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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 130308 times)
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2400 on: Dec 29th, 2010, 5:13pm »

on Dec 29th, 2010, 3:38pm, JonCurcio wrote:
Actually, you did! I thought it was coming out in January. It sort of is, but I guess Shout Factory is selling it direct early. I have you to thank for the heads up.



Hey Jon,
It must have come in early. Now I'm making things up as I go along......... grin It's ham overload, Ha! That da*n ham won't go away!
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« Reply #2401 on: Dec 30th, 2010, 07:21am »

New York Times

December 29, 2010
India Digs In Its Heels as China Flexes Its Muscles
By JIM YARDLEY

NEW DELHI — It has been the season of geopolitical hugs in India — with one noticeable exception. One after the other, the leaders of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council have descended on India, accompanied by delegations of business leaders, seeking closer ties with this rising South Asian giant. The Indian media, basking in the high-level attention, have nicknamed them the “P-5.”

Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain got a warm reception last summer. Then President Obama wowed a skeptical Indian establishment during his November visit. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France signed nuclear deals in early December, while President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia departed last week with a fistful of defense contracts after winning praise for Moscow as a “special partner.”

The exception to the cheery mood was the mid-December visit of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China. Mr. Wen did secure business deals, announce new trade goals and offer reassurances of friendly Chinese intentions. But the trip also underscored that many points of tension between the Asian giants — trade imbalances, their disputed border and the status of Kashmir — are growing worse. And the Indian foreign policy establishment, once reluctant to challenge China, is taking a harder line.

“The Wen visit has widened the gap publicly between India and China,” said Ranjit Gupta, a retired Indian diplomat and one of many vocal analysts pushing a more hawkish line toward China. “And it represents for the first time a greater realism in the Indian establishment’s approach to China.”

India aspires to membership on the United Nations Security Council, and China is now the only permanent member nation that has not explicitly endorsed such a move. But what has rattled Indian leaders even more is their contention that China is being deliberately provocative in Kashmir as it grows closer to Pakistan, China’s longtime ally and India’s nemesis. China has also been expanding its diplomatic and economic influence around South Asia, stepping up its involvement in the affairs of Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Maldives.

Mr. Wen’s visit was supposed to help address those tensions at a time when India is starting to draw closer to the United States. Among Chinese leaders, Mr. Wen is perceived as a friend of India, and his 2005 visit was regarded as a breakthrough after he and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed on a broad framework to address the border dispute.

For decades since fighting a brief border war, the two countries had argued over the boundary lines, with China making claims to Arunachal Pradesh, an eastern Indian state, and India claiming portions of Tibet that abut Indian-controlled Kashmir. The 2005 deal fostered optimism that some sort of quid pro quo compromise could be reached, enabling the two countries to concentrate on trade. And trade took off: it has risen tenfold to almost $60 billion, with Mr. Wen setting a new goal of $100 billion.

But Indian leaders now complain that trade is far too lopsided in China’s favor and say that Indian corporations face too many obstacles in entering the Chinese market. Mr. Wen promised to help Indian corporations sell their products in China, but Indian officials are skeptical.

Meanwhile, China infuriated India by starting to issue special stapled paper visas — rather than the standard visa — for anyone in Indian-controlled Kashmir traveling to China on the grounds that Kashmir is a disputed territory. China later objected to including a top Indian general responsible for Kashmir in a military exchange in China. In response, Indian officials angrily suspended all military exchanges between the countries. Indian officials had thought Mr. Wen might reverse the stapled visas policy on his trip, but he instead only called for more diplomatic consultations.

Indian commentators have noticed that articles in the Chinese state-run media have renewed Chinese claims that the disputed border between the nations is roughly 1,240 miles in length — even as India puts the length at about 2,175 miles. The difference roughly represents the border between Indian-controlled Kashmir and Tibetan China. By omitting this section, the Chinese are questioning the status of Indian-controlled Kashmir, a position that buttresses Pakistan’s own claims, several Indian analysts have argued.

The most visible evidence that these problems were deepening came in the joint communiqué issued by the two nations at the end of Mr. Wen’s visit. China typically demands that nations voice support for the one-China policy, which holds that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. In past communiqués, India has agreed to such language, but this time it was omitted, a clear sign of Indian irritation.

“It has been in every communiqué, but the Chinese didn’t even bring it up,” said a senior Indian official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “I think they knew if they had brought it up, they knew we would have demanded some movement on the stapled visa issue and the Kashmir issue.”

The senior official added: “They must understand that there is a prospect of the relationship really going south. They will have to somehow moderate their stand on Kashmir. And they will have to take concrete steps to address the trade imbalance.”

India and China still cooperate on climate change and international trade policy, and some Indian diplomats grumble that the positive aspects of the relationship are too often overlooked by aggressive media organizations and an emboldened group of strategic analysts pushing for a harder line. China’s state-run media outlets recently broadcast images of a new tunnel being completed through the Himalayas near the Indian border. These reports looked to some like boasting about the country’s engineering prowess. In India, they were presented as a warning that China was building its infrastructure ever closer to India.

At the same time, India is watching warily as China pursues hydro projects that could affect the downstream flow of the Brahmaputra River in India.

Some Indian analysts note that tensions with China have increased in lockstep with the warming trend between India and the United States. During his visit, Mr. Obama spoke of a “defining partnership” between India and the United States and encouraged India to play a bigger role not only in South Asia but also in East Asia, China’s backyard. Mr. Singh, in fact, had just finished a trip to Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam as part of India’s “Look East” policy to build trade and diplomatic ties in the region.

“Our challenge will be to build our own leverage,” the senior Indian official said.

