Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Debbie Schlussel

Debbie Schlussel: "August 31, 2005
Where Are Celebs', Foreign Countries' $s for Katrina Damage?

By Debbie Schlussel

Remember all of the whining from foreign countries that we in America didn't give enough gazillions to the victims of the Tsunami? Remember Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries chastising America for not helping the Muslim victims of the Tsunami?

Remember Brad Pitt's hour-long 'Prime Time Live' interview with Diane Sawyer, criticizing America for not giving enough to Africa? Ditto for his blue-lensed sunglasses-adorned buddy, Bono.

Now, where are all of these parties when Louisiana and Mississippi are in total disaster from Hurricane Katrina? Strangely silent. Interesting that that are no cries about Saudi Arabia (a country we saved from becoming the Kingdom of Saddam) not helping the infidel, non-Muslim (for now) America."

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Skinny London House on Sale for $933,000

LONDON - This thin house requires a bankroll that's fairly fat. A home in London that measures just over 5 feet at its skinniest and 9 feet, 11 inches at its widest is up for sale for $933,868, estate agents said Tuesday.

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The narrow home is spread over five levels and used to be a hat shop before being converted into living quarters.

Real estate company Winkworths described the house as being "utterly amazing and almost certainly unique."

Its bathroom features a medium-sized tub that takes up the entire length of the tiny room.

Sky News for September 2005

SkyNews for September 2005

September 3 - New Moon - New Moon at 18:45 UT
September 11 - First Quarter Moon - First Quarter Moon at 11:37 UT
September 18 - Full Moon - Full Moon at 02:01 UT
September 23 - Fall Equinox Begins - Fall Equinox Begins at 02:23 UT
September 25 - Last Quarter Moon - Last Quarter Moon at 06:41 UT

Ed Ehrlich <webmaster@sky-watch.com>Jerusalem, Israel
http://www.sky-watch.com
© 2005 SkyWatch

Monday, August 29, 2005

What is this guy doing exactly? - Photos

Mike Keller, mooning Katrina.... umm...

Mike Keller, a resident of Biloxi, Mississippi, stands in the rain while mooning Hurricane Katrina just after dawn August 29, 2005.

Katrina slammed into the Louisiana coast on Monday with 140 mile per hour winds as the powerful storm came ashore from the Gulf of Mexico and took aim at low-lying New Orleans.

The coast, much of it lightly populated swamps, was being pounded with high winds and heavy rains while New Orleans, 55 miles northeast, braced for the worst of Katrina.

Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Reuters

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Australian: Air guitar goes Dutch [August 28, 2005]

August 28, 2005
Dutchman Michael Heffels known as 'The Destroyer' has won the World Air Guitar Championships in the northern Finnish city of Oulu.

Giesela Visser of New Zealand or 'Gizzy Guitar' came second, followed by Gyuri Vergouw known as 'Pelvis Fenderbender' of the Netherlands in third place.

Heffels won a real electric guitar and an amplifier designed and donated by guitarist Brian May, of the legendary rock group Queen.

Competitors play on an invisible instrument that can be electric or acoustic or both."

Welcome to hockey fights in Canada

Welcome to hockey fights in Canada
Organizer hopes to make it annual

Don't like it? `Go plant a tree'


DANIEL GIRARD
WESTERN CANADA BUREAU

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C.—Sixteen men have come to this northern British Columbia city to duke it out tonight in the Battle of the Hockey Enforcers, an event that strips away all the other things associated with the game — teams, goals, pucks and sticks — and focuses on fighting.

Up to 32 fights will happen over three hours in front of fans who have paid from $35 to $200 to watch it live or anted up $24.95 for pay-per-view television across Canada.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Sandra Block: Your Money - Beware impostor offers of free credit report

Monitoring your credit reports is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from criminals who want to shoplift your identity. And starting Sept. 1, everyone in the USA will be eligible to order a free credit report from the three major credit-reporting agencies.

But be careful. The Internet is littered with promotions for "free" credit reports, and many are back-door efforts to sell credit-monitoring services and other products, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Last week, Experian, one of the three major credit-reporting agencies, agreed to pay $950,000 to settle charges that it deceived consumers into signing up for its credit-monitoring service by offering free credit reports. The FTC said Experian's Internet sites, www.freecreditreport.com and www.consumerinfo.com, failed to adequately disclose that consumers who ordered their credit reports would automatically be charged $79.95.
Impostors lurk


The FTC settlement with Experian doesn't resolve an ongoing problem: "impostor sites" that attempt to hijack consumers seeking to order free credit reports.


These sites use misspellings and sound-alike names to misdirect consumers to sites unrelated to the government-mandated site. The FTC has sent letters to 130 impostor sites warning them that attempts to mislead consumers are illegal.


Researchers for the World Privacy Forum, a consumer education organization, found 112 sites in June that were using some combination or close spelling of "annual credit report."


Some of the sites asked for Social Security numbers, birth dates and other sensitive information, the World Privacy Forum report said. Others directed consumers to sites that sell identity theft or other credit-related products and services, the report said.


