Thursday, June 2, 2011
• Steve Martin was one of the collectors conned in a massive German art-forgery swindle, Der Spiegel reported Tuesday. The actor-comedian bought a painting called “Landscape with Horses” — certified at the time as a 1915 work by German-Dutch modernist Heinrich Campendonk — from a Paris gallery in 2004 for about $850K. German police now believe it’s a product of a prolific forgery ring busted last year. Martin — who sold the painting at a loss in 2006 — told the New York Times he had no idea until much later it was a fake. He’s mistakenly bought forgeries “once or twice in my life,” he said, “and each time you become more and more cautious.”
This story is wildly similar to Steve's great romp-read novel "An Object Of Beauty". This story should be filed under "Art imitates life, imitating a novel."
Vivian Schiller, the former National Public Radio president and CEO who resigned in February in the wake of a hidden-camera scandal at the organization, has joined NBC News in the newly created position of Chief Digital Officer
Judge Bans Religious Words from Graduation Ceremony
A federal judge has ordered a Texas school district to prohibit public prayer at a high school graduation ceremony. Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery's order against the Medina Valley Independent School District also forbids students from using specific religious words including "prayer" and "amen."
DEBT FEARS: US Rating Could Be Placed Under Review, warns MOODY'S...
Gives lawmakers until mid-July to show progress in talks...
ECONOMIC 'HORROR' AS DATA PLUNGES...
JOBLESS WEAK: 422,000...
'WE ARE ON THE VERGE OF A GREAT, GREAT DEPRESSION...'
Reich: America dithering as double-dip looms...
More job seekers give up...
Biodegradable Products May Be Bad for the Environment
ScienceDaily (June 1, 2011) — Research from North Carolina State University shows that so-called biodegradable products are likely doing more harm than good in landfills, because they are releasing a powerful greenhouse gas as they break down.
Remember when the Left erupted in Outrageous Outrage over Alaska’s attempts to cull the troublesome wolf population by shooting them from aircraft? Do you recall when animal-rights groups painted Sarah Palin as a “brutal” and “unethical” sadist for sanctioning this strategy? Good times, good times (emphasis mine):
That has led federal agencies to launch an ambitious program that will use cage traps, corral traps, federal hunters with guns and dogs and even shooting from helicopters to exterminate the area’s population of wild swine. Officials see the pigs as a threat .
Egyptian Cleric: Poverty Can be Solved by Selling Humans ‘Like Groceries’ World
"Conduct one, two, or three jihadist operations every year"
Over the past week, a video has surfaced featuring prominent Egyptian cleric Salafi Shaykh Abi-Ishaq al-Huwayni. In a translation posted by Al Mutarjim on his blog Translating Jihad, al-Huwayni is quoted as advocating jihad (he says it’s “a real pleasure”) and encouraging listeners to ease financial problems through the capture and sale of human beings (he says they can be sold “like groceries”).
Obama Buddy Fareed Zakaria Bemoans Parochial Americans Love of the Founders & Constitution as the Reason We Can’t Learn to Be Better Like Other Countries
Van Jones Says Politics of Hope & Patriotism Means GOP Is a Red White and Blue Wrecking Ball & Paul Ryan’s Budget Does More Damage Than Al Qaeda
Surprising List of Top Ten Bottled Beers from London. (Beer is expensive in England, most of these are above $2.50 a bottle)
1. Modelo Especial
Unlike many other Mexican beers, you don't need a chunk of lime to enjoy this light and frothy lager. Perfect for those sunny afternoons spent soaking up the rays.
£1.58 per bottle.
2. Meantime London Pale Ale
Voted one of the world's 50 best beers, this robust and full-flavoured ale offers a slight grapefruit aroma and a level of hop fruitiness to reckon with.
£1.79 per bottle
3. Anchor Steam Beer
Deep, amber-coloured beer, which hails from San Francisco. A hybrid brew, it is fermented warm, like ale, but with a lager yeast. Crisp and clean, it has cracking caramel notes and a creamy head.
£1.87 per bottle
4. Quilmes Cristal
5. Fuller's Discovery
Three years after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were saved from bankruptcy by taxpayers at a cost of more than $160 billion, the government-run enterprises have captured more than $400 million in contracts from the same department that bailed them out.
The Royal Navy Saves Knowledge With F-18EsJune 1, 2011: Britain will have four of its naval aviators serve on American aircraft carriers over the next decade, to maintain Royal Navy knowledge of how pilots operate jet aircraft off carriers. The British naval officers will learn to fly F-18s in order to do this. While Britain and the U.S. regularly exchange fighter pilots, this is a special case.
