Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Best Buy Black Friday 2009 Sales !

With Best Buy’s Pre Sales already going on at the moment, we have some details on how you can save a lot of money on some specific Home Theater equipment this Black Friday.
Firstly, the important thing you should know is that Best Buy will be opening their stores at 5am on Black Friday - following the trend of the other retailers eager to beat the crowds. Best Buy will also be kicking off their ‘online sale’ at 2am EST on Thanksgiving Day, so those of you who prefer to stay in over Black Friday better be prepared to stay up late.

As for the deals, you’ll be able to pick up a Sony Bravia DAV-HDX589W 5.1 Channel 1000W Home Theater System for only $279.99 - a huge $150 saving from the original price ($429.99). Features of this product include 1000W of Power, 5.1 channel surround sound, 1080p upconvert DVD player, Apple iPod Dock, 5-disc DVD/CD/MP3 player and much more.

Other deals include a Samsung 5.1 Channel 1000W Home Theater System With Blu-ray Disc Player for just $399.99 ($150 saving) and a Sony STR-DH800 7.1 Channel 770-Watt A/V Receiver for only $279.99 - a saving of $120.

If you are looking for some Home Theater accessories, you’ll be able to buy a 4′ Monster Cable 700 Series HDMI Cable ($49.99), Klipsch Icon 2-Way Triple 5.25″ Floorstanding Speaker ($186.99) and a Tilting Wall Mount For 30″-56″ Flat-Panel TVs - only $99.99.

Adam Lambert On AMAs Censored Performance: 'That's Discrimination'



Even before Adam Lambert's show-stopping performance at the 2009 American Music Awards was edited for the west coast feed of the awards show, the singer told Access Hollywood's Shaun Robinson that he felt censoring his performance would be wrong.

"You know honestly, if I offended some people... it's apples and oranges. I'm not an artist that does things for every single person," Adam told Access' Shaun backstage following his racy performance of "For Your Entertainment," where he kissed male keyboardist Tommy Ratliff, who is straight.

"I believe in artistic freedom and expression, I believe in honoring the lyrics of a song, and those lyrics aren't really for everybody either," he continued.

And before his performance was edited, he told Access the thought of changing what happened on stage for the other half of the country would be a double standard.

"If it's edited, that's discrimination," Adam said. "I will be a little disappointed because there is a little bit of discrimination going in this country. There's a big double standard, female pop artists have been doing things provocative like that for years, and the fact that I'm a male, and I'll be edited and discriminated against could be a problem."

The singer did admit that an edited down performance would not shock him.

"I'm not going to be surprised that they edit it," he continued. "People are scared and it's really sad, I just wish people could open their minds up and enjoy things, it's all for a laugh, it's really not that big of a deal."

Adam said he's only trying to add a little shock to his show - something many before him have done.

"Shock is fun, shock rock is like something that existed, for example, like in the 70's, Alice Cooper...David Bowie, you had artists that liked to push the envelope and that's what made them so fresh," he explained. "I think that surprise is part of entertainment. I think that it keeps people watching its fun, it makes you laugh and it should be that way. And if it made you uncomfortable, maybe I'm not for you."

Early Monday morning the singer thanked his fans on Twitter for their support, writing, "All hail freedom of expression and artistic integrity...fans: I adore u."

Over 100 Icebergs Drifting To New Zealand



More than 100, and possibly hundreds, of Antarctic icebergs are floating towards New Zealand in a rare event which has prompted a shipping warning, officials said on Monday.

An Australian Antarctic Division glaciologist said the ice chunks, spotted by satellite photography, had passed the Auckland Islands and were heading towards the main South Island, about 450 kilometres (280 miles) northeast.

Scientist Neal Young said more than 100 icebergs -- some measuring more than 200 metres (650 feet) across -- were seen in just one cluster, indicating there could be hundreds more.

He said they were the remains of a massive ice floe which split from the Antarctic as sea and air temperatures rise due to global warming.

"All of these have come from a larger one that was probably 30 square kilometres (11.6 square miles) in size when it left Antarctica," Young told AFP.

"It's done a long circuit around Antarctica and now the bigger parts of it are breaking up and producing smaller ones."

He said large numbers of icebergs had not floated this close to New Zealand since 2006, when a number came within 25 kilometres of the coastline -- the first such sighting since 1931.

"They're following the same tracks now up towards New Zealand. Whether they make it up to the South Island or not is difficult to tell," Young said.

New Zealand has already issued coastal navigation warnings for the area in the Southern Ocean where the icebergs have been seen.

"It's really just a general warning for shipping in that area to be on the alert for icebergs," said Maritime New Zealand spokesman Ross Henderson.

The icebergs are smaller remnants of the giant chunks seen off Australia's Macquarie Island this month, including one estimated at two kilometres (1.2 miles) and another twice the size of Beijing's "Bird's Nest" Olympic Stadium.

Young earlier told AFP he expected to see more icebergs in the area if the Earth's temperature continues to increase.

"If the current trends in global warming were to continue I would anticipate seeing more icebergs and the large ice shelves breaking up," he said.

When icebergs last neared New Zealand in 2006, a sheep was helicoptered out to be shorn on one of the floes in a publicity stunt by the country's wool industry.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Target Black Friday Ads

Attention, class. Here's a logic question for you: If it's true that everyone loves a deal, and Black Friday offers the best deals of the year, then is it safe to assume that folks will go into a state of high-grade hysteria the day after Thanksgiving? The answer is: duh, of course.

Though over a week away, Black Friday is already igniting the Search box. Shoppers have pushed up searches on "black friday 2009" and "black friday ads" to dizzying heights. One might think that retailers would keep the deals a secret until the big day, but nothing could be further from the truth.

In an effort to get spend-happy shoppers to their stores, retailers have "leaked" many of their most drool-worthy deals. Offers from Walmart, Best Buy, and Target are all garnering a ton of lookups. And, interestingly, many of the deals are quite similar.

CNN Money explains what shoppers can expect find at Walmart on November 27. According to sources, there will be HDTVs, laptops, toys, and Blu-ray players for the grabbing. Confirmed products include a 50-inch Sanyo 720p plasma TV for $598, a Magnavox Blu-ray player for $78, and a GPS from TomTom for $59.

And across the urban sprawl at Target? A lot of the same, actually. There, you can get a 32-inch LCD HDTV from Westinghouse for $246, some toys for 50 percent off, and toasters and coffeemakers for just $3. Best Buy will reportedly offer shoppers a 50-inch Samsung plasma TV for $898, "huge discounts" on GPS units, and a PlayStation 3 Slim with two games for $300.

It's worth noting that none of these deals are "official," as the stores have yet to confirm them. But odds are, they're the real deal. Set your alarms and sharpen your claws — it's gonna be a long day.

What Is a Nephelococcygia?

Nephelococcygia is a super fun way to kill time. We have often lied on the grass or on the terrace and gazed at the skies and sometimes we imagine shapes when we see clouds. This is exactly what they call Nephelococcygia.

The term Nephelococcygia was derived from Aristophanes’ play “The Birds,” the Greek for “Cloud Cuckoo Land,” the utopian city in the clouds that the main character persuades all the birds in the world to build.

Now no human being can say that they have never gazed at the clouds and imagined shapes. Most do it when they are kids and some big kids even do it now. It works wonder during the spring summer as the sky gets filled with lots of cloud that time.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The World's Ugliest Buildings

Different people have different criteria for what makes a structure unappealing. “The ugliest buildings are the anonymous ones,” says Christopher Bonanos, who edits architecture criticism at New York magazine. “Even if an experimental, high-profile building doesn’t quite deliver, at least the architect is trying something. A boring building is a warehouse in the middle of New Jersey.”

For Jason Fifield, an associate at Ankrom Moisan Architects in Portland, what makes a building ugly “is when the design isn’t generated by real reasons but rather by arbitrariness, just for the sake of creating an image.”

To compile our list of the world’s ugliest structures, we consulted with architects and design experts as well as the general public. Pretty much everybody had something to say. For instance, there aren’t many admirers of the spherical houses on long pole “stems” planted, like so many mushrooms, in the Netherlands. (The architect was given free rein courtesy of a Dutch subsidy for experimental housing.) Then there’s the midwestern corporate headquarters that takes the form of a huge picnic basket. Sure, it’s funny from the outside, but probably not for the employees of Longaberger, in Newark, OH, who have to go work in a hamper every day.

