Thursday, May 31, 2012

I No Longer ♥ NY? Big Apple Wants to Change World-Famous Slogan

It might be one of the most successful and world famous campaign slogans of all time, but New York governor Andrew Cuomo wants the Big Apple to ditch its iconic I NY motto!

Cuomo feels the slogan is "too dated" and wants to give the City a fresher, more vibrant image. The original slogan and artwork was created by artist Milton Glaser in 1977, and was immediately adopted as the symbol for the metropolis, and has retained that status for over 35 years! The slogan is featured on everything from shopping bags and umbrellas to snow globes and is instantly recognized by billions of people all around the world.

"This campaign reinvents one of our state’s great assets—the I NY icon—which is known the world over as one of the most successful advertising symbols ever," Governor Cuomo stated during a press conference, mentioning that the logo has not been used in television ads promoting tourism to the city for more than three years.

Instead of featuring the iconic  , the campaign is asking people to submit other ideas to represent their love for one of the world's most incredible and exciting cities. The new campaign hopes to attract tourists from within driving distance of New York as well. "Other states have been more aggressive in attracting tourism than New York," Cuomo said. "We were the best and we were the first, but somewhere along the way we lost that."

Little Black Spot on the Earth Today: Satellite Captures Eclipse Crossing Earth

A Japanese weather satellite captured a beautiful shot of last week's spectacular annular solar eclipse, as the natural wonder cast a shadow upon the Earth!

The MTSAT satellite managed to take the amazing photograph as the May 20th eclipse moved across the globe. Known as the "Ring of Fire" eclipse because of the visible fiery corona of the sun, the eclipse was witnessed across large parts of the United States as well as parts of Asia, including Japan and China.

The stunning photograph shows a relatively small but perfectly round black spot eerily making its way across the surface of the Earth. The annular eclipse is one of the rarest of solar occurrences. Millions of people in the path of the eclipse arranged special viewing parties to celebrate the incredible event.

Next up on the celestial event calendar: The even-rarer Transit of Venus, which will take place on June 5. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Good Sex! Dr. Ruth Debuts New Wine

Feisty, famed sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer is hoping to improve the love lives of amorous couples debuting a new line of fine wine.

The tiny 84-year-old television personality finally agreed to endorse the new wine, called Dr. Ruth's Vin D'Amour (Love Wine), after years of saying Nein to product endorsement. Over the years, German-born Westheimer has been asked to endorse everything from panties to popcorn, but nothing made her eyes have that sparkle until the offer to be a celebrity wine endorser came along.

Dr. Ruth believes that a glass of vino can help partners loosen up and feel less inhibited, which could lead to greater sexual satisfaction. “I’m always saying couples should drink to relax, but not too much,” she says, adding that “if the woman drinks too much, she falls asleep and if the man drinks too much, he can’t perform.”

Westheimer's vintage will feature her adorable likeness on the label. All of this is part of a career Renaissance for the Holocaust survivor, who has published a new book, Sexually Speaking, is the subject of a new BBC documentary, and is also the topic of a new play, "Dr. Ruth: All the Way".

Memoirs of a Colonel: Autobiography of KFC Founder Harland Sanders Discovered

A recently re-discovered manuscript written by Kentucky Fried Chicken mogul and philanthropist Colonel Harland Sanders is set to be published, and includes 33 of the Colonel's never-before-published recipes.

The always dapper gentleman Colonel Sanders, who passed away in 1980, became an international icon with his famous 11 Secret Herbs and Spices recipe for his Southern Comfort food staple that has since gone on to become one of the most popular fast food franchises in the world. The Secret Recipe for his Kentucky Fried Chicken is kept under lock and key at the franchise's international headquarters in Louisville.

KFC announced that it was publishing the Colonel's memoirs exclusively through the chain's Facebook page  on June 4. KFC gave fans a sneak peek at the autobiography by posting two of the new recipes for upside-down peach cobbler and potato pancakes on their official page yesterday.

The manuscript, titled Colonel Harland Sanders: The Autobiography of the Original Celebrity Chef, was written by the Colonel in 1966, but it was not discovered until last year, hidden away in the company's archives. KFC has decided not to make the book available to brick and mortar bookstores, but will instead sell the title exclusively through online booksellers. The book also contains many rare photographs from the entrepreneur's private collection as well as personal anecdotes on how he became one of the world's most recognized and successful businessman. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sir David Attenborough Narrates Video of Turtle Mounting Shoe

With his smooth, dulcet voice, Sir David Attenborough was the perfect choice as narrator for the BBC's monumental and award-winning Life series, which details the beauty and savagery of our natural world. The admired actor/author/narrator/broadcaster and naturalist is one of the world's most respected individuals, with a host of awards and accolades to his credit.

But during an appearance on the Graham Norton Show on the BBC, the affable host had other plans on how to use Sir David's highly distinctive voice! Showing a cute viral video of a poor unsuspecting turtle named Toby trying to mate with a gray Croc shoe left in the grass, he had the venerable Attenborough narrate the action sequence, to squeals of laughter from the audience, the host as well as fellow guest Cameron Diaz (who openly flirted with the 86-year-old Attenborough).

 "As the humble tortoise gently mounts his chosen mate," Sir David intones, "and in a dance as old as time itself, it rears its head and emits the mighty mating call,” as poor old Toby gets all exhausted and spent with absolutely no pay-off. You can watch the hilarity in the video below:

Expressing Herself: Madonna Does Mash-Up with Lady GaGa Tune

Superstar singer Madonna has never had any trouble expressing herself, and she's doing a bit of just that while preparing for the start of her new world tour.

