Bar Refaeli Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2009 Cover Photo

Israeli model and Leonardo DiCaprio’s girlfriend Bar Refaeli has landed the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2009 issue.

The photo shoot for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2009 cover took place on Canouan Island in the Grenadines.

This is the first cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition for Refaeli, although she did appear in the inset of the 2007 edition.

The annual magazine is considered by many to be a measure of the hottest super models, and is one of the largest selling annual editions of any magazine in the world.


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In pictures: 'Gotta have Heart' Valentine's dance

About 30 people stopped by to enjoy dancing, door prizes and refresments at the second annual 'Gota Have Heart' Valentine's dance. The dance was a joint event between the Retired & Loving' It Ballroom Dance groups and Birmingham's Community Education South. Reitred and Lovin' It has dances every Monday, except holidays, from 1 to 3 p.m. The dances are at the Community Education South building, 1220 50th St. South in Birmingham. All seniors are welcome.


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CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Preview: U.S.-Mexico

CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Preview: U.S.-Mexico
COLUMBUS, Ohio-- Wednesday marks the day United States and Mexican soccer fans have been eagerly awaiting since the November draw when the archrivals found out they'd be playing each other on the first day of the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. The endless talk, the ceaseless previews, the urgent anticipation can all stop; it's time to get it on.

Déjà Vu, All Over Again

Haven't we been here before? World Cup qualifier. Check. Columbus, Ohio. Yep. February. Of course. Back in 2001, the Red, White, and Blue waltzed out of the Buckeye State with a decisive 2-0 victory against el Tri. With the Mexican side reeling from injuries, suspensions, and general poor play, all signs point to another American win.

But, of course, there's a reason they play the matches. In fact, this is a potentially dangerous fixture for Bob Bradley's squad, which, by most accounts, needs to come away with three points from this game. The pressure is entirely on the shoulders of the favored U.S. How the team responds to the pressure of being the big dogs could reveal a great deal about its chances to make an impact on the world stage.

Playing for More than Points

El Tri are shorthanded. They will be without regular contributors Carlos Vela, Fernando Arce, and Gerardo Torrado, all out due to suspension, as well as Andres Guardado and Jonny Magallon, who are sidelined with injuries. The side, which struggled to even qualify for the Hexagonal round, appears to have its back to the wall. After a humiliating 1-0 loss to Sweden in a friendly last week and the recent firing of fan-favorite Javier Aguirre from Atletico Madrid, the ax appears ready to swing at manager Sven-Göran Eriksson’s neck.

The rabid Mexican fanbase, which expects goals, wins, and aesthetically pleasing football, smells blood, and if el Tri fail to ear a result against their biggest rivals in CONCACAF, Eriksson could be shipped back to Scandinavia faster than you can say “Adios, amigo!”

Beware a Wounded Animal

So Mexico are the decided underdog on Wednesday. They are missing several starters, they are being savaged by their fans and their home media, and they haven’t won in the U.S. since 1999. In short, the conditions seem ripe for them to pull off something special.

If you look at it from another perspective, the Mexicans have nothing to lose in Columbus, which makes them very dangerous. Odds are they will play for the draw, which, in this case, would be as good as a win. The weather prediction for Wednesday is for rain in the morning and mid-50s all day, which would make the field at Crew Stadium messy and slow -- a major departure from the fast pitch US coach Bob Bradley predicted in his conference call on Monday. The soggy turf will only aid Eriksson’s side, should they, as expected, decide to bunker down and go for the tie.

Well Begun Is Half Done

With its next two matches coming in El Salvador and home to Trinidad and Tobago, the U.S. is in prime position to secure nine points from its first three games. This figure would allow the Americans experiment more during the next seven Hexagonal fixtures.

The U.S. staring on Wednesday night will not be the same that takes the field in South Africa. At least let's hope not. But the match will give Bradley much-needed information about certain players under stressful conditions: Is Landon Donovan or Clint Dempsey the answer on the right flank? Can Sacha Kljestan be the consistent creative attacker in the middle the side needs? Can the youngsters like Jozy Altidore and Charlie Davies integrate and improve the lineup?

Just Call Them the Cavaliers

Two hours up I-71, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been the most dominant team in the NBA, losing only one game this season. The U.S. soccer team, however, puts this record to shame, having not lost to a regional opponent on American soil since September 1, 2001, a span of 50 matches. The team has been even better of late, posting a combined 11-0-2 mark in 2007 and 2008, outscoring its opponents 36 to six during the stretch.

Does the Result Really Matter?

Ultimately, with this game -- usually a decider in the final round of qualifying -- coming on the first matchday of the Hexagonal, the result won’t have the same impact as it normally would. A loss might cost Eriksson his job, but with nine games left in the Hex, Mexico would have plenty of time to right the ship. For the U.S., the same holds true.

But the mental advantage always plays a role when it comes to U.S.-Mexico. Whichever walks away with its desired result -- win for the U.S., draw for Mexico -- will have a leg up from here on out.

