Leakage in Big Dig tunnel rises 3 years after promise, more water getting in Almost three years after state managers vowed to close thousands of leaks in the Big Dig tunnels, nearly 2 million gallons of water flow each month through the Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. Tunnel, an 18 percent increase over last year, a Globe analysis shows. The water is worrisome because it shows that the concerted efforts by the state to plug leaks in the $15 billion project are only marginally effective, at best, and may mean heavy maintenance costs for years to come. "It's no secret that leaks are an issue we will have to deal with for the foreseeable future," said Jon Carlisle, spokesman for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, which oversees the downtown tunnel system. "It's a problem that we will need to continue to monitor and remediate." The leaks are a continuation of a problem that has plagued the O'Neill tunnel since the roof was attached to the walls in the years before the tunnel opened in 2003. The leaks have been clustered in the seam between the wall and roof, running the length the 1.5-mile tunnel, where construction crews had trouble setting a water-proof membrane. The problem became public after a gaping breach opened in a section of the massive tunnel walls in September 2004, sending water gushing into the northbound lanes. Edward M. Ginsburg, a retired probate judge who was then investigating the Big Dig for design mistakes on behalf of the turnpike, revealed that the tunnel was riddled with leaks. The turnpike spends almost $5 million a year for construction crews to plug leaks in the tunnel roof and walls by injecting a grout sealant into fissures in the concrete, Carlisle said. He said the number of leaks is down to about 800 in the O'Neill, compared with more than 3,500 acknowledged by turnpike managers in 2004. The Boston Globe
Jul 4, 2007 9:38 am US/Pacific Al Gore's Son Arrested For Marijuana Possession (AP) LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. Al Gore's son was arrested early Wednesday on suspicion of possessing marijuana and prescription drugs after deputies pulled him over for speeding, authorities said. Al Gore III, 24, was driving a blue Toyota Prius about 100 mph on the San Diego Freeway when he was pulled over at about 2:15 a.m., Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino said. The deputies said they smelled marijuana and searched the car, Amormino said. They found less than an ounce of marijuana along with Xanax, Valium, Vicodin and Adderall, which is used for attention deficit disorder, he said. "He does not have a prescription for any of those drugs," Amormino said. Gore was being held in the men's central jail in Santa Ana on $20,000 bail. Kalee Kreider, a spokeswomen for his parents, did not immediately return phone messages to The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Teen sells virginity for $25,000 Brisbane Times | Wednesday, 4 July 2007 A baby-faced 18-year-old has offered her virginity for the price of £10,000 ($NZ25,800) to help her pay for university tuitions. News website Maltastar is today reporting Brit Carys Copestake used a false name to advertise herself on a website popular with prostitutes, with her parents having no idea of the bizarre way of getting cash for university. The ad reads: "Virginity For Sale £10,000". She adds: "Hey, I think the title says it all. I'm an 18-year-old virgin with student funds to pay and I'm looking to sell my first time right here. I'm brunette, 34C, green eyes, all in proportion and good looking." The teenager apparently still lives with her parents, but was struggling to afford the tuition costs for her four-year physics course at Salford University, which was to start in September. Maltastar reported that she told a journalist: "For as long as I can remember I've wanted to keep my first time special and wait for the right guy. I'm not like other girls who want rid of it from the word go," she said. "I'm getting curious about myself and the opposite sex. I want to explore and I want someone to teach me. "I've also found myself in a financial situation where I need to fund my studies. I figured this could be killing two birds with one stone. "I get lots of guys wanting to help me out with my 'problem' - some replies are really creepy. But I got so frustrated with the empty offers that I turned them down. "I have to be careful, you could have been someone I know, even one of my teachers." After conversations with a Maltastar reporter - dubious about whether she was in fact a virgin or merely a prostitute trying to deceive buyers - Copestake said she had found a "buyer". "I've been offered the money in cash and I'm going to do it this Thursday. Sorry I'm at work so I can't speak any more," she told The People.
