How Green Is Your Artificial Christmas Tree? You Might Be Surprised
By JOHN COLLINS RUDOLF Published: December 17, 2010
Sales of fake trees are expected to approach 13 million this year, a record, as quality improves and they get more convenient, with features like built-in lights and easy collapsibility. All told, well over 50 million artificial Christmas trees will grace living rooms and dens this season, according to the industry’s main trade group, compared to about 30 million real trees.
Kim Jones, who was shopping for a tree at a Target store in Brooklyn this week, was convinced that she was doing the planet a favor by buying a $200 fake balsam fir made in China instead of buying a carbon-sipping pine that had been cut down for one season’s revelry.
“I’m very environmentally conscious,” Ms. Jones said. “I’ll keep it for 10 years, and that’s 10 trees that won’t be cut down.” READ MORE HERE
Sidwell Friends’s surprising Pearl Harbor Day menu
A lunch that will live in infamy? That’s what at least one parent at elite Sidwell Friends (yes, Sashaand Malia’s school!) wondered upon seeing what the school cafeteria listed as its “Pearl Harbor Day” menu Wednesday: A heavily Japanese-inspired lineup, including teriyaki chicken and edamame (as well as more generically Asian delicacies like tofu, fried rice, fortune cookies and “oriental noodle salad”). A school rep told us this was just a fluke —not a meal intended to commemorate the 1941 Japanese attack on U.S. forces: The contractor that prepares school lunches randomly assigned an Asian menu to Dec. 7, and the subcontractor that prints the calendars automatically marked Wednesday at Pearl Harbor Day. “It was completely coincidental,” said Ellis Turner, associate head of the school. READ MORE HERE
Shoplifting Suspect Arrested During Shop With A Cop
Published : Tuesday, 06 Dec 2011, 3:07 PM EST
WALDORF, Md. - If you are going to shoplift, make sure there are not 50 cops in the store. That’s what police say happened during their “Shop With A Cop” community program on Saturday.
Loss prevention officers at the Wal-Mart on Acton Lane saw a man in a back room cutting open packages of video games and game accessories and stuffing them inside his clothes. As the suspect walked towards the door, Charles County officers in the store were alerted and grabbed the suspect in the parking lot. READ MORE HERE
Running Marathons May Cause Permanent Heart Damage, Study Says
Published December 07, 2011 | FoxNews.com
Scientists say that running marathons may cause permanent heart damage, the Daily Mail reported.
A recent study found that high-endurance activities can result in scarring of the right ventricle and in turn increase the risk of heart complications.
The study examined 40 elite athletes with no history of heart problems who were planning to compete in an upcoming endurance event, like a marathon.
Test results showed that immediately after racing, the athletes’ hearts had changed shape and grown in volume, while the right ventricle function decreased. READ MORE HERE
Quarter-Billion Taxpayer Dollars Spent on Penis Pumps
According to data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare has spent more than $240 million of taxpayer money on penis pumps for elderly men over the past decade, and will surpass a quarter of a billion dollars this year for costs since 2001.
The cost to taxpayers for the pumps more than quadrupled during that period, from a low of $11 million in 2001 to a high of more than $47 million in 2010. And these represent only the costs for external devices, technically classified as “Male Vacuum Erection Systems,” not implantable devices or oral drugs such as Viagra.
Easy to Qualify
In order to obtain a pump, according to CMS’s Local Coverage Determination (LCD) revised in October this year, the “patient’s medical record must contain sufficient documentation of the patient’s medical condition to substantiate the necessity for the type and quantity of items ordered,” noting erectile dysfunction (ED) can “commonly occur in men in the Medicare age group.” STORY CREDIT/READ MORE HERE
Key to Bed Bugs' Persistence: Inbreeding
By ALICE PARK Wednesday, December 7, 2011
If bed bugs seem to be everywhere, it's probably because they are. Some bug watchers have estimated that populations of the tiny, blood-sucking mattress-dwellers have jumped by as much as 500% in recent years, and a 2010 survey found that 95% of exterminators in the U.S. had reported taking care of at least one bed bug infestation in the past year.
Experts say that the increase in international human travel, along with the bugs' growing resistance to insecticides, is largely responsible for their resurgence. Now researchers have figured out one reason the critters are so hardy: they can inbreed, quite robustly, for generations. (There are a few other insect species that can do this, notably among them cockroaches.) So all it takes to infest an entire apartment building, for example, is one single mated female that hatches her offspring; after that, the brothers and sisters can mate with each other and keep the population booming. READ MORE HERE
Suspect Utters Line Never Seen In Police Report
DECEMBER 7--Late last month, two cops with Pennsylvania’s Plains Township Police Department were on patrol around midnight when they spotted a man standing in the parking lot of a nightclub with his jeans on the ground.
As detailed in a November 25 criminal complaint, the officers reported that the suspect “was inserting an unknown pink object into his anus.” The cops added, “The unknown male was also masturbating.” Additionally, both investigators “observed the unknown male holding his penis looking at both Officers.”
After trying to walk away from the patrolmen, Robert Matello, 49, stopped to chat. Matello, the cops noted, smelled of booze and had red, bloodshot eyes.
When Officer Michael Smith asked Matello if he was carrying a weapon, he gave an answer never previously memorialized in a police report:
“Yes, I have a pink dildo,” Matello replied. READ MORE HERE