Celebrated Earth Hour. Turned on all lights opened my curtains & danced naked about my house. None of my neighbours’ complaints said carbon footprint!
Archive for March, 2009
Should a bridge that would connect two campuses at Microsoft’s headquarters be funded with $11 million from the federal stimulus package?
Critics of using stimulus money for the bridge say it would give the software giant a break on a pet project. They also say it serves as a warning sign of how some stimulus money is not being used to finance new projects but is being diverted to public works already under way.
Supporters argue the bridge is an ideal public-private partnership that will benefit an entire community while fulfilling the stimulus package’s goal of getting people back to work.
“It’s going create just under 400 jobs for 18 months constructing the bridge,” says Redmond Mayor John Marchione. “It’s also connecting our technical sector with our retail and commercial sectors so people can cross the freeway to shop and help traffic flow.”
Microsoft is hardly getting the bridge for free. The company is contributing $17.5 million or a little less than half the tab of the $36 million bridge, which would be open for public use.
And even though the bridge goes from a parking lot behind Microsoft’s West campus across a highway to an entrance of Microsoft’s East campus, Marchione says, people other than Microsoft employees would use the overpass.
“Let’s face it. Microsoft is one of the most lucrative companies in the country,” Ellis says. “They could have easily funded this out of pocket change. This is really about getting while the getting is good. Uncle Sam has a big wallet that’s there for the taking, and Redmond wanted to take it — and Microsoft was happy to let them pick up that part of the tab.”
Drugstore operator Walgreen will offer free clinic visits to the unemployed and uninsured for the rest of the year, providing tests and routine treatment for minor ailments through its walk-in clinics _ though patients will still pay for precriptions. Walgreen said patients who lose their job and health insurance after March 31 will be able to get free treatment at its in-store Take Care clinics for respiratory problems, allergies, infections and skin conditions, among other ailments. Typically those treatments cost $59 or more for patients with no insurance
The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have spent, lent or guaranteed $12.8 trillion, an amount that approaches the value of everything produced in the country last year, to stem the longest recession since the 1930s.
New pledges from the Fed, the Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. include $1 trillion for the Public-Private Investment Program, designed to help investors buy distressed loans and other assets from U.S. banks. The money works out to $42,105 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. and 14 times the $899.8 billion of currency in circulation. The nation’s gross domestic product was $14.2 trillion in 2008.
The media giant has been promoting environmentally friendly efforts on its TV shows and in practice, looking for reduced power costs and telling its executives to lay off the bottled water.
The company says its polls show NBC’s image as a “green” network is being recognized by viewers. Although it hasn’t translated into ratings success, the company believes it’s a smart strategy for the future.
NBC executive Lauren Zalaznick says advertisers are interested in reaching consumers concerned about the environment.
President Barack Obama left for Europe Tuesday, packing a weighty agenda as he heads for critical economic and political talks in his first journey across the Atlantic since taking office two months ago.
Obama’s focus: a G-20 meeting of the world’s major economic powers and a NATO summit marking the 60 years since the alliance was founded to blunt Soviet aggression in Europe.
First up: a summit of the world’s economic powers in London to address the global financial meltdown that has defined the first two months of Obama’s administration.
The main event in London is Thursday’s summit on the global financial crisis among the Group of 20 wealthy and developing nations. Together, they represent 85 percent of the world’s economy. But it appears that the biggest winners of the G-20 are going to be the developing countries, seeming that we are spending all our GDP on bridges for Microsoft.
And everyone is all Lady GaGa over BHO going to Turkey. “First trip to a Muslim country.” Wow, get over it.
Why is it that pageant people are always crazy insane and say the worst possible things at the worst possible times? Is it like a precondition for entry into these events? For God’s sake…
The current ‘Miss Universe’ Dayana Mendoza (formerly Miss Venezuela) and ‘Miss America’ Crystal Stewart visited US troops stationed in Guantanamo Bay on March 20th, the New York Times reports. Here’s Mendoza’s account of the visit from her pageant blog last Friday. She says the trip “was a loooot of fun!”
