Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Video: Holocaust Survivor Shares Her Story In Second Life

With some help from her daughter's Second Life avatar, Holocaust survivor Fanny Starr met with a group of the virtual world's citizens to share her personal experience of the horrors of genocide.

The video, while only a few minutes long, provides a brief glimpse of the horrors she endured, including an encounter with the notorious Dr. Josef Mengele. The lecture becomes especially noteworthy in light of the technology being leveraged -- the 87-year-old Starr has given many similar talks on her experiences throughout the past 30 years, but Second Life allowed her to reach a much wider audience without the burden of travel.

The full lecture is over an hour long, but features an in-depth question and answer session with members of the audience. A video is available from Second Life user GeoMeek

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


1月26日,在桔柑 乡桔柑村半沟社王磊的家门前,“抗震救灾英雄少年”王磊(中)和前来拜年的小伙伴李云飞(右)、雷小东(左)一起出去玩。王磊、李云飞、雷小东原来都是甘 肃省陇南市武都区桔柑九年制学校四年级学生。“5·12”大地震中,学校的一段院墙轰然倒塌,率先发现这一情况的王磊大喊快跑,一边将还没有反应过来的李 云飞、雷小东等推了出去,但他的一条腿还是没保住,膝盖以下截肢了。新华社记者王艳明摄



新华网甘肃陇南1月26日电(记者 王艳明 陈俊 连振祥)半沟社人的房屋都修在半山腰上,村里不通车,上山是条崎岖不平的小路,“抗震救灾英雄少年”王磊的家就在这里。




“我们主要想在一起玩一玩,好长时间没见面了,有很多话要说。” 一进王磊家的门,三个小伙伴就拉着手说个不停。







总理访瑞达成多项合作 发出积极信号

1月26日农 历正月初一,正在江西考察工作的中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席胡锦涛来到南昌市,慰问坚守岗位的干部职工和公安民警,看望欢度节日的基层群众, 代表党中央向大家致以新春的良好祝愿。这是胡锦涛在南昌火车站售票窗口前向售票员询问车票出售情况。(新华社记者鞠鹏摄)

新春来临,赣江两岸绿意萌动、生机勃发。1月26日农历正月初一,正在江西考察工作的中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席胡锦涛来到南昌市,在江西省 委书记苏荣和省长吴新雄等陪同下,慰问坚守岗位的干部职工和公安民警,看望欢度节日的基层群众,代表党中央向大家致以新春的良好祝愿。

今年春运期间客流量特别大,铁路客运尤其繁忙。胡锦涛对做好春运工作、保证群众出行十分关心,初一上午,他专程前往南昌火车站实地考察。 >>>详细


PBS: NSA Could Have Prevented 9/11 Hijackings

The super-secretive National Security Agency has been quietly monitoring, decrypting, and interpreting foreign communications for decades, starting long before it came under criticism as a result of recent revelations about the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program. Now a forthcoming PBS documentary asks whether the NSA could have prevented 9/11 if it had been more willing to share its data with other agencies.

Author James Bamford looked into the performance of the NSA in his 2008 book, The Shadow Factory, and found that it had been closely monitoring the 9/11 hijackers as they moved freely around the United States and communicated with Osama bin Laden's operations center in Yemen. The NSA had even tapped bin Laden's satellite phone, starting in 1996.

"The NSA never alerted any other agency that the terrorists were in the United States and moving across the country towards Washington," Bamford told PBS.

PBS also found that "the 9/11 Commission never looked closely into NSA's role in the broad intelligence breakdown behind the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. If they had, they would have understood the full extent to which the agency had major pieces of the puzzle but never put them together or disclosed their entire body of knowledge to the CIA and the FBI."

In a review of Bamford's book, former senator and 9/11 Commission member Bob Kerrey wrote, "As the 9/11 Commission later established, U.S. intelligence officials knew that al-Qaeda had held a planning meeting in Malaysia, found out the names of two recruits who had been present -- Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi -- and suspected that one and maybe both of them had flown to Los Angeles. Bamford reveals that the NSA had been eavesdropping for months on their calls to Yemen, yet the agency 'never made the effort' to trace where the calls originated. 'At any time, had the FBI been notified, they could have found Hazmi in a matter of seconds.'"

Former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer told PBS, "None of this information that we're speaking about this evening's in the 9/11 Commission report. They simply ignored all of it."

Not only was then-Director Michael Hayden never held accountable for the NSA's alleged failure, but he went on to oversee the Bush administration's vast expansion of domestic surveillance. In 2006, he was appointed as director of the CIA.

