Tidbits from Mike Bradley's Portion of the Morning Team

Nov 08, 2013 -- 1:10pm

Guilty Pleasures:
No winner in Tuesday night's drawing for the Mega Millions Lottery. That means tonight's drawing is valued at $115 million ($63 million cash value). Mega Millions is played in 42 states and Washington DC. Chances of winning the big prize are 1 in 175.7 million.

Online items: 
Go to Google search today and you'll see a cartoon memorializing what would have been HERMANN RORSCHACH's 129th birthday. Hermann was the guy who invented those "ink blot" cards given to psychological patients by their shrinks, where they're supposed to tell them what they see in the inkblot.
   Of course, the more bizarre answers would supposedly reveal the hidden facets of people's personalities.

The Weather:
A massive typhoon packing winds approaching 200 mph and called one of the most powerful storms ever recorded blasted into the Philippines yesterday. Within minutes of making landfall, it had killed two people, downed trees, knocked out power and caused widespread flooding.
   The super typhoon Haiyan carried sustained winds of 190 mph and staggering gusts of 235 mph. People were reporting that the rain is "falling" completely horizontal, parallel to the ground. Residents are already posting videos and a stunning view of the storm from space gives you an idea of its size.
   Only three other storms since 1969 have reached this intensity.

The Stock Market:
The world's public forum officially went public yesterday, but Twitter shares closed slightly lower than at the opening. The company's stock opened on the New York Stock Exchange at $45.10 --far higher than the $26 the company expected (although that might've been floated to generate excitement). By closing time, prices were down to $44.90.
Here's how this little bit of trickery works: Since the IPO (Initial Public Offering) was $26, the underwriting banks and institutional investors who got to participate at the start enjoyed a healthy 72 percent increase. That ain't you, so suck it, 99 percenters!

As for the company, they raised just shy of $2 billion in new capital, and its top executives are now billionaires.

-Everybody is expecting "Thor: The Dark World" to open with nearly $100 million in weekend revenue after it opened overseas last week with more than $110 million. That's the fourth-highest overseas opening of the year, and it's still going strong. For the first week overseas, it's made $142 million, which is far more than the first "Thor" movie's take of $65 million.
   The other big openings will be "About Time," with RACHEL McADAMS, and "12 Years a Slave," starring CHIWETEL EJIOFOR and BRAD PITT, about a free black man from upstate New York who's abducted and sold into slavery. Both of them have been out for a week or two, but at just a few theatres; this weekend they'll both be at more than 11-hundred locations.

   --"Thor: The Dark World," (Adventure, wide release, rated PG-13), starring CHRIS HEMSWORTH, NATALIE PORTMAN, TOM HIDDLESTON, STELLAN SKARSGAARD, IDRIS ELBA, CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON. Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself.
   --"About Time," (Comedy, wide release, rated R), starring DOMHNALL GLEESON as a guy who finds out he can travel thru time --but can't change anything but his own life. With RACHEL McADAMS, BILL NIGHY.

Top DVD Sales last week (Rentrak):
5. "The Croods"
4. "The Conjuring"
3. "The Heat"
2. "R.I.P.D."
1. "Monsters University"
# # #

Top video rentals last week (Rentrak): 
5. "World War Z"
4. "This Is The End"
3. "After Earth"
2. "Monsters University"
1. "The Croods"

-They're the ingredients that make cookies and cakes taste better and pie crusts flakier but yesterday the Food and Drug Administration said artificial trans fats are no longer recognized as safe, and the FDA intends to ban them.
   The measures would deem hydrogenated oils (where trans fats come from) no longer safe. And since the Institute of Medicine says there is no safe level at which to consume artificial trans fats, companies will have a hard time challenged the proposal during the 60-day comment period. The industry, however, has been voluntarily reducing trans fat in their products for years.

   In 2003, Americans consumed 4.6 grams of trans fats a day. By 2012, it had plummeted to one gram a day.
   The FDA says there's no safe level of consumption and adds that banning them altogether may prevent 20-thousand heart attacks and seven-thousand deaths a year.
   Trans fat is created by turning liquid vegetable oil into fat. Processed food manufacturers use it because it extends the shelf life and improves the flavor of some foods, such as microwave popcorn, crackers and cookies, Some restaurants use trans fats in fried food.

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