Here’s her blog entry for her trip:
This week, Guantánamo!!! It was an incredible experience…All the guys from the Army were amazing with us. We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting. We took a ride with the Marines around the land to see the division of Gitmo and Cuba while they were informed us with a little bit of history.
The water in Guantánamo Bay is soooo beautiful! It was unbelievable, we were able to enjoy it for at least an hour. We went to the glass beach, and realized the name of it comes from the little pieces of broken glass from hundred of years ago. It is pretty to see all the colors shining with the sun. That day we met a beautiful lady named Rebeca who does wonders with the glasses from the beach. She creates jewelry with it and of course I bought a necklace from her that will remind me of Guantánamo Bay
I didn’t want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.
Well, Miss Universe….then maybe you shouldn’t have. Ugh.
Andre 3000 was pulled over on the I-75 outside of Atlanta driving 109 miles per hour – 44 miles over the speed limit. He was arrested and released after posting an unnamed bond amount
Isaiah Washington was evicted from his LA home yesterday after failing to pay 5 months of rent, racking up 100,000 in debt. House keepers were spotted packing up boxes
Friend of the Block Real House Jeana Keough was part of a death threat drama with cast mate Vicki Gunvalson. A fan made a threat via phone and email and told Jeana to relax because she “would take care of her”
Fox News is reporting that Rihanna is refusing to cooperate with the LA DA prosecuting Chris Brown. She just wants the whole thing to go away and is not happy with the photo being leaked.
Lindsay Lohan has been seen driving a $100,000 Maserati and TMZ has learned that they know who the car belongs to – Dennis DeSantis – a porn producer who’s work include Butt Sluts and Origama So Horny. He is letting her drive it with no strings attached.
This lady is resourceful!
She saw her husband’s Range Rover while using Google’s new Street View service to snoop on a female friend’s home. Her hubby had claimed he was away on business, but his missus recognised his motor immediately because of its blinged-up hubcaps.
This love cheat is not the only husband that has been trapped by Google’s controversial new 360-degree photo search which covers 25 cities and towns throughout the country. Top media lawyer Mark Stephens said: “I was talking about the Range Rover case when another divorce lawyer came up to say his firm was dealing with the same sort of thing. People are getting caught out on Google. “I suspect the husband’s lawyers will claim it was an invasion of privacy that will cost him his marriage and Range Rover.”
Street View has triggered a stream of complaints from people caught on camera since its launch on March 20. Google removed some images — including a man sheepishly leaving a sex shop. An office worker was also caught having a crafty cigarette by a No Smoking sign. And yesterday The Sun told how a fleet of UFOs was spotted on Street View hovering over an East London bookies.
What’s goin’ on on your street?
Former Republican presidential candidate John McCain said recently that votes he garnered last year were “mostly” votes for Sarah Palin. But he still is not ready to unequivocally back his former running mate for a 2012 White House bid should she choose to pursue one.
“I’d like to see her compete,” McCain said Sunday when asked by NBC’s David Gregory whether he would like to see the Alaska governor become president.
“I think we’ve got some very good candidates,” McCain said noting Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty – all Republicans. “There’s a lot of good, fresh talent out there.”
McCain hedged a direct question on whether he would support Palin.
“I’d have to see who the candidates are and what the situation is at the time,” he said. “But have no doubt of my respect, admiration and love for Sarah and her family.”
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan aren’t just forcing thousands of soldiers and Marines to deploy for two and three tours. The sacrifice is being shared by a key, and growing, part of the U.S. military: highly trained German shepherds and Belgian Malinois. In a war with no front lines, they have become valuable at sniffing out makeshift bombs, which cause most U.S. casualties.
The U.S. War Dogs Association is trying to persuade the Pentagon to create a medal for dogs. Another group is pushing for a military working dog memorial in the Washington area. And the Humane Society, which criticized the Pentagon during the Vietnam War, when many dogs were left behind or euthanized, has credited the military with working to find retirement homes for them.
Like new recruits, the dogs enter the military through boot camp, where they learn the canine version of soldiering: basic obedience and how to detect explosives, navigate obstacle courses and sneak up on a house without barking. They are exposed to the rat-tat-tat of rifles, loud noises and explosions so they can learn to stay cool under fire. Although they are taught to bite and hold the enemy, they are not trained to kill, officials said. By the time they are ready to hit the battlefield, the Pentagon has invested $15,000 in each dog.
