A remote-controlled weapon that can rain 400 pellets at a time on your opponent as you observe the mayhem from a safe distance, sipping your tea. The turret comes with a tripod, CO2 tanks, and wireless remote, according to Technabob--and, of course, a video camera, transmitter, and LCD monitor so you can record all the priceless action.
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Thursday, April 10, 2008
By Rebecca Morelle
Science reporter, BBC News
Archaeologists carrying out an excavation at Stonehenge say they have broken through to a layer that may finally explain why the site was built.
The team has reached sockets that once held bluestones - smaller stones, most now missing or uprooted, which formed the site's original structure.
The researchers believe that the bluestones could reveal that Stonehenge was once a place of healing.
The dig is the first to take place at Stonehenge for more than 40 years.
The team now needs to extract organic material from these holes to date when the stones first arrived.
Professor Tim Darvill, of Bournemouth University, who is leading the work with Professor Geoff Wainwright, president of the Society of Antiquaries, said: "The first week has gone really well. We have broken through to these key features.
"It is a slow process but at the moment everything is going exactly to plan."
The two-week excavation is being funded by the BBC and filmed for a special Timewatch programme to be broadcast in the autumn.
Professors Darvill and Wainwright say that finding out more about the history of the bluestones could be key to solving the mystery of why the 4,500-year-old landmark was erected.
They believe that the bluestones, which were transported 250km (150 miles) from the Preseli Hills in Wales to the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, were brought to the site because the ancient people believed they had healing properties.
Professor Geoffrey Wainwright said the site could have been a "Neolithic Lourdes".
The giant sarsen "goal posts", which came from about 20km (12 miles) away, were thought to have arrived much later.
As well as reaching the bluestone sockets, the archaeologists have also unearthed a whole host of other finds as they have peeled back the layers of the 2.5m-by-3.5m (8.2ft-by-11.5ft) trench.
These include a beaker pottery fragment, Roman ceramics and ancient stone hammers.
Posted by gjblass at 2:10 PM
Posted by gjblass at 2:06 PM
This list is only for the last 30 years since that is my frame of reference. If it was built before I was alive well then it doesn't really exist.
20. Toyota Supra 1992-1998 A street racing legend that can handle 1000 hp on the stock engine easily. Typical Toyota build quality and comfort.
19. Aston Martin Vanquish/DB9 These two models single handedly save Aston Martin from extinction. Quite simply two of the most stunning automotive designs in history and a freak of a used car bargain.
18. Maserati Quattroporte One of the classically elegant sedans of all time. It's a four door Ferrari. An engine with real metal and no visible plastic. Forget those who say it is what your dentist would be driving. And get the Sport GT with the Duo Select Transmission instead of the full auto. Classy and a great sleeper to pull into the valet with the full Tubi exhaust.
17. Dodge Viper GTS turns heads wherever it goes. Will still look awesome in blue with white stripes in 30 years. Started the power wars. Needs experienced hands to extract the most from it but WOW do you get a lot in return.
16. Lamborghini Countach- This is where it all started for Chismillionaire. The scissor doors, the low slung alien profile,4 valves per cylinder. This was the unicorn of automobiles. Still incredible. It had the kids on the bus screaming with glee when we saw the black one in our town.
15. Jaguar XKR (2007 and newer) New aluminum platform. Gorgeous design by Ian Callum. Navigation system that is actually intuitive and easy to use. Spectacular as a sports car or grand tourer. Incredible engine sound with active exhaust
14. Bentley Continental GT Speed- What more can you say. Perhaps the most beautiful coupe design in history. 600 hp. 0-60 in 4 sec. All wheel drive. Top speed over 200 mph. Over .94g on the skidpad and a handcrafted interior of Tsar like satisfaction. A legend in the making. People who drive Lamborghini's and Ferrari's could have won the lotto and been shopping at Costco last week. Someone driving a Bentley has beautiful women asking for your suite number. Make sure to get yours with the Shag Lambswool mats and drive sans footwear!
13. BMW Z8 Great design and interior direction by Henrik Fisker. 400hp M5 V8 in a great all around package. Limited production and a true sleeper. A German car with an Italian interior.
