There was an error in this gadget

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Followers

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bill Gates Has Started a New Company, bgC3

Written by Marshall Kirkpatrick


bgC3.jpgBill Gates has started a mysterious new company, called bgC3, possibly to be focused on creating catalyst business ideas to spin off to Microsoft, the Gates Foundation or elsewhere. Little is known about the company, which doesn't appear to have a public web page, but a fair number of details have been ferreted out by the Seattle area tech reporters Todd Bishop, Eric Engleman and John Cook.

The three well-known tech and venture capital writers posted the story to launch their new tech blog TechFlash. It's a sweet scoop by a group of former mainstream reporters bravely striking out into the blogosphere.

TechFlash says that "whatever the ultimate role of the company, the circumstances surrounding its creation provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the new era of Gates' life." The company has a federal trademark as a think-tank and is classified under broad terms that include "scientific and technological services," "industrial analysis and research," and "design and development of computer hardware and software."

Sources told Bishop that the small office near Gates' home is filled with high-tech Microsoft paraphernalia, including one of the touch-screen tables used as a guest book.

We're excited to see what Gates does with the company and we'll be watching these top-notch reporters' coverage as it unfolds on their new site.

Original here

10 Things You Should Know about Cheating

by Nick
If soap operas and the media are to be believed, then everyone is getting their leg over everywhere.. all the time. In fact, do you know where your partner is right now? Here are 10 facts about cheating, you may not have known.

1.) Cheating is not as common as you might think. 1 in 5 men have strayed at least once during their married lives, and that figure drops to half in women.
2.) Men are better at spotting cheating spouses with 50% finding out, whereas only 30% of women can identify a rat.
3.) Are you sure you want to confess? Affairs are the biggest cause for divorce.
4.) Those who divorce rarely marry the person they are having the affair with. For example, Dr. Jan Halper’s study of successful men (executives, entrepreneurs, professionals) found that only 3 percent of the 4,100 successful men surveyed eventually married their lovers.
5.) Frank Pittman says there are four types of infidelity: accidental infidelity, the romantic affair, the marital arrangement, and the philanderer.
6.) 31% of people have had an online conversation that has led to real-time sex.
7.) 2 out of 3 women and 3 out of 4 men admit they think about makin’ bacon with co-workers.
8.) Although flirting doesn’t necessarily lead to horizontal hula, 86% of men and 81% of women admit they routinely flirt with the opposite sex.
9.) 2 to 3% of all children are the product of an affair. And most of these children are unknowingly raised by men who are not their biological fathers. Remember, no love without the glove…
10.) 75% of the cases of sudden death during sexual activity involved … extra-marital sexual intercourse.

There Goes My Hero: An Interview With Brad Sciullo, The Dude Who Wolfed Down The 20-Pound Burger

By Ryan Corazza

If you happened to notice, I became rather enamored with the dude that ate the 20-pound burger last week. I mean: look at that burger. It’s just awesome. (Though, not as awesome as some of these.) So, since I was curious about some of the particulars surrounding the event, I tracked Brad Sciullo down, the 21-year-old superstar that accomplished the feat, for an interview. What follows is a good chunk of our phone conversation from earlier this afternoon.

How did you eat it? Bare hands? Fork and knife?

Bare hands, bare hands. I cut pieces off of it. I started with taking the top bun off and ate the toppings off the bun, so that I could use it to dip the meat if I felt like it. Then, I started to cut wedges off of the patty and I’d eat them — that included the cheese of course. And after I got done with that, I moved on to the debris of the patty as well as the onions and lettuce and all that stuff on the bottom of the bun. That was sort of like eating a big taco salad. After I scraped all that off the bun, it was on to the bottom of the bun and I was ready to roll.

What does this do to your body?

It acts as an insulator — like wall insulation. If you didn’t have insulation in your walls, it would be colder in your house or it would be hotter in your house. You’d experience up and down temperature changes. But by insulating the walls, you can regulate heat and you can regulate the temperature. You go up into the attic with full insulation and nothing closing it off — it’s quite hot up there no matter what the temperature is outside. So that’s what it does to your body.

What about, like, um, going to the bathroom? Is it a different experience?

