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1  Media & Film / Television / 'Fringe' ratings improve; Fox ties CBS for Friday win on: February 22, 2011, 01:27:42 pm
'Fringe' ratings improve; Fox ties CBS for Friday win
by James Hibberd


Categories: Television, TV Biz, TV Ratings
Comments 87 Add comment 
Image Credit: Liane Hentscher/Fox
Friday ratings offer Fringe fans some relief: After two weeks of declines, the series stopped falling and reversed course.

Fringe averaged 4.1 million viewers and a 1.5 preliminary adults 18-49 rating, up one tenth — or 7% — from last week. That’s still aways off from the hearty 1.9 rating the show posted its first two weeks in its new Friday time slot, but any increase is a positive sign. (Perhaps fans heard Joshua Jackson’s message yesterday that they better start watching on Fridays if they want the show to return).

Fox actually tied usual Friday leader CBS to win the night, helped by Fringe lead-in Kitchen Nightmares (3.9 million, 1.7) rising 13%. That’s helpful for Fringe too, the “who won the night” boast is valued by all networks.

While most Thursday shows hit season lows the night before, several Friday programs posted gains along with Fringe:

CBS had Defenders (8.5 million, 1.3) and CSI: NY (10.6 million, 1.Cool both climbing this week, followed by Blue Bloods (11.1 million, 1.6) back in the Friday mix.

NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are (5.9 million, 1.2) bucked the trend by declining 14% and featuring — not coincidentally, I bet — Rosie O’Donnell as its celebrity profile. Dateline (6.8 million, 1.6) improved this week.

ABC was third with its unscripted block (averaging 4.1 million, 1.3). The CW’s Smallville (2.2 million, 1.0) and Supernatural (2.3 million, 1.0) were up 11%.
http://ewinsidetv.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/fringe_fridays.jpg?w=298&h=198
2  Genres of Film & Literature / Science Fiction / Fans launch 'Help Nathan Fillion Buy Firefly' movement on: February 22, 2011, 01:22:38 pm
Fans launch 'Help Nathan Fillion Buy Firefly' movement



by James Hibberd
Categories: Television, TV Biz
Comments 223 Add comment Firefly fans have launched a Web site and Facebook page trying to rally support to help Nathan Fillion buy the rights to the canceled Fox series.

Earlier this week, Fillion told EW he’d be willing to reprise his Firefly role as Captain Mal again. Then he added: “If I got $300 million from the California Lottery, the first thing I would do is buy the rights to Firefly, make it on my own, and distribute it on the Internet.”

Well, be careful what you wish for, because Firefly fans think that’s a great idea! And they’re not the only ones…

Jose Molina, a producer on Syfy’s Haven, former Castle producer and author of two Firefly episodes tweeted Friday regarding Fillion’s comment: “For what it’s worth, I’ve told him I’d drop what I was doing and follow.”

Then Jane Espenson, writer of a Firefly episode, a producer on Battlestar Galactica and co-creator of Warehouse 13, replied to Molina: “I’m there, if needed.”

Now, there’s a couple different sentiments going on here so let’s look at each separately.

Buying the rights: $300 million wouldn’t be necessary. Terminator rights sold for about $30 million (and, as much as we love Firefly, let’s face it, Serenity was hardly T2 at the box office). Still, we’re talking a shiny chunk of change. Then the show still needs to be produced (= more money).

The only problem (well, not the only problem, but a significant one) is Firefly studio 20th Century Fox probably isn’t willing to sell the rights. The Terminator owners were bankrupt, while 20th is doing just fine and holds its properties as long-term investments (remember George Lucas talking 20th Century Fox out of the Star Wars sequel rights back in the 1970s? Yeah, they don’t fall for that anymore). One insider said he couldn’t think of a case of 20th outright selling the rights to a property.

