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It's high time I started the DM 29 thread, where I will bore you to TEARS with hundreds of new links!!!!


Obama evokes Lincoln to launch 2008 bid



Clinton parries Iraq questions in N.H.



McCain criticizes Europe on Afghanistan



Putin accuses U.S. of inciting arms race



General becomes war's 3rd U.S. commander



Sen. Obama launches White House bid







Whats the best way to take off wallpaper on old walls?


I need to take off some old wallpaper, and I would really like to find the easiest way to do it. Possibly without making to much of a waste of effort and time. Thanks so much!


You won't believe how easy this is... Go to any store where they sell wallpaper supplies, etc. Home Depot will do, too. Buy the tool to score the wallpaper. It looks like a mini pizza cutter but with spikes on it. Run this up and down and all around the wall. Then take windshield washer fluid, the blue kind (which is unbelievable cheaper than wallpaper removal liquid sold commercially). Put it in a spray bottle and spray the wall in sections. Once a section has been sprayed, slowly peel off the wallpaper. The small bits that are left can be lightly scraped off with a squeegie or any other scaping tool. The liquid works much better and costs less than the rental of a steamer. And your home won't get all humid and steamy.


You should always give the wall a rinse with fresh warm water to remove any excess glue.








US Airways CEO booked on DUI charge









Engineer: GPS shoes make people findable


MIAMI - Isaac Daniel calls the tiny Global Positioning System chip he's embedded into a line of sneakers "peace of mind." He wishes his 8-year-old son had been wearing them when he got a call from his school in 2002 saying the boy was missing. The worried father hopped a flight to Atlanta from New York where he had been on business to find the incident had been a miscommunication and his son was safe.



Days later, the engineer started working on a prototype of Quantum Satellite Technology, a line of $325 to $350 adult sneakers that hit shelves next month. It promises to locate the wearer anywhere in the world with the press of a button. A children's line will be out this summer.


"We call it a second eye watching over you," Daniel said.


It's the latest implementation of satellite-based navigation into everyday life — technology that can be found in everything from cell phones that help keep kids away from sexual predators to fitness watches that track heart rate and distance. Shoes aren't as easy to lose, unlike phones, watches and bracelets.


The sneakers work when the wearer presses a button on the shoe to activate the GPS. A wireless alert detailing the location is sent to a 24-hour monitoring service that costs an additional $19.95 a month.


In some emergencies — such as lost child or Alzheimer's patient — a parent, spouse or guardian can call the monitoring service, and operators can activate the GPS remotely and alert authorities if the caller can provide the correct password.


But the shoe is not meant for non-emergencies — like to find out if a teen is really at the library or a spouse is really on a business trip. If authorities are called and it is not an emergency, the wearer will incur all law enforcement costs, Daniel said.


Once the button is pressed, the shoe will transmit information until the battery runs out.


While other GPS gadgets often yield spotty results, Daniel says his company has spent millions of dollars and nearly two years of research to guarantee accuracy. The shoe's 2-inch-by-3-inch chip is tucked into the bottom of the shoe.


Experts say GPS accuracy often depends on how many satellites the system can tap into. Daniel's shoe and most GPS devices on the market rely on four.


"The technology is improving regularly. It's to the point where you can get fairly good reflection even in areas with a lot of tree coverage and skyscrapers," said Jessica Myers, a spokeswoman for Garmin International Inc., a leader in GPS technology based in Kansas. "You still need a pretty clear view of the sky to work effectively."


Daniel, who wears the shoes when he runs every morning, says he tested the shoes on a recent trip to New Jersey. It tracked him down the Atlantic Coast to the Miami airport and through the city to a specific building.


The company also has put the technology into military boots and is in talks with Colombia and Ecuador, he said.


But retail experts say the shoe might be a tough sale to brand-conscious kids.


"If (parents) can get their kids to wear them, then certainly there is a marketplace. But I think the biggest challenge is overcoming ... the cool marketplace," said Lee Diercks, managing director of New Jersey-based Clear Thinking Group, an advisory firm for retailers.


The GPS sneakers, available in six designs, resemble most other running shoes. The two silver buttons — one to activate and one to cancel — are inconspicuous near the shoelaces.


The company is selling 1,000 limited-edition shoes online and already has orders for 750, Daniel said.


Parents who buy the pricey kicks don't have to worry about their kids outgrowing them fast. This fall, the company is unveiling a plug-and-wear version that allows wearers to remove the electronics module from their old shoes and plug it into another pair of Daniel's sneaks.




On the Net:


Isaac Daniel: http://www.isaacdaniel.com





Obama ties '08 bid to Lincoln's legacy



New general speaks bluntly of Iraq war



Iran holds atomic fete with UN deadline looming








N.Y. weathers 100-plus inches of snow


PARISH, N.Y. - Sunshine provided a respite Saturday for residents of an area buried by more than 8 feet of snow, but the blue sky turned gray in the blink of an eye during the afternoon as another intense snow squall cut visibility almost to zero.



"This is bad," said 67-year-old Dave DeGrau, who has operated an auto repair shop on Main Street for 45 years. "We had a very easy winter until now. Last fall during hunting season it rained every time I went out. I kept saying 'I'm glad this isn't snow.' Now, it's snow."


Persistent bands of lake-effect snow squalls fed by moisture from Lake Ontario have been swinging up and down this part of central New York along the lake's eastern shore since last Sunday.



National Weather Service said Parish — about 25 miles northeast of Syracuse — reached a milestone early Saturday with 100 inches of snow during the past seven days. Unofficial reports pegged totals at 123 inches in Orwell and 122 in Redfield, but those numbers include snow from another storm a couple of days before the current weather system. All three towns are in Oswego County.


A warning in effect until Monday morning said 2 to 4 more feet of snow was possible with wind gusting up to 24 mph.


"That's all we need," Mike Avery said as he took a brief break from loading dump trucks with snow to be hauled to a pile outside town. "It's getting monotonous."


The fluffy new snow was a magnet for snowmobilers, but stopping was out of the question.


"You can't stop or you're done," said Dan Hojnacki, 23, of Syracuse, after he ground to a halt in a field. "I never got stuck until today, and I've been snowmobiling for 10 years."


Residents of the nearby town of Mexico see 5- to 6-foot snowfalls every two or three years, but this time even hardened locals are amazed. The only sign of parked SUVs are their radio antennas or roof racks sticking up above the snow. Front doors are buried and footprints lead to second-story windows. Sidewalks that have been dug out look like miniature canyons.


The state transportation department said 125 workers from elsewhere in the state had been sent in with snow equipment to help.


The region is located along the Tug Hill Plateau, the snowiest region this side of the Rocky Mountains. It's a 50-mile wedge of land that rises 2,100 feet from the eastern shore of Lake Ontario. It usually gets about 300 inches — roughly 25 feet — of snow a year.


The hamlet of Hooker, near the boundaries of Jefferson, Lewis, and Oswego counties, holds the state's one-year record with 466.9 inches, about 39 feet, in the winter of 1976-77.


Still, less than a month ago it seemed more like spring.


"Gosh, three weeks ago there was green on the ground. We got spoiled," Parish Mayor Leon Heagle said. "This just came fast. This is not normal. God, we can't catch a break. I feel like getting right in the car and driving south, but I'd probably get in trouble."


The intense blast of snow hasn't been blamed for any deaths in Oswego County. Elsewhere, however, more than a week of bitter cold and slippery roads have contributed to at least 20 deaths across the northeastern quarter of the nation — five in Ohio, four in Illinois, four in Indiana, two in Kentucky, two in Michigan, and one each in Wisconsin, and Maryland and elsewhere in New York, authorities said.



'Automated' Advertising Systems Another Threat to Agency Infrastructure



2 Hormonal Co-Eds + 4 Countries = STA World Traveler Contest



Coke Celebrates Diet Coke/Mentos Geyser Eight Months late



Digg and StumbleUpon Engage Community



PayPal, eBay Crushing Google's Options



Photobucket To Show Off Latest Flash Tools



Zune Phone (nearly) Confirmed



The Second Life Census



Digg Rock Stars



The Future of Cable TV in an Open World












Debating the Value of Page VIews


New Tech Puts Online Ad Measures to Test


At Yahoo's finance site, stock quotes update automatically and continually, the numbers flashing green and red as prices rise and fall. Wall Street investors can easily leave a single Web page up all day.


Ajax _ the software trick used on the page, Yahoo Inc.'s e-mail service and elsewhere _ is enabling flashier, more convenient sites. It's also contributing to Yahoo's decline in page views, a yardstick long used for bragging rights and advertising sales.


"These technologies have outgrown the metrics," said Peter Daboll, Yahoo's chief of insights and the former chief executive of comScore Media Metrix, the measurement company that declared Yahoo second to the online hangout MySpace in page views. "It's really important as an industry to come back down to earth and off this chest-thumping about who's biggest."


More important than "truckloads of page views," Daboll said, are visitors' loyalty and their willingness to respond to ads _ qualities harder to measure. If a page updates on its own without reloading in its entirety, people may be sticking around longer than the measurements suggest.


Experts say the stubborn attachment to page views also may be keeping some sites from improving their usability.


Jakob Nielsen, a Web design expert with Nielsen Norman Group, notes that many news sites force visitors to click multiple times to read longer stories in sections, even though he would much prefer scrolling down a long story and avoiding interruptions.


"Because you are measuring the wrong things, you are driving your project in the wrong direction," Nielsen said. "You are not maximizing what causes value. You are maximizing the things a computer can count easily."


Many Web sites and advertisers, however, continue to value page views, and MySpace officials say their users continue to return frequently even as the site requires full page reloads for just about everything.


"Over time, page views have been a pretty accurate measure of a site's popularity," said Michael Barrett, chief revenue officer for Fox Interactive Media, the News Corp. unit that oversees MySpace. "A page view doesn't necessarily equal an ad opportunity, but (is) an important barometer."


The leading measurement companies aren't about to abandon page views, either, even as they develop supplemental measurements for gauging consumer interaction and loyalty.


"People kind of cling to it, even if they know it's flawed," said Gregory Dale, chief technology officer of comScore. "They want to see this familiar metric."


According to comScore, MySpace managed in just three years to edge out Yahoo as the busiest Web site in the United States by page views. In December, MySpace had 41 billion page views compared with Yahoo's 36 billion, down 2 percent from a year earlier.


Yet Yahoo remains arguably the Internet's leading brand _ both in terms of the number of unique monthly visitors and the average time spent, according to comScore. Over the past year, Yahoo's monthly audience grew 3 percent. To throw even more confusion into the mix, rival Nielsen/NetRatings has Yahoo leading in page views as well.


Even before Ajax, techniques for measuring Web audience have come into question.


Through much of the 1990s, Web sites touted "hits" _ the number of elements pulled from a server. But that rewarded sites heavy with graphics and photos, even though too many can be distracting, especially with dial-up connections the norm at the time, design expert Nielsen said.


Companies like Nielsen/NetRatings _ no relation to the consultant or his firm _ started refining which hits should count, said Dave Osborn, a director at Nielsen/NetRatings. All elements in a single page are counted as one, and thus "page view" was born.


It became a good gauge for advertising potential because it's roughly proportional to the number of ad impressions _ whether a site typically displays one, two or more on a single page. Advertisers look to it in deciding where to place ads.


Marketers also turn to unique audience _ the number of visitors to a site in a given month, whether that person visits once for 10 seconds or several times. The measurement is reflective of a site's reach as advertisers like to know they aren't displaying ads to the same people over and over, even if the site draws significant page views.


Together, the two measures have served Web sites and advertisers adequately, despite frequent inconsistencies between comScore, Nielsen/NetRatings and often a site's own logs. Adjustments were made along the way to account for new techniques such as pop-up ads, which appear to a computer like a regular page view and thus could artificially inflate a site's count.


But now comes Ajax, "the first that has changed the model of page views from an impression measurement perspective," said Sheryl Draizen, senior vice president with the trade group Interactive Advertising Bureau. Her organization has convened a working group to set industry standards on how ad impressions should be counted in light of Ajax.


Other technologies that could deflate page views include Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, which pulls a news site or blog's new entries, allowing a visitor to bypass a site's home page _ and ads _ for the item of interest. Likewise, someone can watch a three-minute video clip without needing to retrieve a new page.


