Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Sunday 'Report;' 01/15/2012

What The National Pamphleteers Don't Report:
China and Bill Gates discuss nuclear reactor plan
BBC News
December 8, 2011China is set to start work on a novel design for a nuclear reactor with the help of a firm founded by Bill Gates.  Terrapower, founded and funded by the Microsoft chairman, is collaborating with Chinese scientists on the fourth generation (4G) reactor.  Research into the 4G reactor over the next five years could top $1bn, said Mr Gates.  Developing such a reactor could take a long time because none have been built or tested yet.
"The idea is to be very low cost, very safe and generate very little waste," said Mr Gates during a talk at China's Ministry of Science and Technology during which he confirmed the tie-up with Terrapower.  He said talks between Terrapower and China's National Nuclear Corporation were still at a "early stage". The company has also talked to other nuclear nations such as India and Russia about its 4G research.   Based in Washington state, Terrapower is working on a design for what is known as a travelling wave reactor. This uses depleted uranium as its power source and is believed to produce less nuclear waste than other designs.  "All these new designs are going to be incredibly safe," Mr Gates said. "They require no human action to remain safe at all times."  Any future design would also be built to withstand damage caused by disasters such as tidal waves and earthquakes. Japan's ageing Fukushima Daiichi reactor failed dramatically in [....]

Earhart's Final Resting Place Believed Found
by Rossella Lorenzi
October 23, 2009
(Re-pub: November 30, 2011)
Legendary aviatrix Amelia Earhart most likely died on an uninhabited tropical island in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati, according to researchers at The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR).   Tall, slender, blonde and brave, Earhart disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937 in a record attempt to fly around the world at the equator. Her final resting place has long been a mystery.  For years, Richard Gillespie, TIGHAR's executive director and author of the book "Finding Amelia," and his crew have been searching the Nikumaroro island for evidence of Earhart. A tiny coral atoll, Nikumaroro was some 300 miles southeast of Earhart's target destination, Howland Island.  A number of artifacts recovered by TIGHAR would suggest that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, made a forced landing on the island's smooth, flat coral reef.  According to Gillespie, who is set to embark on a new $500,000 Nikumaroro expedition next summer, the two became castaways and eventually died there.  "We know that in 1940 British Colonial Service officer Gerald Gallagher recovered a partial skeleton of a castaway on Nikumaroro. Unfortunately, those bones have now been lost," Gillespie said.  The archival record by Gallagher suggests that the bones were found in a remote area of the island, in a place that was unlikely to have been seen during an aerial search.  A woman's shoe, an empty bottle and a sextant box whose serial numbers are consistent with a type known to have been carried by Noonan were all found near the site where the bones were discovered.  "The reason why they found a partial skeleton is that [....]

Betty White Reveals New Celebrity Crush, Reveals Hopeful Legacy
Access Hollywood,
January 7, 2012
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- With her 90th birthday just around the corner, Betty White is just as feisty as ever.  The beloved actress’ nine-decade milestone will be celebrated in a televised special filled with celebrity guests (set to air on NBC on January 16 at 8 PM), and though Betty has been more than vocal about her long-standing crush on actor Robert Redford, she says he had better not make a surprise appearance at her party.  “No, no, no!” Betty exclaimed to’s Laura Saltman, when asked if she hoped to finally meet the “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” legend at her party, during an interview following the NBC Television Critics Association Winter Session on Friday. “That’s the bargain — I never want to meet him! I just like to admire him from afar. 
“It would be such a disappointment if I met him,” she continued. “I’ve taken his name in vain so many times — I would be so embarrassed! He understands.”
While fiercely loyal to Robert, Betty hinted she might have developed feelings for yet another dapper star.
“George Clooney is not chopped liver,” she told [....]

