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Showing posts from December 1, 2010

Flights Grounded At Gatwick Airport

Flights Grounded At Gatwick Airport - Services were halted at Gatwick, Edinburgh, Dundee, Durham Tees Valley and Doncaster (Robin Hood) completely, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

Delays and cancellations were also reported at a number of other airports including London City, Heathrow, Leeds Bradford and Newcastle.

This was the worst disruption to British aviation since the ash crisis in April, which grounded thousands of flights across the whole of Europe.

Already bad weather elsewhere in Europe led to a number of continental airports, including Frankfurt and Geneva also being shut.

This led to thousands more passengers being stranded abroad. They are, however, entitled to claims meals and, if necessary, hotel accommodation from their airline under EU consumer protection laws.

With more bad weather forecast, it is feared that the chaos could continue for several days. Even once the skies clear, further disruption is likely with the snow having left crew and aircraft maroone…

Ronnie Chasen Found Dead

Ronnie Chasen Found Dead - There are still no suspects in the sudden and violent shooting death of famous Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen.

The 64-year-old woman was shot and killed early Tuesday after leaving the premiere of her latest movie, “Burlesque,” in Beverly Hills.

Chasen was shot five times in the chest while she was driving her vehicle, and ended up hitting a light pole on Sunset Boulevard.

Police officers have spent time searching the home, vehicle and offices used by Chasen for information about why the woman might have been shot and killed, but so far have turned up no motive, no leads and no suspects.

Ronnie Chasen Found Dead

Bayer Petition Rejected

Bayer Petition Rejected - In February, the Delhi high court had dismissed an appeal by Bayer, which sought to link regulatory approval of generic medicines with their patent status . Bayer filed a special leave petition before the Supreme Court against the high court order . Patent linkage is a system in which a drug controller refuses to grant or delays a marketing approval to a generic company to manufacture and sell a drug, if the drug is already patented. Bayer had sought the drug regulator to stop registering a generic version of a patented cancer drug, and hence block generic competition.

This was perhaps the only case filed in the high court, where a drug MNC had taken the government to court. While dismissing the appeal, the Supreme Court bench, consisting of Justice Alam and Justice Lodha, said that it did not want to differ from the Delhi high court order. Sources said the Patents Act gives right to drug companies to seek recourse in the courts, in case there is an infring…

Verizon LTE Pricing

Verizon LTE Pricing - Verizon Wireless is undercutting its own 3G plans with pricing for the LTE network scheduled to go live on Sunday, possibly marking the beginning of a fight to capture high-speed wireless subscribers.

The LTE (Long-Term Evolution) network will be commercially available starting Sunday in 38 U.S. cities and more than 60 airports. It will run about 10 times as fast as Verizon's 3G network, according to the carrier. At launch, there will be just one device on sale for access to the network, a USB dongle from LG Electronics for US$99.99 after rebate with a two-year contract.

Data plans for the network will start at $50 per month, with a 5GB cap on downloads. That's $10 less per month than Verizon charges for 3G plans with dongles, and it matches the company's rate for 3G service on laptops and netbooks with built-in 3G modems.

Technically, LTE is a more economical technology for serving data to customers, because it makes more efficient use of radio spect…

Pat Manocchia Is Madonna's Personal Trainer

Pat Manocchia Is Madonna's Personal Trainer - Pat Manocchia, a celebrity personal trainer for big shots like Madonna is hitting New York City pretty hard.

Not only is he responsible for Madge’s diesel arms, before they got scary, but he was a former college hockey player and dated, as well as trained, Julia Roberts.

“I trained Madonna for a long time, like eight years, nine years,” Manocchia told Sun Media. “That was a long time ago, though.”

Manocchia has been a personal trainer for more than 20 years and now runs the La Palestra Center for Preventative Medicine in Manhattan on the upper West Side.

A membership, along with personal training fees will cost you, oh, about $8,000 a year.

Pat Manocchia Is Madonna's Personal Trainer

Background Checks Restrictions

Background Checks Restrictions - OfficeDrop scans paper documents into digital files. Its clients include hospitals that want to archive patient records and a minister with too many hand-written sermons. Prasad Thammineni started the company in 2007 and opened his doors to clients a year later.

Checking the backgrounds of job candidates to ensure that only trustworthy employees handle client documents (without violating candidate privacy or breaking the bank).

Mr. Thammineni, who is 41, left the Wharton School three years ago with a business education and 8,000 pages of notes. Reluctant to bury years of labor in boxes, he scanned the notes into his computer, where he could search them by keyword. When friends started asking him to scan their work, too, the idea for OfficeDrop was born.

The need to do background checks came up in the start-up phase, when participants in a focus group said they were nervous about entrusting strangers with private documents. Not knowing where to start, M…

300 Sextillion Stars

300 Sextillion Stars - If only Carl Sagan were still with us. We can just hear him saying "sextillions and sextillions."

There's word from some scientists today that there may be three times more stars in the universe than was previously thought — and many, many planets that could support life.

If they're right, it means there could be as many as 300 sextillion (a number we weren't familiar with, to be honest) stars. Want to write that down? It's a 3 followed by 23 zeroes. Like this:

300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

The research, led by Yale astronomer Pieter van Dokkum, is being published by the journal Nature. In an interview with Space.com, von Dokkum said the findings are based on data gathered when the researchers were analyzing "red dwarfs" — stars that are dimmer than our sun and much smaller.

