Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
A lady walks into Tiffany's. She browses around, spots a beautiful diamond bracelet and walks over to inspect it. As she bends over to look more closely she inadvertently breaks wind.
Very embarrassed, she looks around nervously to see if anyone has noticed her little accident and prays that a sales person doesn't pop up right now.
As she turns around, her worst nightmare materializes in the form of a salesman standing right behind her.
Cool as a cucumber and displaying complete professionalism, the salesman greets the lady with, 'Good day, Madam How may we help you today?'
Very uncomfortably, but hoping that the salesman may not have been there at the time of her little 'accident!', she asks, 'Sir, what is the price of this lovely bracelet?'
He answers, 'Madam, if you farted just looking at it, you're going to crap yourself when I tell you the price.'
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
"Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities -- always see them, for they're always there."
-- Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
"One of the saddest lines in the world is, 'Oh come now - be realistic.' The best parts of this world were not fashioned by those who were realistic. They were fashioned by those who dared to look hard at their wishes and gave them horses to ride."
-- Richard Nelson Bolles
"The world would have you agree with its dismal dream of limitation. But the light would have you soar like the eagle of your sacred visions."
-- Alan Cohen
"It's kind of fun to do the impossible."
-- Walt Disney
CALMNESS IN OUR LIVES
We could all use a little more calmness in our lives.
By following simple advice heard on the Dr. Phil show, you too can find inner peace. Dr Phil proclaimed,
'The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished.'
So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning,
I finished off a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream, a package of Oreos,
the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos, and a box of chocolates.
You have no idea how freaking good I feel right now. Pass this on to those whom you think might be in need of inner peace...
Monday, January 26, 2009
Quebec Hot Tub
New Brunswick Cop
Alberta Cup Holder
PEI Horse Shoes
Winnipeg Palm Pilot
Nova Scotia Hunter
Sunday, January 25, 2009
How the British have learned to stop worrying and love their rude, often lewd place names
He lays it out straight, so there's no room for unpleasant confusion.
"I say: 'It's spelled crap, as in crap,' " explained Pearce, 61, who has lived for decades in Crapstone, a one-shop country village in Devon.
In the scale of embarrassing place names, Crapstone ranks pretty high.
But Britain is full of embarrassing addresses.
Some are mostly amusing, like Ugley in Essex, East Breast in Scotland, North Piddle in Worcestershire and Spanker Lane in Derbyshire.
Others evoke images that may conflict with residents' efforts to appear dignified when, for example, applying for jobs.
These include Crotch Crescent in Oxford, Titty Ho in Northamptonshire, Wetwang in East Yorkshire, Slutshole Lane in Norfolk and Thong in Kent.
In a country that delights in lavatory humour, particularly if the word "bottom" is involved, there is Pratts Bottom in Kent, doubly cursed because "prat" is slang for buffoon.
As for Penistone, a thriving South Yorkshire town, just stop that sophomoric snickering.
"It's pronounced PENNIS-tun," Fiona Moran, manager of the Old Vicarage Hotel in Penistone, intones over the phone rather sharply. When forced to spell her address for outsiders, she uses misdirection, separating the tricky section into two blameless parts: P-e-n – pause – i-s-t-o-n-e.
Several months ago, Lewes District Council in East Sussex tried to address the problem of inadvertent place-name titillation by saying that "street names which could give offence" would no longer be allowed on new roads.
"Avoid aesthetically unsuitable names," like Gaswork Rd., the council decreed.
Also, avoid "names capable of deliberate misinterpretation," like Hoare Road or Typple Avenue.
The council explained that it was only following national guidelines and that it did not intend to change any existing names.
Still, news of the revised policy raised an outcry.
"Sniggering at double entendres is a loved and time-honoured tradition in this country," Carol Midgley wrote in The Times of London.
Ed Hurst, co-author, with Rob Bailey, of Rude Britain and Rude UK, which list arguably offensive place names – some so arguably offensive that, unfortunately, they cannot be printed here – said many of the communities in question were established hundreds of years ago and their names were not rude at the time.
"Place names and street names are full of history and culture, and it's only because language has evolved over the centuries that they've wound up sounding rude," Hurst said in an interview.