“That is why the relationships with the United States, with Japan, with other Southeast Asian parties, all that will become even more important.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/30/world/asia/30india.html?ref=world

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« Reply #2402 on: Dec 30th, 2010, 07:24am »

New York Times

December 29, 2010
A High-Tech City’s Down-Home Hero
By WILLIAM YARDLEY

SEATTLE — They say Jake Locker was carved to athletic perfection between the Cascade Range and the Salish Sea. Big, strong and strikingly fast, he was a statewide myth by the time he was a teenager, a high school football force scorching through Friday nights in the farthest reaches of the Pacific Northwest.

By the time he became the quarterback for the University of Washington, he was cast here as nothing less than a savior, a rural kid summoned to the digital city from a place few of his new fans could find on a map, Ferndale, Wash., population 11,000. His father taped drywall for a living. His grandfather worked in a pulp mill for 37 years. Neither of them graduated from college, but Jake would stir the rescue fantasies of an ambitious university and what the Census Bureau has called the nation’s best-educated city.

“Don’t go, Jake!” the crowd chanted at raucous Husky Stadium a year ago, at the end of his junior season. Pro scouts swooned in the stands. Mr. Locker was projected to become a top N.F.L. draft pick, and a multimillionaire, if he left college early. “One more year!”

On Thursday, Mr. Locker will play his final college game against heavily favored Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. Analysts will point to his decision to stay for his senior year as reflective of fine character — but they will also recount the disappointing season that followed, from blowout losses to his plummeting draft prospects. The savior proved mighty mortal.

Yet regardless of Washington’s 6-6 record or what might happen Thursday, many people will always measure the kid from Ferndale by more than touchdowns and passing efficiency.

At a time when college teams recruit from across the globe, when talented players are expected to jump early to the draft and others are quick to transfer if things do not go well, Mr. Locker has been defined not just by his performance or potential but also by the simple fact that he repeatedly chose to stay close to home, to anchor himself ever more deeply in the complicated corner of America where he was raised. In the Northwest, a region reaching for a broader role in the world even as it fears losing its sense of place, being a local hero meant playing across a delicate divide between old and new.

“The people who consider themselves to be the true Washingtonians, the true Northwest, they identify with Jake,” said Rob Rang, a high school literature and history teacher from Tacoma who has followed Mr. Locker closely as part of his moonlighting job — as an N.F.L. draft analyst for cbssports.com. “Not to make Jake sound like he’s some lumberjack, but he’s more of that than the latte-sipping, work-at-Microsoft kind of thing.”

Told of those comments, Mr. Locker agreed.

“You saw what my dad does,” he said. “No matter what the circumstances, you can always work hard enough to give your family what they need.”

Seattle is more than generous billionaires and precision composting. It exports airplanes and wine but also wheat and wood. It is still a crossroads, energized by friction between rural and urban, union machinist and transplant techie, immigrant and entrenched. Not far from the rows of bungalows beloved by carbon-conscious New Urbanists, Aurora Avenue, a critical city artery, features stunning views of Mount Rainier — and boarded-up motels.

Yet in the center of it all there has long been a uniting force, the home team. Before the Seahawks or the Mariners or the Sounders soccer team, before Microsoft or Boeing, before the Klondike gold rush or even statehood, there was the University of Washington, founded as the Territorial University of Washington 150 years ago next fall with a single professor and 30 students.

Back then, Seattle was a frontier town with fewer than 1,000 people. It was less Jet City — or Metronatural, as a new generation of boosters has branded it — than it was Ferndale. A century and a half later, the university, not Microsoft or Boeing, is the city’s largest employer, with nearly 30,000 faculty and staff members serving 45,000 students.

But for all its heft — Washington is perennially among the top universities in attracting federal research dollars — the university has lost some of its prominence in a changing region. It increasingly struggles to draw political support outside the Seattle area. Many people view it as elitist, distracted by its global ambitions.

At a time when public universities are taking significant budget cuts, Washington has suffered plenty, losing a third of its state financing in the past two years. To raise more revenue, it is capping its in-state enrollment because outside students pay about three times the tuition.

That shift is not expected to improve local loyalty, but the university has taken other steps that it hopes will, from expanding aid for low-income in-state students to enhancing its brand name, in Seattle and beyond. Next fall, it will begin construction on a $250 million renovation of 90-year-old Husky Stadium. Rejected in its request for state money, it began a private fund-raising campaign just as Mr. Locker began his senior season.

“Sports is the gateway into the university for many, many people,” Phyllis M. Wise, the university’s interim president, said in an interview. “It is the front porch. It’s what people know.”

Small-Town Roots

Washington has seized on the small-town imagery surrounding Mr. Locker. In addition to putting his picture on buses across Seattle, the athletic department sent staff members to Ferndale for several days this summer after the town proclaimed the main day of its annual Old Settlers Picnic to be Jake Locker Day. Washington created a Web site featuring video testimonials from Ferndale residents recalling Mr. Locker’s earnest boyhood.

“I wasn’t comfortable with it at first,” Mr. Locker said. “But I thought the way they did it was best suited for me. It came from the people I grew up with. It’s a community that really, really cares about all the people in it.”

Of all the impressive tailgate parties that take place before and after Washington football games, one of the most formidable the last few years has been held by the “Ferndawgs,” the passionate group of family and friends from Ferndale who have cheered at every home game Mr. Locker has played.

Yet while the Ferndawgs now drape themselves in Washington purple and gold, very few of them attended the university. When Mr. Locker enrolled in the fall of 2006 — he graduated this month as a fifth-year senior — he was one of only 12 freshmen admitted from Ferndale High School, 100 miles north of Seattle and just south of the Canadian border.

