The clack of high heels and splash of cosmos added style to movie history last night, as women dolled out $26.9 million for Sex and the City—the biggest romantic comedy opening day ever, Variety reports. For many, it was a long-awaited event. “You have to come see this with a mess of your friends,” one fan told the Los Angeles Times. “It's not about men, it's not about the outfits. It's about friendship.”
Saturday, May 31, 2008
The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics will revive a historic rivalry in this year’s NBA finals, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Celtics’ defeat of the Detroit Pistons last night will bring the celebrated franchises together for the 11th time in the finals. Lakers coach Phil Jackson will seek a record 10th finals victory while the Celtics battle in their first finals since 1987.
It will be packed with stars, great for ratings, and heavy with symbolism, Mike Bresnahan writes. "Somewhere, David Stern is smiling, along with Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, James Worthy and Kevin McHale." The teams’ two match-ups this season don’t bode well for the Lakers, who lost both by wide berths. But things have changed since then, and now both teams are ready for a series that will be both symmetrical and physical.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Business world got you down? Want to escape into a classic poem or short story? The New Zealand Book Council has made a website to help you: ReadatWork.com. The site brings up a fake Windows desktop with folders and PowerPoint files, the Wall Street Journal reports. Click on them, and you get classic literature disguised as a business presentation.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
You might remember Spike Lee's classic "Is it the shoes?" ads for Nike. But the director told a Cannes crowd he'll team up with Michael Jordan again for a different purpose: a documentary on the basketball legend, reports Variety. The NBA will finance the flick, which will feature unreleased footage from Jordan's last two pro seasons.
Lee was in Cannes to hype his upcoming WWII drama, Miracle at St. Anna, about black soldiers in WWII battling Nazis and prejudice in their own ranks. He hopes to return in 2009 with No. 23 in tow.
The Supreme Court today issued two rulings fortifying workplace-discrimination law, finding that employees can sue over retaliation for bias complaints. In one case, an 1866 law was used to protect a black employee who alleged he was fired after complaining about a black colleague’s treatment—though he’d failed to meet procedure requirements in more modern law, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In the other case, a federal employee was found to enjoy the same protection as workers in the private sector. Retaliation has generally been protected in the past, but was broadened by the new findings. Beamed an ACLU director, “Today's decisions are appropriately grounded in the realities of the workplace.”
Going to Wrigley on the cheap, savvy?
By Bob Rehak
Has anyone ever called you “cheap”? Or maybe the more politically-correct “frugal”? I’ve been called both those things, and more, since the day I questioned my fifth grade teacher why we had to pay 25 cents for day-old popcorn that hadn’t sold at the fun fair over the weekend. That day, Sister Cordelia bruised my ego when she called me “cheap.” Her ruler bruised my knuckles.
There is such a negative connotation behind those words, “cheap” and “frugal” (sounds like a good name for a dollar store, though). Those of us who have those labels know better, though. We’re neither cheap nor frugal. We’re savvy.
In these times of rising costs for food, gas, housing, and anything else you have to buy just to live, suddenly everyone is looking to be “savvy.” Those of us who have a Master’s Degree in savvy, having practiced the art of savvy-ness all of our lives, are getting along quite nicely, thank you. We don’t just stretch a dollar. We bend it and weave it and make it do things that seem impossible.
And now that the rest of you are so desperately seeking solutions, I thought I’d give you a quick lesson in savvy. I can’t give you the full lesson, because then I’d have to charge you.
We’ll start with the national pastime: baseball. Every year, a company called Team Marketing comes up with the cost of going to a major league baseball game for a family of four. Their Fan Cost Index (FCI) includes the following: 4 average tickets, 2 beers, 4 sodas, 4 hot dogs, parking, 2 programs and 2 adult hats. Since we’re talking about major league baseball, let’s take a look at Chicago’s only major league team: the Cubs. According to Team Marketing, the FCI for a Cubs game at Wrigley would break down this way:
Four tickets: $169.96
Two Beers: $10
Four Pepsis: $10
Four hot dogs: $11
2 Programs: $10
Two hats: $24
TOTAL cost for a day of memories at a place called heaven: $251.96
That’s not a bad value for a trip to God’s stadium, but as Bob Barker used to say, “that’s too high”. That $250 price tag is for OTHER people, people. You can go for less than half of that. Let’s break it down into savvy-worthy prices.
The four tickets quoted by Team Marketing cost $42.49 each for mid-level seats. This isn’t the playoffs, folks (although it soon will be). Let’s assume you want to sit in the 200-level at Wrigley. The game is sold out, you say? You have to go through a broker? Again, that’s for other people. Instead, wait until the day before the game or better yet, the day of the game. Check out craigslist.com for tickets. You’ll be able to find four tickets to any game for face value or below. Why? Because life happens, and people end up with extra tickets that they can’t use. Their loss, your gain.
Expect to pay $20 each for your 200-level seats. Now, if you go on craigslist and find tickets are listed at $30 each or more, be patient. Ask the seller if he’ll take $20 each. If he says no, try another seller. But now the original seller has your email address, and as the game gets closer and those tickets start burning a hole in his debit card, he’ll email you back and beg you to buy them. If the tickets are e-tickets, there’s no hassle picking them up or getting them shipped. He’ll email them to you. And you’ll pay him via paypal, which is virtual money anyway. Total cost for the 4 tickets: $80.
Sadly, the cost of the two beers cannot be reduced, unless you get a dyslexic vendor who charges you 50 cents each instead of $5.00 each. Even the savvy know when a price can’t be compromised. So it’ll cost you a 10-spot for the beers.
Ah, but you’ll save loads on the Pepsis. The FCI assumes $2.50 per drink, which is what you would pay inside the park, there’s no getting around it. Unless you go around it (the ballpark, I mean). It’s a little known fact that you can bring paper cups into the ballpark (just no bottles or cans). Across the street from the Scary Caray statue is a 7-11. Go get yourself four Pepsis before you go to the game. Make them Big Gulps, too. They’re 99 cents each. Total cost for the Pepsis: $4.
While you’re inside that 7-11, pick up four of those $1 hot dogs, spinning on their very own steel treadmill. If you’d like something a little less exposed to the public, plop some Oscar Mayers in the microwave, wrap them in foil, and bring them to the game from home. There’s no rule at Wrigley that says you can’t bring in hot dogs or sandwiches; just that you can’t bring in a hard cooler. Either way, you just saved $7. Total cost for the hot dogs: $4.
Now for the real savvy part: the parking. Everyone always complains about the lack of parking around Wrigley, and the high cost for a spot. On weekends you can expect to pay between $20 - $30 for a piece of asphalt. That’s why you’re going to a weekday game, my friend, when the parking ban isn’t in effect during the day. You can park as close as across the street on Sheffield if you get lucky. If not, drive around the neighborhood for ten minutes and someone will be leaving you a spot.