When asked whether the NSA's warrantless eavesdropping violated FISA law, Hayden insisted, "I have an order whose lawfulness has been attested to by the attorney general, an order whose lawfulness has been attested to by NSA lawyers who do this for a living. No, we're not violating the law. ... I'm asserting that NSA is doing its job."

NSA's power to eavesdrop on ordinary Americans has vastly increased since 2001, and the government's secret watch list now includes over a half a million names. PBS raises serious questions about whether important clues are still being missed simply as a result of the sheer volume of data being collected.

The Spy Factory will be shown over most PBS stations on February 3, 2009 at 8 pm.


With Cheney gone, Google gains sky view of VP's home

The abode in Washington, DC, that has served for 25 years as official residence for US vice presidents had been digitally blurred at Google Earth during George W. Bush's second term in office.

Mere days before Barack Obama officially assumed the mantel as US president and Joe Biden took an oath as vice president on January 20, the fuzzy satellite image of One Observatory Circle was swapped for a clear picture.

The home is on the grounds of the National Observatory.

Google reportedly got the updated image from Digital Globe, a company that provides photographs from commercial satellites. The former picture with obscured pixels was from US Geological Survey, according to Google.


Obama was like, "Dude, that's not cool" and Citigroup was all, "My bad."

The high-flying execs at Citigroup caved under pressure from President Obama and decided today to abandon plans for a luxurious new $50 million corporate jet from France...

ABC News has learned that Monday officials of the Obama administration called Citigroup about the company's new $50 million corporate jet and told execs to "fix it."

On Monday, the news broke that bailed out bank was going through with its $50 million private jet purchase even though it had recieved $45 billion in government funds:

The New York Post's Jennifer Keil and Chuck Bennett reported in Monday's paper that Citigroup, which has received $45 billion in government bailout funds, is about to upgrade to a new $50 million, twelve-seat corporate jet.

The plane, the Dassault Falcon 7X, is a luxurious jet with a range of 5,950 nautical miles (meaning it can fly from New York to all of Europe and South America, as far east as Riyadh, and as far west as Honolulu or Petropavlovsk, Russia). The Post reports it has "plush interior with leather seats, sofas and a customizable entertainment center."


Bollywood Condom Commercials (VIDEO)

What´s up? (pic)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Playing The Beatles Backwards: The Ultimate Countdown

185. “Revolution 9”

184. “Honey Pie”

183. “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”

182. “Yer Blues”

181. “Good Day Sunshine”

180. “Ask Me Why”

179. “Long, Long, Long”

178. “Little Child”

177. “Old Brown Shoe”

176. “You Know My Name (Look Up My Number)”

175. “I Wanna Be Your Man”

174. “Love You To”

173. “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?”

172. “Magical Mystery Tour”

171. “Wild Honey Pie”

170. “For You Blue”

169. “Don’t Pass Me By”

168. “Doctor Robert”

167. “And I Love Her”

166. “The Word”

165. “You Like Me Too Much”

164. “Maggie Mae”

163. “Tell Me What You See”

162. “Thank You Girl”

161. “I’ll Cry Instead”

160. “Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey”

159. “One After 909”

158. “I Want To Tell You”

157. “Don’t Bother Me”

156. “Sun King”

155. “What Goes On”

154. “Flying”

153. “There’s A Place”

152. “Her Majesty”

151. “Do You Want To Know A Secret”

150. “Dig It”

149. “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”

148. “Julia”

147. “Day Tripper”

146. “Blue Jay Way”

145. “Birthday”

144. “Baby You’re A Rich Man”

143. “Cry Baby Cry”

142. “Only A Northern Song”

141. “Penny Lane”

140. “Every Little Thing”

139. “When I Get Home”

138. “Run For Your Life”

137. “I’m Happy Just To Dance With You”

136. “Misery”

135. “I Call Your Name”

134. “It’s Only Love”

133. “If I Needed Someone”

132. “Another Girl”

131. “Dig A Pony”

130. “Love Me Do”

129. “The Night Before”

128. “Mean Mr. Mustard”

127. “Get Back”

126. “Michelle”

125. “The Inner Light”

124. “Baby’s In Black”

123. “Think For Yourself”

122. “I’ll Be Back”

121. “I Me Mine”

120. “All I’ve Got To Do”

119. “Polythene Pam”

118. “Hold Me Tight”

117. “Got To Get You Into My Life”

