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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 45338 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #6990 on: Jul 13th, 2012, 09:06am »

Defense News

Russia Again Trying to Deliver Attack Helos to Syria: Report
Jul. 13, 2012 - 08:55AM
By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MOSCOW — A Russian ship that tried to supply attack helicopters to the Syrian regime amid the bloodshed was reported July 13 to have left its port with the same controversial cargo aboard.

There was no immediate indication of whether the cargo vessel Alaed would end up trying to deliver the equipment to Syria directly or drop it off at an intermediate location.

“The Mi-25 helicopters subject for return to Syria after their repair are currently aboard the Alaed, which is sailing from the port in Murmansk to another port in Russia,” the Rosoboronexport state arms exporter said in a statement.

A source at Murmansk told the Interfax news agency the ship left July 10 for the port of Baltiysk in Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave east of Poland.

The marinetraffic.com website showed the ship’s radar signal coming in off the Norwegian coast on its last reporting date July 12.

The ship’s signal was switched off July 13, and one report citing its owner Femco said the Alaed might in fact be planning to dock in St. Petersburg toward the end of next week.

The announcement follows Russian official statements that they would to try again to deliver the weapons to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, despite calls for Moscow to join an arms embargo against its last Middle East ally.

The Russian foreign ministry has confirmed that the Alaed was planning to supply three repaired attack helicopters and an air defense system to Syria when it was exposed by the U.S. State Department last month.

The 9,000-ton private cargo was forced to turn back when its British insurer ended up pulling cover.

Russia argues that it must return the helicopters to Syria under a binding commercial contract signed three years before the current bloody conflict between regime forces and the armed opposition began.

Some officials suggested the parts may be taken to Syria by air. More recent indications said Russia preferred to try the sea route a second time.

Alaed’s departure from port comes as Russia sends a flotilla to the Mediterranean to conduct exercises that Moscow has said are not linked to the fighting tearing apart Syria.

Moscow remains bitterly opposed to any attempt to oust Assad from power and has threatened to veto a new Western-backed resolution that could impose economic sanctions on Damascus if it fails to quickly commit to peace.

Rosoboronexport’s statement angrily dismissed Moscow reports saying the navy vessels now sailing for Syria’s Russian-leased port at Tartus were carrying any military technology for Assad.

The agency called the reports “conjectures ... that could do serious harm to Russia’s military and technological cooperation with other nations.”

A Russian Baltic Fleet source said two of the destroyer escorts that left port July 12 — Yaroslav Mudry (Yaroslav the Wise) and Nestrashimy (Intrepid) — could provide protection for Alaed as it sails.

“They could accompany the Alaed to its destination point — in other words, to one of the ports in Syria. That same Tartus port, for example,” the unnamed Russian navy official told Interfax.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20120713/DEFREG01/307130004/Russia-Again-Trying-Deliver-Attack-Helos-Syria-Report?odyssey=tab
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« Reply #6991 on: Jul 13th, 2012, 09:15am »

Wired

Stirring Photos Chronicle the Final Years of the Space Shuttle Program
By Jakob Schiller
July 13, 2012 | 6:30 am
Categories: history, Miscellaneous, Photo Gallery, Photojournalism, Process, science, space



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The Space Shuttle Discovery is rolled out of the Vehicle Assembly Building aboard its Mobile Launch Platform at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Photo: Philip Scott Andrews




A wise photo editor once said that sometimes the most interesting photos don’t happen at the football game. They happen in the parking lot. It’s easy to get caught up in the action and forget that everything surrounding the action can be just as revealing.

Case in point is Philip Scott Andrews’ ongoing photo series Last Days, which documents the end of NASA’s Space Shuttle program. For three years Andrews has had unprecedented access to the Kennedy Space Center, and he’s made good use of it by capturing a side of this facility the public is not used to seeing.

“A lot of people when they hear NASA they think about guys in white lab coats,” Andrews says. “The astronauts are fascinating, but there are only a couple of them, and then there are thousands of workers who are making this possible.”

The historic program, officially titled the Space Transportation System (STS), performed its last launch, the Atlantis shuttle, on July 8, 2011. The program’s vehicles, the only winged aircraft to ever enter orbit and return for multiple uses, are now being decommissioned and placed in museums for future generations to experience.

