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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 92018 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #3705 on: Apr 20th, 2011, 08:20am »

Science Daily

Right-Handedness Prevailed 500,000 Years Ago

ScienceDaily (Apr. 19, 2011)

— Right-handedness is a distinctively human characteristic, with right-handers outnumbering lefties nine-to-one.
But how far back does right-handedness reach in the human story? Researchers have tried to determine the answer
by looking at ancient tools, prehistoric art and human bones, but the results have not been definitive.


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New research shows that distinctive markings on fossilized teeth correlate to the right or left-handedness of individual prehistoric humans.
(Credit: Image courtesy of University of Kansas)



Now, David Frayer, professor of anthropology at the University of Kansas, has used markings on fossilized front teeth to show that right-handedness goes back more than 500,000 years. He is the lead author (with colleagues in Croatia, Italy and Spain) of a paper published this month in the British journal Laterality.

His research shows that distinctive markings on fossilized teeth correlate to the right or left-handedness of individual prehistoric humans.

"The patterns seen on the fossil teeth are directly and consistently produced by right or left hand manipulation in experimental work," Frayer said.

The oldest teeth come from a more than 500,000-year-old chamber known as Sima de los Huesos near Burgos, Spain, containing the remains of humans believed to be ancestors of European Neandertals. Other teeth studied by Frayer come from later Neandertal populations in Europe.

"These marks were produced when a stone tool was accidentally dragged across the labial face in an activity performed at the front of the mouth," said Frayer. "The heavy scoring on some of the teeth indicates the marks were produced over the lifetime of the individual and are not the result of a single cutting episode."

Overall, Frayer and his co-authors found right-handedness in 93.1 percent of individuals sampled from the Sima de los Huesos and European Neandertal sites.

"It is difficult to interpret these fossil data in any way other than that laterality was established early in European fossil record and continued through the Neandertals," said Frayer. "This establishes that handedness is found in more than just recent Homo sapiens."

Frayer said that his findings on right-handedness have implications for understanding the language capacity of ancient populations, because language is primarily located on the left side of the brain, which controls the right side of the body, there is a right handedness-language connection.

"The general correlation between handedness and brain laterality shows that human brains were lateralized in a 'modern' way by at least half a million years ago and the pattern has not changed since then," he said. "There is no reason to suspect this pattern does not extend deeper into the past and that language has ancient, not recent, roots."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110419131543.htm

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« Reply #3706 on: Apr 20th, 2011, 08:25am »

Wired Danger Room

Is This The Start of Foreign Ground Troops in Libya?
By Spencer Ackerman
April 20, 2011 | 8:36 am
Categories: Rogue States

When the United Nations authorized the Libya war on March 17, it balked at allowing foreign ground troops into the country. But its vague language and broad commitments to protecting Libyan citizens besieged by Moammar Gadhafi led many to wonder if the mission would expand. A month later, the first wave of foreign ground troops will enter Libya, as “advisers.” But the Libyan rebels are already asking for more than that.

The advisers aren’t from the United States. They’re from France and Britain, both of which are more gung ho than the U.S. is to escalate the Libya war. Still, both nations say they’re sending only small numbers of advisers to Benghazi, the rebel capitol, to professionalize a rebel force that badly needs training if it means to turn back Gadhafi’s military. On top of that, the European Union is preparing to send armed guards to accompany humanitarian aid to Libyan civilians.

It was surely inevitable. NATO’s air strikes haven’t stopped the loyalist attacks. If anything, they’ve opened up a gap in the alliance, as France and Britain criticized NATO for committing to the war insufficiently. With a stalemate on the ground, the U.S., France and Britain explicitly announced on Friday for the first time that the war will continue until Gadhafi is gone — even while they maintained that the military mission isn’t to overthrow him. The next step had to be some kind of aid on the ground.

The United States insists it won’t follow France and Britain down that road. President Obama pledged not to send ground troops into Libya. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, fearing mission creep, publicly warned against training the rebels.