Another alternative, even for night games: park outside the Wrigleyville area, about ½ mile away. Even during night games, street parking is available. Sure, you may have to walk a little farther, but you’re going to need to work off those Pepsis and hot dogs. Cost for parking: $0.
The programs are like the beers: the Cubs have the monopoly on that commodity, so grin and bear the $10 cost.
The FCI says it will cost you $24 for 2 baseball caps. Not if you take my advice: on your way out of the 7-11, put down the Big Gulps and the hot dogs and visit one of the vendors right on the sidewalk, across from the Wrigley property. You can pick up a hat for $8. (Better yet, go to a game when the Cubs are giving out hats as a promo, but that may be too advanced for this class). Your total cost for 2 new hats: $16.
That brings your total cost for a savvy trip to the ballgame for your savvy family of four to $124.
Now you know how the savvy live. We aren’t cheap and we’re not frugal. We’re money smart. Now you are, too. No charge for the lesson.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Indiana Jones whipped his box office rivals this weekend with the second-best Memorial Day debut ever, Variety reports, grossing $126 million. Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian finished second with $23 million; Iron Man showed no signs of rust in third, earning $20.1 million; and What Happens in Vegas and Speed Racer wrapped up the top five.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
The daredevil son of the legendary Evel Knievel successfully jumped 24 semi-trucks on his motorcycle yesterday, dwarfing his father’s 1975 14-bus stunt, the Enquirer reports. A crowd of more than 40,000 gathered in Ohio to watch the flight, which intimidated young Robbie "Kaptain" Knievel “more than he let on,” said a business partner.
The biker took to the air at 95 mph and sailed 200 feet over a series of Coca-Cola trucks. “Hopefully I’ll see you after the jump,” Knievel quipped to the crowd. He put out his back in a hard landing, but “he’s thrilled—we’re all thrilled,” said his partner.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
When Big Brown makes a run for the history books in the Belmont next month, he'll also be racing for the son of a seriously injured Long Island police officer. The horse's owners have pledged a portion of their Belmont earnings to Christopher Baribault, 6, whose dad, Kenneth, was hit by an alleged drunken driver Sunday, reports Newsday.
Michael Iavarone, one of the thoroughbred's owners, said the donation will "secure the security" of Baribault's son "for the rest of his life." He declined to say how much would be donated, but a first-place finish in the Belmont pays $620,000. Iavarone also hinted there could be more contributions than just a piece of the colt's Belmont check.
Germany has taken a seven-month-old baby from his parents after they tried to sell him on eBay, the BBC reports. The yet-unnamed child was advertised as “nearly-new” and had a starting price of one euro. “It was only a joke,” the child’s mother said. “I just wanted to see if someone would make an offer.”
But German authorities aren’t laughing. They’ve launched a child-trafficking probe and, according to the mother, have forced them into psychiatric tests. The baby was on eBay for 2 hours before the site yanked it and alerted police. “Offering my nearly new baby for sale,” the ad read, “as it has gotten too loud.”
Friday, May 23, 2008
by: Lionel Estridge
A good laugh will do wonders for you as smiling and laughing lowers your stress levels, wins you a friendly reputation, and helps your usually tense co-workers and bosses to relax.
Humour on the job will do a lot for your career, but there are a number of things you need to know about laughter and humour in the place of work.
Feeling good and having humour in our lives can do wonders for our position and productivity, which means that there is definitely a place for some humour on the job. Having a smiling face will help your co-workers and supervisors feel better being around you, and you may well end up reaping rewards by laughing more in the workplace. But you need to know how to apply humour in your work environment.
Laughing has been proven to be a huge stress reliever, letting you feel better and becoming more productive. To be able to loosen up and have some fun is great, so why not take that approach to work each day and lighten up around the work place? Smiling can make your job easier, more than ever if you work in customer service or sales. But there's certainly a right and incorrect way to use humour in the workplace.
One of the main rules with humour in the workplace is to avoid controversy when you are joking on the job. Stay well away from joking about political affairs, race and religion.
Sex is another unsafe topic because of sexual harassment in the workplace. Make sure that you stay well within the lines of decency.
Never make fun at other people within your organization, as you are trying to win friends with the people you work with, and not set against them. If you can't help yourself, please be extremely careful.
Poking fun at the work you do or the industry you work in is a good way to earn some smiles from your co-workers and supervisors. While these types of workplace jokes may not be so funny at home or with friends, as they really don't appreciate the pressures of your employment, the people who are around you in your job will definitely appreciate the humour about their frustrations and will be able to laugh over the situations instead of complaining.
Making jokes about the ups and downs of your trade is a safe way to add wit to the place of work. You will have the benefit of knowing precisely what your co-workers have to face each and every day, and it's much better as it helps to let go of tensions and lower stress levels by getting them to chuckle about the situations they come across frequently.
The very best time for some humour is when you are not working, but still in the region of the people you work with, such as a coffee or lunch break. You can also make an effort to be funny on the job, but when you are working, it's a good idea to use jokes much more thinly than you would normally do.
In general, humour in the workplace is a superb area to flex your creative muscles and give your job a little boost.
Humour in the workplace helps stress levels to drop, and your co-workers will feel better about working with you. Start gradually, and add a few more safe jokes here and there to incite a few smiles. Everyone will feel better because of your efforts.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, India- Employees counting donations at a popular Hindu shrine in southern India will no longer have to take off their underpants at work after the local human rights commission intervened.
Police and temple authorities imposed the dress code at the Sabarimala hill shrine in Kerala five years ago after thefts were reported from the shrine's strongroom.
Employees in the vault, all of whom were men, were made to work topless wearing only a dhoti -- a cotton wrap worn around the waist -- with nothing underneath.
But they found it degrading, and their union complained to the Kerala State Human Rights Commission.
"The employees on duty are made to strip before an officer before leaving the office to ensure that they do not carry anything in their underwear," said Chavara Gopakumar, the union leader. "It is humiliating and an insult to human dignity."
The state's human rights commission agreed.
Authorities at the shrine, which is dedicated to Ayyappa, a south Indian deity, said on Friday they would end the practice and have begun looking into electronic surveillance systems.
Thousands of pilgrims flock to the shrine between November and January, bringing cash, precious metals and jewels in offerings. They are expected to forego meat, alcohol and sex for 41 days before arriving. Women of child-bearing age are forbidden.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Far-be-it from me to pass judgment on anyone’s individual life choices. Who am I to say if, given the chance, I wouldn’t have taken steroids in Little League to improve my fastball? Maybe I would have finally struck out Jimmy Waddington, and who knows, my whole life could be different.
And if I chanced my way into the majors, but started to lose the movement on my curveball, I might find myself sneezing into my glove from time to time, finding ways to junk up the ball.
But the umpires these days, they’ve got sharp eyes. So maybe I get caught throwing illegal pitches. Now my fastball’s no good, and my curveball doesn’t curve, and I’m barley making the Major League minimum. So I call up my friends in the “labor union” and tell them I’m going to intentionally bomb my next start in exchange for a few dollars.
