Oct 21

Olympics organisers insist London win in 2012 ballot was fair

Monday, December 26, 2005According to the Scotsman newspaper, the directors of the 2012 London Olympics have insisted that the city won the right to host the games “fairly and squarely” after claims were touted by an Israeli official that a “potentially decisive vote was cast in error by an International Olympic Committee (IOC) official”

The Israeli official, Alex Gilady, claims that in the third round of voting, Greek delegate Lambis Nikolaou may have accidentally voted for Paris rather than Madrid, resulting in eliminating Madrid rather than Paris from the final round.

London spokesmen and bid leaders have dismissed the claims as “folklore stories”, “totally irrelevant” and “tittle-tattle”, while the CEO of the Madrid bid told the London Times, “We were very close to winning. We can never know if the Greek vote would have been decisive, but it is lamentable for one human error to have ruined all our hard work.”

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Oct 21

Japanese earthquake death toll surpasses ten thousand

Friday, March 25, 2011

The death toll from the Sendai earthquake has now increased to over ten thousand. In Japan, the National Police Agency has stated that 10,019 are now known to have been killed as a result of the disaster.

The Agency also reported that 2,775 had been injured and the location of 17,541 individuals was unknown. Meanwhile, 1,900 evacuation sites are now thought to be occupied by approximately a quarter of a million people.

When the event happened two weeks ago, 18,000 thousand households were destroyed and 130,000 were damaged by the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami. In spite of this, twelve of the fifteen north-eastern ports of Japan have recommenced operating, while the majority of the oil terminals of the country remained open, according to Inchcape Shipping Services.

Amongst the aftermath of the earthquake, plant number 3 at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant is suspected to have been damaged and may be releasing radiation. The Japanese government have reported that an ongoing investigation is occurring to attempt to discover the cause of the radiation leak at the power plant. Chinese authorities have reported two Japanese tourists were found to have levels of radiation “seriously exceeding limits” on their clothing and luggage. In Tokyo, the amount of radiation in the supply of water has decreased, however it remains high in various parts of the north of Japan.

According to BBC News Online, two workers were hospitalised because of the leak. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), who operate the building, reported that three employees placing electrical cables at the location were given treatment for being exposed to radioactive water; they had experienced ten thousand times the regular amount of radioactivity. Of those three men, beta rays caused two of them to receive burns. The two individuals did not stop working despite meters advising of unsafe radiation levels. It was later discovered that they were wearing inadequate protective footwear and failed to draw their attention to a radiation alert. TEPCO has since received government orders to improve worker management.

The radiation emitted from the plant has had a significant effect on the Japanese food industry. In the surrounding areas of the plant, shipments of foodstuffs have been prohibited. In Fukushima prefecture, residents have been advised not to consume eleven leafy green vegetable types produced locally due to radiation concerns. There has also been a significant decrease in customer demand at a fish market in Tsukiji.

Japanese product importers have discovered some foodstuffs to have a small radiation amount, which is not thought to be potentially deadly. Numerous Asian countries, the European Union, Australia, Russia and the United States have prohibited milk items, seafood and vegetables from being imported from various Japanese prefectures.

Closing the power plant down may take at least one month to achieve. Speaking to AFP, an individual talking on behalf of TEPCO stated that the company is “still in the process of assessing the damage at the plant, so that we can’t put a deadline on when the cooling operations will work again”. Residents living within thirty kilometres of the plant have been advised to avoid going outdoors to attempt to prevent radiation exposure as far as possible.

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Oct 21

Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Viktor Schreckengost, the father of industrial design and creator of the Jazz Bowl, an iconic piece of Jazz Age art designed for Eleanor Roosevelt during his association with Cowan Pottery died yesterday. He was 101.

Schreckengost was born on June 26, 1906 in Sebring, Ohio, United States.

Schreckengost’s peers included the far more famous designers Raymond Loewy and Norman Bel Geddes.

In 2000, the Cleveland Museum of Art curated the first ever retrospective of Schreckengost’s work. Stunning in scope, the exhibition included sculpture, pottery, dinnerware, drawings, and paintings.

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Oct 21

60 Ways To Boost Your Self Esteem

By Diane Corriette

60 Ways to Boost your Self Esteem is available as a booklet at


Below is Chapter 1 taken from this booklet. Each booklet is written to provide easy to follow information for busy people.

Chapter 1 – First 19 Self Esteem Boosters

Taken from the booklet – 60 ways to boost your self esteem

Take one of these 19 self esteem boosters and use it for the whole day if that helps. Avoid just reading them and doing nothing. Take action!

Praise Someone Today. Find someone to thank, express love and/or gratitude to

Relax Your Mind. Just for 5 seconds to start with. Stop, breathe deeply and relax.