The fan site is not accepting actual donations, just pledges (wisely), waiting to see if it can drum up enough support. Still, Fillion’s Lotto quote is probably being taken too literally. It’s one thing for the actor to say, you know, answering a reporter’s hypothetical question between takes on Castle, “if I won the lottery,” it’s another to be faced with the prospect of fans passing around the hat.


In other words: Even if fans miraculously raised millions, the studio is not likely to part with the rights to Firefly — if anything, such an act would prove to them the rights are worth keeping. However: Like all studios, 20th is generally open to new opportunities to make more money from its existing properties if given an assured path to profitability. Which brings us to…

Rebooting Firefly: This sentiment, one suspects, is more likely what the Firefly writers and most fans are responding to. And there’s few things more durable and renewable in media than a beloved sci fi brand. If all everybody who bought the Firefly DVD set during its first year of release (500,000 strong, according to one report) declared they were willing to shell out $40 in hopes of resurrecting the franchise as, say, a two-hour TV movie+DVD or something, well, you’d certainly get the studio’s attention. But that’s if the show’s very busy creator Joss Whedon and Fillion, etc. would be willing and contractually available in the first place, and that’s if the studio were on board — and those are real Ifs.

BTW: Firefly ratings back in 2002? About a 2.0 in the adult demo. Which nowadays is considered survivable even on broadcast. Not that the space-western would likely get the same numbers if on the air today when there’s so much more competition from cable, but it’s interesting to think about.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/02/21/help-nathan-fillion-buy-firefly/?hpt=Sbin
3  Atlantis / the Scientific Atlantis / Re: Saya de Malha Bank on: February 08, 2011, 01:25:26 pm
References^ http://ftp://rock.geosociety.org/pub/reposit/2001/2001075.pdf
4  Atlantis / the Scientific Atlantis / Re: Saya de Malha Bank on: February 08, 2011, 01:25:14 pm
Artificial island projectThe Saya de Malha Bank is, or was, the site of an attempt to create an artificial island by Wolf Hilbertz (1938-2007) and Dr. Thomas Goreau. Hilbertz created seacrete and biorock, by combining the minerals in sea brine with electricity to create an artificial coral, or building materials. Hilbertz and Goreau made several expeditions to the bank to attempt to create or grow an island around a steel structure that has been anchored to the North Bank sea floor at a depth of 11 meters. Some sources say that the island would have been named Autopia or Autopia Saya, and declared a micronation.

Excerpt from an online interview with Wolf Hilbertz in Celestopea Times, 2004

You and your discovery of accreting minerals in seawater into solid forms has inspired several groups over the years to contemplate creating artificial islands for their piece of paradise. Your name has been linked to some such as Autopia Ampere and Skerki Bank. Is there an update on either of those projects or words of encouragement for others seeking something similar?
Examining the geography and bathymetry of the globe to find a spot in the ocean where to establish a permanent research settlement I came upon Seamount Ampere, east of Gibraltar, and Skerki Bank near Sicily. Both sites had potential, but Saya de Malha Banks in the NE Indian Ocean eclipsed them all. Having about the size of Belgium, most of Saya lies in international waters, 'in the high seas' legally speaking, governed only by the U.N. Law of the Sea. In 1997, Goreau and I sailed to Saya de Malha's many shallow sites and established the first accretion structure there, powered by floating photovoltaics and thus claiming the banks. In 2002 the second Saya de Malha Expedition with three boats laid the foundation of Autopia Saya, powered by photovoltaics, and performed the first modern bathymetric surveys ever conducted in the area. The latest Saya de Malha Expedition Report is on our websites. We are busy now organizing a third expedition to get Autopia Saya growing above sea level.
Mauritius claims the Saya de Malha Bank as part of its Exclusive Economic Zone. In the similar situation, Tonga evicted the Republic of Minerva from the Minerva Reefs by arguing that they had established a claim over that non-adjoining underwater site by traditional fishing use.

