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Leslie Nielsen, star of ‘Airplane’ and the ‘Naked Gun’ comedies, dies at 84 in a Florida hospital

Screenshot of Leslie Nielsen and Anne Francis ...
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Leslie Nielsen, an actor beloved for his clueless straight-man roles in “Airplane!,” “The Naked Gun” and “Police Squad,” died Sunday in a Fort Lauderdale hospital.

He was 84. He died of complications�from pneumonia, said his publicist David Kramer.

Nielsen was 54 and well established from hundreds of modest movie and television roles before he almost accidentally stumbled into “Airplane!,” which was released in 1980 and launched one of the unlikeliest, goofiest and giddiest second careers in modern movie history.

via Leslie Nielsen, star of ‘Airplane’ and the ‘Naked Gun’ comedies, dies at 84 in a Florida hospital.

November 29, 2010 Posted by | culture, entertainment | 1 Comment

Billie Holiday: Emotional Power Through Song : NPR

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Billie Holiday: Emotional Power Through Song : NPR
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November 23, 2010 Posted by | global | Leave a comment

My Love of Old Westerns

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Western Movies - Movie Posters 

Image by Thomas Duchnicki via Flickr

The Encore channel has two western stations that stay on my big screen. I can’t watch enough of these great old films.

Times were tough back then, but things were a lot simpler.Men were real men, they had no time to be self centered. The women also had no time for themselves, just their families.

Neighbors were real neighbors, always there for you no matter what. So much better than today in my opinion.

All the old shows share such moral standards we rarely see in many films today. Also, the beauty of the characters shined through so clearly.Not only the clear physical beauty of the women but the integrity of the people were most portrayed by the directors of the day.

I love watching these pictures over and over. It makes an escape for me somehow from the day to day concerns of our state of  life.

I realize the troubles they had back then, but still feel, if reincarnation could bring me back, I certainly would like to be in the 19th century, if only for a while.

November 22, 2010 Posted by | culture, entertainment, history, media, social | , , , | 1 Comment

A Brief History of Sunglasses

Believe it or not, sunglasses are not a modern invention. Many centuries ago, Inuit people wore shades made of walrus ivory with thin slits in them to protect their eyes from the glare of the snow. And the Roman emperor Nero and Chinese judges wore gemstone lenses of smoky quartz to prevent eye contact.

Nowadays, sunglasses are as much a fashion accessory as an eyesight aid and have a wide range of uses, from sports sunglasses to darkened lenses to aid those with a sensitivity to bright lights.

The first sunglasses

Spending all their days under the blazing sun that was reflected off the acres of snow before them, the Inuit people used primitive sunglasses to protect their eyes from the bright light. This helped them when hunting and ensure they did not suffer from snow-blindness, something that can still cause problems for those enjoying winter sports.

In ancient China and Rome, members of the aristocracy and judges would wear sunglasses of polished gems to hide their expression and the first painting of a person wearing shades dates back to 1352.

These early sunglasses could only protect the eyes and the first prescription shades were developed in Italy in 1430. By the 1600s the benefits of sunglasses were widely recognised and in the 18th century James Ayscough began to experiment further with tinted lenses. He believed blue or green lenses could help to correct vision and by the 20th century sunglasses were common as a way to protect the eyes as well as being worn as a fashion statement. In the states they were then commonly known as “Sun Cheaters” and sunglasses were used a lot, not so much for the benefits of eye protection but to mask the identities of celebrities and give them some anonymity in the public domain.

Uses for sunglasses

As medical science advanced and optometrists further understood the dangers of bright light, sunglasses became vital for many people involved in all sorts of activities.

Just as the Inuit people protected their eyes from the snow with ivory shades, modern sports sunglasses perform the same task. Those who participate in winter sports should always wear sports sunglasses to ensure they do not suffer from snow-blindness when on the piste.

Players of all other outdoor sports and pastimes will also benefit from wearing sunglasses and prescription sunglasses can correct vision at the same time, meaning sports sunglasses are available to all.

Types of sports sunglasses

Far from the basic blocking of light, modern sports sunglasses feature a special coating to give UV protection and come in many different lens colours. Smoke or grey lenses are a great all-round choice, brown or amber lenses are particularly good for water sports, fishing and hunting, while blue lenses are ideal for people with sensitive eyes. Polarised and mirror lenses are great for sports where glare can be problematic.

