Saturday, 31 December 2011

The Lineup Card: 9 New Year`s Resolutions for Players, Managers, GMs, and Teams by Baseball Prospectus

December 29, 2011

by Baseball Prospectus

1) Ned Colletti
Convince the World He's a Stathead
Once upon a time, a general manager could blow 20 or 30 or 50 million dollars on a bad free agent contract and shrug his shoulders while saying, "Who could have known that Jason Schmidt's shoulder was a ticking time bomb from looking at a health report?" or "Who would have guessed Juan Pierre wasn't a home run hitter?" or "Who says Juan Uribe can't get on base?" But now, waves of young GMs armed with MBAs, propeller beanies, and dog-eared copies of Baseball Between the Numbers can tell you these things, and Ned Colletti knows he's losing his edge to the kids whose footsteps he hears when they get on the spreadsheets.

With the Dodgers up for sale, Colletti knows he's not long for his job, so his New Year's Resolution is to recast himself as one of those hip, young statheads as he seeks his next job. He already bought a subscription to Baseball Prospectus and a couple of Brad Pitt DVDs. He's handed out two-year deals to thirty-something infielders to lock in those low, low prices and found busted fly-ball pitchers who need a spacious park to resuscitate their flagging careers. He's planted stories about how the Dodgers have gone Moneyball because he knows how to look up Juan Rivera's lefty/righty splits on

But there's still work to be done in 2012. Colletti must memorize the complex formula used to calculate on-base percentage. He must goad T.J. Simers into calling him "Google Boy" in print at least once, which will make Bill Plaschke so jealous that he'll probably do it twice. He must be interviewed by MLB Network with copies of Baseball Prospectus annuals visibly lining the shelves behind him. And he must buy a gorilla suit. ?Jay Jaffe

2) Bud Selig
Find New Owners for the Dodgers and Mets
All in all, 2011 was a pretty successful year for Major League Baseball. From Justin Verlander?s incredible season, to Derek Jeter?s 3000th hit, to that incredible final day of the season and the thrilling World Series, there was lots of good PR to go around. Of course, guaranteeing five more years of labor peace doesn?t hurt in that department either. The dark cloud that hangs over the league at the moment is the ownership situations in Los Angeles and New York. The McCourt divorce and Wilpon?s financial issues have left both teams as raging dumpster fires. This is why number one on Bud Selig?s New Year?s resolution list should be to find new owners for both teams as soon as possible. Both teams have had massive payroll constrictions due to the instability at the top of the organization. While this might be overlooked if it was going on in smaller markets, the fact that this is unfolding in two of baseball?s largest markets means they are situations that needs to be remedied sooner rather than later.

The Dodgers are in danger of having part of their fanbase siphoned off with all of the moves that the Angels have made this offseason. The public war over the team between the McCourt?s has been embarrassing to the employees and fans of the Dodgers, and it only promises to be dragged out even longer as Frank refuses to waive the white flag.

The Mets were already in a precarious situation because the Yankees are kind of popular in New York, not to mention their poor record the last three seasons. Their payroll is likely going to be reduced once again this season, and Sandy Alderson admitted that even with their lowered 2011 payroll, the organization suffered huge financial losses. Selig?s number one priority in 2012 should be to make sure the Mets and Dodgers find not just new owners, but ones with actual money?a concept which Selig has struggled with and is part of the reason the Dodgers are in this predicament in the first place. Hopefully this is a resolution that Selig has the resolve to stick with and doesn?t end up as the equivalent of someone not running on the treadmill after January. Without new owners, the Mets and Dodgers will continue their respective spirals down the standings and attendance lists, which in turn will hurt MLB financially each season until these situations are mercifully resolved. ?Sam Tydings

3) Albert Pujols
Back to Ash
Baseball?s new labor deal bans low-density maple bats but with an exception that nearly swallows the new rule. New major leaguers may not use the hard, brittle wood prone to shatter, but thanks to a grandfather clause, current players may continue to wield maple. Make us safe, but not just yet.

No player, at any level, wants anyone messing with the tools of his trade, but it might be helpful to kick-start the beginning of the end of the maple era if an established star who didn?t have to make the switch gave an old-fashioned ash bat a try, even if only during spring training. Make it a 2012 resolution. Think of the new marketing opportunities! How about the guy who carries the biggest stick in the game, Albert Pujols? Compared to all the other changes coming his way this spring?Disneyland, a new league, and a halo?it?s a small thing. And the newest Angel always can quietly go back. Just make it to March, and he?s bound to outlast my own resolutions. ?Jeff Euston

4) Bryce Harper
Embrace Humility
A simple New Year?s Resolution for the Washington Nationals phenom is to live up to the hype that he has created for himself. Not since ? well anyone? has a minor league ballplayer garnered so much attention and gained such iconic status as Bryce Harper has done in his one and only season in professional baseball. At the age of 16 he graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, and the hype began, the spotlight was on, and the next "Nuke" LaLoosh was fueling his own hype machine. In a Single-A game at the age of 18, he blew a kiss to an opposing pitcher as he rounded the bases on one of his 23 homeruns split between Single-A, Double-A, and winter ball in 2011. As they say, all things come in threes, and the ?Harper Condition? is no different. The now 19-year old phenom got a Chocolate Lab puppy for Christmas and promptly introduced him to the world on Twitter (@BHarper3407), naming him ?SWAG?. Seriously? who does that? Where is Crash Davis when you need him? This teenager is simply getting too big for his britches, and a 2012 resolution for him is easy: ?Act like a minor leaguer until you make it to the show, and then once you prove you can hit higher than the .256 you hit in AA, you can strut.? Otherwise, you?re likely to get a major-league heater in the ear if you act like this in the bigs. ?Adam Tower

5) Juan Carlos Oviedo (the pitcher formerly known as Leo N??ez)
Embrace your identity and help authorities in the Dominican Republic?
On one of many summer nights at Kauffman Stadium as a teenager, I sat behind the Royals' bullpen and watched how Royals reliever Leo N??ez worked. He pervaded calmness, stability, and fragility. I nicknamed him "Baby Face", partly due to his demeanor and partly due to his boyish appearance. In 2008, the Royals shipped him to the Marlins for Mike Jacobs (who lasted one season in KC before getting released), but I continued to follow his career as a closer. The bombshell dropped this September ? Leo N??ez wasn't Leo N??ez. He is actually Juan Carlos Oviedo. So much for stability.

Since Oviedo agreed to cooperate with a false documentation investigation in the Dominican Republic, he won't be prosecuted on a fake identity charge. He wants to play for the Marlins again, but he needs to acquire a U.S. visa, for which he has been denied previously.

If Oviedo resolves to embrace his identity, help authorities curtail illegal documentation, and create awareness for an ongoing problem in the Dominican Republic, he might be able to find his way back to the States. He changed his name and age to be able to sign a professional contract, which is immoral. He deceived his employers, but he did so in order to escape poverty. Acknowledging the mistake and being open about it is certainly better than hiding it.

If he pays his debt, Oviedo should get a second chance, either with the Marlins or a new team. His team changed its name, too. He'd fit right in. ?Clark Goble

6) Mike Matheny
Work on Communicating with Bullpen Coach Derek Lilliquist
Tony La Russa endured his most embarrassing moment in 33 years as a big league manager when a failure to communicate with bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist allegedly cost his Cardinals in Game Five of the World Series. The Redbirds rebounded, of course, but as first-year skipper Mike Matheny looks to fill La Russa's shoes, he ought to learn a valuable lesson from his predecessor's mishap.