In Tel Aviv, Israel, where her tour is set to open, the "Like a Virgin" chanteuse surprised onlookers with a mash-up of her 1980s feminist anthem "Express Yourself" with rival superstar Lady GaGa's hit "Born This Way".

While GaGa hasn't let it be secret that she's a huge fan of the former Material Girl, Madonna on the other hand hasn't exactly reciprocated the love, calling "Born This Way" reductive (definition: Tending to present a subject or problem in a simplified form, esp. one viewed as crude.) of her work. Ouch!

Madonna also penned an All About Eve inspired tune about a younger wannabe singer trying to ape the success of an older, more experienced star in the 2008 song "She's Not Me". Perhaps Madonna has decided to let bygones be bygones with the GaGa mash-up, as her latest album MDNA has been the biggest flop of her storied career.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Roman Holiday: Mark Zuckerberg Treats New Bride to Cheap Honeymoon Meal

Courtesy Twitpic

He may be one of the world's youngest billionaires, but that doesn't mean Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg passes up on a bargain.

The 28-year-old billionaire, who married longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan in a Top Secret ceremony the day after he took Facebook public on the New York Stock Exchange, proved once again that he's not a lavish spender. Jetting off to Rome for their honeymoon, the newlywed couple enjoyed a simple lunch at out-of-the-way Italian trattoria Nonna Betta, hidden in the Eternal City's Jewish Ghetto. The happy couple dined on a simple but hearty Italian repast featuring Roman style artichokes, ravioli in an artichoke sauce and fried pumpkin flowers. No alcohol was consumed by the pair, who chose to drink tea and water instead. The bill came to a very reasonable €32, around $40.

The pair also enjoyed some sight-seeing on their Roman Holiday, taking in the sights of the Sistine Chapel, Roman Forum, The Colosseum as well as famed Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. The couple later enjoyed dinner at the decidedly more upscale  Pierluigi's Restaurant, where they dined on delicioso prawns Catalan style, oysters and fish carpaccio, followed by lobster pasta and flame grilled fish washed down with an expensive bottle of Chardonnay Gaia e Rei.

It may be that Zuckerberg is minding his finances very carefully, in light that his social media mega-site has lost a good portion of its pre publicly traded value. Although he might have skimped on lunch, he did fork out a pretty penny for accommodations, arriving in Rome by private jet and booking a suite at the ultra-chic Portraits Hotel owned by fashion designer Salvatore Ferragamo overlooking the Spanish Steps in Rome's fashionable Piazza di Spagna.

I'm the Pied Piper: German Town of Hamelin Sees Return of Rats

The German village made famous by the Medieval fairy tale of the Pied Piper has seen a troubling return of the same menace featured in the classic infestation of rats!

The village of Hamelin in the Lower Saxony region of Germany has seen a return of the rodent pests, who recently put a fountain in the town square out of commission by gnawing through an electrical power cord. Unfortunately, due to budget restraints, the fountain was set to be decommissioned soon anyway, as the Euro crisis continues to dig deep throughout the continent.

The classic fairy tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin featured a traveling piper hired by the village to lure rats away from the town by playing his magical flute, which he does, causing the rodents to jump into the Weser River and drown. When the villagers refuse to pay him for services rendered after accomplishing the feat, he proceeds to lure away all of the town's children in an act of revenge. The tale became popular during the time of the Black Death (Bubonic Plague), which is believed to have spread to people after being bitten by the fleas from rats.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

No More Ouchie: Star Trek Inspired Needle-less Injections to Debut

For all of those people who cringe at the very thought of receiving a shot at the doctor's office, there's good news on the horizon. A new, needle-less injection syringe will soon make its debut.

Obviously inspired by the Dr. "Bones" McCoy's needle-less "hypo-spray" injection device from the original Star Trek series, it was invented by a group of MIT researchers.  Now, vaccines or medicines can be delivered via a high-speed pressure jet through the skin in a new needle-less method developed by scientists which could spell the end of painful (and scary) injections.

The injector works via a device called a Lorentz-force actuator, which is a powerful magnet attached to a piston inside a drug-filled vial. When a current is applied, the magnet ejects the capsule at very high pressure, puncturing the skin with no more pain than a simple mosquito bite.
The researchers say that among other benefits, the technology will drastically cut down the number of accidents among doctors and nurses who accidentally prick themselves with needles while on the job.

The breakthrough is reported in the science journal Medical Engineering and Physics.

Not Exactly Melrose Place: Apartment Complex Testing Dog Doo DNA

An apartment complex in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is using dog doo DNA to find out which pooch is leaving tootsie rolls on the complex grounds without the owner's cleaning it up!

In a page right out of CSI, Rosedale Estates North is employing the doo-doo DNA technique to catch the offending renters and fining them a rather hefty $100 for the first offense. The second offense comes with a $100 fine as well, and the dog will then be banned from the complex.

As part of the lease agreement residents sign, DNA swabs are taken from a pet’s mouth and sent to the Bio Pets lab, where the specimen is kept on file. Should a pet owner not pick up after their dog, workers at the complex "harvest" the sample and send the offending fecal matter to the lab for analysis.

Rosedale Estates recently had their first offense. Complex officials have a suspect in mind, and the sample has been sent off for testing. A majority of the residents claim they are completely comfortable with the complex's policy and pet DNA testing.

Move Over, Tang: New NASA Space Drink Could be Fountain of Youth

A new "space wine" developed by NASA scientists to help protect astronauts from the dangerous free radical radiation of space just might be the much-coveted Fountain of Youth, experts say.