For two years, Walter Burghardt, chief of behavioral medicine at the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Veterinary Service, has been studying the effects of combat on dogs. Although he doesn’t like to use the term post-traumatic stress disorder with dogs, war can affect them emotionally, he said. In some cases, antidepressants have worked, he said, as have more playtime and more time performing the tasks they were trained to do.
A Washington man tried to pay a more than $200 traffic ticket by sending a plastic bag filled with coins and urine to a county billing office, deputies said.
“That’s something I can’t wrap my mind around,” said Sgt. Phil Anderchuk, of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. “The thought process of acting consciously — consummating the act of urinating in a box full of coins that someone is going to receive.”The man didn’t break any postal laws by mailing the combination of urine and change to the Multnomah County court, reported television station KPTV in Portland. Postal officials said it is legal to mail urine or other bodily fluids as long as they are packaged properly in a way that doesn’t leak or smell. County employees said the package was wrapped tightly until it reached the courthouse mailroom and didn’t smell until it was opened.
Home Decorating With the Obamas
At a time when people are having trouble holding on to their houses, Barack and Michelle Obama have sensibly decided not to use taxpayers’ money to renovate theirs. New presidents are allotted $100,000 to overhaul the White House residence and the Oval Office, and the Obamas hired Hollywood decorator Michael S. Smith (known, per his site, for mixing “Old World classicism with very contemporary settings”). But the First Couple isn’t spending that money. They “are not using public funds or accepting donations of goods for redecorating their private quarters,” says Camille Johnston, director of communications for the First Lady. Nor is the couple, who reported $4.2 million in household income in 2007 tax returns, using money from the White House Historical Association, a privately funded foundation that paid for a $74,000 set of china shortly before Laura Bush left town.
But does this mean they’re going to spend more than $100,000 or less? Though Michelle Obama has talked up Pottery Barn, Smith’s client list includes cost-is-no-object types like Rupert Murdoch, Steven Spielberg, and former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain—for whom he procured that $87,783 rug. “There’s no question that he’ll get it done in the way that it’s supposed to be done,” says Smith client and Democratic donor Katherine Chez. “But how, I don’t know.” The White House declined to disclose the budget, saying that all expenses would remain private as a result of the Obamas’ decision to absorb the cost.
They’re making Madonna pay a waiting game. On Monday, a Malawian judge held a closed-door court hearing with Madonna regarding her application to adopt 3 year old Mercy. The hearing was adjourned until Friday because the grandmother is fussing.
Elton John turned 62 and had his Birthday party at Hamburger Hamlet in LA. The Osbournes and Cindy Crawford were in attendance
Tim Allen had baby #2 named Elizabeth and is his 1st baby with wife Jane.
On Friday I reported that Rihanna was giving Frankie Delgado, Brody’s manager, a lapdance. Well luckily he is denying saying she’s been out, hanging out, I guess. Its Hollywood, people talk a lot
Rob Pattinson was interviewed and cleaned up his mess
Interviewer: Is it true that, I don’t know if you saw this, but a source on the set of ‘New Moon’ said that you don’t smell good, that you don’t shower?
Robert: I haven’t even been on the set yet!
Interviewer: You know the same thing went around about Zac Efron a while ago; that he doesn’t shower.
Robert: Really? He looks like he smells really good [laughs]. I also do shower.
KOBE’S WIFE ACCUSED OF ABUSING MAID
Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa are being sued by their former housekeeper, who claims Vanessa was incredibly abusive — even demanding that she put her hand in a bag of dog feces to retrieve a tag from her blouse … so Vanessa could deduct the cost of the blouse from the maid’s salary!
Maria Jimenez claims Vanessa called her “lazy, slow, dumb, a f—ing liar, and f—ing sh-t.”
Jimenez says it got so bad — Vanessa allegedly “badgered, harassed and humiliated Maria by yelling and screaming at Maria and criticizing her in front of Kobe, the Bryants’ children, employees and other people in the household” — she threatened to quit but Kobe talked her out of it.
