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Clint Hurdle Dismissed

Clint Hurdle DismissedRockies dismiss Hurdle; Tracy gets helm.

Colorado's poor start leads to end of eight-year run as skipper.

The Rockies dismissed manager Clint Hurdle and replaced him with bench coach Jim Tracy on Friday. The official announcement was made during a news conference at Coors Field.

The last straw for the Rockies was being swept at home in a three-game series this week by the Dodgers, with the Rockies being outscored by a combined 31-13. At 18-28, the club is a season-worst 10 games below .500, last in the NL West, and trailing the first-place Dodgers by 14 games.

Tom Reynolds, manager of the Rockies' Triple-A team in Colorado Springs, will be named bench coach to replace Tracy.

Hurdle, 51, went 534-625 (.461) as Rockies manager after taking over for Buddy Bell on April 26, 2002. He finished with one winning season. That was a doozy.

In 2007, the Rockies seemed headed once again for also-ran status, but they won 14 of their final 15 regular-season games. The last game was a 9-8, 13-inning victory over the Padres in a one-game showdown for the NL Wild Card. The Rockies swept the NL Division Series and Championship Series before being swept by the Red Sox in the World Series.

But the Rockies didn't maintain that momentum in 2008. With injuries to several key players during the first two months, inconsistent pitching and poor performances with men in scoring position, they fell to 74-88 last year. An offseason of coaching changes has not paid off in 2009.

Tracy, 53, is in his 32nd season of professional baseball as a player, coach and manager. The Rockies hired him as bench coach amid a flurry of changes during the offseasons.

Tracy has managed the Dodgers (2001-05) and the Pirates (2006-07), going 562-572. He led the Dodgers to the 2004 NL West crown with a 93-69 record. The Cardinals beat those Dodgers in the NL Division Series, three games to one.

Tracy came to Colorado along with hitting coach Don Baylor, third base coach Rich Dauer and bullpen coach Jim Wright.

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UkuleleUkulele meets Cello to make beautiful music.

Think ukulele and images of a garlanded Elvis Presley gyrating with the tiny guitar-looking instrument may come to mind.

But the stringed instrument is more than one to be relegated to the realms of simple tunes.

In Singapore to get people to sing a different tune to the ukulele is James Hill, who is regarded as one the world's top composer and ukulele players.

Lesson one on the instrument - getting its name right.

It is pronounced "uku-lele" in the Hawaiian way.

According to Hill, it is made up of two words, 'uku' and 'lele' which translate into "The Jumping Flea".

With such a fun name, it can only mean that this is one friendly instrument.

If you've always wanted to play a musical instrument and either didn't have the time or think you're not too musically inclined - the ukulele is an instrument for you.

"Within five minutes (of learning the ukulele), you can be playing a song and for a lot of people" says Hill.

Having played the ukulele for more than just five minutes, Hill took his love for music and the intrument and teamed it with his other love, cellist Anne Davidson, for a remarkable blend.

Hill and Davidson met at music school and after dating, slowly warmed up to the idea of playing together.

"For three years, we never even considered playing together because it would seem so odd" said Hill.

"But slowly, we got on to the idea with the duo thing and realized what a good combination it is."

The combination of casual ukulele and classic cello may seem like chalk and cheese but these two seemingly incompatible instruments complement beautifully.

"When people come to our concert, they do not know what to expect, or worse, they don't expect," said Hill.

Playing on this doubtfulness is what allows both Hill and Davidson to surprise their audience and change conventional thinking.

"The ukulele has a higher range where the cello has a lower range" said Davidson.

"I also have the capability of using the bow to create long sustained sound which compliments the plucking sound of the ukulele."

Unlike the cello which has a long history, the ukulele is a 'young' 120-year-old in the music world, which explains its unorthodox style, which allows its player to invent his own particular style.

This freedom opened the way for Hill to create his style which he calls 'mono-strumming'.

"Instead of strumming where you can hear all the strings, you only hear a note as you mute the rest of the sound" he explains.

Sounds intriguing? Have a listen to the couple on their only stop in South East Asia, with their "melting of genres" performance on Friday 29 May, 8pm at the DBS Auditorium.

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Lana Clarkson Killer Phil Spector Gets 19 Years

Lana Clarkson Killer Phil Spector Gets 19 YearsSpector gets 19 years to life for Clarkson's death.

Music producer Phil Spector has been sentenced to 19 years to life in prison for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.

A Los Angeles judge sentenced Spector on Friday to 15 years to life for second-degree murder and four years for personal use of a gun. The judge is also ordering restitution payments.

A jury convicted the 69-year-old Spector in the fatal shooting of Clarkson at his home in 2003.

Spector plans an appeal.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Six years ago, Phil Spector was barely a blip on the American celebrity radar screen. Although his music lived on, his name and face were only dimly recalled by rock music aficionados until a shooting at his Alhambra mansion propelled him to notoriety.

Now he faces sentencing Friday on second-degree murder of actress Lana Clarkson, a conviction that suggests to some that California prosecutors have broken a decades-long string of celebrity murder case losses. The names O.J. Simpson and Robert Blake come to mind.

But Spector is in a class of his own. He was not a performer, not a sports star with a following or a singer who captivated the public. He was a music producer, a behind-the-scenes guy whose ideas changed the sound of rock music. He invented the "Wall of Sound," a revolutionary recording technique. And he was known for bizarre behavior. Famous, yes. A celebrity? Not in today's pop culture.

Spector is a frail and ailing 69-year-old for whom the mandated minimum sentence of 15 years would likely be a life sentence. His lawyer says he is enduring jail by focusing on his plans to appeal.

"He's doing fairly well," said Doron Weinberg. "He's adjusting to the circumstances and settling down to wait out an appeal with high hopes. He feels he will win the appeal."

Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler has little leeway in sentencing. The 15-years-to-life sentence is mandated by law. Fidler's only decision is whether to add three or four years for personal use of a gun. The prosecution has asked for four and the defense has said three years is appropriate.

Spector had two trials with essentially the same evidence. His first in 2007 was televised gavel to gavel and spectators flocked to the courtroom. But when the jury deadlocked after a five-month trial, his legal "dream team," which at times numbered half a dozen lawyers, bailed out.

By the time the second trial started in 2008, interest had waned. The judge ordered cameras turned off and only a handful of spectators and reporters stopped in sporadically to watch testimony.

The retrial lasted the same length of time as the first trial, but there was only one defense lawyer: Weinberg, a well-regarded veteran from San Francisco. A young woman prosecutor, Truc Do, was brought in to work with Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson. Most importantly, there was a new jury. The forewoman wept after the guilty verdict but gave no hint of what tipped the scales on the panel's decision except to say it was based on "all the evidence, all the testimony."

During jury selection, only a few panelists remembered Spector's heyday as producer of teen anthems including "To Know Him is to Love Him," The Ronette's "Be My Baby," The Crystals' "Da Doo Ron Ron" and The Righteous Brothers' classic, "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'." Spector also worked on a Beatles album with John Lennon.

Ironically, Clarkson didn't know Spector's music legacy either when she met him only hours before she wound up dead at his Alhambra "castle." The 40-year-old actress had starred in Roger Corman's 1985 cult film "Barbarian Queen," but in 2003 she was working as a hostess at the House of Blues nightclub, where she had to be told by a manager that Spector was an important man.

His time had passed. And Clarkson's career was also ebbing. Their fateful meeting, recounted in both trials, led to her death and the end of his life as he knew it. For the next six years he spent millions on lawyers as he sought to prove that Clarkson killed herself.

But what had happened inside his house was never clear. Clarkson's body was slumped in a chair in a foyer. A gun had been fired inside her mouth. Spector's chauffeur, the key witness, said he heard a gunshot, then saw Spector emerge holding a gun and heard him say: "I think I killed somebody."

Weinberg said forensic evidence proved that Clarkson shot herself and cited her desperation at not being able to get acting work. Jackson said the shooting fit the pattern of other confrontations between Spector and women, and Do said Spector would become "a demonic maniac" when he drank.

Much of the case hinged on the testimony of five women from Spector's past who said he threatened them with guns when they tried to leave his presence. The parallels with the night Clarkson died were chilling even if the stories were very old — 31 years in one instance.

