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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Task Force to Study D-I Playoff Proposal

Photo 1 of 4

University of Georgia president Michael Adams, left, speaks during a news conference on the final day of the NCAA Convention in Nashville, Tenn., Monday, Jan. 14, 2008. Seated are Clemson president James Barker, center, and NCAA president Myles Brand, right. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)


Task Force to Study D-I Playoff Proposal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — University of Georgia president Michael Adams presented his proposal for an eight-team major college football playoff to the NCAA Division I board of directors Monday in Nashville, and they decided to study the issue with others before making any moves.

Ultimately, though, the board would prefer BCS officials figure out what's best for the postseason.

James Barker, chairman of the board and the president of Clemson, called the talks candid and constructive. But he said the directors believe the discussion should include presidents at the conference level and the committee overseeing the Bowl Championship Series.

The board also wants a task force announced last month by NCAA President Myles Brand to study issues over the use of student likenesses' to expand its review and study commercialization as it relates to postseason football.

The task force hasn't been picked and there's no timeline for a report to the board.

Adams announced his proposal for an eight-team playoff for the Football Bowl Subdivision using the BCS games following years of opposition to a playoff. He unveiled his proposal on Jan. 8, hours after LSU won the BCS national championship game.

His playoff proposal used the Sugar, Orange, Rose and Fiesta bowls as the opening round, leading to semifinals and a championship game. Adams said he believes the study will result in additional tweaking to the BCS system.

"It's not just me that's talking about tweaking again," said Adams, who also is chairman of the NCAA executive committee.

"It's some of my colleagues. It's the people in the conferences. It's others. I don't know if we will all get to the exact same decision."

The Division I board did approve 45 of 47 proposals Monday, including scholarship protection for athletes dealing with pregnancies, injuries or other medical conditions. That protection will take affect immediately.

Both Divisions I and II allowed coaches to text message athletes who have signed letters of intent.

Division II also approved a program that would allow Canadian colleges to become members, and Division III upheld the ban on text messaging that took effect Aug. 1.

Division III placed limits on the use of male practice players in women's team sports, including allowing only one practice per week. Division III also will continue discussions about possibly splitting into subdivisions or creating a new fourth division. Division III membership is expected to reach 480 within the decade.

But it was Adams' proposal for an eight-team playoff that was most anticipated at this five-day convention, which ended Monday. He had said he wanted a special NCAA committee to work out the details.

Barker called the discussions positive, but that doesn't mean the D-I board will make any decisions on a major college football playoff. He tossed responsibility for changing the postseason back to the BCS.

"I don't think that there's a desire on the part of the board to do anything other than what the structure currently in place would yield," Barker said. "We don't have that preconception."

The 11 Bowl Subdivision commissioners who make up the BCS will meet in April in Miami and are expected to discuss the so-called plus-one format, which would create a four-team playoff.

The Division I board wants the BCS presidential oversight committee involved as well.

Adams said in a letter to Brand last week that the networks, conferences and bowls had too much control power over the postseason. Adams' Bulldogs were left out of the national championship game after getting passed by LSU in the final BCS standings.

"I think there's enough concern out there not just among the institutional presidents but among the student-athletes, among the fans, among people trying to pay for this among networks," Adams said. "There are broad issues that need to be looked at."

Asked if he still feels strongly about the eight-team playoff, Adams said he feels strongly that the major college football postseason can be tweaked.

"I've said all along that I don't know I immediately thought everyone was going to agree with me on just the specific," Adams said.

He also is concerned about commercialization and wants to get presidents more involved.

"That's one of the things we've got to work through," he said.

World's only blue-eyed koala


HE gets his name from Ol' Blue Eyes himself - and no wonder given Frankie is the world's only blue-eyed koala.

His piercing eyes have dumbfounded animal carers who were so worried they tested his vision.

Staff at his Dreamworld home on the Gold Coast found that apart from some reduced pigmentation, Frankie, named after Frank Sinatra, has perfect vision.

