Friday, December 31, 2010

Get Skinny Laser on RHoATL

4th NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From Wet Paint by Mariella Mosthof

Shockingly, the non-surgical fat-burning procedure Kim had done on last night's Real Housewives of Atlanta was not (medically speaking) actually called the Get Skinny Laser. Kim's procedure is called Zerona, and it actually is about as simple as it looked on RHoATL. Patients electing to get this non-surgical, fat-reducing procedure lie under low level, rotating laser lights for 20 minutes on their backs and 20 minutes on their stomachs for circumferential reduction of waist, hips, and thighs.

Translation? It's more of an all-over slimming process than liposuction, where you can target a specific area.

A treatment cycle is typically 6 sessions spread over two weeks, and can run the average housewife anywhere between $1800 and $3000. It works by burning a small pore in the surface of fat cells, causing them to empty their contents and flush out naturally through the body. Some doctors will actually offer a lymphatic massage to encourage the draining process while others simply instruct patients to drink lots of water. The procedure is most effective for patients who are generally healthy and only have a little bit of fat to lose.
Patients lose an average of 3.65 inches total across their waist, hips, and thighs, with zero downtime and zero pain. However, they are encouraged to exercise and maintain a healthy diet to keep up the results.

Translation: eating a slice of pizza during the procedure was probably not doctor recommended, Kim.

Keyboard Cat’s Commercial For Wonderful Pistachios

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tracy Morgan Has Kidney Implant

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Six Animals That Just Don't Give a F*Ck

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From CRACKED

6. Mongoose
5. Pen-Tailed Tree Shrew
4. Wolverine
3. Tasmanian Devil
2. Cane Toad
1. Honey Badger


Model's Hair Goes Up In Flames At Diddy's Album Release Party!

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From Pop Eater By Jett Wells

Diddy wanted to celebrate his new album 'Last Train to Paris' with a big party filled with hot women, but maybe not so hot that they literally caught fire. During a live recording of his record release party on Ustream in London NYC's penthouse suite on Tuesday, a bikini-clad model's hair lit up as she waded in large bath tub surrounded by small candles.

During the recording, actor/comedian Kevin Hart greeted party-watchers while standing in a large bathroom filled with half-naked girls, but as soon as the model's hair caught fire, he flipped out.

"Oh, oh, oh, s**t!" Hart screamed while laughing. "Did the camera catch that? Did the camera catch that? Cut the camera! Cut the camera off!"

Kat and Nat: AMAZING RACE First Female Team Winners!

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On CBS 8/7c

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

ALONE TOGETHER by Sherry Turkle

From Publishers Weekly/Starred Review via Amazon

As the digital age sparks increasing debate about what new technologies and increased connectivity are doing to our brains, comes this chilling examination of what our iPods and iPads are doing to our relationships from MIT professor Turkle (Simulation and Its Discontents). In this third in a trilogy that explores the relationship between humans and technology, Turkle argues that people are increasingly functioning without face-to-face contact. For all the talk of convenience and connection derived from texting, e-mailing, and social networking, Turkle reaffirms that what humans still instinctively need is each other, and she encounters dissatisfaction and alienation among users: teenagers whose identities are shaped not by self-exploration but by how they are perceived by the online collective, mothers who feel texting makes communicating with their children more frequent yet less substantive, Facebook users who feel shallow status updates devalue the true intimacies of friendships. Turkle 's prescient book makes a strong case that what was meant to be a way to facilitate communications has pushed people closer to their machines and further away from each other.



Chernobyl Site Will Open to Tours

From BOSTON By Maria Danilova

Beginning next year, Ukraine plans to open up the sealed zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant to visitors who wish to learn more about the disaster that occurred nearly 25 years ago, the Emergency Situations Ministry said yesterday.

Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4 exploded on April 26, 1986, spewing radiation over a large swath of northern Europe, in the world’s worst nuclear accident.

Hundreds of thousands of people were resettled from areas contaminated with radiation fallout in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. Related health problems still persist.

The so-called exclusion zone, a highly contaminated area within a 30-mile radius of the exploded reactor, was evacuated and sealed off in the aftermath of the explosion. All visits were prohibited.

Yulia Yershova, Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman, said experts are developing travel routes that will be both medically safe and informative for Ukrainians as well as foreign visitors.

Chernobyl

THE KING'S SPEECH

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

CALLUM INNES | COLM TOIBIN WATER | COLOUR

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From SKNY

For the first time in the gallery’s history, we will mount an exhibition that will focus on a collaborative project between an artist and a writer. Works on paper by the Scottish painter, Callum Innes, will be exhibited alongside text by the Irish writer, Colm Tóibín, excerpted from a short story (inspired by Innes’s watercolours) that was specifically commissioned by the gallery.

