Growing Wave of Pension Shortfalls Threatens Local Governments

pensions

Wave of pension shortfalls threatens to wash over many local governments in the near future.

The nation’s largest municipal pension plans are carrying a total unfunded liability of $574 billion, which comes on top of as much as $3 trillion in unfunded pension promises made by the states, according to a report released Tuesday.

 

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United States is Fattest Nation Among 33 Countries

fat-man

Two thirds of American’s are overweight or obese.

The United States is the fattest nation among 33 countries with advanced economies, according to a report out today from an international think tank.Two-thirds of people in this country are overweight or obese; about a third of adults — more than 72 million — are obese, which is roughly 30 pounds over a healthy weight.

 

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2010 World Population Report: Decline of Working-Age Population Jeopardizes Elderly

world population

Worldwide in 2010, there are 9 persons of working age for every person age 65 or older.

The 2010 World Population Data Sheet, published by the Population Reference Bureau (PBR) on July 28, says that a shrinking pool of working-age populations is jeopardizing social support and long-term health care programs for the elderly, and points to a decrease in the populations of developed countries.

 

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24-Week Old Fetuses Cannot Feel Pain

fetus

20-week old fetus. Nerve connections in the brain are not sufficiently formed to allow pain perception until after 24-weeks

Fetuses aged 24 weeks or less do not have the brain connections to feel pain, according to a working party report published this week by the UK Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG).

 

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It’s Official: Men look at Women’s Breasts First

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David Letterman is famously guilty of looking down before looking up

Women often say that men tend to ogle at their breasts and their face is the last thing they notice, and now a scientific study has found evidence to prove them right.
Scientists have found that almost half – 47 per cent – of men first glance at a woman’s breasts. A third of the “first fixations” are on the waist and hips, while fewer than 20 per cent look at the woman’s face, reports the Daily Mail in UK.
In fact, breasts are not only the first thing men look at, they also glance at them for longer than any other body part, revealed experts. Many believe that the reason behind such male tendency could be evolutionary, as women with larger chests and slim waists – such as Jennifer Hawkins, Lara Bingle and Rachael Finch – have higher levels of the female hormone oestrogen, indicating greater fertility. But the researchers conceded that there could be a more prosaic explanation.
“Men may be looking more often at the breasts because they are simply aesthetically pleasing, regardless of the size,” the Daily Telegraph quoted them as saying.
Subjects tested by researchers from New Zealand’s University of Wellington were presented with six images of the same woman, digitally altered to increase or decrease the size of her bust, waist and hips. The scientists recorded which areas men looked at first, the number of times they looked, and how long their gaze lasted, using cameras and mirrors to measure tiny eye movements.
“Eighty per cent of first fixations were on the breasts and midriff. Men spent consistently more time looking at the breasts and also made significantly more fixations upon them than other regions,” the study concluded.
It also found that men began to gaze at the “components of the hourglass figure” within 0.2 seconds. The research also discovered that few glances were directed at the arms, lower legs and feet.

Women often say that men tend to ogle at their breasts and their face is the last thing they notice, and now a scientific study has found evidence to prove them right. Scientists have found that almost half – 47 per cent – of men first glance at a woman’s breasts. A third of the “first fixations” are on the waist and hips, while fewer than 20 per cent look at the woman’s face, reports the Daily Mail in UK. (Pics)

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Weaker Wii Sales: Nintendo’s Profit Drops For First Time In 6 Years

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Loyalty only pays so many bills!

Nintendo in Japan released its annual fiscal report today, and even though pretty much every financial key figure took a nose dive, things still look pretty good on the whole. The company racked up $15.2 billion in revenue last financial year (which ended March 31, 2010), down 22% from last year. Operating profit dropped 36% to $3.8 billion, while net profit – for the first time in six years – dropped to $2.4 billion, compared with $2.9 billion a year earlier…

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The Secret Government Surveillance Document Microsoft Doesn’t Want You To See

secret microsoft

Microsoft has a 22-page document which outlines how they store all your private data in their online servers. The document also tells government agencies how they can get it. But, oh surprise, they don’t want you to see it! Too bad. Here ya go…

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India’s Thirst for Groundwater Raising Global Sea Levels

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India is sucking 54 trillion liters of water out of the ground every year

India’s thirst for groundwater is threatening a major water crisis, and adding to global sea level rise, says a report.
Virendra Tiwari, from the National Geophysical Research Institute in Hyderabad, says that satellite measurements have shown that northern India is sucking some 54 trillion litres of water out of the ground every year.
He and his colleagues used gravity data from the GRACE satellite to monitor the loss of continental mass around the world since 2002.
In their study report, the researchers highlight the fact that regions where water is being removed from the ground have less mass, and, therefore, exert a smaller gravitational pull on the satellite.
As regards their observations, Tiwari’s team revealed that groundwater under northern India and its surroundings was being extracted exceptionally fast.
The researchers’ calculations suggest that an average of 54 cubic kilometres, enough to fill more than 21 million Olympic swimming pools was lost every year between 2002 and 2008.
According to them, boreholes in the region show the water table is dropping by around 10 centimetres a year, reports New Scientist magazine.
John Wahr, of the University of Colorado at Boulder, considers agriculture to be the prime culprit.
The researchers reckon that severe water shortages may hit the 600 million people living in the region in the next few years, if the trend is not reversed soon.
The team also note in their report that the “lost” water does not just disappear, most of it runs into the oceans.
They believe that it might be pushing up global sea levels by as much as 0.16 millimetres each year, which is 5 per cent of total sea level rise.
A research article on the findings has been published in Geophysical Research Letters.

India’s thirst for groundwater is threatening a major water crisis, and adding to global sea level rise, says a report.  (Pics)

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