Dreamworld supervisor Michelle Barnes said she doubted her own eyes when she first saw Frankie.

While Frankie, now nine months old, was the centre of media attention yesterday, it will be a couple of months before he faces the public. Those eyes are impressive but his nose is his most important feature with its keen sense of smell.

8 of the Hottest Non-Nude Scenes from the Last 20 Years

8 of the Hottest Non-Nude Scenes from the Last 20 Years

Written by Judge Reinholden

We know you too well to think you're going to want to sit through ninety minutes of pain simply for one great tease. But that's not to say that a hot non-nude scene doesn't have its merits. And with that as our outlook, we've compiled eight of the best. Some of these movies are actually decent, but for most of them, we're saving you some time, which you can use on the sure thing: porn. You're welcome.


  • Elisha Cuthbert in The Girl Next Door: Boasting a solid young ensemble cast including current break-out candidates Emile Hirsch and Paul Dano, it's probably not the worst movie in the world. That said, how much of it's $14 million box office do you think it'd have retained had it not cast Elisha Cuthbert as a porn star? I'm going to go out on a limb and say negative $200 billion... even though my gut tells me that's probably a little high.

  • Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys: Do you remember when Michelle Pfeiffer was hot? And I'm not talking about her yeah-I-guess-she's-pretty-hot-for-a-lawyer-who-helps-a-retard hot phase. I'm talking about the slithering-around-on-a-piano type hotness that can only really be pulled off by a lanky, leggy lounge singer in a short red dress. This movie is also notable for the fact that it co-stars both Beau and Jeff Bridges before Jeff realized that he got the family talent and not just the eyebrows.

  • Salma Hayek in Dogma: It says something that this is one of the better movies on this list, and it still annoys me to the point where I'd probably rather just watch this scene and then practice crucifying myself while all my friends try really hard to laugh at all the "satire." It's an admirable failure in most ways, though... I just don't like it. I do, though, like how convincing Salma Hayek is as a stripper who inspires a bidding war. Guys, she's a stripper. She's not going anywhere. And yet, because it's Salma Hayek, it's believable.

  • Scarlett Johansson in Match Point: Scarlett Johansson has never done a nude scene. And before you can say, "Dude, I know, what the fuck is up with that?" let me assure you that there will come a time in the near future when she does. Until then, though, Woody Allen did us the favor of getting her sopping wet and on top. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why this world needs genius.

  • Jessica Alba in Into the Blue: This movie probably has a plot. Most movies do. And yet, during all of your viewings and reviewings of the trailer, did you happen to catch one? I'm pretty sure nobody did since we were all busy being mesmerized by the fact that no matter which way Alba faces, her ass melts the camera lens. The fact that she didn't immortalize her naked body on film before getting pregnant is one of history's greatest mistakes. It's right between the Hindenburg and that time I ate way too much popcorn (don't try it).
  • Jennifer Love Hewitt in Heartbreakers: I saw a free sneak preview of this movie before it came out, and I paid the theater so that I could lie to myself that I'd seen something else. That said, it had some sweet bending over shots of a prime Hewitt, obviously long before she had to try to convince everyone that she wasn't fat (rule of thumb: if you get into an argument with someone about whether or not your copious ass and thigh cellulite means you're fat, you're fat).

  • Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair in Cruel Intentions: Selma Blair went on to greater heights of individual hotness, but this was Buffy's pinnacle. Her kissing lesson remains the benchmark for manipulative lesbian screen kisses. Essentially, we just agree with Blair: that was cool.

  • Charlize Theron and Teri Hatcher in 2 Days in the Valley: Sometimes, it's kind of weird to look back at a movie and see that the person who seemed like the rising star at the time (Hatcher) was actually never going to transition from TV while the hot nobody (Theron) would go on to become one of the most beloved, acclaimed and highest-paid actresses in Hollywood. And sometimes, it's just good to see that they're both in spandex and beating the shit out of each other. This would be both.

