USA Wins 2012 Miss Universe Pageant

LAS VEGAS (AP) –Olivia Culpo, a 20-year-old Boston resident, has helped the United States of America win the 2012 Miss Universe pageant after more than 10 years of anticipation. The newly crowned Miss Universe is a student at the Boston University and she is a fervid cello singer.

Olivia Culpo surprised her family when she told them last year that she was going to take part in the Rhode Island competition. They were all skeptical at first, but seeing her win the first stages of the competition made them realize that their daughter could have a chance. And she did. The 20-year-old student won the 2012 Miss Universe pageant bringing the diamond encrusted crown back to the United States.

The last time the famous beauty pageant was won by an American participant was in 1997. Back then, it was Brook Lee who was crowned Miss Universe after competing against some of the best-looking women in the world.

This year, Olivia had to compete against 88 women representing various nations. Miss Philippines and Miss Venezuela were the favorites of the evening, but Miss USA managed to turn the odds in her favor and took the title from the outgoing champion, Leila Lopes of Angola.

Culpo chose a tight navy blue mini-dress with a sequined bodice for the pageant’s opening number. During the swimsuit competition she donned a purple and blue bikini, whereas for the evening wear test she wore a wintery red velvet gown. At the end of the contest, the American model released an interview for reporters telling them that she was glad she could represent her country at such an important international event. She further added that she hopes the Miss Universe crown “will raise everybody’s spirits a little” in the wake of the recent tragedies that have affected the country.

Miss Universe 2012 was held in Las Vegas this year. The show was broadcast live on NBC and streamed in more than 100 countries. Among the judges who voted for the girls were also singer Cee Lo Green, “Iron Chef” star Masaharu Morimoto and Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants.

 

Titanic Archaeologist Says Biblical Flood May Be Real

Noah’s Ark and the biblical flood have been sparkling intense debates among scientists and believers. Titanic Archaeologist Robert Ballard brings the debate back under the spotlight saying there is new evidence that the biblical flood may be real.

Many have travelled all across the planet looking for evidence that the biblical flood and Noah’s Ark really happened. Robert Ballard, a famous oceanographer and archaeologist who found the Titanic, says he has evidence that the Great Flood, the Bible describes, did happen 12,000 years ago.

Robert Ballard took a closer look at a theory proposed by scientists at the Columbia University. They claimed the biblical flood actually took place in the Black Sea region, when glaciers began to melt rapidly and pushed water through the Straits of Bosporus in Turkey. Columbia University scientists William Ryan and Walter Pitman wrote in 1997 that there where “ten cubic miles of water [that] poured through each day” causing a massive flood that lasted for at least 300 days.

“We went in there to look for the flood” said Robert Ballard about his research in the Black Sea region. “Not just a slow moving, advancing rise of sea level, but a really big flood that then stayed… The land that went under stayed under” the Titanic archaeologist told ABC News. So, in looking for the soil that had supposedly been flooded 12,000 years ago, about four hundred feet below the surface, Robert Ballard stumbled upon an ancient shoreline.

Using carbon dating on shells, the oceanographer managed to establish a timeline for a catastrophe that is estimated to have occurred around 5,000 BC. A timeline many experts believe coincides with the time the biblical flood took place. “At some magic moment, it broke through and flooded this place violently, and a lot of real estate, 150,000 square kilometers of land, went under” Robert Ballard explained.

Robert Ballard and his team will return to Turkey next year to continue the research for evidence that the biblical flood existed. “We started finding structures that looked like they were man-made structures. That’s where we are focusing our attention right now”.

And if there’s anybody who stands a chance finding evidence of a ship that’s supposed to have existed 12,000 years ago, Robert Ballard is the man for the job.  He found Titanic, Bismarck and a U.S. fleet that was lost in the Pacific.

Alan Alda Has A New Challenge For Scientists, What Is Time?

For the second year in a row supporting the Flame Challenge II, Alan Alda is asking scientists what is time. But there’s a catch: a sixth-grader should be able to understand that answer.

Last year, Alan Alda asked scientists what a flame was, pushing them to come up with an answer more creative and easier to understand that his teacher’s “oxidation” explanation when he was 11 years old. 800 scientists submitted their answers but only one won the Flame Challenge I. Ben Ames, 31, won the contest with an animated video that explains how fire is created by clashing atoms.

Ben Ames, the 31-year-old Kansas City native, will get a trophy to remember his win of the Flame Challenge I as well as a paid trip to the World Science Festival in New York the next year.