Jason Motte, Marc Rzepczynski, and Lance Lynn?the three pitchers involved in the snafu?will likely be on Matheny's Opening Day roster, and Lilliquist will still be down in the bullpen answering the phone. ?The three names certainly don't sound the same, but if Lilliquist can't tell them apart, Matheny, who ushers in a new generation of managers that were still playing in the 2000s, might as well revamp the process.

It's hard to picture La Russa or Charlie Manuel sending a text message, but Matheny and Lilliquist?both in their 40s?could probably pull it off. Smoke signals? Carrier pigeons? Adding "messenger" to Skip Schumaker's responsibilities as a utility man? Anything to avoid, well, this. ?Daniel Rathman

7) Dave Dombrowski
Don?t Trade Away Top Prospects
Here?s a 2012 New Year?s resolution for you Dave Dombrowski and your Detroit Tigers: don?t trade your prospects for a player that you traded away as a prospect. DD made a mistake on 10/29/07 when he sent a young Jair Jurrjens to Atlanta along with another prospect at the time (Gorkys Hernandez) for National League shortstop Edgar Renteria. The new Tigers shortstop would hit only .270 in 2008?his only season in Detroit?coming off of a 2007 season for the Braves in which he hit .332. Hernandez would never pan out, but Jurrjens has become a mainstay in the Atlanta rotation, winning 47 games in four seasons, including two seasons of 13 wins and one of 14 wins. Now he is on the trading block if for no other reason than that the Braves have younger pitching to take the place of the 25-year old former Tigers prospect. As tempting as it is to pull the trigger and fix the mistake, Dombrowski and the Tigers should resolve to not trade any of their top 10 prospects to bring Jurrjens back to the Motor City. Instead, they should look to give Atlanta exactly what they got for Jurrjens in 2007; they should look to send Ryan Raburn and a Single-A first-baseman to Atlanta. The ?ol ?eye for an eye? seems like as good a resolution as any. Is it Opening Day yet? ?Adam Tower

8) Bobby Abreu
Be More Considerate by Swinging at More Pitches
Abreu has offered at between 32-to-34 percent of pitches seen since 2009, making him one of the most economical batters when it comes to swinging. Yet, think about the crippling self-doubt Abreu causes in strike-throwing pitchers. Imagine throwing a perfectly hitable strike, only to see Abreu look down his nose at the pitch. Even Abreu?s own teammates think he comes off as an elitist. Abreu wants to change and will try to atone for his sins by swinging more often in 2012. ?R.J. Anderson

9) Dayton Moore
Stop signing Yuniesky Betancourt
This one will have to wait for 2013. ?Ben Lindbergh


live with regis and kelly heavy d funeral oklahoma state university osu football osu football christopher walken ok state

Google/Bing: No, You Want Search Results For That Instead

know it allFor the past year or so, searchers at Google have expressed their displeasure with Google changing their search query because they think the searcher really wants to search something else.

But now those complaints are reaching over to Microsoft's search engine, Bing.

We've all seen it. You search for something and Google and now Bing, show you search results for something that doesn't match your exact query. Sometimes Google will be bold enough to say, you searched for X but we are showing you results for Y. Sometimes Google won't show it at all. Same with Bing.

A WebmasterWorld thread has a complaint from a Bing searcher who said "Now they're doing it too," referring to Bing doing what Google has been doing. Adding:

And I'm ### if I can find a way to say "Look, when I said nnn I meant nnn, not mmm or nmn or nnnn".

It can be frustrating to not find what you are looking for. Bing's Duanne Forrester said in response to the specific query example:

Ummm. if it's the number one result on G, the Facebook page for the, and I'm assuming here, "artist" that I'm could be because of the inappropriate language the FB page is showing in its description.

Couple that with low query volume, and most typos still leading people to something they wanted (maybe they typoed but actually wanted Jimmy?) and you could have an answer on this particular phrase.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Image credit on ShutterStock for wrong sticker.


brandi glanville portlandia mike starr spice one life to live rose bowl

Friday, 30 December 2011

Chemjobber: Innnnnnnteresting: UCLA vice chancellor of legal ...

Via Jyllian Kemsley, a southern California public radio station interviews Kevin Reed, the vice chancellor of legal affairs for UCLA. He also interviewed Russ Phifer, a former head of ACS' Division of Health and Safety. I'm going to be transcribing most of the comments, but I thought I would make a note of a few of his comments quickly:
  • Placed a lot of emphasis on UCLA's lab inspections
  • He said that Sangji was experienced, a professional chemist and chosen from "hundreds of applicants" for her position.?
    • Editorial comment: Come on! You have GOT to be kidding me. If this is the line they're going to be using, they're in deep kimchee.?
  • He said that it was a terrible tragedy and an accident, not a crime (not a surprise)
  • Asserted that UCLA has become a nationwide leader in chemical safety since the accident
    • Also said that this was relevant to "justice"
  • He said that UCLA would be providing Professor Harran with counsel.?
  • He made no indication that they were interested in settling with the LA County DA.?


nl mvp verlander verlander justin verlander pepper spraying cop pepper spraying cop somaya reece

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Massachusetts gas prices up 3 cents per gallon (AP)

BOSTON ? Massachusetts gas prices have risen for the first time in six weeks, but still remain lower than they were early this year.

AAA Southern New England reports Tuesday the average cost of a gallon of self-serve, regular is up three cents to $3.24.

The current price is a penny above the national average. A year ago at this time the Massachusetts average price was $3.03.

AAA found self-serve, regular as low as $3.11 and as high as $3.49 per gallon.


portland news tibetan mastiff manny pacquiao pacquiao blanche blanche gloria allred

Worst year in decades for elephants

JOHANNESBURG (AP) ? It's been a disastrous year for elephants, perhaps the worst since ivory sales were banned in 1989 to save the world's largest land animals from extinction, the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC said Thursday.

A record number of large seizures of elephant tusks represents at least 2,500 dead animals and shows that organized crime ? in particular Asian syndicates ? is increasingly involved in the illegal ivory trade and the poaching that feeds it, the group said.

Some of the seized tusks came from old stockpiles, the elephants having been killed years ago. It's not clear how many elephants were recently killed in Africa for their tusks, but experts are alarmed.

TRAFFIC's elephant and rhino expert Tom Milliken thinks criminals may have the upper hand in the war to save rare and endangered animals.

"As most large-scale ivory seizures fail to result in any arrests, I fear the criminals are winning," Milliken told The Associated Press.

Most cases involve ivory being smuggled from Africa into Asia, where growing wealth has fed the desire for ivory ornaments and for rhino horn that is used in traditional medicine, though scientists have proved it has no medicinal value.

"The escalation in ivory trade and elephant and rhino killing is being driven by the Asian syndicates that are now firmly enmeshed within African societies," Milliken said in a telephone interview from his base in Zimbabwe. "There are more Asians than ever before in the history of the continent, and this is one of the repercussions."

All statistics are not yet in, and no one can say how much ivory is getting through undetected, but "what is clear is the dramatic increase in the number of large-scale seizures, over 800 kilograms (1,760 pounds) in weight, that have taken place in 2011," TRAFFIC said in a statement.

There were at least 13 large seizures this year, compared to six in 2010 with a total weight just under 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds).

In the most recent, and worst, case Malaysian authorities seized hundreds of African elephant tusks on Dec. 21 worth $1.3 million that were being shipped to Cambodia. The ivory was hidden in containers of handicrafts from Kenya's Mombasa port. Most large seizures have originated from Kenyan or Tanzanian ports, TRAFFIC said.

