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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 114200 times)
WingsofCrystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3240 on: Mar 9th, 2011, 3:09pm »

There's an article on this gentleman on Yahoo.

Here is his website:
http://www.philhart.com/


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photos by Phil Hart


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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3241 on: Mar 9th, 2011, 3:13pm »

6.3 M - OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
Preliminary Earthquake Report Magnitude 6.3 M
Date-Time 9 Mar 2011 18:44:35 UTC
10 Mar 2011 04:44:35 near epicenter
9 Mar 2011 10:44:35 standard time in your timezone

Location 38.492N 143.191E
Depth 2 km
Distances 203 km (126 miles) E (82 degrees) of Sendai, Honshu, Japan
224 km (139 miles) SE (127 degrees) of Morioka, Honshu, Japan
253 km (157 miles) ENE (70 degrees) of Fukushima, Honshu, Japan
438 km (272 miles) NE (43 degrees) of TOKYO, Japan

Location Uncertainty Horizontal: 12.3 km; Vertical 1.7 km
Parameters Nph = 372; Dmin = 391.8 km; Rmss = 0.85 seconds; Gp = 39°
M-type = M; Version = 7
Event ID US b0001rey

For updates, maps, and technical information, see:
Event Page
or
USGS Earthquake Hazards Program

National Earthquake Information Center
U.S. Geological Survey
http://neic.usgs.gov/


http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/usb0001rey.php

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3242 on: Mar 9th, 2011, 4:15pm »

I love this clip from Men in Black. It says a lot!

http://www.wimp.com/describeshumanity/
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3243 on: Mar 9th, 2011, 5:21pm »

on Mar 9th, 2011, 4:15pm, Swamprat wrote:
I love this clip from Men in Black. It says a lot!

http://www.wimp.com/describeshumanity/


The world isn't flat? grin
Thanks Swamp.
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3244 on: Mar 9th, 2011, 6:56pm »



At least they are having fun at the White House.


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March 9, 2011
Obama Hosts Members to Watch Basketball
By Jennifer Bendery
Roll Call Staff
March 9, 2011, 5:50 p.m.

A partisan budget debate may be raging on Capitol Hill, but that isn’t stopping President Barack Obama from hosting a bipartisan group of lawmakers at the White House on Wednesday night to watch basketball.

Obama invited about a dozen Members over to watch the Chicago Bills face the Charlotte Bobcats; all invitees hail from the two states whose teams are playing in the game.

Illinois invitees include Sens. Dick Durbin (D) and Mark Kirk (R), along with Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D), Danny Davis (D), Luis Gutierrez (D), Jesse Jackson Jr. (D) and Jan Schakowsky (D). Invitees from North Carolina include Sen. Kay Hagan (D) and Reps. Larry Kissell (D), Sue Myrick (R), David Price (D) and Mel Watt (D).

~

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..you talkin' to me...YOU TALKIN' TO ME..??!


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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3245 on: Mar 9th, 2011, 7:05pm »

on Mar 9th, 2011, 6:56pm, WingsofCrystal wrote:
At least they are having fun at the White House.


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March 9, 2011
Obama Hosts Members to Watch Basketball
By Jennifer Bendery
Roll Call Staff
March 9, 2011, 5:50 p.m.

A partisan budget debate may be raging on Capitol Hill, but that isn’t stopping President Barack Obama from hosting a bipartisan group of lawmakers at the White House on Wednesday night to watch basketball.

Obama invited about a dozen Members over to watch the Chicago Bills face the Charlotte Bobcats; all invitees hail from the two states whose teams are playing in the game.

Illinois invitees include Sens. Dick Durbin (D) and Mark Kirk (R), along with Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D), Danny Davis (D), Luis Gutierrez (D), Jesse Jackson Jr. (D) and Jan Schakowsky (D). Invitees from North Carolina include Sen. Kay Hagan (D) and Reps. Larry Kissell (D), Sue Myrick (R), David Price (D) and Mel Watt (D).