116. “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”

115. “Can’t Buy Me Love”

114. “I Want To Hold Your Hand”

113. “Savoy Truffle”

112. “The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill”

111. “With A Little Help From My Friends”

110. “Good Night”

109. “All Together Now”

108. “Paperback Writer”

107. “I’ll Get You”

106. “I’ll Follow The Sun”

105. “From Me To You”

104. “Martha My Dear”

103. “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite”

102. “Revolution 1”

101. “Ballad Of John And Yoko”

100. “Girl”

99. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”

98. “She Said She Said”

97. “Tell Me Why”

96. “Because”

95. “Yellow Submarine”

94. “I Should Have Known Better”

93. “I’m A Loser”

92. “All My Loving”

91. “Any Time At All”

90. “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”

89. “What You’re Doing”

88. “I Need You”

87. “You Can’t Do That”

86. “I Will”

85. “Eight Days A Week”

84. “Drive My Car”

83. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)”

82. “Wait”

81. “She’s A Woman”

80. “I’m Only Sleeping”

79. “You’re Going To Lose That Girl”

78. “Oh! Darling”

77. “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window”

76. “It’s All Too Much”

75. “P.S. I Love You”

74. “Don’t Let Me Down”

73. “Rocky Raccoon”

72. “Your Mother Should Know”

71. “Piggies”

70. “I’ve Just Seen A Face”

69. “It Won’t Be Long”

68. “I’ve Got A Feeling”

67. “When I’m Sixty-Four”

66. “The Long And Winding Road”

65. “Fixing A Hole”

64. “I’m So Tired”

63. “Let It Be”

62. “Happiness Is A Warm Gun”

61. “Lovely Rita”

60. “I’m Down”

59. “Glass Onion”

58. “Hello Goodbye”

57. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

56. “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”

55. “Come Together”

54. “Help!”

53. “Helter Skelter”

52. “I Feel Fine”

51. “Yesterday”

50. “A Hard Day’s Night”

49. “Blackbird”

48. “Revolution”

47. “Getting Better”

46. “Hey Bulldog”

45. “Good Morning Good Morning”

44. “Back In The U.S.S.R.”

43. “Mother Nature’s Son”

42. “You Never Give Me Your Money”

41. “Sexy Sadie”

40. “I’m Looking Through You”

39. “Things We Said Today”

38. “This Boy”

37. “Across The Universe”

36. “Octopus’s Garden”

35. “Not A Second Time”

34. “And Your Bird Can Sing”

33. “I Saw Her Standing There”

32. “Taxman”

31. “The Fool On The Hill”

30. “Two Of Us”

29. “Here Comes The Sun”

28. “You Won’t See Me”

27. “Within You Without You”

26. “No Reply”

25. “Ticket To Ride”

24. “She Loves You”

23. “Rain”

22. “I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party”

21. “Yes It Is”

20. “Here, There, And Everywhere”

19. “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away”

18. “Tomorrow Never Knows”

17. “Lady Madonna”

16. “Please Please Me”

15. “Nowhere Man”

14. “If I Fell”

13. “For No One”

12. “We Can Work It Out”

11. “Dear Prudence”

10. “Eleanor Rigby”

9. “Something”

8. “Strawberry Fields Forever”

7. “In My Life”

6. “All You Need Is Love”

5. “Hey Jude”

4. “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End”

3. “She’s Leaving Home”

2. “I Am The Walrus”

1. “A Day in the Life”



It is necessary to run risks, to follow certain paths and to abandon others. No one can make a choice without feeling fear.
( Brida )

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

15 Deadly But Often-Made Resume Blunders to Avoid

Most articles on this topic list blunders that very few people are dumb enough to actually make. Maybe we’re making a bold assumption, but it’s not likely that very many people are “stating that they work well in the nude”, as one resume blunder article cautions against. Nor are very many job seekers likely to “use pale blue paper with teddy bears printed around the border”, as another article warns of. Very helpful! But nevertheless, there are quite a few real resume blunders that perfectly intelligent people commit, which you should be aware of, because they can diminish you in the eyes of employers.

