Finally Friday  4-20-2007
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Finally Friday 4-20-2007

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Selected news & photo's from the internet for the week prior to 4-20-07.

Selected news & photo's from the internet for the week prior to 4-20-07.

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Finally Friday  4-20-2007 Finally Friday 4-20-2007 Presentation Transcript

  • … Finally Friday … April 20 th 2007
  • As US tax rates drop, government's reach grows   Study: 1 in 2 Americans now receives income from government programs.   By Mark Trumbull | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor   As Americans finish their annual tax-filing flurry to meet a Tuesday deadline, it is true that tax rates are lower than they were a few years ago. But according to a different yardstick, the federal government's reach is expanding. Slightly over half of all Americans – 52.6 percent – now receive significant income from government programs, according to an analysis by Gary Shilling, an economist in Springfield, N.J. That's up from 49.4 percent in 2000 and far above the 28.3 percent of Americans in 1950. If the trend continues, the percentage could rise within ten years to pass 55 percent, where it stood in 1980 on the eve of President's Reagan's move to scale back the size of government. That two-decade shrink-the-government trend now appears over, if for no other reason than demographics. The aging baby-boomer generation is poised to receive big payments from Social Security and government healthcare programs.
  • 25% Of Americans Say They Have No Savings At All, Including Retirement Don't spend much time thinking about the future? Flying cars? What you'll eat? Where you'll sleep? If you have less than 25k saved you're in good company, or at least, there are lots of you. 50% of workers 35 to 44 have less than that amount saved. 1/3 of those aged 45 and over did too. 25% of people surveyed had no savings at all. No savings account. No retirement account. No investments. Nothing. Zero. Bad Idea. From CNN: All but the lowest earning men should have accumulated in a nest egg 12 times their income by the time they retire, EBRI estimates. That's $900,000 for a man earning $75,000. A woman, because of a higher life expectancy, should have 14 times her income. CNN Money.com
  • Marijuana May Fight Lung Tumors Wednesday, April 18, 2007 By Charlene Laino Cannabis may be bad for the lungs, but the active ingredient in marijuana may help combat lung cancer, new research suggests. In lab and mouse studies, the compound, known as THC, cut lung tumor growth in half and helped prevent the cancer from spreading, says Anju Preet, PhD, a Harvard University researcher in Boston who tested the chemical. While a lot more work needs to be done, "the results suggest THC has therapeutic potential," she tells WebMD. Moreover, other early research suggests the cannabis compound could help fight brain, prostate, and skin cancers as well, Preet says. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. The finding builds on the recent discovery of the body's own cannabinoid system, Preet says. Known as endocannabinoids, the natural cannabinoids stimulate appetite and control pain and inflammation. THC seeks out, attaches to, and activates two specific endocannabinoids that are present in high amounts on lung cancer cells, Preet says. This revs up their natural anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation can promote the growth and spread of cancer. In the new study, the researchers first demonstrated that THC inhibited the growth and spread of cells from two different lung cancer cell lines and from patient lung tumors. Then, they injected THC into mice that had been implanted with human lung cancer cells. After three weeks, tumors shrank by about 50 percent, compared with tumors in untreated mice. Preet notes that animals injected with THC seem to get "high," showing signs of clumsiness and getting the munchies. "You would expect to see the same thing in humans, so if this work does pan out, getting the dose right is going to be all important," she says. Paul B. Fisher, PhD, a professor of clinical pathology at Columbia University, says that though the work is "interesting," it's still very early. "The issue with using a drug of this type becomes the window of concentration that will be effective. Can you physiologically achieve what you want without causing unwanted effects?" he tells WebMD. SOURCES: Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, Los Angeles, April 14-18, 2007.
  • Subprime bailout? $120 billion   More than 1 million borrowers may be at risk of defaulting on their mortgages. Assisting them all wouldn't come cheap.   By Stephen Gandel, Money Magazine senior writer April 13 2007: 4:21 PM EDT NEW YORK (Money) -- Want to pick up the check for every homeowner who got saddled with a risky mortgage? It's a big one - on the order of $120 billion. Lawmakers and consumer groups in recent weeks have been calling for assistance for those at risk of defaulting on their mortgage. On Wednesday, Congressional Democrats led by Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) advocated steering hundreds of millions of dollars into nonprofits to help the growing number of homeowners who are having trouble paying their mortgage. But economists and industry experts say the cost of a bailout would be significantly more than that. Christopher Cagan, director of research at First American CoreLogic, says rising mortgage payments on adjustable rate loans will force 1.1 million homeowners into foreclosure over the next 6 years. He estimates the cost of paying off the debt for those borrowers would be $120 billion.
