Friday, January 14, 2011

Cancer Cure Laptop

Cancer Cure Laptop - Today's "Dude, you got to back up your data!" public-service announcement comes courtesy of Sook Shin, a university researcher who says her stolen laptop contained years worth of data related to a possible cure for prostate cancer.

And nope, you guessed it. She didn't back up and says some of her research can never be retrieved, while other parts could take up to two years to replicate.

Shin and husband Ralf Jankecht, a professor of cell biology at Oklahoma University, are leading cancer researchers at the school. Sunday, they made a quick stop in Oklahoma City on their way back to the lab, according to the local News 9. That's when someone smashed the window of their car and made off with a 13-inch white MacBook in a dark orange computer bag.

"I'm devastated and I feel so guilty," a tearful Shin told News 9.

The pair is now offering a $1,000 reward for return of the computer, no questions asked. "Thief, it is OK. Everybody makes mistakes," reads a flyer that's been posted in area pawn shops.

"Please return the computer with the data saved," Jankecht said. "This would tremendously help us and you would do something for society."

Cancer Cure Laptop

Ayla Brown Country Music

Ayla Brown Country Music - Ayla Brown is going country.

The former "American Idol" contestant is moving to Nashville, Tenn., to test her talents as a country singer.

Her father, Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, told The Associated Press this week that music producers in Nashville "want to work with her."

Ayla Brown's website says she's spending the coming week writing and recording at Starstruck Studios. It says she's moving there in early February.

The senator says he supports all his daughters' activities "as long as they're safe and healthy and using their heads."

Ayla Brown Country Music

Indian Festival Stampede

Indian Festival Stampede - At least seven people have been killed in a stampede at a river jetty in eastern India, police say.

Thursday's crush, which also left 20 people injured, came at the start of a three-month long Hindu festival.

It happened as thousands of Hindu pilgrims rushed for places on a ferry in West Bengal state to take them to a pilgrimage site on Gangasagar island where the waters of the River Ganges flow into the Bay of Bengal.

"The rush became a stampede and seven people were killed," Surojit Kar Purokayastha, inspector general of the West Bengal police, told the AFP news agency.

Indian Festival Stampede

Purokayastha also said the accident was partly caused by a transport bottleneck.

The ferry service to the island had been temporarily suspended during low tide, resulting in a large crowd building up on the mainland side.

When the service resumed, the first vessel to dock was swamped by pilgrims.

Ritual bathing festivals were held along the length of the Ganges on Thursday as part of harvest festival celebrations across the country.

Indian Festival Stampede

Bank of America Outage

Bank of America Outage - If you want to do online banking today and your bank is Bank of America, you may be out of luck. Its website has been down through much of today, Jan. 14, 2011.

Users first reported problems this morning and they've continued through the day. Currently, the website goes back and forth, sometimes loading slowly but mostly failing. You can check its status here.

What's gone wrong with the Bank of America website? It's not quite clear yet.

An official Bank of America Twitter account has been reaching out to customers. "I'm very sorry about this. Pls be assured we are working to restore capability as quickly as possible," it told one and to another, "We are aware of the issue and are working to resolve it as fast as possible. Please accept our apologies."

Bank of America Outage

Taylor Momsen Clarifies Comments on Parents Ruining Childhood

Taylor Momsen Clarifies Comments on Parents Ruining Childhood - Taylor Momsen has blamed the media (we're always the scapegoat) for her comments about her parents ruining her life by putting her into Ford models, and essentially allowing her to live her dream of being a moody, badly dressed singer.

Those sadists.

To "set the record straight", Taylor told Kerrang, "Maybe I didn't have the childhood people think you should have, but I still went through the ages. I was still a child."

Er... okay, we kind of got you weren't talking figuratively...

She added, "I think my parents have learned by this point that none of what they read is probably true, and words can be put in your mouth."

Taylor Momsen Clarifies Comments on Parents Ruining Childhood

Sofia Vergara Nothing Fits

Sofia Vergara Nothing Fits - "Modern Family" star Sofia Vergara has got big time problems and she has her healthy curves to blame.

"Nothing fits meeee!!!! I'm not going to the Golden Globes!!!!!!!!," she tweeted.