It seems appropriate to capture the passing of this iconic era of human scientific achievement in Andrews’ grainy black and white, a choice he made explicitly for its timeless quality. Andrews’ dad was a photography consultant for the aerospace industry and, like many people from his generation, was profoundly moved by the achievements of NASA.

“The Space Shuttle has a lot of symbolism for what this country used to be and for what we were able to produce in-house,” he says. “I wanted this to be my love song to the space age, if that’s not too cheesy to say.”

Instead of perseverating on the few remaining launches, Andrews wanted to reacquaint the U.S. with the scope of its achievement by turning his camera toward the program’s more everyday moments and characters.

“A big problem with the Space Shuttle was that it became too consistent,” he says. “The American people stopped seeing it as a difficult task. They made it so ordinary that it lost its sense of adventure.”

By forcing people to re-see all that goes into maintaining and launching a shuttle, Andrews helps get at the heart of something that truly changed the country as we know it. Something he thinks we need to achieve again today.

“I think that projects like [the space program] make us a better country,” Andrews says. “Whether it’s going to the moon or achieving energy independence, these projects always lead to research and discoveries that we can’t even estimate now.”

- – -

If you’re in New York next week, be sure to catch the opening of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum’s Space Shuttle Pavilion, which will include the Enterprise, on July 19.

gallery after the jump:
http://www.wired.com/rawfile/2012/07/a-new-look-at-the-end-of-the-space-shuttle-program/

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« Reply #6992 on: Jul 14th, 2012, 08:39am »

Seattle Times

Originally published Friday, July 13, 2012 at 4:07 AM

JPMorgan traders may have sought to conceal losses

JPMorgan Chase said Friday that its traders may have tried to conceal the losses from a soured bet that has embarrassed the bank and cost it almost $6 billion - far more than its CEO first suggested.

By PALLAVI GOGOI and DANIEL WAGNER
AP Business Writers

NEW YORK —

JPMorgan Chase said Friday that its traders may have tried to conceal the losses from a soured bet that has embarrassed the bank and cost it almost $6 billion - far more than its CEO first suggested.

The bank said an internal investigation had uncovered evidence that led executives to "question the integrity" of the values, or marks, that traders assigned to their trades.

JPMorgan also said that it planned to revoke two years' worth of pay from some of the senior managers involved in the bad bet, and that it had closed the division of the bank responsible for the mistake.

"This has shaken our company to the core," CEO Jamie Dimon said.

The bank said the loss, which Dimon estimated at $2 billion when he disclosed it in May, had grown to $5.8 billion, and could grow larger than $7 billion if financial markets deteriorate severely.

Dimon said the worst appeared to be behind the bank, and investors seemed to agree: They sent JPMorgan stock up 6 percent, making it the best performer in the Dow Jones industrial average.

Daniel Alpert, a founding managing partner with the New York investment bank Westwood Capital Partners LLC, said the bank and Dimon appeared to have learned from the crisis.

He said Dimon now realizes how complex and difficult to manage the bank is, will be more diligent in the future and probably won't be the crusader he has been against some proposed financial regulation.

"Did it cost shareholders a few bucks? Yup," he said. "But it was a non-horrible way of learning the lesson, in the sense that the entire institution didn't burn down, the lesson's been taught and Dimon seems ready to take it."

For his part, Dimon concluded: "We are not proud of this moment, but we are proud of our company."

The investigation, which covered more than a million emails and tens of thousands of voice messages, suggested traders were trying to make losses look smaller, the bank said.

The revelation could expose JPMorgan to civil fraud charges. If regulators decide that employee deceptions caused JPMorgan to report inaccurate financial details, they could pursue charges against the employees, the bank or both.

The Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators, including one in Britain, are looking into the loss. The Justice Department and SEC declined comment.

JPMorgan could not necessarily hide behind the actions of its employees. Regulators could decide that its oversight or risk management contributed to the problematic statements.

As a result of what it found, JPMorgan lowered its reported net income for the first quarter of this year by $459 million. The bank was still widely profitable: Even after the adjustment, it made $4.9 billion for the quarter.

JPMorgan also reported net income for the second quarter, which ended June 30, of $5 billion, far higher than the $3.2 billion that Wall Street analysts were expecting. The bank credited stronger mortgage lending and credit card business.

JPMorgan has said the trade in question was designed to offset potential losses made by its chief investment office. Dimon told Congress last month that it was meant to protect the bank in case "things got really bad" in the global economy.

