Tuesday, March 8, 2011

National Geographic user snapshots showcase world’s natural wonders

National Geographic is famous for high-quality professional photojournalism, but photos that readers themselves shoot and submit are often just as amazing. Every weekday, the magazine's editors choose their Daily Dozen favorites. The photos that are voted highest by online visitors are made available for download in National Geographic's Weekly Wrapper as computer wallpaper.
A tornado near Campo, Colorado. (Photograph courtesy Ron Gravelle/National Geographic Your Shot)
Reader photos are submitted from around the globe. The incredible labyrinth-like landscape below was photographed by He Qustuf at LongJi Terrace in Guilin, China.

How Old Dominion’s mascot delayed Monday’s CAA title game

Old Dominion's mascot has probably done his last LeBron James imitation for a while.
Before tipoff of Monday night's Colonial Athletic Association title game between Old Dominion and Virginia Commonwealth, Monarchs mascot "Big Blue" did a LeBron-esque powder toss underneath one of the baskets. Unfortunately, the baby powder on the court created a slick enough surface that referees stopped play after VCU's Ed Nixon slipped on a layup attempt in the opening two minutes and careened into a baseline sign board.

Everyone from ball boys to suit-and-tie-clad tournament officials spent nearly 10 minutes wiping that portion of the floor with mops and hand towels. Only after referees and players from both teams tested the floor did play finally resume.

Anne Hathaway (actress)

Anne Jacqueline Hathaway (born November 12, 1982) is an American actress. After several stage roles, she appeared in the 1999 television series Get Real. She played Mia Thermopolis in The Princess Diaries (2001). Over the next three years, Hathaway reprised that role for The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, and starred in family films, appearing as the title character in Ella Enchanted, both in 2004.

A bust shot of a young woman standing in a side view, her head turned to look to the camera. Her long hair is pulled back from her face and cascades down her back. She wears a black sleeveless dress with a gold trim around the back and under her arm. She wears jeweled silver floral shaped earrings and smiles softly. There is a crowd of people, slightly out of focus, in the background.
Hathaway had dramatic roles in Havoc and Brokeback Mountain, both in 2005. She starred in The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and in Becoming Jane (2007) as Jane Austen. In 2008, she was acclaimed for her lead role in Rachel Getting Married, for which she won awards and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. In 2010, she starred in the box office hits Valentine's Day and Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland, as well as Love and Other Drugs. She is scheduled to play Selina Kyle/Catwoman in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises.

Seven of the worst supermarket rip-offs

Walking into your average supermarket is a lot like being a contestant on “Jeopardy!” If you think hard, choose wisely, and give all the right answers, you can go home with a carload of cash and prizes. But make a few mistakes and you'll leave with an empty wallet—not to mention a lot of empty calories.
Photos (L-R): Fish (Getty Images); Avocado (ThinkStock)
In fact, even the lowest-priced supermarket in your neighborhood is brimming with complete rip-offs—health foods that aren’t healthy, gourmet foods that aren’t gourmet, specialty items that just aren’t that special. Here are just some of the foods you're overpaying for, compliments of Eat This, Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide and Cook This, Not That!.

NYPD Helicopter video of 9/11 attack surfaces

A newly released video shows the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attack from the vantage point of a NYPD helicopter.

Last Chance to Spot Shuttle Discovery in the Night Sky ... Ever

With NASA's space shuttle Discovery now headed home from the International Space Station, skywatchers across much of the United States and southern Canada are in for a real two-day treat: the last chance to see Discovery in space with their own eyes.
Earth in backdground, space shuttle Discovery approaches the International Space Station.  (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

Discovery left the space station today (March 7) and is due to land in Florida on Wednesday. This means that — weather permitting — there are opportunities to see both Discovery and the space station flying across the sky from many locations.
The sight should easily be visible to anyone, even from brightly lit cities. Discovery and the space station should appear as bright, fast-moving lights across the sky. [Photos: Spotting Space Shuttles from Earth]
If you have a chance, these skywatching opportunities aren't to be missed. After this mission, which is the final flight of shuttle Discovery, there will only be two more (one each by the shuttles Endeavour and Atlantis) before NASA retires its space shuttle fleet later this year.

Violent crime spikes after Camden halves police force

Police in a downtown shopping area in Camden, N.J., on Nov. 17, 2010, before large layoffs hit the department. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)

Two months after Camden, NJ, laid off 160 police officers, city prosecutors have released a sobering report showing a dramatic rise in violent crime in the drug-and-crime-ridden city of 80,000 residents.
Aggravated assaults with firearms jumped 259 percent in January and February compared to last year, and violent crime over all is up 19 percent, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office told the Philadelphia Inquirer. Murders and robberies, however, were down for the period.

Ahead of the 2012 campaign, states debate voting rights

If some GOP lawmakers get their way, it could be a whole lot tougher for people across the country to cast a ballot in the upcoming 2012 presidential election.
Boosted by major electoral gains in state legislatures nationwide in the 2010 campaign, Republican lawmakers in 32 states are pushing measures that would require citizens to show a state identification or proof of citizenship to vote.  Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, GOP lawmakers are proposing new limits on college students who vote in the state, potentially eliminating a key base of electoral support for Democrats in the state ahead of the upcoming presidential election.

K2 Gains Popularity Among Athletes: Similar High As Pot, No Positive Drug Test

David Rozga loved the Packers. He had a No. 4 tattoo for Brett Favre on his right shoulder, and he planned to add a No. 12 for Aaron Rodgers. He played football until he broke his leg as a sophomore in high school, and he often made the trip with his dad to Lambeau Field from his home in Indianola, Iowa. David Rozga dreamed of seeing the Pack win a Super Bowl.

He didn’t get the chance. Last June, he left a high school graduation party, returned home and took his own life.

David Rozga was 18.

His parents, Mike and Jan, blamed themselves. “It really made us look deeply at ourselves,” Mike says. “How terrible parents we were to not have seen this in our son.”

SA says 'no support' for claim of alien microbes

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Top NASA scientists said Monday there was no scientific evidence to support a colleague's claim that fossils of alien microbes born in outer space had been found in meteorites on Earth.
The US space agency formally distanced itself from the paper by NASA scientist Richard Hoover, whose findings were published Friday in the peer-reviewed Journal of Cosmology, which is available free online.
"That is a claim that Mr Hoover has been making for some years," said Carl Pilcher, director of NASA's Astrobiology Institute.
The night sky in Austria (AP)
"I am not aware of any support from other meteorite researchers for this rather extraordinary claim that this evidence of microbes was present in the meteorite before the meteorite arrived on Earth and and was not the result of contamination after the meteorite arrived on Earth," he told AFP.