Custom Search

1969 Rybovich

1969 RybovichU.S. marshalls sieze Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff's 1969 Rybovich luxury yacht in Florida.

A 55-foot luxury yacht and a smaller motor boat owned by jailed con man Bernard Madoff were seized Wednesday by federal marshals in Florida.

The "Bull," a vintage 1969 Rybovich yacht in tip-top condition, and the 24-foot motor boat were grabbed at a pair of marinas down south, said U.S. Marshals spokesman Barry Golden.

The custom-built yacht was worth about $800,000.

The boats were part of the $823 million in assets owned by Madoff and wife Ruth at the end of 2008 - just weeks after the one-time Wall Street wizard admitted running a $65 billion Ponzi scam.

Last week, an attorney involved in the case said French authorities were about to seize Madoff's Chateau des Pins villa - his $1 million, three-bedroom French Riviera hideaway.

Madoff's attorney said the disgraced financier wouldn't fight the seizure.

Federal prosecutors in New York are targeting his penthouse apartment on E. 64th St. and homes in Montauk, L.I., and Palm Beach, Fla.

Authorities hope to use the seized assets to reimburse the hundreds of Madoff victims - although it seems most will only receive a fraction of their lost life savings, retirement funds or other investments.

Madoff remains locked up in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, awaiting his June 16 sentencing. Madoff, 70, faces up to 150 years in prison - a virtual life sentence for the man behind the largest financial swindle in U.S. history.

Original Source :

Guiding Light

Guiding LightCBS Turning Off ‘Guiding Light’

CBS announced Wednesday the cancellation of the longest-running scripted program in broadcasting history, the soap opera “Guiding Light.”

It has been on radio and then television for 72 years, beginning on NBC radio in 1937 and moving to CBS television in 1952. “Guiding Light” is the only program now on the air to have made the transition from radio to television. The last broadcast is scheduled for Sept. 18.

The move came after many years of steep ratings decline for the soap, which was owned by Procter & Gamble, and thus was a link to the earliest days of daytime serial dramas on radio. The dramas gained the name “soap operas” because of sponsorship by soap companies.

CBS and the producers of “Guiding Light” — which was also a throwback in being shot on the East Coast, in Manhattan and on some sets in New Jersey — had taken several steps in recent years to try to keep the franchise alive, especially in switching the production to a digital format intended to reduce costs.

That move last year, to handheld digital cameras and permanent four-walled sets as opposed to the traditional three-walled sets built by soaps to accommodate bulky stationary cameras, saved considerable money, according to CBS executives.

But not enough to save the series. This year the audience for “Guiding Light” declined to just 2.1 million viewers. Its pattern over recent years had been steadily downward from 3 million viewers five years ago.

Original Source :

Calipari Press Conference

Calipari Press ConferenceThe Calipari Era Begins At UK.

John Calipari says he is "humbled and excited" to lead such a "storied program" during his first press conference as Kentucky's basketball coach.

Calipari was introduced Wednesday after the Kentucky athletics board approved an eight-year, $31.65 million contract that will make Calipari the highest paid coach in the nation. Athletic director Mitch Barnhart said Wednesday that the university paid a premium price, but that Calipari "can flat out coach."

"I'm a regular guy, folks," Calipari said. "I do not walk on water; I do not have a magic wand."

The 50-year-old Calipari agreed to terms on Tuesday night to take over college basketball's winningest program. Calipari is 445-140 in 17 seasons, leading both Memphis and Massachusetts to the Final Four.

Original Source :

Marine Corps Marathon

Marine Corps MarathonRegistration for the 34th Annual Marine Corps Marathon opens April 1st.

Registration for the Marine Corps Marathon opens Wednesday, April 1st at 12:00 PM. The field is limited to 30,000 runners, which may lead you to believe you have plenty of time to register. But, Marine Corps is one of this area's premier running events and registration closes out very quickly.

The marathon not for you? There is also a 10K race that will start just minutes after the marathon. Runners will eventually meet up with the marathon course and cross the finish line at the Marine Corps War Memorial. There is also the Healthy Kids Fun Run for kids aged 6-13 held the day before the race. Registration for both the 10K and Kids Run opens May 13th.

The Marine Corps Marathon will be held October 25, 2009. You can register at the race website.

Happy running!

Original Source :

Irrawaddy Dolphins

Irrawaddy Dolphins

Asian Dolphin Less Rare Than Thought.
Recent surveys estimated that Bangladesh’s coast is home to nearly 6,000 Irrawaddy dolphins, several orders of magnitude more than any other population.

Dolphin and porpoise species that have adapted to rivers and deltas around the world have long been considered some of the most vulnerable of marine mammals because of their restricted habitats. In 2007, the baiji, a river dolphin that thrived in the Yangtze River for 20 million years in today’s China, was said by experts to have been driven to extinction by a mix of impacts from the nearly half billion people now living in that watershed. The vaquita, a porpoise living in brackish waters where the Colorado River empties into the Gulf of California, is critically endangered, biologists say, depleted by fishing nets and the disruptions in the great river’s flow in the 20th century from dam construction.

But in the great weaving of mangrove-fringed islets and channels that make up the sprawling coast of Bangladesh, biologists have found a thriving population of another species that marine mammal experts had also thought depleted — the Irrawaddy dolphin. After methodical surveys, biologists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and Chittagong University in Bangladesh estimate that the region is home to 6,000 of the dolphins, by far the largest known population.

Little research had been conducted on marine mammals in the area until now, the wildlife group said. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the species as vulnerable. The new research, published this week in two conservation journals, is reassuring, but the scientists who conducted the surveys warn of growing threats to the species, including risks from entanglement in fishing nets and changes in water flows from damming of the river (as with the Mexican porpoise).

“This discovery gives us great hope that there is a future for Irrawaddy dolphins,” Brian D. Smith of the conservation society, the study’s lead author, said in a statement. “Bangladesh clearly serves as an important sanctuary for Irrawaddy dolphins, and conservation in this region should be a top priority.”

As I’ve written here before, it may well be that the rarest thing in nature these days is abundance. So it’s worth celebrating this survey in Bangladesh. But it’s also worth having another look at the departed baiji, as a reminder of what can be lost when human activities overwhelm an ecosystem:
The Yangtze River dolphin, or baji, is presumed extinct by marine mammal experts.

Original Source :