Most Americans can't afford a $1,000 emergency expense August 11, 2011: 11:19 AM ET CNNNEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- When the unexpected strikes, most Americans aren'tprepared to pay for it. A majority, or 64%, of Americans don't have enough cash on hand to handle a $1,000 emergency expense, according to a survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, or NFCC, released on Wednesday.Only 36% said they would tap their rainy day funds for an emergency. The rest of the 2,700 people polled said that they would have to go to other extremes to cover an unexpected expense, such as borrowing money or taking out a cash advance on a credit card. "It's alarming," said Gail Cunningham, a spokeswoman for the Washington, DC-based non-profit. "For consumers who live paycheck to paycheck -- having spent tomorrow's money -- an unplanned expense can truly put them in financial distress," she noted.That's the case for Allyson Curtis, 35. "I think about it every day," she said. Curtis was unemployed for only three months last year, but in that time she accumulated $5,000 in credit card debt that she's now struggling to pay down. In the case of an emergency, Curtis said she would likely postpone other payments and pile on additional debt. She is already putting off $450 in dental work and a car inspection due to a crack in her windshield, which will cost $300 to replace, she said.Many respondents, 17%, said they would borrow money from friends or family. Another 17% said they would neglect other financial obligations -- like a credit card bill or mortgage payment -- in order to free up some funds.Alternatively, 12% of the respondents said they would have to sell or pawn some assets to come up with $1,000 and 9% said they would need to take out a loan. Another 9% said they would get a cash advance from a credit card, according to the NFCC.Cunningham finds that particularly troubling. Neglecting other debt obligations -- or worse piling on more debt -- "really exacerbates the problem," she said. An earlier study by the same organization found that 30% of Americans have zero dollars in non-retirement savings. A separate study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 50% of Americans would struggle to come up with $2,000 in a pinch.
Meet The “Luckiest” Woman In The WorldJul. 21 2011 – FORBES The August issue of Harper’smagazine contains a fascinating story about a woman named Joan R. Ginther, known in the press as the “luckiest woman in the world.” To earn that appellation, Ginther won the lottery four times. That’s right, four times. And she didn’t win no measly $20 and $30 payouts either—she hit multiple million dollar payouts each time.First, she won $5.4 million; then a decade later, she won $2 million; then two years later $3 million; and finally, in the spring of 2008, she hit a $10 million jackpot.The odds of this? One in eighteen septillion.To put this into perspective, the Harper’s story’s author, Nathaniel Rich, says there are only one septillion stars in the universe, and one septillion grains of sand on Earth. A person with Ginther’s kind of luck, writes Rich, would only happen once every quadrillion years.After Ginther’s fourth win, the Associated Press picked up her story, and hundreds of outlets around the world proclaimed her the most fortunate woman alive. But Rich thinks Ginther’s luck is a mite suspicious—and he spends seven pages explaining why.“When something this unlikely happens in a casino, you arrest ‘em first and ask questions later,” a professor at the Institute for the Study of Gambling & Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, Reno, tells the author. (There’s an institute for that?!)Ginther won all four of her lotteries in Texas—the first in a standard pick-six drawing in 1993. A decade later, she had three wins in two-year intervals by scratch-off tickets all bought at the same mini-mart, in the same town of Bishop, Texas, where she grew up. (Pop. 3,126) Not that Ginther has even lived in Bishop for decades. No, she lives in… Vegas! (I’m not making this up.)Before you pack up and move to Bishop to camp outside of Ginther’s golden mini-mart, there’s more. Lots more. Would anyone be surprised if I now told you that Ginther also happens to be a former math professor with a Ph. D. from Stanford University who just happened to specialize in—arts and crafts? No! Statistics.
