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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 16153 times)
WingsofCrystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3075 on: Feb 24th, 2011, 7:37pm »




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Feb 24, 2011

A group of French old men arguing when a deadly lightsaber duel kicks in!

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3076 on: Feb 24th, 2011, 8:05pm »

Sigh..... One more sign that the apocalypse is upon us! tongue


BBC

24 February 2011

Breast milk ice cream goes on sale in Covent Garden

A restaurant in London's Covent Garden is serving a new range of ice cream, made with breast milk. The makers say the ice cream is pure, organic and totally natural.

The dessert, called Baby Gaga, is churned with donations from 15 women who responded to an advertisement on an online mothers' forum.

One of the women, Victoria Hiley, 35, said if adults realised how tasty breast milk was more new mothers would be encouraged to breastfeed.

Each serving of Baby Gaga at Icecreamists costs £14.
Mrs Hiley's donation was expressed on site and pasteurised before being churned with Madagascan vanilla pods and lemon zest.

Icecreamists founder Matt O'Connor placed an advert appealing for breast milk donations and believes his new recipe will be a success.

"If it's good enough for our children, it's good enough for the rest of us," he said.

"Some people will hear about it and go yuck - but actually it's pure organic, free-range and totally natural."

Mrs Hiley, who gets £15 for every 10 ounces of milk she donates to the company, said it was a great "recession beater".

"What's the harm in using my assets for a bit of extra cash?" she added.

"I teach women how to get started on breastfeeding their babies. There's very little support for women and every little helps."

Mr O'Connor said health checks for the lactating women were the same used by hospitals to screen blood donors.

"No-one's done anything interesting with ice cream in the last hundred years," he added.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-12569011
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3077 on: Feb 24th, 2011, 8:44pm »

on Feb 24th, 2011, 8:05pm, Swamprat wrote:
Sigh..... One more sign that the apocalypse is upon us! tongue


BBC

24 February 2011

Breast milk ice cream goes on sale in Covent Garden

A restaurant in London's Covent Garden is serving a new range of ice cream, made with breast milk. The makers say the ice cream is pure, organic and totally natural.

The dessert, called Baby Gaga, is churned with donations from 15 women who responded to an advertisement on an online mothers' forum.

One of the women, Victoria Hiley, 35, said if adults realised how tasty breast milk was more new mothers would be encouraged to breastfeed.

Each serving of Baby Gaga at Icecreamists costs £14.
Mrs Hiley's donation was expressed on site and pasteurised before being churned with Madagascan vanilla pods and lemon zest.

Icecreamists founder Matt O'Connor placed an advert appealing for breast milk donations and believes his new recipe will be a success....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-12569011



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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3078 on: Feb 25th, 2011, 07:31am »

New York Times

February 25, 2011
Amid Exodus From Libya, Europe Braces for Refugees
By J. DAVID GOODMAN and JAMES KANTER

Frantic operations to evacuate foreigners from the widening chaos in Libya continued Friday, and European officials were already looking toward the next challenge: coping with what could be a huge influx of refugees from across the Mediterranean.

More than 10,000 people crowded into Tripoli’s main airport on Thursday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said. Amateur video posted by the British newspaper The Independent showed desperate travelers filling the trash-strewn terminal and flowing out the doors into the roads.

The scramble by foreigners to leave the country began several days ago, but the number of commercial flights could not keep up with demand. Many countries have been mobilizing military and chartered ships and planes.

Some government-led evacuations were able to proceed Thursday, with two Greek ferries carrying about 4,500 Chinese workers departing from the eastern city of Benghazi. The United States Embassy said on its Web site that it was chartering a flight from Tripoli for Friday.

Other efforts to remove American citizens have been frustrated, first when a chartered plane was denied permission to land and then when rough seas kept a chartered ferry from departing for Malta for a third straight day on Friday.

Those on the ferry, which has been secured, were being given food and water, said Philip J. Crowley, a State Department spokesman. There were 285 passengers on board, including 167 Americans. The State Department said 40 members of the United States Embassy staff were on the vessel, which holds about 600 people.

The State Department said roughly 6,000 United States citizens, most of them holding dual citizenship, were in Libya when the uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi began. “My understanding is that they would need the permission of the Libyan government to depart,” Mr. Crowley said during a news conference, referring to those with dual citizenship.

Jemini Pandya, a spokeswoman for the International Organization for Migration, said at least 30,000 people, mainly Tunisian and Egyptian migrant workers, fled violence in Libya from Monday to Wednesday.

Drawn by jobs in Libya’s booming construction industry and rich oil fields, as many as 1.5 million migrants were working in Libya when the violence began, according to Ms. Pandya’s group.

With such a vast population potentially displaced, officials of European countries likely to be the primary destinations were already looking for help.

As the European Union convened a two-day meeting in Brussels on the crisis, Interior Minister Roberto Maroni of Italy said his country “cannot be left” to handle a possible Libyan exodus. But northern European countries, including Britain, urged a far more cautious approach, saying more precise estimates of the number of possible refugees from North Africa were required.

The organization was particularly concerned that large numbers of migrant workers from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia would be unable to leave Libya for either Tunisia or Egypt.

France, Spain, Greece, Malta and Cyprus have joined Italy in asking for a special European Union solidarity fund to help them bear the brunt of the wave, and for assurances that other countries would join in accommodating refugees.