The "faint signatures" of those red dwarfs in eight galaxies "located between about 50 million and 300 million light-years away," …

NASA Astrobiology Announcement

NASA Astrobiology Announcement - Science fans across the Internet are eagerly awaiting an announcement from NASA's astrobiology team planned for Thursday. All NASA will say about the press conference is that it will "discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life."
Evidence of Life on Mars?

While many are hoping that NASA will announce that extraterrestrial life has been discovered, this seems like a near impossibility. If this were the case, the best prospect for this might be from Mars. The Exploration Rover Spirit has been stationary for just about a year after getting stuck in some soft sand. That would give it an opportunity to study that patch of sand over a long period of time, during which it might perceive chemical changes attributable to life processes. It's a long shot at best, but remember that in the spot where it is stuck, Spirit was looking at layered sulfate salts associated with ancient thermal vents…

Bush Tax Cuts To Pass

Bush Tax Cuts To Pass - The lame-duck Congress, mired in a partisan clash over taxes and spending and preoccupied with a battle over extending the Bush tax cuts, refused Wednesday to restore federal financing of extended unemployment benefits, which had lapsed overnight.

The inaction means the imminent loss of unemployment compensation for some 800,000 out-of-work Americans, with nearly 2 million long-term unemployed expected to be affected by Jan. 1, according to the Labor Department.

US Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, speaking Wednesday at a press conference organized by Democratic congressional leaders, said that by next spring, another 6 million unemployed workers will lose benefits if Congress does not act. “Millions of families are going to struggle to put food on the table or put gas in the gas tank,” she said.

The press conference at the Capitol's Visitors Center had the trappings of a rally, with scores of unemployed workers from around the country in attendance.

Bush Tax Cu…

Top Chef All-Stars

Top Chef All-Stars - With the new season imminent, expectations are high for the Emmy winner going into season 8 with Top Chef All-Stars. What will we see? Other than lots of tantalizing food and over-the-top competitiveness, of course.

The Cheftestants
As the show's name implies, this season's cheftestants are stars. Each one previously competed on Top Chef, and each eventually lost. While only some were finalists, all of the all-star cheftestants were favorites at some point. Now they get another chance at Top Chef glory.

So it's safe to say that they'll be competitive.

The cast features fan favorites like Fabio Viviani (season 5) and Casey Thompson (season 3), as well as trouble magnets like season 1's Tiffani Faison and season 2's Marcel Vigneron. For a full listing of the Top Chef All-Stars cheftestants, click here.

The Challenges
With a group of skilled and Top Chef-experienced chefs, you just know that the challenges are going to be pretty spectacular. …

Extension On Unemployment Benefits Expires

Extension On Unemployment Benefits Expires - More than 2 million unemployed people awoke Wednesday to the prospect that they may no longer have unemployment checks to help them pay rent or buy food and gas.

Congress on Tuesday failed to renew an extension of unemployment benefits that it passed at the end of July. Democrats have argued that with unemployment at 9.6 percent, many people still need help. Republicans say they would like to help the jobless, but want the $5 billion per month cost to be funded by a spending cut somewhere in the federal budget.

Extension On Unemployment Benefits Expires

Jack Sparrow Named After Hugh Jackman

Jack Sparrow Named After Hugh Jackman - We just posted how Disney didn't like Johnny Depp's performance as Captain Jack Sparrow in "Pirates of the Caribbean," and now comes word from writer Stuart Beattie (Collateral, GI Joe) who said that Hugh Jackman was first considered for the role.

"I initially wrote that character with Hugh Jackman in mind," Beattie told PopTarts. "Hence the name Captain JACK Sparrow."

At the time, Jackman was a prominent actor in Beattie's homeland of Australia, but was not yet well-known anywhere else, which prompted Disney to find another actor to play Sparrow.

Beattie added that despite "Pirates" being a massive franchise, it took a while to convince the studio of the potential. "I spent ten years pitching it to Disney and they weren't interested," he revealed. "Then finally, I got a call to come back in."

Jack Sparrow Named After Hugh Jackman

Alexis Neiers Caught With Heroin

Alexis Neiers Caught With Heroin - Alexis Neiers, already on probation for burglarizing Orlando Bloom's house, was hauled into jail today on a heroin charge.

Officers paid a visit to her home on a routine check and found her "in possession of a black substance that resembled tar heroin," according to Kerri Webb of the L.A. County Probation Department.

Neiers "also had burnt foil that is common with heroin use" as well as a fradulent Florida drivers license, says Webb.

All of that's a big no-no per her probation terms, and right now she's being held without bail for alleged probation violation and a trio of pending charges: possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and identity theft.

The 19-year-old Neiers, a member of the so-called Bling Ring, was released from jail in July after serving 30 days of a 180 day sentence at the Century Regional Detention Facility, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan's old stomping ground.

She st…

Neve Campbell Getting Divorce

Neve Campbell Getting Divorce - After three years of marriage to English actor John Light, Neve Campbell has filed for divorce – but she’s managed to keep the news a secret, as the filing was done over the summer.

According to the divorce papers obtained by Access Hollywood — which were filed on June 30 in Los Angeles County Superior Court — Neve cited the reason for the split as “irreconcilable differences.”

According to the documents, the nature and extent of the property assets were unknown at the time of the filing.