Fifty elephants a month are being killed, their tusks hacked off, in Tanzania's Selous Game Reserve, according to the Washington-based Environmental Investigation Agency.

With shipments so large, criminals have taken to shipping them by sea instead of by air, falsifying documents with help of corrupt officials, monitors said.

Milliken said some of the seized ivory has been identified as coming from government-owned stockpiles ? made up of confiscated tusks and those of dead elephants ? in another sign of corruption.

"In 23 years of compiling ivory seizure data ... this is the worst year ever for large ivory seizures. 2011 has truly been a horrible year for elephants," said Milliken.

Rhinos also have suffered. A record 443 rhino were killed in this year in South Africa, compared to 333 last year, according to National Geographic News Watch. South Africa is home to 90 percent of the rhinos left on the continent.

Africa's elephant population was estimated at between 5 million and 10 million before the big white hunters came to the continent with European colonization. Massive poaching for the ivory trade in the 1980s halved the remaining number of African elephants to about 600,000. Following the 1989 ban on ivory trade and concerted international efforts to protect the animals, elephant herds in east and southern Africa were thriving before the new threat arrived from Asia.

A report from Kenya's Amboseli national park highlighted the dangers. There had been almost no poaching in the park, which lies in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, for 30 years until a Chinese company was awarded the contract to build a highway nearby two years ago. Amboseli has lost at least four of its "big tuskers" since then.

Associated Press


dos santos waterboarding boxing news boxing andy dalton corporal kelsey de santis corporal kelsey de santis

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Meet the Parade of Greedy Crybabies Who Didn't Get iPhones for Christmas

In a brilliant (and frightening) display of our current holiday spirit, writer Jon Hendren?spent his Christmas night re-tweeting any one who complained about not getting ? or worse, getting and not being happy about ? expensive unneeded gadgets.?Hendren,?a.k.a. @fart, (you have to admire the foresight needed to snag that handle) dug up a litany of complaints from Twitter users who didn't get iPhones, iPads, Kindles, and even cars, then cursed Santa or their family members for failing to provide.?

One is upset that they got an iPod Nano when they wanted a iPod touch. Others were furious that their iPad 2 was the wrong color. Some were actually expecting a car with a big red bow on it, like those Lexus commercials. All had their Christmas ruined by inconsiderate gift givers.

Sure, some of these tweeters probably thought they were being funny or ironic, but the idea that anyone doesn't see the problem with publicly complaining that they didn't get an expensive yet totally unnecessary consumer gadget ? and we're sure that some of them totally don't see the problem with that ? says something disturbing about our obsessions with adult toys.?In summary, life is hard.

Like "Damn You, Autocorrect" or "Texts From Last Night" it doesn't really matter to most people whether it's real or not. It could be (it probably is) and that's enough.?


Image by Hannamariah?via Shutterstock.?

Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments or send an email to the author at dashiell at dashiellbennett dot com. You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.


giants denver broncos patriots steelers ravens

Windows Phone 7 Pivot Indicator

Windows Phone 7 Pivot Indicator



In this post I will explain how to add simple indicator to Windows Phone 7 Pivot Page, which tells user how my Pivot Items are in page and which Pivot Item is currently active. Indicator control is implemented as set of small circles bellow title where one circle which indicates active pivot item is accented (see picture bellow).

pivot indicator_sm

Pivot Control is great MetroUI control that is equivalent of desktop Tab control. Pivot orders the elements logically, splitting the information into categories and listing the elements available in each category. It is an analytical list used to show different aspects of the same content. But sometimes developers make mistakes and use Pivot Control in incorrectly.




...Read more

You can also follow us on Twitter @winphonegeek



super committee walmart black friday ad 2011 nl mvp nl mvp verlander verlander justin verlander

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Chinese activist jailed for 10 years: rights group

Sorry, Readability was unable to parse this page for content.


harp harp world series game 5 moammar gadhafi harry connick jr rightnow bf3

Gavin Shulman: Searching for Approval

According to Gallup's most recent poll, Congress's current approval rating of 11 percent is the lowest in the history of Gallup measuring the current approval rating of Congress. And while it could be a ton of fun to mock our chosen leaders and their never ending game of gridlock, I think this begs, on both its knees, another question. What does that say about us as an electorate? What is our approval rating? What is your approval rating?

We are a vicious cycle. We are a rut. We, the people, are an eternal stalemate. We love confrontation and hate cooperation. Can't we all just get along? Where would the fun be in that? Why would we watch? Why would we care? We'd much rather argue, and disagree, and scream at each other. It's what makes this country great. Compromise is for wussies. We inherited a two party system, and were going to stick with it, as long as we never find out which side is right.

You. You voted for Obama. You put his sticker on your car. You celebrated his victory with a tall cocktail and a pat on the back. You were pumped. But then you got bored. Because you found out that politics is a bitch. That change maybe is a gonna come, but definitely it a gonna come slowly. That because you believed in one politician doesn't mean a bunch of the rest of them aren't crummy. That Obama didn't have a big, black magic stick after all. And so you got pissed. And you so were over it. And after two years you just couldn't be bothered. What's your approval rating?

And you. You tea drinking morons. You got all riled up when a guy named Obama became president. You were horrified. You shit in your separate, loveless beds. So you made signs. And wore funny hats. And went screaming into your church basements. You scared the hell out of everyone and rammed through the biggest bunch of crazies ever to sit in Congress. And now you don't even recognize yourself. Or them. What's your approval rating?

Or even you. Marching in the street. Fighting the good fight. Tarping against TARP. You crazy bastards. Getting pepper-sprayed for dinner. Dancing and chanting at the top of your lungs. Frightening off everyone who hears what you're saying. Horrifying everyone who wants to be on your side. You won't even pick a fight. Sure, it's great to be pissed off for pissed offs sake, but it's probably not going to get many results. So, what's your approval rating?

And finally you. Moderates. What the hell happened to you? Where'd you go in all of this? What are you, afraid to be reasonable? The middle of the road has never been so narrow. Everyone's loveable politically incorrect uncle is now just politically incorrect. From watching too much news. No one wants their politics in moderation. They want it full-on, fast and furious, loud and obnoxious, righteous and so effing wrong. So, how do you approve of something that doesn't exist?

You elected this congress, not them. So, if you're seeking approval, start by looking in the mirror, and deciding if you like what you see. Start by asking yourself if the other side were successful, and America were doing great, would you be satisfied, or furious? If America were on the right path, under control of the wrong party, would you be supportive, or would you put up a road block? If we ever chose a side, would we let them do what they said they were going to do, or would we freak out and immediately stop them in their tracks?

Maybe that's our dirty little secret. That when it comes right down to it we're scared to make up our minds. Me and you. We'd rather argue, and complain, and debate in the comments section, than find out. We're petrified to learn the results. Maybe that's why Congress is such a mess. Maybe it's our fear of disapproval.



big daddy role models lsu game lsu game animal house big ten championship game big ten championship game

Monday, 26 December 2011

Wild Animal World Show AcquaMarine Event

For information regarding events and activities during your stay, please view our Calendar of Events below. You may also contact our concierge desk at 305-918-6860.

  • When: 12/30/2011 Add this event to your calendar

    Acqualina invites families to our Wild Animal World Show.? Guests will have an up close, hands-on experience with some of nature?s most exotic creatures.

