November 26, 2009
Posted: 05:40 PM ET
By Doug Gross, CNN
(CNN) - If that dreamy blind date seems too good to be true, or the guy at the bar with a martini and a pencil-thin moustache looks a little sketchy, the truth about them - or at least some of it - could be found on your phone.
Designers at a pair of companies say their new applications for smartphones can tell you in real time whether someone is married or divorced, has a criminal record, has filed for bankruptcy or has any number of potential red flags in their past.
Using Google to search for information on a prospective romantic partner is standard practice for many single people in the digital age. But these new apps, combined with the growth of smartphones and wireless networks, now allow for quick background checks on the go, potentially before a date is even over.
The lighthearted iPhone apps Stud or Dud? and Are They Really Single? - from online information broker PeopleFinders - have far-reaching potential for convenient snooping, and not just on potential dates. Their makers say that in today's society it's increasingly important to check out people's backstories.
"There are more and more strangers in people's lives," said Bryce Lane, president of the PeopleFinders Network. "There's this digital awakening where people are in online communities - they're meeting people they don't have information on.
"We think that's a problem. Yes, there are a lot of opportunities to meet great new people, but a lot of people are misrepresenting who they are."
Filed under: Entertainment
Posted: 11:14 AM ET
Tune in tonight for a special holiday Larry King Live marathon leading up to CNN Heroes at 9pm ET.
We’re thankful - today and every day - for our amazing viewers and blog readers!
But on this holiday, we want to know:
WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR THIS YEAR?
Sound off below!
Grab a leftover drumstick, a friend or a loved one and tune in to CNN! And don’t forget to stick around at 9pm ET for CNN Heroes, hosted by Anderson Cooper!
Filed under: Larry King Live
Posted: 08:37 AM ET
From U.S. Census Bureau:
Historians have also recorded ceremonies of thanks among other groups of European settlers in North America, including British colonists in Virginia in 1619.
The legacy of thanks and the feast have survived the centuries, as the event became a national holiday in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving.
Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping, never on the occasional fifth Thursday.
250 million: The preliminary estimate of turkeys raised in the United States in 2009. That’s down 8 percent from the number raised during 2008. The turkeys produced in 2008 together weighed 7.9 billion pounds and were valued at $4.5 billion.
45.5 million: The preliminary estimate of turkeys Minnesota expected to raise in 2009. The Gopher State was tops in turkey production, followed by North Carolina (37.5 million), Arkansas (28 million), Missouri (21 million), Virginia (16.4 million) and California (15 million). These six states together would probably account for about two-thirds of U.S. turkeys produced in 2009.
709 million pounds: The forecast for U.S. cranberry production in 2009. Wisconsin is expected to lead all states in the production of cranberries, with 400 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts (190 million). New Jersey, Oregon and Washington are also expected to have substantial production, ranging from 16 million to 54 million pounds.
1.8 billion pounds: The total weight of sweet potatoes — another popular Thanksgiving side dish — produced by major sweet potato producing states in 2008. North Carolina (874 million pounds) produced more sweet potatoes than any other state. It was followed by California (437 million pounds) and Mississippi (335 million pounds).
1.1 billion pounds: Total production of pumpkins produced in the major pumpkin-producing states in 2008. Illinois led the country by producing 496 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. Pumpkin patches in California, Pennsylvania and New York also provided lots of pumpkins: Each state produced at least 100 million pounds. The value of all pumpkins produced by major pumpkin-producing states was $141 million.
If you prefer cherry pie, you will be pleased to learn that the nation’s forecasted tart cherry production for 2009 totals 284 million pounds. Of this total, the overwhelming majority (220 million) will be produced in Michigan.
Filed under: Entertainment
November 25, 2009
Posted: 04:49 PM ET
Just walk him through the front door...
Tune in to Larry King Live tonight at 9pm ET / 6pm PT to see more of Jack Hanna's animals invading the Larry King Live set!
Posted: 04:15 PM ET
Get ready for a "wild" night with the exotic...cute...and just plain scary!
It’s a real-life jungle here on the Larry King Live set...and wait to you see what Jack has in store for Larry!
Tune in tonight at 9pm ET / 6pm PT!
Check out the Jack Hanna "web extra" to take a look at some animals you won't see on tonight's show...
We want to know:
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE 'WILD' ANIMAL?
Sound off below!