12. Acura NSX The everyday exotic that put Ferrari on notice in the 90's. Upped the ante for quality and performance while keeping maintenance reasonable for everyman. First all aluminum chassis and titanium connecting rods in a production automobile. A collector's dream.
11. BMW M3 Pick the version and its still just as good- 240hp in the 90's 333hp in the early 00's or over 420 in the current V8 version. Porsche 911 aside, It's what all sports cars use as the benchmark
10. Lamborghini Gallardo Audi saved this marque from extinction and what a job they did with this 520hp all wheel drive shrieking dynamo. Drive this car and you can drive 200mph and you will get laid vigorously by hot women. Nuff said.
9. BMW M5 The super sedan. When 400hp was the realm of only the Viper and 911 Turbo. This sedan came along with performance that was nothing short of phenomenal. Since been upped to the F1 inspired 500hp V10 - recently costing a young Florida teen and his 4 friends their lives. Beware! Not a grocery getter. Will bite. But a juggernaut of engineering.
8. McLaren F1 THE SuperCar Platimun standard. Symphonic BMW Mpower V12. Nifty center driving position and gold lined engine compartment for absorbing heat. A no stone left unturned, no expense spared, engineering masterpiece. Gordon Murray's legend=secured. It's extreme nature limits its ranking as it's too much a track car really to be considered in the best of the best. First vehicle to be priced over 1 million dollars.
7. Chevrolet Corvette/Z06 Incredible what they do for the price. The Z06 is at once a world beater. I have not seen a video with a stock street car able to dust this thing. A beast. The ZR1 is on its way if that's not enough. Just think, show me another vehicle that can get 436 hp to the pavement while also delivering 25mpg and costing just over 40 grand. They say it is the mid life crisis car, but if you are driving this, I say you have no crisis.
6. Porsche 911- 997 generation. Take your pick of trim. Carrera S, 4S, GT3, Turbo, or GT2. Each one just as thrilling for its own different reasons. A comfortable grocery getter in the snow, a lovely grand touring cabriolet, or a devastating track tool. Only the Germans could take something so fundamentally compromised and make it so perfect.
5. Audi R8- the everyday Lamborghini. Astounding piece of engineering and an instant classic of Bauhaus design. Power, sonorous engine note, LED lit engine compartment, plenty of room and comfort. Ingress/Egress of a sedan. The choice if Iron Man/Tony Stark. Typical luxury, You have indeed been put on notice. What BMW wants to be.
4.Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale. Seen a few in person and they are incredible. No nonsense. Ferrari distilled to its purest form. The soon to be released 430 Scuderia will take the Stradale's place as Ferrari's greatest road car ever. You think the F40,F50, Enzo, 599GTB are better choices. No sir - make it a Stradale/Scuderia.
3. Ford GT-- There is a reason they call it THE ONE. A amazing piece of taking what you have lying around and making it a world beater. Basically the 5.4L Ford F150 truck engine. Proved America could still build a world class sports car and put the engine in the back. A PURIST'S DREAM. Many examples running over 1000hp on the stock bottom end. It's BEEFY People--- and will take whatever you can throw at it.Find one now in the Heritage livery before they double in price.
2. Nissan GTR The skyline comes stateside. What else can you say. 0-60 in 3.2 sec. Dual Sequential Gearbox. An All weather All wheel drive track demon for 70 grand. This is the Pearl Harbor of sports cars. It has changed the world forever.
1. Bugatti Veyron Shows what can be done if humans push past any constraints and think in possibilities. A pinnacle of human achievement on par with the space program. Now costing 1.5 million or so US dollars. Word on the street is if you disassemble and part out the vehicle, the parts alone could be sold for over 3 million dollars! It is something that superlatives simply cannot express. Devastating performance even by motorcycle standards yet a docile driver with a completely jewel like bespoke interior reveal little of the beast bottled within this quad turbo charged DSG equipped W16 monster. Frankenstein gets polished up and goes to the Ball!
Posted by Chismillionaire at 12:34 PM
Simon Brew The domination of sequels in the big summer and winter schedules continues, and if the following - in particular order - is anything to go by, it's going to carry on for many years to come... Put your thoughts in the Comments box, and let us know if you want more lists of this ilk in the future...!
