Sunday, September 30, 2012

Rare September Tornado Hits Near Pittsburgh, Pa.

September 29, 2012; 9:06 AM

Video shot by Matt Whyel
Posted to Facebook by the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh

A tornado touched down in Eighty Four, Pa., on Thursday around 4 p.m. The tornado did minimal damage; however, there was no tornado warning out for the area. The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh gave a detailed explanation of why the storm that produced the tornado did not meet the criteria for a warning:

"A surface low pressure system was moving across the upper Ohio Valley towards the Pittsburgh area associated with showers. As the system moved over Allegheny County, however, it strengthened and spawned heavy rain with windy conditions. The system then moved east and weakened. The greatest instability for thunderstorms to develop was well to the south along the Mason-Dixon Line. Thunderstorms did indeed occur in parts of West Virginia and Maryland in the evening.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issues Tornado Watches and Severe Thunderstorm Watches. There were no watches issued for our forecast area. In fact, the Pittsburgh area was not even in a Slight Risk area for severe thunderstorms. The nearest Slight Risk area issued by SPC was to our southeast over parts of WV, MD, and VA.

So you're probably wondering what happened with all these reports of flooding, wind damage, and possibly a tornado and what defines a severe thunderstorm. By definition the National Weather Service defines a severe thunderstorm as producing at least 1 inch in diameter of hail, winds of at least 58 mph, or 1 or more tornado (the result of a tornado would be a Tornado Warning). The "huge swirl" on the radar some of you may have seen was the actual surface low pressure spinning counter-clockwise associated with vorticity maximum within the shortwave crossing the region.

Again, the feature was best seen as it was crossing Allegheny County when the system was its strongest and the radar had the best view. Some of the winds had mixed down with the heavy showers causing sporadic areas of damage. Notice how I mentioned heavy showers and not thunderstorms. The reason for that is that there was no lightning and no thunder with the system spinning through the Pittsburgh area! There was however, one (the only one) strike of lightning in Moon Township near our office but that was it. Two areas of heavy rain moved across the Pittsburgh metro area causing some street flooding mainly due to poor drainage areas. Along with the heavy showers, the wind in some areas around the West End region caused several trees to fall, maybe due to the fact that the ground was very saturated from the recent rain in the last week.

At this time, several Special Weather Statements had already been issued to inform about high wind gusts up to 50mph and heavy rainfall that could potentially cause minor flooding and ponding on roads. A Flash Flood warning had been issued for the Pittsburgh Metro area to account for rapidly rising water on roads due to poor drainage. Certainly, severe weather is not very much expected to occur over western PA in late September, especially when the environment is not [capable] of even producing a thunderstorm with almost no instability. The velocity signatures seen on the radar were adequate enough for statements to be issued especially if funnel clouds were reported.

What's the difference between a funnel cloud and a tornado? A funnel cloud is when a rotating column of air does not make it to the ground and a tornado is a rotating column of air that extends from the cloud to the ground. It can't be certain from the video above that the funnel cloud actually made it to the ground due to certain obstructions. The storm survey will give a better indication of what happened and whether the damage done was caused by a tornado or a microburst (rapidly sinking air producing wind damage that is similar to, but distinguishable from, tornadoes)."

Below are radar images of the Washington County, Pa., tornado. The storm was a small supercell with rotation as shown on radar. A supercell is a type of storm that has rotating winds. Tornadoes usually come from supercell storms.

The two images to the left show the wind fields. Wind fields show weather the winds are moving toward or away from the radar. The reddish dots show strong winds.

The top right image is the radar data. The bottom right is an image showing where the strongest wind rotation is in the storm.


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Doctors grow new ear on cancer victim's arm | Hang The Bankers ...

Ear growing in arm

When Sherrie Walter lost her ear to cancer two years ago, she told herself she?d never be one of those survivors attaching a prosthetic ear every day.

?The concept of having to tape something to my skin every day didn?t feel like that was who I was,? the 42-year-old mother of two told ABC News. ?I could just see my kids running around with it, yelling, ?I have mommy?s ear!??

But doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore offered Walter a chance at a new ear ? a permanent one built from her own tissue.

The groundbreaking procedure, described as one of the most complicated ear constructions in the U.S., involves removing cartilage from the rib cage to form a new ear, which is then placed under the skin of the forearm to grow.

?It was under my arm for about four months,? Walter said. ?I just thought I was something from science fiction.?

This week, Walter received some of the finishing touches on her ear, with doctors sculpting and carving tissue to reposition it.

?Family and friends say it looks great,? Walter said. ?I?m not looking until the big reveal.?

Walter?s journey began in 2010, when a sore in her left ear was diagnosed as basal-cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer.

?My dermatologist looked at it for less than five minutes and said, ?You have cancer,?? Walter said.

In October 2012, Walter was told the cancer had spread to her ear canal. She went through a 16-hour procedure to have the entire ear, neck glands, lymph nodes tissue and part of her skull removed.

That?s when a team of doctors stepped in and told Walter she had options.

?I described to her how prosthetic ears have to be fixated somehow and sometimes fall off,? said Dr. Patrick Byrne, an associate professor in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. ?Sherrie?s skull bone had been removed, so the only way of attaching a prosthetic would be through tape and glue. We both agreed that wasn?t an option.?

Byrne, who pioneered the procedure, said most ear reconstruction uses facial and neck skin, but most of Walter?s skin had been removed from those areas.

Doctors opted to place the ear under the forearm.

?We?ve talked for years about finding the right patient, in terms of age and health and a good support system. Sherrie had all that,? Walter said.

In November 2011, Walter?s new ear was inserted under the surface of her forearm skin.

?We implanted the ear near the wrist and just let it live there so all the skin could grow,? Byrne said.

