If you compare it to Candy Spelling's manse of 56,500 square feet (see photo on jump) you'll see that the beachfront shack -- listed at $5.3 million for a snug 641 square feet -- comes out to a higher per-square-foot price. Officially, this home has just 651 square feet of spaceâless space than a regulation squash court. The the agent for the home, John Henderson, claims it's actually a relatively spacious 750 square feet. Either way, Spelling's is only $2,700 a square foot and the beach shack is around $7,000, making it the most expensive house.
Indeed, according to a Forbes blogger, if you compare listings strictly by square footage, the shack tops the country's list of most expensive homes.
Our shack does have a leg up in the view category. There's no ocean view like the one from the sand. Candyland, as real estate pundits have dubbed the Spelling home, is lovely, gated and private. It has gracious lawns that sprawl over its 4.7 acres. But not even Aaron Spelling's money could move the Pacific Ocean closer.
Los Angeles-based food stylist says he was asked to step off a Delta Air Linesflight for questioning over one of his tattoos. Adam Pearson has the words "Atom Bomb" on his fingers.Pearson, a frequent flier who has logged 142,000 miles this year on Delta, says he had just settled into his seat on the flight to Memphis when a flight attendant asked him to come to the front of the plane, reports the LA Times. He says his first thought was that he was getting an upgrade.Instead, Pearson was asked to leave the plane and faced questioning by the captain and flight attendant for "suspicious behavior." He says he was told another passenger had complained about his tattoos.Pearson tweeted about the experience saying he was "shocked" by the carrier's move. He says "Atom Bomb" refers to his childhood nickname.After the questioning, Pearson was allowed back on the flight, and flew to Memphis.But he says the experience was embarassing. "All eyes were on me, I felt everyone staring at me and I was like, 'I didn't do anything,'" he says.Pearson says Delta has promised to look into the incident, and he is hoping for a public apology."I'm not out for blood," Pearson says, "but why didn't they offer to book that other person on another flight if they didn't like my tattoos? Why was that other person more important than me?"
Downtown Atlantacould become home to a 45-story Ferris wheel ride called the "Atlanta Eye."The Eye would be a replica of London's iconic wheel which sits on the south bank of the River Thames between the Hungerford and Westminster bridges.WXIA-TV in Atlanta reports that an Atlanta law firm is spearheading the project, and that the group met with representatives from Atlanta's business community this week.Merlin Entertainment, the owner of the London Eye, is said to be looking at real estate around downtown Atlanta. The Atlanta Eye would be situated near Centennial Park and the Georgia Aquarium.The Atlanta Eye project is rumored to have a $200 million price tag.London's Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel, was built in 1999. A 30-minute ride on the wheel, which Merlin calls a "flight," costs about $29 U.S.Merlin has expanded the London Eye attraction to include a "4D" movie experience, river cruises and an ice skating rink.
Cast and crew are heartbroken by the news, producer Nick Goding tells BBC News, calling Hamley "gentle, playful and charming," and "a real character."Hamley had been a part of the series for five years and is in scenes that were shot for upcoming episodes. But even if he weren't, he wouldn't soon be forgotten. Stephen Tompkinson, who plays vet Danny Trevanion in the series, told the (U.K.) Daily Mail, "Hamley was the most unique of all animals and that is why we have worked so closely and why we've featured him so heavily in the series. He will be missed every day on the farm as he had such a presence. I hope that, as always, he will continue to look down on us."Dawn Steele, who plays Tompkinson's wife, agrees. "Everyone is so sad here, Hamley was a huge part of the show. We still cannot believe that he will not be wandering around set, trying to get into the make-up truck or trying to get into every scene he could!"It's obvious that this giraffe was well-loved in his short life. He'll be buried at the reserve, about 20 miles north of Johannesburg, park officials told the Daily Mail.
Government vans, equipped with full-body X-ray scanning machines, have been deployed on the streets of our cities, monitoring an unwitting populace for signs of illegal activity.
You could simply be going about your daily activities, not even doing something that should invite the suspicions of the authorities, but it doesnât matter. The police can still scan you and the contents of your vehicle, and if they see something that arouses their suspicions, stop you immediately and search you, your vehicle, and its contents.
It might seem improbable, like Big Brother is watching you, but itâs fact, not fiction: According to the manufacturer, American Science & Engineering, the biggest buyer of its âmobile backscatter X-ray technologyâ has been the Department of Defense operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. It goes on to admit, however, that domestic law enforcement agencies -- thatâs right, agencies inside in the United States -- have also deployed vans equipped with the technology to search for vehicle-based bombs.