In such cases, visitors may view fewer pages, but they are more engaged and thus more likely to pay attention to any advertising, said Steve Rubel, senior vice president with the public-relations firm Edelman Worldwide.


"It's easy to get eyeballs now but it might not be the right eyeballs," Rubel said.


Page views have their roots in traditional media, comparable to a newspaper's circulation or a broadcaster's viewership. Although measures for those media have had to adapt to developments such as the rise of video recorders, they were seen as the best available.


With the Internet, it became possible to measure not only how many people viewed an ad but what they did with it. Google Inc., in particular, has been adept at pushing an alternative model of charging only when a visitor clicks on an ad.


Jesse James Garrett, the Adaptive Path LLC president who publicly coined the "Ajax" term two years ago, suggests scrapping page views entirely.


"Page views have been a broken metric for a long time, and the industry has tried to put a good face on that," he said. "Now a new technology has come along to force the industry to deal with the fact that page views are ... not a good way of measuring audience engagement."








links for 2007-02-10



Amazon.com won't shy away from fight with Humane Society



Flying in style on Airbus A380



Week in videos: Security, the law and outlaws



Top 10 reviews of the week



They got older too

...and in theory, wiser. We asked the pop icons you grew up with what they've learned about money.




Obama on the Run



Chicago Auto Show: Best of the All-Star blog

Contributions from Automobile Magazine, ConsumerReports.org, Edmunds.com, IntelliChoice, MotorTrend



Start late, retire rich

The 'R' moment looms closer than ever, but if you get serious now, you can still catch the magic bus.



Beauticians cut, curl, offer stroke-prevention info



Acoustic device may save India's river dolphins



Sen. Kerry blasts 'escalation of misguided war'



Bush: It's time for Congress to back energy plan



Putin: U.S. pushing others into nuclear ambitions



Fire extinguisher called for in lethal injections



Auto insurers play hardball in minor-crash claims



North Korea nuclear talks hit snag



Merkel: Must stop Iran getting nuclear weapons



Elie Wiesel accosted at peace conference



Teen allegedly armed by mom turns self in



New U.S. commander in Iraq: Situation 'not hopeless'



Small town mourns 10 killed in house blaze



Snowfall tops 100 inches in New York village



Smith's Bahamas home claimed for ex-boyfriend



Obama declares he's running for president

































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Obama says voters curious on his faith



Gates to Putin: 'One Cold War is enough'



N.Y. lake effect snow hits 9.5-feet deep



U.S. military: Iran arming Iraq militias



The Red, White and Blue Is Turning Green



EasyTrafficBar and AddThis



Cattier Champagnes Placed in Nas' Can't Forget About You & Young Jeezy's Go Getta Videos



Brands Using "Rock of Ages" to Hawk Wares



Digg Rock Stars



links for 2007-02-11








Intel teraflop chip on board


Intel last week demonstrated a working processor with 80 individual processing cores. Each core, or "tile" as Intel calls them, consists of a compute element and a router that allows each tile to connect to its neighbor. The chip can deliver more than 1 trillion floating point operations per second (teraflops), depending on how fast it's running. This is only a research project right now, as there are a lot of challenges involved in making an 80-core chip that's a practical option for PCs and servers.








Intel shows off 80-core processor



For the love of gems

Valentine's Day's jewelry, created by small companies.



This strikes me as newsworthy.



Rick Rubin: Hit Man



Stocks we love

It's almost Valentine's Day and you're about to fall head over heels for Guess and four other stock sweethearts. We did.



Bracing for Bernanke

The Fed chairman hits Capitol Hill in a busy week for investors; reports due on housing, manufacturing, retail sales.



'House of Cards' actor Ian Richardson dead



Gates calls for partnership with Russia in security matters



Officer wounded, another arrested in New York shootout



House blaze kills woman, 4 children



Snorkeler mistaken for rodent, shot in face



Murphys rule box office with 'Norbit'



Smith's lawyer seizes control of Bahamas house



Howard slams Obama on Iraq policy



Two women stoned to death on W. Africa resort island



Iran: Nuclear announcement coming in April




Today was unbelievable: Only eight blog entries!!!! That is a new all-time low!!!




























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All the links below are Hard Links, which means they require Examination and Classification.




WMAR WeatherBug temp links




stormtrackers sig




How do you get rid of ants in your kitchen???




Gunman kills 5 in Utah shopping mall



Yahoo Mobile Drives Ads Across The World



MySpace Beats YouTube To Copyright Protection



About.com Adds Videos



Is Wikipedia On Its Last Legs?









Spam Trail Leads Blogger To Defamation Suit








Vodafone, Google Make Mobile Maps



Yahoo Weds Mail, Messenger Together



The Web 2.0 We Weave



EA Acquires Karaoke Site SingShot



Veoh Relaunches Powerful Video Sharing Service



LiveOps Raises $28m More






links for 2007-02-12



As Traditional Media Erodes, Magazines Thrive



Podcast Advertising to Hit $400M by 2011



Netvibes Plans Universal Widget API



links for 2007-02-13



IBM's Power6: Bigger iron, lower power



Another Yahoo Mail outage resolved



Solaris under GPLv3? Not so fast



Microsoft holding open house on Home Server



Sun's Niagara 2 to run at 1.4GHz



Adisa Banjoko Organizes Hip Hop, Chess and Life Strategy



How To Stand Out In Any Crowd



links for 2007-02-12



NickW Has A Social Disease



EDITOR'S FIELD REPORT: Mom & Pop hopeless, clueless spammers



50% Off ReviewMe



Google Phrase Based Penalties, Filters, Re-Ranking Results, etc etc etc



Google Suggest Buying 'bootleg movie download' AdWords Ads



Initial Impressions From The Rich Schefren Seminar



What's a Wiki Worth?



Jobs' DRM Tune Off-Key



If MySpace Can Block Copyrighted Videos, Why Can’t YouTube?



Vodafone Customers Getting Google Maps for Mobile



Yahoo Inks Mobile Advertising Deals in 18 Countries; Intel, Pepsi Sign-on



Wikipedia on Life Support; Would You Miss It?



PayPerPost Even More Transparent (& Obnoxious)



The Link Building Mindset - A Baker's Dozen



YouTube Censors Religion Criticism?



Interview with Todd Andrlik



Destroying the Silicon Valley



Secrets of Successful Online Communities



Google Apps To Start Making Real Money



Mozambique floods leave thousands homeless



Japanese accuse anti-whaling activists of 'terrorism'



Mayor seeks to calm Muslim fears over Old City walkway



Frozen pond rescue attempt leaves two boys dead



'Miracle' -- teen's heart, stopped for 4 days, beats again



Columnist testifies Rove confirmed Plame was CIA



Marine discusses the killing of an innocent Iraqi



Stolen kids turned into terrifying killers



Bill Cosby's dog: Westminster's wild about Harry



Dolphins may protect the nation, one fin at a time



Latest food-fad -- 'space potatoes'



Even husband-in-chief forgets Valentine's Day



New photos show Smith in bed with Bahamian immigration minister



Tentative 'deal struck' over N. Korean nukes



Purported al Qaeda message: Unite with Taliban



Columnist testifies Rove confirmed Plame was CIA



Four killed in mall shooting, official says



Stocks we love

It's almost Valentine's Day and you're about to fall head over heels for Guess and four other stock sweethearts. We did.



Is Iran to Blame? Iraq's Sunnis and Shi'a Don't Agree



Can't spell Playboy without LBO?

The adult entertainment company has hit a rough patch. Some on Wall Street wonder whether it's time for the Hefners to take the Playboy Bunny private.



Mortgage defaults: Latest woe for housing

Borrowers with less than stellar credit could find mortgages out of reach - the last thing the struggling real estate market needs.



At Mad River Glen, historic lift to get new life



New pressures on Georgia's unspoiled barrier islands



Utah lawmakers OK vouchers for all public school kids



Testing law may change to accommodate disabled students



Study: Chimps may have used 'hammers' 4,300 years ago



More risky pregnancies are succeeding



What kind of lover are you? Here's how to tell



Democrats ready measure opposing Bush's Iraq plan



Woman admits trying to steal unborn baby



After two years, sex offender to stand trial for girl's death



Gabor husband to file challenge over Smith child



The attraction of 'Wheel of Fortune'



MySpace launches video-filtering system



Web forums replacing coffee shops for farmers
















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Trafficland Cameras - Shenandoah Valley



Virginia Governor Tim Kaine Declares Statewide Emergency


Governor Timothy M. Kaine today declared a statewide emergency, directing state agencies to take all necessary actions to aid in the response to and recovery from severe winter weather forecast to arrive later today in northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley.


The National Weather Service has forecast between a quarter and a half inch of sleet and ice in the northern part of the state and the Shenandoah Valley with some areas potentially receiving up to one inch of ice.


"State disaster response agencies stand ready to help those in need, and this disaster declaration allows us to pre-position certain assets in specific regions where weather could create problems," Governor Kaine said. "Residents should prepare now by collecting emergency supplies, making plans to communicate with family members and others, and monitoring local weather information and other emergency instructions."


The Virginia Department of Transportation is preparing roads for the weather and has crews on standby to clear debris. The Virginia National Guard will deploy up to 150 Guard personnel and equipment to assist emergency response operations. The Virginia Department of Forestry has positioned chainsaw crews in critical locations. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is coordinating state efforts and assisting local governments make preparations.


The Virginia Public Inquiry Center will open tomorrow, Wednesday, February 14th, to field questions from concerned citizens and provide emergency information to the public. The toll-free VPIC will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at (866) 880-4288 until further notice.


For detailed information on winter preparedness and recovery, visit the VDEM Web site at www.vaemergency.com.







Flying creatures may help create aviation of future




How do you make you your cookies fluffy instead of flat?




Awesome New Widgets from LabPixies



Edgeio Used to Steal Content and Spam



ESPN Buys True Hoop Blog, Hires Blogger



Visit the Apple Store in Second Life



links for 2007-02-14



Say what? Raleigh mayor de-bugs light bulbs



More memory coming to future IBM chips



Open-source firms team up for interoperability



Identity-theft risk greatest in major cities



Gmail finally really open to everyone



Yahoo Mobile Drives Ads Across The World



MySpace Beats YouTube To Copyright Protection



AdWords Strategy: Are You Holistic?



Google To Spur Growth In Podcasting?



Email & IM Integration: Yahoo! or Yawnhoo?



Google Maps Invites Error Reports



Veho Hopes Viewers Will Tune In



Retrevo Pulls In $3.2 Million



Answerbag Stuffs Answers On Your Site



SmugMug Sheepishly Accepts Odd Payment



FilmLoop Betrayed By Investors?



YouTube Hands Over User’s Info to Fox



Pheedo Launches Social Media Ad Widgets



Launch Execs Leave Yahoo, Rumor of Sale



Tinbag Launches, Soon To Enter DeadPool



ESPN Buys True Hoop Blog, Hires Blogger



Wordtracker Launches UK Version



Tits And Ass! Hurry! Tits And Ass!



What if I earned $50000 a month?



Google Hands Over YouTube User Info to Court



Social Media's Got Game with Wii and StumbleUpon



Google hands over personal user info



Vermont College : Students may not cite Wikipedia as a source



ESPN Buys 4 Year Old Sports Blog



GreenZap Files $57.5 Million Lawsuit Against Bloggers and Website Hosting Company



Initial Impressions From The Rich Schefren Seminar



Jobs' DRM Tune Off-Key



Media Putting Video in Spotlight



Blip.TV Lets Vloggers Pitch Products



The Video Search, Copyright Conundrum



Mobile Search Not That Hot?



Raleigh Online Reputation Management Panel



Google Hands Over YouTube User Info to Court



Election ‘08: the Internet Campaign



Solaris Admins, Your Telnet Is In Danger



Billable Rights of SEOs and Clients



The True Value of a Resource Library for Your Website



Elusivity in Internet Marketing



Search and SEO Personalization: Lost in the Shuffle



Gray Shape on Google Maps



Entrepreneurial Hindsight



PR Blogging: When Disaster Strikes




Valentine's Dinner Date Etiquette



Buried town's attitude: let it snow




Are we killing our planet?