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Clear out the clutter. Your basement, the garage, the attic (loft), your old clothes from the 70s!

Forget the models on TV. Stop comparing yourself to people who make a living from the need to maintain their face and/or body, so therefore spend all day focusing on it!

Laugh. Take out your favorite comedy dvd movie or switch onto a comedy channel. Find a friend that makes you laugh.

Make other people smile. Smile at a stranger, tell a joke, tickle someone.

Dance. Take your favorite tune, turn it up loud (with headphones!) and dance until you drop!

What you focus on expands. Focus on how great you are and within no time you will feel great.

Make a decision. Is there something you have been putting off. Deciding releases feelings of anxiety. Its the indecision that causes the problem!

Let go of comparing yourself. She’s prettier than I am. He’s more intelligent than I am. Stop comparing yourself to other people and just focus on your own personal and professional growth.

Take a short walk. Not every day if that’s too much but at least a couple of times a week stop what you are doing and take a short walk in nature.

Enjoy a relaxing bubble bath. Scented candles, soft lights and music. A warm bath full of bubbles and maybe a partner to share it with! Enjoy

Set yourself a goal. What one thing can you do in the next 48 hours that will help you feel good?

Lessen your dependence on stimulants. We are at the beginners phase so I won’t say give them up but cut down at least. A little every day is better than going cold turkey!

Say something good about yourself. Right now. Yes right now as you read this say something good about yourself. GO! List what you are good at. Make a list of all the things you are really good at.

List your successes. Start small. Maybe you cleaned your car today, or you refused to eat when you were not really hungry. Is the world really that bad? Find some great things about the world, your country, your state, your home town, your neighborhood.

Create a vision for yourself. Create a vision of who you are when you are at the top of your game. What do you need to do to make that happen?

I hope you found those 19 self esteem tips useful. The next chapter focuses on taking it up a level and introduce more intermediate short term tips before ending with some advance longer term terms, all available to help you boost your self esteem and feel better about yourself.

About the Author: Diane Corriette runs How To Booklets at


providing short personal development and internet marketing booklets with practical and instantly useable information products.



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Oct 20

Obama succeeds Bush as 44th president of the United States

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today, the official ceremony ushering in Barack H. Obama II as the new president of the United States took place at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.. A 21-gun salute, as well as the playing of four ruffles and flourishes and “Hail to the Chief”, marked the moment he assumed power from his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Bush’s second term as President of the United States, which began on January 20, 2005, expired with the swearing-in of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, at noon EST (UTC-5), under the provisions of the Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Bush performed his final official act this morning, welcoming Barack Obama and Michelle to the White House for coffee before the swearing-in, shortly before 10am EST, and then accompanied them there by motorcade to attend the ceremony. Last week, Bush had made his farewells to the nation in a televised address, saying that the inauguration turns a page in race relations. “Obama’s story — his black father was from Kenya, his white mother from Kansas — represents “the enduring promise of our land,” said Bush.

Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday called on Obama to seek “understanding, co-operation and peace” among nations. “I offer cordial good wishes, together with the assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will grant you unfailing wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high responsibilities,” the Pontiff said.

The National Mall gates at the inaugural ceremony opened early, with official introductions beginning around 11:30am EST. On the west front lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Senator Dianne Feinstein provided the call to order and welcoming remarks, shortly after followed by invocation by the Rev. Rick Warren and a musical performance by Aretha Franklin.

Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr., a Democrat, who was elected Vice President in the 2008 presidential election, took his oath of office, succeeding Dick Cheney. Biden took his oath at 11:57am EST from Associate Justice John Paul Stevens.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Glover Roberts, Jr. then administered the oath of office to Obama, under Article II, Section 1, Clause 8. “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God,” Obama swore, using the 1861 President Lincoln Inaugural Bible.

First Lady Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama and daughters Malia Ann and Sasha, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi were among the record-setting crowd of over 2 million people, including more than a million people that filled the National Mall. Vice President Dick Cheney arrived in a wheelchair, having pulled a muscle in his back while moving, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

Obama has decided to follow tradition and use his full name, including his middle name Hussein, regardless of its past and present use by detractors as an effort to slander his image. The advanced scheduled program stated that the inaugural address was to be delivered by “the President of the United States, The Honorable Barack H. Obama.”

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

The President delivered his inaugural address in front of Capitol Hill with the theme “A New Birth of Freedom,” commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, said Feinstein.

Obama focused on the restoration of public confidence and personal “responsibility,” reassuring recession-weary Americans they can rebound from hard times. He conveyed to the world his desire to fix a battered U.S. image overseas. He asked the nation to reject the “culture of anything goes” and to restore a national value system that honors responsibility and accountability. Elizabeth Alexander recited a poem, followed by the benediction by Rev. Joseph E. Lowery. The National Anthem was thereafter played by The United States Navy Band “Sea Chanters.”

