Monday, 31 December 2012

Breaking: Hillary Clinton Hospitalized After Blood Clot Discovered (Little green footballs)

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Fort Meade Area Property Management & Rentals - Real Estate ...

Rental homes near Fort Meade, MD are in high demand. And prices are rising steadily. Yet many Landlords choose to "go it alone" in finding, screening and placing a tenant. Worse yet, many do it from afar because they are assigned to a new duty station.

The cost to have a professional on our team provide these services for you is one month's rent. And that includes:

* Expert presentation of your property with a 35mm digital slide show

* Listings on over 50 local and regional websites including

* Professional screening of each applicant for credit, employment and rental references

* Preparation of all lease documentation to keep you in compliance with local and Federal requirements

* We attend the final walk-through to place your tenant

* We provide you with a complete rental package for your records.

We can also guide you on some self-management tips including subscribing to BGE's Service protection plan which automatically switches utilities back into your name if a tenant terminates or vacates the property. This service is a must, especially in Winter months as an abandoned home and one small burst pipe can cost you thousands in property damage.

We can also arrange direct deposit of your rent and set you up with a home warranty to cover maintenance items.

If you have a home for rent near Fort Meade give us a call and we'll make sure you receive expert service.


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Woman in custody in NYC subway shoving death

Commuters wait on the platform as a train passes through the 40th St-Lowry St Station, where a man was killed after being pushed onto the subway tracks, in the Queens section of New York, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012. Police are searching for a woman suspected of pushing the man and released surveillance video Friday of her running away from the station. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Commuters wait on the platform as a train passes through the 40th St-Lowry St Station, where a man was killed after being pushed onto the subway tracks, in the Queens section of New York, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012. Police are searching for a woman suspected of pushing the man and released surveillance video Friday of her running away from the station. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

(AP) ? A woman sought in the death of a man who was shoved in front of a subway train was picked up by police on Saturday after a passer-by noticed her on the street and called authorities.

The woman, whose name was not released, was being questioned and had not been formally charged, New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said. Investigators were arranging for witnesses to identify the 31-year-old woman in custody as the person who pushed Sunano Sen to his death on Thursday night.

The 46-year-old Sen, who was from India, ran a printing shop and was living in Queens. He died after a woman muttering to herself suddenly lunged forward and pushed him off an elevated platform and onto the tracks of the No. 7 train, which connects Manhattan and Queens.

It was unclear whether the woman had any connection to Sen. Witnesses told police the two hadn't interacted on the platform as they waited for the train.

The woman fled after the attack. Police released security camera video showing her running from the station. Investigators had been following up on tips from people who had seen the security video and were checking homeless shelters and psychiatric units in an attempt to identify her.

On Saturday, a passer-by noticed a woman who resembled the woman in the video and called 911l. Police responded and confirmed her identity and took her to a police station, where she made statements implicating herself in the crime, Browne said.

The attack was the second time this month that a man was pushed to his death in a city subway station. A homeless man was arrested in early December and accused of shoving a man in front of a train in Times Square. He claimed he acted in self-defense and is awaiting trial.

Associated Press


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Andrea Patrick is watching Community

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Sunday, 30 December 2012

The All-Time Gotham Baseball Team: Behind The Plate, Behind The Scenes

As we get closer to the naming of the All-Time Gotham Baseball Team, to be announced at an upcoming event at Foley?s NY, which was named Best Baseball Bar in NY by Gotham Baseball magazine back in 2011, we do have a few selections that need to be made.

The ballot for catcher was very difficult to create; some fans will be irritated with the exclusion of Mike Piazza from the ballot, while others might be surprised that Hall of Fame catcher Bill Dickey is absent as well. Piazza was one of the great offensive players the Mets ever had, true, but Carter?s handling of the Mets pitching staff gave him the edge to our panel of experts. As for Dickey, Berra was simply a better player.

The Catchers

The rest of the ballot is even more subjective than the rest of the entire ballot, and probably will be split along fan loyalty lines, but we have been surprised by this type of voting before. In any event, we?ve allowed each ballot to have a write-in option, so if we?ve omitted any candidate for any spot, fee free to do so.

No Durocher? No Hodges? No Joe McCarthy?


The Managers

Some will say that the greatest GM in Mets history isn?t even on this list, but I?ll let the ones who think that write in his name. As for Chub Feeney, though he never actually held the title of GM for Horace Stoneham, someone had to run things while Stoneham was ?in his cups?.

The GM

I figure the owner?s ballot was going to create some controversy as well. No Big Stein? The O?Malley? REALLY? Hard to argue with results. This is ?pro? sports.

The Owner

Finally, ever team needs a home. Which legendary ballpark would you choose to have this legendary team play in?

And that?s that.

Please share this ballot with your baseball-loving friends!

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Saturday, 29 December 2012

Health & Fitness: The Most Effective Eczema Natural Remedies ...

Many people are turning to eczema natural remedies due to their effectiveness in relieving the discomfort caused by this condition. In addition, the natural solutions are a better option when it comes to treating and preventing skin diseases and disorders from occurring in the future. Eczema is normally characterized by dryness of the skin, inflammation, a persistent itch, and reddening of the skin. If left untreated, the condition worsens rapidly.

Skin inflammation, accompanied by flaking, persistent itching and red patches is very common in patients suffering from eczema. For you to effectively deal with the condition, you must find a solution that will provide fast relief from the discomfort, as well as address the underlying causes. Corticosteroids have been in use for many years to treat these ailments. However, these drugs only offer temporary relief.

Many eczema sufferers usually visit dermatologists and other skin specialists with the hope that they will find simple, yet effective cures that they can use in the comfort of their homes. However, they may be surprised to discover that their efforts are in vain. Home treatments such as moisturizers, balanced diet, Blueberry leaf lotion, emollients, herbal baths, and Lactobacillus Acidophilus provide a simple solution for them.

