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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 1847 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #4020 on: May 18th, 2011, 07:59am »

Hollywood Reporter

Lars von Trier Admits to Being a Nazi, Understanding Hitler (Cannes 2011)
6:46 AM 5/18/2011
by Scott Roxborough


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Lars von Trier


Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg look on in disbelief as the "Melancholia" director shocks at Cannes press conference.

CANNES – Danish director Lars von Trier pulled a Mel Gibson in Cannes Wednesday, giving a shocking and hilarious press conference for his new film Melancholia in which he admitted to being a Nazi, to understanding Hitler and speculated that his next movie could be The Final Solution.

Von Trier has never been very P.C. and his Cannes press conferences always play like a dark stand-up routine, but at the Melancholia press conference he took it to another level, tossing a grenade into any sense of public decorum. In response to a question about his Germanic roots, Von Trier set off on a long and twisted answer that, if this were America, not Cannes, would have meant career suicide.

“For a long time I thought I was a Jew and I was happy to be a Jew,” he began, “then I met (Danish and Jewish director) Susanne Bier and I wasn’t so happy. But then I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family were German. And that also gave me some pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler…I sympathize with him a bit.”

Von Trier qualified that “I don’t mean I’m in favor of World War II and I’m not against Jews, not even Susanne Bier” before digging himself deeper. “In fact I’m very much in favor of them. All Jews. Well, Israeli is a pain the ass but…”

As Melancholia stars Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg, sitting on either side of Von Trier, stared at him agog, the director paused.

“Now how can I get out of this sentence? Ok. I’m a Nazi.”

It was a grandiose performance by European cinema’s premiere enfant terrible as Von Trier managed to shock just about everyone in the room. And also made them laugh with the sort of chuckle that gets caught in the throat.

The Nazi comments came at the end of a sprawling routine in which Von Trier said his new movie “maybe crap…there’s quite a big possibility that it might not be worth seeing” and mused that his next project with Dunst and Gainsbourg would be a 3 to 4 hour porn film “with lost of uncomfortable sex.”

Von Trier’s deadpan delivery and cheerful cherub-like smile hinted to the audience that everything was one big joke.

Certainly no one took the director seriously when, asked if he would like to do a film on a larger scale, answered: “Yes. We Nazis like to do things on a big scale. Maybe I could do The Final Solution.”

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/lars-von-trier-admits-being-189747

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« Reply #4021 on: May 18th, 2011, 12:08pm »

on May 18th, 2011, 07:50am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
New York Times

May 17, 2011
Atop I.M.F., Contradiction and Energy
By LANDON THOMAS Jr. and STEVEN ERLANGER

Considered the Socialist party’s leading candidate for president of France, Mr. Strauss-Kahn identified three threats to his aspirations in an interview with the newspaper Libération, held on April 28 but published only this week. “Money, women and my Jewishness,” he said. “Yes, I like women,” he went on. “So what?”

Mr. Strauss-Kahn added, “For years they’ve been talking about photos of giant orgies, but I’ve never seen anything come out.”

Today, Mr. Strauss-Kahn sits in a jail cell on Rikers Island in New York, his reputation — and any political ambitions — perhaps irreparably tarnished by his arrest on charges of attempted rape of a hotel maid in Manhattan last weekend.

It is a humbling comedown for Mr. Strauss-Kahn, whose rise on the world stage has been marked by contradictions.

As managing director of the International Monetary Fund in Washington since late 2007, Mr. Strauss-Kahn has returned the agency to relevance by helping engineer a $1 trillion bailout for Europe — but only after an initial humiliation when he was reprimanded for a brief affair in 2008 with a subordinate.

A prominent Socialist, he has held powerful positions in previous French governments despite his wealth, lavish lifestyle and his reputation as a womanizer.

A man with an impressive intellect, great charm and restless energy, his flaws have been accepted because of his accomplishments. “Even the chatter about women was discounted enormously by everyone around him,” said Steven C. Clemons, director of the American Strategy program at the New America Foundation who first met Mr. Strauss-Kahn in 1998 and was impressed by his strong personality.