Ah, Bud Selig knew I was a shady character and was monitoring my phone calls. Now I’m off the team, banned from baseball and I’ve got a mafia problem to deal with.
Thankfully my life didn’t go down that road, and I’m in the luxurious position of watching other people make mistakes.
The point is, we don’t know what leads people to make the decisions they do. We wanted Roger Clemens to be an uber-human, so he became one and we got mad at him. We have no idea about any aspect of Pete Rose’s life that didn’t occur on the diamond except that he liked to gamble, so we damn him to hell (meanwhile Dwight Gooden could have been one of the best pitchers ever, but had a bit too much of “the white stuff,” so now he’s just a tragic figure who achieved redemption).
Athletes are human beings who make decisions, and fans and the media have gone a little off the deep end in recent years, condemning everything they say or do. The athletes deserve a chance to explain themselves, but when they do, they best be frank.
If hypothetical pitcher me was caught juicing, cheating, betting and tanking, I would not call a press conference to say I thought these accusations are appalling. I would say, look you got me. I wasn’t that good. I tried to be. My bad.
And then it would be over, I’d go on with my life, you’d go on with yours and this would be readdressed only in future games of Trivial Pursuit and when I died. Somehow Athletes fail to realize that part of the equation.
Take, for example, the three Olympic relay runners who wish to retain their medals even though their teammate Marion Jones is serving a prison sentence for lying to a grand jury about whether or not she was running a small chemistry set in her bloodstream during the 2000 games.
Her teammates say they didn’t know, and honestly, I’m in a bit of disbelief at their disbelief. At the time Jones was breaking records while becoming a media darling. They shared a training space, a locker room and numerous flights – to say nothing of their personal lives – with each other.
But they didn’t notice their teammate’s steady transformation into a mutant.
And you know what, even if their claims of ignorance are true, they don’t deserve the medals anyway. On that relay team, Jones was John, Paul and George, while the other three were all Ringo.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Late post today Jobojers (get it, that's you reader. I'm sorry, I won't call you that again). I hope you got through your Monday workday without Will and I to guide you through. I promise it won't happen again. But just think, your Tuesday will be twice as good.
Here's what's happened around the web while you were diligently filing TPS reports:
If you know who Richard Kelly and the Arcade Fire are this is fun news. If not, well then it's totally meaningless.
Whew. For a second I thought Will and I were busted.
It comes with French Fried Pertaters, mmm hmm!
Pitchfork gives an ambiguous go nowhere review! Stop the presses!
A grim reminder about gas prices.
Dusty Baker still does not understand how baseball works.
To protect and serve. And kick the shit out of the helpless, black.
Harry Knowles reviews the new Indy movie. I have not read the review because it contains spoilers. Obligatory fat joke about Knowles, old joke about Ford.
Turkey does its best Chicago impression.
Bill Simmons? I'll be keeping a close eye on this as it progresses.
My reign of terror comes to an end tomorrow, I hope you've enjoyed our time together!
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Someone else ventured out into the real world today so you don't have too! Except not really.
Here are some links:
Remember when Mike Huckabee was crazy? Now he's crazy and kind of racist in a that back-handed "awe shucks" way!
This shit just gets worse and worse...
Hey, every now and then SNL is funny. And yes Fred Armisen is wearing blackface.
Change we can believe in.
Coca-Cola in fact not good for polar bears.
Creed no longer to be featured on NBC's The Office, possible OZ style spin off for he and Ryan Howard
America's taste in movies is still terrible, rooted in Christianity
Holy crap I hope this is true.
Now get out of your mother's basement, go buy the New York Times and consume some actual news.
Just kidding of course
Friday, May 16, 2008
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. - Brian LaFave couldn't care less how high gasoline prices climb these days — he's parked his pickup truck and is refusing to buy gas for a month, possibly longer.
"The goal is to not use one drop of gas for 31 days," LaFave said, calling it his personal stand against the oil companies.
Now LaFave, 31, is riding his bicycle or walking everywhere he goes. He won't even let friends pick him up unless they already planned on being in the neighborhood.
"If they're not going out of their way, I can take the ride," he said. "But if they're going out of their way, then ... I'm still consuming gasoline so it kind of defeats the purpose."
LaFave started the effort May 11. He bikes to his third-shift job at Aldrich Chemical in Sheboygan Falls, a 9-mile commute.
"I did like a practice run ... two days in a row to make sure I could do it," he said. "I'm not in the greatest shape. The mornings are the worst. It feels like it takes forever. I get like a mile down the road and I want to die."
It's a big change for someone who put 300 miles on his truck the week before he stopped driving it.
LaFave fills out a chart each day listing how many miles he bikes, the destination and the gas price that day, among other things. He plans to compute his savings and donate that amount to a charity that provides food to children in Africa.
"I think just with the gas prices being so high, everybody complains about it but no one ever really does anything about it," LaFave said. "People continue to drive nonstop and not think about it, but I just wanted to take a stand and say, `I'm not gonna pay this much money for gas.'"
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The National Achievement Scholarship Program is an academic competition established in 1964 to provide recognition for outstanding Black American high school students.
Black students may enter both the National Achievement Program and the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) and meeting other published requirements for participation.
The two annual programs are conducted concurrently but operated and funded separately. A student's standing is determined independently in each program. Black American students can qualify for recognition and be honored as Scholars in both the National Merit Program and the National Achievement Program, but can receive only one monetary award from NMSC.
The Scripps Howard Foundation will award scholarships in the fall of 2008 to students in any journalism discipline through our Top Ten Scholarship Program.
An accredited or non-accredited school may request a nomination form. Each school may nominate one student from their undergraduate program to compete for one of these scholarships. The selection process is of the school's choosing.
A nominee should be a full-time student in the 2008-09 school year and must be a U.S. citizen. The $10,000 scholarship will be a one-time award, covering a full academic term. It will be paid in two $5,000 grants, one per semester, as enrollment is verified. Previous Top Ten Scholarship winners are not eligible to compete.
May 15, 2008
An endowment fund which provides scholarships to African-American undergraduate students who enroll in scientific or technical fields of study at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
The amount of the scholarships awarded each student is determined by either the National Merit Negro Achievement Scholarship Program or by the DFBSST Independent Scholarship Committee.
Scholarships are based on merit and financial need. Applications can be obtained by contacting the science or engineering department of one of the schools listed. We do not distribute applications directly to students.
Award Amount :
Up to $2,000
June 15, 2008
This scholarship fund was formed to remember the life of Akash Jacob Kuruvilla and to continue his legacy of excellence and generosity posthumously. Having committed to leadership, diversity, integrity and academia, Akash Kuruvilla influenced a multitude that had the honor of being in his presence. The ideal scholarship recipients will embody those same principles and shall be committed to positively affecting the community throughout their collegiate years and beyond.
The Akash Kuruvilla Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to one male and one female at the beginning and the midpoint of the academic year, upon maintaining GPA requirements and enrollment as a full time student.