Appropriate skincare is necessary if one wants to prevent this condition. For instance, ensuring that the skin is moist and supple prevents skin irritation and itching. To achieve this, one is required to use a variety of skin moisturizers such as creams and lotions on a regular basis. These products consist of high quality moisturizing regimens that will help to keep the skin healthy at all times.

A change of diet is a great way of dealing with this condition, owing to the fact that everything that one eats affects his/her overall well-being. According to recent research studies, a diet with high acidic content has a direct link to the occurrence of eczema in many patients. For this reason, health experts recommend the consumption of natural kelp supplements, whose alkaline content neutralizes the acidity.

Natural remedies containing Blueberry extracts are some of the best skincare products that you could use to treat your condition. The active ingredient in these products is the Chlorogenic acid that is found in Blueberry leaves. It contains antimicrobial agents, which are very beneficial in dealing with skin disorders. You can use the Blueberry leaf lotion to provide rapid relief from skin inflammation, swelling and itching.

Emollients are some of the best home treatments for this condition. These creams seal and moisturize the skin to prevent moisture from escaping from its layers. They have some of the greatest properties that prevent the skin from flaking and itching and in effect, make it supple and moist. Unfortunately, many people are not aware about these products, even though they can work wonders for them.

Skin conditions are known to cause low self-esteem and lower one's confidence. If left untreated, most of the skin diseases cause discomfort and discoloration, and become very hard to treat. Skincare specialists recommend the use of eczema natural remedies and products such as lavender, chamomile, oatmeal and herbal baths because they are easily accessible and can be administered in the comfort of one's home.


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Iran to move airport after oil found under runway

AFP - Iran plans to relocate an airport in the southwest of the country after discovering oil deposits under its runway, media reported on Saturday.

The National Iranian Oil Company "intends to buy Ahvaz airport due to the existence of oil deposits under the airport's tarmac," the state broadcaster's website quoted Mohammad Rasoulinejad, managing director of the Iranian Airports Company, as saying.

"The government has approved the relocation of the airport," Rasoulinejad said, adding that the new airport will be built 15 kilometres (9 miles) from the city.

He did not give any details about the oil deposits.

Rasoulinejad said that the airport is among "the country's busiest" with some 30 flights per day, adding that relocating it would also enable its much-needed expansion.

The NIOC did not comment on the government's decision.


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2012 Byron Roe Photography Year in Review: Weddings ...


The year has flown by and looking back not only puts a huge smile on our faces but reminds us of how lucky we are to work around such positivity and love in the world of weddings.? Families and couples put their trust in us to capture their beauty anywhere in the world and this year has been nothing less than spectacular in that regard!? From shoots in Arizona, Las Vegas, New York City, back and forth trips to Portland, Seattle times three?to France, Italy and then back again three weeks later for a wedding in Berlin, Germany?to the beautiful local wedding venues of Brasada Ranch, Pronghorn and Sunriver Resort, we are just plain excited about the art and growth of Byron Roe Photography this year.

Unforgettable 2012 highlights include: documenting the sweetest Seattle surprise proposal, the dramatic Smith Rock climbing ?trash the dress? session, cycling through natural rock arches in Provence, France with VeloSki tours, drinking true Weisse beers in Berlin and stepping foot in the amazing, historical library of the Schloss Neuhardenberg, standing in front of 3,000 people in WPPI Vegas sharing what drives us crazy working together and lots of the perks, getting published in Portland Bride & Groom magazine and the cover art for our local wedding magazine, seeing all the new baby stories from past BRP couples over the last few years, winning ?Best Wedding Portrait? in Oregon for 2012, the many incredible client thank you gifts (including the CANDY BOMB!!) and most of all the client relationships we?ve created with clients past and new.? What a JOY.

At the start of the year, we had some exciting industry education engagements from Wendy?s e-book release party, ?55 Smart Web Ideas for Photographers? (which sold over 5oo copies) to together speaking at?WPPI Photographer?s Ignite and from that, sharing in an interview with?FastTrack Coaching with Dane Sanders? and guest blogger on Skip Cohen?s blog.? We are grateful for and excited about our affiliations with some amazing photography companies that help us do what we do namely: Kubota Image Tools, Pictage, Evolve, Fundy Software, Ripe Social, Sticky Albums, Finao and Black River Imaging ? we thank you for your incredible products and service year after year!

We celebrated a blog redesign early in the year to showcase larger images, added Pinterest and Instagram profiles so we can share in the wedding design inspiration of our clients and up-to-date BRP happenings.? Moreover, we?ve created the ?BRP Client For Life? program (portrait sessions for past clients) and added a beautiful premium canvas album line that we LOVE to our product lineup!

None of this would be possible without the undying support of our clients and vendors, friends and family whom give us the daily inspiration to keep shooting.? It?s the relationships that make the images, that?s the true gift.

We wish everyone a Happy New Year and here?s to 2013~


B + W

{Sondra + Greg} Brasada Ranch Wedding Photography; Bend, Oregon

{Sara} Valley Of Fire Wedding Photography Inspiration; Las Vegas, NV

{Danielle + Nate} Pronghorn Wedding Photography; Bend, Oregon

To: Colby; From: Maren ? Pre-Wedding Engagement Photography Portland, Oregon

{Melissa + Nick} Engagement Pre-Wedding Photography; Portland, Oregon

To: Andy; From: Katy ? Engagement Pictures at the Oxford Hotel and Tumalo Falls; Bend, Oregon

Announcement: 2012 Oregon Wedding Portrait of the Year Award!