Innes’s new works on paper are comprised of ethereal squares of complexly layered colour painted on paper with the dexterity and sensitivity for which the artist has become known. The visually charged edges of the squares reveal glimpses of the individual colours in their pure form, giving the viewer an understanding of how the layers interact to create the finished work.
Tóibín’s water|colour tells the story of Nora, a middle-aged housewife struggling with the recent death of her husband and its effect on her family. Tóibín elegantly weaves a poignant tale of loss, depression and, ultimately, the promise of healing, placed against the backdrop of the unique colours of the Irish shoreline. The exhibition will afford a rare opportunity to see Tóibín’s original writing journal in which he committed to paper the first draft of his ideas for the story.

Exhibition: Through December 16, 2010 - January 29, 2011

Sean Kelly Gallery
528 West 29th Street
New York NY 10001
Tel 212.239.1181



Biscotti: Recipes from the Kitchen of The American Academy in Rome

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From Amazon

The Rome Sustainable Food Project, a program devoted to providing organic, local, and sustainable meals for the community of the American Academy in Rome, has launched a delicious revolution to rethink institutional dining. Headed by chef Mona Talbott, a Chez Panisse alum, and guided by Alice Waters, the menus have given rise to a new, authentic cuisine inspired by la cucina romana, Chez Panisse, and the collective experience of those working in the AAR kitchen. Biscotti is the first book in the series. Each volume, covering a single subject, contains authentic, simple recipes for favorite dishes served at the academy’s communal table, narrated with carefully explained techniques and methods–suitable for both the home cook and the institutional kitchen.

Our first bite into this book project is a sweet one, focusing on fifty biscotti and dolcetti (cookies and sweets). Subsequent volumes in the series will include muffins and scones; pasta, long and short; vegetables; preserves; and more.

Monday, December 27, 2010

FDNY Officials Stop Bob Diamonds' Atlantic Ave Tunnel Tours

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BY MIKE MCLAUGHLIN DAILY NEWS WRITER

Fire department officials halted a popular tour of an abandoned tunnel under Atlantic Ave. yesterday after declaring it a safety hazard.

Transit buff Bob Diamond started tours of the former Long Island Rail Road tunnel in 1982, but FDNY officials said he can't continue because there's only one entrance - via ladder through a manhole near Court St.

"This is not a safe place for the public to be allowed to go," said FDNY spokesman Frank Dwyer. "It's dangerous down there. There's no safe way into and out of the tunnel."

Dwyer said the narrow entrance and ladder would pose a challenge for emergency responders to rescue visitors in the event of an accident.

He also raised concerns about air quality and the use of generators on the street to power the tunnel's lighting.

Carine Roitfeld Leaves French VOGUE

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From The Time's Magazine By SARAH LEON

The swirl of mystery surrounding Carine Roitfeld’s sudden departure from French Vogue has led to rampant speculation. Where will she go next? Who will replace her? Was she fired? And, if yes, was it because of some unauthorized extracurriculars [... demanding huge sums of money for extracurricular consulting gigs...] or because she stood up to the LVMH [...she was fired as a cause of not complying with a request from LVMH group for the December issue.] group or because she outfitted schoolchildren [Paris Vogue's December issue has hit the newsstands with an editorial spread featuring a bevy of little girls who look barely old enough to write their age in double digits.] to look like smoldering runway models?

Friday, December 17, 2010

THE WALKING DEAD Season Finale Earned 6 Million Viewers!

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From Screen Crave

The Walking Dead” is on a serious winning streak. This past Sunday AMC aired the show’s first season finale and viewers tuned in in droves. Over the course of the six episode run, each week the numbers have continued to show great improvement with the highest audience clocking in at 5.5 million viewers for the episode entitled “Wildfire.” That seemed like a great feat, that is until the finale earned a total of 6 million viewers!

'The Walking Dead' airs Sundays, 10PM ET on AMC.


David Barton And Susanne Bartsch Split

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From NY Post

Muscle-bound gym magnate David Barton has split with his wife of 15 years, Susanne Bartsch. The beefy 44-year-old boss of David Barton gyms and 1980s nightlife doyenne Bartsch, 59, decided to call it quits after an extended rocky period. A source told us, "They've been on and off for a while. He moved out of their home a while ago, but recently the separation has become more definitive. They have not filed for divorce, and while they remain friends, it is over." The two married in 1995 in a Playboy-sponsored ceremony, with Betsey Johnson and Ingrid Sischy among the 43 bridesmaids. The couple have a son, Bailey, 16. They briefly split in 1999 but soon reconciled. Friends of Barton, who has six gyms in the US including three in New York, deny rumors that he has a new love interest but admit "he is dating." Barton confirmed the split and said, "Susanne is one of the most amazing women I've ever known. I know we will be friends forever."

 
Photo: Patrick McMullan

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

ON THE BRO'D Tumbler by WONDER-TONIC

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From ON THE BRO'D and Amazon



"On The Road, the most famous of Jack Kerouac's works, is not only the soul of the Beat movement and literature, but one of the most important novels of the century. Like nearly all of Kerouac's writing, On The Road is thinly fictionalized autobiography, filled with a cast made of Kerouac's real life friends, lovers, and fellow travelers. Narrated by Sal Paradise, one of Kerouac's alter-egos, On the Road is a cross-country bohemian odyssey that not only influenced writing in the years since its 1957 publication but penetrated into the deepest levels of American thought and culture."

