The richest 1% of the people in the U.S. earn 21.2% of the total U.S. income.

commented: I disagree with the term "earn". +0

Alaska has a population density of 1.1 people per square mile.

The typical U.S. household headed by a person age 65 or older has a net worth 47 times greater than a household headed by someone under 35, according to an analysis of census data released the end of October 2013.

The cleanup at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan has so far cost over 100 billion dollars. 150,000 of the displaced people are still homeless.

According to data found in a book by Kevin Dutton called "The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success", the following occupations have the highest proportion of psycopaths. Ranked from most to least likely they are:

  1. CEO
  2. lawyer
  3. TV & radio media personality
  4. salesperson
  5. surgeon
  6. journalist
  7. police officer
  8. clergy
  9. chef
  10. civil servant

The Los Angeles schooldistrict is in the progress to give all its 680,000 students an IPad. They hope to get out of the dismal rating they have now.

Right. Because giving a third of a billion dollars to an already rich corporation is so much better than, say, paying teachers a fair wage or buying decent text books.

buying decent text books

I think the point is that now low-spec iPads are actually cheaper than textbooks.

The textbook publishing industry is just ridiculous, each textbook can cost several hundred dollars and the publishers only print it for 1 year then put out a "new edition" where they randomly move thing around without actually changing the content. So worn/damaged textbooks cannot be replaced; schools have to buy a whole new set.

Let's just hope that the "e" versions of the textbooks (assuming they are even available) will be significantly cheaper than the paper versions. Based on what we've seen in the e-book industry (Apple's collusion to keep the prices high) I won't be holding my breath. If the textbook industry maintains high profits by artificially releasing new versions I wouldn't trust them to cut into their profits by making the e-texts cheaper.

Due to the climate of political correctness now pervading America, Kentuckians, Tennesseans and West Virginians will no longer be referred to as 'HILLBILLIES.' You must now refer to them as 'APPALACHIAN-AMERICANS'.

In the history of the United States, 168 presidential nominees have been filibustered. Half occurred under all presidents from Washington through to Bush. The other half has taken place under just one president: Obama.

The 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) results were presented on 3DEC2013.

In the Sciences the top five countries and local administrations were:
1 Shanghai, China
2 Hong Kong, China
3 Singapore
4 Japan
5 Finland

The bottom five:
61 Tunisia
62 Albania
63 Qatar
64 Indonesia
65 Peru

The USA was in the middle, as they had been for the last 40 years or so.
The top countries spend a lot of effort and time developing their teachers.

As the year is coming to an end, the US Congress is on pace to have its least productive year in modern history, earning a "do-nothing" label and adding another unwanted statistic to a body already facing chronically low approval ratings.

Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west(which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. For each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house.

Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles.

This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 18 miles per hour.

A pair of doctors in Texas discovered a 61-year-old man who appeared to be constantly drunk for five years had a rare condition that caused his stomach to turn food into alcohol.

Dr. Barbara Cordell, the dean of nursing at Panola College in Carthage, Texas, and Dr. Justin McCarthy, a Lubbock gastroenterologist, said the man's blood alcohol content was consistently high for five years because the yeast in his stomach was turning carbohydrates into ethanol.

The man was treated with anti-fungal medication to bring about a sober state and what was likely the hangover of a lifetime.

A pair of doctors in Texas discovered a 61-year-old man who appeared to be constantly drunk for five years had a rare condition that caused his stomach to turn food into alcohol.

I wonder what his excuse will be if he gets pulled over by a cop.

That's his story and he's sticking to it. Hope he has a note from his doctor.

New Year is the oldest of all holidays, as it was first observed in ancient Babylon as many as 4000 years ago.

‘Auld Lang Syne’, is a Scottish song. It was written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, literally meaning "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days", to remember old and new friends as the new year starts.

The UK is starting to employ electric commuter buses that are charged at each route end station through an inductive connection in the ground they park on. Each charge takes about 10 minutes, allowing the buses to run all day long.

How come you can travel north in a straight line until you go south, but when you go west you are always going west.

A local columnist, Doug Spiers (a local version of Dave Barry) as part of a list of OUT and IN today listed the following (for American readers please substitute Congress for Senate)

OUT - The Senate
IN - Hardened street criminals
Because - If someone is going to steal our money and act like they are above the law, we'd rather they didn't lie to our faces and pretend they are doing it to make the country a better place for everyone.

Sleep showers away cellular grime that builds up while the brain is awake. The brain pushes fluid in between its cells to flush out buildup products, such as protein pieces that form plaque in people with Alzheimer's disease.
Science News Magazine

There were 28 school shootings in all of 2013. In the first 14 school days of 2014 there have been at least 7 school shootings. It could be a very long year.

I came across an interesting web site the other day. It is maintained by the New York Times and it tracks water pollution violations over the entire United States. Here is the page generated for New York State. It is telling that for all the companies listed, and almost 25,000 violations, the total fines paid by all companies for all violations was under $10,000. By my math that comes to forty cents per violation. That's such a deal. They get to pollute, pollute, then pollute some more and there is effectively no penalty. Bloody amazing!

Biblical scholars have long been aware [that] many of the stories and accounts in the sacred book were not written by eyewitnesses, and according to new research, further evidence of that historical distance has appeared in the form of a hump-backed camel.

New research using radioactive-carbon dating techniques shows the animals weren't domesticated until hundreds of years after the events documented in the Book of Genesis. The research was published by Erez Ben-Yosef and Lidar Sapir-Hen, archaeologists from Tel Aviv University in Israel. They believe camels were not domesticated in the eastern Mediterranean until the 10th century B.C.

1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says

A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, according to a report out Friday from the National Science Foundation.

To the question "Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth," 26 percent of those surveyed answered incorrectly.

1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says

That's funny -- well maybe not (link). About 20% of American adults are functionally illiterate (link).

Yes, and I wonder how many answer wrong on purpose, thinking that's a dumb question.