Weinberg said Spector's appeal will assert that the judge erred in allowing the women to testify.

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Canon Powershot A480

Canon Powershot A480

Canon Powershot A480 10Mp 3.3X Digital Camera in Silver

Canon Powershot A480
is designed for people who want to shoot pictures without fussing over camera settings. It's a dead-simple, reasonably stylish point-and-shoot camera to have on hand when you're hanging out with friends and family.

The boxy PowerShot A480 measures 3.6 by 2.4 by 1.2 inches and weighs just under 5 ounces. Its lens, whose focal length ranges from 37mm to 122mm (35mm equivalent), retracts into the body when you turn off the camera. The A480 slips easily in and out of a pocket. Its plastic body feels solid, and the raised metal plate emblazoned with "10.0 MEGA PIXELS" acts as a grip for securing your hold on the camera.

The A480's controls are basic and uncomplicated. The shutter and on/off buttons are located on top of the camera. The back has zoom controls; a playback button; a four-way button that acts as a navigation control when you are in the software controls or want instant access to set ISO, flash, or timer, or to toggle between macro, normal, and landscape modes; a Function/Set button; a mode button for switching shooting modes; and a menu button. The button layout is clear and you'll learn it quickly as you tap the buttons with your right thumb.

Most users of the A480 will rely on the camera's Auto mode to determine the proper camera settings for a shot. Alternatively, you can choose from 12 scene modes: Aquarium, Beach, Fireworks, Foliage, Indoor, Kids&Pets, Long Shutter, Portrait, Night Snapshot, Snow, Sunset, and Super Macro. Though these modes sound friendly, you shouldn't take the names absolutely literally. For example, the Aquarium shooting mode is useful for more than just taking pictures of fish in a tank; it sets the camera so that it can better shoot anything behind glass.

Aside from the Auto and Scene modes, a Program mode lets you tweak settings such as aperture (ISO 80 to 1600), white balance, exposure, light metering, and color effects. While testing the A480, I used the Program mode more frequently than I expected. The Scene modes do a good job overall, but I got better results using the Program mode and adjusting the white balance, ISO, and light metering as appropriate.

The A480's design encourages users to set the shooting mode and forget about it. The camera doesn't have a wheel for quickly switching modes--a drawback when you step out of a museum, say, and into the bright daylight of a park. To switch modes, you have to press the Mode button, and then choose from among four on-screen selections: Auto, Program, Scene, and Movie. If you want to switch to one of Scene modes, you then have to navigate the Scene menu to find the scene you want. This process can take 7 to10 seconds, whereas with a mode wheel you can make the switch in a second.

When you power on the A480, it's ready to shoot almost instantly, and there's no shutter lag. I noticed about a 1-second gap between shots with the A480 operating in Continuous Shooting mode.

The A480 lacks one major feature: image stabilization. This wasn't a problem for me when I was shooting posed subjects while standing still in good lighting: Even subtle movements of the camera didn't diminish image quality. But in low light, or when the camera's movements were move pronounced, pictures were blurry.

The absence of action shooting modes, a somewhat slow Continuous Shooting mode, and the omission of image stabilization means that the A480 is a poor choice at sporting events or any type of event involving fast movement. The A480 works best as a casual snapshooter.

In our lab tests, the A480 finished neck-and-neck with the Nikon Coolpix L20 and the Canon Powershot A1100 IS for best overall image quality among sub-$200 cameras. It was in the top bracket in our tests for Color Quality, Distortion, and Exposure. The one weak spot was the A480's performance in our sharpness test, where the camera earned middle-of-the-pack scores.

The camera can record video (in AVI format) at 640 by 480 or 320 by 240 resolution, both at 30 frames per second. The video quality is good, but since there's no image stabilization, movies suffer from the jitters if you hold the camera in your hand while recording. Zoom is disabled in movie mode, and in my testing the built-in microphone was sensitive to wind.

If you're a tripod-shooter, a steady-handed photographer, or just want a bargain-bin camera with good image quality, the PowerShot A480 is worth a look. Its lack of image stabilization and some modes, however, may cause action photographers to pass it up.

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Cyber Czar

Cyber Czar
“President Barack Obama will announce on Friday the creation of a ‘cyber czar’ position, stepping up his administration's efforts to better protect the nation's computer networks,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “The cybersecurity chief will report to both the National Security Council and the National Economic Council, a compromise resulting from a fierce White House turf battle over the responsibilities and powers of the new office.” More: “Mr. Obama won't announce on Friday the person who will fill the new job. That isn't expected for at least a few more days.”

It’s now or never on health care, Obama said yesterday, per the AP. “President Barack Obama warned Thursday that if Congress doesn't deliver health care legislation by the end of the year the opportunity will be lost, a plea to political supporters to pressure lawmakers to act. ‘If we don't get it done this year, we're not going to get it done,’ Obama told supporters by phone as he flew home on Air Force One from a West Coast fundraising trip.”

The Boston Globe front-pages, "Obama tells Israel to halt expansion." The paper adds, "But hours before the two men met, the Israeli government flatly rejected the demand. Spokesman Mark Regev said that "normal life in those communities must be allowed to continue," including some construction. The exchange has set the stage for one of Obama's toughest foreign policy challenges. As he prepares to fly to the Middle East next week to give a speech on his policy toward the region and US-Muslim relations, it seemed clear yesterday that his administration is willing to risk prickly relations with one of the closest US allies -- and possible anger from some Jewish voters -- to try to create a Palestinian state."

The AP called it Obama "deepening his involvement in the quest for a difficult peace." Asking for concessions from both sides: "Obama pushed Palestinians for progress, too, including a direct call for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to reduce anti-Israeli sentiment in schools and mosques." The AP gets Abbas' reaction: "Abbas told The Associated Press after the session with Obama that no meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were on the horizon. Abbas said he is meeting his commitments under the road map and that Israel should do the same."

With the president today attending a hurricane preparedness meeting at FEMA, the group is urging Obama to make mitigation the centerpiece of federal efforts managing hurricane and disaster preparedness. “For decades, federal policies have incentivized construction in hurricane-prone, environmentally sensitive areas,” the group says in a press release. “It’s time to update these policies to emphasize smart mitigation measures that protect the environment, put Americans to work and make current coastal residents safer.”

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John Rich Alleged Assault On Jared Ashley

John Rich Alleged Assault On Jared AshleyJohn Rich charged for alleged 'Nashville Star' assault.

Country star John Rich of Big & Rich was charged on May 28 with assault and harassment, E! Online reports. Rich allegedly smacked former Nashville Star contestant Jared Ashley in the face; he has denied the charges. "I trust that the truth will come out through the process of our American justice system and that I will be completely exonerated at the end of the day," the singer said in a statement.

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Susan Boyle Meltdown

Susan Boyle Meltdown

Susan Boyle Meltdown: Susan Boyle Tantrum.

Susan Boyle had a meltdown on Wednesday in the middle of a hotel lobby. She cursed up a storm for hundreds of guests to hear.

Susan Boyle has certainly become a media sensation ever since her first appearance on Britain’s Got Talent. It all began with her amazing voice that left you in awe, then she received a make over that was the talk of the town, and now she flipped out at a hotel lobby and had a complete and utter meltdown.

The frumpy looking singer went on a cursing tantrum in the middle of the Wembley Plaza Hotel lobby in North London, cursing up a storm for hundreds of hotel guests to witness. Police arrived on the scene and approached the boiled Susan Boyle, at around 5 p.m. on Wednesday, after two strangers set out to “wind her up”, according to Fox News.

When one of the cops asked Susan if there was a problem, she snapped back

“Of course there’s a f***ing problem.”

Personally, I feel kind of bad for the Susan Boyle, she became an over night sensation never really learning how to handle being in the spotlight properly; which appears to be a key factor behind this outburst. One can’t help to wonder though, was she cursing in key, while in the midst of her meltdown.

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Google Wave

Google WaveGoogle Reinvents Email, Docs with 'Google Wave'

What would e-mail look like if it were invented today, rather than several years ago? Meet Google Wave, a preview application shown off Thursday at the Google I/O conference.

The Google Wave site is now up and running, although access to the application will be restricted. Google Wave was developed by the Google Maps team, led by Lars Rasmussen and his brother Jens.

