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Showing posts from December 30, 2010

Ray Chew New Idol Director

Ray Chew New Idol Director - Among the changes for the upcoming tenth season of "American Idol" is a new music director to fill the seat Rickey Minor vacated when he left to lead "The Tonight Show" band at the end of Season 9.

The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Ray Chew, a veteran of television music shows, has been handed the title and is already hard at work coming up with arrangements for the new crop of contestants.

Chew has served as bandleader and musical director for such programs as NBC's "It's Showtime at the Apollo" and "The Singing Bee."

He also curated all the music for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, where "Idol" alum Jennifer Hudson sang the national anthem, and the inaugural ball ushering in Barack Obama's presidency in January 2009. The latter featured performances by Mary J. Blige, Shakira, Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, and Sting, along with an unforgettable rendition of Etta James' "A…

Jon Gosselin Kids Australia

Jon Gosselin Kids Australia - Jon Gosselin made a desperate attempt to stop his ex-wife Kate's trip to Australia with their eight kids -- and even went to court over it -- but a judge ruled that she could make the excursion because it was work related, RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned.

The decision to allow the trip was made following a secret closed door hearing at Berks County Court in Pennsylvania earlier this month by the same judge that allowed Kate to film her spin-off reality TV show Kate Plus 8 on the TLC network, despite objections by Jon.

A source told RadarOnline.com: “It was another slap in the face for Jon because he did not want the kids to go to Australia.

“But the judge ruled that because it was for work it was okay. Jon had plans to get together with his kids and friends for New Year, but now he will not see them until they return in the middle of January.

Source: http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2010/12/exclusive-jon-gosselin-asked-judge-stop-kate-tak…

Avoid an IRS Audit

Avoid an IRS Audit - After years of ignoring the ability of the rich to get around the tax code, the IRS has been cracking down on abuses by the wealthy.

One of the reasons for making a move on the wealthy is that the abuses have been so flagrant that even Congress was offended. Plus, the government needs the cash.

One way to get that cash is to make sure everyone pays his or her fair share -- including the rich, who can afford to pay high-priced tax attorneys to find the cracks in the tax code. These tax experts design investments for their clients and structure their financial situation so that much of their income is sheltered from tax.
They do a great job.

For tax year 2006, 8,252 returns with incomes of $200,000 or more showed no income tax liability. That was up from 7,389 in 2005. Cheating by corporations and individuals has been found to be worse than was once thought.

Source: http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Taxes/AvoidAnAudit/6waysToKeepTheIRSatBay.aspx

Avoid an IRS Audi…

Million E-Books Downloaded Christmas Day

Million E-Books Downloaded Christmas Day - Bookseller Barnes & Noble said Thursday that it now sells more digital books than physical volumes on its online bookstore.

Customers bought or downloaded nearly 1 million e-books on Christmas Day alone, the company said in a press release.

The Nook e-reader has become a bestseller, according to the bookseller. The Nook Color, introduced two months before Christmas, was the company's No. 1 selling holiday gift item, according to the company release.

Barnes & Noble launched the Nook last year to compete with Amazon's Kindle reader. Analysts estimate that Barnes & Noble has sold about 2 million Nooks, while the Kindle, launched in 2007, is thought to have sold about 6 million devices, according to Reuters.

Source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2010/12/barnes-noble-e-books-top-sellers.html

Million E-Books Downloaded Christmas Day

What Economists got Right 2010

What Economists got Right 2010 - Mainstream economic forecasters totally misjudged the collapse of the credit bubble in 2007 and the ensuing Great Recession, but when it came time to predict the recovery, they got it right.

Here’s what I wrote a year ago in a preview of the 2010 economy: “The U.S. economy is limping — not sprinting — out of the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009.

“While the economy is likely to grow at a steady but unspectacular 3% pace in 2010, the prospects for significant job growth are dim and the unemployment rate could still be in the 10% neighborhood at this time next year, economists say.” Read my 2010 outlook story.

That’s exactly what happened.

Source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/economists-nailed-the-2010-forecast-2010-12-29

What Economists got Right 2010

Khloe Kardashian Reality Show

Khloe Kardashian Reality Show - The 26-year-old socialite – who tied the knot with Los Angeles Lakers star Lamar Odom in September 2009 after a whirlwind one-month romance – is said to be branching out from the rest of the Kardashians to appear in the E! spin-off show, which will focus on the pair’s marriage.

With both having already appeared in reality shows ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ and ‘Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami’, the new series is believed to be taking a ‘Newlyweds’-style format and will see the couple go about their day-to-day lives.

Lamar’s two children Destiny, 12, and eight-year-old Lamar junior – who he had with ex-wife Liza Morales – are also expected to be appearing in the spin-off show.

Source: http://www.transworldnews.com/NewsStory.aspx?id=661739&cat=2

Khloe Kardashian Reality Show

Geraldine Hoff Doyle Dies

Geraldine Hoff Doyle Dies - Geraldine Hoff Doyle, a World War II factory worker whose bandana-wearing image in a wire-service photo is said to have been the model for the woman depicted in the 1942 "We Can Do It!" poster, has died. She was 86. The iconic wartime poster became an enduring symbol of women's power from the Rosie the Riveter era.

Doyle died of age-related causes Sunday at Hospice House of Mid-Michigan in Lansing, said her daughter, Stephanie Gregg.