However, the 37-year-old actress requested the court’s ability to award spousal support to be terminated.

As for life after the split, the former “Party of Five” star told HollywoodLife.com that she is moving forward and looking forward to spending the holidays with her loved ones.

“I’m spending it with friends and family,” Neve told the site. ”I’m glad. … We [are going to] cook some nice meals and see some music and theater… My only holiday wish is just to have a nice…

XM25 Weapon System

XM25 Weapon System - XM25 sounds like a radio program, but in reality it’s the newest weapon of choice for the US troops fighting against the Taliban. This gun hits targets from 2300 ft away using 25mm grenades using high tech sensors, lasers and sights. It has a far more advanced accuracy and range than previous grenade weapons. The ammunition is micro-chipped so the soldiers can seek out their enemies hiding behind walls.

According to Popfi.com, “This is the first time we’re putting smart technology into the hands of the individual soldier,” said project manager Lieutenant Colonel Chris Lehner. ”It’s giving them the edge. You get behind something when someone is shooting at you, and that sort of cover has protected people for thousands of years. Now we’re taking that away from the enemy forever.”

XM25 Weapon System

Homeless Man Kicked By Ottawa Police

Homeless Man Kicked By Ottawa Police - A judge has released a video that shows an Ottawa police special constable kicking a man in the cells after other officers dragged him by the legs.

Those charges were stayed by the Crown.

The video played a role in two different criminal cases, both of which resulted in the staying of charges against people accused of assaulting police.

On Wednesday, Justice Richard Lajoie released the video, which had been entered as an exhibit in the trial of Stacy Bonds, a 27-year-old theatrical make-up artist who had charges of assaulting police stayed last month.

Those charges were stayed after a judge found she was unlawfully arrested and watched a different video of Morris kneeing Bonds in the leg before she was taken to the floor and her shirt and bra cut off by Sgt. Steve Desjourdy as three other male officers were present.

In the Delay case, Justice Diane Nicholas said Delay, a homeless aboriginal man, was kicked by Morris like "you wouldn't ki…

Officer Shot In Three Forks

Officer Shot In Three Forks - Authorities say a Montana Highway Patrol
officer has been shot and killed near the town of Three Forks.

Montana Department of Justice spokeswoman Judy Beck confirmed the killing on Wednesday evening, but could not provide additional details.

The Bozeman Police Department confirmed the shooting in a news release. The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office was expected to hold a news conference Wednesday evening.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that the Montana Highway
Patrol has closed several roads in the area.

KBZK-TV of Bozeman says scanner traffic indicates authorities
are looking for a blue or green Ford F250 pickup truck and a man
wearing blue jeans, a baseball cap and a tan jacket.

The news conference is scheduled for 6:45 Wednesday evening at the Three Forks City Hall.
KULR-8 News will have more details as they become available.

Officer Shot In Three Forks

ACC Big Ten Challenge 2010

ACC Big Ten Challenge 2010 - The 2010 ACC Big Ten challenge is set to end tonight. Two of the nation’s foremost programs meet in Durham this evening, as top-ranked Dukes play against 6th-ranked Michigan State. This could have been a big showdown, had Michigan not gotten trapped in the Maui Invitational. As such, this game is even bigger for the Spartans, as they attempt to prove their courage.

The ceremonies underway on Monday, as Virginia swoop to an upset triumph over Minnesota. But the ACC had far less luck previous night, as merely one of their teams triumph. Though Wake Forest beat Iowa, North Carolina, Florida State, Clemson and Georgia Tech were not so blessed.
Duke has already crushed a top 5 team in Kansas State and has further motivation to deliver tonight. Preceding year at this time, their loss at Wisconsin finalized the Big Ten’s first triumph in the challenge. This time, they can help the ACC get bragging rights back and reinforce their position as No. 1.

Along with the …

Grammy Nominations 2011

Grammy Nominations 2011 - On Wednesday night (December 1), CBS will broadcast one of my favorite events of the year: the annual Grammy Nominations telecast/concert/thingy. Not only is it the unofficial kickoff of the self-congratulatory season, but it gives me a chance to wager on another largely arbitrary and oft insane awards show. So, you know, I'm pumped.

After all, it's not exactly news to readers of Bigger Than the Sound that I fancy myself quite the prognosticator, particularly when it comes to shows like the Grammys (or the VMAs). This is partially because I consider myself an expert on these kinds of things, but also because I have a huge gambling problem. Sometimes, I even manage to hit the nail on the head, like I did with my predictions for last year's Grammys (who among us can forget my triumphant 4-for-5 performance in Record of the Year?!?), though, more often than not, I fail miserably.

Still, I keep trying. It seems I cannot turn down the opportunity to pi…

America's Next Top Model

America's Next Top Model - Cycle 15 of America's Next Top Model had its share of drama and controversy from the very start when a promo for the show featured Tyra Banks appearing to over- enthusiastically endorse an extremely thin model. It's only fitting, then, that the model in question survived the perils of competition and made it to the finale.

Nineteen-year-old Ann Ward, a 2009 graduate of Prosper High School, will compete against Chelsey Hersley, 23, of Boise, Idaho, for the title of America's Next Top Model at 7 tonight on The CW.

Ward is the front-runner going into the finale. Despite the judges' critiques that she's too shy, she ranked first among her competitors for five weeks in a row, a Top Model first.

