And The Richest Member Of Congress Is …

Tuesday, August 21, 2012
The Hill, a political news site, unveiled its annual list of the 50 richest lawmakers on Tuesday. Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican from Texas, held on to the top slot with a cool $290.5 million.
United States Capitol Building“McCaul remains in the stratosphere of the very richest members of Congress,” said The Hill, noting that his wealth “stems from several family trusts,” and that his father Lowry Mays founded Clear Channel Communications. His value actually rose by $3 million in 2011, the time period covered in the list.
McCaul is far ahead of his challenger, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the wealthiest Democrat in Congress, who reported a net worth of $198.8 million last year. That’s a $5 million increase from the year before, even though in 2010 he only made No. 3. Much of Kerry’s wealth comes from his wife, an heir to the Heinz Ketchup estate.
Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican from California, dropped one notch from 2010 but still placed third. The Hill said his wealth plunged about $80 million to $140.6 million. He is the founder of Directed Electronics, a maker of car security systems and also has a high-yield trust worth $50 million as well as bond holdings. He took on $50 million worth of personal loans last year, which The Hill said was the main reason his estate took such a big hit.
Rep. Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado, come in fourth, with $91.1 million, after his wealth soared by $25 million last year. His portfolio includes a blind trust and tech company holdings.
The fifth richest lawmaker is Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat and former Virginia governor, with $85.9 million. The Hill said his assets include investment funds, bonds and a $1 million life insurance policy.
Rep. Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin and a candidate for the vice presidency, is worth a relatively paltry $2.2 million and didn’t make the cut.
Even though Democrats make up three of the top five on The Hill’s list, Republicans outnumber Democrats, 31 to 19.

Nicki Minaj Joins ‘American Idol’ Cast as Judge

Rapper Nicki Minaj is joining songstress Mariah Carey as the newest judge of American Idol.
Courtesy: KTLA NewsMultiple sources say Minaj has yet to sign off on the deal, but is expected to be in the judges seat when Season 12 premieres this winter. Other judges reportedly up for consideration are singer Nick Jonas and Pharrell Williams, a singer and producer who has worked with the likes of Snoop Lion (formerly Snoop Dogg).
Long-time judge Randy Jackson will assume the role of a mentor this season.
Minaj is currently prepping for a tour in October following the release of her latest album in April.
Minaj is currently prepping for a tour in October following the release of her latest album in April.

