Would You Pay $7 for a Starbucks Geisha Coffee?

It’s hard to imagine how uber-premium the super-expensive new Starbucks brew can actually be. Would you pay $7 for a Starbucks Geisha coffee? If so, please tell us what’s the difference?

Starbucks is all about coffee. Coffee that wakes you up in the morning and takes you all the way to the office. Coffee you have with friends at lunch, coffee that inspires your novel, delicious coffee that makes the day feel better. So Starbucks has a new coffee variety, one that is rare and costs $7 a 16-ounce cup. What will that do for you that’s better than the average coffee?

Consumers always want coffee that tastes better, but their desire for more “premium” products was taken a bit too far by Starbucks. The company is now selling a new specialty coffee called Geisha that costs $7 for a 16-ounce, $6 for a 12-ounce tall cup or $40 for a half-pound bag of coffee beans.

“We have loyal reserve customers who are interested in any opportunity to try something as rare and exquisite as the Geisha varietal” said Starbucks spokeswoman Lisa Passe. “We are now offering more reserve coffees than ever before because of customer demand” she added.

The new Starbucks premium coffee brew is available only in 46 locations in the United States, the same that operate Clover brewing machines, which is the expensive machine to use for expensive coffee beans. The company also says the limited number of locations is due to the limited quantity of Geisha beans available. Which, by the way, is the main reason this coffee costs $7.

Alisa Martinez, another company spokeswoman, describes the Geisha coffee as being “very exquisite” and “it leaves a tingly, kind of light feeling”. Also, since the Geisha coffee plants don’t produce many beans, these are rare but with lots of flavor. The Geisha coffee variety was first discovered in Ethiopia and were brought to Central America some 70 years ago.

Still, so far, people are not impressed with Starbucks’ $7 special coffee variety. “I feel like this is a test to find out how stupid we are” Jimmy Kimmel said. “Although, while it’s ridiculous to spend $7 on a cup of coffee, it’s actually not that much more ridiculous to spend $4 on a cup of coffee”.

Astronomers Find the Biggest Black Hole in a Nearby Galaxy

Finding the biggest black hole in the universe, 17 billion times bigger than the sun, is a major breakthrough. However, astronomers are now baffled by this monster black hole found in a nearby galaxy.

It’s a super-giant black hole, the kind that sci-fi authors have been writing about in their futuristic stories. Being 17 billion times bigger than our sun, the black hole in a galaxy nearby to our Milky Way is one of the biggest ever discovered so far. What’s baffling astronomers is that this monster black hole resides in a tiny galaxy.

The galaxy NGC 1277 is about 220 million light-year away and it’s only a quarter of our Milky Way in size, but it is home to the second-heaviest ever seen black hole, having a mass 17 billion times than that of our sun. This monster black hole is 4,000 times larger than the one residing at the centre of our galaxy.

It’s something that has astronomers baffled. How is it possible such a huge black hole can reside in such a tiny galaxy?  Astronomers who discovered the monster black hole couldn’t believe their math was right. They took a year to double-check everything. “The first time I calculated it, I thought I must have done something wrong. We tried it again with the same instrument, then a different instrument” said lead author Remco van den Bosch. “Then I thought, ‘Maybe something else is happening’”.

“We don’t understand how to make such a massive black hole in such a puny galaxy” said Karl Gebhardt, one of the astronomers who discovered the monster black hole in the NGC 1277 galaxy. There are several theories that aim to explain how such big black holes can reside in such tiny galaxies since commonly a black hole would only account for one-tenth of 1 percent of the galaxy mass. This one occupies 14 percent of the NGC 1277 galaxy.

“This is an oddball” says Chung-Pei Ma, an UC Berkeley astrophysicist not involved with the discovery. “It’s a very big black hole for a small galaxy – that’s the most surprising part. It’s a very interesting discovery” he concludes in a statement for LA Times.

New DNA Report: Bigfoot Is Part Human!

A new DNA report claims Bigfoot is partly human based on the findings of Texas vegetarian Melba S. Ketchum. The doctor, who has helped set up the company DNA Diagnostics, performed genetic tests on Bigfoot samples and discovered that it is a human relative that lived 15,000 years ago, the Associated Press reports.

Scientist Melba S. Ketchum has reasons to believe that Bigfoot is one of the oldest relatives humans have. According to her, the genome sequencing of the modern Homo sapiens is similar to that of the famous beast. While Ketchum is very certain of her declarations, the scientific community thinks the doctor has failed to provide sufficient arguments to prove the validity of her hypothesis.