“I don’t think there was a conspiracy of silence,” Mr. Clemons said. “The discussion I always heard about him was he’s one of the titans, that he’s such an extraordinarily different person, that rules don’t apply to him in the same way.”

One former I.M.F. official said that, had Mr. Strauss-Kahn been a less senior person, he might been fired or at least “sent to Siberia” because of the affair with his underling. He survived an investigation, in part, this person said, because the culture at the I.M.F. dictated “no rules” for the managing director and because there was little appetite to rid the agency of a charismatic and effective leader when an international financial crisis looming.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn arrived at the I.M.F. at what would be an opportune time for him and the agency, which had become an international organization with little clout since the Southeast Asia financial crisis in the mid 1990s. A former finance minister for France, he had a deep knowledge of international economics and was on a first-name basis with most of Europe’s top leadership.

He played a pivotal role as Europe’s debt crisis deepened last May, and leaders were deadlocked over what to do. In midnight phone calls, Mr. Strauss-Kahn pressed them to take action. Quickly, he urged, before things got worse. His insistence helped overcome their hesitance, and they agreed to a set up a $1 trillion rescue package to help Greece and other troubled countries, with the I.M.F. contributing to the bailout fund. And as countries like Germany pushed for harder austerity terms, he was vocal in saying that could backfire by slowing economic growth too much — which seems to be the case in Greece today.

“The only real strength of the I.M.F. is the ruthlessness of truth-telling,” Mr. Strauss-Kahn said at the time.

“Early on, the Europeans were in complete denial. I think his main accomplishment will go down as persuading them that they had to deal with Greece before it was too late. And he did that not by bullying them, not by banging the table, but much more by coaxing and persuading them,” said Simon Johnson, who was the I.M.F.’s chief economist from March 2007 to August 2008.

It was a seminal triumph for the I.M.F. and a moment to savor for Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who was already winning plaudits after the inauspicious start resulting from the affair.

He had a reputation as a skilled, hands-on and tough-minded manager who did not shy from making tough decisions. He cut the I.M.F.’s staff by 400 to reduce costs. But he still managed to command the loyalty of his staff, by engaging them on their own terms, and by delving into the details of their highly technical research, according to several current and former fund employees. Traveling constantly, Mr. Strauss-Kahn is known to carry two BlackBerrys with him — one encrypted and the other not — to stay in constant touch. Those on the receiving end say his messages often come adorned with two smiley faces.

“For a guy who was so flamboyant, he found a way to get things done, to save the institution by working behind the scenes,” said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “He is effective at maneuvering in very, very high circles — which is really not at all an easy thing to do.”

Mr. Strauss-Kahn and his third wife, the American-born French journalist Anne Sinclair, have kept a surprisingly low profile in Washington, despite their prominence in France.

Ms. Sinclair, who inherited a fortune from her grandfather, an art merchant who had exclusive contracts with Matisse and Picasso, was a famous television interviewer in France, a kind of Barbara Walters, before moving to Washington with Mr. Strauss-Kahn.

They live in a 5-bedroom, 5-bath brick home in fashionable Georgetown; the house, bought in 2007 for $4 million, is in her name, real estate records show. They own two apartments in France, one that cost 4 million euros ($5.7 million) that was bought with cash, and a penthouse bought by Ms. Sinclair in 1990 for 2.5 million euros ($3.5 million), the year before they married. They also own a century riad, or private house, in Marrakesh, Morocco, bought for 500,000 euros ($706,000) in 2000.

The couple’s wealth enabled them to live well beyond his I.M.F. salary of about $442,000 — tax-free, as are salaries for many employees at international agencies — and an expense allowance of $79,120, according to the 2010 I.M.F. annual report. His marriage to Ms. Sinclair and their lifestyle have led to Mr. Strauss-Kahn being called a caviar socialist, a term used in France, an image that was reinforced recently with the publication of a photo of him stepping into a Porsche in Paris.

For all their connections, the couple does not often turn up at A-list parties in Washington or mingle with the city’s political elite. “I’ve never met them, I don’t know anything about them and I can’t find anybody who has met them,” said Sally Quinn, the Georgetown doyenne and wife of the former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee. “It’s weird; we’ve always known the head of the I.M.F. before.”