But it’s sent CIA operatives to Libya to liaise with the opposition. And Obama has authorized giving the rebels $25 million in “nonlethal aid,” including “vehicles, fuel trucks and fuel bladders, ambulances, medical equipment, protective vests, binoculars, and non-secure radios.”

The rebels want a lot more. Their emissary to Washington wants NATO to destroy Gadhafi’s military. And while the rebels once ruled out foreign ground forces themselves — desiring the glory of overthrowing Gadhafi — now they’re reconsidering. “[T]hat was before we faced the crimes of Gaddafi,” a member of Misurata’s governing committee told reporters. With Misurata suffering under a two-month siege that’s getting worse, “we need a force from NATO or the United Nations on the ground now.”

At its most expansive, NATO has only imagined a presence on the ground in Libya in the form of a post-conflict peacekeeping force. But now western powers are setting foot on Libyan soil. The U.N. hasn’t sanctioned anything that smacks of an “occupation” force. But now that they’re helping to organize the rebels and committing to overthrow Gadhafi, can the westerners stop short of joining the fight on the ground?

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/04/is-this-the-beginning-of-foreign-ground-troops-in-libya/#more-44963

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« Reply #3707 on: Apr 20th, 2011, 08:27am »




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« Reply #3708 on: Apr 20th, 2011, 09:09am »

Sure, Crystal; go ahead!! Remind me how old I am!!!! tongue grin
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« Reply #3709 on: Apr 20th, 2011, 11:54am »

on Apr 20th, 2011, 09:09am, Swamprat wrote:
Sure, Crystal; go ahead!! Remind me how old I am!!!! tongue grin


Ha! You aren't old until you're dead then who cares!!!! grin

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« Reply #3710 on: Apr 20th, 2011, 11:58am »

Wired

Heart of Dorkness: LARPing Goes Haywire in Wild Hunt
By Matthew Shechmeister
April 19, 2011 | 4:30 pm
Categories: movies





Ambitious film The Wild Hunt journeys into the world of medieval role-players to show us that nerds are people too. Sometimes very, very bad people.

Though this captivating Canadian indie movie centers on live-action role-players, or LARPers, The Wild Hunt is no mere safari into geekdom. A triptych of doleful drama, nerd-skewering comedy and electrifying thriller, its diverse elements hinge on the journey of Erik Magnusson (played by Ricky Mabe), an overburdened and prematurely world-weary twenty-something.

Erik lives with his father, a native of Iceland so stricken with dementia that he has reverted entirely to his native tongue. Despite being Nordic-looking to the point of albinism, Erik doesn’t know Icelandic, and communication is nil. Between hauling his uncomprehending old man onto the crapper and toiling at a dead-end job, Erik’s life unambiguously sucks. Then his girlfriend dumps him for a wizard who drives a minivan.

Director Alexandre Franchi co-wrote The Wild Hunt, his first feature-length project, with actor Mark A. Krupa, who plays Erik’s nutty older brother Bjorn, one of the main characters. Both Franchi and Krupa grew up playing Dungeons & Dragons, and a line that describes LARPers as “the fun losers” might be self-referential.

Their opus is akin to the popular documentary Darkon, which follows LARPers as they alternate between the gleaming breastplates of adventure and the ragged sweatpants of banality. The subjects of Darkon take the term “weekend warrior” too literally, but get a healthy release from suspending their mundane stresses. The Wild Hunt, by contrast, is a blunt but captivating melodrama, reminding us that wading too far into fantasy can be a most dangerous game.

more after the jump
http://www.wired.com/underwire/2011/04/wild-hunt-review/

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« Reply #3711 on: Apr 20th, 2011, 3:22pm »

Fascinating account of a 1975 Texas encounter on the Sabine River by a current resident of North Carolina--Mufon UFO Reports.

