Sep 27, 2008

English Channel crossing using a jetwing

In 1909, French aviator Louis Bleriot became the first person to fly across the English Channel in an aircraft.

Now a Swiss adventurer flew from England to France Friday propelled by a jetpack strapped to his back following the route taken by Bleriot nearly 100 years ago.

Yves Rossy, an airline pilot, crossed the 22 miles between Calais and Dover at speeds of up to 120 mph in 13 minutes.

When the white cliffs of Dover came into view, he opened a blue and yellow parachute and drifted down in light winds to land in a British field where he was mobbed by well-wishers.

“Everything was perfect,” he said afterwards. “I showed that it is possible to fly a little bit like a bird.”

The Swiss pilot was propelled by four kerosene-burning jet turbines attached to a wing on his back. He ignited the jets inside a plane before jumping out more than 8,000 feet (2,400 meters) above ground.


First debate - the old man was up to it

A report at the link below is titled, The Mack is back.One thing about presidential debates is that they seldom change minds of voters.

John McCain … gave one of his strongest debate performances ever.

McCain not only found a central theme but hit on it repeatedly. Obama is inexperienced, naive, and just doesn’t understand things, McCain said.

He [McCain] stood behind a lectern for 90 minutes without a break — you try that when you are 72 — and he not only gave as good as he got, he seemed to relish it.

At least twice after sharp attacks by McCain, Obama seemed to look to moderator Jim Lehrer for help, saying to Lehrer, “Let’s move on.”

Yes, the old man was up to it.


Story of successful China space launch posted on web before launch occurred

A news story describing the successful launch of China's long-awaited space mission appeared on the web. It including detailed dialogue between astronauts.

Only one problem -- the story appeared hours before the rocket had even left the ground.

The country's official news agency Xinhua posted the article on its Web site Thursday, and remained there for much of the day before it was taken down.

A staffer from the Web site who answered the phone Thursday said the posting of the article was a "technical error" by a technician. The staffer refused to give his name as is common among Chinese officials.

The story including “detailed dialogue between astronauts” on the internet before the launch was a “technical error?”


Sep 26, 2008

Phillies mascot brings bomb squad to ballpark

Three suspicious packages were found just outside Citizens Bank Park.

Police were called and a Philadelphia Police Department bomb squad detonated all three packages.

Police said the packages simply contained hot dogs.
“It appears they're the same hot dogs the Phanatic uses to shoot into the crowd.” One investigator said.
It was unclear how the packages ended up outside the stadium.

The Phanatic (pictured) is the Philadelphia Phillies mascot.


Sports teams chased off field by fire ants

The Rialto High School football and baseball teams find their new main rival is … venomous fire ants!

Rialto is located in southern California near San Bernardino.

Discovered by a groundskeeper last week, the venomous red pests have set up several mound-like colonies on the football and baseball fields.

The school canceled a freshman football game, moved practices and called the state Department of Agriculture.

"They're from South America," said Syeda Jafri, spokeswoman for the Rialto Unified School District. "How they got here, we have no idea."

The infestation is not to be taken lightly, said Les Greenberg, an entomologist at the University of California, Riverside.


Self flying helicopter

A four-foot-long helicopter equipped with an artificial intelligence system flew itself over the Stanford University campus.

The autonomous helicopter performed flips, rolls, pirouettes, stall-turns, knife-edges, and an inverted hover over a field.

The helicopter is equipped with an artificial intelligence system developed by computer scientists at Stanford and taught itself to fly by watching the aerobatics of a radio-controlled helicopter flown by a human.

Each helicopter costs approximately $4,000 and is outfitted with an accelerometer, gyroscope and a magnetometer to determine its orientation and acceleration, and a GPS or two ground-based cameras to determine its location.


Pollster Zogby predicts landslide McCain win?

Zogby is right when he says no one knows Barack Obama. As long as the media shields him by keeping quiet about his background, no one will know him on election day.

He has not authored legislation in Illinois or in Washington. However, he has written two books - both autobiographies (what kind of person writes two autobiographies before the age 47?).

When it comes down to the proverbial nitty-gritty, how many voters will turn their backs on the mostly unknown Barack Hussein Obama and pull the lever for the “old shoe” that everyone knows.

Joe Biden won’t be able to save Obama even in a tight race. Who cares about Biden outside of Pennsylvania and Delaware?

And then there is the Sarah Palin effect. The more the media tries to trash her, the more people will rally around her and the McCain - Palin ticket.

Landslide? Who knows, maybe Zogby is right.


Bill Clinton not eager to campaign for Obama

Mr. Clinton is using Jewish Holidays as a reason/excuse for not campaigning for Obama.

On a previously recorded interview to air on CNN's "Larry King Live" former President Bill Clinton (pictured) says he will wait until after Thursday, Oct. 9, before he will start campaigning for Sen. Barack Obama.

