Tuesday, May 12, 2009




Today is National Nightshift Workers Day.

Today is Good Samaritan Involvement Day, a time to be unselfish and get involved to help others.

National Receptionists Day (not to be confused with Professional Administrator Day)

1938 - Louis Armstrong and his orchestra recorded the New Orleans’s jazz classic, When the Saints Go Marching In, on Decca Records.

1940 - Winston Churchill gave his first speech as prime minister: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”

1973 - Tennis male chauvinist Bobby Riggs defeated Margaret Smith Court 6-2, 6-1 in front of a world-wide television audience. He would lose to Billie Jean King later that year.


SIMON COWELL is a clean freak. Other than having a clean shirt for every "American Idol" show, Star magazine reports that the judge's first job in Hollywood was cleaning props, specifically JACK NICOLSON's ax on the set of "The Shining."

Reports say Twitter may have peaked, 60% of new users drop out after only one month. The people behind Twitter are nervous. Maybe they should change the name to -- Jitter.

Fans are excited about the new "Star Trek" movie. The Enterprise travels through space at "warp speed". Jim explained it to me. Warp speed is the speed at which a bumper sticker on a spaceship starts to melt.


One thing you may not have noticed in the latest "Star Trek" movie: Carnegie Mellon computer science professor RANDY PAUSCH. Although Pausch died last July at the age of 47 from pancreatic cancer, his "last lecture" was an Internet sensation and later became a best-selling book.

The NY Times reports that "Trek" producer J.J. ABRAMS heard about the professor's love for "Star Trek" and his childhood dream to "be Captain Kirk" and wrote him "I just wanted to put the invitation out there — that if you had any desire to be in the film (can’t promise you role as CAPTAIN, but… we could do SOMETHING!), it would be my honor and pleasure."

Long story short, Pausch took him up on the offer, was flown to LA, got a custom-made uniform, a station on the bridge and one line, for which he was paid $217.06 —and donated it to charity. The line: "Captain, we have visual."

Pausch later said: "Of all the things that have happened, that is the coolest. I’m touched by it. It’s something my kids will be able to go see. It was such a kind thing that [J.J. Abrams] did."

Social Security Red Alert
A new report shows that Social Security and Medicare will go broke much sooner than expected. America's elderly are responding by doing the only thing they can do to protect their retirement - joining the UAW.

Stealing Stamps
Police say a Michigan postal worker has admitted to stealing $20,000 worth of postage stamps and trying to sell them online. The worker will be fired for breaking the Postal Service's strict rules against turning a profit.

Google Lawn Mowing
Instead of using landscapers, Google is looking to be environmentally friendly by bringing in a herd of goats to eat the grass at its corporate headquarters.

Music IS Good For You! - For years, Dr. Mike Miller, a research
cardiologist, has been studying the effects of happiness — or things that
make people happy — on our hearts. He began his research with laughter, and found watching funny movies and laughing at them could actually open up blood vessels, allowing blood to circulate more freely.

Miller thought, if laughter can do that, why not music? So, he tested the
effects of music on the cardiovascular system. “Turns out music may be one
of the best de-stressors — either by playing or even listening to music,”
said Miller. The results did not surprise Miller. “The inner lining of the
blood vessel relaxed, opened up and produced chemicals that are protective to the heart,” he said.

But when participants listened to music they didn’t particularly enjoy,
Miller said, “the vessels actually began to close up.” So, the next time
your boss gets on your nerves, or the kids are driving you crazy, or the car
breaks down, don’t start pulling out your hair. Instead, turn on the radio,
grab your iPod or pop in a CD, and let the music carry you away. All of us
have that one song or CD that does it for us, what’s yours? Stars, Gone, or
More Than Fine from Switchfoot does it for me everytime.

Baby Names Part 2 - Today’s most popular baby names say a lot about the way those babies will turn out. Kerri Hopkins is a Los Angeles-based name expert who analyzes people’s personality traits based on the letters in their names. She’s taken the most popular boys’ and girls’ names and supposedly has the scoop on what these tots will grow up to be like. Hopkins says Jacob is good-natured and tries to please everyone around him. Michael is curious and witty, Ethan is ambitious, Joshua is a prankster, and Daniel is a creative social butterfly. As for the girls, Hopkins says Emma is kind, loving, and sincere, while Isabella is a sassy attention hog. Emily is funny and likes to party, Madison hates being idle, and Ava is a looker who loves to shop.

HONG KONG (Wireless Flash) – After selling his life on eBay, one man is using the money to live out his wildest fantasies. Last June, Ian Usher decided he’d had enough of his life and sold everything – his house, belongings, friends, and even his job – for roughly $290,000 on eBay. Now, he’s using that money to complete 100 things he’s always wanted to try in 100 weeks, including juggling fire clubs, meeting Sir Richard Branson, and getting into a tomato fight in Spain.
His adventure is chronicled on 100goals100weeks.com. So far, Usher has completed 42 of his goals, including swimming with hammerhead sharks in Japan and having a wild hawk land on his hand.

