Funny Toilets From Around The World


A guys toilet is his throne. Often becoming a territorial issue, the bathroom, if one is married, is usually the only place left in the house that he can still call his own. There are many bones of contention when it comes to the commode:

  • are you a seat up or seat down kind of guy
  • toilet roll, over or under
  • do you light a match or spray
  • door open or door closed

These can be very touchy issues. And that is why keeping a sense of humor is imperative. Check out these crazy potty's below. They will have you peeing in your pants for sure. Make sure you check out the last one. It is the most bizarre of all. I dont think I would even be able to use it, could you?


And this is what it looks like from the outside.
It is made entirely of one-way glass.
Now again I ask you, Could you use this one?
funny toilets one way mirror

funny toilets saxophone
funny toilets domanatrix
funny toilets standing outside
funny toilets flowers
funny toilets big mouth

Check out the rest of them here.

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Can a person be scared to death?


[via sciam]

A 79-year-old woman dies in North Carolina after a heart attack brought on by terror

A Charlotte, N.C., man was charged with first-degree murder of a 79-year-old woman whom police said he scared to death. In an attempt to elude cops after a botched bank robbery, the Associated Press reports that 20-year-old Larry Whitfield broke into and hid out in the home of Mary Parnell. Police say he didn't touch Parnell but that she died after suffering a heart attack that was triggered by terror. Can the fugitive be held responsible for the woman's death? Prosecutors said that he can under the state's so-called felony murder rule, which allows someone to be charged with murder if he or she causes another person's death while committing or fleeing from a felony crime such as robbery—even if it's unintentional.

But, medically speaking, can someone actually be frightened to death? We asked Martin A. Samuels, chairman of the neurology department at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

[An edited transcript of the interview follows.]

Is it possible to literally be scared to death?
Absolutely, no question about it.

Really? How does that happen?
The body has a natural protective mechanism called the fight-or-flight response, which was originally described by Walter Cannon [chairman of Harvard University's physiology department from 1906 to 1942]. If, in the wild, an animal is faced with a life-threatening situation, the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system responds by increasing heart rate, increasing blood flow to the muscles, dilating the pupils, and slowing digestion, among other things. All of this increases the chances of succeeding in a fight or running away from, say, an aggressive jaguar. This process certainly would be of help to primitive humans, but the problem, of course, is that in the modern world there is very limited advantage of the fight-or-flight response. There is a downside to revving up your nervous system like this.

How can the fight-or-flight response lead to death?
The autonomic nervous system uses the hormone adrenaline, a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger, to send signals to various parts of the body to activate the fight-or-flight response. This chemical is toxic in large amounts; it damages the visceral (internal) organs such as the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. It is believed that almost all sudden deaths are caused by damage to the heart. There is almost no other organ that would fail so fast as to cause sudden death. Kidney failure, liver failure, those things don't kill you suddenly.

What exactly happens in the heart when it's flooded with too much adrenaline?

Adrenaline from the nervous system lands on receptors of cardiac myocytes (heart-muscle cells), and this causes calcium channels in the membranes of those cells to open. Calcium ions rush into the heart cells and this causes the heart muscle to contract. If it's a massive overwhelming storm of adrenaline, calcium keeps pouring into the cells and the muscle just can't relax.

There is this specially adapted system of muscle and nerve tissue in the heart—the sinoatrial (SA) node, the atrioventricular node, and the Purkinje fibers—which sets the rhythm of the heart. If this system is overwhelmed with adrenaline, the heart can go into abnormal rhythms that are not compatible with life. If one of those is triggered, you will drop dead.

What is an example of one of these deadly heart rhythms?
In most cases, it's probably ventricular fibrillation that causes these sudden deaths from fear. Ventricular fibrillation basically causes the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart) to vibrate in a way that hampers their ability to deliver blood to the body.

What other emotional states besides fear could lead to these fatal heart rhythms?
Any strong positive or negative emotions such as happiness or sadness. There are people who have died in intercourse or in religious passion. There was a case of a golfer who hit a hole in one, turned to his partner and said, "I can die now"—and then he dropped dead. A study in Germany found an increase of sudden cardiac deaths on the days that the German soccer team was playing in the World Cup. For about seven days after the 9/11 terrorists attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon there was an increase of sudden cardiac death among New Yorkers.

Who is most likely to suffer from sudden death?
A predisposition to heart disease would probably increase your risk of sudden death, but it happens at all ages and can happen to otherwise healthy people.

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Why are the sun and moon the same size in the sky?


[via newscientist]

It is one of the most glorious pieces of natural theatre. Assuming you spend your life on the same part of the Earth's surface, you might witness it once - if you are particularly lucky or very long-lived, perhaps twice. But a total solar eclipse is worth the wait. At the height of totality, the fit of sun and moon is so perfect that beads of sunlight can only penetrate to us through the rugged valleys on the lunar surface, creating the stunning "diamond ring" effect.

It is all thanks to a striking coincidence. The sun is about 400 times as wide as the moon, but it is also 400 times further away. The two therefore look the same size in the sky - a unique situation among our solar system's eight planets and 166 known moons. Earth is also the only planet to harbour life. Pure coincidence?

Almost undoubtedly, say most astronomers. But perhaps it is not so much of one as the bare numbers suggest. Our moon is different. The many moons of the large outer planets - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune - are thought to have originated through one of two processes: from the accretion of a disc of material in the planet's gravity field, in a miniature version of the formation of the solar system's planets, or through the later gravitational capture of passing small bodies. The second possibility is also thought to account for Mars's two small satellites, Deimos and Phobos, the only other moons in the inner solar system.

But our moon is simply too big relative to Earth's own size to have formed easily by either of these processes. Planetary scientists believe there can be only one explanation: in the first 100 million years of the solar system, when unattached debris was still zinging around the inner solar system, a Mars-sized object smashed into Earth. That impact radically remodelled our planet, expelling a huge amount of debris that eventually congealed into our oversized moon.

And here's the best bit. Such a big moon is a big boon for life on Earth. As Earth spins on its own axis, it has a natural tendency to wobble, owing to the varying pull on it from other bodies such as the sun. The unseen hand of the moon's gravity gently damps that wobble, preventing rotational instabilities which would otherwise have caused dramatic changes in Earth's climatic zones over time. Such instabilities would have made it much more tricky for life to get started on our planet.

Earth's position in the "habitable zone" around the sun where liquid water is abundant is undoubtedly the single most important factor in its fecundity. But the presence of a large moon - one large enough to cause total eclipses - might also have been crucial. If so, that has important consequences for the search for life on other planets.

Since the impact that created it, the moon has been moving steadily away from us, currently about 3.8 centimetres per year. The dinosaurs did not see eclipses like we do: the moon was too close 200 million years ago, more than big enough in the sky to block out the entire sun. Equally, any occupants of Earth in a couple of hundred million years' time will not see total eclipses at all, as the moon will appear too small.

Our luck seems the result of two coincident timescales: that of the recession of an impact-formed moon, and that for the evolution of intelligent life. If you should be fortunate enough to experience a total eclipse in your lifetime, consider this intriguing possibility: that large moon might be the reason you are there.