Ok, maybe not big time problems. But we've long been a fan of Vergara's positive attitude about her body.

"People expect... a woman to be a little more voluptuous. So they don't expect you to be really thin," she told Shape last June. "So it's easier for me. I don't really have to keep myself. Because I have to fill all those outfits, you know. They want to see Gloria like a voluptuous woman."

That doesn't mean Vergara doesn't work out and eat well. The 38-year-old actress told Shape that she keeps a solid diet and exercise regimen that includes the Tracy Anderson dance method.

Vergara has also said she doesn't sweat the small stuff. She battled thyroid cancer in 2000.

Sofia Vergara Nothing Fits

Canadian Station Defies 'Money For Nothing' Ban

Canadian Station Defies 'Money For Nothing' Ban - Starting at 8pm Friday night, the Edmonton, Canada classic rock radio station K97 will play the recently banned Dire Straits hit, “Money for Nothing,” nonstop and unedited for an hour in protest of a Canadian regulator’s decision to ban the original version of the song, first released in 1985, because it contains the word "fa---t.."

“We’re not afraid of repercussions. We have never had a complaint in the 25 years we have played the song,” K97 Music Director Todd James told FOX411. “We will play it in its entirety and unedited as we have always done and if someone wants to file a complaint we will take it from there."

Canadian Station Defies 'Money For Nothing' Ban

Most Canadian radio stations that play rock music have been bombarded with phone calls from listeners unhappy about the ban of the quarter-century old Dire Straits hit— still, despite the many complaints, the majority of stations don’t plan to break the rules and broadcast the forbidden tune like the Edmonton station.

“The audience reaction is ‘Are you kidding me?’ There is a lot of disbelief. This song was a major hit and we have played it a billion times on the radio and we never even thought it was an issue until the ruling came out,” David Farough, Vice President of Brands and Programming for Corus Entertainment, which owns and operates 52 radio stations from Toronto to Vancouver told FOX411.

Canadian Station Defies 'Money For Nothing' Ban

Average 2010 Tax Refund $3,003

Average 2010 Tax Refund $3,003 - Taxpayers received an average refund of about $3,000 last year -- a 5% boost from the previous year.

The Internal Revenue Service doled out refunds totaling $328 billion -- a nearly 3% rise from 2009 -- to taxpayers who filed their 2009 tax returns last year, the agency reported.

That comes out to $3,003 apiece, up 5% from the average refund of $2,859 taxpayers received in 2009, according the latest filing statistics from the IRS.

The jump was one of the biggest in years, thanks in part to several tax credits introduced as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The Homebuyer Tax Credit -- which gave buyers up to $8,000 for purchasing a home -- was expanded to include more taxpayers.

Meanwhile, the refundable American Opportunity Credit helped more students and parents pay for college tuition and course materials. It temporarily replaced the $700 non-refundable Hope Credit and gave students with income of $80,000 or less a credit of up to $2,500 a year.

Average 2010 Tax Refund $3,003

Is Netflix Killing Redbox?

Is Netflix Killing Redbox? - Coinstar (CSTR), the parent company of the $1 DVD rental kiosk service, plunged 25% Friday morning after reporting that its fourth quarter sales and profits were far below forecasts.

But shares of its top rival, Netflix (NFLX), dipped a bit as well.

That's telling. It's probably a mistake to view Coinstar's results as a sign that Netflix is hammering nails in Redbox's coffin.

It doesn't appear that consumers were suddenly less interested in watching DVDs during the holidays. In fact, Coinstar CEO Paul Davis said in a statement Thursday that visits to Redbox kiosks in the fourth quarter "remained strong." It's just that consumers rented fewer movies -- meaning they stopped by but didn't spot as many titles they wanted to take home.

Revenue from Redbox rose 38% in the fourth quarter, and same-store sales (an important metric for retailers) were up 12.5%, Coinstar said. That's impressive growth. It just fell short of analysts' even higher expectations.

Is Netflix Killing Redbox?

Mouth Breathing Harmful to Health

Mouth Breathing Harmful to Health - Who knows when "mouth-breather" became an insult synonymous with "dork" or "dweeb," like a character from "Napoleon Dynamite." But listen to the heavy breathers that are likely surrounding you: It's January, when more of us are prone to the sniffles, which means more of us have stuffy noses, which means -- we've entered the month of the mouth-breather.

