Thursday, September 6, 2012

How Faith Affected One Driver

I recently found myself driving behind a champagne-colored mini van after it swooped dangerously in front of my car without warning as we both exited the freeway in heavy traffic.  (Based solely on the description of that vehicle, could you make an educated guess about the demographics of the driver?)

As it turned out, we were both taking the same 'back way' to avoid the rush hour crawl.  So I ended up following this mini van through a winding series of residential side streets as it 'rolled' through several stop signs, perpetually drove well over the speed limit, sometimes veered into oncoming traffic, and never once signaled before turning. 

Then about a mile or so later this same mini van, which had been more-or-less careening down the street, suddenly came to a complete stop at a stop sign and dutifully signaled for a right hand turn before continuing.  It then made a slow right turn with almost military precision and drove at exactly the speed limit for a block before pulling slowly and deliberately into a local First Baptist Church.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Is a Lap Dance "Tax-Exempt Art"?

"New York's highest court will consider legal arguments by a strip club on whether nude dancing is an art and deserves a state tax exemption as such.The case set for oral arguments Wednesday."

You can read the entire Associated Press article HERE.

"Nite Moves claims the dances are exempt under state tax law as 'live dramatic or musical arts performances.' The exemption also applies to theater or ballet. The club is relying on testimony from a cultural anthropologist who has studied exotic dance and visited Nite Moves... The appellate court also noted that the club dancers are not required to have any formal dance training and that the anthropologist didn't see any of the dances done in private rooms. "

So is the difference between a regular patron and a 'cultural anthropologist' whether you've been in the champagne room?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

World's Craziest Water Slides

A new Travel + Leisure magazine article HERE has ranked the the 'World's Craziest Water Slides.'  It includes a slideshow featuring photos of all 13, with names like 'Insano' and 'Leap of Faith' and 'King Cobra.'  Some of them are pretty amazing.  But what surprised me most was that 2 of the 13 are located in Italy and another one is in Austria.

When I think about Italy, many things come to mind immediately.  Over-the-top water slides and giant amusement parks would not have been among them.  Until now.

New Study: Organic Foods Not Much Healthier

"Patient after patient asked: Is eating organic food, which costs more, really better for me? Unsure, Stanford University doctors dug through reams of research to find out - and concluded there's little evidence that going organic is much healthier, citing only a few differences involving pesticides and antibiotics... Nor did the organic foods prove more nutritious."

 "'There are many reasons why someone might choose organic foods over conventional foods,' from environmental concerns to taste preferences, Bravata stressed. But when it comes to individual health, 'there isn't much difference.'"

You can read the entire Associated Press article HERE.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Women Auditioned To Be Tom Cruise's Next Wife

Vanity Fair magazine is reporting that the Church of Scientology once embarked on a 'top secret project' to find Tom Cruise a wife before he married Katie Holmes in which, "actresses who were already Scientology members were called in." 

In 2004, an actress was selected for this "very important mission." But Tom Cruise allegedly grew tired of her. She was banished to a Scientology facility in Florida and forced to do manual labor.

You can watch a 3 minute segment about these revelations from NBC's Today show HERE.

New E-Mails About Michael Jackson's Comeback

"The story of Jackson's ill-fated comeback attempt has been told in news reports, a manslaughter trial and a feature-length documentary. But a cache of confidential AEG emails obtained by The Times offers a darker picture of the relationship between the down-on-his-luck idol and the buttoned-up corporation taking a bet on his erratic talents."

"'MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent,' Phillips said in an email to his boss at Anschutz Entertainment Group, the Los Angeles company staking a fortune on the singer. 'I [am] trying to sober him up... I screamed at him so loud the walls are shaking... He is an emotionally paralyzed mess riddled with self loathing and doubt now that it is show time.'"

You can read more in the Los Angeles Times HERE.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Speed of Beer Drinking Tied To Shape of Glass

"A new study shows that the shape of one's beer glass affects how fast people gulp down the beverage... On average, it took people drinking beer out of a straight glass 11 minutes to finish 12 oz. Those drinking out of the curved glass only took seven minutes. There was no difference in time for people consuming soft-drinks out of either glass."

"Researchers believe that people had a hard time judging and pacing themselves with the curvy glass because of the shape... Attwood told the BBC that the lack of difference among the soda drinkers was probably because they weren't as concerned about how fast they drank the soft drinks."

You can read more at CBS News HERE.

"Mountain Dew A.M." Coming To Taco Bell

"Taco Bell said Friday that it's adding Mtn Dew A.M — a mix of Mountain Dew soda and Tropicana orange juice — to its breakfast menu, which was rolled out earlier this year at select locations."

You can read the entire Associated Press article HERE. This sentence at the end of the piece made me laugh. "A representative for Taco Bell wasn't immediately available to provide details on the orange juice-to-soda ratio in Mtn Dew A.M."