Election 2012: How rich are these guys?
Certain 2012 candidates are worth hundreds of millions, others far less.
by Charles Riley,
January 13, 2012
Mitt Romney
Total net worth: $85 million to $264 million
With no regular day job, Romney still earns a tidy income in the form of dividends and interest from his investments, and records filed with the Federal Election Commission show that the former Massachusetts governor commands between $20,000 and $68,000 on the speaking circuit.  Much of Romney's wealth is tied up in a blind trust, but some assets remain under his control -- including a few [....]+Jon Huntsman,
+Newt Gingrich.
+"Clown Prince ZERO-bama, the Narcissist,"
+Ron Paul,
+Rick Santorum.
+Rick Perry
High school sweethearts reunite, get married after 50 years apart
by Cassie Gregory,
September 16, 2011High school sweethearts together again after 50 years apart
    Soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. George and Elizabeth Ann Green at the courthouse in San Jacinto County applying for a marriage license after being apart for more than 50 years. Judge Fritz Faulkner married the couple, who had been high school sweethearts before George Green left to join the US Marine Corps in 1958. The two found each other again when Elizabeth noticed George’s name on an email she received from her sister.  Two teenagers in love never imagined, when they lost touch more than 50 years ago, that one day they would find each other again and get married. But that is exactly what has happened.
    Shepherd resident George Green, 71, and Elizabeth Ann London, 69, of South Jordan, Utah, attended Reagan High School together in Houston back in the 1950’s.  “We were actually high school sweethearts for a couple of years,” said George, explaining that he and Ann had hung around together with the same group of friends all the way through school. Ann’s sister even ended up marrying George’s best friend. But the couple lost touch with each other when George, who was a year ahead of Ann, joined the US Marine Corps after graduation.  “He went in the service and disappeared on me,” said Ann.  “I don’t know [....]

January's Best Deals
by Lauren Sherman,
January 3, 2012

Sometimes, the deepest discounts don't arrive until after the holidays are way over. Here is the greatest of what's on sale, in every category imaginable. (From swimwear to exercise equipment.)

Maryland: Former Soldier Charged With Trying to Aid Terrorism
by Robbie Brown
January 9, 2012
Florida Man Charged With Plotting Terror Campaign in Name of Islam
    A former soldier from Maryland was charged Monday with trying to provide material support to a terrorist organization in Africa. Federal authorities say the soldier, Craig B. Baxam, 24, flew to Kenya last month with the goal of joining the militant terrorist group Al Shabab in Somalia. He converted to Islam shortly before dropping out of the United States Army in July, after [....]

White House threw secret 'Alice in Wonderland' bash during recession
by Michael Gartland,
Cynthia R. Fagen
January 8, 2012
    A White House “Alice in Wonderland” costume ball — put on by Johnny Depp and Hollywood director Tim Burton — proved to be a Mad-as-a-Hatter idea that was never made public for fear of a political backlash during hard economic times, according to a new tell-all.  “The Obamas,” by New York Times correspondent Jodi Kantor, tells of the first Halloween party the first couple feted at the White House in 2009. It was so over the top that “Star Wars” creator George Lucas sent the original Chewbacca to mingle with invited guests.  The book reveals how any official announcement of the glittering affair — coming at a time when Tea Party activists and voters furious over the lagging economy, 10-percent unemployment rate, bank bailouts and Obama’s health-care plan were staging protests — quickly vanished down the rabbit hole.
“White House officials were so nervous about how a splashy, Hollywood-esque party would look to jobless Americans — or their representatives in Congress, who would soon vote on health care — that the event was not discussed publicly and Burton’s and Depp’s contributions went unacknowledged,” the book says.
However, the White House made certain that more humble Halloween festivities earlier that day — for thousands of Washington-area schoolkids — were well reported by the press corps.  Then the Obamas went inside, where an invitation-only affair [....]

Pentagon Tests Hypersonic Flying Bomb

by Jesse Emspak
November 18, 2011
    Ballistic missiles have been the ultimate in long-range weapons for the last half-century, able to reach almost anyplace on Earth within an hour (sometimes less). On Thursday the U.S. Army tested a bomb that can reach ballistic missile speeds and more importantly, has directional controls.  The Pentagon didn’t give specifics about the weapon’s range or speed. Called the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon, or AHW, it was launched from Hawaii and hit a target in Kwajalein Atoll, some 2,500 miles away in about a half hour.  
Hypersonic speeds are defined as faster than five times the speed of sound, which is about 768 miles per hour at sea level. If this was truly a hypersonic flight that means the AHW was moving at least 3,800 miles per hour. At that speed it could hit any target on earth in three hours or less. The AHW is part of a program called Prompt Global Strike, and the goal is to build a weapon that can reach its target in an hour or less. The Congressional Research Service reports that some $240 million has been spent on the program so far.  The test was for gathering data on aerodynamics, navigation, guidance and control, and thermal protection technologies, according to a Department of Defense press release. The weapon is a gliding vehicle, launched a three-stage rocket to suborbital altitude. Unlike a [....]