After four months, the ear was removed from her arm and re-attached to her head.

The entire process took 20 months.

Since the re-attachment in March, Byrne and his team have been working on the cosmetic aspect of the ear, fully matching it to her right ear.

?Her reveal will be in about a week, and that?s going to really be an amazing,? Byrne said.

For Walter, the reveal of her new ear is the opportunity to give other cancer survivors hope.

?I just want people to learn from the story and understand that they have options out there,? Walter said. ?Talking to your doctor and realizing you have options. Because honestly, anything is possible.?



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UPDATE 2-Golf-Rampant U.S. lead Europe 8-4 at Ryder Cup

Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:58pm IST

* Americans take foursomes session 3-1 to tighten grip

* Mickelson and Bradley win third match together

* Europe's big guns fail to fire (Updates after foursomes session)

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

MEDINAH, Illinois, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley set the tone in record equalling style as the United States took a commanding 8-4 lead over holders Europe after dominating Saturday morning's foursomes at the Ryder Cup.

Though Europe had sent out all their big guns in the alternate-shot format in a bid to wrest back momentum in the biennial team competition, the fired-up Americans won the session 3-1 in dazzling sunshine at Medinah Country Club.

Cup veteran Mickelson and rookie Bradley won their third match of the week together, piling up six birdies as they handed out a 7&6 thrashing to out-of-form Englishmen Lee Westwood and Luke Donald.

Their margin of victory matched the wins earned by Hale Irwin and Tom Kite over Ken Brown and Des Smyth at the 1979 Ryder Cup, and by Paul Azinger and Mark O'Meara over Nick Faldo and David Gilford in 1991.

Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker never trailed on their way to a 1 up win against Northern Irishmen Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell while Zach Johnson and Cup rookie Jason Dufner beat Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts and Spaniard Sergio Garcia 2&1.

Europe's sole consolation came in the top match where Englishmen Justin Rose and Ian Poulter clawed their back from one down after eight holes to defeat Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson 1 up after a tight battle.

U.S. Open champion Simpson had a chance to square the match on the 18th green but he narrowly missed a birdie attempt there from just six feet.

"I feel like we actually didn't have our best stuff today and to win that point was massive," a jubilant Rose told reporters.

Earlier in the day, a plane flew across the skies above Medinah with the sky-writing message "Do it for Seve (Ballesteros)" trailing in its wake but that plea for a much-needed European resurgence never materialised.


Mickelson and Bradley had triumphed twice together on the first day amid a flurry of fist pumps and high-fives and they continued that sizzling form with five birdies on the front nine.

Bradley, winner of last year's PGA Championship, sank a curling 12-footer to birdie the par-four ninth before furiously pumping his right fist as the crowd erupted in deafening cheers.

The U.S. duo went six up at the 10th before sealing victory with a scrambling par at the 12th where Mickelson struck his approach to within a foot of the cup and the Englishmen bogeyed.

"We've had so much fun," smiled Mickelson, who is playing in a record ninth Ryder Cup for the U.S. this week. "The crowd has provided so much energy, and it's brought our best golf out."

Bradley, who has been mentored by Mickelson since he made his debut on the PGA Tour last year, said: "I'm just thrilled I get to share this with Phil and play the way we did.

"I got to witness on the good side of one of those 'Phil pars' on the last hole."

It was Donald's second foursomes defeat this week after he had been unbeaten in the format in six previous Ryder Cup matches.

"We just kept pushing and trying as hard as we could, but they kept coming up with great shots," said the former world number one.

The Europeans desperately need to spark during Saturday afternoon's fourball matches but they face a daunting task with a greater percentage of the American players displaying superior form at Medinah this week.

While the U.S. have been beaten in four of the past five Ryder Cups, they have lost only three times on home soil since the matches began in 1927. (Editing by Larry Fine and Julian Linden)


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No visible sign of Hoffa remains, but forensics lab to weigh in

The latest attempt to end the 37-year mystery involving the disappearance of former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa started Friday at a suburban work shed outside Detroit.

Following a tip suggesting that a body might have been buried there decades ago, local investigators drilled 10 feet below the surface Friday morning to retrieve core soil samples. There were no visible signs of remains, but the soil samples will be analyzed by a forensics lab at Michigan State University in East Lansing. If test results show human remains, excavation would start next week.

Not that local police actually expect to find Mr. Hoffa's remains beneath the concrete-floored shed in Roseville, Mich. ?We aren't saying it's not Jimmy Hoffa. We're just saying the odds are very remote,? James Berlin, police chief of Roseville told the Detroit News.

Hoffa disappeared on July 30, 1975, and was last seen outside a restaurant in suburban Oakland, Mich. A key figure during the heyday of the labor movement, Hoffa was convicted in of jury tampering and fraud before being pardoned by President Nixon. The many unknowns surrounding his disappearance have added to his legend, with the National Museum of Organized Crime & Law Enforcement in Las Vegas featuring a section on Hoffa conspiracy theories, for instance.

The case has become larger than life because of the public?s ?fascination with unsolved crimes, particularly murder cases where the body has never been found,? says Adam Gershowitz, a professor at William & Mary Law School in in Williamsburg, Va. ?And the statute of limitations usually does not run out on murder cases, so there?s always the prospect that finding the body could lead to a new whodunit and a trial.?

The mystery also proved a glimpse of underground crime organizations from a different era, says Tod Burke, a criminal justice professor at Radford University in Virginia

?Nowadays, organized-crime people are more likely to speak [to authorities] ? to turn against their own,? says Professor Burke. The Hoffa era was a time ?when you didn?t do that. You kept your mouth quiet and it stayed within the family."

