We served & we protected!
The Farsider Our Chaplain Historical Society


The Farsider

March 6, 2014


Bill Mattos, Editor and Publisher <bilmat@comcast.net>
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster <leroypyle@sjpba.net>


The Farsider is an independent publication that is not affiliated with the San Jose Police Benevolent
Assn. The SJPBA has allowed the Farsider to be included on its web site solely for the convenience
of the retired San Jose Police community. The content of this newsletter does not represent or reflect
the views of the San Jose Police Benevolent Association's Board of Directors or its membership.



March 5th

Hi Bill,

I want you to know that I have announced my retirement effective June 1st, on my 69th birthday. I will then become a reserve chaplain and work 20 hours a week with the retirees and those in the hospitals.

You should receive an entry for the Farsider from the Chaplaincy Board.

Thanks for all your help!

(Bridgen) <davebridgen@gmail.com>

While this is good news for us retirees, Dave's retirement will be a loss for the active personnel, but they will be in excellent hands with the service that Chaplain Jim Becknall will provide.

Dave became a member of the SJPD and the Chaplaincy on May 1, 1986. Over the 28 years that have since passed he has had a significant impact on the lives of not just the members and families of the SJPD, but of the officers and family members of other local agencies that have asked for his assistance in their times of need. And Dave's requested response to crime scenes involving homicide victims and other major calls where a chaplain was needed cannot be overstated.

Following is a letter we received from the President and Vice President of the Chaplaincy Board…

March 5th

To the San Jose Police family,

The Chaplaincy board supports Chaplain Dave Bridgen in his decision to retire from full-time ministry and from his position as head Chaplain. We have unanimously asked Dave to stay on with the Chaplaincy with the title of “Chaplain Emeritus.“

Emeritus is a title that denotes the perpetual status of the founder of an organization or individuals who moved the organization to new heights as a former key member in the organization. This title is given only to a person of outstanding merit.

Dave has been instrumental not only in the success of the Chaplaincy program but in the lives of countless members of our police family. He will no longer have set office hours or administrative responsibilities. We are encouraging him to stay connected with current Department members and retired officers, as well as attend POA and PBA meetings, and provide counseling and wisdom to the entire SJPD family.

It has been an honor and privilege to support Dave and his work over all these years, and we are happy that he has agreed to stay on and support our Department.

We will be holding a retirement celebration for Dave in the coming months.

Thank you, Dave, and well done to a good and faithful servant.

The Chaplaincy Board of Directors,

Jeremy Martinez, President
Todd Lonac, Vice President/Treasurer



Don't read too much into the headline of this article from last Saturday's paper...

Possible Break in Pension Standoff

—In first sign of cooperation, leaders from city, unions hold series of meetings—

By Mike Rosenberg
Mercury News — March 1, 2014

SAN JOSE — After years of intense fighting, the city and its employee unions are discussing a settlement of at least parts of a pension battle that has divided San Jose over key issues ranging from taxpayer costs to police staffing.

The settlement talks over Measure B pension reforms, disclosed Friday, have an outside shot of ending a landmark court clash that leaders across the country are watching as similar pension feuds bubble up from coast to coast. And the results of the negotiations could have major implications in this year’s crowded race to replace outgoing Mayor Chuck Reed.

A handful of leaders and attorneys from the city and public safety unions have quietly been meeting for the past several weeks, the first sign of cooperation between the two sides. An agreement might require another ballot measure as soon as this November. But both sides say a deal to resolve the entire case is still a ways off. Reed, Measure B’s chief sponsor, would rather seek a higher court’s blessing to change statewide pension laws than settle with unions. But other city leaders — including four mayoral candidates — are facing pressure to settle the case to appease police officers who argue city pension cuts have spawned a police exodus as the city’s crime rate continues to climb.

Union officials said the talks could ultimately lead to a settlement of the entire case but that they were not yet optimistic. City Attorney Rick Doyle confirmed the city has had preliminary discussions but declined to comment further. “If there was a willing partner and a path to get us there, we are willing to go along,” said Sgt. Jim Unland, the police union president.

Voters in June 2012 handily approved Measure B to force existing employees to pay more toward their pensions, as retirement costs have tripled in the past decade and now make up 20 percent of the city’s general- fund budget. Other significant changes included less-generous pensions for new hires and disability retirement limits, two major issues on which the city and union are now working toward a resolution.

After the ballot measure passed, the unions sued, citing California court rulings that effectively hold that government employees’ pension plans cannot be reduced after they are hired, even for future years they haven’t yet worked. Since then, hundreds of police officers have retired or quit to work for better paying cities, leaving San Jose’s police force short-staffed while arrests have plummeted and crimes have increased. City leaders argued the pension cuts were needed to curb runaway retirement costs that are devouring funding needed for employee raises, hiring more officers and other programs. In December, a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge ruled the city couldn’t force its employees to pay more toward their pensions. But she upheld several other cost-saving measures. Both groups were expected to appeal in the coming weeks, though the new negotiations could change that. The case could ultimately end up before the California Supreme Court, where justices could set a precedent for other cities seeking to raise employee pension contributions. That gives Reed and his allies incentive to keep going with the court battle. “There are important principles here,” the mayor said, brushing aside the settlement plan. “We want to be able to control skyrocketing costs, and it looks like we’re going to have to get the California Supreme Court to tell us what the law is.” But a deal would save other San Jose city leaders plenty of problems in the short term. Four of Reed’s 10 council allies, who also supported Measure B, are running to replace him. The police and firefighter unions, among others, say Measure B has made the city less safe and could heat up their attacks as the June primary nears.

The pro-pension reform candidates — Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen and council members Sam Liccardo, Rose Herrera and Pierluigi Oliverio — are going up against Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, whom the unions fervently support. Voters appear to be torn — they overwhelmingly supported pension reform, but recent polls also suggest the city’s rising crime problem is residents’ top concern, and they desperately want more police on the street.



For Immediate Release

February 28, 2014

San Jose Firefighters and Police Officers Angry Over Mayoral Candidate's Lie

It is unfortunate that Sam Liccardo would misinform the public in a manner that puts his mayoral ambitions before fixing the flaws of Measure B. The City Council authorized the City Manager to enter into confidential settlement discussions with police officers and firefighters to fix the divisive Measure B and for him to imply that we have not been willing to come to the table to discuss a solution is a flat out lie.

