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The VOO Crew's Blog

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    Hold On a Minute

    Heinz may be the biggest-selling ketchup in the United States, but not in Israel – where authorities have decided the company can't use the "K" word to describe the product. Why? Because, under that country's stricter labeling laws, there aren't enough tomatoes in the recipe to call it that. Makers of a competing brand went to Israel's Health Ministry with what they called proof that Heinz's product contained only 21% "tomato solids" instead of the 40% required to call it "ketchup." So. for now, the label will have to read "tomato seasoning" instead. Anticipation is making us wait for an appeal on this one. *I for one, do not care what ingredients are in it, or the percentage of 'maters. I shall eat it on every conceivable food source available, until my death, which is TBD now. ~Rowdy

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    It's no secret that the word "moist" seems to give a lot of people the heebie-jeebies. But that's not the only word that makes women cringe. Underwear manufacturer Knix Wear teamed up with University of Pennsylvania linguist Mark Liberman to find out which words women think are the grossest. After surveying more than 500 people, they found that these are the six words women hate to hear: Are you ready??? 1. Flap, 2. Curd, 3. Chunky, 4. Panties, 5. Squirt I'd offer up observation or commentary myself about the Universities'' findings, but I too, am a bit squeamish after reading this. ~Rowdy

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    Something New for YOU!

    Featuring some of the strangest stories form the stupidest people in a place known as "The Sunshine State!" Enjoy. ~Rowdy A Florida man was arrested earlier this week for assaulting his girlfriend with the most unusual weapon -- a plate of sauerkraut. Cops responding to a complaint at a Ramada Inn say 40-year-old Matthew Burnett got into an argument with his girlfriend and threw a plate of the fermented cabbage at her face. After the kraut attack, he allegedly shoved her against a wall. Burnett was arrested and charged with domestic battery.

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    Brainiacs Love Beer Too

    Students at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory created robots – called “Beerbots” – that cooperate with each other to form an on-demand beer-delivery system. A user presses a button located on top of a “turtlebot,” which is a free-roaming beer-delivery robot that travels back and forth from one room to the next to take orders. *That's what I call *higher* education. ~Rowdy When the turtlebot gets an order, it goes back to the larger “bartender” bot where a beer is placed in its cooler. It then delivers the drink and continues to roam until it gets another order. While this may seem like a fairly easy task, it’s actually surprisingly complicated, which is why it took some big brains at MIT to pull it off.

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    You Did GOOD!

    Remember last summer's social-media craze the Ice Bucket Challenge? A year later, it seems all those videos of people dumping cold water on their heads wasn't for naught. The campaign raised more than $220 million in donations and scientists at Johns Hopkins say that they've made major breakthroughs in ALS research, which they are at least partially attributing to the Ice Bucket Challenge. Philip Wong, a professor at John Hopkins who led the research team, said, "Without it, we wouldn't have been able to come out with the studies as quality as we did. The funding from the Ice Bucket [Challenge] is just a component of the whole -- in part, it facilitated our effort." Wong added that "the money came at a critical time when we needed it."

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    SIRI Saves a Life

    A teenager in Tennessee was pinned under his truck and Siri was the only one he could call for help. Sam Ray was home alone working on his truck when the 5,000-pound vehicle fell on him, pinning his arms. He yelled for help – and that’s when he heard the sound of Siri, Apple’s voice-activated iPhone assistant, from his back pocket. Emergency dispatchers heard Sam saying his address over and over, and sent medics. Sam was rushed to the hospital and suffered some injuries, but thanks in some part to Siri, he’s going to be OK.

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    I'll Drink To That

    The Fulton Brewery in Minneapolis, Minnesota, will be working with the breakfast cereal Wheaties to create a craft beer called HefeWheaties. You know … a play on words on the name Hefeweizen… Anyway, the beer will be made of malted wheat, malted barley, hops, and yeast – and they’re going to somehow manipulate the ingredients to get a hint of the taste of Wheaties in it. *Finally, something to get kids to eat their breakfast. ~Rowdy

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    Basement for Rent?

    For a number of years, we’ve had to listen to young adults complaining about the terrible job market and all the stress of paying off their college loans. Well, some financial experts are actually listening to this whining and offering up some sound advice: Just move in with mom and dad, at least until all of their debts are paid off. Freeloading is the new normal! Embrace it … Even if it crushes the spirit of your parents. *It is their hope to live long enough to eventually become a burden on YOU. And I don't blame 'em ~Rowdy

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    Green Country "Good Guy"

    Strange things are happening in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Someone has been stealing spare tires off of vehicles parked in downtown lots. Whoever is nabbing these tires is targeting Jeeps, because the spare is mounted out in the open. It’s easy pickings. Well, a man works for an off-road vehicle store called Sam’s Offroad has decided to fix the problem ... by giving spare tires to stranded motorists … for free. Rick Franco says he’s been keeping an inventory of spare tires for Jeeps for this very purpose and has been giving the tires away free of charge because, as he says, “Life’s too short.” *Does he have any spare convertibles laying around? ~Rowdy

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    Priorities, right?

