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November 28, 2007

Personal Hover Crafts Are Not Fiction

The personal hover craft is called a Vertipod and can be bought for around $10,000 although; they are not yet available to the public according to, ubergizmo.

The Vertipod comes in a make-it-yourself kit and can hover any where from 5 to 15 feet above the ground and it can reach speeds as high as 15 miles an hour according to ubergizmo.

The purchaser can choose between a petrol or ethanol engine according to Geekologie.

British Teacher Arrested Over Teddy Bear Name in Sudan

A British grade school teacher in Sudan has been charged with “insulting religion, inciting hatred and showing contempt of religious beliefs�, according to the BBC. Gibbons was arrested in Khartoum, Sudan because she allowed her students to name a teddy bear “Muhammad�, according to the BBC.

According to Secretary General, Dr. Muhammad Abdul Bari, “"This is a disgraceful decision and defies common sense. There was clearly no intention on the part of the teacher to deliberately insult the Islamic faith.� (quote courtesy of the BBC)

Gibbons could face six months in jail, 40 lashes or a fine if she is convicted, according to the BBC.

Muhammad is the name of Islam’s prophet and founder and Gibbon’s student’s parents complained that they were insulted by the naming of the teddy bear, according to MSNBC.

Blue Barrel Focus of Search For Missing Illinios Woman

Stacy Peterson, the woman who was last seen on Oct. 28 in Illinois, and who’s husband, Drew Peterson , is a suspect in her disappearance, may be found in a blue barrel, according to MSNBC.

Tim Miller, founder of EquuSearch, said, “"They (Illinois State Police) actually even gave me a picture of what we might be looking for. It was certainly large enough to put her body in, she only weighed about a hundred pounds." (quote courtesy of MSNBC) As of Wednesday the Associated Press had not heard back from Illinois State Police as to why searchers should focus on a blue barrel.

Drew Peterson has denied having anything to do with his wife’s disappearance. He believes she left him for another man and is still alive, according to CNN.

Minnesota Contractor Killed By Bomb in Iraq

Bill Juneau,36, of Rush City was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq and died in an Iraqi Army hospital Monday, according to the Pioneer Press.

Juneau was a former deputy in Chisago County and was working as a security contractor in Iraq. Juneau worked as a volunteer peace officer in Iraq for Dyn Corp International. His job was to train Iraqi police forces, according to the Pioneer Press.

Juneau will be missed by many family and friends, including his twin sister, Bridget Sura, and his best friend, Jake, a black lab, according to the Star Tribune. Sura said, “"Jake is a part of my brother. [Bill] will be missed by a lot of people. This will leave a hole in a lot of people's hearts." (quote courtesy of the Star Tribune.)


Murder Suicide in Shoreview

A Shoreview woman, 53, was killed after being repeatedly stabbed by her son, 22, who then killed himself with a knife according to the Pioneer Press. The woman was Susan Marie Wolter who was killed in her home and her son was Paul Wayne Wolter.

According to Ramsey County Undersheriff, George Altendorfer, “"The son was wrestling with mental health issues, but we don't think any of the family members envisioned this." (Quote courtesy of the Pioneer Press)

Paul lived with his parents in a condo in Shoreview, according to the Star Tribune. His father, Wayne Wolter, was out of town on vacation at the time of the incident.

Neighbors of the Wolter’s are shocked by the violent deaths. According to Elaine Malat, a neighbor, “"It's very shocking and sad. So sad. They're such nice people." (Quote courtesy of the Star Tribune)

November 19, 2007

Nintendo's "Super Mario Galaxy" Combines Old Favorites With New Adventures

The second game for Nintendo’s Wii, featuring favorite plumber, Mario, is called, “Super Mario Galaxy,� and has recently been released, according to MSNBC. The game features similar story lines from previous games. Yes Mario is rescuing Princess Peach and yes Bowser is the bad guy but this time the whole gang has adventures in Outer Space, according to MSNBC.

Super Mario Galaxy is described on Gamestop’s website as, “The ultimate Nintendo hero is taking the ultimate step... out into space. Join Mario as he ushers in a new era of video games, defying gravity across all the planets in the galaxy. When some creature escapes into space with Princess Peach, Mario gives chase, exploring bizarre planets all across the galaxy. Players run, jump and battle enemies as they explore the many planets. For Mario to succeed, gamers will press buttons, swing the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers and even use the Wii Remote to point at and drag things on-screen.� The game can be bought from Gamestop’s website for $49.99.