Cop who saved shoppers from shooter: I am not a hero



Sharks kill four people in 'dull' year



Thieves rob country couple's L.A. home



Teacher's porn conviction sparks tech debate



The springer show

English spaniel James wins 131st Westminster show



911 tape: Smith not breathing at time of call



'Say your prayers,' shooter told victims



Snowstorm sends semis spinning, heads east




Taxes: How 'aggressive' should you be?

The IRS may never find out, but that doesn't mean it's okay to inflate the value of charitable gifts.



A Martyr's Son Calls for Justice



The Iraq Resolution: Just a First Step?



10 global warming dinosaurs

Activist shareholders charge Wells Fargo, Exxon and Bed, Bath & Beyond, with falling behind peers when it comes to global warming.



Aluminum gets hot. Who'll get bought next

Suddenly aluminum mergers are news. Here's a guide as to who might be the next target in the red-hot sector.



An oil town, refined



The real Yucatan, beyond the resorts' gated luxury



Group wants bus drivers to hang up their phones



Evolution of science standards continues in Kansas



FDA warns of intestinal twisting in infants given diarrhea vaccine



Trial opens for exonerated rapist accused of slaying young photographer



Fleeced flock hopes crooked pastor gets the max



Springtime for Tony Danza



China detains 6 over 'panda' virus



GPS sneakers locate with press of a button



Police probe motive of Bosnia-born teen shooter



Veterans front and center during Iraq debate




















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Chrysler to cut 13,000 jobs, faces possible sale



GOP opposition to Bush plan forms



Bush: Iran is source of deadly weapons



Snowstorm closes schools, snarls travel



Local Online Video Adds To More Than Double In 07



LG Calls Apple A 'Copycat'



Matt Cutts Speaks Up At SES London



SCO Desperately Seeking Pamela Jones



Saying "Heck No" To NoFollow



Aniboom Raises $4.5 Million For Cartoons



BubblePly Upgrades Fun Video Annotation



TechPresident: Tracking Candidate Use of MySpace, YouTube, AdSense



Vyew Collaboration Suite Now Commercially Available



Text of Email to all Yahoos



What Will Replace the Almighty Page View?



NFL Films + iPod = Bliss



links for 2007-02-15



Shine on, you lab-made diamond



Video: RSA roundup: Girls gone wild (for security)



A (techy) box of chocolates



Microsoft using Zune to lure MSN users



U.S. servers slurp more power than Mississippi



Lessons From The Rich Schefren Conference - Part 1



Hey Google, Did Ya Forget Something Today?



User Reviews Worth the Risk



57,000 Channels and Nothing On



Wisdom of Crowds Business Model - My Prediction Revisited



E-mail Love Fest One-sided



Google Sharing AdWords Quality Score?



Time to Say Goodbye to the NoFollow Tag?



Newspapers Outperforming TV in Video Ads



Google Plans AdWords Algorithm Change; Expects Complaints



Internet Explorer Open To New Flaw



Billable Rights of SEOs and Clients



Identifying Sites with Poor Quality



ShoZu Adds Geotagging for Flickr, YouTube...



Google - Cultural Digital Archive?



Social Media's Impact on Search Engine Marketing



How Search is Like Travel



Google To Reveal Quality Scores



Billboard Error



Election ‘08: the Internet Campaign



Google Loses Copyright Challenge



The Best WordPress Plugin



Viacom: Thanks YouTube but we'll host our own videos!



302 Hijacks return!



.xxx domains- what is your point of view?



You read one SEO blog, you read them all



The Reason it's a slow day



Winter storm cools U.S. Valentine's ardor



Biggest income tax burdens: Top 10 places

Areas in New York and Connecticut pay the most in federal income taxes, while two Texas areas pay the least.



Cupid at work: 3 tips for office romances

'Offices are often the easiest places to meet and fall in love,' says one expert. Here's how to keep your career and relationship intact, plus some fun Valentine's Day stats.



Vote for Me, Al Franken



What Was Google Thinking?



10 don't-miss tax breaks

Ways to reduce your tax bill and maybe even get some money back.



Icahn cuts Time Warner holdings by 65%

Disclosures show that activist investor more than tripled his stake in Federated Department Stores.



What you need to know about flying with Fido



Goldeneye getting a face-lift



Commission urges tracking of teacher progress



Loving with all your ... brain



Ancient coin shows Cleopatra was no beauty



McCain in pitched battle to woo Christian right



Senate Democrats follow House lead on Iraq resolution



Wealthy landlord cleared of wife's murder



Scalia's daughter charged with DUI



Social networking goes mobile



Heartbreak diamonds find new homes online



Paula Abdul: 'I've never been drunk'



Who is Prince Frederic von Anhalt?



Kathmandu: First snow in 63 years



Helicopter ride reveals burning Amazon



Storm cancels classes, flights in Northeast



Bikini-clad Beyoncé is SI's new Dreamgirl



Frank father sent aid pleas to U.S.



Study finds out why it's gross to kiss your sister



Smith's baby may not be bundle dad is hoping for



Testimony ends in Libby perjury trial



Storm cancels classes, flights in Northeast



Giuliani 'not confident' war will turn around



U.S. sending more troops to thwart Taliban offensive



U.S. to allow 7,000 Iraqi refugees



Utah mall gunman was Srebrenica survivor, cousin says















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Is coffee bad for your skin?



I-78 Closed From Weather In The Lehigh Valley and Berks



Digging out in Deep Creek MD


Deep Creek LakeBlog.com (DCLakeBlog.com)


Digging Out







Md. Counties Left Without Electricity After Ice Storm


More than 124,000 homes and businesses were without power this afternoon as a sleet and ice storm downed electricity lines and blew out transformers throughout the region, hitting hardest in Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties.


Baltimore Gas and Electric reported more than 68,000 Anne Arundel customers without power, with most of its problems concentrated in and around Annapolis about 3:30 p.m. About 17,000 customers in Prince George's and 2,700 in Calvert also were affected, according to the utility's Web site.


BG&E spokeswoman Linda Foy said the precipitation that came down as sleet through much of the region fell as freezing rain in Anne Arundel -- coating trees limbs and power lines with ice and pulling both to the ground.


Crews were responding as quickly as possible, she said, but conditions in the field made progress slow.


"You have ice and snow piling onto the trees and the tree limbs which makes them heavy, and when you have wind it makes it more likely that those tree tree limbs and whole trees will come down," Foy said.


At 1 p.m., Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold ® activated an emergency center at Annapolis High School for residents who were without power, the county announced in a statement.


Across the Washington area, utilities told some customers to expect delays as long as 24 hours.


In Prince George's, Pepco reported that 22,700 homes and businesses were without power, with outages concentrated around Upper Marlboro, Clinton and Largo. A map on the utility's Web site showed widespread transformer outages.


Pepco spokeswoman Debbi Jarvis said downed tree limbs were a main culprit. "The ice accumulation in Prince George's was greater than anywhere else," she said.


Outages in Montgomery County, the District and Northern Virginia were relatively minor. Dominion Power had about 5,700 customers without power in Northern Virginia.


With emergency plans in operation, Prince George's officials said they were preparing to broadcast public service announcements encouraging neighbors to look out for each other.


County employees were calling to check on conditions in nursing homes and other facilities that serve the elderly, said Vernon Herron, Prince George's public safety director. "We are asking residents to reach out to relatives or others who might not have power, especially the elderly," he said. "As night falls, we are concerned about the threat from the weather."


So far, there have been no reports of weather-related fatalities and, he said, "We feel very fortunate about that."


Further south, the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative is working to restore power to more than 8,000 homes and businesses affected by the storm. Freezing rain and ice caused outages throughout Southern Maryland, particularly in Charles County and southern Prince George's, the utility's Web site said.


The outages may make dinner by candlelight a necessity tonight for many Valentine Day's diners. Despite warnings to stay indoors, many in the region pressed ahead with their business, sometimes scouring darkened stores for a last minute Valentine's Day present.


In Annapolis, a powerless Whole Foods Market stayed open in order to sell chocolates, flowers and firewood to the hardy shoppers who arrived.


Prince George's County Council member Samuel H. Dean (D-Mitchellville) and his wife, Donna, endured a morning of no electricity, but it came on long enough this morning to at least to brew their Valentine's Day pot of coffee.


"I was able to come down on Valentine's Day and have a nice cup of hot coffee," said Donna Dean. "Then we exchanged cards. . . . We'll go out to dinner tonight if we can get out. Otherwise, I'll make dinner for us."


The widespread outages left caffeine-dependent residents of hard-hit areas hunting for a functioning coffee shop, and wreaked havoc with computer-techies who planned to avoid snow-slicked roads by telecommuting from home.


Cars leading to a drive-through window at a Dunkin' Donuts in Annapolis were almost backed up into West Street, not far from downtown.


At the sprawling but darkened Annapolis Harbour Center, a Starbucks was open, but drawing its power from an emergency generator -- enough to run the register and the blender but useless for heating water.


The result?


Icy-cold frappucinos to complement the weather, but no hot coffee. Customers nevertheless crowded into the store and huddled around the gas-powered fireplace.


Anton Marx, a computer consultant who drove 20 miles to the mall with his wife Sharella, said he was reluctant to commute to his job in the District and had to shelve plans to work from home when the power went out at 6 a.m.


"Well, we're very cozy here. I think we'll stay here for a while," he said.


Miraculously, the pastry truck made it through the icy roads to deliver scones and muffins, so the huddled masses had food to eat along with their blender beverages.






Winter Storm Accumulation Summary

9:15 AM EST, February 15, 2007



The major winter storm that lambasted the Midwest, Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and New England Tuesday and Wednesday has exited the Northeast, bringing an end to the heavy snow, sleet and significant icing.



The heaviest snow fell over an area of the interior Northeast and New England from Pennsylvania northeast across central New York into parts of Vermont, New Hampshire and western Massachusetts.



The following list is a summary of some of the highest snowfall accumulations recorded Wednesday.







Eustis: 20.1 inches

Auburn: 15.5 inches

Guilford: 15.0 inches

North Sebago: 12.0 inches


New Hampshire:



Gorham: 26.0 inches

Pinkham Notch Scenic: 21.0 inches

Lisbon: 20.2 inches

Lost River: 18.0 inches





Cambridge: 36.0 inches

Montpelier: 30.0 inches

Stowe: 29.0 inches

West Rutland: 27.0 inches

Monkton: 25.0 inches


Massachusetts :



Pittsfield: 18.0 inches

Williamstown: 17.0 inches

Ashfield: 12.5 inches

Greenfield: 12.0 inches


New York:



Stratford: 42.0 inches

St. Johnsville: 40.1 inches

Roseboom: 38.0 inches

Deerfield: 31.0 inches

Bovina: 30.0 inches

Fulton: 28.8 inches

Moriah: 27.0 inches

West Bainbridge: 26.8 inches





Forest City: 17.8 inches

Warren: 16.5 inces

Montrose: 15.0 inches

Preston: 13.5 inches

Towanda: 12.5 inches



Tuesday Snowfall:






Paxton: 16.0 inches

Springfield: 15.8 inches

Herscher: 14.9 inches

Batavia: 12.0 inches

Willowbrook: 11.8 inches

Chicago: 10.2 inches





Logansport: 17.0 inches

Whiting: 16.6 inches

Hartford City: 16.5 inches

Frankfort: 14.0 inches

Millersburg: 13.0 inches

Bluffton: 12.0 inches





Park View: 7.0 inches

Keosauqua: 6.5 inches

Bettendorf: 6.0 inches

Brighton: 6.0 inches

Burlington: 5.0 inches





Marshall: 11.7 inches

McDonald: 10.0 inches

Centralia: 9.0 inches

Bird City: 7.0 inches

Haddam: 7.0 inches





West Quincy: 9.0 inches

Palmyra: 8.5 inches

Mexico: 8.0 inches

Center: 8.0 inches

Vandalia: 8.0 inches





Shubert: 7.3 inches

Auburn: 6.7 inches

Fairbury: 6.5 inches

Pawnee City: 6.1 inches

Tecumseh: 6.0 inches





Cleveland: 15.0 inches

Sidney: 15.0 inches

Galion: 13.0 inches

Union City: 13.0 inches

Kenton: 13.0 inches




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Drivers stuck for full day on Pa. road


HAMBURG, Pa. - National Guardsmen in Humvees ferried food, fuel and baby supplies Thursday to hundreds of motorists stranded on a 50-mile stretch of highway for nearly a day by a monster storm blamed for 15 deaths.