"When He Comes To Walmart He Gets Aroused."Busted for exposing himself, man offers cops a novel explanation AUGUST 10--A Louisiana man arrested yesterday for driving around a Walmart parking lot with his penis exposed explained to cops that “he gets aroused” when visiting the retail giant, according to a police report.Travis Keen, 28, was busted on an obscenity charge and booked into the Ouachita Parish jail, where he is being held in lieu of $5000 bail.Keen, pictured in the mug shot at right, was collared after a witness reported to police that a man driving a Ford Taurus drove past him “with his penis exposed.” The witness, who tailed the Ford as it drove around a Walmart parking lot in Monroe, told cops that when the suspect “saw a female in the parking lot he would stop and watch them.”When Officer Colby Spillers confronted him, Keen reportedly “stated he did have his penis out because of past experiences he had at Wal-Mart. Keen stated when he comes to Wal-Mart he gets aroused.”Thankfully, Keen did not further detail what it was about the retailer that so turned him on. Perhaps it was just the people of Walmart
The Long-Shot Rifle That Can Drop a Taliban Fighter from 1.5 Miles Away1.54 miles. That's the world's longest recorded sniper strike. It's the distance at which British Corporal Craig Harrison eliminated a Taliban machine gun team in Afghanistan in 2009. This is the gun he used: the L115A3 rifle.Dubbed the Arctic Warfare Super Magnum, it uses a .338 Magnum caliber shell that combines the power and range of the traditional .50 BMG round with the maneuverability of the smaller 7.62 x 51 mm NATO cartridge. While the AWSM's rounds lack the overwhelming impact of their .50 cal brethren, they produce less recoil, report, and muzzle flash when fired (keeping the sniper better concealed) and are still strong enough to penetrate armored glass. They come in FMJ, hollow point, Armor Piercing and Armor Piercing Incendiary varieties.The bolt-action AWSM has a 27-inch barrel constructed of a proprietary blend of stainless steel with an aluminum chassis and polymer stocksides. Its detachable steel magazine holds five rounds. The rifle is designed for accuracy up to 1,600 yards—wait, so how did Cpl Harrison eliminate the Taliban machine gun team with consecutive shots at nearly that double that distance?As he described to the Times Online, while providing cover for providing covering fire for an Afghan national army patrol south of Musa Qala in Helmand Province, Afghanistan,We saw two insurgents running through its [the Taliban compound's] courtyard, one in a black dishdasha, one in green...They came forward carrying a PKM machinegun, set it up and opened fire on the commander's wagon...Conditions were perfect, no wind, mild weather, clear visibility. I rested the bipod of my weapon on a compound wall and aimed for the gunner firing the machine gun.The first round hit a machinegunner in the stomach and killed him outright. He went straight down and didn't move...The second insurgent grabbed the weapon and turned as my second shot hit him in the side. He went down, too.At that distance, the rounds took nearly three seconds to hit their targets despite exiting the barrel at three times the speed of sound. The official range per GPS measurement: 2,475 meters, or roughly 27 football fields.The AWSM has also been credited with another incredible long-distance shot as well. British Corporal Christopher Reynolds killed an Afghan warlord suspected of coordinating attacks against British and American troops at a distance of 1.15 miles (1856 meters) in 2009. It was the previous longest sniper kill in the Afghanistan conflict.
Alleged Marilyn Monroe sex film gets no buyersSunday, August 07, 2011 In this picture taken July 20, 2011, Spain's memorabilia collector MikelBarsa during an interview with The Associated Press in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Barsa plans to auction an allegedly newly discovered 8-mm stag film, purportedly showing Marilyn Monroe having sex when she was still an underage actress known as Norma Jean Baker. The protectors of Marilyn Monroe's estate and image have lawyers ready to sue if Barsa goes ahead with his plan to sell the film he says shows the underaged star. (AP Photo/NatachaPisarenko) BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- A Spanish concert promoter has found no buyers at an auction in Argentina for a 1940s stag film that he claims shows an underage Marilyn Monroe having sex before she became a star. The auction was a flop. Nobody came forward willing to pay MikelBarsa's starting price of 2 million Argentine pesos, about $480,000. Barsa says it didn't help matters that a spokeswoman for Monroe's estate was quoted in an Associated Press interview calling the whole thing a fraud. He says he's still negotiating with an unidentified buyer at about half the price he was hoping for. But he also says his lawyer is reviewing the warning of Monroe's protectors that they are ready to sue him for fraud and intellectual property violation if a sale goes through.
