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The Fattest State 2008 award goes to...

Drumroll, please. CalorieLab United States of Obesity rankings published their 2008 results.

Mississippi has claimed the title of fattest state for the third consecutive year. Colorado repeats as the leanest, according to their new analysis.

Here are some changes from last year:
  • West Virginia passed Alabama to become the second fattest state
  • Hawaii entered the rankings for the first time as the second leanest state (they had not collected data previously)
  • DC actually got slimmer; the only state to do so (obesity dropped 0.1%)
  • Delaware's obesity is increasing at a faster pace than any other state, while California's rankings have dropped at a faster pace than any other state
The 10 Richest Cities in America

Did yours make the list?

Another unruly family kicked off plane

Oh boy, oh boy. Just a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a family with an autistic child being booted off an American eagle flight for "out-of control" behavior.

Today, another "unruly family" hit the news.

A woman, her 5-month-pregnant sister and four kids were kicked off a flight after they were misbehaving on a Southwest Airlines flight to Phoenix. As they were getting off the plane at Phoenix, airport police were already waiting for them and prevented them from boarding their connection to Seattle, CNN reports.

You can watch the video here. Yeah, emotions definitely ran high here. Glad I wasn't on that flight!

The interesting thing is that this family, like the one from two weeks ago, also traveled with an autistic child. On top of that, they had one child with cerebral palsy. It seems to me that airlines need to better prepare for more and more families traveling with special-needs children. (And other passengers need to start realizing that in times of cheap mass air travel, there is no divine right to a quiet flight. Hmm, I'm sure that will go over well.)

What strange things have been found on planes?

Click the image to read the bizarre story...

Photo of the day (07/07/08)

Straight out of Fashion Week! The only difference is that this couple looks so much better than Posh Spice in all her cheesy zebra-print outfits.

AngeAngerson took this photo in a game park in Nairobi, Kenya in 2006.

Seriously, how cute is the baby zebra??

***To have your photo considered for the Gadling Photo of the Day, go over to the Gadling Flickr Pool and post it. Make sure it is not copyrighted, otherwise we can't post it here.***

Collapsed lung, ruptured spleen, broken ribs and other injuries of bull-runners

As Abha already mentioned in one of her posts, the 9-day bull-running festival in Pamplona, Northern Spain, started today.

BBC reports that today's run only took 4 minutes and claimed thirteen injured people. Although the injuries were mostly cuts and bruises suffered by people falling over or getting trampled by one of the six bulls set loose, some more serious injuries were reported.

One man suffered a collapsed lung, ruptured spleen and broken ribs. Another, 23-year old man from Ireland, died after falling from the city's walls. (This actually happened yesterday and had nothing to do with being chased by the bulls though.)

Here is how the festival works. "Up to six bulls and a number of steers are released at 8 a.m. from a pen into a closed-off street. They then run 825m (2,700ft) to the bullring, where they face matadors later in the day. Ahead of them are the runners, who try to stay as close to the bulls as possible without falling or being gored," BBC reports.

Today, the sprint through the cobbled streets apparently turned chaotic after the pack bulls became separated after ploughing into a crowd of people. Ouch.

It is quite amazing that "only" 14 people have been killed during the festival since record-keeping began in 1924.

British driver wrecks a $650,000 Mercedes

I always wondered if those valet parking guys ever crash people's cars. They must, right? Kind of like this poor guy...

According to the Daily Mail, A British delivery driver for a car rental company wrecked a rare Mercedes-Benz worth more than $650,000 on Friday. He was driving the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren to a London drop-off when an 18-wheel truck ripped off the front end of the car. He says he was "creeping along in this very narrow lane and the power steering was very hard at such low speed and he couldn't turn."

The driver said he was only two minutes from his destination when the accident took place and estimates repairs could cost about $100,000. The Mercedes is the most notable car the rental company offers and was being repaired by engineers at the McLaren workshop in Weybridge, England.

The driver says he feels awful. I bet.

[via UPI]

Brief California U.S. Highway 1 report

For those of you planning to take Highway 1 from San Francisco to LA (or visa versa), you probably already know right now is not the best time to do it. Because of the devastating wildfires, the highway is closed to all traffic in some of the most picturesque areas, such as Big Sur.

I just completed the drive and here is what I found.