The traffic jam on the icy, hilly section of Interstate 78 in eastern Pennsylvania started to ease by the afternoon, but drivers were still seething.


"How could you operate a state like this? It's totally disgusting," said Eugene Coleman, of Hartford, Conn.


The sprawling storm system hit Wednesday and blew out to sea Thursday, leaving huge snow piles, frigid temperatures and tens of thousands without power across the Midwest and Northeast.


Numerous areas saw more than a foot of snow, with 42 inches falling in the southern Adirondacks in New York. Gusty wind had morning wind chills below zero, and in some areas, the snow was followed by several inches of ice.


A few flights were canceled Thursday after numerous cancelations Wednesday, and many school districts that had canceled classes Wednesday extended the unplanned vacation by an extra day.


"This storm was rare because of the unusual amount of snow and ice," Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary Allen D. Biehler said. "This series of accidents that blocked our way made it really, really difficult."


The state shut down a large section of I-78 around 8 a.m. to try to clear snow and ice and move the vehicles, including hundreds of tractor-trailers.


Some were stranded by road conditions, while others ran out of fuel or had other mechanical problems. One stranded trucker went to a nearby middle school after spending the night on the highway.


"I was not feeling my toes, so that's why I went to the shelter," said Elias Kalpouzos, 50, a UPS driver.


Police took fuel to some motorists and food to others, including several diabetics who called 911, state Trooper Shawn Mell said. Police said most drivers elected to stay with their cars.


Authorities also were flooded with calls from frustrated motorists wanting to know why the road hadn't reopened.


Traffic started moving slowly by late morning and crews hoped to have the road open before nightfall, Biehler said.


The winter blast was good news for outdoor enthusiasts and businesses who have felt cheated by Mother Nature for most of the until-now mild winter.


In Vermont, 25.7 inches fell Wednesday at Burlington International Airport, the second-highest total ever. That led the founder of Burton Snowboards in Burlington to give employees the day off Thursday.


"Nothing makes me happier than giving the people who work here the opportunity to experience the essence of a sport that they are making accessible and fun for so many others," Jake Burton said.




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Salmonella outbreak linked to 2 peanut butter brands


ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- A salmonella outbreak that has slowly grown to nearly 300 cases in 39 states since August has been linked to tainted peanut butter, federal health officials said Wednesday.


It is believed to be the first salmonella outbreak associated with peanut butter in U.S. history, said officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


About 20 percent of the 288 infected people have been hospitalized, but none has died, said Dr. Mike Lynch, a CDC epidemiologist.


About 85 percent of the infected people said they ate peanut butter, CDC officials said.


How salmonella got into peanut butter is still under investigation, Lynch said.


The Food and Drug Administration warned consumers not to eat certain jars of Peter Pan or Great Value peanut butter because of the risk of contamination.


The affected jars have a product code on the lid that begins with the number "2111." The affected jars are made by ConAgra in a single facility in Sylvester, Georgia, the FDA said.


Great Value peanut butter made by other manufacturers is not affected, the agency said.


ConAgra said it is recalling all Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter beginning with product code 2111.


"Although none of our extensive product tests have indicated the presence of salmonella, we are taking this precautionary measure because consumer health and safety is out top priority," spokesman Chris Kircher said.


"We are working closely with the FDA to better understand its concerns, and we will take whatever additional measures are needed to ensure the safety, quality and wholesomeness of our products."


The largest number of salmonella cases were reported in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee and Missouri.


Salmonella infection is known each year to sicken about 40,000 people in the United States, according to the CDC. Salmonellosis, as the infection is known, kills about 600 people annually.


Symptoms of salmonella can include diarrhea, fever, dehydration, abdominal pain and vomiting.


The new outbreak began in August, but just two or fewer cases have been reported each day, CDC officials said.


It was only in the past few days that investigators were able to hone in on a particular food, Lynch said.


ConAgra is destroying all affected products the company still has, the FDA said.


The company will cease production until the exact cause of contamination can be identified and eliminated. Meanwhile, ConAgra advised consumers to destroy any Peter Pan and Great Value brand peanut butter beginning with product code 2111.


The FDA sent investigators to ConAgra's processing plant in Sylvester where the products were made to review records, collect product samples and conduct tests for salmonella.








Stowaway squirrel grounds jet


HONOLULU, Hawaii (AP) -- An American Airlines flight made an unscheduled landing after pilots heard something skittering about in the wire-laden space over the cockpit.


The airline blamed the emergency landing of the Tokyo-Dallas flight with 202 passengers on a stowaway squirrel.


"You do not want a varmint up in the wiring areas and what-have-you on an airplane. You don't want anything up there," said John Hotard, spokesman for the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline.


He said pilots feared the animal would chew through wiring or cause other problems.


"So, as a precaution, we diverted," Hotard said.


Once on the ground late Friday, the Boeing 777's human passengers were put up in hotel rooms and later rebooked on other flights.


State and federal agriculture and wildlife officials boarded the plane, set traps and captured the eastern gray squirrel.


Hotard said the plane had flown to Tokyo from New York before the Dallas flight.


Honolulu, however, proved to be the squirrel's final destination. Fearing it might have been carrying rabies, authorities had the rodent killed.









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Pa. drivers freed, but highway still icy


ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The last of hundreds of stranded motorists were freed but highways remained shut Friday as crews struggled to clear ice and snow following a monster storm that has been blamed for at least 24 deaths.


State Transportation Secretary Allen D. Biehler said Friday that Interstate 78, site of a huge traffic jam Thursday, as well as large portions of I-81 and I-80, would remain closed so workers could clear them. The icy mixture, up to six inches thick, became rock-hard as overnight temperatures plummeted to the low teens and single digits.


The sprawling storm system, which caused deaths from Nebraska to New England, blew out to sea Thursday, leaving huge snow piles, frigid temperatures and tens of thousands without power across the Midwest and Northeast.


Numerous areas saw more than a foot of snow. More than 137,000 customers had lost power at the height of the storm.


At New York City's Kennedy Airport, JetBlue travelers continued to experience delays and cancellations Friday as the airline struggled for a third day to recover from a storm-related backlog that left angry passengers stuck in grounded planes for hours.


The company had hoped to have things back to normal by Friday morning.


"It didn't work as well as we planned," spokesman Bryan Baldwin said. "It's going to take longer than we anticipated to do that."


Pennsylvania authorities blamed the snarled 50-mile stretch of I-78 on the severity of the storm and jackknifed tractor-trailers.


"This storm was rare because of the unusual amount of snow and ice," Biehler said Thursday. "This series of accidents that blocked our way made it really, really difficult."


Eugene Coleman, who is hyperglycemic, was trapped in the Pennsylvania jam for 20 hours while on his way home to Hartford, Conn., from visiting his terminally ill mother in Georgia, along with his girlfriend and pregnant daughter.


"How could you operate a state like this? It's totally disgusting," Coleman said.


At least 24 deaths were blamed on the storm system and accompanying cold: six in Ohio; three in Nebraska; two each in Illinois, Indiana, New York, New Jersey and Delaware; and one each in Missouri, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Hampshire and Louisiana.


In Pennsylvania, where the storm moved in Wednesday, officials said all motorists had been cleared off the highways by early Friday, though the ice remained.


"We have plow trucks out there, we have graders out there, we have loaders out there, just hammering away at it," Sean Brown, a spokesman for the state transportation department, said Friday morning.


The traffic jam on a 50-mile stretch of I-78 was so bad that National Guardsmen in Humvees had to ferry food, fuel and baby supplies Thursday to motorists who had been stranded for nearly 24 hours.


Drivers were outraged, especially because state police did not close all the entrance ramps to I-78 until around 5 p.m. Thursday, more than 24 hours after cars and trucks started getting caught.


"Why would they have that exit open if they were just going to let us sit there?" said a crying Deborah Miller. Her 5-year-old son was trapped in the car with her, running a 103-degree fever from strep throat.


The storm brought new troubles to parts of upstate New York that have received 10 feet or more of snow since the beginning of February. Oswego, N.Y., got an additional 20 inches over the past two days on top of the 85 inches that fell between Feb. 3 and Monday. Gov. Eliot Spitzer asked

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Clicking A Link Gets More Dangerous


The developers who built a proof of concept they call Drive-By Pharming said that by simply viewing the malicious web page would trigger major changes in someone's home broadband router or wireless access point.


Researcher Zulfikar Ramzan from Symantec, and Sid Stamm & Markus Jakobsson of the Indiana University School of Informatics, released a paper on Drive-By Pharming in December 2006. Its purpose was to illustrate the danger of not changing a default password in one's crucial piece of Internet connectivity, the router or wireless access point.


Through JavaScript hosted on a malicious web page, an attacker can alter a router with a default password in place so that it performs DNS lookups through the attacker's machine.


This way, the attacker can direct the web browser to any sites he wants. Since these criminals want to profit on their efforts, this could mean being redirected to spoofed bank, credit card, or other sites. From there personal information would be stolen and probably put to misuse immediately.


"I believe this attack has serious widespread implications and affects many millions of users worldwide," said Ramzan. "Fortunately, this attack is easy to defend against as well."


The ease of the attack is the greater concern. Due to the regular practice of having JavaScript enabled in a web browser to properly view many websites, most browsers enable this router-grabbing attack to take place.


People continue to demonstrate that they will click on unfamiliar links in messages, no matter about the identity of the sender. If those users haven't taken the step to change the router's default password, it's only a matter of time before someone reconstructs Ramzan's attack and turns it loose online.








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Shelter forced to kill 1,000 dogs and cats


LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AP) -- An outbreak of contagious diseases at a shelter where officials admit they kept animals for too long without destroying them has forced the killing of about 1,000 dogs and cats, officials said.


Visiting inspectors from The Humane Society of the United States discovered the outbreak of the diseases -- distemper and Parvovirus in dogs and panleukopenia in cats -- Lied Animal Shelter spokesman Mark Fierro said.


"We caused the animals pain, and that is something we are committed will never happen in our shelter again," said Janie Greenspun Gale, board chairwoman for the Animal Foundation, which operates the Lied Animal Shelter, according to KTNV News in Las Vegas.


During a Thursday news conference, a tearful Greenspun Gale acknowledged that the shelter hadn't followed Humane Society policies, and though the animals were immunized, "we were using the wrong immunizations," KTNV reported.


The shelter staff didn't want to euthanize the animals simply because they'd been there too long or because the shelter needed more space, Greenspun Gale said, but the misguided effort backfired. Humane Society officials said as much when they visited the shelter.


"Instead of congratulating us for trying to save lives, instead of telling us how wonderful we were that we didn't want to put animals down for time and space, they told us we were causing animals to suffer," Greenspun Gale said, according to KTNV.


The mass culling, which began February 9, is believed to be the largest in the city's history and has prompted shelter officials to change their methods of caring for animals.


Animal rights activists said they were outraged by the killings.


"It's unforgivable in light of the fact that it was absolutely preventable," said Holly Stoberski, legal counsel for Heaven Can Wait Sanctuary, a group that has worked with Lied to find homes for impounded animals.


"They were not properly vaccinating the dogs and cats in a timely manner."


Shelter officials vowed to adopt new policies when it reopens Friday, including euthanizing animals after 72 hours at the shelter -- as the Humane Society recommends -- and improving conditions for the animals, including vaccinating them when they arrive.


Not all of the 1,000 animals were infected. Some were put down because they had gone unadopted for more than 120 days and were contributing to overcrowding that Humane Society officials said helped spread the diseases.


Lied Animal Shelter officials have said they did not realize animals were infected until the Humane Society team noticed animals with intestinal and respiratory problems.


The foundation contracts with Clark County and the cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas to handle abandoned, neglected and stray animals at Lied. The shelter annually adopts more than 7,000 dogs, cats, rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs and other animals.