8 August 2011 BBC Morning smoking has cancer riskPeople who smoke soon after getting up in the morning are more likely to develop cancer than those who light up later in the day, say US researchers.A study of 7,610 smokers, published in the journal Cancer, said the effect was independent of other smoking habits.Smoking in the first 30 minutes after waking nearly doubled the, already high, risk of lung cancer.Cancer Research UK suggested people who were quick to smoke may inhale more smoke into the lungs.Scientists at the Penn State College of Medicine in the US looked at 4,776 smokers with lung cancer and 2,835 smokers without cancer.They showed that patients who smoked in the first 30 minutes after waking up were 79% more likely to have developed cancer than those who waited at least an hour.
Mood Rocking Bed Mood Rocking Bed designed by Joe Manus for Shiner International."Bed is indoor and outdoor. It can be left to rock or freeze it in any position with rubber stops. This is the ultimate bed for everything you do in bed. Dream your dreams, love your lover and rest your soul in the Mood Rocking Bed"+ More >>
The Derringer Bespoke CollectionThere are a lot of cool products that grace the front page of this website, but few of them make us stop and stare in awe like a supermodel just crossed paths with us. The Derringer Bespoke Collection of bikes are all products that will make you question your need for food and shelter (there are no prices available, but anything that looks this good is definitely not cheap). The starting point for these bikes is the board tracking racing motorcycles of the 1920s re-imagined for the current century, but Derringer goes a few steps further with the Bespoke Collection with the help of industrial designer Adrian Van Anz. Van Anz refines and individualizes the moto-hybrid drivetrain bike (up to 180 mpg) with handmade copper rivets, leather saddles (from Brooks no less) and white tires. The only thing you have to bring to the table other than your imagination is protection. $TBD
At age 73, Jane Fonda still rocks!August 5, 2011 Say what you want about actress and activist Jane Fonda, but you have to admit that girlfriend still looks super fabulous at age 73, she’s totally making the seventies the new forties! Jane’s being featured in the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar (on sale August 16th).
USA Beach Volleyball Team in Action against Brazil.Member of the American Olympic beach volleyball team gives a hand signal during the match.
BRD RedShiftMXBRD Motorcycles is a love story. It’s not about a man and a woman, it’s about something much purer than that—a man and his need for speed. BRD Motorcycles is about the love a man feels for the open road and the two-wheeled, electricity powered machined between his legs that gets him from 0-60 before he can blink. The BRD RedShift MX is basically a race bike with lights. It’s a bunch of pieces of plastic bolted to an aluminum frame, electric motor and two pieces of rubber that weighs in at less than 250lbs. With 40hp target power, a battery capacity of 5.2kWh and 200 hour maintenance intervals, it’s the type of love normally reserved for Tom Hanks movies. $15k+
2011-08-09 - AHN News Woman eats dead husband's ashes to cope FAYETTEVILLE, TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES (AHN) -- Twenty-six-year-old Cassie lost the love of her life when Shawn, her husband of two-and-a-half years, died from a sudden asthma attack. Cassie mourned and her grieving soon took a strange turn. Cassie, of Fayetteville, Tenn., who was featured on the season finale of the TLC series My Strange Addiction, found she herself eating her husband's cremated ashes as a form of comfort. At first, Cassie carried the ashes around with her wherever she went, including the grocery store, the movies and resturants.Things turned more strange when some of the ashes spilled on her fingers and she didn't want to wipe them off. So instead she licked them and she became hooked on eating her dead husband's ashes. Since then, Cassie has eaten about a pound of the six pounds of ashes, despite their taste of "sandpaper, sand and rotten eggs." Experts say the real harm is that cremated ashes contain chemicals known to bring on psychosis when ingested. At the end of the TLC series Cassie had checked into a inpatient care facility for treatment, sans ashes.
I’ll have the sushi porkAugust 8 2011 Ukraine's national dish of pork fat is a dense, white, chewy treat that can become an acquired taste. But a new restaurant transforms the traditional dish, moulding it into kitsch edible sculptures and even “sushi”. Pork fat is “a cult dish and we decided to turn it into a cult art object,” the co-owner of the restaurant, Mark Zarkhin, told AFP. Known as salo in Ukrainian, the pork fat comes in numerous varieties, ranging from smoked to streaky to pure white blubber. It is often sprinkled with paprika and washed down with a shot of vodka. Named simply “Salo,” Zarkhin's restaurant opened in June in the western city of Lviv and also markets itself as a museum of the lardy delicacy. On the menu are kitsch offerings including a copy of the penis of Michelangelo's David, stuffed with potato dumplings, and an anatomically accurate “Van Gogh's Ear”. There is even a local version of Japanese sushi -- ubiquitous in Ukraine's trendy restaurants -- made from smoked pork fat.