The anti-oxidant rich drink called AS-10 was initially created as a nutritional supplement for astronauts to help protect them from the damaging effects of high levels of radiation outside the Earth’s atmosphere. The exclusive potion contains a blend of fruits including cupuacu (a Brazilian fruit from the cacao plant family), acai, acerola, prickly pear and yumberry, which all provide vitamins and phytochemicals – compounds known to counter the harmful effects of radiation.  The blend also contains grape, green tea, pomegranate and vegetables. 

A happy side effect of drinking the space juice appears to be improvement in facial wrinkling and sun damaged skin. Users have reported a noticeable improvement in the texture of their skin while consuming the unique product, and tests show a marked reduction in sun damage on the faces of people using the formula. 

It is believed AS10 improves the condition of wrinkled, aging skin because its large quantities of antioxidants ward off oxidative stress, allowing the skin to naturally heal itself. Antioxidants attach themselves to damaging free radicals and help to neutralize them before they cause damage to the skin's surface.

AS10 is distributed by AmeriScience labs and can be purchased online here.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Harvard Apologizes For Unabomber Update in School Directory

Harvard University officials were forced to issue an apology after convicted terrorist Theodore Kaczynski, AKA "The Unabomber" updated his profile on the prestigious Ivy League school's alumni directory.

Kaczynski, convicted in 1993 of a three-decade-long bombing spree responsible for the deaths of three people and gravely injuring dozens of others, is a 1962 graduate of the university. He apparently updated his profile on the school's alumni directory by accessing the internet from the super-maximum security Florence ADX prison facility located in Florence, Colorado, where he is serving 8 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

The university sent out the updated directory to alumni in preparation for the 50 year reunion of the class of 1962, which included Kaczynski, who has a genius level IQ and a PhD in mathematics. Kaczynski listed his occupation as "prisoner" in the directory and under the awards section listed "8 life sentences."

Needless to say, some of the victims of Kaczynski's crazed terrorist attacks did not find the humor in the status update. David Gelernter, who lost a hand and an eye in one of the bombings, told media, “It’s very chilling. He’s an unrepentant terrorist murderer who cut people, and slashed people to death in their kitchens, leaving them to bleed, while he hid in a shack somewhere in the West. For some institution to lend authority to him, well, I can’t believe such things happen in the United States.”

The Harvard Allumni Association deleted the offending update and issued the following apology:

 “While all members of the class who submit entries are included, we regret publishing Kaczynski’s references to his convictions and apologize for any distress that it may have caused others.”

Ooh La La: Ford Introduces New Car Scented Eau de Parfum

Automobile manufacturer Ford has introduced a new eau de parfum in Spain that is sure to excite fans of vehicular romance!

The new fragrance called Olor Nuevo (New Scent in Spanish) promises to deliver a long-lasting "showroom fresh" scent to your automobile...or to your body, should you so desire to smell like a brand spanking new car, just in case you are romancing a Formula One race car driver (or maybe a taxi cab driver!).

The scent was introduced by perfume design house Ogilvy Madrid to promote Ford's line of better-quality used cars Selección. It is promoting the new range on the promise that these are "the only used cars that smell new." The idea behind the fragrance is that when it is spritzed on the interior of used cars it will make them smell showroom fresh, eliminating that odd, musty scent often associated with purchasing a used car. (Of course, you could probably go to a local car wash and purchase one of those new car scent deodorizers that you hang from your rear view mirror for far less money...)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Party Hearty Cows Crash Kegger

A group of errant beverage-imbibing bovines out looking for a good time had to be rounded up by police after crashing a local kegger party!

It seems the party-crashing cows were running wild in a Boxford, Massachusetts, neighborhood, so locals called the police. The police were quick to arrive on scene and tried to round up the rowdy herbivores. This only frightened the cloven-hoofed beasts, who quickly took off running into a nearby backyard.

Of course, that backyard happened to be hosting a neighborhood beer party. The gallivanting cows with a group of cops in pursuit quickly brought an end to the party atmosphere for the assembled guests, who took off running from the crazy melee.

The cows quickly calmed down, however, and were photographed around the outdoor table, looking as if they were about to chug down some brewskis and play a round of beer pong.

Walk on the Wild Side: New Spider Named for Lou Reed

A new genus of the velvet spider discovered living underground in the deserts of Israel have been named after American rocker Lou Reed.

A team of scientists from the United States and Israel decided to name the new genus after the iconic singer/songwriter, who was a member of the highly-influential alternative rock band The Velvet Underground during the 1960s and 70s. The official name of the new genus is Loureedia annulipe. The genus has only been found living in the sand dunes of the Negev Desert, near Halukim and Nitzana, Israel.

Velvet spiders are known for looking dark and shiny, and are native to certain areas of Europe, Asia and Africa. Reed joins fellow rockers Frank Zappa and Neil Young in having a spider named in his honor.

The Gospel: Iran Claims Ancient Text Will Change World Politics

An ancient codex written on animal hide and discovered by anti-smuggler investigators in Turkey might possibly be the long-lost Gospel of Barnabas, experts say.

Iranian officials believe the text to be the authentic Gospel written by Barnabas, who was a disciple of Jesus. In an official statement from Iran's hard-line government, it is claimed that the document is genuine and that it will "cause the collapse of Christianity" throughout the world and realign global powers.

The text was discovered in 2000 after smugglers tried to take the ancient manuscript, believed to be from the the 5th Century, out of the Turkey. The codex has been housed at the Justice Palace in the Turkish capital of Ankara since being confiscated.

Iranian clerics claim that the text implies that Jesus was never crucified and that Jesus predicted Muhammad's coming. The codex, written in ancient Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic, also predicts the coming of the final Islamic Messiah, according to the Iranian report.

Although discovered in 2000, excitement over the text only began to grow in January of this year, after officials with the Holy See in the Vatican made an official request to the Turkish government to view the manuscript to verify its authenticity.

