Sunday, September 29, 2013

10 Ways to NOT suck as a mother in law

I have asked people in my blogging community to help me keep Moms Who Drink And Swear kicking like Kung-FUCKING-Fu during the month of October while I take some time to attend to some personal issues. I will be blogging sporadically, but only as time permits. A girl gots to have her priorities straight don't chu know? I hope you enjoy the guest bloggers, but I beg of you, please go easy on them!

Be gentle!

The thing is, most of these bloggers are very good at hiding their twisty fuckeduppedness, disguising themselves as regular people who write regular blogs. Unlike me, they are not considered THE pariah of their blog genre. One might consider them to be normal if normal was actually a real thing. Anyhoo... I've asked them to let their freak flag fly, because nothing less than filthy nut-sack sucking crap will do when it comes to entertaining YOU fart-faced-farty-fart-pantsers, the delightful and loyal readers of Moms Who Drink And Swear.


Here is a photo of me in 1980 on halloween quilting fabrics. I was dressed as a goddamn tomato. I think it looks like I shit in my tights. I can't remember if I did, but anything is possible. The 80's were a fucked up decade. I think this explains a lot, clears up some questions you might have had about me. To quote the Gaga...I was born this way.

Please enjoy the musings of Kathy Matthews, who has some advice for mother in laws and future mother in laws. If you don't want to suck as a mother in law, do not do the 10 things she suggests you don't do. If you DO want to suck, this let this blog be your guide. Kathy's blog here on Chicagonow is called Quilting! Sewing! Creating!

10 ways to not suck as a MIL
By Kathy Mathews of Quilting! Sewing! Creating!

I've been married twice but only have had one Mother in Law. One was enough. The good thing about her is that she showed me how I didn't want to be as a MIL myself. The bad about her was everything else. Let me share with you how she was, then you do the opposite. Bam, you're MIL of the year.

  • Don't be a racist. Early in our marriage we went out with my in-laws to look at Christmas lights. One house was not lit up and my MIL remarked, Look at that house. Hebes must live there. I innocently replied, "Oh, I don't know that family." It was not the first racial slur she used which I didn't know. Charming.
  • Don't think you're better than everyone else cause you have money. Her dad was a doctor, she married a man who inherited a pile o bucks. This made her too good for our town and made me definitely not worthy of joining the family. Unlike her sons, I would not jump through any hoops for her money. Money is not that important to me or I wouldn't have been a teacher.
  • Don't discount your Daughter in law. When our daughter was born, they sent over an insurance salesman as their present was to buy an insurance policy on her life. They were the owners and their other son was the beneficiary and only my husband was allowed to sign to give permission. The insurance guy told me this, to my face.
  • Don't berate your daughter in law for working. My daughter had asthma and wouldn't you know it, my teaching job was the reason.
  • Don't wish for only boy grandchildren. Telling my daughter to her face that you wished she was a boy, classy
  • Don't give Xerox copies of gifts. My daughters got Xerox copies of savings bonds for all holidays. Nothing says happy birthday like a Xerox copy of a present. She always nagged me to make her a quilt. Should have given her a Xerox copy of one.
  • Don't give shitty presents. One of my best gifts - napkins wrapped in newspaper, but as was pointed out to me, it was the Sunday Comics so the wrapping was colorful. My daughter got a nightlight wrapped in a Kleenex one year and I was admonished to keep the Kleenex, it was still good. I could go on but those were the best ones.
  • Don't be a mean jerk. At the funeral for our second baby, a boy, I was crying. She sneered; Kathy's really not getting over this. I repeat, at his funeral.
  • For real, don't be a racist. We adopted a baby girl from Korea and my MIL asked, "Couldn't you get her eyes fixed?" You're not surprised that I kept my girls away from this woman, right?
  • Don't try to avoid paying taxes. Well, actually this was a good one. Without my knowledge, she quick deeded 3% of her house to me so when she died, we could pay less inheritance tax. Joke was on her as inheritance taxes were basically done away with and we got divorced. After our divorce, she demanded I quick deed it back to her. I eventually did, but I would only deal with her lawyer. Talk is cheap, but not when the conversation is with a lawyer, whose bill I was not paying. I signed after I received two certified checks, one payable to each girl splitting the value of that 3%. Yes, it was sweet. Very sweet.
  • These are just the top ten! I could go on but you get the picture. I am happily married to my second husband whose mother I never got to meet. (No Mother in law may have been part of the reason I married him.) Now go and not suck at whatever role you play in people's lives.

    Told you Kathy kicked ass. Read her blog here on Chicagonow, Quilting! Sewing! Creating! And follow her on Facebook and Twitter, too!


    YOU want to submit a post to be considered for a guest blog here on Moms Who Drink And Swear? Well, okay then. Just email a link to your blog and a general idea of what you want to write about to

    Source: Chicagonow

    Sunday, September 22, 2013


    Henry Melton injury: Pro Bowl defensive tackle hurts knee against Steelers

    The Bears have suffered a big loss in the center of their defense with an knee injury to defensive tackle Henry Melton.

    The Bears may need reinforcements on the defensive line following an apparent knee injury to Pro Bowl defensive tackle Henry Melton. The injury occurred early in the fourth quarter of the Bears' Week 3 matchup against the Steelers on Sunday Night Football. Melton's knee seemed to buckle on a pass rush attempt and he immediately fell to the ground in pain, holding his left leg.

    Melton was declared out for the rest of the game by the Bears, according to NBC's Michelle Tafoya. The star defensive tackle lied on the ground in pain for several minutes and was removed from the field by a cart.

    If Melton is out of the lineup for an extended period of time, his replacements would likely be rookie Zach Minter or veteran Nick Miller. Melton was signed to the Franchise tender by the Bears this off-season and is scheduled to be a free agent next summer.

    The Bears currently lead the Steelers 27-23 in the fourth quarter.

    Follow @SBNationNFL

    * NFL Week 3 scores, recaps and highlights

    * Rams RB Daryl Richardson re-injures foot after one play

    * Bengals stun Packers with late defensive TD

    * Locker, Titans stun Chargers | Hoyer leads Browns to 1st win

    * Von Miller, urine collector tried to cheat drug test

    Source: Sbnation

    /PRNewswire/ -- Paladin Research & Registry ( announced the launch of a powerful new online service that investors can use to check the quality of more than 260 financial advisor certifications and designations. Paladin's Check a Credential service is free and there is no registration requirement to use it.

    Jack Waymire, Paladin's founder, said: "Some financial advisors spend years acquiring high-quality credentials that increase their expertise. Other advisors buy fake credentials that they use to deceive investors into believing they are financial experts. Very few investors know the critical differences between real and fake credentials. They assume credentials are legitimate or the advisors wouldn't be using them. But, they are dangerously wrong. There are no industry regulations that protect investors from this deceptive sales practice."

    This Paladin service is a serious game changer. In a couple of minutes investors can view quality ratings and avoid bad advisors who use fake or weak credentials. The Check a Credential service provides a one-page report that documents a certification's sponsor, prerequisites, curriculum, testing, and continuing education requirements. Then a Paladin algorithm calculates a peer group quality rating. The ratings range from Warnings (scams) to 5 Stars (Best). All investors do is input the certification's initials and read the report. Paladin's quality rating makes it easy to compare certifications to each other.

    There are four certifications that rank above all of the rest: CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst™), CIMA® (Certified Investment Management Analyst™), CFP® (Certified Financial Planner™), and CPA® (Certified Public Accountant™). 35% of CPAs currently provide financial planning advice.