A World gone Mad

Oops... Lucky Me! 10 Accidental Product Discoveries

by , Jan 15, 2008

Think about how lucky we are to have some of these "accidents." These products are still available on the market today.

If it weren't for luck, or lucky accidents, none of these products would exist today. The following ten products were all discovered as a result of pure accidents. Where would we be today without some of these great products?

  1. Potato Chips - Discovered: Saratoga Springs, New York



    Chef George Crum made the interesting discovery of potato chips after a customer complained to him about his potato fries being cut way too thick. Being a wise guy he sliced a potato paper thin and then fried it to a crisp. The diner loved it, thus creating the world's very first potato chip.
  2. Viagra - Discovered: Merthyr Tydfil, Wales



    Viagra was discovered by men who were being treated with an erectile dysfunction. It was first discovered in the town of Merthyr Tydfil with the trial medicines they thought could cure the dysfunction. It has since become well known as Viagra, and is used as a male enhancement.
  3. Silly Putty - Discovered: New York



    Silly Putty was discovered in the 1940s by a general electric scientist named James Wright while he was trying to create a synthetic rubber to use for the war. He mixed boric acid and silicon oil and got Silly Putty. Since then it has become one of the world's most popular toys. One favorite past time includes sticking it on a newspaper and pulling it off to reveal the imprint of the comic.
  4. LSD - Discovered: Switzerland



    LSD was discovered by a Swiss chemist named Albert Hoffman. It was the world's first acid hit. The year was 1943, and he had been working with a chemical called lysergic acid diethylamide. The initial reason for his research was related to childbirth. After the first try he attempted even a larger dose of it and made another discovery, the bad trip.
  5. Microwave Ovens - Discovered: Massachusetts



    Microwave Ovens were discovered in 1946 when a magnetron melted a candy bar in Raytheon engineer Percy Spencer's pocket. Microwave emitters powered the Allies radar in WWII.
  6. Penicillin - Discovered: Scotland



    A Scottish scientist named Alexander Fleming was looking into a cure for the flu in 1928 when he noticed that a blue-green mold had infected one of his Petri dishes, and it had killed the staphylococcus bacteria that had been growing in it. The world's most effective cure was actually discovered due to a contamination in the lab. What a unique coincidence!
  7. X-Rays - Discovered: Germany



    X-rays were discovered in the 19th century by several scientists toying with penetrating rays that were emitted when electrons struck a metal target. It wasn't fully workable until 1895 when a German scientist named Wilhelm Röntgen tried sticking different objects in front of the radiation and saw the bones on his hand projected onto the wall behind him.
  8. Artificial Sweeteners - Discovered: Illinois; Maryland; Nebraska



    Artificial sweeteners were discovered in much the same way as penicillin. Three of them, Saccharin, Cyclamate, and Aspartame were all discovered in a one hundred year time period, and all by scientists who forgot to wash their hands after an experiment.
  9. Brandy - Discovered: The Seven Seas



    Brandy was created by wine merchants during the medieval time period by boiling the water out of wine so that their cargo would stay fresh and take up less space when being shipped. After a while it was decided to skip the reconstitution stage altogether and brandy was accidentally created .
  10. Vulcanized Rubber - Discovered: New York



    When rubber rots, it smells horrible unless it is vulcanized. The ancient Mesoamericans actually had their own variation of the process Charles Goodyear discovered in 1839. He accidentally dropped some rubber-sulfur compound onto a hot stove, creating the first vulcanized rubber.

Pats 16-0 Song

Mercury flyby photo reveals first-ever glimpse of 'hidden hemisphere'



UPDATED 1/15/2008 6:34:00 PM -- Since our first close-up glimpses of Mercury in the 1970s, we've been left to wonder: "What does the rest of Mercury look like?" When it imaged the first planet from the Sun in 1974, NASA's Mariner 10 space probe was only able to capture 45 per cent of Mercury's surface as it flew by. Now, the US space agency's latest craft - MESSENGER - has photographed the planet closer and in more detail than ever before, revealing what looks to be an extreme version of Earth's Moon, with craters inside craters, inside craters.