Hurst and Bailey (who grew up on Tumbledown Dick Road in Oxfordshire) got the idea for their books when they read about a couple who bought a house on Butt Hole Road in South Yorkshire.
The name most likely has to do with the spot's historic function as a source of water – a water butt being a container for collecting the liquid. But in the centuries that followed, it proved to be prohibitively hilarious.
"If they ordered a pizza, the pizza company wouldn't deliver it, because they thought it was a made-up name," Hurst said.
"People would stand in front of the sign, pull down their trousers and take pictures of each other's naked buttocks."
The couple moved away.
The people in Crapstone have not had similar problems, although their sign is periodically stolen by word-loving merrymakers.
And their village became a stock joke a few years ago, when a television commercial featuring a prone-to-swearing soccer player named Vinnie Jones showed the athlete's automobile breaking down just under the Crapstone sign.
In the commercial, Jones tries to alert the towing company to his location while covering the sign and trying not to say "crap" in front of his young daughter.
The consensus in the village is that there is a perfectly innocent reason for the name "Crapstone," though it is unclear what that meaning is.
Theories put forth by various residents the other day included "place of the rocks," "a kind of twisting of the original word," "something to do with the soil" and "something to do with Sir Francis Drake," who lived nearby.
Jacqui Anderson, a doctor in Crapstone who used to live in a village called Horrabridge, which has its own issues, said she no longer deals with the "crap" in "Crapstone."
Still, when strangers ask where she's from, she admitted, "I just say I live near Plymouth."
Friday, January 23, 2009
You will soon have certainty where you once had doubt, strength where you once had weakness, clarity where you once had confusion and support where you once had criticism.
Gemini (May 21 — June 21)
The stars are inviting you, nay urging you, to rethink some basic priorities. A certain point of irritation counts far less than you have realized up to now.
Scorpio (Oct. 24 — Nov. 22)
You are growing wiser. The only irreversible side-effect is that you are most certainly growing older too. What counts the most, though, is what's within. And it's looking good on you.
Pisces (Feb. 20 — March 20)
Some things look as if they may be about to start going wrong. Celestial evidence strongly suggests quite the opposite. There is a strong suggestion and sense of hope that things are about to get better.
Google Chrome is fast … insanely fast … faster than Firefox 3.0.
Let’s see how the browsers compare to each other when tested using the V8 benchmark suite. This suite carried out five tests:
OS kernel simulation benchmark, originally written in BCPL by Martin Richards (539 lines).
One-way constraint solver, originally written in Smalltalk by John Maloney and Mario Wolczko (880 lines).
Encryption and decryption benchmark based on code by Tom Wu (1689 lines).
Ray tracer benchmark based on code by Adam Burmister (3418 lines).
With this benchmark, the higher the score, the better …
As you can see, Google Chrome savagely beats all the opposition running the V8 benchmark suite a whopping ten times faster than Firefox 3.0.
Google Chrome certainly has delivered on the speed it promised, and so far testing indicates that the browser is very robust - over the past few hours I’ve been hammering it very hard and I’ve yet to have a crash.
Here’s a single Google Chrome Window with 70+ tabs open and the browser is still nice and responsive and there’s not even a hint that it’s struggling under the weight of the open tabs.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The quotation first came from a certain Robert J. Hanlon as a submission for a book compilation of various jokes related to Murphy's law published in 1980 entitled Murphy's Law Book Two, More Reasons Why Things Go Wrong.
A similar quotation appears in Robert A. Heinlein's 1941 short story "Logic of Empire" ("You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"); this was noticed in 1996 (five years before Bigler identified the Robert J. Hanlon citation) and first referenced in version 4.0.0 of the Jargon File, with speculation that Hanlon's Razor might be a corruption of "Heinlein's Razor". "Heinlein's Razor" has since been defined as variations on Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, but don't rule out malice. or ... but keep your eyes open. A variant, Grey's Law (influenced, no doubt, by Clarke's third law), posits "Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice."
Leo (July 23 — Aug. 22)
The sky speaks now of a situation which ought to be simple, but has become too complicated. It appears no one but you can untangle the knot. Reaching a certain goal is within your power.
