Jan 3, 2009

Man with terminal boredom moves out of Mexico City Airport

On September 2 a disheveled Japanese man began living in Terminal 1 of Mexico City's Benito Juarez International Airport.

Hiroshi Nohara left the airport with a woman identified only as Oyuki, who invited him to her home.

It was unclear where exactly the apartment was located.

He has not said why he remained at the airport after flying to Mexico on a tourist visa, nor has he said why he suddenly left the terminal.


A bad sign: Santa in unemployment line

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Report: grape seed extract can kill cancer cells

A report at the link below says:

An extract from grape seeds can destroy cancer cells, US research suggests.

In lab experiments, scientists found that the extract stimulated leukaemia cells to commit suicide.
Within 24 hours, 76% of leukaemia cells exposed to the extract were killed off, while healthy cells were unharmed.

The study specifies grape seed extract not grapes or grape juice.

Some people will probably think that wine would work. There are people looking for any excuse to use an alcoholic beverage.

They will probably select cabernet sauvignon if they can afford it - otherwise they can always pick up a jug of muscatel.


Baby born on plane over Canada deemed Canadian citizen

A baby girl was born aboard a Northwest Airlines 757 flying over Canada on the way from Amsterdam to Boston.

Two doctors aboard the plane responded to a medical emergency call on the 757’s public address system.

As the plane cruised somewhere over Canada, the doctors laid the woman across a row of seats in coach class while a husband and wife from Danvers held up a blanket to create a makeshift delivery room.

The woman gave birth to a 6-1/2 pound baby girl she named Sasha.

Customs officials said that Sasha was deemed a Canadian citizen, because she was born over Canadian airspace.


Jan 2, 2009

Oregon may charge mileage tax

The state of Oregon may charge motorists a mileage tax based on satellite technology.

A year ago, the Oregon Department of Transportation announced it had demonstrated that a new way to pay for roads — via a mileage tax and satellite technology — could work.

Now Gov. Ted Kulongoski says he’d like the legislature to take the next step.

“As Oregonians drive less and demand more fuel-efficient vehicles, it is increasingly important that the state find a new way, other than the gas tax, to finance our transportation system.”

A similar taxing scheme was tentatively planned for the UK but was abandoned because it was found to be too difficult to administer.


Hillary tops Most Admired Women poll: Sarah Palin second

The annual Gallup Poll's Most Admired Women of 2008 poll puts Hillary Clinton (upper picture) on top again. Sarah Palin (lower picture) was voted second.

This is the seventh consecutive year that Hillary Clinton has rated first place as Americans' Most Admired Woman and is also the 13th year Clinton has made the top ten.

Sarah Palin was John McCain's 2008 vice presidential pick and the first woman to run on a Republican presidential ticket. Palin earned a strong second place debut. She was named by 11% of Americans as Most Admired Woman.

Palin bumped TV Talk Show Host Oprah Winfrey out of second place, a position Winfrey has held each year from 2002 through 2007. Winfrey now ranks third, mentioned by 8% of Americans (down from 16%) a year ago.

Hillary Clinton 20%
Sarah Palin 11%
Oprah Winfrey 8%
Condoleeza Rice 7%
Margaret Thatcher 2%
Laura Bush 2%
Angelina Jolie 2%


Gator Bowl featured big turnaround teams

Clemson was 3-3 when head coach Terry Bowden was terminated. After Dabo Sweeney replaced Bowden, the Tigers ended the regular season in the top 25 and an invitation to the Gator Bowl.

Nebraska had an equally dramatic turnaround compared to their 7 loss 2007 season.

The photo shows Husker quarterback Joe Ganz the Gator Bowl MVP.

Could the Nebraska “black shirt” defense contain the vaunted Clemson “thunder and lightening” duo of C.J. Spiller (lightening) and James Davis (thunder)?

The game announcers kept talking about how “thunder and lightening” would wear down Nebraska’s defense. That never happened as Nebraska’s “black shirts” held Clemson to only 91 yards in the second half.

Bo Pelini’s Husker team won the game 26-21.

Nebraska ended the season with a 9-4 record while Clemson finished with a 7-6 record as reported here.

UK official: man-made climate change is a con

DUP environment minister Sammy Wilson says, “I still think man-made climate change is a con.”