GALLERY: Mercury Then And Now...

Image caption: The first of MESSENGER's ultra-high-res images of previously-unseen areas of the surface of Mercury. Taken January 14, on the upper right is the faint outline of the giant Caloris impact basin, including its western portions - never before seen by spacecraft. Caloris is one of the largest, youngest basins in the solar system. (enlarge image...)

Shrouded in mystery
Mercury rotates slowly so one side of the planet has always been turned away from a passing probe. As a result, until now, we've known only what poor-quality Earth-based telescopes showed us of other areas of Mercury, as it constantly grazes or passes in front of the blinding light of the Sun.

As of 2:00 pm ET on Jan 14, Messenger passed within 200 km of Mercury's surface - far closer than the 700 km above the surface that Mariner 10 passed 33 years ago. NASA's latest ambassador into the solar system will have far more advanced instruments trained on Mercury this time around, than its distant cousin did back in the Apollo era.

Unlike Mariner 10, MESSENGER will stop and stay a while, eventually settling into orbit in 2011. Before that, it will make two more flybys: later in 2008 and 2009. During this series of flybys and orbits, MESSENGER will try to solve more than a few mysteries about the closest planet to the Sun...

Fire and ice
While in the area, MESSENGER will image and scan Mercury to find out:
  • if - as has been suspected - there is ice tucked away at the bottom of Mercury's polar craters, which never see the scorching 450 C heat of Mercury's day side
  • whether 'Vulcanoids', a theoretical swarm of asteroids hidden in the glare of the Sun, exist further inward towards our local star
  • whether Mercury has an atmosphere or not - Hydrogen and helium floating above the planet may just be captured by the Sun, but there's also the possibility that gasses evaporated from near Mercury's surface
  • what makes Mercury the densest planet - chunk-by-chunk - in the solar system
  • if Mercury is shrinking - Are hundred-kilometre-high ridges on its surface a sign that the planet is buckling under a slow implosion?
  • The Yiddish Handbook: 40 Words You Should Know

    The Yiddish language is a wonderful source of rich expressions, especially terms of endearment (and of course, complaints and insults). This article is a follow up on Ten Yiddish Expressions You Should Know. Jewish scriptwriters introduced many Yiddish words into popular culture, which often changed the original meanings drastically. You might be surprised to learn how much Yiddish you already speak, but also, how many familiar words actually mean something different in real Yiddish.

    There is no universally accepted transliteration or spelling; the standard YIVO version is based on the Eastern European Klal Yiddish dialect, while many Yiddish words found in English came from Southern Yiddish dialects. In the 1930s, Yiddish was spoken by more than 10 million people, but by 1945, 75% of them were gone. Today, Yiddish is the language of over 100 newspapers, magazines, radio broadcasts, and websites.