COOPER BLACULA.COM

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From Cooper Blacula

Cooper Blacula is a daily project by graphic designer Mike Joyce of Stereotype Design in New York City.
Tune in once a day to see your favorite film summed up in one brief and broken sentence meticulously set in Cooper Black.

Some of these awkward poetic gems are even offered as wearables available at Palmer & Cash and 2K T-shirts.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

THE GREAT GAME: Afghanistan

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From On Stage

The Great Game: Afghanistan explores Afghan culture and history, sparking discussion and debate on what is viewed by many as the most important focus of UK and American foreign policy of our time. Through the eyes of 12 leading British and American playwrights and the voices of those actively involved in the war and on U.S. & NATO policy in Afghanistan, The Tricycle Theatre’s The Great Game: Afghanistan presents, in three separate thrilling and provocative evenings, the culture and history of Afghanistan since Western involvement in 1842 to the present day.

“The Great Game” was a term used for the strategic rivalry and conflict between the British Empire and the Russian Empire for supremacy in Central Asia. The classic Great Game period is generally regarded as running approximately from the Russo-Persian Treaty of 1813 to the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907. Following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 a second less intensive phase followed. The Term “The Great Game” was introduced into mainstream consciousness by British novelist Rudyard Kipling in his novel ‘Kim’ (1901).

In addition to this unique theatrical event, The Shakespeare Theatre Company will be presenting Experience Afghanistan, a two-week long festival coinciding with The Great Game performances consisting of art exhibits, symposia and performances to further explore and celebrate the culture and people of Afghanistan.

From the Tricycle Theatre in London, The Great Game: Afghanistan is a unique three part theatrical event exploring the culture and history of Afghanistan since Western involvement in 1842 to the present day.  Performances in New York begin December 1, produced by The Public Theater in association with NYU Skirball Center.
Browse this website for more information about The Great Game: Afghanistan and special events surrounding the New York run.

DECEMBER 1 – 19 at NYU Skirball Center

By Phone: (212) 352-3101 or (866) 811-4111 Mon – Fri 9am – 9pm, Sat – Sun 10am – 6pm.

Online: www.skirballcenter.nyu.edu

RUN AND BECOME: Motivation And Transformation In The Brighton Marathon

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From VIMEO

Run and Become is a Creative Campus Initiative project run from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Sussex. As well as a cultural project, it is also a research project, aiming to improve our understanding of the human factors involved in training for and completing a marathon run. The two key themes are motivation and transformation. What motivates people to carry on training and carry on running, through the dark days of winter, and when the pain of ‘the wall’ hits them? How are people transformed through the act of training and running a marathon – bodily, emotionally, personally?

The project involved two Sussex students, Helen Kearney and Adam Brickley, who themselves trained for the inaugural Brighton Marathon, which took place on April 18th 2010. During their training, they completed a weekly video diary in which they reflected on their training experiences, their motivation and self-transformation. Two more Sussex students, Sam Pepper and Jenni Rose Human from the Anthropology Department interviewed Helen and Adam, and 30 other participants who were running in the marathon. They used this material to write their dissertations for their final year Anthropology course, The Anthropology of the Body.

This film, and the book and exhibition it accompanies, draws on Helen and Adams' reflections, and the data gathered by Sam and Jenni, together with other popular and academic sources of writing on running. It was put together by the Brighton-based artist, Matt Pagett.

The film follows the route of the Brighton marathon. Stills taken exactly 1 week before the race are combined with film of the race itself. The voice-over focuses on people's experiences of training, and their expectations of the race.

For their help, guidance and advice, we would like to thank: Brighton Marathon, Esporta Brighton Health and Racquets Club, Saucony, Clif Bar, Jubilee Library, The Basement Brighton, School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex, School of Media and Film at the University of Sussex, Cara Courage, Dimitrios Dalakoglou and Hildi Mitchell.

The project has been an opportunity for us all – including the interviewees – to reflect on our running. We hope the insights will also inspire others to contemplate the ultimate running challenge: the marathon.


Monday, December 13, 2010

A COMPLICATED MAN: The Life of Bill Clinton as Told by Those Who Know Him by Michael Takiff

1st NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From Amazon

Though Bill Clinton has been out of office since 2001, public fascination with him continues unabated. Many books about Clinton have been published in recent years, but shockingly, no single-volume biography covers the full scope of Clinton’s life from the cradle to the present day, not even Clinton’s own account, My Life. More troubling still, books on Clinton have tended to be highly polarized, casting the former president in an overly positive or negative light.