“Even that hour-and-a-half drive, it was a huge adjustment for me,” Mr. Locker said. “I got really homesick.”

Every Husky fan knows that Mr. Locker chose to come to Washington when its football team was at rock bottom, after scandal and losses had prompted coaches, administrators and even boosters to leave a program once among the giants of college football. He could have played virtually anywhere, but Seattle was an easier drive for his grandparents.

Washington has produced many fine quarterbacks who have nurtured lasting connections here. One of them is Brock Huard, himself a small-town star who made a similar choice to stay in college more than a decade ago.

But Mr. Huard is among many people who say Mr. Locker’s tale is different and deeper. He may not have won the Heisman, but he stayed long enough to get Washington back to even.

“So much was on his shoulders to singlehandedly turn things around,” Mr. Huard said. “There’s almost a purity to him and his story — almost a ‘Hoosiers’ thing. He’s formed such a bond with this place. And that bond got pushed and tested more than anyone ever thought it could.”

Mr. Locker feels the bond, too. A principal reason he returned, he said, was “just being able to extend that passion one more year, one more game and one more snap.”

He risked failure on the field, but not necessarily financial hardship. In the summer of 2009, before his junior year, he signed a minor-league baseball contract — he threw a 95-mile-per-hour fastball in high school — that included a signing bonus of about $250,000. He has not been on scholarship since then, though he lives in a group house and shares a room with his dog. And when he decided to return for his senior year, he took out an insurance policy that would provide him with a very comfortable living should an injury prevent him from going on to N.F.L. wealth.

He still may be among the top quarterbacks picked in the draft, though far from No. 1. No one seems sure what to expect of him as a professional. Will he learn to read defenses better and pass more precisely?

“The most frustrating quarterback I’ve ever scouted,” Mr. Rang called him.

‘Thank You Jake’

In Mr. Locker’s final home game, against U.C.L.A., he missed several open receivers and threw an interception. He was marginal. He had many fine performances this season but many like this one, too. Washington won by riding other players to victory, as it often did late this season. It qualified for a bowl by winning its final game.

Yet when the U.C.L.A. game was over, the people in purple still chanted the quarterback’s name. He had played much of the season with a broken rib. More important, he had stayed. Among the better-selling Christmas items at the university bookstore this year was a hand-painted tree ornament in the shape of Mr. Locker’s No. 10 jersey.

“Jake! Jake! Jake!” they rumbled in the stands. “Locker! Locker! Locker!”

more after the jump
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/30/us/30locker.html?ref=us

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« Reply #2403 on: Dec 30th, 2010, 07:27am »

Reuters

World stocks eye two-year high
7:09am EST December 29 2010
By Carolyn Cohn

LONDON (Reuters) - World stocks approached their highest level since September 2008 on Thursday on optimism about global growth next year, while the dollar fell on expectations of further money printing in 2011 by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

European shares bucked the rise in global equities, dipping slightly as energy stocks fell, but U.S. stock index futures pointed to a steady open on Wall Street.

Markets are focusing on growth prospects for China, and a survey on Thursday showed the country's vast manufacturing sector continued to expand toward the year-end although at a slightly slower pace than in November.

Expectations for increased demand from China and other emerging economies pushed copper to a fresh record high at $9,550 a tonne, and U.S. crude oil hovered around $91, not far off a two-year high.

Underlying concern about the euro zone debt crisis continued to weigh on markets, however, as Italy sold 8.1 billion euros ($10.7 billion) of medium and long-term debt but missed the top end of its targeted range for 8.5 billion euros and had to pay higher yields to investors.

On the last trading day of 2010 for many Asian, European and Latin American markets, including Japan and Germany, the MSCI world stock index edged up 0.14 percent, close to Sept 2008 highs set in the previous session.

"There may be more upside, and some more money printing. Companies are in good shape with lots of cash .... but you can't just buy and hold," said Giuseppe-Guido Amato, strategist at Lang & Schwarz in Germany.

"There are still the systemic risks of the euro zone sovereign debt crisis."

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares dropped 0.56 percent.

World stocks have gained 10 percent this year, as investors showed modest appetite for risk on growing signs that global economic recovery would continue. Emerging market stocks have climbed 16 percent and European stocks have added 9 percent this year.

DOLLAR DOWN

The dollar suffered from expectations the Fed's quantitative easing programme would contribute to further currency weakness next year. It hit a record low against the Swiss franc, a 28-year low against the Australian dollar and a seven-week low against the yen, though ongoing concerns about euro zone debt tempered the U.S. currency's losses against the euro.

"The dollar is a weak currency and it will continue to weaken against those currencies that aren't actively trying to disqualify themselves from being an alternative to the dollar, which right now includes the Swiss (franc)," said Ray Farris, currency strategist at Credit Suisse.

The Chinese yuan hit a record high against the dollar since its revaluation in mid-June after the People's Bank of China set a higher mid-point for the currency cross, sparking expectations Beijing will allow the yuan to appreciate further in the first quarter of 2011.

A number of dealers in Shanghai said the yuan could gain around 2 percent in the first three months of 2011 as China needs to fight imported inflation and will face heightened political pressure to let its currency strengthen.

German government bond futures rose 52 ticks, helped by a strong seven-year U.S. Treasury note auction on Wednesday and shrugging off modest demand for Italian debt at auction on Thursday.

"This is the first (euro zone) auction that settles in the new year and I think they will continue to be like this, with moderate demand and big concessions," said Luca Jellinek, head of European rate strategy at Credit Agricole.

Copper prices continued to be driven higher by expectations for restocking by top consumer China in the first quarter although analysts said prices could stall near current levels until after the holidays.

