Saturday, April 30, 2011

Can "Two and a Half Men" be saved? With Charlie Sheen out of the picture, producer Chuck Lorre hopes to find a big-name replacement

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Low Cost Pet Vaccines in Los Angeles - Barrington Dog Park -- every Saturday @ 3:30pm - 5:30 pm in Brentwood.

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I am thankful that  Low cost Pet Vaccines are being offered in Los Angeles County.

Dr.James Isaacs & Technician Javier JIminez from Encino Veterinary Clinic were awesome

http://www.vetcenterz.net/

 

BARRINGTON DOG PARK  
333 South Barrington Ave., Los Angeles CA 90049
DRIVING DIRECTIONS
Phone: (310) 476-4866


Region: Pacific
District: West Area Maint.
Council District: 11
Neighborhood Service Area: West Los Angeles
Facility Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday: Dawn to Dusk
Saturday - Sunday: Dawn to Dusk

Public Information: This dog park is unstaffed. Any questions can be answered by calling Barrington Recreation Center at the number listed above.

Facility Features: 1.5 acres dog park, parking for up to 40 cars.

 

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Google Brings Video Chat to Android, But You Probably Can’t Get It Yet

 

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On Thursday afternoon, Google announced the debut of video and voice chat for the Android operating system.

In other words, you’ll soon be able to make calls through Google Talk over Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G data networks (if your carrier supports it), to connect with other Android users as well as people using Google Chat on their computers.

The company plans to roll out the release beginning with Samsung Nexus S smartphone owners. After Nexus S owners receive an over-the-air software update in the next few weeks, they’ll be able to take advantage of the new chat options in Google Talk.

But herein lies the caveat: Unless you’re running the latest version of Android on your phone (version 2.3, a.k.a. Gingerbread), you won’t be able to use the new features.

The release highlights a oft-discussed problem associated with Android-powered devices: software version fragmentation. As of today, only a handful of phones in the United States come with the latest and greatest build of Google’s Android operating system right out of the box: the Nexus S, the Galaxy S 2, and HTC’s Nexus One. (That last one is a year-old phone that’s no longer available for purchase through carriers, and is only available direct from Google as a “developer phone”). All other Android phones are running version 2.2 (Froyo) or below.

Even phones debuting after the release of Gingerbread are being sold with out-of-date software. The big four Android smartphone manufacturers — HTC, Samsung, Motorola and LG — all launched new devices in 2011 running Froyo, a version of Android that’s one generation behind the Gingerbread release.

Manufacturers often combat customer concerns around software updates by confirming an upgrade will be possible in the future. HTC says owners of its Thunderbolt smartphone should expect Gingerbread to arrive this summer. Motorola says its Atrix will be upgradable, though the company gives no timeline on the release.

Other customers are just plain out of luck. A veritable smorgasbord of devices won’t be seeing a Gingerbread update at all.

“Once again, I am thrilled that I raced out and purchased an Eris,” wrote Android user Mike Rich of his discontinued Droid phone, which Verizon has confirmed will not receive future software updates. “Sadly, after hockey season ends I won’t be able to rent it out to anyone as a puck.”

To be fair, some of it is due to hardware limitations on older generations of phones, which can’t really be blamed on anything but the advance of technology. Devices like HTC’s G1, released over two and a half years ago, can’t even fit the Froyo upgrade onto its system storage, much less Gingerbread.

And handset makers are doing a better job than others in keeping their customers current. “Smartphone manufacturers update their software almost more than any other industry,” Gartner analyst Phillip Redman told Wired.com in an interview.

But Android developers who don’t want to abide by manufacturer time tables are producing DIY software updates. Popular phone modification programs like CyanogenMod offer an unofficial Gingerbread update to phones that aren’t yet upgraded (along with a number of other customizations).

“CyanogenMod exists not because people want to root their phones,” wrote software architect Nikolai Kolev in response to Google’s announcement. “It’s because people are tired of waiting.”

 

 

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" Fast Five " Dominic and his crew try to switch lanes between a ruthless drug lord and a relentless federal agent #fastfive

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Former cop Brian O'Conner partners with ex-con Dom Toretto on the opposite side of the law. Since Brian and Mia Toretto broke Dom out of custody, they've blown across many borders to elude authorities. Now backed into a corner in Rio de Janeiro, they must pull one last job in order to gain their freedom. As they assemble their elite team of top racers, the unlikely allies know their only shot of getting out for good means confronting the corrupt businessman who wants them dead. But he's not the only one on their tail. Hard-nosed federal agent Luke Hobbs never misses his target. When he is assigned to track down Dom and Brian, he and his strike team launch an all-out assault to capture them. But as his men tear through Brazil, Hobbs learns he can't separate the good guys from the bad. Now, he must rely on his instincts to corner his prey... before someone else runs them down first.