I drank nine Diet Cokes, so I took a few bathroom breaks of course. On the third one, I just dumped my head in the sink to cool off.

What about the day after? Was it normal? Was it bad?

It all eventually (comes out). By the time you wake up the next morning, you feel different.

Was there a crowd around?

Oh yeah. In fact, the regulars were there and they heard that somebody was going to try the burger and when they realized I had got through half the patty in about 40 minutes, which is really quicker than anyone’s done, and it’s a two-man challenge mind you — so they said “you know, there might be something up.” People came in and they continued to stay; some people would leave and come back and everybody was watching at the end of it, especially when they realized I was going to go ahead and finish it. They were big supporters; it was a fantastic crowd. The Denny’s (Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub) staff was great. They made sure I had plenty of paper towels, asked me if I was good and gave me fresh drinks.

What would you say to people that think your feat is gross or disgusting?

I would start by asking them if they had any particular athletic interest, and say they told me jogging. And I’d say, “Well, what if you jogged 20 miles when normally you only jog four. Wouldn’t you try to strive for that?”

To me, it’s the accomplishment. This is a passion of mine; this is my sport. Just like they would try and compete to win a marathon of some sort, I am trying to compete and defeat this burger as an accomplishment — it’s another thing under my belt. And I also can test my skill with it. I never thought my jaws would have held up as well as they did and of course they were extremely sore afterwards. It felt like I got beat up. My capacity I always trusted.

No one had done it. That’s another thing: what if you were the first jogger to ever jog 20 miles? That makes it an even bigger deal. Swimming, jogging, tennis, baseball, football … there are all these accomplishments there. This one was one of mine. This was a competitive eating accomplishment.

So no one had ever eaten this burger before (the Beer Barrel Belly Bruiser) or just a burger this big in general?

In general. In fact, two people. Like I said, this is a two-man challenge and no one had even come close before. The biggest burger anyone had finished (at Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub) was the Ye’ Olde 96er (six pounds plus toppings and the bun) which is the burger below this particular burger.

So then you had this burger, which was a myth in the eating world. We all talked about it, and we all thought it would be fun to take on some day. But I said to myself “this is the kind of stuff, this is why people don’t go further in sports, when they believe that none of this can happen. When they believe (someone) like Michael Phelps (can’t happen). Who’d of thought a swimmer could take all the medals like that? Nobody. It was a myth. Everybody thought ‘I’m good at this event or that, boy it would be nice to take those medals.’”

Well, Michael Phelps decided he was going to do it and he did it. It wouldn’t have mattered how physically ready I was for this — it wouldn’t have mattered in the least. If for one second I said to myself “I can’t do this or I don’t want to do this or maybe I shouldn’t do this,” I would have been done. I’d have felt sick, I’d have felt terrible, I’d have been in just awful shape mentally and physically if I’d given up the zone.

The only time I talked is when I wasn’t eating and that was about ten minutes of the time.

Final thoughts from Brad:

It’s opening some eyes. This is great for all competitive eaters. Everyone of us is going to benefit from this because this raises the bar. I’m guaranteeing you that from this day forward bigger numbers will be put up — numbers like no one’s ever seen. Things that make this look ridiculously easy because everyone’s going to realize that this is possible. That someone like myself — who isn’t as good as the top-ranked eaters — can do this this is going to send everyone into a frenzy. And it’s going to be great for the sport in general.

And what’s next:

I’m either going to go back to Denny’s and eat every one of their burgers on their menu in the same day, which will equal about what that burger weighed. I’ll eat the two-pounder, the three-pounder, and the Ye’ Olde 96er in the same day. Or I’m going to do a pizza competition.

Original here

Terrorist watch lists shorter than previously reported

From Jeanne Meserve
CNN Homeland Security Correspondent

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The federal government's terrorist watch lists are far shorter than have been reported, the secretary of homeland security said Wednesday.

Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, seen here in May, discussed terror watch lists Wednesday.

Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, seen here in May, discussed terror watch lists Wednesday.

Michael Chertoff revealed for the first time that 2,500 people are on the "no fly" list and only about 10 percent of those are U.S. citizens. Individuals on this list are barred from boarding aircraft because intelligence indicates they pose a threat to aviation.

