Pull a buck from your wallet now and prepare to be amazed.

We’re serious. Did you know a dollar bill has hidden pictures, flecks of color, and mysterious symbols? And that’s just the beginning. What do all those seemingly random letters and Latin phrases mean, anyway?

The Basics: How much is a dollar worth?

The question seems simple, but the answer is quite complex. Since 1973, the dollar bill has had no value tied to it. You cannot trade in a dollar to the government for gold, silver, or any other commodity. The value of the nation's currency is related to the decree by the government that a dollar is legal tender for all debts. This means if someone attempts to pay a debt using dollars, the person being paid must accept the money or the law no longer recognizes the debt. This is important enough that the phrase is printed on every bill the government creates.

It is also vital for the nation's citizens to agree that the bills have value. If the members of a society decided that they did not believe in the currency, it would quickly be worth no more than the paper it is printed on. For the record, each bill costs the government 6.4 cents to print.

What kind of paper are the bills made from?

Bills are made from a blend of linen and cotton, which is why they don't fall apart in the wash the way paper does. If you look closely, you can see red and blue silk fibers woven throughout the bill. The threads are thought to be an anti-counterfeit measure.

Hint: Look in the white spaces on the face of the bill for little bits of the colored thread. They look like lint but you can't scratch them off!

On the face of a dollar, what does the letter inside the circular seal mean?

The black seal with the big letter in the middle signifies the Federal Reserve bank that placed the order for the bill. A = Boston, B = New York City, C = Philadelphia, D = Cleveland, E = Richmond, Va., F = Atlanta, G = Chicago, H = St. Louis, I = Minneapolis, J = Kansas City, K = Dallas.

The letter also corresponds to the black number that is repeated four times on the face of the bill. For example, if you have a bill from Dallas with the letter K, then the number on the bill will be 11 because K is the eleventh letter in the alphabet.

Can you find any tiny owls or spiders hidden on the front of the bill?

Many people believe they can see a tiny owl (some say it is a spider) next to the large "1" on the upper right of the bill. If you look at the shield shape that surrounds that "1," the tiny owl rests on the top left corner.

More than likely, the markings are nothing, just a point where the webbed design of the border varies. That won't stop some people from associating the peculiar detail with Masonic symbols, or with more practical things, like anti-counterfeit measures.

The Great Seal of the United States

The green back of the dollar bill features the two sides of The Great Seal of the United States. The founding fathers approved its design in 1782. Ben Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson all had a hand in devising it. The seal provides great insight into the values of the newborn nation and, like the Constitution, provides a direct link to its formative days.

What does Annuit Coeptis mean?

The first of three Latin phrases on the back of the bill is translated as "God has favored our undertakings." Many founders, Franklin and George Washington among them, believed that God's will was behind the successful creation of the United States.

Beneath the pyramid, what does Novus Ordo Seclorum mean?

These Latin words mean "New order of the ages." Charles Thomson, a statesman involved in the design of The Great Seal of the United States, proposed the phrase to signify the beginning of what he called "the new American Era," which he said began in 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Why is MDCCLXXVI on the bottom of the pyramid?

The letters are Roman numerals for 1776. M is 1,000, D is 500, CC is 200, L is 50, XX is 20, VI is 6. Add the numerals on the pyramid together and you get the year 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed, and when the Novus Ordo Seclorum began.

Why is there an unfinished pyramid with a glowing eye?

Thomson explained the sturdy pyramid as a symbol of "strength and duration". He did not explain its unfinished state, but many believe it signified that our nation remained unfinished. The pyramid also stops at 13 steps, the number of the original colonies.

The "Eye of Providence" is a visual representation of the words Annuit Coeptis, and reinforces the founders' notion that God looked upon the endeavor of the new nation with favor. Many theorists mistakenly believe the symbolism of the eye is related to the Freemasons (a secret society whose members believed they were under the careful scrutiny of God), but the symbolism of the glowing eye is far older than any Freemason thinking. Scholars have traced versions of the symbol as far back as the ancient Egyptians.

What does E Pluribus Unum mean?

"Out of many, one." The 13 disparate colonies came together to form one nation.

Why a bald eagle? The founders wanted an animal native to America to be the new nation's symbol. In its talons the eagle holds arrows and olive branches, signifying war and peace.

Fun activities you and the kids can do with a dollar bill

Track your bills. Go to the website Where's George? and enter the serial number of the bill. If the bill has been in circulation long enough, you might be able to see where your bill has been as it travels from wallets to registers and back. After you enter your bills, check back later to see where they have gone.

Play dollar-bill poker. Each of you takes a dollar bill and examines the green serial numbers as if they were a hand of playing cards. Make your best poker hand and see who wins.

Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie Are Splitting-Up?!

Say it ain’t so – Brangelina might soon be just Brad and Angelina.