 

Fast-five-film

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Why The Celtics Will Beat The Heat

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This is the second round match-up we all wanted. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said it "wouldn't be right if we didn't play them." LeBron echoed his coach, saying, "We have to play Boston to get where we want to get. It's here now."

Be careful what you wish for.

The Celtics -- yes, those same bruised and battered Celtics you wrote off months ago -- are in familiar territory, playing their best basketball of the season in the playoffs.

Jermaine O'Neal may not be the All-Star he once was, but his interior presence against the Knicks in the first round suggest that his team isn't missing Kendrick Perkins quite as much as everyone thought they would.

Rajon Rondo, for all the talk of a subpar second half of the season, looked completely revitalized in the first round, averaging 19 points and 12 assists while looking every bit as quick and explosive as he did before his post All-Star break struggles. Meanwhile, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are playing like finely tuned automobiles just waiting to shift into the next gear. In April's regular season games, Allen shot 50 percent from the field and 35 percent from three. In Round One against the Knicks, he logged an average of 40 minutes a game, shooting 57 percent from the field and a outrageous 65 percent from 3-point territory. There's nobody hotter in the playoffs. And Allen's numbers against Miami this season are significantly higher than his averages against the rest of the league, so don't expect him to cool down.

The biggest challenge for Boston at this point may not even be the Heat. It's biggest issue might be rest: specifically, too much rest. The Celtics will have rested a full six days before Game 1 in South Beach. But the cohesion this team displayed in the first round can only be maintained through repetition. Practice is one thing, but nothing matches the reinforcing power of a real game itself.


Miami is going to try and take advantage of that right away by doing what they do best: pushing tempo. When the Heat is in transition with LeBron and Dwyane Wade running the wings, they are the best team in basketball.

But no team is better than Boston at thwarting the up-tempo game. Doc Rivers will simply not let Miami control the pace -- just as he derailed transition-oriented New York. Boston will force the Heat to execute its offense in the half court, something Miami has struggled with all season long. During its four regular season match-ups with Boston, Miami was outscored in transition by the Celtics and shot a woeful 28.6 percent from three and 44.7 percent from the floor.

The key for Miami in this series isn't LeBron -- he'll get his, just as he has in every other playoff series. The keys are Wade and -- perhaps even more so -- Chris Bosh.

Bosh's efficiency in the half court is what opens up the floor for others. Bosh was quietly excellent against Philly in Round One. He was active on the glass, got to the line and forced the 76ers to double just enough to provide kickout opportunities to Mario Chalmers (who took 12 threes in Game 5) and open driving lanes for James and Wade.

But missing injured Udonis Haslem on the court kills Miami. Haslem doesn't have near the offensive arsenal as Bosh, but he is an effective high post shooter and terrific rebounder, making him a nice complement to Bosh.

In some ways, Joel Anthony has assumed Haslem's role. The third-year man has provided steady defense and timely rebounding, but he has been an offensive liability. Zydrunas Ilgauskas is the least physical 7-footer in the league, so Bosh will have to deal with Boston's big men at both ends. Haslem has reportedly been practicing with the team but still isn't 100 percent, and Spoelstra says he won't let the series schedule dictate whether Haslem plays.

Opposite to Bosh will be Kevin Garnett, who, as he always does, will get his points in this series. But KG's real contribution for Boston will be slowing down Bosh. Bosh's 20 points and 9 rebound average versus Philly was just the type of production Miami needed to win the series. But getting those numbers on Elton Brand is not the same thing as getting them against Garnett. Traditionally, Bosh has struggled against physical defenders who can match his incredible length. Brand is 6'8" and plays below the rim. Garnett is a long 7-footer who has a real defensive presence and uses his dexterity and range to alter shots. Bosh, at his core, is a jump shooter.

While it's fair to assume Wade and James will each probably go off in at least one game, it's also fair to assume that Allen, Pierce and Rondo will also each score big at least once in this series. Defensively, look for Pierce to start on James and Allen to start on Wade, but also look for Rivers to rearrange those pairings.

Pierce's effectiveness at defending Wade cannot be understated. Wade hasn't shot better than 35 percent in a single game against Boston all year, including a 4-16, six turnover performance and a 2-12, six turnover, 8-point game.

Meanwhile, James' refusal to post up Philly's Jrue Holiday should give Rivers the confidence to put Rondo on him in select circumstances. Rondo is 6'3", but he has remarkably quick hands and feet, and is a far more tenacious defender than Holiday. Because the Heat lack a true point guard, Rivers will have the flexibility to put his lead guard on James or even Wade, providing the Celtics with a distinct advantage.

For Rivers and the Celtics, the necessity of finding advantages like this is only amplified given the questionable status of Shaq's health and availability.

