Bob's Stuff

I'm Bob and this is my Stuff.
Posts from June 2014
by Bob posted Jun 30 2014 5:02AM

Way back when Hippocrates was telling his compatriots to "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food," he wasn't just talking about laying off the ancient Greek equivalent of Twinkies. Pretty much every day-to-day health ailment can be cured with a healthy diet. He knew it then, and we know it now--we just prefer to take the easy way out and reach for a pill bottle or make an appointment with an M.D. That gets expensive, not to mention inconvenient, especially when the answer for what ails you--whether it's PMS or a mild case of the blues--is no further than your refrigerator.

1. Prevent PMS with pork 'n' beans.
Both are rich in thiamine and riboflavin, two B vitamins that could prevent you from developing PMS, according to research from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. The study found that women who consumed 1.9 milligrams per day if thiamine and 2.5 milligrams of riboflavin per day had a 25 to 35 percent lower risk of developing PMS than women who consumed less, but they didn't see those same benefits when they took supplements. And pork and beans are your best sources of both vitamins. Eating a 3-ounce serving of the meat and a cup of cooked beans on a regular basis will provide you with the amount you need to keep those cramps away.

2. Eat asparagus, prevent a hangover.
The leaves and shoots of this super-veggie contain enzymes that break down alcohol after heavy drinking, preventing a hangover, and even eating it the day after can tame one that is already making you miserable, according to Korean scientists. The best way to prevent a hangover, of course, is to avoid overindulging. Munch on some stalks before you head out or during your bar visit, though, and not only will you get the beneficial enzymes but your stomach will be full of food, which slows down your body's absorption of alcohol in the first place. And if you wake up the day after a binge to find you're out of asparagus, reach for one of these 10 Best Hangover Foods instead.


3. Cure kidney stones with lemonade.
Kidney stones have become a more common health complaint than heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, according to figures released this year from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of people suffering from them has doubled in the past 13 years. If you fall into that crowd, start downing lemonade. Lemon juice has the highest levels of citrate of any citrus juice, and that citrate helps dissolve any calcium deposits that will eventually turn into kidney stones. Squeeze your own fresh lemons to make lemonade, or buy a commercial mix. Doctors say that you can get as much citrate as you need from regular old lemonade, without having to make your teeth curl by sucking on a raw lemon.


4. Drink coffee, defeat depression.
Here's a disturbing stat: More than 10 percent of the U.S. population is now on expensive antidepressant medications. But researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health are wondering if a few cups of coffee couldn't render those drugs unnecessary. In a study published last year, they found that women who drank an average of four cups of coffee per day were 20 percent less likely to develop depression than people who didn't drink coffee, or any other caffeinated drinks, for that matter. Caffeine may protect the brain against certain neurotoxins that can cause depression, the authors wrote, or it could be nothing more than the energy lift you get from chronic, low-level exposures to the stimulant. Either way, drink up! And make sure your morning joe is certified organic. Instead, try these 11 Foods That Instantly Boost Your Mood.


5. Ward off colds with yogurt.
Start bolstering your immune system for fall and winter by downing a cup of probiotic-rich yogurt every day. Those good bacteria strengthen your immunity and have been associated with a 42 percent lower risk of getting upper respiratory infections, such as colds. The strains of probiotics are found in fermented dairy products such as yogurt and kefir. And while you're downing those, lay off the excess sugar, antibiotics, and stress, all of which can kill good bacteria in your gut and make you more susceptible to cold-weather ailments.

6. Prevent weight gain with red wine.
As if you needed another reason to enjoy a good glass of red wine! Researchers from Purdue University have found that a compound called piceatannol found in red wine prevents or delays immature fat cells from developing into mature fat cells. Not a drinker? The same compound exists in the seeds and skin of red grapes and blueberries. (For ultimate weight loss results, quit these 10 Sleep Habits That Cause Weight Gain, ASAP.)


7. Eat pomegranates to ward off sunburn.
Pomegranates are a rich source of ellagic acid, which can help protect your skin from UVA- and UVB-induced cell damage, according to research from the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Texas A&M University. Aim to get the health benefits of pomegranates from whole fruits, which are a more potent form of the skin-protecting acids than juices or supplements.

8. Beat back a headache with beef liver.
Plagued by migraines? You may be suffering from a liver deficiency. Beef liver is one of the best dietary sources of the B vitamin riboflavin, which has shown some promise in reducing the frequency of migraine headaches. Of course, the effective dose is 400 milligrams of riboflavin per day, far more than you'd get from a serving of liver (about 3 milligrams). So eat your riboflavin-rich beef with other foods high in the vitamin, including dairy products and vegetables, and consider taking a supplement if you're plagued by bad headaches.

by Bob posted Jun 27 2014 4:34AM

It's that time of year when families start planning vacations, and since we don’t live in Syria, chances are that the vast majority of these vacations won’t end in death.Well, depending on how liberal you are with the lighter fluid during grilling time anyway. But there are a few vacation spots within the United States that are a little riskier than you might think. Sure, no one’s going to take you out with an RPG, Call of Duty style, but nature can be even deadlier than man. A lightning strike here, a fall off a cliff there, and that vacation suddenly doesn’t seem so relaxing. And that’s why you should be extra careful should you choose to visit any of the following destinations for Memorial Day. They are nine of the most dangerous vacation spots in America.

9. Red Triangle, California

Extending from Bodega Bay, just north of San Francisco, down to Big Sur and out to around the Farallon Islands, California’s Red Triangle is one of the most scenic spots in the entire country. It’s loaded with seals, sea lions, sea otters and everything else you’d normally have to go to Sea World to, uh, see. All that sweet, sweet sea meat also means that it’s home to lots and lots of great white sharks. In fact, 11% of the total great white shark attacks on humans worldwide have taken place within the Red Triangle. Is that bad? Because that kinda sounds bad. Of course, you’ll probably be fine, but nobody needs to wonder whether their vacation will turn into a sequel to Jaws. Sure, it will spice up the slide shows, but “Hey, remember that time grandma got eaten by a shark?” isn’t a conversation you want to be having next Thanksgiving.

8. Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Rocky Mountains, but never forget one thing: it’s a freakin’ mountain. That means that it pretty much exists to kill people. But the most popular method of killing puny humans probably isn’t what you think. It isn’t avalanches or even falls, it’s lightning. I mean, think about it, you’re literally miles above ground, surrounded by peaks that serve as virtual lightning rods. There’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and storms move in fast. You get stuck out there on the wrong day and there’s a very real chance they’ll be able to use your corpse as an alternative power source. But even if you don’t get hit by lightning, let’s not forget that the Rocky Mountains have historically not been kind to stranded travelers. One unexpected snowfall and pretty soon you’re eating each other, and not in the good way. The Donner Party knows what I’m talking about.

7. Kauai, Hawaii


Kauai is gorgeous. But one of the reasons it’s so gorgeous is because it’s pretty much an untamed tropical paradise. That’s great and all, but it also means that it’s a darn jungle filled with things that will kill you. Most dangerous is probably the Kalalau Trail, where falling rocks, flash floods and the crumbling ground itself can do you in. It’s a 300 foot drop from the trail straight into the surf, and if you’re lucky, you might get stopped by a rock or a tree and just end up with a mangled face and permanent brain damage. Plus, if I’ve learned anything from TV, it’s that Hawaii is loaded with cursed Tiki dolls, and you don’t need the ghost of some ancient warrior chasing you through the jungle during your vacation. I don’t care how much CrossFit you’ve done, you’re not ready for that stuff.

6. Appalachia

Look, this one is simple. You’ve all seen Deliverance, or are at least familiar with its banjo twangin’ ways, right?  I’m just looking out for you.