Critics claim the codex is being exploited by the Iranian government as propaganda in its war against Christianity.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day of the Dead: Canada Prepares Citizens for Zombie Apocalypse

British Columbia is helping citizens of the Canadian province prepare for the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse with a clever new instructional video regarding Zombie Preparedness Week 2012.

Actually, the video is a message that everyone needs to be prepared for any type of emergency, from killer storms, flash floods or earthquakes and tsunamis. In the computer animated video, a bloody-face, flesh-eating Zombie is threatening to eat the brains of a little girl (after he already gobbled down the brains of the girl's unprepared neighbors.)

The brave little girl is not worried about the cannibalistic zombie, however, as her family has prepared for any contingency. She calmly informs the brain-eater that to prepare for a disaster you should:

Know the Risks.
Create a plan.
Prepare an emergency kit.

The video out of British Columbia follows an equally eerie warning from the Center for Disease Control in the United States last year, which warned American citizens to prepare for a Zombie Apocalypse  as well.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Celebrity Funhouse: New Optical Illusion Sees Famous Faces Turn Ugly

A wild new video shows the ugly side of A-List celebrities such as Liv Tyler, Tom Cruise, J Lo, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney, Cindy Crawford, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie!  (And to think of the collective billions those stars have spent to look super-beautiful!)

The video creates an odd illusion by having the viewer stare at a cross hair point in the middle of the screen, directly between the photographs of two winsome, glamorous superstars. At the start, the celebrities' perfectly gorgeous visages seem as lovely as always.

As the pace of the video picks up, the celebrity mugs start to stretch and become distorted, with eyes opening far too wide (like Joan Rivers after her fiftieth face lift) and chins grotesquely stretching down longer than Jay Leno's.

The researchers responsible for the eye-popping video have yet to fully discover the reason why our brains create the face-destroying effect, but it is enjoyable to watch some of the world's most beautiful faces turn ugly, albeit briefly. You may watch the video for yourself below:

Party Animal: Man Arrested for DUI with Zebra & Macaw in Car

A Des Moines, Iowa, man is accused of being a real party animal after being arrested for DUI while driving to his favorite watering hole with his pet zebra and macaw along for the ride!

It seems that 55-year-old Jerald Reiter simply had to go to his favorite Des Moines-area bar, the aptly-named Doghouse Bar, but couldn't find a sitter for his zebra and macaw. Already some three sheets to the wind, Reiter had the thought to just take the wild animals for a joy ride.

The bar owner had other plans, however, and refused to allow Reiter to bring his exotic animals inside, stating hygiene laws as a valid reason for the refusal, as food was being served that evening. Reiter decided to head back home when local police spotted the car and pulled him over.

Reiter says that he realized he was too drunk to drive shortly after getting in the vehicle and that he was getting out to let a human passenger take the wheel when the police stopped to question him. He was arrested for drunk driving after he failed a field sobriety test with a 0.148 blood alcohol level, which is well above the 0.08 legal limit.

Apparently, Reiter and his wife treat their exotic animals as their children. Reiter was booked for DUI at the local jail, while the animals were released on their own recognizance...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

In the News: Former CNN Exec Accused of Leaving Dog Doo in Neighbor's Mailbox

A former executive for CNN is making a little news himself, after he allegedly filled up his neighbor's mailbox with stinky dog poo!

Covington, Georgia, police say that the alleged victims of the incident, Benjamin Dameron and Ralph Miller, recorded a video clearly showing their neighbor Bob Furnad casually walking up to a mailbox on their property with his dog and placing a bag filled with dog feces inside.

Covington Police Captain Ken Malcom told local media: “Mr. Furnad stated that he did place a bag containing dog feces in the victim’s mail box”. Furnad told police that he pulled the prank due to an on-going feud between himself and the home owners.  “This was an immature act in response to years of malicious rumor mongering that I consider defamation of character,” he stated.

Furnad faces a $180 fine. He began working for the Cable News Network in 1984, eventually becoming Vice President of the company. He would move on to become president of CNN Headline News before retiring in 2001.

All The President's Blood: Vial Containing Ronald Reagan's Blood for Sale

A five-inch vial that once contained a blood sample of former US President Ronald Reagan is set to hit the auction block, and the bidding is already up to over $5000!

The sample was taken from Reagan at the George Washington University Hospital after an assassination attempt by disturbed Jodie Foster fan John Hinkley, Jr. in 1981. According to online auction site PFC, the vial still contains “dried blood residue from President Reagan" with the president's DNA. Accompanying the vial in the sale is lab work papers from the hospital as part of the item's provenance.

The sample belonged at one time to a relative of the laboratory technician who analyzed the blood after the assassination attempt. The mysterious owner of the vial held onto it over the decades and recently informed officials at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California of its existence.

The owner of the vial eventually received permission to sell the blood vial after the National Archives declined to purchase the sample. Bids will be accepted on the item through this Thursday.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sweet Dreams: New Eye Mask Allows You to Control Your Dreams

It may seem like something out of the Leonardo diCaprio thriller Inception, but a new upstart company promises that it has invented an eye mask that will actually allow you to control your dreams!

While it may resemble just any ordinary night mask, the new Remee mask is being touted as a unique REM (Rapid Eye Movement) enhancement device which will allegedly allow the wearer to help guide the direction in which they would like for their dreams to go.

The goal of the new mask is to allow the user to select the type of dream they would like to have, from cavorting on a tropical beach to riding a horse across a dewy field beneath a beautiful blue sky. That's the claim from Duncan Frazier and Steve McGuigan, both 30, who have started their company Bitbanger Labs which designed and will manufacture the new device. 