Detail for Event ID 28724 x
Case Number:
28724
Log Number: -04202011-0007
Submitted Date: 2011-04-20 13:30 GMT
Event Date: 1975-11-30 05:00 GMT
Status: Assigned
Region: North Carolina
Country: US
Longitude: -79.0192997
Latitude: 35.7595731
Location: Lake/River
Description: Hello, I am male, 43, father of 5 girls. I have started having very disturbing nightmares of an event that took place when I was a kid involving an underwater UFO.

First let me give a little background. I am from Texas and lived on the Sabine River. My Dad moved us out there when I was about 7 or 8. We had no electric or running water the first 4 years. We lived off the river and the land. I would wake up with my Dad early in the morning to go and check trot-lines. A trot-line is a line that has other lines attached to it with hooks and bait. This is to catch more than one fish at a time. I am sorry if you already know this, but so many people ask me what it is.

One Saturday we got up about 4:30am or 5:00am to check for fish. We got in the boat like always and started with the first line. We were about halfway when I noticed a light under the boat. It was small about 4 to 6 inches across. My Dad noticed it too; he turned and yelled at me that I had dropped the light. I knew I had not messed with the light, so I quickly scrambled around to find it. I found it and turned it on and shined it at my Dad. He was making his way across the boat to whip my tail, but stopped and looked over the side at the light again.

I am not sure how it happened but the water around the boat lit up so bright it was like daylight. The light was about 15 to 20 feet around the boat. It came close to the boat and stayed still for a few moments and then, bam it shot to the water faster than I had ever seen anything move. I watched for a few moments, by this time the day was getting a little lighter and I noticed a wake forming about a mile or so from the boat. It just rose up out of the water without a boat. I thought it was cool but my Dad looked like he was going to be sick.

You have to understand something about my Dad, he was afraid of nothing, but he look like my little brother who was scared of the dark. I sat down and my father drove the boat as fast as it would go. When we got near the boat dock I was getting ready to tie the boat off, but Dad just drove the boat right up on the shore, which he forbade us to do because of cypress knees.

He got up and grabbed the 10 gal gas tank to bring to the house. It was almost funny. I remember thinking it is not that heavy, yet by now he had both hands on it and I could see the veins popping out in his arms, then it just let go and the tank came up hit him in the face and in the water he went. I just looked him puzzled as he dove past me grabbing my arm as he went. Now he was scaring me, this was so out of the norm for him. I had to look a couple of times to make sure it was him.

He dragged me to the truck, ran to the house to get the keys and we flew down the dirt road at a pace that almost killed us a few times. We hit the highway and drove the 45 minutes to my Uncle Dale’s house in about 10 minutes! How he did not get pulled over and thrown in jail I will never know. He jumped out, so I jumped out and he turned and told me to get my ass back in the truck, we were not staying.

My Dad came out with my Uncle Dale who looked just as puzzled as I felt. Dad jumped back in our truck and Uncle Dale followed in his truck. My Dad had to stop and wait for Uncle Dale a few times, cussing louder each time.

We finally get back to the river and Dad and Uncle Dale go over to the boat. My Uncle Dale had been a radioman in the Air Force so I guess my Dad thought he would know something. I had to stand back from the boat because my Dad was beside himself by now, but I saw them throwing something at the boat, so I eased up to see. They were throwing bolts at the boat and the bolts were sticking.

They went back to the house to talk, so I went over to the boat and started doing the same thing. When I tried to pull the bolts off, I couldn't.

I heard my Dad coming so I ran back to where I was playing, so he would not whip me. I saw them take the boat and our other boat out in the river. I watch as they sunk the boat with everything in it including the engine! I was shocked.

My Dad later told me if I ever told anyone about this he would beat me till I was dead, and I thought he would. My wife was the first person I ever told and only after he died. I would like to know if this has ever happened to anyone else.