Fewer than 16,000 people are designated "selectees," he said, and most are not Americans. These people represent a less specific security threat and receive extra scrutiny, but are allowed to fly.

The American Civil Liberties Union has estimated more than 1 million names have been added to the lists since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The FBI, which manages the Terrorist Screening Database, said in August that there were about 400,000 people on its list, but that approximately 95 percent of those people were not U.S. citizens.

But even if there are only 18,500 names on the no fly and selectee lists, thousands of people not on the lists are mistaken for those who are. They are often subjected to extra security at airports because their names are similar to ones on the lists.

A government program unveiled Wednesday is aimed at addressing that problem.

Under the program, Secure Flight, travelers will be asked to provide their full name, date of birth and gender when making airline reservations. The encrypted information will then be transmitted to the Transportation Security Administration, which will run it against the watch lists. The Department of Homeland Security believes the few pieces of additional information will dramatically reduce the number of people falsely identified as being on a watch list.

Currently, individual airlines compare the names on manifests with the no-fly and selectee lists. Their performance has been uneven, according to the Transportation Security Administration. Chertoff says having the government do the matching should improve efficiency and security.

The ACLU welcomed the privacy protections in the program, but Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU's Technology and Liberty Program, said it is based on "a hopelessly bloated watch list that has over a million names on it."

"It still is going to result in countless Americans being either denied boarding to a plane or being stopped [and] aggressively searched at airports," he said.

Original here

Want a Chimp? Endangered Animals for Sale Online

By Alexis Madrigal

Baby_chimp

Maybe there really isn't anything that you can't buy online.

Endangered animals, including chimps, marmosets and leopard cubs, are being bought and sold online, according to a new report.

Over six one-week observation periods earlier this year, the International Fund for Animal Welfare found more than 1,400 live, exotic animals being traded online. IFAW data released to Wired.com revealed that most of the advertisements were for birds, but in the United States alone, 13 primates, five big cats and two rhinos were offered.

Barbara Cartwright, who heads up the IFAW's efforts to restrict wildlife trade on the internet, said her organization believes that many online advertisements lead to offline transactions beyond the reach of their tracking.

"If I put up an ad for a chimpanzee, you call me, and then we can talk about what I really have," Cartwright said, describing a possible offline networking scenario between illegal animal traders.

While many animals are legal to trade, endangered species are not. The IFAW's Killing with Keystrokes report found that the internet's global reach has enabled buyers and sellers of rare species — and the products derived from them — to find each other more easily. As is often the case, regulators have been a step behind the marketplace in their efforts to stop illegal activities.

Last night, ahead of the release of the report, eBay instituted a complete ban on the sale of elephant ivory through the auction service. EBay did not cite the report in announcing the ban and did not return solicitations for comment. Nonetheless, the IFAW hailed the action as a victory.

Stamping out the live animal trade could prove more difficult, however, as the number and nature of websites involved in the trade is different. Whereas most of the ivory trade could be directly traced to eBay, live animal trafficking takes place across dozens of American, British and Russian websites, largely forums and classified ad sites.

While the United States had the largest number (1,034) of live animal advertisements, Russia had the most varied list of species including two types of tigers, a crocodile, an ocelot and a bonobo.

Cartwright said that extensive efforts were undertaken to ensure the animals advertised in the IFAW were not hoaxes or scams, but represented an actual animal being sold.

Original here

Goldfish gets voter registration material

The only "agent of change" Princess ever supported was the person who refreshed the water in her fishbowl. Now Lake County election officials want to investigate out how the dead goldfish received voter registration material.

Paperwork sent to a "Princess Nudelman" likely came from the "Women's Voices, Women Vote" project, said Lake County Clerk Willard Helander, a Republican, who said she has spotted problems with nearly 1,000 voter registrations this year.

"I am just stunned at the level of people compromising the integrity of the voting process," Helander said Monday. She wants to require some voters to show IDs at the polls if she finds that problems, including nonexistent addresses and questionable signatures or registrations, are clustered in certain precincts.

Beth Nudelman of Buffalo Grove, who owned the fish, said Princess may have ended up on a mailing list because the family once filled in the pet's name when they got a second phone line for a computer.