    Waymire added, "No investor would knowingly select a financial advisor who used deception to gain control of his or her retirement assets. Investors want real experts who have specialized knowledge that helps them achieve their goals of secure, comfortable retirements. Their biggest risk is unethical advisors who use sleazy sales tactics to look like knowledgeable experts. They use deception because investors would not buy what they are selling if they told the truth. They should be kicked out of the financial service industry."

    About Paladin Research & Registry

    Paladin was established in 2003 to provide independent research, tools, and services to investors who rely on financial advisors to help them invest their retirement assets.

    Media Contact:

    Susan Bishop Media Relations 916.792.8392 Email

    Read more news from Paladin Research & Registry.

    SOURCE Paladin Research & Registry

    * Read more articles by Paladin Research & Registry

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    Source: Sacbee

    Monday's shooting at the Navy Yard happened because the military facility was "completely unprotected," National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre said Sunday, brushing aside suggestions that more stringent background checks or new gun laws might prevent more mass shootings of the sort that have repeatedly scarred the country in recent years.

    "This is a tragedy that should not have happened," LePierre said of Monday's shooting, which claimed the lives of 13 people, including the gunman. "How could anybody look at what happened this week and say there was enough security there?"

    "In a post-9/11 world, a naval base within miles from Congress and the White House" was left "completely unprotected," LaPierre lamented, calling for "layers of security around our military bases" to ensure it doesn't happen again.

    He also urged policymakers to consider allowing service members on bases to carry firearms to provide an added measure of security. "We need to look at letting the men and women who know firearms and are trained in them do what they do best, which is protect and survive," he said.

    LaPierre's suggestion was reminiscent of the NRA's call for armed guards in the nation's schools in the wake of the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

    Then and now, LaPierre insisted that the problem isn't the abundance of guns in America or the fact that people can access them with ease, but a combination of inadequate security, a mental health system that fails to raise "red flags" about potentially dangerous individuals, and a criminal justice system that fails to enforce federal gun laws.

    He suggested that if someone is "involuntarily committed," or if mental health professionals determine someone is dangerous, that person ought to be flagged as a potential threat and prevented from buying a gun.

    "The only way you can stop them is you send up the red flags," he said, warning of the dangers of inaction. "When the camera goes off, nobody's going to do anything, and if we leave these homicidal maniacs on the street...they're going to kill."

    Despite the relatively muted reaction from policymakers to this week's shooting in regards to gun control, especially in comparison with other recent mass shootings, the NRA CEO scorned "all the outrage this week - the first two days of the elite media and the politicians trying to stir this toward firearms."

    When he was asked whether the government should require background checks for private firearm sales between individuals, LaPierre said, "No, I don't believe you ought to be under the thumb of the federal government."

    In the face of familiar opposition from the NRA and other gun rights advocates, Obama vowed Saturday at a Congressional Black Caucus dinner to revisit his push to strengthen the country's gun laws, which mobilized lawmakers and activists earlier this year after the shooting at Sandy Hook but ultimately fell short in Congress.

    "We fought a good fight earlier this year, but we came up short," he said. "And that means we've got to get back up and go back at it. Because as long as there are those who fight to make it as easy as possible for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun, then we've got to work as hard as possible for the sake of our children. We've got to be ones who are willing to do more work to make it harder."

    Source: Cbsnews

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    Source: Heraldsun

    NAIROBI, kenya Kenyan security forces launched a "major" assault late Sunday on the upscale Nairobi mall where an unknown number of hostages are being held by al Qaeda-linked militants, in an operation officials said would end the two-day standoff that had already killed 68 people.

    The assault, which began shortly before sun down, came as two helicopters circled the mall, with one skimming very close to the roof. A loud explosion rang, far larger than any previous grenade blast or gunfire volley.

    Kenyan police said on Twitter that a "MAJOR" assault by security forces was ongoing to end the two-day siege.

    "This will end tonight. Our forces will prevail. Kenyans are standing firm against aggression, and we will win," Kenya's Disaster Operations Centre said on Twitter.

    CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg, currently in Nairobi, said government sources have told him that joint Israeli-Kenyan forces are inside the mall and that the operation to end the siege is underway.

    Westgate Mall is at least partially owned by Israelis, and reports circulated that Israeli commandos were on the ground to assist in the response. Four restaurants inside the mall are Israeli-run or owned.

    In Israel, a senior defense official said there were no Israeli forces participating in an assault, but the official said it was possible that Israeli advisers were providing assistance. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing a classified military issue, would not elaborate.

    Israel has close ties to Kenya going back many years. And in recent years, Israel has identified East Africa as an area of strategic interest and stepped up ties with Kenya and other neighboring countries, due to shared threats posed by al Qaeda and other extremist elements.

    In 2002, militants bombed an Israeli-owned luxury hotel near Mombasa, killing 13 people, and tried to shoot down an Israeli airliner at the same time. Kenyans and foreigners were among those confirmed dead, including British, French, Canadians, Indians, a Ghanaian, a South African and a Chinese woman.

    The assault came about 30 hours after 10 to 15 al-Shabab extremists stormed the mall from two sides, throwing grenades and firing on civilians at will.

    Loud exchanges of gunfire emanated from inside the four-story upscale mall, throughout the day Sunday. Kenyan troops were seen carrying in at least two rocket propelled grenades and helicopters hovered throughout the day. Al-Shabab militants reacted angrily to the helicopters on Twitter and said the Kenyan military action was endangering hostages.

    Kenyan officials said they would do their utmost to save hostages lives, but no officials could say precisely how many hostages were inside. Kenya's Red Cross said in a statement citing police that 49 people had been reported missing. Officials did not make an explicit link but that number could form the basis of the number of people held captive.

    Somalia's al Qaeda-linked rebel group, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the attack that specifically targeted non-Muslims. The attackers included some women. The Islamic extremist rebels said the attack was retribution for Kenyan forces' 2011 push into neighboring Somalia.

    Al-Shabab said on its new Twitter feed — after its previous one was shut down on Saturday — that Kenyan officials were asking the hostage-takers to negotiate and offering incentives.

    "We'll not negotiate with the Kenyan govt as long as its forces are invading our country, so reap the bitter fruits of your harvest," al-Shabab said in a tweet.

    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta reiterated his government's determination to continue fighting al-Shabab.

    "We went as a nation into Somalia to help stabilize the country and most importantly to fight terror that had been unleashed on Kenya and the world," said Kenyatta."We shall not relent on the war on terror."

    He said although this violent attack had succeeded, the Kenyan security forces had "neutralized" many others.

    Earlier in the day Kenyatta said he his nephew and his nephew's fiance were killed in the attack.

    Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga told reporters at the mall that a number of people were being held hostage on the third floor and the basement area of the mall, which includes stores for Nike, Adidas and Bose stores.

    Kenyan security officials sought to reassure the families of hostages inside but implied that hostages could be killed. The security operation is "delicate" because Kenyan forces hoped to ensure the hostages are evacuated safely, said Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Lenku.

    "The priority is to save as many lives as possible," Lenku said, adding that more than 1,000 people escaped the attack inside the mall on Saturday.

    "We have received a lot of messages from friendly countries, but for now it remains our operation," Lenku said.

    More than 175 people were injured in the attack, Lenku said, including many children. Kenyan forces were by Sunday in control of the mall's security cameras, he said.

    CBS News' Peter Greenberg described the Westgate as "a very large mall, with more than 80 stores and large grocery stores and banks" that is popular with locals and tourists alike. He said the attacks have been "terrifying."

    Greenberg said many buildings in Nairobi, including the parliament building, have been placed on lockdown.

