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Dell Studio Hybrid

Dell Studio HybridWith its ovoid-cylindrical design, the Dell Studio Hybrid ($874 direct, $1,064 with 19-inch widescreen monitor) is a new twist on the small-form-factor PC. Its size, though, is reminiscent of others in that space, including the Apple Mac mini, and HP's Slimline PCs like the s3330f.

It's an energy-efficient and environment-friendly design (hence the "hybrid" moniker), but thanks to its Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 Penryn-based processor, it can keep up not only with the other systems in the compact space but with larger tower-based PCs as well.

It does suffer from weak 3D performance due to the system's integrated graphics, but if you don't need to play 3D games, the Studio Hybrid is a good alternative to the boxy mainstream PCs that have dominated the market since the dawn of personal computing.

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Cindy Nicole Babe Of The Day

Babe of the Day: Cindy Nicole

Only a girl with two first names could look this good.

US, July 28, 2008 - Whether you speak the language or not, there is one undeniable truth about Spanish television—it is packed with beautiful, under-dressed babes.

Today's Babe, Cindy Nicole currently stars in a Spanish television series in Houston, Texas. A native daughter of Ecuador, Nicole moved to Boston, Massachusetts when she was 18 to obtain a college degree.

- CBTalent
We have girlfriends in Canada who look just like this. Honest.
After graduating, Nicole moved to the Lone Star State in order to tap into the area's large Latino market. There she has worked on several local television shows, magazines, and advertising campaigns.

- CBTalent
Our new babe-skin rug.
In addition to her roles on Spanish television and various projects in the Houston metropolitan area, Nicole has been featured in several national and international publishings, namely and's own sister site

- CBTalent
Currently, Nicole is working on several series locally in Houston and continuing to gain exposure through various national and international outlets.

- CBTalent
Pig tails and boobs are our only babe kryptonite.

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Sesame Place Mother Gives Birth

Woman Gives Birth To Third Child While Visiting Sesame Place

A mother who took her two children to Sesame Place Saturday gave birth to her third child in a bathroom stall.Takia Mann, 21, of Manhattan, gave birth to Jayda about 20 minutes into the family visit to Sesame Place, according to the theme park.Mann went into a restroom, her water broke and the baby entered the world. The baby's umbilical cord even broke off naturally, according to the theme park.

"It happened so fast. I didn't have pain, just shock," Mann said.According to the theme park, a woman in a nearby stall asked Mann if she was all right. Mann opened the stall door with her newborn in her arms.Sesame Place EMT Emily Raab, 20, checked out the baby who was healthy and weighed 5 pounds and 11 ounces.Mann and Jayda were taken by ambulance to St. Mary Hospital. Both are doing well and are scheduled to return home on Monday afternoon, after they have a special visit with Elmo and Abby Cadabby from Sesame Place.The family will receive season passes for the remainder of the year and 2009 since Jayda's older brothers only spent 20 minutes in Sesame Place after traveling from New York, according to the theme park.

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George W. Bush Makes History With His Affirmation Of Ronald A. Gray’s Death Sentence

George W. Bush Makes History With His Affirmation Of Ronald A. Gray’s Death Sentence

The US president gave his agreement to execute a military man for the first time in 50 years. George W. Bush approved the death sentence of Private Ronald A. Gray, convicted of four counts of murder and eight counts of rape.

Court martial sentenced Private Ronald Gray to death penalty in 1988 for two murders, an attempted murder and three rapes, which the serviceman committed in North Carolina where he served. His victims were two military women and one civil woman. Civil courts of the state had previously sentenced Gray to several life terms for two other murders and five rapes.

The law of the United States stipulates the president’s affirmation of the sentence if it is court martial that brings down a death sentence against a serviceman. Thus, George W. Bush became the first US president in 50 years to have affirmed the execution of a military man.

"While approving a sentence of death for a member of our armed services is a serious and difficult decision for a commander in chief, the president believes the facts of this case leave no doubt that the sentence is just and warranted," White House press secretary Dana Perino said.