1) Letting typos slip through

Possibly the easiest resume blunder to make, letting typos slip through is almost one of the most dangerous. A recent survey indicated that 84% of hiring personnel toss a resume in trash upon spotting just one or two typos! Understand this for what it is: the HR people do not have some type of vendetta against spelling errors in and of themselves. Rather, what they see when they come across as a spelling error is a lack of conscientiousness. They see someone who apparently did not even take their application seriously enough to proofread it before clicking the “Send” button or mailing it in. This isn’t the impression you want to give off, so be sure to eliminate all spelling errors before submitting your resume.

resume blunder

2) Inappropriate e-mail address

It is common today for applicants to leave an e-mail address on their resumes. Nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, many applicants make the mistake of leaving personal or inappropriate e-mail addresses rather than professional ones. Put yourself into the HR guy’s shoes. You are looking at two very impressive applications, but one them lists their e-mail as “” while the other lists theirs as “” Which person are you more likely to hire? If you don’t already have a professional-sounding e-mail address, just visit one of the many free e-mail providers (like gmail, yahoo, and hotmail) and sign up for one.

3) Listing irrelevant, non-job-related information

Too many applicants try to get “cute” and show how eclectic they are by listing non-job related information in their resumes. This can be anything from the vacations they’ve taken, the hobbies they enjoy, or even (in rarer cases) the pets they own! It’s understandable to want to “liven up” your application, but remember this: the HR person who will eventually read it reads thousands of applications each year. They have trained themselves to relentlessly skim through applications searching for only the very relevant details.

4) Poor formatting

Remember: employers and their HR staffs scan resumes. They do not painstakingly read each and every word. Being that this is the case, the best thing you can do is make your resume scannable. This means using one of the many free resume templates that come with Word or that can be downloaded on the Internet. These are the formats employers are used to reading, and it’s one easy way you can take friction and hassle out of their reviewing of your resume. Don’t get “cute” with formatting!

5) Use of personal pronouns

Remember back in college when your professor didn’t let you use words like “I” or “me” in essays? Keep this rule in mind when creating your resume as well. Like a college essay, a resume is a formal document (albeit a business document rather than an academic one.) For example, rather than saying

I oversaw the creation of a new department that generated $5 million in sales and increased pre-tax profits by 15%.

Say this instead:

Oversaw creation of new department that generated $5 million in sales and increased pre-tax profits by 15%.

If this seems like a lot to remember, just pretend that you are someone else, describing yourself to another person. This rule will help keep you on track.

6) Trying to sound “well-rounded”

Some applicants believe they will look better to employers if they seem well-rounded. Such people typically play up how many committees they’ve served on, how many different and varying job titles they’ve held, different industries they’ve worked in, and the like. Unfortunately, this does not work as intended. Most employers see such people as not being great at any one thing, and they are thus unsure of how to evaluate them. Most often, such applicants are simply passed over in favor of those with more specific skillsets.

7) Self-deprecation

Too many resumes have self-deprecating remarks and phrases. While it’s understandable to not want to be seen as bragging on your application, you still want to look good. It is for this reason that statements like “graduated in the top 66% of my class” and “self-employment: what a disaster that was!” will not make you look good. Rather, they will make you seem like a potential threat to the organization, someone who probably shouldn’t be trusted with much power or autonomy.

8) Bragging

Of course, the other side of the resume blunder coin are applicants who excessively brag about themselves or their achievements. Again - you do want your resume to make you look like a strong candidate. What you do not want is obnoxious arrogance, as seen in statements like “you will never find a better candidate than me”, or “my job performance is unsurpassed”, or “if you don’t hire me, you’ll regret it!” Such statements make you seem cocky and indicate a potential lack of team spirit (or even narcissism!)

9) Focusing on responsibilities instead of achievements

The best resumes draw attention to what you as an employee have achieved - sales growth, cost-cutting, higher customer retention, etc. The worst resumes talk only or mostly about what responsibilities you have held - manager, committee supervisor, etc. Take a good, hard look at your resume and determine if it is primarily responsibilities or achievements based. If it is not already achievements-based, make sure it is before you send it in to employers!

10) Important skills buried at the bottom

Some otherwise good resumes handicap themselves by listing important skills at the bottom - say, computer skills. It should go without saying that the skills most relevant to the job you want should be listed top, front, and center in your resume. Read over your resume a few times and put yourself in the position of a busy, beleaguered HR person. Would your job-specific skills jump out to them? If not, re-arrange your resume so that they will.

11) Lack of bullet points

As alluded to earlier, scanability is essential to creating a good resume. One of the most critical elements of scanability is the use of bullet points. Do not make the mistake (which many applicants do) of writing everything in as a “wall” of text, hoping that whomever reads your resume will painstakingly peruse your every word to extract the important parts. They will not. That being the case, be sure to use bullets early and often!

