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Tuesday News Blip: Crappy News, Genetic Mutations, and Greenhouse Auspiciousness


Legal Crap and Frightening News: There's a lot of lame crap going on in the legal world. The attorney general of California sued three small trucking companies for violating labors to avoid paying payroll taxes. Alaska Senator Ted Stevens was convicted on 7 counts of corruption and should serve 5 years for each count, but apparently may serve much less. On a much scarier note, the Alchohol, Tobacco, Firearms bureau successful stopped anotehr school killing spree before it started. Some idiot neo-nazis had some heinously inhuman plan to decapitate African Americans and assassinate Barrack Obama. Wow. It's times like these where corruption, illegal earning, and racist brutality seem to clog the news that you feel pretty pathetic calling yourself American. At the very least it certainly doesn't make you feel safe! In fact, the news in America has gotten so foul and disturbing (I can't believe there's still racist neo-nacist hate group buffoons still around), there's really no point in continuing to cover it. But just the fact that dangerous hate-group racism still exists in America really causes you to scrutinize that irrationality. The opinions on slavery from the Civil War really might have left a scar and some racist people remain dangerously confused and primitive, but this chunk of news just reeks of a lot of fear. Jeez, just the thought that if Obama gets elected he could be under the threat of a racist assassination is, well, a sad sign that maybe some haven't evolved as much as they should have. Fortunately, tomatoes have evolved!

Bottom-line: Sometimes current events are so atrocious, at times it's good just to not pay attention to the news.


Health: Interesting news, very intriguing. The genetically modified research has sprouted a new invention: purple tomatoes cross-bred with a snapdragon flower. The resultant creation is jacked with antioxidant and supposedly has huge cancer-prevention properties! The combination of snapdragon with the tomato produces anthocyanin which is an extremely antioxidant-rich pigment.

Bottom-line: New snapdragon genetically-infused tomato may help cure cancer.


Environment: Good news on the horizon of environmental conservation, specifically emissions control! While,
"there is currently no agreed method of allocating international emissions to individual countries"
, members of the British Parliament are
"determined that international aviation and shipping should be part of a comprehensive approach for tackling climate change"
. I guess you never factor in exhaust from airplanes polluting the atmosphere contributing to the green house effect, but it's good to know that emission control standards on that form of communication are being set in place.

Bottom-line: Airplanes' emissions control will help environment.


News Blip: Marathon, Apple Tech, and Felines


Athletics: Roger Bannister, born almost 80 years ago, in 1929, was the first human ever to run a mile in under four-minutes. He accomplished this amazing feat in 1954 during a track meet in Oxford, UK. The winds were high at first, died down, Bannister ran, and when the announcer announced his time of "3..." the crowd went mad. His official time was 3:59.4.
That's a great achievement but what was even more fascinating that the psychological barrier was shattered. Instantly after Bannister did a sub-4, other runners believed it was possible and consequentially more and more sub-4 miles were accomplished. John Walker went on to run 129 sub-4 miles, alone, and Daniel Komen of Kenya, in 1997, doubled up Bannister's original record to run a sub-8 minute 2-mile (two sub-4 miles back to back). So all this "breaking the barrier" business in athletics -- or any arena of accomplishment -- has a big emphasis.

Certainly, three sub-4 miles back to back resulting in a sub-12 minute 3-mile race is certainly a goal for some, but an even more prominent goal is the sub-2-hour marathon barrier. People have gotten close, but no one has ever run a marathon in an amount of time that begins with "1-hour"...x minutes, x seconds. Right now, the person to do that most likely is Gebrselassie, an amazing Ethiopian runner. You can read the full article, but basically prior to Haile Gebrselassie's race in Berlin about 2 weeks ago a 2-hour 4-minute marathon was a barrier. Gebrselassie went on to break that with a 4:44 mile pace to get 2:03:59. There are skeptics and optimists of the 2-hour marathon barrier, but if anything, Gebrselassie brought the world a whole lot closer to the accomplishment of shattering such an outstanding barrier.

Bottom-line: Gebrselassie pushes the sub-2-hour marathon record.


Bizarro News: I normally don't cover the disturbing or unsavory news, but this murder trial of a former "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" actor was just too, well, bizarre. He lured some yacht sellers out onto the boat and apparently tied them to an anchor, plunging them to a watery death. I'd like to know how they discovered his guilt, maybe they had Angela Lansbury on the case, and frankly this sounds like something out an episode of Murder She Wrote, as opposed to real-life!.
And for some comic relief from the above incident "SNL's People getting punched in the face just before eating!".


Technology: I know I covered Apple's "iBrick" rumors last week, but frankly, I just love this IT company. New news with Apple is that they've released an LCD screen designed for it's simplicity in connected with a macbook notebook and a new macbook notebook, sleeker and more polished in its appearance, making it someone visually similar to a miniature macbook pro. Personally, I liked the sturdiness of the older version macbook, which was built like a tank. But nothing can beat the humor of the iBook version 1 which has become notoriously known around the mac community as the "toilet seat notebook" because of its uncanny, um, hardware design.

Kudos for Apple's release of the new macbooks, but honestly I think the LCD was a bit overkill. Apple has released some incredible monitors and LCDs for high-end graphics, those are only mainly used for high-end graphic designers; the typical consumers will just vie for a cheaper LCD screen to connect their macbook to a desktop environment. But it's certainly excellent to know that the LCD option exists for die-hard apple fans (like myself).

