Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fun Fact: Dr. Seuss wrote "Green Eggs and Ham" after a bet

Did you hear that Dr. Seuss wrote the infamous book, Green Eggs and Ham, after his editor bet him he couldn't write a book using 50 words or less?

The book uses exactly 50 words, but we don't know what Dr. Seuss won from the bet.

Here are a list of the 50 words: a, am, and, anywhere, are, be, boat, box, car, could, dark, do, eat, eggs, fox, goat, good, green, ham, here, house, I, if, in, let, like, may, me, mouse, not, on, or, rain, Sam, say, see, so, thank, that, the, them, there, they, train, tree, try, will, with, would, and you.

Bet you can't write a 50 word comment with all of those words :)

OMG Facts

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US Ambassador to Iraq coming to JMU Thursday

Dd you hear about the United States Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, coming to James Madison University this Thursday?

He's coming to speak about U.S. involvement in Iraq and the future of the Middle East country at 6:30 pm this Thursday, Dec 2, in Festival Conference room.

The presentation is entitled, "Iraq, The Way Forward."

Crocker is a career ambassador within the US Foreign Service and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, called Crocker "one of our very best foreign service officers."

Crocker is coming to our campus to discuss the challenges facing the US as it works to shift security operations to Iraq by Dec 31, 2011. President Obama told the nation combat operations would end on Aug 31, but there are still more than 50,000 troops stationed in the country.

Go to Festival on Thursday and meet the ambassador, ask questions and stay updated on our involvement in Iraq.

Ryan Crocker Bio
JMU article

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Facebook Taking Over Email, Google Taking Over Online Shopping

Did you hear about a) Facebook's the new messaging tool? and b) Google's launch of their new online shopping website?

A) Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new messaging program, which is a combination of IM, SMS and email. Users will have a mail address of ____@facebook.com and can send/receive all types of your messages in one location. They've called it a "convergent" modern messaging system.

How its different from traditional email:
  • Seamless messaging
  • Conversation history
  • Social inbox

B) Google launched an online shopping website, Boutiques.com! Its a personalized shopping website with a huge emphasis on celebrity style and personal profiles.

You can shop by celebrity, designer, retailer, trend, style genre, featured, popular or recent. Once you've looked at the different boutiques you can choose to "love" or "hate" any selected fashion items. After you've loved or hated a few items, Google starts to create a personalized boutique for you based on your preferences! Gotta love technology. Great timing for the holidays! Either for creating a wish list or shopping for others :)

US Magazine

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Sexiest Man Alive

Did you hear about People's Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive for 2010?

Sexiest Man Alive
It's Ryan Reynolds!

The 34-year-old Canadian stud has captured enough hearts, including People's, to snatch the title. He said of his new title, "This gives my family entree into teasing me for the rest of my life."

Reynolds has made his mark in over 33 movies/TV shows, including Just Friends, The Proposal, In Cold Blood, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, Blade: Trinity and many more.

Others who made the list include Jon Hamm, Kellan Lutz, Drake, Matthew Morrison, Jon Bon Jovi, Joe Manganiello, Jesse Williams, and more.

Watch Kim Kardashian host the airing of the special on ABC tonight at 10/9c. Yesterday, she intrigued me and probably thousands of other followers on Twitter when she uploaded a picture captioned, "Just left the set of PeopleMag Sexiest Man Alive special! Find out who he is tomorrow."
Hosting the special tonight!

Do we have any nominees for JMU's Sexiest Man Alive? ;)

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Random Fact

Did you hear that the MTV reality series, JERSEY SHORE, is called MACARONI RASCALS in Japan?

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Govenor of Cali Doesn't Care If You Smoke Weed (Or Not)

Did you hear about Arnold Schwarzenegger's opinion about Proposition 19?

The proposition would have legalized recreational marijuana use in California but did not pass. When he was on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Schwarzenegger commented that even though the bill didn't pass, nobody cares whether you smoke or not.