12) Listing references directly on the resume

You should list your references on a separate sheet of paper or, ideally, only provide them when asked. Including them within the resume itself only adds bulk (which makes it more tempting to rush through) and does you little good, since references will only matter if and when the employer decides to interview you and advance the process beyond the resume-reviewing stage. When in doubt, leave the references out!

13) The “more is better” mentality

An article listing the 100 funniest resume mistakes says that one woman divided her resume into acts as though it were a play: ie, Act 1 of the resume, Act 2 of the resume, etc. We realize this is rather extreme and ridiculous, but it’s telling because of how many people (albeit less dramatically) adopt a “more is better” approach with their resumes. This is absolutely false. In fact, research would probably show that resumes are read less often in proportion to how large they are. Whenever possible, try to include only the essential details necessary to convey your main point.

14) Resume sent as an attachment without you knowing how it’ll look

We’ve all been there: you send something out as an e-mail attachment, only to have it look different (sometimes drastically) on your recipient’s computer than it does on yours. This can be disastrous if the random factor and chaos of the Internet messes up your resume’s formatting or bullets! Luckily, this need not become an obstacle. Before sending your resume via e-mail, simply “test” send it to a few of your friends and verify how it looks on their computers. If it looks as it does on your computer, send it to the employer. If not, find out why and fix it.

15) Passive-aggressiveness

Not every job applicant has the benefit of writing a resume with a sparkling job history. Some have been fired numerous times or been involved in conflicts with bosses at one or more jobs. There is a strong tendency among such people to demonize their ex-bosses in the resume, blaming them for their own failures. But while you might think this makes you look better, it rarely has this effect. Rather, most employers will read something like “I only got fired because my boss was an unrealistic jerk” and imagine themselves being in that boss’ shoes someday. You will be seen as a “problem-person” and probably ignored. The far more effective and mature approach is to simply acknowledge any past difficulties you may have had and exude an honest, sincere willingness to put those things behind you.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Sweet Dreams

Bupa appoints Fiona McAnena as group brand director

LONDON - Bupa, the private healthcare provider, has appointed Fiona McAnena as its group brand director and Sue Moore as marketing director of its UK health insurance business.

McAnena will be responsible for developing Bupa's brand around the world, with a remit that covers health insurance as well as services in aged care, preventive health, hospitals and home healthcare.

She joins Bupa from Pepsico where she was vice-president, innovation. She started her career at Unilever, and went on to become group development director at WPP's research agency, Kantar, CEO of its media agency, Mediaedge:cia, and UK managing director at Added Value, the brand development agency.

Moore leaves her role as marketing and communications director of Land Securities Trillium, a property outsourcing and public private partnerships business.

Before Land Securities, Moore spent four years on the main board of building services provider Rok plc.

She also spent 17 years at British Airways in a series of brand, marketing and strategy roles, where she launched BA's Executive Club loyalty programme, led the airline's brand team and introduced the flat bed for Club World customers.

Dr Natalie-Jane Macdonald, managing director of Bupa UK Health Insurance, said: "Sue brings significant expertise to Bupa's UK businesses which will be invaluable for us at a time when the economy is uncertain, developments in the wider health system continue and customers rightly seek value from private healthcare propositions.

"Both Sue and Fiona bring a wide range of experience to Bupa as it moves into new areas such as home healthcare and disease management and further develops products and services for our medical insurance and aged care customers."


Evolution Through Exploration

Most living things belong to a particular soul group and are born knowing their purpose in life. An animal will spend its day foraging for food, taking care of itself and its young, and creating a home. No one tells an animal to do this, yet it instinctively knows how. Humans, for the most part, are not born consciously knowing what their purpose is.

Purpose gives our life meaning. When you discover your purpose, you can live your life with intention and make choices that serve your objective for why you are here on the planet. Finding your purpose is not always easy. You must embrace life wholeheartedly, explore many different pathways, and allow yourself to grow.

Your purpose is as unique as you are and will evolve as you move through life. You don’t need anyone’s permission to fulfill your purpose, and no one can tell you what that purpose is. Finding and fulfilling your purpose can be a lifelong endeavor. To figure out what your purpose is, ask yourself what drives you – not what forces you out of bed in the morning, but what makes you glad to be alive. Make a list of activities that you wish you were involved in or think about a career path that you would love to embark upon. These are the endeavors that can help you fulfill your purpose and bring you the most satisfaction.

