February 2008

America’s Most Miserable Big Cities

posted on Feb 11, 2008 | Comments (0)

Forbes – America’s Most Miserable Cities

“We looked at only the 150 largest metropolitan areas, which meant a minimum population of 371,000.”

1. Detroit, MI – Ranked number 1 in violent crime with an annual rate of 1,251 crimes per 100,000 residents. Ranked number 2 in unemployment at 8.5%.

2. Stockton, CA – It’s population increased 28% from 1997 to 2007, which caused home prices to increase 158% between 2000 and 2005. Now, it has one of the highest home foreclosure rates in the country.

3. Flint, MI – More and more people have been leaving Flint since 1990 due to unemployment. On the bright side, home prices have decreased to an average of $104,000.

4. New York, NY – Ranked number 1 in highest income tax rate (10.5%, which is more than twice the U.S. average). Ranked number 1 in worst commuting time at an average of 36 minutes each way.

5. Philadelphia, PA – Ranked in the top 20 in worst commuting time, violent crime, and number of toxic waste sites.

6. Chicago, IL – Long commuting time (an average of 31 minutes each way), a high violent crime rate (619 crimes per 100,000 residents), and freezing-cold winters.

7. Los Angeles, CA – Constant traffic, high income tax rates, and severe air pollution. Beautiful weather, though.

8. Modesto, CA – Ranked number 1 in unemployment at 8.7%.

9. Charlotte, NC – Very high violent crime rate (838 crimes per 100,000 residents).

10. Providence, RI – Ranked number 2 in highest income tax rate (9.9%). Roughly 20,000 residents have left Providence each year for the past four years.

Celebrity Death: Roy Scheider from Jaws and Seaquest

posted on Feb 11, 2008 | Comments (1)

Roy Scheider

Yahoo! News – Roy Scheider of Jaws dies at 75

Sad news is that Roy Scheider died yesterday, at the age of 75. Roy is best known as Chief Martin Brody in Steven Spielberg’s Jaws and Jaws II. I also remember him from The French Connection, 2010 (sequel to 2001 Space Odyssey) and many years later, as Captain Nathan Bridger on SeaQuest DSV on NBC. Roy actually was born in Orange, NJ, and attended Columbia High School in Maplewood. Pretty much the Paunch Stevenson neck of the woods. The guy was a terrific actor and one of those who you instantly recognize on screen and who’s personality is very authentic and real. One of my favorites and will be missed.

Roy Scheider, November 10, 1932 – February 10, 2008

Val Kilmer is KITT

posted on Feb 10, 2008 | Comments (1)

William Daniels, Will Arnett, and Val Kilmer

Variety – Val Kilmer voices Knight Rider

On Sunday, February 17, 2008, NBC is airing the new made-for-TV movie Knight Rider. If all goes well, NBC will turn it into a TV show.

From 1982 to 1986, William Daniels played the voice of the car KITT in the original Knight Rider show. Now, the honor goes to Val Kilmer. NBC originally wanted Will Arnett from the TV show Arrested Development and the movie Let’s Go to Prison (2006), but his contract with General Motors prevented him from accepting the part.

Ford is providing cars for the new Knight Rider and is taking an active role in the marketing and branding of the movie. GM found out about the Ford connection and asked Arnett to decline.

“I was very excited at the prospect of playing the part of KITT,” Arnett said. “However, because of a long relationship with General Motors as the voice of GMC Trucks, I had to respectfully withdraw from the project.”

Michael Jackson at the Grammys?

posted on Feb 8, 2008 | Comments (3)

Michael Jackson: then and now

Fox News – Michael Jackson’s Surprise Grammy Appearance

According to Fox News, Michael Jackson might perform his song “Billie Jean” at the 50th annual Grammy Awards this coming Sunday, February 10, 2008. Will his hair catch on fire again? Will he be dressed as a Middle Eastern woman again? Or – even worse – will he be hanging out with Corey Feldman and Macaulay Culkin again?

Genetically Modified Onions

posted on Feb 7, 2008 | Comments (2)

Yahoo! News – Scientists create tearless onions

Scientists in New Zealand and Japan have created a tear-free onion using biotechnology to switch off the gene behind the enzyme that makes us cry. The research institute in New Zealand, Crop and Food, used gene-silencing technology to make the breakthrough which it hopes could lead to a prototype onion hitting the market before 2018.

Colin Eady, the institute’s senior scientist, said the project started in 2002 after Japanese scientists located the gene responsible for producing the agent behind the tears.

“Here in New Zealand, we had the ability to insert DNA into onions using gene-silencing technology developed by Australian scientists. The technology creates a sequence that switches off the tear-inducing gene in the onion so it doesn’t produce the enzyme. So when you slice the vegetable, it doesn’t produce tears.”

Next on scientists’ to-do list: creating leafless trees, measuring the speed of mayonnaise, and – if they get around to it – curing cancer.

« Previous PageNext Page »