November 18, 2007

Cyclone Sidr's Death Toll Rises

Tropical cyclone Sidr, that ravaged Dhaka, Bangladesh, last Thursday has claimed at least 2,206 victims, according to MSNBC.

Over 1 million people have been relocated from the coast to inland shelters and are receiving emergency help, according to MSNBC.

Many of the people that are in areas that are near impossible to get to, due to uprooted tres and flooded roads, are feeling abandoned, according to the BBC.

Local Government Official, Rafiqul Islam, has told the BBC, “"We do not have enough food, our houses and shops have been wiped out and there is no-one to help us.�

Alcohol Found in 6 Beach House Fire Victims

Out of the seven college students that died in the beach house fire last month in Raleigh, North Carolina, six had levels of alcohol in their systems, according to CNN. The levels were between .16 and .29 percent according to Dr. John Butts, the state’s chief medical examiner (courtesy of CNN).

Dr. Butts also said that the amount of alcohol found in the victims bodies would have impaired “their ability to respond,� according to MSNBC.

Rex Gore, Brunswick’s County Attorney denied the idea that alcohol could have contributed to the deaths, bringing up the fact that the 7th victim had no alcohol in their system, according to MSNBC.

State Crackdown on Agriculture Tax Hurts Small Farms

Minnesota is cracking down on people taking advantage of the state agriculture tax breaks but some small farms are getting hurt because of it, according to the Star Tribune. Susan Mecredy owns Cherith Farms on 10-acres, south of Belle Plain. She grows fruits and vegetables for the public to pick and pay for and it is her livelihood, according to the Star Tribune. She has recently received a letter from the state claiming her farm is not large enough to constitute the agriculture tax according to the Star Tribune.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty spoke at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Convention in Bloomington on Saturday and said, “Minnesota agriculture faces both great challenges and a promising future,� according to the Pioneer Press.

Mobile Home Explosion Kills Two

Two people were killed in a mobile home explosion on Saturday in North Mankato, according to the Pioneer Press. The Mankato police received 911 phone calls around 1:25 a.m. and when fire fighters arrived on the scene the rear of the home was covered in flames, according to the Pioneer Press.

Shawn and Beth Marxen are the two people believed to have been killed in the blast although the bodies found on the scene are still receiving autopsies and have not been identified according to the Star Tribune. Neighbors tried breaking out windows to help the couple out but could not reach them according to the Star Tribune. The couple’s two daughters were not at home, at the time of the blast. The fire is still under investigation, according to the Star Tribune.

November 12, 2007

St Paul: Suspect Arrested in Girl's Rape

According to the Pioneer Press a man, 19, has been arrested in connection to the rape of a girl, 17, that happened in her home in the East Side area of St. Paul, last Wednesday.

According to the Star Tribune the arrest happened around 8p.m. on Saturday. According to the newspaper, the man is suspected of breaking into the girl’s home and assaulting her.

Oil Spill In California Under Investigation

According to CNN, the San Francisco oil spill that occurred on Wednesday is now under a federal, criminal, investigation. According to the news organization the spill happened when a container ship hit the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in the fog and 58,000 gallons of oil were spilled in the water.

According to the Imperial Valley News, out of California, the San Francisco Animal Care and Control department was rescuing and cleaning wildlife on Saturday.

Soccer Fan is Killed In Italy & Riot Break Out

According to the Associated Press an Italian police officer accidentally shot and killed a soccer fan today. The officer was trying to break up a fight between rival fans, in Rome.

According to the BBC soccer fans started rioting, shortly after the killing. Fans attacked police headquarters, and threw rocks and clubs. The BBC quoted Arezzo police chief, Vincenzo Giacobbe, “It was a tragic error.�

Ancient Seal Belonged to Famed Queen Jezebel

An ancient stone tablet discovered in Israel in 1964, is now believed to have belonged to Queen Jezebel, a Queen from biblical times according to MSNBC. The News organization quoted Marjo Korpel, an Old Testament Scholar, from the University of Utrecht, “"The lion-sphinx with female head and female Isis-Hathor crown, which is unique, this clearly points to a queen.�
According to Science Daily, Queen Jezebel was portrayed in the Bible as a woman who took advantage of her husband’s royal seal on letters, but this seal discovered in 1964, proves she had her own seal.