Ketchum has stated that the study of the samples extended over a period of five years. She further explained that three “whole nuclear genomes” have been obtained from the samples and compared with those of the modern Homo sapiens. She concluded that Bigfoot is a hybrid species resulting from the cross breeding of an unknown hominin species and a female representative of the Homo sapiens.

The scientific community described the theory as ‘fascinating’, but there are too many missing pieces of the puzzle for them to accept Ketchum’s discovery. First of all, scientists need consistent proof in order to agree with the theory, whereas the doctor refuses to let anyone see her evidence. Second of all, Ketchum did not provide a convincing explanation for the manner in which she obtained Bigfoot’s DNA samples. There have been many similar declarations in the past from people who claimed that they owned Bigfoot’s hair, blood and even his dead body, but all of them were false. As a result, the scientific community finds it hard to believe that Ketchum has indeed discovered the origin of Bigfoot.

Even if Ketchum’s claims were real, it is very unlikely that a half human species could have lived on the territory of North America without being discovered. Scientists are more inclined to think that the DNA samples that were allegedly taken from Bigfoot have been contaminated with human DNA through sneezing or coughing.   

IAEA’s Diagram Suggests Iran Works On Atomic Bomb

The Associated Press published a report on Tuesday informing people that Iranian scientists have run computer simulations for an atomic bomb thrice more destructive than the one used in Hiroshima. The news was confirmed by the diagrams of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which prove that tests have been performed to calculate the “nuclear explosive yield” of new weapons.

The International Atomic Energy Agency is a U.N.-related organization in charge of supervising the peaceful use of nuclear energy and preventing nations from producing weapons. The agency became wary after graphs suggested that Iranian scientists are performing tests for highly dangerous weapons. The diagram was provided by two nations that wish to remain anonymous.

IAEA obtained the diagram last year, but they did not make any comments in relation to it until now. It was the Associated Press who first disclosed the information contained in the diagram because the figures indicate a massive use of nuclear energy.

The diagram illustrates a bell curve with time variables expressed in microseconds, whereas power and energy are expressed in kilotons. The fact that the curve peak registers 50 kilotons at around 2 seconds is the element that has suggested IAEA officials Iranian is preparing a nuclear weapon.

Judging by the information provided by the graph, the potential weapon could be much more powerful than the one used in the Hiroshima attack during World War II. The latter had a force of only 15 kilotons, so the Iran’s nuclear weapon could be thrice more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

According to AP reporters, the diagram is accompanied by a caption written in Farsi. The message says that the changes in output and in energy are released as a function of time through power pulse. The diagram also contains the number “5” in the title, which was interpreted as a part of a series by scientists.

Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s chief IAEA’s delegate, stated that he was not aware of the existence of the diagram. Iran claims the nuclear tests are being performed for scientific reasons and reassures the U.N. that they have no interest in such a weapon.

Sandy Damages Cost NY and New Jersey $71 Billion

The memory of Sandy has begun to fade, but the recovery effort will damage budgets significantly. An official estimate reads that Sandy damages will cost NY and New Jersey $71 billion.

Sandy was a superstorm for the history books. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says that Sandy was even worse than the damaging Katrina in 2005. He told the press, New York will need $42 billion to recover from the wreckage and try to prevent a similar catastrophe. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said the preliminary estimate of damages is at $29.5 billion. On the overall Sandy will cost New York and New Jersey a whopping $71 billion to repair the damage.

On Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo described the damage of Sandy as even worse than that of 2005’s Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. There were 305,000 houses in the New York state that Sandy destroyed, significantly more than Katrina’s and Rita’s 214,700 toll. Businesses and home across the densely populated area were significantly impacted by Sandy’s power outages, floods, winds and heavy rain.

“Hurricane Katrina got a lot of notoriety for the way government handled – or mishandled, depending on your point of view – the situation” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. However, the damage caused by Sandy in the New York State area “was much larger in Hurricane Sandy than in Hurricane Katrina, and that puts this entire conservation, I believe, in focus”.

Cuomo added that the $42 billion shouldn’t be paid of tax payers’ money by increasing taxes. “It would incapacitate the state. Tax increases are always a last, last, last resort” Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters. The Federal Emergency Management Agency commonly reimburses states about 75% of the money used to restore services.

Private insurance should cover $3.8 billion, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency should reimburse the New York State another $5.4 billion. But the city is requiring another $9.8 billion to cover the costs the Federal Emergency Management Agency won’t. Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he will ask the Congress for the $9.8 billion they need.

One of FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives May Be Hiding Among Mormons

Jason Derek Brown has been on FBI’s most wanted fugitive list for the past five years, but authorities have been looking for him since 2004. An FBI spokesperson says that the fugitive may have been hiding among Mormons.