Ward, billed on the show as hailing from Dallas, also had to dispatch three competitors from her home state: Liz Williams and sisters Chris and Terra White, all of Arlington.

Tonight, the two finalists will shoot a CoverGirl commercial, a challenge …

Kardashian Debit Card

Kardashian Debit Card - The Kardashian debit card has been terminated after less than a month in operation following criticism about its unnecessary charges.

The Kardashian debit card has been terminated after being criticised for its high fees.
After less than a month in operation, Kim Kardashian - along with her sisters Kourtney and Khloe - have said while they believe the card conforms to all necessary laws and regulations, they no longer want their names associated with the pre-paid device.

A statement from the sisters' lawyer explained: "The Kardashians have worked extremely long and hard to create a positive public persona that appeals to everyone, particularly young adults.
"Unfortunately, the negative spotlight turned on the Kardashians as a result of the Attorney General's comments and actions threatens everything for which they have worked."

The debit card attracted criticism from a wide range of financial commentators - including the State of Connecti…

Revolutionary XM25 Rifle

Revolutionary XM25 Rifle - Since the dawn of modern warfare, the best way to stay alive in the face of incoming fire has been to take cover behind a wall. But thanks to a game-changing "revolutionary" rifle, the U.S. Army has made that tactic dead on arrival. Now the enemy can run, but he can't hide.

After years of development, the U.S. Army has unleashed a new weapon in Afghanistan -- the XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System, a high-tech rifle that can be programmed so that its 25-mm. ammunition detonates either in front of or behind a target, meaning it can be fired just above a wall before it explodes and kills the enemy.

It also has a range of roughly 2,300 feet -- nearly the length of eight football fields -- making it possible to fire at targets well past the range of the rifles and carbines that most soldiers carry today.

Lt. Col. Christopher Lehner, project manager for the semi-automatic, shoulder-fired weapon system for the U.S. Army's Program Exe…

Google Gets GSA Contract

Google Gets GSA Contract - Google Inc.'s online software won a key endorsement from the federal government Wednesday, as the General Services Administration said it will use the company's Gmail, word processing and other applications for the agency's more than 15,000 employees.

The GSA selected Google's offerings, called Google Apps, over technology from rival Microsoft Corp., whose Outlook email and other Office applications are used in most government offices and businesses.

The two technology giants already compete to win contracts from companies as well as state and local governments, which hope to cut costs by switching to Web-based software from programs installed on their own computers. The GSA move gives Google's applications a beachhead in the federal government.

It also affirms the broader concept of Web-based software, sometimes known as cloud computing. The GSA described its effort as the first agency-wide use of cloud-based email in the federal governm…

Sprint 4G

Sprint 4G - Sprint’s 4G service, which it bundles with its 3G service, is also unlimited, and costs the same as its standalone 3G plans: $60. Users are allotted five gigabytes of 3G data in case they find themselves outside a 4G zone.

Clearwire has said that its customers use seven gigabytes of data per month, on average. On Verizon’s new LTE network, that would cost $70. On Clearwire it is $45, due to the company’s policy of unlimited access.

Verizon’s pricing is good news for consumers, who will be able to sample 4G without paying a high premium. The approach may be less welcome to investors, however, wrote Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Chaplin in a Dec. 1 research note. Charging less for 4G than 3G is “a little disappointing,” wrote Chaplin.

Verizon likely aims to make up the difference elsewhere. As Chaplin notes, 4G’s faster speeds may encourage users to consume more than five gigabytes of data, propelling them toward Verizon’s higher-priced data plan. Fourth-generation technolo…

Natalie Portman Extreme Weight-Loss

Natalie Portman Extreme Weight-Loss - "Black Swan" is the role of a lifetime for actress, Natalie Portman. In order for her to star in the role, she had to undergo extreme weight loss to be the perfect ballerina in the film. What was behind her weight loss to portray a hard working ballet dancer who gets the lead in "Swan Lake"?

In a USA Today report, Portman said, "I started training a year ahead of time. We were (doing) 5-8 hours a day of ballet and cross-training with swimming and toning."

In addition, Natalie Portman began the difficult chroegraphy training required for "Black Swan" two month before filming. She insists, however, that she didn't stop eating the foods she liked to lose the extra 20 pounds for the role.

"I didn't stop eating, I decreased my portion size," she said. "I didn't really cut anything out, I just ate a lot less than I would normally."

See Natalie Portman in "Black Swan" Fri…

Coldplay New Song: Christmas Lights

Coldplay New Song: Christmas Lights - Coldplay have released a new song called 'Christmas Lights', and you can watch the video by scrolling down and clicking below.

The track was made available as a digital download earlier tonight (December 1).

As previously reported, Coldplay revealed that that the song is "in the key of G", before adding that they hoped fans "have a great Christmas and holidays".

Meanwhile, Coldplay will play two shows in the UK later this month in aid of homelessness charity Crisis.

Coldplay New Song: Christmas Lights

Kara Dioguardi Tell-All Book

Kara Dioguardi Tell-All Book - Kara DioGuardi is releasing a tell-all American Idol-based memoir. The book is to be called, "A Helluva High Note: Surviving Life, Love, And American Idol." The book will be released in April 2011.

So what is going to be in this book? DioGuardi says her book will "inspire others to take chances to succeed." Of course, that's the sugar coat to the story. What everyone wants to know is why her American Idol judging job got cut short.