“We see misinformation about scientific facts on a daily basis” the star of M*A*S*H* said. “Sometimes you know so much about something you assume everybody else is as familiar as you are and you tend to speak in shorthand. Even other scientists may not understand what you are talking about if they are not an expert in your field” the actor added of the contest’s purpose.

“There’s hardly an issue we deal with today that isn’t affected by science” the host of PBS’s Scientific American Frontiers” argued. “I’ve even heard from a number of people in Congress that they often don’t understand what scientists are talking about when they go to Washington to testify, and these are the people who make the decisions about funding and policy”.

The second challenge Alan Alda has for scientists is trying to answer what is time. It was one of the 300 questions the Stony Brook center received this year. The question asked by Sydney Allison, student at Gomm Elementary School in Reno will have scientists get creative about their answer. Submissions are to be sent before March 1, 2013.

“This contest probably gives people the impression that it’s a teaching tool for kids” but it is more than that says Alan Alda. “That’s a happy by-product, but it really is a tool for scientists to take a complex question and explain it in a way the rest of us can understand” the actor added.

Pitbull Puppy Survives After Being Dragged Along Missouri Highway

The Missouri Humane Society has managed to save a pitbull puppy after being dragged along the Missouri highway for more than a mile. The 5-month-puppy has been through various surgical interventions, but it is now in a stable condition, Reuters reports.

Authorities in Missouri are investigating a case of animal abuse after a 5-month-old puppy named Trooper was found with severe body injuries on Thursday. Based on the first results of the investigation, the golden puppy appears to have been tied to the back of a truck and dragged for more than a mile along the Missouri highway.

When veterinarians found him, Trooper was half-dead as his body had been almost entirely covered with bruises. The team of doctors spent hours in the emergency room, but they eventually managed to save his life. Even though the puppy’s legs have been severely injured, veterinarians did not have to amputate any of his members. In fact, Trooper will be able to walk again as soon as his wounds will recover.

The spokeswoman of Missouri Humane Society, Jean Jay, told the press that authorities have been so disturbed by the abuse that the puppy has suffered that they plan to perform an investigation in order to find the culprit. The pieces of information they obtained from witnesses has helped them draw a sketch of the culprit’s profile. Jay was glad the puppy was in a stable condition and that his character didn’t suffer any changes despite the brutal treatment he has been through. “He is remarkably kind and friendly,” she stated.

Trooper’s case was brought to authorities’ concern on November 21 when the St. Louis City police received a call about an animal that had been tied to a truck and dragged along Highway 55. The driver declared that he had no idea the dog was at the back of his truck. He became aware of the dog’s presence when other drivers started signaling him on the road. The Missouri Humane Society is offering a $5000 reward in exchange of any information related to the guilty man.  

Marco Rubio Reveals Real Age of Earth

(CNN) – The Republican Senator of Florida, Marco Rubio, revealed in a recent interview his personal opinion about the real age of the Earth. The Senator felt the need to revise his stance because his initial declaration had been rather “confusing”. 

During the Wednesday’s Politico Playbook Breakfast in Washington, Marco Rubio gave a controversial answer in relation to the much-debated age of the Earth. He told attendees that he believes the science’s approximation of 4.5 billion years old is correct, but he went on to say that he accepts the religious belief, as well. “God created the heavens and the Earth, and science has given us insight into when he did it and how he did it,” was Rubio’s statement.

The following statement that the Florida Senator made triggered even more debates. In his opinion, the scientific discoveries that have been made so far have worked as a reinforcement of God’s existence. As expected, Rubio’s declaration has been analyzed by the entire blogosphere and a new debate between creationism and evolution started.

Marco Rubio released a new interview with the intention to clarify his answer. He told reporters that he meant everything he said about the real age of the Earth, but he wished his response had been “more succinct”. The Senator explained that he was surprised by the talk show host’s question and he didn’t have enough time to prepare his answer. “We were talking about hip hop and the guy pivoted to the age of the Earth,” Rubio added. The junior senator was convinced that he would have done a lot better if he had had 30 minutes to write down his answer.

Rubio further stated that he had intended to clarify the “theological debate” about Earth’s age, not to question what science has discovered, so far. He was more interested in finding a solution for those who want to reconcile what science has thought them with the religious beliefs they may have. 

Australian Radio Station Pranks Kate Middleton’s Hospital

Two DJs from the Australian radio station, 2Day FM, pranked the employees of the British hospital where Kate Middleton is being treated for severe nausea. The nurse has thus inadvertently revealed details about the Duchess’ health condition, ABC News reports.