Mr. Strauss-Kahn has managed to rise to the corridors of power in France even though he did not graduate from the elite Ecole Nationale d’Administration — he failed the entrance examination — though he later taught there after graduating from another French university. He met his first wife in high school in Monaco and married her when he was 18. They had three children before divorcing. In 1986, he married his second wife, who had given birth to their only child a year earlier. He and Ms. Sinclair have no children together.

Ms. Sinclair has supported Mr. Strauss-Kahn through all his reported indiscretions since their marriage in 1991. Tristane Banon, a journalist and writer, publicly claimed in 2007 that Mr. Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her during an interview in 2002, when she was 22. Aurélie Filipetti, a respected Socialist parliamentarian in France, said in 2008 that she had been groped by Mr. Strauss-Kahn and would “forever make sure” she was never “alone in a room with him.”

In their 2006 book “Sexus Politicus” on the sexual behavior of politicians, the French journalists Christophe Deloire and Christophe Dubois devoted an entire chapter to Mr. Strauss-Kahn under the heading, “The DSK Affair.” They cite the case of a young journalist who tells the authors she had met Mr. Strauss-Kahn when she was researching a book on the professional failure of leaders. “He was so forward in his manner and inappropriate that she was on the point of lodging a complaint,” they wrote. They added that “his art of seduction which can reach obsessiveness has no equal besides his intellect.”

After Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s brief affair with a Hungarian economist at the I.M.F. in early 2008 came to light, he was allowed to stay after an investigation found that he had not abused the power of his office. Still, he was chastised for inappropriate behavior and apologized.

The I.M.F. maintains a more permissive stance toward sexual relationships between supervisors and subordinates than other multinational organizations. Its ethics policy states that such relationships “do not, in themselves, constitute harassment.” The World Bank, by contrast, says such a relationship is “a de facto conflict of interest.”

When — even if — Mr. Strauss-Kahn will ever return to his expansive high-ceilinged office on the 12th floor of the I.M.F. building in Washington is not clear. The office has a reception area, a comfortable couch in a sitting area, a conference room and a bathroom. “It exuded power,” said one former IMF official.

All of which is a far remove from his cell in Rikers Island, where Mr. Strauss-Kahn has been ordered to stay pending trial. His lawyers are fighting for his release on the $1 million bail posted by his wife, arguing that he suffers from sleep apnea and that he should not be considered a flight risk.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/18/business/global/18fund.html?_r=1&hp

Crystal

edit for spacing


It was released today that the accuser is living in an 'AIDs' hospice !

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« Reply #4022 on: May 18th, 2011, 12:41pm »

on May 18th, 2011, 12:08pm, LoneGunMan wrote:
It was released today that the accuser is living in an 'AIDs' hospice !

Lone


Hey Lone!

Wow!

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« Reply #4023 on: May 18th, 2011, 1:52pm »

Examiner


Arizona’s desert Bigfoot
May 17th, 2011 9:16 pm MT
by Alejandro Rojas
Phoenix Paranormal Science Examiner


Many of us are familiar with the legend of the Bigfoot, an alleged giant creature that lurks in the forest, and against all odds is able to avoid being detected by humans, at least when we want to see them. Thousands of witnesses have come forward over the years describing encounters with a large bipedal hairy creature from nearly every corner of the world, including the scorching Arizona Sonoran desert.

In 2006 KTVK channel 3 news in Phoenix covered the story of a Phoenix area man who claims to have had a run in with a Bigfoot in 1988. He says that he and his friends were camping near a lake west of Gila Bend when one night he noticed a shadow cast over him in the light of a full moon. He looked up to see a large female Bigfoot. Peterson couldn’t help hold back the emotion recounting the story to KTVK’s reporter. He says that soon after his encounter his friends saw another Bigfoot charging their group. He felt he had no other choice but to shoot at the second creature. It went off waling into the night. He knows he hit it, but says he is unsure whether he killed the creature or not.

Peterson has since returned to the scene several times, hoping to see the Bigfoot again and catch it on videotape. In 2001 he believes he did record one crouching behind a bush. You can watch the attached KTVK report to decide for yourself.