Big lakes detected under Antarctica


WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Lasers beamed from space have detected what researchers have long suspected: big sloshing lakes of water underneath Antarctic ice.


These lakes, some stretching across hundreds of square miles, fill and drain so dramatically that the movement can be seen by a satellite looking at the icy surface of the southern continent, glaciologists reported in Thursday's editions of the journal Science.


Global warming did not create these big pockets of water -- they lie beneath some 2,300 feet of compressed snow and ice, too deep to be affected by temperature changes on the surface -- but knowing how they behave is important to understanding the impact of climate change on the Antarctic ice sheet, study author Helen Fricker said by telephone.


About 90 percent of the world's fresh water is locked in the thick ice cap that covers Antarctica; if it all melts, scientists estimate it could cause a 23-foot rise in world sea levels. Even a 39-inch sea level rise could cause havoc in coastal and low-lying areas around the globe, according to a World Bank study released this week.


"Because climate is changing, we need to be able to predict what's going to happen to the Antarctic ice sheet," said Fricker, of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the University of California, San Diego.


"We need computer models to be faithful to the processes that are actually going on on the ice sheet," she said. At this point, computer models do not show how the subglacial water is moving around.


To detect the subglacial lakes, Fricker and her colleagues used data from NASA's ICESat, which sends laser pulses down from space to the Antarctic surface and back, much as sonar uses sound pulses to determine underwater features.


The satellite detected dips in the surface that moved around as the hidden lakes drained and filled beneath the surface glaciers, which are moving rivers of ice.


"The parts that are changing are changing so rapidly that they can't be anything else but (sub-surface) water," she said. "It's such a quick thing."


"Quick" can be a relative term when talking about the movement around glaciers, which tend to move very slowly. But one lake that measured around 19 miles by 6 miles caused a 30 foot change in elevation at the surface when it drained over a period of about 30 months, Fricker said.


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Jailhouse 'Houdini' gets death sentence


LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- A Long Beach man who committed two murders, one of them while behind bars, was sentenced to death by a judge who called him "a Houdini in jail."


Santiago Pineda, 25, was sentenced Thursday for choking and running down Juan Armenta in 2002 after the man had confronted him about taking his car. In 2004 he killed Raul Tinajero, who had testified against him about the first killing.


Authorities said Pineda managed to leave his cell and roam the downtown Men's Central Jail for hours before entering another cell and strangling Tinajero.


Pineda also was able to get out of the county jail in 2003, apparently by stealing another inmate's wristband, said Deputy District Attorney Lesley Klein. He was taken to the West Hollywood sheriff's station, where the other inmate worked as a trustee, before he was caught, Klein said.


"You're a Houdini in the jail -- you seem to be able to get around all of the obstacles placed before you," Superior Court Judge William R. Pounders said in court.


Pineda grinned.


"What's so equally astonishing is your willingness to attack people without provocation and your viciousness in taking their lives," the judge added.


He denied a defense motion for a new trial.


In December, jurors convicted Pineda of two counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances of murder during the commission of a robbery, murder of a witness and multiple murders, which made him eligible for the death penalty.


Jurors recommended his death last month.


Pineda's lawyers had urged jurors to recommend a life sentence without parole, saying he was affected by growing up in an abusive family and by early exposure to drugs and alcohol.







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ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) -- Turkmenistan's first Internet cafes opened in the capital Friday as the new president of the tightly controlled country declared that all schools soon will have Internet access.


The move comes two days after officials confirmed as president Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov, who has pledged make other changes from the path set by the late autocratic leader Saparmurat Niyazov.


"We have opened Internet cafes in Ashgabat, and similar ones in regional centers will follow," Berdymukhamedov said in televised remarks at a government session. "Soon, each public school will have Web access."


Located in downtown Ashgabat, the two cafes equipped with five computers occupy two small rooms outfitted with plastic chairs and shabby desks -- in the solemn Soviet-era Central Telegraph building and in a dilapidated telephone exchange station.


They sat empty for most of Friday, said cafe administrator Jenet Khudaikulieva, since very few people had heard about them. But she insisted that no Web sites would be blocked, and there was no visible attempt to register visitors or log the sites they were surfing.


"All Web sites are accessible," she said.


Previously, Web access was restricted to a limited few and independent online publications blocked by government filters.


It was unclear exactly how popular the cafes will be -- or how accessible, given that one hour of computer time cost about $4 (euro3) -- an equivalent of five pounds of fresh beef in a country where two-thirds of the population live below the poverty line and the average monthly income is less than $100 (euro76).


"The connection speed is fantastic, but the price stinks," said Gulsar Berdyklycheva, a third-year university student who dropped in to check her e-mail.


Under Niyazov, who ruled the gas-rich nation for two decades, access to the Internet was tightly restricted to state and officially approved groups, embassies, accredited foreign journalists and international organizations.


Berdymukhamedov won an overwhelming victory over his five contenders in the presidential vote on Sunday and was sworn in Wednesday. The vote was tightly controlled and was not monitored by foreign election observers.


Unrestricted access to the Internet was one of Berdymukhamedov's election promises, which also included educational reforms, raising pensions and support for private entrepreneurship.







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More Air Force Academy cadets admit to cheating


AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colorado (AP) -- The Air Force Academy said Thursday that 24 freshman cadets have now admitted cheating on a test and 12 others are under investigation but have denied wrongdoing.


The school originally said 19 students had admitted cheating and nine others were under investigation.


Two-thirds of the cases involve athletes, Air Force Academy spokesman Johnny Whitaker told The Gazette. The academy did not say what teams were involved.


The cheating occurred when cadets obtained answers to an upcoming test and forwarded them through an Internet social group and private computer messages, officials said.


The test was part of a weekly series of exams on general knowledge about the Air Force. The exams do not affect cadets' grade-point averages but are required for students to advance to their second year.


The cadet honor code forbids lying, stealing and cheating and tolerating anyone who does. Punishment for violating the code can include expulsion.


Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. John Regni restricted all 4,000 cadets to campus last weekend and closed the only bar on the site for what he called a "strategic pause" for cadets to reflect on the honor code.









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Tiny frog in amber may be 25M years old


MEXICO CITY - A miner in the state of Chiapas found a tiny tree frog that has been preserved in amber for 25 million years, a researcher said. If authenticated, the preserved frog would be the first of its kind found in Mexico, according to David Grimaldi, a biologist and curator at the American Museum of Natural History, who was not involved in the find.



The chunk of amber containing the frog, less than half an inch long, was uncovered by a miner in Mexico's southern Chiapas state in 2005 and was bought by a private collector, who lent it to scientists for study.


A few other preserved frogs have been found in chunks of amber — a stone formed by ancient tree sap — mostly in the Dominican Republic. Like those, the frog found in Chiapas appears to be of the genus Craugastor, whose descendants still inhabit the region, said biologist Gerardo Carbot of the Chiapas Natural History and Ecology Institute. Carbot announced the discovery this week.


The scientist said the frog lived about 25 million years ago, based on the geological strata where the amber was found.


Carbot would like to extract a sample from the frog's remains in hopes of finding DNA that could identify the particular species, but doubts the owner would let him drill into the stone. "I don't think he will allow it, because it's a very rare, unique piece," said Carbot.


Grimaldi of the American Museum of Natural History called the idea of extracting DNA "highly, highly unlikely," given that — as other scientists have noted — genetic material tends to break down over time.


But George O. Poinar, an entomologist at Oregon State University who founded the Amber Institute, said extracting DNA is theoretically possible.


"If it's well-preserved ... and none of the frog has been exposed to the outside, where air could enter in and oxidize the DNA, it could be possible to get DNA."











Wisconsin man spears a 6-foot sturgeon


SHEBOYGAN, Wis. - The fish's long shadow slid under the ice, causing Darren Horness to blink. "I was skimming some ice off the hole, and all the sudden I thought I caught a little bit of movement, and I had to kind of take a step back," said Horness, 36, of Howards Grove. "The fish was actually coming up into the hole, I just could see part of it and could tell it was a kind of a nice fish, but I had no idea how big it really was."


The 102-pound, 72-inch sturgeon was nearly as long as he was tall.


About 8,000 fishermen spearhunt sturgeon each year on Lake Winnebago and its upriver lakes. In his seven years, Horness hadn't come close to a fish that big.


He had cut a hole through the 16 inches of ice on Lake Winnebago, and the sturgeon arched through it, coming within six inches of the surface. Horness heard the fish's back scrape the ice on the bottom edge of the hole.


"I had to get down on my knees and I had to spear almost horizontal because it was so high up into the hole," he said. "I didn't know how good of a hit that I had on it because it was such a weird throw."


The spear lodged in the fish's tail, about two feet from the end. Within minutes, the female was tiring and had moved close enough to the surface for Horness to see what he'd caught.


"My knees just almost buckled because it looked so humongous in the water," he said.


About a dozen of the 700 fish speared so far this year have topped 100 pounds, said Ron Bruch, a sturgeon biologist with the state Department of Natural Resources. The season continues through Feb. 25 or when the harvest limit is reached.


Gary Hilbert of Fond du Lac caught the heaviest sturgeon of the year so far Saturday on Lake Poygan. The female weighed 139 1/2 pounds and was 71 1/2 inches long. Mike Freund of White Lake speared a 111-pound, 72.5-inch female on Lake Winnebago Sunday.








Can anyone reccommend a new book series similar to Eragon?











How do you make you your cookies fluffy instead of flat?


I've posted this before and I love the science behind why cookies turn out flat and crisp, puffy and soft or chewy. Looks like you are looking for "The Puffy", which uses butter flavored shortening (NOT butter), CAKE flour and calls for chilling the dough before baking. I've never made The Puffy because I prefer the chewy cookies, but I've tried both The Chewy and The Thin with excellent results so I would think you would get the desired results following The Puffy recipe and concept with your cookies....


I've had great success w/ all of my cookies using the concept Alton Brown uses to make 3 kinds of chocolate chip cookies - the chewy, the puffy and the thin. Depending on what you are looking for, choose the one that best meets your needs. I personally like the chewy. The Thin recipe uses all butter and the dough is not chilled. The Puffy uses butter flavored shortening rather than butter and the dough is chilled. To me, this is too puffy and cake-like. The one I like is the Chewy which uses MELTED butter and the dough is chilled. It isn't flat but not puffy either and stays moist and chewy. Yummm.


This concept works for me with chocolate chip, peanut butter and oatmeal cookies with equal success...melted butter and then chilling the dough.



The Chewy Recipe courtesy Alton Brown


Recipe Summary

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen cookies


2 sticks unsalted butter

2 1/4 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


Ice cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact)

Parchment paper

Baking sheets



Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.

Pour the melted butter in the mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.



The Thin Recipe courtesy Alton Brown


Recipe Summary

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen cookies


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg

2 ounces milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 sticks unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


Ice cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact)

Parchment paper

Baking sheets



Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Combine the egg, milk, and vanilla and bring to room temperature in another bowl.

Cream the butter in the mixer's work bowl, starting on low speed to soften the butter. Add the sugars. Increase the speed, and cream the mixture until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed and add the egg mixture slowly. Increase the speed and mix until well combined.

Slowly add the flour mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for more even browning.

Remove the cookies from the pans immediately. Once cooled, store in an airtight container.



The Puffy Recipe courtesy Alton Brown


Recipe Summary

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen cookies


1 cup butter-flavored shortening

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 1/4 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


Ice cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact)

Parchment paper

Baking sheets



Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the shortening, sugar, and brown sugar in the mixer's work bowl, and cream until light and fluffy. In the meantime, sift together the cake flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside.

Add the eggs 1 at a time to the creamed mixture. Then add vanilla. Increase the speed until thoroughly incorporated.

With the mixer set to low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the shortening and combine well. Stir in the chocolate chips. Chill the dough. Scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 per sheet. Bake for 13 minutes or until golden brown and puffy, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool and store in an airtight-container.




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JetBlue weather woes not yet overcome


NEW YORK (CNN) -- Acknowledging the airline has a long way to go to regain its customers' trust, JetBlue Airways was faced with yet more flight cancellations and irate customers Friday after a spokesman on Thursday said that the airline expected to start this "morning fresh and prepared for the remainder of the holiday weekend."