Projected U.S. Lineup

-------------------- Howard ------------------

Hedjuk -- Onyewu-- Bocanegra -- Pearce

---------- Kljestan ---------- Bradley -------

Dempsey ------- Donovan -------- Beasley

------------------- Ching ---------------------

Projected Mexico Lineup

---------------- Sanchez -------------------

Osorio -- Galindo -- Marquez -- Salcido

---- Naelson -- Pardo -- Perez -- Augosto ----

----------- Vuoso -- Castillo ------------- prediction: United States 2-0 Mexico.

Noah Davis covers the Untied States National Team for

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Google PowerMeter

Make Pt1750
This is new... google has a hardware based "Google PowerMeter prototype" with demo project... No hardware shots yet...

3218483639 Eb6Be2198F
The twittering power meter that Limor and I made uses the app engine, maybe they'll add it. Anyone at google interested?


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Jeremy Lusk Video | X-Games Crash Video

Jeremy Lusk Video | X-Games Crash Video

What a sad day. What is to be a happy event turned into disaster when Freestyle motorcross rider Jeremy Lusk sustained head injuries during the X-Knights event in Costa Rica. Performing Seatgrab Indian Backflip Jeremy Lusk lost control and crashed. He died as a result. Jeremy Lusk is only 24 years.

He was brought to the hospital, in the ICU at the Calderon Hospital San Jose but did not make it. He died February 9,2009.

It must have been very painful for Jeremy's family, his parents, his wife Lauren Lusk, and for his fellow riders and his fans. Lusk won the X Game gold in the FMX event and silver in Moto X best trick in the year 2008. More impressively was that Jeremy Lusk was named FMX rider of the year and appeared in the Transworld Motocross Magazine in this January 2009 Issue.

My condolences to Lusk's family. He is a great skillful athlete. He will surely be missed. May his soul rest in peace.

Watch Jeremy Lusk Crash Video below:


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Sophie Ellis-Bextor survives pre-eclampsia scare again to have second child nine weeks early

Sophie Ellis Bextor
Sophie Ellis Bextor has given birth two months prematurely after she was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition.
It is the second pregnancy scare for the 29-year-old singer and daughter of former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis.
Her four-year-son Sonny was also born nine weeks early.
Doctors had to perform an emergency caesarean to deliver her second son, named Kit Valentine Jones, who weighed 2lb 10z. He was immediately placed in an incubator.
Sophie had been diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, which in severe cases can cause the death of the mother and unborn baby.

'He's a little belter': Proud father Chris Evans shows off his newborn son Noah to the world... on his blog

Details of Kit's dramatic arrival were revealed on BBC Breakfast yesterday by his grandmother, who let the news slip as she was discussing the role of grandparents.

Janet, 53, said: 'Sophie's just had her second little boy. He was early, nine weeks early, but he is doing fine. He is doing very well.'
Sophie, who is married to The Feeling's bass guitarist Richard Jones, was admitted to the private Portland Hospital in London last week on her doctor's advice. Kit was delivered on Saturday.

Outside the couple's West London home yesterday, Richard, 29, said: 'I'd be lying if I said it wasn't stressful.
'It has been dramatic, but we are very happy. We are a lot calmer this time because we have been through it all before. I'm pretty tired, I've been all my time at the hospital and I've just come home to get some stuff.
'It has been hard, but it's been helped because Sonny has been amazing, even though it's been so tough.'

Sophie revealed they were expecting their second child on November 5th last year and that it was due in April.
Sonny spent five weeks in hospital before being allowed home. Their troubles weren't over as he Sonny developed meningitis at four months and had to be readmitted to hospital. Sonny went on to make a full recovery.

Pre-eclampsia causes high blood pressure and can lead to stroke, blood clotting and kidney, liver and lung problems in pregnant mothers.

Sophie's mother Janet Ellis spoke on the radio about Kit's dramatic arrival

In an online blog about her second pregnancy Sophie said: 'Protecting myself and the baby is the most important thing at this time and being pregnant really does give you the chance to slow down, prepare for the birth and focus on the things you really want to do.'

She added: 'The hardest part of the pregnancy so far has been before I could announce I was actually pregnant. I'm always a bit cautious of getting coughs and colds when I'm pregnant as they seem to take that bit longer to shake off so I'm dosing up on the vitamins as it's so cold outside.

'I suffered from pre-eclampsia in my first pregnancy so I am having regular scans at the moment.'

She also revealed that her son could not wait for a younger sibling.
'We are all really excited about meeting the new addition to our family. Sonny has always loved babies and has been telling me for a while he would like a baby brother or sister so for him it's what he expected would happen at some point.'


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eOrdnanceU, Ordnance University

Web Site Address
Variety of common core training ranging from Cold Weather Training to OPSEC included in this location. Continous learning modules - Plans – Link through EOrdnance U – Access with AKO login. Go to Blackboard, click login, click EOrdnance U Courses Tab on upper right tab, search or look at course catalog, enroll.