Over the past several weeks we have begun discussions with City Manager Ed Shikada and with City Attorney Rick Doyle, at their behest, to try and fix the disability provisions in Measure B as well as the second tier pension benefit and certain provisions contained in Measure V. The City Manager should be commended for facilitating these discussions. We hope that Mr. Liccardo's self-serving antics will not derail this dialogue.

Prior to these discussions both the police and fire representatives agreed that nothing in these settlement discussions could be used in the ongoing litigation over Measure B and that the discussions should be confidential.

Sam Liccardo knows this and it is disingenuous and sneaky for him to imply that we have not accepted the City Manager's offer to enter into legal settlement discussions to fix the flawed Measure B.

Click here for a link to Sam Liccardo's recent on-line Town Hall discussion:

Contact: Tom Saggau, 408-209-6813

• • • • •


March 3rd

We received a request from Tamara Davis to advise our retiree membership that the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury is looking for volunteers. Here are the details:

The Court is currently recruiting for the 2014-2015 Civil Grand Jury. We are seeking dedicated volunteers from diverse backgrounds. We need a deep bench of knowledge. I believe San Jose Police officers would make a great addition to the Civil Grand Jury. We want volunteers who are interested in contributing to the efficiency and integrity of local government.

You can learn more about the Civil Grand Jury by visiting our webpage at
www.scscourt.org>. For those wishing more information, I have a brochure I can send electronically.

The recruitment deadline is March 14, 2014.

Thank you,

Tamara Davis, Ph. (408) 882-2721


• • • • •


March 3rd

New Leadership in San Jose 2014

Can Dave Cortese Count On You?

San Jose is in dire need of new leadership and your opportunity to make sure that happens is fast approaching. The four City Councilmembers running for Mayor all supported Measure B, they all voted for Measure V and W and each of them is now trying to fool San Jose voters into believing that they are tough on crime and want to protect public safety.

There's a word for that and it starts with bull. San Jose needs Supervisor Dave Cortese and Dave Cortese needs you. Won't you log onto this link and make a contribution to help Dave become San Jose's next Mayor?


As the June primary election approaches, Dave will be attacked for wanting to fix the flaws of Measure B. He will be attacked for standing up for police officers and fire fighters and making sure that if we get hurt in the line of duty that we are not forgotten. The same crowd that brought San Jose the disastrous Measures V, W and B will attack Dave, and he needs our help.  

Won't you do your part and make sure Supervisor Dave Cortese has the resources to fight back and fight for what's right? Go here to support Dave and ensure he has the necessary resources to tell San Jose voters the truth.


Contribute $20.14 for a few months for new leadership, contribute for a new direction in San Jose, contribute to fight back against those that want to deceive the voters. Dave can't do it alone, he needs our help. Do your part by logging on and making a small sacrifice to bring new leadership to San Jose in 2014!


• • • • •


March 4th

"Voters support reform of California's death penalty. It has become ineffective because of waste, delays, and inefficiencies. Fixing it will save California taxpayers millions of dollars every year, assure due process protections for those sentenced to death and promote justice for murder victims and their families. Death row inmates have murdered over 1,000 victims, including 229 children and 43 police officers; 235 victims were raped and 90 victims were tortured. It's time California reformed our death penalty process so it works."

PORAC has joined a coalition including California District Attorneys Association, Crime Victims United of California and others to reform our death penalty laws. We are asking all of our members, their families and friends to support the initiative drive currently underway across our State. We need your signatures to place a ballot initiative before the voters of California this November. To read more about the initiative, click here:

Before or after your shift (off-duty), please come by the POA and sign the petition. It will only take a minute.

Thank you,

Jim Unland
John Robb



Don't be surprised if you see these types of guest commentaries showing up in the paper from members of the City Council who are running for Mayor. And keep in mind the following excerpt from an editorial in last week's Mercury News (and Farsider) if you choose to read the article below by Madison Nguyen. She is one of of the City Council members who threw her political weight behind the passage of Measure B…

(Mercury News Editorial excerpt...)

"San Jose council members running for mayor are trying to re-brand themselves as public safety advocates. Sam Liccardo has his crime plan manifesto, Pierluigi Oliverio has his 40 percent budget gimmick and Madison Nguyen wants to restore the burglary unit because she is now hearing from the affluent areas of San Jose.

"These proposals are all mayoral political stunts.

"Claiming to be leaders who can restore neighborhood safety while ignoring their own culpability must cause these politicians heartburn, since they all voted for policies that have made us less safe."

(Madison Nguyen's op-ed piece...) 

City, Police Must Find Way to Restore Burglary Unit

By Madison Nguyen — District 7 Councilmember
Mercury News — Feb. 28, 2014

Public safety has been on everyone’s mind over the past year, especially with the citywide increase in burglaries. As a City Council, we have asked the Police Department to step up to a number of challenges. But law enforcement has had significant challenges at the state level as well.

For example, a number of public safety responsibilities have been realigned from the state to the county, which has shifted more work to the local level and may have led to an increase in some crimes. Additionally, the courts have ordered California to reduce its prison population by roughly 30,000.

Over the same time period, property crimes in Santa Clara County have increased by more than 20 percent. This is painfully obvious to residents, and it is time the San Jose Police Department specifically addressed this growing concern.

As vice chairwoman of the Public Safety Committee, I propose that we begin working with the department to prioritize restoring the burglary unit and allocating the resources to both investigate existing cases and better respond to new ones.

Throughout the city, council members hear from constituents about the lack of response from the Police Department to the rising number of burglaries. We have all seen videos on the news and likely all know someone with a story about how the police didn’t have the time to immediately respond to a report of a crime.

We must work with SJPD to address this and give the department the resources to do so.

Two years ago we had more than seven detectives and several sergeants working burglary cases. Today the vast majority of property crimes are handled by patrol officers, who work them as best as they are able in addition to fulfilling their patrol duties. While SJPD has certainly shown flexibility and willingness to try new staffing models, this is not having enough of an impact. Thieves are becoming more brazen and in many cases burglarize neighborhoods in the middle of the day.