Smoking could kill 1 billion this century: WHO By Ed Cropley BANGKOK (Reuters) - One billion people will die of tobacco-related diseases this century unless governments in rich and poor countries alike get serious about preventing smoking, top World Health Organization (WHO) experts said on Monday. "Tobacco is a defective product. It kills half of its customers," Douglas Bettcher, head of the WHO's Tobacco Free Initiative, said at the start of an international conference in Bangkok to draw up a master plan for the world to kick the habit. "It kills 5.4 million people per year and half of those deaths are in developing countries. That's like one jumbo jet going down every hour ," he said. Reuters
Former LHS teacher pleads guilty to sex with student Meredith Kane, 24, was in her first year of teaching at LHS when she was arrested July 2, 2007 Meredith Kane, a former Lawrence High School teacher walks to court Monday afternoon with her attorney, James Rumsey. She pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of having sex with a student. A former Lawrence High School teacher pleaded guilty Monday to one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a student in Douglas County District Court. Meredith Kane, 24, who was in her first year of teaching at LHS, was arrested March 16 for having sexual relations with the 15-year-old boy. Prosecutors said the acts occurred between August and mid-March. "During that time period, I did have sexual intercourse (with the victim) in Douglas County," Kane told Judge Stephen Six. Another count of aggravated indecent liberties and two counts of criminal sodomy were dismissed. "We agreed to take a plea in the matter," said District Attorney Charles Branson. "Simply put, she plead guilty to the most severe charge she could plea to. We're pretty happy getting a guilty plea to the primary offense." Kane could face 55 to 247 months in prison. Her attorney, James Rumsey, asked for access to the victim's psychological records. A hearing set for 9 a.m. July 23 will determine whether or not he will have access to those files. LJWorld.com
Sex pheromones make mice brains grow New Scientist A dominant male mouse does not just turn a female on - he makes her brain grow . Just a whiff of his odor is enough to make her brain sprout new neurons, and this growth drives her to want to mate with him, new research has found. Samuel Weiss at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, and his colleagues exposed 8- to 10-week-old female mice to soiled bedding from males of the same age. Two weeks later they found that the brains of females exposed to dominant male pheromones had grown significantly more new neurons in two key regions of the brain than those exposed to subordinate pheromones and control odors. What is more, these females would then pick the dominant male over the subordinate when presented with a choice of mates. Females that had not grown new brain cells did not. The researchers think the new neurons encode trace memories of dominant males. The two brain regions in which the growth took place were the olfactory bulb, which processes smell, and the hippocampus, which is involved in memory. These have been hailed as main sites for neurogenesis across many species, but the two had not been linked to the same stimulus before, says Weiss. Journal reference: Nature Neuroscience
6,000-year-old Arctic ponds drying out Photo of a dried up Cape Herschel, which 20 years ago was filled with water, illustrates the effects of global warming In Arctic, pools that burst into life during summer are drying up Jul 03, 2007 04:30 AM Peter Gorrie Environment reporter Global warming is destroying ponds that have supported life in the Arctic for thousands of years - bad news for the North and an ominous warning to the rest of the world, says a new report by two Canadian scientists. The small, shallow ponds on Ellesmere Island, high in Canada's Eastern Arctic, are drying up and could begin to release greenhouse gases that make the problem worse, says John Smol, a biologist at Queen's University in Kingston. "What happens in the Arctic will affect us all, and not in good ways," says Smol, co-author of the report with Marianne Douglas of the University of Alberta in Edmonton. It is being published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Their findings are the latest in a series of troubling studies that show how global warming is transforming the Arctic. The region is heating up further and faster than any other place on Earth, and "it's the first to show signs of change," Smol says . It's like the canaries that were kept in mines to warn of bad air: "The canary is singing - it's coughing and choking." New Scientist
String Bikinis: Now Available for Toddlers! The Arizona Republic is reporting that Gap Kids now offers a crochet string bikini for 1 year-olds. What? GapKids recently featured a white, crocheted string bikini you'd likely see Anna Kournikova wearing on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. The bikini was for a 12-month-old. Racks at Target held several bathing suits perfect for a Hawaiian Tropic bikini competition. The crocheted and camouflage-designed suits started at Size 4 in the little girls' section. Inseams on "classic" shorts at stores such as Abercrombie Kids and Hollister Co. are microscopic. And halter tops, shirts often lauded by fashion consultants for their ability to enhance a less-than-voluptuous chest, are everywhere for every age. Moms hoping to find anything even mildly modest have to be happy Bermuda shorts are trendy again. We don't have kids or (much) younger sisters or nieces or anything, so we have no idea if this article is exaggerating, but it claims that parents are resorting to sewing their children's clothes themselves because they can't find non-slutty duds for their elementary school kids. Is this true? Exasperation rises as suggestive clothes for girls spread from teens to toddlers [Arizona Republic] (Photo: Gap Kids Bikini, Available For Girls 35lbs 41")
Only In New York City: Pizzeria Offers Lap Dances (CBS) NEW YORK On the outside, Cordatos looks like your ordinary pizzeria, but inside customers are offered something way too hot and spicy to be found on the menu. Lap dances. Yes, you read that correctly. A walk through the restaurant past the pizza ovens, leads to a heavy soundproof door, where inside the back room $10 buys you a few moments of lap dancing by barely dressed exotic dancers, a dance too graphic for most newscasts. "When you are in the Big Apple anything and everything goes," one patron said. The anything and everything on this menu includes extremely close body-to-body contact during the lap dance. Judging from the crowds CBS 2 HD saw during our hidden camera investigation, it's a popular pit stop just blocks from ground zero, where construction workers and Wall Street traders find a slice of pleasure in the least likely of places. "The guys go at lunch time," one man said. "It's not a bad thing either, relieves a little pressure." So is this New York City's best-kept secret? Apparently not, especially to members of the NYPD's vice unit. Three years ago, several of the dancers were arrested and charged with prostitution.
MIST OPPORTUNITY: JUST A DAY AT THE BEACH As the "mood director" at Tao Beach , which opened on May 5 at The Venetian, it's Emmons' responsibility to stroll the deck in search of sun-worshippers who are insufficiently moistened. On a searing June afternoon, about 20 of them were attractive women who won't be sporting tan lines until August. "It's not that big of a deal," said the 22-year-old with a mullet haircut and a case of SPF 50 sunscreen. "I'm born and raised here, so I've known about these European-style pools. This just happens to be one. "It's not why I took the position or anything." Emmons, a Western High School graduate who hopes to own his own nightclub one day, said his main job is "just to make sure everybody has a good time." That's why he lent me his party hat. "Nobody else gets to wear the hat," he explained. For Emmons, misting topless babes may not be a big deal. For me, it's more action than I've seen at one time in my entire life. "It feels so good," said one, who refused to give her name, as I put my Misty Mate personal mister to work. Mood directors fill it with 16 ounces of the ice melt-off from a cooler behind the bar. This sure beats the hot-tar roofing I did recently. "Oh, please," the woman continued, cupping the underside of her breasts to prop them up.
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