~

Crystal




I'm not ENTIRELY sure that's a basketball the US pres is holding, WingsOfCrystal. Happy photo though smiley .


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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3246 on: Mar 10th, 2011, 08:34am »

Good one Purr! laugh This photo is my favorite of the POTUS. He's singing "On The Road Again" but you can't hear him. grin

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« Reply #3247 on: Mar 10th, 2011, 08:37am »

New York Times

March 9, 2011
Hoard of Cash Lets Qaddafi Extend Fight Against Rebels
By JAMES RISEN and ERIC LICHTBLAU

WASHINGTON — The Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi has “tens of billions” in cash secretly hidden away in Tripoli, allowing him to prolong his fight against rebel forces despite an international freeze on many of the Libyan government’s assets, according to American and other intelligence officials.

Colonel Qaddafi has control over the huge cash deposits, which have been stored at the Libyan Central Bank and other banks around the Libyan capital in recent years, the officials said.

Since the protests and fighting erupted, some of the money may have been moved into Colonel Qaddafi’s Tripoli compound, Bab Al Azizia, according to one person with ties to the Libyan government. While United States intelligence officials said they could not confirm such a move, one official said that Colonel Qaddafi “likely has tens of billions in cash that he can access inside Libya.”

The money — in Libyan dinars, United States dollars and possibly other foreign currencies — allows Colonel Qaddafi to pay his troops, African mercenaries and political supporters in the face of a determined uprising, said the intelligence officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The huge cash reserves have, at least temporarily, diminished the impact of economic sanctions on Colonel Qaddafi and his government. The possibility that he could resist the rebellion in his country for a sustained period could place greater pressure for action on the Obama administration and European leaders, who had hoped that the Libyan leader would be forced from power quickly.

President Obama’s national security team met at the White House on Wednesday to discuss how to oust the Libyan leader, including the possible imposition of a no-flight zone, but made no decisions, according to the White House press secretary, Jay Carney.

The United States has relied so far on imposing financial pain on the Qaddafi government, freezing nearly $32 billion of Libya’s assets, according to Treasury Department officials. The United Nations and the European Union have imposed separate sanctions and have frozen assets as well.

But those actions have been limited to funds in the international banking system and to business investments outside of Libya. Inside the country, the intelligence officials said, Colonel Qaddafi has amassed a huge rainy day fund of cash.

Kenneth Barden, a lawyer who specializes in Middle East financing and advises financial institutions on ways to guard against money laundering, said there were indications that Colonel Qaddafi had moved billions of dollars in assets just days or weeks before the outbreak of violence in Tripoli, apparently to protect his family wealth from global sanctions.

“The money that is kept in Qaddafi’s name is probably small,” Mr. Barden said, “but he’s got a lot in the names of family members and close associates.”

But Colonel Qaddafi probably began hoarding liquid assets far earlier, officials said. He has built up Libya’s cash reserves in the years since the West began lifting economic sanctions on his government in 2004, following his decision to renounce unconventional weapons and cooperate with the United States in the fight against Al Qaeda. That led to a flood of Western investment in the Libyan oil and natural gas industries, and access to international oil and financial markets.

Colonel Qaddafi, however, apparently feared that sanctions would someday be reimposed and secretly began setting aside cash in Tripoli that could not be seized by Western banks, according to the officials. He used the Libyan Central Bank, which he controls, and private banks in the city. He also directed that many government transactions, including some sales on the international oil spot market, be conducted in cash. “He learned to keep cash around,” said the person with ties to Libyan government officials, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of putting them in jeopardy.

The reserves are likely to prove even more critical to Colonel Qaddafi as the government’s revenues dwindle from oil production.

With the unrest, Libya is pumping just 300,000 to 400,000 barrels of oil a day, down sharply from its typical production of 1.8 million barrels a day, according to Holly Pattenden, head of oil and gas analysis at the Business Monitor International in London.