Human rights organizations urged the European Union not to neglect humanitarian concerns.

Tom Porteous, director of the British office of Human Rights Watch, said the Europeans, in focusing on evacuating their citizens, seemed indifferent to the fate of those foreign workers who could not return home so easily or who feared for their lives.


Reporting was contributed by Sebnem Arsu from Istanbul, David D. Kirkpatrick from Tunisia, Brian Knowlton from Washington, Judy Dempsey from Berlin, Isabel Kershner from Jerusalem, Niki Kitsantonis from Athens, and Gaia Pianigiani from Rome.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/26/world/africa/26evacuate.html?ref=world

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« Reply #3079 on: Feb 25th, 2011, 07:37am »

Telegraph

Victorian women criminals' records show harsh justice of 19th century

Victorian justice records which show how the harsh punishments were given to women criminals –
such as five years in jail for stealing one rasher of bacon – have been published online for the first time.


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Elizabeth Murphy (left) was sentenced to 5 years hard labour for stealing an umbrella and Mary Richards was jailed for 5 years for stealing 130 oysters
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9:00AM GMT 25 Feb 2011

More than 4,400 parole records and 500 mug shots of Victorian criminals have been made available by Ancestry.co.uk

They provide an astonishing insight into the way justice was imposed during the late 1800s.

Those convicted of lesser crimes such as theft, and 'domestic housebreaking' often felt the full force of law.

Examples include Elizabeth Murphy, a19-year-old Elizabeth was sentenced to five years of hard labour in prison and seven years of police supervision for stealing an umbrella. She served three years of her sentence before receiving parole in 1887.

Dorcas Mary Snell, 45, was sentenced to five years of imprisonment with hard labour in 1883 for the theft of a single piece of bacon. She was paroled two years later.

Mary Richards was sentenced to five years in 1880 at age 59 for stealing 130 oysters valued at eight shillings, which were the property of John Tyacke. Mary served almost all of sentence, receiving parole in 1885.

The records also detail the lengthy, unforgiving sentences given to women who procured abortions, including Mary Billingham who was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment and hard labour in 1875.

It would appear that age was not necessarily taken into consideration when sentences were passed.

The youngest female in the records, 11-year-old Ann McQuillan, was convicted in Perth and sentenced to four years in prison for 'theft by housebreaking'.

Ann is just one of 115 girls under the age of 18 who feature in the collection.

In contrast, the oldest convict in the records is 76-year-old Ann Dalton who was convicted for stealing 'two sheets' in 1863.

She was sentenced to five years imprisonment and served three of those before receiving parole in 1866.

Meanwhile, the records detail a number of violent crimes which women were convicted of.

Mary Morrison, a 40-year-old servant, threw sulphuric acid over her estranged husband for not paying her weekly allowance, shouting 'take that – I'll make you worse than you are'. She received five years in 1883 but served only three.

Elizabeth Ann Staunton, 29, was convicted of the murder of Harriet Staunton in 1877. Elizabeth was spared the death penalty and instead sentenced to life. She was granted parole six years later.

While early criminals were often sentenced to transportation, later records, predominately those post-1860, indicate a prison sentence had become the preferred punishment.

This was because Australian free settlers had become increasingly angry about having to compete with convicts for jobs.

Those who did receive transportation often saw their sentences overturned and were instead jailed and subsequently paroled.

This was the case for Mary Daly, who was sentenced to 15 years transportation for theft in 1855 but was instead incarcerated in Brixton prison until her parole in 1862.

In a world-first, Ancestry.co.uk: http://www.ancestry.co.uk/
the family history website, today published the UK, Licences of Parole for Female Convicts, 1853-1887 online.

The original records are held by The National Archives.

Dan Jones, International Content Director at Ancestry.co.uk, said: "Crime is more often associated with men however these intriguing records shed light on some rather colourful female lawbreakers of their day.

"Given the petty nature of many of their crimes, it also serves as a reminder of how harsh our judicial system was not so very long ago."

"With so many historical records – including criminal records – now available online, it has never been a better time to start exploring your family's history."

The collection was unveiled today at 'Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE' – the world's largest family history event, which is being held at London's Olympia from the February 25 – 27.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8345046/Victorian-women-criminals-records-show-harsh-justice-of-19th-century.html

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« Reply #3080 on: Feb 25th, 2011, 07:43am »

Reuters

Special report: The biggest company you never heard of

Eric Onstad, Laura MacInnis and Quentin Webb

BAAR, SWITZERLAND | Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:52am EST

(Reuters) - On Christmas Eve 2008, in the depths of the global financial crisis, Katanga Mining accepted a lifeline it could not refuse.

The Toronto-listed company had lost 97 percent of its market value over the previous six months and was running out of cash. Needing to finance its mining projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo -- a country which has some of the world's richest reserves of copper and cobalt -- Katanga's executives had sounded the alarm and made a string of calls for help.

Global credit was drying up, the copper market had fallen 70 percent in just five months, and Congo -- still struggling to recover from a civil war that killed some five million people - was the last place an investor wanted to be.

One company, though, was interested. Executives in the wealthy Swiss village of Baar, working in the wood-panelled conference rooms in Glencore International's white metallic headquarters, did their sums and were prepared to make a deal. Their terms were simple.