Eventually Peterson enlisted the help of Bigfoot expert Tom Biscardi. According to Biscardi’s website he got interested in Bigfoot research in 1967 when he saw a famous film of a Bigfoot, called the Paterson. He says he thought to himself, “How the hell can we send a man to the moon, but we can't find this creature?” Biscardi believes that the desert outside of Phoenix may have 30 to 50 of the creatures traveling through the area during migration.

The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) tracks sighting reports throughout the United States. According to their website, they have received over 60 Bigfoot reports in Arizona, most of those being in the northern forests of Coconino County. However, Maricopa County does have 4 sightings of its own spanning from the early 90s to 2004.

video and more after the jump
http://www.examiner.com/paranormal-science-in-phoenix/arizona-s-desert-bigfoot

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« Reply #4024 on: May 18th, 2011, 2:21pm »

Crystal.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/imf_accuser_in_apt_for_hiv_vics_oZmUkbtouJ14RHw1434HvJ

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« Reply #4025 on: May 18th, 2011, 8:25pm »

on May 18th, 2011, 2:21pm, LoneGunMan wrote:
Crystal.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/imf_accuser_in_apt_for_hiv_vics_oZmUkbtouJ14RHw1434HvJ

Lone


Hey Lone,

If he did this he is one creepy so called human.

It would be a heck of a way to take him out politically. Maybe an enemy set him up.

I can't understand someone with so much to lose doing something this ugly, mean and stupid.

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« Reply #4026 on: May 18th, 2011, 9:04pm »

Power corrupts and this jackass thought he was above it all! I see he going to get bail though and I'm sure a high priced dream team of lawyers to get him out of this! With any luck he'll end up HIV positive from his stupidity and arrogance! Karma's a biotch!
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« Reply #4027 on: May 19th, 2011, 06:55am »

on May 18th, 2011, 9:04pm, LoneGunMan wrote:
Power corrupts and this jackass thought he was above it all! I see he going to get bail though and I'm sure a high priced dream team of lawyers to get him out of this! With any luck he'll end up HIV positive from his stupidity and arrogance! Karma's a biotch!
Lone


Good morning Lone,

I want to be able to look the Lord in the eye and say, "I did the best I could".
He may have great lawyers but at some point he will answer for his actions.
As you said, Karma's a b*tch!

Crystal


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« Reply #4028 on: May 19th, 2011, 07:00am »

LA Times

Shuttle crew installs cosmic ray detector on space station.

The instrument will search the universe for antimatter and dark matter for the rest of the life of the space station.

From the Associated Press
3:51 AM PDT, May 19, 2011
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida

Space shuttle Endeavour's astronauts accomplished the No. 1 objective of their mission Thursday, installing a $2 billion cosmic ray detector on the International Space Station to scan the invisible universe for years to come.

The space fliers used a pair of robot arms to remove the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer from the shuttle, then hoist it onto the sprawling framework on the right side of the station.

The instrument -- which has a 3-foot magnet at its core -- is the most expensive piece of equipment at the orbiting lab and certainly the most prominent scientific device. It will search for antimatter and dark matter for the rest of the life of the space station.

Astronaut-scientist Gregory Chamitoff said everyone looks forward to what it "will discover about the nature of the universe."

"This is great news for scientists, engineers and inquisitive people around the world," Mission Control replied. "Way to go."

Back at Mission Control, meanwhile, engineers continued to analyze several areas of damage on Endeavour's belly. Thermal tiles were gouged and nicked during Monday's liftoff, the second-to-last for the shuttle program. Some of the slashes are as much as 6 inches long and 2 inches wide.

NASA wants to make certain the shuttle is safe to come home in two weeks.

The damage was spotted in photos snapped by the space station crew just before Endeavour docked Wednesday. The shuttle performed a slow backflip for the cameras, a customary procedure put in place after shuttle Columbia disintegrated as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere in 2003.

Mission Control may ask shuttle commander Mark Kelly and his five crewmates to take a closer look at the gouges this weekend, using a laser-tipped inspection boom.

Kelly's wife, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, underwent more surgery Wednesday, just two days after seeing her husband blast into orbit. Doctors in Houston put in a plastic implant to replace part of her skull that was removed following the Jan. 8 shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona, that left six dead and 13 injured.