1. Harold Washington Library,Chicago



If buildings came with footnotes, this one, named for a beloved former mayor who deserved better, would have pages worth of citations. Neoclassical references collide with a glass-and-steel Mannerist roof; throw in some red brick, granite, and aluminum—and a bad sense of scale—and you’ve got way too much architecture class for one day.

The Ugly Truth: Opened in 1991 and designed by the firm Hammond, Beeby, and Babka, the Chicago public library has a helter-skelter application of motifs and styles that’s “locked in the postmodern era,” says Peter Koliopoulos of Circle West Architects in Scottsdale, Ariz.

2.Longaberger Home Office,Newark, Ohio


If you worked here, you’d be conducting business in a 9,000-ton copy of a woven-wood basket. Its stucco-over-steel construction was an award-winning feat, apparently; the synthetic plaster received a prize. But it’s as if, in 1997, a giant-size Little Red Riding Hood set down her seven-story hamper on a flat section of Ohio.

The Ugly Truth: True, the company purveys handcrafted baskets. And founder Dave Longaberger’s dream headquarters was a replica of his favorite basket. But hey, Crate & Barrel employees don’t schedule meetings in a 10-story sofa.

3. The Ideal Palace,Hauterives, France


Cinderella’s dream digs it’s not, but Le Palais Idéal does bring to mind a fairy tale — the kind one might have visions of after dropping acid. Gargoyles peer out at grottoes with Hindu temples, and tiny mosque-motifs adorn squiggly stone pillars.

The Ugly Truth: In the mid-1800s, Ferdinand Cheval tripped over a stone while delivering mail and was seized with inspiration—his life’s work would be to build a stone château. Over the next three decades, he marked stones while covering his route, returning in the evening with a wheelbarrow to collect them.

4. The Portland Building,Portland, Ore.



Let’s break out the government-building checklist. Small, boring windows? Check. Humdrum off-white masonry? Yes. Terracotta pilasters and shiny blue glass? That, too. The first three levels of the squat, 15-story municipal-services structure are covered in dark green tiles, adding to the bewildering gaudy-meets-tedious tone.

The Ugly Truth: Michael Graves won a competition to design the building in 1982. Postmodernism was all the rage in the ’80s, which explains the randomly-stuck-on historical motifs. “Many buildings from that decade look fake,” says architect Stephen R. Connors, who has his own firm in Warwick, NY.

5. Bolwoningen Houses,Hertogenbosch, Netherlands


If Lewis Carroll’s Alice wandered into a 1960s sci-fi flick, she might have come across something like these bulbous houses. The residents live inside bizarre-looking bubbles (small ones, at 18 feet across) with UFO-like windows.

The Ugly Truth: In the late 1970s, the Dutch government offered subsidies for experimental housing, and the architect—one Dries Kreijkamp—certainly complied with the directive. The 50 bolwoningen (bol = sphere, woningen = houses) sprouted up in a city that seems to infect artists with a fantastical streak; it’s the hometown of Hieronymus Bosch, the 15th-century painter known for his half-dream, half-nightmare-like renderings.

TCU Stuck In BCS Standings After Big Win



TCU’s big victory wasn’t enough for the Horned Frogs to make a move up the BCS standings.

TCU (10-0) on Sunday remained behind Florida, Alabama and Texas in the race to the national title game.

The Horned Frogs defeated Utah 55-28 on Saturday night in what figured to be the most difficult game left on their schedule. But they remained stuck in fourth place in Bowl Championship Series standings.

TCU, from the Mountain West Conference, last week became the first team from a league without an automatic BCS bid to break into the top five of the standings this late in a season.

If the Horned Frogs can beat Wyoming and New Mexico to finish a perfect regular season, they will earn their first BCS bid and cross off another achievement on the pyramid of goals coach Gary Patterson has on display for his team.

“If we win two games, we have an opportunity to color in a box higher than we’ve ever colored in in this program, to go to a BCS,” he said Sunday. “That’s about as far as I take it.”

Unless Alabama, Florida or Texas slip up, that’s about as far as TCU will be able to take it.

Florida has been in first since the standings were initially released last month. Alabama is second and Texas is third.

The Gators and Crimson Tide meet in the SEC championship on Dec. 5. If they can both reach that game undefeated, a spot in the BCS title game on Jan. 7 would be guaranteed to the winner.

If Texas can win its remaining two regular-season games and the Big 12 championship game, it’s a virtual lock to play for the national championship at the Rose Bowl.

Undefeated Cincinnati is in fifth place and unbeaten Boise State is sixth in the latest BCS standings.

Like the Horned Frogs, the Bearcats and Broncos need help from the teams in front of them in order to make a national title game appearance.

At least the Bearcats control their fate when it comes to getting into one of the other four big-money bowl games. If Cincinnati can beat Pittsburgh in the regular-season finale, it will earn the Big East’s automatic BCS berth for the second straight year.

Boise State from the Western Athletic Conference is in danger of being left out of the BCS after a perfect regular season for the second consecutive year.

Only one team from the conferences without automatic bids can earn an automatic bid by finishing in the top 12 of the final standings, and TCU is in line to earn that invite.

The Broncos are in position to be eligible for an at-large bid but no team from outside the six automatic-qualifying leagues has ever been an at-large selection.

New Miley Cyrus Dead Rumors Surface!!



It wouldn’t be a quality weekend without one fake celebrity death, and one of the golden oldies claiming Miley Cyrus is dead has resurfaced.

The latest Miley Cyrus dead rumor comes complete (like most of them do) with a car crash story. The claim is that Miley Cyrus was on her way to film the Hannah Montana show and “was in a terrible car accident and died.”

Miley is said to have been struck by a large truck that ran a red light traveling at a speed of about 55 mph.

Like every similar incarnation of the rumor previously, it simply isn’t true. Miley Cyrus is not dead, Miley Cyrus has not died, end of story.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Eight Foods That Fight Fat!



Almonds- Almond joy! Dieters who ate 3 ounces of these nuts every day reduced their weight and body-mass index by a solid 18 percent compared with an 11 percent drop in the no-nut group, a study in the International Journal of Obesity found. Almonds are high in alpha-linolenic acid, which can speed the metabolism of fats. Stick to 12 per serving.

Berries- Vitamin C–loaded fruit such as strawberries and raspberries can help you sizzle up to 30 percent more fat during exercise, suggests research from Arizona State University at Mesa. Blend a vinaigrette of 1 cup berries and ¼ cup balsamic vinegar.

Cinnamon -This spice could make your waistline nice. Sprinkling ¼ teaspoon on your food may prevent a postmeal insulin spike—this increase normally occurs after you eat and “signals the body that it should store fat rather than burn it,” explains Lauren Slayton, R.D., of New York City. Add a dash to your oatmeal, yogurt or coffee.

Mustard -Hello, yellow. The spice that gives mustard its color, turmeric, may slow the growth of fat tissues, a study in the journal Endocrinology notes. Eighty-six mayo in favor of any mustard; sprinkle turmeric on cauliflower and roast for a tangy side.

Oranges- Prevent pound creep with this citrus star: It contains fat-torching compounds called flavones. Women who ate the most flavones had a significantly lower increase in body fat over a 14-year period, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds. Snack on slices or drink freshly squeezed OJ (with pulp!) for the biggest payback.

Soybeans- These green gems are rich in choline, a compound that blocks fat absorption and breaks down fatty deposits. Add ½ cup edamame to a salad.

Sweet potatoes- Trade up to sweet taters. They’re high in fiber, which means no drastic insulin jumps and thus less fat packed onto your hips. Bake a small sweet potato—think of two bars of soap as a portion size—and top with a dollop of lowfat or nonfat cottage cheese.

Swiss cheese
- Holy cow: “Calcium-rich foods reduce fat-producing enzymes and increase fat breakdown,” says Michael B. Zemel, Ph.D., director of the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Put toe to toe with some of its cheesy counterparts, Swiss is a heavy hitter in the calcium department; layer a slice on a lunchtime sandwich, or stack some on high-fiber crackers.

Justin Bieber,Care Bears On Fire in True Jackson VP!



A new season of Nickelodeon’s hit show “True Jackson VP” will be premiering on November 14th at 8:30 PM.

“True Jackson VP” stars Keke Palmer.

The premiere episode features special guest Justin Bieber along with the band Care Bears on Fire.

There will also be a one hour special feature movie of “True Jackson VP” which will guest star Tyler James Williams and Natasha Bedingfield on November 21st at 8:30 PM.

Will you be tuning in for Justin’s episode of “True Jackson VP” on the Nickelodeon television channel?