"There was no fraud involved," said Nudelman, a Democrat and supporter of presidential candidate Barack Obama. "This person is a dead fish."

In August, Women's Voices, Women Vote sent nearly 1 million mailings to Illinois households using a list that mistakenly included some pets, said Sarah Johnson, a spokeswoman for the not-for-profit Washington, D.C.-based group that seeks to encourage more voting among single women.

The mailing list, purchased from a commercial vendor, included names from warranties, magazine subscriptions and other sources where people may have filled in a pet's name, Johnson said. The group attempted to screen out the obvious ones.

"Fido's not going to be left on there, but if a cat is named is Polly, she may be," Johnson said. Princess could be a person's name, she insisted. "I went to high school with two Princesses."

Nudelman said the only address on the registration card was the Lake County clerk's office. She said she wrote election officials a humorous note explaining why the fish was ineligible to vote that began "We regret to inform you ..."

The Illinois mailing generated 63,500 returned voter applications, Johnson said. Applicants were instructed to fill in a driver's license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number so election officials would be able to validate their identification.

"We obviously don't want to add more work for any election official," Johnson said. "At the end of the day, our goal is same as theirs: To give as many people as possible the chance to make voices heard in our democracy."

Steve Sturm, legal counsel for the Illinois State Board of Elections, said the mailing generated numerous complaints from residents "throughout the state, from Cairo all the way to Chicago."

Helander said she knows such crackdowns have been criticized by activist groups as disguised efforts to discourage turnout, but she said "it would help us determine that we are having a fair election."

Lake County election officials contacted Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office Monday afternoon, said spokeswoman Robyn Ziegler.

The Lake County sheriff's office and the Lake County state's attorney's office were "already working on it" and were the appropriate agencies to investigate, Ziegler said.

"If they need or want our assistance we would be happy to help," she said.

In the final weeks before Nov. 4 election, the McCain-Palin campaign has raised questions about voter registration practices of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. ACORN is accused of submitting false voter registration forms for some of the 1.3 million young people, minorities, and poor and working-class voters it has registered. The FBI has joined nearly a dozen states in investigating.

Women's Voices has worked with ACORN in the past, but the August mailing "has nothing to do with" ACORN, Johnson said.

--Associated Press

Original here

Emissions from burping cows 'higher than family car'

AP

Cows produce large amounts of methane as they digest their food and then belch out most of it through their mouths

A herd of cows belches out more climate-changing gas than a family car, a university researcher said today.

Dr Andy Thorpe, an economist at the University of Portsmouth, explained that 200 cows burp the annual equivalent amount of methane to the energy produced by a family car being driven 111,850 miles..

The amount of methane produced by a herd was the same as the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced by a car burning 21,400 litres of petrol, he said.

He added that while CO2 emissions have increased by 31 per cent during the past 250 years, methane, which has a higher warming potential and a longer lifetime in the atmosphere, has increased by 149 per cent during the same period.

Dr Thorpe added that methane in the atmosphere was believed to be responsible for one-fifth of global warming experienced since 1750.

The main animal producers are domestic animals, particularly cows, sheep, goats and camels which have an additional stomach, he said.

They produce large amounts of methane as they digest their food and then belch out most of it through their mouths.

A dairy cow in New Zealand will typically produce around 176lb (80kg) of methane per year.

Dr Thorpe explained that much of the methane increase was taking place in the developing world where cows and other domestic animals are often bred for food.

He said: "Methane emission growth, like CO2 growth, has been increasing exponentially in the developing world due to a rise in incomes leading to an increased demand for meat, and the 'hamburger connection' where developing countries make a lucrative profit supplying meat to developed countries.

"If anything, methane emissions in the developing world are likely to increase."

Dr Thorpe said methane was covered by the Kyoto Protocol on climate change but much of the developing world had not signed up to the agreement.

He explained that up to 75 per cent of animal methane emissions came from developing countries, with India and Brazil being the leading producers.

He said efforts were being made to reduce the emissions, including providing different feed and using vaccinations, but added that they were in early stages of research.

And he said there could be problems with downsizing herds as working animals could end up being replaced by petrol-driven vehicles and a reduction in meat could lead to a "disastrous" increase in demand for fish and cereals.