    Britain's prime minister, in confirming the deaths of three British nationals, told the country to "prepare ourselves for further bad news."

    Westgate Mall is at least partially owned by Israelis, and reports circulated that Israeli commandos were on the ground to assist in the response. Four restaurants inside the mall are Israeli-run or owned.

    Kenyans and foreigners were among those confirmed dead, including British, French, Canadians, Indians, a Ghanaian, a South African and a Chinese woman.

    Kofi Awoonor, a Ghanaian poet, professor and former ambassador to Brazil, Cuba and the United Nations, died after being injured in the attack, Ghana's presidential office confirmed. Ghana's ministry of information said Awoonor's son was injured and is responding to treatment.

    Kenya's Red Cross said the death toll on Sunday rose to 68 after nine bodies were recovered in a joint rescue mission.

    Kenya's presidential office said that one of the attackers was arrested on Saturday and died after suffering from bullet wounds.

    Britain's Foreign Office said that Foreign Secretary William Hague has chaired a meeting of Britain's crisis committee and sent a rapid deployment team from London to Nairobi to provide extra consular support.

    The United Nations Security Council condemned the attacks and "expressed their solidarity with the people and Government of Kenya" in a statement.

    There was some good news on Sunday, as Kenyan media reported that several people in hiding in the mall escaped to safety in the morning, suggesting that not everyone who was inside overnight was being held by al-Shabab.

    Cecile Ndwiga said she had been hiding under a car in the basement parking garage.

    "I called my husband to ask the soldiers to come and rescue me. Because I couldn't just walk out anyhow. The shootout was all over here — left, right- just gun shots," she said.

    Four American citizens were reported injured in the attack. The wife of a foreign service national working for the U.S. Agency for International Development was killed, U.S. officials said. No details about the injured Americans were released by the State Department, which cited privacy concerns. Consular officers were in contact with the injured and were providing appropriate assistance, a State Department official said.

    Source: Cbsnews

    WASHINGTON -- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) didn't have much to say Thursday in response to obamacare-house-republicans_n_3950901.html">House Republicans fuming at him for conceding that the Democratic-controlled Senate doesn't have the votes to repeal Obamacare and leaving the battle -- and all its political perils -- for House conservatives to fight.

    In fact, Cruz, a tea party favorite who has championed an Obamacare repeal, went further and said even some Senate Republicans don't support the latest push for defunding President Barack Obama's signature health care law. He also said a full repeal of Obamacare doesn't have a chance until at least after the 2014 elections.

    "Right now, [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid has 54 Democrats and they presumably are going to stand with him ... and a number of Senate Republicans have expressed that they may support the Democrats here," Cruz told a couple of reporters, just after his remarks at an event hosted by the National Auto Dealers Association.

    "I think it is likely that it will take another election for a full repeal," he said.

    During his NADA speech, Cruz addressed the latest House GOP strategy -- this will be the 42nd repeal vote -- to sink the Affordable Care Act. House Republican leaders on Friday will bring up a measure to permanently defund the law and tie it to a must-pass resolution that keeps the government running.

    Cruz hailed House Republican leaders for the strategy, and said it is a "testament" to their commitment to bring down Obamacare. Still, he doubled down on what he said Wednesday: Efforts to sink the law aren't going anywhere in the Senate, or as long as Obama is in the White House.

    "We know with an absolute certainty that President Obama and Harry Reid are going to push back, are going to fight to defend Obamacare," Cruz said, emphasizing that the only way repeal can happen is through a sustained grassroots effort. "It's going to depend on making the case to the American people."

    House Republican leaders have been counting on Cruz and other Senate conservatives to lead on the issue in their chamber. Particularly after being berated by Cruz on the need to keep a government shutdown on the table in the Obamacare fight, House conservatives are not happy with Cruz appearing to throw up "a white flag" now, as one lawmaker put it. Still, Cruz made the case Wednesday that people need to keep fighting on the issue.

    "You lose 100 percent of the battles that you start out by surrendering," Cruz said.

    He initially ignored questions by The Huffington Post about his response to House Republicans who say he's blown GOP messaging on the issue and unfairly punted the fight into their court. He finally bit, saying they are the ones who will ultimately decide how the debate carries on.

    "I salute the House Republicans for their fight on this," he said, adding later, "the House of Representatives, where Republicans have the majority -- the House has to drive this process."

    UPDATE: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) pushed back on the idea that Cruz and other Senate conservatives are off the hook once the House passes the Obamacare repeal bill.

    "We'll deliver a big victory in the House tomorrow. Then this fight will move over to the Senate -- where it belongs," Boehner said during his weekly briefing. "I expect my Senate colleagues to be up for the battle."

    Also on HuffPost:

    Source: Huffingtonpost

    Laura Prepon isn't surprised at all by Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis' relationship! The 33-year-old actress revealed to Us Weekly that her former That '70s Show costars, dating for over a year, are the real deal.

    PHOTOS: Ashton Kutcher's love life

    "It's incredible!" she told Us at the Variety Pre-Emmy Party in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 20. "I wasn't surprised either," she said of the couple's budding romance.

    The three actors all starred on the comedy for eight seasons from 1998 to 2006, and have stayed close since its finale. "They're like my family," she said. The friends are so close that the Orange is the New Black actress also revealed that Kutcher, 35, was indeed Kunis' first kiss. "He was. He was," she confirmed. Kutcher and Kunis' characters, Michael Kelso and Jackie Burkhart, dated on the show.

    PHOTOS: Mila Kunis' sexy transformation

    Together since April 2012, the Oz the Great and Powerful actress, 30, recently caused quite a stir when she stepped out with a possible engagement ring in L.A. in early September. Though no wedding bells yet, Prepon believes she would definitely get an invite. "Obviously if people wanted us there, which she would because we're all family -- then of course I would be there," she said. "We support each other no matter what."

    PHOTOS: A timeline of Mila and Ashton's romance

    As for the redheaded beauty, she's excited for season two of her Netflix hit, even though it's been previously reported that she will only be appearing in a few episodes. "It's an amazing show, and my character is a total badass," she said of OITNB. "I don't want to stop playing her because she is amazing, but I'm definitely coming back for season two, and it's going to be awesome."

    She added: "The fan support for my character has just been above and beyond what we expected and it's so appreciated."

    Source: Usmagazine

    Jessica Alba and dianna Agron's beautiful celebrity styles made us do a double take this week! We're telling you why in this week's installment of Friday's Fashion Obsessions.

    Jessica Alba

    I can always count on Jessica Alba to give me some enviable Fashion Week street style to lust over. This week, the actress was spotted on the streets of NYC wearing this drool-worthy outfit I'm tempted to steal for myself this fall.

    Sweatshirts and chunky sweaters were a big fall trend on the runways, and as you know, I'm a sucker for a fun fashion juxtaposition. Here, Jess takes the most impossibly cute pink maxi skirt (this is the stuff of princess dreams, folks!) and pairs it with a casual cropped knit. The result? Sheer genius! Jessica finished her look off with some classy sandals and a shiny black bag.

    The final verdict? Some of the best outfits are a result of combining different trends. Don't be afraid to mix high with low, menswear with womenswear and casual with dressy. The result can be stunning!

    Dianna Agron

    Is it just me or has Dianna Agron been looking incredible lately? The star of The Family arrived at the movie's NYC premiere in a super chic black and white combo and continued her fashion streak.