The Brazilian Job: the follow up to Paramount’s US remake of The Italian Job is still on the cards, and it’s got a 2009 release date marked. Jason Statham, Mos Def, Mark Wahlberg and Charlize Theron are attached, as is director F Gary Gray.
I, Robot 2: All we know on this one is that it’s in the scripting stages still, with a potential 2010 release date planned in. No news on Mr Smith's involvement.
I Am Legend 2: Warner’s huge Christmas 2007 hit could also have a follow up, although it’d be interesting to see if Will Smith returned to it. A 2010 release date is also being mooted for this one.
Beverly Hills Cop 4: If Die Hard can still do it at the box office, why can’t Axel Foley? Er, because the third BHC movie was crap, and a flop. Still, it’s not stopped development work going ahead on number four. No further news than that, though.
National Treasure 3: Not a huge surprise, but as the Nic Cage Indiana Jones knock off franchise has proved to be quite a juggernaut, you’ll only have to wait until 2011 for the third film in the series.
Cars 2: We spotted this on AintItCool – is Pixar really looking to make a sequel to its weakest film? Apparently so…
Toy Story 3: This one, after lots of umming and ahhing, appears to be a goer. It won’t, as was speculated, be a straight-to-DVD affair, and Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are both expected back on voicing duties. It’ll be out in 2010.
Jeepers Creepers 3: MGM is running the rule over a potential third instalment in the horror franchise, with director Victor Salva still attached. Hmmm.
Shrek 5: The fourth film was a no-brainer after the tepid third outing made so much cash. But a fifth instalment has also been confirmed. No wonder Shrek is the same colour as an American dollar…
Night at the Museum 2: Ben Stiller is returning for his most commercially successful role outside of the Meet the Parents franchise. We can wait. No news on the proposed Meet The Little Focker, though.
Crank 2: High Voltage: This is more like it. Crank is a guilty pleasure right up there with Snakes on a Plane, and it’s coming back for more. Shooting starts next month, for a 2009 release, and Jason Statham returns as Chev Chelios. As he should.
Transporter 3: Statham again. He’s making this too, and it’s in pre-production. Presumably, he’ll go from Crank 2 straight onto this.
Super Troopers 2: A sequel nobody asked for! Hurray! Expect it in 2010, as it’s in the early writing stages still, we believe.
Silent Hill 2: Sony is looking at a follow up to the crap-but-popular video game adaptation. 2010 is the current slated release date.
The Descent 2: We understand that Neil Marshall won’t be directed this one, which has the, er, working title of The De2cent. He’s attached as Executive Producer, with Jon Harris stepping behind the camera (he edited the first film, as well as the more recent Stardust).
The Grudge 3: Yup, it’s in pre-production now, for release next year. That’ll likely be the scariest thing about it.
Ice Age 3: 1st July 2009. That’s the date you’ll need to avoid if you want to miss the next Ice Age movie. Hopefully it’ll be better than the second one…
Ghost Rider 2: A surprise hit last year, Marvel is developing a follow-up to the Nic Cage comic book flick, and tentatively has 2009 marked for release. No director is thus far attached.
The Untouchables: Capone Rising: A prequel to Brian De Palma’s cracking prohibition thriller of, er, twenty years ago. De Palma is back behind the camera, and the project is in the pre-production stages now.
The Thomas Crown Affair 2: Weird, this. It’s taken them ages to do a sequel, and then they draft in Paul Verhoeven to direct a follow-up to someone else’s film. Pierce Brosnan returns, and filming starts shortly.
The People Under The Stairs 2: No sign of any Wes Craven involvement, though, and release may even be this year. Hmmm. We'd wager DVD will be its home.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor: Er, that’s what they’ve called The Mummy 3, which is out on 1st August. Brendan Fraser and Jet Li star.
Punisher: War Zone: Ray Stevenson becomes the third person to play The Punisher on screen. You’ll be able to find out how he did on 12th September this year.
Starship Troopers 3: Marauder: Casper Van Diem is back, but it’s still going straight to DVD, as the piss-awful second film did. It’s due out later this year.
Pink Panther 2: Oh dear. And I’m a Steve Martin fan. It’s out on 13th February 2009.
Ace Ventura 3: No Jim Carrey though, and no chance of it seeing the inside of a cinema. Head to Blockbuster later in the year if you want to catch it.
