Tuesday, January 31, 2012

'Take both arms' blood pressure'

Measuring blood pressure in both arms should be routine because the difference between left and right arm could indicate underlying health problems, says a study review.

The Lancet research found that a large difference could mean an increased risk of vascular disease and death.

Although existing guidelines state that blood pressure should be measured in both arms, it is not often done.

But a heart charity said it was too early to judge the findings.

The arm with the higher pressure can vary between individuals, but it is the difference between arms that counts, the study suggests.

Dr Christopher Clark and colleagues, from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Exeter, reviewed 28 previous study papers looking at this area.

Most people in the study had an elevated blood pressure risk and about one-third had a normal level of risk.

The study concluded that a difference in systolic blood pressure of 10 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg) between arms could identify patients at high risk of asymptomatic peripheral vascular disease.

Continue reading the main story

?Start Quote

It's too early to say whether this idea could become part of standard healthcare practice.?

End Quote Natasha Stewart British Heart Foundation

A difference of 15mg Hg would also indicate an increased risk of cerebrovascular disease, a 70% increased risk of cardiovascular mortality and 60% increased risk of death from all causes, the authors said.

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is the narrowing and hardening of the arteries that supply blood to the legs and feet. There are often no symptoms.

The UK vascular check programme for over-40s which includes a test for hypertension, advises that blood pressure measurements be taken in both arms.

"But surveys have shown that the average GP doesn't do it," said Dr Clark.

'Routine care'

Early detection of PVD is important because these patients could then benefit from stopping smoking, lowering their blood pressure or being offered statin therapy.

Dr Clark said the findings supported the need for blood pressure checks in both arms to be the norm.

Writing in The Lancet, Prof Richard J McManus, department of primary care health sciences at the University of Oxford and Prof Jonathan Mant, from the department of public health and primary care at the University of Cambridge, said the review supports existing guidelines.

"Further research is needed to clarify whether substantial differences between arms should prompt aggressive management of cardiovascular risk factors.

"Ascertainment of differences should become part of routine care, as opposed to a guideline recommendation that is mostly ignored."

Natasha Stewart, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said measuring blood pressure on both arms to assess vascular disease is, theoretically, a quick and simple task.

"But it's too early to say whether this idea could become part of standard healthcare practice and so we need more research to confirm the findings."

Prof Bryan Williams, from the Blood Pressure Association and the University of Leicester, said the study reinforced the message already in the guidelines from health watchdog NICE.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/int/news/-/news/health-16739682

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The Hidden -- Original Roleplay

I've had this idea for quite some time now, so before I committed to posting on this site I wanted to see what the response was. The introduction is below.

Mankind long ago displayed its lack of understanding, and subsequent fear, of the unknown, that which defies explanation. Since its creation, Man has sought to eradicate the dragons, the witches, the monsters of the world. Anticipating their destruction, the other beings that inhabited this world went deep into hiding. Those that could, blended in with the oblivious masses. The others who could not, or simply chose not to, lived in secret, passing into myth as the Hidden.

It is now the year 2062. After seven long years of conflict, rumors of biological warfare began to spread and the global War of 2045 ended in a worldwide armistice. People are finally rebuilding their lives in earnest, but that doesn't stop the fearful whispers behind closed doors. As people again turn their interests to more peaceful pursuits, Armand Castillo, a technology distributor, forms a plan. Without the rest of humanity to occupy them, it would only be a matter of time before mankind begins to encroach into the wild places of the world once more and the Hidden are discovered. Armand takes the opportunity to extend an invitation to the Hidden: allow him to be their emissary and make their presence known or risk accidental discovery and the fearful backlash of humans already strained to their breaking point. The Hidden have a choice to make. Trust Armand has their best interests at heart and reveal themselves, or wait and hope to escape detection.

So would you be interested in this roleplay?

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/RolePlayGateway/~3/E_7V3Vonejk/viewtopic.php

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Mitt Romney's Hypocrisy on Keystone XL, Eminent Domain (ContributorNetwork)

COMMENTARY | Mitt Romney drilled into President Barack Obama for rejecting the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline during last night's CNN Southern Republican Debate.

The former Massachusetts Governor accused Obama of having "to bow to the most extreme members of the environmental movement."

"He turns down the Keystone Pipeline, which would bring energy and jobs to America," Romney said, according to the official debate transcript posted by CNN.

In a statement released on his campaign website Wednesday, Romney made similar comments.

"By declaring that the Keystone pipeline is not in the 'national interest,' the President demonstrates a lack of seriousness about bringing down unemployment, restoring economic growth, and achieving energy independence," he said. "He seems to have confused the national interest with his own interest in pleasing the environmentalists in his political base."

In his jobs plan, Romney promises to "ensure rapid progress on the Keystone XL Pipeline," and to "pave the way for the construction of additional pipelines that can accommodate the expected growth in Canadian supply of oil and natural gas in the coming years."

But Romney's support for the proposed oil pipeline contradicts his answer to a question posed by John Distaso, a veteran political reporter for the Union Leader, at a debate last summer in New Hampshire.

"Should governments at any level be able to use eminent domain for major projects that will reduce America's dependence on foreign oil?" Distaso queried.

"Well, I don't believe that land should be taken -- the power of government to give to a private corporation," Romney responded. "And so, the right of eminent domain is a right which is used to foster a public purpose and public ownership for a road, highways, and so forth. And so my view is, if land is going to be taken for purposes of a private enterprise, that's the wrong way to go."

Beyond the bright lights and shallow rhetoric of the campaign trail, opposition to Keystone XL is hardly limited to radical environmentalists. Even the conservative National Review Online has acknowledged that eminent domain is "an issue brewing that could derail the pipeline."

A report published by the New York Times last fall found that TransCanada, the foreign company behind the Keystone XL project, had already filed eminent domain lawsuits against 56 landowners in Texas and South Dakota.

It's something Mitt Romney should consider before he continues to attack President Obama and environmentalists for opposing the project.

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/obama/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ac/20120131/us_ac/10860081_mitt_romneys_hypocrisy_on_keystone_xl_eminent_domain

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Ask Slashdot: Wireless Proximity Detection?

New submitter Cinnamon Whirl writes "As a chemist, I work in a both lab and office enviroments, and need access to data in both, without causing undue clutter in either. My company has recently purchased two Win7 tablets for trial usage with electronic lab notebooks, propietry software, SAP, email etc. These are also useful for sharing in meetings, etc. As part of this project, I have been wondering whether we can use these tablets to detect other devices by proximity. Examples could include finding the nearest printer or monitor or, perhaps trickier, could two roaming devices find each other? Although lab technology is rarely cutting edge, I can see a day when all our sensors and probes will broadcast data (wireless thermocouples are already available), and positioning information will become much more important. What technologies exist to do this? How accurate can the detection be?"

Source: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdotScience/~3/uT31vQ4I9Os/ask-slashdot-wireless-proximity-detection

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After Leo DiCaprio Invests, Lance Armstrong Races To Promote, Advise Mobli

lanceMobli, the startup behind the eponymous, much-hyped realtime photo and video sharing service, has struck a partnership with road racing cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong. Armstrong, a seven-time Tour de France champion, will be making use of a private Mobli channel to keep his fans and followers up-to-date on his life through videos, photos and whatnot.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/GIzDwIGbRzs/

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What You Missed While Not Watching The Last Florida GOP Debate (Time.com)

0 minutes. "Only one thing is certain," CNN's opening montage declares. "Expect the unexpected." That hits the spot. We need false hope at a time like this. It's the 19th Republican debate. Everything that can happen probably already has. The screen flickers with a Romney video clip from the campaign trail. "We're not choosing a talk show host," he says. This will need to be fact checked.