    It's amazing what a few tweaks can do to an outfit. Here we have a somewhat similar look worn by the lovely Emma Watson. Emma landed herself on our Fashion Fails list because she fell victim to some tricky fashion mistakes, but Dianna got this look all right! The white flowy top shows just enough midriff without being slutty, and the high-waisted black skirt keeps things a bit modest. Black and cream clear pumps and a few bangles add some pizzazz to this modern-meets-classic ensemble.

    The final verdict? Thanks to proper proportions and minimal accessories, Dianna managed to look cool and classic at the same time. And we can't forget that gorgeous makeup. Zoom on in, girls, because you're going to want to steal this look!

    Source: Sheknows

    NBC's Chuck Todd just can't escape the backlash over a stray comment he made about the media earlier in the week.

    The background, briefly: Todd was speaking with former governor Ed Rendell about obamacare on Wednesday's "Morning Joe." Rendell said that the White House had not sold the program successfully, and that most Americans opposed to Obamacare had probably been given incorrect information about it.

    Todd replied that, "more importantly," that incorrect information "would be stuff that Republicans have successfully messaged against it." He continued, "They don't repeat the other stuff because they haven't even heard the Democratic message."

    Then came the fateful words:

    "What I always love is people say, 'Well, it's you folks' fault in the media.' No! It's the President of the United States' fault for not selling it."

    That quote led to articles with headlines like " Chuck Todd: It's Not Media's Job To Correct GOP's Obamacare Falsehoods," and " MSNBC's Chuck Todd Explains Media Don't Need To Show You No Stinking Facts On Obamacare," and " Inform the Public? Not My Job, Says Chuck Todd."

    Todd replied on Twitter:

    Somebody decided to troll w/mislding headline: point I actually made was folks shouldn't expect media to do job WH has FAILED to do re: ACA

    -- Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) September 18, 2013

    I was NOT saying it isn't job of journos to call out lies, I said it was not job of media to sell WH's health care message, it is WH's job

    -- Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) September 18, 2013

    Unfortunately for Todd, the controversy isn't going away. The latest salvo: a petition on the website Credo Mobilize, which had drawn 50,000 signatures by Saturday afternoon, a day after it was posted online. The petition's author, Nicole Belle, accused Todd of having "completely abdicated his responsibility as a journalist." She also wrote a separate post on her blog at Crooks and Liars.

    From the petition:

    This shouldn't be hard. Journalists are supposed to inform their audience of facts. When lies are provided for partisan purposes, it is not "doing the job of the White House to sell" a government program to say that these are lies. That's reporting. That's journalism. Someone who just repeats what is said to him without placing it in context is called a stenographer, not a journalist.

    Given NBC News' policy of not informing its viewers of the facts about the Affordable Care Act, it should come as no surprise that 70% of the American people don't understand what the law does.

    Make no mistake, if Chuck Todd and his other colleagues at NBC News actually fact-checked all the lies that Republicans tell about the Affordable Care Act, that number would be much, much lower. NBC News must accept its culpability in Americans' poor understanding of the law. If NBC's job is to provide factual information to its viewers, it has totally failed the American people.

    Also on HuffPost:

    Source: Huffingtonpost

    Saturday, September 21, 2013

    Editor's note: For daily tips on saving money, check out the Centsible Saver blog on Amy Dunn writes every day about coupons, saving money and frugal living. Below are recent excerpts from her blog.

    Shannon Eddleman's daughter was 4 years old when she first noticed a homeless man on the side of the road. What does his sign say, the little girl asked her mother.

    Eddleman explained that the man was hungry.

    "We need to feed him," the preschooler responded.

    Turning her back was not an option for the North Raleigh stay-at-home mom.

    "The way she said it, there was no question whether or not we would feed someone who was hungry," Eddleman said.

    Already an avid coupon shopper, Eddleman decided to use the same skills she used to trim her own grocery bill to buy food for the hungry. Her first purchase: six pop-top cans of chili for just 10 cents each after coupons.

    In the four years since, Eddleman and her two children have made shopping for the less fortunate part of their regular supermarket routine. Their donations go to North Raleigh Ministries and the food bank at Asbury United Methodist Church in Raleigh. Oftentimes, the items are completely free after store discounts and coupon savings are applied.

    "We talk about how we wish everyone would clip five coupons and get five free things," Eddleman said. "Think of all the people we could feed."

    There's a name for what Eddleman does. I like to call it couponing for a cause. She's one of many in the Triangle and across the country who parlay coupon discounts into a regular stream of food and personal hygiene donations to charity with very little actual money changing hands.

    Food banks and homeless shelters aren't the only beneficiaries of the kindness of couponers. Many coupon clippers focus their efforts on buying food for cats and dogs at local animal shelters. Other causes taken up by coupon shoppers include sending care packages to U.S. troops overseas and filling shoeboxes with toys and treats for the Operation Christmas Child project run by Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse based in Boone.

    The national coupon site has a forum devoted to helping others. And at least two national coupon-printing sites pledge corporate donations to charity when folks print and redeem their coupons.

    At, coupon clippers get to choose a local charity to receive the marketing fees generated from the coupons they redeem. At, which is operated by industry giant, the company pledges one meal to a hungry child in the United States for every three coupons redeemed.

    The common thread among all the efforts: to muscle as much buying power as possible out of coupons.

    Cindy Sink, spokeswoman for the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle in Raleigh, said her organization doesn't have any way of tracking donations purchased with coupons.

    But she said she welcomes folks to take up the challenge of coupon clipping for her organization's Grocery Bags for Seniors program and the more well-known BackPack Buddies program, which sends needy schoolchildren home with a backpack filled with a weekend's worth of food.

    Among the greatest needs are items on which coupons are often available: canned tuna and chicken, packaged noodles, instant oatmeal, cans of fruits and vegetables, boxes of 100 percent juice and shelf-stable milk, and boxes and bags of individual healthy snacks such as granola bars, raisins and pretzels.

    "It certainly would help if you have a BOGO. You keep one and you give one," Sink said.

    Darci VanderSlik, spokeswoman for the SPCA of Wake County, said she doesn't have solid numbers on the number of coupon clippers assisting the animal shelter. But based on the comments about sales and coupons regularly posted on the shelter's Facebook page, she said she's certain it's a common practice.

    The shelter also keeps a basket filled with coupons for cat and dog food and treats. "People are welcome to drop off coupons and take some if they need them," she said.

    Barbara Corbin of Cary is another coupon clipper who scouts the deals for charity.

    Corbin's four children are grown and gone but she enjoys the thrill of the bargain hunt too much to give it up.

    Instead of providing for her own children, the SAS employee now helps those less fortunate by donating to Catholic Parish Outreach and the Brown Bag Ministry.

    She typically buys cereal, pasta, rice, microwave meals and fruit cups. "I try to focus on the healthy foods but not always because everyone likes a treat," she said. She also likes to donate personal hygiene items, which are often free with a coupon.

    "I've always done coupons because I've always tended to be a thrifty person," Corbin said. "I was raised that way."

    If you're a coupon shopper and would like to help any of the local charities mentioned, below are links to their websites. Or, if you'd like, share your stories with me about the charities you assist through couponing. I'll share them with readers in a future post.

    * Asbury Methodist Church:

    * Brown Bag Ministry:

    * Catholic Parish Outreach:

    * Inter-Faith Food Shuttle (BackPack Buddies and Grocery Bags for Seniors):

    * North Raleigh Ministries:

    * Samaritan's Purse:

    * SPCA of Wake County:

    More good deals and good works

    While we're talking good deals with a charitable twist, here are two more ways to save yourself some money while helping others.

    First, through Sept. 30, Bruegger's bagel shops are selling coupon booklets to help fight childhood hunger. For a $5 donation, you'll get nine coupons valued at about $20, including two coupons for freebies.