The colour of the lens can affect sight and should be taken into consideration, with brown tints increasing contrast but causing some distortion, orange and yellow lenses boosting depth perception and blue shades the best for not distorting colours.

Sports sunglasses can offer UV protection to European standards and tough frames to ensure they won’t break in even the most demanding environments. The lenses should be shatterproof and a strap may be necessary for more active sports. Sunglasses for water sports are also specially adapted to float should they come off and have a vent to prevent fogging.

Benefits of sunglasses

As well as enabling better vision, modern sunglasses can protect the eyes in many other ways. Excessive exposure to light can damage the eyes and the ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause conditions such as cataracts or even cancer.

Experts advise wearing sunglasses that can block out 99-100% of UVA and UVB light, with wavelengths up to 400nm. Shades that meet this requirement are labeled UV 400 and go above and beyond what it required of the European Union standards.

High-tech sunglasses

Having already come a long way, the development of sunglasses continues. Nasa developed incredibly high-tech sunglasses using polarised lenses and gold coatings in strong but comfortable frames to protect the eyes of astronauts and there are shades available back on earth with built-in headphones and music players

 

November 16, 2010 Posted by | health, history | , , | 2 Comments

My glimpse of hell and the pitiful children who have been betrayed – Telegraph

An enlargeable topographic map of Romania

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In 1990 the horror of Romania’s orphanages was revealed to the world. So why, after millions of EU funds have been poured into the country to eradicate such institutions, do thousands of vulnerable youngsters remain incarcerated? Angela Levin reports

It is not often that you get a glimpse of hell but a version of it exists down an unmade road in Bistrita, northern Romania. There stands a place that would be unfit for animals, let alone humans, but it is the only home known to 35 inmates, ranging in age from a few weeks to early adulthood. All have some degree of physical or mental disability. The building has a small room where 10 so-called “babies” – including a pallid five-year-old and a malnourished and blind seven-year-old – sleep and spend every waking hour. It was lunchtime when we visited and the empty-eyed children were either being given a bottle or fed mashed potato in watery milk by elderly female carers

via My glimpse of hell and the pitiful children who have been betrayed – Telegraph.

via My glimpse of hell and the pitiful children who have been betrayed – Telegraph.

via My glimpse of hell and the pitiful children who have been betrayed – Telegraph.

November 15, 2010 Posted by | children, crime, culture, global, government, health, history, medicine, mental, social | , , | Leave a comment

Adolf Hitlers Rise to Power – Photo Essays – TIME

Gottfried-Feder

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Adolf Hitlers Rise to Power – Photo Essays – TIME.Out of Obscurity CLICK LINK FOR SLIDESHOW.
After serving unremarkably in the First World War, the future dictator immersed himself in the German nationalist politics of Munich. In 1921, he claimed control of the German Workers Party and renamed it the National Socialist German Workers Party, and gave himself the title of Führer. In this 1922 photo, he poses with members of the group’s paramilitary organization, the Sturmabteilung, known by its initials, SA.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1707887_1525737,00.html#ixzz15AGwz82X

November 13, 2010 Posted by | Auschwitz, crime, death, global, history, war | , , , , | 3 Comments

50,000 students take to streets over fees

Amplify’d from www.dailymail.co.uk

Hijacking of a very middle class protest: Anarchists cause chaos as 50,000 students take to streets over fees

It was supposed to be a day of peaceful protest, with students exercising their democratic right to demonstrate against soaring university fees.

But anarchists hijacked the event, setting off the most violent scenes of student unrest seen in Britain for decades. Militants from far-Left groups whipped up a mix of middle-class students and younger college and school pupils into a frenzy.

The focus of the violence was Tory HQ in central London, where hundreds of thousands of pounds of damage was caused.

Clashes: A protester kicks in the glass at Millbank Tower in Westminster yesterday
Youths wearing hoodies and masks smashed through reinforced glass at Mllbank on Wednesday

Clashes: A protester kicks in the glass at Millbank Tower in Westminster yesterday

Youths wearing hoodies and masks smashed through reinforced glass at Mllbank on Wednesday

Young students trashing the entrance to Millbank Tower

Going wild: Young students trashing the entrance to Millbank Tower

Protesters used furniture to smash windows at Millbank

No control: Protesters used furniture to smash windows at Millbank

 Injured police officers are led away from the clashes

Unprepared? Injured police officers are led away from the clashes

Thousands gathered outside Tory Party headquarters

Anger: Thousands gathered outside Tory Party headquarters

Demonstrators waving a flag from the roof 30 Millbank after storming the building
Riot police standing guard inside the wrecked entrance to Millbank Tower
A demonstrator attacks the windows of Millbank Tower

Vandals: Youths took hammers and sticks to the glass of Millbank Tower

Read more at www.dailymail.co.uk

 

November 11, 2010 Posted by | global | , , , , | Leave a comment

Boom time for berries – Telegraph

I made it. As the name implies, a selection of...