  • Turn a lottery win into $2 billion What's better than claiming a $125 million Powerball jackpot? Becoming a billionaire. Here's how an Idaho man is investing his prize money. By Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine Brad Duke, 34, of Star, Idaho, wants to make his $125 million Powerball winnings grow to $2 billion. Here's his strategy: How long will it take to become a billionaire? My plan is to turn my winnings into $1 billion over 12 years. I took the $125 million lump sum (in 2005) instead of the $220 million annuity, which would have been spread over 30 years. I had to pay $40 million in taxes, so I started with $85 million. Can you earn an annualized return of nearly 23%? I'm a little behind. I've reached nine figures, so I made more than $15 million in just over a year. I want to reach $2 billion by the time I'm 55. What's your investing strategy? I have a financial team of three people who work for me full time. Two of them have a lot of experience building real estate empires, so we're focusing part of the money on buying raw land and building commercial and residential developments. What are you doing with the rest of the money? Some is in conservative investments, and the rest I use to run my two companies. Synergy Fitness Group is my health-club consulting business, and the Duke Speed Academy helps kids be better athletes.
  • In 1901 Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen was the first recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics, and he truly deserves his place in history because his discovery revolutionized the medical world. A series of experiments helped him notice that barium platinocyanide emits a fluorescent glow. Combining his observation with a photographic plate and his wife’s hand, he made the first X-ray photo, and thus, made it possible to look inside the human body without surgical intervention.
  • Ya gotta hand it to angry crocodile Friday, April 13th 2007, 4:00 AM Talk about getting chewed out! Offering cranky croc a hand went a tad too far for Dr. Chang Po-yu, who, luckily, got stray appendage sewed back on. TAIPEI, Taiwan - Doctors reattached a veterinarian's forearm yesterday after zoo workers recovered the severed limb from the jaws of a 440-pound crocodile, officials said. The attack occurred as Dr. Chang Po-yu was trying to treat the Nile crocodile at the Shaoshan Zoo in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung on Wednesday. The 17-year-old reptile had been shot with a tranquilizer dart, but unfortunately for Chang, it wasn't yet fully under when the vet reached out to touch it, officials said. A zoo worker fired two bullets at the croc's neck, officials said. The startled reptile dropped the bloodied forearm and other workers retrieved it. "The crocodile was unharmed as we didn't find any bullet holes on its hide," said Chen Po-tsun, a zoo official. "It probably was shocked and opened its mouth to let go of the limb." News Wire Services
  • A missile punch at bullet prices Featured Advertiser Dahlgren demonstrates electromagnetic rail gun Date published: 1/17/2007 By MICHAEL ZITZ   Normally, new weaponry tends to make defense more expensive. But the Navy likes to say its new railgun delivers the punch of a missile at bullet prices. A demonstration of the futuristic and comparatively inexpensive weapon yesterday at the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Dahlgren had Navy brass smiling. The weapon, which was successfully tested in October at the King George County base, fires nonexplosive projectiles at incredible speeds, using electricity rather than gun powder. The technology could increase the striking range of U.S. Navy ships more than tenfold by the year 2020. "It's pretty amazing capability, and it went off without a hitch," said Capt. Joseph McGettigan, commander of NSWC Dahlgren Division. "The biggest thing is it's real--not just something on the drawing board," he said. The railgun works by sending electric current along parallel rails, creating an electromagnetic force so powerful it can fire a projectile at tremendous speed. Because the gun uses electricity an d not gunpowder to fire projectiles, it's safer, eliminating the possibility of explosions on ships and vehicles equipped with it. Instead, a powerful pulse generator is used. The prototype fired at Dahlgren is only an 8-megajoule electromagnetic device, but the one to be used on Navy ships will generate a massive 64 megajoules. Current Navy guns generate about 9 megajoules of muzzle energy. The railgun's 200 to 250 nautical-mile range will allow Navy ships to strike deep in enemy territory while staying out of reach of hostile forces.
  • Former World Heavyweight Boxing (WBO) champion Mike Tyson, seen here in 2006, was on Thursday ordered to stand trial in August following his arrest last year on drug possession charges.
  • Pieces of Titanic transformed into luxury watches By Laura MacInnis1 hour, 57 minutes ago Steel and coal from the Titanic have been transformed into a new line of luxury wristwatches that claim to capture the essence of the legendary oceanliner which sank in 1912. Geneva watchmaker Romain Jerome SA billed its "Titanic-DNA" collection as among the most exclusive pieces showcased this week at Baselworld, the watch and jewellery industry's largest annual trade fair. Romain Jerome said it purchased a piece of the hull weighing about 1.5 kg (3 pounds) that was retrieved in 1991, but declined to identify the seller. The metal has been certified as authentic by the Titanic's builders Harland and Wolff. To make the watches, which were offered for sale for the first time in Basel for between $7,800 and $173,100, the Swiss company created an alloy using the slab from the Titanic with steel being used in a Harland and Wolff replica of the vessel. The gold, platinum and steel time pieces have black dial faces made of lacquer paint that includes coal recovered from the debris field of the Titanic wrecksite, offered for sale by the U.S. company RMS Titanic Inc. The company will make 2,012 watches to coincide with the centenary anniversary of the Titanic's sinking in 2012.