The other crucial player for the Celtics is Jeff Green. The third-year man has struggled with his jumper and hasn't been the lockdown defender he was in Oklahoma City, but this series could be his coming out party of sorts. He absolutely has to play big for Boston to win.

Green has the size to guard the post but, more important, he has the length and foot speed to cover Wade and LeBron on the wing. The good news for Green in this series is that he really doesn't have to score. His sole purpose should be to bother Wade and LeBron in every defensive possession. If Green can deter them from driving to the lane and force them into becoming high-volume jump shooters -- which he could -- then the Celtics will win this series.

Miami locked down home court with its late season, 23-point blowout win over Boston (Miami's only win against Boston this season), so the Heat do hold the advantage there. But it can't be much of an 'advantage' to play in front of fans who show up midway through the second quarter and leave before the game ends.

Boston has the experience and game-closing ability Miami has lacked all season long. The Heat are the worst team in the NBA in late-game shooting (define as the final 10 seconds of a tied or one-possession game). In a physical series like this one, late-game execution is everything.

Celtics in six.

jordan.schultz@huffingtonpost.com

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“More Power, Less Flower”: See what people are saying about the 21st Century Beetle

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The 21st Century Beetle has unveiled , and in no time at all, people were gushing about its bold and dynamic makeover. To be frank, all this praise has us blushing (and you thought it was just our sporty red paint job). What are they saying? We’re glad you asked.

 

David Shepardson of The Detroit Newswrites, “The company hopes to regain the luster of the iconic Beetle brand that remains one of the best known auto brands by appealing to more men—as the original version did” by “aiming to shed the ‘chick car’ label.” Shepardson goes on to quote VW design brand chief Klaus Bischoff, who says, “The Beetle is now characterized by a clean, self-confident and dominant sportiness,” adding that VW “wanted the vehicle to be more sporty, dynamic and masculine.” We’d say he more than achieved that. Kudos, Klaus!

 

Phil Patton of The New York Times describes the 2012 Beetle as “a Bug with a rampaging Y chromosome,” adding that the vehicle’s interior design team “provided a treatment that slightly dialed back the cute factor, with generous swatches of exterior color, gracefully blending the interior and exterior.” Patton also points out that a big part of the car’s masculine appeal lies in its 10-spoke wheels (available in up sizes from 17 to 19 inches). He adds, “Perhaps most indicative of the Beetle’s personality shift, a row of analog instrumentation rises from the dash just inches from where the bygone flower vase was positioned.” In the words of Mr. Bischoff: “More power, less flower.”

 

Matt Peckham of Time Techland focused more on the car’s boast-worthy fuel efficiency, writing, “It’s wider, lower, and longer, and Volkswagen says it’ll do up to 40 [miles per gallon] on the highway or 29 in the city: Meet the new 2012 Beetle, a sleek, slightly flatter, still curvy head-turner Volkswagen AG calls its ‘most fuel-efficient Beetle ever.’” Peckham also notes the new engine options: “You’ll be able to pick from a turbocharged 2.0 liter 4-cylinder TDI Clean Diesel (the 40 highway/29 city mpg version), 2.0L TSI turbocharged gasoline, or 2.5L 5-cylinder gasoline engines, and you can go either 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic.”

 


 

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

He said he would be back, and now Arnold Schwarzenegger is read to star in proposed new ‘Terminator’ 5

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The action movie hero turned politician is attached to star in a new "Terminator" movie being shopped to Hollywood studios, an industry source said on Wednesday.

 

Schwarzenegger, 63, who played the killing machine cyborg in three of the blockbuster movies with the catch phrase "I'll be back", is on board to reprise a role that helped make him one of Hollywood's most successful and recognizable stars, the source said.

The news follows the end in January of Schwarzenegger's two terms as governor of California, and his announcement in February that he was ready to take movie offers again. He has already announced he is developing a TV show and comic book based on his political nickname "The Governator."

Industry website Deadline Hollywood reported that Schwarzenegger's talent agency Creative Arts Agency (CAA) was presenting a proposal regarding the "Terminator" this week to major Hollywood studios that would revive one of the industry's most successful franchises.

CAA declined to comment on the report.

Deadline Hollywood said there was no screenwriter attached so far. It was unclear whether director James Cameron, who wrote and directed the first "Terminator" movie in 1984, would be involved in the proposed new film.

Schwarzenegger starred in three "Terminator" movies but actor Sam Worthington took the main cyborg role in the fourth installment, "Terminator Salvation" in 2009.

The four movies have grossed more than $1.4 billion at worldwide box offices.

Schwarzenegger put most of his movie star life on hold while serving as California's Republican governor from 2003-2010. But he made a well-received cameo appearance in the 2010 movie "The Expendables" along with other aging action heroes Sylvester Stallone and Jet Li.