The inside of the mask is fitted with a series of six, red LED lights that, although too faint to keep the user awake, the subconscious brain will still be able to sense the lights. The user can program the mask to perform a specific light sequence, which the mask will perform once the user is in the deepest of sleeping patterns, REM, where people experience most of their dreams. The idea is that your brain will recognize the flashing pattern of lights and tell you that you are dreaming, meaning you will then have control over how you want your dream to end. 

The masks are available for pre-order and are being marketed at $95. For more information, you may visit the company's Kickstart Page or watch the video below:

Out of the Park: Babe Ruth Baseball Jersey Fetches Record Amount

A sports jersey worn by baseball great Babe Ruth has brought in a record amount at auction, a staggering $4.4 million.

The slightly stained jersey once belonging to "The Sultan of Swat" was worn by the legend during his stint with the New York Yankees between the years 1920 through 1934. The gray jersey features New York on the front of the shirt in bright blue lettering, with his initials Ruth, G.H. (George Herman) in pink script on the inside neckline.

The record auction amount is the highest sale price for a piece of sports memorabilia since the original "Rules of Basketball" written by Dr. James Naismith—who created the  sport in 1891—sold at Sotheby's auction house for $4.3 million in 2010.

The person behind the winning bid for the Ruth jersey has elected to remain anonymous, SCP Auctions, who handled the sale, told the media.

In addition to Ruth's jersey hitting the auction block, the Hall of Famer’s former Massachusetts home has a For Sale sign out front as well. The asking price for the 5,124 square foot home in Sudbury, Massachusetts, is a relatively modest $1.6M.

Ruth died in 1948 at the age of 53. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tropical Storm Alberto Forms Off Carolinas, Two Weeks Before Start of Storm Season

Tropical Storm Alberto has formed quickly off the coast of the Carolinas...almost two weeks before the official start of Hurricane/Tropical Storm season in the US.

The storm is not expected to make landfall on the Carolina coast, but it has prompted a tropical storm warning and forecasters are advising that it could produce high winds, heavy surf, rip currents and scattered torrential rain and flash flooding across the region. Alberto is the first storm of its kind to form in a hurricane season that doesn't officially start until June 1.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami reported at 8 a.m. EDT Sunday that TS Alberto, which formed in the Atlantic early on Saturday, was approximately 95 miles (153 km) south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, with higher gusts being reported, and was moving west-southwest at about 6 mph. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center of the storm.

Alberto is not forecast to strengthen over the next 24 hours, but the National Hurricane Center is advising  people on the coast from Georgia to North Carolina's Outer Banks to monitor the news for the storm's progress and to be prepared with emergency supplies as a precaution. A tropical storm watch is in effect on that Georgia's coast from Savannah River to the South Santee River.

Burning Ring of Fire: US Prepares for Annular Eclipse

Hundreds of thousands of people are planning on having parties to celebrate today's annular solar eclipse, which will be viewable across a large section of the United States.

Dubbed "The Ring of Fire" eclipse due to the fiery, visible corona, this will be the first solar eclipse viewable in the United States in eighteen years. The moon will begin slowly chipping away at the solar disk starting at approximately 8:00PM Eastern Time this afternoon.

The eclipse will be visible on a path starting in northwestern Texas through New Mexico, northeastern Arizona, southern Utah, Nevada, northern California and southwestern Oregon. Most observers will witness a partial solar eclipse, due to the moon's position between the Earth and sun. Skywatcher along a roughly 200-mile-wide track, however, will witness a spectacular "Ring of Fire," in which only a thin ring of the sun's disk remains uncovered.

As the sun continues along its orbit, the eclipse will then be visible over the North Pacific, including southern Japan and southern China on the morning of May 21.

Experts caution that you should never gaze directly at the sun without appropriate eye protection, even when the solar disk is almost completely blocked by the moon during an annular eclipse. You can safely look at the sun through specially designed eclipse-viewing glasses, or through welder's glass.

Tweet Tweet: Pakistan Silences Twitter

Pakistan has officially blocked micro-blogging social media site Twitter, according to Al-Jazeera's news feed.

Government officials took the site offline to Pakistani citizens after it refused to remove "materials offensive to Islam". The hard line move came after a Facebook competition began to post images of the Prophet Muhammad, which is considered an act of blasphemy to many Muslims.

The chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication's Authority, Mohammad Yaseen, stated that Facebook agreed to withdraw the offending images from its site, but they were unable to reach an agreement with Twitter.

"The ministry officials are still trying to make them [Twitter] agree, and once they remove that stuff, the site will be unblocked," Yaseen told Al-Jazeera News.

In 2010, the Pakistan government blocked Facebook for about two weeks due to a similar competition.

Deadly Quake Hits Italy, Kills 6, Destroys World Heritage Sites

A powerful earthquake struck in the overnight hours in northern Italy last night, killing as many as six and devastating many buildings, including several World Heritage sites.

The 6.0 temblor struck in the middle of the night local time, with an epicenter about 35 kilometers north of the city of Bologna, in the Emilia Romagna area of northern Italy. The strong quake sent thousands of panicked citizens into the streets and plazas, many wearing their bed clothes. The quake was felt as far away as Milan and Venice.

The death count so far stands at six, with most of the victims killed by falling masonry and other debris from buildings. Two people were killed in the village of Sant'Agostino when a ceramics factory collapsed. This is the strongest earthquake to hit Italy since the 2009 L'Aquila quake, which killed over 300 people.

A historic church at Buonacompra was destroyed as well as the Finale Emilia bell tower, which was sent crashing to the streets below, crushing several vehicles. A 15th-Century castle in San Felice sul Panaro popular with tourists was also severely damaged.