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Steve Kerr on 670 the Score Recap (February 10th, 2009)

teve Kerr appeared on 670 the Score this morning on the Mully and Hanley show to discuss the looming NBA trade deadline. Here is a recap of what was said.

Steve Kerr is doing fantastic.
Wouldn’t mind Derrick Rose to help get an Amare deal done. (Jokingly)
The Suns are a team that is in transition and needs to make some decisions. They are listening to what’s out there for the entire team.
He has a great relationship with Amare Stoudemire. He feels it is best to be really open with the players. Players need to understand that they’re probably going to be traded at one point in their career.
Certain guys around the league are untouchable. Kobe, Lebron, Wade, but those are the exceptions rather than the rule.
These things usually go right down to the deadline, with deals not being made until Wednesday or Thursday.

Feels he must be related to Johnny Red Kerr because all Kerr’s are somehow related. He enjoyed being around Johnny and listening to his broadcasts. He remembers that three or four times a year that he would be stuck with Johnny’s bar tab when he was checking out of a hotel.
Steve Kerr will miss the ceremony tonight because he has business to tend to in Phoenix.
Finished the interview off by saying, “Hopefully I will see you soon down the road.”
The most intriguing part about the interview was how Kerr ended it, by saying, “Hopefully I will see you soon down the road.” Why is the general manager of the Phoenix Suns hopeful that he will see some Chicago radio hosts again?

Otherwise, Kerr didn’t offer too much new on potential trades. He just stated what everyone knows, the Suns are a team in transition and they are talking to a lot of teams about trades for lots of their players.


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George Clooney Dating Slain Pakistani Leader Benazir Bhutto's Niece?

That's what the National Enquirer is claiming. The political salt-n-pepper actor has apparently been wooing Fatima Bhutto, a 26-year-old poet and journalist. Let's learn more about her.

"He's still out there with his usual assortment of Hollywood eye-candy hanging from his arm," a source told The Enquirer.

"But George insists those days could be coming to an end if Fatima wants to take their relationship to the next level and spend some serious time with him in the U.S."

George and Fatima - who lives with her stepmother and half brother in a plush suburb of Karachi - met at an international conference last year.

Tricky long distance, Pakistan-to-US dating logistics aside, we think the two would make a nice couple. I mean, just look at her CV. She's a far cry from Clooney's last girlfriend, the be-breasted cocktail waitress and Fear Factor contestant, Sara Larson.

Bhutto has a BA in Middle Eastern studies from Barnard and a Masters in South Asian studies from University of London. So she's educated.
She is a columnist for The News, Pakistan's largest English-language newspaper. Plus she's written a book of poetry, Whispers of the Desert (when she was 15), and a compilation of survivor stories called 8.50 a.m. 8 October 2005, about the disastrous earthquake that struck Kashmir on that date.
She took a vocal stand against her aunt Benazir's reentry into Pakistan, calling it a "grand show" that resulted in the deaths of 139 people. So, you know, whether you agree with her or not, she is principled.
Her neighborhood in Karachi, and her house, is continually described as "plush." So you know she's not just looking for his moneys.
Most importantly, she pretty.


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Lucia Dvorska, 20, grew up in a village in western Slovakia, called Zohor. Despite appearing in a television commercial as a child, she didn't start modeling until age 16. She has appeared on the covers of Vogue, Elle, L'Officiel, Madam Figaro and Harper's Bazaar. Lucia splits her time between New York, Slovakia and Brazil. This is her first appearance in the Swimsuit Issue.


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Danny Gokey — “I Hope You Dance” — American Idol 8

Danny Gokey sings “I Hope You Dance” during Hollywood Round #3 on American Idol 8.
Yay! This was wonderful. Danny Gokey is already a fan favorite. We will definitely see him on tour this Summer. Will he be the next American Idol?


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Parthenogenesis - Virgin Births in Nature



How do you really reproduce without sexual reproduction? Asexual reproduction, of course. Simple, really… but not for the females of some species.

There are loads of links in this post, so click on them to learn more.
Some plants, insects, shark and lizard species are known to reproduce by parthenogenesis - embryo development is carried out without fertilisation by a male -so called ‘virgin creations.’

Parthenogenesis can take a range of pathways :

The egg can be fertilised by a polar body (a ‘leftover’ of egg production), making the chromosome number diploid and triggering embryo development. Here is a simple explanatory animation from
Chromosomes in the egg can self-replicate, making up the diploid number and the embryo develops from there.
Other methods include suppression of male genotypes (technically still sexual reproduction?), or eggs cells dividing by meiosis.

