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Published: Wednesday, December 20, 2017 @ 4:47 PM
Updated: Thursday, December 21, 2017 @ 8:01 AM
— There are plenty of mysteries surrounding Santa Claus and just how he manages to make that round-the-world trip in one night.
While part of the joy of Christmas is believing in the magic an act of kindness can bring, that doesn’t stop millions from asking the tough questions about Claus, those reindeer and how he gets down a chimney when he, shall we say, is carrying a little bit of extra weight.
Here are a few of the most asked questions about Santa and the answers you can find online.
Saint Nicholas was born in 270 AD. That would make him 1,747 years old.
Santa is getting ready for his round-the-world trip. He’s at the North Pole. On Christmas Eve, Google and NORAD both track Santa’s trip around the world. Click here to follow along.
According to legend, Santa has eight reindeer – Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder and Blixem. The names Dunder and Blixem are derive from Dutch words for thunder and lightning. They were later changed to Donner and Blitzen.
The names and the number of reindeer came from the 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas.” A ninth reindeer, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, was added to the list as the popularity of the 1939 story “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” published by the Montgomery Ward Co. grew.
Well, we’re guessing it’s a very special magic that allows Santa to make it down chimneys to leave toys. One clue on how he does it may come from the poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas." The poem mentions “a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.” Does that mean Santa can miniaturize his sleigh, his reindeer, the toys and himself? It would explain a lot.
Want to learn to sketch old St. Nick? Here’s a tutorial.
Want to get a call from Santa? Here’s a few ways to do that.
You can use Dial My Calls to get calls personalize in several different ways.
You can have Santa talk to your child by using his or her name, or, if you can’t find the name on the list, you can choose one of seven other ways to have it directed toward you child.
You can choose from:
Santa's Greeting #1: A phone call for older kids who may not believe in Santa.
Santa's Greeting #2: A message for a child who's been doing well in school.
Santa's Greeting #3: A message with a bible verse.
Santa's Greeting #4: A general message from Santa and the reindeer.
Santa's Greeting #5: A message encouraging your child to work on his or her behavior.
Santa's Greeting #6: A response to a letter sent to Santa.
Santa's Greeting #7: Praise for a child who's been doing well this year.
Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 11:10 PM
WASHINGTON — United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions has fired former deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, two days before McCabe was set to retire, according to news reports.
Sessions said in a statement released Friday night McCabe that McCabe was less than truthful while under oath several times, according to The New York Times.
“The F.B.I. expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity and accountability,” he said. “I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately.”
In a statement Friday night, McCabe said his firing was politcally motivated.
"This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and the intelligence professionals," McCabe said.
"This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and the intelligence professionals."— Vox (@voxdotcom) March 17, 2018
Read Andrew McCabe's full statement: https://t.co/Bg5HEMhemU
In an earlier interview, McCabe rejected the allegations that he was untruthful during internal hearings, the Times reported.
“The idea that I was dishonest is just wrong,” he said.
“This is part of an effort to discredit me as a witness.”
McCabe is a potential witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI - A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2018
McCabe, who had been with the FBI for 22 years, resigned his position in late January, but stayed on at the agency’s until he was eligible to retire on Sunday.
Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 10:22 PM
— Worried about high blood pressure? You may want to stay away from Chinese takeout.
Health experts have called for warning labels on Chinese takeaway and ready-made meals following a new survey revealing often "astonishing and harmful" salt levels.
The survey, published this week by a group of specialists from the United Kingdom-based organization Action on Salt, revealed that some Chinese takeaway dishes contain as much salt as five McDonald's Big Macs. Others contain more than half of the recommended daily allowance of salt for adults.
When it comes to ready-made Chinese meals in supermarkets, more than 40 percent of 141 that were analyzed had "high" levels of salt, meaning they contained more than 1.8 grams per portion. Some store-bought rice dishes have more salt than 11 bags of salted chips, the analysis revealed.