The Hollywood power couple is headed for splitsville, London’s News of the World reported Saturday.

Citing sources, the paper says Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have met with California divorce lawyers and have agreed to divide their vast fortune.

However the News Of The World newspaper is claiming today that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will definitely split and furthermore the publication also claims that the couple have already consulted a lawyer about how to divide their vast fortune.

Apparently under the terms of their agreement the Hollywood stars have decided to equally split their £205 million fortune, and they’re sharing joint custody of their six children.

In legal papers signed this month, the world’s most famous couple has also agreed to share custody of their six kids, sources say.

“The document was signed in early January,” a source told the British tabloid.

The contract, signed by Pitt and Jolie, is similar to a pre-nuptial agreement.

“It seemed clear they want the world to know they’ll both play a part in the upbringing of the children,” the source said. “But Angelina will actually be the one who lives with them full-time. There's no date for when the contract would come into effect. But the paperwork is already organised for a break-up - and for it to be as unmessy for them as possible. It is clear it's a case of when they break-up rather than if.”

Pitt, 46, will have full access to their three biological children – Shiloh and twins Knox and Vivienne – as well as the three adopted children – Maddox, from Cambodia; Zahara, from Ethiopia; and Pax, from Vietnam.

The couple, who never married, have been together since shooting the action film “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” five years ago, when Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston.

Pitt and Jolie, 34, have not been photographed together in recent days, fueling reports that their story-book relationship was on the rocks.

On Jan. 6, the National Enquirer reported that Pitt and Jolie had a heated argument inside the Alto restaurant in Midtown.

The magazine said Pitt demanded Jolie get psychiatric help for the depression she has suffered from since the death of her mother three years ago.

Pitt was photographed Friday night backstage at the “Hope for Haiti” telethon in Los Angeles but without Jolie.

The couple have yet to make an official split on this latest break-up report...

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A woman is accused of trying to trade her young daughter for a gun.

Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 33-year-old Tanya Nareau for allegedly trying to trade her 2-year-old daughter for a gun.

Sheriff’s deputies were called to a home in the 9200 block of Apache Trail after receiving a tip that a woman gave her child away so that she could get a gun in exchange.

While at the home, deputies talked to a family friend who had the toddler and told deputies Nareau had traded her 2-year-old girl to him in exchange for a gun.

Nareau reportedly called the family friend and stated she still wanted the gun. The suspect reportedly also said the family friend would “do a better job in raising the child than she would.”

The suspect also told her friend she is unable to purchase a gun herself because she is prohibited by law to do so.

Nareau is at the Fourth Avenue Jail and faces charges of unlawful sale of a child and solicitation to commit possession of weapon by prohibited possessor.

Dairy Milk maker Cadbury and its US suitor Kraft Foods are finalising details of an agreed takeover deal, the companies confirmed today.
Oreos and Philadelphia cheese giant Kraft said the boards were "finalising the terms of a recommended offer" and confirmed an announcement would be made shortly.

Kraft is expected to secure the backing of the Cadbury board after it reportedly tabled a revised bid worth up to £11.7 billion.

U.S. Department of Justice - Federal Bureau of Investigation

Washington, D.C. 20535-0001

FBI National Press Office, (202) 324-3691

For Immediate Release

January 13, 2010

Haitian Earthquake Relief Fraud Alert

Washington, D.C. – The FBI today reminds Internet users who receive appeals to donate money in the aftermath of Tuesday’s earthquake in Haiti to apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before responding to those requests.

Past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization and/or a good cause.

Therefore, before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, to include the following:

* Do not respond to any unsolicited (SPAM) incoming emails, including clicking links contained within those messages.
* Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims or officials sking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites.
* Verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations by utilizing various Internet-based resources that may assist in confirming the group’s existence and its nonprofit status rather than following a purported link to the site.
* Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from know senders.
* Make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf to ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes.
* Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions: Providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.

Anyone who has received an e-mail referencing the above information or anyone who may have been a victim of this or a similar incident should notify the IC3 via www.ic3.gov.


Laptops and Blackberry mobile phones have been blessed in a church ceremony in the City of London.

Canon David Parrott blessed the gadgets at the St Lawrence Jewry church in an updated version of a traditional "Plough Monday" back-to-work ceremony.

A number of parishioners held their mobile phones up as Rev Parrott recited a prayer.

He said: "It's the technology that is our daily working tool and it's a technology we should bless."

The 17th Century building is the official church of the City of London Corporation.

On Monday Canon Parrott placed a number of laptops and phones on its altar.

He said it would remind the capital's busy office workers that God's grace could reach them in many ways.

Canon Parrott then recited a blessing over the parishioners and their electronic devices.

He said he hoped the ceremony had made worship "lively and relevant to the people who work nearby, in the financial district".