To: Jared, From: Joelle; Pre-Wedding Engagement Pictures Central Oregon

Featured: Central Oregon Magazine Spring 2012 Issue

{Chad + Naomi}; Portland Oregon Pre-Wedding Engagement Photography

{Hillary + Jacob} Wedding; Oregon Coast Destination Wedding Photography Brookings, Oregon

To Elise, From Andy; NYC Highline Pre-Wedding Engagement Photography

{Damon + Casey} Downtown Portland, Oregon Engagement Photography

To: Jaime, From: Joey; Pike?s Place Seattle, WA Proposal and Engagement Photography

{Leah + Alec} Olympic Sculpture Park Engagement Photography, Seattle Wa

{Jessica + Curtis} Georgetown Ballroom Seattle, WA Wedding Photography

{Joelle + Jared} Downtown Bend Oregon Wedding Photography, Zydeco and Crosswater

{Annie + John} High Desert Museum Wedding Photography Bend, Oregon

{Casey + Damon} House on Metolius Wedding Photography ? Camp Sherman, Oregon

{Andy + Elise} Schloss Neuhardenberg, Germany Wedding Photography ? Part 1

{Chad + Naomi} Pronghorn Golf Club Wedding Photography; Bend, Oregon

{Carrie + Richard} Trash The Dress Wedding Photography; Smith Rock State Park ? Bend, Oregon

{Maren + Colby} Oregon Wedding Photography; Portland, Or ? Private Residence

{Carrie + Richard} Broken Top Club Wedding Photography; Bend, Oregon

{Kelsey + Jason} Engagement Pictures; Downtown Bend, Oregon

FEATURED: Portland Bride & Groom Magazine Real Wedding; Pronghorn Wedding Photography Bend, Oregon

{Katy + Andy} Winter Wedding; Sunriver Resort Wedding Photography

{Casey + Elyssa} Engagement; Urban Portland, Oregon Photography Session

FEATURED: Cover Artist for Celebrations Magazine 2012; Central Oregon?s Wedding Resource Guide

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Friday, 28 December 2012

Last ditch effort to avoid fiscal cliff under way

WASHINGTON (AP) ? The end game at hand, the White House and Senate leaders launched a final attempt at compromise Friday night in hopes of preventing a toxic blend of middle-class tax increases and spending cuts from taking effect at the turn of the new year.

"I am hopeful and optimistic" of reaching an agreement after months of gridlock, the Senate Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said after a meeting with President Barack Obama and top congressional leaders at the White House.

He said he hoped for a compromise that could be presented to rank and file lawmakers by Sunday, little more than 24 hours before the year-end deadline.

Said Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "I'm going to do everything I can" to prevent the tax increases and spending cuts that threaten to send the economy into recession. He cautioned, "Whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect.

Success was far from guaranteed in an atmosphere of political mistrust ? even on a slimmed-down deal that postponed hard decisions about spending cuts into 2013 ? in a Capitol where lawmakers grumbled about the likelihood of spending the new year holiday in the Capitol.

"The clock is ticking," Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said in remarks on the Senate floor as Obama and congressional leaders were meeting several blocks away at the White House. "My message to them is simple. We can do this. We can get this done, and we must," added the Montana Democrat.

Congressional Democrats said Obama was ready with a revised offer to present.

But that drew a denial from a person familiar with the talks, who said the president would review his proposal from a week ago, when he urged lawmakers to preserve tax cuts for most while letting rates rise above incomes of $250,000 a year. At the same time, Obama said lawmakers should extend unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless. The person was unauthorized to discuss the private meeting publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The meeting lasted a little over an hour and neither the president nor the four lawmakers spoke with reporters before or immediately after the session.

The guest list included two Republicans, House Speaker John Boehner, and McConnell; as well as Democrats Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, her party's leader in the House.

The same group last met more than a month ago and emerged expressing optimism they could strike a deal that avoided the fiscal cliff. At that point, Boehner had already said he was willing to let tax revenues rise as part of an agreement, and the president and his Democratic allies said they were ready to accept spending cuts.

Since then, though, talks between Obama and Boehner faltered, the speaker struggled to control his rebellious rank and file, and Reid and McConnell sparred almost daily in speeches on the Senate floor. Through it all, Wall Street has paid close attention, and in the moments before the meeting, stocks were trading lower for the fifth day in a row.

The core issue is the same as it has been for more than a year, Obama's demand for tax rates to rise on upper incomes while remaining at current levels for most Americans. He made the proposal central to his successful campaign for re-election, when he said incomes above $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples should rise to 39.6 percent from the current 35 percent.

Boehner refused for weeks to accept any rate increases, and simultaneously accused Obama of skimping on the spending cuts he would support as part of a balanced deal to reduce deficits, remove the threat of spending cuts and prevent the across-the-board tax cuts.

Last week, the Ohio Republican pivoted and presented a Plan B measure that would have let rates rise on million-dollar earners. That was well above Obama's latest offer, which called for a $400,000 threshold, but more than the speaker's rank and file were willing to accept.

Facing defeat, Boehner scrapped plans for a vote, leaving the economy on track for the cliff that political leaders in both parties had said they could avoid. In the aftermath, Democrats said they doubted any compromise was possible until Boehner has been elected to a second term as speaker when the new Congress convenes on Jan. 3.

Apart from income tax rates, congressional officials in both parties said a handful of other issues were the subject of private talks in the Capitol. These included the Alternative Minimum Tax, which would effectively raise taxes on millions of upper-middle-class families unless Congress acts; as well as taxes on capital gains, dividends and estates.

In addition, benefits for the long-term unemployed are due to expire in the next few days, and doctors face the prospect of a deep cut in the fees they receive for treating Medicare patients unless legislation is passed to prevent it.