5. White Mountains

The White Mountains of New Hampshire are beautiful. They’re loaded with lots of kick-ass bike trails and scenery to warm even the iciest of hearts. Unfortunately, they’re also dangerous as hell. Those kick-ass trails are great until a freak snowfall comes along and turns them into death ditches, or a rock-slide ends up chasing you down one of them like Indiana Jones running from the boulder at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark. But hey, don’t worry, because if nature decides to try to kill you, you can always escape by finding your way to Mt. Washington, where you’ll eventually be rescued by a helicopter, but not before being buffeted by the most hellacious winds in the country and losing all your fingers and toes to frostbite, even in the middle of summer.

4. Devil’s Hole, New York


Well, it’s called Devil’s Hole, so right away you know things probably won’t turn out well. Still, Devil’s Hole lures in plenty of avid fishermen, who relish the challenge of fishing the rapids. It’s also got beautiful scenery and blah, blah, blah… it’s called Devil’s Hole! Come on! And it’s called that because people try to fish there in their crappy little boats and end up getting hauled off by the ridiculously strong currents and then sucked under the rapids where they then drown and are eventually fished out by the cops, which is what the ancients liked to call irony. And also, dumb as hell.

3. Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite’s famous Half Dome is a bare peak that juts out of the earth like the hand of God himself. It’s awe-inspiring and it lures hikers and mountain climbers from all over the world. Of course, since it’s a bare peak, surrounded by nothing but air, it also means that it’s a gigantic lightning rod and if a storm rolls in, you’re pretty much done. And the scariest part is that storms often roll in without warning. It can be a picture perfect day when you start your climb, and a couple of hours later, you’re hugging a cliff face with your boys, telling them you love them all and wondering if you should build an ark to save mankind from this hell-storm that’s never, ever going to end, all while lightning flashes around you. And then… bang! You’re dead. If I were you, I’d just stick to camping and praying that a giant redwood doesn’t fall in the middle of the night and crush you like an ant.

2. Grand Canyon

Look, just use some common sense here. The Grand Canyon is popular because it’s literally a giant  chasm in the middle of the desert. This is not a place to just get loaded and stumble around. But even if you manage to keep your footing on one of the trails, you still have to deal with the fact that on one side, there’s a giant cliff and on the other, there’s a raging river. If things start to go south, there’s nowhere to go. And it’s not like you can just hang out for a while and wait for everything to chill out, because it’s pretty much the exact opposite of chill, with temperatures of over 110 degrees just waiting to fry your brain and make you stroke out. It’s so bad that on the Bright Angel Trail, they actually have something called a “Death Zone.” Good Lord.

1. The Maze, Utah


Located in the desert of Utah, the Maze is one of those places spoken of almost in hushed whispers in hiking circles. That’s because it’s a “trail” with no real actual trails, just identical canyons and a complex of dead-ends that make it, well, a maze. Hey, mazes can be fun, but probably not in the desert, where one wrong turn could lead to your bleached bones being found chilling with a vulture someday. There’s no water to be found anywhere, and landmarks are scarce since it’s all dead-end canyons and desert rock. Still, thousands of expert hikers tackle the Maze every year, both for the challenge and the stunning red rock scenery. The key word in there, though, is “expert.” Anything short of that and you might as well just sell all your possessions and leave a suicide note.

Filed Under :
People : God
by Bob posted Jun 26 2014 4:22AM
The "Hollywood Reporter" recently surveyed over 2,000 Hollywood industry types . . . agents, directors, producers, and studio executives . . . to assemble a list of "Hollywood's 100 Favorite Films" of All Time.



In other words, these are the best movies ever . . . according to the people who make them, not critics, movie buffs, or some random person on



When all the ballots were counted, here's how the Top 25 shook out:



1.  "The Godfather", 1972


2.  "The Wizard of Oz", 1939


3.  "Citizen Kane", 1941


4.  "The Shawshank Redemption", 1994


5.  "Pulp Fiction", 1994


6.  "Casablanca", 1942


7.  "The Godfather: Part 2", 1974


8.  "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial", 1982


9.  "2001: A Space Odyssey", 1958


10.  "Schindler's List", 1993


11.  "Star Wars", 1977


12.  "Back to the Future", 1985


13.  "Raiders of the Lost Ark", 1981


14.  "Forrest Gump", 1994


15.  "Gone with the Wind", 1939


16.  "To Kill a Mockingbird", 1962


17.  "Apocalypse Now", 1979


18.  "Annie Hall", 1977


19.  "Goodfellas", 1990


20.  "It's a Wonderful Life", 1946


21.  "Chinatown", 1974


22.  "The Silence of the Lambs", 1991


23.  "Lawrence of Arabia", 1962


24.  "Jaws", 1975


25.  "The Sound of Music", 1965



Nine movies from the past decade made the list, including "The Dark Knight" at #57, "Avatar" at #67, "Brokeback Mountain" at #76, "Inception" at #84, "Slumdog Millionaire" at #88, and "Pan's Labyrinth" at #96.



(You can browse the complete Top 100, here.)



(One of the cool things about this list is that it isn't littered with obscure movies that snobby critics have determined "classics," and instead includes ones that you've actually SEEN, for the most part.)



(There are also some great COMEDIES, which are often overlooked when it comes to the critics.  For example, "When Harry Met Sally" is #38, "The Big Lebowski" is #51, "Ghostbusters" is #77, and "Airplane!" cracked the Top 100 at #97.)

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by Bob posted Jun 25 2014 4:10AM

The World Cup Won the Ratings Week . . . Plus the Ratings of 11 Season Premieres


"World Cup Soccer" was the most-watched show of the week.  Sunday's game where Portugal scored in the final moments of the game to block a U.S. win was watched by just under 14 million people on ESPN.



And the game where the U.S. beat Ghana drew another 9.7 million viewers.  Our next match-up is tomorrow, where we'll go up against Germany.  They're our biggest competition in our World Cup Group and we're both undefeated going into tomorrow's match.

Primetime Total Viewers for the week ending June 22, 2014:

Rank Shows R=Repeat S=Special P=Premiere Net Viewers (Live +SD) (000)
1 AMERICA'S GOT TALENT-TUE-06/17 S   11424
2 AMERICA'S GOT TALENT 6/22-06/22 S S 8120
3 NCIS-06/17   R 7818
4 Big Bang Theory, THE-06/19 R R 7672
5 60 Minutes-06/22 R R 6719
6 BACHELORETTE, THE-06/16 R   6503
7 NCIS: LOS ANGELES-06/17 R R 6415
8 NIGHT SHIFT-06/17 S   6250
9 Blue Bloods-06/20   R 6193
10 Dateline FRI-06/20     6021
11 CSI-06/18 R R 5956
12 Rookie Blue-06/19 S P 5916
13 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY-06/16     5628
14 MOM - THURSDAY-06/19 S R 5581
15 MIKE & MOLLY-06/16   R 5500
16 Criminal Minds-06/18 R R 5348
17 SO YOU THINK CN DANCE-06/18 R   5322
18 MIKE & MOLLY 6/16-SPECIAL-06/16 R SR 5279
19 MASTERCHEF-06/16     5235
20 48 HOURS-06/21 R R 5223
21 RISING STAR-06/22 S P 5200
22 Hawaii Five-0-06/20 S R 5169
23 Two and a Half Men-06/19 SR R 5138
24 HELL'S KITCHEN-06/19 S   5135
25 Person Of Interest-06/17   R 5074

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2014 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.  All numbers are live viewing plus same day DVR viewing.

Here are season premiere ratings for 11 other shows you may care about:


• The fifth season premiere of "Rookie Blue" pulled in 5.9 million viewers for ABC.


• The fifth season premiere of "Rizzoli & Isles" attracted 5.8 million viewers to TNT.


Eric Dane's new show "The Last Ship" premiered with 5.3 million viewers on TNT.


• ABC's new singing competition "Rising Star" premiered with 5.2 million viewers.