Dr Thorpe, whose paper has been published in the journal Climatic Change, said: "Developing countries are exempt from the Kyoto Protocol's bid to limit emissions so there is currently little incentive for them to sacrifice foreign exchange earnings and/or eat less meat by herd downsizing."

Each year, around 600 teragrammes of methane is produced worldwide with between 55 per cent and 70 per cent coming from man-made sources.

Original here


Woman, 80, warned she faces prosecution for feeding birds in her garden

By John Bingham

June Coton, 80, from Coventry has been told to stop feeding birds in her back garden or face prosecution
June Coton from Coventry has been told to stop feeding birds in her back garden Photo: CATER NEWS

Mrs Coton, who has been putting food out for the bluetits, starlings and sparrows in her garden for 20 years, was warned that she could face legal action from her local council if she does not desist from feeding the "feral" birds.

Officials said that a neighbour had complained that her "overfeeding" had led to large groups of birds congregating on the street creating "environmental" problems and damaging property.

Coventry City Council said it was considering serving an abatement notice - similar to orders given to neighbours who play loud music late at night - to curtail her bird feeding. If she fails to comply she could be prosecuted.

But the RSPB questioned whether birds could damage buildings and said it was "vital" to feed garden birds at this time of year when food is scare, particularly in light of a marked decline in numbers.

Mrs Coton, a great-grandmother, who lives in Coventry, received the letter last week after returning home from a spell in hospital.

She insisted she has only one bird table, one bird bath and three small bird feeders filled with nuts and balls of seed in her small back garden.

"It's a harmless pastime that millions of people do up and down the country and which I have done for 20 years or so," she said.

"I like seeing my garden filled with wild birds, I plant a wide variety of shrubs and flowers in the summer so there is a lot of life there.

"To threaten to drag me before the courts and fine me is nothing short of ridiculous."

She went on: "They said I was 'excessively' feeding the birds but that's rubbish, I get about 20 starlings, a few sparrows, black birds and bluetits and the occasional robin in any one day.

"They don't cause much of a mess and they stay in my garden only. There is a chap who lives nearby who keeps pigeon lofts but nothing has been said to him."

Farrah Stevens, an RSPB spokeswoman, said she had never heard of groups of birds causing damage to property or buildings.

"Birds are becoming more reliant on people putting out supplementary foods, like seed and peanuts, in feeders and on bird tables," she said.

"It's really important that people only put out enough food that will be eaten by the birds in their gardens in one day. This is better for the health of the birds and will also help deter vermin.

"June is not alone in wanting to do this - almost two-thirds of people across the UK also feed the birds in their gardens."

But defending the warning a council spokesman said: "We have a duty to respond to complaints and advise people on environmental issues.

"While legal action is an option where an environmental nuisance is being caused it is very much a last resort.

"In this case we have simply sent Mrs Coton an advisory letter to make sure she is aware of the problem and to ask her to reduce the amount of food she is putting out for the birds in her garden."

Original here

Miss Louisiana Teen USA Stripped of Title

by TMZ Staff

Lindsay EvansLindsey Evans, Miss Louisiana Teen USA, is about a pound lighter, because she just lost her crown.

We just got an advance copy of a statement that will be released from Paula Miles, President of RPM, sponsor of the LA. pageant.

"Lindsey Evans has been part of an organization that believes in opportunities when earned and consequences when warranted. Due to recent circumstances, Lindsey has been relieved of her duties as Miss Louisiana Teen USA 2008 effective immediately."

Evans was arrested this weekend after she and a group of friends allegedly tried to dine-and-dash -- all over a $46.07 bill. Problem -- the pageant queen left her purse at the scene of the crime. She went back to retrieve it, and was busted when cops found pot in the purse.

Here's the insult to injury. She only had 10 days left on her reign. But pageant officials didn't have the patience to wait.

Miss Nevada USA, eat your heart out.Miss Washington: Click to view!

Original here

6 Of Your Favorite Things That Are Secretly Making You Fat

By Malcolm Christiansen

Obesity is rampant. The devastating cocktail of fast food and sedentary lifestyle has made the western world look like a visit to the Hutt palace, and we're coming for you next Asia!