The traditional Plough Monday ceremony blessed a symbolic farming implement which had been dragged to the church's door.

Canon Parrott updated that ceremony, as he said it didn't have much relevance for his church, which was "nowhere near a field, in the middle of London".

Canon Parrott, who took up the post seven months ago, described the ceremony as "a fresh idea for a fresh post".

Two bank robbers who blew themselves up trying to make a sizable withdrawal from an ATM have been declared the 2009 winners of the Darwin Awards – while the first woman to be nominated came in third.

2009 Darwin Awards Winner:

“The city of Dinant is the backdrop for this rare Double Darwin Award. Two bankrobbers attempting to make a sizeable withdrawal from an ATM died when they overestimated the quantity of dynamite needed for the explosion. The blast demolished the building the bank was housed in. Nobody else was in the building at the time of the attack.
Robber One was rushed to the hospital with severe head trauma; he died shortly after arrival. Investigators initially assumed that his accomplice had managed a getway, but the second bungler’s body was excavated from the debris twelve hours later. Would-be Robbers One and Two weren’t exactly impoverished–their getaway car was a BMW.”

Organisers say the annual “prize” is given to “those doing the most to improve the human gene pool … by removing themselves from it”.
This year the dubious first place went to the pair of bungling thieves in Belgium who wildly overestimated the amount of dynamite they needed to rob a bank. They both were killed when the blast demolished the entire building the ATM was housed in. Police only found the body of the second robber some twelve hours after digging through the debris. They had initially assumed he had made a getaway. The bankrobbers just edged ahead of Florida man Shawn Motero, who was stuck in a traffic jam when nature called. He got out of his car and jumped over a concrete wall to find a more secluded spot. Unfortunately, the 30-year-old had not realized he was on a bridge and fell 65ft (19.8m) to his death.
Award organisers said the accident proved you should “look before you leak”.
Police revealed Mr Motero had been drinking at a bar in Pompano Beach before his tragic death, adding: ‘He probably thought there was a road, but there wasn’t.’
The first woman to be nominated for the award came in at third place.
Rosanne Tippett drove her moped through a police road block – straight into a flooded river. After being rescued by police she jumped back into the water to rescue her vehicle – and drowned.
Before embarking on her final journey the 50-year-old had phoned her mother and told her: “My moped has two rubber wheels, Mom, I’ll be fine.” Her mum later admitted: “She loved that thing.”
Other nominees for the 2009 awards included an armed robber who used gold spray paint to disguise his face as he raided a convenience store.
The paint released toxic fumes and Thomas James, from South Carolina, collapsed and died shortly after the robbery.
To add insult to injury, the disguise didn’t work – with witnesses having no problem identifying the 23-year-old.


The renowned American actor Johnny Depp arrives in Mokra Gora today where he will be a promoter of the 3rd International Kustendorf Film Festival in the following three days. With his host Emir Kusturica, he will spend the New Year’s Eve according to the Julian calendar with rakija, wine and roast lamb.

As Emir Kusturica confirmed yesterday, Johnny Depp will arrive in a private plane at “Nikola Tesla” airport in Belgrade. Depending on the weather conditions, he will continue his way to Mokra Gora either by helicopter or jeep.
“Johnny, my great friend, is coming straight from his hometown Kentucky where he was visiting his mother. He will be my guest for three days in Mecavnik, he will lead several workshops for the participants of the festival, drink wine, watch films and visit some locations where he will shoot a film about Pancho Villa,” says the well-known Serbian director to “Blic”.
The 3rd Kustendorf Film Festival begins tomorrow at 5 PM. At the festival opening, a life-sized bust of Johnny Depp will be unveiled in his honor. Monument to the actor will be set up in Ive Andrica Street in Drvengrad near the entrance to the confectionery “Kod Corkana” and the ceremony will be followed by glamorous fireworks.
“Depp did not have any special demands at all about his stay, I will host him, as well as seven people from his team in my house,” Kusturica adds.
Instead of fanfara sounds to which he got used to during the walks on red carpets in Hollywood, Johnny Depp will tomorrow be surrounded by Mokra Gora mountains and will listen to the sounds of trumpets in Drvengrad. One of the members of the board which is organizing his welcome is the Dragacevo champion Dejan Petrovic and his orchestra.
“The concert will start with unveiling of the monument and will last for two to three hours. We will play songs of the famous musicians, such as Sting, Tina Turner, film music, Serbian songs, kolo and cocek. We will be proud to play for another great name, after Maradona and Nikita Mikhalkov,” says Dejan Petrovic.
The guest of Mecavnik will have an opportunity to attend the celebration taking place in the night between January 13 and 14- the New Year according to the Julian calendar will be celebrated with lamb meat, mulled wine and rakija.