• The seventh season of HBO's "True Blood" returned with 4 million viewers.


• The fourth season premiere of TNT's "Falling Skies" had nearly 3.7 million viewers.


• The seventh season premiere of ABC's "Wipeout" had 3.6 million viewers.


• The third season premiere of TNT's "Perception" had 3.1 million viewers.


• The second season premiere of Syfy's "Defiance" pulled in 2 million viewers.


• The series premiere of Syfy's "Dominion" tanked with just 965,000 viewers.


• The fourth season premiere of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" had 1.1 million.



(The Top 25 shows on cable TV are at

Filed Under :
Location : HawaiiLos Angeles
People : Eric Dane
by Bob posted Jun 25 2014 4:00AM
Every time you eat fast food, you're being TRICKED into buying more than you should.  They really put a lot of thought into it.  Here's a list of some of the biggest ways they get you to spend extra money.



1.  They use red on everything.  Scientists think the color red stimulates your appetite when you see it.  Orange, yellow, and pink work too.  McDonald's, In-N-Out, Fatburger, Chick-Fil-A, Carl's Jr., Hardee's, Burger King, Wendy's . . . just about everyone does it.



2.  They always smell good.  What you smell has a huge impact on your appetite.  That's why you start smelling Cinnabon in the mall about a hundred yards before you get to the food court.



3.  Food porn.  They get you with those big close-ups of that perfectly-cooked, perfectly-built burger that doesn't exist in any actual fast food joint.  By the time you get the nasty burger from the drive-thru, you're too hungry to notice the difference.



4.  Blasting top 40 music.  Relaxing music like classical and jazz tends to keep people in a restaurant longer, according to one study.  So fast food chains use loud, fast pop music to make you eat FASTER and leave earlier.  They need the turnover.



5.  Meal deals.  The restaurant gets less for a combo than it would for each item bought separately.  But the deal you get makes you buy more food than you would buy otherwise. 



6.  Bright lighting.  It keeps you from relaxing, so you'll spend less time there.



7.  Keeping menu options limited.  The game is to give a good selection without overwhelming customers with too many options.  They aim for about six items per menu category.



8.  Appealing names and descriptions.  There are certain adjectives they always go back to.  Coffee is always "aromatic" . . . beef is always "sizzling" . . . you get it.



9.  Different sizes for the same item.  Restaurants make more profit on smaller sizes.  So they actually make the large sizes absurdly large on purpose, to make people order more of the small sizes. 



Of course it usually backfires, because they just used all their OTHER tricks to give you a huge appetite.



10.  Special menu designs.  They put the expensive items in the upper right corner, where your eye tends to land first.  Or they highlight certain items by making them bigger than the rest, or putting a box around them.



(Business Insider)

Filed Under :
People : Wendy
by Bob posted Jun 24 2014 3:59AM

If you've been with your current company for a long time, they've probably rewarded your loyalty with some 3% raises here and there . . . maybe even 5% or 8%.



And that's cool.  But it's going to leave you way POORER than the coworkers who moved on.



A new study by "Forbes" found that people who stay at the same job make 50% LESS in their lifetimes than people who switch jobs every two years or so.



The main reason is that if you stay at the same job, you get raises that barely help you keep up with inflation.  The average raise in 2014 is 3% . . . and inflation is 2.1%.  That means your "real" raise is less than 1%.



But if you jump to another job, it's probably because they're offering to pay you over 3% more than what you make now.  So if you keep jumping from job to job, you're actually getting bigger jumps in your salary than staying loyal. 




by Bob posted Jun 23 2014 5:18AM

We all know college is when you hit your partying peak. But why does it hurt so much to recover as you get older? Science finally has some explanations and they aren’t pretty. Like your receding hairline.


As alcohol breaks down in the body it creates a toxin called acetaldehyde. That jerk toxin is the main cause of hangovers and can only be eliminated through the liver. However, as we get older our livers produce less antioxidants so more acetaldehydes pass through causing head aches, vomiting and brunch cancellations.


Remember how doctors says you should stop drinking while on antibiotics? That’s because many medications affect the ability for your body to process alcohol correctly. So, if you are getting up there and need medications for any number of “getting old” maladies, those medications are going to affect your ability to bounce back in the morning.


Not only does your fat gut not fit in your high school b-ball jersey anymore, it also means you going to have worse hangovers. Being heavier means A) You need more alcohol to get drunk and B) Your body has more fat and less water, causing alcohol toxins in your cells longer. Didn’t know that hitting the gym helped hangovers did ya?


Teenagers can sleep through all of Monday’s classes and not skip a beat. But as we grow older, it’s tougher to get a good night’s rest. This sleep deprivation, mixed with alcohol, means the older person is not getting the proper rest needed to fight off a hangover. Plus, you know. You’ve got to drink your kids to school.


Unless you are Frank The Tank, most adults drink less as they get older. That means your tolerance drops significantly. One baby shower or bachelor party, where you like you’re 21 years old again, will hit you like a ton of bricks

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by Bob posted Jun 23 2014 4:17AM
You might think your grandparents are clueless because they can't program the DVR or video chat.  But they know how to do a lot of stuff that YOU don't.  Here's a list of seven skills most people don't have anymore.



1.  Cooking from scratch.  Not following a recipe, but actually improvising with food.  Before microwaves and TV dinners, people just had to know how to work with what they had, and make it taste good.



2.  Sewing.  Also crocheting, quilting, darning, needlepoint, and all that related stuff.  If we have holes in our socks, we throw them away.  Your grandparents actually sat down and fixed them.  Men too . . . they had to do it by themselves in the Army.



3.  Canning.  A couple people do it now if they're really into home gardening.  But fifty years ago, just about everybody did it.



4.  Ironing.  It used to be that you would iron everything off the clothesline.  Now we just iron dress clothes, and most of the time we don't even do it right.



5.  Meeting people in person . . . by TALKING.  A lot of us meet new people online nowadays.  When we're out in public, face to face with real people, we IGNORE them . . . so we can stay online instead.



6.  Haggling.  Before everything was sold in chain superstores, people used to haggle a lot.  Now you never even get to try, except on Craigslist and at the car dealership.



7.  Writing letters.  Your grandparents used to write beautiful letters all the time, with pen and paper, and mail them in envelopes.  The writing you do on Facebook and Twitter . . . your grandparents would have called that being ILLITERATE.



(And they'd be right.  A recent study found that 67.3% of Facebook posts are written at a fifth grade reading level or lower.)



(Huffington Post)   

by Bob posted Jun 23 2014 4:09AM
The annual World's Ugliest Dog contest went down on Friday.  It was at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California.  And even though the winner IS ugly, he's also strangely beautiful . . . like a sunset over a garbage dump, perhaps?



This year the World's Ugliest Dog is a two-year-old mutt named Peanut.



Peanut was injured in a fire, so he doesn't have lips or eyelids.  That means his eyes are always bugging out and watering . . . and it always looks like he's smiling.  His hair is all over the place too.



His owner is a woman named Holly Chandler from Greenville, North Carolina.  She won $1,500 from the contest and she's going to use it to pay other pets' vet bills.



Quote, "He's my baby.  I guess I don't see him every day as being that ugly, but I guess the judges thought so." 

 (Here are some photos of Peanut, and here's the website for the contest with all the dogs he beat.)


Filed Under :
Topics : Human Interest
People : Holly Chandler
by Bob posted Jun 11 2014 5:44AM

There’s a perfect day to book your ticket and a perfect time (more or less) to get to the airport. Where's the perfect place to sit?

A recent study from budget airline easyJet claims to pinpoint the perfect airplane seat: 7F. Their reasoning? It sells the best.

But these results conflict with an earlier survey from Skyscanner, which claimed 6A was the best after polling travelers and considering "lucky numbers."