But the term isn't just a barb that tracksuited TV villain Sue Sylvester loves to hurl like a slushie at the "Glee" kids; experts say that breathing while slack-jawed can actually lead to some surprisingly unpleasant health problems. If you're fighting a cold right now, you know your inability to suck any air through your congested nostrils can cause dry mouth, dragon breath and lack of sleep, for starters. You'll be fine when you kick the crud; the big problems start when you've become a chronic mouth-breather -- children and adults with allergies, for example.

As Dr. Yosh Jefferson, a New Jersey functional orthodontist, explains, "Mouth-breathing also irritates the tonsils and adenoids, so you have a double whammy where the sinuses are congested, which causes further blockage of the upper airway." Now you really can't breathe out of that nose. What's more, when you take in oxygen through your nose, it passes over the mucous membrane and into the sinuses, which produces nitric oxide, which your body needs for all the smooth muscles, like your heart and your blood vessels. So when you're not breathing through your nose, your blood actually isn't getting all the oxygen it needs to function properly.

Mouth Breathing Harmful to Health

White House Staff Changes and House Changes

White House Staff Changes and House Changes - There are 26 new lawmakers learning their way around the Capitol Campus this week. It's doubtful any of them think voters sent them to uphold the status quo.

“It’s a large voting bloc, and I think there’s an understanding that what (state government) did for the last decade isn’t going to work,” Yelm Republican Rep. J.T. Wilcox said. “I think almost everyone that got elected … thinks that they heard the people want a change.”

For Wilcox, who brings a business background to government after helping manage his family’s Wilcox Farms, change means government living within its means, without asking taxpayers for more revenue.

For another new lawmaker, Rep. Chris Reykdal, change means thinking ahead about what proposals today will mean years from now.

“I think you will hear a lot of us freshmen as we get a little tenure, ask questions: ‘What are the long-term effects of this?’” the Tumwater Democrat said.

White House Staff Changes and House Changes

Cameron Diaz Charlie's Angels

Cameron Diaz Charlie's Angels - Actress Cameron Diaz wants to star in yet another "Charlie's Angels" film.

Diaz teamed up with Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu to bring the hit TV show to the big screen in the 2000 movie of the same name, which was followed by a sequel "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" in 2003.

Dailystar reports now Diaz wants to be given a chance to turn the series into a trilogy.

"I would love to! Of course I would. Why wouldn't I? It'd be fun!" she said.But she fears movie bosses might want to replace them with a new set of "Angels".

"I don't know if we'll do it. I mean, we played the movie as the new crop of Charlie's Angels and we never were trying to be (or) pretend we were the other girls (from the TV show). So it might just be time for a new crop of girls to come on," she said.

Cameron Diaz Charlie's Angels

Rep Gabrielle Giffords Communicating with Family

Rep Gabrielle Giffords Communicating with Family - Gabrielle Giffords has not only opened her eyes, but is also communicating with her family, her doctors say.

''Her family has asked her very specific things and she has used her hand to communicate with them,'' said Michael Lemole, a neurosurgeon at Tucson's University Medical Centre and one of the surgeons who operated on Ms Giffords. That implied she had a good amount of cognitive functioning, Dr Lemole said.

He was at Ms Giffords's bedside when she first opened her eyes on Wednesday evening in the presence of family members and some of her colleagues from Congress, he said.
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Rep Gabrielle Giffords Communicating with Family

''It was probably a combination of the unexpected but familiar that prompted her to open her eyes and caused her to look around. That implies that the part of the brain that lets us awake from sleeping, the arousal centre'', is functioning, he said. ''That's a very important step on her move forward.''

She opened her eyes again later in the evening in response to a TV playing a speech by the President, Barack Obama.

''That consistency is important,'' Dr Lemole said. ''We want to see things repeated over and over again.''

Rep Gabrielle Giffords Communicating with Family

Glee Thriller Post-Super Bowl Episode

Glee Thriller Post-Super Bowl Episode - 'Glee' has taken a halftime break and is poised to return in a special post-Super Bowl spectacular, and now we're learning a few more details about the "thrilling" episode.