DioGuardi's book will allegedly spill it's guts on what goes on behind the scenes at American Idol. DioGuardi will be coming out clean on why her stint with 'Idol' ended.

DioGuardi apparently found out through tabloids that her contract was not going to be extended with American Idol. DioGuardi cryptically told RadarOnline, "I feel like now is the best time to leave 'Idol."

Kara Dioguardi Tell-All Book

Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald - Forty-seven years dead, Lee Harvey Oswald continues to fascinate a public that still debates whether he was solely responsible for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

A plain pine coffin that held the killer's remains for nearly 20 years after he himself was gunned down is up for auction, along with other items related to the burial and a patch of seat leather from the limousine that carried Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy through the streets of Dallas, Texas, during the shooting November 22, 1963.

Nate D. Sanders Auctions of Los Angeles, California, is selling the deteriorated Oswald coffin, which had a bid of $3,138 on Wednesday afternoon.

Also for sale are an Easter card signed by Oswald, a first draft of his death certificate, funeral records, an embalming table used to hold Oswald's body and assorted medical instruments.
Bidding ends December 16.

Oswald was buried November 25, 1963, in Fort Worth, Texas, one day after nightclub ow…

Dreidel-Spinning Record Broken

Dreidel-Spinning Record Broken - All they want for Hanukkah is a new world record - and they apparently got it.

Two Yeshiva University students led the effort to beat the current holder of the top place for dreidel spinning in the Guinness Book of World Records.

A university spokesman says the two students, along with 616 others, set a new record of 618 simultaneously spinning dreidels on Tuesday night. The old record was 541. It happened at the school's athletic center at 184th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.

The "Dreidelpalooza" event is also a scholarship fundraising event.

The record for spinning the four-sided tops was set five years ago in New Jersey.

Guinness must still certify the dreidel record to make it official.

Dreidel-Spinning Record Broken

Wesley Snipes To Report To Prison

Wesley Snipes To Report To Prison - Actor Wesley Snipes will begin serving a three-year prison sentence December 9 for failing to file income tax returns, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

Snipes was ordered by the U.S. Marshals Service in Orlando, Florida, to report to Federal Correctional Institution McKean at Lewis Run, Pennsylvania, by noon on that date or face additional charges.

In 2008, Snipes was convicted of misdemeanors for failure to file tax returns in 1999, 2000, and 2001 but was acquitted of felony charges.

In November, a federal judge rejected a bid by Snipes, 48, to win a new trial.
At his sentencing, prosecutors said Snipes had earned nearly $40 million since 1999, but had filed no tax returns. The government said Snipes had been involved with a tax resisters organization.
Snipes is best known for his roles in "Blade" action films, comedies including "White Men Can't Jump" and the drama "Jungle Fever."

Wesley Snipes To Repor…

National Grid Expansion

National Grid Expansion - U.K. natural gas grid operator National Grid PLC (NGG) has started commercial operations of its GBP310 million second capacity expansion at its Isle of Grain liquefied natural gas importation facility as scheduled, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

Following the arrival of the first commissioning cargo of LNG at the terminal in Kent, England, on Oct. 29, "the commissioning process has been completed in just over a month, delivering a 50% increase in terminal capacity for the start of winter," it said.

The total capacity of Grain has increased to 650 gigawatt hours per day, or around 59 million cubic meters of gas, enough to supply about 20% of U.K. demand, according to the statement.

The expansion provides capacity for new customers E.ON Ruhrgas, the gas unit of German utility E.ON AG (EOAN.XE), and Spain's Iberdrola (IBE.MC), together with additional capacity for existing customer U.K. utility Centrica PLC(CNA.LN).

Grain has the larges…

Cabrini Green Families To Leave

Cabrini Green Families To Leave - A federal judge today ordered the two remaining families living in a Cabrini Green high rise to move out of the building within 10 days, allowing the Chicago Housing Authority to move forward with demolition plans.
The final seven families at 1230 N. Burling St. had agreed last week to vacate the building on Tuesday, but when the moving trucks arrived, two families backed out of the deal, according to the motion filed by CHA.

The CHA had sought an emergency building closure order, claiming that it was unsafe and dangerous to have only two families living in the 15-story high rise built to house 134 families, and that it was an extreme financial burden to maintain heat, services and security.

"Imagine it at night with one light on the fourth floor and one light on the eleventh," said Scott Ammarell, general counsel for the CHA. "That says it all."

An attorney for one of the residents, Annie Ricks, said the new temporary home offered…

Chanukah: The Missing Menorah

Chanukah: The Missing Menorah - The Educational Alliance Preschool hosts this FREE Hanukkah event for Kids & Families. Come celebrate Hanukkah and learn about Educational Alliance programs for toddlers and preschoolers. Festivities will include Hanukkah arts & crafts, dancing, sing-a-longs, storytelling, dreidel games, kosher refreshments, tours of the Preschool and more. This year’s celebration will also feature the premiere screening of a new series called “Shalom Sesame” (from the creators of Sesame Street). “Chanukah: The Missing Menorah” finds that super-special blue monster Grover stressing when his special friend Anneliese van der Pol (of “That’s So Raven” fame) gets caught in a game of tag with a chicken and loses her special menorah — just as Chanukah is about to begin! This first-ever communal viewing of the film, coordinated by the JCC Association, will be a special holiday treat for kids and parents alike. Sun., Dec. 5, 10:30am to 1pm at The Educational Alliance P…

Pat Manocchia Personal Trainer

Pat Manocchia Personal Trainer - Meet the man behind Madonna's amazing biceps.