The final straw: Vanessa went nuclear because Maria put an expensive blouse in the washer. Vanessa demanded that Maria put her hand in a bag of dog feces to retrieve the price tag for the blouse.
Maria says she wanted to quit and Vanessa responded that she “had to work until payday to pay for the $690 blouse, which she did.”
Maria is suing for wrongful discharge, invasion of privacy and emotional distress and unpaid wages.
…. this women is CRAZZZYYYY!!!!!
Dallaslinks….bombarding us with tweets is not cool
President Obama’s Twitter account has been quiet since the day before inauguration. But now the POTUS is starting to use the outlet again, as part of his budget campaign.
More on social networking etiquette….we are going to be having a twitter training session in a few days here at the station
1. you should not talk shit about other tweeters or facebookers
2. facebook – cannot update your status more than once a day; only on twitter
3. cussing – ok on facebook, not ok on twitter
4. facebook – only be friends with people you know; twitter – be friends with anything
5. facebook – don’t tag me in a note…just post it to your profile.
There was more than one whip at last night’s Britney Spears concert in Washington DC.
GOP aides confirmed to the Huffington Post that House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) attended the pop concert at the Verizon Center, where Britney appeared on stage brandishing a leather lash.
One House GOP leadership aide said Cantor went at the request of a fundraiser. “If suffering through a Britney Spears concert will raise one more dime to help Republicans take back the House, then I’m glad Cantor’s willing to do it.”
A House Democratic aide shot back, “Looks like Eric Cantor’s not that innocent.”
HE HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST DETRACTOR OF OBAMA SAYING HE SHOULDN”T DO ANYTHING EXCEPT FOCUS ON THE ECONOMY
MRS. OBAMA’S ARMS SIGNIFY STRENGTH: “Let’s face it,” wrote New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, one of this theory’s chief proponents. “The only bracing symbol of American strength right now is the image of Michelle Obama’s sculpted biceps.” In a recent column, she went on to imagine that Mrs. Obama “could easily wind up and punch out Rush Limbaugh , Bernie Madoff and all the corporate creeps who ripped off America.”
Not a vivid enough image for you? Try Bonnie Fuller, the former celebrity editor, who blogged that “those arms … look powerful enough to wrap around a distressed nation and lift it up.”
MRS. OBAMA’S ARMS SIGNIFY DISCIPLINE: To others, the arms serve as an example of a woman who has the self-esteem, willpower and diligence to keep herself in shape.
“Here’s a woman who’s balancing family and other issues like the rest of us, and she’s creating the time to be strong,” says Mikki Taylor, beauty and cover director for Essence magazine. “She’s setting a great example by signaling she gets up every day to work out.”
MRS. OBAMA’S ARMS SIGNIFY YOUTH: One fashion editor thinks we focus on Mrs. Obama’s arms because they show us that we can keep age at bay, with enough effort.
“Arms are one of those things you notice when you age _ they can look very poor,” says Lesley Jane Seymour , editor of More, a magazine for women over 40. “So when you’ve got it, flaunt it, babe.” Not only has More featured Mrs. Obama sleeveless on the cover _ virtually all its celebrity cover models bare their arms, including Meredith Vieira, 55, and Jane Fonda, 71. And that’s what readers want, Seymour says: “It proves the old theory wrong, that once you turn 40 you need to cut your hair short and cover up your skin.”
MRS. OBAMA’S ARMS COINCIDE WITH A FASHION TREND: “If you look back at fashion history, you’ll see that erogenous zones have moved up and down the body,” says Susan Cernek, senior fashion and beauty editor at Glamour magazine. “It just depends on the style of dress at the time.”
For history buffs, it was back in the ’80s when Linda Hamilton, the ultra-toned “Terminator” actress, introduced muscular female arms into our popular culture. But the most famous celebrity arms _ until now, perhaps _ belong to Madonna, now 50 and still sporting rock-hard biceps.
