Thursday, February 11, 2010
Dennis Hopper's prenuptial agreement with estranged wife Victoria has just been unsealed—and it packs a punch. According to the document, Dennis would keep all his property, fine arts valued at more than $2.5 million, and his "separate property pension and retirement benefits." Victoria would also have to move out of the house within 60 days of divorce filings, extended from 30 days because they have a child together. However, if Dennis were to die while the two were married and living together, she would receive $250,000 in life insurance and 25 percent of his will. Unfortunately for Victoria, they no longer live together. Regardless of marital status, Victoria is only walking away with a few computers, books, an old VW and her grandmother's furniture. According to The Dennis Hopper Trust, Victoria would have pocketed $6.25 million and Dennis' Los Angeles home if they hadn't separated.
The Opening Ceremonies at the Vancouver Winter Olympics are just a day away
Lindsey Vonn’s Shin
Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn has been the face of these Olympics, at least in the United States. NBC has built much of its promotional effort around her, and she’s not only been on the cover of Sports Illustrated, she’s also in the SI swimsuit issue. But now there’s some question as to whether the two-time World Cup overall champion will even race in Whistler.
Vonn suffered an injury to her right shin during a slalom training run Feb. 3. It’s currently bruised and extremely painful. Vonn hasn’t skied since suffering the injury.
Canada’s Quest for Gold
The host country generally wins more medals than usual at an Olympic Games. For the Winter Games, economist Daniel Johnson claims the home-field advantage is worth about three total medals. (In the Summer Games, it balloons to 25 medals.)
But Canada hasn’t relied just on the host-country effect to boost its tally. The country launched a program called Own the Podium in 2005 that was designed to ensure that Canadian athletes win more medals in Vancouver and Whistler than any other country. It’s distributed over $100 million to athletes, researchers and coaches.
Of course, Canada could win every gold medal at the Games, but if they don’t win the men’s ice hockey gold, the entire country will be disappointed. The Canadian obsession with hockey surpasses anything that we’re familar with in America. It’s not that Canada cares about hockey: It thinks it is hockey.
But going into the Olympic tournament, the Canadians aren’t the top-rated team in the world. That would be Russia, which many think is one of the best teams ever assembled. The potential for a Canada-vs.-Russia final is something that ice hockey buffs the world over will be secretly rooting for, and would be just plainly epic.
Ah, figure skating. So much like a sport, yet so strange and fascinating. It used to be so simple, figuring out who won — the scores would go up, you’d see how close they were to 6.0, and take it from there. But then a judging scandal at the 2002 Winter Olympics threw the sport into chaos, and left us with the International Judging System.
How complicated is it? The page on the U.S. Figure Skating site that tries to explain the judging system to fans runs nearly 3,000 words of semi-comprehensible language.
U.S. Hopes in Obscure Events
In the Winter Games, the United States has usually won its medals in more-familar winter sports like alpine skiing and speedskating. But going into Vancouver, some of the top U.S. medal contenders come from sports that many Americans might never have even seen.
There’s the suddenly powerful Nordic combined team (that’s an event that includes both ski jumping and cross-country skiing), with three possible medalists. Erin Hamlin won the women’s luge world title in 2009, as did Steve Holcomb and his four-man bobsled team. Tim Burke could contend in the biathlon, and three or four cross-country skiers have a shot at the podium. Get ready to cheer for a great round of shooting in the biathlon, or a clean ski-jump landing, because you know if Americans are doing well, you’re going to see it on NBC.
The Chevrolet Suburban has been a distinctly American form of personal transportation for three-quarters of a century. To put that in perspective, when the first Suburban rolled off the assembly line, the Hoover Dam had just been built and Larry King had been through just one divorce.
First debuting in 1935 amid the Great Depression and Dust Bowl exodus, the vehicle then known as the Suburban Carryall holds the distinction of being the longest-continuously-produced vehicle model in the United States
President Barack Obama said he is “agnostic” about raising taxes on households making less than $250,000 as part of a broad effort to rein in the budget deficit.
Obama, in a Feb. 9 Oval Office interview, said that a presidential commission on the budget needs to consider all options for reducing the deficit, including tax increases.
Obama repeatedly vowed during the 2008 presidential election campaign that he would not raise taxes on individuals making less than $200,000 and households earning less than $250,000 a year. When senior White House economic adviser Lawrence H. Summers and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner suggested in August that the administration might be open to going back on that pledge, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs quickly reiterated the president’s promise.
On the Same Day. (More of the double speak (Destroyed it to save it, GW causes Snow Storms, Spending your way out of Recession).)
The White House defended its new report Thursday that shows the U.S is likely to average 95,000 more jobs each month this year
New research provides fascinating insight into brain changes that might underlie alterations in spiritual and religious attitudes. The study, published by Cell Press in the February 11 issue of the journal Neuron, explores the neural basis of spirituality by studying patients before and after surgery to remove a brain tumor.
They focused specifically on the personality trait called self-transcendence (ST), which is thought to be a measure of spiritual feeling, thinking, and behaviors in humans
Selective damage to the left and right posterior parietal regions induced a specific increase in ST. "Our symptom-lesion mapping study is the first demonstration of a causative link between brain functioning and ST," offers Dr. Urgesi. "Damage to posterior parietal areas induced unusually fast changes of a stable personality dimension related to transcendental self-referential awareness. Thus, dysfunctional parietal neural activity may underpin altered spiritual and religious attitudes and behaviors."
Obama's Budget Would Redistribute $112 Billion From Top 1% of Taxpayers
True to his campaign promise to "spread the wealth around," President Obama's recently released budget targets high-income earners for income redistribution to low- and middle-income families, according to a new Tax Foundation report. The president's policies would redistribute an additional $112 billion from the top 1% of taxpayers down the income scale in fiscal year 2012.
On average, the president's budget would redistribute another $101,314 from families in the top-earning 1% to the rest of the income spectrum, for a total redistribution of $509,257 per family. ...
Families in the bottom-earning 10 percent stand to benefit the most from the president's policies. As a group, they'll receive an additional $8.7 billion in federal spending benefits. On average, a family in the bottom 10 percent will receive an additional $494 in income redistribution for a total of $17,962.
HEY, WAIT: President Barack Obama said he is “agnostic” about raising taxes on households making less than $250,000 as part of a broad effort to rein in the budget deficit. But remember how when critics said he’d do that back during the election, media “fact-checkers” scored that as a lie because Obama had promised otherwise? Now he’s “agnostic?”
Torture is now not letting someone sleep, shackling them and threatening to send them home. Unreal what PC has done
Binyam Mohammed, an al Qaeda terrorist who plotted to be part of the second wave of attacks on the United States following September 11. The Obama administration has now "returned" him to Great Britain, although he is an Ethiopian. Mohammed is being treated as something of a hero in the U.K. because he has alleged that he was tortured while in U.S. custody
So that's it. Binyam Mohammed was subjected to sleep deprivation. He was shackled during interrogations and was threatened with being removed from the safety of American custody
(Entire Article is at Powerlineblog.com)
Which brings us to the second story, the release, apparently via a Freedom of Information Act request, of aerial photographs of the collapse of the World Trade Center that were taken by the New York Police Department. It is hard to explain why these photos were never made public, just as it is hard to understand why the television networks have banned footage of the attacks and their aftermath from being shown
Tesla CEO Elon Musk took a fancy private jet to Washington, D.C. and then begged for money. Hmm... seems to us like someone already got yelled at for doing this. Jeez, he's already acting like a soon-to-be-bankrupt automaker
In a town where everything takes on political freight, one lawmaker says this week's historic blizzard that has shut down the federal government is a 'dream' come true.