Source: http://www.baltimoresun.com/la-me-geraldine-hoff-doyle-20101231,0,2033819.story

Geraldine Hoff Doyle Dies

Ashton Kutcher Yachting

Ashton Kutcher Yachting - Passing the time with some rest and relaxation, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore were seen out on a yacht in St. Barts, France today (December 30).

The “Butterfly Effect” stud and his “Charlie’s Angeles” wife held hands as they walked down the dock, looking cute and casual together.

And while his career mandates that he stay in good shape, Ashton says his fitness is more the result of wanting to protect his family in the event of a global crisis.

Source: http://www.celebrity-gossip.net/ashton-kutcher/ashton-kutcher-demi-moores-yachting-fun-451957

I'm surprised Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore are still together. They've had many public spats and have spent time apart. It looks like they are still very much in love.

Ashton Kutcher Yachting

Snooki New Year Ball Ball New Jersey

Snooki New Year Ball Ball New Jersey - While she was originally going to be in Times Square for New Year’s Eve, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi will be back on the Jersey Shore instead.

The reality TV star will be featured in a Times Square-esque type ball and will be lowered as planned at the stroke of midnight.

"We love our Times Square home and while we're disappointed there won't be a Snooki ball drop there, she cannot be denied!" MTV said in a statement confirming the move. "So we're taking a road trip to the place where it all began, Seaside Heights, and droppin' it all there."

Source: http://celebrity-gossip.net/nicole-polizzi/snookis-jersey-shore-new-years-eve-plans-452121

Snooki New Year Ball Ball New Jersey

Obama Extends Holiday

Obama Extends Holiday - President Barack Obama won't be returning to Washington until Jan. 4, extending his Hawaiian vacation by about a day after it was delayed by a busy lame-duck Congressional session.

"After the extended lame duck and five-day delay of his trip here, he's just trying to squeeze in more time with his family before returning to Washington," Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said Wednesday.

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203525404576050241746651606.html

He deserves more holiday time. He spent most of it working as it is appointing interim ambassadors and doing other things. I guess a president can never rest.

Obama Extends Holiday

Skype iPhone App

Skype iPhone App - A new version of the free iPhone app for Skype SA will let users make and receive video calls.

Users of the Internet calling and messaging service will be able to use both Wi-Fi and AT&T Inc.'s 3G cellular network. FaceTime software, which comes with iPhones, works only with Wi-Fi.

The app, which is being released Thursday through Apple Inc.'s iTunes Store, will let iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS users make free video calls to other Skype users who are using the app or have access to the feature using Skype on their computer or other video phone.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/12/30/2550184/skype-adding-wi-fi-3g-video-calling.html#ixzz19db4kqSk

Skype is a difficult app to sell on a phone. It is used to make free calls over the internet which pretty much negates the need for a phone network. Users can use Skype all day every day for free. Why would they pay for calls.

Skype iPhone App

Camille Grammer $50 Million Divorce Settlement

Camille Grammer $50 Million Divorce Settlement - Camille Grammer has grown accustomed to her luxe life, and she wants ensure it stays that way after her divorce from Kelsey Grammer is finalized.

According to Page Six, the 42-year-old Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star rejected Kelsey's estimated $30 million offer because he wasn't offering alimony or child support.

The couple's children (Mason, 9, and Jude, 6) are used to living the high life, too -- Camille famously proclaimed she has four nannies during one episode of her hit Bravo show.

Source: http://www.usmagazine.com/healthylifestyle/news/camille-grammer-demands-50-million-in-divorce-settlement-20103012

I think Camille is getting a little greedy. $30 million is good money, yet she wants $50 million. I wonder if Kelsey agreed, what else she would ask for. Divorces are always messy, but with stars it is even messier with the large amounts of money involved.

Camille Grammer $50 Million Divorce Settlement

Linsday Lohan Sobriety Coach Former Clinton Advisor

Linsday Lohan Sobriety Coach Former Clinton Advisor - Lindsay Lohan has a candidate in mind to be her sober coach, and she's a former advisor to President Bill Clinton, RadarOnline.com is exclusively reporting.

According to Lindsay's dad Michael, the Lohan family is trying to ensure Lindsay's sobriety by surrounding her with positive influences.

"When Lindsay gets out, I want to have the right team of people around her, not the Hollywood types who leached on her in the past," Michael told RadarOnline.com.

Source: http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2010/12/exclusive-lindsay-lohan-sober-coach-candidate-former-advisor-bill-clinton

I don't even think a presidential advisor can help Lindsay Lohan. She has been in and out of rehab so many times it has lost all meaning. She has to really want to make a change in her life for anything to work, and I don't think she does.

Linsday Lohan Sobriety Coach Former Clinton Advisor

Boney M Singer Dies on Tour

Boney M Singer Dies on Tour - Performer Bobby Farrell, of the 1970s European chart-topping group Boney M, was found dead in his hotel bed Thursday while on tour in Russia, his agent said. He was 61.

Farrell appeared as scheduled in St. Petersburg Wednesday night, but complained of breathing problems before and after his show, said the agent, John Seine. He had been due to fly to Rome Thursday for a television show.

Source: http://www.bostonherald.com/track/celebrity/view/20101230pop_singer_bobby_farrell_dies_on_tour_in_russia/

I think he was a little old to be touring. He most likely suffered a cardiac arrest. At least he went out doing what he loved.

Boney M Singer Dies on Tour

Ford Recalls 15,000 Trucks

Ford Recalls 15,000 Trucks - Ford is recalling nearly 15,000 trucks and crossovers due to problems with electrical systems that can short and create a fire.