But this article isn't about junk food. You know you shouldn't crumble a bag of Oreos over your breakfast nachos. These are six seemingly innocent things that fly under the radar, and crash land right on your ass.

#6.
Your Caffeine Addiction

"Addiction" might be a tad dramatic seeing as how there isn't actually any hard evidence that caffeine is addictive, but we're willing to stake our reputation as Internet doctors that pretty much everybody reading this has had a liquid stimulant today. There are casual and hard-core caffeine users, but both can find themselves getting fatter by the day.

The casual drinkers disguise their stimulant in layers of crushed ice and whipped cream. This gets to be a problem when drinks like Starbucks' famous Frappuccino have around 500 calories per cup. Even worse, the human brain has a logical disconnect when it comes to liquid calories. That is to say, it doesn't acknowledge them at all.

So for instance, a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut has 610 calories. Therefore, your Starbucks beverage is like a little pizza transformed into a little fruity coffee with training-wheels. The difference is that the pizza will make you feel full. The Frappuccino won't.


You, as an unsatisfied, horse-faced Frappuccino-drinker.

Then you've got the hardcore caffeine users, who prefer high-energy beverages with names like Rockstar and Monster and Red Bull and many other things the drinker will never actually resemble. They may also drink black coffee or espresso. The hardcore drinker just wants the quick energy rush.

Now, while those drinks don't have the pizza-scale calories of the Starbucks drink up there, it doesn't matter because Caffeine has so many inventive methods of fattening you up that we could've named this article "6 Ways Caffeine Is Making Your Ass Resemble A Pile Of Damp Towels."

The biggest thing caffeine does is jack your stress level through the roof, which steers your metabolism straight into "Survival/Conservation" mode. While it's doing that, it also increases your appetite, which makes you seek a whole pile of comfort foods to swallow in order to cope with that stress we just mentioned. And while it's doing that, caffeine will also be running around your body fucking with your hormones and raising your cholesterol and basically just being a complete dick.

What we're trying to say is that the only reason a can of Red Bull hasn't gained sentience and murdered your entire family is because doing that probably wouldn't make you any fatter.

#5.
Saving Money

All that careful, thrifty shopping you're doing isn't only making you fatter, but it's also probably wasting your money. You can bulk-shop in two different ways; you can either buy a single huge unit of a foodstuff (say, an eight-gallon tub of pretzels) or you can buy a whole bunch of single-serving packages (a pallet of 48 juiceboxes.)

What you're thinking at the time of purchase: "For the price of one trip to a restaurant, I can have a year's worth of pretzels and juiceboxes!" You then cart your purchases home and immediately start devouring them at twice the rate you would if you didn't have so damn much of them (according to a survey published in the Journal of Marketing Research).

This foodthusiasm lasts for about a week, after which your insides are so clogged by juice and pretzels that every time you see their hateful forms squatting in your cabinet your throat seizes shut and your gut fills with bile. And thus it is that your smart purchase migrates its way to the back of your pantry while you go and flush out the pretzels with a cheeseburger.


This panda thinks he's laughing all the way to the bank, when in fact he is going to the emergency room (he has diabetes.)

#4.
Air Conditioning

"But Cracked," we hear you crying, "our air conditioning? You've already taken away our Red Bull! Surely keeping cool can't be making me fatter!" We thought the same thing. But, we were wrong (and fat) again.

The body has to burn energy to maintain its temperature. Make it too cold or too hot, and the body has to burn calories to adjust. But put the body in a room that's 72 degrees all the time, and those processes don't run. No energy is burned and no calories are spent.


This guy's taking it a little far, but he has the general idea.

This energy burning varies from person to person, but it's generally works out to a couple hundred calories a day, which adds up over the lazy summer months. And that's not even the whole story, according to a report published in the International Journal of Obesity, whose valiant researchers of all things pudge-related recently found a link between being hot and not eating very much. Go figure, right?

Though now that we think about it, all these researchers could probably save a lot of time and ink by just getting together and publishing one huge report entitled It's Official: Studies Confirm That Misery Takes Fat Off And Keeps It Off.