 

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Peter Henderson )Reuters

 

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Whoo Hoo ! ! Just received a free Google Cr-48 chrome notebook

So I was chosem to take part of the Cr-48 Chrome notebook Pilot program. Each participant in the Pilot program receives a Cr-48 Chrome

notebook; and in return is expected to use it regularly and send detailed feedback to Google.

I'm interested if i can live on the web.....from using web apps, to storing all my files online.

 I guess i will find out. I am going to use the Cr-48 as my main computer for the next several months.

Cloud Computing here I come.

 

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Donald Trump Bristles at Claim He's a Racist

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Donald Trump says it's "terrible" the host of CBS'  "Face the Nation" accused him of racism.

Trump tells TMZ ... "That is a terrible statement for a newscaster to make.  I am the last person that such a thing should be said about."


Bob Schieffer delivered a scathing statement against Trump Wednesday night on the "CBS Evening News," reacting to Trump's insinuation that President Barack Obama may not have had the grades to get into Harvard.

Schieffer said, "That's just code for saying he got into law school because he's black.  This is an ugly straing of racism that's running through this whole thing."

We asked Trump if he was suggesting Obama got into Harvard Law School through affirmative action.  He said, "Affirmative action is out there.  It's a program that is available. But I have no idea whether it applies in this case.  I'm not suggesting anything."

Trump would not say if he supports or opposes affirmative action.  But he's clearly trying to douse the flames he ignited, by saying, "Grades are the least important aspect of somebody being president.  It's not a big subject for me."

tmz.com

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‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2′: The First Trailer

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What are you doing July 14? Dressing up as a grindylow and waiting in line for a midnight screening of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″? That’s what we thought. The first trailer for the film has just been released, and its tone can only be described as epic. Fire, green light, dirt-stained faces, grandiose fate-related pronouncements, everything we’ve come to expect from HP movies is all there. Will the full feature film deliver on the trailer’s promise?

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33% of Smartphone Users,Would Give Up Chocolate Before Phones

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Smartphone users love their phones so much, a full one-third would give up chocolate in order to keep using their devices.  That’s according to a new survey commissioned by Google of 5,013 U.S. adult smartphone users.

Additional stats from the survey:

  • 81 percent use their smartphones to browse the Internet.
  • 72 percent use their devices while involved in other media.
  • One in five would give up cable TV in order to keep their smartphones.
  • 33 percent use smartphones while watching TV.
  • 22 percent use smartphones while reading the newspaper.
  • 79 percent use smartphones to help with shopping, with 70 percent using it while in the store.
  • Nine out of 10 users have made a purchase because of a mobile ad received on their smartphone.
  • 95 percent use smartphones to find local information, such as nearby pizza shops and movie times.
  • 48 percent use smartphones to watch videos.
  • One in 3 users would give up chocolate to keep using their smartphone.
  • The average smartphone user spent $300 ordering items online with their device.  Twenty-seven percent or those orders were made through a mobile website and 22 percent were made through apps.

The survey, which was reported by TechCrunch.com, also found that 39 percent of smartphone owners use the devices while in the bathroom.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

 

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Nuggets Vs. Thunder: Kevin Durant Goes Off, Order In Universe Restored

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finally, Kevin Durant got the ball in crunch time for the Oklahoma City Thunder against the Denver Nuggets. The result? Pure, unadulterated basketball nirvana. Durant scored 14 points in the final three and a half minutes and 41 for the game as the Thunder rallied from a nine-point deficit to beat the Nuggets and end that series in five games.

In a way, it's a sign that Durant needs to make all the late-game decisions every single game for the Thunder. Those who scoffed at Russell Westbrook's rogue act in Game 4 undoubtedly have more ammunition to bash the Thunder point guard now. See! Look what happens when Durant gets the ball! 

That's too easy for me, though. Honestly, I think Durant showed growth as a crunch-time performer on Wednesday. Part of the problem with Durant late in games is that he's become a little passive this season. Last year, when the starpower of Westbrook wasn't quite where it was now, Durant took it upon himself to demand the ball. This year, though, that hasn't happened. Durant has been stymied by aggressive, physical defense, and he's given up the ball too often at the slightest hint of pressure. 

Wednesday night's performance was a true joy, then, because we didn't see any of those negative characteristics. Sure, Durant shot all jumpers, and eventually, he'll need to be better at getting to the rim. But every shot he hit was as a result of a forceful decision. He didn't wait for the Nuggets to set up their defense on him; he attacked them before they could. When he does that, he's unstoppable, given his size and shooting ability. When he doesn't? He makes himself mortal.

Going forward, Durant will need that switch to be on permanently when his team needs it to be. No more deferring to Westbrook. It's time for the Durantula to strike.

by Mike Prada sb nation

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sweet Potato Fries

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On The Bookshelf => Stop Hetero-Supremacy: How to Save Our Children and Our Future While Creating A World That Works For Everyone

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Today, three LGBT teens will commit suicide. Hetero-Supremacy, the idea that heterosexual is the only acceptable way to live, has lead to wide spread misconceptions about being different, being perceived as different, being gay, and LGBT people. This has lead to dramatic spikes in hate crimes, bullying and suicides.