And the boat was an aluminum boat, which I learned many years later that aluminum is not magnetic. A lot of other weird stuff happened after that day.

http://www.ufostalker.com/?mufon=true

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« Reply #3712 on: Apr 20th, 2011, 5:13pm »

"We finally get back to the river and Dad and Uncle Dale go over to the boat. My Uncle Dale had been a radioman in the Air Force so I guess my Dad thought he would know something. I had to stand back from the boat because my Dad was beside himself by now, but I saw them throwing something at the boat, so I eased up to see. They were throwing bolts at the boat and the bolts were sticking.

They went back to the house to talk, so I went over to the boat and started doing the same thing. When I tried to pull the bolts off, I couldn't.

I heard my Dad coming so I ran back to where I was playing, so he would not whip me. I saw them take the boat and our other boat out in the river. I watch as they sunk the boat with everything in it including the engine! I was shocked.

My Dad later told me if I ever told anyone about this he would beat me till I was dead, and I thought he would. My wife was the first person I ever told and only after he died. I would like to know if this has ever happened to anyone else.

And the boat was an aluminum boat, which I learned many years later that aluminum is not magnetic. A lot of other weird stuff happened after that day."

http://www.ufostalker.com/?mufon=true


That is strange to say the least. Thanks Swamprat.

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« Reply #3713 on: Apr 20th, 2011, 7:56pm »

Wired

Rose-Shaped Galaxy Pic for Hubble’s 21st Birthday
By Lisa Grossman
April 20, 2011 | 1:57 pm
Categories: Space


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Image: NASA/ESA/STScI/AURA


To commemorate the upcoming 21st anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope’s first day in space, NASA astronomers released this beautiful image of two interacting galaxies in the shape of a rose.

Together, the pair of dancing galaxies are called Arp 273. They lie in the constellation Andromeda, about 300 million light-years from Earth. Though connected by a thin bridge of stars, they’re tens of thousands of light-years from each other.

The larger galaxy, called UGC 1810, is about five times as massive as its smaller companion, UGC 1813. Astronomers think the smaller galaxy plunged straight through the larger: UGC 1810’s inner set of spiral arms is highly warped, a telltale sign of distortion by UGC 1813’s gravitational pull. Meanwhile, UGC 1813 shows an intense burst of star formation in its nucleus, possibly triggered by swan-diving through its neighbor.

The image was captured on Dec. 17, 2010 with three colored filters in Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3. Hubble’s 21st birthday is Sunday, Apr. 24.

“For 21 years, Hubble has profoundly changed our view of the universe, allowing us to see deep into the past while opening our eyes to the majesty and wonders around us,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a press release. “I was privileged to pilot space shuttle Discovery as it deployed Hubble. After all this time, new Hubble images still inspire awe and are a testament to the extraordinary work of the many people behind the world’s most famous observatory.”

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/04/hubble-turns-21/

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« Reply #3714 on: Apr 21st, 2011, 07:56am »

Washington Post

Obama weighs disclosure order for contractors

By Perry Bacon Jr. and and T.W. Farnam
Wednesday, April 20, 9:22 PM


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Pablo Martinez Monsivais/ AP
President Obama speaks at a DNC fundraiser at Nob Hill Masonic Center in San Francisco, Calif., Wednesday, April 20, 2011.



President Obama is considering an executive order that would force government contractors to disclose their donations to groups that participate in political activities, a move Republicans slammed Wednesday as an attempt to restrict political speech.

White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters that the administration has a draft proposal and would not offer details. But he said Obama thinks it is crucial to allow taxpayers to learn more about contractors who seek federal funds.

The provision is similar to one in a bill that Democrats pushed before the midterm elections called the Disclose Act. That legislation was part of a broader effort by Democrats and the White House to limit the influence of interest groups, which played an expanded role in last year’s midterm elections.

A string of Supreme Court decisions has freed corporations, labor unions and other interest groups to participate in elections as long as they operate independently of candidates.

Many interest groups were formed last year to spend millions of dollars on the elections, and most of the money was spent on campaign commercials that were against congressional Democrats. Many of the groups did not disclose their funding sources, leading Democrats to call for greater transparency.