"One of the best times of my life was in 2005, just after the launch of Google Maps, when developers started doing crazy things with the APIs," Rasmussen said, adding that he hopes developers will do the same with Wave.

What is Google Wave? Think of an open-source version of Gmail constructed via instant messaging. To start a wave, two users start what is essentially an instant-message session, which can be archived as a conversation. Other users can then be invited to join each wave or conversation, and there's even a "playback" feature to track the process of the conversation. Google also said it intends Wave to be a platform as well as a protocol, with the appropriate tools and extensions for each.

In fact, it might not even be accurate to call it a reinvention of e-mail. Google executives tied the instant-message/e-mail model to real-time document collaboration, even search, and extended it to the Web and to blogs.

Not surprisingly, images can be attached easily. What's fascinating, however, is that those images or embedable objects can also be Wave gadgets: for example, in a demo, a Google Map of Bora Bora was dropped into a wave. However, Rasmussen was able to manipluate the map in real time from his own screen, and the changes showed up dynamically on the screen of Stephanie Hannon, the project manager.

Real-time updates seem to be a critical element of Wave. Not only can conversations be updated in real time, but users who allow others access to their wave can allow those users the ability to update thier waves in real time.

Rasmussen displayed the design document overseeing Wave, which featured not only collaborative editing but also embedded conversations within Wave, an interesting tweak to the collaborative toos already inside Microsoft Office and other suites.

Want to publish a wave to a blog? No problem. A tool called "Bloggy" allows you to publish the entire wave, which can itself be updated like a normal wave.

Rasmussen and Hannon also said that the Google Wave model will be extended to Android for mobile updates. Integration with Firefox was also demonstrated as well.

Google will provide APIs so that developers can integrate their own code in to Google Wave. One of the ones demonstrated was with Twitter.

Tools called "Searchy" and "Linky" also will allow embedded links and real-time search. Google has come up with extensions called robots, which are embedded tools. The search is real-time, too: in one demo, Hannon searched for "wave". Rasmussen, on his screen, saved his wave as "wav," then again as "wave". When he added the final "e", the document showed up in Hannon's search. Saving it again as "wav" instantly removed it from the list of search results. The team even added a real-time spell-checker.

Waves can be made private. Although Google monitors the ongoing waves so that it can add links and other real-time capabilities, making a wave private blocks Google from viewing it at all, Hannon said.

In an amazing closing demonstration, adding a robot called Rosie allowed real-time translation, character by character. That closing demonstration earned Rasmussen and Hannon a standing ovation from the assembled developers.

No word yet on when Google Wave will be launched, but all I/O attendees will be given accounts for a more in-depth preview, most likely on Friday.

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Jet America Airlines Website

Jet America Airlines WebsiteJet America Airlines Website: Are these cheap tickets too good to be true?

Who says you can't go on vacation because travel is too expensive? John Weikle, the former founder of the failed airline Skybus has created a new low-cost airline carrier called Jet America Airlines.

Ticket prices are low, and by that, I mean dirt-cheap. You can travel non-stop, one-way between six U.S. cities for just $9! Who doesn't love a deal? Or is it too good to be true? Would you trust an airline that offers tickets for under $10? Until I've confirmed that there have been no plane crashes by this airline over the next year, I just might have to skip out on this one.

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Sara Jane Moore

Sara Jane Moore
Woman who tried to assassinate Ford speaks out.

Sara Jane Moore, the woman who tried to assassinate President Ford in San Francisco in 1975, emerged in public this morning and offered an apology for her actions.
In an interview on the "Today" show, Moore, now 80, described what life has been like since she was released from prison at the end of 2007 and tried to explain why she tried to kill Ford.

“I still believe if I hadn’t done it, someone else would.... It was a time people don't remember. We had a war in this country, the Vietnam War,” she told "Today." “The only way it was going to change was by revolution.”

The only woman to fire a shot at a president said it was only later, while spending time in solitary confinement, that she “had begun to realize that I'd been used.” “I think that I was misled, that I was mistaken. I think I made a serious error,” she told "Today's" co-host Matt Lauer. “I had to learn later that everyone else didn't feel that way.”

Moore said she realized in prison that what she had done was wrong. "I think it was a serious error," she said.

The terms of her parole are very strict, requiring that she complete paperwork when she travels and let her parole officer know where she is at all times, Moore said.

She said she knew some people didn't think she should have been paroled.

“We have a Constitution, and we have laws. Regardless of who you are, there were conditions to be met for me to be paroled, and I met those conditions," she told "Today." “If people object to that, write your congressman and ask that your law be changed.”

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Honduras Earthquake

Honduras EarthquakeHonduras earthquake rattles nerves of divers, anglers throughout Caribbean.

When the 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck the Caribbean region at 2:24 a.m. today, scuba-diving tourists near the epicenter on the island of Roatan fled from dwellings and those on the island's low-lying west end ran into the hills.

Residents and employees did too.

"Everybody got out of the house instantly, " said PJ Rowntree, owner of Coconut Tree Divers on the small island beyond Honduras, which received the most damage. "Many of them ran off in their night clothes."

The earthquake, centered offshore beyond Honduras, reportedly killed at least two people and toppled more than two dozen homes in Honduras and Belize to the north. It also collapsed a bridge spanning Honduras' largest river, the Ulua. However, in Belize, which also is a diving and fly-fishing paradise, tourist areas seemed to weather the shaking.

Jake Sinna, general manager of Turneffe Flats resort on a small offshore atoll, said, "I thought it was a thunderstorm moving in, but when the house shook for about 10 seconds I realized that it must be something else, like an earthquake. After inspection of my surroundings, I quickly turned to others who might be in need of assistance."

Sinna said, "Everything is back to normal" on Turneffe Atoll (pictured) and seemingly throughout Belize City.

In Honduras and remote areas in Belize, however, residents were being urged not to panic. The earthquake, which was felt elsewhere in Central America as well, occurred four months after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake killed dozens of residents and stranded hundreds of tourists in remote areas of Costa Rica.

Thankfully, the Honduras quake, because it was centered offshore, was not so destructive. Outposts will try to update this item later today.

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Goldbase.beDon’t check (Goldbase dot be). Goldbase dot be is the Facebook Phishing Scam hitting this Sunday. Goldbase is yet another .be domain that joins and on Saturday and on Friday afternoon. First it was the .at domains, now it’s the .be domains. Do Facebook Phishing Scams go on vacation for Memorial Weekend? Apparently not.

Facebook users should not visit the site along with previous scam sites as reported. Those include:

Do not accept nor follow or any of the above links either. had redirected users to which then sent to you a fake Facebook sign in or to a malware page.

In the case you get infected, clean all temporary internet files and scan you hard drive with an internet virus program or malware program before restarting your computer.

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Jim Nabors

Jim NaborsCastroneves wins his third Indy 500.

Helio Castroneves completed a storybook spring on Sunday, winning the Indianapolis 500 for the third time only six weeks after being acquitted on federal tax evasion charges.

Castroneves, who began the day on the pole, dropped back a bit after leading the first seven laps, but took the lead for keeps with 142 laps to go. After a final pit stop, he held off Dan Wheldon and Danica Patrick for the victory.

"Thank you, God, thank you," Castroneves said through his car radio after taking the checkered flag. He became the sixth three-time winner, joining Louis Meyer, Wilbur Shaw, Mauri Rose, Johnny Rutherford and Bobby Unser.

A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears all have four Indy 500 victories.

Castroneves' crew joined him in climbing the outside fence after the victory, a celebration that earned Castroneves the nickname "Spider Man" after his first two victories in 2001 and 2002.

Townsend Bell finished fourth, followed by Will Power, Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Ed Carpenter and Paul Tracy.

Jim Nabors had barely finished singing the traditional "Back Home Again (in Indiana)" when two drivers made a quick exit from the race.

After the original start of the race was waved off because the field wasn't bunched, the cars of Mario Moraes and Marco Andretti made contact in the very first turn. Moraes' car was taken back to the garage area on a wrecker; Andretti's was receiving repairs in the pits.

“The kid doesn’t get it; he never will,” Andretti said of the 20-year-old Moraes. “All the work, all the hopes, it’s over just like that. This place can just be so hard on you.”

