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July 18, 2012

yahoo new ceo

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 9:49 pm

I’m writing congratulate you on becoming the new chief executive officer of Yahoo, an achievement that confirms your stature not only as one of the most important women in IT, but as one of the most accomplished executives in America today.

I won’t insult you by saying how happy I am for you, personally: We’ve never met, and all I know about you is what I read after logging on to the Google home page (you designed, I believe) and searching. What I can say with all sincerity is that I am happy that by sending shock waves through the Tech industry as you did, by leaving the safe and incredibly familiar confines of Google (heck; you were the company’s 20th employee) for the risks and challenges inherent in trying to resuscitate a faded tech giant like Yahoo, you will inspire countless other women to follow in your footsteps.

For that reason I am incredibly concerned about your not taking footsteps in your new role that will cause you to end-up tripping, falling, and breaking the heel on one of your Jimmy Choo pumps. You see, Ms. Mayer, to succeed at Yahoo you will need much more than the myriad skills that made you invaluable to Google. What you’ll need is a healthy dose of fear and apprehension about erring in the manner that so many newly minted CEOs do— Chief among many ways, by believing favorable press clippings and dismissing negative ones as being symptomatic of jealousy or misogyny.

To help you avoid this mistake I’ve boiled-down much of what I’ve learned after studying what can go wrong when people succeed for more than 30 years, and selected three (3) of the most important lessons for you to consider. Before you do, take comfort in the fact that men self-destruct as a consequence of success far more regularly than women, so the odds of making it are in your favor. Unfortunately, while women are resistant to hubris and other success-killing emotional reactions to success, they are not immune to it: Think Leona Helmsley, Martha Stewart, and Carly Fiorina, if you’re tempted to ignore the advice that follows.

You’re An Artificial Intelligence Genius. So? What You’ll Need Going Forward Is Emotional Intelligence.

Long before Carly Fiorina was booted from HP I wrote an article predicting that she would fail. My reason for doing so was that simply I observed how she rode into town, declared, “I’m the new sheriff, and then exploited the legacies of Professors Hewlett and Packard as well as their iconic garage, all of which resulted in her enraging most of HPs employees. Ok; Ok; she cut salaries and fired 7,000 people too. But did you know that when it was disclosed that Fiorina was fired folks at one of the company’s facilities handed out Hostess Ding Dongs to announce, “The witch is dead”? Cheapskates don’t engender that kind of enmity; hubristic people do.

I’ve read that in conjunction with your appointment you announced you want your predecessor, interim CEO Ross Levinsohn, to remain on board. Great! Do the same sort of “Big Tent” gestures every time you can. You helped build “the Google way” but that doesn’t mean you fully comprehend “the Yahoo way” just yet. Carly Fiorina lost the job of a lifetime because she presumed either that she knew “the HP way” or that it didn’t matter. ‘Nuff said?

You Did Super Work At Google; You Are NOT Superwoman.

It’s impossible for me to list how many how many missteps Carly Fiorina made over the objections of gray beards at HP prior to her firing, but as one of Silicon Valley’s most connected cognoscenti I’m sure you know of all them. Then, again, Fiorina’s errors are not what concern me; I care about the attitude that drove her to commit them. From what I read, during all of the Fiorina years at HP, the stench of an imperious attitude emanated from the corner office. It was that attitude, not human error, which brought Ms. Fiorina crashing down. Anyone will get a Mulligan just by asking after making a good-faith mistake. No one is forgiven for exhibiting hubris.

Why should you care about this? Because press reports about your appointment have suggested that many smart people at Yahoo believe you can turn things around simply through sheer force of will, your charismatic charm, your Grace Kelly-like looks, or your status as a former Google executive. I cannot say with certainty what Carly Fiorina believed when she came to HP, but I would die of shock were it no exactly the same sort of ego-inflating stuff folks say about you, and Lord knows it went to her head.
Depending who you ask, Yahoo’s decision to hire Marissa Mayer several months into her pregnancy is either a boon to all working mothers or a misstep for the ailing tech company.

“Talk about lousy timing. She’ll be taking maternity leave when she needs to be at work. Yahoo has enough problems without a part-time CEO,” one commenter said in response to the Fortune article announcing news of her pregnancy.

“It is quite possible that she can do both effectively, but it is not un-’evolved’ to express concern,” another said, referring to Mayer’s comment that Yahoo’s directors demonstrated “evolved thinking” in choosing to hire a pregnant chief executive.

“As a Yahoo shareholder, I am very concerned and have every reason to be.”

It’s possible that Mayer anticipated these reactions when she revealed her plan to work during her maternity leave so she could “stay in the rhythm of things.” Her announcement reignited an already hot debate over whether women can “have it all” and how family leave policies make it hard to juggle a successful career and family.

Opinion: What signal is Marissa Mayer giving to Yahoo employees?

But Mayer isn’t your typical working mother, and some believe her experience reflects the extreme demands that corporate America places on men and women alike and how that translates to national policy.

Besides, the demands of motherhood only grow with time, author and activist Gloria Feldt said. That’s when benefits such as flexible scheduling, reduced work weeks and the option to work from home really make a difference in helping women get as close as possible to having it all.

iReport: How do you balance career and family?

“Life only gets busier as your children grow, and that’s where flexible benefits comes in,” she said. “We have a long way to go as a country when it comes to making those benefits accessible to everyone.”

iReporter Jennifer Compton was away from work for 12 weeks after the birth of her son, Jack. But that hasn’t made returning any easier, she said.

Having flexible hours and remote cameras in day cares would help ease the transition, she said.

“Before, I got to spend all day with my son, and now it’s only two or three hours in the evening,” the human resources manager said in an iReport submitted to CNN.com. “I want more time with my little guy, but I have to take what I can get. … It’s hard to balance everything.”
Incoming Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer says she plans to work during her maternity leave.
Incoming Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer says she plans to work during her maternity leave.

‘Superhuman, rich or self-employed’

That Mayer’s pregnancy is a matter of concern to some even though it wasn’t for Yahoo’s board (as Mayer tells it) reflects a double-standard, Feldt said.

“It’s very common for companies to negotiate time off upfront with a new hire. If she were a man, no one would judge her for taking time off, regardless of the reason,” said Feldt, author of “No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power.”

Nearly 61% of women with children younger than 3 and 56% of women with children younger than 1 were in the labor force in 2011, according to Catalyst, an organization that tracks women’s advancement in the workplace, citing Bureau of Labor Statistics. But ambivalence over their participation in the work force seems to persist.

A 2009 Pew Research Center report found that 21% of adults said the trend toward more mothers working outside the home had been good for society; 37% said it had been bad and 38% said it hasn’t made much difference.

Women reported feeling stressed about balancing work and family, the report said, with 40% of working moms saying they always feel rushed compared with 24% of the general public and 26% of stay-at-home moms. As for working dads, 25% said they always feel rushed.

This month’s Atlantic magazine cover story, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” has stoked intense debate on the topic.

Former State Department official Anne-Marie Slaughter proposes that the only women who manage to reach the pinnacle of their careers while raising a family are “superhuman, rich or self-employed.” Slaughter chronicles her decision to leave Washington and return to academia so she can play a larger role in raising her sons, using her personal journey as a jumping off point to examine the decisions and barriers women face in balancing a career with family.

In Twitter exchanges this week punctuated with the hashtag #havingitall, the Princeton University professor applauded Mayer’s appointment at Yahoo but noted that it seemed to prove her thesis.
New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was the first female engineer hired at Google in 1999, where she became one of the company’s top executives and most visible public faces. Only 37, Mayer has often been named one of the most powerful women in business. Mayer spoke here at at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC in May 2012. New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was the first female engineer hired at Google in 1999, where she became one of the company’s top executives and most visible public faces. Only 37, Mayer has often been named one of the most powerful women in business. Mayer spoke here at at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC in May 2012.
Mayer speaks onstage at the FORTUNE Most Powerful Women Dinner in New York City in May 2011. She was Google’s vice president of consumer products at the time. Mayer speaks onstage at the FORTUNE Most Powerful Women Dinner in New York City in May 2011. She was Google’s vice president of consumer products at the time.
Mayer speaks during the announcement of the launch of Google Instant, a faster version of Google search, in September 2010 in San Francisco, California. Mayer speaks during the announcement of the launch of Google Instant, a faster version of Google search, in September 2010 in San Francisco, California.
News anchor Matt Lauer and Mayer attend the The 2009 Women of the Year hosted by Glamour Magazine at Carnegie Hall in New York City in November 2009. News anchor Matt Lauer and Mayer attend the The 2009 Women of the Year hosted by Glamour Magazine at Carnegie Hall in New York City in November 2009.
Mayer and musician and activist Wyclef Jean attend TIME’s 2010 Person of the Year Panel in November 2010. Mayer and musician and activist Wyclef Jean attend TIME’s 2010 Person of the Year Panel in November 2010.
Mayer at the launch of Google Maps’ Transit feature at Grand Central Station in New York City in September 2008. Mayer at the launch of Google Maps’ Transit feature at Grand Central Station in New York City in September 2008.
Marissa Mayer: Google’s celebrity exec
Marissa Mayer: Google’s celebrity exec
Marissa Mayer: Google’s celebrity exec
Marissa Mayer: Google’s celebrity exec
Marissa Mayer: Google’s celebrity exec
Marissa Mayer: Google’s celebrity exec
Marissa Mayer: Google’s celebrity exec Marissa Mayer: Google’s celebrity exec
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Marissa Mayer takes over at Yahoo!

“Women who are having it all are superhuman, rich, and in charge. I’m all for Marissa Mayer! but the norm?” she tweeted.

Her exchange with Mia Farrow, who tweeted “let’s hope she inspires [corporations] to create better options for all working moms,” underscored what feminists and policy experts have been saying for years: that corporate culture in the United States, one of few industrialized nations without paid family leave for new parents, does not foster ideal conditions for work-life balance — for women or men.

“We live in a society where there’s very little space for men or women in corporate spheres to easily juggle family lives with professional lives,” said Caroline Heldman, chair of the Politics Department at Occidental College in California.

“When we talk about maternity leave, we assume it’s only women who should be taking time off when a child is born. I think that comes from a culture where the assumption is that women are the primary caretakers and the father’s bond with his children is not as important,” Heldman said. “I think we would have better familial bonds if we viewed parenting as something that every parent could participate in, not just women.”

Someone in Mayer’s position likely has the resources to enable her to work through maternity leave, but that’s certainly not the norm for most working mothers. If anything, her experience is representative of the rules and expectations of CEOs of major corporations, 97% of whom are male, Heldman said.

“Her choices don’t necessarily work for women in lower ranks and should not be held up as a standard for what all men or women should or could do,” Heldman said. “She’s playing by the good old boys’ rules, which uphold a system that doesn’t allow space and time for male or female CEOs to really take time off if they need it.”

Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord dies

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 9:47 pm

Lord, the Deep Purple keyboardist who co-wrote the band’s Smoke on the Water, died on Monday. He was 71. A statement on Lord’s website says the musician suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Lord co-wrote some of Deep Purple’s most famous tunes, and later had a successful solo career following his retirement from the band.

Tributes to Lord flooded Twitter, with artists such as Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and Steve Lukather from Toto praising his musical contributions.

“RIP the great Jon Lord, Deep Purple’s cornerstone/keyboardist,” tweeted Morello. “So many great great songs and that incredible sound of his! Thankyou.”
The most influential people in Sport

In a message on his website dated August 9 last year, after which he had told fans he was fighting cancer, Lord said: “I shall of course be continuing to write music — in my world it just has to be part of the therapy.”

Lord got his musical start playing piano, first taking classical music lessons before shifting to rock ‘n’ roll.

After moving to London to attend drama school, he joined blues band the Artwoods — formed by Art Wood, brother of Ronnie — in 1964 and later toured with The Flowerpot Men, known for their hit Let’s Go To San Francisco, before joining Deep Purple in 1968.

Deep Purple, which featured Lord along with singer Ian Gillan, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, drummer Ian Paice and bassist Roger Glover, was one of the top hard rock bands of the 1970s. Influenced by classical music, blues and jazz, Lord took his Hammond organ and distorted its sound to powerful effect on songs including Hush, Highway Star, Lazy and Child in Time.

His Concerto for Group & Orchestra was performed at Royal Albert Hall in 1969 with Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and repeated in 1999 by the London Symphony Orchestra and Deep Purple.

The rock group went on to sell more than 100 million albums before splitting in 1976. Lord went on to play with hard rock group Whitesnake in the late-70s and early-80s and later, a reformed Deep Purple.
Jon Lord, 71, a British keyboardist for Deep Purple and Whitesnake, died in London on Monday of a pulmonary embolism after a battle with pancreatic cancer, said a statement on his official website.

Lord co-wrote some of Deep Purple’s most famous tunes, including “Smoke on the Water,” and later had a successful solo career after his retirement from the band in 2002.

The Leicester, England-born musician got his start playing piano, first taking classical music lessons before shifting to rock ‘n’ roll.

After moving to London to attend drama school, he joined blues band the Artwoods in 1964 and later toured with the Flowerpot Men — known for their hit “Let’s Go to San Francisco” — before joining Deep Purple in 1968.

Deep Purple — which at its peak featured Lord along with singer Ian Gillan, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, drummer Ian Paice and bassist Roger Glover — was one of the top hard-rock bands of the 1970s. Influenced by classical music, blues and jazz, Lord took his Hammond organ and distorted its sound to powerful effect on songs including “Hush,” “Highway Star,” “Lazy” and “Child in Time.”

The group sold more than 100 million albums before splitting in 1976.

Lord went on to play with hard rock group Whitesnake in the late ’70s and early ’80s and, later, a re-formed Deep Purple.

Bob Babbitt

Motown studio musician, member of Funk Brothers

Bob Babbitt, 74, a prominent Motown studio musician and Funk Brothers member whose bass playing pounded through hits of the 1960s and ’70s, died Monday in Nashville of complications from brain cancer, according to a statement from his manager, David Spero.

Well-known for decades among musicians, Babbitt laid down bass lines on the Temptations’ “Ball of Confusion,” Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” and “Inner City Blues” and Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” along with “The Tears of a Clown” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and Edwin Starr’s “War.”

After leaving Motown, Babbitt recorded with Bette Midler, Jim Croce, Bonnie Raitt and Frank Sinatra, among others.

In all, he played on more than 200 top 40 hits, including “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight and the Pips and “Ready to Take a Chance Again” by Barry Manilow.

Like many studio musicians of the era, Babbitt wasn’t always publicly acknowledged for his work. He gained wider public recognition through the 2002 film about the Funk Brothers, “Standing in the Shadows of Motown.”

Babbitt was born Robert Kreinar on Nov. 26, 1937, in Pittsburgh and moved to Detroit in the late 1950s. He had lived in Nashville for 26 years.

Donald J. Sobol

‘Encyclopedia Brown’ author

Donald J. Sobol, 87, author of the popular “Encyclopedia Brown” series of children’s mysteries, died July 11 in Miami of gastric lymphoma.

Sobol’s series featured amateur sleuth Leroy “Encyclopedia” Brown, who would unravel local mysteries with the help of his encyclopedic knowledge of facts great and small. The books, first published in the early 1960s, became staples in classrooms and libraries nationwide. They were translated into 12 languages and sold millions of copies worldwide. Sobol received an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America.

The books also featured Brown’s friend and detective partner, the tough and athletic Sally Kimball.

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the series. Sobol’s latest Encyclopedia Brown adventure, “Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme,” will be published in October, according to a release from Penguin.

Sobol was born Oct. 4, 1924, in New York City. He served in the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II and graduated from Oberlin College. He later worked as a copywriter at the New York Sun, where he eventually became a reporter. His first Encyclopedia Brown book was rejected two dozen times before it was published, his son said.

In 1958, Sobol became a successful syndicated columnist with his “Two Minute Mystery” series, before publishing “Encyclopedia Brown Boy Detective” five years later.
the keyboardist of the pioneering British hard-rock band Deep Purple, died Monday in London. He was 71.

The cause was a pulmonary embolism, said his manager, Bruce Payne. Mr. Lord announced last year that he had cancer.

In songs from the late 1960s and early ’70s like “Smoke on the Water,” “Hush” and the epic “Child in Time,” Deep Purple laid much of the groundwork for heavy metal, drawing a blunter and fiercer sound out of the blues-based riffs common in the British invasion’s first wave.

Mr. Lord’s Hammond B-3 organ – with its signal routed through a Marshall amplifier to give it a distorted tang – was key to Deep Purple’s style. It locked into formation with Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar, Roger Glover’s bass and Ian Paice’s drums, forging catchy lines like the four-note motif of “Smoke on the Water” that helped the band sell tens of millions of albums around the world.

But Mr. Lord did more than pound out chords. His fast, wandering solos reflected a lifelong interest in lyrical classical music, and in the band’s early years he composed several large-scale pieces for the group, including “Concerto for Group and Orchestra,” which was recorded with the Royal Philharmonic in London in 1969.

Born in Leicester, England, on June 9, 1941, Mr. Lord studied classical piano from a young age and became a fan of piano rockers like Jerry Lee Lewis as well as jazz organists like Jimmy Smith. After moving to London in 1959, he played in various jazz, blues and pop groups throughout the 1960s, until in 1968 the first incarnation of Deep Purple was formed in Hertford.

After its first singer, Rod Evans, left in 1969, the group recruited Ian Gillan, who had sung in “Jesus Christ Superstar” and had the vocal prowess to match the band. In the early 1970s the group released a string of hit albums, including “Deep Purple in Rock,” “Machine Head” and the live “Made in Japan.”

Mr. Lord remained in the group despite numerous personnel changes until it finally disbanded in 1976. He then formed Paice, Ashton and Lord, a short-lived group with Deep Purple’s drummer and the singer Tony Ashton, and joined an early version of the band Whitesnake. Deep Purple reunited in 1984, and Mr. Lord stayed until 2002; since then he has continued his composing career and collaborated with musicians including Anni-Frid Lyngstad of Abba.

He is survived by his wife, Vicky, and two daughters, Amy Cherrington and Sara Lord. His first marriage to Judith Feldman ended in divorce.

In a recent interview, Mr. Lord demonstrated how he tailored the organ’s sound for Deep Purple.

“Lovely a sound as it was, it wasn’t quite giving me what I wanted,” he said. “I could hear another sound in my head – something harder, something more throaty.”

“You tap straight in and put it through a straight speaker,” he added, “and you get a beast.”

Dez Bryant arrested

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 9:45 pm

. Not by a caring campus. Not by amazing athletic ability. Not by the world’s most famous football team.
photo – Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant was arrested Monday and faces a misdemeanor family violence charge. Bryant is a native of Lufkin, Texas, who played for Oklahoma State before being drafted by his home-state Cowboys. AP Photo
Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant was arrested Monday and faces a misdemeanor family violence charge. Bryant is a native of Lufkin, Texas, who played for Oklahoma State before being drafted by his home-state Cowboys. AP Photo

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Article Gallery: Sometimes Dez Bryant can’t help but make wrong decisions

So Dez Bryant’s life continues to spiral out of control. Even if he does wear the vaunted No. 88 for the Dallas Cowboys and might be the best player in shoulder pads for the men who wear the star. Even if he was such an athletic marvel at OSU that his last name no longer is necessary in the state of Oklahoma.

Dez was arrested Monday and booked on a misdemeanor charge of assaulting his mother, Angela.

There is no excuse for striking a woman, much less your mother. But the people who know Dez know what he’s up against. How a horrible home life growing up in Lufkin, Texas, gave him few tools in which to make good decisions and live a fruitful life. How OSU gave him structure in his 2 1/2 years as a Cowboy, but once he was gone from Stillwater, that protection went, too.

A Lufkin teacher emailed me Tuesday to try to provide a glimpse of Dez’s situation.

“The news media, the Dallas Cowboys, the public, the normal sports fan, cannot imagine the life that this young man had,” wrote the teacher, who I later spoke to and wished to remain anonymous. “What he had to overcome can’t be imagined by most decent people.

“He comes from absolutely no home life, but when he was drafted, the family came out of the woodwork.”

At OSU, Dez never was a problem in terms of behavior. People throughout the athletic department will admit that Dez was completely irresponsible — didn’t always go to class, late for meetings, didn’t understand the concept of a schedule — but never was he a problem otherwise. No drinking. No drugs. No disrespect.

“The Dez I knew would not beat up his mother,” said Marilyn Middlebrook, OSU’s associate athletic director for academic affairs. Middlebrook termed Dez “sweet” but “irresponsible.”

Which is not surprising, considering his home life. Dez’s mother was 14 when he was born and later spent 18 months in prison for drug trafficking. Dez often went house to house to sleep. Middlebrook said the story around the athletic department was that Dez in Lufkin would sleep in his clothes, because he often had to move in the middle of the night.

“He didn’t have any kind of family support,” the Lufkin teacher said. “Lived with all kinds of different people. He just never had anybody stable in his life. When these kids go off to college, or when they get drafted, they take that with them.”

Lufkin’s coaches provided Dez with male role models, and former OSU assistant coach Gunter Brewer was a rock for Dez in Stillwater. But then came the 2010 NFL Draft. The cocoon was gone.

I figure the Cowboys selecting Dez actually was a curse. That he needed to go anywhere but Dallas or Houston. As far from Lufkin as possible. To Seattle or Miami or Buffalo.

That’s what the people at OSU thought, too.

But the Lufkin teacher said it wouldn’t matter, that Dez’s family would have followed him.

Middlebrook said she’s counseled former OSU basketball star Tony Allen on the same dangers. Allen was from the streets of Chicago. “Away from Chicago, he did great,” she said. But when he went home to visit his mother, old friends “who haven’t been successful pull him away.” She’s urged Allen to steer clear from those Chicago influences and believes he has.

But Dez has not. Since his OSU playing days, Dez and friends have been banned from a Dallas mall for inappropriate language and dress, he has been sued for unpaid debts, detained but not arrested for an altercation at a Miami Beach nightclub and fined by the Cowboys for infractions such as being late to meetings.

Dez needs direction and mentoring, but whoever he’s turned to, including apparently his family, is providing neither. Dez had surrogate parents to some degree in the form of Lufkin High School faculty and OSU’s athletic department. Just because he’s 23 and an NFL player doesn’t mean that need has expired.

The Lufkin teacher said Dez always had pride. Was always clean and decently dressed. “One of the sweetest, most generous kids you would ever want to meet,” the teacher said. “Just a really good kid. I don’t know how he overcame what he overcame.”

But the sad truth is, Dez hasn’t overcome it. Not yet anyway.

Some things can’t be fixed.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant allegedly hit his mother in the face with his baseball cap … and grabbed her by the shirt so hard that he ripped her bra … this according to arrest documents obtained by TMZ.

The docs say … cops were dispatched to Bryant’s mother’s home in DeSoto, Texas on July 14 at 1:47 PM after receiving a 911 call reporting an assault — family violence.

Once cops arrived to the scene, Dez’s mom Angela told cops she had gotten into an argument with Dez and demanded that he leave the home … and that’s when Dez got physical.

On the 911 call, Angela says, “My son has assaulted me. He’s here now. he won’t go home. I keep telling him to go, he won’t go.” You can clearly hear an argument in the background as Angela says, “I can’t let him keep doing me like this. I’m gonna put an end to it today.”

According to the documents, cops returned to Angela’s home 2 days later and she complained of pain in her wrists, hands and arms … and said her chest was sore from Dez pushing her.

Cops say they observed bruising in her upper arm. The docs list Dez Bryant as being 6′1″, 198 pounds.

Bryant turned himself into police yesterday, and was booked for assault — family violence, a Class A misdemeanor
Bryant has endured the type of childhood that’s virtually impossible to overcome without substantial emotional damage. Most of us can’t even comprehend Bryant’s youth. We’ve never seen it on “The Brady Bunch.” Or “The Cosby Show.” Or whatever sitcom today’s kids watch.

None of that is an excuse for Bryant putting his hands on his mother, which he is alleged to have done Saturday night.

None will ever exist in this lifetime.

Bryant’s God-given athletic ability has provided him with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a life for his kids — Zane and Dez Jr. — that he never had.

He’s blowing it.

Big time.

Time is quickly running out on his career with the Dallas Cowboys — he has played only two seasons — because his off-field drama makes you wonder just how much longer Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett are going to put up with it.

Sure, Bryant has prodigious talent and potential, but his production lags behind his athletic prowess. That’s not good.