Republicans denounced the proposed executive order.

“Just last year, the Senate rejected a cynical effort to muzzle critics of this administration and its allies in Congress,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “Now, under the guise of ‘transparency,’ the Obama administration reportedly wants to know the political leanings of any company or small business, including those of their officers and directors, before the government decides if they’ll award them federal contracts.”

The Professional Services Council, a trade coalition that represents nearly 350 companies that work with the federal government, also condemned the idea.

“The draft order says it is necessary to ensure that politics are not allowed to impair the integrity of the procurement process,” said Stan Soloway, the group’s president. “But by force-feeding irrelevant information to government contracting officers, who would otherwise never consider such factors in a source selection, the rule would actually do precisely what it is intended to stop: inject politics into the source selection process.”

Carney denied that the order was related to politics.

Obama “believes very strongly that taxpayers deserve to know” how contractors are spending their money and how they’re spending in terms of political campaigns, Carney said. “And his goal is transparency and accountability. That’s the responsible thing to do when you’re handling taxpayer dollars.”

The move suggests Democrats are not backing down from their effort to make transparency in elections a priority. During the midterms, Obama and Democratic congressional leaders spoke often about the need to disclose donors’ identities to the interest groups, which tended to favor Republican candidates.

After the election, Democrats were split on whether the effort was successful for them. Conservative groups got the upper hand in fundraising while demoralized Democrats were hoping to blunt the new rules with laws requiring disclosure.

Since then, two Obama administration officials have left the White House to form an outside political organization to aid the president’s reelection campaign next year. The new group would take large contributions, possibly including some shrouded in secrecy.

It is not known how many government contractors contribute to interest groups active in elections because many of those contributions don’t need to be disclosed, but the number of companies with government contracts means that could be significant. Federal agencies spent about $535 billion in fiscal 2010 on government contracts.

One of the biggest spenders on election ads was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has about 300,000 corporate members.


Staff writer Ed O’Keefe contributed to this report.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-weighs-disclosure-order-for-contractors/2011/04/20/AFBw7qEE_story.html

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« Reply #3715 on: Apr 21st, 2011, 08:03am »

Telegraph

Dmitry Medvedev becomes YouTube hit with American Boy dance

Stepping to the beat of 1990s pop hit "American Boy", Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's stiff dance moves became an immediate viral hit on YouTube on Wednesday.





5:14PM BST 20 Apr 2011


Sporting a form-fitting silver jacket and open collar, Mr Medvedev somewhat awkwardly wiggles his hips and kicks up his heels with other party guests in the half-minute clip posted late on Tuesday.

The performance attracted mixed reactions from Russians, with nearly 300 comments only hours after it was posted.

"It looks like Medvedev's swallowed a stick," one viewer commented.

An avid Twitter user, Mr Medvedev is seen as more liberal and Western-leaning than his mentor and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer who steered him into the country's top job in 2008.

Mr Putin, who faced limits to a third term as president after his 2000-2008 rule, is still seen by most Russians as the man pulling the strings.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8463731/Dmitry-Medvedev-becomes-YouTube-hit-with-American-Boy-dance.html

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« Reply #3716 on: Apr 21st, 2011, 08:10am »

Wired Danger Room

Army Picks Android to Power Its First Smartphone
By Spencer Ackerman
April 21, 2011 | 7:00 am
Categories: Army and Marines


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Photo: U.S. Army


For the Army, Droid does, all right.

The Army wants every soldier to carry a smartphone to keep them networked. It doesn’t yet have a program to do that, having spent the last year working through the implications of what that might mean — like, for instance, what operating system would power it. An initial answer: Google’s Android.

A prototype device running Android called the Joint Battle Command-Platform, developed by tech nonprofit MITRE, is undergoing tests. The development kit behind it, called the Mobile /Handheld Computing Environment, will be released to app creators in July, the Army says.