JPMorgan has more than $1 trillion in customer deposits and more than $700 billion in loans. The chief investment office invests the excess cash in a variety of securities, including government and corporate debt and mortgage-backed securities.

Banks typically build hedging strategies to limit their losses if a trade turns against them. Hedges often involve credit default swaps, essentially insurance contracts that pay out if a given corporate bond goes into default.

In JPMorgan's case, instead of offsetting losses, the trade backfired and added to them. While the bank hasn't provided too many specifics on the trade, it appears that the bank believed it had bought too much protection against possible bond defaults, so it hedged its hedge by increasing its risk.

In other words, instead of buying insurance, it was selling insurance. The bank found itself with a pool of investments that were difficult to sell quickly. The drawn-out process of unwinding that portfolio caused JPMorgan's losses to grow.

Dimon stressed the bank's overall health. Speaking broadly about the trading loss, Dimon he told analysts: "We're not making light of this error, but we do think it's an isolated event."

JPMorgan stock gained $2.03 to $36.07. That still left it 11 percent below its closing price of $40.74 on May 10, the day Dimon surprised reporters and stock analysts by holding a conference call to disclose the loss.

Investors were cheered to hear that the bank might resume its plan to buy back its own stock. Dimon said the bank was in discussions with the Federal Reserve and would submit a plan in hopes of buying back stock starting late this year.

The company suspended an earlier plan to buy back $15 billion of its stock after reporting the trading loss.

Dimon said Friday that Ina Drew, the bank's former chief investment officer, who left after the loss came to light, had volunteered to return as much of her pay as was allowed under the so-called clawback provision in her contract.

Drew made more than $30 million combined in 2010 and 2011, according to an Associated Press analysis of regulatory filings. It was not clear how much Drew was voluntarily paying back to the bank. When she resigned under pressure in May after more than 30 years at the bank, she left unvested stock and stock options worth close to $14 million from the last two years.

In addition, the bank said Friday that it would revoke two years' worth of pay from three other senior managers in the division of the bank where the trade occurred. The bank would not say how much money it expected to recover.

Those three senior managers have left the bank, and four others are expected to leave soon. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the trader known as the "London whale," for the size of the bets he placed, was among those who had left.

The bank said managers tied to the bad trade had been dismissed without severance pay.

The Swiss bank UBS clawed back pay from executives after a rogue trader in London caused a $2 billion loss last year. The JPMorgan clawback was the most prominent in the United States since the financial crisis in the fall of 2008.

JPMorgan said it had revoked pay from other employees in other cases, but did not provide details.

The Obama administration's financial overhaul law, passed in 2010, required banks to draft policies for recapturing pay from executives whose actions lead to false financial statements.

John Liu, the comptroller of New York City, which has $340 million of its pension fund invested in JPMorgan stock, said he was pleased with the clawback announcement.

While the growing loss was disheartening, he said, revoking pay sends a message that "there are no rewards for wild and excessive gambling with investors' money."

The chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, said, "It shouldn't take a congressional hearing for JPMorgan to realize that bank employees should not be rewarded for excessively risky behavior."

Just three months ago, JPMorgan was viewed as the top American bank, guided by Dimon's steady hand. Since the disclosure of the trading loss, however, that reputation has been eroded.

Dimon, who originally dismissed concerns about the bank's trading as a "tempest in a teapot," appeared before Congress twice to apologize and explain himself, and several government agencies have launched investigations.

Under questioning from lawmakers in June about his own role in setting up the investment division responsible for the mess, Dimon declared: "We made a mistake. I'm absolutely responsible. The buck stops with me."

The trading loss has raised concerns that the biggest banks still pose risks to the U.S. financial system, less than four years after the financial crisis erupted in the fall of 2008.

While JPMorgan has proved more than able to absorb the shock from the bad trade, some lawmakers have questioned what would happen if a weaker bank, or one with poor management, were stricken.

---

Daniel Wagner reported from Washington.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2018675504_apusjpmorganchasetradingloss.html

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« Reply #6993 on: Jul 14th, 2012, 08:45am »

Chicago Sun Times

Kerry Kennedy arrested in New York for DUI

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Last Modified: Jul 13, 2012 08:09PM

NORTH CASTLE, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ex-wife, Kerry Kennedy, was arrested Friday for driving while impaired by drugs after she accidentally struck a tractor-trailer and fled, police said.