Rare Atari Game Sells For Over $5,000



When it was released in the 1980s, the Atari 2600 game "The Music Machine" didn’t exactly tear up the charts. That's because it was only sold in religious bookstores, making it one of the rarest games to ever be released for the legendary console.

And for a mere $5,250, it could be yours -- or could have been, had you beaten out the winner of this eBay listing.

Sweetening the deal is the fact that this particular copy of the game is still sealed, meaning the original cartridge and manual are in mint condition. Copies of the nearly-impossible-to-find game don’t often come up for sale, and when they do, they're typically in much worse shape.

So what do you do in the game, exactly? We're not really sure -- few have ever even held a copy, much less played it -- but according to the game box, it sounds like a religious take on the Atari classic, Kaboom!:

"Symbols representing character-building qualities (the Fruit of the Spirit) are raining down from above. Stevie and Nancy need your help to collect the symbols and to avoid the mischievous pudgeons...and with each gift of Love you collect, the symbols rain heavier and faster."

Pacquiao VS Cotto



LAS VEGAS — Manny Pacquiao weighed in at 144 pounds, his heaviest ever, while Miguel Cotto came in at the contract limit of 145 pounds for their scheduled 12-round fight.

A raucous crowd of about 7,000, some of whom had been waiting for hours, was on hand Friday at the MGM Grand to see both fighters make weight for the bout.

Pacquiao, who began boxing at 105 pounds, weighed 2 pounds more than the 142 he weighed last year when he stopped Oscar De La Hoya. He was 138 pounds for his last fight, a second-round knockout of Ricky Hatton.

Cotto was the lightest he has been since weighing 145 pounds when he defeated Zab Judah two years ago.

TONY ALAMO:Evangelist Gets 175 Years For Sex Crimes



Evangelist Tony Alamo used his stature as a self-proclaimed prophet to force underage girls into sham marriages with him, controlling his followers with their fears of eternal suffering.

But the judge who sentenced Alamo on Friday to 175 years in prison for child sexual abuse warned of another kind of justice awaiting the aging evangelist.

"Mr. Alamo, one day you will face a higher and a greater judge than me," U.S. District Judge Harry F. Barnes told the preacher. "May he have mercy on your soul."

Barnes leveled the maximum sentence against the 75-year-old, who preyed on followers' young daughters and took child "brides" as young as age 8. A jury convicted Alamo in July on a 10-count indictment accusing him of taking the girls across state lines for sex.

Alamo, who has made millions through his ministry, also must pay $250,000 in fines. He will return to court for a Jan. 13 hearing at which Barnes will determine if the five women who testified about their sexual abuse will be paid restitution. Federal prosecutors say an expert believes each one should get $2.7 million for the physical and mental abuse they endured.

Barnes said Alamo used his influence as both a father figure and a pastor to force himself upon impressionable girls who feared "the loss of their salvation."

"You are described by others who testified as a prophet of God, a person of trust, a person of supreme authority in the church," Barnes said, staring the pale preacher. "It's hard to imagine the scenario and the damage that occurred to these five young girls."

Alamo, who had muttered and cursed through his two-week trial, stood silently during the sentencing, dressed in a yellow prison uniform and a blue windbreaker. Before Barnes' ruling, Alamo told the judge: "I lean on the lord Jesus Christ."

Nicolas Cage loses 2 homes in foreclosure auction



Even Academy Award winners are suffering from financial woes this recession. Actor Nicolas Cage lost two homes in New Orleans worth a total of $6.8 million in a foreclosure auction Thursday.

Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions Bank purchased Cage's 1140 Royal Street property in the French Quarter appraised at $3.5 million for $2.3 million. The bank, which has about 1,900 branches throughout the South, Midwest and Texas, paid $2.2 million for Cage's 2523 Pataniya Street property appraised at $3.3 million in the Garden District.

New Orleans's civil Sheriff Paul Valteau said no other bids were made on the houses.

Cage owed $5.5 million in mortgage payments and $151,730 to the City of New Orleans in real estate taxes, according to Valteau.

Hancock Park Real Estate Co., a corporation through which Cage purchased both homes, is listed as the official property owner. Valteau said attorneys representing Samuel Levin, Cage's former business manager, set up the corporation so that Cage's name would not appear on the mortgage documents -- a common strategy among celebrities.

Levin also was listed on the mortgage document as the agent for service of process, Valteau added. That agent is the officer appointed by a corporation to receive legal notices.

Last month, Cage filed a lawsuit against Levin in California claiming that Levin duped the Hollywood actor out of more than $20 million since 2001 when he was hired.

The suit said Levin "lined his pockets with several million dollars in business management fees while sending Cage down a path toward financial ruin."

The suit went on to say Cage has "discovered that he is now forced to sell major assets and investments at a significant loss and is faced with huge tax liabilities because of Levin's incompetence, misrepresentations and recklessness. Rather than attaining financial security, Cage has been forced to dispose of significant assets in order to pay for Levin's gross misconduct."

A reporter's calls to Levin's office for comment were not immediately returned.

CNN reported that Cage owes more than $6 million in back taxes and his properties in California and Las Vegas have also been foreclosed on and are designated for auction later this month.

The actor, who's known for his roles in Leaving Las Vegas and National Treasure, has 5 projects slated for 2010, according to the Internet Movie Database.

Water On The Moon



A "significant amount" of frozen water has been found on the moon, the US space agency said Friday heralding a giant leap forward in space exploration and boosting hopes of a permanent lunar base.

Preliminary data from a dramatic experiment on the moon "indicates the mission successfully uncovered water in a permanently shadowed lunar crater," NASA said in a statement.

"The discovery opens a new chapter in our understanding of the moon," it added, as ecstatic scientists celebrated the landmark discovery.

"Yes indeed we found water and we did not find only a little bit but a significant amount," said Anthony Colaprete, project scientist and principal investigator for the 79-million-dollar LCROSS mission.

The data was found after NASA sent two spacecraft crashing into the lunar surface last month in a dramatic experiment to probe Earth's nearest neighbor for water.

One rocket slammed into the Cabeus crater, near the lunar southern pole, at around 5,600 miles (9,000 kilometers) per hour.

Moon holds key to solar system's secrets

The rocket was followed four minutes later by a spacecraft equipped with cameras to record the impact which sent a huge plume of material billowing up from the bottom of the crater, untouched by sunlight for billions of years.

"In the 20 to 30 meter crater we found maybe about a dozen, at least, two-gallon buckets of water. This is an initial result," Colaprete told reporters.

"We are ecstatic," he added in a statement.

"Multiple lines of evidence show water was present in both the high angle vapor plume and the ejecta curtain created by the LCROSS Centaur impact.

"The concentration and distribution of water and other substances requires further analysis, but it is safe to say Cabeus holds water," Colaprete said.

Scientists had previously theorized that, except for the possibility of ice at the bottom of craters, the moon was totally dry.

Finding water on Earth's natural satellite is a major breakthrough in space exploration.

"It's very exciting, it is painting a new image of the moon," said Gregory Deloy, from the University of California hailing it as "an extraordinary discovery."

He theorized that "one of the possible source of water is a comet."

"We're unlocking the mysteries of our nearest neighbor and, by extension, the solar system," said Michael Wargo, chief lunar scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington.

"The full understanding of the LCROSS data may take some time. The data is that rich," Colaprete cautioned.

"Along with the water in Cabeus, there are hints of other intriguing substances. The permanently shadowed regions of the moon are truly cold traps, collecting and preserving material over billions of years."

Only 12 men, all Americans, have ever walked on the moon, and the last to set foot there were in 1972, at the end of the Apollo missions.

But NASA's ambitious plans to put US astronauts back on the moon by 2020 to establish manned lunar bases for further exploration to Mars under the Constellation project are increasingly in doubt.

NASA's budget is currently too small to pay for Constellation's Orion capsule, a more advanced and spacious version of the Apollo lunar module, as well as the Ares I and Ares V launchers needed to put the craft in orbit.

A key review panel appointed by President Barack Obama said existing budgets are not large enough to fund a return mission before 2020.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Alavi Foundation:Feds Move To Seize 4 U.S. Mosques


"The Razi school is seen here Thursday in the Queens borough of New York. Federal prosecutors took steps Thursday to seize four US mosques and a Fifth Avenue skyscraper owned by a nonprofit Muslim organization long suspected of being secretly controlled by the Iranian government. "

The US government moved Thursday to seize four mosques and a skyscraper owned by the Alavi Foundation, an Islamic nonprofit organization in New York that federal prosecutors say is a front for the Iranian government.