The scholarship is open to any field of study. Candidates for this scholarship must meet all of the requirements listed below and submit all requested materials to the AKMSF Selection Committee by the appointed deadline. Late applicants will not be considered.
For emphasis, t he ideal candidate must demonstrate excellence in leadership, diversity, integrity and academia. The selection committee will also base its decisions on financial need, content of character and the candidates’ potential to make an impact on his/her peers and community.
$500 - $1,000
June 16, 2008
As a P&G Intern/Co-op, you can expect your responsibilities to mirror those of our full-time employees. From Day-One, you'll work as an integral part of a business team that is committed to producing and delivering superior products of the highest quality and value to our global customers.
You will have the opportunity to experience all that we have to offer - our work, our people, our values, and our culture. We believe there is no better way to learn about these things than to participate in them first hand. And that's just what you'll do as a P&G Intern/Co-op! You will have a chance to make a difference right away. You will have real responsibilities, opportunities to work with senior management, individual coaching to make you successful, and the opportunity to show results. You will be expected to perform to our high standards and are given the same kind of performance feedback we give our full-time employees—not once, but twice during your internship.
To enhance the overall work experience, P&G also sponsors a very unique program called FAST. FAST 2006 is a program open to all Cincinnati-based Interns and Co-ops who want to work on projects that are outside the scope of their core responsibilities. FAST has been around since 1997 and it has proven to be a very valuable way for interns to gain exposure to various areas of the business, work with senior management, and have a direct impact on the future of P&G! Don't miss your opportunity to become a FAST Intern.
It is not surprising that because of our world-class intern/co-op program, each year between 70-80% of our interns receive full-time offers. We know that when our former interns/co-ops become full-time hires they get off to a strong start and tend to progress faster in business.
Beyond the great work experience, though, you'll have many opportunities to socialize and network. From events organized for people from your immediate area of the business to Corporate-wide activities, like our annual Intern/Co-op Summer Event, you'll get to know other interns, full-time employees and senior management.
The fellowship, which is based on academic excellence and need, is open to both undergraduate and graduate students of color. The Hearst Fellow serves as an intern with NSPP. Through this fellowship, NSPP seeks to introduce a diverse group of students to issues relating to philanthropy, volunteerism, and nonprofit organizations. Recipients may arrange with their colleges or universities to receive academic credit for this experience.
The Aspen Institute's Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program seeks to improve the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations and philanthropy through research, leadership, and communication initiatives.
In his or her internship, the Hearst Fellow undertakes general research and program support for the Fund’s grantmaking and outreach efforts.
The ideal candidate for this fellowship is a highly motivated continuing graduate or undergraduate student from an underrepresented community. She or he should have an excellent academic record and also have the following: Outstanding research skills; Demonstrated interest or experience in the nonprofit sector; Excellent writing and communication skills; Demonstrated financial need; and American citizenship.
The student must be able to intern for 10-15 weeks at the Washington, DC, office of the Aspen Institute. We generally expect that Fall and Spring internships will be part-time (10-20 hours per week) and Summer internships will be full-time. All travel and housing costs must be covered by the student.
MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom, is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Viacom also owns TV Land, VH-1, Comedy Central, and Nick-At-Nite.
An MTV Networks Internship allows college students to work in an innovative, progressive, fast paced and professional environment. Students are exposed to all levels of MTV Networks, which has proven to be an invaluable experience to individuals interested in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry.
MTV Networks is committed to diversifying our organization. Embracing differences is an integral part of our culture and a key element for our success is creating and maintaining an inclusive environment.
An internship at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios can launch you on an exciting, fun-filled career in children's entertainment. Nickelodeon Animation Studios produces such programs as SpongeBob SquarePants, Fairly OddParents, Dora Explorer and The Mighty B.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Little mechanical “worms” offer the latest hope for early detection—and eradication—of cancer. Researchers have created tiny machines that travel through the body, find tumors that are too small to see in normal scans, and then deliver drugs to kill them. The method has worked to spot tumors in mice, but it’s still years from human use, ABC reports.
The machines, called “nanoworms,” would then break down and leave the body. The snag has been creating devices that get past the body’s defenses long enough to reach tumors. Scientists from the University of California-San Diego, UC-Santa Barbara and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discovered a design and coating that let the worms do just that—at least in mice.
The residents of the panda preserves deep in the earthquake-ravaged area of China are OK, state media reported today. Keepers of the 86 bears at the Wolong facility, in Sichuan province, and the 60-plus animals at the nearby Chengdu center now must worry about infrastructure damage interrupting the pandas' food supply, CNN reports; the endangered bears eat mostly bamboo.
"We are terribly concerned and we are hoping the report is true," the director of a US-based group that helps support the Wolong center told the AP. "I am waiting for confirmation that someone has actually made it to Wolong."
Monday, May 12, 2008
Authorities are unable to reach areas at the very center of China's massive 7.9-magnitude earthquake, CNN reports, due mainly to badly damaged roads. The death toll from the quake is now estimated at over 8,600, with thousands more injured, with those numbers figuring to rise as rescue efforts penetrate closer to the epicenter.
"Particularly in the more remote, the more mountainous part where this has taken place, a lot of the buildings are built on sediments that are quite unstable," a geophysics professor tells CNN of what awaits rescue efforts. "They're probably liquifying, causing the buildings to collapse."
by: Josef Graf
Silence stillness immensity
forest stretching endlessly
snow covered, quietly breathing its tremendous, wide, conifer expanse
And the sough of wind rising and falling
Most beings here - plant or animal - are melded into this spacious and soul-purifying landscape
As is the human
But the human is also, at least in part, separate from the land.
And human nature can discern, by way of the 12 senses, aspects and nuances of the natural world through these 12 portals.
The snow sifts down into the forest, falling windless and so light as to seem almost weightless, afloat in place. A deep silence holds sway, an ocean of stillness that invites entry. And there is space enough here for any size contemplation.
In the northern, boreal realm, across this endless range of semi-homogenous evergreen forest radiating its steadfast and grounded, robust energy - across the conifer deep - here and there, an accent counters the etheric expanse with an astral focus, an animal being - raven, jay, squirrel-hunting marten, wolf, moose, or chickadee.
Tracks in the snow tell the stories. A snowshoe hare nips birch tips from a fallen tree. A luxuriously furred marten pursues a red squirrel. Unless the squirrel quickly makes it to one of its underground dens it will become the marten's meal.
Sometime in the night the wolf came near. It came to investigate who was howling in the evening, howling like, yet unlike, another wolf (it's own sense of language revealing that, although the sound of my howl seemed very similar to a wolf's, there was a subtle difference). It came near enough to discern the scent of human presence, approached as near as it dared, always keeping a periphery of safety as it circuited the area of the cabin.
What curiosity was left unquenched? And in the daylight I could feel the wolf watching me from somewhere in the woods, as I went out on the frozen lake to investigate the passage of its own movement, the story told by its tracks.