The Z Backscatter Vans, or ZBVs, as American Science & Engineering calls them, bounce a narrow stream of X-rays off and through nearby objects, and analyze which rays return. Dense material, such as steel, absorb the rays. Scattered rays indicate less-dense objects that can include explosives, drugs, or human bodies. That capability makes backscatter X-rays powerful tools for security, law enforcement and border control.
So should the use of this technology make us feel safe? Or is it just another sign of the government using the war on terror (or is it the war on drugs?) as a convenient excuse to strip away basic Constitutional rights of an unaware populace? And is it even legal?
Improbable Technology Vs. Probable Cause
âFirst, itâs not clear that it is legal,â says Dr. Daniel Steinbock, professor of law and interim dean at the University of Toledo College of Law. âIn fact, the Supreme Court has already ruled in Kyllo v. United States, that the use of similar technology, in this case, thermal imaging, is illegal under the Fourth Amendmentâs restraint on the government performing searches without probable cause.â
Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), agrees; in fact, EPIC is currently suing the Department of Homeland Security to stop the usage of full-body-scan technology in airports. âItâs no surprise that governments and vendors are very enthusiastic about the vans,â he said in a recent interview with Forbes. âBut from a privacy perspective, itâs one of the most intrusive technologies conceivable.â
American Science & Engineering X-Ray technology shows explosives in car trunk. ASE
In response, American Science & Engineering states that the ZBVâs primary purpose is to screen vehicles and containers for contraband and security threats. If a person, such as an illegal stowaway, is present in the vehicle or container being scanned, the system creates only a silhouette of that person, with no facial or body detail. The system cannot be used to identify an individual, or the race or age of the individual.
Health Concerns as Well as Privacy Concerns?
So there are definitely some invasion of privacy issues to consider, as well as the legality of the whole operation. But what about from a health perspective? Certainly a machine capable of providing such detailed images must be blasting some pretty powerful X-rays.
For comparison purposes, the X-ray dose received from the backscatter system is roughly equivalent to the radiation received in two minutes of airplane flight at altitude. Newer technologies require even less scanning time, further reducing individual X-ray exposure. The backscatter advanced imaging technology meets and exceeds the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard for personnel security screening systems using X-rays.
American Science & Engineering X-Ray technology shows drugs hidden in truck. ASEFreedom at What Price?Advocates of the technology might argue that its use is necessary to preserve our freedoms and the American way of life, reasoning that sounds a lot like, âIn order to preserve the Constitution, it is necessary to destroy it.â Dr. Steinbock sums it up quite succinctly. âWithout a warrant, the government doesnât have a right to peer beneath your clothes without probable cause,â he says. Even airport scans are typically used only as a secondary security measure, he points out. âIf the scans can only be used in exceptional cases in airports, the idea that they can be used routinely on city streets is a very hard argument to make.â
According to the Guardian UK, Britain's Special Air Service (SAS) has been unleashing highly trained dogs of war to help gather video surveillance of Taliban strongholds and suspected insurgent safe havens. Using a technique reportedly pioneered by U.S. special forces, these German shepherds are strapped to British paratroopers chests as they drop behind enemy lines in Afghanistan. Live video captured by the dogs' head-mounted cameras feeds back information to base. In addition, these elite canine soldiers are trained to attack armed people on the ground as well.During these missions, eight of the military dogs have reportedly been killed in action. The U.K. Ministry of Defense refuses to comment on any current special forces operations but as one source tells the Guardian, while the dogs have given their lives for the mission, if they weren't there, "that would be eight SAS men" who are dead.Obviously, the idea of conscripting German shepherds into dangerous combat service doesn't sit well with animal rights activists. Responding to the news, PETA released a statement proclaiming, "Dogs are not tools or 'innovations' and are not ours to use and toss away like empty ammunition shells."As valuable as the video captured by these canine soldiers may be, using them in combat situations sits on extremely shaky ethical ground. for many However, this is by no means the first time that dogs have been used as weapons of war or that animals have served in the armed forces.What do you think? Are these parachuting dogs patriotic heroes and an acceptable strategy in the fight against terrorism? Or is it completely wrong to draft canines into such dangerous roles?
This article is going to be a contradiction. After the fall that housing has suffered, I think that that, as an asset class, housing will probably be a decent investment going forward. But nobody should ever consider owning a home.
One of the biggest scams perpetrated on the American public is that owning a home is the "American Dream." It's more nightmare than dream as millions of Americans now know. But it has always been that way. Here's why.
1) No diversification. Most people put the bulk of their net worth in their house and then they borrow money to pay for the rest of it.
2) It's illiquid. When times are tough and you need cash, you can't sell it.