They wanted control.

For about $500 million in a convertible loan and rights issue, Katanga agreed to issue more than a billion new shares and hand what would become a stake of 74 percent to Glencore, the world's biggest commodities trading group. Today, with copper prices regularly setting records above $10,000 a tone, Katanga's stock market value is nearly $3.2 billion.

Deals like Katanga have helped turn Glencore into Switzerland's top-grossing company and earned it comparisons with investment banking giant Goldman Sachs.

In the world of physical trading -- buying, transporting and selling the basic stuff the world needs -- Glencore is omnipresent and controversial, just as Goldman is in banking. Bigger than Nestle, Novartis and UBS in terms of revenues, Glencore's network of 2,000 traders, lawyers, accountants and other staff in 40 countries gives it real-time market and political intelligence on everything from oil markets in Central Asia to what sugar's doing in southeast Asia. Young, arrogant, and often brilliant, its staff dominate their market. The firm's top executives have forged alliances with Russian oligarchs and well-connected African mining magnates. Like Goldman, Glencore uses its considerable heft to extract the best possible terms in every deal it does.

Some might add that Glencore also fits the description that Rolling Stone magazine gave to Goldman: "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity".

Sometime in the coming weeks, Glencore is likely to announce its Initial Public Offering. The firm currently operates as a privately held partnership, with staff sharing the profits according to a performance-based incentives scheme. Sources familiar with Glencore's plans say it may list 20 percent of the company, possibly split between the London Stock Exchange and Hong Kong. Such a listing could yield up to $16 billion and value the firm at as much as $60 billion.

Fueled by the lofty prices in many of the raw materials that Glencore buys, mines, ships and sells, the float would be among the biggest in London's history. It could launch the firm onto the FTSE 100 index alongside resource giants such as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, and Royal Dutch Shell and from there into the pension funds and investment portfolios of millions of people who know virtually nothing about the secretive giant. It would also represent a huge payday for investment banks -- perhaps $300 to $400 million, according to estimates by Freeman & Co., a mergers and acquisitions consultancy.

At the same time, it would force a company that for four decades has thrived outside the limelight to reveal some of its secrets. Can it withstand becoming a household name? Does it risk losing its prized traders? Given Glencore's impeccable timing in deals, is an IPO a certain sign that we've reached the top of the commodities cycle?

"Their knowledge of the flow of commodities around the world is truly frightening," says an outsider who has worked closely with senior Glencore officials and who, like most people interviewed by Reuters for this report, declined to be identified speaking about the company for fear it could jeopardize sensitive business relationships. Glencore executives declined to comment on the record, though the company did issue a statement about its current disclosure policy.

UNDER THE RADAR

Nestling in a lakeside village in Switzerland's low-tax canton of Zug, Glencore's starkly modern headquarters reflect a culture where trading aggression is coupled with public discretion. In front of the building a simple concrete sculpture -- a sphere spinning atop a pyramid -- hints at Glencore's global reach. Inside, the hushed hallways are adorned with modern art, the offices eerily quiet.

"Glencore is looked on as guys screaming into telephones, but it's more the dull old business of logistics," says a mining industry source, describing hours spent on the phone and organizing trade-related paperwork. "Glencore trading floors are more akin to DHL offices than Goldman Sachs."

Yet within the commodities and mining sectors, Glencore is regarded with a mix of admiration and fear. "It's an incredibly performance-based culture -- investment banking times three, probably," says a second outsider.

Glencore's client list is a roster of the world's largest firms including BP, Total, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhilips, Chevron, Vale, Rio Tinto, ArcelorMittal and Sony, as well as the national oil companies of Iran, Mexico and Brazil and public utilities in Spain, France, China, Taiwan and Japan.

Physical commodities traders, like Glencore and its main rivals Vitol, Trafigura and Cargill, make their money finding customers for raw materials and selling them at a mark-up, using complex hedges to reduce the risk of bad weather, market swings, piracy or regime change.

Unlike Chicago traders who scream out bets on the future prices of orange juice or pork bellies, physical commodity traders negotiate prices and arrange shipments of cargo quietly, keeping their positions well hidden from others.

"It's modern financial engineering meshed with an old-fashioned commodity trading house," said John Kilduff, a partner at the hedge fund Again Capital LLC in New York. "It's amazing how this formula has flown under the radar for so long, as the profits and growth of these firms has been astounding."

Glencore's profit after tax topped $4.75 billion in 2008, not far off its best year ever, 2007, when profit ran to around $5.19 billion. Even in the gruesome market of 2009, it raked in more than $2.72 billion.

Performance is rewarded on a scale that would turn even Wall Street green, with bonuses for star traders running into the tens of millions. Glencore's 500 partners and key staff are sitting on a book value of $20 billion.

The secret, says the second outsider, is the traders' incredible focus. "I don't recall talking to any of these guys -- and I've spent a lot of time with them -- about anything other than business," he told Reuters. "I have no idea what sort of family life these guys have. This is everything."

Employees are hired young and expected to make a career at the group, where they are known as either "thinkers" -- bright number-crunchers who design the company's complex financial deals -- or "soldiers", the hard-driven traders who fight to win the transactions.