How important is that resume? - The British firm Personal Career Management examined 450 resumes and found that 94 percent of job seekers lost out on getting hired because they had mistakes on their resumes. They were badly presented, had poor grammar or spelling errors. One proudly claimed, “I was responsible for dissatisfied customers.” And another lost out due to one missing comma by claiming his outside interests were “cooking dogs and interesting people.”

Weird Lookin’ Car - The 2009 Nissan Cube. It’s almost cartoonish or Dr. Seuss like. Like a movie prop, the Cube goes to great lengths to hide what it truly is underneath. Namely, a Nissan Versa, with which it shares many parts. The Cube is a bit shorter in length, but compensates for this by
being taller, with an odd array of shapes punctuating its boxy form, such as
the use of squircles for windows. It looks like a car designed for Gumby to
Base Price: $13,990
Type: Front-engine, front wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 5-door wagon
Engine: 1.8L inline-4 cylinder
Power: 122 hp, 127 lb-ft torque
Transmission: 6-speed manual

New Term For You - “Weisure”; here’s the rundown from CNN:
a.”Weisure” is the blurring of work and play — both what we do and
where we do it
b.Weisure is changing modern society, says NYU sociologist Dalton Conley
c.”We lose our private sphere,” he says. “There’s less time to be our
backstage selves”
d.Why? Technology, longer workweek and more workers enjoying their jobs.
What means is more and more Americans are using smartphones and other
technology to collaborate with business colleagues while hanging out with
their families. I just like saying “weisure” it satisfies the Elmer Fudd in me.

Beautiful Story - Stephen Armitage of Yorkshire, England, was born blind in his right eye, and the bad vision in his left eye went hazy after an
infection caused by a contact lens three years ago. But three months ago, the 36-year-old father of two underwent a rare seven-hour surgery that allowed him to see his youngest son, 20-month-old Harry, for the first time, reports the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail. “I hadn’t seen Harry’s facial reactions before or the way he communicates, I could only see his silhouette. Suddenly I was able to see his face,” Armitage told the Daily Mail. Reliving the moment after the surgery when the bandages were peeled away, Armitage said, “It was like a thick cloud had been lifted and my first sight of the kids was wonderful - they were like angels.”

How Ironic! -STAYING in to save money is costing clumsy folks millions a year in broken crockery, wine stains on carpets and similar household accidents. It would often be cheaper to go out than entertain at home as credit-crunched couples spill food on upholstery or start pan fires while cooking a meal, figures reveal. The survey of 1,000 adults found that 46 per cent were staying in more to save money, and almost 89 per cent sacrificed dining out when they had less disposable income. What’s the latest kitchen/cooking mishap you’ve had at home? A few years ago my wife had a grease fire on the stove. Cost us $3,500. We ate out that night, but had to charge it for obvious reasons.

Wow, this is interesting especially on the heels of the Swine Flu - The next time you cough or sneeze, there is good reason to cover your mouth. As many as 20,000 viruses are expelled in an average cough, which may be sufficient to infect many people — particularly those who are not vaccinated. Julian Tang, a consultant at Singapore’s National University Hospital’s Division of Microbiology, said as many as 3,000 tiny droplets are produced in a standard cough. My sons have been studying microorganisms in school and learned that the virus is the smallest living organism; need a high powered microscope to see most variations. If you haven’t done it yet, why not ask parents and students what actions have been taken at their schools. Are people doing anything differently? A private Christian school in town sent home a letter to the students parents simply stating that they have no plans of having the Swine Flu virus in the school at all with God’s help!

Mexico City believes that laughter is the best medicine! - Televisa is cutting all “nonessential” kisses from its soap operas. A song called the “Influenza Cumbia” is climbing the charts. As Mexicans lock themselves inside in fear of the virus, they can’t help but have a little fun with it as well.

The surgical masks that Mexicans have donned by the millions have become canvases for creativity, with some adorning their protective coverings with painted-on monkey mouths, outsized mustaches or “kissy lips.” Newspapers offer smiley cutouts for people to paste to their masks, and some drivers have fashioned masks for their cars. Dog lovers walk the streets of Mexico City with matching masks for their pooches, though doctors have yet to confirm that chihuahua-to-chihuahua transmission is a major public health threat.

Gas prices have surged nearly 10% over the past two weeks. That’s a gain of 20 cents during the past 14 days, and the national average hit $2.248 a gallon on Tuesday, according to a survey by motorist group AAA. The good news: Analysts say a return to last summer’s record highs of $4 a gallon is not on the horizon. And the current runup is not surprising because prices typically increase ahead of the Memorial Day holiday — the unofficial beginning of the peak summer driving season.

How does a man apply makeup? - Confidential notes detailing how Gordon Brown should apply his make-up were left in a taxi by an aide, in a new embarrassment for the Prime Minister of the UK.
The make-up instructions were as follows:
1. Transparent Brush. Foam all over.
2. Small pot under eyes, dimple, creases, blend in.
3. Clinique. Super balanced make-up. All over again, like painting a wall, and ears. Shut eyes over lids then with make-up pad smooth over liquid.
Powder (dark brush) terracotta Guerlain, all over.
I’ve never worn makeup so I need some help here, is that a lot of makeup or not? How does this compare with your routine at home?