Reprioritizing property crimes and dedicating more officers to investigate them will likely mean strategically deploying officers from other duties and enlisting our new community service officers, who can be trained to do much of the investigative work patrol officers are currently being asked to perform.

It may also mean finding ways to utilize retired police officers with the experience needed to fully investigate burglaries.

We can also help residents take preventive measures to keep these crimes from happening.

This includes continuing successful programs like TABS (Truancy Abatement Burglary Suppression), which keeps kids in school and out of trouble. We also now have officers interacting directly with businesses, as in the case of the downtown foot patrol program.

These programs certainly help and should continue, but we must do more. The bottom line is that property crimes are increasing and we must aggressively respond.

As we work with our Police Department to restore the burglary unit, we will need to work together to address hiring issues and reach our budget level of 1,109 sworn officers with a goal of restoring the department to a level meeting national standards. As we work to accomplish this level of staffing, our residents deserve better. They need to feel safe in their neighborhoods, and we need to be able to have officers respond to burglaries when our residents report them.

Madison Nguyen represents District 7, Central San Jose, on the City Council and is running for mayor. She wrote this for this newspaper.



Last Week's Poll Results

For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:



March 1st

Bob Moir spotted the obit below about a former San Jose police sergeant in last Saturday's paper…

Carl Mills

Feb. 11, 1933 -— Feb. 21, 2014
Resident of Lincoln, CA

Carl passed away unexpectedly shortly after his 81st birthday. He was a loving husband to his wife Irene, a great father to his 4 children, Mike (Vicki), Ronnie (predeceased), Denise (Rich), Christine (Gary); his grandchildren, Robert, Randy, Courtney, Jodi, Jason, Nicole and Anthony; and his great-grandchildren, Mckenzie, Sutton, Joecyln and Casey.

Carl spent a lot of his years in the Service, in which he loved. U.S. Army for 17 years, San Jose Police Dept. for 14 years, U.S. Armed Forces, 2 Wars.
Carl loved serving in the U.S. Army for 17 years during which he participated in two wars. He was also a sergeant with the San Jose Police Department for 14 years.

Memorial Services will be held in May at the Santa Clara Mission Cemetery.


• • • • •


March 4th

Here's my take on the latest International crisis as of today, Tuesday evening, but things could change before I send this.

Putin wins again. As for Obama, you win some, you lose some. Regarding Obama's relationship with Putin, it's more like you lose some, you lose some. President Obama got outfoxed and outflanked. Bully or no bully, Putin wins this contest. Hard to admit, I know, but it's not the first time an American President has been embarrassed or out maneuvered, and it will not be the last.

What can we as a nation do at this particular juncture? Not a whole lot. We're too late. We're too broke. We're too tired of war. Our forces are depleted. We got caught off guard and out of position, too far away. As for economic sanctions, they will hurt the West worse than Russia, especially in Europe.

About all we can do is wait. Sometimes waiting is the most difficult thing to do, but sometimes it is the wisest as well at the only practical option for the time. Not wait in weakness. Just be patient in our strength. Wait for an opportunity to appear in the fog of crisis. Stay alert. Hold together, speak softly and carry ourselves in integrity. See the situation through the eyes of reality, not through the scope of a rifle. The situation is what it is. Tone it down. Nothing rash, no shooting, no economic sanctions that won't work and could only harm us in the long run. Accept the fact that we were messing around in somebody else's backyard.
The bully has won this round, and there is not a whole lot we can do about it.

Be smart. Conserve our energy. Gather our wits. Know the board ten moves and three years ahead. Remain cautious, but determined. Act from strength. Wait for the next round.

Take care,

(Scannell) <silent.eagle46@yahoo.com>

There is little doubt that President Obama is between a barack and a hard place. I would wager that the outcome of the Russian invasion of the Crimean peninsula will have an impact to some degree on the upcoming mid-terms in November and possibly the 2016 presidential election. That outcome could benefit the Democrats or the GOP depending on who says what that can be replayed in political TV ads in front of millions of voters as each election approaches. In the meantime, I would like to dispel the rumor that President Obama has had a recording studio set up in the West Wing and that he is in the process of recording his version of "Crimea River."

• • • • •

March 5th

Hi Bill,

Just wanted you to know I received a few leads from our retired ranks. One lead led me back to 1992 when Captain D’Arcy first established the Historical Society. In a letter sent out to gather support, it states that a retired officer is in possession of the “Old Police Sign” and that steps were being taken to obtain it. (The retiree is unknown and I don't know how the negotiations went). So it appears that one of our retirees has it. I just have to convince him to return it so we can put the historical piece back into service. I am willing to sweeten the deal with some money so I hope that will loosen his grip!

I have included a photo of the sign above the garage at the old City Hall circa1946-47.

Thanks for all your help in getting the info out!

(John Carr, Jr.)
SJPD Historical Society


Mayor and City Council Security Officer Bill Leavy and the late Bobby
Burroughs salvage the police sign that hung above the garage entrance
at the old City Hall on Market St. as seen in the photos below... 

The sign hangs above the garage tunnel
over the "Police Department" sign

• • • • •


March 5th

Both of you guys do a great job on the Farsider. You cover so much information that I have to pick and choose that which interests me the most. I allow myself only one hour a day on the computer. It seems that I just finish one Farsider and another one comes up.

I have enjoyed the animal portion. A little smile and laughter makes my day. In the brave new world I am not so brave. I still enjoy the world away from my computer.  Although my eyes are a little dimmer, my breath a little shorter and my hearing has slipped away, I still enjoy the smells, the sights and the music of life.

Keep up the good work which adds to all of our lives.

Bill Yarbrough

Thanks for the kind words, Orville. Sounds to us like you still have it together. Stay fit.


• • • • •

And that brings us to this final Mail Call item where we pose the question: Do you recognize this lady? Hundreds of you should. The retiree who sent it in prefers to remain anonymous, which is fine with us. To the mystery woman, we are very proud of you and what you have accomplished. Click on the link below if you don't recognize her...