The company's 10 division managers are aged 37 to 52 and remain largely anonymous outside Glencore's business circles. "They're really bright guys, they are really focused, they play to win every day," says a mining executive in North America. Or as the second outsider puts it: "They look like kids, really -- but they are incredibly impressive individuals."

Nobody more so than Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg, a lean publicity-shy operator whose sport is race-walking. Glasenberg, 54, grew up in South Africa and has been a champion walker for both South Africa and Israel. Each morning he runs or swims, often with colleagues. "The thing about Ivan, he can fly in and meet presidents of countries but he also talks to the guy on the trading floor," said Jim Cochrane, chief commercial officer and executive director of the Kazakh mining group ENRC.

After earning an MBA at the University of Southern California in 1983, Glasenberg was hired by Glencore as a coal trader in South Africa. He does not suffer fools and has a fiery temper, but is also intensely charming and has a sharp memory for details about people, according to people who know him. Despite being a billionaire in charge of thousands of staff, "this is a guy that picks up his own phone," the second outsider said.

THE MARC RICH LEGACY

Glencore likes to promote from within and build a kind of closed, self-sustaining network of senior traders, a culture encouraged by the company's founder Marc Rich. Not that Glencore likes to mention Rich, a figure so notorious that he's not even mentioned in the official history on Glencore's website.

Rich escaped Nazi Europe as a seven year old, and grew up in the United States. He launched the trading group which would become Glencore under his own name in 1974.

more after the jump
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/25/us-glencore-idUSTRE71O1DC20110225?pageNumber=1

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« Reply #3081 on: Feb 25th, 2011, 07:48am »

Wired Science

Mafia’s Corpse-Dissolving Claims Exaggerated
By Rachel Ehrenberg, Science News
February 24, 2011 | 12:50 pm
Categories: Biology


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CHICAGO — Contrary to claims made by informants within the Sicilian Mafia, sulfuric acid will not dissolve a corpse in minutes, a new study finds. The research, reported Feb. 23 at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, was part of a wider effort to test claims about the mafia’s “lupara bianca,” or “white shotgun” murders, wherein the subject is known to be dead but a body is never found.

Experiments conducted on partial pig carcasses, a widely accepted stand-in for human bodies, showed that it takes days to melt flesh in sulfuric acid. Adding water to the acid speeds up the process, dissolving muscle and cartilage within 12 hours and turning bone to dust within two days, suggesting that the technique could render a corpse completely unrecognizable.

“But it is impossible that they completely destroyed a corpse with acid,” said study coauthor Massimo Grillo of the University of Palermo in Italy.

Police found tanks of acid in a Palermo hideout known as the “chamber of death,” where crime boss Filippo Marchese purportedly dissolved victims after torturing them in the early 1980s, said Filippo Cascino, another study co-author at the University of Palermo.

Informants had described the disposal method, the researchers say, with statements like, “We put the people in acid. In 15, 20 minutes they were no more — they became a liquid.”

The research suggests that the members of the crime clan were not as good at telling time as they were at ritual murder.

But “they are smarter than some Georgia criminals,” said Michael Heninger, an associate medical examiner in Fulton County, where Atlanta is located. “People think they will destroy a body, but they’ll do things that preserve it. These guys are more experienced,” he said of the Palermo killings.

It isn’t obvious whether the new research will translate into something usable for future investigations. “We constantly see cases that are weird,” says Heninger. “I’m never going to see this exact case, but when you do see something weird like this, it gets you thinking about how you would figure it out.”

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/02/corpse-dissolving/

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« Reply #3082 on: Feb 25th, 2011, 07:58am »

Hollywood Reporter

The Adjustment Bureau: Film Review
8:25 PM 2/24/2011 by Todd McCarthy


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George Nofi pulls off a relative rarity in his feature film debut -- which stars Matt Damon and Emily Blunt -- by creating a genuinely romantic fantasy suspense thriller.

With vibes from such recent clever films as The Matrix, Duplicity and Inception darting through this adaptation of a Philip K. Dick short story, first-time director George Nolfi has pulled off a relative rarity -- a genuinely romantic fantasy suspense thriller -- in The Adjustment Bureau. Quite low-tech as these things go and a great New York location film in the bargain (no Toronto doubling here, thank you very much), the picture nimbly scampers all over the city while betraying a disarmingly whimsical attitude toward the central couple's peculiar peril. Although more accessible conceptually and dramatically than either the Wachowskis' or Nolan's films, and possessing far more heart, this classy Universal release might nonetheless be perceived as too brainy and sophisticated for lowest common denominator mass consumption, indicating good but not great box-office results.

As a writer on Ocean's 13 and The Bourne Ultimatum, Nolfi was well positioned to interest Matt Damon in playing a politician (changed from an insurance salesman in the short story) who learns that he's nothing more than a puppet on a string controlled by a secret hidden organization that thinks it knows best.

In the event, David Norris is a perfect role for Damon, as he plays a working class Red Hook guy with a bad boy past who's become a popular people's congressman and, at the outset, is on the brink of election to the Senate. He's a bright, if at times too frank young man who knows the ropes and can handle himself physically if needed.