Several strong aftershocks have been registered since the initial quake, setting the residents further on edge. Witnesses say the shaking from the original quake lasted for at least a minute, ringing church bells throughout the region. Emergency officials ordered the evacuation of patients from local hospitals near to the epicenter of the powerful quake.

Facebook Status Married: Mark Zuckerberg Weds in Secret Ceremony

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced he had married by updating his relationship status on the social media website he created after a secret wedding ceremony.

The joyful news comes one day after the young mogul took his company public in one of the most anticipated stock offerings in Wall Street History, which saw the company's value set at a staggering $104 billion.

Zuckerberg married his longtime girlfriend, 27-year-old Priscilla Chan, at a small, secret ceremony at his relatively modest Palo Alto, California, home. Invited guests were initially told the gathering was to celebrate Chan's graduation from medical school from the University of California, San Francisco, but were surprised to learn they would be attending a wedding instead.

The intimate ceremony took place in  Zuckerberg's backyard before fewer than 100 guests, including Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. Because the guests believed they were attending a graduation party, most wore casual attire more suitable for an outdoor party. The groom did not wear his requisite hoodie, selecting a suit and tie instead, with his bride in a beautiful traditional wedding dress with veil.

The wedding is only one part of a very busy week for the tech billionaire, who celebrated his 28th birthday this past Monday. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Judge Judy: Parents Need License to Have Children

Feisty TV staple Judge Judy, who always makes sure to get her point across, believes that prospective parents should be required to have a license before having children!

Judge Judy Sheindlin appeared recently on the ABC gab fest The View and was asked her opinion of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum Brandi Glanville's revelation that seeing singing star LeAnn Rimes being close with her children made her "violently angry". (Rimes is now married to Glanville's ex-husband, actor Eddie Cibrian.)

Judge Judy explained to the View ladies (and Dancing with the Stars reject Jaleel White) that parents must possess a level of maturity in the event of a break-up for the sake of the children, who are normally the ones who suffer the worst when relationships fail. "You have to love the child more than you hate each other, " she advised.

"Only mature people should have children," the irascible judge states. "If I had to give a license to people, it would be a license to have children only when they are financially and emotionally and physically ready to have children".

Her comments were met with approval from both the panel and from the applauding crowd:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sucker Punched: Will Smith Backhands Smooching Reporter

Superstar Will Smith, normally the picture of cool and calm, got a little riled up after a male reporter tried to lay a wet one on the actor's lips!

The former Fresh Prince was in Moscow promoting his new film Men in Black III and being his normal, outgoing self while sailing smoothly down the red carpet. Suddenly, he encounters a Ukrainian "gonzo" reporter, who apparently has made a name for himself by trying to slip the tongue to anyone he happens to interview.

Needless to say, Will lost his cool, shoved Mr. Frenchy aside and gave him an Ali-inspired backhand across his face, saying, “He’s lucky I didn’t sucker punch him.”

Smith continued to make his way down the red carpet, but apologized to his fans for the angry outburst. The reporter should have known he would not receive any lovin' Big Willy style. Smith made headlines in 1993 when he balked at filming a gay-kissing scene with actor Anthony Michael Hall in his first big screen film, Six Degrees of Separation. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Death of Disco: Donna Summer Dead at 63

Donna Summer: 1948-2012

Donna Summer, the legendary singer who rose to fame during the Disco Era in the late-70s and early-80s, has died at the age of 63, after a long battle with cancer.

The singer burst onto the scene in the hedonistic heyday of Disco music, charting her first Number One, the tantalizingly erotic "Love to Love You, Baby", in 1975. She would follow up that dance club classic with an unprecedented string of 19 Number One songs on the Dance Chart, more than fellow superstar Madonna.

Summer was the undisputed Queen of Disco and was the only artist to have three consecutive double-LPs hit Number One on the charts, Live and More, Bad Girls and On the Radio. She would go on to win five Grammy Awards for her efforts.

After Disco music lost favor with the public, Summer would re-invent herself in 1983, reclaiming Number One on the Pop charts with her feminist anthem "She Works Hard for the Money" which would go on to become her biggest hit. She would  record a country album later in her career, and had an international hit with Italian opera star Andrea Bocelli, "Con Te Partiro/I Will Go With You" in 1999.

Born LaDonna Adrian Gaines in Boston, Massachusetts, she was one of seven children. She was raised in the church, where she first found her voice in a gospel choir. After finishing high school, she moved to New York City, where a talent agent discovered her natural beauty and amazing voice, casting her in the German production of the hit play Hair.

Summer passed away at her vacation home in Englewood, Florida. She is survived by her husband, Bruce Sudano, three daughters and four grandchildren.

The Real Seabiscuit: Arabian Horse Rescued After 3 Mile Ocean Swim

Photo Courtesy Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol
A beautiful Arabian stallion spooked during a photo shoot on a beach decided he would take a little swim in the ocean, which turned out to be over three miles!

The seven-year-old grey Arabian named William apparently became spooked by the sound of the crashing surf on a beach in beautiful Santa Barbara, California. For some reason, he decided to run toward the sound of the pounding waves against the sand and went into the ocean.

Undeterred, he continued swimming out to sea, until he was three miles out! Meanwhile, on dry land, the horse's owner, film producer Mindy Peters, had called out the Calvary to save her beloved horse. A team of four from the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol, Carpenteria-Summerland Fire Water Rescue, and California State Parks set out to find the suddenly nautical horse.

The group of rescuers made their way out to sea to find the Arabian, just as the sun began to set. Looking for William was like finding a needle in a haystack, but after a half hour, they saw him, struggling against the current and exhausted. He was startled to see the rescue boats, but didn't put up a fight when his rescuers created a makeshift harness to slip under his saddle and tie to the side of the rescue boat to keep him buoyant in order to pull him back to shore, which took a grueling two hours.