    1. baleboste
      A good homemaker, a woman who’s in charge of her home and will make sure you remember it.
    2. bissel
      Or bisl - a little bit.
    3. bubbe
      Or bobe. It means Grandmother, and bobeshi is the more affectionate form. Bubele is a similarly affectionate word, though it isn’t in Yiddish dictionaries.
    4. bupkes
      Not a word for polite company. Bubkes or bobkes may be related to the Polish word for “beans”, but it really means “goat droppings” or “horse droppings.” It’s often used by American Jews for “trivial, worthless, useless, a ridiculously small amount” - less than nothing, so to speak. “After all the work I did, I got bupkes!”
    5. chutzpah
      Or khutspe. Nerve, extreme arrogance, brazen presumption. In English, chutzpah often connotes courage or confidence, but among Yiddish speakers, it is not a compliment.
    6. feh!
      An expression of disgust or disapproval, representative of the sound of spitting.
    7. glitch
      Or glitsh. Literally “slip,” “skate,” or “nosedive,” which was the origin of the common American usage as “a minor problem or error.”
    8. gornisht
      More polite than bupkes, and also implies a strong sense of nothing; used in phrases such as “gornisht helfn” (beyond help).
    9. goy
      A non-Jew, a Gentile. As in Hebrew, one Gentile is a goy, many Gentiles are goyim, the non-Jewish world in general is “the goyim.” Goyish is the adjective form. Putting mayonnaise on a pastrami sandwich is goyish. Putting mayonnaise on a pastrami sandwich on white bread is even more goyish.
    10. kibbitz
      In Yiddish, it’s spelled kibets, and it’s related to the Hebrew “kibbutz” or “collective.” But it can also mean verbal joking, which after all is a collective activity. It didn’t originally mean giving unwanted advice about someone else’s game - that’s an American innovation.
    11. klutz
      Or better yet, klots. Literally means “a block of wood,” so it’s often used for a dense, clumsy or awkward person. See schlemiel.
    12. kosher
      Something that’s acceptable to Orthodox Jews, especially food. Other Jews may also “eat kosher” on some level but are not required to. Food that Orthodox Jews don’t eat - pork, shellfish, etc. - is called traif. An observant Jew might add, “Both pork and shellfish are doubtlessly very tasty. I simply am restricted from eating it.” In English, when you hear something that seems suspicious or shady, you might say, “That doesn’t sound kosher.”
    13. kvetsh
      In popular English, kvetch means “complain, whine or fret,” but in Yiddish, kvetsh literally means “to press or squeeze,” like a wrong-sized shoe. Reminds you of certain chronic complainers, doesn’t it? But it’s also used on Yiddish web pages for “click” (Click Here).
    14. maven
      Pronounced meyven. An expert, often used sarcastically.
    15. Mazel Tov
      Or mazltof. Literally “good luck,” (well, literally, “good constellation”) but it’s a congratulation for what just happened, not a hopeful wish for what might happen in the future. When someone gets married or has a child or graduates from college, this is what you say to them. It can also be used sarcastically to mean “it’s about time,” as in “It’s about time you finished school and stopped sponging off your parents.”
    16. mentsh
      An honorable, decent person, an authentic person, a person who helps you when you need help. Can be a man, woman or child.
    17. mishegas
      Insanity or craziness. A meshugener is a crazy man. If you want to insult someone, you can ask them, ”Does it hurt to be crazy?”
    18. mishpocheh
      Or mishpokhe or mishpucha. It means “family,” as in “Relax, you’re mishpocheh. I’ll sell it to you at wholesale.”
    19. nosh
      Or nash. To nibble; a light snack, but you won’t be light if you don’t stop noshing. Can also describe plagarism, though not always in a bad sense; you know, picking up little pieces for yourself.
    20. nu
      A general word that calls for a reply. It can mean, “So?” “Huh?” “Well?” “What’s up?” or “Hello?”
    21. oy vey