No medical marijuana for N.S. welfare recipientsCBC NewsAug 9, 2011 Nova Scotians on social assistance will no longer be able to get medical marijuana, gym memberships or hot tubs as a special need.The Department of Community Services is tightening the rules for its special needs funding.Until now, some people on income assistance were able to force the department to pay for pot or massage therapy, for example, because the rules were vague about what qualified as a special need.Between 20 and 25 people who already receive support will continue to get it.But new clearer language means others asking for the same help will not be eligible, said Dan Troke, who oversees the program."Clearly going forward the position as it was intended to be all along would be any item that is not on the Nova Scotia drug formulary would not be an item that would be covered under special need," he said.Last year, one woman on social assistance won her court fight to force the department to pay for her medical marijuana.In another case, an appeal board ordered the department to cover the costs of a woman who said she needed to buy equipment to grow her own pot for medical purposes."From a perspective of outside of the true intent of the special need, these would be items that we would see as not meeting the true intent," Troke said.Under the new rules, which took effect Monday, Community Services will only cover medically related items and services covered by the provincial Pharmacare program. The department says this is how other provinces handle requests for medical marijuana.Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse said the new criteria for receiving funding must be clear and consistent so everyone is treated the same.The provincial auditor general had recommended clear systems and controls so that special needs funding is spent as intended.
NYC Teacher, 33, Accused Of Raping Her 16-Yr-Old StudentAugust 10, 2011NYPOSTA Queens high school teacher was arrested today for allegedly having sex with her 16-year-old student earlier this year. According to the Nassau County police, Tara Driscoll, 33, drove the boy to the Capri Motel in Lynbrook and "engaged in sexual relations with the victim." Driscolll, who teaches Campus Magnet High School in Cambria Heights, turned herself in to police this morning. Police were tipped off after the boy's mother found out and confronted him (he confessed). Det. Vincent Garcia told Newsday, "We believe it to be a one-time deal. She picked him up on the day and they drove" to the motel after meeting somewhere in Queens. Driscoll was charged with third-degree rape and criminal sexual act. She has not been suspended by the Department of Education yet.
Girl, 6, allegedly videotaped mom having group sex(AP) – 1 day ago DALLAS (AP) — Texas authorities have charged a Dallas woman with forcing her 6-year-old daughter to repeatedly videotape her having group sex.Police records show the 24-year-old woman is charged with indecency with a child by exposure, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The woman was arrested Saturday. She was in jail Tuesday on a $50,000 bond.The Associated Press does not generally identify those whom authorities believe to be the victims of sexually assault, and is not naming the woman because it might lead to the identification of her daughter.The Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday the police went to the woman's apartment acting on a tip. She told police her daughter used a cellphone to videotape three separate incidents involving six men.
Accused bathroom eater jailed in Vero Beach Walmart flapBy Will Greenlee on August 10, 2011 While rest rooms traditionally are known as places to relieve oneself or freshen up, a 22-year-old man may have pioneered an alternate lavatory use, according to a recently released arrest affidavit.A loss prevention officer at a Walmart Supercenter in Vero Beach stated Aug. 7 that Taylor Allen Dresia was "eating food" on the bathroom floor. Dresia's apparent picnic in the potty blocked the commode for patrons, and a store manager asked him to leave."After a few minutes Dresia left and then returned in another entrance yelling that an employee stole something from his backpack while he was in the bathroom," the affidavit states.Dresia, who ultimately was arrested by an Indian River County Sheriff's deputy, was described as argumentative. He also was accused of yelling during the incident at the store in the 5500 block of 20th Street. The affidavit didn't state whether Dresia was in the mens or ladies rooms, nor was it clear what he was eating. The incident happened at 4 p.m., a time often associated in Britain with sipping tea and nibbling sandwiches and cake. A deputy told Dresia to leave immediately. Dresia said he wasn't leaving and that he wanted to write something down."I then advised Dresia not to play games and exit the store now," the affidavit states. "Dresia again refused.“Deputies got Dresia, listed as homeless, out, arresting him on misdemeanor charges of trespassing after warning and resisting an officer without violence.