The return episode of 'Glee' will be an ode to football and Michael Jackson's 'Thriller,' with a mash-up of the hit song being performed at the halftime of a local football championship game. Still simply being titled the 'Super Bowl episode,' the 'Glee' cast members opened up to MTV about the episode.

Glee Thriller Post-Super Bowl Episode

"It was a huge production. We we're shooting that until 6:30 in the morning," Cory Monteith (Finn) told MTV. "We shot all night, and it was probably one of the most physical numbers that we've ever done. I was lifting Naya Rivera at one point in the dance. It was really active. We had the whole USC band wrapped in to this number as you can see in the photos. It was awesome."

Dianna Agron (Quinn) added, "The whole night, everybody kept saying, 'Why are you laughing so much? Why are you smiling so much?' ... I was just in my element. I was in huge makeup, huge hair, huge costume, the stuff that I loved the most, which is why I loved 'Rocky [Horror Picture Show]' so much."

Of course, the opportunity to do a Michael Jackson number is very exciting for the cast and crew of 'Glee.' "I've been pushing very obnoxiously for a very, very long time," Kevin McHale (Artie) said of the 'Thriller' piece, "so I'm beyond thrilled that we do Michael Jackson."

Glee Thriller Post-Super Bowl Episode

Solar Powered Car Sets World Record

Solar Powered Car Sets World Record - A solar-powered car which produces the same amount of energy as a household toaster has smashed the world speed record for a solar vehicle.

The Sunswift IVy car clocked an average speed of 88.8 kph (55.2 mph) at a navy base in New South Wales, Australia.

The car, which has an array of 400 silicon cells, was designed and built by a team of students from the Faculty of Engineering at Sydney's University of New South Wales.

In completing the challenge, the team estimate that the car used around 1050 watts -- the same amount of energy you'd need to lightly toast a slice or two of bread.

Solar Powered Car Sets World Record

The new speed beats the previous record (78.3 kph) for cars powered by silicon solar cells set by the General Motors Sunraycer in 1988.

Look out for Earth's Frontiers solar show in January 2011

For the world record attempt, the students enlisted the help of professional racing drivers Barton Mawer of Mawer Engineering and Craig Davis of Tesla Europe.

For a valid record to be set the car was required to complete two 500-meter runs within one hour of each other.

Solar Powered Car Sets World Record

Is your Toilet Wasting Water?

Is your Toilet Wasting Water? - Running toilets are not only noisy and annoying, they are wasteful, too. Fixing a running toilet is usually a simple, inexpensive fix any homeowner can do.

A running toilet is usually the result of one of two things: a poorly functioning ball-cock valve or flush-valve assembly. To find the source of your running toilet problem, take a look inside. Remove the top cover from the toilet, then flush and see what happens.

If the water runs but does not fill up the tank, the flush-valve (stopper ball) at the bottom of the tank is the problem.

Is your Toilet Wasting Water?

To replace the stopper ball, turn off the water to the toilet tank. The shut-off is usually located behind and below the toilet tank. Flush the toilet.

Unhook the guide wires or chains that attach the stopper ball to the handle assembly. Remove the old, faulty stopper ball.

Set the new stopper into place on the valve seat. Slide the collar back down the overflow tube and center over the ball. Secure the collar to the ball.

Attach the ball chain to the handle arm, leaving half an inch of slack on the chain. Test the assembly and replace the toilet cover.

A running toilet can also be the result of a toilet tank that is overfilling, pouring water down the overflow tube. In a properly functioning toilet, the tank will stop filling about three-quarters of an inch below the top of the overflow tube. When you watch the internal mechanism of your toilet work, if water fills to the top and over the over-flow tube, the ball-cock assembly (float and arm) are the likely culprit. To test this, lift up on the float arm. If the overflow stops, the float assembly needs to be adjusted or replaced.

Is your Toilet Wasting Water?

Martha Stewart Hospitalized

Martha Stewart Hospitalized - Martha Stewart isn't likely to whisper sweet nothings into her dozing dog's ear anytime again soon.

The 69-year-old lifestyle guru wrote on her blog Thursday that she needed stitches after startling her dog Francesca while leaning down to "whisper goodbye." The dog jumped up and rammed into Stewart.