      Exclamation of dismay, grief, or exasperation. The phrase “oy vey iz mir” means “Oh, woe is me.” “Oy gevalt!” is like oy vey, but expresses fear, shock or amazement. When you realize you’re about to be hit by a car, this expression would be appropriate.
    22. plotz
      Or plats. Literally, to explode, as in aggravation. “Well, don’t plotz!” is similar to “Don’t have a stroke!” or “Don’t have a cow!” Also used in expressions such as, “Oy, am I tired; I just ran the four-minute mile. I could just plotz.” That is, collapse.
    23. shalom
      It means “deep peace,” and isn’t that a more meaningful greeting than “Hi, how are ya?”
    24. shlep
      To drag, traditionally something you don’t really need; to carry unwillingly. When people “shlep around,” they are dragging themselves, perhaps slouchingly. On vacation, when I’m the one who ends up carrying the heavy suitcase I begged my wife to leave at home, I shlep it.
    25. shlemiel
      A clumsy, inept person, similar to a klutz (also a Yiddish word). The kind of person who always spills his soup.
    26. schlock
      Cheap, shoddy, or inferior, as in, “I don’t know why I bought this schlocky souvenir.”
    27. shlimazel
      Someone with constant bad luck. When the shlemiel spills his soup, he probably spills it on the shlimazel. Fans of the TV sitcom “Laverne and Shirley” remember these two words from the Yiddish-American hopscotch chant that opened each show.
    28. shmendrik
      A jerk, a stupid person, popularized in The Last Unicorn and Welcome Back Kotter.
    29. shmaltzy
      Excessively sentimental, gushing, flattering, over-the-top, corny. This word describes some of Hollywood’s most famous films. From shmaltz, which means chicken fat or grease.
    30. shmooze
      Chat, make small talk, converse about nothing in particular. But at Hollywood parties, guests often schmooze with people they want to impress.
    31. schmuck
      Often used as an insulting word for a self-made fool, but you shouldn’t use it in polite company at all, since it refers to male anatomy.
    32. spiel
      A long, involved sales pitch, as in, “I had to listen to his whole spiel before I found out what he really wanted.” From the German word for play.
    33. shikse
      A non-Jewish woman, all too often used derogatorily. It has the connotation of “young and beautiful,” so referring to a man’s Gentile wife or girlfriend as a shiksa implies that his primary attraction was her good looks. She is possibly blonde. A shagetz or sheygets means a non-Jewish boy, and has the connotation of a someone who is unruly, even violent.
    34. shmutz
      Or shmuts. Dirt - a little dirt, not serious grime. If a little boy has shmutz on his face, and he likely will, his mother will quickly wipe it off. It can also mean dirty language. It’s not nice to talk shmutz about shmutz. A current derivation, “schmitzig,” means a “thigamabob” or a “doodad,” but has nothing to do with filth.
    35. shtik
      Something you’re known for doing, an entertainer’s routine, an actor’s bit, stage business; a gimmick often done to draw attention to yourself.
    36. tchatchke
      Or tshatshke. Knick-knack, little toy, collectible or giftware. It also appears in sentences such as, “My brother divorced his wife for some little tchatchke.” You can figure that one out.
    37. tsuris
      Or tsores. Serious troubles, not minor annoyances. Plagues of lice, gnats, flies, locusts, hail, death… now, those were tsuris.
    38. tuches
      Rear end, bottom, backside, buttocks. In proper Yiddish, it’s spelled tuchis or tuches or tokhis, and was the origin of the American slang word tush.
    39. yente
      Female busybody or gossip. At one time, high-class parents gave this name to their girls (after all, it has the same root as “gentle”), but it gained the Yiddish meaning of “she-devil”. The matchmaker in “Fiddler on the Roof” was named Yente (and she certainly was a yente though maybe not very high-class), so many people mistakenly think that yente means matchmaker.
    40. yiddisher kop
      Smart person. Literally means “Jewish head.” I don’t want to know what goyisher kop means.