Surely, from the wolf's point of view, it experiences the most challenge of interpretation (in a sense, the wolf's level of conceptual sense) from the human community. As is well known, the wolf can read, very intimately, the comings and goings, the various aspects of, the moose, and other inhabitants of its immediate neighborhood. But the human being becomes rich in enigma, embodies a broad range of Unknown in the sphere of the wolf's experience.
Snow-shoeing through a forest during a snowfall can be an ideal setting to attune to the landscape. Distractions are reduced - sound is muffled and visibility is confined to a radius of a few feet (of course it goes without saying that one has to exercise care, bring a compass and be good at orienteering, or you can end up in oblivion!)
Overall, the Spirit of the boreal forest - the heart of the boreal forest landscape, like the heart of one of its trees, one senses, is golden, intricate, warm despite the climate, perhaps because of the climate, to counterpoint the cold.
In sharing this encounter with nature through the twelve senses, I will begin with the outermost, least penetrating sense and proceed to the deepest-registering sense (please note that the following presumes a basic understanding of the 12 senses. If the reader wishes to prime him/herself on this subject, use the links under "Further Resources" at the end of the article. Alternatively, information is readily available by entering an internet search via "12 senses" - and adding "Rudolf Steiner" can be helpful):
The longer I touch the snow and ice here, the number grows this sense. Then, in turns, it is awakened by prickle of conifer needle, rasped by bark, or caressed by the soft feel of usnea moss. Whatever the sensate experience of touch, I have to admit that it defines my separation, the self's bounds, or at least the physical body's self-bounding. I do touch nature with this sense, but only her outermost surface, a Braille of rebuff, no entry past the outermost edge. As we continue down this list, we enter, increasingly, into the inner nature of things. But the sense of touch is the most external.
For example, when the wind gusts across my face, my sense of touch feels the impact of that gust, but my sense of temperature registers how cool or warm it is.
A manatee, with more brain space dedicated to touch than any other mammal, has a long-distance sense of touch. Whisker like hairs all over its body act as sensors, so that it can, in effect, "touch" from a distance.
After a long day of snow-shoeing my sense of life feels drained, very low in energy/chi, even despite practicing energy-enhancing Qi-gong along the way (I'm not by any means a master in the art yet).
Overall, as I undertake this trek, my sense of life is both enhanced and exhausted. My constitutional energy is put to the test, the body forces are working at their limit. However, the etheric energy of the forest is so resplendent that there is a constant influx of vitality. An interesting point to be made here is that in urban areas people have to enhance their life sense due to the lack of nature-borne vitality. In consideration of this, we can say, if asked what is truly the most valuable property in, say, New York, the answer is that Central Park has more worth that all the rest of Manhattan combined!
Migrating birds can detect and use magnetic fields of the Earth to navigate by. Is this so-called "magnetic field" actually part of the sense of life of the planet streaming forth? And are the birds, in a way, projecting their own sense of life outward to detect the Earth's energy in this manner?
Wolves are known to stare into the eyes of their prey before opting to attack, reading in their potential prey the nature of their sense of life, their overall constitutional strength and condition of health.
This sense of awareness of the body-in-motion enables us to know where any part of our body is even with eyes closed. It is a sense that can be refined and enhanced, as in the case of intricate choreography.
When projected outward, we can sense movement in others. One evening, as I was bent over a campfire, cooking a meal, I could sense something passing over above me. As I looked up I saw an owl flying in the trajectory I had been sensing. The owl, as we know is capable of flying quite silently. I did not hear its passage, nor could I see it in any way, until after I looked up.
Tracks of a solitary snowshoe hare enter the woods, appearing to have crossed the frozen lake - a distance of about 2 miles. What could have drawn the hare across such an long open distance? Its progress would have been little noticed as its coat matched the snow so well (here again, a developed sense of movement projected outward would have helped to sense the hare's passage.)
Does the weasel sense the movement of mice and voles in the sub-nivean chamber beneath the snow, before it dives in?
Often have I watched a flock of shorebirds, or snowbirds, as they fly in complete unison, twisting, turning, diving, swooping as one. Here, the sense of movement has been refined and con-joined to each member of the flock, as though a single being is operating every nuance of movement. This particular example can also shed light on how the sense of ego operates within the realm of nature - more on that below.
The human sense of balance is conveyed through inner ear structures. In animals, "otoliths" serve a similar purpose. In nature, we are often challenged to refine our sense of balance, as the terrain is often rugged and variable.
As with movement, deep appreciation of a dance presentation actually requires us to project our sense of balance, as we extend ourselves into the performance.
Within the animal kingdom, exceptional acrobatics in the balance arena include the cat and squirrel.
A blossom permeates the air with it's gaseous aroma. Forces of will meet, from outer (e.g., the rose's "will") and inner, as our own will streams out to meet it.
Desert animals can smell water vapor over a great distance. A wolf's nose has been estimated to be from a hundred thousand to a million times more sensitive than a human's. The bear has one of the most sensitive olfactory capacities of the animal kingdom, and is able to track through water, or read information from a scent trail several days old.
Just as the sense of smell operates via the airy element, taste depends on the liquid element. A substance must first be partly dissolved before we can taste it. Nature has a way of producing the most flavorful tastes, for example, in fruits that evolve in natural conditions. Despite humankind's most lengthy and deliberate attempts to improve crops in this regard, nature cannot be topped. Notice how the smallest fruits, such as a wild strawberry, have the most incredible taste. The larger agri-business causes its fruits to grow, the more the taste of its products seems to fall bland.
Salmon are famous for their ability to taste their way back up to waters from which they originated. Some fish can detect substances diluted to one part per billion. Bees have taste receptors on their jaws, forelimbs, and antennae.
One night, as I lie in my sleeping bag, I am enchanted by a pre-sleep show courtesy of Aurora borealis. I look through the window up into the night sky, past willow and spruce to the backdrop of stars and drink in the Aurora ribbons, the northern angel flights, radiating, dancing in striations that breathe in and out in fanning coruscations.
Vision is a sense that begins to penetrate further than the foregoing senses. When our eyes perceive the blue-green color of the spruce tree, compared with the yellow-green color of the pine tree, we begin to discern something about the inner nature of these different trees.
Bees, birds, and some animals can see in the ultraviolet range. A hawk has 20/5 vision - it can see from 20 feet what most people can see from 5 feet. A falcon can see a 10 cm object from a distance of 1.5 kilometers. A buzzard can observe small rodents from an altitude of 15,000 feet.
We can sense outer surfaces via touch, but we actually use another sense when it comes to detecting temperature variations. As stated above, the wind is physically felt on one's skin, but its relative cold or warmth is sensed via our sense of temperature.
Because an object is permeated by its warmth or cold, the sense of temperature reaches still deeper than vision, further into the foundation of things.
Pit vipers, and some boas, have a heat sensitive organ between their eyes and nostrils, with which they can ascertain body heat in another organism.