With Democratic support, the Senate voted yesterday NOT to confirm President Obama's nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ. Why is this significant? Adegbile was a staunch defender of Mumia Abu-Jamal who was convicted of first-degree murder in the slaying of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner back in 1981. What initially surprised us was that Senate Majority Leader Harry "The Munchkin" Reid voted with 7 other Democrats and all the Republicans not to confirm the nomination. But Harry is a wily fox, and according to the Washington Post story below, his No vote will allow him to bring up the nomination again at a later date. What we found amusing was that Reid was solely responsible for pulling the trigger on the so-called Nuclear Option a few months ago. Had he not done so, Adegbile would have been confirmed. So it turns out that the Senate Majority leader's grand scheme of changing the Senate's voting rules came back and bit him squarely on the ass. (Can we hear an Amen?)

We reprinted the article below. But if you choose to read it by clicking on this link you may find some of the 100+ readers' comments about the story interesting...


Senate Rejects Obama Appointment of Debo Adegbile to Top Civil Rights Post

By Wesley Lowery and Ed O'Keefe
Washington Post — March 5, 2014

Opponents of President Obama's nominee to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division prevailed in blocking his confirmation Wednesday, as he failed to clear a procedural hurdle.

Debo Adegbile

Eight Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), joined with Republicans in voting against Debo Adegbile, whose nomination was adamantly and vocally opposed by conservatives due to his participation in an appeal filed on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal -- an internationally-known prisoner convicted of the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.

The vote was expected to be close — with Vice President Biden on hand to potentially cast a tie-breaking vote — but the final tally was 47-52 in opposition to the appointment.

Reid initially voted for Adegbile, but he switched his vote to no, giving him the right as Senate leader to bring up the nomination again at a later date.

Adegbile becomes the first Obama nominee rejected under the new Senate procedures approved in November that require just a majority of senators present to agree to proceed to a vote on most presidential nominees.

Other Democrats who voted against the Obama nominee were Chris Coons (Del.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Joe Manchin (W.V.), Joe Donnolly (Ind.) and John Walsh (Mont.).

“I made a conscientious decision after talking to the wife of the victim,” Manchin told reporters. But the senator, who usually likes engaging with reporters, was otherwise tight-lipped on his decision, saying repeatedly that “I made a conscientious decision.”

The decision by seven Democrats to buck their party leadership and the White House caused a rare split in the Democratic caucus, which usually votes in lockstep on Obama’s nominees. A senior aide to one of the senators who voted against the pick said several offices were “very angry” with the White House for moving ahead with the Adegbile nomination even though they knew it created an unnecessarily uncomfortable and politically treacherous vote for several vulnerable Democrats in tough reelection races this year.

"It's a vote you didn't have to take. It's a 30-second ad that writes itself,” said the aide, who asked for anonymity in order to speak frankly.

Adegbile, 47, spent more than a decade working for the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, where he served as the group’s in-house voting rights expert. The legal defense fund began its work on Abu-Jamal's behalf well before Adegbile began working for it, however he did contribute to the filing of a 2009 court brief that argued that Abu-Jamal faced a discriminatory jury — an appeal later found to have merit by a judge.

But, that participation in Abu-Jamal's appeals, opponents including Faulkner's widow have argued, should disqualify him from holding any publicly appointed position in the justice system.

Several prominent Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), took the floor Wednesday to speak in opposition to the nomination and in hopes of swaying vulnerable Democrats facing re-election in red states.

Prominent Democrats — including members of the Congressional Black Caucus — have defended Adegbile's nomination and resume, arguing that his lengthy history of work on voting rights issues made him supremely qualified for the post.

In the final speech before the vote, Reid called the GOP opposition to Adegbile "an affront to what it means to live in America," and — noting Adegbile's history with working on voting rights cases — said it is part of a larger Republican strategy to disenfranchise minority and impoverished voters.

"They want fewer voting people. They don't want people to vote and they especially don't want poor people to vote." Reid said.

But in the end, it was the votes of Democrats — not those of Republicans — that doomed Adegbile's nomination.

"At a time when the Civil Rights Division urgently needs better relations with the law enforcement community, I was troubled by the idea of voting for an Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights who would face such visceral opposition from law enforcement on his first day on the job," Coons said, in a statement released after the vote. "The vote I cast today was one of the most difficult I have taken since joining the Senate, but I believe it to be right for the people I represent."

~ ~ ~

If you are unfamiliar with the details of the murder of Officer Daniel Faulkner, listen to Sen. Pat Toomey as he addresses his colleagues and explains why Adegbile should not be confirmed. (12 Mins.)


~ ~ ~

And this is a Jan. 8, 2014 clip of Megyn Kelly of Fox News discussing Obama's nomination of Abegbile for the post of Assistant Attorney General in charge of the DOJ's Civil Rights Division. It also describes what transpired on that fateful day in 1981. (8 Mins.)


~ ~ ~

To cap it off, this is President Obama's official statement after learning that the Senate failed to confirm Debo Adegbile…

Statement from the President on the Senate’s Failure to Confirm Debo Adegbile

The Senate’s failure to confirm Debo Adegbile to lead the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice is a travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant. Mr. Adegbile’s qualifications are impeccable. He represents the best of the legal profession, with wide-ranging experience, and the deep respect of those with whom he has worked. His unwavering dedication to protecting every American’s civil and Constitutional rights under the law – including voting rights – could not be more important right now. And Mr. Adegbile’s personal story – rising from adversity to become someone who President Bush’s Solicitor General referred to as one of the nation’s most capable litigators – is a story that proves what America has been and can be for people who work hard and play by the rules. As a lawyer, Mr. Adgebile has played by the rules. And now, Washington politics have used the rules against him. The fact that his nomination was defeated solely based on his legal representation of a defendant runs contrary to a fundamental principle of our system of justice – and those who voted against his nomination denied the American people an outstanding public servant.



The March 2014 edition of the eVanguard is online. Hard copies of the magazine are in the mail and will be arriving soon if they haven't already been received. Click on the link below to download a .pdf file of the March Vanguard.