They nailed it! Fans pay artistic tribute to Olympics

Monday, August 13, 2012

Gabriela Medina even <a href=''>painted her toes to match</a>! "I love supporting and cheering on my team," said the Wesley Chapel, Florida, resident. Medina likes to create nail art for various holidays, and says, "you have to have a steady hand." Appropriately, the college student aspires to be a surgeon.
Not since the days of American track star Florence Griffith Joyner has nail art been front and center as an Olympic style trend like it is at the 2012 London Olympics. Athletes are showing their competitive spirit through flag-decorated nails and colors meant to mimic the medals they aim to win.
But these special motifs aren't just for Olympians.
Samantha Tremlin is one of many nail art fans getting into the spirit of the 2012 London Olympics with funky fingertips. She wasn't crazy about the Olympics before the summer games came to her country this year. But since then, the manicure fanatic who goes by "the Nailasaurus" has been honing her technique of recreating tiny Union Jack designs.
"Nail art is a hobby of mine, so as the Olympics are quite a big event and being held in my home country this year, I thought I would show some support for Team Great Britain!" said the 21-year-old Cardiff, Wales, resident, who shared her handiwork.
"This year it's very close to home. It feels as though the games have united every single person in the country with all excitement and pride we're feeling."
From swimmers Missy Franklin and Rebecca Addlington to archers, cyclists and weightlifters, athletes everywhere are sporting patriotic nail decor at the games, thanks in part to British "nail queen" Sophy Robson, whose team of nail artists is providing services to athletes and their guests in "grooming salons" in the Olympic Village.
"It was such fun working with the athletes," said Robson, who designed a menu of 207 country flags to choose from in a partnership with corporate sponsor P&G. "There are no egos involved and they are just excited to have something represent their country on their nails."
Even if you're not in London or Europe, participating in the nail art trend connects viewers to the revelry, celebrity nail technician Deborah Lippmann said.
"It's a way that everyone can feel like they're a part of the experience in a supportive way, no matter where you are," said Lippman, whose eponymous nail polish brand is sold worldwide.
It's not as permanent as a haircut and having 10 fingers means the opportunity to sport various themes, with one finger dedicated to the American flag in support of country and the other to Usain Bolt because he's just that cool.
The appeal for fans is probably the same as it is for athletes: you can show off your patriotism without saying a word, said Lisa Bailey, the blogger behind the DIY resource Nail Art 101.
"Nail art can have the stigma of being for "prissy" girls or girls who are afraid to get down and dirty," Bailey said. "These women are showing that you can have hot nails and still break world records! It's no longer just for princesses and rich girls."
Da-Hae West, 25, is from South Korea, but she lives in London. She wrote "Republic of Korea" in Korean on her nails, accompanied by the national flag.
"It's a small way to show my support!" she said in an iReport.
Allison Fitzpatrick of Charlotte, North Carolina, has been experimenting with nail art for about two years as a way to "spice up the average manicure," the 29-year-old said in an iReport. It's also a great way to feel connected to the games, especially since athletes are also wearing nail art, she said.
"With the Olympics being such an inspiring event I wanted to be able to add some of that inspiration to my everyday life," she said.
"Whether the design is the iconic Olympic rings, the Union Jack to celebrate the host city or a recreation of gold medalist Missy Franklin's patriotic nails, nail art is a fun and creative way to show support for the athletes right here at home."
With the home-court advantage, the Brits probably claim the most enthusiastic Olympic-themed nail art. Plus, there's a lot of room to play around with the Union Jack, as nail art enthusiast Jenny Pasha of London demonstrated with her gold studded set of nails.
"I wanted to create a set of nails that were unique and showed off my support for Team GB," said Pasha, who documents nail art inspiration on her blog.
"I have done Union flag nails many times in the past, but for the Olympics everyone's goal is to go for a gold medal, so I decided to do an all gold set of nails," she said. "I am very proud to have the Olympics in my hometown and I love to show my pride through my nail art!"
Olympic athletes have been spotted sporting patriotic or Olympic-themed manicures throughout the games, and fans wanted to get in on the fun. Click through the gallery to see the most creative, elaborate and patriotic Olympic nail art.
Jenny Pasha of London created this studded manicure in support of Team GB. "I have done Union flag nails many times in the past, but for the Olympics, everyone's goal is to go for a gold medal, so I decided to do an all gold set of nails," she explained.
Pasha shows off the other half of her <a href=''>elaborate gold manicure</a>. She says it took her about two hours to create the design.
American swimmer Missy Franklin's nails inspired this <a href=''>patriotic design</a> by Allison Fitzpatrick. "Nail art is a great way to feel like you are part of the Games," said the Charlotte, North Carolina, resident.
Fitzpatrick created an equally stunning manicure featuring the Union flag "to celebrate the host city" of London.
Samantha Tremlin also wanted to show support for her home country of Great Britain. It took her about an hour to <a href=''>paint this manicure</a> that features the Olympic rings, Union flag and logo for London 2012. "It feels as though the Games have united every single person in the country with all the excitement and pride we're feeling. The opening ceremony was just fantastic and made me so proud to be British," she said.
Siobhan Durkin of Birmingham, England, turned her nails into 10 little Union flags to "get behind my country" in the Olympics. She's been into nail art for <a href=''>about a year</a>.
Maria Maslin painted her mother's nails to <a href=''>reflect several of the countries</a> competing in the Olympics this year. "I tried to be diverse with the countries I picked in order to represent a large span of the world," she explained. From left, the flags represented are Germany, Italy, United States, Spain, South Africa, Great Britain, Israel and Japan. On her thumbs are the Olympic flag and Ireland.
"I'd consider myself somewhat of a tomboy," said Sonia Silva of San Diego. "I thought it'd be cool to try to put a sporty spin on a girly hobby, and I decided to try Olympic themed nail art." The <a href=''>little gold medals</a> are especially cute!
Silva shows off another of her designs, complete with a unique American flag French manicure.
Da-Hae West lives in London, but is originally from South Korea. Her thumb features the South Korean flag, and the rest of her fingers <a href=''>spell out</a> "Republic of Korea" in Korean.
Jayne Lim designed her manicure to represent her home country of Canada and her host country, Great Britain. "What better way to <a href=''>celebrate and show support</a> for the London Olympics than with nail art?" said the Vancouver resident. "It lasts longer [and] is more subtle than face paint, and I can't be wearing Olympic regalia 24/7!"

Why Olympians bite their medals

Russia's Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina bite their medals after winning gold in the duets free routine final during the synchronized swimming competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
It's a familiar pose by now: Fresh-faced Olympian grins while pretending to take a bite from the hard-won gold medal hanging around his neck.
But why do athletes feign chomping on their prized medallions, anyway?
Most likely to satisfy the pose-hungry media, says David Wallechinsky, president of the International Society of Olympic Historians. There are only so many things to do with a medal, and the excited champions are usually appeasing requests from the gallery of Olympic photographers when they bite down on their booty.
"It's become an obsession with the photographers," says Wallechinsky, co-author of "The Complete Book of the Olympics." "I think they look at it as an iconic shot, as something that you can probably sell. I don't think it's something the athletes would probably do on their own."