Ticket sales and lucky numbers are great, but neither of these methods seems entirely sound to us.


So which seat on the plane is the BEST? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for:


1. For SAFETY, pick an aisle seat in the rear, behind the "trailing edge of the wing."

An extensive study from Popular Mechanics found that passengers near the tail of a plane are about 40 percent more likely to survive a crash than those in the first few rows. Seats behind the trailing edge of the wings -- not over them -- had the highest survival rates. And choosing an aisle means you'll likely deplane more quickly in an emergency that requires evacuation.


2. For SLEEPING, pick a window seat on the left side of the plane, near the middle of the aircraft.

Frequent fliers say windows are off-center on the left side, providing a better spot to lay your head. The middle of an aircraft ensures you won't be bothered by bathroom lines or noisy galleys.


3. For STORAGE, pick a seat in the rear.

Almost all airlines (United Airlines and US Airways are noticeable exceptions) follow aback-to-front loading procedure, so if you're in a rear seat you'll get first dibs on overhead bin space.


4. For A QUICK EXIT, pick a seat on the left side of the plane, in the front.

We're talking about deplaning here, and it's obvious that on most planes, those in the front get to leave first. The main exit door is almost always on the left, so passengers tend to funnel out faster from that side of the plane.


5. For LEGROOM, pick an aisle seat in the exit row.

Exit row seats typically offer more space: a whopping 37-41 inches of pitch inJetBlue's Even More Space seats (though you'll have to pay extra for it), compared to 33 inches in JetBlue's regular rows. Picking an exit seat on the edge means you can stretch your legs into the aisle. Bulkhead seats may seem tempting, but consider thatsome will stuff your legs into cut-outs less than a foot high.


6. For KIDS, pick a seat in the bulkhead.

This one's a no-brainer: Most bulkhead seats leave more room for kids to move and sit on the floor, if allowed (just make sure your bulkhead row doesn't double as an exit row -- in that case, kids can't sit there).

The bathroom is nearby since you're in the front of the plane, and some bulkheads have bassinets for babies. Plus, no seats in front of you means there's a 50 percent decrease in the amount of bystanders you'll annoy.

by Bob posted Jun 11 2014 5:40AM

We know that dark green vegetables and citrus fruits are good for us, but if we had to choose among them, which ones pack more of a nutritious punch?

Jennifer Di Noia, associate professor of sociology at William Paterson University, did the work for us and reported her results in the Centers for Disease Control’sPreventing Chronic Disease.We’re told to add powerhouse fruits and vegetables to our diet, but we don’t have much guidance on which ones are really potent and which are coasting by on their color alone. Nutritionists point us toward anything dark green and leafy, for example, but it turns out that they can vary by as much as 70 points on how many nutrients they contain.

Di Noia focused on 17 nutrients considered by the food experts at the United Nations and the Institute of Medicine to be important to good health and to lowering risk of heart disease and cancer: potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K.

She then combed the scientific literature to calculate how many nutrients they contained per calorie of energy they provided (based on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet); the higher the value, the more of a powerhouse food it was. “It gives people a way of thinking how to maximize the nutrients per calorie,” she says.

She admits that the list doesn’t include all the phytochemicals, or compounds that could add to a food’s nutritional profile but, she says, “now that we have a list of foods it can help consumers know what are the powerhouse fruits and vegetables, and maybe choose the more nutrient-dense foods over less nutrient dense ones.”

Here’s the list. And since this list is all fruits and veggies, it stands to remind you that you can’t really go wrong with anything listed here. That said: Who knew watercress was such a power-veggie?

Item Nutrient Density Score
Watercress 100.00
Chinese cabbage 91.99
Chard 89.27
Beet green 87.08
Spinach 86.43
Chicory 73.36
Leaf lettuce 70.73
Parsley 65.59
Romaine lettuce 63.48
Collard green 62.49
Turnip green 62.12
Mustard green 61.39
Endive 60.44
Chive 54.80
Kale 49.07
Dandelion green 46.34
Red pepper 41.26
Arugula 37.65
Broccoli 34.89
Pumpkin 33.82
Brussels sprout 32.23
Scallion 27.35
Kohlrabi 25.92
Cauliflower 25.13
Cabbage 24.51
Carrot 22.60
Tomato 20.37
Lemon 18.72
Iceberg lettuce 18.28
Strawberry 17.59
Radish 16.91
Winter squash (all varieties) 13.89
Orange 12.91
Lime 12.23
Grapefruit (pink and red) 11.64
Rutabaga 11.58
Turnip 11.43
Blackberry 11.39
Leek 10.69
Sweet potato 10.51
Grapefruit (white) 10.47
Filed Under :
Location : Brussels
People : Jennifer Di Noia
by Bob posted Jun 11 2014 4:15AM

The NBA Finals Took the Top Two Spots in the Ratings


The first two games of the NBA Finals between the Spurs and the Heat took the top two spots in the ratings, averaging 15 million viewers.  The Tony Awards cracked the Top 10 with 7 million viewers.  The Miss USA competition attracted 5.6 million and the CMT Music Awards had 3 million.


Primetime Total Viewers for the week ending June 8, 2014:

Rank Shows R=Repeat S=Special P=Premiere Net Viewers (Live +SD) (000)
1 NBA FINALS ON ABC-GM 2-06/08 S ABC 15131
2 NBA FINALS ON ABC-GM 1-06/05 S ABC 14846
4 Big Bang Theory, THE-06/05 R CBS 8789
5 NCIS-06/03 R CBS 8610
6 60 Minutes-06/08 R CBS 8514
7 NCIS: LOS ANGELES-06/03 R CBS 7686
8 TONY AWARDS-06/08 S CBS 7046
9 NIGHT SHIFT-06/03   NBC 6871
10 BACHELORETTE, THE-06/02   ABC 6735
11 Blue Bloods-06/06 R CBS 6648
13 20/20-FRI-06/06   ABC 6272
14 48 HOURS MON - 6/2 SPC-06/02 S CBS 6195
15 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY-06/02   FOX 6176
16 MOM - THURSDAY-06/05 R CBS 6084
17 Criminal Minds-06/04 R CBS 6069
18 CSI-06/04 R CBS 5904
19 Dateline FRI-06/06   NBC 5753
20 Person Of Interest-06/03 R CBS 5611
21 MISS USA 2014-06/08 S NBC 5559
22 KIA NBA COUNTDOWN-GM 1-06/05 S ABC 5539
23 MIKE & MOLLY 6/2-SPECIAL-06/02 SR CBS 5530
25 MOTIVE-06/04   ABC 5392

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2014 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.  All numbers are live viewing plus same day DVR viewing.

by Bob posted Jun 10 2014 7:19AM
Many more coming........
by Bob posted Jun 10 2014 4:12AM

These gifts might not be considered good presents for Father's Day in the traditional sense, but somehow they're so bad, they're actually awesome. Break free from the traditional boring ties or tools, and embrace the unique and unusual -- Dad will thank you (maybe)!

1. Meggings (Man Leggings).
A garment of controversy, leggings walk a fine line between pants and undergarments, but why should women be the only ones to push the boundaries of appropriate apparel? With Meggings, leggings specifically designed for men, fellas can liberate themselves from conventional dress. Great for the hipster dad or any father who just doesn't give a flying fashion statement.


2. Denim Bikini Swimwear.
Speaking of pushing the fashion envelope, Dad will be making waves this summer in these denim swim briefs! Nothing is more manly than a pair of waterproof jeans, so hang on to your banana hammocks because this swimwear is "sexy."


3. Cruzin Cooler.
Does the dad in your life hate walking, but love cold beverages? Well, with the Cruzin Cooler, your dad can enjoy a cold beverage while cruising along at distances of up to 10 miles on the electric models. Great for sporting events, hunting, fishing... and I know my husband would have loved one of these on our recent trip to Disney World.