    Second, Pantene has teamed with Walmart to offer up to $30 to folks who donate a ponytail of their hair to be made into wigs for women fighting cancer.

    Head to to fill out a form for a donation kit that includes a prepaid postage envelope, ponytail cutting instructions, a $30 rebate form and a "Pantene Beautiful Lengths bonus bag."

    You must purchase a Pantene product from Walmart and submit a receipt from the hair salon where your ponytail was cut.

    The value of the rebate – sent in the form of a Visa giftcard – will be based on the price of the haircut. The offer is good through Oct. 31.

    Dunn: 919-829-4522

    Source: Newsobserver

    Pillow features Nodoka Haramura, amongst other things.

    This Halloween, you can play mahjong with your very own Saki Episode of Side A hugging pillow... with silicon pads.

    Released by AniBro Gamers, a certain area of the pillow can be plumped up by inserting a silicon pad that slides into a special pocket. The front of the pillow features series character Nodoka Haramura wearing her school uniform, while the back features a decidedly more risque version. The pillow retails for 15,540 yen (~$155) and will be available October 31.

    Previously, AniBro Gamers has released "plump"-able pillows featuring mascot Super Sonico and Rias from High School DxD. The former features enhancements in, let's just say, a different body part (NSFW).

    Check out larger images of the Saki Episode Side A hugging pillow here.

    [Via Livedoor.]

    Source: Animenewsnetwork

    Cubs president Theo Epstein tells the media in the Wrigley Field pressbox that Kevin Gregg misunderstoo manager Dale Sveum's comments in a recent meeting. Epstein, nonetheless, said he is considering releasing Gregg.

    All was peaceful in the Cubs clubhouse prior to Saturday afternoon's game against the Braves at Wrigley Field.

    It was such a departure from Friday's bizarre postgame scene that featured complaints against the organization by closer Kevin Gregg and a threat to release him by Cubs president Theo Epstein. Both Gregg and Epstein later walked up to the Wrigley Field pressbox following the blow-up to give their sides of the story.

    The Cubs announced prior to Saturday's game that Gregg's apology was accepted and he would not be released. Friday's postgame drama surprised Cubs manager Dale Sveum.

    "Yeah, I can't lie about that. It caught me completely off guard," Sveum said Saturday morning.

    Gregg initially was miffed that Sveum had delivered a message to him a few days ago in Milwaukee that he was going to lose his closer role to Pedro Strop. It was explained later that Sveum and Epstein simply want to see what they have in Strop moving forward.

    "I'll take some credit for that. I guess the communication, somewhere down the line, just got miss-communicated. But like I told you (media) guys, we might give Strop an opportunity. And it is the same thing I told (Gregg). But I guess it got miss-communicated and obviously it turned into a mess. It's all fixed now and we accept the apologies and move on."

    Sveum said he could understand Gregg's uneasiness.

    "You want competitive people that are competitive every pitch, every game, no matter what the record is, what the situation, what the score of the game is," Sveum said. "You want to see everybody be competitive because, No. 1, it's your job to be competitive all the time. And, two, it is one of the traits that you want from all 25 guys on your team."

    Gregg has resurrected his career this season, recording 32 saves after being released by the Dodgers in April.

    "It's never no fun to be on top of the world, and then people lose faith in you," Sveum said. "And you get a chance again and you take full advantage of it...and obviously he saved our butt this year and done one heck of a job for us all year long."

    Meanwhile, the Braves were hoping to celebrate after Saturday's game. With their magic number at 1, a victory would give them the NL East title. A loss by the Nationals against the Marlins would do the trick, as well, if necessary.

    Lefthander Travis Wood (9-11, 3.05) got the start for the Cubs against Kris Medlen (14-12, 3.32)

    Twitter @kicker34

    Source: Chicagotribune

    by Eve Sonary Heng, Posted on September 21, 2013, Saturday

    KUCHING: From scrumptious food to a Sarawak cultural dance, the 836 Christians from various countries had one of their most memorable nights during a welcoming dinner held at Crown Square on Thursday.

    The dinner was organised by the Global Hakka Evangelism Association to welcome the participants of the 'Third Global Hakka Evangelism Conference' held here at the Chin Kwong Methodist Church.

    The participants who came from Taiwan, USA, Hong Kong, Australia, China, Indonesia, Singapore, Mauritius, Korea as well as West Malaysia were visibly thrilled and entertained by the local cultural performance and traditional musical instrument played during the function.

    All those present were also given the opportunity to exchange greetings with one another.

    Among the distinguished guests invited to the dinner were Bengoh assemblyman Dr Jerip Susil, Padawan Municipal Council chairman Lo Khere Chiang, Padungan assemblyman Wong King Wei and Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong.

    Objectives of the dinner and conference included to gather Hakka Christians throughout the world to foster closer ties and exchange experience as well as knowledge.

    The conference, which started on Thursday until tomorrow begins from 10am until night time daily.

    There are also exhibition booths held at the Chin Kwong Methodist Church and members of the public are welcomed to visit.

    To enable your comment to be published, please refrain from vulgar language, insidious, seditious or slanderous remarks. This includes vulgar user names.

    Source: Theborneopost

    Friday, September 20, 2013

    Less than twenty -four hours after">Minecraft snapshot 13w38a and Minecraft 1.6.4 became available for download, Mojang has returned with yet another preview of the Minecraft 1.7 Update, releasing Minecraft snapshot 13w38b to the masses on Friday.

    Much like Minecraft snapshot 13w38a, Minecraft snapshot 13w38b doesn't introduce any new gameplay elements to Mojang's sandbox title; however, the latest preview of the Minecraft 1.7 Update does include roughly a dozen new fixes which weren't ready for deployment in Minecraft snapshot 13w38a on Thursday.

    Most noticeably, the Minecraft dev team fixed a bug which had broken the block breaking animation, one of the most common animations to be seen in the game, and some unidentified game crashes which undoubtedly created a few headaches for those who couldn't seem to get any sort of stability out of Minecraft snapshot 13w38a. They also eliminated a bug which caused some players' maps to disappear whenever they left a world, and the latest preview of the Minecraft 1.7 Update also took care of an issue which caused scoreboards not to appear in the sidebar anymore.

    Thankfully, though there's still no word on exactly when we can expect the Minecraft 1.7 Update to hit Mojang's servers, Minecraft programmer Jens Bergensten maintains a thread on reddit which offers some hints as to what the team is planning for the next Minecraft snapshot. If the patch notes from Minecraft snapshot 13w38b don't have you jumping for joy, head over to reddit and see if some of the other planned additions to Minecraft 1.7 Update are more your style.

    Here's the full Minecraft snapshot 13w38b change log:

      Fixed some bugs
      • Fixed the block breaking animation
      • Fixed some crashes
      • Fixed the item frame map updating issue
      • Fixed a NullPointerException when clicking in video settings screen
      • Fixed the main menu not displayiny correctly
      • Fixed enchanted items displaying enchant glow in shader mode
      • Fixed the player showing up multiple times on adjacent maps in item frames
      • Fixed player icons on maps in item frames
      • Fixed map disappearing when leaving world
      • Fixed the scoreboard not displaying in the sidebar anymore
      • Fixed the chatbar background not showing when typing

    Be sure to check back with and follow Scott on Twitter for more on Minecraft as we continue to follow development of the Minecraft 1.7 Update and each week's Minecraft snapshot(s).