In November 2004, Jason Derek Brown was charged with murder and armed robbery in Phoenix. Three years later, the FBI was putting Jason Derek Brown on its Ten Most Wanted List. In a statement for The Salt Lake City Tribune, the FBI agent Lance Leising said that it is possible Jason Derek Brown has been hiding for the past eight years in a Mormon community.

“With the commonness of his name and how he looks, like a surfer dude in California, we’ve had more tips [about this] fugitive than any other on America’s Most Wanted. It’s caused us to chase leads all around the world” the FBI agent told The Salt Lake City Tribune. It was also Jason Derek Brown’s familiarity with the Mormon culture that could have made it so easy to blend in such a community.

“It’s a possibility because of Jason’s familiarity with the Mormon church” said Special Agent Manuel Johnson in a statement for ABC News. “Prior to the shooting he was involved in different types of fraud, so he’s not who he claims to be and we could see him taking advantage of people” he added.

Since 2004, Jason Derek Brown hasn’t been seen or heard from. On November 29, 2004, Jason Derek Brown killed a man outside a Phoenix theater. Courier Robert Keith Palomares was shot five times in the head at close range with a .45- caliber handgun. FBI believes Brown robbed the courier of $56,000 and left the scene on a bicycle and then with his BMW.

Jason Derek Brown used to be a Mormon missionary in France, then spent a lot of time in Salt Lake City where he earned a master’s degree in international business and had even two small businesses. Although he wasn’t charged, the FBI agent suspects that the fugitive ran all kinds of scams through his businesses.

Yasser Arafat Exhumed For Death Investigation

Based on a recent report published by the Associated Press, Yasser Arafat’s remains have been exhumed for death investigation. A team of international forensic experts will subject the lifeless body to multiple analyses to determine whether Arafat was poisoned or not.

Yasser Arafat was hospitalized in France in 2004 after falling ill unexpectedly. A month later, more specifically, in November 2004, he suffered a powerful stroke and was declared dead. Although doctors established the immediate cause of his death, the illness that affected Arafat in the last weeks of his life continues to remain a mystery until this day.

As a result, officials have taken the decision to exhume Palestine’s former president and carry out a proper investigation related to his death. Their suspicions have also been fueled by the recent discovery of a lethal radioactive substance called Polonium-210 on some of Arafat’s clothes. Palestinians think their former leader might have been poisoned by Israeli officials, but the latter have denied all the allegations.

Yasser Arafat’s body was removed from his mausoleum in West Bank city of Ramallah and taken to a nearby mosque where Palestinian doctors have collected the first samples from his bones. Although Islam prohibits non-Muslims to touch the remains of a Muslim, the body will nevertheless, be handed to French, Russian and Swiss experts who will examine the body in their home countries. Additional samples have been taken from his bedroom and his personal belongings as experts hope to find a lead that could help them solve the mystery of Arafat’s death.

Palestinian official Mahmoud Labadi is convinced the investigation will prove that the leader was poisoned. “This exhumation reveals the facts and reveals that Arafat’s death was not natural death,” he told CBS. Unlike Labadi, Arafat’s family opposed the exhumation because they think there are other problems that need to be solved before the investigation.

The results of the investigation will most likely be communicated after a couple of months. Experts claim the exhumation might have been in vain as Polonium-210 is a substance that decomposes rapidly, so doctors may not be able to find any traces of poison on Arafat’s body.

Galapagos Tortoise Lonesome George To Be Revived

After all, it looks like Lonesome George isn’t the last of its kind. Researchers with the Yale University say that the Galapagos tortoises like Lonesome George could be revived. Or better said, they were never extinct. Mind-boggling, right?

Lonesome George, the last giant tortoise on the Pinta Island, died this summer in the Galapagos. It was news that went viral worldwide, since Lonesome George was the last of his species. It turns out, that its death isn’t the complete disappearance of the species, because scientists believe the Galapagos tortoises could be revived.

The Pinta Island tortoise aka Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni was thought to be exclusive to that particular island, but according to Yale researchers some subspecies may actually survive. Yale University released a press release about its scientists’ research on the existence of Pinta Island hybrids. DNA analysis found that 17 tortoises that lived in the northern part of the Isabella Island had the same genes as Lonesome George and its extinct brothers and sisters.

“It would be the first time that a species was recovered after having been declared extinct” said Edwin Naula, director of the Galapagos National Park. “This is going to take about 100 to 150 years” Naula told The Huffington Post about the revival of Lonesome George’s species.

The hybrids on the Isabella Island aren’t exactly a new discovery, since scientists knew about them since 2008, when they were looking for a potential mate for Lonesome George. The idea was however abandoned, since there wasn’t much hope that the 100-year-old Galapagos Tortoise could have successfully passed on its genes to offspring.

