Middle class falls short on retirement funds– Wed Dec 8, 7:50 am ETNEW YORK (Reuters) – The average American has saved less than 7 percent of his desired retirement nest egg and will likely have to keep working in retirement to supplement his income.Middle-class Americans think they need $300,000 to fund their retirement, but on average have only saved $20,000, according to a survey released on Wednesday by Wells Fargo & Co."Middle class" is defined as those aged 30 to 69 with $40,000 to $100,000 in household income or $25,000 to $100,000 in investable assets and those aged 25 to 29 with income or investable assets of $25,000 to $100,000."Too many Americans have their heads in the sand in the face of obvious savings deficits," said Laurie Nordquist, director of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement Trust. "Barring a miracle, a winning lottery ticket or a big inheritance, they're going to be forced to dramatically cut back their lifestyles after retirement.“Even those fast approaching retirement age are not well-funded. Respondents aged 50 to 59 have saved an average of only $29,000 for retirement.Consequently, more than a third of respondents believe they will have to work during retirement in order to afford the things they want or just to make ends meet.Many are also still relying on Social Security to fill the gap, though confidence in this funding varies considerably by age.Seventy-seven percent of respondents aged 50 to 59 believe that Social Security will contribute to their retirement income, while only 22 percent of 30-somethings thought there would be enough left in the pot to fund their retirement.The vast majority of respondents admitted they need help figuring out how much money they need to live on in retirement and picking investments for their 401(k)s. But in a negative twist for financial advisers, more than two-thirds said they were not willing to pay for this advice.This puts more responsibility on employers to offer advice and planning tools through their workplace 401(k) plans, said Nordquist."If people aren't willing to pay for advice they are going to get a more vanilla approach to planning," she said. "But a simple plan is better than no plan."
Ted Turner: Adopt China's one-child policy to save planetThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution December 7, 2010Atlanta's most unguarded tongue is at it again, telling global leaders meeting in Mexico that the rest of the world should adopt China's one-child policy, according to a Toronto newspaper"If we’re going to be here [as a species] 5,000 years from now, we’re not going to do it with seven billion people," CNN founder Ted Turner said Sunday at a conference discussing the impact of demographic trends on the future of greenhouse gas emission.If such a plan was adopted, the father of five said, poor people could profit from their decision not to reproduce by selling fertility rights.China claims its policy has resulted in 400 million fewer births since 1979, limiting emissions growth even as the country becomes more industrialized. But critics argue the mandate has contributed to more abortions and high levels of female infanticide.Former Irish president Mary Robinson said such a radical proposal is a non-starter."If we do it the wrong way, we can divide the world," said Robinson, who, in a dig at Turner, added "[many] people in the climate world could communicate this very badly.Of course the former Braves owner is no stranger to controversy. A look at some of his more colorful statements over the years:In 2008, Turner, appearing on Charlie Rose's PBS show, warned that if global warming is not properly dealt with, most of mankind will be destroyed "and the rest of us will be cannibals." At that time he advocated a two-child limit per American family.He defended Iran's nuclear ambitions, telling Reuters in 2006, "They're a sovereign state. We have 28,000. Why can't they have 10? We don't say anything about Israel — they've got 100 of them approximately — or India or Pakistan or Russia.“Turner was also sympathetic to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, telling CNN's Wolf Blitzer in 2005 the U.S. should "give ‘em a break," adding that the isolated regime posed a "non-existent" threat to America. When Blitzer suggested North Korea's missiles could reach Alaska, Turner demurred: "Well, what, the Aleutian Islands? There's nothing up there but a few sea lions."
China Beats Out Finland for Top Marks in EducationTuesday, Dec. 07, 2010 The rise of China as an economic and political juggernaut has become afamiliar refrain, but now there's another area in which the Chinese are suddenly emerging as a world power: education. In the latest Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) comparative survey of the academic performance of 15-year-olds around the world — an authoritative study released every three years — Chinese teenagers from Shanghai far outscored their international peers in all three subject matters that were tested last year: reading, math and science. (See pictures of Shanghai's World Expo 2010.)In reading, the main focus of the PISA survey, more than 19% of the Shanghai students attained the top two grades, almost double the proportion in the U.S. and nearly three times the average of major developed countries. At the bottom end, just over 4% of the Shanghai students failed to make the grade that is considered the baseline for reading literacy. Elsewhere, on average, four times as many students struggled below that level. This is the first time that China has participated in the PISA tests, and the results are especially stunning because they are so unexpected; only a generation ago, the Chinese school system was ravaged by the Cultural Revolution. But as the tests showed, education in China has been spectacularly rebuilt as a modern, high-performance and egalitarian system, at least in some cities. (See pictures of a Mandarin school in Minneapolis.)Even Finland and Korea, two countries that in recent years have been at the pinnacle of international education, were left in the dust with average scores that were considerably behind those of the Shanghai teenagers. And the stunning performance was confirmed by the results of Chinese students in Hong Kong, who came second in math and science and ranked fourth in reading.