    Were you having issues with any of the bugs that were patched in Minecraft snapshot 13w38b? Hoping to see some new gameplay elements introduced in the next Minecraft 1.7 snapshot(s)? Have an idea for a block or gameplay feature that you'd like to see added to the game in the Minecraft 1.7 Update? Let us know in the comments section!

    More Minecraft News:

    Minecraft 1.6.4, Snapshot 13w38a Deliver New Settings And Lots Of Code Rewrites

    Minecraft Xbox 360 Update 13 Submitted To Xbox Live Certification Team, Release Date Coming Soon

    Minecraft 1.7 Update: Snapshot 13w37a Removes Command Block Character Limit, Overhauls Nether Portals And Loads More

    © 2012 iDigitalTimes All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

    Source: Idigitaltimes


    Image via

    Renovations to Saks Fifth Avenue's beauty floor continue this week with a made-over fragrance floor. The new space, which WWD reports clocks in at 2,600 square feet, has a heavy focus on custom scents and packaging, as well as the high-end designer fragrances it's known to carry.

    Shoppers are able to customize scents at the Le Labo and Bond No. 9 boutiques, as well as decorate the latter's bottles with Swarovski crystals (custom blending at Bond is a feature previously only available at the brand's own stores). Packaging at the Hermès boutique includes its signature orange boxes with colored ribbons tailored to each scent, plus the use of ceramics to sample scents-something that was exclusive to shops in France and Asia.

    To kick off the makeover, Saks will host special in-store events for ten days, beginning on Monday with the perfumer Penhaligon. We'll post the complete rundown next week.
    · Saks Sharpens Artisanal Approach to Fragrances [WWD]
    · New Designers Populate the Atrium at Saks Fifth Avenue [Racked NY]
    · Tomorrow Is Beauty Editor's Day: Here's Who You Can Still Book [Racked NY]

    Source: Racked

    BlackBerry confirmed today what industry watchers had long assumed to be true: the company is in a death spiral. The firm expects its second-quarter losses to be almost a billion dollars on revenues of $1.6 billion. These massive losses have forced equally large layoffs. The company will give pink slips to 4,500 people, 40 percent of the company's workforce.

    It's hard to remember now, here but just four years ago BlackBerry (then called Research in Motion) was the second most popular smartphone vendor after Nokia. Market share was rising and profits were high.

    Superficially, Research in Motion's problem is that it was slow to jump on the multi-touch revolution kicked off by the iPhone. But its real problem was deeper. BlackBerry's core strength is selling products to businesses instead of consumers. And in the last five years, appealing to consumers has become essential for succeeding in the smartphone market.

    The consumer and business markets are very different. Consumer devices are sold one at a time in retail stores. Consumers care about attractive designs, user-friendly interfaces, and innovative features.

    In contrast, enterprise IT systems are sold as large, integrated systems under multi-year contracts. They're selected by corporate IT departments, which mostly care about how easy it will be to integrate a product into its existing infrastructure and maintain it over time. Getting devices that are attractive, user-friendly, or offer consumer-friendly features simply isn't high on the priority list.

    BlackBerrys have traditionally been "enterprise" devices, purchased by large companies to help their employees stay in touch with the office. It's backed by a powerful suite of server software that allows corporate IT departments to centralize administrative tasks and enforce corporate policies system-wide. BlackBerrys have never been particularly attractive, cutting-edge, or user-friendly. But they didn't have to be, because the user wasn't the one paying the bill.

    That changed with the introduction of the iPhone. Suddenly, people who had been happy with their boring old dumb phones became interested in purchasing a phone with more sophisticated capabilities. And once consumers were paying their own bills, the inadequacies of the BlackBerry became obvious.

    That wouldn't have been a problem for BlackBerry if the iPhone had stayed confined to the consumer market. BlackBerry could have happily continued selling phones in the corporate market and ignored the consumer market.

    But the pace of innovation in the consumer smartphone market was so rapid that employees became dissatisfied with their BlackBerrys. And eventually, the advantages of iOS and Android devices became so obvious that corporate IT departments were forced to capitulate. They began supporting iPhones and Android devices even though doing so was less convenient.

    BlackBerry eventually realized that it would need to compete effectively in the consumer market if it wanted to survive. But building consumer-friendly mobile devices wasn't its engineers' strong suit. And by the time BlackBerry released a modern touchscreen phone in 2010, three years after the iPhone came on the market, it had a huge deficit to make up.

    BlackBerry now says it's going to refocus its efforts on enterprise customers that have always been its core market. But at this point, that might not be enough to save its beleaguered hardware business. BlackBerry has already begun extending its server software to support Android and iOS devices. Its best hope of survival may be to cut its losses in the hardware business and focus on selling software and services that help IT departments manage networks that include a variety of mobile devices.

    Source: Washingtonpost

    Madison's hottest ticket on Thursday night was the library.

    Eager to explore the three floors of the renovated Central Library, a long line of people, many dressed for a night out on the town, snaked down the side of the building.

    More than 1,000 people turned out for the festive event, a fundraiser called "Stacked," which featured a rich array of visual art, live music, performance art, cocktails, beer and cookies here from the library's new Chocolatarian Café. There was also space to create art from library ephemera like microfiche and card catalog cards.

    The library opens officially on Saturday.

    "The library is this new, hip place," said Shad Wenzlaff, an art history professor at Edgewood College, as he assembled a collage in the Bubbler, the new maker-space at the library that will host regular pop-up workshops.

    Wenzlaff observed that years ago, as coffee shops became more of a place for people to study and work, the library "lost its cache." The renovated and reimagined building updates the library for a new era.

    "I love this idea of a library as a place of learning and taking that in the broadest possible sense," said Elizabeth Tucker, director of development at the nearby Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, pointing to upcoming workshops. Visitors can learn about the science of cheesemaking Sept. 28, explore stop motion in an open lab on Sept. 29 and podcasting on Sept. 30.

    "It's so much more than a place to check out books," she said.

    On Thursday night, the dimly lit children's area looked more like a college party. An indie rock band played as 20-somethings socialized, plastic cups of beer in hand. People climbed in and out of the reading nooks nestled in the walls.

    It felt like the second coming of Bookless, the library's enthusiastic music-and-art filled sendoff party in January 2012.

    For Yvette Pino, a printmaker and an art department alum of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, "Stacked" was a chance to support her friends like Madison installation artist Niki Johnson, who has several pieces on display in the new library.

    She had also missed out on Bookless. Many of the same artists were invited back to make work for "Stacked."

    "They did a really good job of getting the community of artists here involved," Pino said. Artists "felt a part of it from start to finish."

    On the main floor, a makeshift photo booth set up by Jim Escalante encouraged people to grab props (like alien head cutouts and a sign that read "Take me to your librarian") and pose next to a solar scene with stars and planets that hung from one of the shelves.

    Jane Petzoldt, a recent graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut and a newcomer to Madison, said the new library has "a great vibe. The space feels really versatile."

    "You feel like you're in a place that's fun to be in," added her friend Eric Robinson, also a recent grad of Williams College who moved here from Oregon. "It reminds me a lot of the Seattle library."

    The social atmosphere at "Stacked" also appealed to them.

    "I've never had the opportunity to drink beer at a library before," Petzoldt said.

    For more photos from "Stacked," visit this photo gallery on

    Source: Madison

    Brad Dickson's humor column, "Breaking Brad," appears daily on and in The World-Herald. To read more from Brad, check out his past columns at and follow him on Twitter.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    Brad's afternoon edition. Click here to read Brad's morning jokes.

    * The Street of Dreams in Omaha continues. No expense is spared in these homes, which feature imported porcelain sinks, indoor/outdoor pools, Italian marble fountains -- no, wait, that's the increasingly expensive UNO arena.