Now, celebrities routinely request help buffing up their arms, says David Kirsch, author and trainer to the likes of Ellen Barkin, Heidi Klum and Anne Hathaway. And so, obviously, do ordinary women. Which leads us to the next theory:
MRS. OBAMA’S ARMS ARE THE EVERYWOMAN’S ARMS: “When I look at Madonna’s arms I see someone whose priorities are way out of whack,” says Tyler Thoreson, executive editor of men.style.com. “It takes hours a day to keep them that way. Why not volunteer instead at a soup kitchen?”
By contrast, Mrs. Obama “embodies someone who has a balanced perspective,” says Thoreson.
Kirsch, the fitness expert, says women should take heart, because Mrs. Obama’s arms are obtainable without much expense (though the first lady does use a personal trainer, a proposition only for the fairly wealthy.) “If you were to start tomorrow doing 15 to 25 push-ups, and you did them every day and kept increasing, you’d see a huge change,” he says. And unlike Madonna’s arms, Kirsch says, “Mrs. Obama’s are feminine. She looks like a woman.”
MRS. OBAMA’S ARMS CAN INSPIRE THE YOUNG: Like many first ladies, Mrs. Obama is clearly held up as a role model, and some see her fitness as part of that package. “Hopefully she can help prevent obesity by being a tangible example of someone who looks good and stays in shape,” says Thoreson.
On the other hand, he suggests that to deflect the attention, maybe Mrs. Obama would be better off mixing up her wardrobe a bit _ which her advocates would surely say she does already. “When she gives speeches, she chooses business-y blazers and polished separates,” says Cernek, of Glamour.
Some say it’s not enough. “I’ve told my trainer that I want Michelle arms. We all do, let’s face it,” wrote conservative columnist Kathleen Parker in an e-mail message. But, she added, “I do think a little more coverage is appropriate.”
And what does the woman herself think? In a recent interview, Mrs. Obama herself jokingly referred to the uproar. Complimented by ABC’s Robin Roberts on her physique, the first lady quipped with a smile: “Well I covered my arms up.”
But are there negatives to all the attention? Here too, theories abound. Some have termed it sexist. “If Hillary Clinton were president,” wrote feminist author Gloria Steinem in an e-mail, “would the same stories now being written about Michelle Obama’s arms be written about Bill Clinton? I don’t think so.”
On some blogs, there have also been accusations that the attention to Mrs. Obama’s arms feeds into racial stereotypes.
But perhaps the biggest danger is that all the chatter might be drawing attention from what Mrs. Obama is doing day-to-day as first lady: Her visits to federal agencies. Her stint serving lunch at a soup kitchen. Her recent trip to Fort Bragg, N.C. to meet military families. Or the day last week when she gathered an array of famous women to visit Washington-area high schools.
“There’s lots of fabulous stuff she’s doing that isn’t getting coverage while we’re all talking about her fabulous arms,” says Seymour, of More magazine. She suggests, in fact, that it may be time to shift attention to the toned physique of another White House occupant.
“We need to focus on Barack’s shoulders now, and whether they’re big enough to carry us through this economic crisis,” Seymour says.
Call it Round Two of the news conference, with a big Internet twist.
President Barack Obama took questions from the White House press corps on Tuesday in a prime-time, East Room session that represented the most formal and time-honored of president-and-reporter interactions. On Thursday, he is taking to that same room for another public grilling _ this time by regular folks armed with questions submitted via the Internet and in person, as part of a political strategy to engage Americans directly.
I reported a few days ago that Zac Efron dropped out of footloose because he wants to leave the musical scene. According to Variety, efron might be teaming up with Burr Steers, who directed his latest flick, 17 again. The idea is for Efron to star in an adaptation of the book The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud.
Ryan Reynolds has fallen hard from Twilight. He was out promoting Adventureland and he described smelly Rob Pattinson by saying “Oh my god, are you kidding me. Robert Pattinson in a word: Dreamy”
Jennifer Love Hewitt and new love Jamie Kennedy took romantic vacation together in Mexico. They were spotted by the pool yesterday. Lame
Jamie Lynn Spears and Casey Aldridge are having a change of heart. Ok Magazine reports that the wedding is off buy they are still in love, living together and very happy. She feels there is no need for a ring and a piece of paper