The current levels would be worth about $30 million to $40 million a day, but export markets are now virtually closed to the country, as international banks refuse to provide letters of credit for oil company shipments, according to Greg Priddy, a global oil analyst with the Eurasia Group in Washington.

“I don’t think they are deriving a lot of income from the export market right now,” Mr. Priddy said. “The international banks don’t want to touch it.” Still, several small Libyan refineries remain open, and Mr. Priddy said they were probably refining oil for the domestic market and fuel for Colonel Qaddafi’s military operations.

With other sources of income drying up, the Libyan leader is heavily dependent on his pile of cash, and apparently spending it to stay in power. He is making cash payments to political supporters in Tripoli to retain their loyalty, while also buying the services of African mercenaries.

The person close to the government estimated that 3,000 to 4,000 mercenaries from Mali, Niger and a rebel group operating in Darfur, Sudan, the Justice and Equality Movement, have been hired by the Libyan government for at least $1,000 a day apiece. United States intelligence officials said they could not confirm those numbers or amount of payments.

Intelligence officials and other experts credit Colonel Qaddafi with becoming very adept at hiding his money, and said it had often been difficult to distinguish between the assets of the Libyan government, including its $70 billion sovereign wealth fund, and the Qaddafi family’s assets.

Mr. Qaddafi’s history of financial dealings indicate that he has “surreptitious accounts and unaccounted sums that are significant enough to give him security even if the world caves in on him,” said David Aufhauser, a top Treasury Department official in President George W. Bush’s administration.

Justice Department documents show that Libya had worked with Swiss banks to launder international banking transactions for years, with “hundreds” of senior Libyan officials allowed to surreptitiously move money.

Tim Niblock, an expert on Libya and professor at the University of Exeter in Britain, said he believed that Colonel Qaddafi had hidden cash as far back as the 1990s. He said that it was part of a larger effort by the Libyan leader to protect his money from both the international community and his domestic foes.

“He’s always aware that he faces problems from outside and within,” Professor Niblock said. “It would be quite foolish for him to not amass money for an eventuality like this.”


Helene Cooper contributed reporting from Washington, and David Rohde from New York. Barclay Walsh contributed research from Washington.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/10/world/africa/10qaddafi.html?_r=1&ref=world

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« Reply #3248 on: Mar 10th, 2011, 08:39am »

New York Times

March 10, 2011
China Posts Trade Deficit of $7.3 Billion in February
By DAVID BARBOZA and BETTINA WASSENER

SHANGHAI — China reported a $7.3 billion monthly trade deficit in February, its largest in seven years, after imports climbed sharply but exports lagged.

China rarely reports trade deficits, but analysts said the figures Thursday had most likely been distorted by the effects of the Lunar New Year holiday period, because many exporters had to ship in January.

The government said Thursday that imports in February had risen 19.4 percent from February 2010, but exports rose just 2.4 percent. China had reported a $6.45 billion trade surplus for January.

Still, the strong growth in imports in February is part of a pattern that has been under way for more than a year, and the figures suggest that China’s huge trade surplus will moderate again this year.

Last year, China recorded a $180 billion trade surplus, but that figure was down sharply from the peak in 2008, when it reached nearly $300 billion. Monthly figures early in the year, however, can be deceiving. Last March, for instance, China also reported a rare monthly trade deficit, at about $7.2 billion.

Beijing has promised to transform the country’s growth model, moving away from heavy reliance on investment and exports and encouraging more domestic consumption.

The government hopes the changes will lead to more balanced and sustainable growth. The shift should also ease tensions with its major trading partners, many of whom have accused China of keeping its currency artificially weak to gain an unfair trade advantage.

Wang Tao, an economist at UBS, based in Beijing, said the China trade surplus should continue to shrink as a share of gross domestic product in 2011 because of government policies that encourage domestic consumption and because of rising prices for commodities and raw materials.