Miscellaneous-Home: One of the things I like most about this guy is that he's not special, certified trainer. He's just a normal bloke who seemed to have taught himself how to train a cat! The scientific theory behind all of the conditioning is fascinating as well as nostalgic. I remember training a rat to tap a lever and visit different corners of a box for a psychology class. It's just amazing watching the cat -- over the course of a very short period, no doubt -- slowly get the gist of the "light switch gimmick". Over the course of the operant conditioning period, you can almost just envision that cat saying to itself:"Well, I don't really know what this is about, but if I bump that white do I bump it again?...oh alright, I flick this stupid thing and I get food, so works for me!"

Works for me, too. Clicker-training has a fascinating background and Skinner's operant conditioning functions as its fundamentals. It's fun for the pet; fun for you, and simply illuminating (pun unintended) to see the applications of science in your pet from turning on a light switch to other tricks!

Bottom-line: Operant conditioning applies to household pets.


Real estate: Apparently there's some discrepancies in data that show southern californian homes being some of the most expensive, and now, they apparently look as though the prices of plummeted, resulting in a greater number of house sells in recent months.
"Last month's median home price in the six-county region fell 33.2 percent to $308,500 in the six-county region, compared to $462,000 in September 2007, San Diego-based MDA DataQuick said"
. Interesting, well high or low-priced, still a great place.

Bottom-line: House prices decreases, causing house sales to increase.

Good Times:  At least the Aussies still know how to have fun  Graduating 12 years from Xavier College allegedly streaked through their school wearing the ties as g-strings, set off fire works, and caused a ruckus like no other on their "Muck up Day" as a graduation prank.  It's hysterical if you read the readers comments.  Some woman apparently got her her gnomes beheaded and bird bath tipped!  And another '68 alumni praised the pranksters! Ah, the life down under! hehe.


Tuesday News Blip: Apple Innovations, Stocks Skyrocket, and More D


Technology: Apple's innovation cease to amaze. The cutting edge rumor is that they intend to release a special laptop known as "the brick". Doing its name justice, "the brick" is supposedly carved out of a solid "brick" of titanium, making it seamless and screwless! The price for such water-blasting crafted item sounds like it would be extraordinary. While it may not be 100% indesctructible, the durability of Apple's new laptop technology will be a practically unprecedented release sturdy portability. Here are some cool factoids about it:

Macenstein had the best prediction of its bizarre codename:
"it is likely that it is simply a name for an upcoming product (or group of products) that Apple thinks will be sexy enough to pull a huge marketshare away from Microsoft. After all, how do you break “Windows”? You throw a brick through them!"

iPhone Savior predicts it will be some kind of new mac mini:
"a re-design of the Mac Mini super-sized to reveal a Mac Mini Pro of sorts."

Whatever this new innovation will be, it officeally releases (if on schedule) today. So it will be exciting to find out.

Bottom-line: Apple's iBrick's creating a sensational quality hype.


Economy: We've heard a lot of people griping (others outright wailing) about the economic slump, specifically of the stock market. Well, good news for all. Pessimists complained that the stock market was as bad as it was during the Great Depression. Maybe, but I'm an optimist and now I recognize is as flourishing as it was during the Decade of the Glorious (but of course after the Great Depression and without the distorted Keynesian economic blunders that caused the drop nearly 6 dozen years ago). And evidence of our recently flourishing economy lies in the crisp numbers of the stock market: stocks skyrocketed 11% yesterday, which is the biggest jump since 1933. So clearly, optimism will always prevail over of the pessimists.

The cause of this? Not so reassuring. Many believe this will hurt more then help the economy, but the Bush Administration shifted into a "$250 billion of the $700 billion bailout program recently passed by Congress to purchase stock in U.S. banks, providing the banks with desperately needed money" and the FDIC will temporarily provide insurance loans for the banks as well. Why would the Bush administration do such a maneuver when he's practically no longer in office? Possibly a somewhat desperate attempt to boost the economy, or malevolent ploy to screw with the economy before it shifts into more adept hands. hehe. Probably the former.

Apple stock shot up a whopping 13.26 points yesterday, too, so apparently "the iBrick" (see above) made an impression on shareholders.

Bottom-line: Stocks sky-rocket because banks rework a bailout plan.


Health: New breakthroughs in nutritional science have shown recent significance of Vitamin D in building bones and preventing cancer. Preventing cancer, after all, is simply about creating balance in the body. Scientists don't understand the direct cause of cancer so they create all these assumptions of measures to take to indirectly prevent it. Undoubtedly taking more of a balance of Vitamins will create body balance and it's that physiological equilibrium that ultimately prevents any kind of deterioration in the body (cancer included). So in another few months scientists will have a "big breakthrough" stating that we need to be taking more Vitamin A! And then more Zinc! etc. Framing these as real breakthroughs would be impractical; they do serve a good purpose though; old-fashioned reminders to take in healthy Vitamins. People are more apt to change their habits (in this case "vitamin consumption") if it's labeled as a "new breakthrough". In any case, you can get more D in smelly fish like mackarel, tuna, and sardines, supplements, or our sun.

Bottom-line: Double your intake of Vitamin D.

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