Australian DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian have come up with a unique plan to determine London’s King Edward VII Hospital to provide more information about Kate Middleton’s pregnancy. They called the hospital on early Tuesday morning pretending to be Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles. The nurse who was on duty at the time of the call fell victim to the prank, especially since the two DJs were perfectly reproducing the British accent of the royal family.

When Mel Greig and Michael Christian asked the nurse about Kate Middleton’s condition, they were told that the Duchess is feeling a lot better. According to the Palace, Kate was hospitalized for hyperemesis gravidarum — severe or debilitating nausea and vomiting, but the hospital claims she is now “quite stable” as she didn’t have any “retching” over the night.

The queen impersonator told the nurse that she called because she wanted to know how Kate’s “little tummy bug” was doing. The employee revealed that the hospital had been administering fluids to the Duchess in order to rehydrate her and she was thus able to get some sleep. The fake royals also asked the nurse when would they be allowed to visit Kate and they were told that “anytime after 9 o’clock would be suitable”.

The administration of the hospital was deeply disturbed by the prank of the Australian radio station. They officially apologized for the information they disclosed reassuring people that “they take patient confidentiality extremely seriously”. King Edward VII Hospital will review their telephone protocols in the following period to make sure that similar events won’t take place again in the future.

2Day FM realized that their prank was a little bit far-fetched and they released a statement apologizing for their joke. The DJs never intended to cause any problems; they actually thought they would be hung up because of their terrible accents.

Start Baking, It’s Christmas Gingerbread Cookies Time

It’s that time of the year again, when it’s finally cold enough to start baking/enjoying all kinds of cookies and sipping tea all cozy in your home. Since most of us don’t have the actual time to bake for hours, like our moms used to, the best Christmas gingerbread cookies recipes are often the easiest and fastest to bake.

Gingerbread cookies are not just a holiday cookie recipes. They usually bring out memories of mom waking you up on a cold morning with a plate of fresh baked gingerbread cookies. I often think gingerbread cookies are how Christmas at home memories would smell. Molasses, ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, gingerbread cookies are the best.

What’s great about gingerbread cookies is that everybody can make them. There are tons of recipes for gingerbread cookies that children could bake and even more for everybody else. Whether it’s a fancy gingerbread cookie man, with colored icings, a delicious fir tree or a heart, you can basically do anything you want because these cookies are going to taste great.

Most people don’t have just as much time to bake, but there are easy and fast gingerbread cookies recipes that are just as delicious. I’ve browsed the cookie recipes sites in the search for the easiest gingerbread cookie recipe that even some of the clumsiest people around the kitchen could bake.

Food Network featured what I reckon (so far) is the best gingerbread cookie recipe for the beginner. It’s not as fast as some of us would like to, but it is pretty basic. I’ve tried Johanna’s Gingerbread Cookies recipe for Food Network and it was easy. You basically sift the 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour with 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, ½ teaspoon of cloves and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda in a bowl.

Next step is blending ½ cup of softened butter with ½ cup packed brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Really, don’t settle for what it looks like a bowl that will hold everything. When you’re not used with handling a mixer it’s better to take precautions first so you won’t have to clean the whole kitchen of cookie dough and flour.

After you’ve mixed the butter and brown sugar until the sugar has melted add 2 large eggs, one at a time and then the ¾ cup molasses. Mix that again and start adding the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda you have previously sift in the first bowl.

Once you’ve mixed them until the dough is stiff, divide it in half then flatten that into 2 thick circles. Wrap them in plastic wrap and let it in the fridge until it is firm enough to roll out. I left it for an hour and a half, just to be sure. Roll out, cut into shapes and bake until they are golden brown.

Let me know how this easy Christmas gingerbread cookie recipe turned out for you.

Infidelity Is Written All Over a Man’s Face

You’ve probably heard women saying “That guy’s no good”, and if you brushed it off saying they’re imagining things you were wrong. Infidelity is written all over a man’s face reads a new study that says women can tell a cheating man simply by analyzing his traits.

Turns out women can spot a cheating man, it’s not just a myth anymore because infidelity is really written all over his face. Or at least that’s what a new study published in the journal Biology Letters says. Essentially, women make their judgment based on the man’s face. His traits seem to be an indication that he’s a cheating b*astard or a nice guy. The culprit is something all men take pride in: their masculinity.