3 minutes. Wolf Blitzer. Facebook. Twitter. You know the drill.

4 minutes. Candidates on the catwalk. They walk out like they have done before. Nothing changes. They shake hands, then stand for the national anthem, sung by the local college's chamber singers, who have dressed for the occasion like puritan flight attendants. They sing well, which is totally unexpected. Santorum and Romney sing along. Gingrich, Paul, and Callista Gingrich, who is seen in a crowd shot, keep their mouths closed. Will have to keep an eye on them. You never know.

7 minutes. More Blitzer, who repeats the rules we have heard 18 times before. Then he asks the candidates to introduce themselves. (See more on the Florida debates.)

8 minutes. Santorum introduces himself by introducing his 93-year-old mother in the audience, who could easily pass for 81, and makes everyone feel good. She stands, Santorum smiles with pride and the crowd cheers wildly. "I'd better just stop right there," Santorum says. Yes, he should. He should also pick mom for vice president.

9 minutes. More of the expected. Gingrich says he is from neighboring Georgia. Romney says he has 16 grand-kids. Paul says he champions "a sound monetary system," which really has nothing to do with expensive acoustics, though don't tell his college-age voters. The dude is totally rad.

10 minutes. First question on immigration. This is totally unexpected. Immigration is usually asked at the end of the debate. Crazy. To allay this shock, the candidates give answers that are no different. Everyone on stage likes laws, wants to seal the borders, and embraces legal immigration. There are requisite mentions of American Express and MasterCard handling identification cards.

14 minutes. "I don't think anyone is interested in going around and rounding up people around the country and deporting 11 million Americans," says Romney. Oops. He recovers quickly: "Or, excuse me 11 million illegal immigrants into America." Paul follows up by saying he would end U.S. military involvement on the Afghan border to pay for more guards on the Mexican border.

16 minutes. Blitzer asks Gingrich why he called Romney the "most anti-immigrant candidate" in a recent ad. "Because, in the original conversations about deportation, the position I took, which he attacked pretty ferociously, was that grandmothers and grandfathers aren't going to be successfully deported," Gingrich says. This is a backhanded way of accusing Romney of wanting to deport Santorum's sweet mother, if she had no papers. (See more on the GOP debates.)

19 minutes. Romney, who has been giving Gingrich the evil eye, pounces. "That's simply unexcusable. That's inexcusable," Romney says, flip-flopping "un" for "in" in three words. "Mr. Speaker, I'm not anti-immigrant. My father was born in Mexico. My wife's father was born in Wales. They came to this country. The idea that I'm anti-immigrant is repulsive." It's the first time in 19 debates that someone has used the word "repulsive." Unexpected and about time. Romney goes on to say he is not going to round-up grandmothers. He is just going to deny them of employment, and hope they leave the country.

20 minutes. Gingrich says he would like Romney to "self-describe" himself, if he is not anti-immigrant for wanting to expel grandmothers. Romney, in full alpha dog mode, is off again. "There are grandmothers that live on the other side of the border that are waiting to come here legally. I want them to come here, too, not just those that are already here," Romney says. So he is not anti-grandma, he just favors some over others. More grandma back and forth follows.

21 minutes. Blitzer asks Romney about an ad he is running that says Gingrich called Spanish "the language of the ghetto." "I haven't seen the ad, so I'm sorry. I don't get to see all the TV ads," Romney replies. Later Romney adds about the ad, "I doubt that's my ad, but we'll take a look and find out." It is Romney's ad, a Spanish language radio spot. Gingrich said it, in a discussion about the importance of learning English, and later admitted that he chose his words poorly.

23 minutes. A question about the influence of China in Latin America. Paul calls for more free trade. Santorum warns of radical Islam in Venezuala and promises to be more involved as president in the continent. Paul and Santorum squabble about the proper reach of U.S. foreign policy.

29 minutes. During the squabble, Blitzer double checks the origin of the Romney ad. "It was one of your ads. It's running here in Florida on the radio. And at the end you say, 'I'm Mitt Romney and I approved this ad.' " Romney has no response. "Let me ask the speaker a question. Did you say what the ad says or not? I don't know," he says instead. "It's taken totally out of context," protests Gingrich. "Oh, OK, he said it," Romney concludes, misrepresenting what Gingrich just said to prove that he had not previously misrepresented something Gingrich once said.

30 minutes. Moving on to housing. How do you get Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae out of housing? Romney attacks Gingrich for once working as a political consultant for Freddie Mac. "We should have had a whistle-blower and not horn-tooter," says Romney. Romney never uses bad words. Maybe this is why "tooter" sounds so naughty.

31 minutes. Gingrich responds by attacking Romney for holding stock in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, as well as investing in Goldman Sachs, "which is today foreclosing on Floridians." Romney shoots back that most of these investments were in mutual funds controlled by a blind trust. Back in 1994, Romney argued that blind trusts were not really blind, since politicians could still direct the investments. But never mind that now. Because Romney then says, "And Mr. Speaker, I know that sounds like an enormous revelation, but have you checked your own investments?" Apparently, Gingrich also owned stock in Fannie and Freddie. Gingrich says, "Right," thereby admitting his whole attack was a giant exercise in hypocrisy.

34 minutes. Gingrich finds his comeback. "To compare my investments with his is like comparing a tiny mouse with a giant elephant," Gingrich says. Never before has "elephant" been used as an insult in a Republican debate. Unexpected.

35 minutes. Paul is asked to comment. "That subject really doesn't interest me a whole lot," he says, to applause. Got to love that guy. He goes on to blame the housing bubble on the Federal Reserve.

36 minutes. Santorum chastises Blitzer for focusing on these issues. "Can we set aside that Newt was a member of Congress and used the skills that he developed as a member of Congress to go out and advise companies -- and that's not the worst thing in the world -- and that Mitt Romney is a wealthy guy because worked hard and he's going out and working hard?" he asks. Not likely. But the crowd applauds. (See more on the State of the Union Address.)

37 minutes. First commercial break. Blitzer promises to talk about space when we return.

40 minutes. We are back to talk about tax returns. Is Gingrich satisfied with the Romney releases? "Wolf, you and I have a great relationship, it goes back a long way. I'm with him," Gingrich says of Santorum. "This is a nonsense question." Blitzer points out that Gingrich recently said of Romney, "He lives in a world of Swiss bank and Cayman Island bank accounts."

41 minutes. Just as Gingrich seems to be succeeding in getting the question dropped, Romney jumps in. "Wouldn't it be nice if people didn't make accusations somewhere else that they weren't willing to defend here?" he says. So Gingrich pivots from bickering with Blitzer, and attacks Romney. "I don't know of any American president who has had a Swiss bank account," he says. "I'd be glad for you to explain that sort of thing."

43 minutes. Romney blames the blind trust. Then he finds words to defend his wealth that have been missing for the last three debates. "I'm proud of being successful. I'm proud of being in the free enterprise system that creates jobs for other people. I'm not going to run from that," Romney says. "I'm proud of the taxes I pay. My taxes, plus my charitable contributions, this year, 2011, will be about 40 percent." The two men go back and forth a bit more.