4. Uro Club. 
Dads who golf are going to have to pee, that's just par for the course. But now Dad can do it discreetly while on the course with the Uro Club! He just needs to clip on the privacy towel, unscrew the cap and go! It's public urination at its finest!


5. Shakoolie.
Showering can really get in the way of enjoying a cold brewski -- but not anymore, thanks to the Shakoolie Shower Beer Holder.


6. Loo Read.
Like many other spouses, I always find myself asking, "How can I get my husband to spend more time in the bathroom?!" Well, with this handy dandy Loo Read, dads everywhere can enjoy even more time alone on the throne!


7. Shittens.
Since Dad will be spending all that extra time in the bathroom, best to ensure he'll be as sanitary as possible. With these mitten-shaped wipes, he can get the benefit of a full hand cleaning without the crappy contamination.


8. Knight Sweatshirt.
Is the dad on your shopping list a huge Game of Thrones fan? Let him feel like he's part of the King's Guard in this armored sweatshirt! He'll be as comfortable as he is brave, and it's only around $220!


9. Wearable Sleeping Bag.
Similar to how I feel about letting my husband spend as much time as possible in the bathroom, I want him to be able to lie down and rest whenever possible. With this wearable sleeping bag, he'll be ready to sleep like a baby no matter where he is!


10. Human Slingshot.
How could this be a bad idea? Dad and several of his friends (or kids) can bounce around on the inside of this giant stretchable band like a bunch of human pinballs! Grab your friends and medical insurance cards, and let's go!


So what do you think? Will you be giving or hoping to receive any of these gifts on Father's Day?

Filed Under :
Topics : Human Interest
by Bob posted Jun 10 2014 4:01AM
Two-year-old Pamela Soto lives in Hobbs, New Mexico, and has a degenerative eye condition that's slowly been making her go BLIND.  So a while back, she had eye surgery.  (Hobbs is in the southeast corner of the state, near Texas.)



The surgery didn't help though, and her doctor said she needed ANOTHER surgery that would cost $35,000.  As a last resort, her mom walked around to local businesses asking for donations, and raised about five grand.



But out of nowhere, someone anonymously donated the FULL AMOUNT of $35,000.  That was in February, and Pamela's parents used the other $5,000 to travel to Michigan last month where she had the surgery done.



Since then, she's started to regain vision in both eyes.  And once it was clear the surgery was a success, the anonymous donors came forward.



It turns out one of the businesses the mom went to was a construction company owned by two guys named Danny Watson and Jimmy Cooper.  And they're the ones who donated the money.



Danny told the local news that they talked it over, and decided they just couldn't sit back and let someone so young go blind when there was a way to stop it. 



(Yahoo / KOB4 / NY Daily News)



(Check out a photo of Danny and Pamela here.)




Filed Under :
Location : HobbsMichiganNew MexicoTexas
by Bob posted Jun 9 2014 3:59AM
Wisconsin is pretty good. We rank as the 38th most streessed...near the bottom.

These Are The 10 Most Stressed Out States In America

Do you feel like you’re at your breaking point? It could be because you live in a stress danger zone.

Chris Kolmar

Chief Armchair Economist

148 articles, 126 comments


Get the image version of the map here

You, America, are way stressed out.

And you have a right to be, what with getting over the housing bubble, dealing with ever-longer commutes, and working longer and longer hours. But which states take being stressed to the next level?

It turns out the good people of Florida have earned the dubious distinction of being the most stressed out in the country. They are at the top of the pack of the 10 most stressed out states:

1. Florida
2. Georgia
3. New Jersey
4. California
5. Nevada
6. Illinois
7. New York
8. Maryland
9. North Carolina
10. Arizona

Finding that Florida tops this list adds a Saturday Night Scientific basis behind the @_FloridaMan twitter account.

How We Measured Stress (Without Stressing Out)

In order to measure stress, we selected a set of six criteria that reflect its root causes for most people and used them to look at the lower 48 states:

  • Percentage of population with a long commute (over 20 minutes)
  • Unemployment
  • Hours worked
  • Population density
  • Percentage of income spent on housing
  • Percentage of population without health insurance

The higher any of these was, the more stressful the people of the state are.

Our data is from the U.S. Census’ American Community Survey for 2008-2012.

We ranked each state from 1 to 48 (with one being the most stressed side of the scale) in the six individual criteria. These ranks were then averaged into one Big Deal Score, the lowest of which was the most stressed out state in America.

Below, we’ll take a look at the standout stress stats for each top 10 most stressed state, and wrap the whole thing up with a detailed ranking of all 48 we analyzed.

1. Florida: Unemployment And No Health Insurance Make For A Bad Combo


I have great memories of visiting my grandparents in Florida every summer as a kid. We’d build sandcastles on the beach and play shuffleboard.

Apparently I was completely oblivious to all of the stressed out grown-ups around me worried that I’d be eaten by sharks. More likely, they worried about paying for the hospital bills after I was bitten by a shark.

Florida ranked as the third worst state when it came to both the percentage of the population without health insurance (25.8 percent) and unemployment rate (11.3 percent).

2. Georgia: Life Isn’t As Peachy As Georgians Would Like You To Think

Long Commutes

Georgians walk the walk when it comes to the new fad of “busy boasting”. They work the most hours on average of any state’s residents in our top 10.

That drive to keep working is probably out of the stress of losing a job. The unemployment rate for Georgia is in the top 20 percent of the 48 states we analyzed.

On a relatively high note, it’s pretty cheap to live in Georgia, so at least you don’t have to pay to be stressed out.

3. New Jersey: Someone’s Gonna Have To Leave, Capiche?


New Jersey is known for two things around the country: Having the most people per square mile and having stupid-expensive property tax. And in true New Jersey style, these two things are points of pride.

If you don’t want to live close to your neighbors, go out to the boonies in Pennsylvania. You don’t want to pay an extraordinarily large amount of money to have a residence in the state, you should start saving.

Because when New Jersey does something, even stress, it never half-asses it.

4. California Girls Know How To Pay Too Much For Housing


California is kind of like the Apple MacBook of the states. It’s branded as an awesome, surfer heaven where you can strike it big.

In actuality, you can’t afford to live by yourself in a nice part of town unless you’ve been working for eight years or you’re a superstar computer programmer. The proof is in the source code: Californians spend more of their income on housing (26 percent) than any other state besides NJ.

To make matters worst, California can’t even beat NJ on the housing cost front. Must be super stressful.

5. You Can Hit The Stress Jackpot In Nevada


Nevada owns the second highest unemployment rate in the county of 11.8 percent, which is only trumped by Michigan’s 12.5 percent. That leaves a lot of time to take in the scenes and the slots in Vegas.

The relative lack of work allows everyone in Nevada to enjoy their space. Their population density ranked in the bottom 20 percent, leaving plenty of room to hang out with the cows and cacti.

Or, you know, whatever it is that people do in Nevada…

6. Illinois’s Level Of Stress Comes From The Most Fundamental Stress Of All


No, not being married: commute time. Being married is great—who would call that stressful?

But commutes are the worst. They consistently survey as the absolute worst part of your day because:

1. They are variable from one day to the next
2. You can literally do nothing in them besides listen to the radio
3. You’re going/coming from somewhere you’d much rather be

Illinois ranked fifth in commutes longer than 20 minutes with more than 61 percent of residents taking on such an arduous journey each day. That’s 61 percent of people just stuck smashing their horns with their foreheads on repeat. Every. Day.

7. New York Is “New Jersey Lite” When It Comes To Stress


Both New York and New Jersey scored highly (unfortunately?) in the same categories:

1. Population density
2. Income spent on housing

It’s just that New Jersey scores way better on both categories. So here’s something NJ can always brag about to New York.