But when he loses due to a last-minute tabloid revelation of a youthful indiscretion, David is alone in the men's room rehearsing his concession speech when a vision appears -- that of a beautiful young woman (Emily Blunt) emerging from a stall. After three minutes' exposure to her smart chatter (enhanced by her British accent) and topped by an impulsive, passionate kiss, he's hopelessly smitten. She dashes out, David is left confounded and her presence in the bathroom is not the only mystery of the evening: Who are these strange, slim men with hats buzzing about in the background?

Not long after, with David now a senior partner at a venture capital company, he's thrilled to encounter the woman, Elise, on a bus and their rapport is again instantaneous and intense. But why does one of the hatted men (Anthony Mackie) risk life and limb chasing the bus through lower Manhattan and why does the other one (John Slattery), with the help of uniformed goons, apprehend David back in the office, handcuff him to a chair in a huge garage (weirdly accessible through a door on the building's upper floors) and tell him to behave or else, "We'll erase your brain?"

Because, as Slattery's Thompson, says, "We are the people who make sure things go according to plan." In other words, they're members of the mysterious elite at the core of every conspiracy theorist's dreams, the godlike manipulators who dictate the way of the world. Part of their pre-determined plan is that David must never see Elise again.

Although he can't get her out of his mind, for three years David obeys the edict. Then, just as he's launching a fresh attempt at the senate, David spots Elise by chance on the street and, after some strenuous explanations as to why he's never contacted her, wins her trust and love once and for all.

From here, at about the one-hour mark, when David's defiance has forced the Organization's big cheese (Terence Stamp) to personally impress upon him the perilous consequences of his transgressions, the film shifts into desperate chase mode, as David, with some key inside assistance, learns how to slide between alternate physical worlds as he chases all over (and under) New York to find Elise and elude his determined pursuers.

The thematic impulse behind The Adjustment Bureau is a familiar one, that true love is worth more than anything else this life has to offer. The keys to Nolfi putting it over effectively in this real world but quasi-sci-fi context are his great success in making the connection between David and Elise so convincing and worth fighting for, and his skillful characterization of "The System" not as some portentously portrayed evil outfit but as a pragmatically run operation dedicated to saving humanity from itself. Lightness of touch is not what one expects in fictional portrayals of monolithic entities bent on world domination, so the subtle tone Nolti maintains here represents something fresh and welcome.

Equally responsible for keeping the viewer on the film's side is the excellent rapport between Damon and Blunt. Incorporating known aspects of Damon's personality -- his political interests, athleticism and thoughtfulness -- into the role helps David quickly assume three-dimensional stature. Damon also strongly conveys the character's wounded side as well as his sense, when it comes to Elise, of bewilderment and persistent hope. It's a satisfying, full-bodied performances.

For her part, this is the best Blunt has been onscreen since her early work in My Summer of Love and The Devil Wears Prada and certainly the film in which she seems most vibrant and alive in a romantic pairing; Elise sasses and tests David at every turn up to the point when she allows herself to become vulnerable and honest. For the film to pay off, it's imperative that you believe in these two despite it all. And you do.

Slattery and Mackie cut striking yet borderline foppish figures as Organization men variably committed to keeping their charges in line, while Stamp makes the desired impression with his big entrance. Visually, the film is sheerest pleasure. Ace cinematographer John Toll soaks the countless New York locations for all they're worth, capped by a beautiful top-of-the-world climax. If there are visual effects here (other than for the nifty portable electronic maps the bureau men use to track their prey), they're undetectable. Thomas Newman's score helps accentuate the buoyant feel, despite some repetitiveness.

Opens: March 4 (Universal)
Production: Media Rights Capital
Cast: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery, Michael Kelly, Terence Stamp, Donnie Keshawarz, David Bishins
Director-screenwriter: George Nolfi, based on the short story "Adjustment Team" by Philip K. Dick
Producers: Michael Hackett, George Nolfi, Bill Carraro, Chris Moore
Executive producers: Isa Dick Hackett, Jonathan Gordon-Levitt
Director of photography: John Toll
Production designer: Kevin Thompson
Costume designer: Kasia Walicka Marimone
Editor: Jay Rabinowitz
Music: Thomas Newman
Rating PG-13, 106 minutes

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/adjustment-bureau-film-review-161218

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« Reply #3083 on: Feb 25th, 2011, 08:06am »

The Hill

Bill stripping union rights clears first hurdle in Wisconsin
By Erika Niedowski
02/25/11 06:31 AM ET

Wisconsin’s state Assembly early Friday passed a measure to take away collective bargaining rights from most public-sector employees, legislation that has prompted massive protests in the state Capitol and tied in to a broader political debate in Washington.

The Associated Press reported that Republicans in the chamber abruptly passed the measure after 1 a.m. “before sleep-deprived Democrats realized what was happening.”

GOP Gov. Scott Walker says the plan, which strips collective bargaining rights and forces union employees to pay more for health and pension benefits, is necessary to address the state’s financial woes, including a $137 million deficit. But Democrats in Wisconsin and Washington, including President Obama, have called it an “assault” on unions.

The measure was expected to pass the Assembly, where Republicans have a strong majority. It is now headed to the state Senate for consideration, though Democrats in that chamber fled across the state line in protest. The legislation cannot be considered without a quorum.

According to AP, debate had dragged on for 60 hours. More than a dozen Democrats were still waiting to speak on the legislation when the vote began around 1 a.m. But the Speaker pro tem opened and closed the vote quickly, allowing only 13 of the chamber’s 38 Democrats to vote.