The Detroit automaker said Thursday that the recall includes some 2011 model year F-150, F-250, F-350, F-450, F-550, Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX vehicles.

A Ford supplier of a control module produced the faulty product over a six-day period.

Source: http://www.daytondailynews.com/business/ford-recalls-15-000-trucks-and-crossovers-1041714.html

It's been a troubled year for car makers. Toyota got in to a lot of trouble with brakes that wouldn't work, now Ford is recalling 15,000 trucks. It's not a recall for a minor reason either. The trucks can potentially catch on fire.

Ford Recalls 15,000 Trucks

Waitress Returns $1200

Waitress Returns $1200 - A local waitress returned more than $1,000 cash to a customer who left it on a table she had waited on.

“(It was) a bunch of $100 bills and a couple of $20 in, like, a bank envelope,” said Tricia Ayers, a waitress at Walt's Barbecue. “I though that was crazy somebody left that here."

Ayers returned the bank envelope containing $1,200 to a very happy Fred Smith, who thought his money for Christmas presents was gone forever.

Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40845595

It restores your faith in humanity reading stories like this. The waitress most likely does not make a lot of money at her job. Yet she had the moral strength to return the mans money. Most other people would have put it in their pocket and walked out.

Waitress Returns $1200

Wife Spots her on Antiques Roadshow

Wife Spots her on Antiques Roadshow - An Australian claims to have seen his wife on the Antiques Roadshow - after she mysteriously vanished 28 years ago.
Mother-of-two Lynette Dawson went missing from Sydney in 1982 and was presumed dead, although her body was never found.

Now her former husband Chris claims that an image of a woman at the TV show which was filmed in Padstow, Cornwall, in 2006 and recently aired on Australian TV is his former spouse.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1342425/Australian-wife-vanished-28-years-ago-spots-Antiques-Roadshow.html#ixzz19dXboTx1

This is bizarre to say the least. What are the chances of seeing you missing wife after 28 years. She either lost her memory, or she just didn't want anything to do with her husband and kids anymore to not try and contact them for this long.

Wife Spots her on Antiques Roadshow

Probation for Killing after Dog Pees on Prize Lawn

Probation for Killing after Dog Pees on Prize Lawn - A former Marine who was convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of a man whose puppy urinated on his award-winning lawn was sentenced Wednesday to four years probation.

Charles Clements, 69, won't do any jail time for killing his neighbor Joshua Funches, 23, during an argument outside Clements' home. He could have been sentenced to as long as 20 years in prison, The Chicago Tribune reported.

"This is not justice," said Gail Williams, the slain man's aunt, according to the Tribune.
In May 2009, as Funches passed Clements' home while walking his fox terrier, the dog lifted its leg and relieved itself, witnesses said. The two men got into an argument. After Funches cursed at him, Clements pulled out a .45-caliber handgun, then put it back in his pocket, the Tribune reported. Soon after, Funches punched Clements in the face. Clements said Funches was standing still when he redrew the gun and sho…

World's Last Kodachrome Lab Closing

World's Last Kodachrome Lab Closing - An unlikely pilgrimage is under way to Dwayne's Photo, a small family business that has through luck and persistence become the last processor in the world of Kodachrome, the first successful and still the most beloved color film.

That celebrated 75-year run from mainstream to niche photography is scheduled to come to an end Thursday when the last processing machine is shut down here to be sold for scrap.

Source: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2013799349_kodachrome30.html

This was a long time coming. With the advent of digital cameras, Kodachrome was no longer relevant. Many labs had closed before, now the final one is closing.

It's sad to see it go but the times are changing.

World's Last Kodachrome Lab Closing

Safe Crash Diet

Safe Crash Diet - Sorry to break the bad news, but there are no safe crash diets. Anything with the word 'crash' in it can't be good. Crash diets, like any other shock to the system, are not healthy and should be avoided.

Most people try and lose the weight fast, in some cases one week, for an occasion or an upcoming holiday. When doing this most of the weight lost is water weight which quickly returns once you start eating again.

The best diet is a consistent, long term diet. Long term diets not only offer greater satisfaction, because of more weight lost, they also promote a healthy lifestyle helping you to keep the weight off.

Safe Crash Diet

Fastest Weight Loss Plan

Fastest Weight Loss Plan - Losing weight seems hard for many. Many have tried and failed. Then tried some more and failed some more. In fact there is no complicated secret for losing weight. It is simply a matter of burning more calories than you consume in a day to create a calorie deficit. How quick you lose the weight depends on how big that deficit is.

You need to simply work out what your BMR is. BMR is basal metabolic rate and means the amount of calories your body would burn during the course of a day without you exercising. Factors that influence BMR are sex, age and weight. Once you have your BMR, work out how many calories you burn through exercise and you have your daily total.

Once you have your daily total simply consume less every day for weight loss.

Fastest Weight Loss Plan

Actors Who Gained or Lost Weight for Roles

Actors Who Gained or Lost Weight for Roles - Ever since Robert De Niro gained 60 pounds to play washed-up boxing champ Jake LaMotta in the 1980 film "Raging Bull," actors have been using extreme weight loss and gain to help transform themselves into their on-screen characters.

Colin Farrell appears to be the latest. A recent photo snapped in Spain shows an emaciated Farrell with hollowed cheeks, sunken chest and stick-thin legs. It is believed that he shed the weight for his latest role as a Bosnia War photographer in a new film called "Triage," which is currently shooting in Alicante, Spain.