You can take Highway 1 from San Francisco all the way to Carmel without a problem. In fact, we didn't see or smell any fires in that area. We actually took extra time to drive the 17-mile Pebble Beach loop that, roughly speaking, connects Monterrey and Carmel "the long way". You pay $10 to drive the loop, but since such a big portion of Highway 1 is closed, it is money well spent. It is a beautiful piece of the country.

From Carmel, it gets tricky. We had to cut across to Highway 101 and take it all the way to San Louis Obispo. Soon after SLO, the highway starts hugging the coast again. You can get back on Highway 1. Far south around Santa Barbara, we saw the most dramatic wildfires. It looked like the mountains were spewing smoke (which they were). All the roads, however, remain open in that area.

If you can postpone the road trip, I would definitely postpone in order not to miss Big Sur. If you, however, are ready to go, you can still make the most of it.

(Picture taken on Mulholland Drive, somewhere in the Hollywood Hills, yesterday. Firefighters were busy putting out fires around the greater LA area. The air definitely smells of smoke up there.)

"Lojack" for Your Laptop

A study sponsored by Dell found that over 12,000 laptops are lost or stolen in U.S. airports each week. The airports with the highest frequency? In order: LAX, then Miami, then JFK, then O'Hare, then Newark. Two-thirds of those are never recovered.

What to do? Well, Dell has come out with a suite of security services that might help: Dell ProSupport Mobility Services. The software allows for several nifty solutions for a missing laptop. There's remote tracking and recovery, also called "Lojack" (the opposite of "hijack", from a system developed for stolen cars). This "Lojack for Laptops" system has been around a while, introduced by a company called Absolute Software, but now Dell is putting muscle behind it by allowing you to get it preinstalled. Lose your laptop, call the service, and they'll track down the address where the laptop is sitting (they use the laptop's IP address and then get the physical address from the Internet service provider).

Perhaps even cooler, there's a remote data delete service. Report the laptop missing, and they can wipe your drive clean, so sensitive data is protected.

Of course, there is a hitch. A big one. In order for the search or destroy commands to reach the laptop, the thief has to connect to the Internet. Finding a laptop connected via Wifi can be tough, but, worse, try recovering your laptop from Ulan Bator.

Record turnout for San Francisco Gay Pride this year

I happened to be in San Francisco for this year's Gay Pride weekend. So did an estimated 1,2 million other tourists, including men, women and the currently undecided.

Lots of people came here this year to get married since it is now legal in California. Lots of people came to make political statements: "I am thirteen and I understand equality. Why doesn't McCain?" Others came to criticize Boy Scouts of America for raising kids into homophobic adults. Yet another poster said "Christian + Gay = OK."

It was especially entertaining to watch the unsuspecting tourists stumbling upon the parade on their way fromSan Francisco's main tourist trap, Fisherman's Wharf. Different city completely! Yeah, they sell cheesy T-shirts here, too, but they are more original. I mean, what little kid wouldn't love a T-shirt that says: "I [heart] my mommies."

One of my favorite people was the guy in the picture. Part backpacker, part nudist. I could only aspire to that kind of liberation.

Heathrow: Still Europe's worst

I wonder whether they should just tear down Heathrow and build a new airport from scratch. Heathrow consistently gets the worst ratings among airports. And with competition such as the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, that's saying a lot.

According to the latest statistics published by the Association of European Airlines, nearly half of flights left or arrived at Heathrow at least 15 minutes late during the first three months of the year, Telegraph reports. Not only was Heathrow rated as the worst of the 27 airports in the survey, but this was the 16th quarter in succession that it was rated among the poorest five performers.

Heathrow suffered particularly badly with air traffic control delays, which were responsible for 15.3 percent of flights arriving late. Loading and handling at Heathrow was also bad, being cited as the key factor in 11.1 percent of planes' delayed departure.

Even with the new Terminal 5, Heathrow just can't win.

How bad are the wildfires around Highway 1?

Anyone out there living in the Big Sur area? If so, I am very, very sorry to hear about the devastating wildfires.

I am supposed to drive down from San Francisco to LA tomorrow and I was hoping to take Highway 1. Is that just completely insane? Is highway 1 still closed around Big Sur?

I have been reading a lot about the wildfires, but I can't find updated local information.


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