A weak dollar boosted gold to a three-week high at $1,412.45 an ounce, putting it on course for its 10th consecutive annual gain after a near 30 percent rally in 2010, its strongest performance since 2007.

Silver prices shot to new 30-year peaks at $30.88 an ounce, benefiting from strength in other industrial commodities. Silver is now poised for an 83 percent gain this year, its best performance in nearly three decades.

(Additional reporting by Neal Armstrong, Kirsten Donovan and Brian Gorman; Editing by Susan Fenton)

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE69K04L20101230

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« Reply #2404 on: Dec 30th, 2010, 07:31am »

Telegraph

China makes Skype illegal

China has made Skype illegal, according to state-run media, as the country continues to shut itself off from the rest of the world.

Malcolm Moore in Shanghai
12:36PM GMT 30 Dec 2010

All internet phone calls will be banned apart from those made over two state-owned networks, China Unicom and China Telecom.

“[This] is expected to make services like Skype unavailable in the country,” reported the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Communist party.

Websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are already blocked in China and Google closed down its Chinese servers last year after heavy government pressure.

Yesterday (Thurs), Wang Chen, the deputy head of the Chinese Propaganda department, boasted that “By November, [...] 350 million piece of harmful information, including text, pictures and videos, had been deleted [from the Chinese internet]”.

Some Chinese users of Twitter, the micro-blogging website, claimed they could already no longer download Skype, but the service appeared to be working normally in Shanghai.

China is now the world’s largest market for internet phone calls, which are far cheaper than land-line calls and are now cutting into the market of China’s state telecommunications giants.

Since September 2007, Skype users in China have had to use a service provided jointly by Skype and TOM, a Hong Kong-based company.

The service has been widely criticised for monitoring messages on the network, especially those which mentioned “sensitive” subjects such as Falun Gong, the banned spiritual movement, and Tibet.

Yesterday the Chinese ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which issues licenses to telecommunication companies, declined to comment on when the regulations would take effect. SkypeBJ, the company’s Beijing partner, declined to comment on the ban and Skype itself did not respond to requests for a statement.

According to the new regulations, phone calls from computers to land lines on Skype will be banned, but it may still be legal to make calls from computers to other computers.

However, experts said the rules would be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce, since Chinese internet users could simply download versions of Skype or other internet phone call programs from websites outside China.

“It is very unlikely that they will manage to shut Skype down,” said Professor Kan Kaili at Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications.

“Skype is the market leader, but there is also MSN and Gmail Talk. The children of Chinese government officials, who are studying abroad, use these services to call home, so I do not think anyone is going to cut the lines. Even if they take a strict approach, such as getting local operators to block the broadband services of people who use Skype, people will still find a way around it,” he added.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/8231444/China-makes-Skype-illegal.html

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« Reply #2405 on: Dec 30th, 2010, 07:38am »

Wired

Dec. 30, 1924: Hubble Reveals We Are Not Alone
By Randy Alfred
December 30, 2009 | 12:00 am
Categories: 20th century, Astronomy


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Photo: Edwin Hubble’s 1920s observations of Andromeda (whose ultraviolet spectrum is rendered here)
expanded our notions of the size and nature of a universe that is itself expanding.
Galaxy Evolution Explorer image courtesy NASA.



1924: Astronomer Edwin Hubble announces that the spiral nebula Andromeda is actually a galaxy and that the Milky Way is just one of many galaxies in the universe.

Before Copernicus and Galileo, humans thought our world was the center of creation. Then (except for a few notable stragglers) we learned that the sun and planets did not revolve around the Earth, and we discovered that our sun — though the center of our solar system and vitally important to us — was not the center of the universe or even a major star in our galaxy.

But we still grandiosely thought our own dear Milky Way contained all or most of the stars in existence. We were about to be knocked off our egotistical little pedestal once again.

Edwin Hubble was born in Missouri in 1889 and moved to Chicago in 1898. In high school, he broke the state record in the high jump, and went on to play basketball for the University of Chicago. He won a Rhodes scholarship and studied law at Oxford. He earned a Ph.D. in astronomy, but practiced law in Kentucky. After serving in World War I and rising to the rank of major, he got bored with law and returned to astronomy.

He trained the powerful new 100-inch telescope at Mount Wilson in Southern California on spiral nebulae. These fuzzy patches of light in the sky were generally thought to be clouds of gas or dust within our galaxy, which was presumed to include everything in the universe except the Magellanic Clouds. Some nebulae seemed to contain a few stars, but nothing like the multitudes of the Milky Way.

Hubble not only found a number of stars in Andromeda, he found Cepheid variable stars. These stars vary from bright to dim, and a very smart Harvard computationist named Henrietta Leavitt had discovered in 1912 that you could measure distance with them. Given the brightness of the star and its period — the length of time it takes to go from bright to dim and back again — you could determine how far away it is.

Hubble used Leavitt’s formula to calculate that Andromeda was approximately 860,000 light years away. That’s more than eight times the distance to the farthest stars in the Milky Way. This conclusively proved that the nebulae are separate star systems and that our galaxy is not the universe.

Cosmic though it was, the news did not make the front page of The New York Times. The paper did notice the following Feb. 25 that Hubble and a public health researcher split a $1,000 prize ($12,500 in today’s money) from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Hubble went on to discover another couple of dozen galaxies. Before the 1920s were over, he added another astronomical achievement to his reputation. By analyzing the Doppler effect on the spectroscopic signals of receding stars, he established that their red shift was proportional to their distance.