Pat Manocchia has gained behind the scenes fame for kicking celebrities' butts into shape and then some.

He went on the Howard Stern show this morning to talk about his new book, "Anatomy of Strength Training."

Stern told listeners that he considered Manocchia one of his best friends and the "manliest man he knows."

He's also Stern's personal trainer.

Pat Manocchia Personal Trainer

Google Anti-Evil Search Results

Google Anti-Evil Search Results - Mountain View, California-based Google Inc. posted an interesting post on The Official Google Blog today explaining that it has tweaked its search algorithms to pretty much demote businesses with extremely negative reviews. The company explains that it was forced to do that after The New York Times published a story last week showcasing the horrific business practices of a certain merchant — which we will not name or link to, as we would be promoting it.

In essence, the merchant in question claimed that by mistreating customers to the point of threatening to kill and rape them, his business would become more prominent on Google and other search engines. You see, he believes in that saying that even “bad press is good press.” Only in this case, he was utilizing negative reviews to crawl up search rankings.

The company goes on to explain that it considered various solutions such as blocking the website in question, using sentiment analysis that can auto…

World Aids Day 2010: Aids Ribbon

World Aids Day 2010: Aids Ribbon - Each year on December 1st, World Aids Day is observed to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. It is common to hold memorials to honor persons who have died from HIV/AIDS on this day.

This year I’m asking people to wear the red ribbon to show everyone that you support the cause. AIDS has killed more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007, and an estimated 33.2 million people worldwide live with HIV as of 2007, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. Despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 2 million lives in 2007,of which about 270,000 were children.

The theme for World AIDS Day 2010 is 'Universal Access and Human Rights'.

World Aids Day 2010: Aids Ribbon

Santa Tracker Game

Santa Tracker Game - Every year for many people Christmas really begins with the NORAD Santa Tracker. This site that enables children to track Santa as he leaves the North Pole on his circuit around the globe grows in popularity every year and we recently posted an article to tell more about it. When we last looked a message on the website said to come back on December 1.

Well today is indeed December 1 and we’ve just been taking a look at the NORAD tracks Santa website for this year where the village is now on display. At the moment most of the attractions and games in the village are still to get started but will no doubt be up and running soon. One game in the center of the village is already available though, at the North Pole Clock Tower.

The hot update of news is up and running, which will change every day, and today we’re told that 9 reindeer have been selected for the yuletide trek on Christmas Eve and NORAD has even found out that one of them has a bright shiny nose!

Check ou…

HIV Symptoms

HIV Symptoms - A record number of adults were tested for HIV for the first time in 2009. Almost 83 million Americans, ages 18 to 64, reported being screened for HIV last year, an increase of more than 11 million people from 2006. The data are part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's December Vital Signs report.

Yet despite these numbers, 55 percent of all adults have never been tested for HIV. Worse, 28 percent of the population at high risk for HIV have never been tested for it. The CDC says one of every five adults living with HIV does not know that he or she is infected with the disease and could be infecting others.

"If you don't know your HIV status, you can't effectively protect yourself and your partners," says Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The timing of when a person tests positive for HIV has a significant impact on how successful the subsequent treatment will be. It takes roughly 10 y…

December 1, Happy Hanukkah

December 1, Happy Hanukkah - It's the first day of the festival of lights in Forest Hills and there is a lot to do. You can choose from any number of Hanukkah events across the community. You can head over to a ceremonial menorah lighting or celebrate a little more privately, and it's all available right on our events listing page and in our Hanukkah round-up.

In addition to all the holiday preparation and celebrating that's happening across your neighborhood, there's also quite a bit going on with everyone from police to the schools.

Here are five things you need to know today:

1. Check in with our Hanukkah celebration round-up from yesterday to see some of the larger events across Forest Hills and Queens.

2. Looking for some winter sports? The Forest Hills High School wrestling team is making its PSAL debut at Bathgate in The Bronx.

3. Make sure you keep up with Forest Hills Patch for updates on recent police activity in your community, and stay safe this…

Victoria Secret Angels

Victoria Secret Angels - The new Victoria’s Secret angels last night welcomed Adriana Lima’s return, with a twist. When the new angels took to the VS Fashion Show 2010 last night on CBS, back was a familiar face with a dazzling addition. Adriana Lima returned in a $2 million bra covered in diamonds.

The breathtaking creation (Lima) wore the amazing item which featured 3,000 white diamonds amounting to 60 carats, a mix of light blue sapphires coming in at 82 carats, and a sea of oval shaped topazes.

Adriana Lima took the show that featured everyone from Katy Perry to Akon but which did not feature Heidi Klum or Miranda Kerr in attendance. The new angels for 2010 were Lily Aldridge, Candice Swanepoel and Erin Heatherton.

And while the bra was a showstopper, it wasn’t the most expensive from the manufacturer. Victoria’s Secret previously has showcased $5 million and $3 million bras.

Of note, Columnist Rachel Beck contends that high-priced bra sales are a great indicator of Holiday econom…

NASA Astrobiology Findings

NASA Astrobiology Findings - NASA will hold a news conference to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.