“This is the trend that matters,” she said Thursday. “As a share of G.D.P. it should be below 4 percent this year. At its peak in 2007, the trade surplus was equal to 9 percent of G.D.P.”

Other analysts said the China trade surplus should gain momentum later in the year, when exports generally pick up. Some shippers have said in recent weeks that American and European buyers have been delaying orders because Chinese exporters are raising prices to cope with rising costs for labor and raw materials.

China’s chief challenge this year is inflation. The government is worried about the rising cost of food and about housing prices that remain out of reach of many ordinary people.

But the government’s effort to stamp out inflation with farm subsidies and other measures could be undermined by soaring oil and commodity prices and government efforts to raise the wages of migrant workers. Inflation is already undermining spending power for many consumers since their savings accounts effectively have negative returns because of inflation.

Bettina Wassener reported from Hong Kong.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/11/business/global/11yuan.html?ref=business

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« Reply #3249 on: Mar 10th, 2011, 08:44am »

Telegraph

Revenge of the women tricked out of £18,000 by serial philanderer

A serial philanderer who tricked women out of more than £18,000 was jailed
yesterday after four of his girlfriends traced each other online and confronted him on camera.


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Laura Buckingham, left, and Nicola Hillary were two of the women duped by Simon Reid
Photo: SWNS



7:00AM GMT 10 Mar 2011

Simon Reid, 44, spun a web of lies in which he claimed variously that he was an international businessman, an Olympic-level rock climber and a drugs counsellor. He also claimed that his son was an RAF helicopter pilot who lost both legs in Afghanistan and that his father was terminally ill on a life support machine.

In fact his father was alive and well, while his son worked in a branch of Poundland in Yeovil, Somerset.

Reid, described as a “compulsive liar”, targeted lonely women, swindling one out of £17,000 and persuading others to furnish his flat and pay for holidays.

He was caught after one of his girlfriends, Nicola Hillary, became suspicious and searched his name online.

She found a blog by one of his former girlfriends in America which catalogued his cheating past and warned others not to fall for him.

Miss Hillary was later contacted by three other women, Laura Buckingham, Joanne Ward and a woman named only as June, whom Reid had been stringing along. They teamed up to confront Reid, filming him as he squirmed and confessed to his deceit. After hiding upstairs at Miss Buckingham’s home, they took it in turns to walk into the room to face Reid, before calling the police.

Reid, of Plymouth, was jailed for 30 months at the city’s crown court after admitting two fraud offences. Miss Hillary, 51, said: “Laura and I felt sorry for him when we confronted him – he just sat there like a trapped animal.

“He had seemed so nice and different at the start. He was charming,”

The court heard that Reid met Miss Ward, of North Devon, in September 2008 while working as a pub waiter. He told her he owned five properties in America and, after dating for a month, she invited him to live in a cabin in the grounds of her home. But by May last year she realised he had tricked her out of £17,000.

Reid told her his father was seriously ill and that he and his stepmother had decided to turn off his life-support machine, which had caused a family rift and he had been cut out of the will.

He also claimed he was a climbing instructor who worked all over Europe and persuaded Miss Ward to help him set up a climbing equipment business, adding that he had entered a contest which could lead to the Olympics in Beijing.

But he later said he had suffered a sprained ankle and had to go to a sports clinic in London. Miss Ward paid for a five-day holiday, during which she pushed him around in a wheelchair. She also helped him secure an industrial unit and allowed him to move a friend into her cabin on the promise of rent which was never paid.

After finding Reid’s mother’s number. Miss Ward called her to be told his father was perfectly well. His mother added: “I’m so sorry – Simon is a compulsive liar.”

Miss Ward told police that Reid had turned her from a strong businesswoman into “a needy, weeping wreck”.

Reid met Miss Buckingham on a dating website in January last year and told her he was a drugs and alcohol worker.