He says that one factor that affected Proposition 19 not being passed is that fact that he signed a bill last month that reduces the charge for a posession of up to an ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction.

He told Leno, "It makes [posession] from a misdemeanor to an infraction, which is like a speeding ticket. And no one cares if you smoke a joint or not."

Another factor for the thumbs down on passing the proposition is that the demographics this election were not right-Midterm elections showed a lot of older voters-not the population who favor changing marijuana laws.

Who knows if the proposition will come up again. "Propositions don't die because the idea is bad, it just dies because it is written wrong," Schwarenegger said.

How much do you know about marijuana? Take the quiz!

Just to clarify, some states have legalized marijuana for personal medicinial purposes only, but federal laws making it illegal always trump state laws. AKA it's still technically illegal everywhere in the U.S.


Christian Science Monitor
CBS news

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Monday, November 8, 2010

The Hidden Benefits of Exercise

Did you hear about all the ways that exercising benefits you and your life?

I know before I talked about how it helps you sleep, and I know you already know that exercising is good for you, but why? I love learning interesting facts like these, especially when I'm in my rut of no-motivation as the cold weather approaches. These are thanks to Fitness Magazine. Here are your words & facts of inspiration to get a move on, enjoy!

*As little as 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 days a week will add SIX YEARS to your life!*

As you work out:
  • Your lungs are getting stronger
  • Your motivation is at its peak (endorphins make you feel psyched and energized!)
  • You're fighting flab
Within one hour of exercise:
  • You're protecting yourself against colds, flu...BEING SICK! *Every sweat session you do can help strengthen your immune function for about 24 hours!*
  • You're feeling zen (apparently, the feeling that you get is "Stress? What stress?")
  • Fit Tip: Do intervals! *Women who did interval training in a recent study had a bigger boost in mood immediately following their workout than those who worked out at a steady pace*
  • You're blasting calories, even when you're resting
  • Fit Tip: Strength train at least twice a week so you will turbo charge your metabolism so you'll continue to burn calories for up to 38 hours
  • *Immediate food fix for after you work out and you feel light-headed or even nauseated: a banana, half a bagel or any high-carb food will refuel you.*
Within one day of exercise:
  • You're adding lean muscle
  • Your heart is healthier
  • You're a quick study (You're super alert and focused post-exercise. Hel-lo finals!)
  • Fit Tip: *After a workout is the perfect time to memorize a speech or tackle a tough project!*
Within one week of regular exercise:
  • Your risk of diabetes goes down
  • You're slimmer (duh)
  • You're getting stronger
  • Fit Tip: Once you can do 15 reps a set, switch to a weight that's 2 pounds heavier and go back to 10 reps. Then work your way back up to 15 again and repeat the process.
  • You're blasting belly fat. *After 4 weeks of regular workouts, your body is ditching flab and gaining muscle! Overweight people who took part in a 4 week program in an Australian study reduced ab flat by 12%!*
  • *To trim your tummy, do fewer crunches and more planks*
  • You've got more brainpower
WIthin one year of regular exercise:
  • Working out is way easier (your endurance can more than double in one year!)
  • Your heart rate is lower (your heart is pumping more efficiently)
  • You're a fat-melting machine (woah)
  • You've cut your cancer risk
  • You're adding years to your life!
  • You feel fantastic :)
See you at the gym!

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Death Penalty in CT for Horror Trial

Did you hear about Steven Hayes' verdict? He's been sentenced to the death penalty.

Mug shots of Hayes and Komisarjevsky
In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky are being charged with murder of Jennifer Hawke-Petit (48), Hayley Petit (17) and Michaela Petit (11). The terribly sad and tragic incident began when Komisarjevsky saw Hawke-Petit and her two daughters at Stop and Shop, followed them home, and then came back with Hayes in the middle of the night to rob their home. They invaded the home of the Petit family in Chesire, CT on July 23, 2007 and murdered Dr William Petit's wife and two daughters. 

