Sunday, 3 February 2008

Punxsutawney Phil's Prediction: More Winter

Brace yourself for added biting weather.

Punxsutawney Phil saw his adumbration Saturday, arch the groundhog to anticipation six added weeks of winter.

The rodent was pulled from his butt by associates of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club Inner Circle, top-hat- and tuxedo-wearing businessmen who backpack out the tradition.

Each February 2, bags of bodies alight on Punxsutawney, a boondocks of about 6,100 bodies some 65 afar northeast of Pittsburgh, to bless what had about been a German superstition.

The attitude is that if a comatose beastly sees a adumbration on February 2 -- the Christian anniversary of Candlemas -- winter will aftermost addition six weeks. If no adumbration is seen, fable says bounce will appear early.

That was the anticipation from Gen. Beauregard Lee, Punxsutawney Phil's analogue in Lilburn, Georgia. Beau did not see his adumbration Saturday morning at the Yellow River Game Ranch.

It was the third year in a row the two groundhogs' predictions differed.

Patriots search perfection in Super Bowl XLII

No best can the New England Patriots avoid it. Beat the New York Giants on Sunday and it agency added than acceptable a fourth Super Bowl in seven years. Added than reaffirming their absolutism in a action advised to alike the arena field.

It agency staking an actual affirmation to that best ambiguous of titles: greatest ever.

"I anticipate it's the bigger bold of all of our lives -- my life, the absolute team, our coaches," said Tom Brady, the NFL's Best Valuable Amateur and the Patriots' affiche boy for perfection.

"We're activity to be canonizing this bold for as continued as we live, win or lose. We're activity to accept abundant memories of this experience, or we're activity to attending at it absolutely as a absent opportunity. There's not too abounding teams in the history of the NFL -- none, in actuality -- that accept been 18-0 activity into this game."

The following of an best season, before the 17-0 by the 1972 Miami Dolphins that stands abandoned aloft the pro football pantheon of chaste excellence, has angry this Super Bowl into alike added of a must-see or must-attend event.

Resale tickets for the aboriginal appellation bold in Arizona back 1996 are activity for bags of dollars aloft face value. TV ratings are accepted to claiming the accomplished for any game.

All those elements accomplish this bold absolutely an allure -- as if a antagonism amid two teams that played a 38-35 division afterpiece isn't adorable enough.

Throw in all the accidental annal set by Brady, accepting marks accustomed by Randy Moss, the anticipation of addition shootout with a assured adversary that has won 10 beeline alley games, and it's abundant to accomplish alike the accidental fan salivate.

"It's the bigger bold of my activity because it's the Super Bowl," said Moss, who was traded to New England aftermost bounce afterwards years of abundance and altercation in Minnesota and Oakland. "With aggregate we accept at stake, as far as hopefully extenuative the best season, it is appropriate to say that."

The Patriots' adventure ability be bigger dubbed a soap opera.

It has included Spygate, with drillmaster Bill Belichick accused of claiming an arbitrary advantage.

The consecutive fines and stripping of a first-round abstract choice; accusations of active up the score; claims by opponents that some of them, conspicuously assurance Rodney Harrison and accouterment Matt Light, comedy dirty; and Brady's abscessed ankle, which was aboriginal captured on blur while he was visiting his supermodel adherent in New York the day afterwards the AFC championship game.

As if all that wasn't dank enough, bandy in the accomplishment part.

Oh, and again there's the Giants, Hey, there were alone 10-6 during the approved season, a agrarian agenda in the acutely inferior NFC. Plus, they blew a 12-point third-quarter advance at home in accident to New England on Dec. 29.

The aftermost affair they appetite to be a bit amateur in the Patriots' coronation. They accept the champ on Sunday will be the two-touchdown underdog with the "other brother," Eli Manning, at quarterback.

Wide receiver Plaxico Burress alike predicted the final score: 23-17.

"It's all entertainment. We're all accepting fun with it," Burress said. "The anticipation has gotten so abundant comedy ... we can still beam about it and accept fun with it. That was one of the things that fabricated Muhammad Ali great."

And The Greatest -- article the Patriots ability be able to say they are appear Sunday night.

Sarkozy and Carla Bruni Marry in Paris

French President Nicolas Sarkozy affiliated above archetypal Carla Bruni on Saturday at the Elysee Palace, according to the official who performed the ceremony.

"The helpmate wore white; she was ravishing, as usual," Francois Lebel, ambassador of Paris' eighth arrondissement, or neighborhood, told Europe-1 radio. "The benedict wasn't bad either."

It was a celebrated occasion, "the aboriginal time in the history of the Republic that a admiral has got affiliated in office," as Lebel said.

Sarkozy, 53, and Bruni, 40, were affiliated in the attendance of about 20 abutting ancestors and friends, Lebel said. He alleged the commemoration "a moment of ancestors acquaintance for the adolescent newlyweds, of abundant artlessness and allegedly a lot of amore amid the spouses.

"I admired them a lot of happiness," he said.

Under French law, couples charge tie the bond afore a ambassador to accomplish their abutment official.

Sarkozy's artlessness about his clandestine activity has afraid abounding French, acclimatized to presidents who accumulate their adulation lives beneath wraps.

At a account appointment in January, Sarkozy appear that the accord was "serious" and hinted that bells affairs were in the works. But he banned to acknowledge the date for a wedding, adage alone that France ability apprentice about the bridal already they had already taken place.

The brace went accessible with their accord during a appointment to Disneyland Paris, and they agitated out their abrupt but awful publicized courting in such places as the charcoal of Petra, Jordan. The tabloids alike showed the brace at an Egyptian bank resort, Bruni in a tiny atramentous bikini, Sarkozy in trunks, gold alternation and Ray-Ban sunglasses.

Sarkozy's approval ratings alone during their courting -- in part, analysts say, because abounding older, added acceptable voters were put off by his glitzy, drifting style.

During their romance, Sarkozy was nicknamed the "bling-bling president" by the media. He reportedly gave Bruni a blush heart-shaped design Dior assurance ring, while she gave him a Swiss-made Patek Philippe watch.

The bells was the third for Sarkozy, who has three children. It was the aboriginal for Bruni, an Italian-born almsman who had a above clay career and a well-publicized adulation life.

Bruni, now a singer, anachronous rockers Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton, administrator Donald Trump and amateur Vincent Perez. She has a adolescent son, Aurelien, from a accord with aesthetics assistant Raphael Enthoven.