Thursday, April 7, 2011

Angelina Jolie tattoo mystery sparks buzz

Angelina Jolie (AP)  

Many of the actress’s markings have a special connection to her six children.

Angelina Jolie's Mysterious New Tattoo

celebs: Angelina Jolie | Brad Pitt
Angie on the Libya-Tunisia border. Libra/Getty Images Angelina Jolie's intriguing new tattoo is overshadowing her humanitarian mission to a refugee camp on the Libyan border of Tunisia.
The tattoo on her upper left arm -- an ongoing work in progress -- is a list of the map coordinates for where her six children were born; in a mysterious new twist, the 35-year-old Earth Mother unveiled a seventh line of ink while visiting refugees this week, causing a stir among Jolie watchers: Is she planning a seventh addition to the patchwork Brangelina brood?

Boy's touching deed for 'The Fridge'

Cliff Forrest Jr and his father (Screen grab courtesy of  

Years after William Perry sells his Super Bowl ring, a 10-year-old buys it and gives it back.


Boy, 10, buys The Fridge’s Super Bowl ring, then returns it

A Pittsburgh-area 10-year-old took $8,500 out of his college savings account to buy William "The Refrigerator" Perry's Super Bowl XX ring. And then he gave it right back to its original owner.
With the help of his mother and a hefty college fund, Cliff Forrest Jr. purchased the ring after seeing it at Mickey Mantle's Restaurant in New York. Cliff's father, Cliff Forrest Sr. (above, left), said he wouldn't have approved his son's spending, "but his mother is a little more soft-hearted," he said.
Perry, a former Chicago Bears defensive lineman, had put his ring up for auction in 2007 for reasons unknown.
Soon after buying the ring, the younger Cliff heard about Perry's battle with Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune disease that can cause paralysis. Figuring the former football star would be happier with the ring, Cliff set out to return it.

The meanest creature in the world

A honey badger (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)  

An African carnivore with a deceptive name takes on critters more than twice its size

Fearless Creatures

Meet the honey badger, the world's meanest animal, and other tough critters. Great whites have the

Are federal employees really overpaid?

Copies of President Barack Obama's budget proposal for the fiscal year 2012 (FY2012) are unloaded by an employee of the Government Printing Office after being delivered to the Senate Budget Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, USA, 14 February 2011 (Corbis)   

The average government worker earns $101,628, versus $60,000 for a private employee.

FACT CHECK: Are federal workers overpaid?

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Are federal employees overpaid?
Republican leaders in Congress think so, and they are calling for an overhaul of the entire federal pay system to help slash government spending.
Democrats and other defenders of the government work force say federal workers are actually underpaid compared with their private counterparts.
A closer look at the data shows that both sides have a point but that supporters of federal workers are a bit closer to reality. The debate has heated up since the GOP budget blueprint unveiled this week calls for federal pay "to be reformed to be in line with the private sector." It says average wages "far eclipse" those in the private industry.
At a congressional hearing last month, Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., said the average federal worker earns $101,628 in total compensation -- including wages and benefits-- compared with $60,000 for the average private employee. He was citing data from the federal Office of Personnel Management.
"Our taxpayers can no longer be asked to foot the bill for these federal employees while watching their own salaries remain flat and their benefits erode," said Ross, chairman of the House Oversight subcommittee on the federal work force.

Golfer's style draws objection at Masters

Rickie Fowler(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)  

A trademark move of rising young star Rickie Fowler doesn't sit well with an Augusta member

Rickie Fowler gets a lesson in Augusta National decorum

Everybody's all high on Rickie Fowler these days, in part because he's got some serious game, and in part because he dresses like a popsicle thrown onto the vast, drab sand of golf fashion. He's got attitude! He's got moxie! He's got style! He's EXTREEEEEEEME!
He's also not permitted to bring any of that foofaraw into the grounds of Augusta National, as he learned at his press conference. As Golfweek's Jim McCabe reports, Fowler sat down and, as is his style, flipped his cap around backwards.
Augusta National member Ron Townsend asked Fowler to turn the cap around. Fowler declined, saying that he wanted people to see his face. Townsend asked him again, and this time, Fowler complied. Yes, Fowler is a rising star you'll be hearing about for years, and yes, Fowler could well become one of the few to win Augusta in his very first appearance. But every so often, youngsters act up, you know?
So, score one for the not-so-extreme old guard at Augusta National. Sure, the club has made some

White House's dire warning on shutdown

President Barack Obama (AP/Matt Rourke), entrance to the National Air and Space Museum (AP/Evan Vucci)  

A looming deadlock would suspend pay to U.S. troops fighting in three wars, officials say.

