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Showing posts from January 31, 2011

First Map of the United States $1.8 Million

First Map of the United States $1.8 Million - The first map printed in North America, depicting the boundaries of the new American nation and showing the "Stars and Stripes" for the first time, will be displayed at the Library of Congress in the early spring thanks to the generosity of David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group.

The map was printed in early 1784 and is considered the best preserved of those few copies in existence. It's the single most important American cartographic document missing from the collection of the Library of Congress, according to John Hébert, chief of the Library’s Geography and Map Division.

The map by Abel Buell is entitled, "A New and Correct Map of the United States of North America Layd Down from the Latest Observations and Best Authorities Agreeable to the Peace of 1783." It is the first map to be copyrighted in the United States and was published only six months after the Treaty of Paris sign…

Peter Jackson "Doing Well"

Peter Jackson "Doing Well" - "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson is said to be in stable condition in intensive care after undergoing surgery for a perforated ulcer.

His publicist, Melissa Booth, said Jackson was "doing well" but would remain at Wellington Hospital for at least a few more days. Booth said doctors expect the director to make a full recovery.

Jackson was admitted to Wellington Hospital last week for severe stomach pains.

His health has delayed the start of filming of "The Hobbit," the two-part prequel to the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

Production of "The Hobbit" had previously been troubled by financial issues and the departure of its initial director Guillermo del Toro.

Peter Jackson "Doing Well"

Derek Hough Leaving Dancing with the Stars

Derek Hough Leaving Dancing with the Stars - Derek Hough won't be on the upcoming spring season of the show.

The good news, for him: He's got a movie role. reports that three-time DWTS champ (Nicole Scherzinger, Brooke Burke and Jennifer Grey) will star in Cobu 3D.

The film will team him with BoA, a top recording artist and performer in Asia. Duane Adler, who wrote Save the Last Dance and Step Up, will direct his screenplay. Principal photography will start in Toronto and New York this spring, while Hough is on hiatus from the show.

Hough says he has already started training by working out in the gym and brushing up on his tap dancing skills. He tells he's put on "about 10 lbs. of muscle" for the film, "which is a lot for me."

Derek Hough Leaving Dancing with the Stars

Obama Kill Switch

Obama Kill Switch - There is a bill before Congress that is loosely referred to as the Internet Kill Switch that was introduced by Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins. This gives the President the power to literally kill the Internet. Other similar bills by Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe are also being pushed.

These are designed to give authority to the Executive Branch to shut down the Internet in the USA completely during any sort of National emergency or cyber attack.

Let's look at this idea more closely. You'll have to ask Collins, Lieberman, and the other supporters of these bills (there are lots) why exactly they want this. They aren't Internet experts trying to protect the Net from damage. They, to be frank, are clueless about the Internet.

The most specious reason for this mechanism is that if some evil worm or attack on the National infrastructure—a.k.a. "Cyberwar"—would be underway, the Internet would need to be shut down to prevent further damage to the…

Sushi on Models South Africa

Sushi on Models South Africa - South Africa's governing party has pronounced: eating sushi off the body of a model in a bikini is politically incorrect.

A Monday statement from African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe is unequivocal: "This act is anti-ANC and anti-revolutionary. This act is defamatory, insensitive and undermining of woman's integrity."

The fish-on-flesh question has raged in South African media in recent months following reports of the practice at parties of wealthy businessmen and socialites. Earlier Monday, Johannesburg newspapers reported the head of the ANC's powerful youth league had attended such a party over the weekend.

Sushi on Models South Africa

Student gets $637 Fine for Swearing

Student gets $637 Fine for Swearing - A suburban Dallas teenager had to take on a waitressing job to pay $637 after being ticketed for using bad language in a high school classroom.

Court records show that teacher Michelle Lene heard Victoria Mullins say "you trying to start (expletive)" loudly in class one day last October. She was sent to the principal's office and given lunch detention. The next day, the school resource officer presented the North Mesquite High School student a ticket.

The Dallas Morning News reported that the fine for disorderly conduct/abusive language was $340, but other charges included failure to show for a hearing.

The complaint said Lene was offended, and that Mullins' language was a breach of the peace.
Mullins acknowledges she was wrong, but said a classmate was getting on her nerves.

Student gets $637 Fine for Swearing

Model Genevieve Morton Super Bowl Party

Model Genevieve Morton Super Bowl Party - The party people are taking over Dallas this week.

On Friday, the Black Eyed Peas, which is providing half-time entertainment at Super Bowl XLV on Sunday, will join with Sports Illustrated to host - get this - the "Sports Illustrated Presents: The Official Black Eyed Peas Friday NightB4 XLV Party."

That's not a misprint; that's the name of the event, which organizers say means music and models.

According to the Peas' website, there will be DJ sets from and David Guetta along with a host of special guests including Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models Genevieve Morton, Christine Teigen, Julie Henderson and Anne V.

It's unusual to have such a high-spirited act play the Super Bowl. Since Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" in 2004, halftime entertainment has been provided by a string of older - but still popular - performers like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and a t…

Chicago Midwest Brace for Winter Storm

Chicago Midwest Brace for Winter Storm - The Midwest braced for a massive and potentially dangerous winter storm on Monday with up to two feet of snow and strong winds that could make travel virtually impossible.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning and hazardous weather outlook for the Chicago area, with wind gusts as high as 50 miles per hour and wind chills as low as three below zero Tuesday night.