Pisces (Feb. 20 — March 20)
Don't respond to aggravation or feel obliged to get aggressive about what you desire. A stressful exertion is not required. Venus is in your sign. What you need will come sweetly and naturally to you.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Leo (July 23 — Aug. 22)
You are tempted to blame yourself for a perceived failure. Stand back and take another look. It is almost certain you aren't to blame and should let yourself off the hook.
Pisces (Feb. 20 — March 20)
Venus is offering a chance to create calm and peace where there has been tension and antagonism. There's also a chance to become materially better off.
Gemini (May 21 — June 21)
For those who place a high value on status, it is very important to move up in the world. For you, such thoughts are nonsense. Yet your life now is heading in the direction that status-seekers would call "up."
Scorpio (Oct. 24 — Nov. 22)
The influence of the planet of wealth and romance is touching many, including you. You are being shown an auspicious omen and being encouraged and assisted. Someone is reaching out to you.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
44th President Of The USA
He is currently 47 years old as of January 2009.
Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address
Following is the transcript of President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address, as transcribed by CQ Transcriptions:
PRESIDENT BARACK Thank you. Thank you.
CROWD: Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama!
My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.
I thank President Bush for his service to our nation...
... as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.
The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.
Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable, but no less profound, is a sapping of confidence across our land; a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less.
It has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame.
Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.
For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life. For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West, endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.
For us, they fought and died in places Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.
Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.
This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed.
Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.
For everywhere we look, there is work to be done.
The state of our economy calls for action: bold and swift. And we will act not only to create new jobs but to lay a new foundation for growth.
We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.
We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality...
... and lower its costs.
We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.
All this we can do. All this we will do.
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions, who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short, for they have forgotten what this country has already done, what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose and necessity to courage.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long, no longer apply.
MR. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works, whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.
Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.
And those of us who manage the public's knowledge will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched.
But this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control. The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.
The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.
Our founding fathers faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations.
Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake.
And so, to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.
They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use. Our security emanates from the justness of our cause; the force of our example; the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
We are the keepers of this legacy, guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort, even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We'll begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and forge a hard- earned peace in Afghanistan.
With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat and roll back the specter of a warming planet.
We will not apologize for our way of life nor will we waver in its defense.
And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that, "Our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken. You cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you."
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.
We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth.
And because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.
To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.
To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds.
And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders, nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.
As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.
We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service: a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves.
And yet, at this moment, a moment that will define a generation, it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.
For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies.
It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break; the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours.
It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.
Our challenges may be new, the instruments with which we meet them may be new, but those values upon which our success depends, honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old.
These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history.
What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
This is the source of our confidence: the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.
This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed, why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall. And why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.
So let us mark this day in remembrance of who we are and how far we have traveled.
In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by nine campfires on the shores of an icy river.
The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood.
At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:
"Let it be told to the future world that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it."
America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words; with hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come; let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.
Thank you. God bless you.
And God bless the United States of America.(APPLAUSE)
Leo (July 23 — Aug. 22)
If things don't turn out quite as you expect, please don't waste time fretting over what has gone wrong. This setback is apparently a blessing. Something else far better is able to happen instead.
Gemini (May 21 — June 21)
Weigh your options. Explore all variations of your basic plan, remembering that, with the right attitude, there is no limit to what you can accomplish. Then, add a healthy dollop of determination.
Pisces (Feb. 20 — March 20)
Trouble comes when you doubt yourself or lose your motivation or find yourself in an unexpected situation. Dwell on hope, not fear or anger, and you will rise brilliantly to your current challenge.
Scorpio (Oct. 24 — Nov. 22)
The universe is far bigger than we can fathom. And, it likes to drive home that point by throwing us into upheaval. Ask what you are meant to learn from this and then humbly accept the answer.
Question your intention
"Men are more accountable for their motives, than for anything else ...."
-- Archibald Alexander
Why are you doing what you are doing?
Throughout the day, continually ask yourself about your underlying motivation. Are you doing what you are doing for selfish, manipulative or fearful reasons, or in honest service? Maybe you will see that much of your activity lacks purpose. This is a great way to become more conscious.