Apple's Steve Wozniak: 'We've lost a lot of control' CNNDecember 8, 2010 Mountain View, California (CNN) -- The world has mostly caught on to Steve Wozniak's vision of having a computer in every home. But this digital lifestyle can sometimes turn rotten, he said last week. Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs and designed, programmed and built some of the world's first personal computers, laments the byproducts of a culture that's always connected to electronics. Leading a tour through an exhibit of computer artifacts -- including giant supercomputers and Atari game systems -- that opens next month at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Wozniak paused to criticize the stranglehold technology has on our lives. "We're dependent on it," he said at the museum, which holds one of the world's largest collections of vintage computers and sits about six blocks from Google's headquarters. "And eventually, we are going to have it doing every task we can in the world, so we can sit back and relax." "All of a sudden, we've lost a lot of control," he said. "We can't turn off our internet; we can't turn off our smartphones; we can't turn off our computers.""You used to ask a smart person a question. Now, who do you ask? It starts with g-o, and it's not God," he quipped. Earlier that day, Wozniak said the biggest obstacle with the growing prevalence of technology is that our personal devices are unreliable."Little things that work one day; they don't work the next day," he said enthusiastically, waving his hands. "I think it's much harder today than ever before to basically know that something you have ... is going to work tomorrow." "Everything has a computer in it nowadays; everything with a computer is going to fail. The solution is: kill the people who invented these things," he said with a smile. Joking aside, by that logic, Wozniak should be target No. 1 on that hit list. He developed the Apple I, a hobbyist computer, and its more mainstream successors. His work jump-started the personal computer revolution.
Older men want more sex, study finds WASHINGTON | Mon Dec 6, 2010 5:29pm EST WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The very oldest men are still interested in sex but illness and a lack of opportunity may be holding them back, Australian researchers reported on Monday.The "male" hormone testosterone was clearly linked with how often a man over 75 had sex and doctors need to do more studies to see if hormone replacement therapy might benefit older men, the researchers said.Zoe Hyde of the University of Western Australia and colleagues surveyed more than 2,700 men aged 75 to 95 for their study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. They asked a range of questions about health, relationships and sexual activity."The older men were, the less likely they were to be sexually active, but sex remained at least somewhat important to one fifth of men aged 90 to 95 years, refuting the stereotype of the asexual older person," they wrote."Of those who were sexually active, more than 40 percent were dissatisfied with the frequency of sexual activity, preferring sex more frequently.“More than 30 percent of the men reported some sort of sexual activity in the past year but more than 48 percent said sex was important, suggesting many wanted to have sex but could not.Age was a factor but so were testosterone levels, the lack of an interested partner and various diseases from diabetes to prostate cancer.More than 40 percent of the men who had not had sex recently said they were not interested.
McDonald’s Slated to Offer Ultra-Cheap McWeddingsStarting in 2011, couples in love will be able to tie the knot at any McDonald’s branch in Hong King. Slated to begin sometime in January, the upcoming McWeddings will first appear for a test period at three major McDonald’s branches. They’ll be offered in packages starting at HK$1000 ($129), which is a major savings from the typical HK$10,000 or $1,300 price of a Hong Kong wedding.Included with the reservation is a personalized menu, decorations, McDonald’s-themed gifts, a special apple-pie wedding cake, and a lone fry in place of the traditional cherry a couple shares prior to kissing.It’s essentially an ultra-cheap and fun way to get married. It’s kind of like an American couple getting married in a Las Vegas casino. Similarly, there are a couple striking caveats. For one, couples who opt for a McWedding aren’t guaranteed any privacy whatsoever. Other customers who walk in to grab a bite are welcome to watch the ceremony. In addition, McDonald’s doesn’t carry any liquor or beer, so there’ll be no drinking.