The storm could be the biggest since a 1967 blizzard paralyzed the city, Chicago officials said.

The system is also expected to bring ice storms Monday night through early Wednesday for an area that includes the Ozarks in Missouri and Arkansas, as well as St. Louis, Indianapolis, Columbus, Pittsburgh, and New York, according to Oklahoma and Missouri both declared a state of emergency.

United and Continental Airlines are allowing travelers affected by the weather in the Midwest and Northeast to change flights without fees from January 31 through February 3.

Niecy Nash Married on TV

Niecy Nash Married on TV - Today, the actress announced that she would be tying the not on television.

Nash, 40, is set to marry fiancé Jay Tucker on TLC. She announced that she would be airing a two-hour special documenting her spring wedding to Tucker. She would document not only the special day but also the days leading up to it including her wedding dress shopping, venue shopping and more.

The “Dancing With The Stars” star has enlisted the help of her A-list friends, Sherri Shepherd of The View, and actress’ Raquel Robinson and Sheryl Ralph.

Nash told People Magazine, “I am telling you, I was so excited to find the man, I didn’t even think about planning.”

Nash accepted the electrical engineers proposal, but this wont be the first time the comedian will be walking down the isle. She was married for 16 years but divorced in 2007.

Niecy Nash Married on TV

Riots Rage in Egypt Against President Hosni Mubarak

Riots Rage in Egypt Against President Hosni Mubarak - More countries are sending planes to evacuate their citizens from the unrest in Egypt, as leaders from around the world call on President Hosni Mubarak to seek a peaceful resolution to the week-long anti-government protests.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Janice Jacobs told reporters that the first U.S.-government sponsored flight will be leaving Cairo Monday.

China's state television reported that a plane is on its way to start transporting the more than 500 Chinese nationals at the Cairo airport. Azerbaijan, India, Iraq, Japan and Turkey are among the nations that sent planes Sunday.

In a statement late Sunday, China's Foreign Ministry said Beijing hopes normalcy and stability will return to Egypt soon.

U.S. President Barack Obama called for an "orderly transition" to a more responsive government in Egypt, while European leaders appealed for free and fair elections in the world's mos…

New York Senator Bath Salts Ban

New York Senator Bath Salts Ban - Two drugs that produce a "meth-like" high and are being sold under the guise of "bath salts" would be banned as federally controlled substances under a bill unveiled on Sunday by Senator Charles Schumer.

"These so-called bath salts contain ingredients that are nothing more than legally sanctioned narcotics, and they are being sold cheaply to all comers, with no questions asked, at store counters around the country," said Schumer, a New York Democrat.

Schumer said he will introduce a bill to outlaw the two synthetic drugs -- mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, or MDPV. The drugs come in powder and tablet form and are ingested by snorting, injection, smoking and, less often, by use of an atomizer.

Users experience an intense high, euphoria, extreme energy, hallucinations, insomnia and are easily provoked to anger, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, which is currently investigating the drugs.

New York S…

Dead Cows Mystery Solved

Dead Cows Mystery Solved - Authorities investigating the deaths of 200 cows in Wisconsin have come up with an unlikely culprit: the sweet potato.

The cows were found dead in a Stockton pasture two weeks ago. Locals were left scratching their heads about what caused the mass die-off.

Investigators from the University of Wisconsin have determined that the animals were killed by a poison found in spoiled sweet potatoes that were part of the cattle's feed.

"It is likely that a mycotoxin from moldy sweet potato was a major factor in the disease and deaths of these steers," said Peter Vanderloo, associate director of the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

There's been a spate of mass animal deaths in recent weeks, from fish in Maryland and Arkansas to birds in Louisiana and South Dakota.

Dead Cows Mystery Solved

Wikileaks on 60 Minutes

Wikileaks on 60 Minutes - In an exclusive interview with "60 Minutes" tonight, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange discussed, among other things, his relationship with sources (a crucial legal issue, as the U.S. considers taking court action against Assange), WikiLeaks' vulnerability to government shut down (presumably of concern to Assange, especially since some WikiLeaks supporters have found themselves grappling with various law enforcement agencies), and rumors about an upcoming release of documents embarrassing to Bank of America.

"60 Minutes" offers a transcript of the interview, along with video extras, here, and a behind-the-scenes video here. Readers can check out CNET's roundup of the latest WikiLeaks news here. (CNET News is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS. CBS broadcasts "60 Minutes.")

Read more:

Wikileaks on 60 Minutes

World's Richest People

World's Richest People - Every year the rich get richer with some new billionaires also making the cut. Here is a list of the 10 world's richest people and their net worth in 2010.

1 Carlos Slim Helu & family, Mexico, US$ 53.5 billion

2 William Gates III, United States, 53.0 billion

3 Warren Buffett, United States, 47.0 billion

4 Mukesh Ambani, India, 29.0 billion

5 Lakshmi Mittal, India, 28.7 billion

6 Lawrence Ellison, United States, 28.0 billion

7 Bernard Arnault, France, 27.5 billion

8 Eike Batista Brazil, 27.0 billion

9 Amancio Ortega, Spain, 25.0 billion

10 Karl Albrecht, Germany, 23.5 billion

World's Richest People