"Now it?s more difficult to do that because we have gangs and the same rules don?t necessarily apply,? he adds

What is known is that, on the day of his disappearance, Hoffa intended to meet with Anthony Giacalone, an organized crime figure in Detroit, and Anthony Provenzano, a New Jersey Teamsters local. The FBI has said Hoffa went there thinking Mr. Giacalone would help settle a feud between Hoffa and Mr. Provenzano. Both men later denied meeting Hoffa and have since died. According to the ongoing investigation, Hoffa was likely killed as part of a power struggle over the union?s pension fund.

The current tipster is a former gambler who contacted Dan Moldea, a Washington-based investigative journalist who is the author of ?The Hoffa Wars,? a thorough investigation into the case. Mr. Moldea would not reveal details about the tipster, but says he is not a mob associate but was someone who was at ?the wrong place at the wrong time.?

Moldea directed the tipster to the FBI and later to the Roseville Police Department, which took up the case in late August. The tipster says he saw a body being carried from the home?s garage and buried within a nine square foot area. At the time of Hoffa?s disappearance, the home was owned by a bookie employed by Giacalone.

?I always treat these tipsters with respect because you never know," Moldea says. "In the past 37 years, I?ve come to conclude that, if this thing is going to be solved, the FBI will solve it because they have the resources to solve it.?

The Hoffa investigation has led to many dead ends, but in recent years, because of advances in DNA technology, the FBI has accelerated the search. In 2001, the agency linked Hoffa?s DNA to a car long suspected to have been used by him the day he disappeared. In 2004, it failed to match his DNA to blood extracted from the floorboards of a Detroit home. In 2006, the FBI demolished a horse barn in suburban Milford Township after a tip sent investigators there.

The difficulty of the Hoffa case is that investigators believe the body was moved, not just once, but perhaps several times.

?We know who the killers are, we know how it came down, we just don?t know how they disposed the body,? says Moldea, who does not believe the search in Roseville will produce Hoffa?s remains. He says the site is too visible, and that the bookmaker who owned the home was not important enough to be entrusted with such an important secret.

The Hoffa family has yet to comment on the investigation. Hoffa?s son, James Hoffa, is the current general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which is headquartered in Washington. The FBI released a statement Thursday saying the family ?will have no comment until there is a reason to comment.?

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Jackson's absence testing patience in Chicago (The Arizona Republic)

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Newspaper: Test security inconsistent among states

ATLANTA (AP) ? The federal government has no standards to protect the integrity of the achievement tests it requires in tens of thousands of public schools, and test security among the states is so inconsistent that Americans can't be sure those all-important test scores are legitimate, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The newspaper surveyed the 50 state education departments and found that many states do not use basic test security measures designed to prevent cheating. And nearly half the states, the newspaper found, make almost no attempt to screen test results for irregularities.

That kind of lax oversight contributed to the cheating scandal that swept Atlanta schools in 2009, the newspaper said ( in a story that appeared online Saturday. Evidence of widespread cheating is now emerging in Philadelphia, Columbus, Ohio, El Paso, Texas, and other cities around the country. The Journal-Constitution reported earlier this year that it had found patterns of suspicious changes in test scores in nearly 200 school districts nationwide.

The No Child Left Behind Act, signed into law 10 years ago, made standardized testing the cornerstone of national education policy. But it offered little direction on test security.

"To spend all this money and all this energy on testing, and the one area where we haven't devoted the same energy is standardizing the administration of the test to deter cheating," said Wayne Camara, vice president of research at The College Board, which administers the SAT and Advanced Placement tests. "To have better or standardized procedures would limit opportunities for cheating."

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a recent interview that test security is the purview of state and local officials.

"So much of this is best done with thoughtful leaders at the state level, not a new complicated federal bureaucracy," Duncan said. "I don't think anyone wants a national testing police."

The Journal-Constitution's survey ? which elicited responses from 47 states ? reveals wildly inconsistent practices around the country. Some states require outside investigations of cheating in school districts, but most states permit districts to investigate themselves. Some states look for radical changes in scores from year to year, but most don't. Slightly more than half send out independent monitors to oversee testing, while at least 19 do not.

And the motivation to cheat could increase as more states and districts tie teacher evaluations, bonuses and pay to test results.

"If you think there's cheating now under school accountability, wait until what you see under teacher accountability," said Scott Marion, associate director at the Center for Assessment, a not-for-profit firm that works with about 30 states to develop tests and teacher accountability systems.

The newspaper reported that officials may be loath to report or even acknowledge cheating. In Atlanta, for example, accusations of cheating were met with denials not only from the school district but from local business leaders.

"There is typically little to no incentive for anyone to take threats to test security seriously," said Greg Cizek, a professor and testing expert at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Educators are happy when test scores go up; parents are happy when their children do well; students are pleased when they are declared to be 'proficient'; the public is assuaged when all schools appear to be increasing learning."

With no motivation from the federal government and with little reason to look for cheating on their own, most states designed security systems that have failed to find blatant cheating even when the evidence is right in front of them, the newspaper found.

Records show some state officials failed to act when whistleblowers stepped forward. Some states did nothing to investigate schools where students posted almost impossible gains on tests from one year to the next.

Many states, the newspaper reported, make it easier for educators to cheat by using weak security procedures. Forty-four allow teachers to proctor tests for their own students. The proctor's job is to ensure the security of the test; for example, making sure no unauthorized materials are used, enforcing time limits and reporting irregularities.

State and district records from multiple states show that some teachers are not above guiding their students to the right answers.

A teacher at a Phoenix elementary school, for example, told a colleague that she'd used red and green M&Ms during a test to nudge students toward the right answers. If she set a red M&M on a child's desk, that signaled the pupil had the wrong answer and should do the problem over again. If she put a green one on the desk, that meant the child had the right answer and should move on.