The resulting offspring are going to be all the same gender. In some species, the XY system determines gender and parthenogenesis produces all females. In other, the ZW system dictates that they will all be male.
Komodo Dragons
Parthenogenesis is a reproductive strategy that sacrifices the genetic variation (a driving force of evolution) of sexual reproduction for the simple ability to reproduce. Small invertebrates, such as aphids, can use it to produce large numbers of females very quickly.
Larger organisms, such as Komodo dragons (Indonesia link!), have been known to use parthenogenesis in the absence of males, producing an all-male clutch of eggs. It is thought that this might allow them to set up new populations on isolated islands, using just a single female. Here’s a quick video of a Komodo dragon parthenogen hatching:


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Insider Trader: Love is in the Air edition

FEB 6TH, 2009
www.worldofwarcraft.comLove will soon be in the air, and it's time you worked out your game plan. Chances are that it won't be just the city guards and leaders that will catch your eye (or eye socket).

Whether you're looking to reel someone in, set up a romantic excursion, or send an enemy a delicious surprise, you'll find that preparation is the key. This year, crafted items are the hot new trend. What better to say, "Darling, I can't get enough of the way your eyes puss" than with handmade?

First, you have to look the part. For all of you gents out there, I recommend seeking out a tailor for your very own Tuxedo Jacket,Tuxedo Pants, and coordinating Tuxedo Shirt. Alternatively, a Festival Suit will have you standing apart from the crowd, while a Colorful Kiltwill set up some easy access to um, cultural traditions.

For the gals, we have the lovely and sophisticated Festival Dress, or the elaborate and vaguely desperate White Wedding Dress. If you want to attract a different sort of attention, then try the Red Winter Clothes on for size! They aren't just for Winter Veil, and are snazzier than anything Victoria keeps secret.
Not your cup of tea? You could borrow your guy's Tuxedo Shirt, pull on a pair of Black Mageweave Leggings, and I guarantee all eyes will be on you.

If your lady has a for 2v2 roleplaying, never fear. There's the Red Lumberjack Shirt for those who like their men burly, and the White Bandit Mask to be your partner's hero. Remember the movie rule: a white costume makes you the good guy!

Finally, if you don't intend to participate in the festivities so much as you intend to make some gold from party-goers, and have a penchant for "refering" suitable escorts to "acquaintances," the Stylin' Purple Hatshould do the trick.

Of course, having the right duds is only part of your image makeover. If you don't feel manly enough, the Mechano-Hog should boost you up a few notches. If you find that your pick-up lines often result in your own bodily harm, try a Subtlety enchant to soften up your game.

If your looks still need improving after a Shave and a Haircut, why not try out a Striking enchant? It improves your looks and your face-slapping skills to boot!

Now that you're ready for some attention, you'll need to take some measures to ensure you don't find the wrong kind. The Dodge enchant is perfect for avoiding getting Shafted by a creepy suitor, as well as the "affections" bestowed upon you by angry ex-somethings.

The Gnomish Alarm-O-Bot is an excellent tool to pack, as you can set it to warn you of the approaching love-struck, jawless masses, and can later be reconfigured to help you avoid getting caught, er, interrupted, during your romantic adventures.

If you simply can't find a suitable date, why not try downing some ofCaptain Rumsey's Lager? Not only will it help you reel in some of the good fish from the sea, if they're all taken by the end of the night, at least you'll be singing showtunes by the lake instead of crying yourself to sleep by 9 p.m.

Of course, it isn't necessarily going to be you that needs work. How do you tell your date that he or she needs to spiff up without hurting some feelings (read: sleeping on the couch)? Why, just don't tell them of course!

Does your pretty little blood elf date laugh so often that you wish you'd brought Duct Tape (after all, it comes in festive reds andpinks)? Never fear! Just whip out your Voice Amplification Modulator and turn her volume down. Heck, while you're at it, why not give yourself a voice reminiscent of Barry White's?

If your partner is the stupid, insensitive type, throw them aWisdom enchant on the sly. Maybe you can have one evening where feet are on the floor instead of the mouth, unless of course, he or she says the magic word.

Has your Prince turned into a toad? Zap him with the Major Recombobulator and he'll be bowing down to you in no time!

There's nothing more romantic than a candlelit dinner, but choosing what to serve can be a real task. The Delicious Chocolate Cake is a classic option that is sure to spark fireworks, while the Tasty Cupcake is great for smoothing over any of your blunders.

Serving Egg Nog can loosen everyone up, although I advise using caution and moderation. Unless of course you feel like exacting vengeance, in which case as an added bonus, you can talk someone into drinking too much of it to deliver the type of "kick" he or she deserves.

Kungaloosh is another celebratory option, but you should remain seated while drinking. Failure to do so, or standing too quickly, could give you a rush for which you were not prepared!

Food is also a way to enhance your partner's natural talents, without being tactless. If he's a little on the small side, you can slip him a Gigantic Feast and he'll be a shorty no more. For a more localized, spot treatment, pour some Elixir of Giant Growth into his drink because many ladies secretly agree, bigger is just better.

Do you keep your fella on a short Rope Pet Leash? Let him off for one night, with a full belly of Kibler's Bits. I'm sure he'll behave, and the extra strength and stamina won't hurt either.

If your guy tends to fizzle out early, pass him some Goblin Rocket Fuel, for moments that last. If he's a tea junky, make it Thistle Tea. You'll be grateful for the extra energy later!