Spending billions on trying to reduce carbon emissions is one giant con that is depriving third world countries of vital funds to tackle famine, HIV and other diseases.

Wilson has been heavily criticized by environmentalists for claiming that ongoing climatic shifts are caused by nature and not mankind.

He claims most commentators on the matter don't have a clue what they are talking about and are only going along with the consensus because the issue is popular.


Times Square hit with 40 tons of trash New Years Eve

Cleanup crews hit the streets shortly after midnight to began the massive task of removing the nearly 40 tons of confetti and countless noisemakers left behind by the one million revelers.

Wind gusts of nearly 25 mph throughout the city didn’t help matters.

The biggest cleanup challenge was shooing away the massive crowd so crews could begin the job of cleaning up.


Jan 1, 2009

2008 saw snow in Las Vegas and New Orleans

Snow in Las Vegas above and in New Orleans below

Overused words and phrases to ban for 2009

Just like bad fashion, some words and phrases need to be retired.

Here is our list of misused, useless and/or overused words and phrases we would like to see banned. Some of these may be on your list as well:

1. bailout

2. from wall street to main street

3. under the bus

4. it is what it is

5. green, including going green, greenie, etc

6. carbon footprint and carbon offsets

7. yes we can

8. not so much

9. iconic

10. in and of itself

11. dude

12. maverick

13. sub-prime

14. macho

15. game changer

New Years Eve in Times Square

Dec 31, 2008

Uncle Jay explains the year 2008

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One second added to the year 2008

Wait a second,are they saying that 2009 will arrive one second later than we thought? That isn’t even long enough to say Auld Lang Syne.

The world's official timekeepers have added a "leap second" to the last day of the year on Wednesday, to help match clocks to the Earth's slowing spin on its axis, which takes place at ever-changing rates affected by tides and other factors.


The Arab world reacts to Israel and Gaza

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New Yorkers shred bad memories of 2008

What can we do with bad memories of the year? As reported at the link below, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot? Or maybe just shredded?”

In an event that organizers hope will become a New Year's tradition, New Yorkers and tourists were invited to bring bad memories from 2008 to Times Square on Sunday and feed them to an industrial-strength shredder.

"This is the perfect way to move on from a bad year, from a bad experience," said Kathryn Bonn, of New York City, who shredded a printout of her boyfriend's e-mail breaking up with her.

The event, the second annual "Good Riddance Day," was sponsored by the Times Square Alliance, organizers of the New Year's Eve ball-dropping celebration.

Some participants wrote "the stock market" or "cancer" on a piece of paper and shredded it, while others shredded bags of bank statements and check stubs.

Kate Anello, a Yankees fan from New York City, destroyed a poster of the city's longtime rival, the Boston Red Sox.

"I hate them," she said. "It felt good."

City resident Jay Ballesteros won a $250 prize for the most creative object to be shredded: a sock representing all the socks that emerge from the laundry without their mates.

My favorite is the shredded sock - representing all socks coming back from the laundry without mates.


Defiant Blagojevich names Obama replacement

Embattled Governor Rod Blagojevich has named former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris (pictured) as his choice to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

The decision put his opponents in the uncomfortable position of vowing not to seat a veteran politician who would become the Senate's only black member.

Did Blagojevich cleverly throw race into his appointment of Burris?

How will race play into Harry Reid’s refusal to seat anyone appointed by Rod Blagojevich to fill Barack Obama’s Senate seat?

Obama was the only black member of the U.S. Senate and Roland Burris, the Blagojevich appointee, is also black.

If Reid refuses to seat Burris, and the eventual Obama replacement is white, there could be a firestorm of protest from black leaders.


Dec 30, 2008

What will Shanahan do with mega-mansion under construction?

Now that Mike Shanahan is the former Denver Bronco head coach, what will he and his wife Peggy do with the mega-mansion they are building in Cherry Hills?

While the new mega-mansion is under construction, the Shanahan’s are living in the mansion they recently sold to “a friend” for $16 million.

The old Shanahan house is shown above.

The house under construction is a “football throw” away from the old house on a larger lot with more privacy.

Designed by Sall Residential Design Group, the 34,927-square-foot home includes a bowling alley and lounge, a poker room, a video-golf room, a racquetball court and a shuffleboard table, according to the building permit filed with Cherry Hills Village.