5  Atlantis / the Scientific Atlantis / Re: Saya de Malha Bank on: February 08, 2011, 01:25:06 pm
GeologyThe bank was formed 35 million years ago by the Réunion hotspot, and is composed of basaltic basal rock overlain with limestone. The limestone banks found on the plateau are the remnants of coral reefs. Millions of years ago, the bank was one or more mountainous volcanic islands, like present-day Mauritius and Réunion, which subsequently sank below the waves. Some of the banks may have been low islands as recently as 18,000 - 6,000 years ago, when sea levels were up to 130 meters lower during the most recent ice age.

6  Atlantis / the Scientific Atlantis / Re: Saya de Malha Bank on: February 08, 2011, 01:24:20 pm
HistoryThe bank was named by Portuguese explorers 500 years ago, who encountered the bank on the voyage between the Cape of Good Hope and India. After traversing miles of deep blue Indian Ocean, they found themselves sailing above a shallow area of the bank, covered with swaying green seagrass.

The first serious survey of the bank was undertaken by Captain Robert Moresby of the Royal Navy in 1838. Moresby previously surveyed the Laccadives, the Red Sea, the Maldives and the Chagos Banks. Due to Moresby's ill health, the Saya de Malha bank was his last survey in a long and brilliant career exploring and charting the archipelagos and reefs of the Indian Ocean.

7  Atlantis / the Scientific Atlantis / Saya de Malha Bank on: February 08, 2011, 01:23:49 pm
Saya de Malha Bank



The Saya de Malha Bank (also Sahia de Malha Bank, Modern Portuguese: saia de malha, English mesh skirt) is the largest submerged bank in the World, part of the vast undersea Mascarene Plateau. It lies east of Madagascar, southeast of the Seychelles, and north of the Nazareth Bank, the Cargados Carajos shoals, and the island of Mauritius, and falls into the Mauritian exclusive economic zone. The closest land is the tiny Agalega Islands (a remote dependency of Mauritius), some 300 km further west, followed by the southern Seychellois island of Coëtivy, some 400 km northwest. Mauritius administers Saya de Malha Bank as part of its Exclusive Economic Zone.

The bank covers an area of 40,808 km2 (15,756 sq mi),[1] and is composed of two separate structures, the smaller North Bank (also called Ritchie Bank), and the huge South Bank. If the South Bank were recognized as a submerged atoll structure, it would be the largest of the world, almost three times the size of the Great Chagos Bank, commonly considered the largest atoll structure of the world. Even smaller North Bank would be one of the largest atolls worldwide. The North Bank and the South Bank appear to have different origins, since they are separated by a fault. Studies show that the South Bank and the Great Chagos Bank were one single feature until about 64 to 69 million years ago, when an ocean ridge opened between them and started pushing them apart.

Saya de Malha Bank consists of a series of narrow shoals, with depths from 17 to 29 meters on the rim. They are arranged in a semicircular manner, around a space, the former lagoon, about 73 meters deep, which slopes on the Southeast. Some areas of the bank are shallow, less than 10 meters below the surface. The shallowest sites known are Poydenot Rock, at a depth of 8 meters, and an unnamed site 145 km further northwest, with a depth of 7 meters. The banks are covered with sea grass interspersed with small coral reefs. Due to its remote location, the bank is among the least-studied shallow marine ecoregions on the planet. The banks are a breeding ground for Humpback Whales and Blue Whales.

8  UFOs, Aliens & Future Science / Time Travel / Cell phone 'time traveler' seen in silent film on: October 28, 2010, 01:30:27 pm
Cell phone 'time traveler' seen in silent film
By Stephanie Goldberg, Special to CNN
October 28, 2010 1:07 p.m. EDT | Filed under: Web

Time traveling cell phone?STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Internet writers say they've spotted a cell phone from 1928

The supposed phone is seen in the background of a Charlie Chaplin movie

RELATED TOPICS
Charlie Chaplin
Arts, Entertainment, and Media
(CNN) -- It's not shocking to see a woman talking on her cell phone while walking down the street. It is, however, shocking when the woman is an extra in a silent film from 1928.