If that's still not enough, throw up a Major Stamina enchant for good measure.

As a main dish, why not try Worg Tartare? Not only is it a favorite delicacy, it also improves his aim.

If you two will be too busy eating to indulge in the Tartare, you can always try an Accuracy enchant.

If revenge is what you're planning on serving, try out a Small Feast on your ex-guy before he heads out that night for his hot date. Just tell him you want to reconcile, and he won't be suspicious. Haunted Herringshould be kept on-hand to instantly scare away your stalker, the Undercity guards, and bill collectors.

Can't quite woo her to the dinner table? Find a wallflower and offer to buy her a drink! She'll be so into the freebie that she won't notice the Free Action Potion mixed into it (hey guys, don't knock her because she's free).

Alternatively, if your date is a little unseemly, what with the perfumed rotting flesh and stare straight into my brain eyes, slip her some Living Action Potion. Gone are the days when you need to be so finicky. Undead gals can be desirable too!

Whatever you do, keep her away from the Bad Clams! They are not the same as oysters, and you really won't like her when she's angry.

Now that tummies are full, it's time to pull out the gifts to seal the deal. Choosing the right present can make the difference between whipping out thePygmy Oil and slapping on theTitanium Impact Choker, or spending the rest of the evening crying while Stinker chases tail.

If you can't think of anything personal, try handing her a Blue Glittering Axe. All females love glitter, right? Well, unless your date is Ellen Degeneres.

Many people also have a soft spot for furry companions, so why not surprise them with aMechanical Squirrel? Okay so it's not quite fluffy, but it makes those cute little faces.

You could consider putting on a show for her. Make her a Cluster Launcher and set off some Large Red Rocket Clusters, sure to dazzle her. If you have some extra time, launch a few Snake Burst Firework, because everyone loves a good innuendo. Be sure to wiggle your eyebrows when she looks back at you, to ensure that you understand each other.

If she likes jewelry, craft her an Eternium Rod to symbolize your love eternal and your um, fine craftsmanship. The Dawnstone Crab and theBlack Diamond Crab are comfortable, unique looking pieces, sure to please and sans the usual itching and discomfort.

If you'd like to make a bolder statement, why not give her Don Julio's Heart? Sure, gifted body parts didn't work so well for Van Gogh, but a heart is more romantic than an ear any day. Besides, it isn't your own heart, so if she isn't into it, no harm no foul.

Kailee's Rose is another fine option, although sometimes I get to pondering whether the name refers to a real rose, or is a bit more metaphorical. Fortunately, gals love gifts that make them think!

If you make it to the next stage, congratulations! Pat yourself on the back and pull out your utility kit, which should include at least some of the following:
  1. The Dexterity enchant will give your fingers the magic touch.
  2. The Riding Skill enchant is useful for riding her off into the sunset, and such.
  3. Superior Mana Oil will make sure everything goes smoothly. Just a little dab'll do it!
  4. Goblin Jumper Cables XL are useful if your date has a bum ticker.
  5. The Discombobulator Ray is useful for confusing your date into thinking she had a good time, in case your potions and food buffs wear off at an inopportune moment.
  6. Ladies should always tote around the materials for the Giant Slayerenchant, in case she bites off a little more than she can chew.
  7. Is your date a bit of an Ogre? The Exceptional Resilience enchant will help you through the rough patches.
Above all, remember to play safe ladies and gents. Always at least ask for their name, and don't forget to pack your Potion of Curing, effective both on broken hearts and greener, itchier maladies.


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Sussex Spaniel Best in Show at Westminster Dog Show

From the time he appeared on the floor of Madison Square Garden this evening, the short-legged Sussex Spaniel, "Stump," stole the hearts of the crowd…as well as the approval of the judges, and was awarded Best of Show in the most important dog show of them all, The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Stump, a 10 year old Sussex Spaniel, is the oldest dog to win the coveted Best in Show prize at Westminster. This is Stump’s first appearance at a major show in five years, having suffered a devastating illness that almost cost him his life. After dog-saving care at Texas A&M and years of recuperation as a beloved house pet, Stump came back tonight to the ring to win America’s premiere award in the sport.


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Death toll at 15 in Lone Grove tornado

CARTER COUNTY, OK -- A tornado touched down in Lone Grove at approximately 7:25 p.m. Several are injured, several are trapped in cars and homes, and we're told 8 people are dead.

Carter County Emergency Management tells us the area affected is southwest Lone Grove. There are reports of downed power lines. They also say there are power outages in Springer, Wilson, and Lone Grove.

Lone Grove Police Chief Robert Oldham tells KXII-TV several people are injured and some are still trapped in their houses and vehicles. Oldham also says there are gas leaks and that the primary area affected is downtown Lone Grove.

Lone Grove Police are asking people to stay out of Lone Grove.

UPDATE: We've received word of 8 fatalities in Lone Grove, according to Ratliffe Police. At least 14 victims are being treated at a make-shift triage at the Lone Grove Police Department.