Click on the link below to download the March edition of the Billy & Spanner, then click on the newsletter link on the right side of the page. That will download a .pdf file of the new Billy & Spanner to your desktop that you can open with a double-click of your mouse.







—Pardon the rant—

I am as sick and tired of those on the Left who complain that the one percenters don't pay their "fair share" in taxes as I am of those one-percenters on the Right who cry and moan that they already pay more than their far share. None of them will receive any Kleenex from me. If I had my druthers I would tape their mouths shut with duct tape and wrap it around their heads a dozen times to ensure it stays put. All these multi-millionaires do is stir up discontent among the masses, which includes you, me and everyone else on the Right, Left and Center.

Why the rant? Look at the net worth and wages of some of the more popular cable TV news personalities below. They already have more than enough dough to last them, their kids and grandkids the rest of their lives. Instead of agitating people, they should retire and enjoy the money they have made instead of adding to their piles of Benjamins by pissing all of us off. In essence, all they have done is help tear the country apart. And keep in mind that those I have listed are just a smattering of the uber rich cable and network news celebrities who are out there.

Disagree? Let me have it and feel free to use both barrels. That's what the Mail Call column is for. Feel free to use it.

Bill O'Reilly (Fox News) is worth $75 million and earns $17 million a year.

Sean Hannity (Fox News) is worth $35 million and earns $20 million (TV & Radio)
<http://tinyurl.com/msouadd> and <http://tinyurl.com/lvurx9m>

Neil Cavuto (Fox News and Fox Business) is worth $23 million and earns $10 million a year.
<http://tinyurl.com/mwvkl59> and <http://tinyurl.com/mo7yk9p>

Megyn Kelly (Fox News) is worth $15 million and earns $6 million a year.

Anderson Cooper (CNN) is worth $100 million and earns $10 million a year.

Rachel Maddow (MSNBC) is worth $20 million and earns $10 million per year.

Chris Matthews (MSNBC) is worth $16 million and earns $5 million a year.

Ed Schultz (MSNBC) is worth $11.5 million and earns $4 million a year.
<http://tinyurl.com/6kekgfc> and <http://tinyurl.com/mgo6eag>

Al Sharpton (MSNBC) is worth $5 million and earns $250,000 per year.
<http://tinyurl.com/7hfygw2> and <http://tinyurl.com/lglhdso>

There, I feel better. Sort of.



This is probably going to turn out to be another bomb, but we're going to give it a shot anyway. Are you aware of something unique that would qualify as a tip that you would be willing to share? Put on your thinking cap and see if you can come up with something. Here are two examples:

If you occasionally eat at McDonalds and like the Big Mac because of its secret sauce, try a Poor Man's Big Mac by ordering a McDouble and request that they hold the mustard and catsup and add the Big Mac sauce, shredded lettuce and onion instead, with or without the cheese. You now have a mini Big Mac. The flavor of a Big Mac is all there at the price of a McDouble, which is sometimes on the Dollar Menu. As an added bonus you can order 2 or 3 Poor Man's Big Macs for the price of one regular Big Mac.

Do you have a Tivo DVR and a smart phone? If you do, download the Tivo app. It's free and available for both Apple iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches as well as Android devices. The app allows you to browse, search and record a show regardless of your location. Let's say you have gone out to dinner and forgot to tell your Tivo to record something you wanted to watch. All you have to do is pull out your smart phone, tap the Tivo app, find the program you want to watch, then select it and tap the Record button. Tivo even sends you an email confirming that your show has been scheduled to record. The only requirement is that your Tivo has to be an HD Series 3 or newer DVR and receive its programming from a router or directly from your Internet connection.

Think of something that makes your life easier and/or more enjoyable that most people are unlikely to be aware of and share it with the rest of us. We'll withhold your name upon request.

If this column doesn't appear next week, you will know that we produced another bomb and that it was about as well received as a phart in church.



Welcome to the Tonight Show! I'm your host, Jimmy Fallon. Or as John Travolta would call me, “Jelan Fejalla.”

Travolta accidentally called Idina Menzel “Adele Dazeem.” And I guess that wasn’t the only flub. Leonardo DiCaprio says Jennifer Lawrence flubbed his name when she presented the best actor award and pronounced it “Matthew McConaughey.”

The film "20 Feet From Stardom" won Best Documentary, and while she was on stage to accept the award, Darlene Love started singing. John Travolta said, “Wow, she's almost as good as Adele Dazeem!”

A new survey has found that almost half of dog owners admit to spending more money on their dogs than on their significant others. I tried to ask my wife if that's true, but she and our dog were out to dinner.

Yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner referred to Vladimir Putin as a “thug,” and then called on President Obama to stand up to him. Which is sort of like throwing your drink on a big guy at a bar and then saying, “My friend here will take care of you.”

Microsoft is coming out with a digital assistant for its smartphone — similar to Apple's Siri — called "Cortana." Well, her name was supposed to be "Cathy," but they let John Travolta make the announcement.

Hey, tomorrow is the start of Lent, the time before Easter when Catholics give up their favorite things for 40 days. Or more accurately, lie about their favorite things so they don't actually have to give up their favorite things.

Researchers in Hawaii recently put webcams on the fins of sharks so they could get a firsthand view of what the sharks see. The first thing they saw: a shark eating the guy who strapped a webcam on its fin.


I'm Conan O'Brien. Or as John Travolta calls me, Kevin O. Zeme.

In his acceptance speech, Matthew McConaughey said his hero is always himself 10 years from now, so by the time last night's Oscars finished, he was his own hero.

Russia suspended coverage of the Oscars last night. They didn't show it. And I'm going to guess they're not going to show the Tony Awards either.

Last night was the fourth time Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for an Oscar and the fourth time he has lost. Being Leonardo DiCaprio must be a living hell. I don't know how he goes on.

The New York Times has apologized for a spelling error they made 161 years ago. They spelled “Larry King” with one "r".

Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed that he's filming a new "Terminator" movie next month. In this one the Terminator travels 10 years into the future and meets Matthew McConaughey's hero.

Radio Shack has announced plans to close 1,000 stores throughout the U.S. Radio Shack customers were very upset when they got the news on their pagers.

Anybody see the Academy Awards last night? I watch every year to make sure I'm not in the dead actors montage.