"Considering how many millions of takeaways and ready meals are eaten ... the food industry must be held to account, with new salt targets set by the government to ensure the salt content of these meals is reduced to much lower levels, and fast," Sarah Alderton, assistant nutritionist at Action on Salt, said in a press release.
Sonia Pombo, the organization’s campaign manager, called for the industry to make changes to their products.
"Our data shows that food can be easily reformulated with lower levels of salt, so why haven't all companies acted responsibly?" Pombo said. "We are asking everyone, including the food industry, to think first and use less salt."
Hemini Bharadia of Blood Pressure UK described the findings as "very concerning."
"We are all eating too much salt. This can lead to high blood pressure causing strokes and heart attacks, most of which could be avoided through better lifestyle choices," Bharadia told The Guardian.
Consuming high levels of salt has been linked to a variety of serious health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes.
"Salt is the forgotten killer as it puts up our blood pressure, leading to tens of thousands of unnecessary strokes, heart failure and heart attacks every year," Graham MacGregor, the chairman of Action on Salt and a professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University of London, said. "Reducing salt is the most cost-effective measure to reduce the number of people dying or suffering from strokes or heart disease."
As activists in the UK call for salt warning labels, New York City is leading the charge on raising awareness about the risks. In 2015, it became the first city in the United States to require high-sodium warning labels on restaurant menus.
According to the city government's health web page, New York is conducting "an unprecedented public-private partnership to help prevent heart disease and strokes by reducing the amount of sodium in packaged and restaurant foods."
"The National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI), a partnership of more than 100 state and local health authorities and national health organizations, set voluntary targets for salt levels in 62 categories of packaged food and 25 categories of restaurant food to guide food company sodium reductions in 2012 and 2014,” the city government shared on the site.
While this new survey from the U.K. may have highlighted the high levels of salt in Chinese food takeout and ready-made dishes, it’s important to note that high levels of sodium are common in many fast food favorites and snacks Americans consume on a daily basis.
New York City's Deputy Health Commissioner Sonia Angell, who is also a physician, told NPR that many people just don't know there's a link between excessive salt intake, high blood pressure and heart disease.
“The majority of salt in our diet doesn't come from the salt shaker — it's already in the food when we purchase it," Angell said. "And that makes restaurants a really important place to give people guidance about how they might be making decisions — if they choose to do so — that might protect their health and their heart."
Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 5:26 PM
DETROIT — A U.S. Senate candidate in Michigan has a plan to arm homeless people in an effort to reduce violent crime.
Candidate Brian Ellison, a Libertarian, is trying to raise $10,000 to put his plan “Arm the Homeless, plan into action to train and provide weapons to the homeless in metro Detroit, according to MLive.com.
Ellison said the homeless need to be able to protect themselves. "Homeless people are people too, and they have a right to defend themselves," he told MLive.
Ellison said in an interview with the Guardian he thinks the best weapon for a homeless person is a pistol.
“But due to the licensing requirements in the state we’re going to have a hard enough time getting homeless people shotguns as it is,” he said.
“Getting them pistols is probably next to impossible. The pistols need to be registered, people have to have addresses.”
Ellison also told the Guardian he isn’t worried about people walking around town with loaded shotguns and he doesn’t think it presents any additional danger. Giving the homeless ammunition along with a gun is part of his plan, too.
“Are you worried about the police being armed with military weapons?” Ellison asked.
“I am,” he said. “The world we live in is a scary world, where the police who used to dress in short-sleeved shirts and carry a revolver now have long rifles with scopes and bulletproof vests and armored vehicles.”
“And quite frankly that scares me much more than a homeless person trying to defend themselves with a shotgun,” Ellison told the Guardian.
Ellison is running against popular incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow and three Republican candidates, Sandy Pensler, Bob Carr and John James.
Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 9:18 PM
Updated: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 9:18 PM
MIAMI — A recently installed pedestrian bridge connecting Florida International University with the City of Sweetwater collapsed Thursday, killing at least six people, the Miami-Dade Police Department said Friday morning.