They found Dr Petit asleep on the back porch, hit him with a baseball bat, tied his ankles and hands and then went on into the house to find valuables. When they found almost nothing they tied his wife and two daughters up in separate rooms with a pillowcase over their head, and Dr Petit down in the basement. The two men found bank statements with accounts of $20,000 and $30,000, so they decided to wait until the morning to take Hawke-Pitt to the bank.

When at the bank, Hawke-Pitt was to withdraw $15,000. Hayes took her to the bank while Komisarjevsky remained at the house with the two daughters. Hawke-Pitt managed to alert the clerk that the two men were holding her family hostage and the clerk called the police. Local police took criticism for not responding quickly enough; they showed up to the house 30 minutes after the clerk called. The police responded that they were surrounding the area with a SWAT team before approaching the house.
Petit Family, June 2007

When back at the house, Hayes and Komisarjevsky raped and strangled Hawke-Pitt and burned the house down with the two daughters in it. They both died of smoke inhalation. There was also evidence that Michaela had also been raped. Dr Petit managed escaped to alert the cops. When he reached his neighbors' home they claimed he was unrecognizable because of how badly he had been beaten.

Hayes and Komisarjevsky were caught when they ran into a police baracade. 

Over three years later the men are facing trial, and the first, Steven Hayes, has been sentenced to the death penalty. He will be joining nine other men awaiting execution. The last time somebody was executed in Connecticut was serial killer Michael Ross in 2005.

Governor Jodi Rell agrees with the sentence. "The crimes that were committed on that brutal July night were so far out of the range of normal understanding that now, more than three years later, we still find it difficult to accept that they happened in one of our communities."


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Just Call Me Rachael Ray: Recipe #4

The recipe of choice from Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals was:
Sweet Potato-Topped Sheperd's Pie

Layers: sirloin, peas & sweet potatoes

My mom says that anybody can cook if you can read, which is true: all I'm doing with these 30 minute meals is following Miss Ray's recipes (almost) to the T. But cooking these recipes is teaching me how to spice meals up and give flavor to things I would not normally think of, and trying new ingredients and food items I definitely did not think I would ever be eating. Like onions? I like them now. Not CRAZY about them, but I can handle them every now and then, like in this Sheperd's pie recipe.

I've grown up eating Sheperd's pie with corn as the main vegetable, so using peas was the first of many differences in this Sheperd's pie vs the one I've been used to for 20 years.

Sweet Potato-Topped Sheperd's Pie
Things that made this Sheperd's pie tasty: the gravy (made with butter, flour, beef stock, worcestershire & dijon mustard), the spices to flavor the meat (onion, garlic, sage & salt and pepper), and the sweet potatoes (mixed with the butter, eggs and paprika).

I'm pretty sure I almost had the 30 minute part of the recipe FINALLY down!...until I was draining the boiled sweet potatoes and dropped one down the garbage disposal. (oops.) Luckily, Elayna (rooms) had an extra one conveniently in our fridge! So I boiled the lone potato which added about another 20 minutes to the recipe, which is probably why it was pretty hard to mash the potatoes when it came time too. Lesson of the recipe: Block the garbage disposal (or any drain for that matter) when draining your food!

Alright, here's your ingredient list and prices:
(Only prices for stuff I had to buy this week, Martin's)

3 large or 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks: (wow, realized this literally as I just typed it. I didn't cut them into chunks, which is DEFINITELY the reason they were so hard to mash.) $2.75
Salt and pepper
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon paprika or sweet smoked paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
8 ounces cremini or white mushrooms, quartered: $.70
1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin: $5.80
1 onion, chopped
2 large gloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh sage, thinly sliced, or 2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage (about 2/3 palmful): (1 bottle) $2.59
1 cup frozen peas: $3.29
2 tablespoons flour: $2.99
3/4 cup dark beer (optional)
1 cup beef stock (1 1/2 cups if not using beer): $2.79
About 3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce: (1 bottle) $1.49
2 tablespoons dijon mustard: $1.75
A little chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Grand Total: $24.15

Judges of the week! 
The meal was an overall pretty good meal. Can see this being served as a dish in a buffet style holiday party (Hint hint! Thanksgiving t minus 18 days!)