All day long people have been coming up to me saying, "Oh, Bruce Dern, better luck next time."

The Olympics are done. The Russians have nothing to do so they invaded Crimea.

President Obama is steamed. He says to Putin, "Pull your troops out of Crimea or the U.S. will not attend the next G-8 summit." Well, that will show him. Putin will think twice about it now. Last thing he wants to do is offend the United States so they stay home from a summit meeting.

Welcome to the Ed Sullivan Theater, now under Russian control.

Russia, over the weekend, invaded Crimea, but evil Russian President Vladimir Putin said he has no plans to annex the territory. Well, that's good enough for me.

You know what happened on this date nine years ago today? Martha Stewart escaped from prison.

Martha Stewart was in prison because they caught her egging a neighbor's mansion.

I would like to thank you and the Academy and my agent.

The Oscars are finally over. At least I think they're over.

I stopped watching when they made the joke about Liza Minnelli. I will not stand for that. Liza Minnelli is my spirit animal.

From what I hear, the stars really let loose at the after-parties. There are rumors in Hollywood right now that Angelina Jolie ate a carb.

Tonight is Mardi Gras, the biggest celebration in New Orleans. Thousands of visitors descend upon New Orleans to drink themselves stupid and behave badly. So it's just like every other weekend.

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. People stuff themselves right before Lent, when Catholics traditionally fast. Every religion has a holiday where people fast to prove their devotion. Catholics have Lent. And here in L.A., we have Oscar season.

Catholics all over the world celebrate Mardi Gras. There's a big festival in Rome. Italians take to the streets, shouting, waving their arms. Then Mardi Gras starts.

Even the Pope gets involved in Mardi Gras. He's really the most interesting Pope in the world. "I don't always throw beads off my balcony. But when I do, it's at Mardi Gras."

Tonight we get a visit from the mayor of the great city of Toronto, Rob Ford. I feel like I've been waiting for this night my whole life.

I have a lot to ask Mayor Ford. I don't think I've had this many questions since the series finale of "Lost."

When Mayor Ford gets out here, distract him and I'll take his passport. And that way he never leaves us, OK?

Last night the Academy Awards telecast was more than three hours long. They actually had to do a second “In Memoriam” montage because quite a few actors passed away during the broadcast.We had an interesting night last night. The mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, was here. Then after the show, apparently he was upset. Why, I'm not exactly sure. I asked him about drinking and smoking crack. What were we supposed to talk about? His other hobbies?

It's hard to tell whether Rob Ford is mad because his face is always bright red. It doesn't change colors.

It's Mardi Gras in New Orleans. This is the night when women traditionally penalize their fathers for not paying enough attention to them by exposing themselves to strangers in exchange for beads.

A puff of glittery smoke billowed up from the chimney of the Vatican this morning to announce a new cast on "Dancing With the Stars." Usually you have to tear through old issues of magazines at the dentist office to figure out who they are.

Despite the fact that the Ukraine has been all over the news for the past few weeks, a survey found that 64 percent of U.S. students still couldn’t find Ukraine on a map. Said Vladimir Putin, “Soon nobody will.”

Despite being on the other side of the country, Justin Bieber reposted photos of his ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez at the Vanity Fair Oscar party with the caption “most elegant princess in the world.” Then he immediately tweeted, “Sorry, that was supposed to be a selfie.”

According to Twitter statistics, the most tweeted-about star during last night’s Academy Awards was Jennifer Lawrence. And the star most tweeted about by John Travolta was Jerfinnel Lordson.

The New York Times has issued a correction to a 161-year-old article which misspelled the name of the main character from "12 Years a Slave." The Times blamed the mistake on the newspaper’s editor at the time: Thaddeus P. Travolta.

A group of French and Russian researchers have discovered and replicated a 30,000-year-old virus found in the permafrost in Siberia. This, according to the first 10 minutes of a Nicolas Cage movie.

Today is National Grammar Day. So no matter whom you are, or where you’re at, it’s literally party time, y’all.

A 10-year-old in Ohio has been suspended after pretending his finger was a gun and aiming it at another student. Just wait until school officials find out he was in possession of nine other guns.



The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox

New Articles

• A federal court upheld a ruling that school officials acted correctly in requiring students to remove clothing featuring U.S. flag designs on Cinco de Mayo.

• Did Jimmy Carter say 'If you don't want your tax dollars to help the poor, then stop saying that you want a country based on Christian values'?

• Will Harry Potter star Emma Watson be starring in a live-action version of Disney's The Little Mermaid?

• Follow-up to last year's staged video showing NASCAR's Jeff Gordon pranking an unsuspecting car salesman with a wild test drive.

• Woman who advertises on Craigslist for a rich husband receives advice from potential life partner.

• A second-hand coat selected as part of the costume for Professor Marvel in the 1939 film version of The Wizard of Oz was discovered to have been owned by Oz author L. Frank Baum himself.

• Did the government force KFC to stop using the word 'chicken' because they serve meat from mutant animals?

• Did a dog named Daisy rescue countless souls from World Trade Center towers on 9/11?

• Does wrapping bills in tinfoil keep them from being detected by scanning devices? <

• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news stories from around the world!

Worth a Second Look

• Does the average woman ingest six pounds of lipstick in her lifetime?

Still Haunting the Inbox

• Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's circulating in the on-line world.

Fraud Afoot

• Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.



Large or Full Screen recommended for YouTube videos

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Since we (police retirees) underwent CPR certification training on the job several years ago things have changed. If you have been living in a cave and are unaware that Hands-Only CPR (no breathing) is now the recommended way in most cases to administer the life-saving technique, you need to watch this humorous short clip of a British tough guy explaining the process in this PSA from the UK. The bloke even makes it an enjoyable experience by performing CPR to the beat of "Staying Alive." (2 Mins.)


But are there times when you should use conventional CPR with breaths?