Over 200 million viewers worldwide had watched inauguration videos and live streams provided online by a number of news organizations and online video broadcasting companies over the internet. The event was also available live to select iPhone users.

Following his speech, President Obama escorted former President George W. Bush at 12:53pm EST as they left for a departure ceremony. Bush lifted off, ending his 8 years as president, with Obama waving goodbye from the courtyard of the US Capitol.

At 2:35pm EST in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall, at the inaugural luncheon attended by Obama, it is reported that Ted Kennedy had a stroke. Paramedics arrived and took the senator to a hospital.

A parade extended for over two hours in the afternoon. It included 15,000 people, 240 horses, dozens of marching bands, two drum and bugle corps, and one mariachi band from Espanola, New Mexico.

Just after 4pm EST, Obama and his wife joined the celebrating crowds on Pennsylvania Avenue. After a short time waving to the masses, they returned to the Presidential Limousine, a 2009 Cadillac, which transported them to the White House. The First Limo has replaced President Bush’s Cadillac DTS Presidential Limousine that rolled out in 2004.

Mr and Mrs Obama plan to attend a total of ten official inaugural balls, including the Neighbourhood Ball, the Obama Home States (Illinois and Hawaii) Ball, the Biden Home States (Pennsylvania and Delaware) Ball and the Youth Ball. American R&B singer-songwriter Beyoncé has been planned to perform the first dance song. The Obamas will return to the White House, their new home, following the last ball.

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Oct 19

Aerosmith sued over late cancellation of gig in Maui, Hawaii

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fans of the American hard rock band Aerosmith have launched legal action against the band in response to a late cancellation of a scheduled concert on the Hawaiian Island of Maui.

Attorney Brandee Faria filed a class action suit in Hawaii Circuit Court on October 19. The suit alleges that the band’s cancellation cost fans between US$500,000 (€349,944) and $3 million (€2.1 million) in travel and accommodation costs, as well as other related expenses.

The sold-out September 26 Maui concert – originally planned months before as the final show of a world tour that began in Brazil in April – was canceled by the band on the basis that they could not make it to the island in time after a September 24 concert in Chicago. The Chicago concert, which attracted 18,000 people, was rescheduled at the last minute after the original September 10 concert date had been postponed due to illness.

The band canceled the show at Maui’s War Memorial Stadium, which was set to be attended by 9,000 people, and apologized to fans. The band’s management company, HK Management Inc., gave no initial reason when they canceled on September 20, but blamed logistical reasons by the next day.

However, just days later, on September 29, the band traveled to the neighbor island of Oahu to play a corporate event in Honolulu for Toyota car dealers and private guests. An audience of 6,000 people celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Japanese automobile manufacturer at the University of Hawaii, with Toyota paying $500,000 (€349,944) to hire the campus. Aerosmith received $1 million (€700,000) to perform at the event. Faria alleges that Aerosmith abandoned the scheduled public concert on Maui in favor of the more lucrative corporate event on Oahu.

“…Defendants simply canceled the only public performance by Aerosmith in favor of the larger Chicago venue and the lucrative, private concert for the Toyota car dealers,” the complaint states.

Local officials had hoped the concert would attract other big names to the island.

Faria said that “I’ve had people contact me being out of pocket at much as $800 or $900,” adding that if the cancellation is found to be deceptive ticket holders may be eligible for a minimum of $1,000 each. The complaint also says that those aged 62 or over should receive at least $5,000 each. Currently about a dozen ticket holders are involved with the suit. If the action is approved by a judge, steps will be taken to contact everyone who purchased a ticket.

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Oct 19

The Importance Of Branding And The Role Of Branding Agencies

byAlma Abell

Branding means an overall review of the company. If the company has good products, a good team, excellent customer service, then the branding can be done perfectly. Branding is essential for selling your products in the market. Even if the business is a small one, branding is considered necessary in order to gain customers.

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Why should Branding be considered important?

Here are some reasons that would justify the importance of Branding.

  • As stated earlier, branding means an overall review of the brand, i.e., showing the customer a major piece of the company apart from the logo. It means letting the customers know about online services of the company, the projects and certain other things that may be useful in gaining the trust of the customers.
  • A good branding would help in gaining more revenue and sales. There are certain Branding agencies India that can help the companies in creating a good name in the market.
  • Branding can help in reaching out to more people through online marketing and branding, a significant number of people. That means gaining more customers for the company..

What is the role of branding agencies?