The news conference will be held at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 2 at the NASA Headquarters auditorium. The live broadcast of the conference will be available at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv .

Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe.

Though the science journal has embargoed details of the discoveries secret until the conference, it can be expected to be related to three fundamental questions from NASA's Astrobiology Program: How does life begin and evolve? Is there life beyond Earth and, if so, how can we detect it? What is the future of life on Earth and in the universe?

NASA funded its first astrobiology project in 1959 and established its Exobiology Program in 1960. NASA's Viking missions to Mars, launched in 1976, included three experiments designed to loo…

Google Editions Digital Books

Google Editions Digital Books - If you are an avid reader, the thought of a digital bookstore that you can access and read the same books you purchase across all of your gadgets will be very appealing. The WSJ reports that Google Editions will launch in the US by the end of 2010 and will then launch internationally in Q1 2011.

Google Editions is the Google digital bookstore and it will be accessible from any device with a web browser. That will mean you can read the books you buy on your Windows PC in the office, MacBook at home, and your Android tablet or smartphone on the bus. Books from Google Editions will be offered through multiple sellers with independent bookstores selling the books online as well.

All purchases will reportedly be tied to a central account so no matter where you buy them you will be able to get to your content in one place. Google Editions is expected to have hundreds of thousands of titles with millions of free offerings thanks to contracts with just about ev…

Protests Against Delay Of Unemployment Extension

Protests Against Delay Of Unemployment Extension - Fifteen million Americans are out of work, and Tuesday night in Cleveland, Ohio many of them were anxiously waiting to hear if Congress would extend unemployment benefits.

Supporters of the extension say the benefits can serve as a powerful catalyst for the economy.
They point to recent studies that indicate each dollar of benefits generates $1.90 in economic growth.

"It will throw more people out of work, because there won't be as much money circulating in the economy, retailers will go out of business, there will be more people on the unemployment lines," said one protester.

Despite protests like this one, the extension did not pass the Congress Tuesday.

If the measure isn't renewed by the lame duck Congress, two million Americans will lose their unemployment insurance by the end of the year.

Protests Against Delay Of Unemployment Extension

Shahla Jahed Has Been Hanged

Shahla Jahed Has Been Hanged - Iran has executed a woman sentenced to death for murdering the wife of a prominent footballer, her lawyer says.

Abdolsamad Khoramshahi said Shahla Jahed, 40, was hanged at 0500 local time (0130 GMT) at Tehran's Evin prison, the official Irna news agency reported.

International human rights groups have campaigned for her release since she was jailed more than eight years ago.

The execution is the 146th in Iran this year, according to AFP news agency.

On Tuesday, Amnesty International made a last-minute appeal for the sentence to be halted, saying Jahed had not received a fair trial.

Jahed, who had been living with footballer Nasser Mohammadkhani in Tehran under a temporary marriage, was found guilty of stabbing to death his first wife, Laleh Saharkhizan, in 2002.

She first confessed to the murder, but then retracted the statement in court.

According to the Irna news agency, Jahed prayed prior to the hanging and then burst into tears and shouted for he…

Advent Calendar Promotion

Advent Calendar Promotion - Developer Gameloft is holding an Advent Calendar promotion over their Twitter account and will be tweeting a free gift every day until December 25th. Seeing as today is December 1st, it appears that they wanted to start things off with a bang, as today's free gift comes in the form of the iOS port of vehicular mischief game Driver [Free].

Driver is an open world driving game that was originally released on Playstation and PC over a decade ago. It's similar to the 3D Grand Theft Auto games, except you don't ever leave your car, and was considered one of the classics of the time. Gameloft did a marvelous job porting the game to iOS last December, keeping most of the game intact and giving it a slight graphical makeover. We really liked it in our review, and recommended it at its initial price of $6.99. Now that Driver is free for a day, there's no excuse not to pick it up.

Advent Calendar Promotion

Sons Of Anarchy Sonny Barger

Sons Of Anarchy Sonny Barger - This Tuesday, an icon of the Hells Angel Motorcycle Club will make an appearance on the final episode of Sons of Anarchy, the FX Channel's number-one viewed drama.

Barger, who was a founding member of the Oakland Chapter of the Hells Angels, will have his cameo role as the series finishes its third season; it was also announced last month that the series that tells the story of SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original) will continue for a fourth season in 2012.

During Tuesday's SOA finale (Nov. 30), Barger will play a character named "Lenny the Pimp" Janowitz, who, like a reflection of Barger's real life, is a founding member of the fictional Sons of Anarchy MC.

During a recent interview, Barger, now residing in Arizona, remarked on Sons of Anarchy.

Sonny Barger says: "We watch it every week. It's a nice show and it seems like everyone likes it. But it's nowhere near my everyday life."

Kurt Sutter, …

CBS Early Show

CBS Early Show - Really the only surprising thing about yesterday's big shakeup at CBS's "The Early Show" was the timing. It took nearly a year for the show's new executive producer to give the longtime third-place show a makeover.

"Early" has been struggling for more than a decade and has gone through three executive producers in as many years.

Unfortunately for co-anchors Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez, as well as weatherman Dave Price, they will not be part of that new vision.

As of Jan. 3, Erica Hill and Chris Wragge will become co-anchors. Marysol Castro will replace Price as the weathercaster and Jeff Glor becomes the newscaster.