Further compounding the year-end maneuvering, there are warnings that the price of milk could virtually double beginning next year.

Congressional officials said that under current law, the federal government is obligated to maintain prices so that fluid milk sells for about $20 per hundredweight. If the law lapses, the Department of Agriculture would be required to maintain a price closer to $36 of $38 per hundredweight, they said. It is unclear when price increases might be felt by consumers.


Associated Press writers Alan Fram and Andrew Taylor contributed to this report.


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Handmade cards are always extra special ? so why not show off your scrapbooking skills this Christmas with some beautiful and unique creations for friends and family?

Giving a handmade card is a wonderful way of expressing your personal thoughts and demonstrating to people how much they mean to you.? Card making is rewarding in more ways than one?you can save money too.

And you don?t have to be a scrapbooking expert either when it comes to card making.? ??There are thousands and thousands of websites with a huge range of ideas and illustrations for paper crafts and Christmas ideas, from the craft supplies stores to scrapbooking blogs ? and many of these also have really easy-to-follow tutorials demonstrating how to make cards etc.

Many of the craft store websites and scrapbooking blogs will also have templates for card-making to get you started.

For those who already do scrapbooking, making Christmas cards is a wonderful way of using up all those bits and pieces that you?ve accumulated during the year.? Don?t just think about patterned paper?you can use just about anything for card making and crafting?.lace, ribbon, felt, magazine cuttings, cotton wool, ice cream sticks, fabric scraps, stencils, glitter, marker pens, aluminium foil?the only limit is your imagination.

But don?t forget to match your card to an envelope before you get creative!

Card making can also be a fun way of entertaining kids after all the hullabaloo of Christmas is over?they can make their own ?thank you? cards from your craft supply box in appreciation of their gifts

So, with Christmas around the corner, don?t cut corners when it comes to spreading festive cheer and goodwill?jump online to the craft supply websites and start making your own personalised cards for friends and family to treasure.


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Thursday, 27 December 2012

Mars Rover Curiosity Spends Holidays at 'Grandma's House'

NASA's Curiosity rover worked through the holiday season on Mars by taking a close look at an intriguing bit of Martian terrain, a region scientists have lovingly nicknamed "Grandma's House."

The Curiosity rover is currently parked inside Yellowknife Bay, a shallow depression of odd terrain nestled inside the rover's vast Gale crater landing site. "Grandma's House" is an informal name for Curiosity's holiday spot inside the bay, rover team member Colette Lohr said in a NASA video.

"This is a really exciting time for the team because we've started to do what we call discovery-driven planning," said Lohr, Curiosity tactical uplink lead at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "And this is, in a sense, when we hand the rover keys to the science team."

Curiosity's handlers spent two days preloading the rover with instructions for science observations over 11 Martian days (or sols), which allowed rover team members to spend the year-end holidays with their families and friends.

The rover didn't get much of a vacation. It spent Christmas and Christmas Eve recording a 360-degree panoramic view of Yellowknife Bay that should give researchers an even clearer view of the area, Lohr said.

Yellowknife Bay, a 2-foot-deep (half-meter) basin, is an interesting spot for Mars scientists because the area contains terrain unlike any yet seen by the Curiosity rover. Mission scientists are studying rock targets in the region in order to pick one for Curiosity to drill inside.

Curiosity has been studying the region using its mast-mounted cameras and laser, but the ultimate goal is the first trial of the rover's percussive drill. The instrument is designed to drill inside a rock and collect the powdery rock sample from the interior so it can be analyzed by other onboard tools ? something never-before attempted on Mars, NASA officials said. The drilling test is set for early in 2013.

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity landed on Mars on Aug. 5 to begin exploring the Red Planet. The $2.5 billion rover's primary mission is to determine if its Gale crater landing site could have ever supported primitive microbial life.

Curiosity is currently driving toward a spot called Glenelg near the base of Mount Sharp, a 3-mile (5 kilometers) mountain that rises up from the center of its Gale crater landing site.

Follow Miriam Kramer on Twitter?@mirikramer?or We're also on Facebook?&?Google+.?

Copyright 2012, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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95% of Lab Animals Have No Legal Protection From Cruelty | Care2 ...

A federal anti-cruelty law called the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) gives some protections to warm-blooded animals used in research laboratories. That is, to?5 percent of them. It leaves the rest ? rats, mice, and birds ? out in the cold.

For the animals it does cover, the ?AWA requires researchers to minimize animal pain, use pain relief, set appropriate housing for species, and provide appropriate veterinary care,? according to an Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) white paper. The other side of that looking glass is that for 95% of animals in labs, researchers aren?t legally required to provide decent housing or any anesthetic or veterinary care at all.

There is now a bill in Congress to extend the AWA to protect rats, birds, and mice. Please sign the petition at the bottom to support it.

Right now, experiments using rats, mice, and birds are not subject to the ?3 R?s?, which ?are implicit in the AWA?: replacement, reduction and refinement. ?Replacement? means that unless the experiment must be done on an animal, it should be performed on a replacement like a computer simulation. ?Reduction? means that the experiment uses the smallest number of animals possible. ?Refinement? means that the experiment has been designed to minimize the animals? pain and suffering.

When a scientist sets out to conduct an experiment on AWA-covered animals, she must get approval from an internal oversight committee (IACUC) that will ask about compliance with the 3 R?s. If she wants to experiment on mice instead, the AWA doesn?t require her to submit to IACUC oversight. There is no law holding her to the 3 R?s: she can use mice where a computer model would be just as useful, cause the mice as much pain as she wants to, and use as many of them as she wants to.