Moraes and Andretti started the race in the third row, having qualified seventh and eighth, respectively. But they never got up to speed on Sunday. “It’s so disappointing,” said Andretti. “The guy (Moraes) is clueless.”

Said Moraes: “I was in front, I was holding my line, and he just hit me.”

Andretti was hoping to win the race on the 40th anniversary of his grandfather Mario's lone victory in 1969.

On lap 55, another of the young stars of IndyCar racing crashed out. Graham Rahal, son of 1986 winner Bobby Rahal, hit the wall hard for the second consecutive year. He started fourth and was running sixth, but was placed 28th on the grid after the crash. Last year, as a rookie, he started 13th but was the first car out with a crash on lap 36.

The stands were full at Indianapolis beneath partly cloudy skies.

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Aisha Tyler

Aisha TylerActress-comedian Aisha Tyler, who most recently starred in Bedtime Stories, will headline her own talk show, The Aisha Tyler Show, for ABC.

The pilot, which is being described as a cross between daytime and late-night talk shows, will include comedic political commentary, produced segments, and an Internet-related aspect (viewers will be able to talk to Tyler through sites like Facebook and Twitter).

ABC sources are hoping that that Tyler will make it to syndication or cable.

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Amazon Mechanical Turk

Amazon Mechanical TurkHow to make money from Amazon Mechanical Turk?

Amazon Mechanical Turk is yet another way of aggregating service providers and buyers in one place ‘online’ where you can make money depending on your area of expertise.

Business week mentions "people can offer payment for businesses and services that require a human element rather than computing power".

Amazon Mechanical Turk calls these assignments Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs). A lot (actually 86584) HITs are available as of now for people to work upon. So, what you have to do is fairly simple. Find a task that’s interesting for you. Some real examples are writing reviews, creating metadata information about a product etc. Just complete those tasks and earn money.

Some of the assignments are very interesting like the one about " Data Collection about famous people." Tasks like these require only your time and basic english and internet skills but can pay 20 cents per HIT. The review assignments can pay upto $5 per HIT.

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RedBuddyParades, mayors and Civil War Days.

Before settling down with my morning coffee and the headlines of the daily newspapers, I hit the sidewalks in our subdivision, briskly following our 10-pound Papillion on her leash.

That's when I try to rid myself of yesterday's cobwebs that clutter my mind, in awe of the nature of my surroundings that trigger my imagination. And I wonder what on Earth I will experience today for the first time.

This season, I'm always refreshed with the return of flora and fauna, reminding me of the outdoor labs for my field biology course at Murray State University. Sometimes our lab met along the shoreline of Kentucky Lake near the wildlife refuge where I was tested to identify birds by sight and sound. Today I wonder what happened to all that knowledge as I consult my handy "Birds of Illinois" field guide.

Now before I cram a weekend of observations into this space, let me back up to last week's column about Community Heritage Month.

Thanks to readers who paid attention to my Naperville trivia quiz. When I asked for the names of the five mayors -Kenneth Small, Chet Rybicki, Peg Price, Sam Macrane and George Pradel - elected since 1969, several folks wondered why I failed to mention Naperville Mayor Milton Stauffer. Stauffer, elected in 1967 when we had a Mayor-Commissioner form of government, led our city to referendum in 1969 to adopt Council-City Manager form of government.

For information about Naperville's government since the days of Joe Naper, visit the council offices at the Naperville Municipal Center where you'll find four handsome framed documents featuring the progression of elected officials who have served the city.

Early Saturday morning, as I headed to a seminar titled "Women and Investing," the sidewalks of 21st-century downtown Naperville were dotted with costumed re-enactors headed to Civil War Days at Naper Settlement.

The striking historical contrast between two uncertain times in America was mind-boggling.

Though, of course, I don't personally go back 140 years, I'm certainly old enough to have experienced many economic cycles. Heck, when we purchased our first home in Chatham, N.J., in 1981, we locked in interest rates at 16.75 percent!

At any rate, I opened my mind to the wealth of information packaged in Saturday's seminar. Presentations focused on financial independence, FDIC coverage, spending and saving money in today's world market as well as Internet protection and identity theft, awareness I'll consider as the days go forward.

Though I adamantly promote shopping and dining locally, here's one safety tip I gleaned from Saturday: if you must order online, open a separate credit card to use only for Internet purchases.

Sunday brought glorious sunshine for the 8th Annual 5K Run for Reading, held for the second year at River Woods Elementary School. The run for all ages - this year participants ranged from 4 to 77 - benefits the Jeanine Nicarico Memorial Fund for Literacy.

As a record 550 runners lined up at the starting line, Councilman Bob Fieseler, serving as emcee, led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance and "God Bless America."

I couldn't help but think about how fortunate we are to have the freedom to assemble for charity runs, educational seminars, church services and all.

Sunday afternoon as I trekked along Quincy Avenue to the Rotary Sunrise Drive to the Future Car Show, I spotted an easily identifiable red-winged black bird perched in the open field.

Then as I admired the shiny vintage, classic and not-so-recognizable new cars, I was saddened that the American auto industry has taken such a terrible turn.

Looking ahead, remember the annual Memorial Day Parade steps off in downtown Naperville at 10:30 a.m. May 25.

And beginning today, veterans again will promote the artificial red Buddy Poppy to benefit their Relief Fund. According to Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873 Buddy Poppy Chairmen Jan Barbour and Mike Barbour, the local goal this year is $25,000, all of which will be dedicated to help disabled veterans and their families as well as local troops on active duty.

Look for veterans at the train stations and local supermarkets. I hope you'll thank them for their service and their sacrifices - again and again.

Original Source :

Boston Latin School Closed

Boston Latin School ClosedThe Boston Latin School will be closed until Wednesday, May 27 because approximately 260 students were absent today, said a source familiar with the situation.

Yesterday only about 200 students were absent and on average about 80 students are absent from BLS, which has a student population of about 2400.

Mayor Thomas Menino, the Boston Public Health Commission, as well as Dept. of Public Health officials will join together at 2:45 p.m. to talk about preventing the spread of the H1N1 flu aka the swine flu.

All families and staff have been notified of the closing via automated phone calls and letters home.

Original Source :

Ryan Church Blunder

Ryan Church BlunderMets Dumbfounded by Their Mistakes.

His shoulders slumped, his eyes heavy, his goatee likely grayer than it was just four hours earlier, Jerry Manuel emerged from the Mets’ clubhouse late Monday night and spotted a massage table.

“I need to lie down,” Manuel said.

No wonder. The Mets arrived at Dodger Stadium in first place in the National League East. They left, after a 3-2 loss to the Manny Ramirez-less Dodgers in 11 innings, leaving Manuel wondering if he was managing a team sponsored by Chico’s Bail Bonds. The carnage included a season-high five errors — including two in the 11th, which led to the Dodgers’ winning run — one decisive base-running blunder by Ryan Church and countless slack jaws, head shakes and dumbfounded looks in a solemn clubhouse.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” Carlos Beltran said.

And neither had anyone else. To be fair, Manuel said he had seen his former charges, the Chicago White Sox, commit five errors, not that he was boasting of that achievement or anything. But no, he had never seen a player completely miss tagging third base on his way home as Church did in the top of the 11th. That gaffe canceled what would have been the go-ahead run, ended the inning and breathed life into the Dodgers. Not that, on this night, they needed any extra help. The five errors were the Mets’ most since they committed six on Sept. 16, 2007, against Philadelphia.

“The guy missed third base, that’s unbelievable,” Manuel said. “I can’t explain why or how or anything, but he actually missed the base. To me, it’s just hard to miss third base. I know there are guys who miss first because they’re looking for the ball, that type of thing, but I don’t remember if I’ve ever seen a guy miss third base in a situation like that.”

Then he clarified. No, he had not. Church, for his part, said he thought he nicked the side of the bag as he rounded third, heading home on Angel Pagan’s gapper to right-center. But the third-base coach Razor Shines did not complain when the Dodgers appealed, and Manuel did not argue the call.

“I just feel terrible because touching the bag is a simple thing to do and I didn’t do it,” Church said.