Bon appetit everybody!

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010


ATTENTION all Smartphone users!

Did you hear about KIK messenger?

For the Droid and the iPhone people who have been insanely jealous of Blackberry's BBM...the day is finally here when all of us can interact! (Besides through regular SMS texting.) KIK is just like BBM but can include iPhone, iPod, Android or Blackberry users.


Kik officially went viral on Sunday night (10/31/10). If you've seen The Social Network, Kik experienced a situation very similar to when Mark and Eduardo created Facemash; the word spread fast and intensely enough to cause a crash. After a few hours of fixing the problem, Kik employees have gotten it back on track. Downloads are now available and Kik is up and running!

Chart of Kik's registration/downloads per 30 mins. Click to enlarge!

To download this to your phone you can go to Kik's website, or on your phone go to http://www.kik.com/m and it'll set you right up.

Believe me, my iPhone friends are so happy they can be a part of the BBM clique now! :)

Oh yeah, and it's free. Do you really need any more convincing? Get downloading!

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Monday, November 1, 2010

No Shave November

For the record, I do not
consider this picture true.

Did you hear about No Shave November?

I'm 99.9% sure that you have, but I figured nobody actually knows more about it than it being the dreaded period of time where our boys' faces disappear. So, here we go. Laying it out. Rules, history, and WHY guys think this is cool.

First of all, the rules:
  • You do not shave in November.
  • You DO NOT shave in November.
  • If you shave, you are out.
  • No trimming, no waxing.
  • No shaving can go on as long as you want it to.
  • Be part of the "in" crowd by doing what all the cool kids are doing.
  • Real women like real men.
  • Save money on shaving cream, razors and other accoutrement
  • Save time getting ready in the morning.
The history of No Shave November is a bit hazy. According to Too Shy to Stop, November has unofficially become Testicular Cancer Awareness month. The lineage of No Shave November began in Australia and New Zealand. Guys would grow a mustache for the month to support prostate cancer awareness and various related organizations, and they called it Movember.

Most males today work in an environment that requires a clean shave, so the majority of the participants in No Shave November has been cast upon us: college students.

Other names you may not hear about are Novembeard or Neck-Beard November.

This is actually a pretty funny website for the purpose of convincing guys to grow a beard. Click here for "fun in December" facial hair style ideas. Oy vey.
HOORAY, it's also Movember: (growing a mustache instead of a beard...for an actual cause)

Movember is when guys grow a mustache as they raise money for prostate cancer, and it began in 2003, inspired by breast cancer awareness efforts. Last year, 'staches across the world raised $42 million! Citystache is a fundraising contest that helps fund this cause. As of right now, San Diego is in first place with 23 t-shirts sold. Let the games begin.

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2010 Top 10 Halloween Costumes

Did you hear what the top 10 Halloween costumes were this holiday weekend?

The infamous cast of Jersey Shore

According to the Spirit Halloween store, here are the top 10:

1. The cast of Jersey Shore
2. Vampires
3. Lady GaGa
4. Gumby and Pokey throwback styles
5. Iron Man 2
6. Toy Story 3
7. Nintendo Characters Super Mari and Luigi (25th Anniversary)
8. Flappers and Gangsters
9. Star Wars
10. Pirates

From perezhilton.com

So...we know what the regular people were dressing up as, but who do the stars disguise themselves as? Um, Perez Hilton was Snooki. Check out galleries of other celebs costumed up at the following sites!

Hope everyone had a great holiday, and happy November!

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