A Red Cross shelter has been set up at Heritage Hall in downtown Ardmore.


Lone Grove Schools are closed Wednesday, according to the Superintendent.

We'll post more as it becomes available.


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TiVo Party Tonight: Heartless Bastards, Levon Helm, Little Ones


Ever wonder what will happen during the last five minutes of late-night TV talk shows? They let musicians onstage! Here are tonight’s notable performers:

Late Show With David Letterman (CBS): Heartless Bastards
We want to see Ohio’s Heartless Bastards (pictured) play the title track from recent album The Mountain (Fat Possum) because: a) most likely it will offer a glimpse at pedal-steel player Bill Elm (Friends Of Dean Martinez); and b) “The Mountain” sounds like Nico and the Grifters.

Late Night With Conan O’Brien (NBC): Levon Helm
Worth watching just to see who shows up to play with Levon; his Midnight Ramble sessions get a lot of traffic. Let’s roll the dice and say that he’ll be joined by Steve Earle, Donald “Duck” Dunn and the bassist from Missing Persons.

Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC): The Little Ones
That’s an awfully detailed Wikipedia entry for a band that’s accomplished so, um, little.


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The Official Blog of Baseball's Roberto Alomar Interview

What is the name of your Blog?
The Official Blog of Baseball's Roberto Alomar

What is your name?

Roberto Alomar

Where are you from? (include country, state and/or city)

Puerto Rico

What is your current age or age range?


Please describe your blog

Read the blog of major league baseball player Roberto Alomar! Learn what it's like to be one greatest second basemen ever to play the game of baseball.

Describe the main purpose of your blogging, what are you trying to accomplish?

Answer questions from my fans and relay my thoughts on baseball.

What blogging platform do you do and why?

ContactTRACS-- it's the content management system and automated mailer system I use for my website's backend.

What do you blog the most about?


Do you use Digg, and why or why not?


Do you use Stumbleupon, and why or why not?


What is the url of your blog?

The Official Blog of Baseball's Roberto Alomar


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Livni and Netanyahu Claim Victory in Israel Elections

Both Tzipi Livni of Israel’s Kadima Party and Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud Party have claimed victory in Israel’s Presidential elections held on Tuesday. At this point, the race is too close to call. Read about it below.

The Israel elections are still too close to call, however, both Tzipi Livni and Benjamin Netanyahu (also known as Bibi) have claimed victory. The right wing of the party has won a clear victory by gaining a 64 seat majority in the Parliament. Holding 64 of the 120 Parliamentary seats gives Netanyahu and the Likud party the advantage.

The Israel elections are still too close to call, however, both Tzipi Livni and Benjamin Netanyahu (also known as Bibi) have claimed victory. The right wing of the party has won a clear victory by gaining a 64 seat majority in the Parliament. Holding 64 of the 120 Parliamentary seats gives Netanyahu and the Likud party the advantage.

Livni is the leader of the Kadima Party in Israel, which is a more centrist party. Netanyahu is the leader of the Likud Party which is more hard line right wing.

Livni has called on Netanyahu to join a unity government, an offer he has so far declined. Yisrael Beiteinu Party Chairman, Avigdor Lieberman, has said that his party will only join a coalition government that is dedicated to toppling the Hamas regime in Gaza. Livni has taken a harder line with Hamas and other terrorists groups during the election, but many feel that she fell short of destroying Hamas before she pulled troops out before the inauguration of Barack Obama as the President of the United States.

In Israel, the winner of the election will then form a government. Bibi Netanyahu wins isscheduled to meet with Lieberman on Wednesday to begin discussions of forming a strong right-wing bloc to block any power exerted by the more centrist Kadima Party.

Current Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barack is not likely to remain a member of the cabinet. He is the leader of the Labour Party, which is trailing in fourth place. For all intents and purposes, the Labour Party is out of the game.

Israel is in a precarious position with the likelihood that Iran is close to completing their development of nuclear weapons. Iran has sworn to ‘push Israel into the sea’. There have been limited wars with terrorists organizations from both the north and the south. Hezbollah continues to be a threat out of Lebanon and Hamas continues to be a threat out of Gaza. It is widely believed that both Hezbollah and Hamas are being financed and armed by Iran.

Israel retaliated with both terrorists groups when they sent incursions into Israel and kidnapped and killed Israeli Soldiers and when they have continued to bomb civilian targets inside of Israel. In all incidents, the public has generally felt that Barack fell short of attaining his objectives. In fact, the objectives were not clear. In all incidents, the wars were suddenly stopped and Israeli Soldiers returned to Israel with no real progress having been made. As you might know, Gilad Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas two years ago and is still missing. Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser were kidnapped by Hezbollah about the same time as Shalit, both men have been confirmed dead.

Now with the United States being critically weakened, their only real ally, its no wonder that the Israeli people are looking for tougher leaders to protect them from the hostile countries that surround their small country.