Your intention and motives are fundamental to the results you receive. Set high intentions and your life will blossom.
"A good intention clothes itself with power."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Monday, January 19, 2009
Leo (July 23 — Aug. 22)
The future keeps on advancing, as quickly as you try to catch it. But you are now effectively entering a new chapter in your life when you will catch up to what you want. Just be aware that there is more than one future waiting for you out there. Choose wisely.
Pisces (Feb. 20 — March 20)The sky insists that you are walking along a safe, albeit narrow, path. Provided you stick to your route, you will make it safely to your destination. The tension is honing your talents. Being on edge means you will do your best.
Gemini (May 21 — June 21)
In a celestial sense, some gifts and gains are due to arrive. If not today, be assured it will be soon. Wish-granting pixies are determined to see things reach a happy conclusion. Relief and respite are in sight to an impossible problem.
Schedule of events for Obama's inauguration
1 hour ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — A schedule of some official and unofficial activities surrounding Barack Obama's inauguration on Jan. 20:
MONDAY, JAN. 19
_ National Day of Community Service event: To honor Dr. King's legacy, Obama, Biden and their families, joined by Americans across the country, will participate in activities dedicated to serving others in communities across the Washington, D.C. area.
_ Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball, sponsored by the Texas State Society, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.
_ Green Inaugural Ball at the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture. Ball hosted by former Vice President Al Gore.
_ Huffington Post preinaugural ball at the Newseum.
_ Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball at the Harman Center for the Arts. Hosted by the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, Russell Simmons, LL Cool J, among others.
_ A children's evening concert at the Verizon Center honoring military families. Event hosted by Michelle Obama, who will attend. Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers are among the entertainers.
_ Obama to attend three private dinners to honor former secretary of State Colin Powell, Biden and Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, for their public service. Dinners at the Hilton Washington, National Building Museum and Union Station.
TUESDAY, JAN. 20 (INAUGURATION DAY)
Gates to the Inaugural Ceremony open at 8 a.m. The inaugural festivities are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. They will include:
_ Musical selections of The United States Marine Band, followed by the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus.
_ Sen. Dianne Feinstein provides call to order and welcoming remarks.
_ Invocation by the Rev. Rick Warren.
_ Musical selection of Aretha Franklin.
_ Biden will be sworn into office by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.
_ Musical selection of John Williams, composer/arranger with Itzhak Perlman, (violin), Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Gabriela Montero (piano) and Anthony McGill (clarinet).
_ Obama will take the Oath of Office, using President Lincoln's Inaugural Bible, administered by Chief Justice John Roberts. Scheduled around noon.
_ Obama gives the inaugural address.
_ Poem by Elizabeth Alexander.
_ Benediction by Rev. Joseph E. Lowery.
_ The National Anthem by The United States Navy Band "Sea Chanters."
After Obama gives inaugural address, he will escort outgoing President George W. Bush to a departure ceremony before attending a luncheon in the Capitol's Statuary Hall.
The 56th Inaugural Parade will then make its way down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House.
Later that day, the Presidential Inaugural Committee will host 10 official inaugural balls:
_ Neighborhood Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
_ Obama Home States (Illinois and Hawaii) Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
_ Biden Home States (Pennsylvania and Delaware) Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
_ Midwest Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
_ Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
_ Western Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
_ Commander in Chief's Ball at the National Building Museum.
_ Southern Inaugural Ball at the National Guard Armory.
_ Eastern Inaugural Ball at Union Station.
_ Youth Inaugural Ball at the Washington Hilton.
Unofficial balls include:
_ Congressional Black Caucus Inaugural Ball at the Capitol Hilton.
_ Creative Coalition Inaugural Ball at the Harman Center for the Arts.
_ Recording Industry Association of America's ball for Feeding America.
_ BET's Inaugural Ball at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
_ Africa on the Potomac inaugural celebration at Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va.
_ American Music Inaugural Ball at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.
_ Inaugural Purple Ball at the Fairmont Hotel.
_ Human Rights Campaign's Equality Ball at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel.
_ Inaugural Peace Ball at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.
_ Impact Film Fund ball.
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 21
_ The president, vice president and their families will participate in a prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Tonight at 8 p.m., Bush will deliver a televised speech to Americans in which he will defend what he calls "a good, strong record" of accomplishments during his eight years in power.