    * It certainly took UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman and A.D. Shawn Eichorst awhile to here issue a supportive statement of Bo Pelini. If that took much longer, Ron Kellogg IV may have been playing QB for the Huskers.

    * According to a report, most of Iowa is still in a drought. This is the last thing you want to hear just as you finish draining all the water from your basement after Thursday's storms.

    * E! has canceled "What Would Ryan Lochte Do?" The network had no choice after it was discovered even Ryan Lochte didn't care.

    * To add insult to injury, E! is replacing it with a program called "What Would Michael Phelps Do?"

    * After reaching into the stands for a foul ball, Detroit Tigers first-baseman Prince Fielder grabbed a nacho from a fan and ate it. The next inning, Fielder dove into the stands on a routine fly-out; he had forgot the cheese.

    * A photo appeared online of the tallest American with the shortest American. I mistook it for the latest "Bachelor" couple.

    * A woman in Maine is traveling the country to meet all of her 626 Facebook friends. It's going well so far: Only 300 have slammed the door on her face and another 100 took out a restraining order.

    * The Kansas City Chiefs are undefeated, and the Kansas City Royals have been in contention. The last time we saw that, stagecoaches were traveling Interstate-15.

    * Brian Urlacher said the Chicago Bears routinely faked injuries. This season, the Bears will be appearing on Monday Night Football twice and Monday Night Raw three times.

    * Urlacher then claimed he pulled a hamstring and was unable to take any questions.

    * The Seattle Seahawks set a record for "loudest crowd roar" during a game with the 49ers. That breaks the record previously set when Kid Rock mooned an audience.

    Also from Brad: TGIF, or TGIFF for Bo Pelini

    Source: Omaha

    So much for "till death do us part." For the first time, more Americans 50 and older are divorced than widowed, and the numbers are growing as baby boomers live longer. Sociologists call them gray divorcees.

    Barbara Wingate and her husband of 34 years divorced in 2009 - after the marriage of their daughter. Both were 58 and they had tried for a year to resolve their differences.

    "I was in shock and sought counseling for several months," Ms. Wingate said. "My whole identity was connected to him and here his career."

    A half-century ago, only 2.8 percent of Americans older than 50 were divorced. By 2000, 11.8 percent were. In 2011, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, 15.4 percent were divorced and another 2.1 percent were separated. Some 13.5 percent were widowed.

    While divorce rates over all have stabilized and even inched downward, the divorce rate among people 50 and older has doubled since 1990, according to an analysis of census data by professors at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, where Ms. Wingate now lives. That's especially significant because half the married population is older than 50.

    In 1990, 1 in 10 persons who divorced was 50 or older. By 2011, according to the census's American Community Survey, more than 28 percent (more than 1 in 4) who said they divorced in the previous 12 months were 50 or older.

    Researchers at Bowling Green warn that the rising divorce rate among older Americans has serious implications that go well beyond the couples themselves. Like widowhood, divorce can contribute to economic strain and poor health, placing a larger burden on children and, given shrinking family size, on institutional support from government and other sources.

    "It's still true that in general the longer you are married, the lower your chance of divorce, but it's sure no guarantee anymore," said Stephanie Coontz, who teaches family history at Evergreen State College in Washington State.

    She attributes the trend to the higher rate of divorce among baby boomers and to the fact that many are in second or third marriages, making them statistically more prone to divorce. Still, she and others detect an increase in divorce among couples who have been married 25 years or more.

    "I don't necessarily think this will accelerate, but I don't expect it to go down," she said. "Staying together until death do us part is a bigger challenge than it used to be because we expect so much more of marriage than we did in the past, and we have so many more options when a marriage doesn't live up to those expectations.

    "The extension of the active, healthy life span is a big part of this," Professor Coontz said. "If you are a healthy 65, you can expect another pretty healthy 20 years. So with the kids gone, it seems more burdensome to stay in a bad relationship, or even one that has grown stale."

    Most divorces among older couples, as in younger ones, are initiated by women.

    "Women have long been more sensitive to - or less tolerant of - a mediocre relationship than men," Professor Coontz said, "and so another big factor is that with their increased work experience and greater sense of their own possibilities, they are less willing to just 'wait it out.'

    "We expect to find equality, intimacy, friendship, fun, and even passion right into what people used to see as the 'twilight years,' " she added.

    It takes work. "It's not something you can put on the back burner while you raise your kids, for example, and think it won't scorch somewhere along the way," Professor Coontz said.

    Robert D. Gould, a New York trial lawyer who handles matrimonial cases and himself was divorced when he was over 50, said: "A lot of marriages died a long time ago, but because of the shame involved, in a family people often stuck together for the children. Now the children are grown up. Viagra is another reason - men are able to satisfy younger women. And people are living longer and they can get out and still have a life."

    Two sociologists at Bowling Green call it the "gray divorce revolution."

    In a recent study of census data, Prof. Susan L Brown and Prof. I-Fen Lin attribute the trend to several factors, including societal acceptance of divorce and the increased economic autonomy of women. "Finally," they write, "lengthening life expectancies decrease the likelihood that marriages will end through death and increase the length of exposure to the risk of divorce."

    The professors found that divorce is more likely among older couples who have less education, who are African-American or Hispanic and who have been married for fewer than 10 years. Nonetheless, they say that if the rate remains constant, "we project a 25 percent increase in the number of people that will experience divorce" two decades from now among Americans 50 and older.

    After Ms. Wingate divorced, she moved closer to her daughter, put the proceeds from the sale of her marital home in real estate and, after two years, began trolling Internet dating sites for companionship. "I've been dating a widower for two years," she said, "but am struggling with any thoughts of remarrying."

    Source: Nytimes

    Not all media is created equal when delivery new and old consumers to brands.

    In looking at one significant piece of research from here a cross platform campaign, TiVo Research and Analytics (TRA) says TV drives more new customers to make sales, while digital media gets more business from existing customers.

    When it comes to media exposure via TV, nearly 70% of purchasing household gains came from new customers that were new to the brand and category. Digital media activity gets more sales activity from existing brand customers than new customers.

    The cross-media study was done last fall with Comcast Spotlight's Comcast Media 360, a cross-platform advertising unit that surveyed 735,000 homes for a Starcom MediaVest Group consumer products marketer with consumers exposed to a cross-media television and digital advertising campaign.

    Household advertising impressions were matched to TRA purchase data, with purchasing habits tracked for up to 20 weeks after the campaign ended.

    The study also says digital media complements TV media; a targeted cross-media campaign produced a 10% sales lift. Nearly two-thirds of those who were exposed by the digital ads had little or no exposure to the TV campaign.

    The survey also says higher TV ad frequency drives sales lift -- seven to 10 exposures of a TV commercial were the most effective. TRA says brand advertising from the campaign continue to create a sales lift after the campaign ended. After 20 weeks, sales from the exposed homes surpassed sales from the unexposed homes.

    Tracey Scheppach, executive vice president of innovations at Starcom MediaVest Group, stated: "The study shows that cross-platform campaigns and measurement can be implemented at scale, and allow us unprecedented understanding of how multiple screens are working together."

    Source: Mediapost

    We've wrapped up another Structure: Europe conference and, just like last year's inaugural event, it was full of insights into the state of cloud computing in Europe and around the world. The fact that this was our first event since learning the full scale of the NSA's internet-spying operations certainly played a role in many of the discussions - both onstage and in the hallways - as did a seemingly general consensus that here Amazon Web Services cannot and will not be the only cloud computing provi der that matters.

