1.) Saturday, the 2013 hurricane season comes to an end and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will close the books on the weakest season in 30 years. With only 13 named storms in the Atlantic basin, 2013 had the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982 and ranks as the sixth-least-active season since 1950. Only one tropical storm, Andrea, made landfall in the United States, causing one fatality. NOAA is attributing the dip in hurricane production to unfavorable atmospheric conditions over the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean.
2.) The first book ever printed in what became the USA is now the world's expensive printed book. One of 11 surviving copies of the Bay Psalm Book has sold at auction for just over $14 million The tiny book, a 1640 translation of the psalms from the Hebrew originals, was bought by a philanthropist, who plans to share it with libraries across America. Some 1,700 copies of the book were printed by Puritan settlers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but it has been very rare for centuries. It was sold by Boston's Old South Church, which once had five of the books but donated copies to Library of Congress, Yale University and Brown University. It plans to hang on to its last one.
3.) In the last few weeks the new PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One have been released, but not all gamers are in to the latest technology. In fact, sales of pinball machines are up 23% this year. And two New York City entrepreneurs have opened Modern Pinball, an arcade in the city that once banned pinball, that doesn’t have any video or other type of games. Instead, it is all pinball, all the time.
1.) Which is the most walkable city in America? According to the web site Walk Score, it’s New York City. Because of their extensive sidewalks, bike lanes, bike share programs and public transportation, the Big Apple received a total score of 87.6. San Francisco ranked 2nd at 83.9, followed by Boston at 79.5. Philadelphia and Miami rounded out the top 5. Walk Score calculated ranking in 2,500 U.S. cities. Charleston’s Walk Score is 34.
2.) David Richards and his family have extra reasons to celebrate this holiday season. They have set the Guinness World Record for having the most Christmas Lights attached to their house. There are 502,165 lights attached to their home in Canberra, Australia. This actually the 2nd time they’ve set the recording – in 2011, they established the mark with 331,038 lights. Richards took a week vacation in October to begin decorating the house and says he’s worked every weekend since. The lights add up to a more than $2000 dollar electric bill, but the family gets help with their payments as their light display in sponsored by the local electric company.
3.) Will you be eating out more or less in the coming year? The consultancy firm AlixPartners took a survey asking that question and Americas say they are planning on cutting back on restaurant visits in 2014. And, for the first time in 5 years, the main reason people said they will dine out less is the desire to eat healthier. That answer just edged out the need to trim personal spending.
1.) Could there be one good thing about the cold across the low country this morning? If you believe the promoters of “thermal dieting,” the answer is yes. Their theory is your body wants to maintain a balance of 98.6 degrees, so if you make it cold, the body will do everything it can to get back to 98.6. To do that, your body has to burn calories, as heat equals calories. There are claims that people can burn up to 50 percent more calories by exposing themselves to below-freezing temperatures, which causes the body to work overtime.
2.) If your holidays would be better if you had a girlfriend to show the rest of the family, there’s a service that can help. Invisible Girlfriend provides convincing proof of a fake relationship for guys who want to fool friends, coworkers or family into thinking that they are seeing somebody. There are three plans you can buy to create a believable girlfriend. The "Just Talking" $9.99 plan includes interactive text messages and automated phone calls. The $29.99 "Getting Serious" plan includes a Facebook relationship, real voicemails and random gifts and notes. Finally, there's the $49.99 "Almost Engaged" plan which includes live phone calls, customized girlfriend characterization and the chance to create your own story.
3.) Is your company having a Christmas party is this year? If not, you work for one of the few that aren’t. According to the global executive search firm Battalia Winston, 96% of companies say they’ll be break out the hors d’oeuvres and cocktails this holiday season. That’s up from 91% last year and 74% in 2011, which was the all time low in the past 25 years.
1.) You can now burn a candle that smells like KFC chicken. The website Kentucky for Kentucky has teamed with candle maker Kathy Werking to create a collection of Kentucky-scented candles. The 3 limited edition collection candles representing the Bluegrass state are KFC scented, Ale 8, which is the official soft drink of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Derby. The candles go on sale today at Kentucky For Kentucky’s online store.
2.) If you want to lower the risk of obesity in your child, and food waste, consider serving your son or daughter with a smaller bowl. A study conducted in New York State showed that when using a bigger bowl, kids requested 87 percent more cereal -- regardless of their age, gender or body mass index. In addition to taking and eating more, kids with large bowls also wasted about 14 percent more food than those with small bowls. More than 3-of-10 children reported using the same large-size bowl as their parents did at home. The study findings are now scheduled to be published in the Journal of Pediatrics.
3.) If you tip your barista at Starbucks, he or she isn’t getting all that money. A federal appeals court has ruled that Starbucks baristas must share their tips with shift supervisors. Citing the findings by the New York Court of Appeals, the three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit said it was undisputed that Starbucks' shift supervisors spend a majority of time performing the same duties as baristas: serving food and beverages to customers. And though they also supervise the baristas, they aren't responsible for hiring or firing. So part-time baristas and shift supervisors will split tips, but those full-time assistant managers are still out of luck
1.) The Thanksgiving holiday is generally one of the biggest travel weekends of the entire year. If you are traveling experts are suggesting that your baggage and travel accessories be bold in color. A study done by T.J. Maxx and Marshalls revealed a majority of Americans have black luggage, making it easy to confuse your bags with someone else’s. To avoid mix-ups, you may want to consider gray, pink, purple, brown, navy, orange, and multicolored bags, which are the least popular among travelers.
2.) It’ll be a first later today at the Marine Corps’ combat infantry training school graduation at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Women will be among the honorees for the first time ever. Fifteen women began the training back on September 24th, and 4 were able to complete the 59 day course that prepares Marines for war. Three of the women will graduate today with a 4th doing so after she heals from an injury and passes a combat fitness test.
3.) One of the most notorious killers of the 20th century is in love and may be getting married. Rolling Stone has broken the news that Charles Manson is engaged to a 25 year old woman named Star. She started following Manson’s writing at 19, moved to be near his prison in 2007 and has recently carved an X into her forehead. Star is quoted as saying “straight up, Charlie and I are going to get married. The 79 year old Manson, on the other hand, says they’re just playing that for public consumption. Rolling Stone will have an in-depth feature with Manson in their next issue.