U.S. Agents Aided Mexican Drug Trafficker to Infiltrate His Criminal Ring

by Ginger Thompson,
January 9, 2012
WASHINGTON — American drug enforcement agents posing as money launderers secretly helped a powerful Mexican drug trafficker and his principal Colombian cocaine supplier move millions in drug proceeds around the world, as part of an effort to infiltrate and dismantle the criminal organizations wreaking havoc south of the border, according to newly obtained Mexican government documents.
"The drug-control experiment has failed miserably. It is time for a more practical approach."
The documents, part of an extradition order by the Mexican Foreign Ministry against the Colombian supplier, describe American counternarcotics agents, Mexican [....];pagewanted=2

These 9 Brands All Have Better Reputations Than Apple Right Now
by The Business Insider
Daily Ticker
January 11, 2012
Market research firm YouGov BrandIndex has released its survey of the top brands of 2011, and found for the second straight year that Subway is the most beloved brand among consumers.  You just can't beat cheap sandwiches, it seems.  The survey is based on a continuous sampling of 2.5 million people online, within YouGov's database that nationally represents U.S. adults.  The survey produces a "Buzz score," based on consumers' response to questions such as, "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?"  The results are an amalgamation of those results taken from the entire period of 2011, and thus represent the strength of these brands based on consumer sentiment and "buzz" over the period.
Here are the 10 strongest brands in the U.S. right now, starting with the best:
#1 Subway
YouGov says: "Subway is the only dining brand to crack the BrandIndex Buzz Ranking Top 10. The sandwich giant ranks number one in our overall Buzz list for the second consecutive year."
#2 Amazon
"The launch of the Kindle Fire and an increase [....]

Health Benefits of Red Wine Exaggerated
by Reuters
January 12, 2012
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A University of Connecticut researcher who studied the link between aging and a substance found in red wine has committed more than 100 acts of data fabrication and falsification, the university said Wednesday, throwing much of his work into doubt.  Dipak K. Das, who directed the university's Cardiovascular Research Center, studied resveratrol, touted by a number of scientists and companies as a way to slow aging or remain healthy as people get older. Among his findings, according to a work promoted by the University of [....]

Nebraska behind-the-backboard buzzer-beater is early leader for bucket of the year

by Cameron Smith 
Prep Rally
January 10, 2012
Hadley Sejkora is an integral part of the Pawnee City (Neb.) High basketball team's offensive plans. One of the squad's leading scorers, the senior was always a likely recipient of the ball when Pawnee had just enough time to get off a final shot in Friday's game against Adams (Neb.) Freeman High.  Still, don't use that logic as a way of trying to ease the pain felt by the Freeman squad following it's 39-37 loss, because the Falcons couldn't have possibly defended Sejkora any better than they did. The problem was that their tight defense still wasn't enough to keep Sejkora from hitting one of the best clutch shots you'll see all year.  Sejkora drilled a behind-the-backboard game-winner within the final 3.8 seconds, giving the 6-foot-1 guard 19 points and the Indians a two-point victory with what can only be described as a miraculous bucket. Sejkora actually released his shot one handed, falling out of bounds toward the gym wall behind the backboard.  When the ball slipped through the net, the Pawnee City crowd went as crazy as one would expect them to, with [....]

Apple CEO Cook received stock award worth $376 million

by Alexei Oreskovic,
January 9, 2012
(Reuters) - Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook received a one-time stock award worth nearly $400 million, the largest given by a company in a decade.  The company's board granted Cook 1 million restricted stock units (RSUs) to signal its confidence in Cook after Steve Jobs turned over the helm of the iPhone and iPad maker to his long-time lieutenant in August.  The stock award, half of which vests in 2016 and the remaining half in 2021, was worth more than $376 million [....]
Until Next Sunday....



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