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Dolphins prepare food like chefs before eating


[via telegraph]

Dolphins are the chefs of the seas, going through elaborate preparations to rid cuttlefish of ink and bone to produce a soft meal of calamari, scientists claim.

A wild female Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin was observed going through a series of complicated steps to prepare cuttlefish for eating in the Spencer Gulf, in South Australia.

Study co-author Tom Tregenza, from the University of Exeter, said the behaviour exhibited between 2003 and 2007 was unlikely to be a rarity.

"In addition to our observations, individual bottlenose dolphins feeding at these cuttlefish spawning grounds have been observed by divers in the area to perform the same behavioural sequence," they said in the study.

"The feeding behaviour reported here is specifically adapted to a single prey type and represents impressive behavioural flexibility for a non-primate animal."

The research team, writing in the science journal PLoS One, said they repeatedly observed a female dolphin herding cuttlefish out of algal weed and onto a clear, sandy patch of seafloor.

The dolphin, then pinned the cuttlefish with its snout while standing on its head, before killing it instantly with a rapid downward thrust and "loud click" audible to divers as the hard cuttlebone broke.

The dolphin then lifted the body up and beat it with her nose to drain the toxic black ink that cuttlefish squirt into the water to defend themselves when attacked.

Next the prey was taken back to the seafloor, where the dolphin scraped it along the sand to strip out the cuttlebone, making the cuttlefish soft for eating.

"It's a sign of how well their brains are developed. It's a pretty clever way to get pure calamari without all the horrible bits," Mark Norman, the curator of molluscs at Museum Victoria.

A separate 2005 study provided the first sign dolphins may be capable of group learning and using tools, with a mother seen teaching her daughters to break off sea sponges and wear them as protection while scouring the seafloor in Western Australia.

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January 31 the year's biggest night for first dates.


[via telegraph]

January 31 is due to be the year's biggest night for dirst dates, according to a survey.

Although January may have the reputation as the peak month for relationships break up, new statistics show Saturday night is due to be the year's biggest night for first dates.

On top of that, an estimated 70,000 wil turn into a new romance by February.

A survey of 5,000 singles by PARSHIP.co.uk, Europe's largest scientifically-based online dating service, showed Britain's singles will go on 2.5 million first dates this January, almost three times more than in December and twice as many as any other single month of the year.

Another recent PARSHIP poll found four out of five people said they would actively to meet someone in January.

Almost half said they would look for a committed relationship, more than one in ten for a casual relationship and one in five for any type of relationship.

Nearly half of singles, 45 per cent of men and 50 per cent of women also admitted to feeling particularly lonely in January.

Dr Victoria Lukats, psychiatrist and PARSHIP.co.uk's dating expert, said: "These findings are consistent with previous surveys. We know that more people join internet dating services in January than any other time of year.

"We also know that internet dating has now become the single most common way of finding a partner.

"The explanation could be down to the post-Christmas malaise, pressure from well-meaning friends and relatives or New Year's resolutions."

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Debunking 5 Cold-Weather Car Myths


[via popularmechanics]

Cold out, eh? Feeling a little overwhelmed by the frigid weather? Tired of not being able to see out of the windshield, of sliding all over the road? PM's winter guru Mike Allen, born and raised in Michigan's snowy Thumb, answers cold-weather queries and debunks winter car myths.

1) "Will carrying sandbags in your trunk really improve traction?"
Well, that depends on what you drive. Back in the days when the average car was a front-heavy, rear-drive sedan with marginal bias-ply tires, sure, a hundred pounds of ballast might have made the difference to help you crest that snowy hill. Most
cars today are front- or or even all-wheel drive, and even today's big rear-drive iron has a better weight distribution and way better radial all-season tires. Ballast in the trunk will only hinder traction on front-drive cars and is likely to make you oversteer on slippery surfaces. If you must ballast your rear-drive car or truck, add the ballast as far forward as possible; you'll still get the traction but not the extra mass so far back.

2) "My mom was telling me how everyone at her office goes out at lunch to run their cars for 10 minutes or so, the theory being that if it starts at lunch, it will start after work. True or False? Is this good practice?"
If the car starts in the morning after cold-soaking all night, it certainly should start after 8 hours parked in the office parking lot. If you've got a garage baby that won't start after a day out-of-doors and needs to be started every 4 hours, maybe it's time to change the plugs and get it running right. If you start a cold engine and idle it for 10 minutes every day, you stand the chance of diluting the oil with unburned fuel that never gets a chance to burn off. That could cause premature engine wear—not to mention needlessly burning up some expensive gasoline.

3) "I don't know if it's because "anything that can go wrong, will go wrong" but why do so many batteries die during the winter? I know a few people that have had car batteries die, two of them because the cables came loose. Is this just a coincidence or is it a result of the cold?"
Winter is tough on batteries, for two main reasons. The engines are far harder to turn over because all the oil inside them has turned to molasses. This demands much more current from a battery, and to add insult to injury, that battery cannot produce its normal amount of energy because of the cold. The chemical reactions that generate electricity are slower at a lower temperatures. Your point about cables loosening is partially related. The huge current demands of the starter motor—200 to 400 amps—can cause the battery clamps to heat up if the connection at the clamp to post isn't perfect. When the car starts, the connection will cool off. And that leaves a poor connection. And a poor connection can prevent the battery from getting fully charged. A discharged battery, unlike one that's fully charged, can freeze, damaging it internally.

That said, while more cars won't start on cold winter mornings, more batteries actually fail during the summer months, when intense heat cooks out the electrolyte, boiling the battery dry.

4) "I noticed that after a few days of heavy snow, the wiper squirters stopped working. I thought it was because they had frozen. My aunt says it's because of sediment in the tank that clogged it. What's the likely cause, and how do you prevent it?"
The washer nozzles would freeze right away, not after a few days of subzero temps. And the sediment your aunt is sure is in the reservoir would clog up the nozzles regardless of the temperature. It's probably snowmelt reflux. Normally, there's a check valve in the washer-nozzle line to keep that blue fluid (actually just alcohol and some dye) in the lines after you stop washing the windscreen. If the check valve goes bad, the fluid will run back into the reservoir when you stop running the pump. And it can suck melted snow or ice back into the nozzle. Replacing the check valve usually fixes this.

5) "When it's really cold, the windshield wipers accumulate ice no matter how well I scrape them and even when I have the heat on high, blasting the windshield. In the middle of my commute, the wipers will start streaking, greatly reducing visibility. Is there anything I can do to prevent this? Additives to my fluid? Special wiper blades?"
Extreme weather can overpower the freezing point of the washer fluid, turning it to slush on your windshield. So, the most important thing is to keep the windshield as warm as possible by turning the defroster on to the warmest temperature setting and highest fan speed. Fresh wiper blades might help, or at least try cleaning the blades that you have of accumulated road film by wiping them with mineral spirits and a paper towel. Treating the windshield with Rain-X will leave less washer fluid on the glass to freeze. As a last resort, use methyl alcohol instead of washer fluid in the tank. Washer fluid is already 40 percent methyl alcohol and 60 percent water. If you increase the concentration of alcohol, it will depress the freezing point. You can buy methyl alcohol in the paint department of the hardware store, or sometimes you can find it in the housewares section of a big-box store, labeled as fuel for chafing dishes. Just pour it into the washer reservoir.