In this, the first complete oral history of Clinton’s life, historian Michael Takiff presents the first truly balanced book on one of our nation’s most controversial and fascinating presidents. Through more than 150 chronologically arranged interviews with key figures including Bob Dole, James Carville, and Tom Brokaw, among many others, A Complicated Man goes far beyond the well-worn party-line territory to capture the larger-than-life essence of Clinton the man. With the tremendous attention given to the Lewinsky scandal, it is easy to overlook the president’s humble upbringing, as well as his many achievements at home and abroad: the longest economic boom in American history, a balanced budget, successful intervention in the Balkans, and a series of landmark, if controversial, free-trade agreements. Through the candid recollections of Takiff’s many subjects, A Complicated Man leaves no area unexplored, revealing the most complete and unexpected portrait of our forty-second president published to date.

China's International Standardized Test Scores

1st NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From NY Times By Sam Dillon

With China’s debut in international standardized testing, students in Shanghai have surprised experts by outscoring their counterparts in dozens of other countries, in reading as well as in math and science, according to the results of a respected exam.

American officials and Europeans involved in administering the test in about 65 countries acknowledged that the scores from Shanghai — an industrial powerhouse with some 20 million residents and scores of modern universities that is a magnet for the best students in the country — are by no means representative of all of China.

About 5,100 15-year-olds in Shanghai were chosen as a representative cross-section of students in that city. In the United States, a similar number of students from across the country were selected as a representative sample for the test.

Experts noted the obvious difficulty of using a standardized test to compare countries and cities of vastly different sizes. Even so, they said the stellar academic performance of students in Shanghai was noteworthy, and another sign of China’s rapid modernization.

The results also appeared to reflect the culture of education there, including greater emphasis on teacher training and more time spent on studying rather than extracurricular activities like sports.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Global Gender Gap Report 2010

4th NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From The Week

The World Economic Forum's recently released 2010 Global Gender Gap Rankings paint "an appalling portrait" of Prime Minister Silvio Berluscioni's Italy, says Barbie Nadeau in Newsweek. Other European countries have been working toward greater gender equality, says Nadeau, but "Berlusconi has led the charge in the opposite direction, effectively stifling women by creating a world in which they are seen first and foremost as sex objects instead of professional equals." Italy ranked 74th for its treatment of women — seven places lower than when Berlusconi returned to office in 2008, and one of the lowest rankings in the European Union. Here, a brief guide to the place of women in Berlusconi's Italy, by the numbers:


95 percent
The percentage of Italian men who have never used a washing machine


N.J. Model Is Indicted For Allegedly Injecting Others With Buttocks-Enhancing Gel

4th NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From NJ by Alexi Friedman

A 28-year-old New Brunswick model who claims to have appeared on “The View” television show has been indicted on charges she practiced medicine without a license, stemming from an incident in March when six women from Essex County ended up in hospitals after receiving buttocks-enhancement injections containing the same material contractors use to caulk bathtubs, authorities said.

The woman, Anivia Cruz-Dilworth, 28, was charged in a three-count indictment, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office announced.

The women showed up in the emergency rooms of area hospitals complaining of problems after having received the buttocks-enhancement injections. An investigation revealed Cruz-Dilworth had injected women with what she described as hydro-gel. Several of the women sustained serious bacterial infections requiring them to undergo surgeries.

The women who underwent these procedures were put in touch with Cruz-Dilworth by word-of-mouth at area beauty salons, said Assistant Prosecutor Peter Sepulveda, who is handling the case. Cruz-Dilworth would visit the women’s homes to perform the procedure. In one case, she did the procedure at her home, a gated community in New Brunswick.

“Her actions caused a lot of harm. Many of these women had to undergo surgery following these illegal procedures," Sepulveda said. “One woman had to undergo five separate hospitalizations and multiple surgeries as a result of the injuries sustained from the unlawfully performed buttocks injections."

In her biography, Cruz-Dilworth describes herself as a 5-foot-10 full-figure model. She says she has been represented by Wilhelmina and Clicks modeling agencies in New York City and has appeared on “The View’’ and in Essence Magazine and Oprah’s O Magazine.

She is scheduled to appear in Superior Court on Dec. 9.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Chameleon And Horse In TANGLED

3rd NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

 From SW

Walt Disney Pictures presents in 2010 "Tangled," one of the most hilarious, hair-raising computer animated feature film tales ever told. When the kingdom's most wanted--and most charming--bandit Flynn Rider (voice of Zachary Levi) hides out in a mysterious tower, he's taken hostage by Rapunzel (voice of Mandy Moore), a beautiful and feisty tower-bound teen with 70 feet of magical, golden hair. Flynn's curious captor, who's looking for her ticket out of the tower where she's been locked away for years, strikes a deal with the handsome thief and the unlikely duo sets off on an action-packed escapade, complete with a super-cop horse, an over-protective chameleon and a gruff gang of pub thugs. In theaters this holiday season 2010 in Disney Digital 3D(TM), "Tangled" is a story of adventure, heart, humor and hair--lots of hair.

This is Pascal, Rapunzel's pet green and ever cute chameleon from the Disney CG animated movie Rapunzel. Rapunzel’s one true friend is her silent, color-changing sidekick, PASCAL. Pascal may be just a small green chameleon, but he plays a big role in Rapunzel’s life. Confidante, coach and cheerleader, Pascal is a driving force behind Rapunzel’s decision to leave her lonely tower.