Sharon Rideau, an elementary and middle school teacher in California, told the red-and-green M&M story in her doctoral thesis, which focused on cheating. Rideau's survey of more than 3,000 Arizona teachers in 2008 revealed 50 percent either had cheated themselves or knew a colleague who cheated.

"I think it happens much, much more now," Rideau said. "It happened before NCLB and now we have all this pressure on us. It's had a great impact."


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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Vatican Says Papyrus Mentioning Jesus' Wife is 'Fake'

LOS ANGELES ( - Fans of toddler Alana Thompson, bust out the champagne - "Here Come Honey Boo Boo" will be back for more episodes. The hit offshoot of "Toddlers and Tiaras" has been greenlit for an undisclosed number of additional episodes, TLC said on Tuesday. And because the holiday season just wouldn't be worth living through without the exploits of little Alana and her clan, TLC has ordered a trio of holiday specials for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," which airs its first-season finale Wednesday at 10 p.m., has averaged 2. ...


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Friday, September 28, 2012

Want some taste with that ice cream? - - Sept. 27 ...

September 27, 2012 in Health

MAE ANDERSON AP Business Writer

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AP Photo photo

This product image provided by Dreyer?s/Edy?s Ice Cream shows packaging which displays a ?1/2 the Fat? label. Dieters know that if you take the fat and calories out of your favorite treats, you sometimes have to say goodbye to the taste too. But brands like Dreyer?s/Edy?s ice cream and Lay?s potato chips are trying to solve this age-old dieter?s dilemma by rolling out mid-calorie goodies that have more fat and calories than the snacks of earlier diet crazes but less than the original?versions.
(Full-size photo)

NEW YORK (AP) ? Nonfat cheese that tastes like plastic. Low-calorie soda that leaves a bitter aftertaste. Sugar-free brownies that crumble like Styrofoam.

Dieters have learned an important lesson: When you take the fat and calories out of your favorite treats, you sometimes have to say goodbye to the taste too.

But snack brands like Dreyer?s/Edy?s ice cream, Hershey?s chocolate and Lay?s potato chips are trying to solve this age-old dieter?s dilemma by rolling out so-mid-calorie goodies that have more fat and calories than the snacks of earlier diet crazes but less than the original versions. They?re following the lead of soda companies like Pepsi and Dr Pepper that introduced mid-calorie drinks last year.

It?s hard to isolate sales of mid-calorie snacks since they also usually have reduced fat, or other healthy attributes like reduced sodium. But sales of all foods and drinks in which the amount of things like fat, sugar, salt, carbohydrates have been actively reduced during production have risen 16 percent to $51.72 billion since 2006, according to research firm Euromonitor International.

The mid-calorie trend is hitting at a time when companies that make sugary and salty treats are being blamed for the country?s expanding waistlines. The problem is that the same things that make snacks taste good ? sugar, salt, calories ? also make them fattening. And many Americans don?t want to sacrifice taste at snack time. Shaving a few calories enables companies to market their cakes, cookies and chips as healthier without the stigma of bad taste that goes along with some low-fat products.

It?s just the kind of marketing that might attract Monica Olivas. She says she wants to lead a healthy lifestyle, including curbing her fat and caloric intake as much as possible. But most low-fat foods just don?t appeal to her.

?Sometimes companies go too far and take out all the fat ? and all the flavor,? says Olivas, a 29-year-old recruiter from Pico Rivera, Calif.


The mid-calorie trend is a toned-down version of the ?light? craze that started in the 1990s. Back then, ?low fat? or ?no fat? was all the rage. But the products often fizzled.

For instance, McDonald?s rolled out the McLean Deluxe, a low-fat burger, in 1991. But the burger, which was in part made with seaweed, had dismal sales. It disappeared from restaurants within five years.

Similarly, Lay?s in 1998 introduced Wow fat-free potato chips that use fat substitute Olestra. But the ick factor trumped healthiness when the Food and Drug Administration said the chips had to come with a warning that Olestra may cause abdominal cramping, loose stools, and that it inhibits the absorption of some vitamins and other nutrients.

The FDA dropped the requirement for the label in 2004 after studying the matter. The chips were renamed ?Light,? but sales have not recovered.

?Originally, a lot of the diet stuff just wasn?t good,? says Richard George, chair of the department of food marketing at Saint Joseph?s University in Philadelphia. ?People would say you could throw away contents and eat the box. But they?ve gotten better.?

The new era of diet food started in the last decade. In 2007, companies began offering 100-calorie packs of popular snacks like Oreos cookies and Twinkies cakes. That?s when brands started putting their focus on reducing calories ? without any flavor change.

Turns out, there?s some science behind all this calorie slashing. Nutritionists say it?s not necessary to cut out all the ?junk? foods in your cupboard or to take all the fat or calories out of them.

Reducing a nominal number of calories in your diet each day ? even from that morning coffee run or afternoon visit to the vending machine for chips ? is an effective way to battle obesity, says David Levitsky, professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell University.

He says ?if you typically have a 200-calorie cookie and you have a 160-calorie cookie instead? it won?t make you hungrier at the next meal. And since obesity can be caused by as few as 20 excess calories a day, Levitsky says cutting a few at each meal makes a big difference.

But in order for that to work you have to eat the snacks in moderation. It becomes a problem when people overestimate how much more they can eat of nonfat ice cream or low-calorie chips, says Kelly Brownell, a nutritionist at Yale University.

?If consumption of ice cream and potato chips does not increase and people eat somewhat better versions, the outcome will be good,? Brownell says.


First, companies have to convince dieters that their mid-calorie snacks are not only healthy, but tasty too.