Kelly is keeping abreast of her condition through NASA flight surgeons and family members. His identical twin brother Scott also is an astronaut.

Kelly and his crew will remain at the space station until May 29. Two of the astronauts will venture out Friday on the first of four spacewalks to perform some station maintenance.

Endeavour will conclude its final voyage with a landing on June 1.

NASA is shutting down its shuttle program this summer after 30 years, to focus on interplanetary travel. One more mission remains, by space shuttle Atlantis in July.

The space station will continue to operate until at least 2020, with Americans hitching rides on Russian Soyuz capsules until private U.S. companies can take over the job.

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, better known by its acronym AMS, may well vindicate the scientific purpose of the space station, according to astronauts, researchers and others.

The international team of 600 scientists is led by Nobel Laureate Samuel Ting, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"I'm sure that Professor Ting and his group have been holding their breath. You guys can all start breathing again now," Chamitoff said once the device was installed. It took Chamitoff and his crewmates two extra hours to complete the operation.

Ting said the spectrometer will be checked over the next couple of days, before it begins collecting data in earnest. The project has been in the works for 17 years, and Ting noted there's no rush now.

"Do it very carefully and do it slowly, make sure everything is correct," he said Wednesday.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-naw-shuttle-20110520,0,6835416.story

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« Reply #4029 on: May 19th, 2011, 07:04am »

New York Times

May 18, 2011
Focus Is on Obama as Tensions Soar Across Mideast
By HELENE COOPER and ETHAN BRONNER

WASHINGTON — Few game-changing proposals are emerging to defuse tensions in the Middle East as a busy week of diplomacy unfolds with President Obama’s address to the region and his meeting with Israel’s prime minister.

Against the backdrop of Middle East uprisings that have intensified animus toward Israel and growing momentum for global recognition of a Palestinian state, American and Israeli officials are struggling to balance national security interests against the need to adapt to a transformative movement in the Arab world.

The White House unveiled a $2 billion multiyear economic aid package for Egypt, which officials say would largely shift existing funds. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel prepared to arrive in Washington with a package that he hoped would shift the burden of restarting the peace process to the Palestinians.

Mr. Obama, who is set to address Americans — and, more significantly, Muslims around the world — from the State Department on Thursday morning, may yet have something surprising up his sleeve. One administration official said that there remained debate about whether Mr. Obama would formally endorse Israel’s pre-1967 borders as the starting point for negotiations over a Palestinian state, a move that would send an oratorical signal that the United States expected Israel to make concessions.

But Mr. Obama did not plan to present an American blueprint for peace, White House officials said, and it remained unclear if he would even endorse a Palestinian state on pre-1967 lines, a move opposed, administration officials said, by his chief Middle East adviser, Dennis Ross. Mr. Obama did seek to increase pressure on Syria by imposing largely symbolic sanctions on its leader, President Bashar al-Assad, in the wake of the bloody crackdown there.

White House officials declined to say whether Mr. Obama would go further in Thursday’s speech and call on Mr. Assad to resign.

The debate around Mr. Obama’s remarks, which the White House has billed as a major address, is made even more significant since the president’s speech will serve as the beginning of what promises to be several intense days of debate over American policy in the region, its support for Palestinian statehood, and how far Mr. Obama is willing to push Israel on peace with the Palestinians at a time of upheaval in the region. Mr. Obama is to meet with Mr. Netanyahu the day after his speech, on Friday. Two days after that, Mr. Obama is scheduled to address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobby. Next week, Mr. Netanyahu will counter with his own address to a joint meeting of Congress.

Mr. Netanyahu, aides say, is planning to tell Mr. Obama that Israel wants to keep a military presence along the Jordan River and sovereignty over Jerusalem and the settlement blocs — three major stumbling blocks for the Palestinians — but that it would be willing to negotiate away the rest of the West Bank, more territory than Mr. Netanyahu has been willing to specify in the past. He has one condition — the Palestinian government cannot include Hamas. Mr. Netanyahu knows that the Palestinians will find this condition unacceptable, particularly since Fatah, the main Palestinian movement, just signed a unity pact with Hamas. But since the United States labels Hamas as terrorists, Mr. Netanyahu is betting that he will appear more forthcoming than ever.