#3.
Your Friends

It's no secret that your friends secretly hate you. They're probably making fun of you behind your back, and having sex with your girlfriend right now. But could they be subliminally influencing your eating habits, to make you less attractive than they are? Just so they'll look thinner by comparison?

Yes. You should confront them about this immediately.

After all, science has your back. Okay, maybe they aren't actively conspiring to shove food down your unwilling gullet (though we wouldn't rule it out completely). However, in a study that the Psychological Bulletin briefly titled "Effects of the Presence of Others on Food Intake: A Normative Interpretation," it was discovered that each additional person at the dinner table means another 20% or so consumed by all present.

Think about it: assuming you actually like the people you're eating with, chances are you're going to engage in some form of pleasant conversation over the meal. A happy mind is a distracted mind, one that pays less attention to food intake and feelings of fullness.

Of course there's also the way people reinforce each others' bad behavior ("No desert for me. Unless you wanted something... okay, waiter, we're both having the bacon ice cream cake").

Since these folks are your pals, you're probably going to want to linger over your meal, get a dessert or some booze, or coffee. Three slices of stale cheesecake, a bottle of vinegary red, and 90 minutes later and you find yourself wishing for larger pants (when you should probably just wish for healthier friends.)

#2.
Your Mom

Remember when your mother told you to clean your plate? You know, because of those starving kids in Africa? Most of us are programmed to eat until we see the bottom of the dish.

But why are we still following Mom's advice well into adulthood? Well, basically your stomach is an idiot. It has absolutely no way of quantifying exactly how hungry you are. Your brain is the smart one, it handles the numbers and shit. Except for the little fact that your brain has no idea how hungry you are either, because your stomach, the stupid one, is pretty much completely in charge of the whole diet operation.

It takes your stomach about twenty minutes to even signal to your brain that it has received food. Having no other information to work with, your brain takes one look at the food you've piled on your plate and thinks to itself "Shit, I guess that looks about right."

Just ask Cornell Food and Brand Lab, who performed a study/prank involving bottomless soup bowls and unsuspecting restaurant patrons (the best kind!). Some diners were given regular bowls of tomato soup, while others were given bowls connected to tanks of soup which was piped invisibly into the bottom of the dish.

The diners eating from the regular bowls consumed an average of nine ounces per person, about the equivalent of a regular can of soup. Diners eating from the bottomless bowls wolfed down at least twice as much, some devouring more than a quart.

The study stops at this point, but we assume that these patrons didn't actually stop eating until soup was pouring so readily from every one of their orifices that no more could be forced in, at which point the researchers giggled and prepared to upload a video to YouTube.

#1.
Using the Internet

Yeah, yeah, we know, we can hear you now: "Holy smokes! You mean that sitting nearly motionless for hours on end isn't very good for me?! Be sure to let me know when you work out the whole 'water wet, sky blue' thing, assholes." It's more complicated than that. So quit it with the sass.

There are these neat little communiques between your stomach and your brain called "orosensory signals of satiation." They're the signals your stomach sends off when it's full to let the brain know when it's time to stop shovelling Cheetos down.

Unfortunately, orosensory signals are like anemic little schoolgirls when pitted against all the other things that constantly vie for your brain's attention, and have a nasty habit of getting shoved aside by bigger, stronger signals. Distracting signals like these clog up your brain all the time when you're doing something fun, like surfing the net.


Imagine that the cameraman is your brain. Your stomach is the guy with his hands in the air.

So you're sitting there, eating chips with one hand and moving the mouse with the other. Have you had four handfuls, or five? How full was the bag when you started? Don't ask your stomach, it's retarded. And your brain is too busy handling the sensory information provided by that .gif of the dramatic hamster to care.

So that pretty much leaves... well, no one. According to a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the damage works out to eating about fifteen percent more of your snack while distracted. You might as well have a monitor that fires little sausages into your mouth.

Uh, we're going to have to stop now. We have a patent application to fill out.

Avoid being fat and a obnoxious by reading 5 Douchebag Behaviors Explained by Science. Or find out about what most of you have in store in 6 Terrifying Things They Don't Tell You About Childbirth.