When she went to his flat, she found he slept in a sleeping bag on the floor and bought him curtains, a flat-screen television and household items. She also lent him £1,800 which was never returned.

“He said his son was a helicopter pilot in the RAF who had been shot down and lost both legs and an arm, but actually he lives in Yeovil and works in Poundland,” said Miss Buckingham, who had even put an offer on a house to share with Reid.

She added: “He spends so long talking about things that he works out the kind of man you are looking for and becomes that person. He must have a hell of a good memory.’’

Sentencing Reid, the Recorder, Kevin De Haan QC, told him that he had preyed on “ladies who may be lonely or emotionally vulnerable, persuading them to part with money through a tissue of lies”. He added: “To make them fall in love with you, you played on their sympathies. You told lies that Baron von Munchhausen would have been proud of.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8371295/Revenge-of-the-women-tricked-out-of-18000-by-serial-philanderer.html

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« Reply #3250 on: Mar 10th, 2011, 08:48am »

Wired

March 10, 1876: ‘Mr. Watson, Come Here … ‘
By Randy Alfred
March 10, 2011 | 7:00 am
Categories: 19th century, Communication, Inventions


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Alexander Graham Bell demonstrates speaking into the telephone using a model prototype in 1876.
(Early Office Museum)



1876: Alexander Graham Bell makes the first telephone call in his Boston laboratory, summoning his assistant, Thomas A. Watson, from the next room.

The Scottish-born Bell had a lifelong interest in the nature of sound. He was born into a family of speech instructors, and his mother and his wife both had hearing impairments. While ostensibly working in 1875 on a device to send multiple telegraph signals over the same wire by using harmonics, he heard a twang.

That led him to investigate whether his electrical apparatus could be used to transmit the sound of a human voice. Bell’s journal, now at the Library of Congress, contains the following entry for March 10, 1876:

I then shouted into M [the mouthpiece] the following sentence: “Mr. Watson, come here — I want to see you.” To my delight he came and declared that he had heard and understood what I said.

I asked him to repeat the words. He answered, “You said ‘Mr. Watson — come here — I want to see you.’” We then changed places and I listened at S [the speaker] while Mr. Watson read a few passages from a book into the mouthpiece M. It was certainly the case that articulate sounds proceeded from S. The effect was loud but indistinct and muffled.

Watson’s journal, however, says the famous quote was: “Mr. Watson come here I want you.”

That disagreement, though, is trifling compared to the long controversy over whether Bell truly invented the telephone. Another inventor, Elisha Gray, was working on a similar device, and recent books claim that Bell not only stole Gray’s ideas, but may even have bribed a patent inspector to let him sneak a look at Gray’s filing.

After years of litigation, Bell’s patents eventually withstood challenges from Gray and others — perhaps by right, perhaps by virtue of bigger backers and better barristers. In that respect, the controversy recalls the patent battle over the telegraph and foreshadows later squabbles over the automobile, the airplane, the spreadsheet, online shopping carts, web-auction software, and the look and feel of operating systems.

One thing we know for sure: Mr. Watson was at work that day in Bell’s lab. The telephone call did not interrupt his dinner with a special offer for home repairs or timeshare vacations in Florida.

http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2011/03/0310bell-invents-telephone-mr-watson-come-here/#

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« Reply #3251 on: Mar 10th, 2011, 08:52am »

Wired Danger Room

Army Recruits Prisoners to Make Body Armor
By Noah Shachtman
March 10, 2011 | 7:00 am
Categories: Army and Marines



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Photo: U.S. Army


Building parts for Patriot missile systems was just a warm-up, apparently, for a government-owned company that relies on federal inmates making at little as 23 cents an hour. On Wednesday, the U.S. Army announced that it handed Federal Prison Industries a no-bid, nearly $20 million contract to build body armor.