As I journey on, I can hear the rise and fall of the wind through the trees, and the crunch of my snowshoes atop the crusty snow.
Resonance, the sound quality that permeates an object, in its vibrational tone reveals much about the nature of the object. Consider candle ice clinking together. The tone the snow gives forth when walking reveals a lot about snow conditions underfoot. When sawing firewood, the sound of the particular log reveals much about the wood's quality. As we listen to the sounds of both things and living beings, in a certain way hearing begins to tell us something about the soul level of what we are encountering.
A pigeon can detect sounds in the infrasound range far below our own limit, as low as 0.1 Hz. Bats can hear through a range from 3,000 to 120,000 Hz (compared with the human range - 20 to 20,000 Hz.).
Language is a sense that goes beyond merely hearing something spoken. By the sense of language we are able to perceive meaning behind an expression. Language in nature is a great challenge to de-code. The language of animals and birds, the language of a landscape. Once some familiarity is attained in this area, the human element of language interpretation (that is, truly understanding another in one's native tongue) becomes more facile.
One morning, a ptarmigan singing its dawn poem became a particular challenge to interpret. As the sun began to rise, and the ptarmigan began its song a few meters from the cabin I was waking in, I could sense an intricacy to what it was voicing. But my own sense of language, being not yet sufficiently developed, wasn't up to interpreting its message. However, in my research I have discovered that within the human community there are individuals who are becoming increasingly adept at this level of communication.
Besides the human capacity to interpret language, within the animal kingdom there are some who can use this sense fairly effectively - e.g, the gorilla. However, on a deeper level, all animals have a Spirit of the species aspect that is as egoic as ourselves, and thus capable of fully exercising this faculty. And so, by evoking connection with, say, the Spirit of the Wolf, we can begin to enter into a viable level of communication.
As with language, the sense of concept is an arena in which individual animals reach a limit. "One can be directed by intelligence without possessing it, and that is how if is for animals," according to Rudolf Steiner. Here, he is referring to how the over-lighting being, the Spirit of an animal species, can utilize the higher senses - language, concept, and ego - on a par with human capacities, but not in the case of a single animal.
This is not to say animals are not intelligent - only to acknowledge a level of conceptualizing that differs from human. The Spirit of an animal is, indeed, intelligent, and has much to offer in ways that can deepen our understanding about our sojourn upon Earth.
Sense of concept can be a potent arena due to the way in which prana/chi has moved from its traditional forum (the breath) to thinking. Once we learn the ropes, through our thinking life we can enhance our energetic levels.
Nature causes me to conceptualize in particular ways. One key mode is to reflect on the spiritual ecology of aspects of nature. How does the spruce tree part of me have its being? The wolf? The squirrel? The forested part of my inner terrain? the spring? The lakeshore part? The starry dome? What does the magic of Aurora borealis evoke in me?
Sense of ego - among ways of getting to know oneself further - that is, using one's sense of ego upon oneself - relating to others is primary. But so, also, is spending time in nature in solitude. Nuances of one's individuality can be explored. How do I experience solitude over a duration? What issues arise? What fears are met and what are my individual "edges" therein? For example, fears related to loneliness, or provision (as one's food stock depletes), of the darkness (what shapes form in the dark out of fear?), or what mid-life issues still prevail?
Central to this line of questioning is - how am I in the face of prolonged silence and stillness, the great leveler of humankind and human aspiration. In what ways does this sabbatical from my life cause me to reflect on my life? What things to strengthen? Or to change? Or to come to terms with? Or seek more understanding about? How do each of the animals, plants, etc I encounter resonate with various parts of my being?
In reference to animals, the world is in a state of spiritual evolution, meaning that while we humans are evolving toward a fifth kingdom level of being, animals are also becoming more egoic - individualized, and more and more capable of abilities that were once attributed only to humans (or to the overall species level of the animal). Especially those animals who are spending time with humans, pets, are advancing more rapidly in this way.
All forms of life are advancing, including the other two realms of life on Earth. as plants develop more astral qualities, and the mineral kingdom becomes increasingly etheric.
Hearing and vision - nature automatically creates aesthetically beautiful forms in both aural and visual arenas. Humanity chooses to create beautiful, or not-so-beautiful forms. The more one spends in nature, the more one is immersed in aesthetic beauty.
Projecting one's sense of motion onto the snowflakes, and there is a feeling of softly sifting down through one's being.
Projecting to high mountain peaks, there is a feeling of excarnation, or moving up out of one's body, in a sense.
Similarly, on the West Coast, where the energy is experienced as diffusive - all the rain and sea and growth and abundance of plant life, rainforest exuberance, calls for an extra degree of focusing to counteract the diffusion.
The 12 senses referred to here pertain primarily to the physical aspect of humanity. Other senses come into play as we enter into our spiritual nature, including the human astral body. Steiner refers to some of these metaphysical senses as imagination, inspiration and intuition. Earth Vision proposes to delve into this subject, along with a more extensive examination of the 12 senses in relation to the natural world - a book will likely result in the foreseeable future. If you would like to contribute to this project, please contact author Josef Graf through the email on the EV site.
About The Author
Josef Graf presents nature in the light of spiritual ecology through articles and E-books on the Earth Vision site - http://www.evsite.net
Sunday, May 11, 2008
By Mark Ledsom
BERNE, Switzerland - The Swiss government has agreed to ease restrictions on the importation of potatoes following fears that Euro 2008 soccer fans could face a shortage of French fries next month.
A spokesman for the country's department of agriculture told national radio on Wednesday that the government would allow an additional 5,000 tonnes of potatoes to be brought in.
The decision follows a request by Swiss potato industry association Swisspatat who warned that supplies were already running low in the buildup to the June tournament.
The association has estimated that 3,000 additional tonnes will be needed to make chips for foreign supporters, with the remaining 2,000 used for other forms of potato.
Switzerland has already been fretting over dwindling supplies of its beloved 'cervelat' sausage following a European Union ban on the Brazilian cows' intestines traditionally used to encase the meat.
Economics minister Doris Leuthard, who is also responsible for agriculture, told the national parliament in March there were enough cervelats in reserve to last at least through Euro 2008.
The tournament runs from June 7 to 29 and will be co-hosted by Switzerland and neighboring Austria.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
TORONTO - An attendant at a Canadian restaurant who was sacked for giving a bite-sized doughnut, worth 16 cents, to an agitated toddler was given her job back on Thursday after the case received wide media attention.
Nicole Lilliman, a single mother, said she was dismissed from a London, Ontario, outlet of the Tim Hortons coffee and doughnut chain after video cameras captured the 27-year-old giving a Timbit to a toddler.
"It was just out of my heart, she (the toddler) was pointing and going 'ah, ah...' I should have gone to my purse and got the change, but it was busy," Lilliman told the Toronto Star newspaper.
Tim Hortons said on Thursday that the firing was a mistake.