Kennedy is the seventh of 11 children of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. State police said she was found Friday morning behind the wheel of her disabled vehicle on the side of a road in Westchester, just north of New York City.

Authorities say 911 callers reported the car was driving erratically on Interstate 684 and collided with a tractor-trailer in the town of North Castle. The car was damaged and had a flat tire, police said.

A spokesman for Kennedy, who lives in nearby Bedford, denied that she was driving under the influence of drugs.

“Kerry Kennedy voluntarily took breathalyzer, blood and urine tests — all of which showed no drugs or alcohol whatsoever in her system,” spokesman Ken Sunshine said in an emailed statement. “The charges were filed before the test results were available.”

Police said Kennedy was issued traffic tickets that must be returned to the town of North Castle Court on Tuesday.

Members of the Kennedy clan who reside in the Westchester area have been beset with a string of public troubles in recent weeks.

Mary Kennedy, the estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., hanged herself in May at the family’s estate in Bedford. A divorce was pending when she died. An autopsy report released last week showed she had antidepressants in her system.

Kerry Kennedy, 52, described her sister-in-law as her “best friend” in a eulogy published in the Huffington Post after her death.

“We were inseparable — we shared friendships, a closet, a cash card,” Kennedy wrote.

Her brother Douglas Kennedy, the 10th of the 11 siblings, is embroiled in a legal battle after two nurses claimed he injured them on Jan. 7 when he tried to take his newborn son from a hospital maternity ward. Kennedy, 44, said he was protecting his son “from a complete stranger who tried to grab him from my arms.” A judge is expected to rule by Aug. 9 on charges of physical harassment and child endangerment.

Kerry Kennedy and Andrew Cuomo wed in 1990 in Washington, joining two of America’s first families of politics in a union dubbed Cuomolot.

The couple split in 2003 in a messy public divorce that played out in the tabloids. They have three daughters.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/nation/13761418-418/kerry-kennedy-arrested-in-new-york-for-dui.html

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« Reply #6994 on: Jul 14th, 2012, 08:52am »

California Surfin'



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« Reply #6995 on: Jul 14th, 2012, 09:00am »

Washington Post

Debate rages in Congress, public over U.S. Olympic uniforms made in China

By Katherine Boyle, Published: July 13

Berets? Not ballcaps or cowboy hats? Ralph Lauren seemed poised to incite style wars when he chose to dress U.S. Olympians for the Opening Ceremonies in headwear that evokes French intellectualism more than American athletic prowess or even our frontier history.

On Wednesday, the debate careened to China — an economically more threatening rival than fashion-conscious France — after ABC’s “World News” announced that U.S. Olympians, the torchbearers of American athleticism, would wear navy blazers produced in China.

Now, an American label, Hickey Freeman, has recognized opportunity in the fray and offered to make the uniforms right here in the good ol’ United States — and in just two weeks flat. That would please Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and her Democratic Senate colleagues from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio, who introduced a bill late Friday that requires the U.S. Olympic Committee to outfit Olympic athletes in ceremonial uniforms “sewn or assembled in the United States.”

The fashion to’s and fro’s have hit a range of nerves: from uncertainties about our national identity in a country with no national dress to economic worries and basic patriotism. It’s true: Our athletes can’t parade in furry ushankas as the U.S.S.R did in 1980 or wear grass skirts and leis as the Marshall Islands did in 2008. But shouldn’t the men and women representing these 50 states showcase clothes made by somebody somewhere here?

Maybe Levi’s? (No, sadly, Levi’s closed its last U.S. plant in 2003.)

Although sportswear designer Lauren works with select manufacturers in the United States, most of his apparel is produced abroad. His high-end Purple Label is made in Italy. Few pieces are made in the States.

The designer has responded to the pressure of the controversy, vowing to produce uniforms in the United States for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

“We have committed to producing the Opening and Closing ceremony Team USA uniforms in the United States that will be worn for the 2014 Olympic Games,” the company said Friday in a statement, adding: “Ralph Lauren promises to lead the conversation within our industry and our government to address the issue to increase manufacturing in the United States.”