When the 200-inch Mount Palomar telescope was completed in January 1949, Hubble was honored to be the first astronomer to use it. He died in 1953. NASA named its space telescope after him.

http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2009/12/1230hubble-first-galaxy-outside-milky-way

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« Reply #2406 on: Dec 30th, 2010, 11:52am »

These little guys are having a party in our front yard. They are a hoot!

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #2407 on: Dec 30th, 2010, 4:31pm »

I could imagine that, Crystal. smiley

on Dec 30th, 2010, 07:31am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Telegraph

China makes Skype illegal

China has made Skype illegal, according to state-run media, as the country continues to shut itself off from the rest of the world.

Malcolm Moore in Shanghai
12:36PM GMT 30 Dec 2010

All internet phone calls will be banned apart from those made over two state-owned networks, China Unicom and China Telecom.

Oh, my! Great! undecided

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« Reply #2408 on: Dec 30th, 2010, 5:11pm »

on Dec 30th, 2010, 4:31pm, philliman wrote:
I could imagine that, Crystal. smiley


Oh, my! Great! undecided

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Conformers in a strip club. wink


"Showgirls" Conformer style! grin

Hey Phil!
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« Reply #2409 on: Dec 30th, 2010, 5:22pm »

Washington Post

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Geraldine Doyle, 86, dies; one-time factory worker inspired Rosie the Riveter and 'We Can Do It!' poster

By T. Rees Shapiro
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 29, 2010; 11:30 PM



Geraldine Doyle, 86, who as a 17-year-old factory worker became the inspiration for a popular World War II recruitment poster that evoked female power and independence under the slogan "We Can Do It!," died Dec. 26 at a hospice in Lansing, Mich.

Her daughter, Stephanie Gregg, said the cause of death was complications from severe arthritis.

For millions of Americans throughout the decades since World War II, the stunning brunette in the red and white polka-dot bandanna was Rosie the Riveter.


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Rosie's rolled-up sleeves and flexed right arm came to represent the newfound strength of the 18 million women who worked during the war and later made her a figure of the feminist movement.

But the woman in the patriotic poster was never named Rosie, nor was she a riveter. All along it was Mrs. Doyle, who after graduating from high school in Ann Arbor, Mich., took a job at a metal factory, her family said.

One day, a photographer representing United Press International came to her factory and captured Mrs. Doyle leaning over a piece of machinery and wearing a red and white polka-dot bandanna over her hair.

In early 1942, the Westinghouse Corp. commissioned artist J. Howard Miller to produce several morale-boosting posters to be displayed inside its buildings. The project was funded by the government as a way to motivate workers and perhaps recruit new ones for the war effort.

Smitten with the UPI photo, Miller reportedly was said to have decided to base one of his posters on the anonymous, slender metal worker - Mrs. Doyle.

For four decades, this fact escaped Mrs. Doyle, who shortly after the photo was taken left her job at the factory. She barely lasted two weeks.

A cellist, Mrs. Doyle was horrified to learn that a previous worker at the factory had badly injured her hands working at the machines. She found safer employment at a soda fountain and bookshop in Ann Arbor, where she wooed a young dental school student and later became his wife.

In 1984, Mrs. Doyle and her family came across an article in Modern Maturity magazine, a former AARP publication, that connected her UPI photo with Miller's wartime poster.

The artist did take some liberties with Mrs. Doyle's physique, her family said.

"She didn't have those big muscles," said her daughter Stephanie Gregg of Eaton Rapids, Mich. "She was busy playing cello."

According to her family, the original photo of Mrs. Doyle was featured on the cover of the 1986 Time-Life book "The Patriotic Tide: 1940-1950."

"You're not supposed to have too much pride, but I can't help have some in that poster," Mrs. Doyle told the Lansing State Journal in 2002. "It's just sad I didn't know it was me sooner."

Geraldine Hoff was born July 31, 1924 in Inkster, Mich., and grew up in Ann Arbor, where her father was an electrician.

Her husband of 66 years, Leo H. Doyle, died in February. A son, Gary Doyle, died in 1980.

In addition to her daughter Stephanie, survivors include four children, Jacqueline Drewes of Eaton Rapids, Mich., Brian Doyle of Holt, Mich., Deidre Doyle of Fort Myers, Fla., Lauretta Doyle of Hollandale, Wis.; a brother; a sister; 18 grandchildren; and 25 great-grandchildren.

The "We Can Do It!" poster was scheduled to be displayed in Westinghouse facilities for only two weeks in February 1942. As time passed, however, it took on a whole new life.

In the early 1940s, Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb composed the song "Rosie the Riveter."

Simple lyrics helped the tune become a rotation staple on radio stations coast-to-coast: "All day long whether rain or shine, she's part of the assembly line. She's making history, working for victory, Rosie the Riveter."

After the song had become popular, the May 29, 1943, edition of the Saturday Evening Post cover featured a Norman Rockwell illustration of a muscular, red-headed riveter with the name Rosie painted on her lunch pail.


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From then on, many people began to associate the hardworking female factory employee with the name "Rosie," and so the title stuck to Miller's poster.

Several women claimed to be the "real" Rosie the Riveter, including Rose Monroe, an aircraft parts worker who appeared in a propaganda film promoting war bonds.

In the decades since the poster's creation, the image has evolved into a pop culture reference that generated scores of imitations.

Based on Miller's artwork, and Mrs. Doyle's likeness, are "Rosie the Riveter" T-shirts, bags, aprons, costumes and figures.

In 1999, the U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp based on the"We Can Do It!" poster.

For years, Mrs. Doyle made appearances in Michigan to sign posters, until her arthritis made her dependent on a wheelchair and unable to write.