The move comes at a delicate moment for US-Iranian relations. There have been signs of some diplomatic thawing between the two nations. Recent negotiations about Iran's nuclear program – which the US fears could be used to produce nuclear weapons – resulted in a compromise deal that would allow Iran's nuclear fuel to be enriched outside the country.

Iran, however, has so far not endorsed the deal, leading to renewed calls for tougher sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Moreover, Iran has charged three American hikers arrested over the summer in Iran with espionage.

The new effort by federal prosecutors to cast an Iranian nonprofit as an arm of the Iranian government could fray relations further.

The forfeiture action is part of an investigation into the Alavi Foundation, which the government says has sent millions of dollars to Iran's Bank Melli. In March, the US Treasury Department called the bank a key fundraising arm for Iran's nuclear program.

The timing of the development probably had nothing to do with the current dynamic in US-Iranian relations, Michael Rubin, an Iranian expert at the American Enterprise Institute, told the Associated Press. "It's taken ages dealing with the nuts and bolts of the investigation. It's not the type of investigation which is part of any larger strategy."

The original lawsuit filed in 2008 sought to seize Assa Co.'s 40 percent interest in the 36-story New York skyscraper. The Justice Department alleges that Assa, which is headquartered in Britain's Jersey Islands, is also a front for Bank Melli.

Thursday's filing is an amendment to that original lawsuit. It seeks to seize the remaining 60 percent of the skyscraper, which is controlled by Alavi, as well as properties in New York, Maryland, Virginia, Texas, and California controlled by Alavi – including four mosques.

Alavi President Farhsid Jahedi was also arrested last year and accused by Justice Department prosecutors of illegally destroying documents. The case is pending.

A lawyer for the group said it will fight the move in court and that Alavi Foundation is not linked to the Iranian government.

Burger King Sued Over $1 Burgers



Burger King
franchisees sued the hamburger company this week over its $1 double cheeseburger promotion, saying they're losing money on the deal and the company can't set maximum menu prices.

The National Franchise Association, a group that represents more than 80 percent of Burger King's U.S. franchise owners, said the $1 promotion forces restaurant owners to sell the quarter-pound burger with at least a 10-cent loss.

While costs vary by location, the $1 double cheeseburger typically costs franchisees at least $1.10, said Dan Fitzpatrick, a Burger King franchisee from South Bend, Ind. who is a spokesman for the association. That includes about 55 cents for the cost of the meat, bun, cheese and toppings. The remainder typically covers expenses such as rent, royalties and worker wages.

"New math, or old math, the math just doesn't work," Fitzpatrick said.

After testing the $1 deal in markets across the country, the discounted burger went on sale nationwide last month even though franchise owners, who operate 90 percent of the company's 12,000 locations, twice rejected the product because of its expense.

"The current management team has disregarded rights that Burger King franchisees have always had," Pennsylvania franchise owner Steve Lewis said in a statement.

Denise Wilson, a spokeswoman for the nation's No. 2 hamburger chain, said the Miami restaurant company believes the litigation is "without merit," particularly after an earlier appeals court ruling this year showing the company had a right to require franchise owners to participate in its value menu promotions.

Restaurants, especially fast-food chains, have been slashing menu prices because of the poor economy. Executives hope the deeply discounted deals will bring in diners who are spending less when they eat out, or opting to stay home altogether.

When the $1 double cheeseburger was announced this fall, analyst said it could increase restaurant visits by as much as 20 percent. But despite that boost, a Deutsche Bank analyst said as much as half of the gain recorded from increased traffic could be lost because customers were spending less when they ordered food.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Southern Florida.

Burger King shares fell 18 cents, or 1 percent, to close at $17.12 Thursday.

Elite School Sees Dark Side of Limelight


"Demonstrators from Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas protest across the street from Sidwell Friends; students hold a counter-protest.(Carol Guzy/the Washington Post)"

Its parent-teacher conferences made the evening news. So did cases of swine flu. And Sidwell Friends School has recently been the target of a few small protests that seem aimed at prominent parents, not students.

The school, long a favorite of Washington's leading families, is no stranger to presidential children. But in the months since Barack and Michelle Obama decided to send their daughters there, Sidwell has been pulled into the spotlight of a distinctly 21st-century culture -- one that is increasingly celebrity-obsessed and often shockingly unmannered.

Educators and others at Sidwell have portrayed this as what their most famous parent might call a "teachable moment."

When five anti-Obama, anti-gay protesters appeared in front of the school's Wisconsin Avenue NW entrance Monday morning, they were met by 150 Sidwell students waving signs ranging from "There is that of God in Everyone" to "I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It."

"I guess they think they can influence what we think because we're young and vulnerable," said Daniel Edminster, a Sidwell junior. "They can't."

The school, founded in 1883, taught children of three White House occupants before the Obamas: Theodore Roosevelt, Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton. Vice President Biden's grandchildren go there, as did Al Gore's son while Gore was vice president.

But in the 1990s, when Chelsea Clinton attended, Twitter and Facebook didn't exist to amplify and extend conversations. (There have been more than 175 tweets about the protests in front of Sidwell since Monday.) Nor did the Internet function as a gathering place for the political fringe to the extent that it does today.

Administrators at Sidwell said they remembered two protests in the 4 1/2 years that Chelsea Clinton attended the school. This year, there have been two protests since mid-September.

The news media and the blogosphere have put the school under a microscope, too. GQ recently named the school's admissions director the 50th most powerful person in Washington. The Obama girls' first day of school merited a two-page spread in People. Its racial dynamics were analyzed on NPR. Its lunch menu is scrutinized by sustainable food advocates and doctors groups.

On the political front, pro-school-voucher activists invoke Sidwell again and again in their arguments for letting families use public money to send their kids to private schools.

Parents, students and educators say that the Quaker school's values of egalitarianism and thoughtfulness haven't changed under the spotlight but that expressions of students' views have become more visible to the public.

"I don't think anything in the culture has really changed," said Chris Dorval, whose daughter attends Sidwell's high school. But, he said, the attention has "kind of crystallized their culture in a way."

The school's former head said that even negative attention could, in the end, be valuable for the students. "In some ways, these kinds of experiences deeply enrich the education students get," said Bruce Stewart, who spent 11 years as head of Sidwell before he retired at the end of June. "You want to hear those voices, listen to them and make a judgment about it. That's an important thing for kids to learn . . . not acquiescing to it, not being duped by it, but hearing it."

Even at the lower school, where the five protesters chanted slogans that were not lower-school or family-newspaper appropriate at dismissal time Tuesday, parents said that they would try to use the demonstration as a teachable moment.

"My son is in kindergarten, and he won't really understand the content," said Amy Henderson, who was waiting with her preschool-age daughter in the car line. She could have stayed at home with her daughter and had someone else pick up her son, she said. But she said that she wanted to see the protest and talk about it with him. "We have too many same-sex couples as friends for it to be an issue," she said.

Not everyone at the school sees a big difference in public interest in the school between the Clinton and Obama eras.

"It's not really different between the mid-'90s and now," said Ellis Turner, associate head of the school. "This has happened now within a condensed period of time," he said of the protests, which he called "a low blow."

Turner said he didn't know whether protests would become a regular feature of school life. "We'll have to see," he said.

On Monday morning, an orderly counter-protest didn't prevent orderly learning.

"Guys, first-period class is getting ready to start," Turner told the massed students shortly before 8.

All but a few packed away their signs and headed into the school, leaving behind the five protesters on the other side of the street.

CMA Awards 2009 Winners



Swift Taylor


All the winners of the Country Music Association Awards have been unveiled with their winning trophies. The awards giving ceremony was held live from Sommet Center in Nashville on November 11, 2009.

Martina McBride and George performed on “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” as a tribute to Barbara Mandrell who is announced as a Hall of Famer this year.
But amongst all the winners, Swift Taylor was the most happiest and luckiest one got four awards for her self in four different categories. She said that she will never forget this moment.

“I’ll never forget this moment because in this moment, everything I ever wanted has just happened to me,”


THE OTHER WINNERS ARE

Entertainer of the Year: Taylor Swift
Male Vocalist of the Year: Brad Paisley
Single of the Year: ”I Run to You,” Lady Antebellum
Album of the Year: Fearless, Taylor Swift
Female Vocalist of the Year: Taylor Swift
Song of the Year: ”In Color,” Jamey Johnson (w/ cowriters Lee Thomas Miller and James Otto)
Music Video of the Year: ”Love Story,” Taylor Swift
Best New Artist of the Year: Darius Rucker
Musician of the Year: Mac McAnally
Event of the Year: ”Start a Band,” Brad Paisley and Keith Urban
Vocal Group of the Year: Lady Antebellum
Vocal Duo of the Year: Sugarland

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

AEROSMITH:Joe Perry, Steven Tyler Reunite Onstage



Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler joined estranged bandmate Joe Perry on stage in New York in hopes of setting the record straight about the future of the feuding rock group."New York, I want you to know I'm not leaving Aerosmith," Tyler told fans in a surprise appearance on Tuesday night at a concert by Perry's solo side project, music web site NME.com reported.