JetBlue canceled 97 of its 570 scheduled flights Friday, a day after nixing 150 flights, the airline said.


Thursday, JetBlue CEO David Neeleman repeatedly apologized for the airline's recent wave of cancellations and delays. "I think the best thing we can do is say we're sorry and give them their money back, and give them a free ticket and then kind of plead with them to come and fly again," he told CNN.


The apology came a day after hundreds of passengers spent up to eight hours stranded on various planes because of bad weather.


JetBlue pointed to icy conditions and the backlog of stranded passengers and flight crews from Wednesday's cancellations as a major cause of Friday's additional flight cuts.


Company spokeswoman Jenny Dervin also said a decision by JetBlue's hub, New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, to limit all airlines to two runways was a major stumbling block in the company's efforts to get back on track.


"It's a continuation of the snowball effect with compounding issues of icy conditions at JFK," Dervin told CNN. JetBlue is the largest airline at JFK, with the most aircraft, most departures and most customers served, according to Dervin. Any delays or cancellations at JFK cause a "domino effect" at the airline's other airports.


The airline has been attempting to contract with outside carriers to boost its schedule, but charters have been difficult to schedule this late into the holiday weekend.


To appease disgruntled passengers, JetBlue is giving full refunds to those whose flights were canceled and has been helping rebook passengers to new flights, the airline said. Hundreds of passengers remained in the airline's domestic terminal at JFK after their Wednesday and Thursday flights were canceled.


Passengers who were stuck on grounded planes for long hours had complaints that included temporary loss of heat, lack of food and deteriorating restroom conditions.


On Thursday, CEO Neeleman addressed the unpleasant conditions faced by passengers on one plane -- a flight for Cancun, Mexico, that spent about eight hours on the tarmac Wednesday before finally allowing passengers to get off after the flight was canceled.


"They wanted to go to Cancun bad, and we wanted them to go there, as well," he said. "And then by the time we decided that it was not going to be possible, it was very difficult to get them back to the gates."








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Police: Attackers videotape beating of homeless man


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (CNN) -- Authorities are looking for a teen and a man accused of videotaping themselves beating a homeless man in Corpus Christi, Texas, police said Friday.


Police have arrested a 15-year-old boy who they say also took part in the attack, which police Cmdr. David Torres said took place February 8.


Torres said one of the juveniles who appears on the video narrates what they're about to do before the attack. "After the narration, two of the kids take off running, full speed, and one of them just drop-kicks the homeless man with both feet on the guy's back."


"They actually grab him and flip him around to film his injuries," Torres said. "And I'm telling you, the way they filmed it -- the closeness -- they put it together where you can tell it was planned out."


A woman first alerted police about the disturbing video, Torres said, after she recovered her camera, which allegedly had been stolen by the 16-year-old boy. When she got the camera back, she discovered video of the assault and called police, according to Torres. "She was appalled," he said.


"The homeless man is OK," Torres said. "He had a concussion and he still has injuries that he sustained from that attack." Police would not identify the victim, who was treated at the scene of the attack and released.


Torres said the video provides dramatic details of the attack, including the victim's reaction. "You can see in his face complete surprise, like 'What happened to me?' because he's attacked from the back," said Torres. "He doesn't even know these guys are there."


The videotape is being held as evidence and would not immediately be released, Torres said.


Police said they were looking for a 16-year-old boy and the adult suspect in the attack, who they identified as Cody Lavender, 22.








Jail guard claims lottery win after months, leaves in limo

















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Iran says will not halt uranium enrichment








Avalanches Kill 5 in Mont., Utah, Idaho


HELENA, Mont. - Weekend avalanches killed five people in Montana, Utah and Idaho, with one bruised survivor traveling miles by snowmobile and on foot to reach help, authorities said.


In Montana's Big Belt Mountains, the bodies of two snowmobilers caught in an avalanche were found by searchers early Sunday and removed by helicopter later in the day.


That avalanche happened Saturday at the base of Mount Baldy, about 20 miles from Townsend. A survivor traveled the 15 or 20 miles back to the trailhead, initially by snowmobile and then on foot after the machine became stuck, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Cheryl Leidle said.


Upon reaching a pickup truck at the trailhead, he used a cell phone to call for help.


"It would appear the avalanche drove them into a grove of trees downhill from the avalanche itself," Leidle said.


The names of the three men were not immediately released. Leidle described them as friends in their 20s from the Townsend area.


In Utah, two snowmobilers died in separate avalanches on Saturday.


Zachary Holmes, 16, of Farr West, was buried by an avalanche estimated to be 300 feet wide near Tower Mountain in the Uinta Mountains, about 14 miles southeast of Heber City, the Wasatch County sheriff's office said.


Holmes was wearing a helmet and an avalanche beacon, deputy Michael Graves said. Following the beacon's signal, his cousins found him and dug him out of the snow. He later died at the University of Utah Hospital, authorities said.


Earlier Saturday, a snowmobiler on Signal Peak in southwestern Utah triggered the avalanche that killed him, the Sevier County sheriff's office said.


That man, whose name was not released, was climbing the back side of the peak when the avalanche buried him in an estimated 8 feet of snow, authorities said.


In Idaho, the Bonneville County Sheriff's Office in Idaho Falls confirmed the death of a Utah man in an avalanche near Palisade Peak. His name was not immediately available.







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Mummified body found in front of blaring TV


NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Police called to a Long Island man's house discovered the mummified remains of the resident, dead for more than a year, sitting in front of a blaring television set.


The 70-year-old Hampton Bays, New York, resident, identified as Vincenzo Ricardo, appeared to have died of natural causes. Police said on Saturday his body was discovered on Thursday when they went to the house to investigate a report of a burst water pipe.


"You could see his face. He still had hair on his head," Newsday quoted morgue assistant Jeff Bacchus as saying. The home's low humidity had preserved the body. (Watch for views inside the house and why no one ever bothered to check on him Video)


Officials could not explain why the electricity had not been turned off, considering Ricardo had not been heard from since December 2005.


Neighbors said when they had not seen Ricardo, who was diabetic and had been blind for years, they assumed he was in the hospital or a long-term care facility.








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Man sues IBM over firing, says he's an Internet addict


WHITE PLAINS, New York (AP) -- A man who was fired by IBM for visiting an adult chat room at work is suing the company for $5 million, claiming he is an Internet addict who deserves treatment and sympathy rather than dismissal.


James Pacenza, 58, of Montgomery, says he visits chat rooms to treat traumatic stress incurred in 1969 when he saw his best friend killed during an Army patrol in Vietnam.


In papers filed in federal court in White Plains, Pacenza said the stress caused him to become "a sex addict, and with the development of the Internet, an Internet addict." He claimed protection under the American with Disabilities Act.


His lawyer, Michael Diederich, says Pacenza never visited pornographic sites at work, violated no written IBM rule and did not surf the Internet any more or any differently than other employees. He also says age discrimination contributed to IBM's actions. Pacenza, 55 at the time, had been with the company for 19 years and says he could have retired in a year.


International Business Machines Corp. has asked Judge Stephen Robinson for a summary judgment, saying its policy against surfing sexual Web sites is clear. It also claims Pacenza was told he could lose his job after an incident four months earlier, which Pacenza denies.


"Plaintiff was discharged by IBM because he visited an Internet chat room for a sexual experience during work after he had been previously warned," the company said.


IBM also said sexual behavior disorders are specifically excluded from the ADA and denied any age discrimination.


Study: Some choose Internet over food, sleep


If it goes to trial, the case could affect how employers regulate Internet use that is not work-related, or how Internet overuse is categorized medically. Stanford University issued a nationwide study last year that found that up to 14 percent of computer users reported neglecting work, school, families, food and sleep to use the Internet.


The study's director, Dr. Elias Aboujaoude, said then that he was most concerned about the numbers of people who hid their nonessential Internet use or used the Internet to escape a negative mood, the same way that alcoholics might.


Until he was fired, Pacenza was making $65,000 a year operating a machine at a plant in East Fishkill that makes computer chips.


Several times during the day, machine operators are idle for five to 10 minutes as the tool measures the thickness of silicon wafers.


It was during such down time on May 28, 2003, that Pacenza logged onto a chat room from a computer at his work station.


Diederich says Pacenza had returned that day from visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington and logged onto a site called ChatAvenue and then to an adult chat room.


Looking for 'titillating conversation'


Pacenza, who has a wife and two children, said using the Internet at work was encouraged by IBM and served as "a form of self-medication" for post-traumatic stress disorder. He said he tried to stay away from chat rooms at work, but that day, "I felt I needed the interactive engagement of chat talk to divert my attention from my thoughts of Vietnam and death."


"I was tempting myself to perhaps become involved in some titillating conversation," he said in court papers.


Pacenza said he was called away before he got involved in any online conversation. But he apparently did not log off, and when another worker went to Pacenza's station, he saw some chat entries, including a vulgar reference to a sexual act.


He reported his discovery to his boss, who fired Pacenza the next day.


Pacenza says he would have understood if IBM had disciplined him for taking an unauthorized break, but firing him was too extreme.


Pacenza: Couple who had sex on desk merely transferred


He argues that other workers with worse offenses were disciplined less severely -- including a couple who had sex on a desk and were transferred.


Fred McNeese, a spokesman for Armonk-based IBM, would not comment.


Pacenza claims the company decided on dismissal only after improperly viewing his medical records, including psychiatric treatment, following the incident.


"In IBM management's eyes, plaintiff has an undesirable and self-professed record of psychological disability related to his Vietnam War combat experience," his papers claim.


Diederich says IBM workers who have drug or alcohol problems are placed in programs to help them, and Pacenza should have been offered the same. Instead, he says, Pacenza was told there were no programs for sex addiction or other psychological illnesses. He said Pacenza was also denied an appeal.


Diederich, who said he spent a year in Iraq as an Army lawyer, also argued that "A military combat veteran, if anyone, should be afforded a second chance, the benefit of doubt and afforded reasonable accommodation for combat-related disability."




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JetBlue JFK terminal starts to calm down



I have super dry hair - i mean fried. It's always frizy and i just want it to relax and smooth.?



Rescuers try to reach Mt. Hood climbers












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JetBlue JFK terminal starts to calm down



I have super dry hair - i mean fried. It's always frizy and i just want it to relax and smooth.?



Rescuers try to reach Mt. Hood climbers












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Pastor with 666 tattoo claims to be divine


MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- The minister has the number 666 tattooed on his arm.


But Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda is not your typical minister. De Jesus, or "Daddy" as his thousands of followers call him, does not merely pray to God: He says he is God.


"The spirit that is in me is the same spirit that was in Jesus of Nazareth," de Jesus says.


De Jesus' claims of divinity have angered Christian leaders, who say he is a fake. Religious experts say he may be something much more dangerous, a cult leader who really believes he is God.


"He's in their heads, he's inside the heads of those people," says Prof. Daniel Alvarez, a religion expert at Florida International University who has debated some of de Jesus' followers.


"De Jesus speaks with a kind of conviction that makes me consider him more like David Koresh or Jim Jones."


Is de Jesus really a cult leader like David Koresh, who died with more than 70 of his Branch Davidian followers in a fiery end to a standoff with federal authorities, or Jim Jones, the founder of the Peoples Temple who committed mass suicide with 900 followers in 1978?



Prophets 'spoke to me'


De Jesus and his believers say their church -- "Creciendo en Gracia," Spanish for "Growing in grace" -- is misunderstood. Followers of the movement say they have proof that their minister is divine and that their church will one day soon be a major faith in the world.


But even de Jesus concedes that he is an unlikely leader of a church that claims thousands of members in more than 30 countries.


De Jesus, 61, grew up poor in Puerto Rico. He says he served stints in prison there for petty theft and says he was a heroin addict.


De Jesus says he learned he was Jesus reincarnate when he was visited in a dream by angels.


"The prophets, they spoke about me. It took me time to learn that, but I am what they were expecting, what they have been expecting for 2,000 years," de Jesus says.


The church that he began building 20 years ago in Miami resembles no other:


# Followers have protested Christian churches in Miami and Latin America, disrupting services and smashing crosses and statues of Jesus.


