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30 Dec 2011 11:48


Tech: Amazon sold a bunch of Kindles, but don’t expect a specific count

  • 4 million Kindles sold in December … well, at least we think so source
  • » It’s an estimate based off of Amazon’s evasiveness. They said that customers “purchased well over 1 million Kindle devices per week” in the month of December. Sales of Kindle e-books were up 175% from last year’s period between Black Friday and Christmas; so while Amazon may not give us clear numbers, the company seems to be doing well in the fields it created.

27 Dec 2011 15:30


U.S.: This year, Santa taught one Arizona family to never give up hope.

  • an honest-to-goodness christmas miracle. Nobody thought Sam Schmid, a business major at Arizona State University, was going to recover from a traumatic car crash in October; his family was ready to take him off life support. His doctor ran just one more brain scan and advised them to wait a week before making any decisions. That same day, Schmid became responsive and even opened his eyes. He was allowed one day to be at home with his family for Christmas. With intense therapy, he hopes to be back at school next year. “There is no better gift,” his mother said. source

26 Dec 2011 12:20


U.S.: Mystery surrounds Christmas Day murder-suicide near Dallas

  • 6 family members killed by a relative dressed as Santa Claus source
  • » A family, aged 18-60, killed: Investigators worked overnight through Monday morning to figure out what happened Sunday, as a home in Grapevine, Texas, turned into a deadly scene. “Seven people in one setting in Grapevine, that’s never happened before. Ever,” said Grapevine Police Lt. Todd Dearing, who noted victims were related, but some may not have lived in the apartment. Many of the buildings are vacant around the apartment, and the only word of the shooting was a 911 call from a line with no answer on the other end.

25 Dec 2011 11:38


World: Pope Benedict wishes for end to violence in Syria in Christmas message

  • May the Lord come to the aid of our world torn by so many conflicts which even today stain the earth with blood. May the Prince of Peace grant peace and stability to that Land where he chose to come into the world, and encourage the resumption of dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. May he bring an end to the violence in Syria, where so much blood has already been shed.
  • Pope Benedict • Speaking during a Christmas service at St Peter’s Basilica Sunday. It’s of particular note that the Pope, who offered greetings in 65 different languages, chose to single out Syria, where a violent crackdown has led to at least 5,000 deaths in the past nine months. The day before, the pope made a point of decrying the commercialization of the holiday in his Christmas Eve message. source

25 Dec 2011 11:12


World: Nigerian churches bombed by terror group during Christmas services

  • 25+ killed in Christmas Day bombings in Nigeria source
  • » Christmas masses targeted: Nigerian terror sect Boko Haram (a strict Muslim group) has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which hit five targets, three of which appeared to be Christian churches holding Christmas services. “I just ran out. Now I don’t even know where my children or my wife are,” said Timothy Onyekwere, who was at one of the churches. “I don’t know how many were killed but there were many dead.”

22 Dec 2011 11:28


Biz: Christmas miracle: Why Virginia farms plant lots of evergreens these days

  • cause Tobacco has long been a key crop for farmers in Virginia, and until the early 2000s, it was a heavily-regulated industry, with quotas and price supports for farmers. However, in 2004, the industry was largely deregulated.
  • reaction After the deregulation happened, farmers got money from the federal government allowing them to focus on new kinds of crops. One of the big ones? Christmas trees, which are hard to smoke but pretty easy to decorate. source

30 Nov 2011 11:31


Offbeat: Arizona gun club offers photos with Santa — and a few AK-47s

  • Dear Arizona ShortFormBlog readers: If we were to give you a picture of our mascot, Julius the Laid-Off RSS Robot, could you go visit the Scottsdale Gun Club on December 10 to take a picture with Santa and a few AK-47s? If you want, you can even play target practice with the printout afterward. (We’d expect pictures of that, too.) Julius is a big fan of the Second Amendment and he’d really get a kick out of it. Thanks. (Editor’s note: This is a real offer.) source

28 Dec 2010 10:57


Biz: Consumers bought more this Christmas, but not feeling confident

  • good Consumers bought more stuff in the week before Christmas than they did a year earlier – a solid 4.8-percent jump. It’s a great holiday season overall for retail.
  • bad However, consumer confidence managed to fall in December, suggesting that we still in fact have a long way to go before we’re back to normal, guys. source

25 Dec 2010 10:32


25 Dec 2010 10:25


World: The Pope’s Christmas wish: Peace in the Middle East (of course!)

  • May the light of Christmas shine forth anew in the Land where Jesus was born, and inspire Israelis and Palestinians to strive for a just and peaceful co-existence.
  • Pope Benedict XVI • Expressing hope for the Israel-Palestinian conflict’s resolution during his Christmas Day mass. He suggested the same for Somalia, Darfur and the Ivory Coast. Merry Christmas, bro. You’ve had as tough a year as any of us have had, what with all those scandals you’ve had to deal with lately. source