    Meet us on the Great Lawn from 3:00 to 4:00pm.


dale sveum jets broncos thursday night football demi moore johnny jolly johnny jolly demi moore and ashton kutcher

Spare Some Idle CPU Cycles For Charity This Season

104656v4-max-250x250Well, it's that time of year again when families come together to stare moodily at each other over lunch and, in theory at least, we're supposed to be thinking about others less fortunate than ourselves. To that end, stay you hand before you switch off the office PC and head off for some seasonal shopping. For those CPUs could be put to good work for charity, no less. The Charity Engine is a non-profit volunteer computing grid. Based on Berkeley University's BOINC software for grid computing - as used by dozens of famous 'citizen science' projects such as SETI@home. Charity Engine?s version of BOINC simply donates what it makes from research projects on its grid and donates the cash to charity, while incentivising users with randomly generated cash prizes. Profit from the commissions from science and industry is shared 50-50 between the charities and prize winners.


drake take care tracklist dr murray trial take care drake cain accuser aesop rock take care track list michael jackson trial

Sunday, 25 December 2011

The Musical Oasis: Christmas Eve NFL Action

Bookmark and Share

The Musical Oasis: Christmas Eve NFL Action

SOP Radio Network is known for its original programming that blends a mix of music, mentoring and magic. Djelloul Marbrook`s Hot Copy is among the Network`s hottest destinations for advice and insight into the field of journalism. Need a personal trainer? Check into John Basedow`s Fitness Tips and you`ll find inspiration and motivation mixed with sanity and support. Just for fun, visit Crazy World Now where you can escape to a world of irresistible nonsense.


1- `Isolation` Alterbridge

2-` Public Enemy No.1` Megadeth

  • 3- `Face to the Floor` Chevelle

  • ?

    4- `Born to Kill` Airbourne

  • ?

    5- `Hell of a Time` Hellyeah

  • ?

    6- `War is the Answer` Five Finger Deathpunch

  • ?


    ron paul pro bowl voting blake griffin monta ellis kindle fire update college board pasco county

    Russian communications satellite falls after launch

    A Russian communications satellite fell to the ground on Friday soon after it was launched, adding to a string of disasters that have haunted the country's space industry, Russian news agencies reported on Friday, quoting military sources.

    The agencies said the Meridian satellite, which can have both military and civilian use, did not reach its orbit and fell to the ground near the city of Tobolsk in Siberia, about 2,300 km from Moscow.

    1. More space news from

      1. Holiday goodies from deep space

        Science editor Alan Boyle's blog: Space scientists have dropped off some last-minute presents for Christmas: stunning pictures from deep space, many of which have a holiday theme.

      2. Astronaut captures 'amazing' view of comet
      3. Rare galaxy from 'dawn of time' photographed
      4. Holiday calendar: Circle of power

    The sources blamed the accident on the carrier rocket's failure. A source in the space industry told Interfax news agency the Meridian failure could delay the launch of Progress cargo craft, due in January.

    Several incidents have marred the celebration of the 50 years since Yuri Gagarin's pioneering flight to space. A cargo craft taking supplies to astronauts aboard the International Space Station broke up in the atmosphere in August.

    Three Glonass navigation system satellites launched in December last year veered off course and crashed into the Pacific Ocean, costing Moscow around $160 million and setting back the program to develop a rival to U.S. GPS.

    Russia is also likely to have lost the $165-million Phobos-Grunt probe, which is stuck in orbit and may drop to Earth after it failed to set a course toward Mars's moon last month.

    Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.


    kim jong il kim jong il nfl playoff picture nfl playoff picture vaclav havel vaclav havel kim jong ii dead

    Saturday, 24 December 2011

    Did 'American Horror Story' kill off Rubber Man?

    Prashant Gupta / FX

    By Anna Chan

    Mysterious. Sleek. Sexy. Evil. Dangerous.?Rubber Man has been an intriguing?character, lurking and wreaking havoc?in Murder House since the premiere of FX's hit "American Horror Story" in October.

    The reveal of the man behind the mask? Shocking. The explanation of how?the fetish suit?made its way into the house? Sweet and oh so tragic at the same time.

    Despite all that the outfit has added to the creepy hit show, it appears Rubber Man may have met his end in the season one finale. And we're not talking about the already dead Tate. (Spoiler alert! If you haven't watched the episode yet, stop reading unless you don't want to be surprised.)

    When attempting to scare off new Murder House owners the Ramos family, Vivien literally guts a chubby-looking Rubber Man, who happens to be the now deceased Ben in the suit. (We have to ask: "AHS" fans have seen quite a bit of Dylan McDermott's ... umm ... fantastic physique on the show, so why the heck did he look so unfit in the costume?!)

    With the fetish suit in tatters, how can Rubber Man (whether it be Tate, Ben or original owner Chad) possibly return in season two? Turns out he might not.

    In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly, show creator Ryan Murphy admitted that usually amazingly fit character may be a goner after what Vivien did. "That probably is the end of Rubber Man after that scene because the suit was ruined," Murphy told the magazine.

    So who will be back next season, and who will be the focus? It's hard to tell from the finale! Will the show center on Constance and murderous 3-year-old grandchild Michael? Will the now happily-ever-after Harmon family find new drama with their?fellow ghostly housemates? Could a new family be introduced?

    Guess we'll have to wait and see.

    Will you?miss Rubber Man? What did you think of the finale? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page!


    Related content:

    More in The Clicker:


    peru earthquake big 12 last minute halloween costumes rum diary klipsch image s4 chris bosh world series

    Amazon's most popular gifts this holiday season

    Dave Hogan / Getty Images

    English singer-songwriter Adele's "21" has not only proven to be one of Amazon's top sellers, it's among the best selling albums of the year.

    By Charles B. Stockdale, 24/7 Wall St. is the largest e-commerce retailer in the world. In the third quarter of this year the company?s net sales increased 44 percent to $10.88 billion, compared with $7.56 billion in the third quarter of 2010. This Black Friday, Amazon saw?50 percent more visitors?than any other online retailer.

    24/7 Wall St. reviewed 10 of Amazon?s bestselling items from the site?s most popular categories to identify the top holiday gifts for 2011.

    Due to its size and reach, the site?s best-selling items are an ideal proxy for what is currently popular in the U.S. Walter?Isaacson?s Steve Jobs bio is at the top of Amazon?s bestseller list, reflecting the nation?s fascination with Apple?s founder. The popularity of winter gloves that can be used to operate touch screens underscores Jobs? lasting impact.

    24/7 Wall St.: The best- and worst-run states in America

    The products on the list have all changed from?last December?s?most popular products. People are no longer buying the BlackBerry Pearl 8130 or George Bush?s "Decision Points" with the same enthusiasm they were one year ago. They have been replaced by the Kindle Fire and Isaacson?s??book. A lot has stayed the same, too. The bestselling video game has changed from last year?s Just Dance 2 for Nintendo Wii to Just Dance 3 for Nintendo Wii. website is divided into 12 major categories: Books, Music & Movies, Digital Downloads, The Kindle, Computers & Office, Consumer Electronics, Home & Garden, Groceries & Health, Toys & Kids, Clothing & Shoes, Sports & Outdoor, Home Improvement & Tools, and Auto & Industrial. The ?best sellers? listed are updated each hour, and the most popular items will often stay on the ?Top 100? list by sales in their category for weeks. 24/7 Wall St. looked at 10 subcategories to identify the hottest gifts this holiday season.

    1. "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson

    • ?Category: Books
    • ?Price: $17.49
    • ?Days in the top 100: 98
    • ?Company: Simon & Schuster

    Jobs died on October 5, 2011. Isaacson?s book on the tech pioneer has been on Amazon?s top 100 bestselling books list since September. The book, based on nearly 50 interviews conducted over two years, reflects on the life of one of the greatest innovators of all time.