American designers such as Lauren choose whether they are beholden to the dollar-conscious American consumer or the unemployed American worker. It’s no secret that the cost of manufacturing locally is often more expensive than overseas. And in a climate in which Target partners with luxury designers and fast-fashion chains such as H&M and Forever 21 dominate the retail space, designers often choose to remain competitive by manufacturing abroad. The American Apparel and Footwear Association says that 98 per cent of clothing sold in the United States is manufactured overseas.

But the debate over where the clothes were made highlights an ongoing employment tragedy, one with political ramifications for Election 2012: the loss of American manufacturing jobs. Last month, the manufacturing sector contracted for the first time since 2009, despite being the relatively bright spot in the American economy.

For years, the fashion industry has also argued whether “designed in America” and “made in America” are two competing business models that appeal to separate demographics. Many publicly traded Americana brands — Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan and Michael Kors — have long manufactured their lower-priced diffusion lines in Asia and high-priced lines in Europe.

The political fallout has been unified. Democrats and Republicans, speaking with one voice, decried the outsourcing of Olympic regalia, showing that during an election season nothing spurs bipartisanship like Chinese competition and a shared fall guy.

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) both made statements condemning the clothes. Reid went so far as to say the Olympic Committee should “burn them and start all over again.”

The burner camp continues to grow.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to the U.S. Olympic Committee suggesting custom suit designer Hickey Freeman as a replacement for Lauren.

“Team USA should wear American-made uniforms,” Schumer said in an e-mail. “Hickey Freeman can stitch these outfits right here at home without making any compromises cost-wise or fashion-wise.”

Doug Williams, chief executive of HMX Group, which owns Hickey Freeman, said that his company is ready to make new uniforms at its headquarters in Rochester, N.Y., for the entire team in the two weeks before the games begin in London.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), among others, sent a letter urging the committee to consider American-manufactured replacements, such as Hugo Boss, which has a plant in Ohio. (So far, the White House and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney are not commenting.)

Congress’s outrage, though, is limited to the razing of the ties and scarves. Ralph Lauren has become the fashion victim, but Congress has not yet suggested burning Spalding basketballs, Adidas leotards, Nike shoes or the Acer computers that the Olympic Committee will be using courtesy of their sponsors, all of whose products are manufactured abroad.

Nike, which makes most of its products in Asia, did not respond to requests for comment on whether Team U.S.A.’s competition uniforms were also manufactured overseas.

In addition, Lauren’s just-off-the-sailboat styles caused consternation: These athletes are shot-putters and gymnasts, not just rowers and equestrians. Does that style represent real America and its athletic prowess? And with the Olympic Summer Games coinciding with presidential elections, many Democrats may not want our athletes dressed in clothing that evokes a certain former Massachusetts governor.

Still, wearing clothes made in China during a ceremonial parade is what most bothers Congress and many Americans. The U.S. Olympic Committee disagrees. “All this talk about Olympic uniforms made in China is non-sense,” tweeted Patrick Sandusky, spokesman for the U.S. Olympic Committee on Friday. “Polo RL is an American company that supports American athletes.”

In an e-mail to The Washington Post, he reiterated the Olympic Committee’s support of Ralph Lauren. “The USOC takes seriously the comments and recommendations we have received regarding the U.S. Olympic Team’s uniforms,” he said. “We receive no government funding for our Olympic team and are entirely reliant on private support. Our sponsors, including many U.S. and non-U.S. companies, who have operations all around the world, provide the resources that support Team USA.”

Ralph Lauren, which has designed ceremonial Olympic uniforms before, is an Olympic sponsor that offers the clothing to athletes for free and sells the designs on its Web site and in stores. (Beret? $55. And you can have a blazer for $795.) The company also designed the U.S. uniforms in 2008, which were also manufactured in China, when Olympians headed to Beijing — and when a similar, “burn ’em” outcry might have been impolite and impolitic. Who wants to demonize the host country before the Games begin?

Even before 2008, American Olympians wore foreign labels. Roots, a Canadian company, was a sponsor of Team U.S.A. at the 2002 Winter Games and sold thousands of its patriotic berets. As a result, the company’s popularity soared.

America’s allies, too, have wrestled with outrage over their uniforms. In April, Britain’s Independent announced that the country’s Olympic uniforms, designed by British designer Stella McCartney for Adidas, were made in sweatshops in Indonesia. Outcry ensued.

Still, wearing apparel created by a rising superpower may be a demoralizing symbol in a recession-weary election season, and politicians on both sides are likely to capitalize on the fury.