Tyler, 61 and Perry, his songwriting partner of 40 years, then launched into a version of "Walk This Way", one of Aerosmith's biggest hits, NME.com said.
The future of the band has been in doubt since a North American tour was cut short in August when Tyler fell off stage, and relations between Perry and Tyler deteriorated to a low this week with bitter Twitter messages and cryptic asides about whether Tyler is still with the band.

Perry, who said earlier this week that the band was "positively" seeking a new singer, indicated on Wednesday that all was still not well in the band. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he referred to Tyler as an "acquaintance."
"He wants to take two years off from the band," Perry told the magazine. "The rest of the band wants to keep on working. We have so many different options to fill up that time. Anything is possible at this point. Basically, any communication that we've had over the last couple of months has been through managers, so that's been pretty strange."

Tyler, on the other hand, told celebrity web site TMZ.com after Tuesday's appearance that "There is absolutely no validity to the rumor that Aerosmith is breaking up."
Perry told Rolling Stone that he was just as surprised as the fans when Tyler showed up at the venue, and asked to sing the encore tune.

"Being an acquaintance of 40 years, I said, 'Why not?'" Perry said. " So he came up and sang and that was the last I saw of him."

Walmart Black Friday !



A year after an unruly crowd trampled a worker to death at a Wal-Mart store, the nation’s retailers are preparing for another Black Friday, the blockbuster shopping day after Thanksgiving. Along with offering $300 laptops and $99 navigation devices, stores are planning new safety measures to make sure the festive day does not take another deadly turn.

Last year, frenzied shoppers at a Wal-Mart in Valley Stream, N.Y., trampled Jdimytai Damour, a temporary store worker who died soon afterward. To prevent any repeat, Wal-Mart has sharply changed how it intends to manage the crowds.

That new plan, developed by experts who have wrangled throngs at events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics, will affect how customers approach and enter the stores, shop, check out and exit. Each store will have its own customized plan. The hope is for an orderly Black Friday, a seemingly incongruous notion.

The most significant change at Wal-Mart is that the majority of its discount stores (as opposed to its Supercenters) will open Thanksgiving morning at 6 a.m. and stay open through Friday evening. Last year, those stores closed Thanksgiving evening and reopened early Friday morning. By keeping the stores open for 24 hours, Wal-Mart is hoping for a steady flow of shoppers instead of mammoth crowds swelling outside its stores in the wee hours of Friday.

In another new twist this year, shoppers at Wal-Mart will not have to sprint toward a pile of flat-screen televisions and scuffle with one another to get one. Rather, customers will be able to enter the store at any time and line up at merchandise displays for the must-have items on their lists. When the products go on sale Friday at 5 a.m., workers will supervise the lines, giving shoppers the merchandise in the order in which they joined the line — until the goods are out of stock.

(Only a small percentage of stores will not be open 24 hours; most Wal-Mart Supercenters are already open 24 hours.)

Another problem in the past was the bottleneck at store entrances. Like many big-box retailers, Wal-Mart does not have multiple entrances and exits to spread around customer traffic. So this year the chain will put workers in front of its stores to direct customers and keep them moving.

"We are committed to looking for ways to make our stores even safer for our customers and associates this holiday season,” said David Tovar, a spokesman for Wal-Mart, adding that the retailer was “confident our customers can look forward to a safe and enjoyable shopping experience at Wal-Mart.”

Aggressive shoppers are common the day after Thanksgiving. So crowd control plans, which vary by retailer, are critical. And they are especially important now, given the economy. Newly frugal consumers want more for less, and stores plan to drum up sales with stunning deals.

This year, for the first time, the National Retail Federation created a comprehensive set of guidelines for crowd control at stores. The guidelines note that special markdowns and historically low discounts have led to larger crowds.

“Retailers are very much trying to make themselves stand out in an environment like this,” Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman for the industry group, said in a conference call this week. But she added that “retailers need to understand that many of these sales and promotional periods might draw customers who are more insistent about getting a good deal.”

The federation said retailers were performing dress rehearsals with their employees. Some stores plan to serve drinks to shoppers, or offer entertainment while they are in line, to maintain calm. Also, the stores say that creating a rapport with customers makes news of sellouts and long lines more palatable.

Indeed, Peter Conway, general manager of a Best Buy in Westbury, N.Y., has made a habit of arriving at his store at 7 p.m. Thanksgiving night to chat with shoppers lined up outside.

“I’m outside talking with my customers, just getting to know them, seeing what they’re there for,” he said. “I’m very clear with them: ‘There’s not going to be any running.’ ”

For years, Best Buy has controlled crowds by sending teams of workers into the parking lots to dole out tickets for its so-called door-busters — hot items like digital cameras and laptops at exceedingly low prices. Tickets are given out about 3 a.m. and each customer is allowed one ticket for each door-buster item they intend to buy.

“They know if they have a ticket, they’re guaranteed they have that product,” Mr. Conway said. “It creates ease of mind.”

To keep shoppers from running aimlessly around its stores, Best Buy employees hand out maps, and they mark popular items with colored balloons that can be seen from anywhere in the store.

Many retailers, including Kohl’s and Toys “R” Us, said they were not changing their crowd management plans because they had not had problems.

After the death of Mr. Damour, Wal-Mart settled a case with the district attorney of Nassau County in New York. Wal-Mart agreed to create a $400,000 compensation fund, give $1.5 million to social service programs, and offer 50 jobs to area high school students each year for three years.

Rhett Asher, the National Retail Federation’s senior asset protection adviser, said during a conference call that big box stores and mall stores had different security issues. Malls are more bustling, public places with multiple entrances — so there tend to be fewer problems. Indeed, crowd control is not as much of an issue for Macy’s as it is for big-box stores, a spokesman said, because multiple entrances serve to disperse crowds.

Still, retailers of all sorts are making preparations. In just the last month, crowds of deal-hungry shoppers have created problems. In one instance, Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic said on Twitter that he would give away copies of his NBA Live 2010 basketball video game to the first five people who showed up at a particular GameStop store. Chaos ensued. Also last month, a woman at a Burlington Coat Factory store in Ohio said she had won the lottery and would treat her fellow shoppers to new clothes. When it turned out she was lying, a riot broke out.

“No matter how seamless and airtight you think this is,” Ms. Davis said of retailers’ plans, “the unexpected can happen.”

Volkswagen Steals Toyota's Crown as World's Largest Automaker


"2009 Volkswagen New Beetle"

The people want an empire, apparently, with that unassuming little black VW bug at the head of it.

The U.K.’s Guardian explains, "Volkswagen-Porsche has overtaken Toyota to become the world's largest car manufacturer as the German group benefits from state-backed stimulus packages around the globe." VW has "produced 4.4 million vehicles so far this year, outstripping its Japanese rival which has seen four million cars roll off production lines since January."

Ironically, VW reached the milestone in part by taking over Porsche – which it was forced to do after Porsche failed in an attempt to take over VW earlier this year.

"Of course," Autoblog notes, there is "some number play involved" in the Guardian’s numbers. "We're talking about the combined entity VW-Porsche, which has built 4.4 million cars to date, which is roughly 400,000 beyond Toyota's mark. However, Toyota halved its production earlier this year and shut down all its plants in February." VW also "benefited much more than Toyota from the European cash-for-clunkers programs," though Toyota saw more sales than VW spurred by the U.S. version of the car-swap program.

The news doesn’t just push Toyota down a notch. Jalopnik notes that VW has "passed Toyota and GM at the top of the heap." America’s largest automaker – the world’s largest just three years ago – now sits in third globally.

The change may not be permanent. The Guardian notes that Toyota "has the capacity to make 10 million vehicles a year but it expects to make seven million vehicles in 2009" as production picks back up. VW, however, may see its production increase long-term enough to stay ahead, or at least to take the title again even if it loses it later this year.

Veterans Day Quotes Honor Veterans Worldwide

Veterans Day, Remembrance Day and Armistice Day are all celebrated on November 11. Many use Veterans Day quotes to send words of appreciation to Veterans who are here to celebrate this annual American holiday honoring military veterans. Use Veterans Day quotes in cards, letters, emails, school lesson plans, and on Twitter to spread appreciation on Veterans Day 2009 for those who served our country.