The speech will be his last bid to put a positive "spin" on his legacy before flying home next Tuesday to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, right after Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president.
But many Americans, Canadians and others around the globe have already made up their minds.
For them, it's good riddance to George Bush.
That's because Bush was an unmitigated disaster, failing on the big issues of his presidency, from the invasion of Iraq to global warming, Hurricane Katrina and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Of course, Bush is quite used to such criticism.
Back in 2001, in the first months of his presidency, then prime minister Jean Chrétien labelled Bush "a cowboy." One of his aides later called him "a moron," a comment for which she was fired.
They were both right, although Bush may have been more an incompetent than a moron.
For much of the last two weeks, Bush has been granting legacy-focused interviews, insisting his presidency was a huge success.
Strangely, he boasts of his record.
If you doubt that, just check out the official White House website (www.whitehouse.gov).
There's a whole section on "The Bush Record," with lengthy documents titled "Highlights of Accomplishments and Results of George W. Bush," and "100 Things Americans May Not Know About the Bush Administration Record."
Among the "achievements" cited are stacking courts with conservative judges, cutting off U.S. tax funds to foreign non-governmental agencies that promote abortion, and pushing for more offshore oil exploration.
Nowhere will you find any mention of not finding any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the pretext on which Bush ordered the invasion of the country and which has resulted in more than 4,000 American and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths.
To be fair, Bush said this week the failure to find such weapons was "a significant disappointment." But he didn't say he made a mistake in starting the Iraqi war.
Indeed, Bush's response to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are the main reason his reputation is in tatters.
It was his decision ultimately to launch the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to allow the lax conditions in the military that led to atrocities such as Abu Ghraib and the shipping of suspected terrorists to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Also, Bush takes no responsibility for the economy, for the fact that the number of Americans without any health insurance rose by nearly 10 million to some 47 million, and for wreaking havoc on America's reputation abroad, a claim he vehemently challenged in his final press conference earlier this week.
"I disagree with this assessment that, you know, that people view America in a dim light," he argued.
All this is why 98 per cent of a group of 109 historians polled last year by George Mason University rated Bush a failed president, with 61 per cent considering him one of the worst in American history.
For Canada, Bush ended his eight years in the Oval Office as ignorant and indifferent about this country as when he first took power.
Despite all the talk about how Canada is one of America's best friends, Bush largely ignored us.
And when he wasn't ignoring us, he was hurting us.
Part of that was to be expected. Bush had nothing in common with Chrétien, who rejected his request for Canada to join the war on Iraq (Bush cancelled a long-scheduled visit to Ottawa because of Chrétien's decision), and not much more with Paul Martin. Stephen Harper tried to cozy up to Bush, but by the time he came to power in 2006 Bush was already starting to enter his lame-duck phase.
During his tenure, Bush clamped down on our border in the name of national security, let U.S. immigration agents hassle Canadian citizens, and did nothing to ease the continuing fight with Washington over key trade issues such as cattle, wheat and softwood lumber.
Indeed, Bush leaves Washington the way he came – with a little bit more knowledge about Canada, but almost no more interest.
After such a failed presidency, Bush's departure is welcome.
So, goodbye George. Hope you enjoy the ranch.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Mass Migration of Stingrays
Looking like giant leaves floating in the sea, thousands of Golden Rays are seen here gathering off the coast of Mexico. The spectacular scene was captured as the magnificent creatures made one of their biannual mass migrations to more agreeable waters.
Gliding silently beneath the waves, they turned vast areas of blue water to gold off the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. Sandra Critelli, an amateur photographer, stumbled across the phenomenon while looking for whale sharks.
She said: 'It was an unreal image, very difficult to describe. The surface of the water was covered by warm and different shades of gold and looked like a bed of autumn leaves gently moved by the wind.
'It's hard to say exactly how many there were, but in the range of a few thousand'
'We were surrounded by them without seeing the edge of the school and we could see many under the water surface too. I feel very fortunate I was there in the right place at the right time to experience nature at its best'
Measuring up to 7ft (2.1 meters) from wing-tip to wing-tip, Golden rays are also more prosaically known as cow nose rays.