Yes. There are many medical emergencies that cause a person to be unresponsive and to stop breathing normally. In those emergencies, conventional CPR that includes mouth-to-mouth breathing may provide more benefit than Hands-Only CPR. The American Heart Association recommends CPR with a combination of breaths and compressions for:

• All infants (up to age 1)
• Children (up to puberty)
• Anyone found already unconscious and not breathing normally
• Any victims of drowning, drug overdose, collapse due to breathing problems, or prolonged cardiac arrest

It wouldn't hurt to review this web page about Hands-Only
CPR from the American Heart Association:



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Regarding our leaky border to the south, could this be on the level? We wouldn't have paid much attention to the clip if it didn't feature Rep. Peter King (R-NY). He's a member of the Homeland Security Committee and Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence and should know what he's talking about. (4 Mins.)


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Here's a short news report that you should be aware of, especially you ladies who gas up your own car. It could keep you from becoming a victim of theft. (2 Mins.)


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This is the downside of taking photos with your cell or smart phone and posting them on the Web. It's something you should also share with your kids or grandkids who like to post photos on Facebook for their friends. (4 Mins.)


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Alice Murphy's email was spot on; this video is absolutely stunning. Click on the link below and behold the magnificent Starling Murmurations. (4 Mins.)


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Is the image you see below a man or a robot? The fact is, it's a robot. Play this PBS NOVA clip and watch it interact with an interviewer using its stored knowledge and artificial intelligence. And if you will keep an eye on its eyes you will see them move from time to time, even blink. If you think same-sex marriages are controversial today, imagine what it will be like when men and women will be able to place an order for the perfect wife or husband on Amazon. (3 Mins.)


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If you listen to this short 40-year-old prophetic interview of famed science fiction author Arthur C. Clark who wrote "2001: A Space Odyssey," it will become apparent that he was a "futurist" long before the word was coined. (2 Mins.)


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David Pogue has written a number of books for lay people on how to use your PC and Apple computers, smart phones and tablets, and numerous software programs. Take a few minutes to listen to this TED Talks presentation and I can assure you that you will learn some easy and time-saving shortcuts and tips. Even with all the time I spend preparing the Farsider each week, I learned some new tricks. (6 Mins.)


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We strongly recommend you ignore the title of this video — "30 Years of BAD Pictures" — and watch the clip. It was created by a National Geographic photographer and should be well worth your time. (9 Mins.)

Surgeon holds a human heart


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We have a couple of clips this week for you Gearheads starting with this item from Jay Leno's Garage where he check out and drives Batman's Tumbler that was featured in "The Dark Knight." Of the nine that were built, this is the only one that remains in the US (the other eight were shipped over to the UK). (13 Mins.)


Item number two is this video where James May, who co-hosts the popular British automotive show "Top Gear" with Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond, has the privilege of taking NASA's latest Lunar Rover on a test drive. Alas, budget cuts have made it highly unlikely it will ever leave the earth. (10 Mins)


And third, remember that Pepsi MAX Jeff Gordon commercial from last March where the NASCAR champion wore a disguise and scared the hell out of a car salesman on a test drive? If you didn't see it and/or would like to watch it again, here it is. (4 Mins.)


Now there's a new one to add to the mix. In this one Jeff is disguised as an ex-con who is driving a cab and runs from the cops with the prank victim in the back seat. Have a look. (5 Mins.)


* Note: If you would like to know whether the test drive clip was real or staged, scroll back up to the Snopes update and click on the Jeff Gordon link...

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Give it a rest, Jean-Claude. Every time we watch you, Chuck Norris and all of the imitators do the splits it makes us guys want to readjust our skivvies. (2 Mins.)


This is the original Van Damme Volvo Truck ad that started it all. (1 Min.)


And this was Chuck Norris' reaction to Van Damme's Volvo truck ad. (2 Mins.)


So how is Chuck going to answer Claude's latest stunt in outer space? We're
betting it's going to be spectacular. Perhaps something like this. (1 Min.) 


The Van Damme and Norris stunts have, as expected,
spawned several imitators. Here's one example.
(1 Min.)


Greek entertainer "Ponzi" has even adopted his own
version to promote his concerts.
(1 Min.)


Even those fun-loving, vodka-drinking Russkies were impressed enough by
Claude and Chuck that some of them have created their own. Here's one:
(1 Min)


And finally, here is a compilation of amateur imitators,
most of which are failures.
(13 Mins.)


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Remember when you were young and you would lie on your back outside under a dark and starry night and stare straight up at the heavens? Imagine how much more impressive the view would have been if you could have sped up the movement of the stars. (1 Min.)


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This is the clip to watch if you want to see an amazing stampede of Whales and Dolphins off of Dana Point, CA. The spectacular footage was captured by a drone. (5 Mins.)


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If you have an interest in the old steam engines that once populated the nation's railroads, you might want to watch this clip of "Big Boy 4018" being moved to Frisco, TX. The 1.2 million-pound locomotive — the largest steam engine in the world —  is one of eight of the 25 produced between 1941 and 1944 that remain today. In steam engine jargon, it's known as a 4-8-8-4, which refers to the number of wheels on the leading truck, two sets of drive wheels and its trailing truck. (I learned that when I was a kid and totally infatuated with my American Flyer train set.) (6 Mins.)


Union Pacific Big Boy

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Moving on from the day of the steam locomotives, Dirk Parsons dug up this film from the 1950s that promoted the then-new Santa Fe Super Chief streamliner. Having taken the Amtrak "Southwest Chief" over the same route from Chicago to L.A. with my wife back in the early '90s, the film brought back some fond, albeit dated, memories. If you remember traveling by train or rail back in the '50s you will recall that men almost always wore coats and ties with women dressing accordingly. For further evidence of how things have changed over the past 60+ years, take note of how many of the men are smoking cigarettes if you choose to watch this film. (12 Mins.)


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I have to agree with Dirk, who also sent in this clip as well as the one above about the Santa Fe Super Chief. He said he would love to have one of these little open cockpit airplanes called an Air Cam, and so would I. It's only my age and the crowded Bay Area skies that are keeping me from taking the plunge. For anyone looking for a safe, relatively inexpensive two-place, twin-engine amphibious aircraft that cost next to nothing to fly (it burns 3 gallons an hour), this may be the answer. Dirk says the kit, engines and props will set you back in the neighborhood of $100K. (9 Mins.)