While many people profited off the "Rosie the Riveter" image, Mrs. Doyle often said she never made a penny from it because she was too busy tending to her family and "changing diapers all the time."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/29/AR2010122905336.html

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« Reply #2410 on: Dec 30th, 2010, 9:47pm »


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« Reply #2411 on: Dec 31st, 2010, 07:09am »

New York Times

December 30, 2010
Families Bear Brunt of Deployment Strains
By JAMES DAO and CATRIN EINHORN

WAUTOMA, Wis. — Life changed for Shawn Eisch with a phone call last January. His youngest brother, Brian, a soldier and single father, had just received orders to deploy from Fort Drum, N.Y., to Afghanistan and was mulling who might take his two boys for a year. Shawn volunteered.

So began a season of adjustments as the boys came to live in their uncle’s home here. Joey, the 8-year-old, got into fistfights at his new school. His 12-year-old brother, Isaac, rebelled against their uncle’s rules. And Shawn’s three children quietly resented sharing a bedroom, the family computer and, most of all, their parents’ attention with their younger cousins.

The once comfortable Eisch farmhouse suddenly felt crowded.

“It was a lot more traumatic than I ever pictured it, for them,” Shawn, 44, said. “And it was for me, too.”

The work of war is very much a family affair. Nearly 6 in 10 of the troops deployed today are married, and nearly half have children. Those families — more than a million of them since 2001 — have borne the brunt of the psychological and emotional strain of deployments.

Siblings and grandparents have become surrogate parents. Spouses have struggled with loneliness and stress. Children have felt confused and abandoned during the long separations. All have felt anxieties about the distant dangers of war.


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Joey and Issac Eisch with their father, Staff Sgt. Brian Eisch before returning to Afghanistan


Christina Narewski, 26, thought her husband’s second deployment might be easier for her than his first. But she awoke one night this summer feeling so anxious about his absence that she thought she was having a heart attack and called an ambulance. And she still jumps when the doorbell rings, worried it will be officers bearing unwanted news.

“You’re afraid to answer your door,” she said.

Social scientists are just beginning to document the rippling effects of multiple combat deployments on families — effects that those families themselves have intimately understood for years. A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in January found that wives of deployed soldiers sought mental health services more often than other Army wives.

They were also more likely to report mental health problems, including depression, anxiety and sleep disorder, the longer the deployments lasted.

And a paper published in the journal Pediatrics in late 2009 found that children in military families were more likely to report anxiety than children in civilian families. The longer a parent had been deployed in the previous three years, the researchers found, the more likely the children were to have had difficulties in school and at home.

But those studies do not describe the myriad ways, often imperceptible to outsiders, in which families cope with deployments every day.

For Ms. Narewski, a mother of three, it has meant taking a grocery store job to distract her from thinking about her husband, a staff sergeant with the First Battalion, 87th Infantry, now in northern Afghanistan.

For Tim Sullivan, it has meant learning how to potty train, braid hair and fix dinner for his two young children while his wife, a sergeant in a support battalion to the 1-87, is deployed.

For young Joey Eisch, it meant crying himself to sleep for days after his father, a platoon sergeant with the battalion, left last spring. His older brother, Isaac, calm on the outside, was nervous on the inside.

“It’s pretty hard worrying if he’ll come back safe,” Isaac said. “I think about it like 10 or more times a day.”

Joining the Army Life

Soon after Christina and Francisco Narewski married in 2004, he applied for a job with the local sheriff’s office in Salinas, Calif. But he got tired of waiting and, after talking things over with Christina, enlisted in the Army instead.

“We both signed up for it,” Ms. Narewski said. “We knew deployments were going to come.”

That day arrived in the fall of 2007, when their third child was just 5 months old. Ms. Narewski missed Francisco dearly and sometimes cried just hearing his voice when he called from Iraq. But when he returned home in October 2008, it took them weeks to feel comfortable together again, she recalled.

“It’s almost like you’ve forgotten how to be with each other,” she said. “He’s been living in his spot for 15 months. Me and the kids have our own routine. It’s hard to get back to, ‘Oh, you’re home.’ ”

Last April, he left again, this time to Afghanistan. Ms. Narewski, who lives in Watertown, N.Y., thought she was prepared. Her mother came to live with them. She signed up for exercise classes to fill the hours. She and Francisco bought BlackBerrys with instant messaging service so they could communicate daily. And yet.

“I’ve never missed him as much as I do right now,” she said recently. “It doesn’t feel like we’re moving. It’s like you’re in a dream and you’re trying to get something and you can’t get it.”

Not all the spouses back home are women. Tim Sullivan’s days have revolved almost entirely around his two children, Austin, 4, and Leah, 2, since his wife, Sgt. Tamara Sullivan, deployed to Afghanistan in March.

He rises each weekday at 5:30 a.m. to dress and feed them before shuttling them to day care. Evenings are the reverse, usually ending with him dozing off in front of the television at their rented ranch-style house in Fayetteville, N.C.

He has moved twice and changed jobs three times in recent years to accommodate his wife’s military career. But he does not mind being home with the children, he says, because his father was not, having left the family when Mr. Sullivan was young.

“I’m not going to put my kids through that,” said Mr. Sullivan, 35, who handles child support cases for the county. “I’m going to be there.”

He worries about lost intimacy with his wife, saying that they have had a number of arguments by phone, usually about bill paying or child rearing. “She tells me: ‘Tim, you can’t just be Daddy, the hard person. You have to be Mommy, too,’” he said. “I tell her it’s not that easy.”

Yet he says that if she stays in the Army — as she has said she wants to do — he is prepared to move again or even endure another deployment. “I love her,” he said. “I’m already signed up. I made a decision to join the life that goes with that.”