Charlie Chaplin's "The Circus" is getting internet buzz with a clip from the black-and-white comedy spreading at viral speed.

The clip -- a DVD extra spotted by filmmaker George Clarke -- appears to show a woman holding a mobile phone to her ear and talking.

The only explanation: She's a time traveler.

At least that's the word on the Web.

In the late 1920s, Chaplin was nominated for an Academy Award for acting, writing, directing and producing "The Circus," but he was taken out of the running and presented with a "Special Award" instead.

Perhaps the Academy didn't think it was fair to include him in the race -- what with the use of technology from the future and all.

We're just curious who operates her mobile network.
http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/web/10/28/charlie.chaplin.circus.time.travel/index.html?iref=NS1

9  September 11th, 2001 / Modern Warfare / Bin Laden tape is real, French say on: October 28, 2010, 01:27:52 pm
Bin Laden tape is real, French sayBy the CNN Wire Staff
October 28, 2010 12:56 p.m. EDT



 
Bin Laden warns France to get out of Afghanistan.STORY HIGHLIGHTS
NEW: The message only "confirms the terrorist threat," the Foreign Ministry says
Bin Laden threatens France on the tape, which was broadcast Wednesday
He warns Paris to get its troops out of Afghanistan
France must show "contempt" towards the threat, an opposition lawmaker says
Paris, France (CNN) -- A tape of a man claiming to be Osama Bin Laden threatening France appears to be authentic, the French Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

Bin Laden warned France to get its troops out of Afghanistan and not to oppress Muslims at home in a tape broadcast by the Al-Jazeera network Wednesday.

"If you want to tyrannize and think that it is your right to ban the free women from wearing the burqa, isn't it our right to expel your occupying forces, your men from our lands by striking them by the neck?" the speaker demands, in reference to recently passed French legislation barring women from covering their faces in public.

"This message only confirms the reality of the terrorist threat against which the French authorities have taken and continue to take appropriate measures," the ministry said in a statement Thursday.

"French authorities are fully mobilized to secure the release of seven hostages kidnapped in Niger on September 16. These statements by Bin Laden will not affect our assessment of the situation of our hostages and obviously will, therefore, not erode our efforts to secure their release. France will continue to fight against terrorism alongside its partners," the ministry said.



Video: New Bin Laden tape
RELATED TOPICS
Al Qaeda
Osama bin Laden
France
Five French nationals were kidnapped last month along with a person from Togo and one from Madagascar. A photograph of them was posted September 30 on a website linked to al Qaeda.

French authorities are treating the Bin Laden message "very, very seriously," CNN counterterror analyst Paul Cruickshank said.

An opposition lawmaker Wednesday urged "contempt towards these terrorists.

"All of this is derisory, contemptible. We must take this message for what it is but we must stand together in France, all French, whatever the circumstances and whatever our differences," said Francois Loncle, a Socialist Party member of the foreign relations committee of the National Assembly said on RTL radio.

The demands of the speaker on the tape are clear.

"The only way to safeguard your nation and maintain your security is to lift all your injustice and its extensions off our people and most importantly to withdraw your forces from Bush's despicable war in Afghanistan," the speaker says.

The tape is audio only. The speaker does not appear. CNN was not able to confirm that it is really Osama Bin Laden, the head of al Qaeda.

But fake Bin Laden tapes have never been broadcast, U.S. intelligence experts say.

"As you kill us, you will be killed. As you imprison us, you will be imprisoned, and as you threaten our security, we will threaten your security and the initiator of the injustice is the true aggressor," the speaker says.

The France's terror alert level is red, the second highest, authorities say. It did not change immediately in response to the new tape.

Paris has been on edge lately, with the Eiffel Tower having been evacuated twice.

Al Qaeda has issued a series of threats against France in the past, and French citizens have been killed by groups in Africa claiming affiliation with Bin Laden's group.