"It was the unfortunate action of one manager who unfortunately made an overzealous decision, and thankfully we were able to rectify the situation," said company spokeswoman Rachel Douglas.
Douglas said the company, a Canadian icon with stores on virtually every high street across the country, told Lilliman that she could have her job back, and Lilliman had accepted.
A single Timbit sells for 16 Canadian cents (16 U.S. cents), but most shoppers buy boxes of 10, 20 or 40 of the deep-fried goodies, which come in a variety of flavors.
Douglas said Tim Hortons had received a number of complaints. "Thankfully we're able to go back to them and say we were able to fix the situation," she said.
DALLAS, Texas — Rick Carlisle has agreed to a four-year deal to become the ninth coach of the Dallas Mavericks, the National Basketball Association team announced Saturday.
The contract, worth a reported 17.5 million dollars, makes Carlisle the replacement for Avery Johnson, who was sacked 10 days earlier after the Mavericks were eliminated by New Orleans in round one of the NBA playoffs.
The Mavericks reached the NBA Finals in 2006, losing the best-of-seven showdown to Miami in six games after winning the first two. Last season, Dallas had the NBA's best regular-season record but lost to Golden State in round one.
This season, the Mavericks obtained star guard Jason Kidd at the NBA trade deadline but struggled to a 51-31 record for seventh in the Western Conference.
Carlisle, 48, has coached a total of six NBA seasons with Indiana and Detroit with a 281-211 career record. He was the only candidate interviewed for the job.
"Incredibly excited that Rick has come on board," Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said. "His coaching record speaks for itself. He has a unique ability to coach multiple styles of play, which we think makes him a great fit for the Mavs."
Carlisle's first coaching job came at Detroit in 2001. He went 100-64 and won 2002 NBA Coach of the Year honors but was fired in 2003 and replaced by Larry Brown.
Carlisle was hired by former Boston Celtics teammate Larry Bird later that year to take over Indiana, where he guided the Pacers to a record 61-win season and two playoff berths before being fired in 2007 after missing the playoffs.
Friday, May 9, 2008
By Tanisa Brown
Who would have thought that cell phones would become so technologically advanced. You can do everything on your cell phone from taking pictures, to watching videos to sending eFaxes. Therefore, one of the first questions you might want to ask yourself is what are you going to use your cell phone for (other than of course using your cell to make phone calls)?
As a freelancer in the film industry, I upgraded my cell phone to a smartphone because I desperately needed to have email access during the day. I lost one too many jobs and interviews due to my inability to step away from a film set to run off and check my emails on a laptop. With my BlackBerry Pearl, I can have emails sent directly to my cell phone. I'm alerted immediately and can reply quickly and easily; especially if I need to confirm my availability to work on the next film shoot. It's perfect and I don't miss out on job opportunities anymore!
Likewise, if you find yourself needing to constantly communicate with employees, co-workers, clients and vendors, smartphones and PDA's are terrific. Not only can you have features like checking your emails, but you can also browse the web, stay organized with a calendar, read Adobe PDF files, view email attachments, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and zip files. Your cell phone can truly be your mini office away from the office. At the end of the day, go ahead and sync up all your important data from your wireless device right to your computer or laptop. Just check to see which application software is available for your phone.
For Fun and Play
If you are looking for something more fun and interactive, multimedia phones are excellent. Watch your favorite music videos, listen to music, and play interactive games all on your phone. Just be sure to buy a cell phone that's dedicated to multimedia support like the V CAST from Verizon or the Apple iPhone. The reason being is that cell phones specialized in multimedia support are better equipped to hold more memory for storing music, have higher speed downloads and can play bigger media files.
If you want to take quality pictures, then I suggest you buy a really good digital camera. But seriously, if you like taking a bunch of pictures with your cell phone, then do your research. Some of the things to check for with camera phones are the number of pixel resolution, length of video recordings, if it has white balance, image editor, multi-shot, digital zoom, self timer, flash, video capture/camcorder, etc. Now, I wouldn't exactly say there are cell phones that are specifically designed for picture taking, but there are some camera phones that will give you a better quality than others. Again, do your research to find the features you want to have with a camera phone.
All in one phone
If you want your cell phone to have all of the above you can! However, if you are buying a cell phone for a specific need, don't skimp. My BlackBerry Pearl works just fine for me to check my emails as a freelancer, but if I was constantly traveling internationally as part of my job and needed global support, this model phone wouldn't cut it.
Once you decide which phone is right for you, be sure to shop around to get the best deals. The more technologically advanced you need a cell phone to be, the more you will have to spend for those sweet techie features.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
NEW ORLEANS - The way the warden sees it, the more than 400-pound black bear living in the middle of the sprawling Louisiana State Penitentiary is an extra layer of security.
"I love that bear being right where it is," Warden Burl Cain said Monday. "I tell you what, none of our inmates are going to try to get out after dark and wander around when they might run into a big old bear. It's like having another guard at no cost to the taxpayer."
The bear was first seen by an inmate crossing a road in the prison on Friday. It was taking a stroll near the center of the state's only maximum security prison, which is about 115 miles northwest of New Orleans. Most of the roughly 28-square-mile prison is run as a farm, but about 5 1/2 square miles is mostly untouched piney woods.
Prison workers measured the bear's footprints, which were six inches in diameter, Cain said.
"Every inch equals 75 pounds, so that would make it about 450 pounds," Cain said. "The wildlife people told us they think it's a big female they've been tracking for a while."
Prison officials believe they have eight to 10 bears on the grounds, said Gary Young, head of the executive management office at the prison.
Maria Davidson, manager of the Large Carnivore Program for the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, doubts there are that many, but marvels that even one was spotted in an area of high activity such as the center of the prison.
"Bears are actually very shy, their tendency is to run and hide," Davidson said.
As for acting as an unpaid prison guard, Davidson doubts that the bear would provide much of a deterrent to a fleeing prisoner.
"We've never had a predatory attack by a black bear in Louisiana, to our knowledge, on pets or livestock," she said. "As for a bear coming out and rushing an inmate, I don't see that happening."
The prison, known as Angola, is isolated and has plenty of other kinds of dangerous wildlife, including alligators, rattlesnakes and wild pigs, Young said. The last recorded escape was nearly three years ago, and the inmate was quickly recaptured before leaving the grounds.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
By Harry Jonson
Once princess of Wales, Lady Diana said, "A mother's arms are more comforting than anyone else's." Her words are true and carry so much weight. Mother's day is approaching which gives you a golden opportunity to express your feelings for your dear Mom.
She is the one who takes so many pains for you but never complains. She cares for you and does all the small and big things for you day in and day out. Now it's time to pamper her! Show your mom how much you love her with a special gift. The best thing to do for her is getting a right gift for mother's day.
The dilemma of choosing the right gift for her always disturbs you. You think of many gifts likes latest bags, fancy dresses or dinner at her favorite hotel etc but there is one gift which no woman can resist. Well, do not think of diamonds these may not fit in your budget. Then what is the gift idea? It is - perfumes. Perfumes can do many wonders with one just one whiff.