45 minutes. Some talk about tax rates. Gingrich tries to explain why he both talks about Romney's tax rates in a derogatory way and wants to reduce his taxes to zero, by eliminating the capital gains tax. Gingrich says he wants everyone to pay what Romney now pays in taxes, even if it means reducing Romney's taxes further. "My goal is to shrink the government to fit the revenue, not to raise the revenue to catch up with the government," he says. Santorum chimes in to say he doesn't want taxes quite as low as Gingrich. Paul says he wants to get rid of the 16th Amendment, which gives Congress the power to collect taxes.

49 minutes. Blitzer asks Paul if he will release his health records. "Oh, obviously, because it's about one page," the 76-year-old says. "I'm willing to challenge any of these gentlemen up here to a 25- mile bike ride any time of the day in the heat of Texas." Everyone else on stage agrees to release their health records too.

50 minutes. Space cadet time. Romney is against a moon base, but for a vibrant space program, whatever that means. Gingrich is for a moon base, largely to beat the Chinese, but he says lots of the efforts to get there could be done with private enterprise. Santorum thinks a moon base is too expensive. "Well, I don't think we should go to the moon," says Paul. "I think we maybe should send some politicians up there." Paul is so cool. Maybe his sound monetary policy does have beats after all. (See photos of Obama's State of the Union Address)

56 minutes. Blitzer points out that Gingrich would allow a lunar colony with 13,000 Americans in it apply for statehood, which is probably a pander to the same stoner college vote that Paul has wrapped up. Romney, who is still in alpha dog mode, attacks again. "I spent 25 years in business," he says. "If I had a business executive come to me and say they wanted to spend a few hundred billion dollars to put a colony on the moon, I'd say, You're fired.'" Romney tends to get in trouble when he talks about firing people. Yet he still does it. Then he accuses Gingrich of pandering to Floridians, like he did to South Carolinians, and to New Hampshirites.

59 minutes. Gingrich answers by pandering more. "The port of Jacksonville is going to have to be expanded because the Panama Canal is being widened, and I think that's useful thing for a president to know," he says. He also talks about the Everglades. Then he claims again to have created four consecutive balanced budgets, which is not true. (See last debate recap.)

60 minutes. Paul points out that the balanced budgets Gingrich claims still included deficits, if one accounts for the money that was taken out of Social Security. "I agree with Ron," Gingrich responds, once again undermining his own talking point. "I actually agree with you, and I propose that we take Social Security off budget."

62 minutes. Question from the audience by an unemployed woman without health insurance. She asks what the candidates would do for her. Paul says he would get government out of health insurance. Gingrich says he would repeal ObamaCare and get the economy going again, and create a new health reform that gives her a tax break to buy health insurance.

64 minutes. Romney basically agrees, and then attacks President Obama. This is the first time he has attacked Obama in a sustained way. Last debate this moment came at 71 minutes. In the previous dozen or so debates, he always attacked Obama with just about every answer.

66 minutes. Santorum goes after Gingrich and Romney for supporting ObamaCare-like health reforms in the past. The substance has been well tread in prior debates. But what is notable is that in the tit for tat that follows, Santorum kind of gets under Romney's skin in a way that Gingrich has so far failed to do. "I make enough mistakes in what I say, not for you to add more mistakes to what I say," Romney says at one point. It's meant as a joke. But no one laughs.

72 minutes. As Santorum continues to tear into Romney for the horror of what he did in Massachusetts in 2004, it is worth remembering that Santorum endorsed Romney for president in 2008.

75 minutes. "Congressman Paul, who is right?" asks Blitzer. "I think they're all wrong," Paul says.

76 minutes. The candidates are asked to name Hispanic leaders they could see in their cabinet. They all do. Except Paul. "I don't have one particular name that I'm going to bring up," he says.

78 minutes. Commercial break.

82 minutes. We're back. Candidates are asked to say why their wives are great. Paul says he has been married 54 years, and his wife wrote "a very famous cookbook, 'The Ron Paul Cookbook.'" Romney says his wife has overcome breast cancer and Multiple Sclerosis, and wants to make sure young women don't get pregnant before marriage. Gingrich says his wife plays the French horn, and writes patriotic books. Santorum says his wife has written a couple of books, one about their child who died at birth, and another about training kids to have good manners.

88 minutes. Romney and Gingrich are asked to bicker over who is closer to Reagan. Romney admits that it took him a long time to come around to the Reagan view. "I became more conservative," he says. Gingrich says Nancy Reagan told him the Reagan torch had been passed to him. Then he attacks Romney. "In '92 he was donating to the Democrats for Congress and voted for Paul Tsongas in the Democratic primary," Gingrich says. "In '94 running against Teddy Kennedy, he said flatly, I don't want to go back to the Reagan-Bush era, I was an independent."

91 minutes. "I've never voted for a Democrat when there was a Republican on the ballot," says Romney, which is a pretty misleading thing to say. There was also a Republican primary in 1992. Romney could have chosen to vote in it.

92 minutes. Questions about Cuba. Santorum is against the Obama policy of liberalizing relations. He warns of "Jihadist's who want to set up missile sites" in Cuba or Venezuela. Paul shoots back that he doesn't think the American people "see a Jihadist under the bed every night." If he had any chance of winning, Paul would be seen as the winner of this debate.

95 minutes. Romney attacks Obama's Cuba policy. So does Gingrich.

98 minutes. A self-described Palestinian in the audience, as part of a question about Middle East Peace, says, "I'm here to tell you we do exist." Romney responds by saying, "It's the Palestinians who don't want a two-state solution." This is not true. The Palestinians have gone to the United Nations demanding just such a thing, though they differ with Israel about borders and conditions. Gingrich repeats his previous claim about Palestinian invention. "It was technically an invention of the late 1970s, and it was clearly so. Prior to that, they were Arabs. Many of them were either Syrian, Lebanese, or Egyptian, or Jordanian," he says. By that standard, Americans are an invented people too. But no one points this out.

102 minutes. Question about Puerto Rican statehood. Santorum panders a lot, praising Puerto Rico and its leaders. But then declines to take a position on statehood.

105 minutes. Question about how religious views would affect presidency. Paul says all that matters to him in the job is the Constitution. Gingrich says he would pray for guidance and stop the war against Christianity that is being waged by the "secular elite." Santorum says he understands that rights come from God, not government.

110 minutes. One more break.

113 minutes. Last question. Why are you the person most likely to beat Obama? Paul suggests that he can pick up support from Obama's base, by coming at the president from the left on foreign policy and civil liberties. Romney recites his stump speech. Critical time, social welfare state, etc. Gingrich does a riff about Saul Alinsky, food stamps and appeasement. Santorum says he can win blue-collar Reagan Democrats like Reagan did.

120 minutes. We are done. Pretty much as expected. Now Florida must vote. The outcome will no doubt help to determine how many more debates must be endured.

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Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/gop/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/time/20120130/us_time/httpswamplandtimecom20120127whatyoumissedwhilenotwatchingthelastfloridagopdebatexidrssfullnationyahoo

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

PFT: Finally, Kolber addresses Namath incident

joe-namathGetty Images

For many younger football fans, the name ?Joe Namath? doesn?t conjure memories of Broadway Joe or Super Bowl III but a drunken pass at ESPN sideline reporter Suzy Kolber during a December 2003 edition of Sunday Night Football.? His ?I wanna kiss you? moment became the stuff of TV legend, even making its way into an epic auto-tune mash-up from D.J. Steve Porter, who coincidentally now crafts similar projects for the four-letter network.