The gaping hole in the AWA has had tragic results for animals. Here are just two examples of experiments on rats that IACUCs and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) approved and taxpayers underwrote, as I reported on Care2:

  • Drug-induced arthritis in rats makes exercise harder

As In Defense of Animals points out, by injecting ?rats? knees with a substance that causes arthritis,? the University of New England ruined ?the best part of these animals? miserable lives? because they could no longer run on their wheels. Why did NIH grant public money to the school for such a stupid and heartless study? Here?s a clue: it used a kind of grant meant to ?expose students to research.? Rather than training the next generation of vivisectionists on projects that could at least hypothetically help improve human lives, the government and the university underwrote this joke of an experiment because they could ? the animals involved were rats, and therefore without legal protection.

  • Rat bitter-taste nerves appear to work

This experiment was an exercise in revealing the obvious. In Defense of Animals describes it:

Inspired by the incredible variety in bitter substances, Ohio State University experimenters decided to see what would happen if they cut a couple of the nerves that connect taste buds to the brain. The experimenters slit the throats of ten rats so that one nerve could be cut and punctured the eardrums of ten other rats so that the other nerve could be severed. The experimenters performed both procedures on the ten unluckiest rats. The ten ?luckiest? rats just had their throats slit and their eardrums punctured, with the experimenters leaving their ?bitter taste? nerves intact. How merciful.

What did these experimenters learn? The nerve that was more sensitive to bitter stimuli was also more important in learning to avoid bitter stimuli ? go figure.

AWA protection may have helped the animals tortured in these experiments. Perhaps they didn?t undergo IACUC review because the subjects were rats, and if they had, would have been laughed out of the room before they could even ask the government for money.

Sadly, AWA coverage doesn?t always count for much. Two experiments conducted on animals the AWA does protect made the following findings:

  • Alligators? sounds and anatomy differ from humans?
  • Labs are stressful places for monkeys

So AWA coverage is no guarantee that an animal won?t be made to suffer for no good reason. But it does count for something. The American Association for Laboratory Animal Sciences ? the trade group for animal experimenters ? has called excluding rats, mice, and birds from the AWA ?ethically indefensible,? which shows that at the very least the AWA can get vivisectors talking about the ethics of what they do to animals.

As ALDF notes in its white paper, ?like humans, rats, mice, and birds experience pain, fear, distress, and even joy. In fact, research indicates that these animals experience emotions that scientists once thought only existed in humans, including empathy.? Not protecting these sensitive animals undermines vivisectors? claims to treat their subjects? as humanely as possible.

Excluding 95% of lab animals from welfare protections makes a joke of the AWA and exposes vivisectors? shameful, blatant indifference to the welfare of the animals at their mercy. Rats, mice and birds deserve as much protection from pain and suffering as we are politically able to provide. Please sign the petition below to encourage Congress to amend the AWA to serve its basic purpose: protecting animals used for experimentation.

Related Stories:

NIH Spends Our Money to Torture Animals For No Good Reason

Animal Welfare Act Does Not Protect All Animals: An Activist Spotlight

University of Wisconsin Cited for Animal Welfare Violations


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New York newspaper provides road map for burglars (Powerlineblog)

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Netflix says video streaming service hit by outage

Back in the old days, American kids only wanted a Barbie doll or a G.I. Joe action figure for Christmas and all was right with the world.?But times have changed, and today American children are looking to get more high-tech Christmas gift such as tablets, the Financial Times reports. In fact, today?s children are so interested in tablets and smartphones that major toy manufacturers Hasbro and Mattel are said to be worried sick about their futures. ?The top two guys,?Mattel?and?Hasbro, they are terrified,? Sean McGowan, managing director of equity research at Needham & Company, told the Financial Times. ?They should be terrified, but the official party line is they?re not terrified.? These anxieties are compounded by the fact that Mattel?s


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Five-Star Match of the Week: Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko - 2-out-of-3 Falls Match - ECW, Aug. 26, 1995

ECW - Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko - 8/26/95Eddie Guerrero vs. Syxx - Cruiserweight Championship Ladder Match: nWo Souled Out:, January 25, 1997Eddie Guerrero vs. JBL - WWE Championship Cage Match: SmackDown, July 15, 2004 (Full-Length Match)Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero - Cage Match: SmackDown, September 9, 2005 (Full-Length Match)Eddie Guerrero attempts to find the thief who stole his wallet: Nitro, July 5, 1999Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko - WCW Saturday Night, October 7, 1995Ultimo Dragon vs. Eddie Guerrero: WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match - Nitro, Dec. 29, 1997

Every Wednesday, WWE Classics and Greatest Matches team up with your favorite Superstars to bring you the Five-Star Match of the Week. We ask a Superstar in the WWE locker room to select one of the greatest wrestling matches of all time, and brings you that full-length match, uncut.

For many sports-entertainment fans, ECW is remembered for its sadistic brutality, intensely dedicated fanbase and groundbreaking programming. But in addition to defining hardcore brawling, ECW also put a spotlight on other wrestling styles including high-flying lucha libre and technical mat grappling.

Matt Striker is one Superstar who recalls those more technical ECW matchups.

?I always gravitated toward the interesting in-ring competitors. Not so much the fanfare, the pageantry, the entrance, the lights, the costumes. I love the catch-as-catch-can ?puroresu? Japanese style,? Striker explained. ?And that brings me to the match that I choose, which is Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko from 1995, two-out-of-three falls.?

The match was both Eddie and Dean?s final bout in the ECW Arena before departing for WCW, where each would become stars in the promotion?s heralded Cruiserweight division. After learning this news, the Extreme faithful inside the famed ?bingo hall? began chanting ?Bischoff sucks? and ?You sold out.? But as the match progressed, each competitor used their extreme athleticism to draw the crowd into the drama of the bout.