North Korea Touts Mind-Expanding Liquid Brain JuiceThe government of North Korea claims it has fashioned a mind-expanding, liquid brain juice dubbed the ‘Super Drink’ that can supposedly multiply brain hells and halt skin aging.Leave it to the world’s most bizarre and out-of-date regime to produce an anti-oxidation drink that, according to the secretive Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), “protects skin from wrinkles and black spots, and prevents such geriatric diseases as cerebral haemorrhage [sic], myocardium and brain infarction by removing acid effete matters in time.”The Telegraph reports that the mixture contains 60 types of “microelements” extracted from over 30 species of plants. The combination evidently helps improve mental acuity and retention by “multiplying brain cells.” How exactly the juice does this is unclear. Moreover, the KCNA has yet to release the drink’s name or announce its official arrival date on store shelves.They did however claim that the juice was well received by Chinese, German and other businessmen at a trade fair in Pyongyang last month. Plus they quoted company manager, Jong Song Ho, who testified that the juice “proved efficacious among workers of such industrial establishments as thermal power station and smeltery and at medical institutions.”
2010-12-07 - Windsor Genova - AHN News News WriterBillion Newly-Printed $100 Bills Flawed, Unusable Fort Worth, TX, United States (AHN) -- The Bureau of Engraving and Printing has printed 1.1 billion pieces of new, counterfeit-proof $100 bills that turned out to be unusable because it came off the presses with small blank spaces. The high-tech notes featuring a blue 3D strip and color changing ink that make them hard to fake apparently creased sporadically during the printing process causing the small blank spaces. The creasing went undetected during the testing and normal inspection processes, according to officials. The new bills planned for release in February 2011 are now stored in the vaults of Washington, D.C. and Fort Worth, Texas while the printer and the Federal Reserve figure out how to separate the flawed from the unflawed notes mechanically. The government cost $120 million to print the new bills. The treasury is now printing old design $100 notes. There are currently 6.5 billion $100 notes in circulation.
2011 Pirelli calendar presented by Karl Lagerfeld. Pirelli has teamed up with fashion maven Karl Lagerfeld and a host of models, both male and female, including actress Julianne Moore...+ More >>
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A toast! Most expensive whiskey sells for $460,000 TODAY 11/17/2010 An Irish proverb says, “What whiskey will not cure, there is no cure for.” And here’s a very special instance of a very special whiskey doing plenty of curing. A 64-year-old Macallan single-malt whiskey housed in a one-of-a-kind Lalique crystal decanter just sold at auction for a record-breaking $460,000. In a pleasing twist, The Macallan distillery and Lalique are donating 100 percent of the money to a charity that provides access to clean, safe drinking water in developing countries. “We are delighted that the proceeds from this historic auction ... will help fund our efforts,” said Scott Harrison, founder of charity: water. “Clean water is foundational to communities, and I’m proud to be working with these two esteemed brands to foster thriving and healthy populations worldwide.” The sale of the whiskey and crystal decanter happened Monday night at an animated auction at Sotheby’s in New York City. The Macallan described the whiskey that sold Monday as the oldest and rarest it’s ever released since its founding in Scotland in 1824. The Lalique crystal decanter was made using the “cireperdue” or “lost wax” method.
New DIY Electric Airplane Takes FlightDecember 7, 2010 | The number of flying electric airplanes (and pilots) increased by one with the first flight of John Monnett’sWaiex in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The Waiex is one of several models of kit-built aircraft designed and produced by Monnett’s company, Sonex, and the electric version has been in development for several years.“Every first flight of a new aircraft or powerplant design is an interesting experience,” Monnett said, “but with N270DC more than any other aircraft we’ve built, I experienced just a glimpse of what the Wright Brothers must have felt like flying an unproven system for the first time.”The flight was a very short one, just a quick hop out of ground effect down runway 27 and back down to the ground a handful of seconds later before reaching the end of the runway. The company says the intent was to fly a conservative, short flight down the runway to check the performance of the systems before expanding flight testing further.
Porn star with HIV: Make condoms mandatory 'Making $10,000 or $15,000 for porn isn't worth your life,' actor says msnbc.com staff and news service reports msnbc.com staff and news service reports 12/8/2010 LOS ANGELES — An adult film actor who tested positive for HIV is calling for mandatory condom use in porn films. Derrick Burts, 24, identified himself to the Los Angeles Times as the performer who tested positive at the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation in Sherman Oaks in October. He had previously been known as Patient Zeta.Burts told the newspaper that in the months before he tested positive for HIV, he had contracted chlamydia, gonorrhea and herpes. "It should be required that you wear a condom on the set," Burts told the newspaper. He described adult film work as "very dangerous." Burts, who performed in straight films as Cameron Reid and gay films as Derek Chambers,