Posted: 02:14 PM ET
New York (CNN) - A 13-year-old teenager with Asperger's syndrome spent 11 days in October wandering New York's vast subway system until a police officer recognized him from a missing persons' poster, according to police and the youth's mother.
Francisco Hernandez Jr., who has Asperger's, a developmental disorder that affects the ability to socialize and communicate, disappeared on October 15, after he thought he was in trouble at school, according to his mother, Marsiela Garcia of Brooklyn.
Garcia told CNN that she contacted police when her son went missing, but received little help.
Garcia said she and her husband took matters into their own hands and posted signs and fliers around the neighborhood, in public areas, even in the subway. "Nobody told me nothing," she said.
The teen was eventually identified by a transit police officer in the Coney Island section of New York, after the officer recognized him from the fliers that had been posted throughout the subway system. He was returned home unharmed.
Garcia said her son wore the same clothes for 11 days, slept in subway cars, used bathrooms in stations and spent most of his time over those days underground. He had $11 when he disappeared, she said, and he ate lollipops, potato chips and other food he bought in subway stations.
"He's never explained (to) me what happened in these days," Garcia said.
Francisco told his mother he didn't ask for help or communicate with anyone, which experts say is not uncommon for people with Asperger's syndrome.
Filed under: Crime
Posted: 02:00 PM ET
(CNN) - Donny Osmond's family dinner table may have a unique centerpiece this Thanksgiving holiday: a sparkly, much-perspired-over mirror ball trophy.
Osmond was named champion of this season's edition of "Dancing With the Stars" on Tuesday night, beating out singer Mya, who took second place, and Kelly Osbourne, who finished third.
"You are born to perform," the judges told Osmond earlier during the two-hour season finale of the hit series.
The entertainer beamed as he held up the trophy with his professional dancing partner Kym Johnson, then ran into the audience and brought his sister Marie onto the dance floor to celebrate.
Donny Osmond has been a crowd favorite, working hard to learn his routines, throwing himself fully into the character of each dance and playfully making fun of his age. (At almost 52, he was decades older than some of his competitors.)
His sister Marie, who famously fainted when she was a contestant on an earlier season of "Dancing With the Stars," was a frequent supporter in the audience.
Tuesday's finale featured a last dance from the three finalists. Osmond and Johnson danced a sultry tango that judge Carrie Ann Inaba called "artistry in motion."
Filed under: Entertainment
Posted: 01:58 PM ET
Here's an EXCLUSIVE bonus clip of "Jungle Jack" Hanna on LKL – he's bringing a lot of his friends TONIGHT ON "LARRY KING LIVE" – 9pmeastern/6pmpacific. Tune in for some animal fun!
Filed under: Jack Hanna
Posted: 01:44 PM ET
Posted: 08:39 AM ET
Michael Jackson's family gathered Tuesday for an early Thanksgiving dinner, determined not to let money and fame pull it apart, the pop icon's oldest brother said.
"That's really, really important because we're a family and throughout the years, the managers, the agents and Hollywood have tried to come between that," Jermaine Jackson said. "What they don't know is we were together before we came out here and we're going to continue to be together."
Jackson spoke to CNN at a Tuesday morning screening of his brother's "This Is It" movie for inner-city students in Los Angeles. He said he has stayed away from the Michael Jackson estate legal battle, which pitted his mother's lawyer against his father's lawyer earlier this month.
"When there's a lot of fame and fortune and attorneys, accountants and advisers and managers and agents, it gets like this," Jermaine Jackson said. "But at the same time, my mother is the boss and regardless of what the executors want to do at the end of the day, she has the say."
When family matriarch Katherine Jackson dropped her legal challenge of the men named in Michael Jackson's will to run his estate, family patriarch Joe Jackson's lawyer was launching his own challenge. This set off a bitter courtroom battle between the lawyers for the Jackson parents.
"She has now reneged on her obligation to her family," Joe Jackson's lawyer, Brian Oxman, told the judge. He said Katherine Jackson's reversal was "one of the most despicable displays" he's ever seen in court. Oxman accused her of reaching a secret deal - behind Joe Jackson's back - with the men who control their son's estate.
Filed under: Michael Jackson
Go Behind The Scenes
LARRY KING LIVE'S Emmy-winning Senior Executive Producer Wendy Walker knows what it takes to make a great story.
With anecdotes, provocative emails, scandals, show transcripts and insights into Walker's long working relationship with Larry King, her new book PRODUCER issues readers an invitation to listen in on the most intriguing conversations on the planet.