Desert Bus for Hope

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From Desert Bus by Jer

What is Desert Bus for Hope? We are a charity fundraiser for Child’s Play. We raise money by playing the world’s worst video game, Desert Bus, in exchange for donations. The more money raised, the longer we play. That said, it would be pretty boring just to watch a bunch of people play the world’s worst video game. That’s why we have contests, live auctions, silent auctions, incredible prizes and a complete lack of self respect. We’ll also be accepting challenges to do all manner of silly things (Songs, Dances, Poems, Readings, etc) in exchange for donations.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Bamboo Bridge School Wins a 2010 AGA KHAN AWARD

2nd NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From Inhabitat by Bridgette Meinhold

This beautiful bamboo Bridge School in Xiashi, China is one of the five winners for the 2010 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The project is located in a rural Chinese village, and it has rejuvenated the entire community by providing a place for children to learn, a means to cross the town's river, and a public gathering space. Li Xiaodong designed and built the little two-room schoolhouse as a multi-purpose facility for the whole village, and it has become the heart of the town.

As Xiaodong says, the concept resulted in "minimum intervention, yet maximum impact - to rejuvenate the whole community."Li Xiaodong was asked to design a small school for the village of Xiashi in the Fujian Province, and he had the idea to combine the school with a pedestrian bridge that connected two historic toulou (circular castles made from packed dirt). A creek runs right through the middle of the village and the toulou serve as important historical landmarks, so it made sense to locate the school at the physical heart of the village. As Xiaodong says, the concept resulted in “minimum intervention, yet maximum impact – to rejuvenate the whole community.”

The school is constructed out of two large steel spans that cross the bridge and smaller steel supports and framing. Local materials and wood were used to create the facade, interior furnishings and school furniture. While the steel is very modern, especially in the context of a rural village, the material will last a long time while creating a structurally-sound school. The use of local materials helps the building blend texturally and aesthetically with the rest of the village.


NASA-Funded Research Discovers Life Built With Toxic Chemical

2nd NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From NASA

NASA-funded astrobiology research has changed the fundamental knowledge about what comprises all known life on Earth.

Researchers conducting tests in the harsh environment of Mono Lake in California have discovered the first known microorganism on Earth able to thrive and reproduce using the toxic chemical arsenic. The microorganism substitutes arsenic for phosphorus in its cell components.

"The definition of life has just expanded," said Ed Weiler, NASA's associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at the agency's Headquarters in Washington. "As we pursue our efforts to seek signs of life in the solar system, we have to think more broadly, more diversely and consider life as we do not know it."

This finding of an alternative biochemistry makeup will alter biology textbooks and expand the scope of the search for life beyond Earth. The research is published in this week's edition of Science Express.


FIFA World Cup In Russia 2018 and Qatar On Tap for 2022

1st NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From Advisor One by Joyce Hanson

With the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) announcing Dec. 2 the locations of the World Cup in 2018 and 2022, investors who have been thinking about putting their money on Russia and Qatar may want to place their bets now.

The newly announced hosts of the world’s largest sporting event—Russia will handle the 2018 soccer match while Qatar is on tap for 2022—will likely see a boost to their national economies as a result of the hoards of fans who visit, according to investment analyst Ed Kuczma for the New York-based Van Eck Emerging Markets Fund.

“FIFA looks almost like a supernational wealth fund like the International Monetary Fund, like a semi-political organization looking to develop these economies,” Kuczma said. “What these games do is make a push for modernization within these economies and development of infrastructure. It really has a long-lasting impact.”

Russia beat out bids by England, Spain-Portugal and Belgium-Netherlands, and Qatar topped a U.S. bid. Kuczma pointed out, however, that South Africa this year proved that emerging nations are just as able to host the World Cup. And, he added, soccer-mad Brazil has been tapped to host the event in 2014.

To be sure, both countries will now make a huge push to build hotels, redesign airports and modernize roadways. Security will certainly be a concern, as well, especially considering Qatar’s location in the Middle East. A highlight of this flurry of infrastructure activity will revolve around Qatar’s construction of nine stadiums in a country where temperatures can reach a high of 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

2,000-Year-Old Ruins Collapsing in Pompeii

1st NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

BLUE VALENTINE

1st NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

BLUE VALENTINE centers on a contemporary married couple, charting their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Kardashian Rip-Off Prepaid Debit Card

4th NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From CS by Laurent Belsie

Prepaid debit cards are not the best of deals. They come with lots of fees without all the protections of a credit card.

But even by those standards, the Kardashian debit card stood out for its high fees: a $9.95 activation fee and charges of $7.95 per month, with a $1.50 fee to call customer support and a $6.00 fee to shut down the card.

Which is why reality quickly caught up with the E! reality-show sisters. Criticized by personal-finance guru Suze Orman and on the verge of an investigation by Connecticut's attorney general, the Kardshians through a lawyer said Monday they no longer wanted their names associated with the card.

Later in the day, University National Bank and its partner, The Revenue Resource Group LLC, pulled the plug on the venture. Launched Nov. 9, the Kardashian Kard didn't last a month.