Diversity

I am using this story: http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB119466546698288951-Te1Se_B1TS6Osh_NQlJCphNzNa4_20071210.html?mod=tff_main_tff_top, from the Wall Street Journal, titled: Whites’ Great Hope? Barack Obama and the Dream of a Color-Blind America.

This article moves beyond stereotypes. It says that because of Obama’s racial background, young, white people are more likely to vote for him.

This article does an excellent job at telling the story through quotes, data and observation. For example, the quote from a Harvard Law Professor, “Sen. Obama "doesn't steer away from race but makes sure that everything he does is influenced by his bi-racial identity.�

There was not really any new information in this article that I didn’t already know.

November 5, 2007

Numbers

I will use this story: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21535573/

The story is from MSNBC and is about an increase in price for laptops in the US consumer market.

The reporter uses numbers to talk about the price differences in laptops, to talk about the number of laptops in production and discuss different software for different laptops. There are a lot of numbers used in this article but the writer was good about breaking up the article so they did not become overwhelming. The reporter did seem to use math to crunch the numbers when it came to costs of laptops. My assumption would be an average was used. The reporter uses on source, a link to a website called, The Laptop Foundation and it is listed clearly and in full.

November 4, 2007

King Tut Shows His Face

King Tuttankhemum, the famous ancient ruler of Egypt, showed his face for the first time to the public, Sunday in Luxor Egypt, according to the BBC. The King was on display in a climate controlled case, in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

Until now only 50 people had seen the King’s face. The public reveal and move of the body was to protect the King’s remains from Egypt’s heat and humidity, according to the BBC.

Scientists began restoring the decaying body over two years ago, according to CNN.

Condoleezza Rice Receives a Subpoena

United States Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, has received a subpoena to testify in a criminal trail of two pro-Israel lobbyists, accused of espionage, according to USA Today.

The former lobbyists are Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman and both are denying doing anything criminal, according to USA Today.

According to MSNBC, “The lobbyists are accused of receiving classified information from a now-convicted Pentagon official and relaying it to an Israeli official and the press.�

Adrian Peterson Outdoes Himself Again

Sunday’s game saw a huge win for the Minnesota Vikings against the San Diego Chargers with a score of 35-17, according to the Pioneer Press.

Many thanks can go to the Vikings star rookie, Adrian Peterson for the win. He once again broke a NFL rushing record, this time with 296 yards. His three touchdowns weren’t too shabby also.

Adrian Peterson is the Vikings newest star running back and is helping get this team; who has struggled with their offense all season, back on their feet.

Adrian Peterson recently bought a home in Eden Prairie where he lives with his brother and numerous family members, according to the Star Tribune.

When asked by the Star Tribune’s reporter what his long-term plans are in the NFL he replied, “I want to be the best player to ever play this game.�

Man is Shot and Killed on Deer Hunting Firearms Opening Day

A Minnesota man, 60, was shot and killed on Saturday; the firearms opening day for deer hunting season, according to the Star Tribune.

The incident was reported around 9:20 a.m. The man was then taken to the Lake Region Hospital in Fergus Falls, where he died, according to the Star Tribune.

The incident happened when the man and his hunting party were sloughing for deer in tall grass, on the southeastern side of Elbow Lake in Grant County., according to the Duluth News Tribune.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are still investigating, according to the Star Tribune.

Two 12-Year-Olds Charged With Terroristic Threats

On Tuesday two 7th grade boys, both 12, from the Washington Technology Magnet Middle school in St. Paul were accused of terrorist threats to a female student after a school staff member overheard them according to the Pioneer Press.

The boys threatened to use a gun that was described during the threat and later found at the home of one of the boys. Classes were not interrupted that day according to the Pioneer Press.

On Friday the boys were at the Ramsey County Juvenile Court where they both pleaded not guilty. They are currently under house arrest, according to the Pioneer Press. The boys both face expulsion from school, according to Principle Mike McCroller.

McCroller sent out a letter to the parents of students from the school on Friday, describing the incident and the safety precautions taken, and can be read here (Star Tribune).