She writes that she "felt a bit of whiplash as blood gushed" from her split lip Tuesday night.

She initially called police to ask for a ride to the hospital but realized her driver was waiting to drive her from her home in the suburbs to New York City for a "Today" show appearance.

Stewart landed in the Northern Westchester Hospital emergency room and received stitches in her upper lip.

Martha Stewart Hospitalized

Kelsey Grammer Cross Dress

Kelsey Grammer Cross Dress - Frasier Crane always billed himself as a ladies man; not a man who wanted to be a lady.

But on Wednesday's edition of Howard Stern's satellite radio show, Kelsey Grammer's soon-to-be ex-wife, Camille Grammer, implied that the latter is the case for the "Frasier" star.

"He likes being with women, but there's something between us that didn't click," Camille Grammer told Stern.

Kelsey Grammer Cross Dress

"What's the reason, he likes to dress as a woman?" co-host Robin Quivers asked.

Grammer burst into giggles. Stern joked about the actor trying on her panties and scored a response: "He has a little waist. I don't know what to say."

Pressed by Stern and Quivers, Grammer alluded to the "Fraiser" star's purported cross-dressing, saying, "That was a gift to me. That was a super, special surprise."

Kelsey Grammer Cross Dress

Foreclosure Horror Stories

Foreclosure Horror Stories - Bank of America threatened a Connecticut couple with foreclosure proceedings on their home — scheduled to begin on Christmas Eve — if they didn't agree to a forced sale. The kicker is this: The husband and wife had never missed a payment on their mortgage.

"The largest bank in the United States earlier this month notified Shock Baitch and his wife Lisa (Friedman) Baitch that foreclosure action will start today — Christmas eve — unless the couple agrees to put their home up for a forced sale."

"Why? Because another unit of Bank of America erroneously reported to credit agencies that the family was seeking a loan modification, ruining their credit rating and as the result (sic) putting their mortgage into default."

Foreclosure Horror Stories

Postal Rates First Class 2011

Postal Rates First Class 2011 - Postal rates will go up in April, but the cost of sending the basic letter will remain the same.

The Postal Service said Thursday that most rates will increase April 17 under a formula that allows the agency to raise prices within the rate of inflation.

The post office said the 44-cent price of a first-class stamp won't change, but heavier letters will cost more. The basic rate is for the first ounce, and the price for each extra ounce will rise from 17 cents to 20 cents.

"While changing prices is always a difficult decision, we have made every effort to keep the impact minimal for consumers and customers doing business with us at retail lobbies," Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe said in a statement.

Postal Rates First Class 2011

The post office can raise rates as long as it doesn't exceed inflation, which would permit an increase of 1.7 percent averaged over all mail.

The Postal Service lost $8.5 billion last year despite cuts of more than 100,000 jobs and other reductions in recent years.

The agency has lost considerable business to the Internet. Last summer the post office sought an increase that would have exceeded inflation, citing the unusual business conditions of the recession. That was rejected by the independent Postal Regulatory Commission.

The post office has appealed. In the meantime it is moving to increase rates within the legal limit because of the urgency of its financial condition.

Postal Rates First Class 2011

USDA School Lunches

USDA School Lunches - As reported earlier today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a new proposed rule designed to strengthen school breakfast and lunch nutrition standards, as part of the Obama administration's attempt to crack down on an epidemic of childhood obesity. The new regulations set calorie limitations, cut saturated fat and sodium and increase the availability of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk.

USDA School Lunches

Chewing Gum for Heartburn

Chewing Gum for Heartburn - Sick of paying for heartburn meds at the drugstore? The New York Times says you might be able to find a cheaper remedy for the 'burn by picking up some chewing gum at the checkout counter.

Chewing on a piece or two of gum, it seems, helps force fluids back into the stomach and flood the esophagus with alkaline saliva, neutralizing acids that cause the characteristic burning sensations.

The pieces cites a pair of studies: One in which participants fasted before eating a meal intended to cause acid reflux. Some were then chosen to chew sugar-free gum for 30 minutes. The study found that acid levels were significantly lower in the two hours following the meal when the participants chewed gum.

Chewing Gum for Heartburn