Doing What Uncle Sam Asks

Isaac and Joey Eisch have also had to adjust to their father’s nomadic life. “I don’t try to get too attached to my friends because I move around a lot,” said Isaac, who has lived in five states and Germany with his father. (Joey has lived in three states.) “When I leave, it’s like, hard.”

When Sergeant Eisch got divorced in 2004, he took Isaac to an Army post in Germany while Joey stayed with his mother in Wisconsin. Soon after returning to the States in 2007, the sergeant became worried that his ex-wife was neglecting Joey. He petitioned family court for full custody of both boys and won.

In 2009, he transferred to Fort Drum and took the boys with him. Within months, he received orders for Afghanistan.

After nearly 17 years in the Army with no combat deployments, Sergeant Eisch, 36, was determined to go to war. The boys, he felt, were old enough to handle his leaving. Little did he know how hard it would be.

When Shawn put the boys in his truck at Fort Drum to take them to Wautoma, a two-stoplight town in central Wisconsin, Isaac clawed at the rear window “like a caged animal,” Sergeant Eisch said. He still tears up at the recollection.

“I question myself every day if I’m doing the right thing for my kids,” he said. “I’m trying to do my duty to my country and deploy, and do what Uncle Sam asks me to do. But what’s everybody asking my boys to do?”

Within a few weeks of arriving at his uncle’s home, Joey beat up a boy so badly that the school summoned the police. It was not the last time Shawn and his wife, Lisa, would be summoned to the principal’s office.

The boys were in pain, Shawn realized. “There was a lot more emotion,” he said, “than Lisa and I ever expected.”

Shawn, a state water conservation officer, decided he needed to set strict rules for homework and behavior. Violations led to chores, typically stacking wood. But there were carrots, too: for Joey, promises of going to Build-a-Bear if he obeyed his teachers; for Isaac, going hunting with his uncle was the prize. Gradually, the calls from the principal declined, though they have not ended.

In September, Sergeant Eisch returned for midtour leave and the homecoming was as joyful as his departure had been wrenching. Father and sons spent the first nights in hotels, visited an amusement park, went fishing and traveled to New York City, where they saw Times Square and the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.

But the two weeks were over in what seemed like hours. In his final days, Sergeant Eisch had prepped the boys for his departure, but that did not make it any easier.

“Why can’t we just, like, end the war?” Isaac asked at one point.

As they waited at the airport, father and sons clung to each other. “I’m going to have to drink like a gallon of water to replenish these tears,” the sergeant said. “Be safe,” Isaac implored him over and over.

Sergeant Eisch said he would, and then was gone.

more after the jump
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/31/world/asia/31families.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #2412 on: Dec 31st, 2010, 07:18am »

Telegraph

Last remaining 'mud horse' fisherman fears art will die with him

The last remaining fisherman still using a centuries old technique known as the ''mud-horse'' fears the art will die with him as all his children have chosen different careers.

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Adrian Sellick, Mudhorse fisherman
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9:00AM GMT
31 Dec 2010

Adrian Sellick, 53, is the fifth generation of his family to use the method, which sees him lie on his belly and push a wooden sledge across mudflats.

The bizarre technique allows him to get to the tide's edge where he batters stakes in to the mud and strings nets between them to catch shrimp.

Mr Sellick, of Bridgwater Bay in Somerset, picked up the art from his father when he was a young boy and says he plans to continue for at least another decade.

Mr Sellick, a father-of-four, fears the mud-horse method will be lost forever when he finally gives up as there is currently no one interested in learning the trade.

He said dwindling numbers of shrimps and a lack of interest from the younger generation have could see the way of life disappear altogether.

He said: ''I think I am probably the last fisherman in the world to still be using the mud-horse but it's like a hobby to me.

''My four children couldn't carve out a living this way and people prefer to have cleaner and better paid jobs now but hopefully in the future if shrimp numbers pick up my grandchildren might carry on.

''It is difficult work, you lie on your belly on it and push with your feet across the beach, but you sort of pick up techniques from watching.

''I don't believe you could do it unless it was in your blood, I am the fifth generation of my family to use the mud-horse and I could never give it up.''

Mr Sellick was first taken out on a mud-horse with his father when he was just six-years-old, and he remembers watching him and trying to learn the technique.

The mud-horse itself is a hand-built wooden sledge which enables fishermen to navigate his way over the treacherous mudflats of Bridgwater Bay, where the technique was used by many families only a couple of generations ago.

This then allows him to slide to the tide's edge, where stakes are battered into the mud and nets strung between them.

After the tide comes in and the waters withdraw, the fish and shrimps appear. The fish will likely be cod and whiting in the winter; skate and sea bass in the summer.

But Mr Sellick said the appearance of Hinkley Power Station, which is about a mile away, had made his job much more difficult since it was built in the 1960s.

He added: ''I have no problem catching fish but the power station drains all the shrimp resources. They use so much water that it pulls in the shrimps, diluting the stock.''

Two of Mr Sellick's children have found careers at a local quarry, while another is a mechanic and his youngest daughter is studying animal care.

The grandfather-of-three now has to work nights in a local yogurt factory to supplement his income and support his family but says he has no plans to stop using the mud-horse just yet.

He added: ''I will do it as long as my health holds out, just like my dad did and his father before him.

''I think I will be going right up into my seventies like my father did. I still use it nearly everyday, regardless of what the weather is like.

''I was out there just last week and my hands were freezing but you can't stop for a tea break, you have to work for as long as the tide will let you – usually for up to three hours at a time.''

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8231540/Last-remaining-mud-horse-fisherman-fears-art-will-die-with-him.html

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« Reply #2413 on: Dec 31st, 2010, 07:22am »

LA Times

Floods in northeast Australia strand 200,000

Half of Queensland is affected by the flooding, which began last week when rain caused rivers to overflow. The flood zone is bigger than Texas.