Hill and Wragge were previously the Saturday "Early Show" anchors, while Glor anchors Saturday's "CBS Evening News."

Smith, meanwhile, will return to his hard news background. He will become the substitute anchor for "Evening News with Katie Couric" and "Face the Nation." Rodr…

Google Rosa Parks Logo

Google Rosa Parks Logo - Google is remembering the historic day when Rosa Parks refused to listen to the bus driven when she was told to give up her seat for a white passenger. Today, 55 years ago, was that day in Montgomery, Alabama. Although she wasn’t the first to make such a statement, her action on that day initiated the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Rosa Parks is well known as a African American civil rights activist and was called by the U.S. Congress “the first lady of civil rights”, and “the mother of the freedom movement”.

There are some people who are upset with Google that they did not post a red ribbon today, in addition to the Rosa Parks logo, to commemorate World AIDS Day. Yahoo has a special ribbon logo but Google has no mention of it on their home page.

Google Rosa Parks Logo

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer - Since it premiered on television in 1964, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer has been a beloved holiday classic. Now, families can enjoy the story in a whole new way: live on stage at the Center for Puppetry Arts.

In the works for nearly a year, Rudolph is adapted and directed by the Center’s Artistic Director, Jon Ludwig, the production faithfully embraces the original and include all of the beloved characters such as Hermey, the elf who is an aspiring dentist, Yukon Cornelius, and the Abominable Snow Monster. The Center worked with Character Arts LLC, which owns the rights to the special, to debut the first licensed stage production of Rudolph.

“The story of Rudolph has endured because it talks of self-acceptance, which everyone is looking for,” Ludwig said. “It’s a classic tale of self-discovery and a true ‘growing-up’ story.”

The Puppet Building Shop become a veritable Santa’s Workshop as the team designed and built the 60 puppets that appear on stage.

Adam Levine's Girlfriend

Adam Levine's Girlfriend - Wondering why the frontman of Maroon 5 was front and center for last night’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2010? Adam Levine’s girlfriend, Anne Vyalitsyna, who strutted down the catwalk with fellow supermodels Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio and Chanel Iman.

It was the first time Levine had come to one of her runway shows, so does that mean they’re getting serious? Might there be babies and marriage in the future? Here’s five things about Vyalitsyna, including where you’ve seen her before. (Besides Maroon 5’s “Misery” video!)

1. She’s best known for being in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue six years running, dating back to 2005.

2. She is from Russia.

3. Both her parents are doctors.

4. She’s got a big heart: She ran the New York City Marathon last year in order to guide a disabled athlete.

5. She’s the latest in a string of famous girlfriends for Levine, who has also dated Natalie Portman, Jessica Simpson and serial dater Cameron Diaz.

Adam Lev…

Long Island Earthquake

Long Island Earthquake - A resident on Barberry Lane called the Police Department today after he felt his office shake and saw the lamp on his desk move. The man thought that the tremor might be an earthquake, and he was right.

A minor earthquake, measuring 3.9 on the Richter Scale, shook the earth near Long Island Tuesday morning around 10:45 a.m.

The quake was 80 miles off of Long Island causing people from Boston to New York to feel it.

“When we got the call I called (the U.S. Geological Survey) and they said they hadn’t heard anything,” said police dispatcher Todd Nelson. “I went on Twitter and tweeted the report, and saw that people in Fairfield County had felt it as well as others in the area.”

Nelson said that the protocol for handling an earthquake depends on the circumstances of it and it was so unexpected that his first thought was that it was an explosion.

“We don’t get very many (earthquakes) like that here,” said National Earthquake Center geophysicist Don Blakeman. “This…

NASA Possible Alien Findings

NASA Possible Alien Findings - Today NASA announced that Thursday December 2nd, at 2pm they will hold a news conference to discuss the topic of an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life. NASA is holding back the details in what might prove to be a big announcement.

With the Cassini probe back in action and the recent discovery of an Oxygen exosphere on Saturns Moon Rhea, is it possible that NASA has found evidence of life out there in the cosmos?

It might be time to dust off the old Drake equation.

NASA Possible Alien Findings

Chronicles Of Narnia Premiere

Chronicles Of Narnia Premiere - Ben Barnes hits the red carpet for the premiere of his flick The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader at the Odeon Leicester Square on Tuesday (November 30) in London.

The 29-year-old actor changed from his tux into a more casual suit for the after-party held at Sanderson Hotel following the film screening.

Ben was joined by his co-star Georgie Henley, who plays Lucy Pevensie in the film. Head on over to Just Jared Jr to see our chat with the young star!

Chronicles Of Narnia Premiere

World Aids Day

World Aids Day - The recent UNAIDS global report cited significant progress in preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. It says there have been fewer infections and fewer deaths among women and their newborns. One organization has played a major role in that success.

Dr. Laura Guay (Gay), the foundation’s vice-president of research, says, “We’re very happy to see the new report that we’ve made significant progress in the last five years with the scale-up of services for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission globally. Whereas in 2004, only about 10 percent of pregnant women had access and were receiving antiretroviral drugs to protect their baby from HIV, in 2009 that number has gone up to 53 percent. “

But Guay says thousands more pregnant women still need access to HIV prevention services.

“We still have a long way to go. Forty-seven percent of women still do not have access. So, while we celebrate the progress that’s been made in the last five years, we …