The history of the US Army knows many incidents when courts martial brought down death sentences against military men. This was especially noticeable during the US-led campaign in Iraq. There was quite a number of incidents, when US military men were put on trial for their actions against Iraqi civilians. US peacemakers raped women and children, humiliated and tortured unarmed men.

Corporal Joshua Belile of the United States Marine Corps made headlines of many newspapers in the world with his song which he wrote about a fictitious encounter with a family of Iraqi insurgents.

A video of Belile performing the song was posted anonymously on in March 2006. It sparked controversy at a time when Marines were already facing public scrutiny over allegations of a civilian massacre at Haditha. YouTube subsequently removed the video from the site, rejecting any further uploaded versions as violating the site's terms of use.

In the song, the Marine protagonist meets an Iraqi girl who convinces him to follow her to her house. After arriving, the Marine is confronted by the Iraqi girl's father and brother who are armed with AK-47 rifles. The Marine then uses the girl's younger sister as a human shield. The father and brother attack, killing the sister as the Marine laughs maniacally. The Marine then hides behind a TV, returns fire, and kills the father and brother. Cheers and clapping from the unseen audience can be heard in the background of the video.

Belile later said the song was meant only as a joke based on lines from the film Team America: World Police, and apologized to those who were offended by its content. The performance, according to Belile, was at Al Asad airbase in Iraq, where Belile's helicopter gunship unit was posted until March 2006. In the video, Belile is wearing parts of a uniform, although not enough to characterize him as "in uniform" as no nameplate or national markings are visible. The US military, like many others, allows service members and military employees to pursue their own interests when not in uniform.

He was later exonerated of all wrongdoing.

Dwight Eisenhower was the last president before George W. Bush who approved the death penalty of a military man in 1957.

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Gainax On Gurren Lagann

Gainax On Gurren Lagann

Gainax's latest giant robot series Gurren Lagann is finally making its way to American shores this month; the first subtitled DVD is in stores now, and the dub premieres tonight at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT on the Sci Fi Channel's Ani-Monday programming block. To mark the occasion, we spoke with producer Yasuhiro Takeda, project planner (and Gainax co-founder) Hiroyuki Yamaga, mechanical designer and animation director Yoh Yoshinari, and assistant director Masahiko Otsuka.

Anime News Network: Like a see-saw, Gurren Lagann tilts back-and-forth in tone from serious to comedic — often several times within the same episode. How did you manage to balance the serious and tongue-in-cheek themes that you wanted to depict?

Takeda: Overall, we decided what we were going to do in each episode, and then the rest is up to the screenwriter (Kazuki Nakashima) to come up with a balance of what works and what doesn't work.

Yamaga: We've worked together so long that we don't have to have a discussion on where to have comedy and where we're going to be serious. We just understand each other so much that it progresses naturally and works smoothly.

ANN: Were there any story ideas or designs that were suggested, but didn't make it into the final animation because they were too serious or too silly?

Takeda: I mean, not in terms of being too serious or comedic or anything like that, but there was more we wanted to depict within the series, such as wanting to spend more episodes on what it was like to live underground — two episodes at least. Another example was when the story moved into the jail. We wanted to spend more time with that, but we weren't able to.

ANN: Much of the art style, especially in the early episodes, was reminiscent of [director Hiroyuki] Imaishi's other directorial work, Dead Leaves, and I see that Mr. Yoshinari also worked on both of those projects. What was it like to maintain that unique, fast-paced yet tongue-in-cheek style on a more rigorous television schedule, as opposed to a film?

Yoshinari: Artistically speaking, [the animation] looks very complex, but the truth is that during the design phase, it's actually very easy to animate. When the whole design was being created, we had motion in mind. So, despite the fact that it looked difficult, it wasn't that difficult to animate.

ANN: Were there any episodes or themes that stood out in each of your minds as the most challenging as an animator or creator?

Yamaga: Episode 15 (laughter).

Yoshinari: Episode 15 was the most difficult because there were so many shots (cuts) when compared to a typical episode. It was at least one and a half episodes worth of shots because there was so much we needed to cover.

Yamaga: When we get the scripts, we need to figure out how many shots it will take to do the story. When it comes down to it, you only have the same amount of time to do that episode [as in any other episode].