What's the significance of Oct. 9?

Why, it's the Jewish Day of Atonement, of course.

And though the Southern Baptist former president isn't known for being a particularly devout Jew who observes the High Holy Days, apparently he's decided to wait until after Yom Kippur and the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, before he starts campaigning for his wife's former rival, for whom many Democrats suspect the Clintons aren't exactly rooting enthusiastically.

“Not enthusiastically” is surely an understatement.

During the Larry King Live appearance, King asked, “Are you kind of feeling Jewish that you're waiting until after the Jewish holidays?”

Clinton replied:

“No. But I think it would be -- if we're trying to win in Florida, it may be that," Clinton began, before discussing his real Florida target: “You know, they think that, because of who I am and where my politic[al] base has traditionally been, they may want me to go sort of hustle up what Lawton Chiles used to call the ‘cracker vote’ there.”

If you ever want to follow the footsteps of Bill Clinton as he campaigns for Barack Obama this fall, just follow his heel marks - he will be dragging his feet all the way.

Hmm … after the Jewish holidays, he could always wait until after corn picking time …

If Barack Obama loses, it will be Hillary in 2012. If he wins, Hillary will be stuck with her Senate seat.

Nothing else.

No cabinet post.



Sep 25, 2008

13-year-old boy is over 7 feet tall

An inverted chromosome has caused 13-year-old Brenden Adams to stand over 7-feet tall.

He has an abnormality of the 12th chromosome that's caused his bones, teeth and organs to grow at a phenomenal pace.

Only 2 percent of the population has what geneticists call a balanced chromosomal inversion — that is, they have the right amount of genetic material but some of it gets rearranged when cells divide during the earliest stages of development.

Brenden sleeps on a10-foot-long bed. His orthopedic shoes cost $800 and his custom-made blue jeans cost $150 a pair.

Because Brenden can't easily bend his knees or ankles, the local fire department donated a lift chair, the kind that electronically powers him into a sitting or standing position.

While Brenden's physical comfort is improving, his medical prognosis remains uncertain. Last year, he had a dozen molars pulled and underwent an experimental treatment to speed up puberty, fuse his growth plates together and stop him from getting any taller.

It seems to have worked. But while his bones might have stopped growing, it's unclear whether his internal organs have followed suit.


MIT Professor reveals the corrupted science of Al Gore

A report at the link below is titled, Corrupted science revealed. It is an important insight into the global warming fiasco.

Outsiders familiar with the proper workings of science have long known that modern Climate Science is dysfunctional. Now a prominent insider, MIT Meteorology Professor Richard S. Lindzen, confirms how Al Gore (pictured) and his minions used Stalinist tactics to subvert, suborn and corrupt a whole branch of science, citing chapter and verse in his report entitled ''Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?'' His answer: A resounding ''NO!''

One surprising revelation from the article:

The primary spokesman for the American Meteorological Society in Washington is Anthony Socci who is neither an elected official of the AMS nor a contributor to climate science. Rather, he is a former staffer for Al Gore.

The writer is optimistic, however, and adds this:

Fortunately, in science "truth will out". The long term faith of the American public in science, a trust built up since WWI is at stake. Next it will be important to see whether a prominent scientific journal publishes this revelation.

No matter which side of the climate science debate you are on, further study is important. This article is a great start.


The Donald endorsed McCain on Larry King Live

New York real estate magnate Donald Trump (pictured) endorsed John McCain on the Larry King show.

Trump was a supporter of Hillary Clinton and was critical of Barack Obama for not selecting her as his vice presidential running mate.

”I know John McCain, and John McCain's a great guy, a tremendous guy,” Trump told King.

“I've known him for a long time. And I'm with him, and I'm with him based on the fact that I have great knowledge of John McCain. Also, this is not the right time for tax increases. And Obama wants to increase your taxes drastically.”


Bush summons Obama to Washington

How are the presidential candidates helping with the financial crisis?

John McCain

Has been working to help solve the crisis.

McCain suspended his campaign because the “bail-out” was more important. He even cancelled all political advertising to focus on working with congress and the president to find a solution to the crisis.

Barack Obama

Had to be summoned to Washington by the president.

He was studying for the Friday night debate with Senator McCain. It seems that his performance at the debates superceded solving a very grave national financial crisis.


Sep 24, 2008

Four billion mobile subscribers by end of 2008

A report at the link below predicts there will be 4 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, by the end of this year.

If the prediction is true, it will have taken just five full quarters to acquire the last billion additions!

Global mobile penetration - the number of mobile subscriptions worldwide - reached 50 percent in November of last year.

A large number of more mature markets worldwide already have in excess of 100 per cent mobile penetration, as users sign up for more than one subscription.