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Geithner Unveils Financial Stability Plan

Today U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner introduced the Treasury Department's Financial Stability Plan, which will assist banks and credit markets with up to $1 trillion in public and private funds. Read the article in the Washington Post or Secretary Geithner's introduction of the plan on the Treasury Department's website.

In his introduction, Geithner mentions that the "Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and all the financial agencies in our country will bring the full force of the United States Government to bear to strengthen our financial system so that we get the economy back on track." On the Federal Reserve's website you can find Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony before Congress about the Fed's efforts to boost the economy.

Geithner also remarks that the Treasury is creating a new website,, to provide accountability to American tax-payers about how financial institutions are being regulated and whether funds are being used wisely. This website is still under construction, but it already contains a link to a seven-page fact sheet on the Financial Stability Plan.

For additional resources, see our guide to Business and Economic Information.


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Senate Democrats pass economic stimulus bill with help of three Republicans [video]

The United States Senate passed an economic stimulus package on Tuesday by a vote of 61 to 37. That means only three Republicans voted for the bill.

The Senate's $838 billion economic stimulus bill is a bit different than the $819 billion version that passed the house.

Over the next week, Senate and House leaders will try and hash out the difference so they can present a joint stimulus package bill to President Barack Obama to sign.

The president has agreed that neither of the stimulus bills are perfect, but he says something must be done.


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Michelle Obama: Vogue cover girl

Annie Leibovitz photograph of America's new first lady, wearing Jason Wu dress, to grace cover of March issue of US Vogue

Michelle Obama at the inauguration ball

From the day after Barack Obama was elected president, Women's Wear was speculating that wife Michelle might grace the cover of America's fashion bible, Vogue.

Now it's official. Michelle Obama will smile out from newsstands all over the country this March, in a magenta sheath by Jason Wu (who also designed the first lady's white, one-shouldered inaugural gown).

Photographer of the Queen and Suri Cruise Annie Liebowitz shot the cover and eight-page inside spread, which accompanies an article in which Obama speaks about motherhood - and of course, her personal style.

Every first lady since Lou Hoover (except for Bess Truman) has been photographed by the magazine, but Mrs Obama will only be the second to be on the cover. The first? Her husband's secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.

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Sirius XM Satellite Radio Prepares for Bankruptcy

Reports are surfacing that Sirius XM (SIRI) satellite radio is working with bankruptcy advisers and legal staff.
Sirius is working with restructuring and bankruptcy experts in what may be a potential chapter 11 filing before February 17th. On February 5th EchoStar Communications acquired $300 Million worth of debt that matures on February 17th. This leaves Echostar Communications with a dilemma, take the loss on their recent acquisition of $300 million of Sirius debt, or purchase the company outright.

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Freestyle Motocross Rider Dies: 24 Year Old Jeremy Lusk

Jeremy Lusk crashed in competition in Costa Rica on Saturday night–he was attempting a Hart Attack backflip and slammed head first into the dirt. He has been in intensive care since then but, “last night he stopped responding and entered into cardiac and respiratory failure,” according to Doctor Ramirez of Calderon Hospital. His wife, parents, in-laws, and closet friends were at his side.

A trust has been set up in his memory:
You can see video tributes to Jeremy Lusk here.
His Blog Spot has been updated with more details.


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Portfolio: Kanjorski Unsupported by Reported Facts

Apologies to politico; an earlier version of this diary cited them, and not portfolio.

There's a diary on the rec list which features Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D) (PA-11), saying: that in mid-sept (Sept 15? Sept 16?) that $550B had been withdrawn from money market accounts (there are more than one type) and the Treasury eventually insured them, later estimating that if they had not, they would have lost $5.5B trillion by 3pm -- potentially collapsing the US and world economies.

Felix Salmon of portfolio says, in effect "pics or it didn't happen." This has never been reported elsewhere, and there's no public information supporting it.

rerutled's diary :: ::
This is something of a problem: why hasn't what would be the biggest story of the year (total US economic collapse narrowly averted?) been picked up by any of the financial journalists?

Where's the public information which would support it?

While I'm willing to believe that a Representative on the Finance committee would know if this happened, even if the rest of us don't, I don't believe that it's a secret which nobody else can either prove or know about.

I'm with Salmon: "Pics or it didn't happen". Let's see some financial statements from somebody confirming the story.

I can't find any. I searched the Times, and the only reference to the money market insurance that week was on Sept 19th, reporting that the money market fell by $170B that week (after Lehman collapsed), and the total capitalization was $3.4B trillion(well below the $5.5B trillion referred to by Rep. Kanjorski, in an article reporting that (as Kanjorski was motivating) the Treasury would insure Money Market Funds to $250K.

The federal government took two aggressive steps on Friday to restore confidence in money market funds, which consumers have long considered to be as safe as bank savings accounts, but which have come under increasing stress in the current market turmoil.


Money funds held more than $3.4 trillion in investor funds, as of the most recent industry tally released Thursday, down almost $170 billion from the previous week. The Treasury said concerns about the value of money market funds falling below the standard net asset value of $1 a share — or "breaking the buck" — had heightened the financial turmoil and caused severe liquidity strains in world markets.