They have long, pointed pectoral fins that separate into two lobes in front of their high-domed heads and give them a cow-like appearance. Despite having poisonous stingers, they are known to be shy and non-threatening when in large schools.
The population in the Gulf of Mexico migrates, in schools of as many as 10,000, clockwise from western Florida to the Yucatan.
Friday, January 16, 2009
"Your imagination is your preview to life’s coming attractions."
-- Albert Einstein
If you were to create an ideal future for yourself, what would it be like?
All things that now exist in form were once simply ideas in consciousness. We each hold the power to manifest different circumstances for our lives. If we wish to manifest a new reality for ourselves, we need to consistently focus our imagination on the ideals we seek to realize.
Remember to explore your ideal in terms of qualities, not people or things. What qualities do you most want in life? Freedom? Respect? Playfulness? Abundance? Whatever qualities you seek, imagine experiencing them now and be open to new ways to discover those qualities appearing in your life.
"Change is created by those whose imaginations are bigger than their circumstances"
-- Unknown source
False Profits, SeekingFinancial and Spiritual Deliverance in Multi-Level Marketing and PyramidSchemes
by Robert L. FitzPatrick and Joyce K. Reynolds
- 235-page trade paper back with a full-color cover.
- Price: $12.95
- Full color cover
- Index and illustrations included
- ISBN 0-9648795-1-4
- Available direct from the publisher, Herald Press at 1800 Camden Rd. Suite 107 #101, Charlotte, NC 28203. (Please Note that Herald Press in Charlotte, NC is not affiliated with the Mennonite Publishing House.)
False Profits is an in-depth examinationof the multi-level marketing industry and related illegal pyramid schemeswhich have grown rapidly in the US and abroad in the last 15 years. Theexamination looks at the MLM field from the perspective of its financial,social, personal and spiritual effects on those enrolled and solicited.
A centerpiece of the book is a dramatic account of the illegal pyramidscheme, called the "Airplane Game", as it unfolded in South Floridaand other parts of the United States in the late 1980s. This account isprovided as part of the exploration of the underlying motives, values andneeds that draw people into these programs and into MLM.
- traces the philosophical and promotional assertions of the MLM industry to fundamental American values and beliefs and describes how they are used and misused in MLM solicitation campaigns.
- explains the structural, legal, promotional, and philosophical similarities and distinctions of the multi-level marketing industry and illegal pyramid schemes.
- examines the MLM distribution system in light of the principles of traditional distribution channels, the requirements of supply and demand, market saturation, good faith manufacturer/distribution relations, and the role of honest and full disclosure of market conditions and expectations.
- analyzes the assertions in MLM recruitment and its sales of motivation materials regarding what constitutes success in life, the meaning of prosperity, the power of creative visualization and belief, the value of alternative work or occupations, and the role of MLM in the overall economy.
- illustrates how the MLM system of enrollment changes personal, family and professional relationships.
- provides data on the size of the MLM industry, growth rates, number of people involved, success rates of distributors and incomes of distributors
- critiques the most popular promotional literature of the MLM industry against real life experience of millions of participants.
The final section of False Profitsoffers alternative approaches to work, vocation, and personal integrityin work and business. This side of the subject is considered because ofMLM's pervasive messages and predictions about its role in the distributionfield and its self-promotions as the preferred or only sustainable way toearn a living in the current and future economy.ACN Pyramid
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Leo (July 23 — Aug. 22)
In most areas of life, if you want to get better at something, you obtain more information through study and research. It appears that your endeavours in this regard are working. A big idea has merit and a strategy is likely to pay off.
Gemini (May 21 — June 21)
You can have the most powerful army in the world, but without properly understanding the nature of the enemy you face, you may still fail to vanquish it. The challenge that confronts you now is best dealt with by using brain, not brawn.
Scorpio (Oct. 24 — Nov. 22)
You are reluctant to deal with a certain problem as you suspect it is going to prove difficult. By avoiding it, though, you will only make things worse. Face your fears. You will be glad of all you've been through.