There are many appropriate Veterans Day quotes that can be used to share sentiments about Veterans who have served in the United States Military. Share them with others and use one or two today, Veterans Day 2009, to celebrate and honor our Veterans.

Some quotes that are perfect for Veterans Day are written by famous people, past and present. Other quotes are recorded yet the writer is unknown.

Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous. -George Bernard Shaw

It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you. -Author unknown, sometimes attributed to M. Grundler

I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot. -Gary Hart

Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men. -George Patton

Freedom is never free. ~Author Unknown

It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.- General Douglas MacArthur

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul. ~Michel de Montaigne

I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, "Mother, what was war?" ~Eve Merriam

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. ~Cynthia Ozick

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! ~Maya Angelou

The most persistent sound which reverberates through men's history is the beating of war drums. ~Arthur Koestler, Janus: A Summing Up

Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die. ~G.K. Chesterton

In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot. ~Mark Twain, Notebook, 1935

It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you. -Unknown

Either war is obsolete or men are. -Buckminster Fuller

There never was a good war or a bad peace. -Benjamin Franklin

Have the courage to act instead of react -Earlene Larson Jenks

Biggest Loser Shay Sorrells



Shay Sorrells, a 30-year-old social worker from Newport Beach, made it through to week 9 of “The Biggest Loser,” shedding more than 100 pounds in the process.

But did she make it through another week?

Tonight’s outcome was a bitter one for the Orange Team. In a double elimination, both Shay and teammate Daniel left the show.

If you want to see how she is doing now, weeks after taping ended, check out tonight’s episode of “The Jay Leno Show” at 10 p.m., where Shay is scheduled to be featured.

About Shay Sorrells:

Biggest Loser Shay Sorrells grew up the youngest of three girls. She was in the foster care system from age five to 18. As far as Shay can remember, she has been overweight. In the last 10 years Shay has found that stress, emotions and learned eating habits have continued to increase her weight. Both of Shay’s older sisters are overweight, and nearly all of her extended family. Family celebrations were always centered around food. Meals at home included fried chicken, biscuits, jambalaya, gumbo, fried fish, macaroni and cheese, cakes, pies, cobblers and anything else filled with starch! At a young age, Shay was expected to learn to cook and help make these meals for the family. In the family it was considered an honor to cook well.

Bexar County Tax Office


The burglars may have wanted to steal cash only but the video filmed by surveillance camera of what happened at Bexar county tax office has given an innovative idea to thieves globally. The surveillance camera video shows a white colored vehicle smashing the glass door. As the vehicle crashed repeatedly against the door, it broke the glass and the outer aluminum frame of the door. Then a vehicle is seen “towing” the ATM away which was tied to the back side of the vehicle with a yellow colored rope. Police later found the vehicle and the emptied ATM!

The officials at the Bexar County Tax office were as much shocked at the incident as the viewers are. “Nothing like this has ever happened”. The stolen amount has not been disclosed as yet; however the sum is being regarded as “substantial”. Apart from the loss resulting from the theft of money the incident has resulted in massive damage to the building.

As the tax payers arrived there were glass pieces everywhere and they were greeted with a “closed” sign hanging on the door.

As Wednesday is a holiday the office would reopen on Thursday. The security in the area has been tightened to avoid further incidents.

If crooks can come up with the idea of stealing whole ATM, I can assure you that next in the line would be stealing a whole bank away. By the way in that scenario the inner security cameras would be rendered useless! We have already seen entire Wall Street taken away by greedy bankers.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tualatin Shooting: 2 Dead, 2 Others Injured In Suburban Portland Shooting


Tualatin Police Chief Kent Barker told HuffPost that the male shooter was in a relationship with the female victim, who worked at Legacy MetroLab where the shooting occurred. The shooter, who has not been identified by name, perpetrated the murder-suicide with a shotgun, injuring two bystanders.

Both bystanders are employees of Legacy MetroLab, which primarily processes drugs tests for employers according to a Legacy spokeswoman. One, a woman in her twenties, has been taken to Emanual Hospital with a non-life threatening injury, according to Barker. The other, a male age 63, suffered a gunshot wound and was helicoptered to Oregon Health & Science University hospital in Portland which has an advanced trauma center.

A man opened fire with a rifle Tuesday at a drug-testing laboratory in suburban Portland, killing one woman and wounding two other people before fatally shooting himself, police said. The shooter and the female victim were not immediately identified.

The shooting took place at Legacy Metrolab, a drug testing facility in Tualatin (pronounced Too-ALL-a-tin), a middle-class community of more than 26,000 located 13 miles from Portland. Tualatin is the site of the practice facility for the Portland Trail Blazers.



"There were people running all over the place when the officers first responded," Tualatin Police Chief Kent Barker. "It was pretty chaotic at first."

One of the wounded was taken to Emanual Hospital, while the other was flown to Oregon Health & Science University hospital in Portland, police said. Their conditions were not available.

Witnesses said a woman in a bloodied lab coat ran into a nearby Subway sandwich shop after the shooting.

Alina Kurtavenao, who works at the Subway, said the woman had blood on a leg and on her forehead.

"She wasn't crying, she wasn't scared. I think she was in shock," she said.

Legacy MetroLab conducts drug and alcohol testing for employers and others, according to company spokeswoman Kathleen Gorman.

"There were probably six people working there," said Travis Bonser, a teller at a Chase Bank across the street. "It's just a regular lab."

The Tigard-Tualatin School District was in lockdown following the shooting at Legacy MetroLab, which was reported at 11:48 a.m.

Joseph Jackson, Singer's Father, Lobs Accusations



LOS ANGELES – On the eve of a hearing in the Michael Jackson estate, a lawyer for the singer's father filed a 60-page motion Monday that intensifies a bid to get money from his son's estate by making accusations of fraud against the administrators of his will.

Joseph Jackson's attorney, Brian Oxman, filed a blizzard of documents in court late Monday claiming that the singer believed his old friends John Branca and John McClain had defrauded him. He also accused both of conflicts of interest and said they should be removed from administering the will.
Joseph Jackson was omitted from his son's will with all of Michael Jackson's assets going to his mother, his children and children's charities.
Howard Weitzman, one of the attorneys representing Branca and McClain, issued a statement Monday night in response to the motion. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

"These claims filed by Joe Jackson are so outrageous that they don't deserve any response," said Weitzman.
It was unclear whether Joseph Jackson has the legal standing to challenge its provisions.
Oxman said in a phone interview that the father is allowed to challenge the executors as "an interested party who has the right to be an executor or personal representative."

Most of Oxman's accusations were aimed at Branca, the attorney who represented Jackson for more than 20 years and is seen as the architect of his financial empire. Branca parted ways with Jackson in 2006 and then returned to work with him shortly before the singer died.
Oxman claimed that Jackson believed Branca had committed "crimes" against him including embezzlement and funneling money into offshore accounts. But Oxman acknowledged in the interview Monday night that may not be true.
"It's not the truth or falsity of the accusation," he said. "It's that Michael believed it and that's why he terminated him."

Branca has said he was not terminated; he resigned because he felt Jackson was being influenced by people who did not have his best interests at heart.
Among the items attached to the motion filed Monday is an undated report from a New York private investigation firm, known as Interfor, allegedly hired by Jackson to investigate Branca and his connections to Tommy Mottola, a music executive with whom Jackson was feuding.

The one page report refers to "rumors of irregularities involved in the accounting of legal fees" but cites no evidence.
Instead, it related finding a former employee who described Branca as "brilliant" and quoted a paralegal as saying "Branca is very quiet, intelligent, shy but lovely with a funny sense of humor."
Michael Jackson's 2002 will omitted any mention of his father. The two had an often-strained relationship.
Oxman claimed father and son had reconciled and "Michael loved his father."

Robert Enke Dead: German Goalkeeper Dies In Apparent Suicide



FRANKFURT — A goalkeeper expected to play for Germany at the World Cup died after being hit by a train in what police suspect is a suicide. He was 32.

Robert Enke played for the German club Hannover. Team president Martin Kind confirmed his death, and police later released a statement saying a man had been fatally struck by a train Tuesday night. The statement said the "first police indications are that it was a suicide."

"You expect many things, but not something like that," Kind said. "I do not know how and why it happened, but I do not think that it had anything to do with football."