In an HBO documentary on Namath?s life, which debuted at 9:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, Kolber addresses the incident for the first time.? Without saying ?don?t blame us, we didn?t know Joe was drunk,? she seems to try a little too hard to offer up not-so-subtle excuses for not knowing Joe was drunk, even though perhaps everyone involved should have known, or at least suspected, that Joe was drunk.

Especially once he started talking.

?Joe was escorted onto the field by a number of Jets personnel,? Kolber says of the subject of her eventual interview.? ?And what I recall is that he and I never really had a chance to chat, because he wouldn?t stand still.?

Kolber creates the impression that she didn?t have any opportunity to observe his behavior (Namath admits that he?d been drinking all day and night) until the interview started.? ?When we were really getting to close to when our producer wanted to have him on, I took his arm because I just didn?t want him to walk away,? Kolber says.

And even when the interview began, Kolber explains (with her trademark perky nonchalance) that no one thought anything was amiss as he gave a stumbling, incomprehensible answer to the first question:? ?What impresses you about Chad [Pennington]??

?I believe that anything anyone else has watched Chad play impresses me the same thing impresses them,? Namath said at the time, clumsily and awkwardly.

She attributed his off-kilter behavior to, yes, the weather.? ?When we first started talking and he was slow and deliberate in his speech,? Kolber says, ?what was going through my head was, ?Maybe it?s just really cold.??

But here?s the kicker from Kolber, the thing that made me think for the first time that ESPN adroitly has been able to avoid for more than eight years the question of how they put him on the air in the first place, and why they didn?t kill the interview after his initial rambling response.? ?None of the executives in the truck were alarmed either, because nobody said, ?Stop,?? Kolber says.? ?The direction in my ear was, ?Keep going.??

None of this changes the fact that Namath was at fault for drinking too much and agreeing to go on camera and then acting like a jerk by saying ?I wanna kiss you,? not once but twice.? But I?ve been involved in the TV side of this business long enough now to realize that there are (or at least should be) layers of folks who when trouble pops up can make good decisions in the blink of an eye, or even faster.? Still, until seeing Kolber?s roundabout effort to help ESPN continue to sidestep shrapnel for allowing the ?I wanna kiss you? moment to happen by not ending the interview (or by never doing it in the first place), I never made the connection.? Joe was always the bad guy, and ESPN and Kolber were always without blame of any kind.

After hearing Kolber?s explanation, I?m starting to think that maybe a few tougher questions should have been asked back in late 2003.? It?ll be interesting to see if any of those questions are asked now.

Source: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/01/28/finally-kolber-addresses-namath-incident/related/

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Apple patent looks to create 'secure magnets' to unlock your device

It's an Apple patent application: please be aware this is unlikely to wind up in your next device, please fasten seat belts and fix your tray table in the fixed and upright position. Inside the bezel of your iDevice or Mac is a magnet that operates a switch -- that will only be activated when a "correlated" magnet inside a key-fob makes contact. That's the thinking behind Cupertino's newest patent application, attempting to turn magnets into a way of keeping your stuff secure. An example listed in the patent is using a stylus with specially encoded magnets to securely unlock an iPad, which we attribute to a zealous patent attorney and not a reversal of the "they blew it" rule. It may sound ridiculous when you first consider it, but given the magnetic-activation of the iPad 2's smart cover, it's not as outlandish as you believe. Still, we'll believe it if we see it in a couple of years.

Apple patent looks to create 'secure magnets' to unlock your device originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 28 Jan 2012 15:41:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/28/apple-secure-magnet-patent/

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UFC on Fox 2 postfight: Awards and Bisping earns respect from Sonnen, fans and his boss

CHICAGO -- Michael Bisping was the prefight villain of the night at the United Center, but with a hard-fought performance against Chael Sonnen, he converted an awful lot of haters.

Sonnen took a unanimous decision but it was far from easy. Don't believe it? The brash Sonnen had nothing but nice things to say about one of mixed martial arts' No. 1 heels.

"The whole fight I was never in a position tonight where I was comfortable, not one. It was 15 awkward minutes. I don't have a bad thing to say about the guy," said Sonnen,

Both fighters were surprised it was announced that Sonnen swept the scorecards and one judge, Clay Goodman scored it 30-27.

"There's no way on earth that was a 30-27 and that judge needs to have a serious thinking about his career," said a frustrated Bisping.

Bisping's resolve was strengthened by an outpouring of support on Twitter and the Internet. He's never been received very well by fans and MMA media.

"I think I won rounds one and two. In this modern day of social networking, you just gotta look at the internet, and the general consensus is that people think I won the fight," said Bisping.

UFC president Dana White was also a strong backer of Bisping's performance.

Seconds after the final bell, even Sonnen thought Bisping may have pulled the upset.

"I said to him 'what do you think?' He said 'I think I might have gotten the first two.' I said 'yeah I think you might be right,'" Sonnen said.

The winner was quick to point out that a 30-27 score can be deceiving.

"That doesn't mean I disagree with the judges. They were close rounds. You can have a 30-27 that's still a close 30-27. I don't know that that judge was out of his mind. If it had gone the other way I don't know that I would've been complaining."

It might be even more surprising for fans and MMA experts to hear Sonnen say Bisping could've won the fight in the first.

"I was surprised about everything. Michael Bisping hit me so hard in the first round, I didn't even know what day it was," Sonnen said. "I remember when I came to, I looked at him thinking 'oh my god, you have no idea how bad you hurt me or you'd step in and do something about it.'"

- The event at the United Center was a rousing success with a huge crowd of 17,425. Lower ticket prices were great move by the promotion which still hauled in a gate of $1.2 million.

- The UFC handed out postfight awards to Lavar Johnson for Knockout of the Night and Charles Oliveira for Submission of the Night. Nick Lentz and Evan Dunham got Fight of the Night honors. All four got $65,000.

Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mma-cagewriter/ufc-fox-2-postfight-awards-bisping-earns-respects-054436769.html

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Video: Romney makes some missteps in debate

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Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036697/vp/46168927#46168927

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Anti-matter set for gravity test

The question of whether normal matter's shadowy counterpart anti-matter exerts a kind of "anti-gravity" is set to be answered, according to a new report.

Normal matter attracts all other matter in the Universe, but it remains unclear if anti-matter attracts or repels it.

A team reporting in Physics Review Letters says it has prepared stable pairs of electrons and their anti-matter particles, positrons.

A beam of these pairs can be used to finally solve the anti-gravity puzzle.

Falling up

For every particle in physics, there is an associated anti-particle, identical in every respect that scientists have yet measured, except that it holds an opposite electric charge.

Current theory holds that, at the birth of the Universe, matter and anti-matter were created in equal amounts. When they meet, however, they destroy each other in energetic flashes of light.

The question has remained, then, why did any Universe come into being at all, and why is the one we see overwhelmingly made of normal matter?

One of the characteristics that may differentiate anti-matter is its gravitational behaviour. Most scientists believe that anti-matter will be attracted to normal matter.

Others are not so sure; anti-matter may repel - it may "fall up".

That has implications for the question of why the Universe didn't disappear into a grand flash of light just as soon as it formed. It also might help explain why the Universe is expanding ever more quickly.

It has simply been impossible to test the idea, but researchers at the University of California Riverside are getting closer to addressing the question once and for all.