That's because, earlier this year, the Royal Navy retired all its Harrier aircraft and the last aircraft carrier that the Harriers operated from. That presented a problem, as the first of two new carriers won't enter service for a decade. The admirals knew that once the new carrier (Queen Elizabeth) entered service, a new generation of pilots would have to be trained to take off and land on a carrier. While the Harriers could land and take off like a helicopter, they often took off (via a "ski jump" flight deck) so they could carry more weight (especially bombs) into action. The new carriers were originally going to have the F-35B which, like the Harrier, can take off like a helicopter, or by rolling down a carrier flight deck. But that has been changed, for economic reasons, to the F-35C, which operates like the F-18E (no helicopter type operations). The Queen Elizabeths will have a catapult, like current American carriers do (and pre "ski jump" British carriers did as well).
Also: Obama has only himself to blame for economic doldrums. “This week’s anemic economic reports provide the latest in a steadily lengthening parade of news that demonstrates Obama’s policies not only have not produced the promised recovery, but very likely have retarded it. As the maxim goes, insanity consists of doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result.”
Examples of dazzle camouflage used in the First and Second World Wars. From top left: HMS Argus, SS Empress of Russia, Mauretania (World War One); USS Inaugural, HMAS Yarra (World War Two). (Credit: Images from Wikimedia Commons via Wikipedia article on Dazzle camouflage, all in the public domain except SS Empress, which is Copyright: National Museums Liverpool
ScienceDaily (June 1, 2011) — Painting army vehicles with high contrast geometric patterns -- 'dazzle camouflage' -- affects the perception of their speed and thus could make them less susceptible to rocket propelled grenade attacks, according to new research from the University of Bristol.
The Bristol study, published in the online journal PLoS ONE by an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Schools of Experimental Psychology and Biological Sciences, led by Dr Nick Scott-Samuel, is the first to find evidence that dazzle camouflage can affect perception of speed -- but only if the camouflaged object is moving quickly.
ScienceDaily (June 2, 2011) — Overweight and obese people looking to drop some pounds and considering one of the popular low-carbohydrate diets, along with moderate exercise, need not worry that the higher proportion of fat in such a program compared to a low-fat, high-carb diet may harm their arteries, suggests a pair of new studies by heart and vascular researchers at Johns Hopkins.
Weiner’s Porn Star
This porn star is a really big fan of Weiner.
A sultry adult-film actress who got a private Twitter message from New York's randy representative happily returned the favor -- openly gushing over her "Mr. Sexy Congressman" in a slew of blog posts.
"I want to have sexual relations with Anthony Weiner," Ginger Lee wrote in a March 1 post.
On March 13, after Weiner sent her a private message, Lee wrote: "you know it's a good day when you wake up to a [direct message] from @RepWeiner."
By May, Lee posted that she had "Weinermania!" and uploaded a picture of the lawmaker -- with a crayon heart framing his face -- and the words: "You're the only Weiner I need."
Democrats in Congress recently went all-out to try to pass the Dream Act, an amnesty for illegal-alien students willing to enroll — and stay — in college. Most of those who opposed it were derided as heartless at best, racist at worse. An insolvent California — still struggling with its $15 billion budget shortfall — is trying to advance its own version of the bill that would contravene federal immigration law and cost millions of dollars.
At around the same time, the state has announced plans to release about 40,000 prison inmates due to a shortage of funds needed to address overcrowding. Highly taxed Californians can borrow money to send illegal aliens to school, but not to keep felons in prison.
How a billionaire resolves a fight with his neighbours… buys the house next door for $40m
Billionaire Larry Ellison has finally settled a long-running dispute with his neighbours about overgrown trees – by buying the house next door for $40 million.
The Oracle founder had been battling with his neighbours on his street known as ‘Billionaire’s Row’ in a wealthy San Francisco neighbourhood for years over trees that he claims block his view of the bay.
The billionaire, who is reportedly the fifth richest person in the world, complained that two giant redwood trees down the hill from his 10,000 square foot house with five bedrooms in Pacific Heights blocked his panoramic view.
The E. coli bacteria responsible for a deadly outbreak that has left 18 dead and sickened hundreds in Europe is a new strain that has never been seen before, the World Health Organization said Thursday.
Preliminary genetic sequencing suggests the strain is a mutant form of two different E. coli bacteria, with aggressive genes that could explain why the Europe-wide outbreak appears to be so massive and dangerous, the agency said.
3rd Gear: The number of limousines owned by the U.S. government increased by 73% during the first two years of the Obama administration, according to a new report by iWatch news. An analysis of General Services Administration data reveals the federal fleet has increased from 238 limos in 2008 — the last year of the Bush Administration — to 412 limos in 2010.