Republicans immediately walked out of the chamber, while Democrats shouted, “Shame!” and “Cowards!”


http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/146063-bill-stripping-union-rights-clears-wisconsin-assembly

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« Reply #3084 on: Feb 25th, 2011, 09:05am »

'Aliens,' UFO Lovers Take Over Phoenix

Published February 24, 2011
FoxNews.com

Alien lovers around the world are congregating in Arizona for the 20th Annual International UFO Congress -- fielding a mixture of the cute, the critical and the downright crazy.

Apparently, the skies above Phoenix are a hotbed for alien activity. If you don't believe in extraterrestrials, you might start to after a visit to this convention, held all week at the Radisson Fort McDowell.

Skeptics may want to prepare themselves for some eye-widening ET yarns.

"I think everybody should be interested. Isn't that the biggest story in the world? Visitation from an extra terrestrial civilization?" said Jeff Willes, a skywatcher.

More than 700 people are here in the valley for the convention, where they can share their enthusiasm for alien activity. "Evidence" of alien life forms is on display and many gathered have personal stories. One woman even claims she's not entirely human.

Cynthia Crawford is a sculptor from Apache Junction who makes statues of extraterrestrials. She says people who buy them are often visited from alien lifeforms.

"When they have contact, sometimes they're taken on ship, sometimes it's only telepathic communication," Crawford told Fox News. The convention goes through Sunday. It's $50 dollars to attend the lectures and free to visit the vendors. They just ask that you come with an open mind.

Read more about the 20th Annual UFO Conference at My Fox Phoenix.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/02/24/ufo-convention-celebrates-20th-anniversary/#ixzz1Eyr5kMvr

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« Reply #3085 on: Feb 25th, 2011, 10:12am »

on Feb 25th, 2011, 09:05am, Swamprat wrote:
'Aliens,' UFO Lovers Take Over Phoenix

Published February 24, 2011
FoxNews.com

Alien lovers around the world are congregating in Arizona for the 20th Annual International UFO Congress -- fielding a mixture of the cute, the critical and the downright crazy.

Apparently, the skies above Phoenix are a hotbed for alien activity. If you don't believe in extraterrestrials, you might start to after a visit to this convention, held all week at the Radisson Fort McDowell.

Skeptics may want to prepare themselves for some eye-widening ET yarns.

"I think everybody should be interested. Isn't that the biggest story in the world? Visitation from an extra terrestrial civilization?" said Jeff Willes, a skywatcher.

More than 700 people are here in the valley for the convention, where they can share their enthusiasm for alien activity. "Evidence" of alien life forms is on display and many gathered have personal stories. One woman even claims she's not entirely human.

Cynthia Crawford is a sculptor from Apache Junction who makes statues of extraterrestrials. She says people who buy them are often visited from alien lifeforms.

"When they have contact, sometimes they're taken on ship, sometimes it's only telepathic communication," Crawford told Fox News. The convention goes through Sunday. It's $50 dollars to attend the lectures and free to visit the vendors. They just ask that you come with an open mind.

Read more about the 20th Annual UFO Conference at My Fox Phoenix.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/02/24/ufo-convention-celebrates-20th-anniversary/#ixzz1Eyr5kMvr




I wanna go!!!

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« Reply #3086 on: Feb 25th, 2011, 11:31am »

The "recession" sure doesn't seem to be affecting the White House. Must be nice to party and vacation, party and vacation, party and vacation...............

MSNBC

By NANCY BENAC
The Associated Press
2/25/2011 7:38:50 AM ET


WASHINGTON — The White House reverberated like a long-ago basement sound studio in Detroit as the likes of John Legend, Seal, Jamie Foxx, Nick Jonas and Sheryl Crow channeled their inner Motown before Michelle and Barack Obama.

Musical pioneers Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder joined in for the celebration of all things Motown.

Obama on Thursday called Motown's music "the soundtrack of the civil rights era," and credited the pioneering record label's tight lyrics, catchy melodies and deep soul with helping to "blur the line between music that was considered either black or white."

Foxx, Seal, Legend and Jonas launched the East Room concert celebrating the Motown sound with a high-energy medley in which the four took turns as backup dancers, complete with some smooth dance moves to the likes of "Get Ready," "The Way You Do the Things You Do," "Can't Get Next to You" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg."

more after the jump
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/41775187


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« Reply #3087 on: Feb 25th, 2011, 1:30pm »

American Chronicle

Phoenix-area Indian lands are down-to-Earth site for UFO conference

by Steve Hammons
February 23, 2011
(This article originally appeared on the Transcendent TV & Media site.)

It seems to make sense that the 20th annual International UFO Congress will be held on Native American Indian lands in Arizona.

The conference, beginning Wednesday, Feb. 23, and running through Sunday, Feb. 27, is located at the upscale Radisson Fort McDowell Resort on the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation northeast of Scottsdale. The hotel at the resort is reportedly sold out.

A connection between UFOs and other unconventional phenomena with Native American Indians is something that researchers and average people may want to pay attention to and think about.

Many Indian people have legends of "star people" or "sky people" that visited long ago ... and maybe still do today. In addition, Native American cultures often value several kinds of human perception, including dreams, visions, instincts and signs.