    24/7 Wall St.: Cities that have fired their police forces

    2. Kindle Fire

    • ?Category: Electronics
    • ?Price: $199.00
    • ?Days in the top 100: 80
    • ?Company: Amazon

    The Kindle Fire is shaping up to be one of the holiday?s hottest gifts. The tablet has been on the Amazon bestsellers list since its introduction approximately 11 weeks ago. The company?recently reported?that it is selling one million Kindles per week. According to a statement by Dave Limp, vice president of Amazon Kindle, ?Kindle Fire sales increased week-over-week for each of the past three weeks.?

    3.?Just Dance 3

    • ?Category: Video Games
    • ?Price: $29.96
    • ?Days in the top 100: 85
    • ?Company: UBI Soft

    In December of last year, Amazon?s top selling video game was Just Dance 2. This year it is Just Dance 3. The popularity of the Nintendo Wii game, where players sing and dance to hit pop songs, represents a major shift in the industry away from? role playing games and first-person shooters. The game also features a mode specifically for cardio training.

    4. Olay Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System

    • ?Category: Beauty
    • ?Price: $26.00
    • ?Days in the top 100: 371
    • ?Company: Olay

    Olay?s Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System includes a face brush and exfoliating renewal cleanser. According to the?company, the system ?is as effective as a system sold by skin professionals for nearly $200.? Olay must be doing something right. The product has been on Amazon?s bestsellers list for 371 days.

    5. "21"?by Adele

    • ?Category: Music
    • ?Price: $9.99
    • ?Days in the top 100: 355
    • ?Company: Columbia

    While CD sales have dropped dramatically in recent years, that has not prevented the English singer-songwriter from doing incredibly well in Amazon?s music department. Adele?s second album ?has been in the Amazon top 100 for longer than any other album except for her debut album, "19." "21" has also topped?Billboard?s year-end list of top-selling albums.

    24/7 Wall St.: Cars so hot they are out of stock

    6. Alex Toys Friends 4 Ever Bracelet Making Kit

    • ?Category: Toys
    • ?Price: $20.47
    • ?Days in the top 100: 759
    • ?Company: Alex

    Replacing last year?s Scrabble Flash Cubes by Hasbro as Amazon?s bestselling toy is the Alex Toys Friends 4 Ever Bracelet Making Kit. The kit makes up to 22 ?friendship bracelets? with floss and beads. The product?s 759 days on the bestselling toys list speaks to its popularity.

    7. "The Help"

    • ?Category: Movies
    • ?Price: $16.99
    • ?Days in the top 100: 107
    • ?Company: Walt Disney Studios

    Amazon?s list of bestselling movies is topped by the DVD copy of Tate Taylor?s adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's bestselling novel. It bests three different?Harry Potter?features, which occupy the second, third and fourth slots. The DVD?s success is not entirely surprising, considering how the film dominated the box office this summer. It remains to be seen whether it will remain a holiday favorite, compared to classics like "Star Wars" and "The Wizard of Oz," both of which also appear on Amazon?s bestsellers list.

    8. Levi's Men?s 501 Jeans

    • ?Category: Clothing
    • ?Price: $39.99
    • ?Days in the top 100: 1,224
    • ?Company: Levi?s

    Many shoppers go to to order their jeans. Levi?s Men?s 501 Jean has maintained its position on the Clothing top 100 for 1,224 days ? the longest of any item on this list. Twenty-six different washes are available, in many more sizes than are available in most stores. Surprisingly, some comments on suggest that customers have turned to Amazon because their size was not available on

    9. Heart Mother & Daughter Beads Charm

    • ?Category: Jewelry
    • ?Price: $9.99
    • ?Days in the top 100: 235
    • ?Company: Pugster has a large selection of jewelry, most of which is affordably priced. Currently, the most popular item is the Heart Mother & Daughter Beads Charm. The charm is a two-piece heart. One side reads ?Mother,? and the one which reads ?Daughter.? It only costs $10. A number of other deals on Pugster products are listed on Amazon.

    24/7 Wall St.: America's most- (and least-) charitable states

    10. Agloves Original Touch Screen Gloves

    • ?Category: Sports & Outdoors
    • ?Price: $19.99
    • ?Days in the top 100: 54
    • ?Company: Agloves

    One of the worst times to have a touch screen phone has always been the winter. The gloves make it impossible to use the phone. Agloves has capitalized on this problem with the company?s ?touch screen gloves,? also listed as iPhone gloves and texting gloves. According to the company, the gloves are compatible with ?touch screen phones, cameras, multimedia devices, game systems, and eReaders.?



    heart attack grill gaddafi dead steve wynn lytro camera lytro camera st. louis cardinals gaddafi bodyguards

    Friday, 23 December 2011

    cliff117: Watch this 59 year-old lady win a Ford truck with an insane hockey shot

    • Passer la navigation
    • Twitter sur votre mobile ? Cliquez ici!
    • Passer cette ?tape
    • Connexion
    • Connexion
    Watch this 59 year-old lady win a Ford truck with an insane hockey shot cliff117

    Stephen Clifford

    Pied de page


    velasquez vs dos santos manny pacquiao vs. juan manuel marquez manny pacquiao vs. juan manuel marquez cain velasquez vs dos santos cain velasquez vs dos santos oregon stanford oregon stanford

    Netflix U.K. nabs "Fawlty Towers" in BBC Worldwide deal (Reuters)

    LOS ANGELES ( ? Classic episodes of "Fawlty Towers" and "Miss Marple" are just a few of the titles that will be available to Netflix customers in the United Kingdom and Ireland thanks to a new licensing pact with BBC Worldwide.

    Starting in early 2012, Netflix subscribers across the pond will be able to access the hilarious mishaps that befall the irritable innkeeper and the small-town murders that occupy the elderly sleuth's time along with other programs from the British television producer, the two companies announced on Tuesday.

    In addition to more evergreen titles like "Inspector Lynley," BBC shows such as "Torchwood" and "Spooks" will be available for Netflix members to watch.

    Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

    Netflix announced in October that it would launch its service in the U.K. and Ireland early next year and has signed previous streaming pacts with such content providers as Lionsgate and MGM.


    arkansas razorbacks arkansas football maggie daley black friday online deals black friday news gamestop albert haynesworth

    Monday, 19 December 2011

    Arabs may take Syria peace plan to United Nations (Reuters)

    BEIRUT (Reuters) ? Arab states may take their proposals for ending Syria's crackdown on protests to the U.N. Security Council next week unless Damascus agrees to implement the initiative, Qatar's foreign minister said on Saturday.

    Expressing frustration that Syria had not carried out the plan, six weeks after it was first agreed, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani said the window for an Arab solution to the crisis was closing.

    "If this matter is not solved in the weeks ahead, or couple of months, it will no longer be in Arab control," he told journalists after an Arab ministerial committee meeting in Qatar. "That is what we told the Syrians from the beginning."

    Arab ministers would vote on Wednesday on whether to ask the Security Council to approve the initiative. "I believe that December 21 will be decisive, and we hope that the brothers in Syria will sign (the deal) before this date," Sheikh Hamad said.

    Syria has conditionally approved a plan to send monitors to oversee implementation of the November 2 Arab League initiative, which calls on Assad to withdraw the army from urban areas, release political prisoners and hold talks with opponents.