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16 Wild Materials You May Find in Future Products


The Technology Hunters at Inventables, a Chicago-based firm, collect and sift through thousands of unique materials, products and gizmos every year. Then they pick the winners and drop details about the materials that have the right mixture of utility and uniqueness into an enormous electronic database, along with suggestions for how they could be incorporated into new products. Here are 16 of the best, brightest and quirkiest from Inventables.

Magnetic Ink

Magnetic Ink

This ink, developed by New Jersey company LDP LLC, writes and dries normally but contains particles of iron, making it responsive to magnets and able to conduct electricity. The ink could be used to
print circuits on paper.

Electronic Paper

Electronic Paper

Electronic paper, a thin, flexible display technology that reveals digital images in full color, was invented by Israeli company Magink. Inventables imagines that the material could be used to create a portable “origami DVD player,” which would unfold to reveal a big screen.


Check out the rest here.

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Super Bowl taking a hit amid economic struggles


[via foxsports]

There were mountains of jumbo shrimp, and caviar everywhere. Muhammad Ali would show up, maybe amid a fleet of shiny Cadillacs. Five-star hotels were packed, and getting a dinner reservation for Saturday night was impossible. Finding a ticket for Sunday was even harder.

In years past, the Super Bowl was so much more than a game. It was an outright orgy of football, glitz and gluttony, a celebration of excess where too much was never enough.

The No. 1 sporting event in America is still a big deal. Nearly 100 million of us will tune in Sunday night when the Pittsburgh Steelers play the Arizona Cardinals.

But in these tough economic times, it's easy to see: The Super Bowl is taking a hit, too.

General Motors and FedEx pulled their TV ads, even though NBC lowered the price. Playboy canceled its annual party. Almost 200 fewer media credentials were issued.

"When I think of the NFL, I think of recession-proof," Cardinals lineman Elliot Vallejo said this week. "But that's not true anymore."

Used to be everywhere you looked around a Super Bowl town, all you could see was advertising. There were commercial booths at every turn. The headquarters hotel and media center looked like giant trade shows.

Now you can look pretty much everywhere and actually see things. Such as empty tables at local restaurants and vacant hotel rooms downtown.

StubHub does have a sign on the mezzanine level at Raymond James Stadium. The nationwide ticket broker also had more than 3,000 seats for sale, as of midweek. They were getting less expensive by the minute.

"In terms of pricing, this game has become the Limbo Bowl — how low can it go?" StubHub spokesman Sean Pate said. "When it comes to plunking down $7,000 for a weekend, people are becoming more pragmatic. They have other needs."

Dave Gornick hears that from his pals. Now a dentist in Gibsonia, Pa., the lifelong Steelers fan grew up in steel-mill country.

"Some of the guys I tailgate with, they're blue-collar guys making $30,000 or $35,000 a year, and they didn't have the $1,600 you had to put up in advance to get into the lottery for Super Bowl tickets," he said. "In the past, I think they would've done anything to get to the Super Bowl. Not now, not with this economy."

On the other hand, it might be cheaper to go to the game.

While tickets are still pricey — about 15,000 at a record $1,000 apiece and 53,000 at $800 each — another 1,000 cost $500, down from last year's low of $700, the first cut in Super Bowl history.

And tickets that cost $2,500 or more from scalpers and brokers could be selling at face value by kickoff.

"I haven't seen empty stadiums yet. I haven't seen games being blacked out on TV because they haven't sold out," Cardinals defensive end Travis LaBoy said. "But they're saying this is the lowest price for a Super Bowl ticket. That's the economy, tenfold."

In a week or so, the NFL plans to make a more painful cut, reducing 10 percent of its staff.

"These are difficult and painful steps," commissioner Roger Goodell recently wrote in a memo to employees. "But they are necessary in the current economic environment. I would like to be able to report that we are immune to the troubles around us, but we are not."

Still the gold standard in sports worldwide, the league with annual revenues of $6.5 billion is paying the price. But with television money already locked in and most tickets committed in advance, the NFL is far from struggling.

The league won't feel the biggest effects from the recession until it's time for fans to renew and buy season tickets.

"There's no secret on sponsorship, advertising, licensing — those numbers are going to be impacted by the current climate. We're aware of that," Goodell told The Associated Press before Thanksgiving.

"We're still, unfortunately, in the beginning stages of this. And most of our tickets are sold in the spring. And so '09 is going to be more of a barometer of how impactful the economic environment's going to be on the NFL," he said.

Steelers tackle Jeremy Parquet is busy these days checking his long-term investments, financial portfolios and retirement accounts.

"We're lucky because as athletes, we make good salaries. But everyone is affected," he said. "With Barack Obama as our president, maybe it'll change in the next two years."

Too late for Warrick Dunn.

One of the most popular players in Tampa Bay history, Dunn and Buccaneers teammate Derrick Brooks planned to hold a charity event while the Super Bowl was in town. Widely recognized for their community service, they were all set to host the Brooks & Dunn Inaugural Golf Classic this week.

Many locals figured that if anyone in the area could put on a successful outing, it was these two. But earlier this month, the event was canceled. Not enough corporate sponsorship and support.

"We raised a good amount of money, but we were hoping for more," Dunn said. "I guess it's not surprising, given these tough times. People don't have as much money to spend."

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Facebook 276% Growth in 35-54 Year Old Users


[via istrategylabs]

In October 2007, I wrote about “Facebook Demographics Direct From Their System” that gave an account of Facebook’s demographic composition using a few statistics that might be interesting to marketers. Ten months later, we followed up with “Facebook Demographics 2008 Update - It’s Getting Older In There” which showed that the fastest growing group, the 35-54 year old segment, grew at a rate of 172.9% in that period.

Below is istrategylabs' third granular examination of Facebook’s demographics and statistics directly from their Social Ads platform. The biggest surprise (perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising) was that Facebook’s 35-54 year old demographic segment not only continued to grow the fastest, but it accelerated to a 276.4% growth rate over the past 6 months. That demo is DOUBLING roughly every two months. Here’s the full breakdown:

Download 2009 Facebook Demographics and Statistics as an Excel spreadsheet

facebook_demographics_statistics_2009.png

Top Insights:

1) The 35-54 year old demo is growing fastest, with a 276.4% growth rate in over the approximate 6 months since we last produced this report

2) The 55+ demo is not far behind with a 194.3% growth rate

3) The 25-34 year population on Facebook is doubling every 6 months

4) For those interested in advertising alcohol on Facebook, there are 27,912,480 users 21+, representing 66.3% of all users

5) Miami is the fastest growing metropolitan area (88.5%) and Atlanta (6.4%) is the slowest

6) There are more females (55.7%) than males (42.2%) on Facebook - 2.2% are of unknown gender.