3) It costs a lot more than renting. Most people think you are "throwing money away" when renting. Quite the reverse. There are many hidden costs when buying a house:
Transaction costs (legal, real estate agent, title check, inspections, etc.) often come to 7% to 10% of the cost of a house. So you are 7% to 10% down immediately.
Home improvement (adding a bathroom, upgrading the kitchen, installing double-pane windows, landscaping, etc.)
Your real estate taxes (which will ultimately be more than the tax savings you get on your mortgage interest)
4) It's not fun. I'd much rather have my landlord shovel the snow than me shovel the snow. And, by the way, heart failure goes way up during a snow storm. A sedentary lifestyle doesn't lend itself to the arduous task of shoveling our driveways.
5) Your down payment is not a down payment. It's the sound of a flushing toilet. Think about it: You never get that money back. Even when you sell the house, you just put it into the next down payment for tax reasons. You can say goodbye to that money once you put it into a house.
6) No job flexibility. Why did owning a house become "the American dream"? Not to sound socialist (since I'm the opposite), but Corporate America was happy to propagate that myth so it would be harder for you, the homeowner, to leave your job if there were few jobs in your area. You'd have to both move and quit your job if you wanted to leave your job. Moving is harder when you own.
7) I think in the long run, housing prices go up. But if you really believe in housing as an investment, then own a good REIT or two and diversify by buying REITS that own residential homes throughout the country so you aren't tied to any one area. If you really want to borrow 300% and put 50% of your net worth plus debt into one investment, then that's what you should do. But I wouldn't really recommend that either.
I agree with all 7 of these and could even give you quite a few more...
My biggest problem with this list, is that it was written from an investment standpoint. If you're a property investor that's fine. But most are not. One of the reasons we're in the housing mess that we are in, is there were too many amatuers trying to "flip" a quick buck. We stopped buying homes and started buying houses. We saw all of these boxes as ways to make money instead of places we wanted to live, and live for a long time. People need to reset their mindset(s). A home is where you live, raise children, make memories, hang pictures, have parties, it should be your sactuary and comfort, not your bank! Back in the 40's, 50's, 60's, and even the 70's - - the public bought homes, not investments! People were also far less gypsical. They stayed in one place. And there is nothing wrong with travelling/moving but it is expensive. Especially when you are focussed on having bigger/better. And there is nothing wrong with bigger/better; as long as you can afford it!!!!! The Optimism Era (1945-1972), was a more centered time of contentment. There were two ways (legally) to earn money; brains or brawn. You worked. You saved. You bought what was needed. People didn't have home-offices because their neighbors had them, because it added to the square-footage. They had offices/studies/dens because they read. They wanted a quiet place away from the kids, which wasn't all that quiet because they were only encased by 1500SF if they were lucky! They lived within their means. They were too tired to feel entitled. Two-story homes weren't pretentious - they were prestigous. And usually for those who had MAIDS! The common man was too ass-whipped to climb stairs at night!
I've long said that renting is the New American Dream. It's easier! It's cheaper! Rent or own; you still have to pay. And the whole "you're renting?" stigma is done. You do what and live what you can AFFORD! Me, I own. I'm old-school. I love landscaping and doing stuff to my home. I also hate people telling me what to do. A landlord is one less restriction in my life. I also plan on staying in my home for a long time. And if I only live 14 more years, my son will have a 15 year mortgage. Not bad for a 22 year old. In 10 years I may have enough equity for his college tuition. The key word - is MAY! If I do survive my mortgage, the market will be better, and it will be, unless people start having sex with their phones instead of other people. I can have a payment free place to live (minus prop tax). Or, I can sell and rent and add to my retirement. With all of that said: I truly believe renters are throwing their money away, but only if they can afford to buy. Owning a home is a huge responsibilty. It can also be a truly rewarding. Now is a great time to buy, if you can afford it! Especially if you're buying a home, not a house!
This bigger/better/faster/ mentallity has to stop, unless you are done being lazier. Credit isn't cash. Expensive clothing isn't culture. A nice car isn't status - it's stupidity. Unless it's paid for or easily payable. Put the iPhone down and forget about the apps and focus on applications, as in job applications. Stop wasting your hard-earned money on iced coffee and energy drinks. Stay home and have a cup of Sanka or Tang in YOUR HOME!
A simple deck of playing cards can reveal fascinating secrets about you, your career and your colleagues, according to Lisa Osborne, a popular radio host who began studying the science of Destiny Cards as a lark, but has now made it into a successful vocation. "Using this ancient system based on the deck of 52 playing cards, you can unlock the personality profile of any person just by knowing the day and month they were born," she says. Horoscopes are so old school!