    But Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby said Damascus was objecting to the League's call for protection of Syrian civilians, saying members of the security forces were also being killed in the turmoil.

    The United Nations says Assad's crackdown on the protests, inspired by uprisings across the Arab world this year, has killed more than 5,000 people. Authorities blame armed gangs for the violence and say 1,100 soldiers and police have been killed.

    The Arab League suspended Syria and declared economic sanctions against Damascus over its failure to implement the initiative, joining the United States, European Union and neighbouring Turkey who have also imposed sanctions.

    Long-time Syrian ally and arms supplier Russia took a step closer to the Western position on Thursday when it presented a surprise draft resolution at the United Nations which stepped up its criticism of the bloodshed in Syria.

    Sheikh Hamad said that, in response to Moscow's move, the Arab League would meet on Wednesday to decide whether "to ask the Security Council to adopt the Arab initiative and Arab resolutions instead of resolutions from other states."

    "We are not talking about military action but we will ask the Security Council to adopt the Arab initiative," Sheikh Hamad said, adding Syria should take heed of events in the Arab world where three leaders have been overthrown this year.

    "Procrastination and banking on things quieting down or being controlled by security methods will not work," he said.

    Any referral of the Arab plan to the United Nations would be likely to anger Damascus, which has accused unnamed Arab countries of trying to set the stage for foreign intervention.


    The unrest is the most serious challenge to the 11-year rule of Assad, 46, whose family is from the minority Alawite sect - an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam - and has dominated majority Sunni Muslim Syria since 1970.

    An armed insurgency has begun to eclipse civilian protests, raising fears Syria could descend into civil war.

    Two days ago army deserters killed 27 soldiers and security personnel in the southern province of Deraa, an activist group said. On Saturday at least 24 people were killed, half of them in the province of Homs, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

    It said another eight people were killed in the southern province of Deraa after army deserters clashed with Assad's forces carrying out raids in the region.

    A delegation from Shi'ite-led Iraq, which opposed the Arab League sanctions and fears unrest in Syria will spill across the border and upset its own delicate sectarian balance, stopped in Damascus on Saturday before travelling on to Cairo.

    Assad met the Iraqi delegation, which included National Security Adviser Faleh al-Fayad, and "affirmed that Syria dealt positively with all proposals submitted to it," the official news agency SANA reported.

    "The delegation will present details of the Iraqi initiative to League officials on solving the Syrian crisis after positive discussions which we had with President Bashar al-Assad during our visit to Syria," a member of the team said on arrival in the Egyptian capital, the Arab League headquarters.

    Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's media adviser, Ali al-Moussawi, earlier told Reuters in Baghdad that the meeting in Damascus was "very good."

    The main exile opposition Syrian National Council was meeting in Tunisia on the first anniversary of the self-immolation of a jobless Tunisian graduate Mohamed Bouazizi, the incident that set off a wave of revolts around the Arab world.

    Syrian protesters have expressed growing frustration that the Arab League, which surprised many when it suspended Syria and subsequently announced sanctions against Damascus, has since then extended the deadline for Syrian compliance several times.

    Hundreds of thousands demonstrated on Friday, according to the British-based Observatory, under the slogan of "The Arab League is killing us."

    (Additional reporting by Waleed Ibrahim in Baghdad and Sami Aboudi in Dubai; Editing by Mark Heinrich)


    dallas cowboys cheerleaders leftover turkey recipes leftover turkey recipes hugo hugo the muppets percy harvin

    Sunday, 18 December 2011

    Ellen DeGeneres Buys Brad Pitt?s Malibu Home

    Ellen DeGeneres has herself a brand new home in Malibu and she bought it from none other than hunky Brad Pitt. As of Friday Ellen is now officially the new owner of Brad?s Malibu home. According to the transaction has been finalized and lets just say buying a home from the A-list actor wasn’t cheap. Reportedly Ellen shelled out $12 million to buy the place. Can?t say that really surprised me didn?t really expect Pitt to have some cheap dump. Although the price may seem high to you and me Ellen and her wife Portia De Rossi are actually downsizing. The two put their $49 million home that was featured in Architectural Digest on the market a couple of months ago,. If you saw the piece in the magazine then you know that home was amazing. Soon after it was listed reports began to surface that DeGeneres and De Rossi were interested in purchasing Pitt?s pad, which has been on the market since last August, turns out those rumors were true. Ellen?s new home is reported as being 4,000 square feet which is quite a bit smaller than her current home which is 15,000. Seriously I can?t even imagine [...]


    victoria secret fashion show beverly hills hotel beverly hills hotel rajon rondo tori spelling duke basketball brian williams

    Tottenham knocked out of Europa League


    updated 5:30 p.m. ET Dec. 15, 2011

    Tottenham was eliminated from the Europa League despite a 4-0 victory at Ireland's Shamrock Rovers on Thursday night as Rubin Kazan advanced to the knockout stage with a tie. Birmingham also was knocked out, one day after Fulham exited.

    Udinese advanced to Friday's draw for the 32-team second round. Needing to avoid defeat at home against Glasgow Celtic, Udinese tied 1-1 after Antonio Di Natale equalized in first-half stoppage time. The Scottish club had led on Gary Hooper's 29th-minute goal.

    Tottenham was in position to advance when leading 3-0 in Dublin while the Russians trailed 1-0 at Group A leader PAOK.

    Rubin goalkeeper Sergei Ryzhikov was ejected for conceding a 16th-minute penalty kick scored by Vieirinha. But Rubin's Nelson Valdez tied the score in the 48th for a 1-1 draw.

    That result made it academic when Harry Kane scored Tottenham's last goal. Steven Pienaar, Andros Townsend and Jermain Defoe had built a 3-0 halftime lead.

    Tottenham reached the Champions League quarterfinals last season, but often failed to use regular starters in Europe's second-tier competition.

    "We haven't not gone through for lack of trying," manager Harry Redknapp said. "It was disappointing. I want to win every game."

    Redknapp also drew attention for apparently directing a gesture toward Shamrock fans who had targeted him with taunting chants for much of the match.

    Hannover progressed to the final 32 by beating Vorskla 3-1 in Group B.

    Brugges drew 1-1 with Braga as both progressed from Group H and edged out Birmingham, which beat Maribor 1-0. AZ Alkmaar advanced with a 1-1 draw at home against Group G winner Metalist Kharkiv. The Dutch club finished ahead of Austria Vienna, which beat last-place Malmo 2-0.

    Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


    More news
    Chelsea slips, Dempsey scores

    Euro roundup: Chelsea missed a chance to put pressure on the two Manchester clubs at the top of the Premier League on Saturday, yielding a goal with two minutes left in a 1-1 draw at relegation-threatened Wigan.

    Getty Images


    florida state football florida state football fsu football fsu football do a barrelroll bérénice marlohe bérénice marlohe

    Saturday, 17 December 2011

    Scientists discover second-oldest gene mutation

    ScienceDaily (Dec. 15, 2011) ? A new study has identified a gene mutation that researchers estimate dates back to 11,600 B.C., making it the second oldest human disease mutation yet discovered.

    Researchers with the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -- Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute led the study and estimate that the mutation arose in the Middle East some 13,600 years ago. Only a mutation seen in cystic fibrosis that arose between 11,000 and 52,000 years ago is believed to be older.

    The investigators described the mutation in people of Arabic, Turkish and Jewish ancestry. It causes a rare, inherited vitamin B12 deficiency called Imerslund-Gr?sbeck Syndrome (IGS).