  • Human waste to plug extinct Auckland volcano By KIM RUSCOE - The Dominion Post | Friday, 13 April 2007 Auckland has come up with a novel plan for getting rid of hundreds of thousands of tonnes of human waste - use it to fill one of its many extinct volcanos, then turn it into a regional park. Local authority-owned Watercare Services announced this week that it had signed a $25 million, 30-year deal with Puketutu Island's owners to dump the 61 tonnes of biosolids - cleaned, treated and dried human waste - produced by its Mangere treatment plant each week. The waste would be dumped on a side of the volcanic island that had been extensively quarried in the past 50 years. The island's original volcanic cone formation could also be rebuilt using the biosolids, subject to public opinion, spokesman Clive Nelson said. The new biosolids dump was expected to be commissioned in about 2011 and take 30 years to fill, at which time it would be rehabilitated and turned into a regional park. Meanwhile, a coastal walk and car parks would be opened to the public within six months of the company getting resource consents, Mr Nelson said. Auckland University vulcanologist Ian Smith said Aucklanders need not be concerned that they would be showered in "biosolids" in the event of an eruption. Formed 30,000 years ago, Puketutu Island is one of about 50 volcanoes on the active Auckland volcanic field. The next eruption from within that field was likely to form a new volcano, rather than come from an existing one, Dr Smith said. "I think it is pretty safe."
  • Italian priest jailed for cocaine possession Published: Thursday April 12, 2007 An Italian priest was sentenced Thursday to three and a half years in jail for possessing cocaine with the intention of selling it, according to local media. The ANSA news agency reported that Father Stefano Ciacca, 44, was arrested last September in possession of half a kilogramme (about a pound) of cocaine with a street value of about half a million euros (675,000 dollars). A police dog had detected the drug in a package mailed from South America and addressed to a certain Don Ziliotti in Perugia. After some sleuthing, police identified Ciacca, arrested him and searched his home, where they found a small scale, substances to cut with the cocaine and some marijuana, ANSA said. The priest claimed to be unaware of the contents of the package, which he said was given to him by someone he was helping "on a spiritual path." On Thursday, Judge Paolo Micheli sentenced both Ciacca and an accomplice to three and a half years in jail. ANSA said the two men had gone to Colombia last year and used Ciacca's savings to buy the cocaine, which they mailed to Italy.
  • Woman accused of spraying cop with breast milk An 18-year-old woman is to appear at Richmond Magistrates' Court accused of assaulting a police officer with breast milk. Felicha Marin, of Palmerston Road, in Acton, was charged with shoplifting and assault after being arrested on March 29. It is alleged she was detained for trying to steal shoes from Lizard, in Hill Street, Richmond. After being arrested for theft she sprayed an officer with milk from her right breast. She is due to appear before magistrates tomorrow. 1:32pm Thursday 12th April 2007
  • 3 Central Amer. nations ban self-styled Antichrist By Mica Rosenberg Mon Apr 16, 10:12 AM ET Three Central American governments have banned a man claiming to be the Antichrist from entering their countries, outraged by his inflammatory preaching against the Catholic Church and organized religion. El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala have banned Jose de Jesus Miranda, who heads a cult-like movement with sermons televised from Miami to dozens of mostly Latin American nations and wants to join followers at a rally next week in Guatemala. A former heroin addict who was briefly imprisoned as a youth in his native Puerto Rico, Miranda, 60, talks openly in a video on his Web site about how he loved cocaine and dreamed of working in a Colombian drug lab. He has the number 666 identifying the Antichrist tattooed on his arm but says he is Jesus Christ reborn on Earth, arguing Saint Paul's teachings show this is what Antichrist means. He says other priests are "faggots," and makes fun of Holy Week customs in Latin America, calling heavy statues of Jesus that Catholics parade though streets "little dolls.“ Tony Saca, the president of strongly Catholic El Salvador, barred Miranda from entering the country in March, describing him as "a danger to mental health." Miranda said the country would suffer an earthquake because of the decision. Miranda's ministry began in 1986 in a Miami warehouse. He says it has congregations in over 20 countries, mostly in Latin America. It counts with its own 24-hour radio and TV station. In one video, the leader of the "Growing in Grace" church, sporting slicked hair, tailored suits and gold chains, rolls up his sleeves to reveal the number 666 tattooed on his forearm. Hundreds of followers have now tattooed themselves with the number saying it is a symbol of love and not the sign of Satan. They say there is no devil, no hell and no such thing as sin. The ministry has no formal membership system, but church representatives say his television audience numbers in the millions, bringing multimillion dollar donations. Some of his more generous followers have given him businesses, luxury cars, jewels and opulent houses in Houston and Miami Beach. Detractors say Miranda is not God resurrected but a dangerous cult leader. One evangelical preacher in El Salvador called him a "megalomaniac" and likened him to Jim Jones, who led 900 followers into a mass suicide-murder in 1978.
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