Angela Bryant calls 911
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The 911 call Dez Bryant’s mother, Angela Bryant, made to DeSoto, Texas, police after the Cowboys receiver allegedly assaulted her.

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Even if Bryant doesn’t realize his career is in the danger zone, his mother seems to get it. She’s insisting he get anger management counseling to deal with the apparent rage burning within him. It might be the best idea she has ever had.

If Bryant wants to continue playing in the NFL and get a crack at one of those eight-digit contracts, he must learn to harness his emotions.

The process needs to start right now.

Bryant should seek immediate help because it’s obvious he can’t do it by himself. There’s zero shame in that. All kinds of folks need professional help to deal with anger, grief, overeating, drugs, gambling and just about anything else you can name.

The saggy pants drama at NorthPark Center. The mini brawl in Miami. The heated verbal dispute Saturday night with his half-brother that ultimately led to Bryant being charged with a Class A misdemeanor for assaulting a female family member. Each of those incidents occurred because Bryant’s emotions took him to a place he didn’t want or need to go.

More On Dez Bryant’s Arrest

TaylorDez Bryant’s rough upbringing doesn’t excuse his actions, and if he is to salvage his career — and more importantly, his life — he needs help, writes Jean Jacques Taylor. Story

Archer At some point the Cowboys will have to decide if Bryant is worth the risk, but the time for that is not now, writes Todd Archer. Blog

• MacMahon: Dez needs Cowboys’ help

Graziano Dez Bryant is far too young to give up on and that is why the Cowboys must help their talented, but troubled wide receiver, writes Dan Graziano. Blog

• SN: Discipline problem in NFL?

Bryant doesn’t need enablers, such as his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, who suggested he lay low in Miami this week. This shouldn’t be about Bryant the football player; this has to be about Bryant the man.

If Bryant the person never gets straightened out, then Bryant the football player has no chance for long-term success.

At this time, Bryant needs to be surrounded by folks concerned solely about his future as a person — not as an athlete.

Telling Bryant to grow up and mature is too simplistic. So is saying lots of folks come from awful home situations but don’t let it negatively affect their lives.

We’re all different. None of us handles life exactly the same.

Whatever the circumstance, Bryant must do better.

The 911 call his mother made to the police is chilling. Angela Bryant sounds weary and fatigued from the never-ending drama with her son.

“I can’t keep letting him do me like this. I’m tired,” Angela Bryant said on the call. “I’m going to put an end to it today. I’m going to put an end to it today. I’m tired.”

Their relationship, as you might imagine, has always been complicated.

The age difference, at times, has made their relationship more like brother and sister than parent and child. Bryant’s mother spent a portion of his formative years in prison for selling drugs.

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And now they’ve changed roles. She’s the parent, but Bryant is taking care of her.

“Dez loves his mother. His mother loves him,” said Royce West, Bryant’s attorney. “Dez has always provided support for his family and will continue to do so.

“This was an unfortunate incident and they’re going to work together to heal the family. They recognize the serious nature of the allegations.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has proved time and time again that he’s tough on players who bring shame to the NFL shield. There’s every reason to believe this kind of incident could be a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy, leading to a suspension or fine.

If it happens, then so be it.

This is bigger than the Cowboys. The NFL, too.

This is about a young man’s life — and career.

But it’s up to Bryant.

He’s the only one who can ensure it happens. The question is whether Bryant loves his kids enough to change, because once you have children your life no longer belongs to you.

It’s all about them.


Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 9:44 pm

a wake-promoting drug used to treat certain sleep disorders like narcolepsy, is also being used by some without the sleep disorder to keep them alert and attentive, according to an ABC News report.

“People have used it to try to get an edge at studying at school. It’s becoming like Ritalin where people are taking it that don’t have anything. But they’re using it to try to increase their alertness,” Dr. Philip Gehrman, Ph.D., CBSM, clinical director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the University of Pennsylvania, told HuffPost.

However, doctors told ABC News that it is not known if the drug is safe for use long-term, as there has not been any research on this specifically.

“It’s very tempting, but I think long-term it’s a bad idea,” Dr. Martha Farah, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania, told ABC News. “We actually know very little about the long-term effects.”

There are also side effects associated with the drug, according to the National Institutes of Health, which include headaches, nausea, back pain, burning or tingling skin, and more severely, rashes, hives, problems with breathing or swallowing, anxiety, depression and hallucinations. (For more on the side effects of Provigil, click here.)

In addition, people need to realize that the drug is not a replacement for sleep, and if they take it and don’t get enough sleep, they will still experience the negative health effects of sleep deprivation, Gehrman explained.

“They’re just kind of masking how they feel during the day, and so all the negative health consequences of not getting sleep still apply,” he added.

In fact, it says on the Provigil website: “PROVIGIL does not take the place of getting enough sleep. Follow your doctor’s advice about good sleep habits and using other treatments.”

Provigil was first approved by the FDA as a treatment for narcolepsy. It was hailed because it was an alternative to stimulants, which were the only other treatment for narcolepsy at the time, but had a lot of side effects, were easy to build up tolerance to, and could be abused, Gehrman said.

Provigil’s use was later expanded to treat people with shift work sleep disorder and certain cases of sleep apnea, where the sleep apnea is already being treated but sleep problems still persist, he said. The military has also done some work with the drug to see if it could help troops stay awake for extended periods of sleep deprivation.

Use of Provigil among people without sleep disorders isn’t new, though. TechCrunch reported back in 2008 about an executive who was able to work 20 hours a day while on the drug, even though it hasn’t been shown to be safe for use for this purpose.

Athletes have gotten in hot water, too, over taking the drug. Kelli White, a U.S. sprinter, tested positive for modafinil on a drug test, and subsequently had her World Track and Field Championships medals stripped from her in 2004, BBC News reported.
They are all around us, a secret society of the successful. They say what gives them an advantage, though, isn’t just purposefulness or perseverance but a little secret weapon, a pill called Provigil.

There is the lobbyist, who wakes up at 5 a.m. to complete two full workouts before heading to work.

“I could not do this without Provigil. You know, it just wouldn’t be the same,” she told ABC News, asking that ABC News not identify her. “It’s amazing. … I just don’t get … why more people don’t know about it.”

John Withers, a computer programmer, can write code for 12 hours at a time.

“It helps you focus up for exceptionally long periods of time,” he said.

And then there is the brain researcher who can find connections no one else is seeing. She asked that we not name her.

“It’s just a clear day,” she said. “The fog isn’t there.”

Provigil is approved only for narcolepsy, sleep apnea or for people who work irregular hours, but hidden among those who take it are pockets of healthy Americans taking it just to boost energy and enhance focus. It excites the mind so much that Provigil has been nicknamed “Viagra for the brain.”

Prescription sales for this class of drugs has increased by 73 percent in four years, from $832,687,000 in 2007 to $1,440,160,000 in 2011, according to IMS Health.

Online there are hundreds of sites evangelizing for Provigil that explain how to get a doctor to write a prescription or how to get the drug without one.

Many Provigil users are secretive, but not Dave Asprey, a successful executive of a billion-dollar Internet security firm who often starts his day at 4:45 a.m. by popping a pill.
PHOTO: Cephalon Inc.’s Provigil is used to treat excessive sleepiness caused by narcolepsy.
JB Reed/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Cephalon Inc.’s Provigil is used to treat… View Full Size
PHOTO: Cephalon Inc.’s Provigil is used to treat excessive sleepiness caused by narcolepsy.
JB Reed/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Cephalon Inc.’s Provigil is used to treat excessive sleepiness caused by narcolepsy.
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“[It] can be the difference between I’m just making it through the day to I had the best day of my life,” Asprey told ABC News.

Asprey says he once flew 20 hours to Australia with almost no sleep, got off the plane, took Provigil and delivered a series of speeches that were so good they made the local papers.

As a kind of an experiment ABC News asked Asprey to stop taking the drug for three days. Off the drug, he said he felt off.

“I’ve noticed that my speech is very slightly altered,” he said.

After three days, Asprey popped a Provigil and he says it took only 17 minutes for him to snap back. He said the world suddenly seemed brighter.

Asprey compared it to the scene in “The Wizard of Oz” where everything goes from black and white to color.

ABC News had Asprey take some cognitive tests, and there was a pronounced improvement over the day before when he was not on Provigil.

So, should we all be on Provigil?

Doctors warn that you are really rolling the dice with this drug. There have been no long-term studies of Provigil and its effects on healthy brains have never been studied. Doctors also warn that possible side effects include sleep deprivation and potentially lethal rashes and worse.

Provigil is a wake-promoting agent, but doctors admit they don’t really know how it works.

“Provigil is not a substitute for sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause and worsen heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure,” said Dr. Joanne Getsy, chief of the Sleep Medicine Section at the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia.

And there have been no studies proving that performance actually improves with Provigil. “Sleep deprivation can actually worsen performance,” said Getsy.

“It’s very tempting, but I think long-term it’s a bad idea,” said Dr. Martha Farah, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania. “We actually know very little about the long term effects.”

Astonishingly, Asprey says even if it were to turn out that Provigil could shorten his life he wouldn’t give it up and neither would the lobbyist or brain researcher who take it. They told ABC News they aren’t worried and aren’t about to stop using Provigil.

“I would like to really live during those years when I’m alive. I’d like to be fully alert, fully focused, and fully present all the time” Asprey said. “Provigil helps me do that.”
Surely most of us have envisioned what we could do if there were more hours in the day. Some may commit more readily to their jobs; others might work out or simply read a book. It turns out people are actually enacting that dream – with the aid of the drug Provigil.

Photo: Microsoft
Provigil was approved by the FDA to treat narcolepsy, certain forms of sleep apnea, and to aid people who work irregular hours.

Provigil was approved by the FDA to treat narcolepsy, certain forms of sleep apnea, and to aid people who work irregular hours. (Microsoft)
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Provigil was approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat narcolepsy, certain forms of sleep apnea, and to help people who work irregular hours. But, according to a recent ABC News article, Provigil has been embraced by people without such conditions, who simply want more hours in the day, to raise energy levels, and to improve their focus.

Comparisons to Adderall and Ritalin, other similar drugs of choice that have been readily abused by people who do not have the condition for which they are prescribed, run rampant. But Provigil is, interestingly, most commonly compared to an erectile dysfunction medication, with worshippers of the pill calling it “Viagra for the mind.” Scores of websites exist with tips on how to convince a doctor to prescribe it to patients without narcolepsy or sleep apnea, or on how to obtain the pills without a prescription.

In fact, sales from Provigil have increased by 73 percent between 2007 and 2011, from $832,687,000 to $1.44 million.

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Doctors are understandably concerned by the phenomenon. No studies have been conducted on the long-term side effects of Provigil. There are a host of side effects – ranging from psychiatric issues to heart problems and trouble breathing. For people who suffer the debilitating effects of narcolepsy and sleep apnea, those side effects are risks that they may want to take – but for others, doctors would prefer that they avoid the medication.

Even on Provigil’s website, it reads, “PROVIGIL does not take the place of getting enough sleep. Follow your doctor’s advice about good sleep habits and using other treatments. […] It is against the law to sell or give PROVIGIL to another person.”

Doctors add that Provigil does not stave away the effects of sleep deprivation, but merely masks the symptoms.

But for the people interviewed by ABC News, they remain undeterred. One, an executive for a billion-dollar internet securities firm, said that Provigil helped him live to the fullest while he was still on the planet.
Are you looking for a boost of energy to help you get through the day? A prescription pill might help.

Sales of Provigil are up 74% in the last four years.

Provigil is ONLY approved for narcolepsy, sleep apnea and for people who work irregular hours.

However, many other people are now taking it because it is known to boos energy and focus.

The drug has earned the nickname of “Viagra for the brain.” And it is quietly being used by military pilots, pro-athletes and pro-poker players.

There are hundreds of websites that talk about the doctor and how to get your doctor to prescribe it. And, some websites say that there are ways to get it without a prescription.

Doctors say that most people on Provigil don’t see any side effects although there have been rare cases of life-threatening rashes.

Still, there have not been any studies on the long-term effects of the drug. So, doctors say that if you need more energy, the best bet is to just get more sleep.

Finding Nemo 2

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 9:41 pm

Happy birthday Nelson Mandela! The South African former-president, anti-apartheid activist and all-round hero turns 94 today. Twitter certainly knows how to celebrate in style with #mandeladay #madiba and Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela dominating today’s trends.

@NelsonMandela – the official Twitter handle for the Nelson Mandela Foundation tweeted at midnight to say: “Today is #MandelaDay, will you be joining a global movement for good & giving 67 minutes in honour of the 67 years #Madiba gave to humanity?” spurring a flurry of Twitter good will.

The tributes have flooded in all afternoon…

@Oxfam: “Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela! You r a symbol of hope & inspiration to people around the world”

@Azadessa: “Happy birthday #Madiba, Your name has become the grammar of hope, inspiration and shared humanity on the beloved continent. #Mandela”

A handful of public figures have also praised the South African figurehead, including William Hague who tweeted: “Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela. Thank you for your inspiration to everyone striving for freedom around the world #Madiba”

But it is @dosomething who make the best of their limited tweet capacity: “Happy birthday, Nelson Mandela. You are too much to appreciate in 140 characters.”
Rajesh Khanna

Rajesh Khanna

From the birthday of one of South Africa’s figureheads to the death of Rajesh Khanna, one of Bollywood’s founding fathers. Amongst India’s first superstars, Khanna has passed away from an undisclosed illness at the age of 69.

It didn’t take long for Bollywood and the world to tweet out their gushing tributes…

@AnupamPkher sums up what made the great man so special: “Rajesh Khanna gave us a crash course in Romance. He introduced us to a special twinkle in the eye that made us feel good about ourselves. RIP”

The actor was a giant in his industry, a fact verified by @BBCEnt_India’s tweet: “RIP Rajesh Khanna! Hailed as India’s first superstar after 15 consecutive superhits – a record that is still unbroken.”

Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar added “Very unfortunate to hear about the demise of Rajesh Khanna Ji. While growing up I watched so many of his movies…”

And finally, his Bollywood reign is poignantly summed up by fellow cricketer Suresh Raina (@ImRaina) – “The King of romance, the original superstar – painful to know Rajesh Khanna is no more.”
Pete Doherty

Pete Doherty

And from the plaudits of a Bollywood superstar to the misdemeanours of Britain’s favourite drug addict. Yep, Pete Doherty was back in the news again yesterday and has been trending ever since. Guess what? He’s stooped to new lows (we know what you’re thinking – how much lower can he go?)

Well, the former Libertines and Babyshambles frontman has failed in his latest attempt to kick his drug habit after being thrown out of a Thai rehab clinic for allegedly being a “disruptive influence”. It doesn’t take much to set off an onslaught of Doherty abuse, but he certainly isn’t doing himself any favours…

@mitchrhyskent: “Can’t believe Pete Doherty got kicked out of rehab in Thailand. Bet he tried to give heroin to a tiger.”

@factorybristol: “Pete Doherty’s been thrown out of rehab for ‘disrupting other patients’ treatment’. Funny-his music’s been disrupting ours for many years…”

And finally, @alexfordham: “Wish I’d put money on Pete Doherty not completing his rehab stint.” We reckon the odds on that were probably pretty short, Alex.
Finding Nemo

And finally… Finding Nemo 2

Grown adults worldwide were dancing around with glee earlier today when Pixar announced plans for a sequel to their 2003 animated hit Finding Nemo. Hot on the heels of the upcoming Monster’s University (Monster’s Inc’s eagerly-waited follow up), the Nemo hype has prompted a flurry of rumours regarding a possible Toy Story 4, although production on the latter is yet to be confirmed. All three films dominated Twittersphere chatter throughout the morning:

An outbreak of overgrown children reacted to the news by tweeting their excitement, none more so than @MoreSarcasm: “Finding Nemo 2, Toy Story 4, Monsters Inc. 2. I WILL BE PUSHING LITTLE KIDS OUT OF THE WAY, SCREAMING, ‘CHILDHOOD IS MINE, MINE I TELL YOU’.”

If your perforated eardrums have recovered from that outburst, why not find out what everyone’s favourite forgetful fish made of the news? @ArryPottah: “They told Dory the news, but she’s already forgotten.”

And @BieberGum whets our cinema-going appetite: “Toy Story 4, Finding Nemo 2 and Monsters Inc 2! Step aside children this cinema is booked for the 90’s kids.”
Finding Nemo captured the heart of cinema-goers when it was released in 2003 and quickly became staple viewing for families all around the world.

But despite the movie earning over £550million at the worldwide box office and becoming Pixar’s second highest grossing film ever, a sequel has always looked dead in the water – until now.

The film’s original director, Andrew Stanton, is setting sail on a fishy follow-up after coming up with a concept that Pixar loves.
Enlarge Nemo is lost again! Sequel to the family classic is swimming to the big screen rk on a Finding Nemo sequel nine years after it was released

Box office splash: Pixar will dive into work on a Finding Nemo sequel nine years after it was released

Featuring the vocal talents of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres and Willem Dafoe, the original computer generated film told the story of an over-protective clownfish called Marlin, who enlists the help of forgetful Dory as they search for Marlin’s missing son Nemo across the ocean.

Stanton, who has won two Oscars for Finding Nemo and Wall-E, will be hoping to make amends for his live action debut John Carter, which flopped massively for Disney when it was released earlier this year.


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However, the director who won two Oscars for Finding Nemo and Wall-E, has been lured back to his old company to dive into his bag of animated tricks.

Victoria Strouse is on scripting duties, with the sequel receiving a tentative release date of 2016.
Much loved: Finding Nemo is regarded as one of Pixar’s finest films

Much loved: Finding Nemo is regarded as one of Pixar’s finest films

Despite making a follow up to Cars and two sequels to Toy Story, Pixar have always been reluctant to make sequels to their hit films for the sake of it.

However, with Finding Nemo getting a follow up and Monsters Inc 2 being currently made it has sparked speculation that there could be a further installments of Toy Story, Wall-E and Up.

It’s not all sequels for the much loved company, they have several new projects in the works including The Good Dinosaur.

But if you can’t wait four years for another Nemo adventure on the big screen – the original is also being re-released in 3D later this year.
Chomp out of the box office: Pixar will be hoping the sequel will be as successful as the original

Box office chomp: Pixar will be hoping the sequel will be as successful as the original
Back in May, “Finding Nemo” director Andrew Stanton told attendees at the Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Film Festival that he’d be interested in directing a sequel to the blockbuster Pixar film. Now, according to Deadline.com, that wish appears to be a reality. Stanton — who last helmed the poorly received “John Carter” — will direct “Finding Nemo 2.”

Stanton has long wanted to make “Finding Nemo 2,” reiterating at the Hero Complex Film Festival that he would do it if the story was right. “Finding Nemo” was a smash with audiences and critics, earning over $867 million worldwide; it’s routinely hailed as one of the best Pixar films.

Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks provided voice work in the original, but whether they return for part two is as yet unknown.

“Finding Nemo 2″ would follow the “Toy Story” sequels, “Cars 2″ and the upcoming prequel to “Monsters Inc.” on the Pixar slate, but that doesn’t mean the animation giant is shying away from the original films that helped make its name. Earlier this year, Pixar announced release dates for “Dia De Los Muertos” (from “Toy Story 3″ director Lee Unkrich), “The Good Dinosaur” (from “Up” co-director Bob Peterson) and a feature going under the working title of “Untitled Pixar Movie that Takes You Inside the Mind” (from “Up” director Pete Docter). Those three films are set for release in 2014 and 2015.

“I’m sure you’ll see some other sequels of things as they grow because now we are not so blinded,” Stanton was quoted as saying at the Hero Complex Film Festival. “It’s the originals that keep us really going and it’s the sequels that are like comfort food, and I think it’s the same way for the audience.”

Before you purchase your “Finding Nemo 2″ tickets, note that Pixar hasn’t confirmed the news. As Deadline.com’s Mike Fleming wrote, “Pixar continues to not be helpful on this, as they don’t comment on development.”

For more on the project, including what it means for Stanton’s career, head over to Deadline.com.

Rajesh Khanna

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 9:39 pm

: Rajesh Khannna’s cavalcade reached Paramhans crematorium in Vile Parle around 11 am on Thursday. Placed in a glass casket adorned with white flowers, the superstar’s last journey started from his residence Aashriwad in Carter road around 10: 15 am.

The procession of the superstar started around 10:15 am on Thursday morning and thousands flanked the streets to catch one last glimpse of their favourite actor. The actor’s daughter Rinkie Khanna with husband Sameer Saran, wife Dimple Kapadia and elder son-in-law Akshay Kumar were seen accompanying the late actor’s body in the cavalcade.

Almost all of the stars of Bollywood are expected to attend Khanna’s funeral. Earlier in the morning, Karan Johar and Kapoor sisters- Karisma and Kareena were seen at Aashirwad.

Sources close to the family have revealed that Khanna’s funeral pyre will be lit by son-in-law actor Akshay Kumar and grandson Aarav.

Meanwhile, thousands of fans have gathered outside the Vile Parle crematorium to catch a glimpse of India’s first superstar. The last rites of the actor will be taking place shortly.
Braving rains, hundereds of fans lined up to bid adieu to yesteryear superstar Rajesh Khanna on Thursday as he began his final journey from his residence in suburban Bandra here.

The funeral procession of Khanna began from his bungalow, ‘Aashirwad’ on Carter Road at around 10am with fans queuing up to pay their last respects to the Bollywood phenomenon.

His body is being taken to the Pawan Hans crematorium in an open truck, wrapped with white flowers.

Resting in a glass coffin, the body of the superstar was accompanied by son-in-law and actor Akshay Kumar, estranged wife Dimple Kapadia and his younger daughter Rinkie Khanna by his side atop the vehicle, flanked by huge black and white photographs of the actor, on both sides.

Media persons also made a beeline outside his bungalow to witness his farewell even as the road was cordoned off with policemen all over, leading to huge traffic jam in the area.

The 69-year-old actor passed away yesterday at his residence here due to liver infection, a source close to the actor had said.

The superstar, fondly known as ‘Kaka’ to millions would forever be remembered as the ‘King of Romance’, who ruled the hearts of many especially women as they worshipped him, married his photographs, smudged his car with lipsticks and waited late night outside hotels hoping to catch a glimpse of him.
As a superstar of the 60’s and early 70’s, Rajesh Khanna was never quite known to be a dishum-dishum hero, but he almost ended BJP veteran L K Advani’s political career by giving the saffron stalwart a scare of his life for the New Delhi seat in the 1991 Lok Sabha election.

Advani managed to hang by a paltry 1,589 votes as a shocked Khanna refused to accept the narrow defeat, rolling on the ground at the counting station insisting that he had been cheated of a win. He did win the seat eventually in a byelection when Advani vacated the constituency.

If the result had gone the other way, the setback for Advani would have been immense as the win in 1991 led to his becoming leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha. It was only the second Lok Sabha election he fought having beaten Congress’s Mohini Giri in the previous 1989 contest.

Advani had taken the precaution of also contesting from Gandhinagar, but a defeat would have been a blow for his espousal of the Ram Temple movement that led to the collapse of the V P Singh government, which in turn resulted in the 1991 election.

In 1991, the election may well have been settled decisively in Kaka’s favour but for the presence of Janata Dal candidate Manju Mohan, who polled a little over 20,000 votes. Wife of veteran socialist Surendra Mohan, her presence created a severe dilemma for socialist and minority leaders, many of whom could not turn down Mohan’s requests to campaign for his spouse.

The division in votes led to Advani sneaking past the post in a constituency, where his colleague Atal Bihari Vajpayee had been given a similar scare in 1980 by rank outsider C M Stephen. Even so, Khanna did well in Congress vote banks but Advani managed to grab a lead with the support he received in areas like Lajpat Nagar, Sewa Nagar and Amar Colony.
Hundreds of fans gathered in front of actor Rajesh Khanna’s residence Aashirwad here on Thursday braving rain to pay homage to Bollywood’s first superstar as he began his final journey from suburban Bandra.

Fans lined the road leading up to his house as his body was carried away to the cremation ground in a hearse covered with flowers. Fans walked the distance to the crematorium carrying huge posters of Khanna, reminiscent of a time when legions of his female followers would line up for hours to catch a glimpse of him.