War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave: Another straight to DVD sequel, but this one’s of note because it’s directed by Soul Man/Hitcher star C Thomas Howell. Blimey.
Jurassic Park 4: It’s taken them ages to sort this out, but the latest is that Laura Dern is still attached, and that it’ll be released in 2009. Don’t hold your breath though, as shooting would need to start really very soon...
Scary Movie 5/Saw 5: You could have guessed at these if you didn’t know about them already. Both should see the light before the end of the year. Sadly.
The domination of sequels in the big summer and winter schedules continues, and if the following - in particular order - is anything to go by, it's going to carry on for many years to come...
Put your thoughts in the Comments box, and let us know if you want more lists of this ilk in the future...!
Posted by gjblass at 11:57 AM
Speedy have a range of complimentary and easy to use wheelchair attachments to extend the range and versatility of your existing wheelchair. Available in the UK exclusively from Bromakin Wheelchairs.
A versatile handbike unit that couples to your everyday wheelchair for rapid, sustainable, long-distance travel. The extensive feature list includes:
• Easy on-off by the user
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• 7 speed hub gear
• Fits any wheelchair
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The Speedy System allows the user to easily attach the unit in-situ. More details available here.
many more models to see here
Posted by gjblass at 11:54 AM
| James Owen |
for National Geographic News
|April 8, 2008|
| Hundreds of ancient coins unearthed last week close to Sweden's main international airport suggests the Vikings were bringing home foreign currency earlier than previously thought, archaeologists say.|
Buried some 1,150 years ago, the treasure trove is made up mainly of Arabic coins and represents the largest early Viking hoard ever discovered in Sweden.
Archaeologists from the Swedish National Heritage Board unexpectedly found the stash of 472 silver coins while excavating a Bronze Age tomb near Stockholm's Arlanda airport. (See a map of Sweden.)
Kenneth Jonsson, a professor of coin studies at the University of Stockholm, has independently dated the hoard to about A.D. 850.
"That date is very early, because coin imports [by the Vikings] only start in about [A.D.] 800," Jonsson said.
The discovery contains more coins than Sweden's only other known large Viking hoard from the period, which was discovered in 1827, Jonsson added.
"That coins were so important to the Vikings at such an early date is very interesting" and suggests they may have engaged in intensive overseas trade earlier than previously believed, he said.
The newfound hoard consists only of eastern coins, which is unsurprising, since early Viking hoards are typically dominated by coins from the Middle East.
Most of the coins were minted in Arab locations such as Baghdad in modern-day Iraq and Damascus in Syria. The youngest coin dates to the A.D. 840s
But the oldest coins came from Persia, said dig team member Karin Beckman-Thoor.
These Persian coins must have been in circulation for centuries before being buried and "were very high quality," she said.
While Swedish Viking hoards are often found on the Baltic island of Gotland, they are much less common on the mainland.
Once thoroughly studied, the hoard "will give us lots of information about the journey it made and also ideas about why it was left in the ground," Beckman-Thoor said.
The Arlanda airport find might represent either loot from raids or profits from trade, she added.
Jonsson, of the University of Stockholm, favors the latter explanation.
"I think it's 95 percent trade," he said, adding that Vikings likely exchanged the coins for goods such as slaves, iron, tar, and amber.
While Vikings are documented to have traveled as far as the Middle East, most of this overseas trade probably took place in towns in Russia, a country rich in Viking remains, he said.
Most of the coins in the newfound hoard had been cut into pieces, Jonsson said, and the Vikings would have valued them principally for their 95 percent silver content.
"They put it on a scale and measured it and the weight gave the value of the silver," Jonsson explained. "They broke it into pieces to get exactly the amount of silver they needed."
The stone burial chamber where the hoard was found is being excavated before a new housing development is constructed on the site.
Measuring 52 feet (16 meters) in diameter, the Bronze Age tomb is thought to be around a thousand years older than the buried silver.
Only a handful of Viking hoards have previously been discovered hidden within such prehistoric monuments.
It may be that the prominent burial stones were used as a landmark by Vikings who intended to come back for the silver, Beckman-Thoor said.
"Or perhaps they thought their ancestors would protect the hoard, or perhaps it was an offering for their ancestors," she said.