Pisces (Feb. 20 — March 20)
Regardless of how you dress this week, you are likely to draw a lot of attention. While there are some who want you for your hard work and your kind heart, there are also those who want you purely for your glamourously elusive je ne sais quoi.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
There is tension and a disagreeable drama is now unfolding. You are concerned that things may spiral out of control in this cavalcade of craziness. Stay focused on the broader picture.
Pisces (Feb. 20 — March 20)
There is safety in numbers. As this moon wanes, it will bring you strength. And as a result, those close to you will rally to your cause.
Gemini (May 21 — June 21)
There is a sensible way to proceed and there is a silly route to take. Keep in mind today that, in this imperfect world, all decisions are flawed and all conclusions are incomplete. The silliest thing you can do is try to be too sensible.
Scorpio (Oct. 24 — Nov. 22)
The chance of a fortuitous encounter has never been higher. Before now, this was desirable but not possible. Now, though, the time is right.
Taurus (April 21 — May 20)
This is not a day for sitting on the fence. You have your point of view and someone else has theirs. Try to see this as a manifestation of the glorious variety that makes for the spice of life, and not as a reason to go on the offensive.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
* Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight, and bull-strong.
* Keep skunks and bankers and lawyers at a distance.
* Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
* A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
* Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.
* Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.
* Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.
* Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
* It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.
* You cannot unsay a cruel word.
* Every path has a few puddles.
* When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
* The best sermons are lived, not preached.
* Most of the stuff people worry about ain't never gonna happen, anyway.
* Don't judge folks by their relatives.
* Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
* Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.
* Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't botherin' you none.
* Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
* If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
* Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
* The biggest troublemaker you'll ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'.'
* Always drink upstream from the herd.
* Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
* Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.
* If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.
* Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
The old man placed order for one hamburger, French fries and a drink.
He unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut it in half, placing one half in front of his wife.
He then carefully counted out the French fries, dividing them into two piles and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife.
He took a sip of the drink, his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them .. As he began to eat his few bites of hamburger, the people around them were looking over and whispering.
Obviously they were thinking, 'That poor old couple - all they can afford is one meal for the two of them.'
As the man began to eat his fries a young man came to the table and politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple. The old man said, they were just fine - they always shared everything.
People closer to the table noticed the little old lady hadn't eaten a bite. She sat there watching her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink.
Again, the young man came over and begged them to let him buy another meal for them. This time the old woman said 'No, thank you, we are used to sharing everything.'
Finally, as the old man finished and was wiping his face neatly with the napkin, the young man again came over to the little old lady who had yet to eat a single bite of food and asked 'What is it you are waiting for?'
A husband in his back yard is trying to fly a kite.
He throws the kite up in the air, the wind
Catches it for a few seconds, then it comes crashing back down to earth.
He tries this a few more times with no success.
All the while, his wife is watching from the kitchen window,
Muttering to herself how men need to be told how to do everything.
She opens the window and yells to her husband,
"You need a piece of tail."
The man turns with a confused look on his face and says,
"Make up your mind. Last night, you told me to go fly a kite."
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Google, said the California-based company would only turn over the user's information if ordered to do so by court.
Canadian model sues Google
A Canadian model has filed a lawsuit against Google Inc., after an anonymous writer on the Internet giant's blogging service published what she says are defamatory statements.
Toronto native Liskula Cohen, 36, filed the claim on Jan. 2 with the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan, requesting a court order to compel Google to identify the blogger.
Her action comes in response to a series of postings on a website hosted by a Google subsidiary, Blogger.com.
On Aug. 21, the anonymous author published a host of comments regarding Cohen's age, appearance and career, as well as photographs of the model.
Wendy Rozeluk, a spokeswoman for Google, said the California-based company would only turn over the user's information if ordered to do so by court.
"If content is found by a court to be defamatory, we will, of course, remove it immediately," she added in a statement.
Cohen was featured on North American and European magazine covers in the early 1990s and has appeared in fashion shows for Armani, Oscar De La Renta and Versace, according to her profile on fashionmodeldirectory.com.
In 2007, Cohen was struck in the face with a vodka bottle while at a Manhattan club by Samir Dervisevic, 25. Cohen said in the New York Daily News the bottle left a welt on her face "the size of a quarter."
Dervisevic served a month in prison for the assault.
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