The funeral procession began from his bungalow on Carter Road at around 10 AM and his body was being taken to the Pawan Hans crematorium. Resting in a glass coffin, the body of the superstar was accompanied by son-in-law and actor Akshay Kumar, estranged wife Dimple Kapadia and his younger daughter Rinkie Khanna by his side atop the vehicle, flanked by huge black and white photographs of the actor, on both sides.
Bollywood’s ultimate romantic hero, Rajesh Khanna, passed away on July 18 at the age of 69. With many hit films behind him, Khanna was not only Hindi cinema’s first superstar but an inimitable style icon. What was his family life like? Here’s a family tree.
In pics: Rajesh Khanna’s Family Tree

The actor, lovingly called Kaka, who was hailed as India’s original superstar, died following a prolonged illness on Wednesday. His demise brought back memories of the charmer, lover and hero that he was to his family, fans and well-wishers. For them, his magic will remain forever.

Actor Dilip Kumar paid a beautiful tribute.”Death is just the end of life, not a relationship. Rajesh will be missed dearly,” he said.

“He has gone to a nice and heavenly place, we are happy about that,” Akshay Kumar, married to his elder daughter Twinkle, said after his death around 10 am.

A pall of gloom descended on the film industry with Khanna’s death with artists calling it the end of an era in Bollywood. Actress Shabana Azmi said, “There was something for everybody in Rajesh Khanna. He was every inch the star and he totally and completely enjoyed it. He played it to the hilt when he wanted and wore it lightly when he wanted. But none of his arrogance ever touched his relationship with his fans, with whom he had immediate, one to one contact.

Dimple says that on the July 14 he said, ‘It’s time to pack up’. So he lived it and realized that it was time to go.”

“I think what Shabana said was bang on. He was somebody who you could identify with. He wasn’t someone who was larger than life. He looked like one of us and yet there was this distinct charm of his own. We cannot sum up a phenomena like Rajesh Khanna. It’s very important to point something out. His descent into oblivion is part of the Rajesh Khanna narrative. The king without his kingdom and his personal style in his day to day life is also part of that narrative. His on screen persona and his private life both contributed to make him this enigma that is still enduring,” filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said.

Saira Banu, who missed a chance of working with Khanna during his stardom days, said the actor was very humble. “I was supposed to work with him in ‘Choti Bahu’ but I could not because I was ill. I shot with him for two days and found that he was very charming, humble and a shy person. May his soul rest in peace,” Banu said.

His contemporary Manoj Kumar was planning to meet Khanna. “I had called Dimple but she told me not to come as Rajesh Khanna was not in a position to talk…I miss him a lot and I have shared some of the best memories with him.”


Corn yield likely lower than USDA projections

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 9:38 pm

he ongoing drought and Corn Belt disaster is likely to further drive down yields in the United States for 2012.

Despite the most acres of corn planted since the 1930s and high expectations this spring by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for this year’s crop, the 2012 yield is likely to be even lower than current official government forecasts.

In June, the USDA was projecting a record 166 bushels of corn per acre to be harvest this fall.

That projected yield has been pushed down to 146 bushels per acre as of mid-July.

click image to zoom AccuWeather.com agricultural meteorologists expect this figure is likely to go lower and are projecting the yield to be around 138 bushels per acre.

The lower yield compared to the USDA projection is based on AccuWeather’s forecast of ongoing heat and drought conditions in areas from southern Illinois westward to Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, southern Wisconsin and southwestern Minnesota.

Rain? Not Enough

While some rain has fallen on part of the corn belt recently, not enough rain fell on a broad area since July 13 to make much of a difference in long-term yields.

Central Minnesota was one of a few areas holding its own in terms of weather and expected output in the Corn Belt.

click image to zoom A few locations in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana received an inch of rain spanning July 13 to 15. However, the rain was expected and was indeed spotty as forecast.

Ongoing high evaporation rates on the order of one-third of an inch per day this time of the year are taking care of the rest. The majority of places in the Corn Belt received one-quarter of an inch of rain or less over the weekend.

A new heat wave and lack of rain was hitting corn and soybean growing areas in the Midwest the week of July 16, adding to the worst drought and impact since 1988.

During most days this week, from southern Illinois, south to Arkansas, west to Nebraska and Kansas, high temperatures will range between 95 and 100 degrees.

Farther north and east in, high temperatures will range between 90 and 95 degrees into Wednesday with some relief from the heat later in the week. Spotty downpours will continue in part of the area.

It is too late for the corn crop in the southern areas.

click image to zoom Ongoing heat and dry weather in could terminate more of the corn in other growing areas of the Midwest and Plains in the coming weeks.

Lower yields than expected could continue to translate to higher prices per bushel.

The corn futures market this week was fluctuating near the record at approximately $8 per bushel.

This, in turn, will translate to higher prices for the ingredients that make up much of food supply from animal feed to processed products for human consumption.

Eventually, these costs will be passed along to the consumer in the form of higher food prices.

Fuel prices can also be impacted to a lesser degree, since gasoline in the U.S. contains between 5 and 10 percent ethanol, a product of corn.
The heat and accompanying drought continue to seriously impact the Midwest as the a “corn crop disaster” continues to unfold.

Heat will re-intensify over Kansas City, Omaha and Des Moines into next week, while higher humidity leads to some downpours from Memphis to Louisville and Cincinnati into mid-August.

Areas from Minneapolis to Chicago, Detroit and Indianapolis will be near the edge of the extreme heat and drought from the Plains and more temperate conditions farther east.

According to Nathan Fields, Director of Biotechnololgy and Economic Analysis for the National Corn Growers Association, “Producers up north still have a tremendous amount of yield potential left in their crop, provided they get timely rains.”

AccuWeather.com agricultural meteorologists are concerned that new and frequent waves of near-100-degree temperatures and stingy rainfall will further stress crops over Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska into mid-August.

Drought in Some Corn Areas Likely to Get Worse

Progress of the corn in Iowa and Nebraska during the past couple of weeks had greatly slowed as a result of the recent extreme temperatures and lack of rain. Only areas that rely on irrigation, such as portions of Kansas and Arkansas have been spared the worst.

The stress on even drought-resistant varieties from the central Plains to part of the Upper Midwest may not only result in lower yields by harvest time, but may also bring total crop failures at the local level.

A large part of the corn in the United States is grown in the northwestern part of the Corn Belt and the potential of extended heat and lack of sufficient rain in this area could have a greater negative impact on the nation’s overall production than anticipated thus far.

Meanwhile, as occasional downpours will be welcomed by agricultural interests in the Ohio Valley and central Great Lakes area, it is too little too late for much of this year’s corn crop in the area. However, other crops grown in these areas, such as soybeans, may be spared “provided the rains come and have staying power.”

According to Long Range Expert Joe Lundberg, “There’s a risk of being too optimistic for rainfall in the Ohio Valley and central Great Lakes area as even in a wet pattern, rainfall can be very spotty due to the nature of summertime showers.”

While the overall upcoming pattern supports sporadic rainfall in some eastern and northern areas of the Midwest, there will still be significant areas that receive little or no rain within this zone.

According to Agricultural Meteorologist Dale Mohler, “Mid July through the end of August is critical time for soybeans, so at least there is more time for recovery with this crop.”

Evaporation rates are very high into the first part of August. Soaking rain on a regular basis instead of a brief downpour is needed to be of benefit beyond a couple of days.

Turning things around in the Midwest as a whole will be a difficult task as dry ground tends to bring higher daytime temperatures, which in turn raises evaporation rates and so on.

Speculation on Impact of Consumer Prices

Fields remained optimistic about minimal price increases to consumers, since many acres of corn were planted this year in the first place, but expressed concerned about recent years affecting in agricultural production in the U.S.

“We have had fairly adverse weather conditions for three years and we don’t usually see three years in a row come out like this. It is a unique set of circumstances we haven’t seen before.” Fields said.

Fields was referring to heat and drought in Texas and the southern Plains last year as well as issues with flooding in some areas last year and in 2010.

AccuWeather.com agricultural meteorologists remain concerned that corn production will continue to fall short of expectations through harvest.
AccuWeather.com reports additional corn crop failures are likely as a result of too little rain and too much heat through the middle of August.

Spotty downpours will grace northern and eastern areas of the corn belt into August, but not enough rain will fall on a large part of the Corn Belt, leading to a disaster.

AccuWeather.com agricultural meteorologists feel a lack of rain will continue to take its toll on non-irrigated corn in much of Nebraska and Kansas, as well as huge sections of Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, southeastern South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, southwestern Michigan and southeastern Wisconsin.

In these areas, a few tenths of an inch of rain will fall here and there in the weeks ahead with some areas barely getting a drop.

According to Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews: “The region has suffered and will continue to suffer from a lack of frequent thunderstorms. Warm-season rainfall is the primary source of soil moisture for the region.”

In this southwestern and central swath of the Corn Belt, the combination of too much heat and too little rain moving forward into the middle of August will prove to be too much for corn to take. Essentially, most of these areas are beyond hope for a significant crop this year.

Within these states, there are areas that have been holding on because of sporadic rainfall in recent days or weeks. However, areas, such as in parts of Ohio, central Illinois and central Iowa, still need significant rain for any hopes of a decent harvest come autumn.

Some prime corn areas are in reasonable shape, such as in portions of eastern North Dakota, central and southeastern Minnesota, and central Wisconsin.

These areas, as well as irrigated tracts on the High Plains and Midwest, and in other less-thought-of farmland in the East will have to carry the load of high expectations of corn production originally set by the United States Department of Agriculture.

The northern and eastern areas will have less intense heat, less long-lasting heat and at least occasional episodes of rainfall, which should be enough to sustain the corn crop in general.

Rainfall in some corn-growing areas of the East has been sufficient with much of Pennsylvania, New York state and New Jersey in reasonably good shape. However, in pockets of these states and in large areas of the Delmarva, fields are being stressed.

AccuWeather.com agricultural meteorologists anticipate that overall production of the 2012 corn crop will be lower than yields forecast by the USDA during mid-July and could be near 138 bushels per acre.

This forecast is based on expectations of too little rain and too much heat over the central Plains to part of the Midwest, and barely enough rain in northern and eastern areas.

The lack of rain in the southwestern and central part of the Corn Belt, where a significant part of the crop remains, will continue to drive down yields, as a result of additional failures.

The end result will be higher prices for livestock feed such as beef cattle, hogs and chickens. The higher costs will be passed along.

Consumers, who are already struggling to afford their grocery bill, or the more fortunate, who are spending away on vacations, may find themselves in quite a pinch late this summer and fall as a result of climbing food prices.

July 17, 2012

No evacuation for bomb threat at Tigers game

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 10:48 pm

Detroit police made no announcement or call for an evacuation as they searched Comerica Park for explosive device while the Tigers and Los Angeles Angels played before nearly 34,000 fans. The Detroit Free Press reported (http://on.freep.com/LxtiB6) late Tuesday that an anonymous caller phoned a bomb threat to 911 around 8 p.m. Tuesday. “There was no device found, and no evacuation was done,” police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens told the newspaper. The threat follows two similar incidents in less than a week that shut down a tunnel and bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, for hours. The Free Press says spectators and the media were kept in the dark while police and stadium security frantically, and quietly, conducted their search while the game continued. Police say Tuesday’s incident remains under investigation. @yahoonews on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook
Gold, silver, bronze: No matter who wins what at the London Olympics, a million or more visitors will need to get themselves an umbrella.

I live in London and even I need a new brolly, as they are called here. My old one has been reduced to deadly spikes between tattered remnants of cloth. The husband blames me, says I’m hard on things. I blame the British weather — it was the wettest June on record and July is trying hard to beat that.

Clearly it’s time to go shopping.


It rains so much in Britain that a store devoted to umbrellas has thrived since 1830. I went to James Smith & Sons, Umbrellas Ltd. to interview the experts.

Umm, no dice. Too busy to speak to the media, today, tomorrow, ever. Do I understand? Ever.

Did they flunk marketing 101? Who doesn’t want to talk to the press about their product?

I can still walk around, eye the goods. One section has a dozen tartans, another brollys with big thick stripes possibly related to obscure sporting clubs of which I am not a member. They are sturdy and good-looking though. You could whack a London rioter with one of these if need be, or use them as ladies’ hand weights.

For 75 to 80 pounds ($116 to $132), you can walk away with a wooden duck handle on your brolly. Ditto ones with parrots, foxes, cats, dogs, even a dinosaur. On the other hand, what are you doing, trying to pretend you have a castle and a moat?

Still, the folding umbrella section inspires definite brolly envy, with some so compact they could fit into a clutch. This is where girlie-girl options run riot. Ruffles and Degas ballet dancers, mock-Burberry plaids and polka dots, brollys in hot pink, teal blue, blinding chartreuse. Those craving attention in an Olympic crowd should look no further.

“My sister will be crazy about a clear umbrella like this, it’s a gift for her,” said Mario Marcari, a tourist from Brazil.

Others preferred tradition.

“Black is the new black,” explained Doug Knowles of San Francisco, who travels often to London on business. “In the business world I would look odd carrying around polka dots.”

The quietly professional staff — who won’t talk to me — demonstrate to others the sturdiness of umbrellas with steel shafts and teach them how to press spring-loaded buttons so brollys pop into action without blinding family members.


Am I joking? No. James Smith & Sons still sells what used to called parasols for 145 to 155 pounds ($225 to $240) for both men and women but only in cream and white. The chances are nil, however, that Britain will see enough sun to drag these babies out. And after a few days on the island, you will start craving vitamin D like the rest of us.


Those with a thinner wallet can go to Camden and other outdoor markets where the ubiquitous “I love London” and Union Jack brollys cost 3 to 5 pounds each ($4.70 to $7.80). Still, don’t they just announce your lack of imagination to the rooftops? If one must go the cheapie tourist route, a London Underground brolly for 10 pounds ($15.50) has a classic, recognizable design.

For a unique look, artists at the markets also use umbrellas as canvases, painting them like others do sneakers.


As the New York Yankees have shown, team logos can travel worldwide. Top English Premier League teams like Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea all sell brollys with logos, starting at 24.99 pounds ($38.60) on up for those they call ‘Gustbusters.’

Truth is, they’re mostly for wives, girlfriends and tourists. At a game, it’s impossible to chant obscenities at opposing teams while carrying a brolly and still project a credible, manly image. Plus blocking another fan’s view of the pitch could start a mini-riot. Not to mention that carrying the wrong logo is a good recipe for a bar fight in some parts of town.


For those wanting a more sophisticated look, it’s time to hit the museum gift shops. The British Museum alone has about a dozen brollys, ranging from 16.99 pounds ($26) for a Shakespeare Floral design to 26.99 pounds ($41.60) for one that reveals London landmarks when it gets wet. Trendy types seek brollys that prove they have been to the latest art exhibition, but old standbys like a Rosetta Stone umbrella (16.99 pounds, $26) could flash your archaeology IQ.


In Mayfair, London’s wealthy hedge fund neighborhood, the enormous golf umbrella with a fund logo is de rigueur. But you can’t buy them — adding to their allure — and you must be part of the tribe to know which fund is hot this month, which is not and which is the next Ponzi scheme. Plus you will get in trouble with Olympic security (see below).


As I passed through Olympic Park security this week, a jovial debate ensued among the guards. Were the uncovered spikes on my tattered umbrella a weapon?

Apparently not. But the staff did have one big plea for visitors — NO GOLF UMBRELLAS. They will be confiscated. You will be angry. You could get wet. This was allegedly written in extremely fine print somewhere in the instructions about Olympic tickets, but the guards know thousands will be upset when their brollys are permanently detained.

They say they hate being the bad guys.

And no walking stick-length umbrellas with steel tips either. Stick to the folding ones.


I admit defeat, go back to James Smith & Sons, buy a lovely brown-and-silver plaid folding brolly for 34.99 pounds ($54.70). It’s so pretty it banishes my bag-lady look. Will they talk to the press now?

Of course not.
Say goodbye to Linsanity, New York.

Jeremy Lin is taking his game off Broadway — way off — to Houston after the Knicks announced Tuesday night they would not match the Rockets’ three-year, $25 million offer for the restricted free agent.

“Extremely excited and honored to be a Houston Rocket again!!” Lin posted on his Twitter account.

“Much love and thankfulness to the Knicks and New York for your support the past year…easily the best year of my life.”

The 23-year-old point guard, undrafted out of Harvard, became an international phenomenon and the biggest story in sports during one dazzling month in the Big Apple. But the Knicks decided keeping the show in town was too costly.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey celebrated the re-acquisition on Twitter:

“Welcome to Houston (at)JLin7. We plan to hang on this time. You will love (hash)RedNation.”

The Rockets waived Lin after two weeks in their training camp in December. Team owner Leslie Alexander said in a statement late Tuesday that the team was “thrilled to have Jeremy back.”

“In his limited opportunity last season, Jeremy showed that he has all the skills to be a great player in this league for many years to come,” Alexander said. “In addition to being a great passer, he is also exceptional at driving to the rim and finishing plays. He also showed a poise well beyond his years by making winning plays at the end of numerous games last season. Jeremy is a winner on and off the court and we view him as an important part of our plan to build a championship contender.”

The Knicks said they would match any offer to retain Lin, but the Rockets made it tough for New York to keep him by backloading their offer sheet with a $15 million salary in the third season. If the Knicks agreed to that deal, they would’ve faced a hefty luxury tax in 2014-15 because of other big contracts on their books — between $30-40 million.

One sports consultant said the adjustment to the offer sheet was a stroke of genius by Morey.

“The Rockets deserve a lot of credit for the way they’ve gone about this,” said Marc Ganis, president of Chicago-based SportsCorp. “It was extremely intelligent — with an assassin’s touch.”

But Houston made the bad move, initially, waiving Lin because it already had Goran Dragic and Kyle Lowry on the roster.

The Knicks picked him up and gave him first real shot. He was briefly demoted to the developmental league, recalled and finally got his chance when coach Mike D’Antoni put him in with the Knicks floundering at 8-15. Lin scored a career-high 25 points in a 99-92 win over New Jersey Nets and “Linsanity” was born.

Lin had slept on teammate Landry Fields’ couch the night before, still refusing to get his own place as he headed into that week, knowing the Knicks would have to decide whether to cut him or guarantee his contract for the rest of the season.

But Lin proved more than just a one-hit wonder — he had 28 and 23 points in his first two NBA starts, and then scored a career-high 38 in a 92-85 victory over Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The stock price for Madison Square Garden Inc. surged on the production and popularity of the team’s international star. Lin, the NBA’s first American-born player of Taiwanese or Chinese descent, also made the Sports Illustrated cover in consecutive weeks, only the 12th athlete to hold that distinction since 1990. On Tuesday, Lin had more than 829,000 followers on Twitter.

The more opponents saw Lin, though, the more they seemed to figure him out as the season wore on. He went 1 for 11 with eight turnovers in a humbling, nationally televised loss in Miami and the Knicks dropped their first six games in March.

D’Antoni resigned in mid-March and Lin hurt his left knee less than two weeks later. The Knicks revealed on April 1 that Lin needed surgery to repair a meniscus tear and would miss six weeks.

The Knicks made the playoffs behind surging Carmelo Anthony, but bowed out to Miami in the first round. The Rockets, meanwhile, missed the postseason for the third straight year and have spent the offseason completely rebuilding their roster.

Houston has been trying to put together a package of assets and draft picks to offer Orlando in exchange for disgruntled All-Star center Dwight Howard. In the process, the Rockets lost the unrestricted free agent Dragic to Phoenix, then traded Lowry to Toronto in exchange for a future first-round pick with lottery protection.

With no true point guard left on the roster, the Rockets turned back to Lin. The Knicks showed their hand when they brought back Raymond Felton in a sign-and-trade deal with Portland — after signing Jason Kidd as a free agent.

Houston, meanwhile, jumped at the chance to rekindle their popularity in China, where Yao Ming became a larger-than-life figure. Many Rockets landed lucrative shoe contracts with Chinese companies on Yao’s coattails and Rockets’ games drew massive television ratings there.

David Schwab, who specializes in matching brands with celebrities as managing director at Octagon First Call, said that while Lin is an American success story, he’ll reopen marketing in-roads for Houston during Yao’s eight seasons (2002-11).

“Teams base their decisions on wins and losses, because wins and losses ultimately affect ticket sales, sponsorships,” Schwab said. “I still think it’s a win-loss decision, but I think, in their case, it’s weighed more as a marketing decision. They’ve got more to gain right now, with a decade of Yao and companies they’ve done business with. They’ve got kind of the next frontier there.”
arlier this week, Mike Trout had a chance to meet Al Kaline, the Hall of Famer who played for the Detroit Tigers and won a batting title in 1955 when he was 20 years old.

After another four-hit night, Trout looks like he’s on his way to a similar feat.

Trout raised his American League-leading average to .355 on Tuesday night with the fourth four-hit game of his spectacular rookie season. His 430-foot shot in the second inning was the second of five Los Angeles homers, and the Angels went on to rout the Tigers 13-0.

Trout, who turns 21 next month, said he met Kaline on Monday.

“My mom lived in Michigan. She was a big fan of him growing up,” Trout said. “That was pretty neat meeting him.”

Trout, Mark Trumbo and Albert Pujols all homered off Jacob Turner in the first two innings, and Alberto Callaspo and Kendrys Morales went deep later in the game. The Tigers were shut out for the first time in 159 games, a franchise-record streak that began last July 17 — exactly a year earlier to the day.

Garrett Richards (3-1) allowed three hits in seven innings, easily outdueling Turner (0-1) in a matchup of top pitching prospects. The Detroit right-hander lasted only two innings, giving up seven runs and six hits on a 100-degree night.

“Jacob is a potential top-of-the-rotation guy who just needs more seasoning,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. “I still expect to see him high in a rotation someday, but he’s not ready yet.”

The Angels lead the major leagues with 14 shutouts.

Pujols opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first, and Trumbo followed with his 26th homer of the year, a three-run shot. Trout’s two-run homer in the second was the most impressive — an opposite-field drive to right-center that made it 6-0.

“It felt good off the bat,” Trout said. “I was running pretty hard, because it’s a big park.”

Pujols added a solo shot in the second.

Trout now has 100 hits this season in 69 games. He entered the day with a 20-point lead over Joe Mauer in the AL batting race.

Pujols and Howard Kendrick had three hits each. Trumbo has six homers in his last eight games.

Detroit needed to send Turner to the mound because of an injury to fellow rookie Drew Smyly. Leyland talked a bit before the game about the challenges young pitchers face when they have to learn on the job at the major league level.

The 21-year-old Turner was recalled from the minors before the game to make his fifth career start, and he was in trouble from the beginning in a game that began amid triple-digit heat.

Trumbo’s homer went an estimated 415 feet to left. Trout’s was even longer, landing in the outfield seats and bouncing up onto a concourse above Sparky Anderson’s retired No. 11.

Trumbo playfully disputed the estimated distances of the homers, which put Trout’s farther than his by 15 feet.

“That didn’t go farther,” he said. “Conspiracy. League-wide conspiracy. You’ve got to hit it to the middle of the field, I’m convinced now.”

Pujols’ homer was the 461st of his career, tying Chipper Jones for 33rd on the career list.

The Angels put their leadoff man on in each of the first six innings. Morales drove in another run in the sixth with a single, and Callaspo’s three-run homer later that inning made it 11-0.

In the bottom half, Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera hit a line drive to right, but Torii Hunter made a diving catch. Richards, who is three years older than Turner, walked four but pitched comfortably with a big lead.

Morales hit a solo homer in the eighth, and Peter Bourjos hit an RBI double in the ninth.

NOTES: Detroit’s Doug Fister (3-6) takes the mound against C.J. Wilson (9-5) of the Angels on Wednesday night. … Angels RHP Dan Haren (lower back stiffness) made a rehab start Monday night, pitching five innings for Class A Inland Empire. OF Vernon Wells (right thumb surgery) is expected to start a rehab assignment this weekend. … Trout’s homer was his 13th of the year. Pujols’ was his 16th. … Detroit’s Austin Jackson had his streak of 13 games with a run snapped. … Detroit’s last game without a run was last July 16, a 5-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

White House blasts study critical of Obama’s tax-plan

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 10:42 pm

The White House hit back hard late Tuesday at a study by accounting firm Ernst and Young that charged President Barack Obama’s signature tax proposal could cost 710,000 jobs, claiming it’s chock full of “major flaws, errors and misleading statements.”