Flavor is a key when Betty Kranzdorf, 55, considers eating foods with lower calories. She says she avoids reduced-calorie English muffins (?horrible texture and taste?) but she?ll pick up reduced-fat Pringles chips because she can?t tell the difference between those and the originals.

?I won?t buy ?low cal? just because it?s ?low-cal,?? says Kranzdorf, a paralegal from New York. ?If the food I?m eating isn?t satisfying, then I?ll just go eat something that is more to my liking later ? which defeats the whole purpose.?

With that in mind, Hershey?s in June introduced Simple Pleasures, chocolate with 30 percent less fat. A serving size of six pieces equals 180 calories and 8 grams of fat ? that?s 30 calories and 5 grams of fat less than the original Hershey?s chocolate bar. The company is hoping the deficit is enough to lure chocolate lovers who want to eat healthier.

Hershey?s developed the product after consumer research revealed that the No. 1 barrier for people to buy chocolate is the ?perceived negative health benefits,? says spokeswoman Anna Lingeris.

?We?re hearing more and more that customers want healthier options as a balanced lifestyle becomes a more prevalent way of living,? Lingeris says.

Similarly, Lay?s in July rolled out two new flavors of its Kettle Cooked potato chips with 40 percent less fat. The brand, which fries chips in small batches so as to use less oil than the continuous frying process for regular chips, introduced ?Applewood Smoked BBQ? and ?Sun-Dried Tomato and Parmesan.?

The company says it was able to lower the calories and fat without sacrificing taste: Regular Kettle Cooked chips have 160 calories and 9 grams of fat, while the reduced-fat versions have 130 calories and 6 grams of fat.

?The strategy behind mid-calorie offerings is finding the happy space between zero fat and regular products,? says Tony Matta, vice president of marketing for Frito Lay, which makes Lay?s chip brands.

But sometimes finding the right balance isn?t enough ? marketing can be key. Dreyer?s/Edy?s (it?s called Dreyer?s on the West Coast and Edy?s on the East) learned that the hard way.

The company in May rolled out an ad campaign that emphasizes that Slow Churned ice cream is half the fat and one third of the calories of regular ice cream ? but the company avoids using the word ?light.?

Why? Because when Dreyer?s/Edy?s began selling Slow Churned ice cream in 2004, the company labeled the product ?light.? But ice cream buyers didn?t take to the word, and the company stopped advertising the brand using it. In fact, the company eventually stopped advertising the product altogether after 2007, although it still sold it in stores.

??Light? used to be a word that consumers had a lot of negative perception ? because of the taste experience,? Eiseman says. ?For ice cream, taste is king, first and foremost ? they?d rather have great taste and half the fat, rather than OK taste and no fat.?

The new packaging and ad campaign for the product, which has about 120 calories and 4.5 grams of fat compared with 150 calories and 8 grams of fat in regular Dreyer?s mint chocolate chip, has the tagline ?1/2 the Fat, 1/3 Fewer Calories than Regular Ice cream.? (The company acknowledges that 4.5 grams of fat is not quite ?half? of 8 grams of fat, but Dreyer?s/Edy?s brand manager Jen Eiseman says the marketing campaign took a the liberty of rounding in order to focus on the healthier aspects of the slow-churn ice cream.

?There?s been a shift culturally from extreme dieting ? and giving up food altogether,? Eiseman says. ?Now it?s not about giving things up, but finding healthier ways of having it?all.?


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Netanyahu to press for Iran 'red line' in U.N. speech

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will set out, in his speech at the United Nations on Thursday, an ultimatum for Iran to halt its disputed nuclear drive or risk coming under military attack, an Israeli official said.

Netanyahu faces the world body after U.S. President Barack Obama disappointed some Israelis, in his own address to the annual assembly, by not calling for a deadline to be imposed on Tehran - though he did say time for diplomacy "is not unlimited".

Israel sees a mortal threat in a nuclear-armed Iran and has long threatened to strike its arch-foe pre-emptively, agitating war-wary world powers as they pursue sanctions and negotiations.

Complicating Netanyahu's strategy have been his testy relations with Obama as a U.S. election looms, and the reluctance of many Israelis to trigger a conflict with Iran, which denies that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons and has pledged wide-ranging retaliation if attacked.

"The prime minister will set a clear red line in his speech that will not contradict Obama's remarks. Obama said Iran won't have nuclear weapons. The prime minister will clarify the way in which Iran won't have nuclear arms," a senior Israeli official said en route to New York, without elaborating.

Though he has not previously detailed when Israel might be willing to go to war, Netanyahu has said Iran could have enough low-enriched uranium by early 2013 to refine to a high level of fissile purity for a first nuclear device [ID:nL5E8KG2P5].

Israel worries that this final step, if taken, could happen too quickly or quietly to be prevented.

Iran has said it has no plans to enrich uranium beyond the 20 percent purity required to run a reactor producing medical isotopes. That level, however, brings raw uranium exponentially closer to the 90 percent enrichment required for bomb fuel.

Though reputed to have the Middle East's sole nuclear arsenal, Israel would be hard-put to deliver lasting damage to Iran's remote facilities using its conventional forces, or to handle a multi-front war.


Netanyahu's public calls for a U.S. ultimatum have deepened acrimony with Obama, a Democrat accused by his Republican rivals of being soft on the Jewish state's security. That has stirred American accusations of Israeli meddling in the November presidential elections - something denied by Netanyahu.

"The prime minister will say that Israel and the United States can work together to achieve their common goal," said the Israeli official on condition of anonymity.

Netanyahu, who heads a broad-based, conservative coalition government, departed for New York on Wednesday saying he would take the U.N. podium for an Israel "united in the goal of preventing Iran from achieving nuclear weaponry".