They have created electron-positron pairs that are in stable orbits around one another - the result is called positronium.

The pairs are kept from bumping into and destroying each other by carefully dumping energy into them to create what are known as "Rydberg states".

Like the lanes of an automotive test track, particles can move into different orbits around one another if they reach higher energies, and these Rydberg positronium atoms are spun up to high energies, lasting for a comparatively long three billionths of a second.

The team hopes to extend the method, up to a few thousandths of a second, preparing a beam of the artificial atoms and seeing just which way they fall.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/int/news/-/news/science-environment-16756457

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AP Exclusive: Vatican rewrites money launder law (AP)

VATICAN CITY ? The Vatican has rewritten its 2010 anti-money laundering law after European inspectors found that it didn't fully meet their tough standards to combat the financing of terrorism.

The new law, a copy of which was obtained Friday by The Associated Press, requires the Vatican to create a list of terror organizations based on the one issued by the United Nations and requires the Vatican to enter into agreements with other countries to exchange financial information.

The Holy See has been working for years to comply with European Union norms on money-laundering and terror financing in a bid to shed its image as a secrecy-obsessed tax haven and join the so-called "white list" of countries that share tax information to crack down on tax cheats.

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/business/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120127/ap_on_re_eu/eu_vatican_bank

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Free Android Wallpaper of the day - Over the Rockies

Free Android WallpaperHere's a nice one from reader ThreeofNine, who snagged this shot from an airplane while over the Rocky Mountains.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/VTCBPO1ofis/story01.htm

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Researchers Spot Potential Bile Duct Cancer Drug Targets (HealthDay)

THURSDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers who identified a new genetic signature associated with bile duct cancer say their discovery could lead to targeted treatment for the deadly cancer.

The team at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center screened samples from 287 patients with gastrointestinal tumors and found that growth-enhancing mutations in two genes (IDH1 and IDH2) may account for nearly one-fourth of bile duct tumors that develop in the liver.

Mutations in IDH1 were found in 13 percent of all bile duct tumors and in 23 percent of those within the liver itself. Mutations in IDH2 were less common.

It may be possible to develop drugs that target this mutation in order to control tumor growth, they said.

The findings were published online in The Oncologist.

Bile duct cancer occurs in a duct that carries bile from the liver to the small intestine.

"Patients with bile duct cancer have a generally poor prognosis. Most of them are diagnosed with advanced or metastatic disease, so surgical resection [removal] is not feasible," study co-senior author Dr. Andrew Zhu, director of Liver Cancer Research at the MGH Cancer Center, said in a hospital news release.

"Identifying this new and relatively common mutation in intrahepatic [within the liver] bile duct cancer may have significant implications for the diagnosis, prognosis and therapy of patients whose tumors harbor this mutation," Zhu added.

Currently, there are no drugs that target IDH mutations, but extensive efforts are underway to develop such drugs, the researchers say.

Each year in the United States, 12,000 people are diagnosed with cancers of the gallbladder and bile duct, but only 10 percent of those cancers are discovered early enough for successful surgical treatment. Average survival, even with chemotherapy, is less than a year.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about bile duct cancer.

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/health/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20120126/hl_hsn/researchersspotpotentialbileductcancerdrugtargets

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Monster to cut 400 jobs (Reuters)

(Reuters) ? Online recruitment firm Monster Worldwide Inc said it will reduce its global workforce by about 7 percent and forecast a first-quarter profit below analysts' estimates amid a weak job market in the United States.

Shares of the company, which also reported fourth-quarter profit that missed expectations by a cent, fell 13 percent in premarket trading on Thursday.

"The progress we saw in the fourth quarter was much slower than what we saw earlier in the year," Monster CEO Sal Iannuzzi told Reuters in an interview.

The uncertainty in Europe and the United States is causing companies to hold back and not commit as much as they would normally, he said.

The staffing sector -- seen as a barometer of economic health -- has been hit by a slowdown in Europe and an uncertain recovery in the United States, where the unemployment rate currently stands at 8.5 percent.

Iannuzzi does not expect a material change to the job market for the time being.

The company will cut about 400 jobs and consolidate some office facilities, and expects to record a pre-tax charge of $30 million to $40 million mostly in the first quarter.

Monster forecast first-quarter profit to be breakeven to 4 cents a share, lower than analysts' estimates of 9 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company, which runs the Monster.com recruiting website, expects revenue to fall 3 to 7 percent in the first quarter and bookings to drop 6 to 10 percent.

Its fourth-quarter profit was 11 cents a share and revenue was $250 million. Analysts were expecting 12 cents a share and $258.9 million.

(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel, Supriya Kurane)

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/internet/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20120126/wr_nm/us_monsterworldwide

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Peter, Paul and Mary bassist Dick Kniss dies at 74 (AP)

SAUGERTIES, N.Y. ? Dick Kniss, a bassist who performed for five decades with the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary and co-wrote the John Denver hit "Sunshine on My Shoulders," has died. He was 74.

Kniss died Wednesday of pulmonary disease at a hospital near their home in the Hudson Valley town of Saugerties, said his wife, Diane Kniss.

Kniss was born in Portland, Ore., and was an original member of Denver's 1970s band. He also played with jazz greats including Herbie Hancock and Woody Herman.

Active in the 1960s civil rights movement, Kniss performed at benefits for a range of causes and played during the first celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as a national holiday.

Peter, Paul and Mary's Peter Yarrow said in a statement that Kniss was "our intrepid bass player for almost as long as we performed together.

"He was a dear and beloved part of our closest family circle and his bass playing was always a great fourth voice in our music as well as, conceptually, an original and delightfully surprising new statement added to our vocal arrangements," Yarrow said.

Visiting hours are set for 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Seamon-Wilsey Funeral Home in Saugerties, with a service at 2 p.m.

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/celebrity/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120127/ap_en_ce/us_obit_kniss

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?LikeBelt? Prototype Lets You Update Facebook with a Hip Thrust

Get ready for Facebook ubiquity to seep into the real world. A clever hardware-hacking project called LikeBelt uses near-field communication technology (NFC) to register Facebook likes as you walk down the street. Just approach a person or thing that deserves liking, and thrust your hips in its -- or his, or her -- direction.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GearFactor/~3/w5bU-QEh0U4/

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Debate over Calif.'s new 'clean car' regs (AP)

SAN FRANCISCO ? Auto dealers say California's proposed rules to require carmakers to build more electric and other less-polluting hybrid cars and trucks by 2025 will cost consumers more money and will stifle the industry's growth.

Consumer groups say customers might pay more for the vehicles but will save in lower fuel and other costs.

Both sides submitted testimony Thursday during a meeting of the state's air quality board, which was poised to vote on rules to require that vehicles emit about 75 percent less smog-producing pollutants.

The new standards, which also include big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, would begin with new cars sold in 2015, and get increasingly more stringent until 2025. The rules also mandate that one of every seven new cars sold in 2025 in the state be a zero-emission or plug-in hybrid vehicle.

California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols said she hopes the rules lead "the nation and the world."

"We can't afford to wait. We have to act on these issues now," she said at the panel's meeting. "Our projections show continued growth in population and vehicle miles traveled, which will affect air quality for years to come."

Other states often adopt California's smog emissions standards because they are stricter than federal ones.

Fourteen states, including Washington, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts, have adopted the state's current emissions goals, which is why the new regulations could have a wide-ranging effect. Of those states, 10 also adopted the zero-emission vehicle standards.