7) The largest demographic concentration remains the college crowd of 18-24 year olds (40.8%) which is down from (53.8%) six months ago.

Take away? Parents and professionals are rapidly adopting Facebook. Should a marketer be concerned about this shift if they’re focused on youth marketing?

No. Facebook’s ad targeting enables zero waste from an age targeting perspective. Additionally, Facebook Pages now have an age restriction feature. What I think we’ll see in 2009 is a flurry of alcohol marketing as Facebook approaches a critical 70% concentration of legal drinking aged users. The 21+ demo should reach that 70% mark at the end of Q1. The alcohol category does pretty well in recessionary times after all!

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Homeless Man Gets 15 Years For Stealing $100


Man who took one bill and handed rest back to bank teller gets 15-year sentence

A man who said he robbed a downtown Shreveport bank because he was out of a job and hungry has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for first-degree robbery. [via ktbs]

Roy Brown, 54, of Audrey Lane, pleaded guilty in Caddo District Court to robbing the Capital One bank in December 2007.

Brown admitted walking up to a teller with one of his hands under his jacket and telling her it was a "stickup." The teller handed the man three stacks of bills and he took a single $100 bill, told her he was homeless and left, police said.

Brown surrendered to police the next day, telling them his mother didn't raise him that way.

Police let him sober up and interviewed him two days later. Police said Brown told them he needed money to stay in a downtown detox center, had nowhere to stay and was hungry -- so he walked up the street and robbed the bank.

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Viral site lets workers tell off their bosses anonymously


CareerBuilder.com launches viral site for sending "constructive criticism" to the boss

[via computerworld]

Here's one more reason for bosses to treat their employees well.

CareerBuilder.com launched a viral Web site where people can send anonymous messages to the bosses and co-workers who drive them crazy. The Anonymous Tip Giver site is billed as a tool that allows people to offer "constructive criticism or fun advice" for those bosses who take credit for their work, use sarcasm like a weapon or make workers stay late on their kids' birthday parties.

On the site, announced today by CareerBuilder.com, people can choose from four different characters and then pick a voice that will deliver the message to their intended recipient. Users can pick from a list of messages or type in their own, which will then be anonymously delivered via e-mail, with the character reading the message aloud.

"You can write up your own advice or select from a list of pre-made tips such as 'One out of 10 people think your barking dog ring tone is funny, that one person is you'," said a CareerBuilder statement. "You can even record your message over the phone. Without revealing your identity, in an instant, the fully animated tip is delivered right to the recipient's e-mail box. Voila! Bad boss problem solved."

The new viral site will officially launch during the Super Bowl on Sunday.

But viral marketing campaigns don't always work out as planned. A little more than a year ago, Mozilla, Corp. launched a viral initiative to push its open-source Web browser to new users. The campaign included a Web site, an anthem, a link to Firefox's download and an enormous list of statistics that purported to compare Firefox users with people who used rival Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer browser.

But the campaign didn't work out so well. Within hours after its kickoff, Mozilla shut it down and apologized to users.

Regardless of how a viral campaign works out, plenty of people are unhappy with their bosses or their co-workers.

In a Harris Interactive online poll of 8,038 full-time, U.S. employees, 43% of the respondents said that they have quit jobs simply to get away from a bad boss, according to CareerBuilder, which commissioned the survey. Moreover, 48% of the women surveyed said that they would quit their jobs because of a bad boss, compared to 39% of the men.

And age also is part of the "should I stay or should I go?" decision. CareerBuilder.com reported that 48% of workers between the ages of 35 and 44 quit their jobs because of their bosses, while 40% of workers between the ages of 18 and 24 and 41% of workers 45 to 54 said bosses pushed them to quit.

In the survey, reports of real-life bad boss behavior included stories of one boss who used a taser on a subordinate, one who tap-danced on a worker's desk, another who showed everyone a kidney stone that he had passed, and another who mandated a "talk like a pirate day."

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Frequent Sex, Masturbation Linked To Higher Prostate Cancer


[via sciencedaily]

Men who are very sexually active in their twenties and thirties are more likely to develop prostate cancer, especially if they masturbate frequently, according to a study of more than 800 men.

However the UK research team also found that frequent sexual activity in a man’s forties appears to have little effect and even small levels of activity in a man’s fifties could offer protection from the disease. Most of the differences were attributed to masturbation rather than sexual intercourse.

The study, led by the University of Nottingham, looked at the sexual practices of more than 431 men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 60, together with 409 controls.

Men who took part in the study were asked about all aspects of their sex life from their twenties onwards, including how old they were when they became sexually active, how often they masturbated and had intercourse, how many sexual partners they had had and whether they had had any sexually transmitted diseases.

“We were keen to look at the links between sexual activity and younger men as a lot of prostate cancer studies focus on older men as the disease is more prevalent in men over 50” says lead author Dr Polyxeni Dimitropoulou, who is now at the University of Cambridge.

“Hormones appear to play a key role in prostate cancer and it is very common to treat men with therapy to reduce the hormones thought to stimulate the cancer cells. A man’s sex drive is also regulated by his hormone levels, so this study examined the theory that having a high sex drive affects the risk of prostate cancer.”

The study participants, who were recruited by their family doctors, were asked to fill in a questionnaire about their sexual habits in each decade of their life since their twenties.

All the men with prostate cancer had been diagnosed in their fifties. Most of the men who took part in the study (97%) were white and the majority were currently married (84%) or widowed, separated or divorced (12%).

A number of interesting points came out of the study:

  • 59% of the men in both groups said that they had engaged in sexual activity (intercourse or masturbation) 12 times a month or more in their twenties. This fell steadily as they got older, to 48% in their thirties, 28% in their forties and 13% in their fifties.
  • 39% of the cancer group had had six female partners or more, compared with 31% of the control group.
  • Men with prostate cancer were more likely to have had a sexually transmitted disease than those without prostate cancer.
  • More men with prostate cancer fell into the highest frequency groups in each decade when it came to sexual activity (intercourse and masturbation) than men in the control group. 40% of men in the cancer group fell into the highest frequency category in their twenties (20 or more times a month) compared to 32% in the control group. Similar patterns were observed in the men’s thirties and forties. By the fifties it had evened out, with 31% in each group falling into the most frequent category (ten or more times a month).
  • Men with prostate cancer were also more likely to masturbate frequently than men in the control group, with the greatest difference in the twenties (34% versus 24%) and thirties (41% versus 31%). The differences were less pronounced in their forties (34% versus 28%) and by the fifties the cancer group was slightly lower (25% versus 26%).

“What makes our study stand out from previous research is that we focused on a younger age group than normal and included both intercourse and masturbation at various stages in the participants’ lives,” says Dr Dimitropoulou.

“Overall we found a significant association between prostate cancer and sexual activity in a man’s twenties and between masturbation and prostate cancer in the twenties and thirties. However there was no significant association between sexual activity and prostate cancer in a man’s forties.