But until then, the envisioned apps for the Joint Battle Command-Platform will run a gambit of Army tasks. There’ll be a mapping function, like the kinds the defense industry is developing for soldier smartphones and tablets. A Blue Force Tracker program, to keep tabs on where friendly forces are. “Critical messaging” to exchange crucial data like medevac requests, and on the ground reporting.

There are still a lot of questions to be answered about the Army’s smartphone effort, like how to keep data secure and how to use them effectively in combat environments with low connectivity. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the iPhone lover who moonlights as the Army’s vice chief of staff, has boasted that the devices being tested can withstand the physical wear-and-tear of soldiering, but it remains to be seen just how rugged the smartphone is.

Even when connected to a radio, the Army says its Joint Battle Command-Platform weighs about two pounds. That’s way lighter than the Nett Warrior suite of sensors, computers, radios and mapping functions — the Army’s program of record for doing much of what a smartphone already does.

But that’s not to say the current phone prototype will be what the Army ends up issuing soldiers. And it’s also not to say that whatever makes it through testing will definitely rely on Android as its operating system. That’s all a ways away. But the point of building the Mobile/Handheld Computing Environment is to have a common framework for designing apps that can run on any manner of devices — and that’s an early indication that the Army’s leaning toward Android devices, especially in this age of budget efficiencies, rather than iOS, which is tied to one specific (i)Phone. Score one for open architecture.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/04/army-picks-android-to-power-its-first-smartphone/#more-44993

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« Reply #3717 on: Apr 21st, 2011, 08:13am »

LA Times

Dodgers' status could remain in limbo for foreseeable future

A legal challenge by Frank McCourt to baseball's decision to take control of the team, as well as the McCourts' divorce case, would slow attempts to transfer the Dodgers to a new owner.

By Bill Shaikin
April 21, 2011

In the 18 months since Frank and Jamie McCourt filed for divorce, beginning the legal proceedings that exposed the couple's extravagant lifestyle and the financial stress that subsequently plagued the Dodgers, Commissioner Bud Selig had remained silent.

In a two-paragraph email distributed by his office Wednesday, Selig not only ended his silence, but also took a decisive first step toward ending McCourt ownership of the Dodgers.

Yet the finale of McCourt era is neither imminent nor guaranteed, despite Selig's announcement that he would appoint a trustee to run the club because of his "deep concerns regarding the finances and operations of the Dodgers."

In fact, in a statement late Wednesday, McCourt challenged Selig's decision and signaled he would not surrender ownership without a fight.

"Major League Baseball sets strict financial guidelines which all 30 teams must follow," McCourt's statement read. "The Dodgers are in compliance. … On this basis, it is hard to understand the commissioner's decision."

Selig has anticipated the possibility of a legal challenge by McCourt, which could delay any ownership change, according to two parties briefed on Wednesday's announcement but not authorized to discuss it publicly.

In addition, the McCourts' divorce has yet to be settled. Jamie McCourt has asserted her claim of 50% ownership of the Dodgers, based on California community-property law. Those claims could take some time to resolve as well.

Selig generally prefers that owners live in the community in which a team plays and that they have some familiarity with Major League Baseball. The two parties most often mentioned as interested buyers, each of whom lives in Los Angeles, are Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio and Chicago White Sox executive Dennis Gilbert.

In the interim, with McCourt stripped of financial authority, the Dodgers must get the approval of Selig — or whomever he appoints as trustee — for any significant expenditures on or off the field.

That procedure might not necessarily cripple the Dodgers' ability to improve the team during the season. The Texas Rangers, operating under league auspices for part of last season, received approval to make payroll-boosting trades for ace Cliff Lee, catcher Bengie Molina and infielder Jorge Cantu.

There was no last straw for Selig, according to the parties briefed on his decision. "It was an accumulation of everything," one of those parties said.

The Dodgers have drawn record-low crowds in the McCourt era this season. The team has sold barely more than 17,000 season tickets, down from 27,000 four years ago, according to court documents and people who have reviewed MLB attendance data.