In today's scientific jargon, we could call these kinds of awareness "anomalous cognition," a term describing extrasensory perception (ESP) and related to what U.S. defense and intelligence researchers called "remote viewing."

Some of the traits of American Indian perception could also be related to space-time anomalies and "synchronicity" – unusual coincidences that seem to have meaning. And, certain understanding we might acquire through unconventional methods could be interpreted as mysterious communication from the Great Spirit.

Indian consciousness, in many ways, looks at life and Nature as a cycle, circle or hoop. This viewpoint could also provide insight about anomalous phenomena of various kinds.

ANCIENT REALITIES

As a retired Army Special Forces colonel, John Alexander, PhD, explained on the Feb. 20 "Coast to Coast AM" radio show, UFO disclosure has essentially happened. Several U.S. presidents, high-ranking U.S. military officers and others have made this clear, Alexander pointed out.

He stated to his radio show host, award-winning investigative journalist George Knapp, it appears to be a fact that various kinds of unusual unidentified objects in the skies have been around for decades.

Other researchers note significant indications that the same kinds of phenomena may have been present for centuries.

Here in North America, it is probably reasonable to consider that Native American Indian people could have had close encounters with UFOs, unusual intelligent beings and other unconventional phenomena that modern scientists are still trying to understand.

In Arizona, original inhabitants included the Navajo, Hopi, Apache, Zuni, Yaqui, Southern Paiutes, Akimel O'odham, Tohono O'odham, Mojave, Maricopa, Cocopah, Halchidhoma, Havasupai, Hualapai, Jocome and Jano tribes, as well as the Yavapai, hosts of the UFO conference.

In the Phoenix region, at the northern edge of the Sonoran Desert, there are several Indian communities whose lands nearby help form a rich cultural environment in a modern metropolitan area.

Throughout North America, Indian people have beliefs, legends and perspectives that could be very valuable to us today as we try to learn more about forward-leaning edge-science topics of interest.

ADVANCED PERCEPTION

How can we combine ancient accounts and insights with our modern research into unconventional phenomena that are not completely understood?

One way might be to develop an "integrative perception" or "complementary cognition" that merges our logical mind with intuition, gut feelings, ESP and instincts. This approach seems to be at the heart of the many successes of the U.S. Project STAR GATE remote viewing program.

Prayer, meditation, creativity and other kinds of internal exploration and communication can probably also play parts in increasing our understanding about our environment and ourselves.

Looking to Nature, as American Indians do, might provide additional understanding about realities, both conventional and unconventional – including UFOs.

Who knows? The circles and cycles of Nature might contribute to a repeat of the March 1997 phenomena when one or more large mysterious objects or craft reportedly cruised at low altitude right over the metro Phoenix area one evening.

At least that's what hundreds or thousands of people living in Phoenix's "Valley of the Sun" claim to have seen.

The International UFO Congress is featuring many credible researchers and will also have sky watching sessions at night. The heavens above Arizona's Sonoran Desert at the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation should provide a good view.

Being on the far northeast outskirts of metro Phoenix, the urban "light pollution" will be replaced by vistas of the Milky Way Galaxy, our home neighborhood in this vast Universe.

Or maybe, unusual visitors will pick a bright, sunny Arizona day to show us they are here.


NOTE TO READERS: Please visit the Joint Recon Study Group: http://jointreconstudygroup.blogspot.com/
and Transcendent TV & Media: http://tvtranscend.blogspot.com/
sites and have a look around.

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/220671

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« Reply #3088 on: Feb 25th, 2011, 3:23pm »

More from the UFO Congress:

AOL News

Former Canadian Defense Official Blasts US on UFO Cover-Up

Feb 25, 2011 – 9:56 AM
Lee Speigel

If a previous minister of national defense of a big country started talking publicly about his belief that some UFOs are interplanetary vehicles carrying visitors to Earth, would you believe him or not?

Well, stepping up to the plate is the Honorable Paul Hellyer, a former deputy prime minister of Canada and the longest serving current member -- ahead of Prince Philip -- of the Queen's Privy Council, which is made up of "prominent Canadians appointed to advise the queen on issues of importance to the country."

As Canadian minister of national defense in 1963, Hellyer was responsible for integrating and unifying the Royal Canadian army, navy and air force into a single organization, the Canadian Armed Forces.

Former Canadian Minister of National Defense Paul Hellyer is very outspoken on the reality of UFOs and has criticized the U.S. government for reportedly covering up UFO information.
And yes, he is extremely outspoken about UFOs and alien visitors to Earth.

"Oh, I'm absolutely convinced of it. These things were not invented here. And I think people have to get accustomed to this new reality," Hellyer told AOL News.

"We lived too long in a sense of isolation, thinking that Earth was the center of the cosmos, that we were the only species and, therefore, probably the most advanced. And when we come to the realization that we're not any of those things, then I think we should be aware of it, learn to live with it and certainly try to take advantage of anything that we can learn from visitors from anywhere."

Hellyer, 87, is also known for his activities involving world issues, including monetary reform, the Middle East and environmental concerns.

This week, he's presenting his views on UFOs at the International UFO Congress in Scottsdale, Ariz.