But the California New Car Dealers Association and other industry groups representing those who sell cars said the board is overestimating consumer demand for electric vehicles and other so-called "zero-emission vehicles."

Some dealer groups have estimated that $3,200 would be added to the average cost of a car because of the required technological changes, and that consumers have been slow to adopt them.

Jonathan Morrison, of the state dealers' association, said car retailers are supportive of new technologies that are accepted by their customers, but said the acceptance of electric and other vehicles has been slow.

"Consumers do not make purchasing decisions based upon regulatory mandates," he said.

The board's research staff disputes those estimates and says increases in hybrid and other sales continue to rise as more cars hit the market. They argue that fuel cost savings will make up for any vehicle price increase.

"Our research shows a $1,400 to $1,900 car price increase. But over the life of the vehicles, the owners save $6,000 in reduced fuel and maintenance costs," board spokesman David Clegern said.

One of the nation's foremost consumer groups, the Consumers' Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, supports the regulations.

The rules will "protect consumers by encouraging the development of cleaner, more efficient cars that save families money, help reduce the American economy's vulnerability to oil price shocks and reduce harmful air pollution," according to a letter from the group.

Automakers including Ford Motor Corp., Chrysler Group LLC, General Motors Co., Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and others said they generally supported the regulations in short statements delivered during the hearing.

The overall goal of the state is to have 1.4 million zero-emission and plug-in hybrids on California roads by 2025. But the program also looks ahead to 2050, laying groundwork for a goal of having 87 percent of the state's fleet of new vehicles fueled by electricity, hydrogen fuel cells or other clean technologies.

Yet the rules do provide some flexibility for automakers by giving them the ability to claim credits toward the state's zero-emission mandates if the company's other models exceed the federal greenhouse gas emissions mandates. The credits could be applied toward those zero-emission vehicle mandates starting in 2018 through 2021.

However, this aspect of the plan was not supported by many of the U.S. car makers, who said it could take hundreds of thousands of electric and other clean vehicles off the road in that time period, hurting the emerging market.

"This greenhouse gas over-compliance provision runs counter to the goals of the zero-emission vehicle mandates," said Robert Babick, speaking on behalf of GM. "We don't see how this provision makes the program better."

The board is scheduled to resume hearing testimony on Friday morning in Los Angeles.

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/environment/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120126/ap_on_re_us/us_california_clean_car_standards

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Britain ranks top risks posed by climate change (AP)

LONDON ? Britain says coastlines, wildlife and even the nation's most famous dish are under threat from climate change in its first-ever national assessment of likely risks.

The 2.8 million pound ($4.4 million) study sets out the most pressing problems expected to affect the United Kingdom as a result of climate change.

Britain's government said Thursday that higher temperatures could see as many as 5,900 more people die as a result of hot summers, but predicts a sharp reduction in deaths due to cold weather by the 2050s.

Other risks include increased pollution and energy demands.

The report says Britain's stocks of cod ? a key component of the nation's beloved fish and chips dish ? will dwindle, but should be replaced by more plentiful numbers of plaice and sole.

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/science/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120126/ap_on_re_eu/eu_britain_climate_change

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Jeff Clavier?s SoftTech VC Raises $55 Million For Fund III

softtech-vcThe micro-VCs are growing up. Case in point: Jeff Clavier, who started out as an angel investor backing Web 2.0 companies and then transitioned his portfolio into a more formal venture firm, SoftTech VC. Clavier just finished raising a total of $55 million for SoftTech's third fund. SoftTech's main focus is on three areas: mobile, next-generation e-commerce, and cloud-based services.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/BVp-_mSXaTg/

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AP Interview: Saudi warns of Mideast nuclear race (AP)

DAVOS, Switzerland ? An influential member of the Saudi royal family warned Wednesday that unless the Middle East becomes a nuclear weapon-free zone, a nuclear arms race is inevitable and could include his own country, Iraq, Egypt and even Turkey.

Prince Turki Al Faisal said the five permanent U.N. Security Council members should guarantee a nuclear security umbrella for Mideast countries that join a nuclear-free zone ? and impose "military sanctions" against countries seen to be developing nuclear weapons.

"I think that's a better way of going at this issue of nuclear enrichment of uranium, or preventing Iran from acquiring weapons of mass destruction," the former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to the U.S. and Britain said in an interview with The Associated Press. "If it goes that route, I think it's a much more equitable procedure than what has been happening in the last 10 years or so."

Turki said establishing a nuclear weapons-free zone "deserves everybody's attention and energy, more so than other activities which we see unfolding, whether it is redeployment of fleets in the area, whether Iranian or American or British or French, whether it is the sanctions efforts against Iran."

The Security Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions against Iran, mainly targeting its defense and nuclear establishment, but Tehran has refused to suspend uranium enrichment and enter negotiations on its nuclear activities. It maintains its nuclear program is peaceful, aimed solely at producing nuclear energy, but the U.S. and many European nations believe Iran's goal is to produce nuclear weapons.

Turki's proposal could impose sanctions against Iran if there is evidence it is pursuing weapons of mass destruction, which include nuclear as well as chemical and biological weapons. But it could also put Israel under sanctions if it doesn't come clean on its suspected nuclear arsenal.

Israel is widely believed to have an arsenal of hundreds of nuclear weapons but has avoided confirming or denying their existence.

An Arab proposal for a weapons of mass destruction-free zone was initially endorsed by the 1995 conference reviewing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, but never acted on.

In May 2010, the 189 member nations that are party to the NPT called for convening a conference in 2012. Last October, the U.N., U.S., Russia and Britain announced that Finland will host the conference this year.

Israel is not a party to the NPT and has long said a full Arab-Israeli peace must precede such weapons bans. But at the 2010 NPT review conference, the United States, Israel's most important ally, said it welcomed "practical measures" leading toward the goal of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East.

It remains unclear, however, whether the U.S. or veteran Finnish diplomat Jaakko Laajava, who is serving as "facilitator" of this year's conference, can persuade Israel to attend.

Turki said his answer to American and British diplomats who say Israel won't accept a nuclear weapons-free zone is "So what?"

He said the five permanent members should make an announcement on the establishment of a Mideast zone free of weapons of mass destruction, or WMD, at this year's conference in Finland.

Turki cautioned, however, that actually establishing a WMD-free zone will take negotiations in which all the underlying issues in the region, from the establishment of a Palestinian state to the future of the Golan Heights, "will have to be dealt with to make the zone workable."

"So there are incentives there for everybody to be serious about establishing an overall peace so the zone can be put in place," he said.

Turki warned that if there is no WMD-free zone in the Mideast, "inevitably" there is going to be a nuclear arms race "and that's not going to be in the favor of anybody."

The Gulf states are committed not to acquire WMD, he said. "But we're not the only players in town. You have Turkey. You have Iraq which has a track record of wanting to go nuclear. You have Egypt. They had a very vibrant nuclear energy program from the 1960s. You have Syria. You have other players in the area that could open Pandora's box."

Asked whether Saudi Arabia would maintain its commitment against acquiring WMD, Turki said: "What I suggest for Saudi Arabia and for the other Gulf states ... is that we must study carefully all the options, including the option of acquiring weapons of mass destruction. We can't simply leave it for somebody else to decide for us."