But surveys show that most Israelis - apparently swayed by the open dissent of several senior national-security figures - would oppose launching unilateral strikes on Iran, given the risk of alienating Washington and of provoking clashes with Tehran's Islamist militant allies in Lebanon and Gaza.

A poll published by the liberal Haaretz newspaper on Thursday found that 50 percent of Israelis feared for the survival of their country, should there be a conflict.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in his speech to the General Assembly on Wednesday, said Iran was under threat of military action from "uncivilized Zionists," a clear reference to Israel. Earlier this week, Ahmadinejad said that Israel would eventually be "eliminated."

Haaretz also ran excerpts from a leaked Foreign Ministry report that sanctions had caused greater damage to Iran's economy than anticipated by Israel.

The findings, confirmed to Reuters by an Israeli official, could undermine any attempt by Netanyahu to argue that the military alternative must be considered imminently.

Israeli opposition leader Shaul Mofaz criticized Netanyahu for sparring with Obama and voiced confidence in U.S. resolve.

"I am convinced that the United States, the president of the United States, is determined to prevent Iran going nuclear," Mofaz told Israel's Army Radio.

Even within Netanyahu's coalition there have been misgivings about the pitch of disagreement with the United States.

Danny Ayalon, deputy to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, described Obama's Iran remarks at the United Nations as "important, albeit measured".

Speaking on Israel Radio, Ayalon said the Netanyahu government and Obama administration were in discreet contacts and approaching agreement on setting limits for Iran.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Angus MacSwan)


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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Leighton Meester And Hugh Laurie Love Each Other In 'The Oranges' Exclusive Red Band Clip

Here's a premise you probably never thought you'd hear: Leighton Meester and Hugh Laurie fall in love in a relationship that wreaks havoc on both of their families. But that's exactly what the comedic film "The Oranges" is about. The movie is finally getting a theatrical release starting October 5, and MTV News is delighted [...]


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The Ballad of SenseAbility Gym | Blog | Autism Speaks

Alysia lives in Hopedale, MA with her husband and three sons. She is active in the special needs community through her volunteer work, specifically as the managing editor of the SPD Blogger Network, a website designed to connect parents of children with sensory processing disorder and through her own personal blog Try Defying Gravity. She is also a member of her local special education parents advisory council. Her middle child was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at age 3 1/2. Her youngest was diagnosed with PDD-NOS a few months before his third birthday.

This is perhaps the most important thing I?ve done since marrying my husband and starting my incredible family.

My very dear friend and I are opening a parent-led sensory gym.? As a non-profit. For kids just like mine.

We?re calling it ?SenseAbility Gym: A Sensory Gym for Sensational Kids.?

But first?the back story.


This winter, my friend and I took our sons to an open sensory gym in sponsored by the Autism Alliance of Metrowest.? We watched our boys run around and play and smile.? The equipment was familiar to the boys from their OT sessions.? As a bonus, my friend and I got to actually talk to one another.? A few weeks later, we attended another sensory open gym. Again, the boys were in heaven.? Jumping into ball pits, climbing through the squeeze machine, swinging around on the therapeutic swings.? And we got to talk.? Mostly about how we wished there was something like this open near us all year round.

I wrote about our experience there in my blog.? I talked about how welcoming it was.? No one there batted an eye if a kid was upset, or melting down, or jumping up and down, or making noises, or making eye contact or not.? It was pure acceptance and love for our kids.

My husband read it, saw my son?s happy face in the pictures, and casually said ?You should open a place like that.?

I?m not sure he actually meant it. But I started to cry.? Because I knew we had to open a place like that.

The more we talked to people: parents of kids with special needs, parents of kids without special needs, therapists, teachers, you name it.?? They all said we had to do this.

We met with a business consultant to organize our thoughts.? We relied on people in our community who took their personal time to sit with us and tell us what we needed to do to make this work.? We filed with the state as a nonprofit, with the attorney general?s office as a public charity, and received our 501(c)3 status from the IRS faster than anyone said it would happen.

And so SenseAbility Gym, Incorporated was born.


SenseAbility Gym?s mission is to provide a parent-led sensory gym, giving children with special needs a safe, fun, indoor area where they can play and accommodate their sensory needs.? This will be the first of its kind in the Metrowest area of Massachusetts.? We?re modeling our gym after an incredibly successful sensory gym in Brooklyn, NY.

We believe in the fact that all children deserve access to the types of therapeutic equipment used in their schools and their private occupational therapy clinics and we believe that parents need to interact with their children to learn what helps their child ?feel better? and have fun. There are four important components to our mission.

??????Community: SenseAbility Gym wants its members to feel welcome, and part of the special needs community.

??????Safe Sensory Play: SenseAbility Gym wants parents of children with special needs to feel there is a safe place to bring their children for fun, exercise and sensory support.

??????Acceptance: SenseAbility Gym will have an environment that recognizes that all special needs children are different and that all learning styles, personalities, and abilities are welcome.

??????Support: SenseAbility Gym will be a place where families of special needs children can go to meet other families who share the same struggles.

I?m lucky to be connected with special needs parents all over the country and the world.? The one common statement that most parents say is ?I feel so alone.? My child is the only one that has these extra special needs. I have no one to turn to for support.?

We see the gym as a place not only for our kids and kids like ours to accommodate their sensory needs, but also as a place to build their social skills and interact with other children like them.? We see the gym as a place where moms and dads can interact with parents just like them.

We see it as an another piece of the support team helping families know they are not alone.


We know that as many as one in six children have sensory processing issues. That is from the SPD Foundation.We know that 1 in 88 children ? 1 in every 54 boys ? are diagnosed as on the autism spectrum.