So far, William doesn't seem any worse for wear after his marathon swimming session in the Pacific. Owner Mindy Peters says her horse had never been swimming before in his life, and she hopes he won't be anxious to hit the surf again!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Leather Face: "Tanning Mom" Hurting Tanning Bed Industry

New Jersey's notorious "Tanning Mom" (aka Leather Face/ Patricia Krentcil), who rose to "fame" after sneaking her 5-year-old daughter into a tanning bed, is actually hurting the sunbed industry.

Who would have thought?

I mean, doesn't everyone aspire to look like an Oompa-Loompa on crack, just like Patricia? Doesn't every woman just dream that her face will one day resemble an over-used, crocodile hand bag discovered in a swamp after about a decade?

Indeed, the tanning bed industry, already forced to pay a 10% tax due to new health reform laws, is witnessing its reputation tarnished by the horrifying wizened visage of "Tanning Mom".  Her face, after all, is enough to make little children cry out and flee in fear. It seems many tanning salons are seeing their business suffer in light of "Tanning Gate". I guess the industry didn't really need some one who likes like Patricia to be their new national spokes-model.

I can't imagine why, especially after Kristen Wiig's hilariously, spot-on parody of Krentcil on Saturday Night Live.

Mystery in the Sky As Object Almost Causes Mid-Air Plane Collision

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating an incident this week over Denver, Colorado, regarding a mysterious object that almost collided with an airplane.

Investigators know one thing: Whatever the object was, it did not show up on radar at nearby Denver Airport. Investigators believe that the object, whatever it is determined to be, could pose a serious safety hazard to airplanes flying over the area. As the Denver Airport is one of the busiest in the nation, that is indeed a large number of planes "at risk".

Radio transmissions confirm a nervous-sounding pilot reported a strange object at approximately 5:17 p.m. on Monday. The pilot can be heard on the transmission telling air traffic control:  "A remote controlled aircraft, or what? Something just went by the other way ... About 20 to 30 seconds ago. It was like a large remote-controlled aircraft."

The corporate jet was flying at 8,000 feet above sea level when the unidentified object came close enough to lead the pilot to believe he was going to collide with it mid-air. Speculation regarding what the object could be has suggested it is a new drone craft currently being tested for use by local police force. Drones, pilot-less, remote-controlled aircraft, have been used for the past several years in Afghanistan and Iraq to carry out attacks on specific targets.

The mission of investigators now is to identify just exactly what the mystery object is before it creates another close call in the skies...or even worse.

Dirty Dancing Disinfectant: Moms Spray Kids with Lysol at Prom

Two angry and self-righteous moms chaperoning a prom in Manitou Springs, Colorado, wanted to take the dirty out of dirty dancing by spraying a group of hormone-driven teens with Lysol disinfectant spray.

Seems the melodramatic moms took offense to how a group of teens were getting their groove on at the dance. Two of the chaperoning mothers, Jennifer Farmer and Hannah Rockey, are accused of dousing a group of about eight students with the disinfectant spray, some of it getting into the students' eyes and mouths. They also stand accused of calling the female students "sluts" and "whores" while going on the wild spraying spree.

Both of the women have been cited for harassment and obscene language, police said. One of the students is pressing charges against the two women. According to local police, both of the women complained to a security guard at the dance that the students were "dancing “like they are having sex with their clothes on” and appeared as if “they were advertising for sex”. The women are denying all allegations.

In non-related news, the students gathered to watch the classic 80s movies Footloose and Dirty Dancing after the prom.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stiff Upper Lip: Madame Tussaud Unveils Amazingly Lifelike Queen Elizabeth Statue

The famous "stiff upper lip" of the House of Windsor was on Royal display in London yesterday, as famed wax museum Madame Tussaud's revealed its amazingly lifelike statue of Queen Elizabeth.

The statue, commissioned exclusively to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this year, is the 23rd replica of the monarch to be created by the world famous museum, but many believe this to be the most realistic portrait yet. Royal subjects will be hard pressed to select which is the real Queen and which is the wax replica in photographs, as the artists responsible for the sculpture spared no detail in creating the master work.

The Queen is wearing her official State dress made of pure white silk, satin and lace covered with silver-colored sequins and bearing a subtle scalloped hemline. Atop her perfect silver coiffure, she is wearing an exquisite replica of the State Diadem crown, a circlet of diamonds, created in 1820, which the Monarch wears during the procession to and from the State Opening of Parliament each year. She also wore the stunning crown on her Coronation Day in 1953, for the procession to Westminster Abbey.

The Queen's husband, Prince Philip, stands guard beside his wife, looking dapper in his tuxedo with a red jacket and royal sash. 

The Queen will have a very full calendar over the next few weeks, with many activities planned to mark her 60th year of rule, as well as the start of the Summer Olympic Games in London.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Monster in the Basement: Kodak Plant Held Secret Nuclear Reactor for Decades

Camera giant Eastman Kodak kept a rather disturbing secret for over thirty years: the company had a fully-functioning nuclear reactor at its headquarters in the middle of busy Rochester, New York.

Until 2007, the company stored 3.5 pounds of weapons-grade uranium in a refrigerator-sized nuclear reactor in the basement of its Kodak Park site. Housed inside a concrete bunker two feet thick, the reactor was ostensibly used for imaging and to detect impurities in supplies for the film company.

The highly-enriched uranium, the same material used to make nuclear weapons, was removed in November 2007 in protective containers, the report said. It is believed the company obtained the uranium in 1974. Kodak has stated that no employees of the company had access to the reactor, prompting many journalists to ask "who did operate the facility"?