 

 This book is designed to change this through re-education and a new understanding. "Stop Hetero-Supremacy" reveals in detail the pre-Bible historical place of accepted homosexuality in society, scientific evidence that sexuality isn't a choice, why equality legislation is a must for LGBT people, why being gay is the new Black and much more information anti-gay proponents don't want you armed with.You will also discover how we can rid the world of all hatred and prejudice creating a unified world with A new seven-step Equality Method.

 

Designed to help anyone who may be struggling with sexuality, this is a must read. If you're straight, gay, confused, a student, a parent, a teacher, or whoever you may be, this book will change not only your view of the LGBT community, but how you see and think about yourself and the world as it relates to love, peace, acceptance, and social progress. We have to stop Hetero-Supremacy. It's a matter of life and death.

 

 

About the Author

Travon Free is a writer, actor, and comedian and has performed all over America for thousands of people. Winner of numerous athletic and academic awards, he possesses a degree in criminal justice with studies in psychology and sociology from California State University Long Beach where he played division one basketball.

 

 

 

 

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Take That Trump ! ! ! Obama Birth Certificate Released By White House (PHOTO)

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 Per his directive, the White Housereleased on Wednesday President Barack Obama's "long form" birth certificate, the document whose absence has long been at the heart of the conspiracy-riddled discussion over Obama's legitimacy to serve as the nation's commander in chief.

(SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTO OF BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND VIDEO OF OBAMA'S RESPONSE)

The move came as a surprise to the press corps, many of whom had not shown up for Wednesday's early-morning White House briefing. By the time word had spread that Obama would be making a 9:45 a.m. statement on the matter, however, the top anchors at all the networks had scurried into the briefing room.

Once there, they received a presidential scolding for their concern with "silliness." Obama began his five-minute statement with the complaint that he wouldn't be able to get the networks to break into their regularly scheduled programming for a speech on policy proposals.

"I know that there is going to be a segment of people for which no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest," Obama said. "But I am speaking for the vast majority of the American people as well as for the press. We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We have better stuff to do. I have got better stuff to do. We have got big problems to solve."

"We are not going to be able to do it if we are distracted, we are not going to be able to do it if we spend time vilifying each other ... if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts, we are not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by side shows and carnival barkers," the president declared earlier.

The document released by the White House differs from the one that Obama's aides made public during the 2008 presidential campaign. Instead of a "certification" of live birth, this was a "certificate," clearly recording that the president was born on Aug. 4, 1961 in the Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu.

For years, Obama's circle of aides had resisted calls to make the latter form public, noting that a certification is legally sound and what any citizen of Hawaii receives upon requesting documents of birth. And indeed, for some time, that explanation -- supported by a a wide swath of other contemporaneous evidence - seemed to suffice.

But some who challenged the president's citizenship remained unsatisfied, and in recent weeks they found a high-profile megaphone for their cause: business tycoon and presidential flirt Donald Trump.

 

"This issue was resolved in 2008. It has not been an issue," White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said during a morning briefing in which he and other officials took care not to mention Trump's name. "None of you have asked about it, called about it or reported on it until the last few weeks ... [not releasing it] would probably be good for the president politically. Despite that, the president said he was struck by how this was crowding out the debate."

Last Friday, the president himself wrote Loretta J. Fuddy, the director of health at the State of Hawaii, requesting "two certified copies of my original certificate of live birth." Fuddy complied. Shortly thereafter, the president's counsel, Judith Corley of the firm Perkins Coie, flew to Hawaii to pick up two copies of the form. The trip was not taxpayer funded but, rather, paid out of the president's personal account. Corley returned on Tuesday at roughly 4 p.m. with the copies. The White House announced a "morning gaggle" for reporters shortly thereafter. One aide explained that they did not want to "hold" on to the documents for release on a later date.

Many members of the press confessed to being "stunned" as it became clear what was about to be discussed. White House press assistants handed out a six-page stapled packet of photocopies showing the new and old birth certificates as well as the White House's legal correspondence with Hawaii's Department of Health.

And yet it was the press that played a large role in forcing the administration's hand. CNN's Ed Henry had pressed White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on the issue just one day earlier, despite the fact that his own network had done a thorough investigation debunking the claims of the conspiracy theorists.

"There will always be some selection of people who will believe something. That is not the issue," Pfeiffer said when asked if Wednesday's move would silence the doubters. "This issue is, this is not a discussion happening just among conspiracy theorists. It is happening here in this room, on all of the networks, and it is something that every major political figure of both parties -- instead of talking about real issues -- is being asked about this. So the president decided to release this."