Enough about NJ superiority. New York specializes in having the second worst commute times in the country. That’s what happens when you build a giant moat around the most densely packed city in the county. It takes a while to get in and out.

8. Maryland: Where You Can Blame All Of Your Problems On D.C.


Maryland actually fared alright for four of our six criteria, but it took the tops in commute time, where almost 70 percent of people spend longer than 20 minutes getting to work.

Maryland’s high level of population density (fifth highest) undoubtedly contributes to the commute problems. However, I’m pretty sure both of these stress inducing factors stem from Washington, D.C. Namely:

  • Population Density: Why would anyone want to live in Maryland? It must be to be close to D.C.
  • Commute: You have a ton of people trying to get into DC everyday from all over the state.

We could probably get Maryland to calm down a bit by moving the nation’s capital to where it should be: Hawaii.

9. North Carolina: Above Average Stress About Everything, Worried About Nothing


North Carolina is my kind of place, that’s probably why I live there.

It scores kind of high on the number of people per square mile, but housing costs are below average. People work a bunch, but commutes aren’t the worst.

North Carolina to me is kind of like the Goldilocks of stressed states. She’s freaking stressed because she’s in a house owned by bears, but not stressed to the point where she’s not going to take a nap.

10. Arizona: The Kid Picked Last For This List And No One Knows How He Got Here


When I picture stressed out places, I go with NYC, D.C., the OC, basically anything with a C in it. Oh, and Texas, definitely Texas.

Arizona has none of those attributes and seems like a state that just minds its own business. I mean, sure, it’s like one million degrees all the time, the haboobs can kill you, and scorpions are waiting to end your life, but those weren’t the direct criteria we were measuring.

Arizona is basically a slightly less stressed version of North Carolina. The commutes are worse, but all the desert gives you a lot of space to breathe.

I Guess You Just Can’t Have It All…

Unless, that is, you’re living in North Dakota. North Dakota just dominated five of the six categories. The people are only stressed there because they are working a ton of hours getting rich on sucking oil out of the ground for the rest of society.

So, if North Dakotans’ real stress is figuring out what to do with all this oil money floating in, I have a suggestion:

1. Go buy a house in Florida;
2. Build sand castles on the beach;
3. Play some shuffleboard;
4. And not freak out about sharks.

Most Stressed Out States In America

Who is Movoto Real Estate, you might ask? Movoto is a national online real estate brokerage. Our blog has been recognized for its unique approach to city-based research by major news organizations around the world such as Forbes, CBS News, and The New York Times.
by Bob posted Jun 9 2014 3:55AM
Everyone THINKS they're smarter than salespeople when they go shopping.  If you can remember these eight tips, there's a chance you actually might BE smarter.



1.  Don't buy the accessories.  Stores put really low prices on things like computers and TVs, just to get customers in the door.  They make their real money on all the cables and peripherals.  So buy what you came for and leave the rest behind.



2.  Read the fine print and understand it.  Especially for things like cars, the deal only looks good UNTIL you go through the fine print.  But a lot of people don't do that until after they've made the deal.



3.  Put your ego away.  Some customers come in over-confident, because they've done their research.  Smart salespeople will use that against you.  They'll say things like, "Obviously you know what you're talking about, so let's cut to the chase."



4.  Recognize a lie when you hear it.  When they tell you a price is only available TODAY, it's a lie.  If they can give it to you for that price today, they can do it at that price as long as it stays in inventory.



5.  Never leave and then come back.  You might think you're giving a salesperson time to soften up.  But really you're just showing them that you've already decided you're going to buy it. 



If you come back on your own, they'll come at you even harder.



6.  There's probably not a minimum purchase.  Sometimes you'll get offered a makeover at the cosmetics counter, but they'll tell you there's a minimum purchase.  They could easily be lying, and expecting that no one will call them on it.



7.  Don't fall for "the face."  Don't let a salesperson ask you what you're currently using, and then react with surprise or disapproval.  Salespeople will try to make you think you're doing it wrong, and then you'll be ready to buy whatever they suggest.



8.  You're allowed to mix up different brands of makeup.  Every cosmetics company tries to tell you that you have to use all their products together.  They just do that to make you throw away your old stuff and buy their entire line.



(ABC News)

by Bob posted Jun 5 2014 4:58AM

Alligator Point, Florida -- When a black bear showed up in a residential area in Alligator Point, Florida, wildlife officers knew they had to trap it and move it away from the neighborhood. After they hit the bear with a tranquilizer dart, though, things started to go horribly wrong. Thankfully, biologist/badass Adam Warwick was on the scene, ready to make his mark as the bravest guy ever to swim in the Gulf of Mexico.

Once the bear was hit with the tranquilizer dart, it panicked and ran towards the water. As it swam further and further out into the Gulf, it became drowsy. Adam knew that if something wasn't done, the bear would drown. So he did what basically no one else would ever do and jumped in alone to save the animal.

The bear slowly began to lose its ability to move its legs, but that didn't stop it from trying to climb on top of Adam to keep from drowning. Somehow, the biologist remained calm and grabbed the bear by the scruff of the neck with one hand and supported it from underneath with the other.

Everyone on shore held their breath as Adam dragged the nearly-400-pound beast twenty-five yards to land. By this point, the bear was having trouble keeping its head above water. But Adam never gave up.

After what seemed like an eternity, Adam made his way out of the water with the groggy bear. Despite the ordeal, he suffered only one scratch from the bear and a cut foot from the barnacles. 


Now that the bear was on land, the team was able to use a tractor bucket to transport it to  Osceola National Forest. I don't think he'll be going anywhere near large bodies of water for a long, long time.

Adam went above and beyond to save one of nature's most dangerous animals. He's not only one of the most legendary human beings I've ever heard of, but also a hero to one very lucky bear.

Filed Under :
Location : FloridaGulf Of MexicoPoint
People : Adam Warwick
by Bob posted Jun 4 2014 5:08AM

Championship apparel for every major sports event is prepared in advance, so fans can buy it immediately. That means that each year, half of the merchandise is worthless.

Thanks to World Vision, an an international aid group that distributes the gear to people in need in countries like Zambia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Romania, 2014 Broncos Super Bowl gear will be going to people in need.



Chicago Bears Super Bowl XLI shirts were sent to Zambia in 2007. Photo via World Vision.


Chicago Bears Super Bowl XLI shirts were sent to Zambia in 2007. Photo via World Vision.


World Vision also has partnerships with the NBA, NHL and MLB.

Filed Under :
Topics : Sports
by Bob posted Jun 4 2014 4:23AM

The "America's Got Talent" Season Premiere Took #1 in the Ratings


The ninth season premiere of "America's Got Talent" took the top spot in last week's rating with 12 million viewers.  The series premiere of NBC's new ER drama "Night Shift" cracked the Top 10 in seventh place with 7.7 million viewers. 



Meanwhile, NBC's "Inside the Mind of Edward Snowden" special was watched by just under 6 million people.