?During this time, I had dreams of being a professional wrestler,? Striker recalled. ?I would study these tapes and steal these moves. I tried to emulate Dean and Eddie to a tee and I was nowhere near as talented as either of those guys.? (MORE STRIKER)

After trading the first two falls during nearly 20 minutes of fast-paced action, the match was declared a draw.

?Watch that match and see the story that these two men are telling. There are no catchphrases. There are no T-shirts being sold. There?s no cool fanfare on a TitanTron behind you,? Striker said. ?It?s just two guys in a dingy wrestling hall in front of true wrestling fans doing what the sign on the arena says. They are wrestling.? (MORE DEAN)

Although the infamously tough Philly fans had chided Eddie and Dean at the beginning of the match, the entire ECW arena was chanting ?Please don?t go? as the contest came to a close. Both men thanked the fans for their support and Eddie gave Dean a hug and told him he was one of the best wrestlers he?d ever faced. Paul Heyman and other ECW wrestlers poured into the ring and hoisted Malenko and Guerrero on their shoulders as they bid Philadelphia farewell. (MORE EDDIE)

?The ovation, the appreciation, the camaraderie and the brotherhood is something that transcends all of sports, all of pop culture,? Striker explained. ?For one brief moment, you believed in what Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko were doing. And because of those men and their dedication to our craft, that moment that you believe stays with you for the rest of your life.?


Oct. 3, 2012:
Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels, WrestleMania XII
Oct. 10, 2012:
Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero, Halloween Havoc 1997
Oct. 17, 2012:
Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk, Clash of the Champions IX: New York Knockout
Oct. 24, 2012:
CM Punk vs. John Cena, Money in the Bank 2011
Oct. 31, 2012:
Randy Savage vs. Ted DiBiase, WrestleMania IV
Nov. 7, 2012: Bret Hart vs. The British Bulldog, SummerSlam 1992
Nov. 14, 2012: Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels, WrestleMania X
Nov. 21, 2012:
The Hart Foundation vs. The British Bulldogs, Madison Square Garden
Nov. 28, 2012: Eddie Guerrero vs. Brock Lesnar, No Way Out 2004
Dec. 5, 2012: Ric Flair vs. Big Van Vader, Starrcade 1993
Dec. 12, 2012: Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect, SummerSlam 1991
Dec. 19, 2012: Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage, WrestleMania III

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Syrian refugees face harsh winter in desperate conditions

BAB AL-SALAMEH, Syria (Reuters) - Huddled inside thin plastic tents in a makeshift camp after fleeing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's bombs thousands of refugees say they face a new enemy. "The cold is killing us," many of them say.

Having survived a conflict in which more than 40,000 people are estimated to have been killed, refugees at the Bab al-Salameh camp on the Syrian-Turkish border say the winter is now a bigger threat to them than the violence engulfing their country.

"The situation here is even worse than being at home," said Waad Orfali, a 27-year-old woman, dressed in a pink headscarf, velvet pink gown and slippers, as rain pounded the camp.

"At least in the village there was a doctor," said Orfali, who escaped from the northern village of Marea about two weeks ago after snipers and air strikes forced her and her family to relocate to the relative safety of the camp.

The flimsy tents scattered across the encampment offer scant relief to the thousands of men, women and children facing freezing weather and constant rain, and colder conditions are still to come.

Earlier this month, the United Nations refugee agency said more than half a million Syrian refugees are registered or waiting in other Middle Eastern countries, with about 3,000 new people seeking refugee status and assistance daily.

"I'm three months pregnant and I've been bleeding," said Orfali, who suffered from mouth sores. She said her husband suffered from kidney stones, but that neither had been able to receive medical care at the camp.

"At home there's no water or electricity and it's the same thing here," another woman chimed.

Tents reeked of damp as the rain seeped through, soaking blankets, clothes and rugs, and with no electricity in the camp, children, many wearing a single layer of clothing and slippers with no socks, shivered in the cold.

Mothers complained they received little food. By the afternoon, they said breakfast had not even been distributed. With no running water, lavatories near the mosque stank of rubbish and sewage.

"Tell them Syria's people are full of lice," said Um Ali, a mother of 12, said. She carried her ID papers in plastic to protect them from the rain in the hope that she could use them to get supplies from the camp authorities for her children.


Some refugees here are trying to scrape together a living amid the misery. They set up stands to sell cigarettes, and children zigzag through the tents hawking sweets and chocolate.

IHH, a Turkish relief group, is running the camp. Shawkat Gukman, the IHH coordinator at Bab al-Salameh, said the camp housed about 870 tents and 6,000 people with about 200 people streaming through each day.

Gukman said IHH had not been entirely in charge of running the camp until recently. He said some 5,000 pairs of children's shoes had been given out.

Challenging conditions like a lack of water and electricity made food preparation and distribution particularly challenging, Gukman said.

"The crisis may last for years. It's not clear but the war could last for a longer time."

As the war continues, more Syrians are expected to flee.

The latest estimates indicate that the total number of Syrians who have fled during the conflict has already surpassed the 700,000 refugees that the UNHCR forecast by year-end, though more than 200,000 of them have not registered formally. Another 2.5 million or more are believed to be displaced inside Syria.

Um Ahmed, a mother of five girls and two boys, said she moved to the Bab al-Salameh camp four months ago from the Hanano district of Aleppo.

"When we first came, we were sleeping under the tires of trucks. The sun burned us," she told Reuters in her three-by-four meter tent, where she had lit a coal fire and was grilling onions she said would help fight her children's infections.

Dressed in a purple sweater and red wool skirt, Um Ahmed said she had been a supporter of Assad at the beginning of the conflict, now in its 21st month.