In our small area we have the potential of connecting with over 400 families who could use the gym.? We?re guessing that people will travel farther and the actual number will be even higher.

That is over four hundred families that could finally connect and say ?Me too.?


We need your help.? As a non-profit public charity, we are completely reliant on donations, grants, and our membership dues to stay open.? None of us are taking a salary.? All the money raised goes right back into keeping the gym open and running: rent, electricity, equipment, furniture, insurance.

Our gym will be located in Hopedale, MA.? There will be one large open space with equipment like therapy swings, a scooter board ramp, a ball pit, tunnels and a squeeze machine.? We?ll have one quiet ?sensory? room with crash pads and calming activities.? And one classroom space for us to hold social skills or life skills classes, or to be used as a sensory-friendly homework room for children. Families will be able to purchase memberships to access open gym times with their children.?

We would like to have our grand opening in January 2013.? We are actively pursuing local and national grants to help get us closer to that number.

We need you to tell people about us.? Maybe you know a family who has a child with special needs in our area who could benefit from a membership at the gym.? Maybe it?s your own family.? Maybe you work for a company that is generous with community giving.? Maybe you know children who need to raise money as a community service project and they would like to purchase a piece of equipment.

I need you ? my friends and family ? to help make this gym a reality.? Not just for my kids or my friend?s kids.

But for mom who told me at our town?s Day In The Park that her daughter needs a place like this.

For the parents sitting in an Early Intervention family group right now wondering where they could find a safe place to meet once their kids turn three.

For the dad who is desperately looking for a way to connect with his autistic son, but can?t afford the play equipment his child needs.

Every dollar donated goes to the gym and those families.



I cannot wait to see the smiling faces on the kids that come through.

And their parents.

On behalf of my friend and every family that this will help, thank you for reading.


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The Pivot - Business Innovation Zone

The Pivot - Business Innovation Zone

This project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA?s funding should not be construed as an endorsement of any products, opinions or services. All SBA-funded projects are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.


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More Republican leaders get behind Akin in Missouri Senate race (reuters)

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Art sleuths can't crack this 'Da Vinci Code'

Link Information - Click to View

Art sleuths can't crack this 'Da Vinci Code'
The controversial effort to find out whether a long-lost Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece lies beneath a fresco in Florence has ended without resolving a mystery that some have compared to a "Da Vinci Code" riddle.

Source: NBCnews
Posted on: Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012, 7:49am
Views: 5


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96% The Imposter

All Critics (90) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (86) | Rotten (4)

The most fascinating aspect of the movie is why the missing boy's family believed the imposter's story.

You may begin to wonder if you aren't being conned by the movie yourself.

Beverly Dollarhide, Nicholas's mother, says of the period after her son's disappearance, "My main goal in life at that time was not to think." Apparently, the filmmakers have taken a cue from her.

Layton's dazzling film is an exciting, edge-of-your-seat experience superior to any Hollywood mystery you're likely to see for a long time.

"The Imposter" becomes more than just a missing-persons drama. It hints at something much darker: a real-life horror story, the full truth of which may never be known.

This is one creepy mystery.

... both interesting and repellent.

An unnerving experience and a brilliant piece of documentary filmmaking that peels back the layers on one of the most perplexing stories

Layton layers "The Imposter" with powerful images in the dramatic re-creations, as well as a brooding soundscape and a concise pacing that distributes its information with the reserve of a good mystery writer.

"The Imposter" may be the first movie since "Penn and Teller Get Killed" whose title may need its own spoiler alert.

Every bit as engaging as it is well-shot, it proves once more that truth is, indeed, stranger than fiction.

A mixture of documentary, mystery and thriller, which recounts an astonishing true story that gets more outrageous with each revelation

Strange and intriguing, searching for that elusive essence known as 'the perfect truth.'

Rather like watching a magician pulling off a trick which your eyes cannot see, The Imposter offers its own strange kind of magic.

The story is astonishing enough on its own, and The Imposter succeeds in enhancing its immediacy and intensity.

As his story unfolds, one gets the uncomfortable sensation that a joke is being played. But on whom?

One of the year's most provocative pictures.

Incredibly well-made and with a story you won't forget, "The Imposter" is one of the better docs of the season.

The Imposter emerges as a brilliantly slippery film that demands brain-stretching consideration. Astonishing, indeed.

It's an astounding story, truly, and Bourdin is the most chillingly sympathetic sociopath: frank, remorseless, matter-of-fact.

British director Bart Layton has only slightly fictionalised this extraordinary story for his documentary, which is told more as a thriller than a statement of hard fact.

"The Imposter" is one of the best films of the year.

Not only is the story riveting, but the film explores huge issues that really get under our skin

The Imposter frequently sends your jaw hurtling to the floor as it tries to understand the great pretender and a family only too willing to accept him as one of their own.

More Critic Reviews

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Jets scrambled after aircraft violate U.N. no-fly zone


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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nadine the Zombie: This Tropical Storm Just Won't Die

Nadine has risen from the dead like some kind of meteorological zombie.?

Indeed, the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center begins this way: "Pesky Nadine forecast to turn southward."

The irrepressible storm, swirling over the eastern reaches of the Atlantic Ocean, seemingly cannot be killed, despite the storm-smothering conditions it has encountered.

Forecasters issued the first advisory for the storm?on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 11.

Three days later, at 11 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14, the storm became the eighth hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. Exactly one week later, at 11 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21, forecasters at the NHC declared that Tropical Storm Nadine was no more.

Yet forecasters suspected they'd not seen the last of Nadine. In the Friday advisory, they wrote, "Regeneration possible in a couple of days."?

And, lo, the storm was not dead. Although Nadine had lost the signature thunderstorms required for classification as a tropical storm, it still possessed strong, 60-mph (95-kph) winds that extended nearly 300 miles (480 kilometers) from its center.