Obama has called for extending Bush-era tax cuts on income up to $250,000, a move that chiefly would benefit the middle class, while letting lower tax rates on upper brackets expire on schedule come January 1. (The richest Americans would still get tax cuts on their first $250,000 of income.) The president has said that the country cannot afford the Republican plan to extend all of the tax cuts, and warned that doing so would force cuts to popular government programs.

On the official White House blog, senior Obama economic policy aide Jason Furman ripped the new study. Among his complaints:

- The report, funded by pro-business groups generally hostile to Obama’s agenda, assumes that none of the revenue generated by raising taxes on the richest Americans goes to deficit reduction. Instead, it assumes the money would go to expanding government spending. But the president has called for the money to go to reducing the federal deficit and national debt.

- The report omits Obama’s push for new tax cuts to spur private-sector hiring and investment. By ignoring the predicted impact on jobs growth, Furman argued, the study distorts the impact of the president’s agenda.

Furman, whose title is Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, also charged that the study’s conclusions are “dramatically out-of-line with estimates by other analysts” like the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the non-partisan standard for judging the economic impact of federal legislation. And he underlines that Obama’s tax proposal would let rates climb back to where they were under President Bill Clinton — when the economy created millions of jobs.
More than 100,000 residents in Key West have signed a petition against introducing several thousand genetically modified mosquitoes into the Florida ecosystem.

The Christian Post reports that the 5,000 to 10,000 modified male insects are designed by British company Oxitec to die off more quickly. The hope is that when they reproduce with the local mosquito population, it would eventually reduce the rates of dengue fever.

However, Mila de Mier says that the long-term effects of the so-called “mutant mosquitoes” are unknown and launched an online petition that she plans to deliver to Gov. Rick Scott and other officials once it reaches 150,000 signatures.

“There are more questions than answers and we need more testing to be done,” de Mier writes on the petition site, claiming that dengue fever has been absent from Key West since 2010.

Although dengue fever has unpleasant symptoms, the U.S. National Library of Medicine says it is not considered a deadly disease. Its effects are commonly treated with Tylenol and fluids.

The IBTimes notes that concerns over the plan have tapped into a larger debate over genetically modified foods.

“We won’t be lab rats just so this company can make money. Oxitec says we have to do this to control mosquitoes, but it’s just not true,” de Mier told Orlando’s WKMG-TV. “Other methods of mosquito control are working. We don’t need to gamble with mutant mosquitoes.”


Obama proposes $1B for science, math teachers

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 10:41 pm

The Obama administration unveiled plans Wednesday to create an elite corps of master teachers, a $1 billion effort to boost U.S. students’ achievement in science, technology, engineering and math.

The program to reward high-performing teachers with salary stipends is part of a long-term effort by President Barack Obama to encourage education in high-demand areas that hold the key to future economic growth — and to close the achievement gap between American students and their international peers.

Teachers selected for the Master Teacher Corps will be paid an additional $20,000 a year and must commit to participate multiple years. The goal is to create a multiplier effect in which expert educators share their knowledge and skills with other teachers, improving the quality of education for all students.

Speaking at a rally for his re-election campaign in San Antonio on Tuesday, Obama framed his emphasis on expanded education funding as a point of contrast with Republican challenger Mitt Romney, whom he accused of prioritizing tax cuts for the wealthy over reinvestment in the nation.

“I’m running to make sure that America has the best education system on earth, from pre-K all the way to post-graduate,” Obama said. “And that means hiring new teachers, especially in math and science.”

The administration will make $100 million available immediately out of an existing fund to incentivize top-performing teachers. Over the longer term, the White House said it plans to launch the program with $1 billion included in Obama’s budget request for fiscal year 2013.

But the House and Senate both voted down Obama’s budget earlier in the year, making it far from certain that Obama will be able to get congressional approval to spend $1 billion on master teachers.

An aide to Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, noted that the federal government already has more than 80 teacher quality programs and said it would be foolish to pump money into programs that may be duplicative or unproductive.

“Republicans share the president’s goal of getting better teachers in the classroom,” said Kline spokeswoman Alexandra Sollberger. “However, we also value transparency and efficient use of taxpayer resources.”

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said he expected the two parties to come together to support achievement in areas of high demand.

“This initiative has nothing to do with politics,” Duncan said. “It’s absolutely in our country’s best long-term economic interest to do a much better job in this area.”

A report released in February by the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology found that the U.S. must increase by 34 percent the number of students receiving degrees in science, math and related fields to keep up with economic demand.

The program will start with 2,500 teachers divided up among 50 different sites, the White House said, but will grow to include 10,000 teachers over the next four years. Obama, in partnership with a coalition of groups including the Carnegie Corporation of New York, has set a goal of producing 100,000 additional math and science teachers over the next 10 years.
While Democrats assail presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital business practices, Republicans note that President Obama has not been bashful about accepting cash from Bain executives or other high-profile figures in the corporate buyout business.

“President Obama has based his entire reelection campaign on a vicious, dishonest assault on Mitt Romney’s business career. The real question for President Obama is this: if Bain Capital is so bad, why have you taken nearly $120,000 in donations from them?” said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. “President Obama’s actions are the height of hypocrisy.”

Obama and his re-election campaign have been hammering Romney for reaping huge profits at the helm of Bain, while companies in which the firm invested went bankrupt, laid off workers or outsourced jobs overseas.

“Romney and his partners put payments to themselves and their partners first, before anything else,” David Foster, a former union leader at Bain-owned GST Steel, which later went bankrupt, told reporters on a conference call.

“I was the one who had to tell [the laid off workers] that Bain had broken its promises, underfunded their pensions and that they were on their own,” he said, noting that Bain had devastated families and real lives.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks Federal Election Commission data, Obama has collected $118,121 from donors who list Bain as their employer between June 2004 and May 2012. The period covers Obama’s bid for the Senate and his presidential campaigns.

One of Obama’s top campaign financiers – Jonathan Lavine – is also managing director at Bain, bundling between $100,000 and $200,000 in contributions for the 2012 Obama Victory Fund, according to estimates released by the Obama campaign. The president has also relied on other leading figures in the private equity sector as hosts for high-dollar fundraisers and as members of his Jobs Council.

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt denied there was a double standard, saying the attacks on Romney are not about Bain Capital or private equity but about the candidate’s business record.

“Mitt Romney is the only person campaigning for president who says that during his tenure as a corporate buyout specialist his goal was job creation and that we should evaluate his qualifications for the presidency based on that record,” LaBolt told reporters on a conference call.

“As the president has made clear when he’s discussed this, the job of the President of the United States is to worry about the workers and the livelihoods of middle-class families just as much as it is to worry about profit creation,” he said.
Opponents of Arizona’s hardline immigration enforcement law launched a new effort Tuesday aimed at thwarting a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that will allow police to enforce the so-called “show me your papers” provision.

A coalition of civil rights groups, religious leaders and business organizations filed a new request seeking a court order that would prevent authorities from enforcing a rule that requires police to check the immigration status of people they stop for other reasons.

The groups are asking U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton to block enforcement of the requirement before it takes effect, arguing that Latinos in Arizona would face systematic racial profiling and unreasonably long detentions under the contentious section of the 2010 law.

In their 65-page filing, the coalition claims Arizona’s immigration law “is pre-empted by federal law and violates the Fourth Amendment” and could “undermine trust between the police and community members, for whom a routine encounter with law enforcement will become a lengthy detention.”

They also say that immigration patrols in recent years by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio — the Arizona lawman known for his rigid stance against illegal immigration — demonstrate that the law’s requirement will disproportionately affect Latinos. Though the requirement hasn’t taken effect, Arpaio said his officers have inquired about people’s immigration status in the past.

The National Immigration Law Center is one of the groups pushing the challenge in court along with the American Civil Liberties Union, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Asian American Justice Center, National Day Labor Organizing Network and others.

Matthew Benson, a spokesman for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, said “this latest legal challenge is unsurprising as opponents of SB 1070 have indicated they’ll go to any length in order to block Arizona’s implementation of this law.

“The Supreme Court has already spoken unanimously on the constitutionality of this provision. Gov. Brewer is hopeful Arizona law enforcement will soon at long last be empowered to enforce SB 1070, showing that it can be done fairly, lawfully and in harmony with civil rights and the Constitution,” Benson added in a statement.

The new lawsuit comes the same day that Arpaio criticized comedian George Lopez’s recent profanity-laced tirade against the sheriff. It also comes as Arpaio touted the findings of a volunteer posse, which the sheriff claimed has found “definite proof that President Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate was a computer-generated forgery.

The Arizona Democratic Party said in a statement that Arpaio’s investigation is intended to draw attention away from problems within his own agency, A call to Arpaio’s office for comment wasn’t immediately returned Tuesday evening.

In a separate case, the U.S. Justice Department has accused Arpaio’s office in a lawsuit of racially profiling Latinos in immigration patrols. The sheriff denies the allegations. That case goes to trial Thursday in federal court.

Although a different challenge to the Arizona law by the Obama administration succeeded in getting three other parts of the law thrown out by the Supreme Court last month, the administration failed to get the “show me your papers” requirement overturned on its argument that federal law trumps state law.

The justices upheld the requirement that officers question people’s immigration status, saying that the provision could be subject to additional legal challenges. The coalition is seeking to shelve the requirement on other grounds.

Arizona’s law was passed in 2010 amid voter frustration with the state’s role as the busiest illegal entry point into the country. Five states — Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah — have adopted variations on Arizona’s law.

Legal experts say the groups face an uphill battle in trying to persuade Bolton to bar enforcement of the requirement because the lower courts might want to wait until the requirement — which won’t take effect until at least Friday — is enforced to consider actual injuries from the law, rather than confront the potential for harm.

Even if opponents don’t succeed in getting the requirement put on hold, some backers of the law are questioning the level of cooperation they will get from federal immigration authorities, who will be called to verify people’s immigration status and be responsible for picking up illegal immigrants from local officers.

Federal immigration officers have said they will help, but only if doing so conforms to their priorities, including catching repeat violators and identifying and removing those who threaten public safety and national security.

If federal agents decline to pick up illegal immigrants, local officers in some cases will likely have to let them go unless they’re suspected of committing a crime that would require them to be brought to jail.
Billionaire Hans Kristian Rausing, the heir to the Tetra Pak fortune, was on Tuesday charged with preventing the lawful and decent burial of his US-born wife Eva, British police said.

Police discovered the body of Eva Rausing at the couple’s home in London’s upscale Belgravia district last week after they detained her husband over drugs charges.

Rausing will appear in custody at West London Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, police said in a statement.

At the opening of an inquest into her death on Friday, Scotland Yard detective Sharon Marman said Hans Kristian Rausing, 49, was under medical supervision and detectives had been unable to interview him.

Marman said police had stopped Hans Kristian Rausing’s car in south London because they suspected he was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and they discovered a small amount of drugs.

“Authority was granted to search the home address… and during the course of that search officers discovered the apparently lifeless body of a female in one of the bedrooms,” she said.

A post-mortem examination proved inconclusive and further test results are awaited, Marman said.

The Rausing family, headed by Rausing’s father Hans, is the 12th richest in Britain, worth £4.3 billion ($6.7 billion, 5.4 billion euros), according to The Sunday Times newspaper’s Rich List 2012.

Eva and Hans Kristian Rausing were active philanthropists and enjoyed an affluent lifestyle, spending much of their time in their 11-bedroom mansion in Barbados — but had well-publicised problems with drugs.

The couple, who have four teenage children, first met at a US addiction clinic and were charged in 2008 after Eva tried to take crack cocaine and heroin into a function at the US embassy in London.

Rausing’s father Hans, 86, moved to England in the 1980s in order to avoid Sweden’s high tax rates and lives with his wife Marit on a vast estate in Sussex, southeast England.

He developed the Tetra Pak business, which had been founded by his own father in 1944, into a multi-billion dollar operation that revolutionised the packaging of food and drink.

Music stars pay tribute to Jon Lord ‎

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 10:38 pm

Tributes have been paid to musician Jon Lord, who founded Deep Purple and co-wrote their most famous song, Smoke On The Water.

The Leicester-born keyboard player, who had pancreatic cancer, died in London yesterday (Monday) aged 71.

Rocker Bryan Adams paid tribute online. He wrote: “RIP Jon Lord – incredible organist for Deep Purple, one of my fave bands growing up.”

Friend and fellow keyboard player Rick Wakeman said: “I was first made aware of Jon with Shades Of Deep Purple in the mid 1960s and I was a great fan. We became great friends and wrote stuff for (regular fundraising event) Sunflower Jam. And we were going to write and record an album before he become ill.

“His contribution to music and to classic rock was immeasurable and I will miss him terribly.”

Veteran DJ Bob Harris said Lord was “a gentleman” and Jamie Cullum said he was “a hero of the keys”.

Actor Ewan McGregor tweeted: “Jon played with my great friend Tony Ashton. They’ll be jamming upstairs now!”

A statement on Lord’s website said he has passed “from Darkness to Light” and was “surrounded by his loving family” when he died.

Last year Lord told fans he was “fighting cancer” but would continue to make music as “part of the therapy”
Stars from the world of music and beyond have paid tribute to Jon Lord, former keyboard player with heavy rock band Deep Purple, who died on Monday.

Artists took to Twitter to pay their respects to the 71-year-old.

The Kinks posted: “RIP Jon Lord. A fantastic pianist and composer. With The Kinks, he played keyboards on You Really Got Me. Legend.”

Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider tweeted: “What an amazing musician and a true gentleman. We lost a great one. RIP.”

Former Guns n’ Roses guitarist Slash posted his comments: “Sad day in rock’n'roll. Jon Lord has passed on. One of the biggest, baddest, heaviest sounds in heavy metal. One of a kind. RIP.”

Actor Ewan McGregor also paid tribute: “Jon played with my great friend Tony Ashton. They’ll be jamming upstairs now!”

While jazz pianist Jamie Cullum described Lord as “a hero of the keys.”

Referring to a popular make of synthesizer, he added: “I think I still have one of your Moogs!”

Richard Jones of Welsh band Stereophonics tweeted: “Deep Purple in Rock was the first album I bought. RIP Jon Lord. Legend! RJ x.”

Lord co-founded Deep Purple in 1968 and co-wrote many of the group’s songs including Smoke On The Water. He also played with bands including Whitesnake.
Jon Lord Lord’s Concerto for Group and Orchestra was performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969

The band said on Twitter: “God bless you Mr Jon Lord. Hasta siempre maestro Jon Lord.”

Lord had been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer since last August.

He died at the London Clinic on Monday, surrounded by family, a statement said. “Jon passes from Darkness to Light,” it added.

Rage Against the Machine star Tom Morello praised “Deep Purple’s cornerstone/keyboardist. So many great great songs and that incredible SOUND of his! Thank you.”

Former Yes keyboard player Rick Wakeman was a friend and said he was “a great fan”.

“We were going to write and record an album before he become ill,” he said. “His contribution to music and to classic rock was immeasurable and I will miss him terribly.”

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Iron Maiden said on their Twitter account that they were “very sad” to hear Lord had passed away.

Born in Leicester, Lord learned classical piano at an early age before being seduced by watching early rock ‘n’ roll star Jerry Lee Lewis and jazz organist Jimmy Smith.

Lord’s rock attitude helped Deep Purple become pioneers of progressive and heavy rock.

Away from rock music, Lord composed and performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969.

He also performed a concert to mark the 30th anniversary of Concerto for Group and Orchestra.

He broke the news of his cancer diagnosis on his website last year
Rock star Jon Lord, who founded the band Deep Purple, died yesterday aged 71.

The keyboard player, who co-wrote many of the heavy rock band’s legendary songs including Smoke On The Water, had pancreatic cancer.

A statement posted on his website yesterday declared that Lord – who had said that writing music had been therapy through his illness – had passed ‘from Darkness to Light’.

RIP: Deep Purple founder Jon Lord has died today at the age of 71

RIP: Deep Purple founder Jon Lord has died today at the age of 71

The musician, who had enjoyed success in the last decade as a classical composer, suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism at a private clinic in London. His publicist said that he was surrounded by his family.

Lord founded Deep Purple in 1968 and it went on to be one of the world’s most successful rock bands, selling more than 100million albums.


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The band split in 1976 and Lord spent several years with Whitesnake but Deep Purple reformed in 1984 and made six studio albums and performed around the world.

Born in Leicester in 1941, Lord began playing the piano and taking classical music lessons at an early age.

He moved to London at 19 after receiving a scholarship to drama school, but was soon playing piano in pubs and bars.

In 1964, he joined cult blues band the Artwoods, formed by Ronnie Wood’s brother Art.
Music makers: Deep Purple seen in their heyday in 1972

Music makers: Deep Purple seen in their heyday in 1972

After they split up, Lord went on tour with The Flowerpot Men before founding Deep Purple.

The band established itself in the early 1970s, releasing albums such as Deep Purple in Rock and Machine Head and having a hit single with Black Night.

The line-up underwent many changes, but Lord remained a mainstay. The band also included guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, singer Ian Gillan, drummer Ian Paice and bassist Roger Glover.

Lord retired from the band in 2002, but nurtured a second career as a classical composer.

His Durham Concerto became a hit in Classic FM’s Hall of Fame, alongside his piano concerto Boom of the Tingling Strings.
Rock on: Jon with his Deep purple bandmates

Rock on: Jon with his Deep purple bandmates

Last year Lord told fans he was ‘fighting cancer and will therefore be taking a break from performing while getting the treatment and cure’.

He had been due to play with the Hagen Philharmonic Orchestra in Germany last week, but postponed the concert at the end of last month.

Friend Rick Wakeman, former keyboard player with Yes, paid tribute last night.

He said: ‘His contribution to music and to classic rock was immeasurable and I will miss him terribly.’
With his long straggly hair, droopy moustache and garish stage costumes, Lord looked every inch the archetypal 1970s rock star. But his popular success, with hits such as Smoke On The Water, was built on a fusion of progressive rock with classical influences; he went on to compose some highly regarded classical works, such as Durham Concerto. On his first solo album, Gemini Suite, he worked with the London Symphony Orchestra.

As such he was a passionate advocate for rock music as a much underrated art form, and ruffled a few feathers in 1973 by claiming that Deep Purple’s music was “as valid as anything by Beethoven”.

Jonathan Douglas Lord was born in Leicester on June 9 1941 and studied classical piano from an early age. He was educated at Wyggeston Grammar School and subsequently became a solicitor’s clerk.

Lord was captivated by blues, jazz and rock and roll – notably the piano showman Jerry Lee Lewis – and in the early 1960s moved to London, ostensibly to study at the Central School of Speech and Drama. In the capital he displayed a particular penchant for the Hammond organ sounds that he heard on American R&B records, and spent most of his evenings playing keyboards with various groups in pubs.

He served an important apprenticeship with the Bill Ashton Combo, graduating to electric organ with Red Bludd’s Bluesicians before making his first recordings with The Artwoods, fronted by Art Wood, brother of the future Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood. Lord was also involved in one of Ronnie Wood’s early bands, Santa Barbara Machine Head, and played keyboards as a session musician on the 1964 Kinks hit You Really Got Me.

His first taste of pop stardom, however, came backing The Flowerpot Men, who had a major hit in 1967 with the flower power era cash-in Let’s Go To San Francisco.

The bassist Nick Simper also played with The Flowerpot Men and, after an abortive attempt to set up a group with Chris Curtis of The Searchers, Lord formed his own band with Simper, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, drummer Ian Paice and singer Rod Evans. Initially called Roundabout, they changed their name to Deep Purple, quickly establishing a big sound built around Blackmore’s bluesy guitar and Lord’s organ which, unusually at the time, featured as the lead instrument on their first hit single, a cover of Joe South’s Hush.

From the outset, Lord – systematically avoiding using the Moog synthesizer so in vogue with many of his contemporaries – saw Deep Purple as a vehicle for his ideas for fusing classical and rock. There were plenty of classical references on the albums The Book Of Taliesyn (1968) and Deep Purple (1969); and his synthesis of genres came to even greater fruition in 1969 with Concerto for Group and Orchestra, a landmark work performed at London’s Royal Albert Hall with the RPO conducted by Malcolm Arnold.

With Ian Gillan now installed as lead singer, the performance was considered a seismic development for rock music, for it occurred even as the tumultuous impact of Purple’s more rock-driven live shows earned them an entry in the Guinness Book of Records as “the globe’s loudest band”. By flirting both with classical music and thunderous arrangements, Deep Purple, in tandem with other bands such as Emerson Lake and Palmer and Led Zeppelin, were laying the groundwork for heavy metal music.

The group’s best-known hit, Smoke On The Water, co-written by Lord, was very much in the conventional rock style. It first appeared on the band’s 1972 album Machine Head, with Lord’s distorted organ imitating Blackmore’s guitar melody line so effectively that it became a test piece for aspiring guitarists. Indeed, so many guitarists played the tune to try out new instruments that some shop owners put up signs banning Smoke On The Water (along with Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven) from being played on the premises.

After a series of conflicts, Deep Purple split in 1976, and Lord went on to make an album – Malice In Wonderland – with Ian Paice and an old friend, Tony Ashton, under the name Paice, Ashton and Lord. He then joined another powerhouse band, Whitesnake.

It was with Whitesnake that he finally conceded defeat to the synthesizer, adding it to his banks of keyboards in order to experiment further with sounds and effects. During this time, however, he continued to pursue his classical fusions, notably with Sarabande (1976), on which he worked with Philharmonia Hungaria and the German conductor Eberhard Schoener (Lord finally premiered it on stage in 2010).

Widely respected as one of the finest musicians in the rock firmament, he made guest appearances on numerous other albums, by such artists as Graham Bonnet and Cozy Powell, before in 1984 re-forming Deep Purple for a triumphant world tour, six more studio albums and international sales that topped 150 million records, all of which cemented the group’s reputation as one of the world’s most successful bands.

Finally, in 2002, Lord left, as full of ideas as ever and still firmly of the belief that the traditional parameters of rock were too restrictive. He continued to push rock’s established musical boundaries and, in 1988, released perhaps his best solo record, Pictured Within, an ambitious and personal concept album featuring singer Sam Brown, written partly in response to the death of his mother.

Other notable projects included playing piano on George Harrison’s posthumously released album Brainwashed (2002); a 2004 collaboration with Abba’s Anna-Frid Lyngstad; his Durham Concerto commission from Durham University (2007), with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell; and his 2010 album To Notice Such Things, inspired by his friend the late writer Sir John Mortimer. During his final illness he was working on a concerto for Hammond organ and on material for a projected new band, Who Cares, to include his old Deep Purple colleague Ian Gillan.

Jon Lord married, in 1969 (dissolved 1981), Judith Feldman, with whom had a daughter. With his second wife, Vickie, he had another daughter.

Kitty Wells dies at 92

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 10:36 pm

JBNBlog has been playing the music of three departed heroes last night & this morning.

Country queen Kitty Wells, 92, and Deep Purple’s organist/keyboardist Jon Lord, 71, often played London. I interviewed Kitty Wells, too.

The third of Monday’s losses was someone I should have known . . . now I better track down Standing in the Shadows of Motown on DVD to find out more about Bob Babbitt. The bass player was part of my personal hit parade & hits galore. Wow. One of the famous ones, Scorpio, was Iggy Pop’s choice on a jukebox jury-style compilation Iggy came up with. There is a lot more background here about him down below (the bass part). He deserves it &, after all, the Wells & Lord bios are pretty well known.


Kitty Wells, in an undated photograph, & it’s a classic. Courtesy of theboot.com

Listening to Kitty Wells on an old Decca LP Kitty Wells’ Greatest Hits reissued on tape was a revelation. She sounds tense, mannered, almost intensely even about what’s going on . . . It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels was the first No. 1 country hit by a woman & it’s an amazing performance. Sure it stands out but there’s a fine Release Me & a playful Amigo’s Guitar & a good one for the Rizdales or Hey Loretta! I’ll Repossess My Heart & then Password, when Kitty pretty much says if & when she hears the right emotions/words, that man can come in. You go, Kitty etc. The chorale behind her all over the album is irritating. That’s just me. Focus on the steel, the guitar & Kitty

I’m pretty sure Kitty Wells was at the Western Fair when I reviewed a multi-multi-act country show . . . almost like a history lesson. When you interviewed her, you had to talk to her husband, too. I griped to myself about that the time wanting to fit Kitty into a nice pre-feminist context. Which was pretty immature.