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Boom time for berries – Telegraph.

For a really good fruiting year you need a whole set of circumstances. The first is that the previous autumn is warm and long, so that the fruiting wood has plenty of time to grow.

Then you need the previous winter to have been properly cold. A lot of fruit trees are programmed to only produce fruit after a truly cold winter. With the trend for warmer winters, this spark to fruit production has been lacking.

The cold also kills off huge numbers of the pests and parasites that can destroy the flower buds and the nascent fruit. It cleans the environment into which the new blossom will emerge.

November 10, 2010 Posted by | environmental, gardens, natural, recipe | , , , , | Leave a comment

Thomas Jefferson – Top 10 American Political Prodigies – TIME

In 1781, Thomas Jefferson, having served as governor of Virginia, declared he’d had enough of politics. And he wasn’t even 40.

In the next two decades, Jefferson would take on many public roles — U.S. minister to France, the nation’s first Secretary of State, vice-president under John Adams, and, of course, the third President of the United States of America — but by 1781 he’d already earned a place in the history books. A delegate to the Second Continental Congress, he was just 33 in 1776, when he drafted the remarkable Declaration of Independence. Two years before holding those truths to be self-evident, he penned A Summary View of the Rights of British America while serving in Virginia’s House of Burgesses.

Read “The Philosopher-President: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Thomas Jefferson.”

View the full list for “Top 10 American Political Prodigies”

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2025265_2025267,00.html#ixzz14t1Alwlr

November 10, 2010 Posted by | culture, government, history, Philosophy, politics, social | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Holocaust Claims Fraud Scheme

Jewish refugees from Czechoslovakia being marc...

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This is sad considering the real survivors need these funds.

Amplify’d from www.expatica.com

09/11/2010US charges 17 in Holocaust claims fraud scheme

US authorities unveiled charges Tuesday against 17 people in a long-running scheme that fraudulently obtained some 42 million dollars from Holocaust compensation funds from Germany. 

Federal prosecutors said the scheme between 2000 and 2009 resulted in the approval of some 5,500 fraudulent payments from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which administered the programs.

An indictment unsealed in New York said a network of individuals — including six employees who worked for the Claims Conference — systematically defrauded the fund, which was set up to compensate victims of Nazi persecution.

The insiders allegedly approved over 5,500 fraudulent applications, resulting in payouts to applicants who did not qualify for the programs. In exchange, these insiders kept a portion of the money for themselves and their co-conspirators.

“If ever there was a cause that you would hope and expect would be immune from base greed and criminal fraud, it would be the Claims Conference, which every day assists thousands of poor and elderly victims of Nazi persecution,” said US Attorney Preet Bharara in announcing the indictment.

“Sadly, those victim funds were themselves victimized.”

FBI assistant director Janice Fedarcyk said: “Each of the defendants played a role in creating, filing and processing fraudulent claims on behalf of non-qualifying applicants — and dividing up the spoils. Funds established and financed by the German government to aid Holocaust survivors were siphoned off by the greedy, and not paid out, as intended, to the worthy. This was a brazen miscarriage of the compensation programs.”

Officials said the Claims Conference, a not-for-profit organization that administers the program, approved fraudulent claims from the “Hardship Fund,” which provides a one-time payment of 3,600 dollars to victims of Nazi persecution who became refugees; and from the Article 2 Fund, which makes monthly payments to Nazi victims who live on less than 16,000 dollars per year.

Both programs are funded by the German government,

The defendants recruited other individuals to provide identification documents, such as passports and birth certificates, which were then fraudulently altered and submitted to “corrupt insiders,” investigators said.

But some of those who made claims were born after World War II, and at least one person was not even Jewish.

Eleven people were arrested Tuesday on the charges. Charges against five other people, four of whom have pleaded guilty, were unsealed in the same indictment.

The accused face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on charges of conspiracy, fraud and related charges.

Read more at www.expatica.com

 

November 10, 2010 Posted by | Auschwitz, crime, death, freedom, global, history, war | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment