Petition to deport Piers Morgan??

Piers Morgan at CES 2011.

LONDON (AP) — Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition calling for British CNN host Piers Morgan to be deported from the U.S. over his gun control views.

Morgan has taken an aggressive stand for tighter U.S. gun laws in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting. Last week, he called a gun advocate appearing on his “Piers Morgan Tonight” show an “unbelievably stupid man.”

Now, gun rights activists are fighting back. A petition created Dec. 21 on the White House e-petition website by a user in Texas accuses Morgan of engaging in a “hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution” by targeting the Second Amendment. It demands he be deported immediately for “exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens.”

The petition has already hit the 25,000 signature threshold to get a White House response. By Monday, it had 31,813 signatures.

Morgan seemed unfazed — and even amused — by the movement.

In a series of Twitter messages, he alternately urged his followers to sign the petition and in response to one article about the petition said “bring it on” as he appeared to track the petition’s progress.

“If I do get deported from America for wanting fewer gun murders, are there any other countries that will have me?” he wrote.

Living to be 100 yrs old

The Centenarian

Your chances of reaching age 100 could be better than you think — especially if you get some additional sleep and improve your diet.

U.S. seniors who make it to their 100th birthdays tend to credit social connections, exercise and spiritual activity as keys to successful aging.

Research from UnitedHealthcare looks at centenarians and baby boomers, asking the former about the “secrets of aging success” and evaluating whether the latter are taking the necessary steps to celebrate a 100th birthday.

The primary findings: Many boomers are embracing lifestyles that could lead to a long and rewarding life — with two exceptions. More than seven in 10 centenarians — 71% — say they get eight hours or more of sleep each night. By contrast, only 38% of boomers say they get the same amount of rest. And when it comes to eating right, more than eight in 10 centenarians say they regularly consume a balanced meal, compared with just over two-thirds (68%) of baby boomers.

The report — “100@100 Survey” (view PDF at UnitedHealthGroup.com) — begins with some startling numbers. As of late 2010, the U.S. had an estimated 72,000 centenarians, according to the Census Bureau. By the year 2050, that number — with the aging of the baby-boom generation — is expected to reach more than 600,000. Meanwhile, an estimated 10,000 boomers each and every day — for the next decade — will turn 65.

How to reach 100? Centenarians point to social connections, exercise and spiritual activity as some of the keys to successful aging. Among surveyed centenarians, almost nine in 10 — fully 89% — say they communicate with a family member or friend every day; about two-thirds (67%) pray, meditate or engage in some form of spiritual activity; and just over half (51%) say they exercise almost daily.

In each of these areas, baby boomers, as it turns out, match up fairly well. The same percentage of boomers as centenarians — 89% — say they’re in touch with friends or family members on a regular basis. Sixty percent of surveyed baby boomers say spiritual activity is an important part of their lives, and almost six in 10 boomers (59%) exercise regularly.

Again, sleep and diet are the two areas where baby boomers come up short. Not surprisingly, the one area where boomers are more active is the workplace. Three-quarters (76%) of surveyed baby boomers say they work at a job or hobby almost every day; that compares with 16% of centenarians.

Finally, researchers turned to cultural affairs and asked centenarians and boomers to identify — from a list of 14 notable people (including President Obama, singer Paul McCartney and actors Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts) — their preferred dinner guest. The top choice among centenarians and boomers alike: actress and comedienne Betty White

Today in history; Van Gogh chops off ear Dec 23, 1888!!!

On this day in 1888, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, suffering from severe depression, cuts off the lower part of his left ear with a razor while staying in Arles, France. He later documented the event in a painting titled Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear. Today, Van Gogh is regarded as an artistic genius and his masterpieces sell for record-breaking prices; however, during his lifetime, he was a poster boy for tortured starving artists and sold only one painting.

Vincent Willem van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853, in the Netherlands. He had a difficult, nervous personality and worked unsuccessfully at an art gallery and then as a preacher among poor miners in Belgium. In 1880, he decided to become an artist. His work from this period–the most famous of which is The Potato Eaters (1885)–is dark and somber and reflective of the experiences he had among peasants and impoverished miners.

In 1886, Van Gogh moved to Paris where his younger brother Theo, with whom he was close, lived. Theo, an art dealer, supported his brother financially and introduced him to a number of artists, including Paul Gauguin, Camille Pisarro and Georges Seurat. Influenced by these and other painters, Van Gogh’s own artistic style lightened up and he began using more color.

In 1888, Van Gogh rented a house in Arles in the south of France, where he hoped to found an artists’ colony and be less of a burden to his brother. In Arles, Van Gogh painted vivid scenes from the countryside as well as still-lifes, including his famous sunflower series. Gauguin came to stay with him in Arles and the two men worked together for almost two months. However, tensions developed and on December 23, in a fit of dementia, Van Gogh threatened his friend with a knife before turning it on himself and mutilating his ear lobe. Afterward, he allegedly wrapped up the ear and gave it to a prostitute at a nearby brothel. Following that incident, Van Gogh was hospitalized in Arles and then checked himself into a mental institution in Saint-Remy for a year. During his stay in Saint-Remy, he fluctuated between periods of madness and intense creativity, in which he produced some of his best and most well-known works, including Starry Night and Irises.

In May 1890, Van Gogh moved to Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris, where he continued to be plagued by despair and loneliness. On July 27, 1890, he shot himself and died two days later at age 37