While these days it seems everyone in Hollywood is trying to pull a De Niro, shape-shifting actors can earn the kudos and respect of their peers. George Clooney in "Syriana" and Charlize Theron in "Monster" both won Academy Awards after they packed on the pounds. Renee Zellweger and Tom Hanks were both nominated after they gained and lost weight, respective…

Fisher-Price Recalls Tricycles High-Chairs Toys

Fisher-Price Recalls Tricycles High-Chairs Toys - 2010 was quite a news year -- and many of the stories were directed at kids. Here's a look back at five news stories that affected your kids in 2010.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare OTC Children's Product Recall. In April, McNeil Consumer Healthcare issued a voluntary recall of a several children's over-the-counter products, including Children's Tylenol, Children's Motrin and Children's Benadryl. The recall cited the potential of particles in some of the products, as well as a slightly higher concentration of certain active ingredients. While no adverse medical reactions prompted the recall, it was conducted as a precautionary measure.

Fisher-Price Recalls Tricycles High-Chairs Toys

Silly Bandz Banned. 2010's hottest kid's accessory -- multicolored, shaped rubber bands called Silly Bandz -- made their way onto the arms of millions of kids this year and they were the hot topic on school playgrounds. But some s…

Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris - Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka are piping up about new-dad life at home with their newborns, Harper Grace and Gideon Scott.

The two bundles, delivered via surrogate in October, are settled into a new, "more kid-friendly" home with their dads -- who themselves are getting accustomed to parenting.

"Everyone says that it's such a blur after it happens," Harris told People. "I find myself constantly just trying to wrap my mind around it."

Neil Patrick Harris

Perhaps, then, you can wrap your head around this bit of sharing: Harris spelled out exactly who, um, fertilized what.

"We inserted two eggs, one with my sperm, one with David's sperm and they both took," he said.

Burtka sings of "absolute joy" over the two, and the couple are more than happy to give over their schedule to their brood.

Neil Patrick Harris

John Travolta & Kelly Preston

John Travolta & Kelly Preston - JOHN Travolta’s wife wants him to come out of the closet.

Sources say Kelly Preston — with whom the actor raises two children — has demanded that Travolta tells her the truth about his sexuality.

Kelly made her demands after John was recently outed as gay by his longtime pal, Carrie Fisher.

John Travolta & Kelly Preston

“A distraught Kelly is begging him, ‘John, just tell me the truth’,” a source close to the couple told American tabloid the National Enquirer.

“Having another child was their way of holding their marriage together after the tragic death of their son Jett.

“But now these revelations from Carrie have brought back Kelly’s worst fears, so she’s begging John to tell her once and for all whether he’s gay or not.

John Travolta & Kelly Preston

Candace Cameron Bure Opens up About Bulimia

Candace Cameron Bure Opens up About Bulimia - Best known for her role on Full House, Candace Cameron Bure admits in a new memoir: she never had a full stomach.

The actress struggled with bulimia for many years, beginning after the aforementioned show concluded in 1995.

"It's a very dangerous cycle that can just start to consume your life and really take over," Bure told People of the disease, which she recounts in Reshaping It All."It wasn't about me trying to lose weight. It was all about emotions."

Candace is now married to NHL player Valeri Bure and says exercise with her three children - ages 8 to 12 - helps her maintain a healthy lifestyle.

This memoir will hit stores in January.

Candace Cameron Bure Opens up About Bulimia

Earthquake Strikes Indiana

Earthquake Strikes Indiana - We don't see a headline like this very often:

"4.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits North Central Indiana." (Indianapolis Star)

The U.S. Geological Survey says it happened at just before 8 a.m. ET. The temblor was felt in adjacent states as well.

At the Star's website, folks are sending in reports such as this:

"In Dayton, Ohio, Ashley Herman felt the quake on the 18th floor of a high-rise.

" 'Everything on my desk rattled,' she wrote in an e-mail. 'At first I just thought it was in my head'."

A Twitter search on #earthquake shows folks are starting to chime in with tweets about what they felt.

Earthquake Strikes Indiana

Man hit with Frogger

Man hit with Frogger - A 23 year old man and his friends in Clemson, South Carolina, decided to attempt a real life version of Frogger in oncoming traffic on Monday this week. He was struck by a 2010 Lexus as a result and was later taken to Anderson Memorial Hospital by Pickens County ME, where he is now in stable condition.

Police stated before he was hit, the man yelled “go” before he wildly jumped in front of oncoming vehicles.

The man has yet to be revealed and the driver who hit the man is expected to have no charges filed against him of course.

Man hit with Frogger

Pastor Allegedly Burglarized Parishioner's Home

Pastor Allegedly Burglarized Parishioner's Home - The Dallas woman whose fur coats, purses and laptop equipment were allegedly stolen by her pastor on Christmas Eve said she is devastated but her faith unshaken.

"I was in disbelief," Serita Agnew said. "Being a person of faith, I've come to believe that we are presented with challenges in our life and I believe that all of those challenges are tailor-designed for us ... to bring us closer to God."

Pastor Allegedly Burglarized Parishioner's Home

Sandy McGriff, pastor of the Church of the Living God, is accused of climbing through Agnew's window on Christmas Eve. Agnew and McGriff were long-time friends and, Agnew said, McGriff called her shortly before $10,000 worth of Agnew's clothing and personal items were stolen.