    A California man is behind bars after he allegedly started a fire outside his house -- to protect his marijuana plants from an approaching wildfire. Juan Ramos Silva's Northern California home is in the area where the out-of-control Jerusalem Fire has already burned more than 70,000 acres. He's accused of deliberately setting a backfire to protect his property, which is illegal on its own, but authorities believe his true motivation was to protect his large patch of pot plants. Silva was arrested and charged with suspicion of arson and starting a fire. He told cops he's a former firefighter and the blaze was a controlled burn. *I'm thinking he might have had his own personal, private "control burn" prior to this brilliant display of heroism. ~Rowdy

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    LOL used to be the way we expressed laughter online and in texts, but times are changing and it seems the laugh out loud acronym is over. Facebook did a study to find out users' preferences for expressing laughter online, and "LOL" is no longer the popular choice. Apparently, "HaHa" is what all the cool kids are typing. Here are the most popular ways to express laughter: 1.HaHa: 51% say this is the best way to express laughter. 2.Emoji: 34% say an emoji is the way to say something is funny. 3.HeHe: 13% use this variation of HaHa. 4.LOL: Only 2% of people in the study admitted to using LOL anymore. *Sadly, parents will still remain uncool, even after putting this sage advice into action. Sorry. ~Rowdy

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    Pumpkin Spiced WHAT?

    Want a sure-fire sign that fall is near? No, it’s not kids going back to school or planes not being full of summer travelers … it’s autumn-themed Peeps. Yes, those sugar-coated, marshmallow-filled birds are getting ready for fall, and beginning August 31st, you can indulge in pumpkin spice, caramel apple, and candy corn flavored Peeps. Sunny will be overjoyed. ~Rowdy

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    If This Is True, I'll Be Here Forever

    Seems a chili pepper a day keeps the doctor away ... According to a new study, eating spicy food more than once a week reduces your overall risk of death. Researchers actually studied almost a half-a-million people and found that those who ate spicy foods one or two days per week had a 10% reduced risk of overall mortality – compared to those who had a spicy meal less often than once per week. And, those who ate spicy foods three to five times and six to seven times per week all had a 14% reduced risk of dying. So, dig in and enjoy a spicy dish a couple of times a week. It might provide a kick in more ways than one. ~Rowdy

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    Good To Know

    A dental practice in Arkansas has a new eye-catching slogan posted on a sign outside the office. The sign outside Hagerty Family Dental reads, "By the way, I don't hunt lions." The funny sign is a reference to the Minnesota dentist who's come under fire for hunting and killing the lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe last month. Dr. Curtis Haggerty's wife Tisa, who works as his hygienist, says it was her idea to put that on the sign. She says, "We thought it was funny. And it's true. The dentist doesn't hunt lions. Or anything else." She says her husband is into other non-blood sports like softball.

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    Just Say No to METH

    A half-naked man, covered in mud and seemingly on a lot of drugs, attempted to swing from tree to tree like Tarzan inside a California zoo. 37-year-old John William Rodenborn told people he was Tarzan as he climbed the trees inside the Santa Ana Zoo and tried to hang out with the monkeys. He also attempted to break into a bird exhibit. Cops say he eventually got tired from all the climbing and took a rest behind some bamboo. That's when officers caught up to him and placed him under arrest. He was also found in possession of meth. Cops say despite Tarzan's bizarre behavior, he was not violent and no animals were harmed. *I understand he's already in talks with a Hollywood movie studio to play Charlie Sheen in an upcoming biopic ~Rowdy

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    Move Over Gomer Pyle

    A man was so fed up with neighborhood dogs making messes on lawns – and the owners of those dogs not cleaning up those messes – that he has become a vigilante. Andy Hawes, who's been dubbed "The Turdinator," actually hides in the bushes, wearing camouflage, and jumps out to name and shame people who leave dog messes behind. He also has a camera running. When dog owners scoop up the poop, Andrew deletes the film. If they don’t, Andrew posts the video on his Facebook page and reports the crime to the police. This guy is clearly a man on a mission.

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    I Need An Application...

    ...and I am not even pregnant. ~Rowdy

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    Brotherly Love, My A**

    A hitchhiking robot, which was trying to get from Massachusetts to San Francisco as part of a social experiment, had its trip cut short in Philadelphia over the weekend. HitchBOT, the creation of Canadian engineer David Smith, hit the road two weeks ago in Salem, Massachusetts and was relying on the kindness and generosity of everyday people to offer it rides. It's brief trip included stops at Fenway Park in Boston and New York's Times Square. But it was dropped off in Philadelphia on Saturday and attacked by vandals who stripped it of some parts including its head. HitchBOT's followers rushed to the area to recover its remaining parts. Smith says he's not giving up on the project and will try again. HitchBOT has already successfully completed trips across Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. *Perhaps he should hire "Rocky" for protection, should he make that leg of the journey once more. ~Rowdy

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    Beer Drinkers Rejoice!

    DRINKING BEER CREATES JOBS! Thanks to your dedicated beer drinking, nearly two million people have jobs. So … keep up the good work! A new study from the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association has found that beer companies are responsible for $252 billion in economic output, 1.5% of the gross domestic product, and pay more than $48 billion in taxes. On top of all that goodness, the study also found that the beer industry is also responsible for 1.75 million jobs – from barley growers to bartenders, and from farmers to factory workers. By tipping back a cold one or two, you’re helping people in dozens of industries, including manufacturing, agriculture, trucking, warehousing, grocery – along with the bar and restaurant businesses. How’s that for a win-win?

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    Facebook Love-are you SICK of it?

    ANNOYING FACEBOOK COUPLES MORE LIKELY TO LAST Facebook relationship over-sharers may be annoying, but according to a new study, those same people may be more likely to go the distance. New research found that dating couples who constantly post things about their relationship on Facebook are actually more committed to each other and likely to be together after six months of dating than those who don’t over-share. Apparently it’s because of something called the "public commitment theory," according to study author Catalina Toma, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “It’s the idea that the claims people make about themselves in public are likely to become internalized about what they think about themselves,” Toma sad. “People bridge that gap, and we become who we claim to be.” I plan on publicly claiming I am a retired multibillionaire later today. Wish me luck. ~Rowdy

Tulsa, OK

S at 21 mph
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