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By Sam Stein  -   stein@huffingtonpost.com

 

 

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Ripple Effect of Common Courtesy

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From the Buddhist point of view, there is always a relationship between cause and effect; this notion is expressed in various teachings about karma. As we interact with the world, we plant various seeds that will ripen and grow either right away, soon enough or some time in the future.

If we look at nature, small seeds can have big results; for example, the tiny acorn, given the right causes and conditions, can produce the mighty oak tree. In a similar way, in the world of human interaction, small seeds can sometimes come together to produce large-scale results.

This is why, if we want to create a good world for ourselves and others, attention to detail can sometimes trump having a huge vision. In that attention to detail, if we can lean toward courtesy and consideration for others, there is no doubt that we will begin to generate a more positive overall outcome.

If we manifest grasping, aggression and ignorance in the smallest details of our interaction with others, these energies gather power and strength like an avalanche. If we lace our smallest exchanges with awareness, courtesy, consideration and compassion, we can create a ripple effect with a different outcome.

Sometimes this kind of consideration and attention to detail while relating to others is called common courtesy. Respect and concern for the people around us, as well as using good common sense, are the hallmarks of common courtesy.

Each day in our lives is made up of tiny and discrete moments. Every relationship is made of specific and particular interactions. The whole point of developing mindfulness (as in Buddhist training) is to actually begin to pay attention to those discrete moments and interactions so that they don't all just blur together. I believe that mindfulness laced with consideration for others executed at the smallest scale can actually change the world. Usually we tell people to think bigger, but in this case maybe thinking smaller could be very powerful.

Practicing mindfulness and consideration for others often translates to expressing common courtesy and good manners. We might be surprised to find that everything we want to build up from there -- like compassion, decorum, elegance, well-being, peace, harmony --- has these small gestures as its basis.

That's my thought for the day. What's yours?

By David Nichtern -  (www.davidnichtern.com)

 

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'Bill & Ted 3' Movie Script Finished: Alex Winter Tweets Update

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Bill and Ted are set to hop into their phone booth and travel to the future.

Alex Winter, who played Bill S. Preston, Esq., in the cult classic sci-fi comedies "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" and "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey," tweeted to a fan that the long-awaited threequel had finally been written.

"Just got the script. And now to read..." he wrote on Sunday (via /Film), confirming recent speculation that, 20 years after the series ended, it would begin again.

While it's long been a buzzed about possibility, Winter's co-star, Keanu Reaves, said earlier in Aprilthat the film's original writers were six weeks away from a draft.

"When we last got together, part of it was that Bill and Ted were supposed to have written the song that saved the world, and it hasn't happened," he told MTV about the third film's plot. "So they've now become kind of possessed by trying to do that. Then there's an element of time and they have to go back."

This is the biggest development for the series since 2007, when it seemed as if the film series would get a third installment -- in direct-to-DVD form, and without Reeves and Winter. Needless to say, a theater version with the two stars should be much more exciting for fans.

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YouTube Finally Goes Hollywood With New Movies on Demand Service

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YouTube will imminently launch a movie-on-demand service charging users to stream mainstream Hollywood movies off the world’s largest video sharing site, TheWrap has learned.

The new service means a full-bore challenge to Apple’s iTunes service – currently the most powerful player in paid video streaming -- and a welcome new revenue stream for Hollywood as home entertainment revenues continue their steep decline.

The service may start as early as this week or next, and is expected to be announced soon by YouTube.

Major studios including Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Brothers and Universal have licensed their movies for the new service, as have numerous independent studios, including Lionsgate and the library-rich Kino Lorber, according to movie executives with knowledge of the deals in place.

YouTube has been laboring to bring all the major Hollywood studios on board before announcing it, according to one executive involved in the deal. But so far Paramount, Fox and Disney have declined to join.

(Update 7:37 p.m. PST) YouTube, which had earlier declined to comment for the story, issued a statement after this story was published, pointing out that it has rented movies for a year, while declining to comment on the broader initiative it is about to launch with the major studios on board. 

"We've steadily been adding more and more titles since launching movies for rent on YouTube over a year ago, and now have thousands of titles available," a spokesperson said. "Outside of that, we don't comment on rumor or speculation."

But in fact the video giant has never rented mainstream movies on this scale during the traditional DVD window. The major studios, who were once leery of YouTube, now see it as a potentially lucrative platform. 

“We think it will start with VOD, but broaden to include sell-through over time,” said a senior executive at one Hollywood studio that has signed the deal with YouTube. “We are pretty excited because we are happy to see new entrants come in transactionally rather than a subscription model.”

The service is the biggest studio VOD deal since all the major studios signed on to Apple’s iTunes rental service in January 2008. Fox, Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal, Sony, MGM, Lionsgate and New Line were all on board for that initiative. Apple charged as low as $2.99 rental fee for that service.

