates during that routine check four years ago."

"Investigators say Monroe County jail inmates in Key West had been filing false tax return forms for jobs they never had as far back as 2004, and getting thousands of dollars a pop in refund checks.

Using a formula that kept their refunds to amounts under $5,000 per claim, inmates thought they would fly under the radar, investigators say. And they did for years, passing around cheat sheets that showed line by line how to fill out the complicated forms."

"Investigator Ellsworth and jail officials were told the IRS had to conduct their own investigation, despite the mound of evidence they provided the agency.

"For them to start all over from scratch when a case has been handed to them gift wrapped and all they had to do was go forth with the indictments was a little disheartening for me," Sheriff Peryam said. "I can say for sure that if I make a mistake on my tax bill I think somebody will be knocking on my door pretty quick. I don't think it will take 3 or 4 years.""

Seriously, how did this continue for so long?

Have Republicans Been Out-Foxed?
Hopefully this is just the start of the GOP's disassociation with FoxNews and return to legitimacy, otherwise Dems will gain more ground.
And the only thing I dislike more than the two-party system is a one-party system.
"GOP Sen. Tom Coburn scored a perfect 100 on the American Conservative Union's rankings for lawmakers last year. That makes him one of the last people you'd expect to criticize what liberals see as the GOP's most notable media mouthpiece, Fox News, but that's exactly what he did at a recent town-hall meeting in Oklahoma. When an audience member fretted about going to prison for not buying health insurance, Coburn responded, "The intention is not to put anyone in jail. That makes for good TV on Fox, but that isn't the intention.""

"Coburn's calling out of Fox was notable precisely because it's rare for Fox and Republicans to find their messages out of sync. The image of Fox that one gets from liberal critics such as The Daily Show's Jon Stewart is that it parrots Republican talking points, pushes conservative ideas into the mainstream, and keeps the base animated. But some conservatives are asking whether the news channel has become too extreme and whether, by angering and agitating the base, it may be making it harder, rather than easier, for Republicans to win elections.

David Frum, a prominent conservative pundit and former speechwriter for George W. Bush, led the charge last month when he lambasted Republicans’ handling of health-care reform. In a piece about the health-care vote titled “Waterloo,” Frum wrote, "We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat. There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible…By mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead." On Nightline, Frum noted, "Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we're discovering we work for Fox…The thing that sustains a strong Fox network is the thing that undermines a strong Republican Party.""
(Newsweek thanks to Mike)

Watchdog group finds smaller servings of congressional pork
Speaking of returning to legitimacy, let's hope this trend continues to restore the people's faith in Congress.

"The "Pig Book," an annual report detailing the excesses of pork spending, has served up its usual heavy-duty mockery of congressional excesses. But this year the meat spit is smaller.

The number and costs of congressional pork projects dropped this year, the Citizens Against Government Waste said in its "2010 Congressional Pig Book Summary," issued on Wednesday.

The 9,129 projects in the report "represent a 10.2 percent decline from the 10,160 projects identified in fiscal year 2009, and the $16.5 billion in cost is a 15.5 percent decrease from the $19.6 billion in pork in fiscal year 2009," the group said."

Unshrouding the science of the Shroud
Supposedly previous carbon-dating tests have debunked the shroud as being authentic, but there are doubts that the tests represented the actual age.
The section that was tested was possibly part of a repaired section that was damaged in a fire. Also, the fire itself could have contaminated the sample because fire/smoke throw off carbon-dating readings. (All learned from a History Channel special I saw a few months ago. Yay dorkiness!)

"The Turin Shroud is a linen cloth measuring 1.21m by 4.42m believed by some to bear the impression of Jesus Christ. For the first time in a decade it has gone on display in Turin.

Here we have highlighted the key features on the cloth that its custodian, the Archdiocese of Turin, says supports the notion that the shroud was used to wrap a man who "suffered the death of crucifixion"."


Last, but not least:

Ten things we have learnt about Africa
The condensed list. Read the full article for more info.

1. 75% of South Africans think polygamy is "morally wrong"

2. An overwhelming majority of respondents disapproved of homosexual behaviour.

3. Africa is probably the world's most religious continent, with more than 80% saying they believed in God in most countries... In Ethiopia, 74% of Christians say they have experienced or witnessed the devil or evil spirits being driven out of a person and in Ghana, 40% of Christians say they have had a direct revelation from God.

4. Zimbabwe, where the Lemba people say they are the lost tribe of Israel, was not one of the countries surveyed. But 26% of Nigerian Christians said they traced their origins back to Israel or Palestine.

5. Belief in witchcraft is also common - about 40%; a similar percentage also visit traditional healers to cure sickness. Belief in witchcraft is highest in Tanzania with 93% - this is the country where witchdoctors say that magic potions are more effective if they contain body parts of people with albinism.

6. Predictably, there was also a religious split concerning alcohol, banned by Islam. Surprisingly, however, more Muslims in Chad (23%) approved of booze, than Ethiopian Christians (5%).

7. Attitudes to divorce showed a strong divide along religious lines in Nigeria. A massive 79% of Christians thought it was "morally wrong", while among Muslims, a narrow majority (46-41%) accepted divorce.

8. In recent years, Islamist hardliners in Somalia and Nigeria have introduced strict punishment based on Sharia law, such as amputating the hands of thieves and even stoning to death for adultery. The majority of people disapproved of such Sharia punishments.

9. Not so long ago, Cameroon regularly topped surveys of champagne consumption per head. However, a shocking 71% of Cameroonians surveyed said there were times in the past year when they did not have enough money to buy food.

10. Ethiopia did, however, have the lowest numbers of people - 7% - who said they regularly used the internet.

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