And that's just in the basement, where there also will be four bedrooms

Shanahan, the Broncos' head coach since 1995 and the second-longest-tenured coach in the NFL, signed a three-year contract extension with the team last year. He is believed to be one of the best-paid coaches in the league, at more than $5 million a year.

The old Shanahan house story is here. The new house is here.

Shocker! Mike Shanahan fired by Denver Broncos

Shock waves reverberated throughout professional football as Denver Bronco owner Pat Bowlen fired head coach Mike Shanahan.

He was known as a genius, a mastermind and, yes, a Super Bowl champion. Shockingly, though, Mike Shanahan has a new title: Unemployed coach.

Shanahan became the latest and most stunning victim of the NFL coaching purge, fired Tuesday by the Denver Broncos after a late-season collapse knocked the team out of the playoffs for the third straight year.

Denver has had only one postseason victory since John Elway retired in 1999 following back-to-back championships.

Shanahan finishes with an enviable 146-91 over 14 seasons in Denver, including playoffs. However, his final game was an uncharacteristic 52-21 loss to San Diego with the division title on the line.

The Broncos' defense gave up 448 points, third worst in the NFL, including 112 during the three-game collapse at the end.

It was ranked 29th in yards allowed and tied for last in the NFL with a minus-17 turnover margin.

Maybe the final straw was the historic collapse at the end of this season that saw Denver becoming the first team since divisional play started in 1967 to blow a three-game lead with three games left.


Shuttle for sale $42 Million - shipping extra

Want to buy a space shuttle?

Now you can have an outer space tested shuttle for your very own at a fraction of the original cost.

NASA is retiring Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour shuttles.

Each shuttle will cost about $42 million.

The 747 is not included in sale price.

The $42 million does not include any shuttle main engines. The main engines can be bought for around $400,000 - $800,000 each.

And don’t forget shipping which will add mere $6 Million.


To-Do list for the new president

Tractor Protest

Grain farmers seeking unpaid subsidies line up in protest in front of Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sophia the capital of Bulgaria.

Caroline Kennedy Senate quest takes a “you know” hit

During an interview with the New York Times, Caroline Kennedy (pictured) stumbled badly - even worse than Sarah Palin during her interview with Katie Couric.

Perhaps most damaging of all was her repeated use of the phrase "you know", which she uttered 142 times which was left in the transcript when it appeared in print.

Explaining why she would be a good Senator, she said: "So I think in many ways, you know, we want to have all kinds of different voices, you know, representing us, and I think what I bring to it is, you know, my experience as a mother, as a woman, as a lawyer, you know, I've been an education activist for the last six years here, and, you know, I've written seven books – two on the Constitution, two on American politics.

"So obviously, you know, we have different strengths and weaknesses."

Why the New York Times said Caroline Kennedy was “eloquent” after that interview is a mystery.

But, you know, intelligence is secondary to celebrity, you know, at least, you know, it’s that way it is in politics, you know.

I am personally annoyed by the overuse of OK? I first began hearing it about 20 years ago, OK? And I really dislike it, OK? Sometimes I just quietly walk away from someone talking that way, OK?

Another annoyance is when someone always begins a sentence with the word “look.”

Almost as bad is the constant use of um. I first noticed, um, the overuse of "um" about 30 years ago.

Um, you know, I wonder if the overuse of, you know, um, you know, is it more of a nervous tick or, you know, a twitch or is it a purposeful stall for time, you know, while um, trying to form the next thought?

Back to Caroline Kennedy: did the transcript actually show she said “you know” 142 times? Sounds to me like she qualifies to be a Senator. How soon can they swear her in?


Dec 29, 2008

Politician wants to protect pesky parrots in NYC

Brooklyn's wild Quaker parrots, also known as monk parakeets, are native to Argentina. They have been in Brooklyn for about 30 years.

A Queens politician is drafting measures to protect the diminutive parrots. Councilman Tony Avella wants to make it illegal to capture the parrots and wants the city to relocate their nests when necessary.

The utility Consolidated Edison says parrot nests built in electrical equipment have caused at least seven fires in Brooklyn.

Residents whose homes lost power say the birds don't belong there.

Animal lovers say the parrots are part of the neighborhood and bring life to the skies.