It was not clear what YouTube would charge. But it means the site's 130 million monthly users will be able to pay to watch movies as they come out into the DVD market; it is the first serious foray by the Google-owned company into mainstream movies and charging money for video.

     By Sharon Waxman -thewrap.com

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Ford Profit Up, In Best First Quarter In 13 Years

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An improving economy and new vehicles like the Ford Explorer propelled Ford Motor Co. to a $2.6 billion profit, its best first-quarter performance since 1998.

The company earned 61 cents per share from January through March, compared with 50 cents per share in the same quarter a year earlier.

The results beat Wall Street's expectations. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were forecasting earnings of $2.1 billion, or 50 cents per share.

Revenues rose 18 percent to $33.1 billion. The company was profitable in all regions, but saw strong growth in Asia, where sales rose 28 percent. Sales rose 12 percent in North America.

"Our team delivered a great quarter, with solid growth and improvements in all regions," Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally said.

The March 11 earthquake in Japan, which has hurt Japanese automakers, has had little impact on Ford so far. Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth said the company has lost production of 12,000 to 14,000 vehicles at its Asian operations, but doesn't expect that to have a major effect on the bottom line. Three Asian assembly plants are closed this week because of parts shortages.

Rising prices of commodities like steel cost the company $300 million in the first quarter, and are expected to increase costs by up to $2 billion by the end of this year. Ford offset some of those increases by raising prices by an average of $117 per vehicle at the end of the first quarter.

Booth said Ford also continued to make progress paying off debt. The company, which took out a $23 billion loan in 2006 to revamp its operations, ended the quarter with $16.6 billion in debt, down $2.5 billion from the beginning of the year.

Ford said it now has $4.7 billion more cash than debt, an improvement of $3.3 billion from the start of this year.

 

By DEE-ANN DURBIN   AP

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Paula Abdul To Join 'The X Factor': Simon Cowell Wants To Bring 'American Idol' Co-Star To New Show

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Cowell's representative denies that Abdul is a definite go for "The X Factor," clarifying the situation -- sort of -- for The Hollywood Reporter.

"It's still playing out," the rep said. "Nothing is set, and Paula is one of many people Simon is talking to. He's said the same thing many times, including on the radio last week. There's nothing new." 
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The team that made "American Idol" a smash hit is close to reuniting to try and bring back the magic.

Simon Cowell told Deadline that he's close to choosing Paula Abdul to join him as a judge on his upcoming American version of his hit singing competition show, "The X Factor." Abdul would join the already-named LA Reid and star singer and British "X Factor" judge Cheryl Cole as the three judges alongside Cowell.

Cowell and Abdul's relationship helped blast "American Idol" to American ubiquity; Abdul left the show after 2009, while Cowell said goodbye after last season.

Abdul's deal hasn't been negotiated yet, but it sounded like it wouldn't be much of a problem."I've always wanted Paula," Cowell told Deadline. "Always been very vocal about that. I missed her the second she left the show ["American Idol"]. Always loved working with her even though she can be a pain. And I've been consistent about this. I don’t know what it is about her, but I've always clicked with her. You just have to get that chemistry, and she's right. I've never found anyone better than her. I think there's a good chance it will be her. We've agreed that we would meet as many people as possible, and now we're reaching the deadline we've got to make the decision soon. But I think she's got a really good shot."

Deadline's Nikki Finke, who conducted the interview, cited sources saying that Abdul was a "shoo-in" for the job and would be announced within the week.

Cowell discussed the difficult casting process in a March interview with The Huffington Post, describing the process as an intricate one with many considerations. The judges will also act as mentors for the contestants, which added additional difficulty.

"First of all, you've got to trust the people you're working with, and actually you've got to like the people, because you're going to be working with them for a long time," Cowell explained. "It's a difficult process because you want to have people who have different views, you want to have people on there who are fun to watch, people who aren't afraid to argue with me or stand up for the contestants. So you're trying to find everything, really. And what's made this process a long, drawn out process is that a lot of people were keen to be on the show. So it makes the decision that much harder."

 

 

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Olbermann's Current TV Show Called 'Countdown,' Launches June 20 (VIDEO)

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Keith Olbermann finally announced what his new Current TV show will be called, and when it will air.

The new name? "Countdown With Keith Olbermann."

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," Olbermann joked in a video announcement posted to his "Fok News Channel" site on Tuesday morning.

Previously, Olbermann would only say that the show would air in "late spring." In the video, he at last gave a specific date: Monday, June 20, at 8 PM Eastern.

Olbermann's show has been in the works since heabruptly left MSNBC in January.