Bipartisanship: such sweet sorrow.

Ed O’Keefe contributed to this report.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/debate-rages-in-congress-public-over-us-olympic-uniforms-being-made-in-china/2012/07/13/gJQA74VriW_story.html

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« Reply #6996 on: Jul 14th, 2012, 09:06am »

.







Uploaded by smpr12 on Aug 25, 2011

The Lucky Texan is a 1934 western film directed by Robert N. Bradbury, featuring John Wayne, Barbara Sheldon, Gabby Hayes, and legendary stuntman/actor Yakima Canutt. Wayne is finding gold and making the mistake of trusting the local assayer.

~

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« Reply #6997 on: Jul 14th, 2012, 09:20am »

on Jul 14th, 2012, 08:52am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
California Surfin'



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~

Crystal


Talk about hanging loose! Great pic, WingsofCrystal cheesy .


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« Reply #6998 on: Jul 14th, 2012, 09:26am »

Crystal,
I have nearly all of John Waynes movies including many of his 1930's serials and 'B' movies that used to play at theaters before the main feature! They are restoring anything they can find of Wayne's pictures! I find them in the 'SALE' bin at Wallyworld (WalMart) all the time! Great fun to watch on a rainy, cold winters evening!
Did you know that George 'Gabby' Hayes was a Rhodes Scholar?
So was Walter Brennen, another of Wayne's Sidekicks!

Lone
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« Reply #6999 on: Jul 14th, 2012, 10:16am »

Rofl Crystal... grin That is a classic.... I hope that pair of Saanens can swim... Mumma Saanen needs milking.... yumm fresh goats milk.... grin

Luvey

on Jul 14th, 2012, 08:52am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
California Surfin'



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« Reply #7000 on: Jul 14th, 2012, 5:54pm »

Lol LG you have taste, I have all the big guys movies yip I love cowboy films especially spaghetti westerns and all the golden oldies.
I want those goats WC love them lol.
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« Reply #7001 on: Jul 15th, 2012, 08:50am »

GOODMORNINGPURRANDLUVEY. Just kidding, re: pet peeves thread, grin

I spit coffee all over my computer screen when I saw those goats on that surf board. When does that idea cross your mind? No coffee, late night? LOL! Drunk as a Lord?

"Hey! Let's get the goats and see if they take to surfing?"

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« Reply #7002 on: Jul 15th, 2012, 08:57am »

on Jul 14th, 2012, 09:26am, LoneGunMan wrote:
Crystal,
I have nearly all of John Waynes movies including many of his 1930's serials and 'B' movies that used to play at theaters before the main feature! They are restoring anything they can find of Wayne's pictures! I find them in the 'SALE' bin at Wallyworld (WalMart) all the time! Great fun to watch on a rainy, cold winters evening!
Did you know that George 'Gabby' Hayes was a Rhodes Scholar?
So was Walter Brennen, another of Wayne's Sidekicks!

Lone


Good morning Lone,

My brother-in-law made some cabinets for John Wayne's home (one of them) in Arizona years ago. He couldn't stop talking about how nice the Duke was to him. He was something wasn't he!

I had no idea Gabby Hayes was a Rhodes' Scholar. Or Walter Brennen for that matter.





Uploaded by 1964Mbrooks on Feb 28, 2010

Red Skelton As Deadeye, With Walter Brennan

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Comedy

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~

Crystal
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WingsofCrystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #7003 on: Jul 15th, 2012, 09:05am »

Washington Post

Japan’s ambassador to China returns for talks amid new fight over islands

By Chico Harlan
Updated: Sunday, July 15, 4:26 AM

BEIJING — Japan recalled its ambassador to China on Sunday, the result of a reigniting territorial dispute between the East Asian neighbors.

The uninhabited and long-contested Senkaku Islands, controlled by Japan but claimed by China, have again turned into a flashpoint amid Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s recent proposal to buy the territory from a private Japanese landowner. China sent three ships to the area last week as an apparent response, prompting a protest from Japan.

Ambassador Uichiro Niwa is returning temporarily to Tokyo to discuss the dispute with Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba, Niwa told reporters at the airport in Beijing.

The discussions highlight the risk of Japan’s potential plan to nationalize the islands, which are also claimed by Taiwan. China has reacted sharply to the idea, with a foreign ministry spokesman saying Beijing would “resolutely safeguard” its “sacred territory.”