“A possible explanation for the protective effect that men in their fifties appear to receive from overall sexual activity, and particularly masturbation, is that the release of accumulated toxins during sexual activity reduces the risk of developing cancer in the prostate area. This theory has, however, not been firmly established and further research is necessary.”

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Scientists Find a Latte Health Benefits from Drinking Coffee


[via ecosalon]

Although coffee gets a bad rap, it’s actually a medicinal food. In fact, this stimulating bean isn’t nearly so bad as we’ve all been taught. Although I’m skeptical about grande latte supplementation in the long run (it’s a drug, after all), I found myself surprised by much of the science on coffee. Poor Ponce de Leon; all this time he should have been searching for the espresso machine. Step aside, acai. Here are 20 surprising health benefits of coffee.

Apparently, coffee and alcohol really do go together. Believe it or not, alcohol drinkers who also drink coffee regularly have a lower chance of developing cirrhosis of the liver. That’s not to say it’s a healthy lifestyle - obviously, lowering your alcohol consumption is better. But…science says…

Caffeine reduces risk of skin cancer. Sorry, venti quaffers, this prevention method is topical. Lotions containing caffeine (both from coffee and green tea) have been shown to prevent the occurrence of cancerous tumors on the skin - in murine trials, anyway.

Have a smile with your morning brew! If you’re a caffephile, you don’t need this Johns Hopkins study to tell you that a cup or two a day increases your sense of well-being and happiness. You can thank dopamine for that, which also contributes to coffee’s addictive nature. But be aware, the study also noted that more than 2 cups daily increases the risk of anxiety and panic attacks. Some people respond more readily than others - if you find yourself feeling jittery or nervous, ease up on the joe.

Caffeine may reduce chance of Parkinson’s Disease. A 30-year study has shown that non-coffee drinkers have a higher chance of developing Parkinson’s Disease than their coffee-drinking counterparts.

Most Americans get their antioxidants from coffee. That doesn’t mean it’s the best source of antioxidants, just that it’s the most consumed. But, it’s true, coffee is very high in antioxidants. As for me, I’ll stick to fruit.

Black gold. After petroleum, coffee is the second most valuable economic product in the world. Imagine the financial potential of running our cars on coffee grounds.

Coffee may cut colon cancer in women. A 12-year study on Japanese women found that drinking 3 or more cups of coffee per day may actually halve the risk of developing colon cancer. They found no beneficial effect from green tea on the colon - in this case, it was strictly a coffee thing.

Coffee and diabetes, that’s a tricky one. Even though a Finnish study shows that drinking large amounts of coffee can reduce the risk of developing Type-2 Diabetes, coffee drinkers who already have diabetes have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels.

Coffee reduces muscle pain. After a hard workout, a cup or two of coffee has been shown to reduce muscle soreness (in women, anyway) more effectively than naproxen, aspirin and ibuprofen. (But don’t replace your water thermos with coffee.)

Coffee will detox your liver in surprising ways. This remedy is not one for drinking: we’re talking about the coffee enema. Some people swear by it - using a tube to introduce coffee into the rectum and colon in order to stimulate the liver to remove toxins. Definitely not for the squeamish.

Coffee may reduce chance of death from heart disease. Studies show that drinking 4-5 cups of coffee a day can make you less likely to die from heart disease. The researchers think it may have something to do with coffee’s anti-inflammatory effects.

The devil is in the grounds. When coffee, which originated in Ethiopia and became popular in the Arab world, was first introduced to Western culture, Christian priests denounced it as the devil’s drink, given to the Muslims as a substitute for the wine (Christ’s blood) they weren’t allowed to consume. The belief at the time was that any coffee-drinking Christian risked burning in hell forever. Hooray, progress!

Coffee may help with short term memory. It’s probably because of caffeine’s stimulant effects, but an Austrian study showed that volunteers given caffeinated coffee had better reaction times and short-term memory function than those who were given the cup of decaf.

For women, caffeine may prevent long term memory loss. Because caffeine is a psychostimulant, older women who drink 3 or more cups of coffee or tea a day have less memory loss and cognitive decline than their counterparts who drink less or none. Unfortunately, caffeine consumption doesn’t seem to have any preventative effect against dementia.

Caffeine won’t cause hypertension. Some of the studies can be contradictory and confusing. What we do know is that for non-habitual coffee drinkers, those first few cups will cause a temporary rise in blood pressure, but for regular drinkers, a tolerance develops and won’t cause any long term, permanent increase.

The injustice of cheap coffee. No, it’s not just an injustice to your connoisseur taste buds; conventional coffee farming exploits workers and destroys communities in third world countries. On average, 5% of the profits actually make it back to the farmers, who are hungry, underpaid and treated badly. Why do they work on coffee plantations at all? Because in many cases, the plantations own the most fertile land (which was most often acquired unscrupulously) and the local people won’t survive from subsistence farming alone. How can you avoid supporting the cycle of poverty, corruption and injustice? Only buy Fair Trade certified coffee.

Pesticides in your brew. Because almost all coffee is grown in third world countries with less stringent laws than Europe or the United States, your non-organic cuppa is probably laden with chemicals. That’s not just bad for you, it’s bad for the farmers and the tropical ecosystems in which the coffee is grown. Go organic, will ya?

Pick your poison - literally. Caffeine is an alkaloid, which is a type of poisonous, bitter substance found in plants. Other alkaloids include strychnine, nicotine, morphine, mescaline, and emetine (the deadly ingredient in hemlock). Fortunately, in small quantities the bean is harmless, but it’s worth thinking about if you choose to use other drugs (both pharmaceutical and recreational).

The FDA has approved caffeine for babies. This doesn’t mean you can wake up your sleepy infant with a bottle of latte. Caffeine injections have been used medicinally since 1999 in the United States to stimulate breathing in infants who are experiencing apnea. It’s still recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women keep their caffeine intake to a minimum, but a modest amount is safe.

Coffee can fight cavities. Just avoid all the sugar and milk! Actually, roasted coffee has some antibacterial properties, particularly against Streptococcus mutans, one of the major causes of cavities. By the way, these properties have nothing to do with caffeine, so decaf drinkers will get the same protection.

Despite the positive health studies, it’s best not to intentionally pick up the caffeine habit if you’re not already a regular coffee drinker. Even though some of the studies suggest drinking 3 or more daily cups to get the benefits, everyone is different. If it makes you jittery and sick to your stomach, stick to a milder pick-me-up like green tea or yerba mate. But if that morning cup makes you feel awake, alive and eager to greet the day, you might as well indulge (in moderation) in the world’s most well-loved drink.

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40 Things You Can Learn About a Guy in 10 Minutes


[via yahoo]

If you're curious about the new dude in your life but know better than to grill him with 20 questions, you're gonna love our sneaky read-him tips.

You don't have to date a guy for six months to get the lowdown on who he really is. With the right clues, you can size him up in 10 minutes. "A man's actions -- especially the ones you see in unguarded moments when he's not going out of his way to try to impress you (or doesn't realize you're watching) -- can speak volumes about his character and personality traits," says Rita Benasutti, PhD, a psychotherapist who specializes in couples' issues. To help you decode a guy you've just started seeing, Cosmo called on a team of experts to tell you how to assess his actions and tap into his boyfriend potential, pronto.