    The researchers say that although the mutation is found in vastly different ethnic populations, it originated in a single, prehistoric individual and was passed down to that individual's descendents. This is unusual because such "founder mutations" usually are restricted to specific ethnic groups or relatively isolated populations.

    The findings were published recently in the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases.

    "Diagnosing IGS is oftentime-consuming and inconclusive mainly because vitamin B12 deficiencies have many causes, so identifying this condition usually involves excluding other possibilities," says principal investigator Stephan M. Tanner, research assistant professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics.

    "Our findings permit reliable genetic diagnostics in suspected cases of IGS in that this mutation should be considered first when genetically screening patients from these populations."

    Even in rare disorders, founder mutations can cause a significant fraction of all cases, he says.This mutation accounts for more than half of the cases in these populations and for about 15 percent of cases worldwide. "It is also often seen in expatriates living abroad," Tanner says.

    IGS was identified just over 50 years ago. It occurs in children born with two mutated copies of either the amnionless (AMN) or the cubilin (CUBN) gene. When a genetic mistake is present in both copies of either of these two genes, a person cannot absorb vitamin B12 in the small intestine, resulting in the deficiency.

    Children with IGS experience a high risk of infections, fatigue, attention deficit, paralysis and, ultimately, a form of anemia that can be fatal if left untreated. An estimated 400 to 500 cases of IGS have been described worldwide thus far. The incidence rate remains unknown. The syndrome is treatable with life-long injections of vitamin B12.

    For this study, the researchers examined a total of 20 patients, 24 parents, 8 unaffected siblings, and 4 grandparents from 16 IGS families. Because the researchers found the mutation in such diverse populations, they were unsure whether it was a true founder mutation that first arose in one individual and was passed down through many generations, or whether it was simply a mutation that recurred frequently over time in different populations.

    Careful analysis of the gene sequences on either side of the mutation (i.e., the haplotype in both the Muslim and Jewish families), however, pointed to a single mutational event rather than repeated events.

    Funding from National Cancer Institute helped support this research.

    Other researchers involved in this study were Cameron M. Beech, Sandya Liyanarachchi, Nidhi P. Shah, Amy C. Sturm and Albert de la Chapelle of Ohio State University; and May F. Sadiq of Yarmouk University, Jordan.

    Recommend this story on Facebook, Twitter,
    and Google +1:

    Other bookmarking and sharing tools:

    Story Source:

    The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Ohio State University Medical Center.

    Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

    Journal References:

    1. Cameron M Beech, Sandya Liyanarachchi, Nidhi P Shah, Amy C Sturm, May F Sadiq, Albert de la Chapelle, Stephan M Tanner. Ancient founder mutation is responsible for Imerslund-Gr?sbeck Syndrome among diverse ethnicities. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, 2011; 6 (1): 74 DOI: 10.1186/1750-1172-6-74
    2. Cameron M Beech, Sandya Liyanarachchi, Nidhi P Shah, Amy C Sturm, May F Sadiq, Albert de la Chapelle, Stephan M Tanner. Ancient founder mutation is responsible for Imerslund-Gr?sbeck Syndrome among diverse ethnicities. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, 2011; 6 (1): 74 DOI: 10.1186/1750-1172-6-74

    Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

    Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.


    bill of rights toys r us toys r us shame shame hedy lamarr syracuse basketball

    Rodney Atkins files for divorce following arrest

    Rodney Atkins is looking to end his marriage.

    On the same day we learned about his Nov. 21 arrest on domestic violence charges for allegedly trying to smother his wife with a pillow, E! News has confirmed that the country singer has officially filed for divorce.

    So what do the legal papers reveal?

    MORE: View the divorce petition here

    1. More Entertainment stories
      1. Stern's new gig has some 'AGT' fans fuming

        When NBC announced that the self-proclaimed King of All Media has indeed signed on to join the show, the immediate respons...

      2. Report: 'Teen Mom' Amber violated probation
      3. 'Toddlers' mom says pageants are like drugs
      4. 2011's most searched person? Justin Bieber
      5. Sandra Bullock talks big screen return

    Per his petition filed in Williamson County, Tennessee on Nov. 22, the day after he was taken into custody, Atkins cited irreconcilable differences as the reason as well as "inappropriate marital conduct" on Tammy Jo Atkins' part that "renders further cohabitation unsafe and improper."

    Story: Rodney Atkins talks about reunion with birth mom

    The 42-year-old entertainer was taken into custody after his missus called 911, claiming the two had got into a violent altercation that culminated with him trying to smother her with a pillow. She also alleged he grabbed her face and threw her down a hallway in front of their 10-year-old son, Elijah.

    MORE: Country Star Rodney Atkins Arrested: Wife Claims He Tried to Smother Her With Pillow

    Rodney Atkins has adamantly denied the accusations.

    On the same day he moved to dissolve their marriage, a judge signed a temporary restraining order prohibiting both Rodney and Tammy from "harassing, threatening, assaulting or abusing the other party."

    Additionally, the court barred them from disposing of any marital property or relocating their children outside the state without the court's permission (Rodney also has two step-daughters).

    PICS: Mug-Shot Mania

    The country star seeks joint custody of Elijah.

    In her counter-complaint, Tammy also cites irreconcilable differences and asks that the court grant her sole custody of the boy. In addition, she's seeking alimony, child support and legal fees from her estranged hubby.

    ? 2011 E! Entertainment Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


    carlos the jackal namibia namibia hell on wheels hell on wheels new york city marathon andy williams

    Friday, 16 December 2011

    Taliban's death stadium re-opens as 'peaceful place'

    By Reuters

    KABUL, Afghanistan --?Its pitch, they said, was so bloodsoaked that grass would not grow. For years, the only spectacles on offer at the Ghazi Stadium in the Afghan capital were executions, stonings and mutilations by the Taliban, rulers of the country from 1996 to 2001.

    On Thursday, thousands of young Afghan athletes wearing soccer uniforms, boxing and running warmup gear, and the belted white suits of martial artists, came to the stadium to celebrate its official re-opening.

    This time, the grass has been ripped up and replaced with bright green artificial turf, part of a U.S.-funded stadium refurbishment.

    "Of all the international projects implemented in Afghanistan, this is one of the most popular, it enjoys the support of all Afghans," said Lieutenant General Mohammad Zaher Aghbar, president of Afghanistan's National Olympic Committee, and a goalkeeper with the army's soccer team for five years.

    "The place that once was used to execute people during the Taliban, and then football played on their blood, is now turned into a peaceful place," he said.

    "Sport helps societies get together, it will strengthen our national solidarity," Aghbar said, adding that he was trying to line up foreign boxing and soccer teams to come to Ghazi Stadium in early 2012.

    Ghazi, a title normally used to describe Muslim warriors who slay non-believers in battle, is a title also bestowed by many Afghans on those who fought the British army to win independence for Afghanistan in the early 20th century.

    During the opening ceremony, the commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and U.S. troops in Afghanistan, U.S. General John Allen, and other military officials were presented with medals.

    'Terrible things'
    The new artificial pitch will be certified by world soccer governing body FIFA, allowing matches in the Kabul stadium to be internationally recognised.

    "It's very important because the stadium has been renovated, it's now ready for use by athletes. During the Taliban days it was used for terrible things, and today its renaissance has begun. It's a really positive day for Afghanistan," said a U.S. embassy spokesperson.

    As athletes began to parade around the stadium, Zabiullah, a 58-year old Afghan journalist who witnessed the Taliban executions, pointed at what is now the corner of a penalty area, marked by neat white lines.