Existing cards will be active for 30 days and then receive refunds of any balances and any pre-paid fees, University National Bank said in a statement.

So how many people actually ponied up for the celebrity card? All of 250, according to the bank.


Guy Has Rapper Drake's Face Shaved In The Back Of His Head!

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Jesse Eisenberg Has A House Full Of Cats

3rd NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Oakland Kids "TURF DANCING IN THE RAIN"

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library Opens In Vonnegut's Hometown, Indianapolis

2nd NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From Huffington Post by Matt Sledge

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s depiction of his home town of Indianapolis swung between admiration and contempt, but it always conveyed a basic sense of longing. A new museum there showcases the complicated feelings the novelist felt for the city in which his mother bore him -- and killed herself.

Now open on weekends and open full-time in 2011, the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library has been a labor of love for volunteers like President Julia Whitehead and her board, which includes all of Vonnegut's children and friend Morley Safer. Although its collection is still taking shape, it features a virtual reliquary of Vonnegut's personal effects, many of which will be familiar to readers of his novels. And, in a nod to the man's own visual inclinations, his squiggly collaborations with printmaker Joe Petro are also given pride of place.

While Vonnegut bitterly lampooned the placelessness of Midwestern life in Breakfast of Champions with his portrait of a fictional "Midland City" based on Indianapolis, he also wrote warmly of the way the very flatness of the region could inspire "awe for an Edenic continent stretching forever in all directions." After leaving Indiana for Cornell and and the Army, Vonnegut often looked back, but never returned for very long. The Vonnegut presented by the exhibits in this small but worthwhile museum is at once unassuming and extraordinary, much like the city that shaped him.

The president of the museum, Julia Whitehead, began with a simple thought -- that Vonnegut needed a memorial in his home town -- that has now expanded to include a storefront space donated by a local law firm and run entirely by volunteers. That includes Whitehead herself, who has another job working for the quintessential Indianapolis employer, Eli Lilly and Company.

Whitehead says Vonnegut "practiced something he spoke about often, which was common decency," and her experience with the museum shows just how infectious that spirit was. She got the critical support of Vonnegut's son Mark just by Googling him. The others in the gang of locals who do the day to day work are, she says, "the most giving group I've ever known in my life."
 
 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ralph Nader's ONLY THE SUPER RICH CAN SAVE US!

1st NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

B&N

Ralph Nader begins Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! with an author's note that attempts to clarify any genre confusion the reader might have. "This book is not a novel," he announces. "Nor is it nonfiction. In the literary world, it might be described as a 'practical utopia.' " It's a smart clarification to offer because, by the aesthetic criteria of either of those two more common forms, it is a colossal, Hindenburgian disaster.

The basic plot goes like this. Moved by pity to travel to New Orleans in the wake of Katrina to oversee relief efforts, Warren Buffett encounters one desperately poor and grateful recipient of his charity who announces, "Only the super-rich can save us." This gets Buffett thinking, and he proceeds to convene a top secret meeting in a Maui resort. There he gathers an eclectic group of the super-rich: Paul Newman, George Soros, Bill Gates Sr., Ted Turner, Barry Diller, Peter Lewis (owner of Progressive Insurance), and, somewhat randomly, Yoko Ono, among others, to create a "people's revolt of the rich."

The group begins fomenting a progressive reformist movement along dozens of tracks: creating an alternative to the reactionary Chamber of Commerce; putting pressure on Wal-Mart to allow its workers to unionize (partly by buying up local competitors and subsidizing them to undercut Wal-Mart's prices); founding a Clean Elections Party to challenge congressional incumbents; and galvanizing public opinion with organized lunch demonstrations and publicity stunts like running corporations for public office and proposing the pledge of alliance be amended so that it ends, "With liberty and justice for some." Oh yeah: and Warren Beatty runs for governor of California. The ultimate aim is to pass a slate of transformational reform legislation through congress, ("The Agenda") that will clean up politics, humanize the economy and usher in a new more democratic progressive era. I won't spoil the ending by telling you if they succeed.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cat Frightening Away An Alligator

3rd NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

New York's New Taxi Design

2nd NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From NY Times by Micheal M. Grynbaum

An icon of the urban landscape, the humble yellow cab is set to undergo an unprecedented face-lift — perhaps the biggest change to the city’s street aesthetic since licensed cabs were required to be painted yellow in 1970.

The Bloomberg administration on Monday unveiled three finalists in its competition to replace the current taxis, a mishmash of sedans, minivans and hybrid sport utility vehicles, with a single City Hall-approved model.

By 2014, when the first new vehicles are expected to appear, the city’s taxis will bear more resemblance to the oblong, obsolete Checker cab than the fleet’s current stalwart, the Ford Crown Victoria, which is to be discontinued next year.

All three competing designs, submitted by Ford, Nissan and the Turkish manufacturer Karsan, have the bulky appearance of a minivan. Gone is the cramped legroom of a hybrid car: these interiors feature generously sized backseats and, in Karsan’s case, a rear-facing drop seat to encourage conversation among passengers (that, or motion sickness).