Primetime Total Viewers for the week ending June 1, 2014:

Rank Shows R=Repeat S=Special P=Premiere Net # Viewers (Live+SD) (000)
1 AMERICA'S GOT TALENT-TUE-05/27/2014 P NBC 12001
2 NCIS-05/27/2014 R CBS 9396
3 Big Bang Theory, THE-05/29/2014 R CBS 8717
4 60 Minutes-06/01/2014 R CBS 8215
5 NCIS: LOS ANGELES-05/27/2014 R CBS 7878
6 NIGHT SHIFT-05/27/2014 P NBC 7669
7 Criminal Minds-05/28/2014 R CBS 7259
8 Dateline FRI-05/30/2014 P NBC 7111
9 MOM - THURSDAY-05/29/2014 RP CBS 6334
10 CSI-05/28/2014 R CBS 6269
11 Blue Bloods-05/30/2014 R CBS 6176
12 Two and a Half Men ENCORE-05/29/2014 R CBS 6170
13 BACHELORETTE, THE-05/26/2014   ABC 6028
14 BRIAN WILLIAMS REPORT5/28-05/28/2014 S NBC 5948
15 20/20-FRI-05/30/2014   ABC 5781
16 24: LAD-MEMORIAL DAY SP-05/26/2014 S FOX 5712
17 Hawaii Five-0 SPECIAL-05/28/2014 SR CBS 5580
18 SO YOU THINK CN DANCE-05/28/2014 P FOX 5333
19 FRIENDS BETTER LIVES-SP-05/26/2014 S CBS 5314
20 AMER FUNN HOME VIDEOS-06/01/2014 R ABC 5309
21 Person Of Interest-05/27/2014 R CBS 5233
22 48 HOURS-05/31/2014 R CBS 5091
23 48 HOURS MON-MEM DAY SPC-05/26/2014 S CBS 5048
24 BACHELORETTE SP-6/1, THE-06/01/2014 S ABC 5024
25 MIKE & MOLLY-SPECIAL-05/26/2014 SR CBS 5016

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2014 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.  All numbers are live viewing plus same day DVR viewing.

Here are some other premieres you may care about:


• The 11th season of "So You Think You Can Dance" premiered to 5.3 million viewers.


• The John Malkovich pirate show "Crossbones" started out with 4.9 million viewers on NBC.


• The fourth season premiere of "Extreme Weight Loss" had 4 million viewers.


• And the new NBC show "Undateable" attracted 3.8 million viewers.



(The Top 25 shows on cable  TV are at



Filed Under :
Location : HawaiiLos Angeles
by Bob posted Jun 3 2014 5:07AM

West Virginia lottery players are on a roll this year, with nine Powerball tickets worth at least $1 million sold in the state.

While five other states have had more people win $1 million or more, West Virginia is No. 1 per capita, averaging one Powerball ticket worth $1 million for every 200,000 of its 1.8 million residents.

"It's just a lucky streak that we're on that's amazing," said Randy Burnside, a spokesman for the West Virginia Lottery. "Hopefully we'll have a lot more this year."

The odds of winning are the same anywhere Powerball is played. So far this year, there have been 161 Powerball tickets nationwide that have won $1 million, matching the first five numbers in the six-number game.

After Saturday's drawing, only five states sold more of those $1 million-plus tickets than West Virginia, all with much larger populations: New York (19), Florida (17), California (13) and Pennsylvania and Texas (10), said executive director Chuck Strutt of the Urbandale, Iowa-based Multi-State Lottery Association, which oversees Powerball.

California is the king of the grand-prize winners, selling two of the four Powerball tickets matching all six numbers this year. The others were in Florida and Missouri.

But when taking population into account, West Virginia is No. 1. Vermont, with two Powerball millionaires and 626,630 residents, is second and Louisiana, with seven winners and a population of 4.6 million, was third.

West Virginia's median household income is among the worst in the nation.

"We're just tickled to death to be able to create life-changing money for folks in the state," Burnside said.

Susan Dennis regularly buys lottery tickets at home in West Virginia and when traveling outside the state, but those tickets always seem to come up empty.

"I think I just better stick with West Virginia," she said.

Dennis was among 12 people from a small mattress business in West Virginia to share a $1 million Powerball prize in February.

Powerball rules were changed in early 2012 to help increase jackpots and payouts. The odds of matching the first five numbers in the Powerball game are about 1 in 5 million.

In addition to Powerball, two tickets from the popular Mega Millions game worth at least $1 million have been claimed in West Virginia this year.

West Virginia has had its share of grand-prize winners, too, with eight tickets matching six numbers in Powerball. Among those were Jack Whittaker, a West Virginia contractor who won a nearly $315 million Powerball jackpot in 2002. He quickly fell victim to scandals, lawsuits and personal setbacks.

West Virginia's winners have come from all walks of life and all corners of the state. Three Powerball tickets worth at least $1 million were sold for one drawing May 3, the first time that's happened, Burnside said.

Some of the recent winners have won big more than once. Twins Pam Garretson and Penny Fitzpatrick, of Crab Orchard, who claimed $1 Powerball winnings for the May 3 drawing, shared a $100,000 Powerball prize 12 years ago.

Dennis and her group still play Powerball whenever the jackpot reaches $100 million and planned to buy more for Saturday's drawing, whose jackpot was at $173 million. There were six tickets worth $1 million sold Saturday, but there was no jackpot winner. The prize increased to $192 million for Wednesday's drawing.

"I don't think it's luck," Dennis said. "It's whatever God wants to give us and when he wants to do it."

The state's latest winner, Hartzell "John" Lancaster, a small-business owner from the Northern Panhandle community of Weirton, buys five tickets for every Powerball drawing at a convenience store.

He didn't realize he'd won big in the May 17 game until he went to the store the next day to buy tickets for the next drawing.

"I couldn't believe it when I found out," Lancaster said. "I must have been as white as a ghost."

by Bob posted Jun 2 2014 5:33AM

You know you're in an airport when you smell the sweet odor of Cinnabons wafting through the air. There's no doubt you're in a mall when the overpowering scent of Auntie Anne's pretzels makes you crave a warm, buttery pretzel like you never have before. And even if you've just had lunch and don't even like the sandwich chain to begin with, the unmistakable smell of Subway bread emanating from the store always makes you consider whether or not you should duck in for a footlong.

The Wall Street Journal published an article on May 20 detailing the way certain food chains use smell to entice customers. It's a delicate balance -- stores want to draw in customers but not offend neighbors, and they want to make the odor strong enough without overpowering people.

Cinnabon is the obvious offender -- or benefactor, depending on how you feel about it -- that comes to mind. As Bill Gellert, president of a group that owns several Cinnabon locations in New York, put it: "Aroma is who we are. It is our greatest asset." Indeed, Cinnabon stores are purposefully situated in malls and airports so that the smell of baking the Cinnabons, which are baked at least every 30 minutes, can linger in a space where people are spending extended periods of time. Ovens are also placed near the entrance of Cinnabon stores.

Cinnabon isn't the only chain with a specific scent strategy. Subway also puts its ovens near the door so that the smell of baking bread can waft out. According to this Wall Street Journal story, Panera has used a test oven that doesn't have a hood to encourage smells to permeate the store. Cinnabon franchisees are directed to buy ovens with "the weakest hoods possible," Kat Cole, president of Cinnabon, told the Wall Street Journal.

Scent is clearly an important component of food advertising strategy.

Here are nine fast food chains with unmistakably distinct smells, in order of recognizability. Which restaurants would you add to the list?

  • 9. Pizza Hut
    Facebook/Pizza Hut
    Pizza Hut definitely has a particular pizza smell. We can't quite put our finger on it, but we know it when we smell it.
  • 8. Mrs. Field's
    Facebook/Mrs. Field's
    We know not all chocolate chip cookies are created equal -- and they don't smell the same either.
  • 7. Dunkin' Donuts
    Facebook/Dunkin' Donuts
    DD's donuts have a very distinct taste (and we're not necessarily on board all the time), so it stands to reason that they have a very distinct smell as well.
  • 6. Jamba Juice
    Facebook/Jamba Juice
    So artificial and so sugary. You can't call these things smoothies.
  • 5. Cold Stone Creamery
    Facebook/Cold Stone Creamery
    This is what a sugar overdose smells like.
  • 4. McDonald's
    From the hash browns, to the Chicken McNuggets, to the fries, McDonald's food has a very particular smell. It's as comforting as it is unsettling.
  • 3. Auntie Anne's
    Facebook/Auntie Anne's
    The hot, buttery smell that emanates from Auntie Anne's is totally irresistible. It feels so dirty and so, so good.
  • 2. Subway
    Subway places its ovens by the entrance of its stores, to purposefully entice passerby. The smell of Subway's bread baking is unlike any baking bread we've ever smelled.
  • 1. Cinnabon
    You know it well -- it has kept you company on many a layover and made you feel queasy before too many early morning flights. There's nothing quite like it.