The next time you’ll be gazing at Hollywood’s hunks, such as Gerard Butler or let’s say notorious lady’s man Colin Farrell, you should go past their good looks. The study conducted by researchers with the University of Western Australia in Perth says that the more masculine a man looks the more women think he is prone to be unfaithful. Well, both of these guys seem to meet the pattern. So next time you feel something’s off with that steamy looking guy, remember this study.

“Women’s ratings of unfaithfulness showed small-moderate significant correlations with measures of actual infidelity” the research writes. “More masculine-looking men rated as more probable to be unfaithful and having a sexual history of being more unfaithful” the study adds.

The Australian study had 34 men and 34 women watch photographs of 189 Caucasian adult faces. Then they were asked to rate those faces based on how likely to be faithful they were. The ratings were compared then to those 189 adult’s own sexual histories. Turned out, women were better than men at reading infidelity from faces.

“We provide the first evidence that faithfulness judgments, based solely on facial appearance, have a kernel of truth at least for women, and that they may help people assess the quality of potential mates about whom they have minimal behavioral information” the study concludes.

So, men with a wide, angular jaw, a square chin and prominent brow are going to have to answer to a lot of questions today.

Fox News Urges Petraeus To Run For President

Fox News Chief, Roger Ailes urged General David Petraeus to run for President, but the former CIA director rejected the offer. According to the media tycoon, Petraeus could do a lot better as the President of the United States than Barack Obama has done so far.

After resigning from his CEO position due to the sex scandal he has been involved with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, General David Petraeus reveals that Fox News’ Ailes would have wanted him to run for the presidential elections. Petraeus, however, rejected the offer claiming that his wife would disagree with his decision. “My wife would divorce me,” the ex-CIA director stated.

Mr Ailes, who is a strong supporter of the Republican Party, has always considered Petraeus for the helm of the United States. “I thought the Republican field needed to be shaken up and Petraeus might be a good candidate,” he explained during an interview with reporters at Washington Post. In fact, the entire editorial staff working at the Fox News had strong feelings of love and admiration for Petraeus.

The fact that Petraeus had served in Afghanistan could have worked as a big advantage for him, according to reporters at Fox News. Many considered the General a respected war hero, so he could have easily defeated Obama during the last month’s election. Critics even suggested that Obama hurried to name him director of CIA because he was afraid of his competition.

McFarland and Petraeus had a 90-minute conversation that was recorded and later on, presented to Woodward. The Pentagon adviser to the Reagan administration insisted on convincing Petraeus to run for Presidency. When he was confronted in relation to his recorded declaration, McFarland tried to deny everything by implying that it was all a joke. “It’s someone’s fantasy to make me a kingmaker. It’s not my job,” he replied.

Petraeus is now working to repair his marriage after being caught red-handed with biographer Paula Broadwell. The ex-CIA director and his wife preferred to work their issues out instead of getting a divorce.

 

 

Confessed Serial Killer Commits Suicide In Alaska Jail

A serial killer named Israel Keyes, who confessed that he kidnapped and killed an Anchorage teenager, committed suicide in an Alaska jail. Authorities have stated that the man was found dead in his cell on Sunday, the Associated Press reports.

Samantha Koenig, 18, was declared missing in February after she was last seen at an espresso stand in Anchorage. Traces led police officers to Israel Keyes, who eventually confessed that he had abducted and killed the student.

This was not the only murder that the serial killer committed. According to his declarations, he also killed a couple in Vermont, Bill and Lorraine Currier, whose lifeless bodies were found in June 2011. Five more unidentified people were killed by Keyes, but the serial killer refused to provide any details in relation to their names or their locations.

Keyes had been interrogated for dozens of hours as authorities were trying to solve the mystery of Koenig’s disappearance. They were surprised to find out that the murderer was actually a serial killer with a large list of victims.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Feldis held a press conference as soon as the interrogation was over. He told reporters that four victims had been buried in Washington State, whereas one was in New York, based on Keyes’ statement. He further added that police will continue the investigation in order to trace the other bodies that might have been disposed in various states. Israel was also involved in two bank robberies in Texas.

Judges were unable to prosecute the killer as he was found dead in his jail cell on Sunday. Officers are inclined to think that the man committed suicide because he was alone in his cell and there were no signs of foul play. They will, nevertheless, subject the body to a coroner’s investigation to determine the exact cause of the Israel Keyes’ death.

34-year-old Keyes was a self-employed carpenter. He had served in the Army and was later on stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington State. In 2007, he bought a house and moved to Anchorage, but police say the killer also had a property in New York City.