Kitty Wells was true pioneer. Here are some heartfelt words from Rocklands Talent, via media ace Marlene Palmer. Rocklands’ president Brian Edwards pays tribute to her better than JBNBlog ever could.

It is with a heavy heart that the Management and Staff at Rocklands Talent & Management Inc received word (Monday) that Kitty Wells, known worldwide as “The undisputed Queen of Country Music” had passed away at age 92 from complications following a stroke.  Wells last toured Canada in 2006 alongside Roy Clark, Jean Shepard, Stonewall Jackson  and Johnny and Bobby Wright.  The Legends Tour went to Winnipeg, Brandon, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, London, Lindsay and Hamilton.

“Kitty was not only one of the greatest and most respected pioneers in Country Music” said company President Brian Edwards, “She was also a pioneer of our entire operation, as she and her husband Johnny Wright took me under their wing some 32 years ago, and taught me how this business should be run. Together we did over five hundred shows from coast to coast in Canada and Australia. The principals they brought to this business are the reason we are still going strong”, noted Edwards.

Kitty Wells is often credited as being the one who “started it all” for women in country Music.  When her recording of “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” went to the top of the charts in 1952, she became the very first female in Country Music to have a “#1 hit”.  She went on to have twenty three hit records and recorded well over sixty albums.  Wells won countless awards over the course of her career and in 1976 she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.Jon-Lord–008

Deep Purple’s Jon Lord playing an ARP Odyssey analogue synthesizer on stage in Australia in 1975. Lord has died aged 71. Photograph: Fin Costello/Redferns . . . courtesy of guardian.co.uk

Jon Lord was/is admired by many friends of JBNBlog’s. All of them rate Deep Purple much more highly than I did in the 1970s when they seemed slow & kinda dumb. (You did see immature up there, didn’t you?)

Listening to Deepest Purple this morning with my ears on Lord mostly, wow, fine stuff. Sure, some of it will always be stuck in the 1970s . . . & one of the songs rips off the Blues Magoos (!) . . . Â but Lord has great touches of colour and solo spots . . . did he create the riff for Smoke on the Water? Jon Lord wasn’t in the lineup when JBNBlog reviewed the Purps at the RBC Theatre in 2005. Which may be just as well. I bitched about keyboardist Don Airey showing off with Bach. Don, my apologies. Jon, you are missed.

Am I the only one who thinks Dennis Coffey’s Scorpio has some Smoke on the Water flavour to it? Ace Shaft soundtrack styled groove & that bass solo . . . that bass solo . . . read more about it in what follows.


Bob Babbitt, in an undated photograph, courtesy of vintageguitar.com

Here is some of the Detroit News obituary for Bob Babbitt:

Babbitt had a big impact on the Detroit scene well before Motown. He had extended family living in Michigan and his wife, Ann, was from Dearborn, so it was an easy decision to spend most of his time here as a young working musician.

That’s him on several Del Shannon songs, including “Little Town Flirt,” “I Go to Pieces” and “Handyman.” The thrum of his bass can be heard on other seminal Detroit hits such as “Cool Jerk” by the Capitols,” “Love Makes the World Go ‘Round” by Deon Jackson, “War” and “S.O.S. Stop Her on Sight” by Edwin Starr, “Oh How Happy” by the Shades of Blue, among many others.

Babbitt’s bass solo on “Scorpio,” the 1971 international smash by Dennis Coffey and the Detroit Guitar Band, propels the song along so memorably, that, as Detroit bass player Ralphe Armstrong once said, every bass player in Detroit had to be able to play it or they couldn’t get a gig.

“His bass solo on ‘Scorpio’ has not been equaled, when you get right down to it,” Coffey said. “That set the bar pretty high for bass players.”

That rumbling, funky solo wasn’t planned or written, Babbitt came up with it on the spot at the DM Studio (now Superdisc). Coffey had penciled in a “breakdown” for the middle of the song, and let the musicians do whatever they wanted.

“Everybody went crazy,” Coffey recalled. “First, that wild percussion with ‘Bongo’ Eddie, and then Bob just dropped that bass solo in, it was impromptu.”

From The Detroit News:Â http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120716/ENT09/207160405#ixzz20sronFwV

Here is some of the Associated Press obituary.

Born Robert Kreinar in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Babbitt — who studied classical bass in his youth — joined Motown after moving to Detroit and building himself a solid reputation as a session musician.

He became one of the very few white musicians to join the Funk Brothers when Motown called upon his services in 1967 to complement the label’s legendary — but increasingly erratic — bassist James Jamerson, who died in 1983.

Babbitt played on more than 200 Top 40 hits in his lifelong career, including the Capitols’ “Cool Jerk,” Smokey Robinson’s “The Tears of a Clown” and Stevie Wonder’s “Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours.”

He also featured on Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On” album, one of Motown’s biggest sellers, before migrating towards the 1970s Philadelphia soul scene, recording “Then Came You” and “Rubberband Man” with the Spinners.

Babbitt’s talents remained much in demand after he settled down in Nashville, and he figured prominently in the 2002 documentary “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” that gave belated recognition to the Funk Brothers’ story.
Kitty Wells, the “Queen of Country Music” who opened the door to a host of female country music headliners, died on Monday at her home in Nashville of complications from a stroke. She was 92.

Among those mourning her passing was Loretta Lynn, whose own rise to popularity came after Wells, who paved the way for strong female voices in country music. “Kitty Wells will always be the greatest female country singer of all times,” said Lynn in a statement released on her web site.

“She was my hero. If I had never heard of Kitty Wells, I don’t think I would have been a singer myself. I wanted to sound just like her, but as far as I am concerned, no one will ever be as great as Kitty Wells.

“She truly is the Queen of Country Music.”

Wells, born as Ellen Muriel Deason, actually began performing on local radio in Nashville, but her ascent to stage stardom began in 1937 with husband Johnnie Wright, half of the duo Johnnie & Jack. He died in 2011.

She was the first female singer to reach the top of the country charts with her 1952 song “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” an answer to Hank Thompson’s “The Wild Side of Life,” which made the argument God indeed makes such angels.

Wells was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1976.

“Kitty Wells was a 33-year-old wife and mother when her immortal recording of ‘It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels’ suddenly made her a star,” according to the Hall of Fame’s biography.

“Other female country singers of her day were trying their hands at hard-living, honky-tonk songs, but it was the intense and piercing style of Kitty Wells, with her gospel-touched vocals and tearful restraint that resonated with country audiences of the time and broke the industry barriers for women,” it said.

Wells was born in Nashville to a musical family. She first began performing on the radio with her two sisters and a cousin, the quartet going by the name of the Deason Sisters.

She married Wright in 1937 and joined by her husband and his sister, Louise, to perform as Johnnie Wright and the Harmony Girls. Two years later, Wright began performing with Jack Anglin as the duo Johnnie & Jack.

While she performed with them as a girl singer in the 1940s, her husband began calling her “Kitty Wells,” a name taken from a 19th century folk song.


Harold Bradley, 86, the venerable Nashville session guitarist whose brother, Owen Bradley, produced many of Wells’ recordings, said there was no better person to work with than Wells.

“I worked a lot of her sessions, of course, that Owen produced,” said Bradley, the most-recorded guitarist in history. “She was the most sweet, gentle lady. She always knew her songs when she came in and she was very easy to work with.”

In addition to “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” which sold 800,000 copies in its initial release in the summer of 1952, according to the Hall of Fame biography, Wells sang “Release Me,” “Making Believe,” “I Can’t Stop Loving You” among other classic songs.

She garnered 35 Billboard Top Ten records and 81 charted singles.

Michael McCall, writer and editor at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, said Wells’ importance to the emergence of women singing hit records “cannot be overstated.”

He said Wells proved to the industry that a woman singer could sell and headline big shows.

“She opened the doors for everybody that came after her,” McCall said. “It was just a huge shift in how things were perceived. It was so important that it happened.”

He said Honky Tonk Angels was controversial at the time, and some radio stations wouldn’t play it. She wasn’t allowed to sing the song on the NBC segment of the Grand Ole Opry when it first came out.

“The fans rallied around her to prove the record industry wrong,” said McCall.

“She was one of the major recording artists of the 1950s and into the 1960s,” said McCall. “She has had so many country classics and so many songs that came from a woman’s point of view that were often about wayward and faithless men.”

Her straightforward manner and subject matter was a major influence on the song-writing and singing of Lynn and Dolly Parton, setting the stage for today’s female country stars.

“We live in an age when people over-sing so much and put so much emphasis on the emotion. She showed sometimes it’s more emotional by having restraint rather than trying to oversell it,” said McCall.

Among her many honors, she was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991, the same year as Bob Dylan and John Lennon were so honored.

She was just the third country singer to be get that most prestigious award, after Hank Williams and Roy Acuff.

She finally gave up touring in 2007 and continued to live a quiet life, so much differently than the subjects of her songs.

(This story has corrected Wells’ birth name, first reference to Johnny Wright)
Kitty Wells shocked the country music scene when she first sang about honky tonks and cheating husbands 60 years ago, but it propelled her to stardom and blazed a path for the strong female voices that followed.

Longtime Atlanta radio host Rhubarb Jones connects today’s young female stars directly back to Wells.

“Before Miranda Lambert, there was Reba McEntire,” Jones said. “Before Reba there was Loretta Lynn. Before Loretta, there was Patsy Cline. Before Patsy, there was Kitty Wells.”

Country mourns loss of ‘Queen’ Kitty Wells

“If I had never heard of Kitty Wells, I don’t think I would have been a singer myself,” Lynn said after learning of Wells’ death Monday at age 92. “I wanted to sound just like her, but as far as I am concerned, no one will ever be as great as Kitty Wells.”

“She was a trailblazer for all the women in country music,” McEntire said Tuesday.

Both Lynn and McIntyre called Wells “my hero.”

“Kitty Wells was the first and only Queen of Country Music, no matter what they call the rest of us,” Dolly Parton said. “She was a great inspiration to me as well as every other female singer in the country music business.”

Wells was 32 years old and a mother of three in 1952 when she was asked to record “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” a response to Hank Thompson’s No. 1 hit, “The Wild Side Of Life.”

The song was a defense of women, giving cheating men some of the blame for causing women to stray. “Too many times married men think they’re still single, that has caused many a good girl to go wrong,” Wells sang.

Despite the Grand Ole Opry’s refusal to allow her to sing it on the radio broadcast, the record sold a million copies and dominated the country charts in summer 1952. It even crossed over, reaching the 27th spot on Billboard’s pop chart.

Until then, she had toured as the “girl singer” with her husband’s band, singing gospel songs and old folk ballads. She later said the $125 fee was her motivation for recording the song, which made her country music’s first female superstar.

Wells proved women could sell records and fill arenas by singing country songs from a woman’s point of view, according to her Recording Academy biography. Her recording career included 35 Billboard Top 10 records and 81 charted singles.

“Her songs resonated with women in an evolving post-war America, and she unassumingly paved the way for other strong female country singers, including Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Tammy Wynette, among others,” said Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy. “She performed for seven decades, and she continues to be a model for generations of female country singers.”

Wells was the first female country singer to get a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, which the Recording Academy presented in 1991.

She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1976.
Kitty Wells, the “Queen of Country Music” who opened the door to a host of female country music headliners, died on Monday at her home in Nashville. She was 92.
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Among those mourning her passing was Loretta Lynn, whose own rise to popularity came after Wells, who paved the way for strong female voices in country music. “Kitty Wells will always be the greatest female country singer of all times,” said Lynn in a statement released on her web site.

“She was my hero. If I had never heard of Kitty Wells, I don’t think I would have been a singer myself. I wanted to sound just like her, but as far as I am concerned, no one will ever be as great as Kitty Wells.

Swift to give back

“She truly is the Queen of Country Music.”

Wells, born as Ellen Muriel Deason Wright, actually began performing on local radio in Nashville, but her ascent to stage stardom began in 1937 with husband Johnnie, half of the duo Johnnie & Jack. He died in 2011.

She was the first female singer to reach the top of the country charts with her 1952 song “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” an answer to Hank Thompson’s “The Wild Side of Life,” which made the argument God indeed makes such angels.

Wells was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1976.

“Kitty Wells was a 33-year-old wife and mother when her immortal recording of ‘It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels’ suddenly made her a star,” according to the Hall of Fame’s biography.

“Other female country singers of her day were trying their hands at hard-living, honky-tonk songs, but it was the intense and piercing style of Kitty Wells, with her gospel-touched vocals and tearful restraint that resonated with country audiences of the time and broke the industry barriers for women,” it said.

Wells was born in Nashville to a musical family. She first began performing on the radio with her two sisters and a cousin, the quartet going by the name of the Deason Sisters.

She married Wright in 1937 and joined by her husband and his sister, Louise, to perform as Johnnie Wright and the Harmony Girls. Two years later, Wright began performing with Jack Anglin as the duo Johnnie & Jack.

While she performed with them as a girl singer in the 1940s, her husband began calling her “Kitty Wells,” a name taken from a 19th century folk song.


Harold Bradley, 86, the venerable Nashville session guitarist whose brother, Owen Bradley, produced many of Wells’ recordings, said there was no better person to work with than Wells.
This May 1986 file photo shows country music singer Kitty Wells in Nashville, Tenn. Wells, the first female superstar of country music, has died at the age of 92. The singer’s family says Wells died at her home Monday after complications from a stroke. Her recording of “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” in 1952 was the first No. 1 hit by a woman soloist on the country music charts. Other hits included “Making Believe” and a version of “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, file) Photo: Mark Humphrey, Associated Press / SF
FILE – This May 1986 file photo shows country music singer Kitty…

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Country singer Kitty Wells, the most successful and influential female country singer of the 1950s and early ’60s and one of a handful of women to have significant impact at a time when the music was overwhelmingly dominated by men, died Monday in Madison, Tenn. She was 92.

“The history of country music can’t be written without calling attention to her great achievements,” said John Rumble, senior historian at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. “She really has left an indelible mark on American music history.”

Singer Marty Stuart called her “the undisputed queen of country music. There’s more to being a queen than just calling yourself a queen – it’s a title that goes with an entire lifetime of service and influence. You check the careers of anyone in (Nashville), and you won’t find anyone with a more spotless career than Kitty Wells.”
Stern resolution

Ms. Wells set a template for female singers in country music that started a shift in traditional male-female roles in rural America with “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.” Her recording delivered a strikingly assertive response to Hank Thompson’s 1952 hit “The Wild Side of Life,” in which a man laid all blame on a woman he met in a honky tonk for breaking up his marriage and then leaving him to go “where the wine and liquor flows, where you wait to be anybody’s baby.”

Ms. Wells, singing a song written by J.D. Miller, shot back, “It wasn’t God who made honky tonk angels/As you said in the words of your song/Too many times married men think they’re still single/That has caused many a good girl to go wrong.”

That recording was No. 1 for six weeks in 1952 and began a string of hits that extended to 1979.

The stern resolution in her voice would be echoed in subsequent recordings by Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and onto Shania Twain and the Dixie Chicks. It still ripples today in assertive songs by Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.

Ms. Wells was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1976 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991. She was only the third country performer – and the first female – to get the recognition, after previous country lifetime achievement award recipients Hank Williams and Roy Acuff.

Muriel Ellen Deason was born Aug. 30, 1919, in Nashville, one of the few major country stars born in the country music capital. Her father, Charles Cary Deason, and uncle were country musicians, and her mother, Myrtle Bell Deason, was a gospel singer.

With two sisters and a cousin she began performing in the 1930s as the Deason Sisters, and after marrying Wright in 1937, she became part of Johnnie Wright and the Harmony Girls along with Wright’s sister, Louise. Wright suggested that she adopt the stage name Kitty Wells, drawn from an old folk ballad made popular by the Pickard Family.
Taboo topics

Recordings Ms. Wells made in 1949 and ‘50 gained little traction. “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” turned her career around.

She continued singing about the most disastrous effects of romantic liaisons and divorce – topics that still touched nerves and were considered taboo in many quarters – in subsequent hits such as “Paying for That Back Street Affair,” “Your Wild Life’s Gonna Get You Down,” “Mommy for a Day” and a No. 1 hit she recorded with Red Foley, “One by One,” in which the singers traded lines about how “one by one we broke each vow we made.”


Dez Bryant

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 10:33 pm

We’ve certainly had quite the little parade of arrests through this NFL offseason, but few are as disturbing as this: On Monday, Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant was arrested on charges of misdemeanor domestic violence, which stemmed from an incident that happened last Saturday. Bryant turned himself in to the DeSoto (Texas) police department after hearing of the charges, and was released from custody after posting $1,500 bail. However, and as first reported by Rebecca Lopez of WFAA-TV, the underlying reasons for Bryant’s arrest should give serious pause.

“Desoto police say Dez Bryant assaulted his mother,” Lopez wrote on her Twitter account. “Slapped her across the face and pulled her hair. Dez Bryant’s mother says she had pain and swelling as a result of injuries according to a police report. Police report says Bryant’s mother had asked him to leave when he allegedly assaulted her.”

[Michael Silver: The Jaguars are unlikely to meet MJD's contract demands]

The Dallas Morning News crime blog had this to add:

Angela Bryant told police that she and her son got into an argument Saturday afternoon at her home in the 800 block of West Pleasant Run Road.

Police said the Lufkin native grabbed his mother by the T-shirt, causing it and her bra to tear, according to police documents. She said he then grabbed her by the hair and slapped her across the face with his ball cap.

When asked for a response by WFAA-TV, Bryant would only say, “I’m good. I’m good.”

Bryant has been in trouble with the law before, though some of the charges have seemed skimpy — such as the time when he was thrown out of an upscale mall in the Dallas area for allegedly using bad, inappropriate language and wearing sagging pants. But there was also the alleged altercation at a Miami Beach nightclub in January — Bryant was detained and released without arrest on that one. This, however, brings things to an entirely different level.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones seemed to know what he was getting into when he moved up in the 2010 NFL draft to take Bryant with the 24th overall pick out of Oklahoma State. In two seasons, Bryant has grabbed 108 receptions for 1,489 yards and 15 touchdowns, mixing incredible feats of football athleticism with bouts of maddening inconsistency.

[More NFL: Santonio Holmes says a two-quarterback system doesn't work in the pros]

“He has been frustrating and he has been elating,” Jones said last November. “It’s exactly what we thought when we drafted him right to the T. And so if we didn’t plan on having a little frustration we should have gone a different direction. No surprises with him.”

One would hope that this time, it’s a surprise … and not a very pleasant one.
It wasn’t that long ago – February, in fact – that Cowboys Hall of Famer Michael Irvin was making claims that Dez Bryant will be the best receiver in the NFL.

But now, in the wake of Angela D. Bryant’s emotional 911 call regarding her son, football is the furthest thing from Irvin’s mind when it comes to the Cowboys’ third-year receiver.

Michael Irvin (right) has expressed confidence in Dez Bryant’s ability on the field. Now all Irvin can think about is Bryant’s troubles off it.
By Matthew Emmons, US Presswire

That was evident Tuesday when Irvin brushed off NFL Network host Andrew Siciliano’s question about whether or not Bryant was worth the off-the-field risk to the Cowboys.

“You guys want to talk about football, I want to tell you about the man,” said Irvin, who works as an analyst for the league’s network. “I don’t care what the Dallas Cowboys think on this situation. I only want somebody to talk to Dez about figuring out how you get to the place where your mom is begging you to go home and not hit her. I don’t care about anything else. That’s serious stuff that we got to get to the bottom of.”

Dez Bryant on Monday was arrested on domestic violence charges and is free on bond after the incident that took place in DeSoto, Texas.

On Tuesday, audio of his mother’s 911 call was released, and in it she can be heard telling people in the room that her son “tried to kill me.”

Moments later during the call, she tells somebody, “Babe, I can’t keep letting him do this. … I can’t keep letting him do me like this. I’m tired. I’m going to put an end to it today.”

Irvin, who has expressed his fondness for Bryant in the past, didn’t sound too surprised by news of his arrest.

“To say this is totally out of the realm of possibility I wouldn’t be totally honest,” Irvin said. “We know with Dez’s background and his upbringing that he may have the proclivity to make some bad decisions. I had that proclivity. But to go this distance with it, is a bit far.”

Irvin also said he hopes somebody will intervene to help Bryant with his anger management.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was arrested Monday after being accused of attacking his mother during an argument, hitting her arms and face.

He faces a charge of family violence, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

The Cowboys had no comment on the latest stumble by Bryant since the Cowboys drafted him out of Oklahoma State in 2010.

Bryant, 23, surrendered Monday after police in DeSoto, south of Dallas, issued a warrant. Police said Angela Bryant called 911 on Saturday to complain her son was assaulting her. Police arrived to find her with a swollen wrist and thumb and bruising on her upper arms, police Capt. Ron Smith said. She told police she had grabbed Dez Bryant’s shirt and he forcefully knocked her arms away, Smith said. Police say he hit her on the face and pushed her in the chest.

Bryant was released a few hours later without talking to detectives, Smith said. His attorney, Royce West, said Bryant posted $1,500 bond.

In January, he was reportedly involved in a fight with the rapper Lil Wayne at a Miami nightclub.

SEAHAWKS: Running back Marshawn Lynch was seen weaving from lane to lane on Interstate 880 in the Oakland, Calif., area on Saturday morning, leading to his arrest for investigation of DUI.

An incident report released by the California Highway Patrol on Tuesday described Lynch driving a Ford Econoline van and having two near collisions with two other vehicles driving in adjacent lanes.

Authorities say Lynch was pulled over around 3:20 a.m. Saturday in Emeryville and showed signs of intoxication. After multiple field sobriety tests, Lynch was arrested and booked into jail, where he was cited and later released. Lynch took a chemical test.

COURTS: Jonathan Vilma’s hearing as he attempts to delay or overturn his season-long suspension has been moved up a week to July 26.

A U.S. District Court judge in Louisiana granted Vilma’s motion Tuesday, although Vilma sought a hearing for Thursday. The Saints open training camp next Tuesday.

Vilma was suspended by Commissioner Roger Goodell for his role in the team’s bounty program. He also has sued Goodell for defamation.

JAGUARS: A day after signing veteran place-kicker Josh Scobee to a long-term contract, the team waived former Georgia Bulldog Brandon Coutu.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant and Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch were each arrested in separate incidents in recent days, adding to a list of off-field troubles for both players.

Bryant was arrested on a misdemeanor family violence charge after turning himself in to police Monday afternoon. He posted $1,500 bond after learning a warrant had been issued for his arrest, according to his attorney, Royce West.

Police from the southern Dallas suburb of DeSoto said details of the arrest would be released Tuesday.

In January, Bryant was detained and questioned — but not arrested or charged — by Miami police after a nightclub fight. Last year, he received a criminal trespass warning for refusing to leave a Dallas shopping mall and was the subject of a pair of lawsuits claiming he owed a jeweler and ticket broker more than $600,000.

Lynch was arrested early Saturday in the Oakland area for investigation of DUI, the California Highway Patrol confirmed late Monday. After being taken to the Santa Rita Jail, Lynch was cited and released.

Charges may or may not be filed after the results from Lynch’s chemical test are forwarded to the Alameda County district attorney’s office.

Lynch had stayed out of trouble since being traded to the Seahawks from the Buffalo Bills in 2010. Before that, however, he pleaded guilty to a traffic violation and admitted to driving away after hitting a woman with his car in 2008. He also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge in 2009, leading to a three-game suspension by the NFL.
The list of Dez Bryant’s off-field transgressions grows.

The Dallas Cowboys wide receiver was arrested on domestic violence charges and is free on bond after an incident in DeSoto, Texas.

The DeSoto Police Department told NFL.com that Bryant was arrested Saturday and charged with misdemeanor domestic violence.

Bryant was charged with a Class A misdemeanor for assault of a female family member, police told Dallas TV KDFW. The report also said the woman did not need to be taken to the hospital.

KDFW-TV said police would not discuss specific circumstances around the arrest or Bryant’s relationship to the alleged victim.

CBSSports.com says the woman was Bryant’s mother and that his half-brother was also involved.

The Cowboys issued a brief statement Monday night after being made aware of the incident.

“We are in the process of gathering information and will not have a comment at this time,” Dallas team spokesman Rich Dalrymple said in the statement.

Bryant confirmed the incident to WFAA-TV in Dallas on Monday, but he would not go into specifics.