When Osborne's not a working as radio newscaster in Los Angeles or a deejay playing classic hits on a national radio network, she's busy recording syndicated daily Destiny Card features, in both English Goddess of Destiny and Spanish Diosa del Destino
"In business this can be a powerful tool for relationship building and career selection," Osborne says. "Celebrities make particularly interesting case studies because, over the years, I've noted that 99% of the time, the card profiles are spot on."
"For example, Donald Trump is a three of diamonds. Three is the number of 'creativity' and the suit of diamonds symbolizes money or values. You have to admit that many of the real estate deals Trump has done over the years are the epitome of creative financing!"
Osborne explains that each card in the deck has positive and negative qualities, and it's interesting to note that Trump's three of diamonds has one of the more challenging life paths. But many famous people share this card, including Conan O'Brien, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson and Drew Barrymore.
The Queen of Diamonds is another card whose bearers face more obstacles than average, yet in spite of that, or maybe because of it, some of the world's most powerful people share this card, including Rupert Murdoch, Hugh Hefner and Tom Cruise. Other notable diamonds in business include: Steve Jobs, Steve Wynn, Carly Fiorino, Michael Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg (who founded Facebook), and Michael Dell.
Also, the chief executive of Ford Motor Company, Alan Mulally, and Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay and now candidate for California Governor, share the same birthday, August 4th, making them each Nine of Diamonds.
What do Barack Obama and George W. Bush have in common? Aside from being President of the United States, each of these men are the Nine of Diamonds. You may say, "These men couldn't be more different!" But nines are on the planet to be 'givers,' and the Nine who is not willing to give will be miserable.
"First Lady Michelle Obama and homemaking maven Martha Stewart are each 10 of diamonds, a card that is comfortable in both big business and the spotlight. The person who is a '10' of any suit is confident, experienced and capable of doing things in a big way," Osborne adds.
Madonna and Nancy Pelosi are 10 of Clubs, another card that loves to be noticed. This 10 is the card of the teacher, and don't count on a female 10 of clubs to be traditional in any way.
Clubs is the suit of the thinker and dreamer. Oprah Winfrey and Mark Burnett are each the Jack of Clubs. This card is mentally brilliant, with an excellent memory. They are independent and don't have a strong need to fit in with the traditions of society. Many, such as Oprah, choose not to marry.
As insightful as this Destiny Cards system is as a tool to learn about others, it's even more powerful to use the system to identify your own talents and abilities. Knowing about your card can help you in choosing a career path, or capitalizing on your professional strengths and minimizing your weaknesses, according to Osborne.
For instance, the person who is a 'heart' is happiest being in relationships or working with people. The 'club' is curious with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Diamonds are the 'grown ups' of the deck, so don't try to tell them what to do! And, Spades are do-ers. Getting the job done is the most important goal of a spade
Radio talk show hosts Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh might seem on opposite ends of the spectrum, but each have amassed huge audiences because they put a voice to what is on the minds of the public. That's a trait of the Two of Spades, which both hosts share, since they share the same birthday. Conservative talk show host Glenn Beck is also a two of spades.
By now, you might be wondering what YOUR card is. To discover your card, just find your birthday on the chart below. Then read the explanations of your card's suit and number.
Hearts live through emotions and relationships. These are the children of the deck, often maintaining a youthful exuberance even into later years. The positive heart is friendly and affectionate; the negative heart is self-indulgent or flirtatious. Hearts excel in people-oriented careers. They make good nurses, teachers, and counselors, as well as artists and musicians.
Clubs are creative and experience life through talking and learning. As the students of the deck, Clubs are curious, always thinking, and love to talk, read and teach. The positive club is brilliant and well-informed; the negative club can be a dishonest know-it all. Great careers for Clubs include teaching, writing, law and journalism.
Diamonds are on the planet to clarify values. Diamonds like to spend money and like nice things. As the adults of the deck, Diamonds can't stand being told what to do. Diamonds on a positive path are generous and philanthropic. The negative-minded diamond can be greedy or miserly. Careers for the diamond person include banking, investing, politics, retail or merchandising, producing and big-business.
Spades are confident, strong-willed and wise. Even when they are young, Spades will often act more mature than their age. These are the workers of the deck. Spades are more interested in doing their jobs well than talking about them or becoming too emotionally involved with others. Spades can be stubborn and don't like it when others try to control them. Spades find satisfaction in careers in construction (building), broadcasting and health care. And, as the symbol of 'transformation,' Spades can also be successful in industries that deal with death or dying, and mysticism.