The site of a medieval settlement lies below the hill where the stone monument is located, Beckman-Thoor noted.
"We believe the village goes back to the Viking age," she said.
Posted by gjblass at 11:45 AM
All girls are rare and beautiful snowflakes — this much we know.
Yet when you take college girls, feed them alcohol and put them in a bar environment, a remarkable thing happens: their behavior falls into remarkably consistent patterns. Based on our research, we’ve identified five types of girls you’re likely to meet in a college bar.
“Can You Take Our Picture?” Girl
This girl will make you her personal Paparazzi in her quest to document every random Thursday night she’s spent getting drunk at Awful Al’s with her nine BFFs. Although you look like a chump being Mr. Amateur Photographer, you’ll say yes to her request to take a picture of her and her friends on the outside chance one of them will have sex with you (they won’t).
Of the 983 tagged photos of her on Facebook, 800 or so feature prominently placed alcoholic beverages. This is to show everyone she was Out Having Fun. Don’t worry about telling this girl to smile (if you can even get her beer-soaked camera to operate). She’s got her own Kissy Guido Face/Gangsta Hand Sign/MySpace Emo look down to a science.
Girl on Her Cell Phone
“OMG! I can’t believe he said that!” Multitasking is a glorious thing - truly a hallmark of our modern age. And yet, the ability of this girl to simultaneously order a drink, have a cursory conversation with a random frat dude attempting to hit on her, and catch up on the latest girl talk on her cell phone over the din of drunk people chanting the chorus to “Living on a Prayer” is still amazing to behold.
This girl has such super-human abilities to communicate that if you married her your kids would most likely be telepathic, an ability sure to be an improvement over the cell phone for communicating the miniutia of one’s sex life. But good luck even attempting to start a conversation with her. She and her iPhone - with its nearly endless stream of mindless babble being delivered straight to her cerebral cortex 23 hours a day - are getting along just fine.
Like Pavlovian dogs that can’t stop salivating at the sound of a bell, or moths drawn to a flame, most guys are simply unable to tear themselves away from the site of two girls getting all Sapphic. Say what you will about Joe Francis, but no one can deny that we have him to thank for the potential of any random bar night turning into a Girls Gone Wild commercial. Of course, it’s all just for show, and the sexual equivalent of Fool’s Mate in chess - even an ugly girl can significantly up her attraction potential simply by making out with another girl in a public venue. But still, for most guys, this Never. Gets. Old.
Can’t Shut Up About Semester Abroad Girl
She just came back from Amsterdam. Or Italy. Or Thailand. And now she wants to tell you ALL about it. These stories almost never live up to their potential, mostly because what Americans do abroad isn’t really that interesting. They eat. They drink. They “find themselves” via a passionate fling with a sexy foreign stranger. The whole abroad experience is a grand adventure that doesn’t vary much from person to person. If you can stand to hear a truncated version of the plot of Eat, Pray Love, then maybe this girl is for you, otherwise, stay away.
Also known as the Cock Blocker, the Mom hasn’t had sex in months, and is here to make sure her friends don’t either. The Mom carries herself with a matronly air (hence her name) and is frequently seen saying “We have to go!” as she pulls her friends off of you.
The Mom is a hard one to win over, as she lives to be the wet blanket. But it’s always the repressed ones that suddenly act like they are on the set of an Andre 3000 video when they do decide to finally let go, so it may be worth the time you expend to convince her to come over to the dark side and have a little fun instead of being the chaperone.
Posted by gjblass at 11:42 AM
The Hubble Space Telescope took a photo of the variable star V838 Monocerotis which lies near the edge of our Milky Way Galaxy. If you rotate the photo a bit, the star resembles the FIREFOX LOGO very much! Pretty old (march 2004) but still funny to see that firefox even has divine approval...
read more | digg story
Posted by gjblass at 11:39 AM
An understatement here but it would be have been a wonderful day to go to the beach (from a male point of view). The beach full of sexy beach babes advertising Cosmo.
Posted by gjblass at 11:32 AM
KASHIWA, Japan (AP) -- Japanese scientists and origami masters hope to launch a paper airplane from space and learn from its trip back to Earth.