Making the simple difficult since 1962 — that could be the Mets’ motto. At times this season, the Mets (21-17) have turned that act into an art form, missing cut-off men, failing to slide and running into outs. But they have played better recently, even as injuries have caused two of their stars — Jose Reyes (right calf tendinitis) and Carlos Delgado (right hip surgery) — and a valued utility player, Alex Cora (torn right thumb ligament), to miss time. In their stead, Manuel has been forced to mix and match, starting players at unfamiliar positions because he has little choice.

Which is how it came to pass that Ramon Martinez, who arrived at 6:45 p.m. — 25 minutes before the first pitch — after being recalled from Class AAA Buffalo, was playing shortstop Monday night and committed two errors. And how Pagan was getting his first major-league start in more than a year. And how Jeremy Reed, who now has a total of 16 1/3 innings of major-league experience at the position, came to be playing first base in the 11th inning.

From that post, Reed gazed out toward left-center field as Xavier Paul’s fly ball started to plummet. Pagan and Beltran converged. Beltran said he called the ball, “like, six times,” but Pagan did not move.

“Pagan was still in the middle and I couldn’t see the ball,” Beltran said. “If Pagan would have called that ball, my job is to get out of the way. Basically he stood in the middle and I just couldn’t see the ball.”

The ball dropped between them, and Mark Loretta, who had walked against Brian Stokes to lead off the inning, scooted to third. Paul zipped to second, and the Dodgers had the winning run on third. Not so fast, though. Juan Pierre was walked intentionally, loading the bases, and Rafael Furcal flied to shallow left. One out. The Mets should have — could have — escaped when Orlando Hudson followed by tapping a grounder to Reed.

Reed fielded the ball perfectly. He got into throwing position immediately. However, “looking back on it now, I probably just rushed,” he said.

His throw home sailed wide of the catcher, Ramon Castro, and Loretta scored. Dodgers 3, Mets 2. A premonition of these fill-ins being exposed that Manuel had offered a few hours before Monday’s game had come true.

“I haven’t practiced that,” Reed said. “But I should be able to do that. I pride myself — wherever he sticks me, I can make plays.”

The Mets have not hit a home run in five straight games, which would be an irrelevant piece of trivia if not for the fact that the last two nights have proven that they actually could really have used one. Their situational hitting skills must have played hooky Sunday, skipped the short flight from San Francisco and — even aware that Delgado is out indefinitely — made little effort to arrive in time for Monday’s game.

In 48 hours, Manuel has seen a dramatic shift in the tenor of his team’s offense. In winning the opening three games in San Francisco, the Mets went 19-for-47 with runners in scoring position, slapping singles and lining doubles all over the field. In losing their last two games, the Mets have gone 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position, magnifying what has been a season-long dearth of power. The Mets entered Monday with 26 homers, ahead of only Pittsburgh, Oakland and San Francisco.

“I think you need a little power here and there, I think you need that, but I think it’s dangerous to ask the group that’s not sluggers to be sluggers,” Manuel said. “I think we have to continue to preach the type of baseball that we played in San Francisco, because we have the ability to play that type of game.”

The lone bright spot for the Mets was Tim Redding, who in his debut showed that he could be a capable fifth starter. After giving up two runs in the first, Redding shut down the Dodgers, allowing just two hits over six innings in emerging with a quality start. The Mets evened the score at 2-2 in the eighth, on an infield single by Gary Sheffield. Four Mets relievers combined to hold the Dodgers scoreless until the 11th, when, as Redding said, in beautifully understated fashion, “a couple things didn’t go our way tonight.”

If only it were a couple. Then Manuel may not have needed a rest.

“It was a bad game on our part,” Manuel said. “Very bad.”

Original Source :

Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome

Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome
What is Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome? Brooklyn writer Carla Sosenko shares facts about condition.

Carla Sosenko, a freelance writer and full-time copy editor at Bauer Publishing who lives in Brooklyn, has revealed in the new issue of Marie Claire that she is suffering from a potentially fatal disorder called Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome.

Sosenko explains in the Marie Claire piece that she was born with the disorder.

“For me, it means my right leg is larger than my left and trails slightly when I walk,” Sosenko writes in Marie Claire. “My back is an uneven, fatty slab with a dense lump above the waist (which a guy in high school once called a meatball); and a gigantic port-wine stain reaches around my broad torso and down toward my right thigh.”

KTS is a congenital circulatory disorder that typically presents with abnormal benign growths on the skin, arteriovenous abscesses and varicose veins, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. There may also be fused toes or fingers, or extra digits, in patients with KTS, according to the Institute.

Although there is no cure for KTS, it is believed to occur early in the developmental stage of an embryo.

The progressive disorder is treated symptomatically. Skin lesions can be treated with laser surgery, and discrepancies in limb size may be treated with surgery or orthopedic devices.

Blood clots and skin infections are common in KTS, according to Boston Children’s Hospital’s Web site, and both pain and heaviness in the affected limbs are a big concern with the majority of patients.

The complications of KTS can be life-threatening, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

In Sosenko’s case, the writer had kept her devastating health news private until recently. Sosenko, who is currently working on a memoir, doesn’t let the disease get in the way of living life.

“My story doesn't begin or end with K-T,” she writes in Marie Claire. “I have a full social calendar, a job that I love, excellent clothes, a teeny-tiny nose ring, a filthy mouth and a badass triangle pose.

"Most important, I have family and friends who care about me - and if one of them were in my position, I'd tell her that any man who judges her as harshly as she judges herself isn't worth knowing - and I'd mean it.”

Original Source :

Patrick Swayze

Patrick SwayzePatrick Swayze death rumor denied.

A spokeswoman for Patrick Swayze issued a statement Tuesday refuting "severely reckless" reports that the cancer-stricken actor died.

The statement from publicist Annett Wolf read, “This is to confirm that Patrick Swayze did not pass away this morning contrary to severely reckless reports stemming from a radio station in Jacksonville, Florida. Patrick Swayze is alive, well and is enjoying his life and he continues to respond to treatment.”

In addition to the unspecified Jacksonville radio station, a German TV news channel also repeated the incorrect news, which went viral via Twitter as well.

Wolf could not be reached for comment.

Swayze most recently starred in the A&E series "The Beast."

Original Source :

Aubrey Louis Berry

Aubrey Louis BerryAubrey Louis Berry Dolla!

Aubrey Louis Berry arrest in the rapper Dolla Beverly Cetner shooting was broke by LALATE last night. Aubrey Louis Berry 23 of Georgia is still being held on $1 million bail.

Rapper Rapper Dolla was shot dead in the head at the Beverly Center late Monday afternoon while waiting in the valet area with fellow rapper D.J. Shabbazz.

Police then quickly said a grey SUV Mercedes carried one person of interest, reportedly en route to LAX. As LALATE first reported, two individuals were spotted leaving the Beverly Center after the shooting. The Times reports Berry is one of those two in the silver Mercedes-Benz SUV. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, says another male and a female with Berry have been questioned but not charged.

Inside Terminal 1 at LAX Aubrey Louis Berry was then reportedly arrested after admitting to have a handgun in possession. “Aubery” was initially used by press on Monday is now being reported as “Aubrey”. LAPD says Berry was arrested on suspicion of murder prior to boarding a plane.

Dolla had signed with Jive Records and Akon’s Konvict Muzik to release his debut album, Dolla & A Dream. Dolla had said of his music:

“I make ‘me’ music. I can do street music or pop music, but I make music from the heart — meaningful songs, songs with substance. I rap about the struggle, like being five years old, seeing your father killed before your eyes and instantly becoming a man on the streets.”

Dolla delivered the 2008 hit “Who The F Is That” (feat. T-Pain & Tay Dizm) and most recently “Good P–sy”

Original Source :


CSK vs KKRFact Sheet: CSK Vs KKR

Here is a preview to IPL Game 51 of IPL's Season 2:-

Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders

Chennai Super Kings:

International players: MS Dhoni, S Badrinath, L Balaji, Andrew Flintoff, Matthew Hayden, Joginder Sharma, Albie Morkel, Muttiah Muralitharan, Makhaya Ntini, Jacob Oram, Parthiv Patel, Suresh Raina, Thilan Thushara, M Vijay.

Players who will be missing: Andrew Flintoff.