The Angels have sold about 21,000 season tickets this year and could outdraw the Dodgers for the first time in the 51 years the clubs have shared the Los Angeles market.

Last week, Selig dispatched a six-man task force to review Dodger Stadium security practices in the wake of the beating of a San Francisco Giants fan in a stadium parking lot on opening day. The Dodgers have not had a full-time head of security in four months, and the Los Angeles Police Department essentially took over ballpark security at McCourt's expense.

McCourt needed a $30-million loan from Fox in order to meet payroll last week, secured with funds he does not have and might never have.

In the event McCourt cannot repay Fox, he has promised the company $30 million from any settlement with or judgment against Bingham McCutchen, the law firm that drafted the since-invalidated agreement that McCourt had relied upon to establish his ownership of the Dodgers. The arrangement was disclosed to The Times by two individuals granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about it.

Bingham has sued McCourt, seeking a judicial declaration that the law firm is not responsible should McCourt lose control of the Dodgers. There is no guarantee McCourt will get any money from Bingham, but Fox accepted that promise to securitize the loan.

"No accountant would even let you put that on your balance sheet," said Raman Sain, principal at Holthouse, Carlin & Van Trigt, a Southern California accounting firm that reviewed the Dodgers' financial records for The Times last year.

Sain said the nature of the loan — as opposed to McCourt getting a traditional bank loan or line of credit — indicated that the Dodgers' financial situation was "pretty dire."

On April 5, Frank McCourt presented Selig with a proposal from Fox for a 20-year television contract worth at least $3 billion, a deal McCourt said could provide funding to settle his divorce, manage the Dodgers' stiff debts and improve the team.

Selig has neither approved nor rejected the proposal. Since court papers revealed the McCourts had redirected more than $100 million from Dodgers revenues for personal expenses, Selig was loath to approve any deal in which significant revenue would not go into the team, according to numerous baseball officials.

In addition, according to the parties briefed about Wednesday's announcement, Selig had not received written assurance from Jamie McCourt that she had agreed to settle the divorce if the commissioner approved the Fox contract.

Jamie McCourt remains interested in buying all of the Dodgers, although it is uncertain that Major League Baseball would approve an ownership group with which she is involved, even as a minority partner. In a statement, she said: "As the 50% owner of the Dodgers, I welcome and support the commissioner's actions."


http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-dodgers-owner-20110421,0,5008259.story

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« Reply #3718 on: Apr 21st, 2011, 08:17am »

Hollywood Reporter

HDNet to Relaunch 'Labyrinth,' 'The Dark Crystal'

Mark Cuban’s network will air the Jim Henson films in HD this Memorial Day.

8:00 AM 4/21/2011
by Lacey Rose


On Memorial Day, Mark Cuban’s HDNet will air a double-feature of Jim Henson films, The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.

The films, which will air for their first time in HD, will run for one night only on Monday, May 30 beginning at 8 p.m. It will mark the first time that the pairing has hit the small screen in more than 10 years.

“We have initiated a company-wide effort to relaunch these titles across both targeted and broad distribution platforms including all forms of television, digital, publishing and consumer products, making these much-loved titles easily available to the loyal fans who continue to support them,” said Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company.

The move comes as Crystal, a fantasy flick directed by Henson and Frank Oz, is coming up on its 30th anniversary in 2012; Labyrinth, a Henson-directed, George Lucas production, is celebrating its 25th this year.

"As one the last independent networks, HDNet tries to find content that embodies that independent spirit. No movies are more unique and independent in mind and spirit than Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth,” Cuban told The Hollywood Reporter.

Earlier this week, Cuban put his art house movie theater group Landmark Theatres and independent film distributor Magnolia Pictures on the auction block to explore a possible sale.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/hdnet-relaunch-labyrinth-dark-crystal-180692

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« Reply #3719 on: Apr 21st, 2011, 08:18am »



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