“I’m good. I’m good,” he said.

In Texas, family violence is an attack or “a threat” of imminent harm against a member of a family or household. It’s a punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Details of the arrest were scarce, and DeSoto officials will not release any records relating to the incident until Tuesday, according to WFAA.

The run-in with law enforcement was the second in six months for Bryant and the latest in a string of off-field problems for the third-year receiver from Oklahoma State.

Bryant, 23, was detained and questioned by Miami police in January after a fight at a South Beach nightclub. He was not arrested or charged in the incident that involved rapper Lil Wayne and his entourage.

The latest incident would certainly seem to contradict comments Bryant made at a team workout last month in which he said he was focusing solely on football this offseason.

“On the field and off the field, I try to make the best choices possible, and I feel like I’m doing a great job of that,” Bryant told the Associated Press.

Bryant received a criminal trespass warning in March 2011 after refusing an order from off-duty police officers to leave a Dallas shopping mall.

A week after the incident at the mall, Bryant was hit with a pair of lawsuits that alleged he owed a jeweler and ticket broker more than $600,000 for custom-made jewelry and tickets.

Last December, reports emerged that Bryant owed a New York-based finance company $50,000 and was allegedly refusing to repay a loan to Endurance Capital Fund.

Bryant emerged as a dependable receiver this past season for the Cowboys, showing marked improvement in every stat from his rookie year. He finished second on the team in catches (63), receiving yards (928) and touchdowns (nine).

Bryant’s improvement on the field and a renewed focus on conditioning and film study led Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to praise the receiver’s maturation.

“He certainly is different as far as his maturity and as far as his understanding of what it takes to play in the National Football League than when he got here,” Jones said last month.
When the Dallas Cowboys drafted Dez Bryant in 2010, they gave him No. 88 in hopes he would be the team’s next Drew Pearson or Michael Irvin.

Speaking on the NFL Network on Tuesday, Irvin, the Cowboys’ Hall of Fame wide receiver, said he was disappointed to learn of Bryant’s arrest Monday for family violence. DeSoto Police allege Bryant grabbed his mother, Angela, by her t-shirt and hair and “hit her across the face with his ball cap” last Saturday.

“To say this is totally out of the realm of possibility, I wouldn’t be totally honest,” Irvin said. “We know (with) Dez’s background and his upbringing that he may have the proclivity to make bad decisions. I had that proclivity. But to go this distance with it is a bit far. I don’t even care to talk about what the Dallas Cowboys must be doing here. I need to know what some counsel is going to tell Dez or what guy he is talking to about this issue. You cannot — and you heard (Bryant’s mother) say she is tired of this, she can’t take it. Obviously it’s so sad because it’s not the first time and there certainly is something going on there. If we care anything about him, the man — forget the football — we need to make sure somebody looks into this.”

Irvin, who had a number of off-field incidents in his career and incurred a five-game suspension to start the 1996 season, said his “heart bleeds,” after hearing the 911 call placed by Angela Bryant.

“This is uncharted waters. I like to speak out of my spirit on a lot of things, both the highs and the lows, the peaks and the valleys I’ve experienced,” Irvin said. “But this is out of the world for me. I’ve never laid my hands on any woman, let alone talk about the No. 1 woman in any man’s life, which should be his mother. You have to only try to think about where the anger and all of that is for you to get to that point. That’s why the pressures or the stress of what you’re dealing with, whatever is going on, we can’t have that. I know he has to be saying the same things now.”

Irvin did not want to discuss whether he felt Bryant was worth the trouble for the Cowboys to keep. In his first two seasons, Bryant has 108 receptions for 1,489 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also returned two punts for touchdowns as a rookie.

“Those are all-world numbers for a guy in his first two years to come with 60-something catches last year in your second year, just about 900 yards and double-digit touchdowns (actually nine),” Irvin said. “That is off-the-chart numbers. And all of the other stuff has been absolutely (worth it) because that’s up to your debate whether someone sagging pants is really a national story or cultural difference, even though it may have shown a lacking in judgment. But here again, this issue is something new. You guys want to talk about football; I want to tell you about the man. I don’t care what the Dallas Cowboys think on this situation; I only want somebody to talk to Dez about figuring out how you get to the place where your mom is begging you to go home and not hit her. I don’t care about anything else. That’s serious stuff that we have to get to the bottom of.”

Human Genome

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 1:36 am

TRENTON. N.J. (AP) — U.K. drug maker GlaxoSmithKline has secured its takeover of longtime partner Human Genome Sciences after agreeing to pay more, a move to expand GSK’s drug portfolio in crucial areas: biologic drugs and treatments for the hundreds of millions of people with diabetes and heart disease.

The two companies said Monday that GSK will pay $3.6 billion, or $14.25 per share, for the U.S. biotechnology company. Directors of both companies have approved the deal.

Human Genome Sciences, based in Rockville, Md., agreed to the acquisition following a prolonged battle in which it had put up a “poison pill” defense. That would have diluted holdings if anyone attempted to acquire 15 percent or more of Human Genome stock without board approval.

The final price is up from GSK’s previous offer of $13 per share, and almost double the $7.17 closing price for Human Genome shares on April 18, the last trading day before Glaxo’s initial offer was publicly disclosed.

“This is a natural next step in our nearly 20-year relationship with HGS, and we look forward to working with HGS to integrate our businesses and to realizing the full value” of its approved and experimental drugs, GSK Chief Executive Sir Andrew Witty said in a statement.

Under the agreement, GSK gains full ownership of two experimental drugs plus Human Genome’s only marketed medicine, Benlysta.

That’s the first new drug approved in about 50 years for lupus, a chronic immune disorder believed to affect about 5 million people around the world. Most other treatments either simply reduce inflammation and pain, take months to improve symptoms or can cause a host of significant side effects.

Benlysta, a biologic drug produced in living cells, is meant to block or limit immune system attacks on the patient’s cells and tissue, which cause inflammation and damage to organs. The drug contains a substance that reduces the number of a type of white blood cells believed to be involved in causing that damage.

“Glaxo is smarter than the whole industry,” said analyst Steve Brozak of WBB Securities, noting the deal shows GSK knows it must increase sales and the profit margin for Benlysta.

“It realizes more than its competitors that it must also access the broadest biotech pipeline,” for which Human Genome is well known, he added.

The deal also brings GSK two promising experimental drugs in late-stage human testing, albiglutide for Type 2 diabetes and darapladib, a heart drug being tested for prevention of stroke and heart attack.

Diabetes and heart disease are both core areas for GSK that once were lucrative but have seen revenue plunge due to generic competition or safety questions.

Two older GSK heart drugs, Coreg and Arixtra, now have only a few hundred million dollars in annual sales due to generic competition, and its anticlotting medicine Fraxiparine produced just under $100 million in first-quarter sales.

Meanwhile, GSK’s key diabetes drug, Avandia, had been a blockbuster until it was linked to risk of heart attack. That led to sales being banned in the European Union and severely restricted in the U.S.

GSK’s higher offer followed news of positive results on albiglutide from a study of cardiac safety — an issue that’s now crucial for winning U.S. approval of many types of new drugs, including for diabetes.

Last week, GSK said it planned early next year to apply for approval of albiglutide, which helps control both blood sugar and appetite, helping diabetics lose weight. The drug is in the same class, GLP-1 agonists, as two popular injected diabetes drugs, Byetta and Bydureon.

“After a thorough analysis of strategic alternatives, HGS has determined that a combination with GSK is the best course of action for our company and the best way to maximize value for our stockholders,” H. Thomas Watkins, president and CEO of HGS, said in a statement.

GlaxoSmithKline said it expects the deal to add to core earnings beginning next year and to produce at least $200 million in cost savings by 2015. The company said the deal will not disrupt its current program to repurchase shares worth 2 billion to 2.5 billion pounds, or $3.1 billion to $3.9 billion, in 2012.

Earlier this month, GSK agreed to pay the U.S. government $3 billion in fines — the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history — for criminal and civil violations involving improperly marketing and concealing the risks of medicines taken by millions of patients, including Avandia.

GlaxoSmithKline shares rose 30 cents to close at $45.30 Monday. Human Genome shares jumped 61 cents, or 4.5 percent, to close at $14.19.
North Korea’s highest-ranking military officer has been officially relieved from all his duties due to an unamed illness, but many observers of the new regime are doubting that official story. Vice Marshal Ri Yong-ho appeared to be in good health when he was seen in public with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un just one week ago, but he has now been removed from his post as both the Chief of General Staff in the army and of his duties as in state’s political party. Illness is often used by the North Korea government to explain the departure of top officials, though little of what comes official state news can be taken at face value.

RELATED: Kim Jong-Un’s Lady Friend Probably a Married Singer

Speculation among North Korean analysts in the United States is that Ri’s departure is actually the result of a power struggle that he may have lost to Jang Song Thaek, Kim Jong-un’s uncle who some say is the real influence behind the throne now. Ri was considered a close confidant of Kim Jong-il and was often seen beside him and his at official events and was frequently shown to be guiding the younger Kim after his father’s funeral last December. Both the AP and Reuters describe his dismissal as a purge, possibly meant to solidify Kim Jong-un control over the military and or even to signal a new direction in North Korean politics. The North had frequently threatened violence against South Korea since Kim Jong-un took over last year, but it remains to be seen if that rhetoric will continue or soften.

RELATED: Kim Jong Un Smiles for Grandpa

Feel free to pair this news with the recent speculation about the unknown woman that Kim Jong-un has recently been seen in public with to try and formulate some new theory what the heck this guy is up to. Perhaps he’s slowly trying to break away from his father’s way of doing things, or he’s using the same old tricks on a new group of people. Either way, he’s given everyone who is watching something new to think about.
Luckily for the community, and for history buffs, that’s not why the brothers bought this “Grande Dame of the High Country.”

“We feel that we’re caretakers of a national treasure,” Irace said during a recent visit to this Victorian jewel, perched atop the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina. “We resurrected this property. We brought it back. We wouldn’t let it die.”

The property started as a boarding house in 1882. The bulk of the grand lodge you see today was constructed in 1891. When it opened, each room came equipped with an electric bell to summon attendants and running water — albeit, just a small spigot with which guests could fill their washbasins.

The lobby walls are lined with photographs of famous guests — Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover slept there, as did first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Marilyn Monroe and oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, America’s first billionaire. Annie Oakley gave shooting lessons on what is now the inn’s parking lot, and Margaret Mitchell wrote a portion of “Gone With the Wind” during a sojourn there, Irace says with pride.

But there was a time, not so long ago, when the Green Park appeared headed for the scrap market.

By the May 2010 auction, the hotel was boarded up and bankrupt. Its spindle-railing Queen Anne balconies were rotten and sagging, the steam heating system cold and leaking.

A man from nearby Deep Gap who had done painting for the Iraces told them it was up for sale. They were the only bidders.

The brothers call themselves hotel “affection-ados.” This is the fourth historic hotel property they’ve rehabilitated (the others are in Florida and Vermont).

The hotel reopened in October 2010 with just 15 of the more than 80 rooms available for guests. That number has since more than tripled to 53 — 22 of them with balconies.

With their high ceilings and large windows, the rooms are classic and airy. The luxuriously comfortable beds and other tasteful furnishings were all manufactured right here in the Tar Heel state, Irace says proudly.

The rooms no longer come with buzzers, but each is equipped with a large flat-screen television and complementary Wi-Fi. Vintage iron lighting fixtures use energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.

“We could have made this like a bed and breakfast, you know, and frou-frou and cutesy and put, you know, 24 pillows in every room and put chintz on chintz, and cute little knickknacks and gewgaws all over,” Irace says. “If we did that, we would have to charge more for the rooms. And I wanted, if a working man wanted to come here and show his kids how Grandma used to vacation, I wanted him to have that option.”

The inn sits at 3,620 feet (1,100 metres) above sea level, across U.S. 321 from North Carolina’s first commercial tourist attraction — the Blowing Rock. The bar is called The Divide — because the Eastern Continental Divide runs literally right through it.

“If you were to spill a drink on one half of the building, it would flow to the Mississippi River, in theory,” Irace says. “And if you spilled a drink on the other half of the room, it would flow to the Atlantic Ocean.”

A history room off the lobby contains a collection of chamber pots, vintage photographs, hardware from the original doors and even the old service window from the days when the Green Park housed the area’s only post office.

Like most historic properties, the Green Park is not without its tales of tragedy. Laura Green, a member of the family that founded the place in the 19th century, hanged herself in Room 318, allegedly because her fiancee didn’t show up for her wedding day, Irace says.

“Haunted Wautauga County, North Carolina” has a chapter on the inn, although author Tim Bullard declares at the outset, “It is not haunted — repeat, not haunted. But it sure looks like it is.”

Executive chef, James Welch, had stayed at the Green Park under its old management and “never, ever” thought he would someday be working there. “Oh, it was disgusting,” says Welch, who got his start at 12, filleting chicken in his mother’s and grandmother’s Greensboro diner. “To be honest with you, I didn’t even want to take my clothes off to sleep in the bed.”

Welch, 47, a James Beard-nominated chef, had done kitchen stints at Sheraton hotels in nearby Greensboro and Miami before coming to Blowing Rock 18 years ago to help open a restaurant. He was looking for a new challenge when the Iraces recruited him to run the inn’s Laurel Room Restaurant. They gutted the old kitchen, spent $500,000 to bring it up to code and opened it a year ago.

Welch and his staff turn out delicate appetizers — like mixed baby greens with raspberries, goat cheese and shaved chocolate — and hearty entrees such as braised lamb shank with wild mushroom risotto and gremolata. And then there is his signature dish: Espresso-crusted, bittersweet chocolate-stuffed beef tenderloin with goat cheese pistachio au gratin, French beans and Bailey’s Irish Cream sauce. This dish came to him when, while drafting the next day’s menu, he discovered two Hershey’s kisses his daughters had given him that morning melting in his shirt pocket.

Irace realized that he’d committed to Welch — and bankrolled his kitchen upgrades — without ever having tasted his cooking. After the first bite, he breathed a huge sigh of relief. “I grew up in New York and I’ve travelled a lot in my life, and I’ve eaten in the finest restaurants in the world,” he says. “It knocked my socks off.”

Despite the good food and first-class renovation, things at the inn have gotten off to a slow start. Irace admits that opening a hotel during the worst recession in generations wasn’t ideal. “We all went through different phases, different moments when we said, ‘We can’t do this. It’s not going to work,’” Irace says.

But they already have devoted fans. Judy and Scott Champney of Johnson City, Tenn., have stayed there a half-dozen times on trips to the area for concerts at Appalachian State University in nearby Boone. They love the atmosphere, especially the pianist and jazz trio who alternate playing outside the dining room. Scott Champney, who teaches biochemistry at the East Tennessee State University medical school, sometimes sits in on drums.

“Our three sons call it ‘our hotel’ … like we own it,” says Judy Champney, a retired high school English teacher who would get points if she stayed at the Holiday Inn Express just down the road. “I’m just thrilled that they’ve restored it, rather than tearing down a beautiful old building like that.”

The Green Park was recently accepted as a member of Historic Hotels of America, a project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for hotels that have “faithfully maintained their historic integrity, architecture and ambiance.”

Irace and his brother are confident that, as the economy turns around, that same rising tide will lift their boat.

“A lot of our guests buy into what our employees buy into, and what Gene and I bought into,” he says. “Which is: We’re building something. We’re saving something. We’re saving something that’s worth saving.”


If You Go…

GREEN PARK INN: 9239 Valley Blvd., Blowing Rock, N.C.; http://www.greenparkinn.com/ or 828-414-9230. Weekday rates begin at $89 (low season) and $129 (high season) for standard room with queen bed. Rates include cooked-to-order breakfast.


Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 1:34 am

AN EARLY work by the symbolist artist Gustav Klimt that was thought lost forever has reportedly been found in a garage in northern Austria.

The timing of the discovery could not be more appropriate as Austria is currently celebrating its most famous painter’s 150th birthday. The ceiling fresco Trumpeting Putto, which depicts a trumpet-blowing cherub-like child draped in a red scarf against a sky-blue background, is said to have once been part of the ceiling of Klimt’s Vienna studio, where he lived with his brother Ernst between 1883 and 1892 after he had completed his studies. But in the late 1980s, after a lift was installed in the building in Sandwirt Lane, it disappeared.

Art historians had speculated about its whereabouts since and it was believed to have been destroyed. However, art dealer Josef Renz received a call last week from a man claiming to have found the fresco in his garage. The man said he only recently become aware of the artwork’s fame, but did not know how it ended up there.

”This valuable and unique ceiling fresco is in very good condition,” said Mr Renz, who has rescued several other Habsburg-era artefacts from obscure locations. Mr Renz said he was convinced of the authenticity of the painting, for which he had been searching for years.

He refused to say how much he had paid the owner for it, but told Austrian media he intends to have the fresco – the ceiling piece is 1.7 metres in diameter – restored and put up for auction in the autumn.

But Alfred Weidinger, a Klimt expert and deputy director of the Belvedere museum, which displays many Klimt works, has expressed doubt the painting is by Gustav Klimt, insisting there is more evidence to suggest it was painted by his much less celebrated brother Ernst.

”This work has been floating round since the 1960s, and repeatedly attempts have been made to have it recognised as one of Klimt’s, especially in this, the 150th anniversary of his birth,” he said. ”But in research into the catalogue of paintings he produced, studies for this painting made by Ernst Klimt have been found,” he said.

Mr Weidinger said not only was the work not signed by Gustav, it was ”not a particularly good art work” and shared similarities with ceiling paintings by Ernst in Schloss Mondsee, close to Salzburg. He said at best the painting was by both brothers.

Austria is currently caught in a whirl of activities to celebrate the Jugendstilmaster, famous for his erotic and decorative, often gilded, images of women, whose best-known painting is The Kiss.

Everything from special art exhibitions to the opening of a museum dedicated to Klimt, and a Vienna musical on his life, are drawing in tourists.
She was the woman Gustav Klimt spent his life with, yet they never lived together or married. His offspring — as many as 14, including two baby Gustavs born from different mothers in the same summer — were by other women.

Emilie Floege shares the spotlight in Vienna, where an array of exhibitions honors Klimt’s 150th birthday. He portrayed himself in a clinch with Floege in “The Kiss,” one of the most rapturous — and popular — homages to love ever painted.

The Belvedere still has the best and blingiest collection of Klimt’s paintings worldwide, even after losing 10 through restitutions to the heirs of pre-World War II owners. The golden “Judith” is among its possessions on display, along with some wonderful landscapes and works by the next generation of painters, including Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka.

Two new Klimt acquisitions from a donor are also in the new exhibition: “Family,” portraying a woman and two children, their pale sleeping faces shining from a dark canvas; and “Sunflower,” where the flower stands in for Floege, a fashion designer, in a long baggy dress of a type she often wore during vacations at Attersee, east of Salzburg.

Klimt spent summers with her there, yet there’s no evidence of a physical relationship. For the first time, the Belvedere is showing seven love letters, dated from 1895 to 1899, that only recently surfaced. They are penned in Klimt’s beautifully stylish, barely legible hand and addressed to Emilie.
Love Mystery

In one he calls her “my treasure, my life,” and they are evidence, at least, of his feelings for her — if “The Kiss” were not proof enough. Did she reciprocate? Her face is turned to the side in the painting, away from his embrace.

A poem he wrote in her dance-card at a ball suggests his love was unrequited. We may never know the answer as Emilie (whose sister was the widow of Klimt’s brother Ernst) destroyed her letters to Gustav.

It’s a shame the letters aren’t transcribed and translated. Their content will be lost on the hundreds of foreign visitors who traipse through the Belvedere this summer.

The Leopold Museum doesn’t have as many spectacular paintings as the Belvedere, yet it has done a better job with what it has in an absorbing exhibition, “Klimt: Up Close and Personal.” Impressive loans include a golden knight on a black horse against a glittering background from a museum in Japan.
Artist’s Photos

Black-and-white photos show the artist relaxing by the Attersee in his loose painting smock, stroking a cat or hugging Floege’s 5-year-old niece. About 400 postcards from Klimt to Emilie over 20 years wind through the exhibition and at least here each one is transcribed and translated.

The content is by no means earth-shattering — many of Klimt’s missives are to make theater dates, report on the weather from his travels, cancel French lessons, complain of hangovers or just to tell her when to expect him.

Yet they are touching testimony to a lifelong, day-to-day intimacy, preserved in a way impossible in our age because such correspondence takes place by text message or phone calls.

Perhaps we should think twice before deleting that text saying “Bad head. See you tomorrow.” It may end up in a museum.
Klimt Kitsch

An exhibition at the Wien Museum, which has an enormous collection of Klimt drawings, asks good questions. Where is the border between “city-branding” to attract tourists and Klimt overkill? How far has he become kitsch?

As well as Klimt’s famous oil portrait of Floege — undoubtedly a masterpiece — the museum is showing its drawings irreverently close together to line the walls. Not all are masterworks, though many are.

The museum’s collection of Klimt kitsch records the impact the artist has had on Vienna’s image. Along with the predictable umbrellas, fridge magnets and ashtrays, such marvels as a Klimt toilet seat came to light through a Facebook campaign. I was amused to note that the display includes the Klimt-labeled wine sold in the museum’s shop — a nice touch of self-irony.

The winner of the museum’s “Worst of Klimt” award went to a plastic egg that opens to show miniature “Kiss” figures which rotate to the tune of Elvis’s “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.” Beautiful.

Two Viennese institutions have built platforms to make their Klimt frescoes more accessible to the public in honor of the anniversary. At the Secession, artist Gerwald Rockenschaub’s bright yellow construction allows viewers to see Klimt’s “Beethoven Frieze” at eye level.

A bridge in the extravagant arcaded stairwell of the Kunsthistorisches Museum offers close-up views of decorative personifications of stylistic periods and regions that Klimt painted as a young man, working together with his brother Ernst and painting partner Franz Matsch.

“150 Years Gustav Klimt” runs at the Belvedere through Jan. 6, 2013. “Klimt: Up Close and Personal” is at the Leopold Museum until Aug. 27. The Wien Museum is showing “Klimt: The Wien Museum’s Collection” through Sept. 16. The Secession platform remains in place through Jan. 13, 2013, and the Kunsthistorisches Museum has extended “Face to Face With Gustav Klimt” through Jan. 6, 2013.

(Catherine Hickley writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Scott Reyburn on auctions and Craig Seligman on art.
Over the past century, Klimt has gained worldwide recognition even beyond the art world, something Vienna has been keen to exploit with ad campaigns borrowing heavily from his famous golden paintings like “The Kiss.”

His work shocked early-1900s Vienna and alternated between opulence and tormented figures.

But the 400 postcards and messages that Klimt sent his lifelong friend Emilie Floege — on display at the Leopold Museum — also show a whimsical, laid-back personality.

“I wanted to send you a funny card but first I have to get over the… enormous stupidity of mankind. Affectionately, Gustav,” he wrote in one note.

Pictures of summer holidays show him eternally clad in a shapeless painter’s smock, hair dishevelled and a mischievous smile on his lips while stroking a cat.

In his cards — he wrote to Emilie up to eight times a day, often inane observations — he described his breakfast or complained of a hangover or a bad cold.

Not for nothing is the exhibit titled “Klimt: Up Close and Personal”: the art here takes a backseat to the man.

The Wien Museum also used the occasion to examine a “star artist whose curse is that everyone thinks they know him so well.”

Proof is the multitude of kitschy souvenirs depicting “The Kiss” or other famous Klimt works on sale in Vienna and elsewhere.

Earlier this year, the museum made a call on Facebook for the “worst of the worst” and the result was some 140 objects sent from around the world, including pictures of tattoos, a toilet-seat cover and a bejeweled egg with the two figures from “The Kiss” rotating to Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

Alongside this however, the Wien Museum has also put its entire Klimt collection on show for the first time, including the artist’s death mask, his massive painter’s smock — the last in existence — and some 400 drawings from his beginnings in art school to his last few years.

Far from the golden spirals and arabesques of his most famous work, the rough sketches — here a leg, there a shoulder — provide “an insight into Klimt’s development and working methods: a close-up of an artist,” said museum director Wolfgang Kos.

For this 150th anniversary, Vienna’s museums have been falling over themselves trying to top each other, with even the respected Belvedere — home of “The Kiss” — organising a “Gustav Klimt and Emilie Floege lookalike contest” on the artist’s birthday on Saturday.