# De Jesus preaches there is no devil and no sin. His followers, he says, literally can do no wrong in God's eyes.


# The church calls itself the "Government of God on Earth" and uses a seal similar to the United States.



Doing God's work with a Lexus and Rolex


If Creciendo en Gracia is an atypical religious group, de Jesus also does not fit the mold of the average church leader. De Jesus flouts traditional vows of poverty.


He says he has a church-paid salary of $136,000 but lives more lavishly than that. During an interview, he showed off a diamond-encrusted Rolex to a CNN crew and said he has three just like them. He travels in armored Lexuses and BMWs, he says, for his safety. All are gifts from his devoted followers.


And what about the tattoo of 666 on his arm?


Although it's a number usually associated with Satan, not the son of God, de Jesus says that 666 and the Antichrist are, like him, misunderstood.


The Antichrist is not the devil, de Jesus tells his congregation; he's the being who replaces Jesus on Earth.


"Antichrist is the best person in the world," he says. "Antichrist means don't put your eyes on Jesus because Jesus of Nazareth wasn't a Christian. Antichrist means do not put your eyes on Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Put it on Jesus after the cross."


And de Jesus says that means him.


So far, de Jesus says that his flock hasn't been scared off by his claims of being the Antichrist. In a show of the sway he holds over the group, 30 members of his congregation Tuesday went to a tattoo parlor to have 666 also permanently etched onto their skin.


He may wield influence over them, but his followers say don't expect them to go the way of people who believed in David Koresh and Jim Jones. Just by finding de Jesus, they say, they have achieved their purpose.


"If somebody tells us drink some Kool-Aid and we'll go to heaven, that's not true. We are already in heavenly places," follower Martita Roca told CNN after having 666 tattooed onto her ankle.








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Weighing the risks of climbing on Mount Hood


Mount Hood's snow-covered peak is a popular target for thrill seekers.


At 11,239 feet, Oregon's tallest mountain provides the challenge of major summits, like Mount Denali in Alaska and Mount Everest on the border of Nepal and Tibet. It also provides something rare for summits this high -- easy access.


"It is a very scenic climb, but it's also one of the most accessible," said Jon Tullis, director of public affairs at Timberline Lodge, located at the 6,000-foot level on Mount Hood.


"In good climbing conditions, you are up in about six hours and down in three or four," he said.


For this reason, thousands of climbers visit Mount Hood each year. In a matter of hours, however, a beautiful day can turn treacherous.


More than 35 climbers have died on the mountain in the past 25 years, according to the Associated Press.


Mount Hood has made national headlines twice in the past two months, as climbers attempting to reach the summit have become the focus of intense search-and-rescue efforts.


Crews Monday rescued three stranded climbers and a dog who spent the night on the mountain after falling off a ledge. Five others from the same group were rescued Sunday night.


In December, rescuers gave up efforts to save a party of three climbers who went missing on the mountain. Only one of those climbers was found -- in the snow cave where he had apparently sought shelter and died.

Adding it up


The cost of these rescue missions is nearly impossible to determine.


"Scientifically, it's harder than heck to quantify," said Tim Kovacs, former president of the Mountain Rescue Association.


Rescues on Mount Hood are primarily done by volunteers. The expenses for the sheriff's departments run about $1,500 to $2,000 a day, Kovacs said. The full-time deputies and crews provide the logistics to set up the search, and the volunteers do the bulk of the work in the field.


When the hypothetical cost of the unpaid volunteers is added, the price for a typical 18-hour rescue mission shoots up to about $8,000. In the more dangerous parts of Mount Hood, the typical rescue mission is two to three days, Kovacs said.


When helicopters from the military or Oregon National Guard are used, the cost can go up thousands of dollars. The smallest choppers run about $750 an hour, and the larger helicopters can easily cost more than $2,000 an hour, Kovacs said. Add to that overtime, meals and supplies, and the number keeps rising.


Part of the cost is covered by the military, since some helicopter use is considered basic training. Some states provide funds to reimburse local authorities and donations contribute a portion of the cost, but whichever way you look at it, taxpayers foot much of the bill.


Breaking it down


Rocky Henderson, team leader of Portland Mountain Rescue, handles rescue missions on the south side of Mount Hood.


"It is a risky venture, and that's part of why people are attracted to it. They want the adventure, and they like the risk. It is a dangerous sport. There's no doubt about that," he said.


Accidents, he said, aren't as frequent as they seem. He based his argument on the latest numbers from the Oregon Emergency Management.


Last year, 3.4 percent of rescues were for climbers. Vehicle rescues, including snowmobiles and ATVs, accounted for 20 percent of the missions and 3 percent of the searches were for mushroom gatherers, said Henderson, quoting the most recent statistics from Oregon's annual search-and-rescue report. The rest are the result of skiing, boating and other mountain activity accidents.


Whether climbing Mount Hood is hazardous, Kovacs said, is "relative to your ability."


Several Oregon lawmakers want to require climbers of all skill levels to wear beacons.


The climbers stranded Sunday did have a beacon, which allowed rescue teams to determine their approximate location.


Henderson said this legislation is unnecessary.


"I'm trying my best to make sure that law does not get passed. There's not a problem that needs to fixed. We aren't losing lots of climbers because they don't have mountain locators," he said.


"If there's a law that says that you have to have one, that law would then imply that someone is going to rescue you," Henderson said.


Henderson said the number of accidents is low and not worth the Oregon Legislature's time.


"Climbing can be dangerous, and you have to be able to take care of yourself," he added.


The risk is a part of the adventure, and according to Kovacs, there will always be elements you can't control.


"Mother Nature always reminds who is in charge, and [she's] unforgiving," he said.








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Teen 'sport killings' of homeless on the rise


MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (CNN) -- All Nathan Moore says he wanted to do was smoke pot and get drunk with his friends.


Killing Rex Baum was never part of the plan that day in 2004.


"It all started off as a game," Moore said.


The 15-year-old and his friends were taunting the homeless man -- throwing sticks and leaves -- after having a couple of beers with him.


No big deal, Moore says, but he's sorry for what came next.


It was a mistake, he said, a sudden primal surge that made him and his friends Luis Oyola, 16, and 17-year-old Andrew Ihrcke begin punching and kicking Baum.


"Luis says 'I'm gonna go hit him,' We're all laughing, thought he was joking around,'" but he wasn't, Moore concedes. "We just all started hitting him."


They hurled anything they could find -- rocks, bricks, even Baum's barbecue grill -- and pounded the 49-year-old with a pipe and with the baseball bat he kept at his campsite for protection.


Ihrcke smeared his own feces on Baum's face before cutting him with a knife "to see if he was alive," Moore said.


After destroying Baum's camp, the boys left the homeless man -- head wedged in his own grill -- under a piece of plastic where they hoped the "animals would eat" him.


Then, Moore says, they took off to grab a bite at McDonald's.


Baum's murder was indicative of a disturbing trend.


A National Coalition for the Homeless report says last year, there were 122 attacks and 20 murders against the homeless, the most attacks in nearly a decade.


(Coalition report on 2006 homeless attacks)



Police found Baum's body two days after the teens attacked him.


They bragged about it around town. Police picked them up and they described what happened.


Ihrcke told police that killing "the bum" reminded him of playing a violent video game, a police report shows.


All three teens pleaded no contest to first degree reckless homicide charges and went to prison.


Moore recently turned 18 at Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin, where he is serving a 15 year sentence.


"When [the beating] stops, you say, 'What did we just do?'" he told CNN. "There's no rational explanation."


Teenage 'amusement'


"It's disturbing to know that young people would literally kick someone when they're already down on their luck," said Michael Stoops, the executive director of the Washington-based National Coalition for the Homeless. "We recognize that this isn't every teenager, but for some this passes as amusement."


Criminologists call these wilding sprees "sport killing," -- largely middle-class teens, with no criminal records, assaulting the homeless with bats, golf clubs, paintball guns.


Some teens have even taped themselves in the act. Others have said they were inspired by "Bumfights," a video series created in 2002 and sold on the Web that features homeless people pummeling each other for the promise of a few bucks.


A segment called "Bum Hunter," hosted by a Crocodile Hunter-like actor wearing a safari outfit, shows him "tagging" homeless people by pouncing on them and binding their wrists.


The distributors of "Bumfights" have claimed they've sold hundreds of thousands of copies.


But the company has had to deal with a couple of legal issues unrelated to the Baum case.


Last year, three former homeless stars of "Bumfights" won a civil suit against filmmakers. Santa Monica attorney Mark Quigley, who represented Rufus Hannah, known as "Rufus the Stunt Bum" to series' fans, said he is unable to disclose the amount of the settlement.


Also, in July 2006, a California judge ordered "Bumfights'" producers Ryan McPherson and Zachary Bubeck to spend 180 days in jail for failing to perform community service related to guilty pleas they previously entered to charges of staging illegal street fights.


"Bumfights" directors did not answer CNN's request for an interview.


Attacks across the nation


Incidents of teen-on-homeless violence dotted the map last year. Florida racked up at least six such attacks in 2006.


In Lauderhill, four teens were arrested after they allegedly videotaped themselves beating, dragging, and stealing from a homeless man.


The victim has not been found, but the four face one charge each of strong-armed robbery.


Earlier this month, teens in Corpus Christi, Texas, videotaped themselves attacking a homeless man.


Commander David Torres said police arrested a 15-year-old and are looking for at least one more teenager and a 22-year-old who described on tape what they were about to do before they jumped on the man.


(Read full story)



On the other side of the nation, former Oregon State University student Joshua Grimes stands accused of shooting and injuring a homeless man from his perch in a fraternity house window.


He has not yet entered a plea, but, according to a police report, he cried to detectives after the October shooting, telling them, "I didn't mean to shoot him."


At least three homeless people in Kalamazoo, Michigan, reported being attacked by teens on bicycles during a 10-day span in October, according to the homeless coalition.


In Huntsville, Alabama, six teens -- one of them 13 -- beat a homeless man with golf clubs, the coalition reported. But perhaps the most shocking of these examples was 2006's first recorded case of teen-on-homeless violence.


On January 12 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a surveillance camera captured two teens beating a homeless man with bats.


Prosecutors say 17-year-old skateboarder Tom Daugherty, 18-year-old Brian Hooks, a popular hockey team captain, and a third unseen teen, Billy Ammons, a high school dropout, assaulted two more homeless men that night.


One of them was 45-year-old Norris Gaynor. A witness, Anthony Clarke, told police and CNN last year that he saw the three teens approach Gaynor as he slept on a park bench. Daugherty began whacking Gaynor with a bat, Clarke said.


As Gaynor lay dying, Ammons shot him with yellow paintballs, later remarking that the beating felt like "teeing off," police said.


Gaynor was beaten so badly his own father didn't recognize him. Facing life in prison, the teens face trial for murder later this year. They have each pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.


(Read full story)




Lingering questions


Stoops and Brian Levin, a California State University hate crimes expert, say common themes run through teen-on-homeless violence. The attackers are almost always boys, peer pressure and mob mentality sweep away caution, and parents don't suspect their children could be capable of such actions.


Laura Simpson didn't. Her son, Justin Brumfield, is serving an 11-year prison stretch in California.


In August 2005, Brumfield and William Orantes, both 19, beat 56-year-old Ernest Adams with bats. Adams emerged from a coma three weeks later with dents in his skull, permanent scars and no vision in one eye, the Los Angeles Times reported. Orantes is serving a three-year sentence.


Simpson, a sixth-grade teacher, says she is still tormented by her son's actions and wonders if her son's irritability was more than typical teenage moodiness.


She has other questions: Was her son, a natural follower, just succumbing to peer pressure? Was he that into "Bumfights"? Did he see the fear in Adams' eyes when he raised the bat to strike him?


In a sad irony, she had adopted him; his mother was a homeless drug addict, a revelation he had learned not long before the beating and which his attorney used to explain his rage.


Her son has told her he is sorry for what happened, but her questions remain unanswered.


"As a parent, of course you're going to question yourself," she said. "It was just hard to comprehend. The first thing was, 'Not Justin. There has to be a mistake,'" she said. "You think you know everything that's going on and you don't."


When the mob mentality takes over, even the perpetrators may not comprehend what's going on.


Back at the prison in Wisconsin, Nathan Moore seems baffled by his own actions. Killing Rex Baum now registers like a "blur" or "dream," he says.