When Hellyer was Canada's minister of national defense, he says he never discussed UFOs with other high-ranking officials.

"I got periodic reports on sightings and I looked at them very casually, and it was decided that about 80 percent of them were natural phenomena of one sort or another, and the other 20 percent roughly were unexplained, and therefore unidentified.

"You know, this is the kind of thing that sometimes they don't tell politicians about, and I have no doubt that there were probably people in my employ who would have been more knowledgeable than I was at the time."
Hellyer is speaking out on his views about UFOs, alien visitation to Earth and the alleged U.S. government cover-up of these subjects at this week's International UFO Congress in Arizona.
While spending last Thanksgiving north of Toronto, Hellyer and his wife spotted an unidentified flying object.

"The two of us stood there transfixed for 20 minutes, looking up at this thing moving first in one direction, and then another. By process of elimination, we determined it wasn't a star or satellite and it wasn't the space station, so there was really no explanation for it other than it was, in fact, a UFO."

Hellyer's analytical mind raced as fast as the object he was looking at.

"It looked like a star, but it maneuvered in a way that stars don't. I must admit that when I saw this one, I wondered whether it was extraterrestrial or American. And I guess the thought that occurred to me was that if it is American, then they have learned some pretty big secrets about acceleration, because it accelerated at a pace that nothing I've ever known about that was built here is capable of."

Trusted political and scientific sources whom Hellyer has talked to have suggested that the United States has developed new forms of energy at top-secret "black operation" installations, using reportedly extraterrestrial technology.

In his book "Light at the End of the Tunnel: A Survival Plan for the Human Species" (AuthorHouse), Hellyer claims that an American "shadow government" is behind this activity.

"That is my belief. I do not have proof of that, but I believe that they have developed energy sources, and publicly I'm saying that if they do not exist in commercial form, that extraterrestrials would certainly give us that information if we would ask them for it and stop shooting at them."

"Paul Hellyer's story is an important contribution to the literature of modern Western civilization. His experience in government, his interest in exopolitics and the issues of sustainability of civilization are significant areas of current discourse," wrote Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, founder of the Institute of Noetic Sciences.

While Hellyer believes -- as many people do -- in an ongoing cover-up of UFO information, there are those of equal or higher credentials who say otherwise. Case in point: retired Army Col. John Alexander -- another speaker at this week's International UFO Congress -- who acknowledges the reality of UFOs but says there has never been a cover-up of the facts and that UFO disclosure has already taken place over many decades.

On the topic of disclosure of all facts relating to UFOs, Hellyer is pretty adamant.

"Basically, I'm a full-disclosure person. People keep talking about transparency and still not telling the truth, and this applies in various other areas as well as UFOs, and it's just about time that we started getting open with each other and trying to get along and live together."

If Hellyer was Canada's minister of defense today, would he be as up-front with his UFO beliefs?

"I would probably be open-mouthed about it and I might get fired for it," he replied. "I've always been pretty open and direct, so unless there was some reason which I can't conceive of, I wouldn't try to hide the existence of the extraterrestrials and their presence."

http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/25/former-canadian-defense-official-blasts-us-on-ufo-cover-up/
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« Reply #3089 on: Feb 25th, 2011, 5:19pm »

on Feb 25th, 2011, 3:23pm, Swamprat wrote:
More from the UFO Congress:

AOL News

Former Canadian Defense Official Blasts US on UFO Cover-Up

Feb 25, 2011 – 9:56 AM
Lee Speigel

If a previous minister of national defense of a big country started talking publicly about his belief that some UFOs are interplanetary vehicles carrying visitors to Earth, would you believe him or not?

Well, stepping up to the plate is the Honorable Paul Hellyer, a former deputy prime minister of Canada and the longest serving current member -- ahead of Prince Philip -- of the Queen's Privy Council, which is made up of "prominent Canadians appointed to advise the queen on issues of importance to the country."

As Canadian minister of national defense in 1963, Hellyer was responsible for integrating and unifying the Royal Canadian army, navy and air force into a single organization, the Canadian Armed Forces.

Former Canadian Minister of National Defense Paul Hellyer is very outspoken on the reality of UFOs and has criticized the U.S. government for reportedly covering up UFO information.
And yes, he is extremely outspoken about UFOs and alien visitors to Earth.

"Oh, I'm absolutely convinced of it. These things were not invented here. And I think people have to get accustomed to this new reality," Hellyer told AOL News.

"We lived too long in a sense of isolation, thinking that Earth was the center of the cosmos, that we were the only species and, therefore, probably the most advanced. And when we come to the realization that we're not any of those things, then I think we should be aware of it, learn to live with it and certainly try to take advantage of anything that we can learn from visitors from anywhere."

Hellyer, 87, is also known for his activities involving world issues, including monetary reform, the Middle East and environmental concerns.

This week, he's presenting his views on UFOs at the International UFO Congress in Scottsdale, Ariz....

..."I would probably be open-mouthed about it and I might get fired for it," he replied. "I've always been pretty open and direct, so unless there was some reason which I can't conceive of, I wouldn't try to hide the existence of the extraterrestrials and their presence."

http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/25/former-canadian-defense-official-blasts-us-on-ufo-cover-up/


Thank you Swamp! Great article. It seems like most countries are "fessing up" about UFO's except the U.S.

Crystal
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