Kodak insists that the company only constructed the device to carry out research into neutrons -- subatomic particles that can create an image of a material without damaging it.

Potty Break: 3-Year-Old Genius Proves She's Still Just a Kid on Live TV

3-year-old Emmelyn Roetteger might be the youngest member of the international genius club MENSA, but the adorable, super-intelligent tyke just wants everyone to know she's still a precocious little kid at heart.

With an IQ tested at 135, adorable Emmelyn and her parents were invited to be guests on last Friday's Today show in New York City. Reporter Natalie Morales was given the task of interviewing the little genius along with her parents, Michelle and Glen.

The interview starts off well enough, with Morales asking Emmelyn about insects and the intricacies of our solar system, but little Emme is more interested in mugging it up and waving at the camera while watching herself on the studio monitors. Exactly like any other 3-year-old would do.

Finally, Emmelyn grows weary of all the attention, announcing that her "tummy hurts" and that she "has to poop". As Morales continues to interview the parents and ignoring Emmelyn's pleas for a potty break. Yeah, you always want to ignore a three-year-old when they announce they have to go potty. That always ends well...

You can watch cutie-pie Emmelyn and her potty break tantrum in the hilarious video below:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Overdue: Police Visit 4-Year-Old For Overdue Library Books

A four-year-old in Pennsylvania received a frightening life lesson when the terrified tyke was visited by cops regarding some overdue library books.

Katelyn Jageman’s books were due back to the Freeport Area Library on Oct. 19, 2011, but as of this past week, the books had not been returned. Library officials, who had tried to contact Katelyn's family regarding the books without success, then turned the matter over to the local police department.

“It’s a rare incident, but it does occur,” said Donna Michael, President of the Freeport Area Library Board. After a series of phone calls and letters were issued to the family with no response, Michael admits she contacted the local authorities regarding the matter.

The library does not receive federal funding and must rely on paid memberships, donations, and fees in order to survive. Little Katelyn's overdue fees for the books adds up to a rather steep $81.60. The fee must be paid before Jageman's library privileges can be restored.

Attached: Man Implants Magnets Beneath Skin to Hold iPod in Place

A New Jersey man is really attached to his iPod...after having magnets implanted beneath his skin to hold the portable contraption in place!

Tattoo artist Dave Hurban documented his body modification process in a video that has become a viral hit on YouTube, with more than half a million views. The video, which Hurban has titled "iDermal", shows the 21-year-old making holes in his left wrist and inserting four small magnets known as micro-dermal anchors beneath his flesh.

After the self-inflicted procedure, he merrily attached the iPod to his wrist, with the magnets holding the device firmly in place. Hurban originally conceived the idea for the skin-crawling magnets after finding it difficult to strap his iPod in place to listen to his favorite tunes while jogging.

Hurban claims that the procedure, which took approximately 30 minutes to complete and was done without any anesthesia, was not as painful as perhaps it looks on video. "It definitely is not the worst piercing I've ever done to myself," he stated, without going into further detail.

This could definitely be the wave of the future. In March, telecom giant Nokia issued a patent for a "vibrating tattoo" that would inform a person they had received a telephone call or text message. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Slither: Guam Taken Over by Snake Invasion

The tiny island nation of Guam faces a big problem...the country is infested with up to two million snakes!

The US territory, in the western Pacific, is only 50km (30 miles) long and 10km wide, but it is jam-packed with as many as 2 million of the slithering serpents. The infestation can be traced back to World War II, when it is believed the brown tree snake, a native of northern Australia and Papua New Guinea, was brought to the island on ships carrying equipment to be processed in Guam. More than likely, a snake or two were stowaways on one or more of the transport ships, and decided to make Guam its permanent residence!

Over the years, the mildly-venomous snake exploded in population and increasingly became a menace.  The snakes have decimated 10 out of Guam's 12 native bird species in the past 30 years, and are now preying on small mammals and native lizards, threatening even more species with extinction!

Guam is now having to fight back to reclaim the land and to prevent the snakes from wiping out all of the indigenous wildlife. Mice laced with acetaminophen, a drug commonly used as a pain reliever, are being airlifted and then parachuted across the jungles as a food source for the snakes. The drug, harmless to humans in safe doses, is toxic to the snakes after they consume the mice.

The snakes are not only threatening local animal species, they are also wreaking havoc by showing up in people's beds and causing blackouts so frequently that power outages are known locally as "brown outs."

The Riddler: Venezuelan Man Accused of Plotting to Kill Chavez Sibling Via Crossword Puzzle

The Venezuelan government believe a man responsible for writing crossword puzzles for popular newspaper Últimas Noticias coded a call for the assassination of president Hugo Chavez' brother Adan, who is the governor of the state of Barinas, within the clues.

It may sound like something out of a John Le Carré novel, but state officials have accused longtime puzzle writer Neptali Segovia of using specific wording that reference the killing of the ailing Head of State's brother. Specifically, the use of the Spanish-language words Adan (Chavez' brother), rafaga (which can mean a burst of gunfire or a swift wind) and the term asesinen (which is the plural of the imperative verb to kill).

The accusation against Segovia was made earlier this week by television pundit and staunch Chavez supporter Miguel Angel Perez Pirela, who presents a news program on the state-controlled network VTV. Pirela  claimed a team of psychologists and mathematicians had concluded that the crossword indeed contained a coded assassination plot against Chavez's brother Adan, who is viewed by many as a possible successor to his brother should he no longer be able to fulfill his duties as president.

Chavez returned home to Venezuela on Friday, after having gone to Cuba to continue with radiation treatment for an undisclosed type of cancer. 

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