Kolkata Knight Riders:

International players: B McCullum, Chris Gayle, Sourav Ganguly, Brad Hodge, Ajit Agarkar, Sanjay Bangar, Aakash Chopra, Moises Henriques, David Hussey, Murali Kartik, Charl Langeveldt, Mashrafe Mortaza, Angelo Mathews, Ajantha Mendis, Ishant Sharma, Laxmi Ratan Shukla.

Players who will be missing: Aakash Chopra, Sanjay Bangar, Chris Gayle.

Previous meetings: CSK 2, KKR 0

Match #11, 2008 – Chennai – Chennai Super Kings won by 9 wickets

Match #41, 2008 – Kolkata – Chennai won by 3 runs (D/L Method)

Match #13, 2009 – Cape Town – No Result (Match abandoned because of rain)

Talking points:

Chennai Super Kings have in their line-up Matthew Hayden (Orange Cap holder) and Suresh Raina (the second highest run-scorer in the competition).

Chennai Super Kings have a 100% record at Centurion – they’ve played two matches here and have won both of the games (against Rajasthan Royals and against Kings XI Punjab)

Matthew Hayden, the current Orange Cap holder, struggled in the early part of his previous two innings (against RCB and MI), but persevered and went on to make 60 and 60*.

Kolkata Knight Riders are now on a 9-match losing streak – that’s the longest losing streak in the IPL.

Kolkata Knight Riders, despite showing signs of improvement, just can’t seem to get across the finishing line. They should have won their last two matches, but finished on the wrong side – against the Deccan Chargers and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Kolkata Knight Riders finally seem to have discovered the right combination; Sourav Ganguly and Brendon McCullum at the top, followed by Brad Hodge, David Hussey, Yashpal Singh, Wriddhiman Saha and then the allrounders and bowlers.

The Knight Riders included Shoaib Shaikh in their XI in their previous match, but he neither got to bat or bowl.

Chennai have been the best batting unit to make use of the fielding restrictions. They average 51 runs in the first six overs – that’s the highest average score in the first six overs amongst the eight teams in the tournament.

Albie Morkel has been great with the new ball. He has picked up a wicket in his first over in six out of seven innings he has bowled the first or the second over of the innings.

Chennai will be concerned that their middle order hasn’t quite fired in the tournament so far; Badrinath has had two decent innings (45 and 59*), Dhoni himself has had only three decent hits, while Oram and Morkel are yet to make a significant contribution with the bat.

Chennai brought in Parthiv Patel to open the innings in place of M Vijay, but he was out for a first ball duck against the Mumbai Indians. Will they revert to Vijay again?

Chennai’s Makhaya Ntini is yet to get a game in the competition, despite the tournament being played in South Africa.

Kolkata Knight Riders have struggled to contain the runs in the first six overs. They concede on an average 49 runs in the first six overs – that’s the highest average among the eight teams in the competition.

Only two players from Kolkata Knight Riders’ 22-member squad – Rohan Banerjee and Charl Langeveldt - are yet to get a game in the IPL.

Charl Langeveldt will have fond memories of playing at Centurion, the venue for today’s match. He has taken a hat-trick in a domestic T20 match here.

Ajit Agarkar is one of the most expensive bowlers in the IPL – his economy rate is 9.74.

Mashrafe Mortaza’s spell of 0/58 against the Deccan Chargers is the most expensive spell in IPL 2009.

Spin bowlers were difficult to get away in the previous match under lights at Centurion – spinners only conceded 94 runs in 18 overs in that match (at a rate of 5.22).

Remaining matches:

For Chennai Super Kings - against Kolkata Knight Riders and v Kings XI Punjab.

For Kolkata Knight Riders - against Chennai Super Kings and v Rajasthan Royals.

Original Source :

Tony Kornheiser

Tony KornheiserJon Gruden to replace Tony Kornheiser on 'Monday Night Football'

ESPN is making a big change in its Monday Night Football announcing booth.

Former Bucs coach Jon Gruden is in, while Tony Kornheiser is resigning, according to ESPN, after three seasons.

Play-by-play man Mike Tirico and analyst Ron Jaworski are staying in the booth.

"I am totally grateful for the MNF opportunity that I truly enjoyed the last three seasons," Kornheiser said in a statement. "I feel we got better each year. My fear of planes is legendary and sadly true. When I looked at the upcoming schedule it was the perfect storm that would've frequently moved me from the bus to the air. I kept looking at the schedule the past month and wanted to find a way to quietly extricate myself. If I could handpick a replacement of a football guy, I would cast a net and drag in Jon Gruden."

Kornheiser will remain as the co-host of Pardon the Interruption for ESPN.

Gruden, fired by the Bucs after last season, was an analyst with the NFL Network during the NFL draft.

"Jon is one of the best football minds in the game, he has a natural ability to communicate that knowledge and he brings great enthusiasm – everything you want in an analyst,” ESPN VP Norby Williamson said in a statement.

“Combining Mike, one of the top play-by-play commentators in TV and radio, and Jaws, arguably the NFL’s best X’s and O’s analyst, with Jon, a Super Bowl-winning head coach, will create a must-watch Monday Night Football booth during the 40th season and in the years ahead."

Original Source :

Cabin Fever

Cabin FeverCabin fever is an idiomatic term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in, for an extended period. Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, forgetfulness, laughter, and excessive sleeping.

Cabin fever can also be known as a term for a lack of sexual intercourse. The phrase is also used humorously to indicate simple boredom from being home alone. The term was first recorded in 1918.

Original Source :

Farrah Fawcett

Farrah FawcettFarrah Fawcett update: Exec producer says NBC documentary wasn't what Farrah wanted.

Now we know why "Farrah's Story" left out what it should have said about cancer. It wasn't Farrah's fault. Executive producer Craig Nevius — who is suing over loss of creative control of the documentary — says the show that aired on NBC was not the story Farrah Fawcett wanted to tell.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the producer says NBC told Farrah, "This is your story. We'll tell it your way, in your words." He emphasizes:

She was adamant about one thing: She wanted this edited like a movie using her diary for narration. She didn't want the talking-head format with its abrupt interruptions."

But talking heads is what she got. Lots of them.

Her diary was used only as punctuation in a narrative that was dominated by Ryan O'Neal and Alana Stewart speaking for her, plus some ratings-worthy spots with "Charlie's Angels" pals Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith. Nevius says most of that footage was added after Ryan grabbed creative control of the film six weeks ago by claiming Farrah was too ill to continue and wanted him to make the decisions.

The worst part is that Farrah's message didn't get out. She didn't want a tribute to herself. She wanted to make a difference by emphasizing the apalling lack of effective, affordable cancer treatment in this country. Nevius says:

"Farrah wants to know why chemotherapy sensitivity tests are done in Germany and elsewhere, but not here in America. ... Why do some medicines cost 10 times more in the United States than they do in Germany? Aren't we limiting cancer treatment to the rich? 'Why aren't we encouraging mad-scientist thinking?' she likes to ask. Farrah wanted this TV special to have an impact. She wanted this to affect change in the medical world."

Shame on these squabbling producers for taking away the last chance Farrah may ever have at making a real difference. Shame on them for taking away what may have had a powerful impact for all cancer patients. And shame on them for turning what might have been an important film into a sentimental, prime time tribute video. Shame. Shame. Shame.

In case you missed it, you can watch "Farrah's Story" on YouTube. It's in 11 segments.

Original Source :


AlltelAT&T to take over Alltel in area in 2010.

Just in time for Christmas 2010, Verizon Wireless service in Pratt, surrounding counties and most of western Kansas will be switching to AT&T.

A definitive agreement was reached May 8 for AT&T to purchase Verizon Wireless assets for $2.35 billion in cash.

The transaction is not finalized and will have to have regulatory approval before the purchase is complete, said Kerry Hibbs, AT&T spokesman.

The final approval and acquisition should be complete by the end of 2009 with the conversion to AT&T service expected to take until the end of 2010, Hibbs said.

Verizon purchased Alltel earlier this year. The AT&T purchase will affect 1.5 million Alltel customers in 79 service areas across 18 states including practically the entire western half of Kansas including Pratt, Barber, Comanche, Edwards, Kiowa and Stafford Counties.
“This will have a big impact on western Kansas,” Hibbs said.

It is unknown at this time the order counties and towns will switch over to AT&T service.

As part of Verizon/Alltel purchase agreement Verizon is required to sell 79 Alltel services areas to meet regulatory approvals.