But those keen to focus on his art are also in luck with the Secession art gallery bringing visitors right up to Klimt’s famous Beethoven frieze — situated three to five metres (10-16.5 feet) above ground and usually seen only from below — via a temporary platform.

The work behind the massive painting, the layers of gold leaf and paint, are meanwhile revealed in a video documenting the painstaking restoration work after the piece was severely damaged.

Born on July 14, 1862, Klimt was a key figure of Vienna’s art scene during its heyday as a cultural and intellectual hub, bustling with people like Sigmund Freud, Adolf Loos, Egon Schiele and Otto Wagner.

Even long after his death in 1918, he made headlines when “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer,” one of his best-known works, was at the centre of a dispute over Nazis stolen art.

With his stamp now on umbrellas, magnets and pens everywhere, “Klimt is, posthumously, one of Vienna’s most effective advertising agencies,” as Wien Museum director Kos puts it.

Celeste Holm

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 1:32 am

Celeste Holm (April 29, 1917 – July 15, 2012) was an American stage, film and television actress, known for her Academy Award-winning performance in Gentleman’s Agreement (1947), as well as for her Oscar-nominated performances in Come to the Stable (1949) and All About Eve (1950) and originating the role of Ado Annie in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma! (1943).

* 1 Early life
* 2 Career
* 3 Honors
* 4 Personal life
* 5 Health and death
* 6 Filmography
* 7 Stage appearances
* 8 TV appearances
* 9 References
* 10 External links

[edit] Early life

Born and raised in New York City, Holm grew up as an only child. Her mother, Jean Parke, was an American portrait artist and author; her father, Theodor Holm, was a Norwegian businessman whose company provided marine adjustment services for Lloyd’s of London. Because of her parents’ occupations, she traveled often during her youth and attended various schools in Holland, France and the United States. She graduated from University High School for Girls in Chicago, where she performed in many school stage productions. She then studied drama at the University of Chicago before becoming a stage actress in the late 1930s.
[edit] Career
Accepting her Academy Award for Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)

Holm’s first professional theatrical role was in a production of Hamlet starring Leslie Howard. Her first role on Broadway was a small part in 1938 comedy Gloriana, which lasted five performances. Her first major Broadway part was as Mary L. in William Saroyan’s 1940 revival of The Time of Your Life co-starring fellow newcomer Gene Kelly. The role that got her the most recognition from critics and audiences was Ado Annie in the flagship Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! in 1943.

After she starred in the Broadway production of Bloomer Girl, 20th Century Fox signed Holm to a movie contract in 1946. She made her film debut that same year in Three Little Girls in Blue, making a startling entrance in a “Technicolor red” dress singing “Always a Lady,” a belting Ado Annie-type song, although the character was different—a lady. In 1947 she won an Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in Gentleman’s Agreement. After her performance in All About Eve, however, Holm realized she preferred live theater to movie work, and only accepted a few select film roles over the following decade. The most successful of these were the comedy The Tender Trap (1955) and the musical High Society (1956), both of which co-starred Frank Sinatra. She starred as a professor-turned-reporter in New York City in the CBS television series Honestly, Celeste! (fall 1954) and was thereafter a panelist on Who Pays? (1959). She also appeared several times on ABC’s The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom.[citation needed]

In 1958, she starred as a reporter in an unsold television pilot called The Celeste Holm Show, based on the book No Facilities for Women. Holm also starred in the musical The Utter Glory of Morrissey Hall. In 1965, she played the Fairy Godmother alongside Lesley Ann Warren in the CBS production of Cinderella. In 1970-71, she was featured on the NBC sitcom Nancy, with Renne Jarrett, John Fink and Robert F. Simon. In the story line, Holm played Abby Townsend, the press secretary of the First Lady of the United States and the chaperon of Jarrett’s character, Nancy Smith, the President’s daughter.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Holm did more screen acting, with roles in films such as Tom Sawyer and Three Men and a Baby, and in television series (often as a guest star) such as Columbo, The Eleventh Hour, Archie Bunker’s Place and Falcon Crest. In 1979, she played the role of First Lady Florence Harding in the television mini-series, Backstairs at the White House. She was a regular on the ABC soap opera Loving, appearing first in 1986 in the role of Lydia Woodhouse and again as Isabelle Dwyer Alden #2 from 1991 to 1992. She last appeared on television in the CBS television series Promised Land (1996–99).
[edit] Honors

Holm received numerous honors during her lifetime, including the 1968 Sarah Siddons Award for distinguished achievement in Chicago theatre; she was appointed to the National Arts Council by then-President Ronald Reagan, appointed Knight, First Class of the Order of St. Olav by King Olav of Norway in 1979,[1] and inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1992. She remained active for social causes as a spokesperson for UNICEF, and for occasional professional engagements. From 1995 she was Chairman of the Board of Arts Horizons, a not-for-profit arts-in-education organization.

In 2006, Holm was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the SunDeis Film Festival at Brandeis University.[2]

Holm was a guest at the 2009 Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention in Aberdeen, Maryland. Some of the movies in which she appeared were screened at the festival, and the un-aired television pilot for Meet Me in St. Louis was shown. She received an honorary award during the dinner banquet at the close of the event.
[edit] Personal life
Attending the Academy Awards in 1988

* Holm’s first marriage was to Ralph Nelson in 1936.[3] Their son, Internet pioneer and sociologist Ted Nelson (né Theodor Holm Nelson; born 1937), was raised by his maternal grandparents. The marriage ended in 1939. In his 2010 memoir, Possiplex, her son, credited with coining the term “hypertext”, described this and other choices as “entirely the right decisions”. He reportedly did not name his mother in the book.[4]

* Holm married Francis Emerson Harding Davies, an English auditor, on January 7, 1940. Davies was a Roman Catholic, and she was received into the Roman Catholic Church for the purposes of their 1940 wedding; the marriage was dissolved on May 8, 1945.[5]

* From 1946 to 1952, Holm was married to airline public relations executive A. Schuyler Dunning, with whom she had a second son, businessman Daniel Dunning.[6]

* From 1961 to 1996, she was married to fellow thespian Wesley Addy (1913–1996), until his death at age 83 in 1996.

* On April 29, 2004, her 87th birthday, Holm married opera singer Frank Basile, age 41.[7] The couple met in October 1999 at a fundraiser at which Basile was hired to sing. Soon after their marriage, Holm and Basile sued to overturn the irrevocable trust that was created in 2002 by Daniel Dunning, Holm’s younger son. The trust was ostensibly set up to shelter Holm’s financial assets from taxes, although Basile contended the real purpose of the trust was to keep him away from her money. The lawsuit began a five-year battle with her sons, which cost millions of dollars, and according to an article in The New York Times, left Holm and her husband with a fragile hold on their home, which Holm purchased for $10,000 cash in 1953 from her film earnings, and which is now believed to be worth at least $2,000,000.[citation needed]

In a 1948 file photo actress Celeste Holm poses as her character Anne from the motion picture “Gentleman’s Agreement.” Holm, who won an Oscar in “Gentleman’s Agreement,” died Sunday July 15, 2012, a relative said. She was 95. (AP Photo/file)
AP Drama Writer / July 16, 2012

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NEW YORK (AP) — The lights on Broadway will be dimmed Wednesday in honor of the late Oscar-winning actress Celeste Holm.

The Broadway League said Monday that theater marquees will go dark at 8 p.m. for one minute in tribute to Holm, who soared to fame onstage in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘‘Oklahoma!’’ and won an Oscar in ‘‘Gentleman’s Agreement.’’

Holm died Sunday at age 95 at her longtime apartment on Central Park West. Her husband, Frank Basile, who had been with the actress for 13 years, said she died in the couple’s bed.

‘‘I was honored every morning to wake up to her smile,’’ said Basile, who said he would be outside the St. James Theatre when the lights dim on Wednesday to honor ‘‘the love of his life.’’

Holm had been hospitalized about two weeks ago with dehydration. She asked her husband on Friday to bring her home when things quickly took a turn for the worse. He said it happened so fast that he has had a hard time processing it.

At the time of her death, Holm was in a bitter, multi-year family legal battle that pitted her two sons against her and Basile, whom she married in 2004 and was more than 45 years her junior. They met at a gala where he was singing.

‘‘We spent that last 13 years trying to celebrate life, even through the dark times,’’ her husband said. ‘‘She always remained glowing, loving and positive.’’

In a career that spanned more than half a century, Holm played everyone from Ado Annie — the girl who just can’t say no in ‘‘Oklahoma!”— to a worldly theatrical agent in the 1991 comedy ‘‘I Hate Hamlet’’ to guest star turns on TV shows such as ‘‘Fantasy Island’’ and ‘‘Love Boat II’’ to Bette Davis’ best friend in ‘‘All About Eve.’’

Her other Broadway credits include ‘‘Anna Christie,’’ ‘’I Hate Hamlet,’’ William Saroyan’s ‘‘Time of Your Life’’ and ‘‘Bloomer Girl.’’

‘‘Celeste Holm’s impressive career on stage and screen spanned six decades, so multi-generations of theatre and film fans had the chance to appreciate her unique talent,’’ said Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of the League.

Basile said during her final years he and Holms helped causes dear to her heart, such as the Creative Arts Rehabilitation Center and UNICEF. ‘‘In her passing, I hope to continue that legacy,’’ he said. ‘‘I hope to honor her name.’’end of story marker
I just heard that renowned leadership expert and author of the best-seller “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” Stephen R. Covey, has died at age 79 following injuries he sustained in a bicycle accident three months ago. I had the opportunity to record a phone interview with Mr. Covey a couple of years ago. I also met him when he appeared on The Christophers’ TV show about six or seven years ago. My primary impression when I met him was not just that he was a smart man, but also that he was a kind person who was bursting with joy.

Most guests we booked would be friendly when they arrived at the studio and were introduced to the host and crew members. Covey was not only friendly; he burst into song.

When I took him into the make-up room to meet our make-up artist, Janet, he spontaneously started singing “Bless Your Beautiful Hide” from “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers!” Janet appreciated the compliment, and the whole crew was left smiling at this unexpected performance. In that impromptu moment, Covey put everyone at ease and demonstrated an important leadership principle, whether he intended to or not. If you can connect with people on an individual level, inspire respect in them, and even make them smile, they’ll want to do a good job for you. You won’t just be a boss; you’ll be a leader. Covey obviously practiced what he preached which accounts for his ongoing success in sharing these lessons with others.

Another passing of note this weekend was Academy Award-winning actress Celeste Holm, age 95, who appeared on several Christopher TV programs with our founder, Father James Keller, during the 1950s – and who was a guest at several Christopher Awards ceremonies over the last decade. It just so happens that my primary memory of Ms. Holm also involves a song. During one of the Awards ceremonies hosted by our then-Director, Msgr. Jim Lisante, he asked her to come on stage and the two of them sang an impromptu rendition of “Accentuate the Positive,” a classic song that reflects the Christopher approach to life. It was a sweet moment, and all of us at The Christophers remember Ms. Holm as the epitome of class, grace, humor and dignity.

We offer our prayers and condolences to the families of Stephen Covey and Celeste Holm as they grieve their loss.
Celeste Holm, a versatile, bright-eyed blond who soared to Broadway fame in Oklahoma! and won an Oscar in Gentleman’s Agreement but whose last years were filled with financial difficulty and estrangement from her sons, died Sunday, a relative said. She was 95.

Holm had been hospitalized about two weeks ago with dehydration. She asked her husband on Friday to bring her home and spent her final days with her husband, Frank Basile, and other relatives and close friends by her side, said Amy Phillips, a great-niece of Holm’s who answered the phone at Holm’s apartment on Sunday.

Holm died around 3:30 a.m. at her longtime apartment on Central Park West, located in the same building where Robert De Niro lives and where a fire broke out last month, Phillips said.

“I think she wanted to be here, in her home, among her things, with people who loved her,” she said.

In a career that spanned more than half a century, Holm played everyone from Ado Annie — the girl who just can’t say no in Oklahoma! — to a worldly theatrical agent in the 1991 comedy I Hate Hamlet to guest star turns on TV shows such as Fantasy Island and Love Boat II to Bette Davis’ best friend in All About Eve.

She won the Academy Award in 1947 for best supporting actress for her performance in Gentlemen’s Agreement and received Oscar nominations for Come to the Stable (1949) and All About Eve (1950).

Holm was also known for her untiring charity work — at one time she served on nine boards — and was a board member emeritus of the National Mental Health Association.

She was once president of the Creative Arts Rehabilitation Center, which treats emotionally disturbed people using arts therapies. Over the years, she raised $20,000 for UNICEF by charging 50 cents apiece for autographs.

President Ronald Reagan appointed her to a six-year term on the National Council on the Arts in 1982. In New York, she was active in the Save the Theatres Committee and was once arrested during a vigorous protest against the demolition of several theatres.

But late in her life she was caught up in a bitter, multi-year legal family battle that pitted her two sons against her and her fifth husband — former waiter Basile, whom she married in 2004 and was more than 45 years her junior. The court fight over investments and inheritance wiped away much of her savings and left her dependent on Social Security. The actress and her sons no longer spoke, and she was sued for overdue maintenance and legal fees on her Manhattan apartment.

The future Broadway star was born in New York on April 29, 1917, the daughter of Norwegian-born Theodore Holm, who worked for the American branch of Lloyd’s of London, and Jean Parke Holm, a painter and writer.

She was smitten by the theatre as a 3-year-old when her grandmother took her to see ballerina Anna Pavlova. “There she was, being tossed in mid-air, caught, no mistakes, no falls. She never knew what an impression she made,” Holm recalled years later.

She attended 14 schools growing up, including the Lycee Victor Duryui in Paris when her mother was there for an exhibition of her paintings. She studied ballet for 10 years.

Her first Broadway success came in 1939 in the cast of William Saroyan’s The Time of Your Life. But it was her creation of the role of man-crazy Ado Annie Carnes in the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s musical Oklahoma! in 1943 that really impressed the critics.

She only auditioned for the role because of World War II, she said years later. “There was a need for entertainers in Army camps and hospitals. The only way you could do that was if you were singing in something.”

Holm was hired by La Vie Parisienne, and later by the Persian Room at the Plaza Hotel to sing to their late-night supper club audiences after the Oklahoma! curtain fell.

The slender, blue-eyed blond moved west to pursue a film career. “Hollywood is a good place to learn how to eat a salad without smearing your lipstick,” she would say.

“Oscar Hammerstein told me, ‘You won’t like it,’” and he was right, she said. Hollywood “was just too artificial. The values are entirely different. That balmy climate is so deceptive.” She returned to New York after several years.

Her well-known films included The Tender Trap and High Society but others were less memorable. “I made two movies I’ve never even seen,” she told an interviewer in 1991.

She attributed her drive to do charity work to her grandparents and parents who “were always volunteers in every direction.”

She said she learned first-hand the power of empathy in 1943 when she performed in a ward of mental patients and got a big smile from one man she learned later had been uncommunicative for six months.

“I suddenly realized with a great sense of impact how valuable we are to each other,” she said.

In 1979 she was knighted by King Olav of Norway.

In her early 70s, an interviewer asked if she had ever thought of retiring. “No. What for?” she replied. “If people retired, we wouldn’t have had Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, John Gielgud … I think it’s very important to hang on as long as we can.”

In the 1990s, Holm and Gerald McRainey starred in CBS TV’s Promised Land, a spinoff of “Touched by an Angel.” In 1995, she joined such stars as Tony Randall and Jerry Stiller to lobby for state funding for the arts in Albany, New York. Her last big screen role was as Brendan Fraser’s grandmother in the romance Still Breathing.

Holm was married five times and is survived by two sons and three grandchildren. Her marriage in 1938 to director Ralph Nelson lasted a year but produced a son, Theodor Holm Nelson. In 1940, she married Francis Davies, an English auditor. In 1946, she married airline public relations executive A. Schuyler Dunning and they had a son, Daniel Dunning.

During her fourth marriage, to actor Robert Wesley Addy, whom she married in 1966, the two appeared together on stage when they could. In the mid-1960s, when neither had a project going, they put together a two person show called Interplay — An Evening of Theater-in-Concert that toured the United States and was sent abroad by the State Department. Addy died in 1996.

Funeral arrangements for Holm haven’t been made. The family is asking that any memorial donations be made to UNICEF, Arts Horizons or to The Lillian Booth Actors Home of The Actors Fund in Englewood, New Jersey.

Food Network Star Season 8: Episode 10 Recap

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 1:30 am

only three will move on for America’s vote. You heard me. Three! That’s the biggest elimination in Food Network Star history!

Getting three takes to sell themselves in thirty seconds proves to be a lot more difficult that the contestants probably anticipated. Michele comes across as too serious, Nikki gets tongue tied more than once, Justin loses his train of thought, Martie struggles with confidence, Ippy is a bit too laid back, and Yvan overthinks and rambles.

The Food Network panel include last year’s winner Jeff Mauro, Sunny Anderson, Melissa d’Arabian, Anne Burrell, Aaron Sanchez, Robert Irvine and they prove to have very different opinions when it comes to the finalists. Anne questioned Nikki’s authenticity but Aaron said that if Bobby says she can grill, she can grill! Melissa thought Michele seemed inviting but Sunny felt a little intimidated by her. Jeff was intrigued by Ippy’s concept, but Sunny said she felt lulled by his voice. Anne felt confused by what she’d learn from Yvan, but Robert likes the concept of family style. Aaron felt he learned a lot just by watching Justin’s promo (which was far and away the best) and Sunny says his likability factor is off the charts. Anne thought Martie was fun and loved her, while Robert wondered if she could actually back up the complete party planner package she’s trying to sell.

After deliberating, Susie and Bob reveal that the three people they want to see pilots from are Michele, Yvan, and Justin and Martie! My tears dried up when I saw that BOTH members of Team Alton had survived and were going to able to vie for America’s vote.

Back in New York, Alton meets up with Justin and presents him with an interesting idea for his pilot – deconstruct the Caesar salad he made in season 1 of Good Eats. Michele heads to Ed’s Lobster Bar with Bobby then out on the back patio to make a clam stew. Martie hosts a party in an apartment in New York for her pilot, and Giada brings in Yvan’s family which is perfect, since his point of view is family style cooking.

Yvan – “Family Style”

I’ve never really been Yvan’s biggest fan but everything really comes together for him in this pilot, perhaps because he did have his loved ones close by. He came across as relaxed, confident, and enthusiastic. I wanted to reach my spoon through the screen to try the mac and cheese dish he made, and his family coming in at the end to try it was a really nice touch.

Michele – “My New England”

It could be because she’s my area New England (she grew up five minutes from my hometown) but I really like Michele’s concept. Ed’s Lobster Bar was the perfect setting, and clams are the perfect choice to showcase New England in a dish. Michele told a great little story about her nieces that also sold the dish, and she was much warmer and friendlier than she was when shooting her promo earlier in the episode.

Martie – “Martie with a Party”

As much as I like Martie as a person, her pilot came across as the least successful. First, let us not forget “Aarti’s Party” just two seasons ago – the names are too similar. Next, Martie’s stories sort of tied in but kind of died off at the end. She talked about being a bartender and a decorator but that didn’t come through in the pilot and the “friends” from the party were extras and it came across more like she was the caterer. It’s really unfortunate because I think it took her out of the running but she was definitely misguided on this one.

Justin – “Rebel with a Culinary Cause”

And speaking of being guided, Alton gave more of that to Justin. The idea of taking his mentor’s dish and reinventing it for his generation, and in a completely new way, was pretty genius. Justin is totally comfortable in front of the camera, funny, and always has you guessing what he’s going to do next. Of the four, this was the most unique pilot and I feel pretty confident he’ll be named the winner next week.

Rhode Island has ties to another reality show finalist, this time Michele Ragussis, one of four battling for their own cooking show on “Food Network Star.”

Ragussis, a 42-year-old chef who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., attended Johnson & Wales University in Providence before launching her restaurant career. Ragussis has frequently mentioned Rhode Island ingredients on the show — including in her “pilot” that viewers will vote on via Internet to determine the show’s winner. She’s also fond of chourico, the Portuguese sausage popular in many Rhode Island households.

To view the four finalists’ pilots and to vote, visit www.foodnetwork.com/star.

The Food Channel was founded in part by the Providence Journal Company, but sold after a corporate merger in the 1990s.

CORRECTION: The headline on an earlier version of this story misstated Ragussis’ connection with Johnson & Wales, and the story misstated the name of the show.

‘7 Habits’ author Stephen Covey dead at 79

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 1:29 am

Considered a pioneer in the self-help genre aimed at helping readers become more productive in their lives, author Stephen R Covey had an enormous impact on both the corporate world and the personal lives of millions.

The well-known motivational speaker and author of the best-selling ” The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” which sold more than 20 million copies in 38 languages, died on Monday at a hospital in Idaho Falls, Idaho, due to complications from a bicycle accident in April, according to his family.

“In his final hours, he was surrounded by his loving wife and each one of his children and their spouses, just as he always wanted,” the family said in a statement. He was 79.

Covey was hospitalized in April after being knocked unconscious in the bike crash on a steep road in the foothills of Provo, Utah, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City.

“This was one of the first books in recent times that was really directed at prioritizing the way you worked, so you could be more effective as an individual” said Adrian Zackheim, president and publisher of Portfolio, a business imprint at Penguin Group (USA). “It wasn’t about how to be a manager or how or to run a company. It was about how to conduct yourself.

“Covey’s influence was very pervasive,” added Zackheim, a rival publisher. “It was a book that applied to everybody. You would hear about whole organizations where everybody in the company was expected to read the book.”

Bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc. called Covey “an influence in both the business and self-help genres as he imparted a system and approach to life that worked in business and personal situations.”

In “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” Covey writes about the need to be proactive, to “begin with the end in mind,” habit No. 2, and “to seek first to understand, then be understood,” habit No. 5.

“Remember, to learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know,” Covey wrote in the foreword.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Stephen R. Covey. His seminal work, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” will forever be one of the most influential books in the field of self-improvement,” Carolyn K. Reidy, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, Inc., which published his book, said in a statement.

Covey also was the author of several other best sellers, including “First Things First,” ”Principle-Centered Leadership,” ”The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families,” and “The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness.”

Covey was the co-founder of Utah-based professional services company FranklinCovey. He lived with his wife in Provo, and has nine children and 52 grandchildren.

At the time of his bicycle accident, his publicist, Debra Lund, said doctors had not found any signs of long-term damage to his head.

“He just lost control on his bike and crashed,” Lund said. “He was wearing a helmet, which is good news.”

Catherine Sagers, Covey’s daughter, told The Salt Lake Tribune in April that her father had suffered some bleeding on his brain after the accident.

A telephone message left for Sagers on Monday wasn’t returned.

Sean Covey said his father was at a family gathering in Montana when his health began to deteriorate and he was rushed to the closest hospital.

“Our family, all nine kids and our spouses and my mom, were able to gather together again to be with him for the last few hours of his life, which is what he always wanted,” Sean Covey said in an email to The Tribune.
Author Stephen Covey, whose “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” sold more than 20 million copies, died Monday at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said. He was 79.

Covey’s family issued a statement, reported by CNN affiliate KSL, saying he died from residual effects of an April bicycle accident.

“In his final hours, he was surrounded by his loving wife and each one (of) his children and their spouses, just as he always wanted,” the statement said, according to KSL.

Covey was “one of the world’s foremost leadership authorities, organizational experts and thought leaders,” according to a biography posted on the website of his 2011 book, “The 3rd Alternative.”

Other best-sellers by Covey include “First Things First,” “Principle-Centered Leadership,” and “The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness,” according to the biography.

“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” has been named one of the most influential management books by several organizations, including Time and Forbes magazines. The audio book is the best-selling nonfiction audio in history, according to the website.

Named in 1996 as one of Time magazine’s 25 most influential Americans, according to the biography, Covey “made teaching principle-centered living and principle-centered leadership his life’s work.”

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert released a statement saying he was “saddened” to hear of the death of Covey, a “good friend.”

“His combination of intellect and empathy made him a truly unique and visionary individual,” Herbert said. “The skills he taught, and importantly, the personal example provided by the life he led, will continue to bless the lives of many. Our hearts go out to his beloved wife Sandra and the entire Covey family.”