"He said there wouldn't be a drop of blood, and now there's a river of blood. So now I'm the most opposed to Assad after what I've seen with my eyes," she said.

Like many other refugees thrust into dire conditions, Um Ahmed has tried to keep some semblance of a home in her tent. In a vain effort to keep the tent dry, a mop is perched against the tent's corner, and there is a red basin to bathe in. One side of the tent is decorated with the Syrian rebels' flag.

Complaining of chaotic scenes when the camp authorities distribute supplies, she said: "We have too much pride and dignity," to push through queues.

"We don't want money, food or water," she said. "We just want the slaughter to stop. We dream of going back home."

(Editing by Andrew Osborn)


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Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Man wins New Hampshire lottery with ticket sold in error

A New Hampshire man is the winner of a $2.1 Megabucks lottery jackpot even though the lucky ticket wasn't the one he intended to buy.

Scott Bennett, 48, of Hillsborough, went into the Circle K convenience store on Dec. 19 and asked the clerk for one Tri-State Megabucks ticket and one Lucky for Life ticket. The clerk mistakenly sold him two Megabucks tickets.

He never got the Lucky for Life ticket, but that probably doesn't matter now, because one of the Megabucks tickets was a big winner.

At a press conference on Friday, the Bennett family - minus Scott, who was at work - appeared to accept the prize.

Cathy Bennett, Scott's 47-year-old wife, said this Christmas "there might be a few extra presents under the tree."

She described the experience as "surreal."

"It's very overwhelming but I think once everything settles we'll enjoy and take the time to enjoy it and decide what the future's going to hold," she said, according to ABC News affiliate WMUR TV in Manchester, N.H.

The Bennetts have three children. It was their son, Travis, 20, who set things in motion. He left a note saying a winning ticket had been sold in their neighborhood and urging his father to check the numbers on his ticket.

"I went downstairs, and he was sitting there with the ticket in one hand and the New Hampshire Lottery website on the computer, just staring at both of them," Cathy Bennett said, recalling her husband at the computer. "We must have checked them about 15 times. We really truly didn't believe it."

When they found out they'd won, they called a family meeting and ordered in Chinese food.

The Bennetts opted to take the lump sum payment of about $1.3 million, and will use it to pay down debt, remodel the kitchen in their recently purchased Victorian home and fund their children's college education.

Scott Bennett works in property management and his wife is an elementary school paraprofessional, the Union Leader newspaper reported. They both plan to keep their jobs.

As it turns out, the Bennetts weren't the only lucky ones.

The Circle K receives $21,500 for selling the winning ticket, and the owner plans to share some of the money with his workers, including Nicki Gee, the 24-year-old clerk who sold the ticket.

"He (Bennett) came in yesterday to thank me and said I had made a very good mistake," she said.

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Self Improvement And Empowerment Blog: How to Stop Feelings of ...

I seek strength, not to be greater than another, but to fight my greatest enemy, the doubts within myself. ~P.D. Cast

Of all the elements that form the comfort zone, unworthiness is without question the most insidious.

Unworthiness is that shadowy deep-seated belief that creeps into our minds and tells us we are undeserving and not good enough, inadequate and fundamentally flawed. Unworthiness serves as a shield to insulate us from risk, chance and the unknown.

Some of us may already be aware of certain limiting and negative beliefs we have about ourselves. These we can learn to heal and change. The real problem goes deeper... it's the unconscious self-doubt and unworthy feelings we accept about ourselves.

The unworthiness mantra is "Don't try it, don't even think about it."

Without realizing it, we allow unworthiness to sabotage us in a hundred different ways, using endless justifications to keep from reaching for our dreams. For the sake of shielding ourselves from even the remote possibility of having to face our own fundamental inadequacy... we will do whatever it takes to just not think about it.

We repeatedly second guess our choices; falling into endless mental reruns picking apart what we could or should have done differently; over time finding it harder and harder to make definitive decisions that will enable us to move forward.
We avoid testing (or exposing) ourselves by allowing days, weeks and years to go by as we focus on the daily minutia of life and tell ourselves we'll get to the big important stuff as soon as we're 'caught up' or when the 'time is right.'
We use our responsibilities, especially to others, as shields to prevent ourselves from trying something new.

While there's a lot to be said for gratitude, there is a BIG difference between appreciating all the good things and people in your life and choosing to settle for less because you don't believe you deserve or are capable of more.

A few months ago I received a heartbreaking note from a reader who wanted to share with me why she had just unsubscribed from IGG. She went on to explain that while she enjoyed the articles and found them inspiring they also depressed her because she found herself focusing on all that she could never have or be in her life. "A lot of people have it worse than me, so I just need to stop dreaming and be grateful for what I have now."

How to Resolve Feelings of Unworthiness

Be willing to challenge beliefs about yourself: Begin by exploring the 'why' behind negative self talk. Make a positive statement about yourself such as I am a loving person or I deserve to achieve my dream of (fill in the blank). Then focus on any negative or contradictory thoughts that pop into your mind about your declaration. A personal journal is a great tool for this exercise. The more specific you can be with your statement, the greater the likelihood you'll be able to uncover those sneaky unworthy feelings.

One step at a time: Once you begin to identify unworthy thoughts or triggers you can start gently stretching the limits of your comfort zone. Be willing to try different strategies and don't be discouraged if you have to keep at it for awhile. These feelings of unworthiness have likely been with you for decades, so be kind to yourself, celebrate small victories, and be patiently persistent.

Let go of the past: For some reason, at some point in your life you came to the conclusion that you were lacking. Maybe you were bullied as a kid, or maybe you made a mistake... maybe it was a real whopper of a mistake and now you're stuck mentally rerunning the experience and what you could or should have done differently. It's time to let it go. The longer this has been going on the tougher it will be to clear it from your mind, but meaningful change always begins with a decision and in this case it's up to you to choose not to give those thoughts the energy they require to remain an active part of your life.

