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Gas Price Prediction: $6 to $7 per Gallon in 6 to 24 Months Think that gasoline is expensive at $4 a gallon? Maybe, but apparently that price point isn’t high enough to make Americans change their usual day-to-day driving habit: If oil hits $200 a barrel, which is the upper end of Goldman Sach’s prediction for prices over the next six months to two years, the gasoline picture changes quite dramatically. At $200 a barrel, crude alone would cost $4.76 a gallon. Add on the costs of refining and distributing as well as taxes, and pump prices could rise to a range of $6 to $7 a gallon. U.S. drivers haven’t radically changed their behavior, and it is unclear at what price it becomes unprofitable for Americans to go about their usual day-to-day activities, said Eric DeGesero, executive vice president of the Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey. "Maybe at $6 or $7 a gallon, it becomes less attractive to go to work," Mr. DeGesero said. "We haven’t hit that point yet, but we might soon."
As gas goes up, driving goes down (CNN) -- At a time when gas prices are at an all-time high, Americans have curtailed their driving at a historic rate. Americans are not driving as much as they did a year ago as gas prices skyrocket. The Department of Transportation said figures from March show the steepest decrease in driving ever recorded. Compared with March a year earlier, Americans drove an estimated 4.3 percent less -- that's 11 billion fewer miles, the DOT's Federal Highway Administration said Monday, calling it "the sharpest yearly drop for any month in FHWA history." Records have been kept since 1942.
Think Gas is High? Try Europe Wednesday, May. 28, 2008 Time American motorists are understandably grumbling over skyrocketing gas prices as the summer travel season approaches. But their pain hardly registers against the rage afoot in Europe these days. Fishermen, truck drivers and farmers are threatening to bring entire economic sectors to a halt with protests against crippling fuel costs. The wave of angry action is expected to spread further across Europe in coming days, despite efforts by political leaders to feel the pain and figure out how to alleviate it. Matters are no better on land. On Tuesday, hundreds of British truck drivers in London and Cardiff brought traffic to a crawl in a campaign to get their government to lower taxes on diesel fuel, which now costs over $11 per U.S. gallon (3.8 liters). Other businesses owners who rely heavily on gas use — including farmers, ambulance and taxi drivers, and private bus companies — have joined the protest movement or are preparing to do so. Those labor protests reflect the hit millions of Europeans are taking at the gas pump. As American drivers groan over prices nearing $4 a gallon, the French are paying $8.67 for a gallon of super, compared to $7.10 in January, 2007. A gallon of diesel in French gas stations averages $8.54, up from $5.35 just a year ago. And in the U.K. diesel costs $11.50 per gallon, compared to around $3.90 in the U.S. Across the European Union, the average cost of a gallon of gas runs to about $8.70 — more than twice what Americans are shelling out to fill up. And Europe's dizzying fuel costs would be even worse if it weren't for the considerable appreciation of the euro and the British pound against the dollar over the past year, which has partially offset the price escalation in dollar-traded oil. One big reason for the difference is that European governments put a much higher tax burden on fuel than the U.S. does. State and federal taxes currently make up just 11% of the pump price in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration; in France and the U.K., taxes account for an average of around 70%.
People Exclusive First Photo of Alleged Other Woman in Shania Twain Split May 22, 2008 06:15 AM EDT As Shania Twain copes with her sudden split with the support of family and friends in her native Canada, sources close to the singer say she is reeling from a double betrayal – not only by her husband of 14 years, music producer Robert "Mutt" Lange, but by a woman she considered a close friend. Lange's relationship with Marie-Anne Thiébaud, 37, a longtime secretary and house manager at Twain and Lange's estate in Switzerland, was behind the breakup , say several sources familiar with the situation. "Mutt and Marie-Anne left their spouses for each other and are still in a relationship," says one source, adding that the Swiss employee was a fixture in the household Twain, 42, and Lange, 59, shared with their son, 6-year-old Eja D’Angelo. "Their two families would vacation and spend holidays together," says the source. "Shania considered Marie-Anne one of her best friends." After the separation was announced , Lange told PEOPLE exclusively that an affair was "absolutely not the reason [for the breakup]... It's literally just a growing apart, that's all." He also denied that he was in a relationship with Thiébaud, saying, "It's not true." Whatever the reason, Twain "is devastated," says the insider. "This came out of left field."