Perfume gifts for mother's day have emerged as the most commonly chosen gift item. There are so many brands that offer perfumes for women having different tastes in perfumes. These perfumes are refreshing, light and cool. Many brands give strong, sexy, sensuous perfumes. So you need to make the right choice. The most important thing is to select the fragrance wisely.
If your mom likes soft and delicate fragrances then go for the brands like alfred sung, britney spears perfume, ellen tracy perfume, and escada or gucci perfumes. These fragrances will surely delight her. You can also go for brand like lomani perfume, armani cologne, versace perfume, and paris hilton perfume.
All these perfumes are refreshing, luxurious and sensuous. These perfumes are perfect for day and office wear and eveningwear too. There are many combinations of exotic flowers and sensual wood smells to make your mom stand apart from the crowd. All the mentioned brands are world famous perfumes and are the best gifts for mother's day.
One can shop for Mothers Day Perfume online today. Many sites offer wide varieties of all the leading brands of perfumes, that too on discounted rates. So go ahead and order the right perfume for your mom
Harry Jonson is a cosmetics specialist that regularly reviews the latest perfume.
VALPARAISO, Ind. - A man with a guitar and a megaphone climbed atop a convenience store roof to serenade commuters with his musical protest of high gasoline prices — until police halted the impromptu concert.
Once atop the roof of the Family Express store Monday, and above pumps dispensing fuel at $3.78 per gallon, Jay Weinberg, 29, performed his ditty called "Price Gouge'n."
Dozens of supporters chanted: "I can't afford it. I'm banging on my dashboard. I can't believe they think I'm a fool."
The performance lasted about 15 minutes before three police officers arrived and arrested Weinberg on charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct. Police said he was cooperative.
The crowd, made up of Weinberg's friends and other people who just happened to be pumping gas, continued singing. Then some, including his wife, Danielle, drove to Porter County Jail to bail him out.
Weinberg left the building around 7:30 p.m. and was greeted with cheers.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Two dogs, trained to sniff out pirated movies and music, are so efficient they have turned into a nightmare for smuggling syndicates.
Lucky and Flo, two Labradors, can sniff out the polycarbonate contained in DVDs and CDs.
The four-year-old dogs can't tell the difference between a legal disk and a pirated one, but they do have a knack for ferreting out disks packed in cases labeled "Alaskan King Crab" or "Automobile Spare Parts," or hidden behind a thick wall in a warehouse, AFP reported.
The canines' noses have netted international customs officials millions of bogus discs and allowed them to arrest dozens of suspected smugglers of counterfeit goods.
"They are so good at their jobs that a Malaysian pirating syndicate put a USD 30,000 bounty on the dogs' heads," said Michael Buchan, who liaises between the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and agents with the US Customs and Border Protection service.
Lucky and Flo and their human escorts have visited places like the Czech Republic, Dubai, Germany, Mexico and Spain.
They scored their greatest success in Malaysia and the Philippines, where they took part in 35 raids that led to more than two dozen arrests and unearthed two million disks valued at USD 3.5m.
The Motion Picture Association says that it loses some USD 18b to counterfeiters each year.
Monday, May 5, 2008
Normally, I'm all for up-to-the-second updates, but I wanted have the benefit of (a little bit of) perspective before we got into this.
This happened on Tuesday, kind of grew wild legs on the Blogosphere by Wednesday, and has steadily cooled off since. If you don't know what I'm talking about, it's Buzz Bissinger arguing at Deadspin editor Will Lietch that blogs are contributing to the dumbing down of America.
Unfortunately I can't embed the video so you'll have to go to the above link to check it out.
After you've watched it Joboja community, I want to know what you think. Whether you're on this website as a reader, contributor or potential sponsor, you're actively part of the Blogosphere. Although the debate they're having is about sports journalism, it speaks to concerns about all aspects of new media.
A few things before we get started. If you're wondering my take on what's being discussed you can find it here. I wrote that two weeks before Buzz-Gate, and my opinion hasn't changed (although I would have been a little less snarky had I known how serious the issue was going to get in the near future). Also, if this is your first impression of Buzz Bissinger, don't let it scare you away from his work. He is a great writer who has written a lot of great books (most famously Friday Night Lights), and on most occasions (with the noted exception of his Vanity Fair piece on Mumia Abu-Jamal) he keeps a fair perspective.
I agree with Lietch that the great thing about the web is it's a meritocracy, so here's our meritocratic open forum.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
NEW YORK - Police say a patrol horse found his own way back through Manhattan streets to his stable after throwing his rider.
The officer was treated for minor injuries after traffic noise spooked Aldo on Friday. The 8-year-old took off about eight blocks to the stable.
New York police spokesman Paul Browne says the horse "knows his turf."
Officer Martin Brown says Aldo suffered a few small cuts. The 21-year police veteran riding him had some injuries to his neck and shoulder.
Aldo has been a police horse for about a year.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
At his peak, the worker was looking at almost 10,000 pages a day
A local council employee in Japan has been punished after it was discovered he had accessed porn websites at work more than 780,000 times in nine months.
His superiors were alerted to the problem only when his computer became infected with a virus.
The 57-year-old man, who has not been named, works for the city of Kinokawa in southern Japan.
He held on to his job, but has been demoted and his wages have been cut by about 20,000 yen ($190; £80) a month.
Each day he would turn up to work, but once in his office it seems unlikely he got much done.
A council investigation found that he viewed more than 750,000 pornographic websites in nine months.
His habit reached its peak last July when he surfed for porn more than 177,000 times during office hours.
That works out at almost 10,000 pages a day, or more than 20 each minute he was at his desk.
A council official, trying to explain why no-one had noticed, said that each employee's desk was set apart from the others.
The man was discovered only when his computer became infected with a virus, prompting officials to look at his web-browser history.
He has not been sacked but he has been demoted and his pay cut by about $200 a month. No doubt he is also proving to be a little more productive now.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
The American Cancer Society (ACS) is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the ACS has state divisions and more than 3,400 local offices.
In order to provide college students with hands-on experience in the activities of a non-profit, we offer nationwide paid and unpaid internship positions.
During their eight-week sessions interns will obtain:
- Hands-on experience in the activities of non-profit agencies;
- In-depth knowledge of the American Cancer Society’s efforts in cancer control, volunteer involvement, and community outreach;
- Opportunity to continue to intern with us through their college years;
- Competitive stipend of up to $2,500 (for paid positions);
- An opportunity to select one of three sessions: Fall (Sept.-Dec.); Spring (Jan.-May); Summer (June-Aug).
The Internship Program is designed for full-time undergraduate and graduate level college students who: Have completed their freshman year of college (minimum) and will return to college after the internship with us; Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00/4.00 or B average; Have serious interest in pursuing a career in the non-profit sector; Can demonstrate a relationship between their projected major and the work of the American Cancer Society.