White House says shutdown will delay pay to troops

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration warned Wednesday that a federal shutdown would undermine the economic recovery, delay pay to U.S. troops fighting in three wars, slow the processing of tax returns and limit small business loans and government-backed mortgages during peak home buying season.
The dire message, delivered two days before the federal government's spending authority expires, appeared aimed at jolting congressional Republicans into a budget compromise. Billions of dollars apart, congressional negotiators were working to strike a deal by Friday to avert a shutdown by setting spending limits through the end of September. The last such shutdown took place 15 years ago and lasted 21 days.
President Barack Obama telephoned House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday, and Boehner's office said the speaker told Obama he was hopeful a deal could be reached.
As the talks continued, the White House sought to put the prospect of a shutdown in terms people would care about, warning even that the beloved National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in the nation's capital would be wiped out. The Smithsonian Institution and national parks around the country would also be closed.
A shutdown would come at an especially busy time for the Smithsonian. The Cherry Blossom Festival, which concludes this weekend, draws many tourists to an area near the museums. The Smithsonian counts about 3 million visits each April and has already sold 23,000 IMAX movie and lunch combos to school groups for the month.
Under long-standing federal rules, agencies would not be affected that provide for U.S. national security, dispense most types of federal benefit payments, offer inpatient medical care or outpatient emergency care, ensure the safe use of food and drugs, manage air traffic, protect and monitor borders and coastlines, guard prisoners, conduct criminal investigations and law enforcement, oversee power distribution and oversee banks.

Viral polar bear video sparks Web debate

Viral video of a cross country skier meeting a polar bear (Y!  

A cross-country skier makes an abrupt U-turn after an unexpected encounter.

Viral video: Cross country skier runs into polar bear (or does he?)

A popular YouTube video that shows a cross country skier in Oslo coming upon a wandering polar bear has generated debate in the online community about whether it's real or not:
Since the clip was uploaded to the site, over 200,000 people have watched. Commenters are mixed about the clip's authenticity. After a dozen views, I still can't figure out what's what. Some arguments for both sides:

Ben Roethlisberger reveals his fiancée

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)  

The Steelers QB speaks publicly for the first time about his upcoming wedding plans.

Roethlisberger isn’t living with fiancee because of religious beliefs

We knew Ben Roethlisberger(notes) was getting married. Now we know the particulars.
The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback spoke for the first time this week about his upcoming nuptials. In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger confirmed that he's engaged to 26-year-old Ashley Harlan, whom he met during training camp in 2005.
"We were kind of on and off for five years -- almost six years now -- so I've known her for a while," Roethlisberger told the newspaper. "It's not like a random new person. We dated awhile ago; we have been friends ever since."

Strong quake hits ravaged Japan

Miyagi Japan map (Navteq/Y! Maps)  

 A tsunami warning is lifted after a 7.1 aftershock hits near Japan's flattened northeastern coast.

Another strong quake rattles tsunami-ravaged Japan

TOKYO – A magnitude-7.4 aftershock rattled Japan on Thursday night, knocking out power across a large swath of the northern part of the country nearly a month after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that flattened the northeastern coast.
Japan's meteorological agency issued a tsunami warning but canceled it about 90 minutes later. Officials said power was out in all of three northern prefectures (states) and in parts of two others.
There were no immediate reports of serious injuries or damage. The aftershock was the strongest since the March 11 megaquake and tsunami that killed some 25,000 people, tore apart hundreds of thousands of homes and caused an ongoing crisis at a nuclear power plant.