Filed Under :
Location : New York
People : Bill GellertFieldKat Cole
by Bob posted Jun 2 2014 4:44AM


Named after the doctor who invented it, the Heimlich maneuver has seriously curbed the hazards of choking since its introduction in the 1970s.


While this iconic ice cream flavor is generally associated with feelings of happiness and pleasure, its inception was the result of some pretty dire times. Recognizing the “rocky road” ahead for Americans after the Stock Market Crash of 1929, ice cream purveyor William Dreyer dreamed up this recipe as a temporary salve to the economic ills in the United States. Though some naysayers contest whether the credit for this cream-marshmallow-almond-chocolate chip recipe belongs 100% to Dreyer, few people will contest that Rocky Road ice cream is 100% delicious.


June 3rd: National Repeat Day


Whether you passionately love it or passionately hate it, few people feel neutral on the subject of running. In light of the positive passions, runners around the country take to the streets on the first Wednesday of every June to express their love of optional physical duress.


Donald F. Duncan had more to celebrate about his life than an amazing name; he helped popularize the Yo-Yo. Though technically invented by a man named Pedro Flores in the late 1920’s, the Yo-Yo didn’t hit the mainstream until an entrepreneurial Duncan purchased Flores’ Yo-Yo Toy Company, mass-produced this circular piece of plastic and string, and introduced it to the world. June 6th is believed to be Duncan’s birthday.


Believe it or not, the Salvation Army is behind the creation of this sweet holiday. According to their website, “the first National Donut Day was celebrated in Chicago in 1938 to help raise needed funds during the Great Depression and commemorate the work of the 'donut lassies' who helped make the donut what it is today by feeding the tasty confection to American soldiers during WWI.” In modern times, companies like Entenmann’s are donating a portion of their donut profits to the Salvation Army while Dunkin' Donuts is donating calories to your waistline.

June 8th: Name Your Poison Day

Although this holiday is widely open to interpretation, we recommend no one take it literally. Instead, muster up the courage to boldly acknowledge the one vice in your life that you simply cannot resist no matter how terrible it may be for you. Unless said “poison” happens to be arsenic.

June 10th: Ballpoint Pen Day

Put away your quills, fountains, and felts, for today we honor the gravity-dependent ink dispenser we know as the ballpoint pen. It may not have the panache of a gel writing utensil, or the precision of a roller ball. But when it comes to getting ink onto paper and the bottoms of shirt pockets, ballpoints certainly get the job done.


Since 1969, a growing number of folks have traveled to Spivey’s Corner, North Carolina, on the third Saturday of June to let out their heartiest holler. A distant cousin of the yodel and even more distant cousin of the smoke signal, “hollerin'” is believed to have originated among rural folks prior to the advent of technology like the telephone. Some hollerin’ contests now take place in September as well, but the original National Hollerin' Contest Day always takes place on the third Saturday in June.

June 16th: Bloomsday

In case you're not a James Joyce aficionado, June 16 is the day the events in Ulysses take place. The name comes from Leopold Bloom, the main character in the novel. To get ready for your Bloomsday party, here are 10 fun facts about James Joyce.

June 17th: National Eat Your Vegetables Day

We are unsure whether PETA or the PTA is more responsible for this holiday, but you better be prepared to finish those Brussels sprouts today if you know what’s good for you! Like Brussels sprouts, for example. They’re a great source of dietary fiber and vitamin C.

June 18th: International Picnic Day

Since it falls during the workweek this year, IPD may also have to stand for International Personal Day. But a basketful of goodies, domestic or international, and a nice patch of grass will definitely be worth calling in with a mysterious “summer cold.”

June 19th: World Sauntering Day

A man named W.T. Rabe, an allegedly rampant self-promoter, is said to have conceived this holiday in the 1970s on Mackinac Island, Michigan. According to Merriam-Webster, to saunter one must merely “walk about in an idle or leisurely manner.” So for all of you who balked at a running holiday, thank Rabe for providing a much more casual holiday for getting around.

June 21st: Summer Solstice

Pencil in some sun on your calendar today, because the top half of the Earth is getting all up in our star’s grill. Welcome to summer, Northern Hemisphere.

June 21st: World Handshake Day

PURELL could have a field day with this one, but don’t let germs stop you from reaching out and touching a stranger’s hand. Let the subsequent uncomfortable look on their face be your true guide.

June 22nd: National Onion Rings Day

National Onion Rings Day: for those of you who like your holidays deep-fried.

June 24th: International Fairy Day

A relatively young holiday for a relatively old mythical creature, International Fairy Day was created by artist Jessica Galbreth for “believers, collectors, and the young at heart to celebrate all that is Fae and reconnect with their imagination and child-like wonder.”

June 25th: COLOR TV DAY

While everyone is declaring the end of traditional television as we know it, take a moment today to reflect on the advent of color TV in our lives. Then marvel at the fact that it has only been 62 years since the first color television broadcast ever. On June 25th, 1951, CBS aired a variety show that was only available on color-ready TV’s. According to Geek Book of Days, black and white TVs missed the party entirely, not technologically savvy enough to even receive the show.


This holiday was intended to extol those hardworking newspaper folks who keep us abreast of all the news in a serialized format. But in light of recent technological advancements, we think we can extend the honors to online columnists as well. Such as the ones who bring you great daily trivia and interesting facts. You know, like offbeat holidays. For example.

June 28th: Insurance Awareness Day

Do you have insurance? If you answered that question, you just observed this holiday.

by Bob posted Jun 1 2014 5:11AM

About 1 in 6 teachers was "chronically absent" during the 2012-13 school year and accounted for about one-third of all teacher absences, according to a report by the National Council on Teacher Quality.

With data collected from 40 public-school districts across the country, the nonprofit research and policy organization suggests that a simple way to boost education quality could be improving teacher attendance and focusing on the 16% of chronically absent teachers, who missed 18 days or more of the school year. The report, to be released Tuesday, cites previous studies linking teachers' attendance rates with student outcomes.

"Teacher attendance can be a really easy win to increase teacher quality," said Nancy Waymack, managing director for district policy at the National Council on Teacher Quality, which advocates stronger teacher-evaluation tools and has sometimes been at odds with teachers unions. "Regardless of how effective a teacher may be, it does not matter if the teacher is not in the classroom. Getting the teacher into the classroom every day is an important part of having a highly effective school."

The report found that, on average, public-school teachers were present in their classrooms 94% of the school year and missed about 11 days. The average school year is 186 days. Long-term absences, defined as more than 10 days missed in a row, weren't counted in the report to control for maternity or paternity leave, as well as long-term illness.

"While some, no doubt, will find fault with teachers in this attendance report, an overall 94% attendance rate shows the extraordinary dedication of teachers across the country, who come to school each day ready and excited to teach," said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. "This kind of stability is what our kids need to succeed."

Incentives to keep teachers in school, such as extra payments for unused sick days, didn't affect teacher absences, the report found. Ms. Waymack said that researchers learned anecdotally that cultural changes could make a larger difference, such as requiring teachers to call their bosses to report their absences in addition to requesting substitute teachers by computer.

Substitute teachers cost about $424 million for the 40 districts included in the report during the 2012-13 school year.

The Hillsborough County Public Schools District in Tampa, Fla., ranked among the top five of the 40 districts in the report, with a teacher attendance rate of 95.5%.

"Teacher absence affects the consistency in the classroom," said Danielle Shotwell, principal of Eisenhower Middle School in the district. "We've tried to create a culture among teachers that they care about each other, so that unless they absolutely have to [take an absence], they don't want to put undue burden on their peers."

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