His Favorite Sport
"Solo sportsmen, like runners and swimmers, 1 savor their independence and relish spending a lot of time alone," says relationship-skills coach Steve Nakamoto, author of "Men Are Like Fish: What Every Woman Needs to Know About Catching a Man." Men who are fans of mainstream team sports, like football, basketball, and baseball, 2 tend to be competitive -- on the field and in all aspects of their life -- and they like to hang with their entourage. As for the guy who's just not into sports at all, 3 "he's an independent thinker, usually on the sensitive side."

How Long He's Been Hanging With His Friends
A guy who has been friends with the same posse since he was 10 years old can certainly claim 4 loyalty as one of his strong suits. But "you better like what you see, because he's probably not great with change," says dating coach Liz H. Kelly, author of "Smart Man Hunting." "And be patient, because it will take a while for you to win his trust." If your date has buddies from all areas of his life -- i.e., college, the gym, work -- don't be afraid to drag him to your cousin's wedding. 5 "He has no problem schmoozing strangers and adapts to new situations easily."

Credit vs. Cash
A guy who likes to flash his plastic 6 craves status. "He may be ambitious and confident. He'll reach his financial goals," says Rob Ronin, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist and registered financial consultant. "If he always pays in cash, 7 he's self-sufficient and independent," which might make him a difficult dude to corner. And if his wallet is dry? 8 Here's a guy who's dependent on others to take care of him.

His Bad Habits
Gambling men 9 are risk-takers, which can make them a lot of fun. "But their over-the-top optimism that they'll come out ahead makes it difficult for them to face reality," says Mitchell Parks, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville. "Hard-core smokers 10 tend to be anxious," says Dr. Parks, so it can be hard to pin them down for couple-time. And if he's a boozer, 11 he could be hiding his insecurity behind his buzz.

His Communication Style
When your date opts to email you -- rather than call -- 12 he could be a hard nut to crack. "The fact that he chooses a communication method that allows him to edit what he says signals that he might not want to show his true self," says Jeff Bryson, PhD, professor of psychology at San Diego State University. An IM addict 13 craves your nonstop attention and needs that instant assurance that you're there for him. And the phone fan? 14 He might be a little old-fashioned and likes to do things by the book. But, according to Bryson, "he's not afraid of intimacy."

The Clothes You Wear That He Prefers
If your fave T-shirt and jeans or a cute little sundress do more for him than your slinky black number, 15 you're dating an earthy, laid-back guy who likes equally laid-back, low-maintenance chicks. A man who's wowed by a woman who likes to get dolled up in high-end designer duds 16 places a high priority on prestige. "He'll probably make a lot of money, but it also might play too important a role in his life," says Los Angeles clinical psychologist Nancy Irwin, PsyD. And a guy who wants a Carmen Electra-sensual girl on his arm 17 is looking for an ego boost. "He places a lot of value on being admired and envied."

How He Deals With Traffic
If he constantly weaves in and out of cars, tailgates slowpokes, and glares at other drivers, 18 "it's pretty clear that he has a problem with aggression," says Leon James, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii and author of "Road Rage and Aggressive Driving." While a forceful personality might take him far in the workplace, it could be difficult to deal with this argumentative guy in a relationship. If he's able to exude Zen-like calm when stuck in gridlock, 19 "he's likely to have more self-control."

What He Orders in a Restaurant
A meat-and-potatoes-type guy 20 is usually steady and dependable, says image coach Dianne Daniels, author of "Polish and Presence: 31 Days to a New Image." "But he's also a little unadventurous." If your date goes for exotic dishes, 21 "you're with someone who makes spontaneity a priority and could easily get bored with the status quo."

Neat Freak or Messy Man
A guy who puts his dirty socks in the hamper is one thing; a guy who color-codes them in his drawer is something else. 22 "This man is way too fastidious to have fun," explains Daniels, "and he'll expect you to be just as neat." A mildly messy man 23 is looser and more open-minded. But if the inside of his shower has never seen a scrub brush, 24 he may be immature or just plain lazy.

Favorite TV Shows
Take note if he parks himself in front of one sitcom after another. 25 "Here's a guy who uses humor to defuse stress," says TV producer Hedda Muskat, author of "Dating Confidential: A Single's Guide to a Fun, Flirtatious and Possibly Meaningful Social Life." This can be a good thing, because he won't hold a grudge against you or lose his cool. But it also might be hard to get into a serious conversation with him, which can be frustrating. "The more you try to discuss something important, the more evasive he will become," says Muskat. A couch sleuth who's fascinated by CSI-type shows, on the other hand, 26 is analytical and thoughtful. "He prides himself on his problem-solving abilities and will be there for you when you need support," says Muskat.

His Birth Order
"The oldest child 27 is usually a responsible, take-charge kind of guy," says Nancy Fagan, author of "Desirable Men." If your babe is the baby of his brood, 28 "he's likely to be creative and a little rebellious." As for a middle man: 29 "He's a sensitive soul who needs loads of attention."

How He Approaches PDAs
When you're out in public and he's all over you like a rash, 30 "he's either trying to show you off or marking his territory, both of which are signs of insecurity," says Nakamoto. A guy who's allergic to body contact in public is 31 unsure about his feelings for you or your feelings for him. "PDAs are statements of togetherness," says Nakamoto. "If he has doubts, he'll keep his distance physically."

Whether He Always Drives or Wants You To
"A guy who doesn't automatically assume driving rights 32 is likely to let you steer the relationship at least some of the time," says Kelly. A man who hogs the wheel -- even in your car -- 33 is sweetly old-fashioned at best and, at worst, could be a control freak.

The Guy's Grooming MO
A guy who checks out his reflection in every store window you pass is obviously vain. But, interestingly, 34 it's also a sign of a dude who's intent on succeeding. "Presentation is everything to this kind of man," says Sheenah Hankin, PhD, author of "Complete Confidence." "He sees it as a measure of his self-respect and success." 35 The low-key, less conceited guy might be less ambitious, "but he's easier to connect with emotionally because he's not as superficial," says Hankin. "What counts on the inside matters more to him."

If He Looks You in the Eye
"A man who doesn't make eye contact during conversation 36 may not be trustworthy," says speech coach Diane DiResta, author of "Knockout Presentations." "Meanwhile, if his eyes bore into yours as he's talking, 37 he might be trying to intimidate you." But a smoldering gaze -- you know what that looks like -- 38 means he's immensely fond of you.

His Speaking Style
If your man moves his mouth a mile a minute, 39 you're with a spontaneous, high-energy guy who may be a little too self-absorbed. "Fast talkers get so wrapped up in making a good impression that they don't pay attention to their audience," says DiResta. Slow talkers 40 typically play it safe. "The way they deliberate every word before it comes out of their mouth is indicative of how they approach life: They look before they leap." So although you shouldn't expect a lot of surprises, at least you'll know he means what he says.