Covey held a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Utah, a master’s in business administration from Harvard and a doctorate from Brigham Young University. He also received 10 honorary doctorate degrees, his biography said.

He founded Covey Leadership Center, which in 1997 merged with Franklin Quest to create FranklinCovey Co. The company is a “global consulting and training leader in the areas of strategy execution, leadership, customer loyalty, sales performance, school transformation and individual effectiveness,” with 44 offices in 147 countries, according to the website.

“From the time of the merger to his retirement from the board last year, Dr. Covey devoted essentially all of his time and effort to writing and teaching,” FranklinCovey said in a news release.

“We lost a dear friend today,” Bob Whitman, chairman and CEO of FranklinCovey, said in the news release. “Stephen was one of the world’s great human beings. His impact is incalculable and his influence will continue to inspire generations to come.”

In 2010, Covey joined Utah State University’s Jon M. Huntsman School of Business faculty as a tenured full professor, the biography said.

Covey and his wife, Sandra, lived in Provo, Utah. He was a father of nine, a grandfather of 52 and a great-grandfather of two, according to the website.

“Stephen frequently referred to them as his greatest joy, inspiration, and most significant contribution and legacy to the world,” Whitman said in the news release.

Among the honors he received, the release said, were the Fatherhood Award from the National Fatherhood Initiative, the Sikh’s International Man of Peace Award, and The National Entrepreneur of the Year Lifetime Award for Entrepreneurial Leadership.
Stephen R. Covey, a former Brigham Young University business professor who blended personal self-help and management theory in a massive bestseller, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” died Monday at a hospital in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He was 79.

The cause was complications from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident, said Debra Lund, a spokeswoman for the Utah-based FranklinCovey leadership training and consulting company he co-founded.

In April, Covey lost control of his bike while riding down a hill in Provo, Utah. He was hospitalized for two months with a head injury, cracked ribs and a partly collapsed lung but “never fully recovered,” Lund said Monday.

Covey became a household name when “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” was published in 1989. On bestseller lists for four years, it has sold in excess of 20 million copies in 40 languages and spawned a multimillion-dollar business empire that markets audiotapes, training seminars and organizing aids aimed at improving personal productivity and professional success.

“His timing was perfect. He really caught the wave … as people were becoming increasingly fascinated with leadership. He addressed ordinary people’s desire to succeed through leadership and management,” said Barbara Kellerman, a lecturer on leadership at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Covey’s clients included three-quarters of Fortune 500 companies and scores of schools and government entities. He also trained three dozen heads of state, including the presidents of Colombia and South Korea and their cabinets. Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich were among his fans.

Part Peter Drucker and part Norman Vincent Peale, Covey summed up his philosophy in seven “unchanging principles” or habits that emphasize traits such as taking personal responsibility (”Be proactive”), having a road map or mission (”Begin with the end in mind”) and defining one’s priorities (”Put first things first”). His lectures were peppered with terms such as “synergy” and “paradigm shift,” but he also urged businesses to consider how employees feel.

“Coveyism is total quality management for the character, re-engineering for the soul — a tempting product in an age when the organizational versions of these disciplines have often pushed employee morale to rock bottom,” the Economist wrote in 1996.

“We believe that organizational behavior is individual behavior collectivized,” Covey told Fortune magazine in 1994.

Covey said the idea for “7 Habits” came partly from Drucker, the management guru who claimed that “effectiveness is a habit.” He agreed with his critics that his principles were gleaned from many sources, including the major world religions and classic psychology and philosophy. Some critics said Covey’s Mormon beliefs were a particularly strong influence.

Born in Salt Lake City on Oct. 24, 1932, he grew up on a farm just outside town. During his teens he developed a bone condition that forced him to give up sports and focus on academics. He often credited his parents with instilling a positive attitude in him — especially his mother, who would stand over his bed and tell him, “You can do anything you want.”

At 16 he entered the University of Utah, earning a degree in business administration in 1952. Five years later he received an MBA from Harvard.

Covey went on Mormon missions in England and Ireland. Part of his work involved training provincial heads of the church across Britain, an experience that altered his parents’ plans for him to take over the family hotel business. “I got so turned on by the idea of training leaders that it became my whole life’s mission,” he told the Ottawa Citizen in 2004.

After he returned to Salt Lake City, he worked as an assistant to the president of Brigham Young University. In 1969 he began studying for a PhD in business and education, writing his dissertation on American success literature since 1776. He earned his doctorate in 1976.

Covey is survived by his wife of 55 years, Sandra; daughters Cynthia Haller, Maria Cole, Catherine Sagers, Colleen Brown and Jenny Pitt; sons Stephen, Sean, David and Joshua; two sisters; a brother; 52 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Covey taught at Brigham Young until 1983, when he left to establish the Covey Leadership Center in Provo. In 1997 the center merged with rival Franklin Quest to form FranklinCovey.

He wrote several other bestselling books, including “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families” (1997). In a chapter on family rituals, he gave an example of what happened when he spent too long on a business call.

As the minutes ticked by, one of his sons grew impatient and started spreading peanut butter on Covey’s bald head. Covey stayed on the phone, so his son added a layer of jam and a piece of bread. Covey kept calm, which enabled him to continue conducting business while indulging his son. The lesson, Covey said, was Habit No. 4: “Think win-win.”


Open letter to Marissa Mayer

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 1:27 am

First off – congrats on a double dose of incredible life-changing news!

I know you’re incredibly busy adjusting to life after Google, cranking up your new CEO gig at Yahoo!, and finalizing your go-bag for the birth of your son in October. But please consider a few thoughts from a well-intended geek mom and journalist.

By all means, grant yourself more maternity leave.

You’ve told Fortune magazine that you plan to take just a few weeks off. Not only that, you plan to work throughout your leave. Like other working moms, I kind of wish you didn’t say that… but I can see why you did. You want to prove yourself. You want to hit the ground running and keep up the sprint even through the so-called fourth trimester. But maternity leave is not a vacation or a cop-out from your new post. It’s the first precious weeks to invest in a being who is completely dependent on you. The constant feeding, burping, soothing and changing will be tedious. Yes, we all know you’ll have the help and support to assist with the demands of early childcare, but you can’t completely outsource motherhood. Think about your colostrum over the company for more than just a few weeks. Please.

Don’t be afraid to talk about work-life balance.

I know it will be annoying. As the new working-mom-to-be CEO of Yahoo! you will address questions about the performance of Yahoo! as well as how you manage to “do it all.” But women and girls the world over are looking to you to inspire, set trends in the workplace, and establish what it means to be a young working mom helming a Fortune 500 company. Only one request: please be honest. Don’t be afraid to mention or honor the individuals who cook and clean and nanny for you. This is not a sign of weakness. It’s a valuable lesson for all young women – if you want to “have it all,” make sure you have the support infrastructure of family, friends or staff to make it work.

This may sound odd, but a new-found empathy in early motherhood will be empowering.

After I gave birth, I was overwhelmed by a flood of emotions – boundless love for my infant daughter and (something that really struck me quite by surprise) and deep empathy for others. It was as if a third eye had opened. I started considering the circumstances of literally everyone around me. I began asking more questions about the feelings of others. I started tearing up at Hayao Miyazaki movies (don’t get me started on “Ponyo”). Don’t be afraid of a sudden widening of your emotional range. Embrace it to be more in tune with your colleagues, your staff, and especially your users. Yahoo! may have 700 million monthly users and one of the largest audiences on the Web, but you can attract more if you tap into a new-found ability to deliver what they really want.

Here’s wishing you the very best as you take on the double whammy of rearing a child and reviving a neglected tech icon. Oh – and don’t forget to pack a cotton yukata robe in your pregnancy “go bag.” You can buy one in Japantown in San Francisco. They are far better than the maternity-ward wear issued after birth – the most momentous event of your life.
SAN FRANCISCO — Longtime Google executive Marissa Mayer— one of Silicon Valley’s best-known personalities — starts work today as Yahoo CEO, becoming one of the most prominent female leaders in business.

The struggling Internet giant announced Monday that it is turning to Mayer, 37 — its fifth CEO in five years — to spearhead a massive turnaround effort that has gained little traction the past few years.

VIDEO: Charlie Rose’s conversation with Marissa Mayer

Mayer succeeds interim CEO Ross Levinsohn, who took over for the ousted Scott Thompson, who was shown the door on Mother’s Day following résumé inaccuracies. Thompson took over for Carol Bartz earlier this year, after she was shown the door.

At Google, Mayer earned kudos for her management of several key technologies and a reputation as a demanding perfectionist. She molded the look and feel of some of the company’s best known, and used, products — services such as Google’s search, Gmail and Google News.

The appointment of Mayer, employee No. 20 at Google and one of its few public faces, could perk up spirits among Yahoo employees and investors. Industry analysts such as Jonathan Yarmis called it a PR master stroke for Yahoo, which has struggled mightily to attract, and keep, top-flight talent in its competitive battle with Google and Facebook.

“I’m surprised and impressed,” says Yarmis, an analyst at HfS Research who thinks Mayer’s hiring could aid in recruiting efforts. “Yahoo has been able to attract someone of the highest caliber here, someone who understands the business. This is really the first thing out of Yahoo in a decade that you can’t snicker at. She’s the kind of person you didn’t think Yahoo could get.”

Wall Street applauded the news, lifting Yahoo shares 2% to $15.98 in after-hours trading.

“I am honored and delighted to lead Yahoo, one of the Internet’s premier destinations for more than 700 million users,” Mayer said in a statement.

Mayer, Google’s first female engineer, joins a short list of female tech CEOs at large public companies. The elite club includes Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman and IBM CEO Virginia Rometty. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, essentially runs day-to-day operations.

“I am personally very excited to see another woman become CEO of a technology company,” Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said in a statement.

During her 13 years at Google, Mayer was responsible for shaping Google’s most popular products — ranging from its search homepage to Gmail and Google Images. Recently, she oversaw the company’s location and local services, including Google Maps, encompassing more than 1,000 product managers.

Mayer also sat on Google’s operating committee that advised Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Google CEO Page, in a statement, called Mayer “a tireless champion of our users.”

As an early Google employee, Mayer was also something of a celebrity in Silicon Valley. She often spoke at high-profile tech conferences, posed in fashion spreads, including Vogue, was frequently reported in local high-society columns and lived in a posh penthouse in San Francisco’s Four Seasons. She’s also a connoisseur of cupcakes.

Still, the move to Yahoo is an opportunity for Mayer to claim a bigger stage.

“This is a Hail Mary pass,” says Peter Shankman, an independent marketing strategist based in NYC. “If this one doesn’t do it, the clock has pretty much ticked out.”

A ticklish to-do list

Questions remain whether Mayer can make a difference at Yahoo. Some openly wonder if Mayer’s appointment will make a dent. And whether Yahoo might besmirch her stellar reputation if things don’t work out.

“She’s not at Google anymore, and if she’s going to try and out-Google Google, that would be a terrible mistake,” analyst Yarmis says. “Clearly, she saw that her path to the top at Google wasn’t going well, and revenge can be a powerful, and dangerous, motive.”

Mayer’s appointment brings a person with cachet and connections to Yahoo, analysts say. But Yahoo has defined itself as a media company working to attract advertising dollars, an agenda echoed by former interim CEO Levinsohn. Mayer’s Google tenure and engineering background could signal an about-face for Yahoo.

“She’s an engineering type, which in some ways is good news. Ross Levinsohn had said they would focus as a media company, and that was not necessarily good news,” says IDC analyst Karsten Weide.

Yahoo’s advertising sales business needs to change to shore up its shortcomings, he says. “The future of display advertising will be sold automatically, algorithmically.”

The situation isn’t entirely dire. The portal attracts about 700 million visitors a month, which helped it generate nearly $1 billion in ad sales last quarter.

But that business is under siege from Google, Facebook and an armada of start-ups vying for eyeballs and revenue. Yahoo’s slice of the nearly $40 billion U.S. online ad market — 16% in 2009 — was 9.5% in 2011 and could slide to 7.4% this year, according to eMarketer.

Whether the new CEO and a new board are the fix remains an open question. Analysts will be closely watching Third Point CEO Daniel Loeb, whose hedge fund owns 5.8% of Yahoo and has won three board seats. A hedge fund’s influence “runs the risk of making decisions that are good for the short term but not for the long term,” Morningstar analyst Rick Summer says.

The January hiring of Thompson, the highly successful CEO of eBay’s PayPal unit, was Yahoo’s latest stab at a turnaround.

Thompson’s hasty exit in May complicated a restructuring plan he put into place that included 2,000 layoffs. It was the latest in a series of missteps the past few years highlighted by multiple CEOs, executive defections, a patent dispute with Facebook, reorganizations and questions about deals with tech partners Microsoft and Alibaba.

For Mayer, it all adds up to inheriting a wayward ship with an uncertain future.
Marissa Mayer, one of the top executives at Google, will be the next chief of Yahoo, making her one of the most prominent women in Silicon Valley and corporate America.

The appointment of Ms. Mayer is consider a coup for Yahoo, which has struggled in recent years to attract top talent in its battle with competitors. One of the few public faces of Google, Ms. Mayer, 37, has been responsible for the look and feel of some of the search company’s most popular products.

Despite her background, Ms. Mayer — who will be Yahoo’s fifth chief executive in less than a year, two of them interim — will face a daunting challenge.

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A pioneering Internet company that helped shape the industry in the 1990s, Yahoo is trying to remain relevant after failing to adapt to changing innovations like sophisticated search technology and social media tools. As Google and Facebook have emerged as Web giants, Yahoo has struggled to create a distinct strategy, even though its audience remains among the largest on the Internet. Now, the company is moving to lay off thousands of employees, in the face of slumping profits and a lackluster stock.

The big question is whether Ms. Mayer — or anyone — can help Yahoo regain its former stature.

“It’s a very interesting departure and a very interesting choice,” said Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, the giant advertising agency. “She comes with a formidable reputation, but we’ll see how she analyzes it all.”

With her appointment as the president and chief executive of Yahoo on Monday, Ms. Mayer joins a shortlist of women in the technology industry to hold the top spot. The elite club includes Meg Whitman, the chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, and Virginia M. Rometty, the head of I.B.M. Another senior woman in Silicon Valley, Sheryl Sandberg, is Facebook’s chief operating officer.

(In a bit of personal news, Ms. Mayer disclosed on Twitter late Monday that she is pregnant.)

The move to Yahoo is an opportunity for Ms. Mayer to step out on her own and claim a bigger stage. Ms. Mayer, an engineer by training whose first job at Google included computer programming, was behind the famously unadorned white search home page and the way users interacted with Gmail, Google News and Google Images. She also sat on Google’s operating committee, part of a small circle of senior executives who had the ear of Google’s co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Perhaps in a sign of grander ambitions, Ms. Mayer joined the board of Wal-Mart Stores in April, her first seat at a public company. She is one of four women on Wal-Mart’s 16-member board.

Still, Ms. Mayer did not have a clear path to the upper echelons of Google.

After years of heading up its search business, Google’s most profitable unit, Ms. Mayer became vice president of the company’s location and local services in late 2010, a group that included Google Maps and more than 1,000 product managers. But the following year, Google promoted another executive, Jeff Huber, to be the senior vice president for local and commerce, putting him one level above Ms. Mayer’s post. Although Google characterized her move as a promotion at the time, some wondered if she would be content with the reorganization.

Ms. Mayer, who was first approached about the job in the middle of June after returning from a trip to China, resigned from Google on Monday afternoon by telephone. She starts at Yahoo on Tuesday and will also join the board.

In an interview, Ms. Mayer said she “had an amazing time at Google,” where she has worked for the last 13 years, but that ultimately “it was a reasonably easy decision” to take the top job at Yahoo. She said Yahoo was “one of the best brands on the Internet.” She recalled that when she started at Google, the company would conduct user surveys and “people didn’t understand the difference between Yahoo and the Internet.”

As she hashes out Yahoo’s strategy, Ms. Mayer said she wanted to focus on the Internet company’s strong franchises, including e-mail, finance and sports. She also hopes to do more with its video broadband and its mobile businesses, tapping into its significant base of users.

For Yahoo, the hope is that Ms. Mayer and her discerning eye will provide some much-needed direction for what has been, as of late, a rudderless ship.

“Yahoo finally has someone who has both business acumen and geek cred at the helm,” said Chris Sacca, a venture capitalist, who previously worked with Ms. Mayer at Google. “She stands for a work hard/play hard, product- and engineering-driven culture, and Yahoo has been missing that for years.”

But she comes to the job with little experience at a companywide level, which could be problematic as she sets a strategic vision.

“I wish I was more excited about it,” said Shar Van Boskirk, an analyst at Forrester Research. “Yahoo has too many products. I fear the challenge, is that by putting a former product person in the C.E.O. role they won’t have somebody who has the ability to create a clear, unified vision and strategy for the Yahoo brand.”

Ms. Mayer also joins a company that has faced significant management upheaval over the last decade as Yahoo has unsuccessfully sought to return to its original glory days. Her predecessors have had little luck revitalizing the former Internet pioneer.

In May, Yahoo’s most recent chief executive, Scott Thompson, resigned after questions emerged about whether he lied about certain academic credentials; he had been on the job for only four months. Yahoo’s board has also been reconstituted, adding three new members, including the activist investor Daniel Loeb of Third Point and Michael Wolf, the longtime media consultant and former chief operating officer of Viacom’s MTV Networks.

For the last several weeks, a half-dozen names had been bandied about to take the top job. But Ms. Mayer’s name was never mentioned. Most analysts said they believed that Yahoo’s board was planning to promote Ross Levinsohn, formerly the company’s head of global media who had taken over as interim chief after Mr. Thompson departed.

“In the last few years, given the turnover, there has been a lack of attention on the user experience,” David Filo, a co-founder of Yahoo, who still works at the company, said in an interview on Monday. “We need to get back to basics.” He said he was very excited that Ms. Mayer agreed to join the company. “It will be a surprise for a lot of people.”

July 16, 2012

Retail sales fall for third straight month in June

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 9:00 am

U.S. stocks dipped on Monday, weighed by tepid retail sales data, but gains in some financial shares and an oversold market gave Wall Street support.

Citigroup shares rose 1 percent after profit fell but came in above estimates, while Visa shares hit an all-time high and Mastercard also rose after a lawsuit settlement agreement last week.

The S&P 500 is up roughly 7 percent from a low hit early in June despite consistently worsening economic data. Historic low yields in bonds and expectations that the Federal Reserve could intervene to support the slowing economy have been cited as some of the reasons for investors to stick with equities.

Sentiment was soured Monday after data showed U.S. retail sales fell for a third straight month in June as demand slumped for everything from cars and electronics to building materials.

“Three months in a row of lower retail sales is pretty concerning. People are going to have to lower their GDP estimates. Given that, I’m surprised the market is holding so well,” said Paul Zemsky, head of asset allocation at ING Investment Management in New York.

“It could be expectations that earnings could come out better than feared. The market did kind of take its expectations down quite a bit in the past weeks.”

Negative to positive earnings guidance from S&P 500 companies for the second quarter is 3.3 to 1, the worst since 2008, Thomson Reuters data show.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 32.58 points, or 0.25 percent, to 12,744.51. The S&P 500 Index <.SPX> dropped 1.96 points, or 0.14 percent, to 1,354.82. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> lost 3.86 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,904.61.

The S&P 500 has fallen seven of the last eight days.

Retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.5 percent in June, and a separate report showed manufacturing in New York state rose in July by a bit more than forecast.

The WTO ruled in favor of the United States in a case challenging a virtual monopoly on China’s electronic payments market, in a decision that may boost foreign suppliers like Visa , Mastercard and American Express .

The decision comes after last Friday’s agreement by Visa, Mastercard and major banks to pay a $7.25 billion settlement with U.S. retailers, roughly in line with what the credit card companies had reported setting aside.

Citigroup reported adjusted second-quarter earnings that beat expectations, sending shares up 0.9 percent to $26.89. The results follow JPMorgan Chase & Co’s on Friday, which contributed to gains of 1 percent on major indexes.

GlaxoSmithKline is to acquire its long-time partner Human Genome Sciences Inc for $3 billion(3 month payday loans), ending a three-month hostile pursuit of the U.S. biotech company on friendly terms after sweetening its offer. [ID:nL6E8IGCB9] Shares of Human Genome rose 4.6 percent to $14.20.

In another healthcare deal, private equity firm TPG said it would buy U.S.-based Par Pharmaceutical for $1.9 billion, sending Par shares up 37 percent to $50.02.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, editing by Dave Zimmerman)
The International Monetary Fund on Monday cut its forecast for global economic growth and warned that the outlook could dim further if policymakers in Europe do not act with enough force and speed to quell their region’s debt crisis.

In a mid-year health check of the world economy, the IMF said emerging market nations, long a global bright spot, were now being dragged down by Europe. It said a drop in exports in these countries would combine with earlier policies meant to prevent overheating and slow growth more sharply than hoped.

The IMF shaved its 2013 forecast for global growth to 3.9 percent from the 4.1 percent it projected in April, trimming projections for most advanced and emerging economies. It left its 2012 forecast unchanged at 3.5 percent.

“Downside risks to this weaker global outlook continue to loom large,” the IMF said. “The most immediate risk is still that delayed or insufficient policy action will further escalate the euro area crisis.”

The global lender said advanced economies would only grow 1.4 percent this year and 1.9 percent in 2013.

It also trimmed its forecast for emerging economies, projecting they will expand 5.9 percent in 2013 and 5.6 percent in 2012. Both figures are 0.1 of a percentage point lower than in April.

The IMF cut its 2013 growth forecast for the crisis-hit euro zone to 0.7 percent, while maintaining its projection of a 0.3 percent contraction this year. It said it now believes Spain’s economy will shrink both this year and next.

The IMF sharply revised down its growth projections for the United Kingdom to 0.2 percent this year and to 1.4 percent in 2013. In April, the fund said the UK economy would expand 0.8 percent in 2012 and 2.0 percent next year.

Central banks in China, the euro zone and Britain have all eased monetary policy in recent weeks to support growth. The U.S. Federal Reserve has said it is poised to do more if needed.

The IMF said the European Central Bank had room to ease policy further and said officials in emerging economies should be prepared to cope with declines in trade and increased volatility in capital flows.


The fund praised crisis-fighting measures adopted by European leaders at a summit in June as “steps in the right direction” but called for more fiscal and banking integration.

It urged the creation of a pan-European deposit insurance guarantee program and a mechanism to resolve failing banks, and call on the ECB to provide ample liquidity to support banks under “sufficiently lenient conditions.”

It made clear, however, that Europe was not the only risk.

The IMF, which trimmed its U.S. forecasts slightly, said concerns were rising over a political battle brewing in Washington over how to avoid painful automatic spending cuts and tax increases at the start of next year.

The United States faces a “fiscal cliff” with the scheduled expiration of Bush-era tax cuts and $1.2 trillion in automatic spending reductions – enough budget tightening to knock the still-weak U.S. economy back into recession.

Washington is also expected to run into the statutory $16.4 trillion cap on its debt before the end of the year, raising the prospect of a default absent congressional action to raise it.

While financial markets believe Congress and the White House will find a way to avoid a fiscal train wreck, the IMF warned of the “potential for a significant adverse market reaction” if that consensus view began to falter.

The IMF said it does not expect the current drag on emerging economies to worsen given that many had now shifted to support growth. “It is really case by case but in general we think (emerging economies) will be able to increase demand and grow at fairly high rates,” IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard told a news conference.

Earlier this year, policymakers in emerging economies were worried about large-scale capital inflows and excessive appreciation of their currencies. Those fears have given way to concerns over rapid depreciation and increased volatility in exchange rates. Currencies like the Brazilian real and Indian rupee have depreciated by between 15 and 25 percent in less than a quarter, the IMF noted.

The IMF cut its 2012 growth forecast for China to 8.0 percent from 8.2 percent, and said it now expected growth of 8.5 percent next year, down from 8.8 percent.

It revised its growth projections for India to 6.1 percent this year from 6.9 percent, and chopped its 2013 forecast to 6.5 percent from 7.3 percent.

Meanwhile, Africa’s growth is still seen at a robust 5.4 percent(payday lenders) this year and 5.3 percent in 2013, as the region remains relatively insulated from external financial shocks.

The IMF said growth in the Middle East will be stronger this year as key oil producing countries boost production and Libya’s economy rebounds from conflict in 2011, but it held its forecast for next year at 3.7 percent.

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