The train crossing was not far from Enke's Hannover home. His car was found near the scene, unlocked, with his wallet on the seat. The two train drivers reported seeing a man on the tracks and applied the brakes while traveling at about 100 mph but could not stop in time, police said.

"We are speechless," German soccer federation president Theo Zwanziger said.

Hundreds of fans lit candles and placed flowers outside the Hannover stadium on Tuesday night.

Enke had been diagnosed with a bacterial stomach ailment and missed nine weeks before returning 11 days ago and playing two Bundesliga games.

He had not been selected for Germany's exhibition games against Chile on Saturday and Ivory Coast on Wednesday. But coach Joachim Loew had said Enke remained the leading candidate to be Germany's goalie at next year's World Cup in South Africa.

Enke and his wife lost their 2-year-old daughter to a heart ailment in 2006. The couple adopted a girl in May, who is now 8 months old.

"We are all shocked. We can't find the words," national team manager Oliver Bierhoff said from Bonn, where the national team assembled.

Enke played eight matches for Germany. After Jens Lehmann retired following the European Championship in 2008, Enke was promoted to No. 1 for Germany, but was set back by a broken hand.

Enke debuted for the national team in a 1-0 loss to Denmark in 2007. His last international game was a 2-0 win over Azerbaijan on Aug. 12.

He made 196 Bundesliga appearances and also played for Borussia Moenchengladbach after starting his career in East Germany at Jena. He also played for foreign clubs, among them CD Teneriffa, Fenerbahce, Barcelona and Benfica.

Convicted Ind. Killer Apologizes on Oprah

INDIANAPOLIS - A man sentenced to death for killing his estranged wife and two of her relatives apologized to family members on Oprah Winfrey's television show.

Matthew Eric Wrinkles' nieces and nephew said on an episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" that aired Tuesday that they forgave him and didn't want him to die. Wrinkles is scheduled to be executed Dec. 11 at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City.

But relatives were skeptical when Wrinkles said the killings wouldn't have happened except for his methamphetamine addiction.

The 49-year-old Wrinkles has exhausted his state and federal appeals but can still seek clemency from Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Wrinkles was convicted of breaking into his brother-in-law's home and killing his wife, her brother and his wife.

Game Boy Makes The Toy Hall of Fame



The best-selling portable system ever is now a hall of famer.

In honor of its revolutionary features and impact on pop culture, Nintendo's original Game Boy has been inducted into The National Toy Hall of Fame.

"Over the past two decades, Game Boy has become synonymous with hand-held gaming fun" the Hall said in a release. "Its portability and efficient design, ability to allow simultaneous multiplayer gaming, and scores of intriguing games (like Tetris and Super Mario Land, featuring Nintendo's already-iconic character Mario) make it a true innovator."

The Game Boy beat out nine other classic toys -- including Hot Wheels, Cabbage Patch Kids and the Rubik's Cube -- to earn a spot as one of three inductees in this year's class. The others? The iconic Big Wheel and the ubiquitous "ball," which somehow took a decade before getting the green light. Who's voting on these things, anyway?

Nintendo's potent portable is now the second video game system to earn Hall honors, joining the landmark Atari 2600, which was inducted in 2007.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Penalty Saves Stuttering Reds


David Ngog angered Lee Carsley with his dive in the second half.

Steven Gerrard's hotly-disputed second-half penalty rescued a point for Liverpool but did little to lift the pressure on boss Rafael Benitez.

It is just one win now in nine matches for the Reds and they must be grateful for the two-week international break which will allow the dust to settle on their faltering season.

It had started so well for the hosts with youngster David Ngog firing them into an early lead. But Ecuadorian Christian Benitez's nodded equaliser and Cameron Jerome's thunderous 30-yarder had Birmingham ahead at the break.

And only a hotly-contested spot-kick - which TV replays showed should not have been awarded as Lee Carsley made no contact with Ngog with his attempted tackle - gave Liverpool their lifeline, Gerrard sliding it home.

Fernando Torres did not even get a substitutes' role, the Spain striker now clearly being given a lengthy rest to recover from his groin problem. Gerrard, with a similar if less severe injury, was named on the bench along with Alberto Aquilani.

Glen Johnson, Albert Riera and Martin Skrtel all returned from injury, with Jamie Carragher suspended. Birmingham had Joe Hart back in goal while they were without Barry Ferguson, also suspended, so Teemu Tainio came into the side.

Liverpool went with the 20-year-old Ngog up front and Dirk Kuyt, captain for the night, in a central supporting role. Of all Liverpool's young imports, Ngog has looked the most likely to make the breakthrough this season, and his balance and clever control were soon in evidence.

Hart saved one Ngog effort before the France Under-21 striker gave Liverpool a 13th-minute lead. Johnson surged down the right, cutting between two defenders before crossing for Ngog who saw his first effort blocked by Hart. The ball flew to Kuyt only for Hart to again get his legs in the way, but when the rebound dropped for Ngog he made no mistake with a fierce a close-range volley into the roof of the net.

Tainio limped off two minutes later, former Everton midfielder Carsley coming on in his place. Liverpool had been cruising up till now, but Birmingham struck back with an impressive set-piece, and once again Liverpool's susceptibility in the air was evident.

James McFadden fired a free-kick into the area and Roger Johnson headed back across goal where Scott Dann nodded on for Benitez to head past Jose Reina from close range.

Hart touched over a Javier Mascherano drive, and Daniel Agger saw a low shot following a corner kicked off the line by Carsley as Liverpool tried to hit back.

A minute from the break Riera, who had appeared to be on a solo bid to score from outside the box at almost every opportunity, suffered a recurrence of a hamstring injury, and Gerrard was brought into the fray as a substitute. His arrival was met with huge cheers from the Kop, but the home crowd was silenced within seconds as Birmingham took the lead. Jerome shook off the attentions of Mascherano to lash a swerving 30-yard effort into the top corner.

The confidence Liverpool had shown in the first half hour evaporated and, with the crowd's anxiety growing, errors in possession increased. Gerrard saw a low header hit Hart's left-hand post from Johnson's cross from the right as Liverpool at last produced some sustained pressure.

McFadden was booked for a foul on Johnson, the Scot being substituted soon after to be replaced by former Red Gregory Vignal.

Liverpool were then awarded the highly-contentious 71st-minute penalty. Ngog did well to get to the byline and went sprawling to the turf as Carsley came in with a sliding challenge, even though the Birmingham man's leg did not touch the Liverpool youngster. Carsley and Ngog exchanged views and pushes, and referee Peter Walton booked both before Gerrard stepped up to drill home the spot kick.

Liverpool then lost Benayoun with a hamstring complaint, Ryan Babel coming on. Gerrard fired over a cross for Ngog to hit wide at the near post before sending an 18-yarder just wide.

With nine minutes left Aquilani finally made his Anfield debut as a substitute for Lucas. The visitors were forced to defend desperately in the final minutes and hung on valiantly for a point.

Brady Smith and Tiffani Thiessen: Expecting!



Former Saved by the Bell star Tiffani Thiessen is expecting her first child with husband Brady Smith, People reports. The baby is due in May.

“We are over the moon!” the couple said in a statement. “It’s something we’ve wanted for a long time and we are thrilled that it’s actually happening."

Thiessen has another reason to be happy these days: her new series, White Collar, is a bonafide hit on USA.

As for Morris, Tiffani doesn't have to worry about upsetting her ex: we doubt Zack's enormous cell phone has Internet capability. He'll never know!

Maclaren Stroller Recall :What To Do If You Own One Of The Million Recalled Strollers



The Maclaren stroller recall has overloaded the server of Maclaren's Web site. In the meantime, here's background on the recall and what to do once the Web site is back up and running.

England-based stroller company Maclaren is recalling one million strollers sold in the United States between 1999 and 2009 after 12 reports of childrens' fingertips being cut off.

MSNBC details the apparent issue: "A side hinge mechanism poses a hazard to children's fingers when the umbrella stroller is being opened or closed, the company says."

USA Today reports that the following models are affected by the massive recall: Volo, Triumph, Quest Sport, Quest Mod, Techno XT, Techno XLR, Twin Triumph, Twin Techno and Easy Traveller models.

Affected consumers are asked to contact Maclaren here to receive a cover for the dangerous hinges, but a word of caution: the company's Web site has been slow today.

Sammy Sosa Pictures : Sammy Sosa Is Just Rejuvenating His Skin



It looks like we finally have an explanation behind that widely-circulated picture in which Sammy Sosa appears as a combination of a Twilight extra, a big Charlie Chaplin fan and someone who is taking the death of Michael Jackson just a little bit too hard.