Bin Laden is still providing strategic direction to al Qaeda from a base somewhere in Pakistan, Cruickshank said.

"He is still involved in actual plotting... signing off on (an) operation, Western intelligence authorities believe," he said.

But there have been only two successful attacks on the West since September 11, 2001, he pointed out.

Commuter trains in Madrid, Spain, were bombed in March, 2004, killing 191 people. Public transport in London, England, was bombed in July, 2005, killing 52, plus four suicide bombers.

France has 3,750 troops in Afghanistan, according to NATO's International Security Assistance Force.

French lawmakers approved a ban on full-face veils in September, citing security concerns and saying they violated women's human rights. The ban is scheduled to come into effect in the spring.


http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/10/28/france.bin.laden/index.html?hpt=T1
10  Modern Historical Mysteries / the World Wars / The World at War (30th Anniversary Edition) on: July 21, 2010, 03:07:09 pm
20% Off Today: The World at War (30th Anniversary Edition), Narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier, 11 DVDs, 1357 Minutes. Great Collector's Item to Watch and Re-Watch. The Definitive Documentary Chronicle of WW II.
Narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier

BuzzFlash.com's Review (excerpt)
"The Second World War was different from other wars in thousands of ways, one of which was the unparalleled scope of visual documents kept by the Axis and Allies of all their activities. As a result, this war is understood as much through written histories as it is through its powerful images. The Nazis were particularly thorough in documenting even the most abhorrent of the atrocities they were committing--in a surprising amount of color footage. The World at War was one of the first television documentaries that exploited these resources so completely, giving viewers an unbelievable visual guide to the greatest event in the 20th century. This is to say nothing of the excellent, comprehensible narrative. Some highlights:

* A New Germany 1933-39: early German and Nazi documentation of Hitler's rise to power through the impending attack on Poland
* Whirlwind: the early British losses in the blitz in the skies over Britain and in North Africa
* Stalingrad: the turning point of the war and Germany's first defeat
* Inside the Reich--Germany 1940-44: one of the most fascinating documentaries that exists on life inside Nazi Germany, from Lebensborn to the Hitler Youth
* Morning: prior to Saving Private Ryan, one of the only unromanticized views of the Normandy invasion
* Genocide: this film is one of the most widely shown introductions to the Holocaust
* Japan 1941-45: although The World at War is decidedly focused more on the European theater, this is an important look into wartime Japan and its expansion--early 20th-century history that lead to Japan's role in World War II is superficial
* The bomb: another widely shown documentary of the Manhattan Project, the Enola Gay, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki

The World at War will remain the definitive visual history of World War II, analogous to Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. No serious historian should be missing The World at War in a collection, and no student should leave school without having seen at least some of its salient episodes. Rarely is film so essential."

"More than 30 years after its initial broadcast, THE WORLD AT WAR remains the definitive visual history of World War II. Narrated by Academy Award winner Laurence Olivier and digitally re-mastered for DVD, this is epic history at its absolute best.

Unsurpassed in depth and scope, its 26 hour-long programs feature an extraordinary collection of newsreel, propaganda, and home-movie footage drawn from the archives of 18 nations, including color close-ups of Adolf Hitler taken by his mistress, that present an unvarnished perspective of the war's pivotal events. Penetrating interviews with eyewitness participants--from Hitler's secretary to Alger Hiss to ordinary citizens who stood outside the battle lines--add spine-tingling, first-hand accounts to an already unforgettable viewing experience.

Informative and unbiased, THE WORLD AT WAR is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an International Emmy Award, The National Television Critic's Award for Best Documentary, and knighthood for its creator, Sir Jeremy Isaacs."
Read The Full Review >>>
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Other Reviews
26 Episodes and Plenty of Extras!


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11  General Category / Opinions & Editorials / New Book from the Late Howard Zinn on the Threat of Nuclear Weapons: "The Bomb" on: July 21, 2010, 03:04:54 pm
New Book from the Late Howard Zinn on the Threat of Nuclear Weapons: "The Bomb"
By Howard Zinn

BuzzFlash.com's Review (excerpt)
Celebrate peace with this posthumous book from Howard Zinn.