Takeda: When [acclaimed animator] Sushio introduced himself at the FanimeCon meet-and-greet, he called himself the “super animator” [because of the extensive work he did on episode 15].

ANN: On the same note, which episode was the most satisfying at the end of the day?

Takeda: It would have to be the last episode. That means it's done, finally. If you don't finish it then none of it would have mattered, so the last episode was definitely the most satisfying.

ANN: Mr. Yoshinari, which of the mecha did you enjoy designing the most among the many unique designs you brought to the series?

Yoshinari: None of it was fun, it was hard (laughter).

ANN: Then which one was the most challenging?

Yoshinari: Deciding on the finalized design for Gurren Lagann [robot], since it was the basis for everything else in that world.

ANN: What about the original design of the Gurren Lagann was hard?

Yoshinari: Basically, in deciding what Gurren Lagann's finalized design was going to be, it chooses the level of reality that you're going to be allowing for the series. Once you decide that, you'll be subject to that design, and so finalizing Gurren Lagann's design was the hardest thing to do.

ANN: Gainax has had to deal with concerns from television stations regarding mature images and themes in previous series. For Gurren Lagann, airing at a child-friendly time slot last year, did any television stations raise similar concerns about the series?

Takeda: Well, it's not Gainax's problem — it's the television stations' problem (laughter). We had a number of problems though — in particular, episode 6, the bathhouse episode. If only the television stations would just look through the original scripts when we submitted them instead of waiting until the animation footage was made. When we actually first suggested [the episode], they said, “Oh, it shouldn't be a problem.” Yet, when we completed the animation footage and showed it to them, they said, “There's no way we can show this.” The biggest issue was that peeking into the women's bath — that act alone — is illegal. Therefore, we can't show that during a child-friendly timeslot. Why couldn't they have told us that when we gave them the script before? So we had to do what we could to get it on the air. I mean, we took the script to them, we took the storyboards to them, and eventually, when we finally took the animation footage to them — only then, did they finally say that they had a problem with it.

ANN: The two-part storyline, with the multi-year gap in between, is a very special feature of the story. How early in the process did you decide to develop the story in two parts?

Takeda: It was decided from the beginning.

ANN: Gurren Lagann indirectly reminded me of another Gainax series, Otaku no Video, in that both had a two-part structure with the multi-year gap, and they both deal with themes of revolution and what to do after that revolution ends. Changing the world is easy; running the world and dealing with the consequences is hard. Was that similarity intentional, unintentional, or just a result of the similar experiences that Gainax has dealt with over the years?

Yamaga: Doing such a thing wasn't intentional in the beginning, but one of our jobs is to create a character in a world setting, and it's very difficult to depict such a thing realistically. Now to take that person, have him grow up, it creates a little reality…[pause] It's depicting human nature in that when you're a child, you want to be a grownup. Then when you're grown up, the question is: are you living in an idealized grownup world? No, there's a reality to everything, and that's part of the story that we wanted to show in the two-part series.

ANN: I understand that you're doing two movies. Is that going to reflect the same story structure?

Yamaga: The first movie will depict the first part of the story.

ANN: In a previous convention panel, it was mentioned that the first episode's introductory scene tells a slightly different story than the ending because the story changed during production. What were some of the reasons as to why the story changed from the introductory scene to the way we know it now?

Otsuka: That's where we thought we were going to go when we first depicted it. However, by the time we got there it had grown so much beyond the scale of what we had originally imagined it was going to be, therefore slight differences would be noticed.

ANN: I'd like to clarify a few things that were mentioned at previous convention panels: there's talk of three different projects [at Gainax] at the moment: one television project, one movie project, and one where the release hasn't been decided upon. Can you expand on these at all?

Takeda: We'd really like to, but we've given away more than we should. We've got all those things in mind and planned and then some. [Note: ANN confirmed in May that Gainax was adapting Yoshiichi Akahito's Shikabane Hime manga as a television anime series.]

Yamaga: We hope to be working on Gurren Lagann for the next decade. This work we know as Gurren Lagann will continue.

Special thanks to Toshifumi Yoshida for interpreting the interview and to Jeremy Snow for transcribing.

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