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/europe/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120125/ap_on_re_eu/eu_davos_forum_nuclear_mideast

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Ethiopia says their troops did not shoot tourists (AP)

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia ? A high-ranking Ethiopian government official says a rebel group's claim that Ethiopian troops killed five European tourists during a gun battle is "pure fiction".

Ethiopia's foreign affairs spokesman Dina Mufti said Monday that the statement was completely untrue. Ethiopia has blamed its archenemy Eritrea for the incident.

An unverified Jan. 21 statement claiming to be from an obscure rebel group in Ethiopia's arid northern Afar region claimed gunmen clashed with Ethiopian soldiers. The Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front says the five foreigners were killed in the battle.

The claim comes after gunmen last week attacked a group of European tourists in the country's Afar region, bordering the tiny nation of Eritrea. Five were killed, two wounded and two kidnapped.

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/africa/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120124/ap_on_re_af/af_ethiopia

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Administration nominees awaiting next move by GOP (AP)

WASHINGTON ? Senate Republicans are returning to Washington in an angry mood over President Barack Obama's appointments to two key agencies during a year-end break.

More than 70 nominees to judgeships and senior federal agency positions are awaiting the next move from Republicans, who can use Senate rules to block votes on some or all of Obama's picks.

While Republicans return Monday to discuss their next step, recess appointee Richard Cordray is running a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the National Labor Relations Board ? with three temporary members ? is now at full strength with a Democratic majority.

Obama left more than 70 other nominees in limbo, well aware that Republicans could use Senate rules to block them.

The White House justified the appointments on grounds that Republicans were holding up the nominations to paralyze the two agencies. The consumer protection agency was established under the 2010 Wall Street reform law, which requires the bureau to have a director in order to begin policing financial products such as mortgages, checking accounts, credit cards and payday loans.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the five-member NLRB must have a three-member quorum to issue regulations or decide major cases in union-employer disputes.

Several agencies contacted by The Associated Press, including banking regulators, said they were conducting their normal business despite vacancies at the top. In some cases, nominees are serving in acting capacities.

At full strength, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has five board members. The regulation of failed banks "is unaffected," said spokesman Andrew Gray. "The three-member board has been able to make decisions without a problem." Cordray's appointment gives it a fourth member.

The Comptroller of the Currency, run by an acting chief, has kept up its regular examinations of banks. The Federal Trade Commission, operating with four board members instead of five, has had no difficulties. "This agency is not a partisan combat agency," said spokesman Peter Kaplan. "Almost all the votes are unanimous and consensus-driven."

Republicans have pledged retaliation for Obama's recess appointments, but haven't indicated what it might be.

"The Senate will need to take action to check and balance President Obama's blatant attempt to circumvent the Senate and the Constitution, a claim of presidential power that the Bush administration refused to make," said Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican who is his party's top member on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Grassley wouldn't go further, and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky hasn't tipped his hand after charging that Obama had "arrogantly circumvented the American people." Before the Senate left for its break in December, McConnell blocked Senate approval of more than 60 pending nominees because Obama wouldn't commit to making no recess appointments.

Republicans have to consider whether their actions, especially any decision to block all nominees, might play into Obama's hands.

Obama has adopted an election-year theme of "we can't wait" for Republicans to act on nominations and major proposals like his latest jobs plan. Republicans have to consider how their argument that the president is violating Constitutional checks and balances plays against Obama's stump speeches characterizing them as obstructionists.

Senate historian Donald Ritchie said the minority party has retaliated in the past for recess appointments by holding up specific nominees. "I'm not aware of any situations where no nominations were accepted," he said. The normal practice is for the two party leaders to negotiate which nominations get votes.

During the break, Republicans forced the Senate to convene for usually less than a minute once every few days to argue that there was no recess and that Obama therefore couldn't bypass the Senate's authority to confirm top officials. The administration said this was a sham, and has released a Justice Department opinion backing up the legality of the appointments.

Obama considers the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a signature achievement of his first term. Republicans have been vehemently opposed to the bureau's setup. They argued the agency needed a bipartisan board instead of a director and should have to justify its budget to Congress instead of drawing its funding from the independent Federal Reserve.

Cordray is expected to get several sharp questions from Republicans when he testifies Tuesday before a House Oversight and Government Reform panel.

The NLRB has been a target of Republicans and business groups. Last year, the agency accused Boeing of illegally retaliating against union workers who had struck its plants in Washington state by opening a new production line at its non-union plant in South Carolina. Boeing denied the charge and the case has since been settled, but Republican anger over it and a string of union-friendly decisions from the board last year hasn't abated.

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/uscongress/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120123/ap_on_go_co/us_nominations_spat

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Video: Video: Time to compare the Mannings?

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Source: http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/21134540/vp/46108283#46108283

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3-D dance documentary 'Pina' gets an Oscar nod (omg!)

LONDON (AP) ? Wim Wenders wanted to make a dance movie for 20 years, but had to wait for technology to catch up with his imagination.

The German director says he needed the power of 3-D to make "Pina," a tribute to the late choreographer Pina Bausch that was nominated Tuesday for a best documentary Academy Award.

Wenders said 3-D "has a glorious future, especially in the documentary field, because it is the best way to bring an audience into the world of the film."

The other contenders for best feature documentary are Afghan war film "Hell and Back Again"; eco-saga "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front"; high school football documentary "Undefeated"; and "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory," about three U.S. teenagers jailed for a notorious triple slaying.

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/entertainment/*http%3A//us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/external/omg_rss/rss_omg_en/news3_d_dance_documentary_pina_gets_oscar_nod_172825392/44287482/*http%3A//omg.yahoo.com/news/3-d-dance-documentary-pina-gets-oscar-nod-172825392.html

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Putin warns ethnic tensions risk tearing Russia apart (Reuters)

MOSCOW (Reuters) ? Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has warned ethnic tensions could tear Russia apart, saying he would toughen migration rules on reassuming the presidency and keep a tight rein on Russia's regions to prevent it following the Soviet Union into oblivion.

Putin, in power since 2000 and favored to win a six-year presidential term in March, described a Soviet-style vision of a country in which the rights of ethnic minorities would be respected but Russian language and culture would dominate.

"With the collapse of the country (the Soviet Union), we were on the edge -- and in some regions over the edge -- of civil war," Putin wrote in an article published in Nezavisimaya Gazeta Monday, referring to two separatist wars in Chechnya since the 1991 Soviet breakup.

"With great effort, with great sacrifice we were able to douse these fires. But that doesn't mean that the problem is gone," he wrote in the second of a series of articles promoting his leadership goals ahead of March 4 elections.

A little more than a month before the vote, Putin appeared determined to denounce xenophobia without alienating members of the ethnic Russian, mostly Orthodox Christian majority, some of whom fear labor migration and higher birth rates among Russia's Muslims may leave them a minority in their own country.

Moscow is a flash point for ethnic tensions and the site of thousands-strong protests by nationalists angry over migration and government subsidies to the mostly Muslim North Caucasus.

Comparing nationalism to a disease, Putin took aim at ethnic Russian militants, who have been among the 59-year-old prime minister's most vociferous critics, joining in mass protests over disputed parliamentary elections last month.

"If a multiethnic society is infected by nationalism, it loses its strength and durability," Putin said. "We need to understand what far-reaching effects can be caused by attempts to inflame national enmity and hatred."


But he also emphasized that minorities in what he called a multi-ethnic society must live under the umbrella of Russian culture, and migrants must take measures to integrate such as passing exams in Russian language and history.

