For now, a small bit of reality from someone who lived 18+ years of his life 10 miles from Scranton, PA...
There is no paper company named Dunder Mifflin in Scranton. Sorry to shatter your illusions.
Early morning, April 4
A shot rings out in the Memphis sky.
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride.
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Reuters) -- Four Papua New Guinea women, believed by fellow villagers to have used sorcery to cause a fatal road crash, were tortured with hot metal rods to confess, then murdered and buried standing up in a pit, said police.
Black magic is widespread in the South Pacific nation where most of the 5.1 million population live subsistence lives. Women suspected of being witches are often hung or burned to death.
Local police commander Chief Inspector David Seine told the newspaper that people in the village of Kamex accused the four women of sorcery after a road crash killed three prison officers.
The women were reportedly tortured into admission by being stabbed with hot metal rods, Seine said.
It appeared the women were blindfolded with thick sticky tape strapped across their faces and mouths and their hands had been tied before they were murdered, he said.
Seine said the women were buried in an old narrow toilet pit in the standing position. The pit was then covered with soil and two old vehicle tires placed on the top.
"They planted a banana tree on top of the pit with fresh grass making it difficult for anyone to discover the site, but police got to it with the help of some elders from the village," he said.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration is considering doing away with health standards that cut lead from gasoline, widely regarded as one of the nation's biggest clean-air accomplishments.
The Environmental Protection Agency said this week that revoking those standards might be justified "given the significantly changed circumstances since lead was listed in 1976" as an air pollutant, claiming that concentrations of lead in the air have dropped more than 90 percent in the past 2 1/2 decades. Battery makers, lead smelters, refiners all have lobbied the administration to do away with the Clean Air Act limits.
But Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., the incoming chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform, called on the agency to "renounce this dangerous proposal immediately," because lead, a highly toxic element, can cause severe nerve damage, especially in children.
'Beer goggles' effect explained
Alcohol is not the only factor in the beer goggles formula
Scientists believe they have worked out a formula to calculate how "beer goggles" affect a drinker's vision.
KEY TO FORMULA
An = number of units of alcohol consumed
S = smokiness of the room (graded from 0-10, where 0 clear air; 10 extremely smoky)
L = luminance of 'person of interest' (candelas per square metre; typically 1 pitch black; 150 as seen in normal room lighting)
Vo = Snellen visual acuity (6/6 normal; 6/12 just meets driving standard)
d = distance from 'person of interest' (metres; 0.5 to 3 metres)
The drink-fuelled phenomenon is said to transform supposedly "ugly" people into beauties - until the morning after.
Researchers at Manchester University say while beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder, the amount of alcohol consumed is not the only factor.
Additional factors include the level of light in the pub or club, the drinker's own eyesight and the room's smokiness.
The distance between two people is also a factor.
They all add up to make the aesthetically-challenged more attractive, according to the formula.
The formula can work out a final score, ranging from less than one - where there is no beer goggle effect - to more than 100.
Nathan Efron, Professor of Clinical Optometry at the University of Manchester, said: "The beer goggles effect isn't solely dependent on how much alcohol a person consumes, there are other influencing factors at play too.
"For example, someone with normal vision, who has consumed five pints of beer and views a person 1.5 metres away in a fairly smoky and poorly lit room, will score 55, which means they would suffer from a moderate beer goggle effect."
The research was commissioned by eyecare firm Bausch & Lomb PureVision.
A poll showed that 68% of people had regretted giving their phone number to someone to whom they later realised they were not attracted.
A formula rating of less than one means no effect. Between one and 50 the person you would normally find unattractive appears less "visually offensive".
Non-appealing people become suddenly attractive between 51 and 100. At more than 100, someone not considered attractive looks like a super model.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Humpback whales have a type of brain cell seen only in humans, the great apes, and other cetaceans such as dolphins, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.
This might mean such whales are more intelligent than they have been given credit for, and suggests the basis for complex brains either evolved more than once, or has gone unused by most species of animals, the researchers said.
The finding may help explain some of the behaviors seen in whales, such as intricate communication skills, the formation of alliances, cooperation, cultural transmission and tool usage, the researchers report in The Anatomical Record.
Patrick Hof and Estel Van der Gucht of the Department of Neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York studied the brains of humpback whales and discovered a type of cell called a spindle neuron in the cortex, in areas comparable to where they are seen in humans and great apes.
The humpbacks also had structures that resembled "islands" in the cerebral cortex, also seen in some other mammals.
These islands may have evolved in order to promote fast and efficient communication between neurons, the researchers said.
"In spite of the relative scarcity of information on many cetacean species, it is important to note in this context that sperm whales, killer whales, and certainly humpback whales, exhibit complex social patterns that included intricate communication skills, coalition-formation, cooperation, cultural transmission and tool usage," the researchers wrote.
"It is thus likely that some of these abilities are related to comparable histologic complexity in brain organization in cetaceans and in hominids."