The Huffington Post  Jack Mirkinson

 

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Army Enlists Android to Power Its First Smartphone

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The U.S. Army has enlisted Google's Android platform to power its firstsmartphone. The Army is developing a device called the Joint Battle Command-Platform, or JBC-P Handheld, along with a suite of apps for tactical operations to be used in the field of battle.

Dubbed the Mobile/Handheld Computing Environment (CE), the JBC-P Handheld's platform is an altered version of Android, equipped with Mission Command apps that provide tools for tasks like mapping, force tracking, tactical ground reporting, and critical messaging. It will also include features like an address book and Open Office app.

That's just the baseline for the ecosystem. The Army will open the Mobile/Handheld CE development kit to third-party developers in July.

"It's like when you get an iPhone and you have the Apple-made apps: the contacts, the email," Tyler J. Barton, an engineer working with the Army to help design the apps, said in a report on the Army Web site. "Then other applications are free to use those apps, or to go above and beyond that."

In the field, when a soldier encounters something like a roadside bomb or an enemy, he or she will be able to deploy the JBC-P to tag the obstacle in a map so that fellow troops are aware of it.

If we see an enemy up front, we could put it in the GPS system," Spc. Hao Bui, who has used a prototype for the device, said. "Even though [fellow soliders] can't see it, you can mark it for them."

The Army's 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division will test the JBC-P Handhelds during an exercise at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. in October. The smartphones are set to be rolled out to the Army and the Marine Corps at the beginning of fiscal 2013.

By Leslie Horn - PC Mag

 

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Hot weather forecast for Texas as battle against wildfires continues

Hot, dry weather returns to Texas this week, whisking away the limited relief scattered thunderstorms brought to firefighters in parts of the Lone Star state over the weekend.

In a trifecta of potentially bad news for fire crews, the Texas Forest Service said a low-pressure system will push temperatures into the 90s, humidity to 10% or less and winds up to 45 mph on Monday and Tuesday.

The conditions have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning for a large portion of west Texas, urging residents to avoid the use of open flames and to avoid activities that may generate sparks.

Because of the hot temperatures, bone-dry conditions and high winds, "accidental ignitions will have the potential to grow quickly into dangerous wind-driven wildfires," the weather service said.

The system will bring with it a chance of precipitation. However, rain accompanied by thunderstorms can be a mixed-blessing for firefighters, since lightning can ignite new fires.

 

The Cormack family has raised cattle near Strawn for a quarter century, but now are coping with the loss of 15% of its herd and nearly all of its grazing land.

"Its something you can't really explain. This is home," Justin Comack told CNN's Patrick Oppmann. "I know a lot of people think ... it's just land, but you know this is my backyard and we ran cattle out here since I was a baby."

Some of the cattle were nearly incinerated by the fast-moving flames. All Cormack can do is number the carcasses with green spray paint, take their pictures and log their GPS locations, hoping the family eventually will be compensated for its losses.

Even for the surviving cattle, the road will be tough -- many suffered burns and may have to be put down.

Grazing land has become a precious comodity, with most of the landscape charred following the fire.

"We've been really lucky that we have friends all over and people, strangers that come together and donate as much hay as they can," according to brother Jake Cormack, who said he's looking for grass leases to feed his herd until "we can get over this hump."

The Forest Service responded to 17 new fires over the weekend, but the blazes were slowed by storms that brought softball-sized hail and reports of tornadoes.

The largest of these new fires is the Pipeline fire in Tyler and Hardin counties. Covering some 7,101 acres, it was caused by an oil well flare. National Park Service personnel were involved in the fight against the blaze and it is now 90% contained.

Wet weather over the past few days helped firefighters maintain control over many of the fires burning in the state, the Texas Forest Service said.

The largest of them is the 207,660-acre Rockhouse fire in Jeff Davis County, which is 75% contained as of Sunday night. Firefighters had to abandon the fight against the conflagration in the Davis mountains, according to an update from the Forest Service, because of concerns about safety and a lack of reliable communications. The agency said the difficult terrain made use of bulldozers impossible and aerial resources had proved ineffective.

The PK Complex of fires burning west of Fort Worth is now 50% contained, assisted by significant rainfall, the Forest Service said. On Sunday, crews worked on constructing lines through the 126,734-acre fire. The also burned pockets of vegetation around the fire's perimeter.

The 159,308-acre Wildcat fire in Coke County, north of San Angelo, is 75% contained. On Sunday, crews were able to focus on patrol and mop-up operations, according to the Texas Forest Service.

West Texas averages nearly 15 inches of rain a year, according to David Hennig, a meteorologist in Midland. Over the past six months, just 13-hundredths of an inch of rain have been recorded in that part of the state.

While October through March is typically the dry season, that amount of rainfall is far below what it should be, Hennig said.

Two firefighters have died since the latest outbreaks began, with numerous others injured, state officials said.

By the CNN Wire Staff

 

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