Seven Unforgettable Fads
With the help of these trend-spotters, we put together a short list of fads you're likely to remember that got a fast-start. Here they are.

Crocs and Other Plastic Shoes

For a while, the brightly colored plastic shoes were the footwear to be seen in from Los Angeles to New York. But trend spotters suspect the popularity of the plastic shoe has peaked.

On Thursday, Crocs Inc. announced a 32 percent drop in revenue, according to Reuters. "Our intention in 2009 is to preserve the strength of the Crocs brand while endeavoring to strike a balance between lowering our fixed cost base and responsibly reducing our inventory," said Crocs Chief Executive Officer John Duerden.
Infinia Foresight's Bamsey believes the company is evolving, but he also said it didn't act fast enough.

"They rode the wave too long. Their surfboard hit the beach," he said, adding that the product was "pretty static.

"Do they stand for something? Do they have a certain competency?" he asked.
Piers Fawkes, founder of trends and innovation company PSFK said, "Rapid popularity led to trends outcry but many ripoff versions. Lots of people got rich on the plastic shoe fad even though I think Crocs as a company has not died."

The Livestrong Bracelet
Lance Armstrong's iconic yellow band was intended to raise awareness and funding for cancer research. But the $1 plastic bracelet spawned a whole class of wristbands for a variety of charities and political causes.

Launched in May 2004, the bracelets found their way on to the arms of celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Robin Williams and Sen. John Kerry. But today they're hard to spot.

"The Livestrong bracelet was meant to be a fad," said Bamsey. "It was great marketing but not meant to last very long."

Beanie Babies
The tiny stuffed toys from Ty Inc. really hit their stride in the late 1990s, becoming international trading and collectors' items.

Popular among both children and adults, the line started with basic frogs, dolphins and bears. Over time, it grew to include seasonal animals and celebrity lookalikes, like the Princess Diana bear introduced in 1997 after the royal's death.

Bamsey said the craze-inducing creatures fit the mold of a fad but said the shorter life cycle is part of its offering. "Creating and selling 'fads' can be a wise business choice if the category/product lends itself to that," he said. "It's all about generating interest and intent to buy. And some products are unlikely to be sustainable over time."

Since Ty Inc. is a low-profile, private company, sales figures are difficult to come by. But while the company still sells the plush toys, it no longer grabs headlines and inspires buying frenzies the way they used to. However, now that a Beanie Baby fashioned after the President Obama's dog Bo is in the works, maybe they're poised for a comeback.

The Macarena
A favorite at weddings and bar mitzvahs once upon a time, Los del Rio's Macarena is No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs list

The popular song -- and unforgettable accompanying line dance -- peaked during the summer of 1996. But after the song's success, the band fell out of the mainstream, winning the top spot on VH1's top one-hit wonders list in 2002.

In 2004, the social networking Web site was a media industry darling, making it on to Time magazine's list of the 50 Coolest Web sites that year. But those days are long gone.

It's still popular in some parts of the world, analysts said, but its popularity in the United States has plummeted as other sites like Facebook and Twitter have taken its place.

"Friendster, the original social network, exploded then imploded. Facebook worked out the errors made during that wave and took it all to another level altogether," said PSFK's Fawkes.

The site was launched in 2003, giving users a place to connect with existing friends, friends of friends, their friends and more. By June 2005, the site claimed more than 16 million worldwide subscribers.

According to its Web site, Friendster now has about 100 million members worldwide, but it isn't even listed among the top 10 social networking sites. According to Compete, Friendster was the 18th most-visited social networking site in January 2009, with about 7 million visits. Facebook, ranked No. 1, had about 1.2 billion visits in the same month.

Ring Pops
"The quintessential fad," said Ira Matathia of Faith Popcorn's BrainReserve, about the pacifier-like ring pops.

Manufactured by the Topps Company, the wearable sweets were introduced in 1977, but they really became popularized in the '80s. The edible jewelry is tough to find these days, though it still makes appearances on the fingers of stars like Lindsay Lohan, Fergie and others.

Garbage Pail Kids
Another Topps creation, released in 1985, Garbage Pail Kids were once the trading card of choice for kids and adolescents.

Meant to parody the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls, each card featured a character that had suffered some kind of abnormality. The cards' success led to the production of a live-action movie and animated television series that briefly aired in Europe.
The fervor has died down, but the cards are still around. Its Web site gives visitors the option to build and raiser their own kids.

SAN JOSE, Calif. – An office worker cleaning a fridge full of rotten food created a smell so noxious that it sent seven co-workers to the hospital and made many others ill. Firefighters had to evacuate the AT&T building in downtown San Jose on Tuesday, after the flagrant fumes prompted someone to call 911. A hazmat team was called in.
What they found was an unplugged refrigerator that had been crammed with moldy food.
Authorities said an enterprising office worker had decided to clean it out, placing the food in a conference room while using two cleaning chemicals to scrub down the mess. The mixture of old lunches and disinfectant caused 28 people to need treatment for vomiting and nausea.

Authorities said the worker who cleaned the fridge didn't need treatment — she can't smell because of allergies.

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