AT&T won the bid for those markets and once the purchase is approved will make a change over in service that is not expected to take more than 12 months, Hibbs said.

The change over is expected to require a capital investment of $400 million.

It is too early to determine what impact, if any, the change over will have on customer’s bills but AT&T has a wide variety of service plans, Hibbs said.

When the AT&T system is in place the new customers, mostly rural, will have access to the “world’s fastest 3G network” for smartphones, including iPhones, free Wi-Fi service at over 100,000 hotspots, retail stores, hotels, airports and other locations around the planet and be able to take advantage of AT&T rollover minutes, Hibbs said.

Customers don’t need to run out and pick up an iPhone just yet but subscribers will be able to enjoy largest 3G network in the nation. The worldwide network features high-speed data transmission for sending pictures, graphics and data.

It will be some time before customers have any decisions to make. When the time comes they will be notified.

“As we get closer to something actually happening, Alltel customers will get notification from AT&T,” Hibbs said. “The change over will be seamless for customers. There’s nothing the consumer has to do or worry about.”

The states affected by the acquisition are Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.

Original Source :

Chrysler Dealerships Closing

Chrysler Dealerships ClosingChrysler Dealerships Closing In Connecticut.

Chrysler LLC's plan to cut 789 of its 3,200 U.S. dealerships includes at least one in Connecticut that's already closed — Holley Chrysler Dodge Jeep of Middletown went out of business on April 17, owner Robert G. Holley said today.

Holley was one of seven Connecticut Chrysler dealerships that the failing Detroit automaker said it would be closing, according to documents it filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York Thursday.

The others are in Newtown, Naugatuck, Woodbridge, Torrington, Enfield and New London.

Chrysler says its network of dealers has too many stores competing with each other.

Dealers can appeal the move. Chrysler has received $4 billion in federal loans and has been operating in bankruptcy protection since April 30. The company says many of the dealers' sales are too low. It says just over 50 percent of the dealers account for about 90 percent of the company's U.S. sales.

Holley, who owned the Middletown dealership since 1987, said he had previously hoped to stay in business as a used car dealer. But Chrysler wanted him to make an additional investment of $400,000 to qualify for further financing for the cars he would sell, he said.

"I don't have $400,000," he said.

He said he was retiring and that his son, his partner in the dealership, would find other work in the auto industry.

Holly said he formally gave up the franchise on April 17. He and all 25 of his employees lost their jobs.

"It's a horrible market out there," he said.

Original Source :,0,6325070.story

Maria Verchenova

Maria VerchenovaIs Maria Verchenova the new (pretty) face of women's golf?


When's the last time you watched women's golf for any extended period of time that didn't include you falling asleep on the couch after watching the college basketball game that preceded it?

I'll go out on a limb and say it's been a while.

Maria Verchenova, a young Russian golfer may give dudes everywhere reason to tune in soon, as she attempts to become to golf what Maria Sharapova is to tennis.

She is not only proving herself a fine player in her own right, she is also paving the way for other young Russian girls - her sister Anna included.

Verchenova admits that tennis star Sharapova is a role model - but she is adamant about the reasons.

"I am looking at Maria, not because of the way she looks but because of the way she plays," Verchenova explains. "I think Russian women are strong mentally. They are trying really hard and they are achieving things."

Verchenova is the first Russian to become a full-time member of the Ladies European Tour. She contended against golf heavyweight Anna Sorenstam at the 2008 Dubai Ladies Masters.

I'm not sure how good that makes her. It's been awhile since I watched golf.

Her favorite food is sushi, she likes watching Ellen Degeneres on television, and her favorite movie is "The Bodyguard."

Original Source :

Ewings Sarcoma

Ewings SarcomaBC linebacker Herzlich fighting cancer.

Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich, the ACC's Defensive Player of the Year, revealed Thursday that he is battling cancer.

Herzlich, a senior, was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a cancer most often found in bone or soft tissue.

"Obviously, I was shocked. I had been extremely focused on preparing for my senior season at Boston College and for life beyond that. Now, I must channel all that energy into facing my toughest opponent yet, and that is exactly what I will do," Herzlich said in a statement released by the school.

Herzlich has returned to his native Pennsylvania to be near his family and undergo tests to determine a course of treatment.

Herzlich was a finalist for the Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker, last season. He led the Eagles with 110 tackles, six interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

"When people think of Mark Herzlich, they think of a fearless individual who is always ready to take on a tough opponent. His integrity, determination and focus are unmatched. I know he will face this challenge with that same attitude," Boston College coach Frank Spaziani said.

Herzlich said he was unsure what his illness meant for his football future.

"At this point, I do not know what this means for my football future, but I am determined to rid my body of this disease so that I can put that uniform back on," he said. "Thank you in advance for your prayers and concern. Together, we will fight this and win."

Original Source :

The Torment Of Saint Anthony

The Torment Of Saint AnthonyKimbell Museum Michelangelo

This image provided Wednesday, May 13, 2009 by the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas shows the 1487 oil and tempera painting on a wood panel ”The Torment of Saint Anthony” by Michelangelo, believed to be his earliest known work. The Kimbell will be the first U.S. museum to display a Michelangelo painting after it acquired this rare piece.

Original Source :

LAX Baggage Accident

LAX Baggage Accident

LAX Baggage Accident: Metal Baggage Container Sucked into Jet Engine.

An LAX Baggage Accident happened Monday when the vacuum from an engine on a Japan Airlines Boeing 747 sucked a baggage container off the cart and into the engine.
No Injuries Reported in LAX Baggage Accident

The baggage accident happened at LAX at around 1:30pm local time as the Japan Airlines Boeing 747 was preparing for takeoff. There were 245 passengers and 18 crew on the plane at the time but no injuries were reported.

Airport officials said the LAX baggage accident happened when the vacuum created by the air intake of the left outboard engine on the 747 was so strong it pulled the empty container off a baggage cart. The cart was either parked or driven too close to the aircraft. The metal box, which is used by airline baggage handlers to haul luggage to and from aircraft, measures approximately 5 feet by 5 feet by 4 feet.

After the baggage accident, Japan Airlines took the crippled 747-400 out of service and made other flight arrangements for the passengers and 18 crew members, who were returned to the Bradley terminal. The airplane, which has four engines, was towed to a hangar for inspection.

Original Source :

Bill Seidman

Bill Seidman
Bill Seidman, former FDIC chairman, dies.

Former FDIC Chairman and CNBC Chief Commentator L. William "Bill" Seidman died Wednesday in Albuquerque, N.M., after a brief illness. He was 88.

"Our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather devoted himself to education, to the business community, to the service of his country, and most of all to his family and friends," his family said in a prepared statement. "He was an extraordinarily gifted and generous man whose wit and wisdom touched all who knew him. For our family, the loss is immeasurable."

Mr. Seidman was born April, 29, 1921, in Grand Rapids, Mich. He received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, his LLB from Harvard University and his MBA from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

During World War II, Mr. Seidman served in the U.S. Navy as a communications officer on a destroyer and received the Bronze Star while serving in the invasion of the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

He later served in the White House as President Gerald R. Ford's Assistant for Economic Affairs from 1974 to 1977. He also served with President Ronald Reagan as co-chair of the White House Conference on Productivity in 1983 and 1984.

From 1985 to 1991, Mr. Seidman served as the fourteenth chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Under President George H.W. Bush, Seidman was tapped to head up the newly created federal agency called the Resolution Trust Corp. (RTC), which landed the mammoth task of cleaning up the S&L mess.

While at the RTC, he supervised the creation of an agency of 8,000 employees handling more than $400 billion in assets from failed S&Ls. The experience led to his 1989 book "Full Faith and Credit" (Random House). He also was the author of "Productivity-The American Advantage" with Steven L. Shancke, (Simon & Schuster, 1989).

Mr. Seidman made literally hundreds of appearances on CNBC over the years, weighing in on some of the biggest business stories of the last two decades. In October 2008 he penned his first blog. Sitting at a desk in the CNBC studios, he put pen to paper and wrote his blog, "How Good a Landlord Will Treasury Be?"

Among many other accomplishments, Mr. Seidman was also managing partner of Seidman & Seidman Certified Public Accountants (now BDO Seidman), New York, from 1968 to 1974. Under his stewardship, the firm expanded from a small family enterprise to become a national public accounting firm.