"She had contacted me approximately half an hour before I got a phone call from the Dallas Police Department," Agnew said. "She absolutely knew that I wasn't goin…

Moshe Katsav Set to Appeal

Moshe Katsav Set to Appeal - Former President Moshe Katsav's attorneys are planning to appeal the Tel Aviv District Court's decision to convict him of rape, sexual assault and other sexual abuses.

"Precisely because the verdict was so unequivocal there is room to appeal and to raise the fact that the court ignored the evidence," attorney Avigdor Feldman told Israel Radio after the judges read their decision on Thursday.

"The verdict has created an image of Moshe Katsav as a gambling man, devious and a manipulator," added Feldman. "There is absolutely no basis for that."

Moshe Katsav Set to Appeal

When asked whether he really believed that his client was innocent, Feldman declared: "When Moshe Katsav decided to reject the plea bargain, it was clear that he was heading toward a vicious battle… but he decided to do it. I say that it looks like he has been guided by his conscience."

In a separate interview with Army Radio, Fedlman said that…

Jamie Foxx Enters Charts

Jamie Foxx Enters Charts - Santa was good to country/pop darling Taylor Swift this year. He brought her another week atop the Billboard 200 album chart.

The singer notches another week at No. 1 with her latest album, Speak Now, selling an additional 276,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan as reported by Billboard. That’s an increase from the prior week where Taylor moved 259,000 units.

Last week’s No. 2 album, Susan Boyle‘s The Gift, stayed put at No. 2 although she experienced a 6% sales drop to 240,000 copies. Michael Jackson‘s Michael also experienced a sales drop, this one more substantial. MJ lands at No. 5 this week with 150,000, bringing his two week total to 379,000.

Jamie Foxx Enters Charts

Three brand new r&b albums from Jamie Foxx, Keyshia Cole and Keri Hilson enter the chart this week. First up is Jamie Foxx’s Best Night Of My Life. The album enters at No. 6 with 144,000 copies sold. Keyshia Cole’s new one, Calling All Hearts, opens with 128,000 albums sold, enou…

Head Turning Vehicles

Head Turning Vehicles - There are plenty of coolly logical and entirely rational factors to consider when purchasing a new car. Now forget about those, and keep reading.

We’ve come up with a list of cars that play to a baser automotive instinct than the search for good fuel economy, spacious rear seats, or cupholders that accommodate juice boxes and Big Gulps. These are the cars that turn heads and get thumbs-up everywhere you go.

The best news is you don’t have to risk your credit rating—or the wrath of a significant other—when putting one of these beauties in your driveway. Driving a car that looks like a million bucks doesn’t mean you have to hand over a seven-figure sum to own one.

Head Turning Vehicles

Rating Affordable Cars

Rating Affordable Cars - The Sonata has it all: looks, value and fuel economy. In any other year, it would almost certainly be car of the year. It just had the misfortune to go up against a car that could be a game-changer for the industry.

I think the Sonata is Hyundai's first great car. It sets the table for the automaker to have a huge year in 2011 as the Elantra compact and Accent subcompact follow in its tracks.

The Leaf is the most practical and affordable battery-electric car ever. Its EPA-rated range of 73 miles on a full charge is good, though the EPA's estimated charging time of seven hours from a 240-volt outlet makes the car impractical for many. The $349-a-month lease payment is a good deal on a car that will never burn a drop of gasoline.

Rating Affordable Cars

Kate Middleton Madame Tussauds

Kate Middleton Madame Tussauds - As if nabbing her very own prince weren’t enough of a coup, Kate Middleton is poised to join world-famous stars like Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani and Rihanna, with a wax figure formed in her likeness.

Madame Tussauds has announced plans to sculpt the princess-to-be for a statue that will join those of her fiancĂ©, Prince William, and future brother-in-law, Prince Harry, in the Royal wing of museum’s London location sometime after her marriage in 2011.

Kate Middleton Madame Tussauds

Fake Nurse of the Year

Fake Nurse of the Year - A Connecticut woman who faked a career as a nurse began a 9-month prison sentence Tuesday after pleading guilty in the case.

Betty Lichtenstein, 57, took the ruse so far that she even staged a "Nurse of the Year" awards dinner for herself in 2008.

She went to jail after entering a guilty plea to charges of criminal impersonation, practicing nursing without a license and forgery, the Stamford Advocate reported.

"I know that what I did was very, very wrong," she told State Superior Court Judge Bruce Hudock. "I am so sorry for what I did and I am so sorry if I endangered anyone."

Fake Nurse of the Year

She said she took full responsibility for her deceptive actions and wouldn't repeat them in the future.

Lichtenstein mouthed "I love you" to her emotional daughter Monica, who was sitting in the front of the courtroom in Norwalk as she was led out in handcuffs, the Advocate said.

Lichtenstein went by the aliases Betty A. …

Agathe Von Trapp

Agathe Von Trapp - One of the seven von Trapp children who inspired the film The Sound Of Music has died, aged 97.

Agathe von Trapp died yesterday at a hospice in Baltimore after suffering heart failure last month.

Ms Von Trapp was the oldest daughter of Austrian naval officer Georg Ritter von Trapp.

Agathe Von Trapp

His seven children by his first wife were the basis for the singing family in the 1965 film in which Julie Andrews starred.

Her widowed father had three more children with his second wife, Maria Augusta Kutschera.

They performed together as the Trapp Family Singers.

Agathe Von Trapp, a guitarist, was represented in the film by 16-going-on-17 Liesl, played by Charmian Carr. Although she admired the Oscar-winning film, Agathe felt it misrepresented her father as too strict and not as the loving, caring parent he was.