From the Associated Press
3:00 AM PST, December 31, 2010
BRISBANE, Australia

Military aircraft dropped supplies to towns cut off by floods in northeastern Australia as the prime minister promised new assistance Friday to the 200,000 people affected by waters covering an area larger than France and Germany combined.

Residents were stocking up on food or evacuating their homes as rising rivers inundated or isolated 22 towns in the state of Queensland.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard toured an evacuation center in the flood-stricken town of Bundaberg on Friday and announced that families whose homes had been flooded or damaged would be eligible for disaster relief payments of $1,000 per adult and $400 per child.

"My concern is for the people in these very difficult times," Gillard said.

A day earlier, she pledged $1 million Australian dollars (about $1 million) in federal aid to match a relief fund already set up by the state government.

Bundaberg resident Sandy Kiddle told Gillard she lost cherished items after floodwaters surged through her house. She said she may not be able to return home for a week.

"It was just a sea of water, and I thought the beach would never come to our house," she told Gillard, who gave her a hug.

Officials say half of Queensland's 715,305 square miles is affected by the relentless flooding, which began last week after days of pounding rain caused swollen rivers to overflow. The flood zone covers an area larger than France and Germany combined and bigger than the state of Texas.

While the rain has stopped, the rivers are still surging to new heights and overflowing into low-lying towns as the water makes its way toward the sea.

The muddy water inundating thousands of homes and businesses has led to a shortage of drinking water and raised fears of mosquito-borne disease.

"This is without a doubt a tragedy on an unprecedented scale," Queensland Premier Anna Bligh told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Bligh warned that drenched communities could be stuck underwater for more than a week, and cleanup efforts were expected to cost billions of dollars.

The Department of Community Safety said supplies of food and bedding were delivered by road and by military aircraft Friday to the towns of Rockhampton, Emerald, Springsure and Blackwater in central-east Queensland.

Northeastern Australia often sees heavy rains and flooding during the Southern Hemisphere summer, but the scope of the damage from the recent downpours is unusual.

The entire population of two towns has already been forced to evacuate as water swamped their communities, cutting off roads and devastating crops. The next city in the water's path -- Rockhampton, near the coast -- is bracing for flood levels forecast at 31 feet (9.4 meters) by Monday or Tuesday.

Roads and railway lines were expected to be cut off by Saturday, and the city's airport planned to shut down over the weekend.

"This is a very serious situation," said Rockhampton Mayor Brad Carter, saying that level would affect up to 40 percent of the city. "Police are ordering people in affected areas to leave their homes."

Officials were evacuating residents on Friday, starting with the elderly and those living in low-lying areas.

There were concerns over food supplies in the city, with many stores already sold out of bread, milk and fresh meat, Carter said.

Gary Boyer, regional manager of supermarket chain Woolworths, said the company was sending 43 trucks full of supplies into Rockhampton on Friday.

Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes this week. In the central Queensland town of Emerald, about 1,000 people were evacuated in the last 24 hours.

The town was facing food shortages, power outages and sewage-contaminated floodwaters, county mayor Peter Maguire said. Three evacuation centers have been set up to help displaced residents.

http://www.latimes.com/news/la-fgw-australia-floods-20110101,0,2097124.story

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« Reply #2414 on: Dec 31st, 2010, 07:28am »

Wired Danger Room

Most Dangerous Year Ever, From Secret Spaceships to Killer Drones
By Noah Shachtman
December 31, 2010 | 7:00 am
Categories: Blog Bidness


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Sexy, sleeper spy cells. Nuke-scientists-turned-triple-agents. Secret space planes. Growing drone wars. Pentagon cyborgs. Mad dictators flipping their lids even worse than before. 2010 wasn't just the most dangerous year ever. It might've been the weirdest, too.

The Afghanistan War Gets Ultraviolent
For the first half of this year, the American strategy in Afghanistan was to try to kill as few people as possible. Then Gen. Stanley McChrystal's team ran their mouths in front of a Rolling Stone reporter, and everything changed.

Gen. David Petraeus took over. He dispatched special operations forces to take out thousands of militants. Petraeus' generals relied on massive surface-to-surface missiles to clear the Taliban out of Kandahar, and ordered tanks to help crush opponents in Helmand province.

Air strikes — once a tool of last resort — hit their highest levels since the American invasion: 1,000 air attacks in one month alone. By November, one U.S. military official was boasting about America’s "awe, shock and firepower."

Taliban and other insurgent groups embraced the ultraviolence, too. Their bombs killed or wounded a thousand more troops in 2010 than they did in the previous year. The militants built more improvised explosives in November than in any month ever before.

To corral the insurgency, U.S. commanders unveiled a plan to scan millions of Afghan irises. They flew secret fertilizer bomb sniffers.

They handed out sensors to see through walls, and told their intelligence officers to start acting more like journalists. The military even briefly flirted with the idea of zapping Afghans with a microwave pain ray.

Some things stayed the same. America continued to supersize its mega-bases, and build new HQs for its special forces. Troops wondered out loud WTF they were doing there.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai remained our uneasy ally, despite the corruption, and despite the shaky leadership. "There is no plan B," Adm. Mike Mullen told Danger Room.

The ticket out of Afghanistan is supposed to be a newly trained Afghan army and police force. But first, the dudes need to learn to read. Which means that planned 2011 drawdown of U.S. forces in 2011 is more likely to happen in 2014. Or never. —Noah Shachtman

more after the jump
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/12/most-dangerous-year-ever/

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