    But what struck me most of all was the ridiculous amount of data that many of the speakers are dealing with. We're not talking about a few terabytes here and there; rather, we're talking about petabytes of storage and single companies - heck, single events - accounting for significant portions of all the world's web traffic.

    And then there's CERN. The Swiss research institution is generating, processing and storing staggering amounts of data. Here are the highlights, but you'll really want to watch Tim Bell's entire presentation for the full and fascinating story behind why it's growing so fast and how it's doing so without crashing and burning:

    • CERN's 100-megapixel cameras take 40 million pictures a second of proton collisions - creating 1 petabyte of data per second that needs to be filtered down to reasonable levels for analysis and retention.
    • CERN currently keeps about 35 petabytes of data per year, which scientists want to keep for 20 years. Its archival system consists of 45,000 tape drives.
    • CERN's current cloud environment consists of 50,000 cores right now and is expected to grow to about 300,000 cores by 2015.

    A transcript of Bell's talk is available here.

    All told, however, Structure: Europe was a great conference and a few statistics don't really do it justice. Check out the live coverage page, read the blog posts and, if you have time, watch the sessions. Whether your interests lie in anything from big data to European cloud strategy, from privacy to webscale infrastructure, I think it'll be worth the time.

    Source: GigaOM

    Milton Keynes, England - 4HM chose IBC to launch the AM64, a new multi-format AES to MADI converter that provides fibre and coaxial transport. The new 1U device is intended to provide a single cost effective and space-saving solution to providing MADI on fibre for the broadcast environment.

    The AM64 accepts up to here 64 channels comprising 32 stereo pairs of AES/EBU or AES3-id audio (selectable from the front panel) and provides format conversion to MADI (with switchable sample-rate converters). The MADI data is then presented either via coaxial or fibre outputs. The AM64 is compatible with both single-mode and multi-mode fibre and provides peace of mind with a redundant power supply.

    There is no set up time involved with the AM64 which means transporting multi-channel audio from one facility to another and over distance is much simpler than might otherwise be the case. This is especially true when used in partnership with 4HM's existing MA64 which can take a MADI input and present the 64 channels as AES/EBU and AES3-id outputs simultaneously.

    To the rear of the AM64 an ST fibre connector and a BNC provide the MADI output. Inputs are catered for by four 25 way Dsub connectors tackling balanced digital audio and a single 37 way Dsub for the unbalanced digital audio. There is a sync reference input on BNC and derived word clock and AES clock outputs both also via BNC.

    The AM 64 fits neatly into the expanding 4HM range when considered in the context of the afore-mentioned MA64 and the inexpensive BOB-I and ASBO optional interface units. BOB-I is a 1U 'break-in' box that permits balanced AES/EBU on XLR connectors to easily interface with the AM64, the 1U ASBO allows 32 AES3-id pairs to be connected to the AM64 via BNC connections.

    As with almost all 4HM products released so far, the AM64 is only a 1U device ensuring it occupies the minimum of 'real estate' which is especially important in OB trucks and flyaway systems. The result is that the 4HM family of products can provide a truly compact end to end solution at minimal cost.

    Source: Onscreenasia

    Glendale this month joined other West Valley cities that pray before politics, a practice the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on soon.

    The Glendale City Council will now allow speakers to volunteer to offer a two-minute prayer or invocation during meetings here to "solemnize" council business, replacing the moment of silence that had been in place.

    Other Valley cities that include prayer or invocations during meetings include Chandler, Phoenix, Goodyear, Gilbert, Mesa and Litchfield Park, according to Glendale staff.

    Mayor Jerry Weiers, along with council members Norma Alvarez, Sam Chavira and Ian Hugh, voted in favor of the measure. Vice Mayor Yvonne Knaack, joined by council members Gary Sherwood and Manny Martinez, opposed it.

    Weiers said public prayer from various faiths would illuminate Glendale's diversity and perhaps give the city a spiritual boost.

    "The fact is, the city needs help. I'm willing to take help from anyone I can get it from," he said.

    More than 30 Arizona municipalities convene council meetings with prayers or invocations, according to research compiled by Glendale staff.

    But protocols could change depending on the outcome of a case that the Supreme Court agreed to consider when the court's new term begins in October.

    Governments that offer prayer have operated under "fuzzy" guidelines since a 1983 Supreme Court case set a precedent for allowing prayer before sessions as long as the practice didn't lead to proselytizing or disparaging any beliefs, said Charles Haynes, director of the Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

    The court left much unclear, such as whether prayers should be universal or whether a rotating group of religious leaders is permissible even if most speakers represent one religion, Haynes said.

    The confusion has landed a slew of cities in the courtroom. Those cases have resulted in a patchwork of conflicting rulings from lower courts. Haynes said the high court likely agreed to take up the latest case to set straight the differing rulings.

    Thecase before the Supreme Court examines prayer before meetings atGreece, N.Y. There,rotating prayer leadersbless meetings. A lower court ruled that because most of the meetings carried a Christian message, the town was effectively promoting one religion over another.

    Town officials argued that most of their messages were Christian simply because most of the speakers who volunteered were of that faith.

    The Republic reported in June that more than 80 percent of the invocations since 2011 at Chandler City Council meetings represented Christian denominations.

    "Any city or town that is thinking of passing a prayer policy at this point would probably be wise to wait to hear what the court says," Haynes said.

    Haynes said he doubts the court would strike down prayer before sessions, but it should answer a key question: If governments use a rotating prayer-leadermodel, and prayers wind up representing mostly one faith, is that permissible if there is a good effort to include all beliefs?

    Haynes said such models result in minorities feeling left out. That includes a growing number of people with no religious identity, he said. A December 2012 Gallup poll found that 15.6 percent of Americans do not identify with a religion.

    Weiers said he's not concerned about the Supreme Court case, explaining that Glendale could change its procedure if it conflicts with its ruling.

    Glendale's 20-point set of guidelines broaches that issue by barring one speaker from leading consecutive meetings and from leading more than three times a year. In addition, it bars speakers from the same denomination appearing more than three times in a year. If no speaker is scheduled, the council will observe a moment of silence.

    Glendale's program will allow speakers to deliver prayers or invocations at each meeting, free of council or staff review, as long as they do not proselytize their faith or disparage others.

    "The 20-point guideline, which establishes how we go about the prayer, makes a simple and meaningful thing complicated and bureaucratic," Knaack said.

    Weiers, a former state representative, told his colleagues during an August workshop meeting that prayers have been offered before sessions in the state Legislature for more than a century without problem. However, a secular invocation caused a stir in May when Rep. Juan Mendez, D-Tempe, who is atheist, offered the invocation to ask lawmakers to celebrate their "shared humanness." The next day, state Rep. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, who is Christian, asked lawmakers to join him in a second daily prayer in repentance for Mendez's secular invocation.

    In 2011, Litchfield Park Councilman Peter Mahoney started walking out during prayers because he firmly believes in separation of church and state.

    Martinez and Knaack both said they worried the new policy would cause problems. Martinez read letters sent by religious constituents asking the council to vote against the prayer.

    Father Jim Turner of Saint Thomas More Parish in north Glendale wrote that all religions have different ways of invoking their deities, and having to adjust prayers in council chambers to make them non-offensive to others would be inappropriate and offensive to him.

    Martinez had also said he preferred the moment of silence because it allowed him to pray as he wished.

    Haynes made a similar observation.

    "What it ends up being is a watered-down, to-whom-it-may-concern prayer, which is not real prayer for some people."

    Source: Azcentral