On Sunday morning, Tropical Storm Nadine was back.

From Friday into Saturday, the storm had crossed into unfavorable territory, said Jack Beven, a senior hurricane specialist at the NHC, and the man who wrote the prescient Friday advisory.

The storm had moved over ocean waters cooler than 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius), and was ingesting colder, drier air ? two conditions that can deprive a storm of its energy. "As a result it started to lose its thunderstorm activity," Beven told OurAmazingPlanet.

But by Sunday, the storm's persistent and vigorous winds had moved south.

"That brought it over warmer water and moved it away from the colder air," Beven said. "This allowed the thunderstorm activity to redevelop near the center, so we judged it to have gained the characteristic of a tropical storm."

It's not particularly unusual for a storm to dissipate and then come back to life, Beven said, yet he did note that Nadine did so at an unusually high latitude.

The resurrected, relentless storm shows no signs of weakening, Beven said. "We are forecasting a little bit of strengthening is possible in three or four days," he said.

So the Atlantic will have to put up with Nadine for a little while longer.

Reach Andrea Mustain at, or follow her on Twitter @AndreaMustain.?Follow OurAmazingPlanet on Twitter @OAPlanet. We're also on Facebook?& Google+.?

Copyright 2012 OurAmazingPlanet, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Terry racism hearing starts after quitting England


AP Sports Writer

Associated Press Sports

updated 3:13 p.m. ET Sept. 24, 2012

WEMBLEY, England (AP) -Less than a day after quitting international football, John Terry attended a racism hearing at the Football Association on Monday with the former England captain facing an eight-match ban from playing for Chelsea.

The defender is fighting a misconduct charge that was brought despite being cleared in court of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League match last October.

The 31-year-old Terry decided Sunday night that his position with England had been made "untenable" by the FA's decision to pursue a case, although he had been allowed to keep playing despite being stripped of the captaincy before the trial.

"I don't see how we've made (his position) untenable; they're two very separate processes," FA General Secretary Alex Horne responded Monday at Wembley Stadium, where an independent four-man FA panel is hearing the case.

Hodgson withstood widespread criticism to take Terry to the European Championship in June only weeks before the criminal trial, but he will now be without a key defender for the rest of 2014 World Cup qualifying and beyond.

"I'd like to thank John Terry for his commitment to the England team since I became manager," Hodgson said in a statement. "I am of course disappointed to lose a player of John's international experience and exceptional ability.

"I have enjoyed a good relationship with John during my time as England manager and I reluctantly accept his decision."

Hodgson was appointed England coach because Fabio Capello quit in February following the decision by the FA to strip Terry of the captaincy.

A magistrate in July cleared Terry of a racially aggravated public order offense despite describing the player's defense as being "under the cold light of forensic examination, unlikely."

Terry did not deny using an offensive term during the west London Premier League derby at QPR last October but said all he did was sarcastically repeat the words he is accused of using.

"I've been called a lot of things in my football career, and outside of football as well, but being a racist is not one I'm prepared to take at all ... I'm not having anyone - let alone Anton - think that at all about me because that's not in my character at all," Terry said during his initial interview with FA investigators that was heard in court.

Ferdinand said he had been goading Terry about his alleged extramarital affair with the former girlfriend of ex-England teammate Wayne Bridge.

Despite Ferdinand being described as a "believable witness," the magistrate decided that Terry couldn't be convicted because the prosecution could not prove he was lying.

There is a lower burden of proof for the FA charge, however, so Terry could be found guilty on the "balance of probabilities" that he "used abusive and-or insulting words and/or behavior ... (and) included a reference to the ethnic origin and-or color and/or race of Anton Ferdinand."

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was banned for eight matches last year for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in a Premier League match.

Significantly, the FA disciplinary panel formed for that case ruled that the context of Suarez's use of a racial slur was not relevant, concluding: "It does not depend on whether the alleged offender intended his words to be abusive or insulting."

The FA has already imposed one punishment for racist abuse in connection with the case.

Anton Ferdinand's brother Rio was fined 45,000 pounds ($73,000) in August after being found guilty of improper conduct following a Twitter gibe about Chelsea defender Ashley Cole, who gave evidence in court defending Terry.

Ferdinand was found guilty of referencing ethic origin and race when he endorsed a tweet that referred to Cole as a "choc ice," a slang term perceived as meaning black on the outside and white on the inside.

Terry's FA hearing is expected to last at least three days, with a no date set yet for the verdict. Both Terry and Anton Ferdinand were in attendance Monday.

By already opting to end his England career after 78 appearances across nine years, Terry has prevented the FA from having to ban him from representing his country again in the event of a guilty verdict.

Terry has been at the center of controversy surrounding the England team for the past two years.

England's preparations for the 2010 World Cup were plunged into turmoil after Capello fired Terry as captain when the affair allegations - referenced by Anton Ferdinand - first emerged and led to Bridge retiring from international football.

The center back was reinstated in March 2011 but was stripped of the captaincy for a second time in February, overshadowing England's buildup to another major tournament.


Rob Harris can be reached at

? 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Best header goal in MLS in 2012?

PST:?Nice little Twitter fight this morning, with one man near the top of the soccer?s media food chain suggesting Branko Boskovic?s diving header Sunday was the best header goal in MLS this year. For me, it wasn't even top two.

Real Madrid wins 2-0 at Rayo Vallecano in Spain

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Karim Benzema scored in the 13th minute and Cristiano Ronaldo converted a penalty kick in the 70th, lifting defending champion Real Madrid to a 2-0 win at crosstown rival Rayo Vallecano on Monday night in a game postponed a day by light failure.


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