The winner of the contest will receive the exclusive right to supply the cabs for the city’s fleet of just over 13,000 taxis for at least a decade. Taxi officials said the contract could have an overall potential value of $1 billion.

Nissan’s Entry

Ford's Entry


The entry of Karsan, a Turkish company.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Charles LeDray Show @ the Whitney

2nd NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From Whitney Museum of American Art

Over the past twenty years, New York-based sculptor Charles LeDray (b. 1960, Seattle) has created a highly distinctive and powerful body of work using such materials as sewn cloth, carved human bone, and glazed ceramics. This major survey, which includes works from the 1980s to the present, celebrates both the artist’s virtuosity with materials and his uncanny manipulation of scale to create seemingly familiar objects that engage the collective memory. His techniques of sewing, carving bone, and throwing clay pots find precedents in the traditions of folk art and visionary art, yet rise to a level of unprecedented virtuosity and artistic invention. The exhibition is curated by Randi Hopkins for the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Its Whitney installation will be overseen by curator Carter Foster.

November 18, 2010–February 13, 2011


Photo: Tom Powel

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cornel West and Jay-Z @ NYPL Q&A

1st NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

44% of Congress Are Millionaires

1st NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From CBSNEWS Posted by Brian Montopoli

According to a report released this week by the Center for Responsive Politics, there are 237 millionaires serving in Congress, according to 2008 figures.

While about one percent of Americans are millionaires, 44 percent of those serving in Congress can claim as much.

The richest member of Congress is Republican California Rep. Darrell Issa, whose net worth is estimated to be in excess of $250 million. He's followed by four Democrats: California's Jane Harman (approx. $245 million), Wisconsin's Herb Kohl (approx. $215 million), Virginia's Mark Warner (approx. $210 million) and Massachusetts' John Kerry (approx. $209 million).

Among the top 25 wealthiest legislators – which includes boldface names Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein and Olympia Snowe – there are 14 Democrats and 11 Republicans, suggesting no clear wealth divisions between party. In the executive branch, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the second wealthiest, with a net worth of about $21 million; she trails only Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary L. Schapiro. The least wealthy administration figure is Vice President Joe Biden, whose net worth is estimated at just $27,012. (President Obama comes in at $3,670,505.)


Friday, November 19, 2010

World's Best Cat Litter Commercial

4th NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Jerry Seinfeld Wants to be in The Approval Matrix

4th NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From New York Magazine by Alyssa Shelasky

Jerry Seinfeld revealed himself as an avid fan of New York's weekly Approval Matrix last night when we spoke to him at the Broadway opening of Colin Quinn's Long Story Short, which Seinfeld directs. Well, maybe not too avid.

"I want to be on that grid thing, please," he said, politely. "I want to be low-brow predictable. There's a section for that, right? [Ed: Nope!] Isn't there an appalling section too? [Ed: Getting warmer.] I'd be fine there. I just want to be on it. It's a big, snotty, snotty board. I love it."

Actually, Seinfeld has already appeared in the Matrix five times, often in the brilliant section. We hope that's okay.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sam Sifton Uses the Term Broheim in Review of Lavo

3rd NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From New York Times by Sam Shifton

"THE imaginary mailbag this week spilled forth an imaginary request from an imaginary jock. I endeavored to answer him.

Q. I need you to recommend a restaurant. I’m a 35-year-old professional in Manhattan, and I am looking for a place where I can take my boys from the office to meet this smoking-hot girl I hooked up with at Lily Pond in the Hamptons this summer.

Me and my team, we’re big into that whole meatpacking district thing. We like steak, veal. Maybe Italian food? There’s one dude from Mexico City who eats only fish, which is weird. Maybe this girl would eat fish, too. I don’t know. We’ve been to something like 10 restaurants now, and I think her favorite foods are truffle fries and ketchup. But she drinks Champagne. So maybe bottle service?

Speaking of, this place has to be exclusive. I need a little exclusivity to offset the fact that I’m taking a girl to dinner with six dudes who do math for a living, and not six girls who look just like her. Usually, she likes to eat in a room with women who look like beautiful giraffes and dudes tall enough to look down on them.

Which is, by the way, a message I totally endorse: I’m a former rugby back, 6-foot-3, 220!
Finally, if there’s a guy in the restroom who could hand me a towel after I’m done doing my business in there and washing my hands, maybe give me a mint or something? I would be into that. Old school! I would tip that guy $5 just for being there, you know?

A. Broheim, let me set you up! Lavo is a large and almost luxurious new restaurant on East 58th Street, set above a nightclub, also called Lavo. It sits across the street from another nightclub owned by the same consortium, Tao. (You know Tao, Buddhaman. It’s where Kim Kardashian had her 30th birthday party.) The menu is Italian by way of a steakhouse, and if the food isn’t totally awesome, the portions are huge. You’ll love it."

According to Wikibin, broheim literally translates to mean "Bro Home", however it has taken on the connotation of a term of endearment, and effectively means "Friend" or "My Brother" in local context.