Before knowing the role of branding agencies, let us know what exactly is a branding agency. A branding agency is an organization of professionals that helps businesses to grow and be known to people through branding. A branding agency promotes your business in various fields like online marketing, posters, billboards, and many more methods. A branding agency has the responsibility of promoting the business. The profit that the company gets from Branding is shared with the agency as well.

Branding agencies can help people who have just started their businesses. Even a startup needs to be known in the market. This is where branding agencies come into play. They help in making the startup known in the market in order to gain customers. Therefore, having a contract with a good branding agency is necessary in order to be known to people. One of the famous branding agencies is Procreatebranding.com, which helps even small businesses in order to make them known. Like us onFacebook.

Oct 19

Tornado kills 19 in Florida

Saturday, February 3, 2007

At least 19 people have been killed in central Florida in the city of Lady Lake and Paisley after severe storms and a tornado ripped through the cities in the middle of the night. Eleven of those killed were in Paisley and three were in Lady Lake.

The death toll is expected to rise as rescue crews resume tomorrow morning.

Volusia, Sumter, Lake and Seminole counties have all been declared a state of an emergency as dozens of houses, mobile homes and a church were destroyed. Clothes and furniture are scattered around the wrecked houses and pieces of trees are scattered about. Cars are reported to have been turned over or thrown around in the air.

“Our priority today is search and rescue,” said Gov. of Florida, Charlie Crist. Rescuers are still looking through the wreckage to find survivors of those who might have been killed.

A spokeman for the emergency response team of Lake county, Chris Patton calls the damage “devastating” and worse than “hurricanes in 2004.”

“We have complete devastation of homes, of businesses, religious institutions. It was unlike even perhaps the hurricanes of 2004 when we had minor roof damage, screen damage, pool damage. This is way far more devastating,” said Patton.

The storms hit at about 3:15 [EST] a.m. on Friday morning. At least 20,000-30,000 people are without power.

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Oct 19

Google announces plan to shut down Google Plus for individual use, leave it on for businesses

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

United States technology giant Google announced on Monday on their official blog they would be closing their Internet-based social network Google+ for individual use. They said this announcement followed several months of Google analyzing how Google+ is used, which showed a low rate of “usage and engagement” while the platform incurred a maintenance burden for maintaining its security. The platform would continue to be available for business use, according to the announcement.

According to the analysis, in 90 percent of cases, people reportedly used Google+ for less than five seconds at a time, Google said. The closure of Google+ would apply only to individuals who would have ten months to transition and be provided with information about how to retrieve their data from the service.

Ben Smith, a Google vice president for engineering, wrote in a blog post, “Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we decided to sunset the consumer version of Google+.” Additionally, he announced Google is increasing security for its apps that ask for access to user data, giving the users the ability to select what is being shared.

In the announcement Google also referred to a vulnerability of the Google+ web site found in March, which had reportedly exposed the private data of up to 500,000 users. The data-exposure was reportedly minimal and limited to names, email addresses, occupation, gender, and age of the consumer. Other data like phone numbers, messages, Google Plus posts or data from other Google accounts are unexposed, the company had said. Google had resolved this problem. However, it was not announced to the public at that time, which caused some amount of public criticism. According to the official blog post by Google, this incident was indicative of the software maintenance effort and legal risks required to continue running the platform.

In the announcement, Google said in the future it would focus on services for enterprise and businesses.


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Oct 19

New Zealander blind in one eye because of novelty lens

Monday, January 22, 2007

Novelty coloured contact lenses have left a 24-year-old man living in Auckland, New Zealand with one blind eye.

The unnamed man wore the novelty lenses for three days, after which he sought medical advice. At that time his cornea was already damaged.

It has been reported that the man, who did not previously require contact lenses, had an infected cornea after wearing the novelty lens. The patient underwent two emergency corneal transplant surgeries to fix his eye and regain vision. The man did not follow instructions given to him to minimize the risk of rejection, and consequently his cornea was destroyed by bacteria.

Doctor Trevor Gray, corneal specialist and president of the Cornea and Contact Lens Society, said: “He’s now got an opaque cornea that he can’t see out of at all, and has this big white-looking eye like they’ve got in science fiction movies.”

Eye specialists have called for clear instructions to be provided to those buying novelty contact lenses. They also called for regulation and restrictions to be placed on their sale.

A loophole in the Medicines Regulations Act means that a person requiring contact lenses to correct their vision must receive clear information on how to use the contacts, but the law does not apply to novelty contacts. Dr Gray said some novelty lenses do come with good information on how to use them, but others do not. Australia, the United States, and Canada all have laws requiring that proper information be given out with novelty lenses.

The New Zealand Ministry of Health have confirmed that they will follow up the issue.

Dr Gray warns people using the lenses not to share the lenses between people to minimise the risk of catching conjunctivitis, or hepatitis.

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