It’s the latest in a decades-long string of military deals for FPI, also known as Unicor. Over the years, the company has supplied parts for F-15 and F-16 fighter jets, the Cobra attack helicopter, and the iconic Patriot interceptor system. (More about that in a second.)

But this deal is particularly odd, because FPI’s track record with protective equipment is, to put it generously, uneven. In May of last year, the Army recalled 44,000 FPI-made protective helmets after they failed ballistic testing. FPI then promptly got out of the helmet business.

That rather serious blemish on FPI’s record hasn’t stopped the Army from going back to the firm for $19,767,468’s worth of bulletproof “Outer Tactical Vests.” According to the Army’s contract announcement, the gear is supposed to be “for Pakistan” — presumably, for the Pakistani military. (Although a State Department told suppliers Wednesday that it wants 1,000 vests in Pakistan, too.)

The vest-making will be done at the federal correctional facility in Yazoo City, Mississippi — one of 70 prisons where inmates make anywhere from $0.23 to $1.15 per hour building everything from clothing to office furniture to solar panels to military electronics.

Exactly which military electronics FPI’s nearly 20,000 prisoners build is a matter of some dispute, however. According to FPI’s website, the company “supplies numerous electronic components and services for guided missiles, including the Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missile.”

A spokesman for Lockheed Martin, which assembles the missile, calls that “completely false” and insists in an e-mail to Danger Room that “at no time were parts from Unicor EVER used in the PAC-3.” The spokesman, Craig Vanbebber, instead says that Unicor components are only used in larger Patriot system, like the ignition and control units which ensure that the missiles are actually launched into the sky. That larger system is put together by a separate defense contractor, Raytheon. The missiles themselves are free of prison labor, Vanbebber asserts.

But Eric Piepert, who sells FPI’s electronics to the government, insists that the company is very much involved in missile-making. “We’re not making anything up,” he tells Danger Room. “We make wiring harnesses for the military, this being one of them — the Patriot missile.”

The protective clothing business appears to be an equally integral part of FPI’s inmate-reliant business. The company website advertises five different models of body armor, on sale from $170 to $325 each.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/03/prisoners-body-armor/#

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« Reply #3252 on: Mar 10th, 2011, 08:54am »


Please be an angel



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www.soldiersangels.org


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« Reply #3253 on: Mar 10th, 2011, 1:53pm »

Hollywood Reporter

TNT Sets 'Falling Skies,' 'Franklin & Bash' Launches
3/10/2011 by Philiana Ng

The summer is near.


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TNT has announced its premiere dates for returning favorites and anticipated dramas, including Steven Spielberg’s high-concept sci-fi series Falling Skies.

Starring ER vet Noah Wyle and produced by Spielberg, Skies will launch with a two-hour premiere on Sunday, June 19 at 9 p.m. before settling into its time slot at 10 p.m.

New legal series Franklin & Bash, toplined by Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer, will launch Wednesday, June 1 at 9 p.m., beginning its 10-episode run.

Returning series Men of a Certain Age with Ray Romano, Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher, premieres the second-half of Season 2 on Wednesday, June 1 at 10 p.m. for six episodes.

Memphis Beat, starring Jason Lee, returns for its second season Tuesday, June 14 at 9 p.m. for 10 episodes.

Following Beat is medical drama HawthoRNe, starring Jada Pinkett Smith, Michael Vartan and new cast member Marc Anthony, debuting its third round Tuesday, June 14 at 10 p.m.

Leverage premieres its fourth season Sunday, June 26 at 9 p.m., with The Closer launching Season 7 on Monday, July 11 at 9 p.m. Rizzoli & Isles follows with its Season 2 premiere at 10 p.m.


http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/tnt-sets-falling-skies-franklin-166541


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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3254 on: Mar 10th, 2011, 1:56pm »

Evidently this guy picked a fight with the barber in the middle of his haircut.

It's NOT a good idea to annoy the person cutting your hair!


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