It’s the last Monday of the year…

...think I'll just sleep in...

0-16 Not a good time for Detroit Lions fans

First Detroit's ex-mayor goes to jail. Then the automakers' crisis hits amid a struggling economy. Now the Lions football team has the worst record in NFL history.

The only week of the season that didn't produce a loss was their bye-week.

2008: the year man-made global warming was disproved

The man-made global warming myth may go down as the greatest scam perpetrated on the world in recorded history.

With the current cold weather around the globe it may not be long before alarmists go back to their 1970’s global cooling warnings saying we are entering another ice age.

Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming.

Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.

First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models, which have been used as the main drivers of the scare.

Secondly, 2008 was the year when any pretence that there was a "scientific consensus" in favor of man-made global warming collapsed

Thirdly, as banks collapsed and the global economy plunged into its worst recession for decades, harsh reality at last began to break in on those self-deluding dreams, which have for so long possessed almost every politician in the western world.

It is the faltering global economy that should put an end to the ridiculous carbon credit trading schemes designed mainly to make politicians like Al Gore (pictured) and others rich.

All those grandiose projects for "emissions trading", "carbon capture", building tens of thousands more useless wind turbines, switching vast areas of farmland from producing food to "biofuels", are being exposed as no more than enormously damaging and futile gestures, costing astronomic sums we no longer possess.

Link to more of the story here.

Dec 28, 2008

Democrats need to fill two Senate seats

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Does DNA qualify her for NY Senate seat?

A report at the link below in titled: Inherit the what?

The report says the Kennedy legacy isn’t what it used to be.

Seventy-six years ago, in 1932, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. gave a timely endorsement to - Franklin D. Roosevelt, and, as a reward, was appointed chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (and later ambassador to the Court of St. James), from which perch he launched the political careers of his sons.

In 2008, his granddaughter Caroline (pictured) gave a timely endorsement to Barack Obama, and now he's elevated his rival, Hillary Clinton, from her Senate seat to his cabinet.

Caroline is claiming that seat for herself in an effort to revive and extend her family's political presence, which in light of the age and illness of Uncle Ted seems to be fading away.

A prime difference is that Grand-father Kennedy was amply qualified for the SEC post and endorsed Roosevelt on his own behalf, while Caroline's sole qualification for being a senator is her being a Kennedy, and she endorsed Obama less in her own right than in her dead father's name.

The only thing that seems to qualify Caroline is her DNA. How committed is she to working hard in the Senate?

We really don’t know anything about her. But then, we really don’t know anything about Barack Hussein Obama and he will be in the White House soon.

The following isn’t difficult to imagine: “Oh, please Uncle Teddy, can I have a Senate seat? Please! I’m bored and really want a Senate seat to play with!”


Scientific illiteracy surrounds Obama and other celebs

An article at the link below is titled Scientific illiteracy all the rage among the glitterati.

When it comes to science, Barack Obama (upper picture) is no better than many of us. Today he joins the list of shame of those in public life who made scientifically unsupportable statements in 2008.

Kate Moss, Oprah Winfrey (lower picture) and Demi Moore all get high marks for scientific illiteracy.

The Celebrities and Science Review 2008 , prepared by the group Sense About Science, identifies some of the worst examples of scientific illiteracy among those who profess to know better – including top politicians.

Mr. Obama and John McCain blundered into the MMR vaccine row during their presidential campaigns. "We've seen just a skyrocketing autism rate," said President-elect Obama. "Some people are suspicious that it's connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it," he said.

His words were echoed by Mr McCain. "It's indisputable that [autism] is on the rise among children, the question is what's causing it," he said. "There's strong evidence that indicates it's got to do with a preservative in the vaccines."

Exhaustive research has failed to substantiate any link to vaccines or any preservatives. The rise in autism is thought to be due to an increased awareness of the condition.

Sarah Palin and Tom Cruise also made statements unsupported by science.

Kate Moss, Oprah Winfrey and Demi Moore all espoused the idea that you can detoxify your body with either diet (scientifically unsupportable) or, in the case of Moore, products such as "highly trained medical leeches" which make you bleed.

Scientists point out that diet alone cannot remove toxins and that blood itself is not a toxin, and even if it did contain toxins, removing a little bit of it is not going to help.