Images by
Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

THE TRIP - Steve Coogan And Rob Brydon Impersonate Michael Caine

3rd NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From BBC

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan have become comedy partners in a new BBC Two show called The Trip.

Steve Coogan plays a food critic who is ditched by his girlfriend and forced to take his friend Rob on a restaurant road journey.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Birdman's Fire Flame Video

3rd NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Site Asks, WTF Has Obama Done So Far?

2nd NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From MSNBC by Sarah Muller

The Democrats’ blah performance in the midterm election has the whole Party reflecting on ways to win back voters. A brand new website with an attention-grabbing name focuses on the positive. It launched right around the election, and has been an immediate web sensation. Creators Richard Boenigk, Will Carlough and Shavanna Miller will join Lawrence tonight to talk about whatthef%*$hasobamadonesofar.com.

It’s simple and straight-forward. Users just click through various screens. Each one lists something major Obama has accomplished. On the same page, buttons read things like “I could do that in my sleep,” “Big deal. What else?” or “I’m unimpressed.” It goes on and on, listing factoid after factoid, serving as a reminder of how much has gotten done, but perhaps gone unnoticed alongside the economic crisis.

The Dems could have used buzz like this prior to the election. But, better late than never. Check out the screengrabs of the more PG sister site, whattheheckhasobamadonesofar.com.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Giant Bubbles Found In Space

2nd NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From Discovery by Irene Klots

THE GITS

Astronomers discover new type of object -- huge bubbles of gamma rays stemming from the heart of the galaxy.

The two bubbles could have been inflated by a past eruption from the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

The bubbles span 50,000 light-years across the sky.

An ancient eruption of a supermassive black hole in the Milky Way may have inflated two huge bubbles of gamma rays which were just now discovered and are considered a new type of astronomical object.

"It shows, once again, that the universe is full of surprises," said Jon Morse, director of astrophysics at NASA headquarters.

Combined, the bubbles, which are aligned at the center of the Milky Way, span a vast distance of about 50,000 light-years. The structures are very distinct, with defined edges, and have as much energy in them as 100,000 supernova.

They were found with NASA's Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope, which surveys the sky every three hours for the highest-energy light.

Among the 1,500 sources of gamma rays Fermi has mapped so far, nothing resembles the bubble-shaped structures, which stretch across more than half of the visible sky, from the constellation Virgo to the constellation Grus.

Two newly discovered gamma-ray bubbles extend 25,000 light-years, or roughly one-fourth the Milky Way's diameter, above and below the plane of the galaxy, as shown in this illustration. Click to enlarge this image. NASA-Goddard

Barbara Bush Shows George W. Bush a Fetus

1st NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Yorkers Know It All Except The Speed Limit

1st NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From NYC

DOT has created a series of television and outdoor ads to call attention to the fact the speed limit in New York City is 30 mph and that it is no arbitrary number. It is set at that level largely because a pedestrian struck at 40 mph is 3.5 times more likely to be killed than one struck at 30 mph. The ads are below, and more background follows.







The Mystery Missile

1st NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Friday, November 12, 2010

Project Runway Season Finale Winner Is Gretchen Jones

4th NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From People by Kate Hogan

Although two of the four judges argued against her collection on Thursday's heated season finale of Project Runway, winner Gretchen Jones isn't offended.

"At that point, I was just pretty elated that I even got to present on national TV," she tells PEOPLE. "I feel proud that Michael Kors and Nina Garcia fought for me and could see my potential. They're both huge industry leaders, and it means a lot to me."

Kors and Garcia went head-to-head with host Heidi Klum and guest judge Jessica Simpson, both of whom fought hard for fan favorite Mondo Guerra, who presented a youthful, colorful runway show. "His collection was really true to Mondo," Jones says. "It really showed his potential as a designer, and I'm proud of him for staying true to himself, because that is more important than anything else. He's going to go far."

Jones, an early favorite, was somewhat vilified as the season went on, and at times, saw her fellow designers turn against her. "I knew there was a risk . . . you can be portrayed however the producers care to do it. It's TV – we all need an antagonist, an underdog, in order to fulfill our desire to watch."

And even though the results of one group challenge prompted normally mellow mentor Tim Gunn to call Jones a "bully," she takes the bad press in stride. "It hurt my feelings, but in a way it helped me to have more exposure, because I was talked about, whether you liked me or not," she says. "I know in my heart I'm a good person."

With the Season 8 win under her stylish belt, Jones plans to move to New York City soon to "move forward with the opportunity that will hopefully present itself," she says. "I'd love to get a mentorship with someone the likes of Michael Kors, someone that can guide me into being the designer I want to be."

The move will also allow her to leave a tough recent past behind, one that included an empty bank account and broken relationship.

"I've really embraced this transitional time. Having a true 'phoenix rising from the ashes' moment is not something many people get," she says. "I don't have anything holding me back, and in actuality, that is a luxury. It'll make me a brighter version of myself, and that will translate into my future designs."