But emerging markets are the engine for much of the rapid growth, with tremendous consumer demand seen in developing countries like China and India, which each delivered more than 50 million new mobile subscriptions in the last six months alone.


Obama takes Biden to the woodshed

There is a New York Post report at the link below titled, Joe gets taken to the woodshed. The article begins:

A civil war broke out on the Democratic ticket yesterday, as Barack Obama slapped down a comment by running mate Joe Biden (pictured) just a day after Biden ripped a sarcastic Obama campaign ad about John McCain.

After slamming McCain for flip-flopping on whether to bail out insurance giant AIG, Obama was asked yesterday by the "Today" show's Matt Lauer about his running mate's own view that the federal government shouldn't have rescued the firm.

"And I think that, in that situation - I think Joe should have waited, as well," Obama said.

After further pressing by Lauer, Obama became even more defensive.

Last Monday Joe Biden slammed his own campaign for running a commercial about McCain's inability to use a computer.

They seem to be bickering with each other and, in the case of Biden, bickering with his own campaign.

If they can’t get along, they maybe should at least stop airing their soiled laundry in public.


Immigration makes England the most crowded country in Europe

Official figures show that England has become the most crowded major country in Europe.

The number of people crammed in has overtaken those in Holland, long the most densely-populated major nation on the continent.

A count released to MPs showed England now has 395 people per square kilometer.

Crowding has increased because of high immigration into England while the Dutch population has fallen or remained steady.

If England can’t stop the rampant flood of immigrants, the United Kingdom may be known as he United Arab Kingdom.


Poll: most voters say debate moderators biased

There are so many polls during a presidential election they get a little tiresome.

There is one poll, however, that is quite interesting.

Three out of four U.S. voters (74%) say they are Very Likely to watch the upcoming presidential debates, but over half (56%) think debate moderators are biased in their questioning.

In the first debate this Friday evening, 22% believe the moderator, veteran PBS newsman Jim Lehrer, will try to help Barack Obama.

Forty-three percent (43%) say Lehrer will play a neutral role to help voters make an informed choice.

Only six percent (6%) think he will try to help John McCain.

How will Mr. Obama do without his teleprompter? He has even been known to use a teleprompter at a few of his small town hall meetings.

Mr. Obama was without a prompter during the forum at televangelist Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California when this dialog took place:

Pastor Warren: At what point does a baby have human rights?

McCain: A baby’s human rights begin at the moment of conception … I have a 25-year pro-life record.

Obama: “… whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity … is above my pay grade.

Above his pay grade indeed.

There were no teleprompters used at Saddleback and it showed.

He may make a slip like he did when he announced that he had campaigned in all 57 states and only had a few more to go.


Sep 23, 2008

Joe Biden rewrites history

In a CBS “Behind the scenes with Joe Biden” article at the link below, Katie Couric interviews democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Biden (pictured) complained to Couric, “I know the Republicans are going to take anything I say, no matter what it would be or anybody, and take it out of context.”

About the rocky week on Wall Street, Biden had this to say:

“Part of what being a leader does is to instill confidence is to demonstrate what he or she knows what they are talking about and to communicating to people ... this is how we can fix this,” Biden said. “When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed.”

Fact checking Biden’s comments we find:

Franklin Roosevelt was not president during the 1929 stock market crash.

Herbert Hoover was president when the stock market crashed.

Franklin Roosevelt was Governor of New York in 1929. He was elected president in November, 1932 and took office on March 4, 1933.

Commercial television was not generally available until the late 1930’s and television sets were not found in the average household until the late 1940’s.

Will he complain that these comments will be taken out of context?

It’s no wonder there is talk of replacing Biden and putting someone else on the Obama ticket (possibly Hillary - if she will accept).


Lighten up! Your child’s backpack may be too heavy

Heavy Backpacks can be a weighty problem for many children.

Are you sending your child off to school with a backpack that is too heavy?

When buying one, make sure it is the right size for a child. Keep in mind, proportion.

Look for padded shoulders and different pockets to separate the weight.

The American Physical Therapy Association recommends a backpack should be 10 to 15 percent of a child's weight.

A backpack that is too heavy can injure a child.

The most common injuries occur in the shoulder because heavy straps can tear the tendons in the area.

If the child is leaning forward, that's a sign the backpack is too heavy.

More of the story here.

Palin draws crowd of 60,000 in Florida

A wildly cheering crowd of 60,000 greeted Sarah Palin (pictured) in the Villages (near Orlando).

That’s only about 15,000 less than Obama drew in Denver for his acceptance speech - and she didn’t need a band or an elaborate “Barackapolis” to do it.

Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin told wildly cheering, flag-waving, chanting supporters that John McCain is "the only great man in this race"

“He won't say this, so I'll say it for him," the Alaska governor said in an almost confidential tone at the close of her first Florida stump speech.