Original here

Plastic Surgeon General Warns Of Small Breasts Epidemic

The National Center for Cosmetic Enhancement rails against A-cups.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA—According to a report released Monday by U.S. plastic surgeon general Dr. Louis T. Saddler, an alarming number of American women are suffering from dangerously small breasts.

The Office of the Plastic Surgeon General—headed by a presidential appointee tasked with monitoring the national aesthetic, alerting the public to any small flaws, and offering a wide range of affordable, noninvasive laser resurfacing options—first addressed the countrywide plague of undersized breasts in the mid-1980s by demanding that manufacturers of A- through C-cup bras place large warning labels on their products informing female consumers of the potential risk of having deficient bosoms. Since taking the position in 2001, Dr. Saddler has continued these education efforts, launching several ad campaigns and personally reaching out to women all across the nation.

Enlarge Image Small Breasts Speak Out

"The undersized breasts problem in the United States has reached crisis level," Saddler said during a press conference held at the National Centers for Rhinoplasty and Microdermabrasion. "Unless they receive immediate cosmetic treatment, millions of women in this country will lose the attention of their male acquaintances completely, and some may never be able to land husbands or, if they are somehow already married, keep their husbands' interest."

Added Saddler, "I urge all Americans to educate themselves about the differences between silicone and saline, and contact my secretary Linda to set something up."

According to information found on the plastic surgeon general's website, there are several easily identifiable indications that a woman may be afflicted with Chronic Breast Deficiency, or CBD. These include the inability to fill out tight sweaters, as well as invisibility when in proximity to women who have large breasts. Females with this disorder may also experience a troubling absence of back pain.

Despite impressive advances in augmentation mammoplasty in recent years, breast smallness continues to be a scourge on the female population, in some part due to the difficulty many women have in recognizing the symptoms. According to Saddler, some can live with a severe chest deficiency for years without realizing that they have a problem.

"A woman who suspects that she may have this condition can verify it with an extremely quick, normally painless test," said Saddler, later adding that symptoms such as a fluid, natural movement of the bosom or any breast shape other than a perfectly round, rock-hard grapefruit should also serve as definitive warning signs. "It's as simple as consulting a trained professional such as a strip-club bouncer or licensed drywaller to assess your personal risk."

"I cannot stress enough how important it is for women who believe they already have large breasts to remember that they can almost always benefit from having even larger breasts," Saddler added.

Citing statistics showing that small breasts strike women of every age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, and that every region of the United States is uniformly affected with the exception of Southern California, the plastic surgeon general stressed that a nation of under-breasted women is "everyone's problem." In an attempt to reach out to as many citizens as possible, including those not directly afflicted, the Office of the Plastic Surgeon General has released a series of public service announcements that emphasize the important role men can play in helping to turn the tide of the epidemic.

"If your daughter, girlfriend, or secretary has small breasts, let her know that she should get the help she needs," Saddler says in one of the televised spots, standing before a diagram of Pamela Anderson. "Referring to under- endowed women's mammaries as 'mosquito bites' or likening a female's appearance to a diving board are just two of the many effective methods that can encourage those suffering from this unpleasant disorder to seek treatment."

The informative PSA also suggests several coping strategies that can allow small-breasted women to lead a relatively productive life while securing the funds necessary to have their disorder remedied. These include giggling at anything a man says, wearing shorter skirts, and engaging in empty promiscuity.

Although the plastic surgeon general's office has had a long-standing and fruitful partnership with the media to promote the image of a healthy, ample-chested lifestyle, Saddler said legislation may be the key to solving this crisis. Last week, Congress proposed a bill that would earmark $600 million to provide high schools nationwide with educational programs and literature.

"The younger a woman is when she realizes that she has this problem, the better off we'll all be," said Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO), head of the recently formed Itty-Bitty Titty Senate Subcommittee. "Of course, we support all women receiving treatment for this disorder, regardless of how old they are."

"But after they hit 45 or so, really, what's the point?" added Allard, referring to a condition known as aging, which is cited by the plastic surgeon general as another worrisome but treatable issue currently affecting 100 percent of American women.

Several studies have found that the dreaded aging syndrome also affects men, but, in those cases, is known alternatively as "dignification" and is generally considered to be an asset rather than an impairment.

Original here