Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The most Girl Scout cookies ever sold

It's the most wonderful time of the year: Girl Scout cookies are back! Sold since 1917, the annual bake sale is big business, with $700 million in sales of thin mints, Samoas, and other favor...

Girl Scouts selling cookies (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

News Source: Yahoo

Undersized dunker becomes Web sensation

Viral video could land Division III player in dunk contest

When Illinois College guard Jacob Tucker originally contacted organizers of the college slam dunk contest last week about allowing him to participate, they told him Division III players typically lack the notoriety needed to receive an invitation.

Needless to say, Tucker stumbled upon a solution to that problem.

Jacob Tucker hurdles a man on way to the basket (Y! Sports screengrab)

A two-minute YouTube video he created to promote his candidacy for the dunk contest has attracted more than 500,000 viewers in five days thanks to the 5-foot-11 senior's creativity and leaping ability.

Rural Wyoming plagued by big-city smog

Wyoming plagued by big-city problem: smog

Gas drilling rigs in western Wyoming's Upper Green River Basin. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Wyoming, famous for its crisp mountain air and breathtaking, far-as-the-eye-can-see vistas, is looking a little bit like smoggy Los Angeles these days because of a boom in natural gas drilling.
Folks who live near the gas fields in the western part of this outdoorsy state are complaining of watery eyes, shortness of breath and bloody noses because of ozone levels that have exceeded what people in L.A. and other major cities wheeze through on their worst pollution days.

10-year-old gets big wish, joins Army

Wish comes true for cancer-stricken 10-year-old inducted into Army

Most kids might hope to get an Xbox or an iPod Touch for their 10th birthday. Brennan Daigle got a reception from a formation of soldiers, a ride in a camouflaged National Guard Humvee--and induction as an honorary member of the Army.
Brennan Daigle

Since October 2009, Brennan, from Sulphur, Louisiana, has been battling embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma--a rare form of cancer in which muscular tumors attach themselves to bones, writer Rachel Reischling reports in the Fort Polk Guardian. Last month, doctors told his family there was nothing more they could do, and gave Brennan just weeks to live.

America has a new 'heartland'

US 'heartland' near historic shift from Midwest

WASHINGTON – America's population center is edging away from the Midwest, pulled by Hispanic growth in the Southwest, according to census figures. The historic shift is changing the nation's politics and even the traditional notion of the country's heartland — long the symbol of mainstream American beliefs and culture.
Joe Raben harvests corn on land he farms near Carmi, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
The West is now home to the four fastest-growing states — Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Idaho — and has surpassed the Midwest in population, according to 2010 figures. California and Texas added to the southwestern population tilt, making up more than one-fourth of the nation's total gains since 2000.

The best used cars — and the worst

Best and worst used cars

Savvy car buyers know that the best way to get the most vehicle for their money is to buy a used car. With the average new car losing 47 percent of its value in the first three years, buying used is an affordable way to get the safety and comfort features you want at a far better price.

2009 Honda Fit

The Best of the best list guides you to the 2001 to 2010 models that scored well in our road tests when new and have been consistently reliable over time. Each has achieved multiple years of above-average used-car verdicts (available to subscribers), indicating that owners have had relatively few problems.

Models built by Toyota and Honda dominate the list once again, and many of the best used vehicles are from Asian manufacturers. But high-quality vehicles are available from domestic and European automakers as well.

The Worst of the worst list shows models that have had multiple years of below-average reliability in our survey. It is dominated by vehicles from domestic and European manufacturers, primarily General Motors, which had 16 of the 29 models listed.

Our reliability data are derived from our Annual Auto Survey, which generated responses from subscribers on 1.3 million vehicles.

We also list reliable cars by price range (available to subscribers), so that you can easily see what's available for your budget.

Our Used cars to avoid list (available to subscribers) highlights specific models and the years that they had below-average reliability.
Best of the best
Here we highlight the most reliable and well-rounded vehicle in each category. We also list other contenders in order of their overall reliability scores for model years 2001 to 2010. Each model has at least three years of reliability data.

Small cars
Honda Fit
The Fit has been an economical, reliable, and versatile hatchback ever since it went on sale in the U.S. in 2007. It packs a huge amount of usable space into a small package and has standard antilock braking and curtain air bags. But before 2011 electronic stability control (ESC) was available only on models with the optional navigation system.
Family cars

Toyota Prius

The Prius has had outstanding reliability and has delivered standout fuel economy. But the redesigned 2010 model has only average reliability. Look for one with optional ESC, starting with 2004 models.
2004 Toyota Prius

News Source: Yahoo

Millions of dead fish overwhelm marina

Millions of dead fish overwhelm marina

Fish lie dead in the harbor area of Redondo Beach (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

An estimated 1 million fish turned up dead Tuesday in a Southern California

Truly dumb product-warning labels

15 Stunningly Dumb Warning Labels

Washing Machine Warning Label

Only a moron would try to wash her daughter in a washing machine; or shake hands with the business end of a chainsaw; or light a match to check the contents of a gas tank. And yet manufacturers continue to go to laughable lengths to protect their customers, bombarding them with ridiculous warning labels or stunningly obvious explanations of how their products work. Here are 25 of the best--er, worst--we found over the last four years.