"Occasioned by the 65th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, Zinn's final work (completed just before his death in January 2010), combines a discussion of the horrors of atomic warfare with a glimpse at the carnage in Royan, which included the deaths of over 1,000 civilians in one of the first uses of napalm. . . . Zinn's call to reject disproportionate violence in war remains unalloyed and relevant to today's conflicts." --Brendan Driscoll --Booklist

"As a World War II combat soldier, Howard Zinn took part in the aerial bombing of Royan, France. Two decades later, he was invited to visit Hiroshima and meet survivors of the atomic attack. In this short and powerful book, Zinn offers his deep personal reflections and political analysis of these events, their consequences, and the profound influence they had in transforming him from an order-taking combat soldier to one of our greatest anti-authoritarian, antiwar historians. This book was finalized just prior to Zinn's passing in January 2010, and is published on the sixty-fifth anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima."
Read The Full Review >>>
http://www.buzzflash.com/store/reviews/2311
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12  Literature / Book Reviews / New Book from the Late Howard Zinn on the Threat of Nuclear Weapons: "The Bomb" on: July 20, 2010, 04:18:32 pm
New Book from the Late Howard Zinn on the Threat of Nuclear Weapons: "The Bomb"
By Howard Zinn
BuzzFlash.com's Review (excerpt)

Celebrate peace with this posthumous book from Howard Zinn.

"Occasioned by the 65th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, Zinn's final work (completed just before his death in January 2010), combines a discussion of the horrors of atomic warfare with a glimpse at the carnage in Royan, which included the deaths of over 1,000 civilians in one of the first uses of napalm. . . . Zinn's call to reject disproportionate violence in war remains unalloyed and relevant to today's conflicts." --Brendan Driscoll --Booklist

"As a World War II combat soldier, Howard Zinn took part in the aerial bombing of Royan, France. Two decades later, he was invited to visit Hiroshima and meet survivors of the atomic attack. In this short and powerful book, Zinn offers his deep personal reflections and political analysis of these events, their consequences, and the profound influence they had in transforming him from an order-taking combat soldier to one of our greatest anti-authoritarian, antiwar historians. This book was finalized just prior to Zinn's passing in January 2010, and is published on the sixty-fifth anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima."
Read The Full Review >>>
http://www.buzzflash.com/store/reviews/2311
Product Description
Buy more progressive premiums to support BuzzFlash progressive news and commentary (we accept no advertising, corporate or otherwise to maintain our complete independence)by going to The BuzzFlash Progressive Marketplace.
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13  General Category / General & Miscellaneous / The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents are Going Broke on: July 20, 2010, 04:17:14 pm
"The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents are Going Broke" From the Hero of the Financial Disaster, Elizabeth Warren (and Her Daughter), Who Predicted the Middle Class Meltdown Before the Financial Crisis. A Superb Insight Into Why Warren Represents the Change for Main Street We Expected from Obama, Instead of the Wall Street Appeasements (Geithner, et al)That We Got.
By Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi

BuzzFlash.com's Review (excerpt)
BuzzFlash, just the other day, gave Elizabeth Warren our distinguished Wings of Justice Award. This is part of our citation :

"If virtue is bestowed by judging from one's enemies, then Elizabeth Warren may be our consumer protection Joan of Arc. After all, Timothy Geithner -- a Zelig of Wall Street appeasement and failure -- is opposed to Warren heading the Consumer Financial Protection Board, just created in the "finance reform" legislation. Why would Geithner oppose Warren? Because he is a Wall Street "Made Man," and thinks that she would take actions that might expose the crooks of lower Manhattan.

