5 Fast Top Stories In 5 Minutes (or less) Friday. December 19th

Prince Harry’s Goal Is To Save A Generation 

Prince Harry. Credit: Glyn Lowe - http://www.flickr.com/photos/glynlowe/8723778475/ 2.0

Prince Harry. Credit: Glyn Lowe – http://www.flickr.com/photos/glynlowe/8723778475/ 2.0

I adore Prince Harry, that royal naughty British boy, but not for his antics nor his handsome looks. I fell in love with him when I saw the picture of him holding an AIDs baby at an orphanage. He is definitely his mother’s child. She was an advocate for African orphanages and took her two boys with her on some of her trips.

The Prince’s charity, Sentebale, “provides healthcare and education to vulnerable children in Lesotho, Southern Africa.” He was there to monitor a new children’s center, and used his camera to document developments and children.

According to USAID, there are more than 350,000 orphans in Lesotho, and about 180,000 of them lost parents to AIDS.

The Prince’s goal? To save a generation. Good work, Prince Harry. Good work.

Much Lower Gasoline Prices Welcome On The Home Front

Gasoline Prices Down. Credit: David Falconer Public Domain

Gasoline Prices Down. Credit: David Falconer Public Domain

I don’t care whether or not the economists like the reality of gasoline prices plunging down nearly 50% these past six months. I am crazy about the idea. And  I haven’t seen anyone complaining about more reasonable prices. Now this is more like it. I can afford to fill up my tank without breaking my budget. It is wonderful to have those extra bucks.

Why did gasoline prices…well, tank? Federal mileage requirements (MPG) mean we don’t have to buy as many gallons of gasoline. President Bush (43) got that law through. Then in 2012 President Obama raised the MPG to 54.5 in all new vehicles sold by model year 2025.

Although we are the number one producer of oil and natural gas, gas became a luxury for many this century. With the Great Recession people drove fewer miles – no more Sunday drives. And part of the reason for low prices is to punish Russia for invading its neighbor, Ukraine. But I expect the price to stay reasonable. If they can do it now, they can keep it up.

President Obama Says Sony Made A Mistake By Pulling Movie

N Korea Hacks Sony. Credit: GNU Free Documentation License.

N Korea Hacks Sony. Credit: GNU Free Documentation License.

Well North Korea has the brains to hack Sony Pictures. This cyber attack seems to surprise everyone including big biz and the government. And the hoopla was all over a movie – not even a serious movie, but a comedy! Apparently North Korea has no sense of humor when it comes to their dictator.

Granted the movie was in poor taste, about a couple of jokers being sent over there to take out Kim Jong-un. North Korea released some embarrassing emails of Sony executives to let us know what they can do. But a movie seems to be little reason to threaten blowing up movie theatres. 

It took a while for our country to decide North Korea was behind the cyber terrorism as far as we can see. In fact that country has a sophisticated department, Unit 121, dedicated to cyber attacks. Now the FBI says North Korea acted alone behind the malware.

That means this errant country can take over other things, like our electric grid. And it also means North Korea can decide what movies we can and cannot see? No! But the US and the international community need to come up with security rules. And do it fast!

NASA Discovered A New Planet Like Earth

New Planet. Credit: Deviant Art. CC 3.0

New Planet. Credit: Deviant Art. CC 3.0

NASA’s Kepler space telescope found an alien planet and named it HIP 116454b. Couldn’t they have come up with a better name? If there is life on it, I’m sure they would be offended.

This badly named planet is about 2.5 times bigger than Earth and about 180 light-years away from us. If we could figure out how to put people in suspended animation, a visit might possible one day. It is about 12 times denser than our planet. That could mean it is covered by water or it has a “large, thick atmosphere” or something not yet defined.

And the space telescope has found about 1000 like planets. How intriguing. If any of them have life, I wonder what form they would take? I prefer E T’s.

Will Colbert Change His Name When He Leaves One TV Set For Another?

Colbert Moves. Credit: Kevin Burkett CC 2.0 Madame Tussauds Stephen Colbert

Colbert Moves. Credit: Kevin Burkett CC 2.0
Madame Tussauds Stephen Colbert

I’m going to miss The Colbert (with its silent “t”) Report and the persona Stephen Colbert created. After all, we’ve been together for nine years. Last night when they turned off the lights, it was all over.

The farewell audience included everyone from Willie Nelson to Big Bird. And so now we say goodbye to the man who gave us “truthiness.” His desk, the fireplace and all of the rest of the set was auctioned off raising $300,000+ for the Yellow Ribbon Fund and Donor’s Choose charities.

And now Colbert is off to ABC to replace David Letterman on the Late Show. So finally we will be able to see who you really are, Stephen Colbert.

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