Newspaper Says Celine Dion, Tiger Woods Water Hogs May 27, 2008 PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Celine Dion is a water hog. The Palm Beach Post did a study of local water usage and found Celine Dion's 5.7 acres in Jupiter, Florida, used about 6.5 million gallons of water in a year. That's more than 250 times the amount of water the average resident uses, or equivalent to filling a 50-gallon bathtub every four minutes. A 9,800-square-foot home is under construction at the site. Representatives for Dion did not respond to requests for comment. Tiger Woods was second on newspaper's list, using about 3.7 million gallons of water in a year. A spokesman for Woods' charitable foundation says much of that went to new landscaping. The Associated Press
May 19, 2008, 12:21 pm The Homeless Billionaire When I first met Nicolas Berggruen, I was struck by two things. First, he was a multi-billionaire I’d never heard of — the most interesting kind. Second, he didn’t own a home. “I stay in hotels,” he told me. A billionaire without a home? This, I figured, was worth a story. My article about Mr. Berggruen in today’s Journal focuses mainly on his investing life and his push toward socially responsible investing. But what interested me most was his unconventional personal life. After making his billions, Mr. Berggruen, 46, lost interest in acquiring things: They didn’t satisfy him, and in fact had become something of a burden. So he started paring down his material life, selling off his condo in New York, his mansion in Florida and his only car. He hatched plans to leave his fortune to charity and his art collection to a new museum in Berlin. For him, wealth is about lasting impact, not stuff. “Everybody is different and I think that we live in a material world,” he told me. “But for me, possessing things is not that interesting. Living in a grand environment to show myself and others that I have wealth has zero appeal. Whatever I own is temporary, since we’re only here for a short period of time. It’s what we do and produce, it’s our actions, that will last forever. That’s real value.” When I pressed him on why he no longer got much enjoyment from acquiring more “things,” he said this: “First, I don’t need it. Secondly, maybe in a bizarre kind of way, I don’t want to be dependent on it or have the responsibility. I don’t get that much enjoyment out of saying ‘I own it.’ ” Mr. Berggruen makes clear that his philosophy is his own, and he has nothing against those who want to enjoy their wealth by having big homes, cars and all the rest. And of course it’s easy for a billionaire to say “money and things aren’t important.” But his perspective seems to be increasingly common among today’s superwealthy — and even wealthy — who are looking for more lasting meaning in their lives beyond their possessions. I’m not saying they’re right or wrong or that possessions are inferior to other measures of wealth — people should use their wealth however they choose. Yet for all that, Mr. Berggruen’s personal downsizing may be a sign that the voluntary simplicity movement could be moving up the wealth ladder. Wall Street Journal
Women held for raping man in Stockholm 27 May 08 18:03 CET A 41-year-old woman in being held by police in Stockholm on suspicions of raping a 30-year-old man who went home with her after the two met at an area pub on Monday night. According to police, the two were hungry and under the influence of alcohol as they made their way home from the bar. “She invited him up for a little midnight snack,” Towe Hägg of the Stockholm police told The Local. Once getting the man up to her place, the woman began to make sexual advances toward the man, which he resisted. “We don’t know if it was a ‘no’ or if it was more than a ‘no’,” said Hägg. After the man refused to have sex with the woman, she then performed oral sex on him against his will, according to the Aftonbladet newspaper. The man called police the next morning to report that he was raped. The woman remains in police custody while prosecutors determine whether or not to file formal charges. The Local
Meth lab accidentally donated to church May 23, 2008 AHWATUKEE - A surprising find at an Ahwatukee church. A janitor found a portable meth lab near the Warner- Elliot loop. According to police, the meth lab was in a trailer that had recently been donated to the church. The people that donated the trailer say it had been stolen and when they got it back it was full of stuff that did not belong to them, which included the meth lab. Police are still investigating.
Father learns kids don't inflate May 22 2008 at 09:44AM Phnom Penh - A Cambodian father and mechanic learned the hard way not to inflate children when he inserted an air hose designed to fill car tires into his 5-year-old son's anus and blew him up, local media reported on Thursday. The Khmer-language Rasmei Kampuchea daily reported Try Sienghym was "playing" with his son Sok Sambo when the incident took place. The paper said the child's stomach became distended and his concerned mother rushed him to hospital, where he remains in a stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery. "The father very much regrets playing like this now," the paper quoted a family member as saying. Police were not expected to take action against the father, blaming the incident on pure stupidity, against which there is currently no law. - Sapa-dpa
Billionaire Driven Out of Greenwich Because of Size Discrimination Valery Kogan knew exactly what he wanted his dream house to look like. It would be a 27,000-square-foot estate in the style of Greek Revival, with eight bedrooms, a gym, a home theater, a wine cellar, a game room, a (separate) billiard room, parking for up to twelve cars, Turkish and Finnish bathing facilities, and 26 toilets, because obviously the place is pretty big and when you gotta go, you gotta go. Kogan knew that to ordinary people, his preferences might seem vulgar, tasteless, even wrong . But he couldn't help it: It was what he had to have. It was who he was . And so Kogan went to the one place on the East Coast where, he thought, such a flamboyance would not be out of place. A place where pioneers like SAC Capital's Steven Cohen had paved the way by erecting mansions with homey touches like personal ice rinks: Greenwich, Connecticut. There, the bazillionaire of indeterminate origins said to himself, he would be accepted. He could be himself ! But alas: It was not to be. Last night, the Planning and Zoning Commission rejected Kogan's plans.
Itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny salmon skin bikini? Reuters | Saturday, 24 May 2008 SOMETHING FISHY: A model poses in a salmon-skin bikini from Chilean fashion designer Claudia Escobar's luxury clothing line. Salmon is one of Scotland's most feted foods, but who knew those scaly skins could be so useful and attractive on anything other than fish? Chilean fashion designer Claudia Escobar, that's who. Not only did she see a source of cheap raw material in the masses of salmon skin discarded worldwide every year, she has managed to make it into a line of luxury clothing. Her Lycra-trimmed, ultra-mini salmon-skin bikini, which she describes as durable and elastic, sells for about £250 ($NZ630) and a pair of trousers fetches around £750. Workers receive half the sale value and there is almost no overhead, she said.
Nude maid cleans out posh house LUTZ, FL -- Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies are investigating the theft of $40,000 worth of jewelry from a posh northwest county home. The prime suspect is a nude maid. Deputies tell ABCActionNews.com a Cheval resident hired a nude maid from Craigslist to clean his home because his wife was out of town. The victim believes the maid cleaned him out while cleaning the bedroom. Deputies say the victim's wife discovered her jewelry missing when she returned to her clean home. Deputies are now looking for the maid to question her in the disappearance of the jewelry. The victim provided the woman's web site along with a brief description of her appearance. He obviously could not give deputies a clothing description. ABC News
in trouble again over new racy shots LIVENEWS.com.au Less than a month after Miley Cyrus made headlines by appearing topless in Vanity Fair, racy photos of the Hannah Montana star have again hit the net. The shots, supposedly sent by the 15-year-old to her then-boyfriend Nick Jonas, could not have surface at a more sensitive time for the young star. It’s unlikely Hannah Montana producers, Disney, will be happy about the newly circulated photos, after their heavy-handed reaction to the comparatively tasteful Vanity Fair shoot. Cyrus, the daughter of country music star Billy Ray, reportedly earned over $US18 million last year alone.
Deadly brown snake bites man's penis May 29, 2008 07:03am The Cairns Post A ROADSIDE toilet stop ended in pain, embarrassment and almost death for a tourist when a highly venomous snake bit the end of his penis. The deadly brown snake slithered between his legs and lunged at his manhood as he crouched on a roadside near Laura, 300km northwest of Cairns, about a month ago. Details of the incident only came to light yesterday after they were confirmed by a paramedic. "It certainly had a swipe at him," an ambulance spokesman said yesterday. "But it didn’t envenomate him. "As it came through it must have got a bit of a shock." The snake beat a hasty retreat, leaving its victim with a scratch, vomiting and abdomen pain. Emergency workers raced to the scene to treat the man. The wound was wrapped in plastic in case poison had penetrated the skin but medical staff gave the man the all-clear after conducting tests. He was taken to Cooktown Hospital where he spent a night recovering. The ambulance spokesman described him as "lucky", given his near encounter with one of Australia’s most poisonous snakes. "I think he was a bit shocked and embarrassed," he said.
The Zero-Emissions One-Wheeled Motorcycle The Uno accelerates with a simple lean and turns like a street bike on side-by-side wheels Cost to Develop: $45,000 Time: 2 years The self-ballancing eletric "unicycle" emits no fumes and is easy to weave through crowded streets than a standard two - wheeler. To give the ride more stability, there are two wheels side-by-side just an inch apart and directly under the rider, who accelerates by leaning forward, as he would on a Segway. When the rider leans into a turn, the inside wheel lifts and the outside wheel lowers, so both stay firmly on the ground. The Uno with a gyroscope and a control system that both keeps the rider balanced over the tires and manages the suspension. The Uno’s two wheelchair motors should, theoretically, give it a top speed of 40 mph.
Wings for Paratroopers Designed and tried out in 1935 (!) by the Russian engineer Safronov:
This is a water balloon popping. (image credit: National Geographic )