2nd Gear: Speaking of sales — May auto sales slid 4% on rising fuel prices and tighter vehicle supplies. Also, Automakers reduced spending on incentives for U.S. customers in May by 19% to an average $2,303 per vehicle, the lowest in more than half a decade, according to Autodata Corp. Ford average spending on discounts and promotions declined 20% from a year earlier to $2,432, the Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey-based researcher said yesterday. General Motors Co. reduced incentives by $648, or 17% from a year earlier, to an estimated $3,085 per vehicle. Chrysler Group LLC lowered spending 18% to $3,002.
1st Gear: In the month of May, Ford sold more V6 F-150 pickups than they sold V8-engined trucks — to the tune of 55% to 45%. Mike Levine of PickupTrucks.com breaks it down even further, letting us know that 41% of the automaker's retail sales were of EcoBoost engines.
Proof that Denver Airport is one of the most evil places on Earth
Having recently been stranded in Denver Airport for 24 hours, I can tell you anecdotally that the place is hellish. Exit arrows point at each other instead of outside; corridors lead to nowhere; and security checkpoints seem to disappear mysteriously as you approach them. As you drive into the airport, you're greeted by a giant horse with glowing red eyes, and one of the terminals is decorated with a massive statue of Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god of death.
Obama’s New Chief Technology Officer Is an Ex-Threadless T-Shirt Dude
Described as having a "hipster look" with hair that swivels between a mohawk and a "flipped-up front like Jim Carrey's in Ace Ventura," 33-year-old Harper Reed is the ex-CTO of t-shirt company Threadless, and will "make sure technology is a successful force multiplier within the  campaign." Great hair.
QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS: Who is Ginger Lee, Rep. Anthony Weiner’s favorite porn star? “What is it about Ginger Lee that is so interesting that might compel a married congressman to be so interested in her activities? Well, let’s just get this one right out of the way: After some research on my part (ahem), I have found that, like any porn star worth her thick slabs of black eyeshadow, Ginger Lee does everything!” I can see how that would be especially appealing to a man married to Hillary Clinton’s protege.
In the past two weeks, President Obama has managed to produce something woefully elusive in Washington: bipartisanship. Unfortunately for him, it’s been bipartisan opposition to his agenda.
This Tuesday, the House voted overwhelmingly against the “clean” debt limit increase Obama had been advocating for months.
In addition to every House Republican, 82 Democrats voted against the bill. That means, despite White House insistence that “the debt limit should be passed as a standalone bill,” any increase in the current $14.3 trillion debt ceiling will now require a package of spending cuts to get approved in the House.
That comes on top of last week’s embarrassment, in which the Senate unanimously voted against the president’s 2012 budget. The opposition party routinely declares White House budgets dead on arrival, but it’s remarkable that not one Democrat in the Senate was willing to show support for Obama’s plan.
And Obama’s mid-May speech, in which he called for Israel to accept a Palestinian state based on “the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps,” raised a chorus of bipartisan attacks.
HOWARD KURTZ ON WEINERGATE: “It has come to this.”
“Is this you?” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked, brandishing said photo.
“You would know if this was your underpants.”
“Have you ever taken a picture like this of yourself?”
Fox’s Bret Baier: “Is this Twitter picture in question a picture of you?”
“Is there a picture out there of you in your drawers that you are worried about?”
ABC’s Jonathan Karl: “You can’t tell me definitively that is a photo of you or not a photo of you?”
It’s the oldest story in Washington: the cover-up—even of a crotch shot—is what trips you up in the end.
CBS’s Nancy Cordes: “I think any normal person could say with certainty whether a picture was a photo of them or not, whether they had taken a photo of them or not.”
The truth is, they had no choice. The New York congressman’s shifting explanations—his refusal to say whether the bulge seen round the world is in fact his—have stretched this Twitter tale into a weeklong soap opera.
Meanwhile, on Facebook, Don Surber writes: “Enough with Weiner’s wiener already. When will the press cover that 97-0 shellacking that O’s budget got in the Senate?”
Since it first hit American roads in the late 1980's, BMW’s mighty-mite M3 has gained nearly half a ton, growing from a light-footed 2,800-pound four-cylinder into a 3,700-pound V8 monster that is still at the top of its game as far as performance is concerned, but a little bulky and a pricey proposition at $61,000.
The 335 hp on tap is quite a bit less than the 414 hp you get in an M3, but with an overboost function that kicks in during hard acceleration, the 3.0-liter pumps out 369 lb-ft of torque in short bursts. That’s 74 lb-ft more than the V8 in the 342-pound heavier M3 can deliver, and you get it at lower revs, so the 1M is just as quick as the M3 to 60 mph, getting there in 4.7 seconds, according to BMW.
All told, the 1M is tuner’s dream come true, something you might see cobbled together by one of your track day buddies with as much time on his hands as money to burn, but with the full faith and credit of BMW behind it. Priced at $47,560
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2011/06/02/bmw-returns-roots-1-series-m-coupe/#ixzz1O7gihZKl