Risk change: The thing about unworthiness is over time it becomes a comfortable companion and it is awfully tempting to stay with what's known rather than risk the discomfort of change, rejection or even failure. Focus on your dreams and find a purpose that is important enough to motivate you to muster the strength and courage to step into the unknown and be free of what's holding you back.

Be willing to ask for help: Sometimes feelings of unworthiness stem from a major life change or a traumatic event. As valuable as self-directed personal growth exercises can be, it's important to understand that asking for help is not a weakness. Even the most courageous and successful people from time to time need a helping hand to move forward.

Sometimes the space between where you are and where you want to be can feel like a massive distance, but the truth is even the most self-confident among us will experience doubt from time to time. We may not be able to completely avoid it, but we can become more resilient by developing a strategy that enables us to effectively conquer feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness. Providing useful self development, self empowerment and self esteem tips and reviews online.


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The Note's Must-Reads for Tuesday December 25, 2012

The Note's Must-Reads are a round-up of today's political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at

Compiled by ABC News' Carrie Halperin and Jordan Mazza


The Hill's Kyle Balluck: " Ben Affleck will not run for Senate" Actor-director Ben Affleck will not run for the Senate in Massachusetts, he announced late Monday. "I love Massachusetts and our political process, but I am not running for office," Affleck wrote on his Facebook page. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Alana Semuels: " Newark Mayor Cory Booker aims for higher office" The crowd in the Upper West Side bookstore practically cooed when the mayor of Newark, looking like the college football tight end he once was, strode into a book signing and gave the audience a bashful smile. Cory Booker, here because he wrote the forward to a book about homelessness, spent the next half-hour talking about his father's roots in poverty and the kindness of humankind, throwing in references to friends such as entertainer Tyler Perry and author Alice Walker, and, presumably because this is New York, using some Yiddish. LINK


ABC News' George Stephanopoulos: "Asa Hutchinson: Gun Control Not Part of 'Ultimate Solution' to Gun Violence" Asa Hutchinson - the former congressman who will lead the effort by the NRA to place armed security guards in schools across the country following the Newtown, Conn. shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead - told me this morning on "This Week" that gun control efforts would not be part of the "ultimate solution" to gun violence. LINK


The Washington Times' Dave Boyer: " Court filings surge in FOIA cases during Obama years" A study has found that more federal court complaints were filed during the first term of the Obama administration to force the government to abide by the Freedom of Information Act than were filed against the administration of President George W. Bush in his second term. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University said the FOIA filings in the last two years of Mr. Bush's second term and the last two years of Mr. Obama's first term showed a jump of 28 percent - from 562 to 720. LINK


The Wall Street Journal's Staff: " Cliff Negotiations Take Holiday Break" Congressional leaders and the White House are taking a holiday break in negotiations over how to avoid year-end spending cuts and tax increases, and may not take up the issue in earnest again until just before New Year's Eve. LINK

The Washington Post's Lisa Rein: "Federal workers feel unease over potential layoffs, furloughs unleashed by 'fiscal cliff'" Federal employees have been skeptical for months that the biggest cuts to government spending in history could really happen. But with the "fiscal cliff" a week away, workers are now growing increasingly alarmed that their jobs and their missions could be on the line. LINK


Politico's Kevin Robillard: "Republicans Fearful of 2013? Nearly three-quarters of Republicans are fearful about their own lives in 2013 - a huge jump of over 50 percent since 2006, according to a poll released Monday. LINK


The New York Times' Annie Lowrey: "A Campaign on U.S. Debt Gains Steam" Maya MacGuineas has been ringing alarms about the nation's growing debt for 15 years, imagining a day when a president and a Congress might finally work together to curb deficit spending. After watching President Obama and Speaker John A. Boehner once again come close to agreeing on a plan, only to see a deal slip away, she is troubled but undeterred. LINK


"Sen. Michael Crapo Arrested for DUI" LINK

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Make Your Own Gift Wrap | MomsGetReal

If you enjoy this post, be sure to follow MomsGetReal on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+!Getting Real With +Shadra Bruce, Owner of +MomsGetReal

homemade gift wrapWhether it?s Christmas, a birthday, Valentine?s Day or any other gift-giving moment, you probably spend an extraordinary amount of time searching for and buying (or making) the perfect gift.? The perfect gift is then unceremoniously dropped into a non-descript bag and with some tissue paper stuffed around it.

Wouldn?t it be even better if the wrap was as much a part of the gift as what is inside the package?? With the price of gift wrap and gift bags, this can be a practical choice, too.

Making your own gift wrap is quick and easy, not to mention a fun project for the kids.? Start with brown packing paper, white meat packing paper, or even paper scraps that would otherwise be tossed out (you can even use leftover wrap inside out so that the white side is showing).? Using stamps, crayons, paints, or markers, turn your kids loose decorating the paper.

For birthday gifts, add a list of all the pertinent things that happened during the year of their birth.? For a mother?s day or father?s day gift, include the kids? handprints.? If it?s a Valentine?s gift, put lipstick on everyone and put kisses all over the package.? If you would like to prevent lip prints from smudging, you can cover them with clear fingernail polish or lightly spray just the lip print with hairspray.

Did you child make a beautiful fridge-quality piece of art?? Use it for gift wrap!? Do you have some beautiful scraps of leftover fabrics?? You guessed it, they can either be glued on as accents or used alone as gift wrap.

Oh?and if you still want to drop the gift into a bag, all of these decorating ideas can be used just as easily on plain brown paper gift bags (with or without handles).




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