But Elizabeth Warren has been the one true hero in an Administration and Congress jam-packed with finance industry puppets. As head of a Congressional Oversight Panel to oversee the Federal bailout, she has sought accountability and transparency, only to be rebuffed by Geithner and other White House appointees. In fact, the Consumer Financial Protection Board is her idea, given all the roadblocks that she encountered to exposing the cozy relationship between the executive branch and the finance industry, Warren proposed the idea of a consumer protection agency.

We recall watching Warren in a guest appearance on The Daily Show awhile back and she was marvelous: frank, charming, transparent, and a bit mystified as to why the White House would hide information about how TARP money was being distributed and to whom. In many ways, Elizabeth Warren has the attitude of "change" and protection of the average citizen from financial predators that we expected from Obama."

Publishers Weekly:

"Warren, a law professor at Harvard (The Fragile Middle Class) and her daughter Tyagi, a former McKinsey consultant, have joined forces here to argue here that the two-parent middle-class working family is on the brink of financial disaster. The number of families declaring bankruptcy or receiving a foreclosure against their house has shot up dramatically. Presenting carefully researched economic data to support their arguments, the authors contend that, contrary to popular myth, families aren't in trouble because they're squandering their second income on luxuries. On the contrary, both incomes are almost entirely committed to necessities, such as home and car payments, health insurance and children's education costs. When an unforeseen event such as serious illness, job loss or divorce occurs, families have no discretionary income to fall back on. The authors recommend a number of useful societal solutions to get families out of this trap, such as legally prohibiting credit card companies from charging grossly unfair interest rates and exposing banks that employ a loan-to-own strategy that steers minority customers to higher mortgage rates with an eye to future foreclosures. Warren and Tyagi point out that families buy homes they cannot afford in order to live in a neighborhood with better schools."

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14  General Category / Sports / Fraternization among foes have made sports way too chummy on: July 19, 2010, 03:13:24 pm
Dan Shaughnessy> VIEWPOINT
More ColumnsEmail Dan Shaughnessy
 
Fraternization among foes have made sports way too chummy   Story Highlights
In the old days, players on opposing teams never talked to one another
Ted Williams once went off on pitcher who wanted him to sign ball after strikeout
Fraternization can impact outcome; when was last time a catcher blocked plate?   
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It was once unthinkable for stars like Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James to conspire to play together.
Gregory Heisler/SI
Among the nauseating aspects of the LeBron James "Decision" (and there were too many to count) is the old and ongoing cozy relationship that exists between LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
You heard all the details. 'Bron, D-Wade and Bosh got together years ago and made a pact to one day join forces. They signed contracts designed to expire simultaneously. They held Cartel meetings during the offseason, and sometimes during the regular season.
Gag me. Whatever happened to good old-fashioned disdain for the opposition? How good can the competition be when the alleged "rivals" are in business together or planning to join forces at a later date?
At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon who covered the 1918 World Series (Ruth really dominated the Cubs in that 1-0 game, didn't he?), sports was better in the days before the players all loved one another.
There's a great old tale about an exchange between Ted Williams and a kid pitcher from the Washington Senators named Pedro Ramos. In one of his first games in the bigs, Ramos stuck out Williams. Ramos saved the baseball, and a few days later went over to the Sox dugout to ask Williams if he would sign the ball for him. The Splendid Splinter unloaded on Ramos with both barrels, signed the ball, and told him to take a hike. A few weeks later, Williams hit a prodigious homer off Ramos, and as he was rounding first base hollered, "I'll sign that sonofabitch, too, if you can ever find it!''
The story reminds me of an encounter I had with Bob Gibson in a hotel elevator in the 1990s. We were talking about then-Sox ace Roger Clemens and I told Gibson about a young hitter who had homered off Clemens, then asked the Rocket to sign the baseball. I could see steam coming off Gibson's head as he listened. I asked him what he would have done in the same situation and Gibson said, "I've have hit him in the head next time up, then offered to sign his head!''
Gibson probably he would have done that. The legend on Gibson was that he did not speak with his non-Cardinal teammates when he played for the National League in the All-Star game. He didn't want to compromise the competition when everybody got back to work after the mid-summer break.
Frank Robinson was the same way. After his tremendous career was over, Robinson stayed in the game as a manager and coach and he seethed when he saw opponents standing around the batting cage chatting before games.
In Boston we've seen the change in the Red Sox-Yankee rivalry.
Back in the 1970s, the Sox and Pinstripes truly hated one another. You'd never see Carlton Fisk and Thurman Munson speak. There were several brawls and one of them cost the Sox Bill Lee for a season. The Sox and Yankees continue to joust in this century, but the new rivalry is sometimes best-remembered for the night that Manny Ramirez said he could not play and instead when to the bar at Boston Ritz-Carlton with Yankee Enrique Wilson.
LeBron and friends certainly didn't invent coziness in the NBA.
Remember when Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson would kiss one another before games in the Pistons-Lakers Finals? Yeesh.
Fraternization sometimes impacts the outcome of games. For instance, when it the last time you saw a runner plow through a catcher en route to home plate? Hardly anyone does this anymore because players are part of a very profitable union and no one wants to do anything to harm a fellow union member. As a result, catchers of this generation have learned to stick their left leg across the base path while they are waiting for a relay throw. There are no more Frank Robinsons to remind the catchers that the path belongs to the baserunner and a catcher risks injury if he puts his body in the path. Today's polite baserunners simply go around, sometimes costing their teams ballgames.
It's the same with the old-time brushback pitch. Back in the day, before Marvin Miller and Donald Fehr convinced the players that they were all part of something larger than team affiliations, there was payback for certain infractions. If you hit my cleanup batter with a pitch, I hit your cleanup guy. And if you stood at home plate admiring your home run for too long, I put you on your back next time you step up to the plate.
That's all gone now. Players love one another more than they love the teams they represent. The whole sports world has gone the way of LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh. We are not better for it.
Dan Shaughnessy is a columnist for The Boston Globe. Read more of his columns here.


Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/dan_shaughnessy/07/19/players.friends/index.html#ixzz0u9e1KKAo

15  General Category / Sports / Wade apologizes for 'World Trade' remark on: July 19, 2010, 03:11:29 pm

Posted: Monday July 19, 2010 2:08PM ; Updated: Monday July 19, 2010 2:08PM

 
Wade apologizes for 'World Trade' remark   


MIAMI (AP) -- Dwyane Wade issued an apology Monday to those who may have been offended by his use of the phrase "World Trade" while answering a question about the upcoming Miami Heat season.
The All-Star guard made the remark Sunday before the annual charity basketball game he co-hosts with Alonzo Mourning.
Standing at his locker before a group of reporters, Wade said: "There's going to be times when we might lose one, two games in a row, maybe two games, three games in a row, you never know. It's going to seem like the world is crashed down. You all are going to make it seem like the World Trade has just went down again. But it's not going to be nothing but a couple basketball games lost and we'll have to get back on track."
On Monday, before leaving on a flight to Los Angeles for some television appearances -- he was previously booked to talk with Jay Leno -- Wade issued an apology through the Heat.
In the statement, Wade said: "In an interview yesterday, I attempted to explain how some people may view the Miami Heat losing a few basketball games in a row during the upcoming season. It appears that my reference to the World Trade Center has been either inaccurately reported or taken completely out of context. I was simply trying to say that losing a few basketball games should not be compared to a real catastrophe.
"While it was certainly not my intention, I sincerely apologize to anyone who found my reference to the World Trade Center to be insensitive or offensive."
AOL Fanhouse initially reported the guard saying: "If we lose a couple in a row this season, it will be like the World Trade (Center) is coming down again." Hours later, AOL Fanhouse published a different version of the quote, citing a transcription error and an editor's note saying, "we deeply regret the error."
Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/basketball/nba/07/19/wade.apology.ap/index.html#ixzz0u9eE6Bs8
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/basketball/nba/07/19/wade.apology.ap/index.html
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