Agathe Von Trapp

Emmy Rossum Divorce

Emmy Rossum Divorce - Emmy secretly married Justin Siegel in February, 2008. Under the terms of the final divorce setttlement, obtained by TMZ, Emmy gets to keep the house, her jewelry and other personal stuff. Justin gets to keep an $11,200 security deposit, along with a Mercedes, jewelry and other stuff.

To equalize things, Emmy also agrees to pay Justin $57,500.

Although Justin asked for spousal support when he filed for divorce, he's not getting any.

According to the divorce judgment, filed yesterday in L.A. County Superior Court, no spousal support will be awarded to either party.

As for their community property -- it's split pretty evenly between the two ...

Emmy Rossum Divorce

Nicole Richie Early Probation

Nicole Richie Early Probation - Nicole Richie is done with probation early -- sort of -- for a 2006 DUI incident, a judge decided Wednesday.

Richie provided proof that she'd completed all that was required of her, her publicist said, including completion of an 18-month alcohol education program. The TV personality and House of Harlow designer had been given until February to wrap it up, though that deadline was an extension granted in June to allow her more time to finish the class. So she's done "early," but only relative to a later end date. Still, it's a key step in her 180-degree life overhaul.

Nicole Richie Early Probation

Richie was arrested shortly after midnight Dec. 11, 2006 -- stopped in the carpool lane on the Ventura Freeway talking on her cellphone -- by police who were responding to 911 calls that a driver had entered the freeway the wrong way, using an offramp. She admitted smoking pot and taking Vicodin, pleaded guilty and spent 82 minutes of a fo…

Brandy's New Tattoo

Brandy's New Tattoo - Brandy's got some fresh ink!

Calling tattoo artist Peter Koskela "incredible," the 31-year-old singer and Dancing With the Stars vet documented her experience on Twitter Monday.

"Getting a tat! OUCH!" she tweeted before posting a series of photos. "What do you babies think?"

Brandy claimed she got an image of the Hindu deity Ganesh tattooed on her left wrist because it symbolizes the "remover of all obstacles."

According to the singer, fellow R&B diva Monica inspired her to get the mystical body art.

"You know you were the one that got me into tats and Louis Vuitton!" Brandy tweeted.

Monica's response? "You know I have both wrists done, so I feel your pain."

Brandy's New Tattoo

Billy Boyd Wedding

Billy Boyd Wedding - Three Hobbits swapped Middle Earth for the more urban surroundings of the west end of Glasgow to witness Lord of the Rings star Billy Boyd’s wedding.

The 42-year-old married long-term partner Ali McKinnon at Oran Mor yesterday, and was joined by fellow Rings stars Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan, who brought a touch of Hollywood to Byres Road.

The trio played Pippin, Frodo and Merry in Peter Jackson’s smash hit Lord of the Rings films and became good friends, even going as far as to get matching tattoos after filming finished.

Billy Boyd Wedding

The tattoos are written in High Elvish, a language from the Lord of the Rings books by JRR Tolkien. Boyd and McKinnon, a ballet dancer and yoga instructor, have a four-year-old son, Jack.

Billy and Jack wore matching suits at the ceremony, which was attended by 30 close friends and family.

The reception near the couple’s home was attended by 160 guests. Boyd met his wife at a panto in which she was appearing in 2002.

Oran…

Amazon Bad Gifts 2010

Amazon Bad Gifts 2010 - Call it "The Bad Gift Filter." Amazon has patented a system that could intercept the yet another sweater Aunt Janice has sent you and automatically return it and exchange it for something you actually want.

The system lets you create profiles for people in your life and then say if they give you a gift that meets a certain number of requirements, to automatically exchange it for another kind of gift. Like something on your Amazon wishlist. You might specify "no gifts with wool" or that any gift from a specific person should be by default converted into a gift certificate.

Under one version of the system, the gift giver is none the wiser that you pre-exchanged their gift before it ever arrived. Until, of course, they come over and ask to see you in that big beautiful sweater they sent you.

Amazon Bad Gifts 2010

Landlords Access to Credit History

Landlords Access to Credit History - When a landlord considers a prospective tenant's rental application, she often wants to know about the tenant's credit history. To do this, the landlord will need to obtain the tenant's credit report.

Rental Application
A landlord will need permission to check the credit of a prospective tenant. Rental applications usually include a section that gives this permission to the landlord.

Property Management Company
If a landlord uses a property management company, the management company will run any necessary background checks, including a credit check.

Tenant Screening Services
Some landlords use tenant screening services to check a prospective tenant's credit reports and to perform other background investigations, including employment verification, criminal background and contacting former landlords.

Landlords Access to Credit History

Bellagio $25,000 Chip Heist

Bellagio $25,000 Chip Heist - Las Vegas casino bosses are serving notice to the bandit who made off with $1.5 million in chips from the Bellagio: Try to redeem those worth $25,000 soon or they'll become worthless.

Bellagio owner MGM Resorts International is giving public notice that it's discontinuing its standard chip valued at $25,000 and calling for all gamblers holding the chips to redeem them by April 22.

After that, gambling regulators say each red chip with a gray inlay won't be worth more than the plastic it's cast from.

Bellagio $25,000 Chip Heist

"The bottom line is that they're not money," said David Salas, deputy enforcement chief for the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

MGM Resorts first posted notice of the redemption last week in the classifieds of the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper. That's one week after a robber wearing a motorcycle helmet held up a craps table at gunpoint and made off with a bag of chips of varying denominations.