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Speaking of flying, look closely at the beginning of this 51 second clip and you will see a small camera mounted on the bill of this Pelican that is learning to fly. (1 Min.)


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Just as the Cheetah is considered the fastest land animal in the world, the Peregrine Falcon that can reach 150 mph in a dive is considered the fastest in the air. This excellent BBC clip features both a Peregrine Falcon and a Goshawk, the former for its speed and the latter for its maneuverability. Both birds have cameras attached to their backs. (3 Mins.)


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Pop quiz: Before you watch this 60-second video, try to guess what's under the pile of baby goats. Go ahead. Take a shot...


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Here's another shorty that poses a question: Is it possible to tickle a baby Penguin and make it laugh? (34 Secs.)


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What we seem to have here is a cat and a dolphin who have developed a  BFF relationship (Best Friends Forever). (2 Mins.)


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Whoever titled this clip the "World's Most Insane Rope Swing Ever" was telling it like it is. It's people like you are about to see who will eventually cleanse the human gene pool by qualifying for the Darwin Awards. (4 Mins.)


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First it was the pull cart for golfers who didn't want to have to lug their bag and clubs over their shoulder. Then came the gas-powered golf cart, followed by the electric cart, and then the SegWay showed up for rent at some golf courses. And now comes the Golf Board. Check it out. (3 Mins.)


Oops, we forgot to mention the Hovercraft Golf Cart, seen in this clip with Pro Golfer Bubba Watson. But don't expect to see this on any golf courses until the noise it makes can be significantly reduced. (2 Mins.)


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There's little doubt that 3-D printing is going to have the same or a greater impact than ink jet printers had, and the printers are already available for consumers (Amazon carries one for under $1,000). If you are curious about this new technology, have a look at this PBS video. (7 Mins.)


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Ever wonder how those colorful scenes comprised of colored sand inside a glass bottle you see in tourist gift shops are made? You probably won't want to sit through this entire video, but it will give you an idea of the artistry involved. (10 Mins.)


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Clips don't get much cuter (or shorter) than this one about a little girl and an orphaned pony. (42 Secs.)


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Here's another short clip that comes close to being "over the top" in terms of cuteness. (90 Secs.)


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If Tennis isn't difficult enough to master with a tennis racket, try playing the game with a baseball and a baseball bat. (33 Secs.)


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This amazing display of strength and coordination is just that: Amazing! Unfortunately, we know nothing of the couple or where their act was performed because we don't speak or read Chinese. (5 Mins.)


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Thanks to Stan Miller, we are now headed to Paris for a cabaret show and another amazing display of strength and coordination. (6 Mins.)


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Before we leave Gay Paree, here's another cabaret show that our female readers are likely to find more entertaining than the men. Well, most men anyway. (4 Mins.)


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This video will show you images of Yosemite that few people have ever seen, perhaps even you. The film took 10 months and 200+ miles of backpacking to produce. It should definitely be worth a few minutes of your time if you are among those who feel that Yosemite is a natural and national treasure. (5 Mins.)


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This is a feel-good story about a cat that will have to make do for the rest of its life with only 8 lives. (3 Mins.)


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How is it possible that a pair of human hands can move as fast as this xylophone player's, especially when he gets to the 50-second mark? Absolutely amazing! (3 Mins.)


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Speaking of fast hands, are you aware of the craze called Irish Hand Dancing that was inspired by Michael Flatley of "Lord of the Dance" fame? Here's an example. (2 Mins.)


In addition to being paid to star in a McDonald's commercial, the same couple — Cleary and Harding —  got a little wilder with their encore video which is covered in the last half of this clip. (4 Mins.)


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Like you, I've heard over the years that the Japanese are the best dough pounders in the world, but I didn't believe it until I saw this 16-second clip. (What? You've not heard about the famous Japanese Dough Pounders? Surely you jest.)


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Speaking of the Japanese, if you think you were a hot shot with a yo-yo when you were a kid because you could "Walk the Dog," "Rock the Cradle" or take it "Around the World," have a look at 6-year-old "Yo-Yo Boy." (4 Mins.)


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If you have eleven seconds you can spare, check out what is being hailed as the "Perfect Vehicle for Women."


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Thanks to this less-than-a-minute-long clip, we're over the fear we developed by the bunny rabbit video in last week's Farsider that looked like they were aliens from another world and were going to take over the planet. (55 Secs.)


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Keep your eye on the girl in the background. She knows she is not supposed to appear on camera, but she got caught and doesn't immediately know what to do about it. Should she stand still? Drop out of site? Scamper off? Or all three? (30 Secs.)


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What kind of magic is this. Or is it — as the title suggests  — sorcery? It only runs for 50 seconds, so take a look.


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If you've not seen this 36-second clip before, try to guess who or what's about to make a big splash at the wedding.


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Another happy ending video from the Animal Kingdom: A Cheetah catches and apparently kills a Gazelle, but as the big cat begins to enjoy its meal, a Hyena comes by and scares off the Cheetah. When the Hyena gets ready to dine, he spots the Cheetah beginning to approach and tries to scare it off. Then watch what happens. (2 Mins.)


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Got time for a film we received from Bruce Morton that took 2nd place at a film festival in Australia? It's about a lonely elderly widower who goes through a makeover so he can date a younger girl who surprises him at the end. Not surprisingly, the film is titled "Makeover." (7 Mins.)


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Here's is another feel-good story, but this one is about an elderly widow who received a special surprise from a high school class this past Valentine's Day. (2 Mins.)


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We can all take a lesson from this 98-year-old lady that was posted on YouTube a couple of weeks ago. Granted, health is very important, but one could argue that attitude comes in a close second. (4 Mins.)


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When Andrea Bocelli teamed up with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to sing "The Lord's Prayer," it was so special that the video has since generated almost 7 million views on YouTube. When we received it from a couple of readers earlier this week we immediately chose to make it this week's closing item. Have a listen. (5 Mins.)


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Pics of the Week

Only Italians are capable of doing this.
Seriously, these guys are amazing.

Andrea Dovizioso

Marco Biaggi

Valentino Rossi

Francesco Schettino


Scrolling Box

This is the message box, using the scroller component.



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