He's seeing the practice more this year than ever before, especially among swimmers -- though he has no idea why.
Photogs have caught star gymnast Gabby Douglas, track champ Sanya Richards-Ross and swimmer Ryan Lochte giving their medals some tooth. Lochte's shots sometimes feature the added bonus of a jewel-encrusted "grill."
It's not just an Olympic phenomenon, though. Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal famously gnaws his trophies when he wins.
Historically, the practice of biting into metal seems to have its roots in money counterfeiting. Money handlers would bite down on coins to test their authenticity, said David W. Lange of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. Gold is a relatively soft metal and would show wear when distressed.
Since coins have not contained precious metals for about the past 50 years, it would be silly to try munching on them nowadays.
So how much of an Olympic gold medal is actually gold? It varies by the Games.
This year, the gold medal consists of 1.34%, or about 6 grams, of gold. The remainder is 93% silver and 6% copper.
The amount of gold used to make a medal shrunk after each of the two World Wars, according to Olympic medal collector and expert Jim Greensfelder. Gold medals were made of solid gold at three Olympics -- in 1904, 1908 and 1912 -- but the medals themselves were smaller.
Silver medalist Michael Tinsley of the United States and gold medalist Felix Sanchez of Dominican Republic bite their medals after the men's 400-meter hurdles final.
Serena Williams of the U.S. poses on the podium with her gold medal after defeating Russia's Maria Sharapova in the women's singles gold medal match.
South Korea's Kim Jang-mi bites her gold medal on the podium after victory in the women's 25-meter pistol final.
Gold medalist France's Teddy Riner bites his medal after winning a judo event.

Stressed-out men find heavier women attractive

Stressed-out men find heavier women attractive
The study
Eighty-one heterosexual, white men, aged 18 to 42, were put into two groups. The first group took the Trier Social Stress Test, which increased stress levels by asking participants to take on the role of a job applicant in front of a hiring committee. The second group was sent to a room to wait quietly.
Both groups were then shown images of women with various body mass indexes. Study participants evaluated the women's attractiveness on a scale of 1 (very unattractive) to 9 (very attractive). They were then asked to select the woman they found most attractive, the largest woman they found attractive and the smallest woman they found attractive.

The results
While both groups rated underweight women the same, the men with more stress gave significantly higher ratings to women in the normal and high BMI categories than their calmer counterparts. The stressed group's picks for the largest woman they found attractive was also much heavier, on average, than the control group's picks.
The take-away
Not much, if we're being honest. Scientists have long known that a society's ideal body size is shaped by their access to resources. Larger women are preferred when there is a threat, like limited food, because their bodies signify the ability to survive in hostile environments. In today's world, that threat can be as simple as the possibility of unemployment.
Even hunger has an impact on the male mind - previous studies have shown that hungry men find heavier women attractive, according to the study. (Yet another reason to keep the chocolate in your hands!)

Jennifer Aniston engaged to actor Justin Theroux

Jennifer Aniston hasn't always been lucky in love, but she may have finally found her prince in<a href='' target='_blank'> fiancé</a> Justin Theroux. Here's a look back at some of Jen's men:Jennifer Aniston is heading back to the altar, after accepting a marriage proposal from Justin Theroux, representatives from both actors said Sunday.
The love life of Aniston, who was married from 2000 to 2005 to actor Brad Pitt, has been a subject of tabloid fodder for years, where she has been linked to a number of men, including musician John Mayer and comedic actor Vince Vaughn.
The 43-year-old actress has kept busy since departing the hit NBC sitcom "Friends" in 2004, including roles in films such as "Horrible Bosses," "Marley and Me" and "The Break-Up." Still, fans questioned whether she'd find a soul mate, especially after Pitt united with actress Angelina Jolie and their family grew.
"Having experienced everything you don't want in a partner over time, it starts to narrow down to what you actually do want," the actress told InStyle earlier this year. "As I get older, I realize what qualities are important in love and what suits me. And what I won't settle for.
"Justin Theroux had an amazing birthday Friday, receiving an extraordinary gift when his girlfriend, Jennifer Aniston, accepted his proposal of marriage," Theroux's representative Ina Treciokas said Sunday.Her quest ended Friday, when she got engaged to Theroux on his 41st birthday, Aniston's representative Stephen Huvane said.
Theroux has established himself in Hollywood on several fronts. According to the entertainment website, he was a screenwriter for the films "Tropic Thunder," "Iron Man 2" and "Rock of Ages" and has been in a number of films and TV series since the mid-1990s. These include "American Psycho," "Mulholland Drive," "Zoolander" and, most recently, "Wanderlust" along with Aniston.


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