It's no joke. A prototype passed a durability test in a wind tunnel last month, Japan's space agency adopted it Wednesday for feasibility studies, and a well-known astronaut is interested in participating.
A successful flight from space by an origami plane could have far-reaching implications for the design of re-entry vehicles or space probes for upper atmospheric exploration, said project leader Shinji Suzuki, a professor at Tokyo University's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Suzuki said he was skeptical a decade ago when he first discussed with experts the idea of sending into space a craft made in the tradition of Japan's ancient art of paper folding.
"It sounded like a simply impossible, crazy idea," Suzuki said. "I gave it some more thought, and came to think it may not be ridiculous after all, and could very well survive if it comes down extremely slowly."
In a test outside Tokyo in early February, a prototype about 2.8 inches long and 2 inches wide survived Mach 7 speeds and broiling temperatures up to 446 degrees Fahrenheit in a hypersonic wind tunnel -- conditions meant to approximate what the plane would face entering Earth's atmosphere.
Having survived the 12-second test with no major damage or burns, the tiny plane theoretically could get back to Earth because re-entry from outer space involves passing through several layers that last only a few seconds each, said Osamu Imamura, a scientist who works with Suzuki.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, accepted it Wednesday for three years of feasibility studies and promised up to $300,000 in funding per year.
At this point, the proposal faces just one challenge, but it's a potentially crippling one: There is no way to track the paper craft or predict when or where they may land.
Critics say that makes the test pointless. Yasuyuki Miyazaki, an aerospace engineer at Nihon University who is not involved in the project, said the paper shuttles might not come back at all, depending on the angle at which they enter the atmosphere.
Suzuki said many things about science "have to be learned simply by trying them out."
Takuo Toda, the head of the Japan Origami Airplane Association, had nursed the idea of flying a shuttle-shaped paper plane since NASA in 1977 launched its first space shuttle Enterprise, a craft without an engine or heat shield that was used to perform test flights in the atmosphere.
He spent 18 months figuring out how to fold a perfect origami spacecraft from a plain sheet of paper -- without cutting, stitching or taping it -- and tested hundreds of designs in the process.
"Then I thought, perhaps I could someday have it fly back to earth from space," Toda said. "Nobody took it seriously, saying it would burn instantly."
Toda and Suzuki first met about 10 years ago, when Suzuki and other scientists attended Toda's launching of a 6.6-foot-long giant paper craft from the top of a mountain. The successful flight impressed Suzuki, and Toda revealed his long-cherished dream.
The effort has been a labor of love. It's had no outside funding so far, relying on paper donated by the origami association and Suzuki's access to Tokyo University equipment.
The project has inspired curiosity in the scientific community in Japan.
"You may think it's impossible, but we scientists are all extremely interested. I think it's a great experiment," said Miyazaki, the Nihon University engineer.
"No matter how it turns out, a paper craft flight from space would tell us many things," Miyazaki said. "The fact that a paper shuttle has endured the harsh environment in the lab tests also provides valuable data for future aerospace technology."
Suzuki and Toda use origami paper made of sugar cane fibers that are resistant to heat, wind and water. They spray a special coating onto the paper and then fold it into shuttles about 8 inches long and 4 inches wide that weigh about 1.05 ounces. How many shuttles will be released has not been decided.
The pair theorize that with the coating, rounded edges, a rounded nose cone and almost no weight, their craft will face very little of the heat-generating friction that causes most damage to vehicles re-entering Earth's atmosphere.
Astronaut Koichi Wakata, who has expressed personal interest in the project, would throw several origami shuttles into the wake of the international space station, which travels at Mach 20 some 250 miles above Earth -- if the JAXA feasibility studies pan out, Suzuki said.
Findings from the paper shuttles' flight could be used in developing new lightweight space probes that would study the upper atmosphere, Miyazaki said. The results could also help in designing a full-scale shuttle that re-enters the atmosphere slowly to reduce fiction and heat, said Suzuki.
Suzuki and Toda plan to write a message of peace on the planes in several languages, along with a request for anyone spotting them to notify the team.
"Just imagine, children around the world would be anxiously waiting for the return of our origami shuttle, perhaps looking up into the sky from time to time," Suzuki said. "That would be great fun."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Posted by gjblass at 11:30 AM
Posted by Chismillionaire at 10:37 AM