According to a friend of Sosa's, the former Cubs slugger is (thankfully) not suffering from Vitiligo or another type of disease. Sosa's appearance, rather, is a result of an elective "rejuvenation process" for his skin and he was apparently "surprised" when he came out looking whiter than his old home run buddy, Mark McGwire.



The Chicago Tribune has more:

"He's not trying to be Michael Jackson," said former Cubs employee Rebecca Polihronis, who talks frequently with Sosa.

"He is going through a rejuvenation process for his skin. Women have it all of the time. He was surprised he came out looking so white. I thought it was a body double. Part of (the photo appearance) is just the lighting.

"He is in the middle of doing a cleansing process to his skin. The picture is deceiving. He said, 'If you saw me in person, you would be surprised. When you see me in person, it is not going to seem like the picture ... People who saw him in person did not react the same way. He can't believe it is such a big deal."


Sosa may say he's not as white as he appears or that it's not a big deal, but that doesn't change the fact the whole process is creepier than Mad Men's Pete Campbell.

As our own Dave Brown points out, Sosa has started wearing green contact lenses and it's possible that all his money and ego are conspiring to turn him into a Dominican version of Jerry Jones, Wayne Newton or Joan Rivers. That's a pretty scary thought.

Of course, this wouldn't be the first time Sosa has tried to achieve better living through chemistry, so should it really shock us that he's trying to rejuvenate an already-resilient organ with a process normally reserved for vain women? What a strange dude.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What is Uvula?

There is an organ in our throat known as the uvula.It is a conic projection, which pops out from the posterior edge of the soft palate. It is made up of connective tissue and some muscle fibre.
Most physicians feel that the uvula is a vestigial anatomical structure (i.e. a structure which doesn’t have any significant function but has a remnant of an evolutionary modification). However there are a few who feel that the uvula plays a crucial role in speech and swallowing by participating in closing the nasopharynx during such activities.
Many surgeons have observed that the common complication of removing uvula is pharyngeal dryness. This thereby implies that uvula plays an active role in keeping the throat moist and well lubricated.
At times, especially following a surgery, the mucous membrane of the uvula may swell increasing the size of the uvula. As a result of increase in its size, the uvula may touch the throat or the tongue, creating a sensation of gagging, choking or tickling.

Swollen Uvula Remedy:
Some common measures to be taken to reduce the sensation of tickling in the throat:

• Dehydration is known to cause swelling of uvula. Ensure you consume at least 3
to 4 liters of water each day.
• Excessive smoking and alcohol consumption may result in swelling of the uvula.
• Gargling with salt water will help you fight any causative bacterial infection
which might be causing the inflammation.

These simple measures should help to reduce uvula swelling and settle down within a couple of days. However it is possible that dilatation of the throat, essential during surgery might also be one of the causes of swelling of the uvula. Either ways don’t worry; the tickling will pass away in sometime ideally a few weeks (though in some cases it might take up some months and even a year.

John Terry Secures Bragging Rights For Blues



Captain John Terry put Chelsea five points clear of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League with a second-half matchwinner at Stamford Bridge.

Terry glanced home a 76th-minute free-kick from Frank Lampard to snatch a 1-0 win, although United claimed Didier Drogba was in an offside position.

United had their chances with Wayne Rooney twice going close but the Blues made it a club record of 11 straight home wins.

It was the home side who created the first goal attempt when Branislav Ivanovic burst down the right flank and let fly with a left-foot shot which Edwin van der Sar did well to hold at the near post.

United though were far more comfortable on the ball with the home side given little time to build from the back.

But a long cross from Michael Ballack in the 18th minute found the lurking Drogba on the edge of the six-yard box but the Ivory Coast striker failed to direct his header on to the target.

United, despite their dominance, had not created a clear cut chance.

In the 23rd minute, Chelsea won a free-kick but Lampard wasted the chance to test the United defence when he sent his curling effort beyond the far post.

Drogba was fouled by Wes Brown in the 27th minute in a central position 25 yards from goal.

It was another chance for the home side but again Lampard's free-kick was poor as he sent his effort straight into United's defensive wall.

Moments later Nicolas Anelka tried to beat Van der Sar from 35 yards but the United keeper dealt with it most comfortably.

Van der Sar was tested again when he made a one-handed save to keep out a curling shot from Anelka in the 32nd minute.

A quick counter attack from Chelsea saw Anelka put Deco free on the right flank but his cross eluded Ballack before arriving at the feet of Drogba. The Ivory Coast striker was unable to control the ball and it ran harmlessly into the arms of Van der Sar.

Drogba then broke into the penalty from the right flank but his angled drive ended in the upper tier of the stand as referee Martin Atkinson brought proceedings to a finish for the opening period.

In the 50th minute Drogba got the better of United's John O'Shea but his 25-yard shot went wide of the target.

Ivanovic was booked for a foul on Giggs in the 57th minute as the game began to open-up.

Ricardo Carvalho managed to get his body in the way of a fierce shot from Darren Fletcher moments later. It was a fine piece of defending by the Chelsea man.

A cross from Anelka fell kindly to Lampard on the edge of the penalty area but the England midfielder's shot was easily saved by Van der Sar.

Chelsea had gone over 14 hours since they last conceded a goal at Stamford Bridge.

It was time for the home side to make a change and Carlo Ancelotti opted to remove Deco in favour of Joe Cole, who was celebrating his 28th birthday.

Rooney should have punished Chelsea in the 66th minute when he took a return pass from Antonio Valencia on the edge of the penalty area. But the England striker sent his shot a foot wide of the far post.

Seconds later Rooney brought a fine save from Petr Cech with a 20-yard curler which was destined for the top corner until the Czech international intervened.

There was a worrying moment for Chelsea in the 71st minute when Drogba was kicked in the chest by Jonny Evans. Astonishingly, Drogba was then booked by Atkinson.

Chelsea were in front in the 76th minute when Ashley Cole was fouled by Fletcher on the left flank. Captain Terry rose to glance Lampard's free-kick into the corner of the net but United were furious that Drogba appeared to be in an offside position as the ball bounced beyond Van der Sar and into the net.

Rooney was booked afterwards and then Atkinson booked O'Shea and Carvalho in the 82nd minute as tempers flared. Valencia was lucky remain on the pitch with a two-footed challenge on Lampard but Atkinson handed him a yellow card.

Hurricane Ida Projected Path



Hurricane Ida Path:Hurricane Ida Projected Path 2009 – Hurricane Ida path and other information on the natural disaster can be found here.Hurricane Ida is currently unleashing its anger on the island of Nicaragua where it has already forced 2,000 people to evacuate and has left many more without electricity.TS Ida has winds of 75 mph (120 kph) and is moving to the northwest at 6 mph (9 kph) and has Mexico on its target.Hurricane Ida could dump as much as 20 inches of rain in the country.

Most Unique Places to Visit!

The Dragon's Blood Trees,Socotra

The Dragon's Blood Trees of Socotra
The otherworldly Dragon's Blood Trees and other 700 rare species of flora and fauna have drawn people to Socotra, an island in the Indian Ocean, off the horn of the African continent. Giampiero Ambrosi of Virtual Tourist says, "The trend of eco-tourism is especially strong here."

Takstang Monastery in the Kingdom of Bhutan


Takstang Monastery in the Kingdom of Bhutan
The Kingdom of Bhutan is the last remaining kingdom in Asia and is the only place in the world to measure Gross National Happiness. Takstang means "tiger's lair" and hangs on a cliff high above the Paro valley. Visitors must climb the slope on foot or by mule.

The Salt Plains,Salta,Argentina


The Salt Plains in the Salta, Argentina
Off the Beaten Path travel agency recommends the Northwestern Salta province of Argentina. The salt plains here are a pure white expanse, surrounded by high mountains. The Inca tribes that originally inhabited the area offer a unique cultural history.

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Alberta, Canada

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Alberta, Canada
For 5,500 years, the Native Americans of the North American Great Plains killed bison by chasing them off this cliff located in what's now Alberta, Canada. They would then carve up the bison carcasses in the camp below. This is one of the biggest and best preserved buffalo jumps in North America, according to Off the Beaten Path co-founder Pamela Bryan. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.

Throat Singers of Tuva, Siberia

Throat Singers of Tuva, Siberia
The throat-singing Tuva people of southern Siberia create sounds and harmonies unique to foreigners' ears. It is a style that simultaneously combines two or more pitches over a fundamental pitch to create sounds mimicking nature. The pastime is popular especially among the Tuvan male herders, because they are able to practice in the broad, open fields while they work.