Things You'll Only Learn With Time
Your speedy profiling skills won't reveal these tidbits from psychotherapist Katherine Woodward Thomas, author of "Calling in 'The One'."

How loyal he'll be:
Wait and see if you're shown the same allegiance as his buds are.
If he's a man of his word: Will he really keep those promises he made to you early on?

His little quirks:
Time reveals the small details that really make a person tick.
If his parents' split haunts him: His broken home may have issued him some big-time emotional baggage.

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NBC bans PETA's Super Bowl ad


Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals claims NBC is refusing to air its rather provocative Super Bowl ad.

The PETA ad "Veggie Love" has lingerie models frolicking amid broccoli and pumpkins with a tagline saying that "Studies Show Vegetarians Have Better Sex."

PETA says NBC's vp advertising standards Victoria Morgan rejected the ad because it "depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards."

Adds an NBC spokesperson: "The ad was rejected because it did not conform with our standards."

Expand the post to view the video!


This means NBC is refusing to air an ad promoting a healthy diet, yet Budweiser will be the top Bowl advertiser for the ninth year running.

Of course, for PETA, being banned is arguably just as effective publicity as NBC actually airing its Super Bowl ad -- and a heckuva lot cheaper, too. Sources say NBC suspects the ad was deliberately created to be rejected by the network ("they knew this would never fly," one insider says).

PETA asked NBC what it would take for the commercial to air. NBC suggested the following cuts be made::12- :13- licking pumpkin

:13- :14- touching her breast with her hand while eating broccoli

:19- pumpkin from behind between legs

:21- rubbing pelvic region with pumpkin

:22- screwing herself with broccoli (fuzzy)

:23- asparagus on her lap appearing as if it is ready to be inserted into vagina

:26- licking eggplant

:26- rubbing asparagus on breast

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What the Web knows about you


How much private information is available about you in cyberspace? Social Security numbers are just the beginning.

She had me at hello ... or just about. Our conversation had barely started when privacy activist Betty Ostergren interrupted me to say that she had found my full name, address, Social Security number and a digital image of my signature on the Web.

I had set out to discover just how much information I could find about myself online, and Ostergren, who runs the Virginia Watchdog Web site, was my very first call. If this was what could be uncovered in just a few minutes, what else would I find? Quite a bit, as it turns out.

What information is available about you in cyberspace? Where does it come from? What risks does it present and what, if anything, can you do to protect yourself? To answer those questions I decided to use my own identity, Robert L. Mitchell, a national correspondent at Computerworld, as my research subject.

Starting with the information Ostergren had turned up about me, I spent a few weeks combing through more than two dozen public and private resources on the Web and visiting many other Web sites to build a dossier on myself. I conducted both free and paid searches. I contacted a private investigator for tips on my investigation. And I spoke with data aggregators and privacy experts.

I quickly discovered that while the quantity of publicly available information about individuals to be found online is vast, it is riddled with inaccuracies. For example, I changed my primary residence more than a year ago, but many databases online still have my old address. In other cases, the information is just plain wrong.

Having a common name like Robert Mitchell -- or a famous one like Bill Gates -- makes the job a lot harder. While nuggets of information about you can be pulled up quickly, filtering out all of the data that is not actually about you and sorting out what is accurate is time-consuming. It requires a lot of digging.

But I was starting with a key piece of data -- my Social Security number -- and that makes finding relevant data a bit easier. As I gathered more data, I also reran many searches to get different -- and more targeted -- results. Here's what I found and where I found it.

Source: Government records

Information discovered: Full legal name, address, Social Security number, spouse's name and Social Security number, price paid for home, mortgage documents, signature

Much of the publicly available information on individuals online is sourced from online county, state and federal government records databases, and this is where Ostergren found my Social Security number. She hadn't purchased it from a hacker chat room or from shady characters in Russia. She got it by browsing an image of a mortgage document stored in a county database located in a building half a mile from my house.

Over the past five years, bulk scanning and online publishing of such documents have proliferated in many states. In many cases, including New Hampshire -- my state of residence -- little or no attempt has been made to redact sensitive personal data such as Social Security numbers before moving those records online. The public is blissfully unaware that these documents, which were once accessible only in dusty books inside the walls of the registry of deeds, are now freely available over the Web to anyone in the world with a click of a mouse.

Ostergren says that this information is a treasure trove for data aggregators, brokers and criminals. Unlike financial and medical records, which are regulated, Social Security numbers gathered from public records come with no strings attached. They can be republished anywhere with impunity. "You're in a state that is spoon-feeding Social Security numbers to everybody," Ostergren says.

In the county where I live, legal documents from 1975 and on have been scanned and placed for public viewing on the Web. No registration or payment is required to view those records, although there is a charge to print official copies. The database includes thousands of records on New Hampshire citizens, including tax liens, federal liens, divorce papers, financing statements, military discharge papers, death certificates -- even a mobile home warranty. Any legal document filed with the registry is fair game.

In these records I found names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, signatures, children's names, educational backgrounds, blood types, work histories and other personal data. Newer mortgage documents no longer contain Social Security numbers (mine was from 2001), but many other documents still do -- including death certificates and tax liens. In my case, fortunately, just one document on file -- the old mortgage -- contained my Social Security number.

Continue Reading

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Stop getting prerecorded telemarketing calls


We're on the Do Not Call list, but we still get prerecorded calls from the likes of "Heather" and her fellow drones. Why is this happening? It's terribly annoying.[via msn]

Luckily we came across this post by Herb Weisbaum, aka ConsumerMan at MSNBC, while we were researching another topic. He says you can now opt out of these calls -- and can do it quite simply.

First of all, ConsumerMan says that if you're on the Do Not Call list, prerecorded telemarketing calls are legal only from companies with which you already have a business relationship. He defines that as: "If you bought or rented something from that company within the last 18 months, or simply inquired about a product or service within the last three months, you've established a business relationship."

(Some companies ignore this rule or stretch it to the breaking point. We don't know of any business relationship we've had with the companies that keep calling. Maybe it's time to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.)

How do you get them to stop? Simply hanging up won't do it.

  • As of last month, the company must give you a way to opt out, like pushing 1. Listen to the instructions at the end of the pitch.
  • EveryCall says a method to opt out must be provided whether the prerecorded call reaches a human ear or ends up as a message on your answering machine.
  • Starting Sept. 1, a company you have a business relationship with will need your agreement in writing or electronically to send you robo-calls. They'll probably come up with some crafty ways to trick you into that.

Other things you should know:

  • Informational prerecorded calls from a company you have a business relationship with are allowed. ConsumerMan says that would include calls from an airline letting you know your flight has been delayed.
  • Political calls and calls from charities are exempt. However, if the charity hires an outfit that uses prerecorded calls, you can opt out from receiving them as well.
  • You can sign up for the Do Not Call list online or by calling (888) 382-1222 from the phone number you want to put on the list. That includes cell phones. There's about a month delay before the registration takes effect.
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Winning Coach In 100-0 B-Ball Game Fired


The coach of a Texas high school basketball team that beat another team 100-0 was fired Sunday, the same day he sent an e-mail to a newspaper stating he will not apologize "for a wide-margin victory when my girls played with honor and integrity" and posted a detailed explanation on a hoops Web site. [via cbs]

The Covenant School girls basketball coach Coach Micah Grimes, along with girls from his team, released a statement on the website of the Flight Basketball Academy.