"The Russian people, the Russian culture is the glue holding together the unique fabric of this civilization," Putin wrote.

Putin's most detailed proposals called for authorities to be given more power to vet migrants based on their professional skill level, for students to be asked to read some 100 national classics and for the creation of a new government body tasked with inter-ethnic policy.

He also said the best way to stem migration was by creating favorable conditions for citizens to work in their native regions or nations, and argued in support of state spending on poor regions such as the mostly Muslim North Caucasus.

He also plugged his plan for a Eurasian Union linking Russia with other ex-Soviet republics including those in Central Asia, saying closer economic ties would help curb migration by helping to develop the economies of neighboring states.

In a sign Putin has few plans to reverse a consolidation of power in Moscow, which opponents say has weakened political competition and turned regions into vassals, Putin said he could not allow regional political parties because some could be created along ethnic lines, calling it a "direct path to separatism."

"What is omitted is even more important than what is included (in the article)," said Nikolai Petrov, a political analyst with the Moscow Carnegie Center, told Reuters.

"There is no mention of federalism here and the idea here is that a centralized state should be stronger in order to prevent disintegration," he said.

Tens of thousands of people rallied in Moscow against the contested vote on December 24 and the opposition plans new rally on February 4 to protest Putin's planned return.

(Additional reporting by Thomas Grove)

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/russia/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20120123/wl_nm/us_russia_putin

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Obama Used the Deficit as Excuse to End NASA Space Exploration Program (ContributorNetwork)

COMMENTARY | An article in the New Yorker purports to show why the Obama administration canceled the Constellation space exploration program, a controversial decision that haunts it to this day. The excuse was the budget deficit Obama caused.

The crucial passage of the article, which uses leaked memos to show how the Obama presidency unraveled, quotes a memo from November 2009 that was written by "advisers," states, in part, "Especially in light of our new fiscal context, it is not possible to achieve the inspiring space program goals discussed during the campaign."

The "new fiscal context" in question was a $6 trillion hole the Obama administration had blown into the deficit as a result of its spending policies. A $900 billion stimulus package had already been passed. At the time the administration was locked in a struggle to pass a health care reform proposal that has turned out to have a multitrillion-dollar price tag. The persistent economic downturn, thanks to Obama policies, has decreased tax revenues.

Obama advisers were invoking the deficit as an excuse to cancel a space exploration program initiated by the previous administration. The deficit was not invoked when selling the stimulus package, the health care reform law, or any other Obama spending that the administration actually favored. The deficit was not the reason the Obama administration tried to gut NASA's centerpiece program. It was a threadbare excuse.

The Augustine Committee, which Obama had convened the previous spring, had already come back with a number of proposals for space exploration going forward. It had proposed changing the launch vehicle architecture used by Constellation to one it thought was cheaper and simpler. Nevertheless an increase of $3 billion a year for NASA would be necessary to execute a meaningful program, whether it focused on an Earth approaching asteroid or going back to the moon.

Instead the Obama administration chose to scrap the space exploration program indefinitely. Congress rebelled and ordered the funding of the Orion Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle and the heavy lift space launch system in advance of a space exploration program to take place starting in the 2020s.

The making and rapid unmaking of Obama space policy is a study in mendacity, lack of vision and duplicity. If President John F. Kennedy proudly announced, "We chose to go to the moon!" Obama said, in effect, we chose to stay right here.

Mark R. Whittington is the author of Children of Apollo and The Last Moonwalker . He has written on space subjects for a variety of periodicals, including The Houston Chronicle, The Washington Post, USA Today, the L.A. Times, and The Weekly Standard.

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/science/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ac/20120124/sc_ac/10877141_obama_used_the_deficit_as_excuse_to_end_nasa_space_exploration_program

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Studying the science of space junk

"Well, here it is," said aerospace engineer William Ailor as he paused next to the hulking metal shells arrayed along the plaza outside a visitors entrance at Aerospace Corp.'s El Segundo headquarters.

The stuff is junk. But, Ailor said, it's no ordinary junk. This garbage has traveled to space and back.

A 150-pound hollow sphere of blackened titanium is all that remains of a motor casing from a Delta II rocket that fell to Earth in 2001, landing in the Saudi Arabian desert west of Riyadh.

A 600-pound stainless-steel fuel tank, also from a Delta II rocket, sits nearby, dented, gashed and rusty ? scarred by its descent from space to a farm near Georgetown, Texas, in 1997.

An artist once asked whether he could use the mangled metal in a sculpture. (It was Air Force property, so the answer was no.) Ailor said he has occasionally worried about thieves dragging the tanks off to sell as scrap.

But he and the dozen or so researchers he works with at Aerospace Corp.'s Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies, or CORDS, where he is the principal scientist, usually don't concern themselves with space trash's artistic or monetary value. They're interested in the science of it ? and in safety.

"We worry about orbital debris," Ailor said.

Aerospace Corp. is a nonprofit research and development organization that provides technical advice to the military, NASA and other government and commercial customers. The job of Ailor's group is to see how space debris affects satellites and what hazards it poses when it reenters the atmosphere. CORDS also publishes predictions of when larger items might crash to Earth so that some debris might be recovered and returned for analysis.

It is the only group in the world that systematically brings fallen space junk back to the laboratory for testing, Ailor said.

Over 37 years, the researchers have collected about 10 or so samples of the detritus, including the Delta rocket components, in an effort to better understand how scraps in space behave when they reenter Earth's atmosphere.

The team analyzes the size and shape of the debris and uses sophisticated computer programs to reconstruct its fall to the ground. It examines melted holes and compositional properties of the found metal to estimate how much heating the space junk underwent during reentry ? which tells scientists the maximum temperatures reached and helps explain why these types of objects survive.

The hope is to keep satellites, and people, from harm.

There are more than 22,000 pieces of space debris larger than 4 inches orbiting the Earth, and millions of smaller items in orbit that are too small to be tracked with precision, according to a 2011 report commissioned by NASA.

Even tiny bits of debris, such as paint chips, can damage satellites and manned spacecraft when they're traveling in low-Earth orbit at about 21,600 mph. An aluminum sphere half an inch in diameter has the potential to do as much damage upon collision as a 400-pound safe traveling at 60 mph. Larger items such as defunct satellites can pulverize the objects they hit in space, generating ever more pieces of dangerous floating trash.

Debris could hurt humans. In just the last four months, three very large spacecraft, including the failed Russian Mars lander Phobos-Ground, have plunged to Earth. To date, no one has been injured, thanks to good luck and the fact that more than two-thirds of the surface of Earth is covered by ocean.

Jumbo junk like this ? objects that weigh at least 1,000 pounds before falling, large enough to not entirely burn up during descent ? interests Ailor and his team. Finding it isn't easy, because so little survives and lands on the ground.

But three or four times a year, witnesses on the ground see debris fall ? and if the researchers are very lucky, they'll get an email letting them know. If the item has come from an Air Force launch, the military picks it up and brings it back to El Segundo.

One specimen, a steel tank from a Delta II, fell in Mongolia but couldn't be collected for months because the de-icing equipment at the airport there couldn't accommodate the Air Force's huge transport planes.

Fortunately, just one rusty fuel tank can help scientists figure out what happens to space junk as it reenters the atmosphere.

Source: http://feeds.latimes.com/~r/latimes/news/science/~3/gbff4qNxK0o/la-me-space-junk-20120122,0,282782.story

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