I would really like to see Rep. Kanjorski's numbers confirmed.

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Capitol Hill Monitors Ticketmaster Merger

Capitol Hill is keeping an eye on promotion giant Live Nation's planned $575 million acquisition of Ticketmaster, a company that does much of its concert ticket business on the Internet. Sens. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, believe the merger should be closely reviewed to ensure that the combined company does not gain inappropriate market power. "We are concerned about the antitrust implications of the proposed merger," the Senate Judiciary Committee members said in a statement. "We look forward to examining the details of this proposed acquisition to ensure that consumers are protected."
Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., who earlier this week raised concerns about the rumored business deal, said the Tuesday announcement by Live Nation and Ticketmaster was "a major disappointment for music fans all around the country." He said the arrangement threatens to increase concert prices and limit access for middle-class Americans to entertainment events. "We saw last week the trouble that can arise when one company exercises too much control over a market," Pascrell said, pointing to allegations that Ticketmaster sent Bruce Springsteen fans to a subsidiary Web site that sells concert seats at a premium cost.
"Any merger that would consolidate so many aspects of the concert business under one roof must be carefully scrutinized for antitrust violations by the relevant federal regulators and the United States Congress," Pascrell said. "This proposed company would have unprecedented control over nearly every single step of the music industry, from the managing and promoting of artists, to running the venues, to selling the tickets." Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino, however, said the combination "will drive measurable benefits to consumers and accelerate the execution of our strategy to build a better artist-to-fan direct distribution platform."


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Healthcare Rationing Hidden in Stimulus Bill

What you don't know about the details of the massive trillion dollar stimulus bill the Democratic Congress just passed can kill you...literally. Hidden in that bill is a provision for healthcare rationing.
Further, the healthcare rationing contained in the bill is based upon a 'means testing' process whereby the cost of the care vs. the life-expectancy of the patient in question will determine whether or not medical care is provided.

For example, if you are a female 75 years of age with heart disease, it could be determined that due to the fact that your life expectancy is 81 years of age, thus meaning that you would only have roughly 6 years to benefit, an expensive heart medication that could correct your problem would be denied.

This is because under the Obama-Democrat plan, the government will make those decisions, not your doctor. And since this stimulus bill contains a provision for a 'healthcare czar' to oversee this process, all of the pieces are in place to usurp any control your doctor may have over your care, placing your 'case' under the control of government bureaucrats who will determine your fate based upon costs.

According to a special report at Atlas, many of these provisions are the ideas of Tom Daschle, who was supposed to be Obama's HHS Secretary until tax cheat issues surfaced. Here is some of what Daschle and the Democrats want:

What penalties will deter your doctor from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? The vagueness is intentional. In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make.

The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192). The goal, Daschle’s book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.

Elderly Hardest Hit

Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.

Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).

The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board discussed in Daschle’s book. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.

In 2006, a U.K. health board decreed that elderly patients with macular degeneration had to wait until they went blind in one eye before they could get a costly new drug to save the other eye. It took almost three years of public protests before the board reversed its decision.

Are you sufficiently frightened out of your wits yet? You should be.

This is precisely what many of us predicted before the election...that under Barack Obama there would be healthcare rationing for Senior Adults.

Thus, if you are deemed too old and sick to be given care in a cost-effective manner, sorry pal, but you need to go ahead and die. This is precisely the attitude of Obama, Daschle, Reid, Pelosi, Schumer, and anyone else who supports such outright murder.

These purveyors of death have already desensitized the public into believing that infanticide is not murder, and so, what's the problem with getting rid of the 'useless elderly,' huh?

Welcome to your worst nightmare--modern America under liberals. As far as I'm concerned each and every one can go straight to hell.

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PCA Closes Texas Plant After Traces Of Salmonella Found In Processed Peanut Samples

The Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) has closed its peanut processing plant in Plainview, Texas after state health officials found salmonella in samples of peanut products taken from the facility.
PCA closed the factory on Monday after samples of roasted peanuts, peanut meal and granulated peanuts taken from the plant last week tested positive from salmonella bacteria, said Texas Department of State Health Services spokesman Doug McBride, according to the Washington Post. The department is doing further tests on the samples to confirm its findings, McBride said.

McBridge said roasted peanuts that were shipped out of the plant have been recalled on Monday before reaching consumers.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also investigating the plant, which has been operating since 2005 without a permit and has never been visited by health inspectors.

The closure of the Texas plant leaves PCA with only its Lynchburg, Virginia plant operating. Its plant in Blakely, Georgia was closed last month after health inspectors found peanut butter there to be contaminated with salmonella and the facility to be unsanitary.

The FDA traced the salmonella outbreak in 44 states that killed eight people and sickened 600 others to bacteria-tainted peanut butter made at PCA's Georgia plant. On Monday, FBI agents raided the plant for evidences.

PCA is facing lawsuits from victims of the salmonella poisoning.


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