You can read the full statement here.

Kyle Queal, the headmaster for Covenant School, said in The Dallas Morning News online edition that he could not answer if the firing was a direct result of Grimes' e-mail disagreeing with administrators who called the blowout "shameful."

On its Web site last week, Covenant, a private Christian school, posted a statement regretting the outcome of its Jan. 13 shutout win over Dallas Academy.

"It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened. This clearly does not reflect a Christlike and honorable approach to competition," said the statement, signed by Queal and board chair Todd Doshier.

Grimes, who has been criticized for letting the game get so far out of hand, made it clear in the e-mail Sunday to the newspaper that he does not agree with his school's assessment.

"In response to the statement posted on The Covenant School Web site, I do not agree with the apology or the notion that the Covenant School girls basketball team should feel embarrassed or ashamed," Grimes wrote on www.flightbasketball.com.

"We played the game as it was meant to be played. My values and my beliefs would not allow me to run up the score on any opponent, and it will not allow me to apologize for a wide-margin victory when my girls played with honor and integrity."

CBS 11 News was unable to reach the former coach by e-mail or in person. The Covenant School turned down repeated requests for interviews and posted a guard at its gate.

Parent Tracy Eckert hopes to enroll her children at Covenant School and thinks the attention is over the top. "I mean, the fact that the national media picked it up tells me we're out of the political season into the 'what's out there?' season!"


A parent who attended the game said Covenant continued to make 3-pointers -- even in the fourth quarter. She praised the Covenant players but said spectators and an assistant coach were cheering wildly as their team edged closer to 100 points.

Covenant was up 59-0 at halftime.

Dallas Academy has eight girls on its varsity team and about 20 girls in its high school. The team remains winless during the last four seasons. The academy boasts of its small class sizes and specializes in teaching students struggling with "learning differences," such as short attention spans or dyslexia.

In the Web posting, one unidentified student said: "I have ADD and ADHD. There is nothing that separates me from anyone on the Dallas Academy girls team, so there is nothing that should separate the value of our sides. What we did that night is what we are on this team for: to play basketball and win. As for the media calling our actions "unchristian", that is very sad. For this team, and our coach are a living testimony. I am not sorry for how we played that night because I know that no harm was intended and I also know no harm occurred. I would hope America was more willing to read the lies in between the lines. The coach is as important to the team as we are—we are with him 100 percent."

In his web posting Grimes pointed out the Covenant girls were not always a powerhouse and just four years ago were on the losing end of an 82-6 game.

There is no mercy rule in girls basketball that shortens the game or permits the clock to continue running when scores become one-sided. There is, however, "a golden rule" that should have applied in this contest, Edd Burleson, the director of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, said last week. Both schools are members of this association, which oversees private school athletics in Texas.

The story has received national attention, and the Dallas Academy team has been recognized for refusing to give up during the lopsided contest.

No word yet on who is coaching the Covenant School girls basketball team as they prepare for their next game.

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How your brain works


[via mayoclinic]

Brain and nervous system

Your brain contains billions of nerve cells arranged in patterns that coordinate thought, emotion, behavior, movement and sensation. A complicated highway system of nerves connects your brain to the rest of your body, so communication can occur in split seconds. Think about how fast you pull your hand back from a hot stove. While all the parts of your brain work together, each part is responsible for a specific function — controlling everything from your heart rate to your mood.

Cerebrum

The cerebrum is the largest part of your brain. It's what you probably visualize when you think of brains in general. The outermost layer of the cerebrum is the cerebral cortex, the "gray matter" of the brain. Deep folds and wrinkles in the brain increase the surface area of the gray matter, so more information can be processed.

The cerebrum is divided into two halves (hemispheres) by a deep fissure. The hemispheres communicate with each other through a thick tract of nerves, called the corpus callosum, at the base of the fissure. In fact, messages to and from one side of the body are usually handled by the opposite side of the brain.

Lobes of the brain

Each of your brain's hemispheres is divided into four lobes. The two frontal lobes act as short-term storage sites for ideas, allowing you to consider more than one idea at a time. One section of the frontal lobes helps control voluntary movement, while a place in the left frontal lobe allows thoughts to be transformed into words. The parietal lobes interpret sensory information, such as taste, temperature and touch; they also help with reading and math. Occipital lobes process images from the eyes and link that information with images stored in memory. The temporal lobes translate information from the ears, including music. The underside of the temporal lobe plays a crucial role in memory.

Cerebellum and brainstem

The cerebellum is a wrinkled ball of tissue below and behind the rest of your brain. It works to combine sensory information from the eyes, ears and muscles to help coordinate movement. Damage to the cerebellum can cause "intention tremor," which is trembling of part of your body — for example, your hand — occurring only when you try to move it.

The brainstem links the brain to the spinal cord. It controls many functions vital to life, such as heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. This area is also important for sleep.

Layers of protection

The brain is protected by three layers of membrane, called meninges, lying just under the skull. The tough outer layer is called the dura mater, and the delicate inner layer is the pia mater. The middle layer is the arachnoid, a web-like structure filled with fluid that cushions the brain.

The inner brain

Structures deep within the brain control your emotions and memories. Known collectively as the limbic system, these structures come in pairs, just like the lobes in the brain's cerebrum. Each part of the limbic system is duplicated in the opposite half of the brain.

The thalamus acts as a gatekeeper for messages passed between the spinal cord and the cerebral hemispheres. The pea-sized hypothalamus controls emotions such as exhilaration and anger. It also regulates your body's temperature and is responsible for crucial urges — such as eating, sleeping and sexual behavior.

The hippocampus is a memory indexer, sending memories to be stored in appropriate sections of the cerebrum and then recalling them when necessary.

Peripheral nervous system

The peripheral nervous system is all the nerves in your body, aside from the ones in your brain and spinal cord. It acts as a communication relay between your brain and your extremities. For example, if you touch a hot stove, the pain signals travel from your finger to your brain in a split second. In just as short a time, your brain tells the muscles in your arm and hand to snatch your finger off the hot stove.

Nerve cells

Nerve cells (neurons) have two main types of branches coming off their cell bodies. Dendrites receive incoming messages from other nerve cells. Axons carry outgoing signals from the cell body to other cells — such as a nearby neuron or muscle cell.

Interconnected with each other, neurons are able to provide efficient, lightning-fast communication.

Neurotransmitters

A neuron communicates with other cells through electrical impulses, which occur when the nerve cell is stimulated. Within a neuron, the impulse moves to the tip of an axon and causes the release of neurotransmitters, chemicals that act as messengers.

These neurotransmitters pass through the synapse, the tiny gap between two nerve cells, and attach to receptors on the receiving cell. This process is repeated from neuron to neuron, as the impulse travels to its destination — an intricate web of communication that allows you to move, think, feel and communicate.

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