“On the one hand, the Palestinians are moving toward Hamas while on the other, the prime minister is showing a real willingness to make far-reaching territorial compromise,” a top Netanyahu aide said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Whether Mr. Netanyahu’s offer, first outlined in a speech to Parliament on Monday, is a genuine attempt to negotiate peace with the Palestinians, or to make it appear that the Palestinians are the ones blocking progress, is not yet clear. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as their capital and do not want Israeli soldiers along the Jordan.

Diplomatic momentum has been with the Palestinians for several years, with their leadership and requests viewed as reasonable and Mr. Netanyahu as unyielding. Some in Israel believe now is the time to seize the moment with a bold initiative, but they are not in power. “The coming days are a final chance to stop or at least to slow Israel’s diplomatic decline,” Dov Weissglas, who was bureau chief for Ariel Sharon when he was prime minister, wrote in Wednesday’s Yediot Aharonot newspaper. He wants a more far-reaching offer from Mr. Netanyahu that would give up East Jerusalem and not require that Israel keep soldiers along the Jordan.

While there are Israeli scholars and former officials who believe that Hamas, which rules Gaza, could become more moderate, the dominant intelligence estimate in Israel is that Hamas will not change. “We have a strong body of evidence showing that while Hamas has grown pragmatic, it is not moderate,” a senior Israeli defense official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “It is far more likely that Hamas will take over the Palestinian Authority than vice versa.”

Many, including some within the Obama administration, think the talks with Hamas need not be a deal breaker and could even be useful over the long run. Finally, the upheavals in the Arab world are turning the mood ever more against Israel, making American and European leaders eager to pressure it for concessions.

So far Mr. Obama has not used the moment to push Israel. But Palestinians have been absorbing lessons and audacity from pro-democracy demonstrators across the Arab world. They have learned the value of unarmed mass movements organized on Facebook and other social media.

Last Sunday, thousands of Palestinians approached Israel’s borders to claim, at least symbolically, their right of return on the anniversary of Israel’s founding. Israeli troops opened fire and more than a dozen people were killed. While the numbers of protesters were relatively small, there are Arabic social media pages calling for such marches to the fences to occur with greater frequency, especially as September approaches and the Palestinian Authority seeks membership in the United Nations. If tens of thousands of Palestinians were to march, Israel would find itself in great difficulty.

The Obama administration has been trying to balance American support for Israel in the midst of the Arab democracy upheaval, while at the same time supporting the young democracy protesters. But it has been an uphill struggle, Arab analysts said. “It’s become fashionable now to ‘dis’ the Americans,” said Ghaith al-Omari, a former Palestinian peace negotiator who is now a specialist on the region at the American Task Force on Palestine. “The prevalent mood now is to say that the United States is no longer relevant, that the Arab Spring is happening without the help of the United States.”

The economic aid package that Mr. Obama will talk about on Thursday is meant to show democracy protesters, and Arab governments, that the United States stands behind the democracy movement and will reward governments that make reforms. Administration officials announced $1 billion in loan guarantees to Egypt, and $1 billion in debt swaps, along with trade and economic development proposals. Administration officials said an unspecified amount would be channeled to economic development help in Tunisia.

Mr. Obama’s economic aid parallels a package of measures being prepared by the European Union. The union plans to mobilize more than 2 billion euros in investment and development money for Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and other Middle Eastern countries, drawing on the resources of the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

“We’re trying to pull together a kind of strategic approach,” Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s chief foreign policy official, said in an interview on Wednesday. “This is our neighborhood.”

The European aid will focus both on the immediate need for cash and other support — a team of monitors recently went to Tunisia to help officials prepare for elections — as well as longer-term economic development.

Lady Ashton cited a plan by Egypt’s Ministry of Planning to build one million residential houses over 20 years as an example of the projects that the European Union is supporting, because it combines investment, job creation and partnerships with European companies.

Helene Cooper reported from Washington, and Ethan Bronner from Jerusalem. Mark Landler contributed reporting from Washington.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/world/middleeast/19diplo.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #4030 on: May 19th, 2011, 07:08am »

Telegraph

Man tries to take pony on train

A rail passenger was barred from boarding a train when he tried to board it with a pony.