"There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you. John McCain wore the uniform of his country for 22 years -- talk about tough."

Recent polls have given the McCain-Palin ticket a single-digit edge but Florida is clearly up for grabs.

McCain, who led the Jan. 29 state primary with a big boost from popular Gov. Charlie Crist, has strong support in the vital I-4 corridor and across North Florida, where conservative southerners tend to register as Democrats but vote Republican in statewide races.


- - - - - - - - - - U P D A T E - - - - - - - - - -

The Associated Press report said the crows was “tens of thousands” and downplayed the event by saying, “Palin's first Florida campaign stop a safe one.” Safe one indeed. Obama drew a much smaller crowd at the same location.

The AP report went on to make a very revealing Palin - Biden comparison:

Some people [attending the Palin rally] had to wait in line about 90 minutes just to park their cars. Biden's largest crowd during a visit earlier this month was about 2,000.

Not surprising since Biden has regularly been holding rally’s at High School gymnasiums attracting modest crowds.


Poll: race may cost Obama 6% points on election day

A report at the link below gives the results of a poll showing that Barack Obama (pictured) could lose six percentage points on election day for being black.

That disturbing calculation was found in a groundbreaking new Associated Press-Yahoo News poll conducted with Stanford University which probes the effect of the Democratic presidential candidate's race on his historic campaign.

The percentage could easily be higher when election day finally arrives.

Many people responding to a poll would not want to seem racist. However, in the privacy of the voting booth, any fear of appearing racist would be gone.

More here.

Sep 22, 2008

Gen. Chuck Yeager at Sarah Palin rally

Gen. Chuck Yeager at a recent Sarah Palin rally in Nevada. Yeager was the first person to break the sound barrier on October 14, 1947.

Bacon wins Idaho hog-calling title

Jolee Bacon, a northern Idaho woman took first place in the hog-calling competition at the Nez Perce County Fair in Lewiston.

Her hog call began with a few loud snorts and a long, drawn-out "sooey." Must have been music to the ears!


The Charlie Rangel tax scandal

Republicans are all over the latest Charlie Rangel tax scandal.

Democratic congressman Charles Rangel (pictured) is trying to make things right with his constituents and the IRS.

He is also claiming that he was being targeted as part of a "guerrilla war" waged by the GOP.

Republicans defend their charges and their call for Rangel to be stripped of his chairmanship of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

They say that a tax cheat should not be the chairman of the committee that writes American tax policy.


The AP wonders how Obama will do in debates

An Associated Press writer wonders Which Obama will show up for presidential debates?

It could be the tone-deaf debater who condescendingly told Hillary Rodham Clinton during a Democratic debate that she was "likable enough."

Or perhaps the confident candidate who absorbed a jab from Clinton about using her husband's former advisers and responded with a devastating one-liner of his own: "Hillary, I'm looking forward to you advising me as well."

For a man known as a powerful speaker, Obama has rarely wowed people in political debates. He can come across as lifeless, aloof and windy.

It make a big difference when Obama can’t use a teleprompter.

One thing we do know is that the media will print positive reports on the performance of Obama and the same negative reports on McCain as they did for Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primary campaign.


Sep 21, 2008

California bans cell use by train operators

California state regulators issued an emergency order Thursday banning train operators from using cell phones on duty.

The Public Utilities Commission's unanimous decision to pass the temporary order came a day after investigators confirmed that the engineer of the Metrolink commuter train was text-messaging while on duty on the day the train ran a red light and collided head-on with a Union Pacific freight train.

Last week's wreck in Los Angeles killed 25 people, including the engineer, and injured more than 130.

Metrolink prohibits operators from using cell phones on the job, but the rules are widely ignored.

Under the new order the board approved in San Francisco, violators could be fined up to $20,000 per violation or have their operations shut down.


Now it’s Couric’s turn to ‘Gibson’ Sarah Palin

CBS News has announced that Katie Couric (pictured) will get a shot at interviewing Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Katie Couric will spend two days traveling on the campaign trail with Governor Sarah Palin on Sunday, September 28 and Monday, September 29.

The interviews may not be completely fair and balanced. After all, CBS is the network that allowed Dan Rather to keep his job for several months after his infamous attempt to smear George W. Bush with his “fake but accurate” National Guard fiasco in 2004.

However, don’t expect Couric to attempt a “gotcha” Charlie Gibson style interview.

The Sara Palin appearances with Katie Couric should be very interesting and should high viewer ratings.


This little piggy went to prison

A Wisconsin man was convicted of sneaking into a 2-year-old girl's bedroom and stealing $20 from a piggy bank while she slept.

Four-time convicted burglar Ryan Mueller, 31, was convicted Thursday after a two-day jury trial of felony burglary as a repeat offender.

He was sentenced to six years in prison.