It's now official, the summer of 2012 was the hottest on record in the US.

I know SOPA is dead (for now) but Under SOPA you could get five years in jail for uploading a Michael Jackson song - one year more than the doctor who killed him.

In 2011, America's top thirteen hedge-fund managers earned an average of $1 billion each. One of them took home $5 billion. Much of their income is taxed as capital gains - at 15 percent - due to a tax loophole that Republican members of Congress have steadfastly guarded.

If the earnings of those thirteen hedge-fund managers were taxed as ordinary income, the revenues generated would pay the salaries and benefits of 300,000 teachers. Who is more valuable to our society - thirteen hedge-fund managers or 300,000 teachers?

Bill Gates is the richest person in the USA according to the latest article in Fortune magazine. His wealth is estimated at 66 Billion Dollars.

Facebook Inc. passed the 1 billion user mark in September of this year.

54% of jobs in San Jose, California fall within the area of IT, but only 2% of students in the area are graduating with IT degrees.

UK TV service is now entirely digital having now switched off all remaining analogue services. As a marked advancement, it sadly also closes a chapter on the BBC's Ceefax service, established C. 1974. This service provided Text News, Weather reports + map, sport results, recipes, quizzes, and more.

On a personal note, it was a great service, especially during those pesky TV adverts, and just a button on your TV remote away. Read of the ingenuity and history of Ceefax.

Average Viewer Numbers (millions) 2011-2012 on US TV:
Modern Family: 12.93
The Middle: 8.08
Family Guy: 7.3
The Simpsons: 6.95

Plastic was originally developed to be an alternative to shellac (which was made from Lac beetles).

Former financial arbitrage trader Jerome Kerviel is the most indebted man on the planet, owing his former employer $6.3 billion.

The amount Kerviel owes to French bank Societe Generale for fraudulent trades made in 2007 and 2008 would make Kerviel one of the 50 richest people in America if those debts were assets.

Jan. 12, 2013 kicks off a month of hunting Python snakes in Florida, and the winners will receive cash prizes as high as $1,500. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesperson Carli Segelson told that the goal of the contest is both eradication and documentation.

If you live in Florida, maybe there is a Python on your loo.

The Germans made the first artificial Christmas trees out of dyed goose feathers

Christmas trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.

Contrary to popular belief, suicide rates during the Christmas holiday are low. The highest rates are during the spring

The traditional Christmas dinner in England used to be a pig head prepared with a mustard sauce.

Americans on average send out 28 Christmas cards to friends and family each year.

The traditional Christmas dinner in England used to be a pig head prepared with a mustard sauce.

And the traditional dessert was the pickled extremeties - a dish called piggy footing.

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Did you know that the praying mantis is the only bug/insect that has the ability to turn it's head...

The traditional Christmas dinner in England used to be a pig head prepared with a mustard sauce.

Doesn't that sound gross (maybe it's just me, i don't eat pork)?

Doesn't that sound gross

Maybe not when compared to haggis.

According to the CDC on the average US day, 85 people are shot dead.

It's going to get worse. A Republican Congressman from Texas, Louie Gohmert, says the elementary school principal in Newtown, Conn., should have had a high-powered rifle to take the shooter’s “head off.” Texas Governor Rick Perry says teachers and administrators should be able to carry concealed weapons. And the state of Michigan, just one day before the Newtown school massacre of 26 children and adults, passed a bill to allow the carrying of concealed weapons in schools, daycare centres and places of worship. If guns is the problem then obviously more guns is the solution.

Wanted: School principal. Must be expert marksman.

commented: I'm glad it's not just me that sees the madness of this obsession +0

On Black Friday, almost 300,000 Americans purchased guns. More than 16.8 million applications for new gun purchases have been made so far this year.

Death by bullet has now overtaken death by car in the USA.

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Death by bullet has now overtaken death by car in the USA.

Which will be overtaken by 'death by eating' by 2015 according to DOO figures.

The Connecticut Elementary School shoot out was one of the most tragic shootings in the USA. (Don't know the school's name...).

This is a tragic incident...

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Sandy Hook. Reading about it, his mum was a gun freak. A 'survivalist'. A lot of good that did her. Wonder if she (and others) would be alive today if she didn't have 5 guns in the house. There again, it was her God-given right to have as many guns as she wanted. Makes sense to some I suppose.

This is a tragic incident...

Tragic, yes. Inevitable, yes. There will be many more unfortunately.

The mom was quite a survivalist alright... It's why she is dead right?

I think it was her fault, she probably pissed him off or something like that, the son was 100% mentally retarded.

But yes, more is to come... But in the future it might not be as common though hopefully.

Why are oranges ,because snakes have no armpits

There again, it was her God-given right to have as many guns as she wanted. Makes sense to some I suppose

if that be ,then how come it not the god given rite to be taught about god in all Schools,then maybe the shooter would have learned both lessons ,one from a teacher and one from his mother .

and no i don't believe in God ,so i don't believe its a god given rite to own as many guns as one want to.i thinks it LAW/Govermnent's job to control such things ,and its the parents responsibility to teach there children right from wrong ,

the news said he was a loner ,hard time fitting in,not a reason to kill 20 childer/people ,i lived that life in my early years and have never killed anyone .

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I'm very aware that this thread is being side-tracked, so I'll keep it brief. 'God-given right' was my way of expressing the attitude of some people - not a literal thing. 'The right to own a gun' culture is a massive vote winner for the Republican / conservative movement in the USA. I could go on, but this has been discussed ad nauseum in other threads.

I've heard it said several times in recent days that "cars kill ##### people every year and we don't outlaw cars". I'm so [rude word] tired of hearing this. I'd like to point out that we have laws that regulate which vehicles are legal for use on public roads and which are not. We have laws that limit speed, emissions, noise. Vehicles must pass periodic safety checks. We have laws that determine who can drive and when. But any mention of regulating guns immediately brings the response "the government wants to take your guns away". Apparently our childrens' lives are nothing more than colateral damage in the war to regain the reins of power. And judging by yesterday's statement from the NRA (armed guards in every school), if guns is the problem then obviously more guns is the solution.

The gun nuts claim that the problem is not guns, but violence in the movies and on TV and violence in video games. Here in Canada we have the same movies, TV and video games as our neighbours to the south. Why is it, then, that we don't have anywhere near the same (proportional) level of slaughter here in Canada?

Maybe because us Americans complain about everything, saying its against their "constitutional rights"... many of them don't deserve by my opinion...

Well at least we all know that Canada is much safer :)