2:36PM BST 18 May 2011


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It is not known why he wanted to transport the animal on the train
Photo: PA



The commuter arrived at the station in North Wales and tried to buy a ticket for himself and the animal for the 7.02pm service from Wrexham to Holyhead.

Despite being told that large animals were not allowed in the carriages, he put the pony into a lift and took it down to the platform.

It is not known why he wanted to transport the animal on the train.

The man eventually left the station - with his pony - when he was not allowed to board the service.

Arriva Trains Wales has released CCTV of the incident, which took place last Saturday.

A spokeswoman said: "We allows dogs and small animals to travel on board trains.

"All animals, except dogs, must be conveyed within a fully-enclosed basket or pet carrier with dimensions not exceeding 85cm x 60cm x 60cm.

"Large animals, including horses and ponies, which may pose a risk to the general public, are not permitted to travel."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8521245/Man-tries-to-take-pony-on-train.html

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« Reply #4031 on: May 19th, 2011, 07:13am »

Wired Frontal Cortex

How Power Corrupts
By Jonah Lehrer
May 18, 2011 | 11:49 am
Categories: Frontal Cortex, Science Blogs

The news abounds with stories of powerful men behaving badly. It’s a depressing yet predictable spectacle — those in positions of power can’t help but help themselves to the help. They scream at underlings and have sex with the secretaries; they assault hotel maids (or at least are accused of such) and sleep with the nanny. The question, of course, is what motivates this awful behavior? Why does power corrupt?

Psychologists refer to this as the paradox of power. The very traits that helped leaders accumulate control in the first place all but disappear once they rise to power. Instead of being polite, honest and outgoing, they become impulsive, reckless and rude. According to psychologists, one of the main problems with authority is that it makes us less sympathetic to the concerns and emotions of others. For instance, several studies have found that people in positions of authority are more likely to rely on stereotypes and generalizations when judging other people. They also spend much less time making eye contact, at least when a person without power is talking.

Consider a recent experiment led by Adam Galinsky, a psychologist at Northwestern University. Galinsky and colleagues began by asking subjects to either describe an experience in which they had lots of power or a time when they felt utterly powerless. Then the psychologists asked the subjects to draw the letter E on their foreheads. Those primed with feelings of power were much more likely to draw the letter backwards, at least when seen by another person. Galinsky et al. argue that this effect is triggered by the myopia of power, which makes it much harder to imagine the world from the perspective of someone else. We draw the letter backwards because we don’t care about the viewpoint of others. We don’t give a shit what the maid thinks.

But here’s the catch: We still think we do care, at least in the abstract. That’s because power quickly turns us into hypocrites. In a 2009 study, Galinsky asked subjects to think about either an experience of power or powerlessness. The students were then divided into two groups. The first group was told to rate, on a nine-point scale, the moral seriousness of misreporting travel expenses at work. The second group was asked to participate in a game of dice, in which the results of the dice determined the number of lottery tickets each student received. A higher roll led to more tickets.

Participants in the high-power group considered the misreporting of travel expenses to be a significantly worse offense. However, the game of dice produced a completely contradictory result. In this instance, people in the high-power group reported, on average, a statistically improbable result, with an average dice score that was 20 percent above that expected by random chance. (The powerless group, in contrast, reported only slightly elevated dice results.) This strongly suggests that they were lying about their actual scores, fudging the numbers to get a few extra tickets.

Although people almost always know the right thing to do — cheating is wrong — their sense of power makes it easier to rationalize away the ethical lapse. For instance, when the psychologists asked the subjects (in both low- and high-power conditions) how they would judge an individual who drove too fast when late for an appointment, people in the high-power group consistently said it was worse when others committed those crimes than when they did themselves. In other words, the feeling of eminence led people to conclude that they had a good reason for speeding — they’re important people, with important things to do — but that everyone else should follow the posted signs.