Also of note, Mr. Seidman was an avid cyclist, biking to work almost daily. He said he did it because he loved to be around young people.

At his death, Mr. Seidman was a consultant to RWB Capital Management. He formerly served as a consultant to the World Bank, Deposit Corporation of Japan, Morgan Stanley (Asia), Ernst & Young, Nippon Credit Bank, Freddie Mac, and the Capital Group. He also was a member of the board of directors of InteliData, Fiserv, Clark/Bardes,, GMAC Mortgage, and LML Systems.

He is survived by his wife Sally, six children, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Original Source :

Steve Neild, Kate Gosselin

Steve Neild, Kate GosselinKate Gosselin on Cheating Rumors: "I Am Horrified"

Kate Gosselin is trying to put the kibosh on the latest round of rumors before they even start.

Apparently, the tabs will soon be following up their adultery stories on her husband, Jon Gosselin, with tales of the matriarch's tryst with bodyguard Steve Neild.

The claims, the star of TLC's Jon & Kate Plus 8 says, are false.

"The next story coming out from the animals that stalk us is about our security person and his family," she tells People. "Already the allegations they're making about me are disgusting, unthinkable, unfathomable, and I am horrified."

This report comes just one week after Jon's supposed mistress, Deanna Hummel, insisted she and the reality star are "just friends."

Kate Gosselin explains that her family's relationship with Neild's is close, and only natural given their proximity.

"These are people who absolutely love us and want to see us through to the end," she says. "Of course, both of them travel with us at times, we've spent holidays together, because, in this situation, your circle grows smaller and smaller, and it's very natural to become friends with your manager, your publicist, your security team."

The mother of twins and sextuplets admits to leaving her family open for scrutiny by signing up to lead a public life, but she fears the effect it has had on her friendships and other family members.

"We willingly made a conscious decision to put this out there. Our friends and family did not. I had no idea we would potentially take down the people that we love around us."

While she attempts, in the interview, to put an end to rumors of her straying from her marriage, she claims she's uncertain how to end the current tabloid fascination with her family.

"The scary thing for me is [the tabloids] are going to take information and create a story," she told the magazine. "It's a matter of 'when will they stop?' They're going to keep going, and they'll make up stuff to connect the dots."

As far as the reality show goes, the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that production was running behind schedule as producers scrambled to decide how to handle all the scandalous rumors contextually. However, a rep for TLC tells E! News the show is still in production and the new season will premiere on May 25.

Original Source :



NTSB: Pilots spoke of fears moments before icy crash.

Cockpit voice recorders reveal the pilot and first officer of a doomed commuter flight were making small talk against regulations as they tried to land. It happened in February outside Buffalo, New York, before a crash that killed all aboard. Today, the National Transportation Safety Board released details of its investigation.

When Colgan Air Flight 3407 slammed into a house outside of Buffalo in February, the man at the helm had previously failed five flying competency tests and it seems he may have made the wrong decision when the plane stalled.

All 49 people aboard and one person on the ground were killed when the plane crashed during an ice storm.

Captain Marvin Renslow was flying the plane low, then, a stall warning sounded, and an airplane computer pushed the nose of the plane down to gain speed. Renslow apparently pulled the plane's nose back up -- the wrong thing to do in that situation. Renslow, sources tell ABC News, had never been trained to handle that situation.

Moments before the plane went down, the captain and first officer could also be heard chatting about their careers and their fear of flying in icy weather.

Colgan defends the Captain, saying they did not know about three of Renslow's failed tests when he was hired.and they say he had passed six safety checks in the months prior to the accident.

Relatives of the victims met with New York Senator Chuck Schumer about the investigation.

Original Source :

Carrie Prejean

Carrie PrejeanUpdate | 12:28 p.m. And back in New York … At the end of a nearly half-hour ceremony cum press conference, Donald Trump slung a glittery white “Miss California USA” sash across Carrie Prejean. Then they hugged and kissed.

It was a happy ending to what Ms. Prejean and Mr. Trump had described as a traumatic period of “abuse” of her because she had said honestly that she believes marriage should be between one man and one woman. Ms. Prejean noted that both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton share that view.

In a question-and-answer period, Mr. Trump declined to state his own view on same-sex marriage. “This isn’t about me,” he said, to some laughter among the news media.

“Come on, Donald, say it,” Ms. Prejean prodded, but to no avail. He said that gay marriage is a big, complicated issue, and that he understands both sides.

Meanwhile, if Ms. Prejean wants to speak publicly about same-sex marriage in the future, she will have to go through the Miss California USA pageant officials to discuss the platform where she will speak and how she will present her opinion.

“We’re not changing our rules for Carrie,” Keith Lewis, a co-executive director of the California pageant, said in an interview. “We’re bringing her back into compliance with her contract; every appearance is approved by us, every statement is a reflection of us.”

He said that if she is asked about her views, she should answer honestly, but that pageant officials would help her “fine tune” her response so that it “is accommodating to both parties.”

Ms. Prejean said she was “not going to be speaking out” against same-sex marriage but would “stay true to who I am.” She said the publicity about the issue over the last few weeks had not given her any reason to re-think her position.

At the news conference, both Mr. Trump and Ms. Prejean accused Perez Hilton, a gay blogger and judge in the Miss USA pageant who had asked her about same-sex marriage, of self-promotion. But that clearly is not a crime in Mr. Trump’s book; he said he would “love” to have Mr. Hilton back as a judge again, and more or less dismissed the whole controversy as Mr. Hilton just “doing his thing.”

“We’re all doing our thing,” he shrugged.

Ms. Prejean said she forgave Mr. Hilton but said she has not spoken to him. She also spoke emotionally about the importance of standing up for your beliefs.

Update 2 | 11:59 a.m. | Meanwhile in Tehran Just a quick interjection here from Robert Mackey — to point out the very great difference between the spectacle taking place in New York this morning involving Miss California USA and another one in Tehran, where Roxana Saberi, the journalist who was once Miss North Dakota, briefly addressed her supporters and the media today. Elsewhere on our Web site we have video of Ms. Saberi — in the right column of this blog’s home page — and an article on her first public statement since being released from Evin prison yesterday.

Update | 10:40 a.m. She’s safe!

Donald Trump just declared that Carrie Prejean will remain as Miss California USA. He said that she had given an honest answer to a tough question, and that there’s nothing wrong with the pictures of her. “We’re very proud of her,” he said, calling her strong, tough, smart and very beautiful.

Ms. Prejean is now giving a lengthy response. “I would like to thank God for trusting me with this large task and giving me the strength to stand by my beliefs,” she said. She also blasted Perez Hilton for asking her a question that she said was politically charged and hid his own personal agenda.

“I am convinced more than ever of the importance of standing up for your beliefs and convictions,” she declared.

We’ll be back shortly with more from her speech.

The scene, by the way, is taking place in a lower level corner of the Trump Tower, at the bottom of a well of glassy escalators and soaring rosy marble walls. It’s jammed with at least 100 photographers, reporters, videographers, cameramen and sound guys. One TV producer who was here for the final “Apprentice” episode on Sunday night tells us there are way more cameras here for this. Ms. Prejean’s
parents are sitting in the front row.

Scores of people are lining the upper tiers, staring down at the scene as if we are animals in the zoo.
Mr. Trump said the turnout was evidence that Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants had become “so relevant.”

Original Post | 9:34 a.m. Pull up a seat with us here at the Trump Tower while we await the big news of the day — whether Donald Trump will snatch back the tiara from Carrie Prejean, the Miss California USA who does not believe in same-sex marriage. Mr. Trump is to announce his decision at 11 a.m. Eastern time; check back with us then to learn her fate.

Those of you following this saga will immediately notice something different this morning. The stage set has switched overnight from sunny California to the gaudy Trump Tower building in midtown Manhattan. And the star of this show is no longer Ms. Prejean, the runner-up in the Miss USA pageant, but the flamboyant Mr. Trump, who has a knack for getting screen time whenever a juicy melodrama starts churning and drawing cameras (Hello, Rosie!).

How, you may wonder, did we go from “Beach Blanket Bingo” to a morality episode of “The Apprentice”?