    As in Hebrew, the ch or kh in Yiddish is a “voiceless fricative,” with a pronunciation between h and k. If you don’t know how to make that sound, pronounce it like an h. Pronouncing it like a k is goyish.

    U2-3D

    http://www.u23dmovie.com/

    Enough Said, Jan 23, Digital-3D theaters eveywhere

    Eye Fi- Send Photos directly from your Camera to you your PC or Photo Site

    The Eye-Fi Card $99- is a wireless memory card. It automatically uploads pictures from your digital camera to your PC or Mac and to your favorite photo sharing, printing, blogging or social networking site.

    No cables, no waiting, no hassles.


    Making It Effortless

    Automatically uploading your photos to where you want to share, print or save them may seem like a complex thing. But, Eye-Fi keeps it simple. There are two ways to free your memories. You can choose either or both.

    Upload to Computer

    Eye-Fi Mode Local

    Your photos are sent wirelessly from the Eye-Fi Card inside your camera through your home Wi-Fi network directly to your PC or Mac. They are automatically saved in the folder you choose.

    To receive photos in this mode, your computer must be turned on and running the Eye-Fi Manager software. It’s a fast and convenient way to upload your photos for later enhancing, publishing or archiving. No messing with cables or cradles.


    Upload to Web

    Eye-Fi Mode Online

    Now it’s truly effortless to share your memories with friends and family. The Eye-Fi Card wirelessly connects to your home Wi-Fi network and uploads your pictures to a photo sharing or social networking website of your choice. Behind the scenes, the Eye-Fi Service intelligently handles your photos, getting them to your chosen site, taking care of log-ins and passwords, even re-sizing pictures if your destination requires it. It’s secure and private, and photo uploads are free and unlimited with your Eye-Fi Card.

    For a current list of the destinations you can choose from, see Share Your Memories.


    Upload to Web and Computer

    Eye-Fi Mode Online + Local

    If you want to share your photos online as well as save them to your computer, you can. If you choose both, the Eye-Fi Card uploads your pictures to the Eye-Fi Service, which will then deliver your photos to your chosen website for sharing or printing and send a copy to your computer.

    In this mode, if your PC or Mac is turned off during the upload, the Eye-Fi Service will hold your photos and deliver them to your computer the next time you turn it on.


    The Eye-Fi Manager

    Selecting or changing these preferences is made easy with the Eye-Fi Manager software and website. The Eye-Fi Manager will help you get set up in four simple steps and allow you to add networks, change destinations, and adjust other settings.


    The best scene in I am Legend

    Brabus drops V12 into C class


    Ever since the 2008 Brabus Bullit first appeared on the carpet at the Frankfurt auto show last fall, we've been waiting to be beckoned to the Brabus factory to fire it in anger.

    The Brabus Bullit is a 223-mph projectile that lives up to its name, another bold statement of tuner craziness from the overheated imagination of Bondo Buschmann, the founder and chief executive of Brabus.

    The idea of a twin-turbo 720-horsepower Mercedes-Benz V12 will put anyone in a sweat, and this particular example has been stuffed under the hood of the brand-new 2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan.

    Once the 2008 Brabus Bullit is finally ready, it'll make some serious numbers. We're promised 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.9 seconds, 124 mph in 10.5 seconds and even 186 mph in 24.5 seconds.

    You clearly don't have to hold your breath very long to reach the Brabus Bullit's advertised top speed of 223 mph. Of course, it all comes at a price that will steal your breath away for at least a couple of minutes: $515,000.

    NBC bringing Top Gear Pilot to US

    NBC has ordered a pilot for an American version of the U.K. smash sensation Top Gear. Although the show apparently will feature a completely new cast, producers say it will still feature "the irreverent spirit of Top Gear."

    With the Writers Guild of America still striking in full force, networks have been scrambling for non-scripted content. In practice, this has led to helpings of The Biggest Loser 5 and Celebrity Apprentice — and to NBC's decision to bring Top Gear to the United States.

    The Office is the most recent example of a BBC program that has done well in a U.S. adaptation, and Top Gear is NBC's shot at repeating that success. The British show features the expected test-drives of supercars — but also more lighthearted segments such as a giant game of soccer with a bunch of tiny VWs, or a contest to see which host can build the best amphibious car to drive across a lake.

    Ben Silverman, NBC co-chairman, seems to think it's a brilliant move. "Top Gear is a proven international hit which fits perfectly into NBC's lineup of programming with male appeal, including Sunday Night Football and American Gladiators," he said in a statement. "We're always looking for innovative ways to partner with our advertisers, and this show offers a great platform for the latest in car culture."

    What this means to you: If NBC is using the show as "an innovative way to partner with their advertisers," will that stop the hosts from trashing vehicles, even if they're made by an NBC sponsor? Let's hope not. — Paul Tassi, Correspondent

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