But perhaps you’re not convinced by these clever lab experiments performed mostly on undergrads. Perhaps you think the paradigms smack of artifice. One of my favorite studies of power corrupting comes from Deborah Gruenfeld, a psychologist at the Stanford Business School. She was interested in how positions of power altered our reasoning process. After analyzing more than 1,000 decisions handed down by the United States Supreme Court between 1953 and 1993, Gruenfeld found that, as justices gained power on the court, or became part of a majority coalition, their written opinions tended to become less complex and nuanced. They considered fewer perspectives and possible outcomes. The bad news, of course, is that the opinions written from the majority position are what actually become the law of the land.

The larger lesson is that Foucault had a point: The dynamics of power can profoundly influence how we think. When we climb the ladder of status, our inner arguments get warped and our natural sympathy for others is vanquished. Instead of fretting about the effects of our actions, we just go ahead and act. We deserve what we want. And how dare they resist. Don’t they know who we are?

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/05/how-power-corrupts/

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« Reply #4032 on: May 19th, 2011, 07:18am »

Hollywood Reporter

'Titanic' 3D Gets Release Date
8:00 AM 5/19/2011
by Kimberly Nordyke


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James Cameron's movie, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, will be rereleased worldwide April 6, 2012.

Titanic is sailing back into theaters around the world April 6, 2012.

James Cameron's movie is getting rereleased in 3D via Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment.

The date was chosen to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the ship setting sail (April 10).

The 3D conversion is being overseen by Cameron -- who wrote, directed and produced the movie -- and his Lightstorm producing partner Jon Landau, who also produced.

"There's a whole generation that's never seen Titanic as it was meant to be seen, on the big screen," Cameron said. "And this will be Titanic as you've never seen it before, digitally remastered at 4K and painstakingly converted to 3D. With the emotional power intact and the images more powerful than ever, this will be an epic experience for fans and newcomers alike."

Paramount chairman/CEO Brad Grey noted that the rerelease coincides with the 100th anniversary of the studio, while Fox Filmed Entertainment chairmen/CEOs Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman added that Titanic is "one of the greatest sources of pride" in studio history.

Titanic -- which stars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio -- is the second-highest-grossing movie of all time, behind Cameron's Avatar.

The movie, which was nominated for a record 11 Oscars, was first released in 1997.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/titanic-3d-gets-release-date-189971

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« Reply #4033 on: May 19th, 2011, 07:23am »



Please be an angel


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www.soldiersangels.org


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« Reply #4034 on: May 19th, 2011, 5:17pm »

NASA Science News

Super Storm on Saturn

May 19, 2011: NASA's Cassini spacecraft and a European Southern Observatory ground-based telescope are tracking the growth of a giant early-spring storm in Saturn's northern hemisphere so powerful that it stretches around the entire planet. The rare storm has been wreaking havoc for months and shooting plumes of gas high into the planet's atmosphere.

"Nothing on Earth comes close to this powerful storm," says Leigh Fletcher, a Cassini team scientist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and lead author of a study that appeared in this week's edition of Science Magazine. "A storm like this is rare. This is only the sixth one to be recorded since 1876, and the last was way back in 1990."

Cassini's radio and plasma wave science instrument first detected the large disturbance in December 2010, and amateur astronomers have been watching it ever since through backyard telescopes. As it rapidly expanded, the storm's core developed into a giant, powerful thunderstorm, producing a 3,000-mile-wide (5,000-kilometer-wide) dark vortex possibly similar to Jupiter's Great Red Spot.

This is the first major storm on Saturn observed by an orbiting spacecraft and studied at thermal infrared wavelengths. Infrared observations are key because heat tells researchers a great deal about conditions inside the storm, including temperatures, winds, and atmospheric composition. Temperature data were provided by the Very Large Telescope (VLT) on Cerro Paranal in Chile and Cassini's composite infrared spectrometer (CIRS), operated by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

"Our new observations show that the storm had a major effect on the atmosphere, transporting energy and material over great distances -- creating meandering jet streams and forming giant vortices -- and disrupting Saturn's seasonal [weather patterns]," said Glenn Orton, a paper co-author, based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

The violence of the storm -- the strongest disturbances ever detected in Saturn's stratosphere -- took researchers by surprise. What started as an ordinary disturbance deep in Saturn's atmosphere punched through the planet's serene cloud cover to roil the high layer known as the stratosphere.

more after the jump
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/19may_saturnstorm/

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