A few contained links to pornographic sites.


Consumers land on impostor sites in two primary ways: by mistyping the name of the official Internet site, or by using a search engine and clicking on the wrong result, the report said.


Watching your step


If you're planning to exercise your right to order free credit reports, there are several ways to protect yourself:


• Link to the legitimate site through the Federal Trade Commission's Internet site, www.ftc.gov. When you go to www.ftc.gov, you'll see two buttons that link to the official site, says Lydia Parnes, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.


• Be wary of any site that promises a free credit report, then asks for your credit card number. That may be an indication that you've landed on an impostor site.


• Don't respond or reply to e-mails, pop-up ads or phone calls that claim to come from www.annualcreditreport.com or one of the credit-reporting agencies. These may be scams seeking personal information.

• If you're uncomfortable with Internet security, consider ordering your credit reports by phone or mail. To order by phone, call 877-322-8228. To order by mail, print out the request form from www.annualcreditreport.com, fill it out and send it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

Free credit reports were mandated by a federal law enacted in 2003. The program has been rolled out across the country since December, starting with the West Coast. East Coast residents will be eligible to order their free reports starting Sept. 1.

The law allows you to obtain one annual credit report from each of the credit-reporting agencies. You can order them all at once or stagger your requests so you can review a report every three months.

"This is an important right that American consumers have," Parnes says. "We want them to be very careful when they're exercising it."

Sandra Block covers personal finance for USA TODAY. Her Your Money column appears Tuesdays. Click here for an index of Your Money columns. E-mail her at: sblock@usatoday.com.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The secret Google Doodles

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Halo Movie deal sealed.

Fox and Universal have closed their deal to make a movie based on Microsoft's hit video game Halo, with plans to release it in 2007, Variety reported. Universal will oversee the production and is handling domestic distribution, while Fox will take foreign distribution. The studios will split revenues 50-50 out of a shared pot, the trade paper reported.

Former Columbia president Peter Schlessel, who served as a Hollywood liaison for Microsoft, is producing. 28 Days Later writer Alex Garland was paid $1 million by Microsoft to write a script that met its approval. He'll now do a rewrite with studio notes, after which Universal will go out to directors.

Microsoft is guaranteed extensive consultation on the project, but won't have approval over any elements. Several employees at Bungie, the Microsoft-owned development studio that created Halo, will serve as Microsoft's creative consultants.

Pitchfork: Best New Music

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Archaeologists Find Ancient Treasure

By NEVYANA HADJIYSKA, Associated Press Writer Wed Aug 17, 3:21 PM ET

SOFIA, Bulgaria - Bulgarian archaeologists have unearthed about 15,000 tiny golden pieces that date back to the end of the third millennium B.C. — a find they said Wednesday matches the famous treasure of Troy.

The golden ornaments, estimated to be between 4,100 and 4,200 years old, have been unearthed gradually during the past year from an ancient tomb near the central village of Dabene, about 75 miles east of the capital, Sofia, said Vasil Nikolov, an academic consultant on the excavations.

"This treasure is a bit older than Schliemann's finds in Troy, and contains much more golden ornaments," Nikolov said.

Heinrich Schliemann, an amateur German archaeologist, discovered the site of ancient Troy in 1868 and directed ambitious excavations that proved he was right.

The treasure consists of miniature golden rings, some so finely crafted that the point where the ring is welded is invisible with an ordinary microscope.

"We don't know who these people were, but we call them proto-Thracians," Nikolov said.

They likely were ancestors of the Thracians, who lived in what is now Bulgaria and parts of modern Greece, Romania, Macedonia and Turkey until the 8th century A.D., when they were assimilated by invading Slavs.

"The buried man was cremated, and then an earth mound was piled over his ashes and his riches, suggesting that he was part of these people's social elite," Nikolov said.

Bozhidar Dimitrov, director of the National History Museum of Bulgaria, said the site consisted of a settlement and three mounds, and excavations would continue.

"This is the oldest golden treasure ever found in Bulgaria after the Varna necropolis," Dimitrov said.

The golden artifacts from a vast burial complex discovered in the 1970s near the Black Sea port of Varna date back to the end of the fifth millennium B.C. and are internationally renowned as the world's oldest golden treasure.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Giant Waterfall Discovered in Calif. Park

WHISKEYTOWN, Calif. - Dick McDermott knows these parts as well as any man can. But McDermott says he's never laid eyes on the nearly 400-foot waterfall that park officials recently discovered in a remote corner of the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, 43,000 acres of wilderness in northern California.

The 92-year-old used to earn a meager living mining the creeks that meander through the deeply wooded hills. He has slogged through the brush and hiked overgrown logging roads, hunting deer and gathering wood for his homemade fiddles.

"Sure, I was surprised," he said from his home in the park, where he's lived for more than 70 years. "I've been all around that place, I never seen 'em."

Thursday, August 11, 2005