Japan’s central government rents the islands from a landowner, but it leaves the land almost entirely untouched, a means to avoid angering Beijing. Japan has had to rethink its hands-off strategy, though, in the wake of nationalist Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara’s pledge in April to buy the islands and “protect” them from Chinese intrusion. The Tokyo metropolitan government has since set up a bank account to collect donations for the purchase.

Japanese media say that Noda prefers the central government to buy the islands as a way to fend off Ishihara and maintain relative calm. Were Ishihara in control of the Senkaku Islands, unnamed central government sources have told Japanese newspapers, there would be high chance for a provocation.

Niwa himself warned that Ishihara’s plan could trigger an “extremely grave crisis,” he said in a June interview with the Financial Times.

Niwa later apologized for the remarks, which prompted some in parliament to ask for his firing.

In China, meanwhile, editorials in nationalist media outlets have asked Japan to back away from any plans to buy the islands, which here are known as the Diaoyu.

“From Chinese perspective, no matter whether the Tokyo metropolitan government or Japanese government purchases the Diaoyu Islands or nationalizes them by other means, it’s still a step to consolidate the legality of Japan’s control and jurisdiction,” Zhou Yongsheng, deputy director of the Japan Study Center at China Foreign Affairs University, wrote last week in the Global Times. “China won’t indulge such behavior, and will inevitably take strong countermeasures.”

Any further escalation risks a replay of 2010, when a Chinese trawler collided with two Japanese coast guard boats and Japan detained the captain for more than two weeks. An enraged Beijing briefly cut off high-level diplomatic talks with Tokyo and withheld exports of rare earth elements, used for many of Japan’s high-tech products.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/japans-ambassador-to-china-returns-for-talks-amid-new-island-row/2012/07/15/gJQAQ9K6lW_story.html?hpid=z3

Crystal

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« Reply #7004 on: Jul 15th, 2012, 09:15am »

Telegraph

Farmer creates heart-shaped meadow in memory of wife

A devoted farmer created this touching heart-shaped meadow as a tribute to his late wife - by planting thousands of oak trees.


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10:26AM BST 13 Jul 2012

Dedicated Winston Howes, 70, spent a week planting each oak sapling after his wife of 33 years Janet died suddenly 17 years ago.

He laid out the fledgling trees in a six-acre field but left a perfect heart shape in the middle - with the point facing in the direction of her childhood home.

The labour of love has now blossomed into a mature meadow - a peaceful oasis where Winston can sit and remember his wife of 33 years.

His meadow cannot be seen from the road and has remained a family secret until a hot air balloonist took this photograph from the air.

Mr Howes said: "I came up with the idea of creating a heart in the clearing of the field after Janet died.

"I thought it was a great idea - it was a flash on inspiration - and I planted several thousand oak trees.

"Once it was completed we put seat in the field, overlooking the hill near where she used to live. I sometimes go down there, just to sit and think about things. It is a lovely and lasting tribute to her which will be here for years."

Mr Howes, who owns an 112-acre farm near Wickwar, South Gloucestershire, decided to seed housewife Janet's legacy after she died from heart failure in 1995, aged 50.

The pair got married in nearby Stroud in 1962.

He created with the wood using small oak trees next to his farmhouse in the months after her death - marking out an acre-long heart with a large bushy hedge.

The entrance to the secret heart is only accessible from a track leading up to its tip.

Mr Howes said: "We got people in especially to do it - there are several thousand trees.

"We planted large oak trees around the edge of the heart then decided to put a hedge around it too.

"The heart points towards Wotton Hill, where Janet is from.

"We plant daffodils in the middle that come up in the spring - it looks great. I go out there from time to time and sit in the seat I created.

"I also flew over it myself about five years ago."

Mr Howes's memorial was shown in all its glory after keen hot air balloonist Andy Collett, 42, from Wotton-Under-Edge, Glos., soared over the wood last week.

The transport businessman could not believe his eyes when he discovered the symbol of love hidden among the trees.

He said: "I have my own balloon and am quite a regular flyer - but this was the most amazing sight I have ever seen from the sky.

"It was a perfect heart hidden away from view - you would not know it was there.

"You can just imagine the love story."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/9397478/Farmer-creates-heart-shaped-meadow-in-memory-of-wife.html

Crystal

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