Picture yourself working on projects that don’t interest you or fulfill your purpose, yet they help satisfy your basic survival needs. Imagine how living this way each day would make you feel. Next, picture yourself devoting your time to projects that spark your imagination, inspire, excite, and satisfy you. More often than not, these activities are some of the ways that you can fulfill your life purpose. Time spent on these endeavors will never feel like a waste. Live your life with purpose, and you will feel significant and capable because every action you take and each choice you make will have meaning to it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


London, 15 January 2009 -- The UK government’s decision to expand Heathrow airport, announced today, is a serious threat to the fight against global climate change. At full capacity, an expanded Heathrow airport would become the biggest single source of carbon emissions in the UK.

Developed countries must take steps to ensure their carbon emissions are cut by the upper end of 25-40%, by 2020, as recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in order to avoid catastrophic climate change. Already aviation accounts for 13% of the UK’s climate impact – a figure that is rapidly growing. An expanded Heathrow would make it extremely difficult for the UK government to lead on emissions cuts in international climate talks in Copenhagen later this year.

“The UK government’s decision to expand Heathrow is extraordinary given the realities of global warming. It is time for governments to get serious and take effective action to tackle climate change. This is a dangerous step, not just for the UK, but the world as a whole,” said Greenpeace International Executive Director Gerd Leipold.

“We’ll fight this every step of the way. The movement against this runway is huge and growing. We have MPs from all the major parties, organisations representing millions of people, the country doesn’t want this expansion and we have the science on our side,” said Greenpeace UK Executive Director John Sauven.

Crucially, Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon accepted in his statement that there would be a sizable increase in CO2 emissions from a new runway, but that electrification of cars would – supposedly – offset those increases as would emissions caps and improved aviation technology. However, vehicle electrification is meant to contribute to the government’s 20% renewable energy target, not offset a third runway.

The proposal to set in place a cap on emissions from Heathrow will be policed by the Climate Change Committee, an advisory body with no power to punish Spanish-owned BAA, which owns Heathrow, or the UK government for non-compliance. The government’s commitment to cut its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, which the new package is supposedly designed to protect, is full of loopholes – for example, Britain can simply buy in carbon credits from other countries to meet the target.

In addition, a marginally more fuel-efficient plane will not solve the problem of climate change. “Hoping for an aeroplane that doesn’t cause global warming is like holding out for a cigarette that doesn’t cause cancer,” Sauven stressed.

Earlier this week Greenpeace announced it had bought the land earmarked for the new runway development and is now co-owner of the plot with award-winning actress Emma Thompson, comedian Alistair McGowan and Conservative Party green advisor Zac Goldsmith. Over 12,000 people from across the world have signed up to be “beneficial owners” of the land, meaning each name will appear on the title deeds and will be able to be represented at inquires in the bid to stop the expansion of Heathrow

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Hey Barack, stop asking me to help retire Hillary's campaign debt. If she didn't want to spend tens of millions of extra $$$ she should have quit afte

"But as we all prepare for that journey, we can't forget our commitment to help Hillary Clinton retire her campaign debt."

Vice-President Elect Joe Biden

Joe, is this really the best way to strategically use the 13 million strong mailing list? I realize Hillary has talents and debts, and that helping take care of her debts is probably part of some grand handshake that I don't know about or quite understand. Why not just go and ask her top supporters as well as Obama's and your own? Raising more money for change from the movement and then spending it on campaign debts doesn't jive with me.

On a "Are we ready for the Inauguration" note, I witnessed a humorous episode of security training at Union Station. Of course, we're becoming acclimated to squads of secret service police with machine guns poised -- reminds me of Europe in the 1970s. Those guns certainly change the atmosphere -- as they should.

Last Friday, I witnessed the confused interaction between a neophyte dog sniffer named Smitty, his black lab, and his wildy gesticulating supervisor in need of some training about how to coach employees. As morning commuter crowds poured into the station, we heard: "Smitty, work the crowd. Smitty, work the crowd." Smitty kept his composure in his brand new black uniform and hat and tried his best. The dog sniffed and twisted around people, lunged for the men's Room, and finally chased a fella with a striped shirt to the pretzel stand. "Smitty, work the crowd," grew more urgent. The supervisor, unsatisfied with Smitty's performance, took the leash and demonstrated how to move back and forth through the torrent of passengers. It was difficult for my unschooled eyes to distinguish the right way from the wrong way "Smitty, work the crowd" echoed as we left for our train.

It's good to practice -- and to start early. I'm sure we'll all be ready for the great day.