Pol…

How's the Dollar Doing

How's the Dollar Doing - It seems that the world dominant currency has not been doing so great lately. The value of the dollar depends on a number of things: the treasury notes, the exchange rates and the amount of American money belonging to foreign countries. Considering these numbers and the following facts, we can only conclude that the future does not look so great for the American currency.

The US debt is over 13 trillion, which causes taxes to raise and economic development to slow down. There are voices who claim that the American government wants the dollar to go down in order to diminish the relative value of this enormous debt. The euro zone is also confronted with a lot of issues; but the demand for euro is increasing, as many countries want to join the European Union every year. This is why the US dollar seems to lose the combat with its European counterpart. Likewise, as the US dollar seems to be falling down, investors seem to be afraid of keeping their assets in do…

Sugar Prices 30 Year High

Sugar Prices 30 Year High - Sugar prices have hit a 30-year high, reports Bloomberg.com, in the wake of analysts’ predictions that floods in Australia will reduce that country’s output of the crop. Australia is the world’s third-largest exporter of sugar, followed by Brazil and Thailand.

Weeks of rain in Queensland have put many communities at risk of flooding, and analysts have suggested that the next sugar harvest might be damaged as a result.

Prices for raw sugar intended for March delivery rose 0.22 cents (0.6%) to 34.61 cents a pound as of 10:17 A.M. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier in the day, raw sugar had reached 34.77 cents, the highest price since Nov. 1980. Refined-sugar futures intended for March delivery rose $11.10 (1.4%) to $831.50 a metric ton on NYSE Liffe in London. Earlier in the day, the price had reached $835.80, the highest price since 1989.

Sugar Prices 30 Year High

Texting Trolley Driver Pleads Guilty

Texting Trolley Driver Pleads Guilty - Aiden Quinn, the MBTA operator who crashed a Green Line trolley while texting his girlfriend in 2009, pleaded guilty to negligence yesterday and was sentenced to two years of probation and 100 hours of community service.

Prosecutors sought a six-month jail sentence for Quinn, whose inattention as he breezed past stop signals in the tunnel between Government Center and Park Street on a Friday evening in May caused a crash that sent dozens of people to the hospital, some with serious and lasting injuries, and destroyed three trolley cars worth nearly $10 million combined.

Texting Trolley Driver Pleads Guilty

But Superior Court Judge Carol S. Ball agreed with Quinn’s lawyer and multiple victims in considering jail excessive. James L. Sultan, Quinn’s lawyer, said the 26-year-old trolley driver owned up to his offense — confessing and turning over his phone to MBTA Transit Police from his hospital bed — and was fired from the job he loved.

He said Qui…

Gym Etiquette

Gym Etiquette - There seems to be quite the epidemic spreading across the workout facilities on Main Campus.

Before you panic, I’m not referring to any new disease or crazy fungus but rather, a wave of rude behavior. People should understand that, because the machines and facilities at the IBC Student Recreation Center and elsewhere on Main Campus are for everyone, proper etiquette must be employed at all times.

Naturally, not everyone is lacking basic manners, but the few who are can ruin a workout for others.

Gym Etiquette

The facility with the highest rude people per capita has to be the indoor track. There, some people ­– whether directly or indirectly ­– ­seem to go above and beyond to annoy fellow runners.

One individual, who was completing a sprint workout, made it a point to get in the way while I did a leisurely distance run. He would blow by me, cut into my lane and then stop. But he did not top another visitor, who walked in the jogging lane against the flow of traffic. For…

Beauty Mistakes that Make you Look Older

Beauty Mistakes that Make you Look Older - 1. Not applying eyeliner. As we get older, our eyes start to droop at the outer corners, eyeliner and mascara can help you to fix the problem. You can fake a lifted look by lining your upper lashes with black pencil and this can make the line a bit thicker at the outer corners. Then, curl your eyelashes and add a few coats of mascara. Straight lashes may make lids appear hooded.

2. Wearing the wrong lipstick. Metallic or iridescent lipstick finishes may look pretty on models but they don’t work if you are 40 and above. You can use a lipstick formula with sheen (not heavy shimmer) which has added effect of making thin lips appear fuller.

3. Brushing bronzer all over the face. Faking your tan makes you look older because the yellow and brown bases of bronzer give skin a dull. Create a halo effect, instead of brushing it all over, by dusting only your hairline, cheekbones and jawline and blend them well. Do not put it around your eyes, nose and …

Most Famous Hollywood Twins

Most Famous Hollywood Twins - There are a hidden number of celebrities who have twins out there. You won’t believe how many celebs have an identical (or not so identical) twin standing out of the spotlight. Watch out, Kate and Ashley – you’re far from unique in the world of celebrity:

* Kiefer Sutherland’s twin sister, Rachel, works in post-production in film and television in Toronto. Kiefer is the elder by seven minutes.
* Scarlett Johansson has a twin brother, Hunter, who has achieved his own fame as campaign organiser for then-Senator Barack Obama in Denver. In 2008, he was named one of People Magazine’s ‘Hot Bachelors’ of the year.
* Ashton Kutcher’s twin, Michael, was born with cerebral palsy and needed a heart transplant when he was just 13. The brothers aren’t identical.
* Giovani Ribisi has a fellow actor in his twin, Marissa. Interesting fact: the two were delivered by Bibbe Hansen, mother of indie rock superstar Beck – who later became Marissa’s husband.

New Year's Eve Party on a Budget

New Year's Eve Party on a Budget - Throwing a party doesn't have to be expensive, time consuming and stressful.

A great party consists of setting a warm, festive mood, great music, and trying lots of new, eclectic food and drink - so let everyone - all of your friends and family be a part of the menu design team and get into the spirit of the season by bringing something.

"My favorite at home parties this season have been where each guest brings a favorite bottle of wine and a food pairing. I have tasted Thai, Australian, Jamaican, German, Southern, not to mention so many great wines I had never even heard of before. In five easy, no cost or low cost steps we are going to share our secrets for a party on a $100 budget.

New Year's Eve Party on a Budget

"First - let's set the mood. Really look around your home, and use items that you already have to create dramatic decor and set the table.

"Try to create a focal point in each room - on a coffee table, a fi…

New Year's party ideas

New Year's party ideas - If you're like me, with only one day to go until the big countdown, you have yet to commit to a New Year's Eve gameplan. After all, New Year's is a holiday symbolic of the past and the future; many believe that what you do and how you feel at the stroke of midnight signifies how the rest of your year will play out. This is not a time to take your destiny lightly.

In the spirit of steering your fate toward a prosperous 2011, here are a few ideas on where to go and what to do this New Year's Eve to get your year headed in the right direction.

1. If crowds and large scale pyrotechnics are what you crave, you're going to want to head down to the San Francisco waterfront for their midnight fireworks display. A staple of the Bay Area New Year's Eve scene, the main event begins right at midnight, when elaborate fireworks are launched from barges anchored in the bay just off the city's waterfront and synched up to music. Bundle up and …

New Year's Eve Celebrations

New Year's Eve Celebrations - New Year’s Eve is here once again.

Do you even try mumbling the words to “Auld Lang Syne,” as if you know them (I couldn’t spell it without Google’s assistance)? Are you even going out this year?

USC plays Florida State at 7:30 Friday in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, which means a lot of you will have your eyes on a different kind of ball most of the night. (Clemson plays South Florida at noon, so no worries about a lingering post-game hangover for Tiger fans.)

New Year's Eve Celebrations

If you’re anything like me, watching a bowl game can bum you out. I get together with friends from around the country at the beach every New Year’s and we have a rule that if the Gamecocks or Tigers are playing a night game on New Year’s Eve, we can’t watch.

Ugly losses — which happen too frequently in bowl games — make it hard to regain energy to toast to the good times.

Let’s hope this year will be different.

New Year's Eve Celebrations

Reese Witherspoon Engaged

Reese Witherspoon Engaged - Hollywood actress Reese Witherspoon's husband-to-be proposed with a stunning 4-carat ring.

The How Do You Know star's representative told People.com that her fiancé Jim Toth worked closely with Hollywood jeweller William Goldberg to create the stunning gem.

The ring is Ashoka diamond set on a pave diamond and platinum band.

Reese Witherspoon Engaged

According to William Goldberg, Ashoka stones are extremely rare and less than 10 per cent of raw Ashoka diamonds can be cut like Reese's engagement ring was.

Witherspoon, 34, is just one of a host of celebrities to feel the romance this holiday season.

Natalie Portman, LeAnn Rimes and Lily Allen have all recently announced their engagements.

Reese Witherspoon Engaged

NC Man Butted by Bull Dies

NC Man Butted by Bull Dies - An elderly North Carolina man battered by an angry bull that escaped from its pasture has died, and the animal is headed to a slaughterhouse.

Ricky House of Spring Lake said Tuesday that his 82-year-old father John A. House died last week after life-support machines were removed.

John House was hospitalized three days earlier after failing to coax one of his Angus bulls back into its pen on the family's 12-acre Fayetteville farm.

Hours before his father was injured, Ricky House says he had made an appointment to take the bull to a slaughterhouse because he was tired of coping with the animal's aggressive disposition.

Ricky House says his father's funeral is set for Thursday.

NC Man Butted by Bull Dies

Man Tries to Register Taxi he Stole

Man Tries to Register Taxi he Stole - Authorities in Northern California say a man released from a hospital after a psychiatric evaluation stole a taxi and tried to register it at a Department of Motor Vehicles office.

Authorities tell the Contra Costa Times that 26-year-old Jermaine Grosse was arrested Monday on suspicion of auto theft and forgery.

Grosse had been sent to the county's regional medical center on an involuntary psychiatric hold.

Man Tries to Register Taxi he Stole

After his release Sunday morning, he shared a taxi with a woman who was going to a San Pablo hospital.

Authorities say when they arrived, Grosse asked the driver to help with the woman's luggage, then drove away in the yellow minivan.

Grosse was arrested after a DMV worker in El Cerrito reported someone was using forged documents to register the cab.

Man Tries to Register Taxi he Stole

Pacemaker Sleep Apnea

Pacemaker Sleep Apnea - There may be a new way to treat sleep apnea, and although it might sound like science fiction it has a real possibility of working from those who suffer from this condition.

Scientists have designed a new device that will deliver small zaps to the tongue during sleep so that the throat muscles relax as a result and do not collapse which can lead to breathing problems which a number of people have.

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that many people have been researching for years, trying to find some sort of device or medication that could work.

Pacemaker Sleep Apnea

Those who have sleep apnea sometimes suddenly wake up after not being able to breathe for as long as 30 seconds.

If breathing is stopped for a long enough period of time, there can be serious damage done that cannot be reversed.

Medical Systems is responsible for this new breakthrough that could prove to be just what millions of people all over the world need.

Although so far it is in the developme…