Moore and his friends knew Baum from around town. Life had been painful for the homeless man from the start; alcohol eased it. As a kid growing up in Milwaukee, when his home life became too rocky, a neighboring family took him in. He drifted through school and a brief stint in the military, his friends say, a wanderer, a loner.


Homeless for years, he defied Wisconsin winters by constantly walking around the city, bundled in a coat patched with duct tape. For a few dollars, he pumped gas, shoveled snow off driveways, and walked neighborhood dogs.


More than 100 people came to Baum's funeral. Someone sent a newspaper clip of the story to Moore in prison.


"Every day I wish I could take it back," he said. "I seen [the] repercussions among everyone. I didn't think about any of this when [the beating] was going on."






5 tax audit red flags

A guide to what the IRS looks out for on returns.


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The IRS conducted 1.3 million audits last year, up more than 5 percent from the year before.


And now, President Bush's recently released budget calls for a step-up in efforts to close the $300 billion "tax gap," the difference between what is owed in taxes and what is collected.


What's more, there are some new rules on the books that could trip up tax filers.


Any way you look at it, more tax audits may be on the way. Here are five red flags the IRS is likely to watch out for this tax season.

Earning too much money


It's a problem most people would probably love to have, but high earners should be aware that they're more likely to end up on the IRS's radar, according to David Sands of Buchbinder, Tunick and Co.


Sands says once an income tops $100,000, the chances start increasing.


The emphasis on flagging high-net-worth filers makes financial sense from the IRS's perspective.



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"The IRS is under pressure to close the tax gap," said Bill Stromsem of the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants. "It doesn't pay to find a $100 error in a filer in the 10 percent category instead of $1,000 from someone in 30 percent tax bracket."


In 2006 the IRS audited the returns of 17,015 tax filers reporting income of $1 million or more. That's up 33 percent from the 12,835 audits of million-dollar earners it conducted in fiscal year 2005.


The IRS's audits of taxpayers with reported incomes above $100,000 rose 18 percent in 2006 from the previous year, to more than 257,000 returns.


The IRS declined to comment on the specifics of audit red flags.



Giving too much to charity


Excessive contributions to charity could trigger an audit, too.


Sands estimates that once contributions exceed 5 percent or 10 percent of income, that may raise questions.


Complicating matters is that this year the rules related to deductions for charitable giving have gotten stricter, with the IRS demanding more documentation. Sands says there is a feeling there has been "some abuse in this area" in recent years.


Taxpayers will have to keep a qualified appraisal of donated clothing and household items that exceed $500.


They must have a receipt or bank record that shows the name of recipients of financial donations. For most taxpayers this change only applies to contributions made after the start of 2007.


Finally, IRA holders older than 70-1/2 years can directly transfer up to $100,000 tax-free to any charity, but the funds must be given directly by the IRA trustee to the charity.



Knowing when the alternative minimum tax applies to you


Taxpayers can be subject to the alternative minimum tax and not know it. Failing to submit an AMT schedule when you are in a high-risk group may grab the IRS's attention.


Some people aren't attaching an AMT schedule and are subject to it, according to Sands. Those that fit the AMT profile: High earners in high-tax states.


Sands puts the threshold for a filer entering the AMT category at about $100,000-$120,000.


Stephen Buschel, tax partner at BDO Seidman, calls the AMT "an insidious tax because you never know when it's going to hit."


The AMT aims to collect taxes that are lost when filers use so many deductions they pay no taxes at all. This is because while the tax was invented in 1969 to prevent wealthy filers from avoiding taxes through extensive deductions, it has never been adjusted for inflation, and so it captures ever more filers lower down on the scale.


When a return is filed, the IRS will do the calculation to see if it qualifies, said Buschel.



Taking too many credits


Tax credits are another area of concern, especially for people at the lower end of the income scale. The biggest mistakes are made with earned income credits, according to Sands, who cites a general confusion about credits for education, seniors and earned income.


"I can understand why it's very confusing," said Sands, pointing out that people often take credits they're not entitled to.


He suggests that lower-income filers use the IRS's walk-in services. A Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program has been set up to help low- to moderate-income filers who cannot prepare their own returns.


There is also the Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program, which offers help to filers 60 years of age and older.



Careless errors


Things as simple as a sloppy return can derail an otherwise routine tax return. Matters as small as incorrect Social Security numbers, math errors or simple misspellings can bring a tax return to the attention of the IRS.


"There's no excuse for that. Just show a little care and get your material together," Stromsem remarked.


He also pointed out that banks and brokerage houses send in reports of your 1099, which the IRS will compare. "If you forget a 1099, it will cause the IRS to pull it out of the pile."


The best way to lower your odds further is by following the advice of IRS spokesman Robert Marvin: "Taxpayers should take deductions and credits that they are legitimately entitled to and that make economic sense," Marvin said. "They also should keep accurate books and records."


For filers who do that, not even an audit should scare them.








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Urban road race to test limits of robotic cars


SAN FRANCISCO, California (Reuters) -- In what sounds like a science fair project on steroids, engineers at Stanford University plan to have an unmanned robot car ready to navigate urban traffic in less than a year.


The car, a 2006 Volkswagen Passat wagon dubbed Junior, is Stanford's newest competitor in a high-stakes road race sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the U.S. Department of Defense's research and development arm.


The Stanford car will compete in the agency's third and most challenging derby -- the DARPA Urban Challenge, in which robotic cars will drive in a mock city environment. Cars must merge, navigate traffic, traverse busy intersections, avoid obstacles and master the most delicate of skills -- determining who has the right of way.


"These cars are driven by artificial intelligence," said Sebastian Thrun, a computer science and electrical engineering professor at Stanford, who unveiled his plans for Junior this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Francisco.


Stanford and Thrun have been down this road before. Stanford's entry in the 2005 race, Stanley, won first place. But that race was run in the Nevada desert. "The next challenge will be to drive where we live," said Thrun, who spoke on a panel about the future of robotics.


"This new generation of robots is making the case that they can safely navigate without any human assistance," he said.


An array of other U.S. universities, many with corporate partners, are involved in the 2007 challenge, including Carnegie Mellon University, which finished a close second to Stanford in the 2005 race.


Thrun says the project may pave the way for a future in which self-driving cars will make transportation safer for those who, like the elderly, might rather ride than drive.


"By 2030, we should be able to deploy this technology on highways reliably," he said.


Thrun said he expected a battlefield version of the car to be available as early as 2015.

Urban challenge


Driving in a city environment means the robot cars must not only detect obstacles, they must make sense of them.


"To be able to understand your environment, predict what happens next and be able to react when something goes slightly wrong -- that is the most challenging," said Stanford research engineer Mike Montemerlo, who spoke at the meeting.


Junior's steering, throttle and brakes have been modified by engineers at the Volkswagen of America Electronics Research Laboratory in Palo Alto, California.


The car sports an array of sophisticated sensors, including a range-finding laser that provides a three-dimensional, 360-degree view of its surroundings in near real-time.


Junior's computer "brain" is about four times more powerful than Stanley's was in 2005.


To make the car "think," about a dozen students, faculty and researchers at Stanford worked on software to manage driving tasks like perception, mapping and planning.


The location for the November 3 race will be announced in October. For the fastest car to navigate the course, the prize is $2 million -- plus bragging rights.








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More on CNN TV: Find out how the U.S. may be living on "The Edge of Disaster." A special report on "Anderson Cooper 360," 10 p.m. Tuesday ET.


The sound of hammers and the smell of freshly cut lumber filled the air as Josephine Butler proudly took me on a room-by-room tour of her new house.


She has lived in the lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans since 1949 and has twice been flooded out by failed levees and hurricanes. After Katrina, her old house floated off with all her belongings and came to rest in her neighbor's yard.


So as I looked at the new spacious kitchen, the high, lofty ceilings and the clean shiny bathrooms, I had to ask the obvious questions.


Why is she back? Why is she rebuilding in the same old spot below sea level? And why is she willing to take the same old risk of being hit by a new flood all over again?


Her answer was simple: This is her home and the risk of natural disaster is everywhere.


You can't really blame Ms. Butler and thousands of others like her. The pull of home on the heart is strong and you have to admire the courage it takes to want to come back and make a go of it.


Her new house is more resilient. The roof and the pilings underneath are reinforced to resist high winds. The new house is also five feet higher off ground than the old one which puts her all of 3.5 feet above sea level.


Everyone here seems to understand the situation; more storms will come and so will floods. And being five feet off the ground isn't much help when you consider Katrina covered the neighborhood with more than 10 feet of water. Maybe that's why the contractor built an escape hatch into Ms. Butler's new roof; if flood waters rise again she won't be trapped and risk drowning in her attic.


Josephine Butler chooses to live in a high risk area, and she is just one of millions of people who are doing the same thing across the country. In some places, the threat is from natural disaster, but in others it is terrorism.


The threats we'll examine in an hour-long special tonight have two big things in common: 1) they can kill a lot of people and 2) they are somewhat preventable. What you may not be happy hear is how little is being done to prevent them.





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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Americans have failed to learn the most important lesson of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina: We need to make building resiliency from within our borders as urgent a priority as confronting dangers from without.


There would have been thousands of more victims in New York on September 11 if the city had not made significant new investments in emergency management and if the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owned the World Trade Center, had not conducted regular fire drills, improved the emergency lighting and applied photoluminescent markings on stair treads and handrails in the stairwells of the twin towers. It was New York's investment in resiliency after the 1993 World Trade Center truck bombing that made that tragic day in 2001 far less tragic.


Today, New Orleans would have long ago recovered from Hurricane Katrina had the city's flood control system not been so badly neglected. But throughout the 1990s, the funds that might have been used to repair and strengthen the levees and flood walls were routinely bled off for other projects. In 2004, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asked for $22.5 million to make emergency repairs to the storm protection system in New Orleans, the White House cut that figure to $3.9 million. It was New Orleans' lack of resiliency in the face of a foreseeable natural disaster that produced a catastrophe that has practically destroyed a great American city.


Building resiliency requires three things. First, we must anticipate likely man-made or natural disasters. Second, we must be willing to take prudent actions in advance of these disasters that lower our exposure to their potentially catastrophic consequences. Third, we must be able to mobilize a speedy response and recovery after disasters occur.


Ninety percent of Americans now live along the coast, near flood zones and earthquake fault lines, or in other locations that are at a high or moderate risk of being hit by a major natural disaster. But since 9/11, we have been acting as though the only serious threat we face is terrorism and that the only way to manage that threat is by military efforts abroad. When an aggressive offense against terrorists is our only defense, homeland security and planning for natural disasters end up as lesser priorities.


This is insane. Sure we should be confronting our enemies when we have the intelligence to tell us where they are and what they are up to. But our intelligence apparatus is badly broken and the terrorist threat is a rapidly mutating. We need only look to the 2004 train bombings in Madrid, Spain, and the 2005 attack on the London subways to remind us that the al Qaeda threat is not confined to the Middle East and that all acts of terror cannot be prevented.


More importantly, Americans are far more likely to be caught in the cross hairs of a major natural disaster such as an earthquake, flood, forest fire or a hurricane than an attack by terrorists.


No act of modern warfare, with the possible exception of a nuclear exchange between major world powers, has the potential to threaten as many lives and cause as much disruption to the global economy as the H5N1 avian influenza would if it makes the evolutionary leap that allows it to spread among humans as quickly and as lethally as it has among birds. Of the just over 100 documented human infections between 1997 and 2005, the mortality rate was 54 percent. With a flu outbreak leading to a projected 80 million illnesses in the United States, millions of Americans would be in need of hospital care, but our entire national inventory of staffed hospital beds is just 970,000.


Acts of terror and disasters cannot always be prevented, but they do not have to be catastrophic. The key is being willing to invest in things that are not particularly sexy, such a public health, emergency planning and community preparedness.


It requires that we repair frail levees, pipelines, dams and the electrical grid. And we also need to learn from disasters and near misses. Californians adopted a new construction code after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. New Yorkers took evacuating skyscrapers seriously after the World Trade Center was attacked in 1993. Adequately preparing for foreseeable events is the only way for the United States to step back from the edge of disaster.




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