    "There was thief who stole something from his village ... they cut his hand, right here," he said. "A man and a woman were having illegal sexual relations. They were caught, brought here, given 100 lashes each and told to marry each other ... I also saw people beheaded and shot. Afghans will never forget these bad memories.

    "Now, men and women, girls and boys, can watch a peaceful match together."

    Read more content from and NBC News:

    Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.


    x factor results x factor results al franken al franken mary did you know seattle seahawks grammy nominations

    South Africa's Johannesburg rises again

    Johannesburg dates its beginnings to the discovery of gold in 1886. Its downtown, where skyscrapers tower over deep mines, was abandoned by business in recent decades, and squatters turned the office towers into high-rise slums. But now, as the city celebrates its 125th birthday, creative South Africans are seeing gold in warehouses and cheap office space, and they're revitalizing neighborhoods with galleries, museums, shops, studios, clubs and restaurants.

    1. Don't miss these Travel stories

      1. Need gift ideas? Saddle them with baggage

        Unless you?re a member of the 1 percent, you?re probably not buying that special someone a trip to Tahiti or round-the-world cruise. Luggage and other travel accessories, however, are useful and affordable.

      2. Airplane geek? Buy a piece of the plane
      3. Tired of theme parks? Try a trip for a young reader
      4. And the world's most social airport is...
      5. Frequent flier miles: to buy or not to buy

    When Fiona Rankin-Smith was making plans to renovate an office building to house a major new museum, she thought she'd be building a lonely outpost for art in gritty central Johannesburg. But nine years and 38 million rand (about $4.7 million) later, as she prepared to move nearly 10,000 African paintings, sculpture and other pieces out of storage and into the sleek new Wits Art Museum, she finds South Africa's economic hub is returning to its roots.

    "There's this whole groundswell," said Rankin-Smith, the Wits' curator, as she surveyed the lively street scene on downtown's west side from her building's glass walls.

    When the museum opens early next year in the Braamfontein neighborhood, its neighbors will include private galleries drawn to the area in part by plans for the Wits, which is owned by Johannesburg's University of the Witwatersrand.

    One side of the glass and concrete museum features brickwork that resembles basketweave. Brass knobs dot another facade covered in blue tiles from the 1970s-era building's original exterior, a pattern inspired by Zulu beadwork from the museum that incorporated British brass buttons.

    Like much of downtown Johannesburg, Rankin-Smith says the museum is inspired by its past, and optimistic about the future. "There's these subtle references that refer back all the time," Rankin-Smith said.

    Johannesburg's nickname is Egoli or "city of gold," and antiquarian book dealer Jonathan Klass says downtown draws its resilience from the energy that made it a mining capital and from "'its ability to change."

    "People are accepting the change and trying to create the change and go with it," he said, "rather than trying to live in the past."

    Collectors Treasury, the shop started by Klass, his brother Geoff and their late mother, has had homes in several buildings in and around central Johannesburg since 1974. The brothers have seen other attempts to revive downtown, and praise the latest because it is bringing back residents as well as business. An area that was a business district for whites under apartheid now is home to a vibrant multinational, multiracial community, including Africans from elsewhere on the continent.

    Collectors Treasury's home since 1991 is a hoarder's paradise, eight stories of books and other antiques in the former headquarters of a company that imported printing presses. It's located at the gateway of an eastern downtown neighborhood developers call Maboneng Precinct. Maboneng means "place of light" in Sotho, one of South Africa's 11 official languages.

    Renowned South African artist William Kentridge, whose grandfather once had law offices in downtown Johannesburg, has moved into a studio in a complex of Maboneng warehouses that now houses hip shops and apartments. The neighborhood has an art house cinema.

    New York-born musician Joao Orecchia organized a series of concerts in Maboneng over the last year in not-quite renovated buildings. Audiences climbing six stories to a rooftop for one concert could see the rubble of what had been the elevator from the staircase wrapped around the shaft. Once on the roof, they were captivated by the view, Orecchia said. And while the site was forbidding then, the building will soon be renovated into homes and studios for musicians and artists, he said.

    Artists "aren't afraid to come and find a space and do something," Orecchia said. "As an artist, you almost have an obligation to contribute to that picture of what Johannesburg is."

    Trendy clubs and restaurants are popping up to serve gallery hoppers. At Randlords, safari chic decor of antelope skin rugs and beads is livened by flashes of humor, like framed lacy panties at the ladies' room door and framed briefs at the men's.

    The club on the roof of a 22-story office tower was named to evoke the mining magnates who made their fortunes on the rand ? or ridge ? of rock underpinning Johannesburg. It opened as a bar when the World Cup soccer games came to South Africa in 2010. Now it hosts private parties, and the occasional cocktail evening open to the public.

    Margeaux Swartz, a 27-year-old Johannesburg native who works for South Point, the property company that developed Randlords, said she's seen wary looks on the faces of guests who park in the building garage and are whisked 22 stories to the club in an express elevator.

    "Your initial reaction when you're coming into the area is, like, 'Lock your doors. Be careful,'" Swartz said. "But the minute you come up here ... it's so inspiring. And you're at ease."

    Randlord's walls are glass, so visitors feel they can almost step into the sweeping view. To the south, almost blending into the man-made mountains of mining waste, is the 90,000-seat stadium the shape and color of a traditional African clay pot built for the World Cup. Just beyond the stadium is Soweto, the township that was a dormitory for blacks under apartheid, with its iconic sites tracing the history of the struggle against racist rule, including a former home of Nelson Mandela.

    The Nelson Mandela Bridge stretches from the foot of Randlords across a river of railway tracks to Newtown, a performing arts hub. Newer dance and concert venues have been established around Newtown's venerable Market Theatre, where political plays for interracial audiences once challenged apartheid thinking.

    All these sites are easy to reach thanks to a rapid bus system known as Rea Vaya that got up and running in time for the World Cup. Soon a central station on the bus routes will be connected to a new light rail to the airport.

    Laura Vercueil, spokeswoman for Johannesburg's tourism promotion agency, traces the city's renewal to 1994, when apartheid ended, and planners began dismantling strict regulations that had zoned the city center for whites and for business. Now, business, residential and entertainment mix along with the races.

    Vercueil encourages foreigners and locals alike to discover the city, either by hopping on and off Rea Vaya buses, or on foot with one of the city's new walking tour businesses. Urban pioneers can shop for everything from African herbal remedies to high fashion from local designers. They can marvel at the array of art deco buildings, take in a show at the Market or Braamfontein's civic theater, and lunch at Guildhall, a pub that's almost as old as the city.

    "A lot of the reluctance to venture downtown has to do with perceptions of crime, and some of those are quite real," Vercueil said. But she said local government is "working to clean up the city and make it a safe and more desirable place."

    Rose Sizini, a 27-year-old bank marketing manager, was recently browsing a local designer's clothes at a market in a garage near the soon-to-be-completed Wits Art Museum. She said she was drawn by an "artistic flair" she hoped more people would experience.

    "They need to come here and explore it," she said.

    Johannesburg, like cities around the world, is struggling to get the balance right, making a city center that is comfortable for the affluent as well as the poor and struggling middle classes who have made downtown their home since apartheid ended. And there is still plenty of work to be done.

    Curator Rankin-Smith nodded at broken windows in the floors above the space she has renovated for the Wits Art Museum.

    "Hopefully," she said, "we've started something."


    If You Go...







    Associated Press Writer Anita Powell in Johannesburg contributed to this report.

    Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


    apple juice jay cutler carole king katharine mcphee neil diamond miranda kerr occupy la