Yale researchers say that the nine females, three males and five youths carrying the genes of the Galapagos Giant Tortoise were brought to the Isabella Island by sailors. They were discovered thanks to a DNA analysis of 1,600 tortoises on Wolf Volcano.

In the 18th century, Giant Tortoises like Lonesome George had a population close to 300,000. In 2012, the last of them had died, but its genes are carrying on. On the overall there were 14 species of giant tortoises that thrived in the islands, but now there are only 10 that survive. On the overall, there are 20,000 giant tortoises living in the Galapagos Island, a number that is the result of the program run by the Galapagos national park and the Charles Darwin Foundation.

Casey Anthony Detectives Overlooked In-Home Google Search

The first suspects in a child’s disappearance are always family members, but detectives in the Casey Anthony case overlooked a precious bit of information. The detectives that worked the disappearance of Casey Anthony’s baby girl overlooked an in-home Google search that was an obvious hint someone in the house was the culprit.

Not many people look for “fool-proof suffocation” on Google Search. However someone in Casey Anthony’s home searched for that query the same day her 2-year-old daughter was last seen alive. The new information adds to the criticism against the acquittal of Casey Anthony, who was originally accused for murdering her daughter. However, for the moment, authorities don’t know who made the “fool-proof suffocation” Google search.

The Orlando television station WKMG was the first to report that detectives overlooked the “fool-proof suffocation” Google search made June 16, 2008. On the overall, there were more than 1,200 Firefox entries that investigators in the Casey Anthony case simply overlooked. They did however check out the history of the Internet Explorer browser.

The Google search was made using Firefox, the browser Casey Anthony would commonly use for her internet browsing purposes. The browsing history also featured MySpace activity, which Casey Anthony used and not her father. The Associated Press notes that the Google search was initially misspelled. The user searched for the term “fool-proof suffication” and read an article about suicidal by poisoning and suffocation with a bag.

Casey Anthony’s attorney, Jose Baez discussed the Google search in his book explaining it was George Anthony who made it, not Casey. Apparently, her father wanted to kill himself after the 2-year-old drowned and helped his daughter cover it up. There was also a search on how to make chloroform, but Casey Anthony’s mother said she conducted that search by mistake, while looking for chlorophyll.

Before the Google search query was brought up, prosecutors said that the 2-year-old was first poisoned with chloroform and then died by suffocation after her nose and mouth were duct taped. When the 2-year-old’s body was found, six months after her disappearance, investigators couldn’t figure out what killed her for sure. The Google search might prove they were right, if they figure out who was the person in the Anthony house that looked for “fool-proof suffocation”.

A Gold Disney Themed Christmas Tree Costs $4.2 Million

We all want our Christmas Tree to be the most amazing ever, but will you pay $4.2 million for it? In Tokyo, a jewelry store is selling a gold Disney themed Christmas Tree for a whopping $4.2 million. Well, at least you could brag you own the world’s most expensive Christmas Tree.

Who is going to buy a Christmas Tree that costs $4.2 million?! Well, never say never. Rich people have a thing for outrageous acquisitions. If they hadn’t such a fetish for outrageous and useless things, businesses such as that in downtown Tokyo won’t be selling them. The $4.2 million Christmas Tree is made of 88 pounds of pure gold and features Disney characters.

Besides Disney itself or some spoiled rich princess, we can’t imagine someone actually wants this Christmas tree in their living room, or vault for that matter. It’s not even that pretty… For the label of the world’s most expensive Christmas tree we’d expect a lot more than just some silhouettes of Mickey Mouse, tinker Bell and Cinderella and gold leaf ribbons.

However, despite the debated utility and beauty of the gold Christmas tree, Tomoko Ishibashi with the marketing department of the jewelry store in Tokyo selling it, says this is a great deal. “Right now gold is over 4,400 yen per gram. We used pure gold and had an expert craftsman form each Disney character by hand” the store’s rep told the press.

Reuters writes that the world’s most expensive Christmas tree had people “mesmerized” because of the “combination of gold and Disney characters”. “It is very vivid and the gold is very pretty” said a 36-year-old Japanese jeweler. “The characters on it are also really cute and it really looks like a Christmas tree” he told Reuters.

If you’re looking for an outrageous Christmas tree and have $4.2 million just lying around, don’t expect to leave this in the living room. The gold Christmas tree is more of an ornament, rather an actual tree, which you would be better off displaying from a distance. The world’s most expensive tree is not even 8 feet high and has 3 feet in diameter. On the overall there are 50 Disney characters donning the gold Christmas tree.