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Thursday, March 31, 2005
I have been in the business at a call center for a long time now, and the many names that I have encountered during those times makes me crack up and laugh to myself while I am working... while my co-workers are all giving me a funny look. I don't explain it to them the reason, since I am the only pinoy in my dept. I am the only one who has the benefit of being amused, while the rest are all hyped and upset because the callers are all cursing, yelling and screaming on the fon.

Mrs. Kiki is from Greece. It is not a bad name for them, but it sure sounds strange for us pinoy.

Mr. Tarrugo is from Mexico. It is not a bad name for them, but sure sounds strange for us pinoy.

Mrs. Labatete is from Africa. It is not a bad name for them, but it sure sounds strange for us pinoy.

Mrs. Quepu is from Spain. It is not a bad name for them, but sure sounds strange for us pinoy.

Mr. Ouutong is from France. It is not a bad name for them, but sure sounds strange for us pinoy.

Mrs. Paa is from the Domican republic. It is not a bad name for them, but sure sounds strange for us pinoy.

Mr. LinTek is from China. It is not a bad name for them, but it sure sounds strange for us pinoy.

Mrs. Bolbol is from Ethiopia. It is not a bad name for them, but it sure sounds strange for us pinoy.

Mrs. Puqueresma is from Chile. It is not a bad name for them, but it sounds strange for us pinoy.

Mrs. Caocao is from Taiwan. It is not a bad name for them, but it sounds strange for us pinoy.

Mr. Tiebe is from the Carribbean. It is not a bad name for them, but is sounds strange for us pinoy.

I don't know why our language has a different way of interpreting things from a different culture and race. Ooooops, I am not making this up. These are names that i have really encountered in my line of work for the past ten years.
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:12 AM   13 comments
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
30 MARCH '05
I have returned from the ordeal of knowing how bad my Trigeminal Neuralgia problem is. The Neurologists said, I have now to make a decision if I wanted to go on and live with the pain or have it corrected surgically. The medications that was given to me is not doing me any good, the pain is still lingering, and at night, I can't sleep with the excruciating pain on the right side of the jawbone.

SEPT. '03
I was awaken with a jolting pain on the right side of my jawbone. I thought I was having a bad tooth ache, covering the end molar on the right side. I took some pain killer and said to myself that I will ask my dentists for an appointment. The family dentists told me, she cannot find any problem with the end molars and both left and right sides are okey. She suggested that I take Aleve for pain, which I did, but the pain is still there. Then I went to see an Ortho specialist. I was told that I have TEMPORO MANDIVULAR JAWBONE (TMJ) problem. A set of very expensive mouth guard was created especially for me which I have to use at night only to prevent the pain. The specialist charged my insurance $27,000 which for me is not a problem cuz I am heavily insured. I still have the pain on the right side of the jawbone.

Dec. '04
While having an Agape with PAX,(a groupd of ex-priest and ex-seminarians which I am a member).I was discussing my problem with a Neurological nurse assistant who is married to an ex-seminarian. She was trying to analyze what I am telling her and she then suggested that I see a Neurologist. I went to see a Neurologist and was then diagnozed that I have (STN) SEVERE TROGEMINAL NEURALGIA. I was told not many people has this type of illness and it is a long time curing process. I even told the Neurologist that I might be the lucky one to have this, since not many people has it. It is not a genetic problem, it is not handed over to the next generation....it just so happen, I was the unlucky one to have it. Medication was prescribed, thingking that it could still be remedied.

30 March '05
All the medications failed. I have to undergo an MRI of the brain, Study post FOSSA. I have now to decide if I want the Trigeminal Neuralgia be surgically remedied. I told my Neurologist that I will think about it first. He told me to think about it fast and quick, the problem might take its toll and the more worst it will create. I cannot just say yes, I have to think about it first because one of the Trigeminal is connected to the back of my head and at the spine. What if the doctor made a mistake or what if the surgery is not a success... I might get paralyzed.

posted by infraternam meam @ 5:02 PM   3 comments
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
28 March '05 --
I have picked up my wife at the train station from work with my dog Misty at the back seat, wiggling her tails as soon as my wife came out of the train. Then the two of us went out for dinner in an Ecclectic Chinese/Vietnamese/Oriental Restaurant. We ordered simple food, we talked about things in our state of the 26 married life we had together. We spend almost more than an hour eating simple food at 5pm, cuz I cannot eat anything after 9pm tonite.

When we arrived home, I went directly to the medicine cabinet, took hold again of all my pills, drain first two big ones, as big as my thumb with luke warm water and then waited for another 30mins to take the two, and then the last two after another 30mins.

I went to my own bedroom, rested, with the bedroom door open -- so that my wife could hear me, in case anything happens while she is in the master's bedroom, taking care of things for her work tomorrow morning.

Then, I heard voices, after a one hour sleep, from the effect of the medications that I have taken. I went inside the computer room.My two boys are both at home eating dinner, they have brought from the restaurant my eledest son is managing.The two said their usual salutations of the evening.... having now an apartment of their own.

After dinner, my eldest son came up at the computer room and we talked, while his mother is listening. He told me about all the many plans that he has in life, his many dreams, the plans that he would like to accomplish so that my wife and I will be a part of it---- HIS DREAMS....HIS PLANS in life, without mentioning of settling down and raising his own family. He told me..."I don't have any plans of conquering corporate America, Dad, I am 25 years old now, happy for now, being a batchelor, with no attachment".. I was looking at my eldest son intensely, while he tells me all these dreams of his, espcially now that he is managing two restaurants, and part of the two restaurants structure, put up by the Italian owner, fot the past four years now.

And so, I ask my self...."am I the man talking there, at the doorway of the computer room, or I am just another bystander in a nice episode in one man's life", until he told me...."I AM YOU DAD"...I held back the tears, pretended that I was thinkering the keyboard of the computer. He came forward and gave be a bear hug...and I LOST IT! For that time, when my son is embracing me...I felt energy on the embrace of my eldest son, while he is apologizing for the many pitfalls of his younger brother---who thru all of these emotions, is down stairs at his basement apartment, playing his game.

Then, my eldest son, went down to his younger brother's room and before midnite, he came up and asked me, when his mother is already asleep at the other room..." so what about tomorow Dad? Do you need me to be there? You know, I will always be there, when you check into the hospital....cuz your my Dad...and me and kid brother LOVES YOU AND MOM VERY MUCH."

I just touched my son's, arms around me...and we just looked at each other...WE UNDERSTOOD EACH OTHER...THOUGH HOW DISTANT SOMETIMES ARE LIVES ARE!


I will check into the hospital tomorrow, and I need to get some sleep.

posted by infraternam meam @ 12:43 AM   2 comments
Monday, March 28, 2005
* Nelson Mandela has filed for trademark protection.
The South African statesman hopes to stop businesses from profiting from his name, "Nelson Mandela", his tribal name, "Rolihlahla", his clan name, "Madiba", and his Robben Island prisoner number, "46664."

* Sperm whales -- like human divers -- can get the bends.
Researchers studying whale skeletons have discovered bone erosion similar to that suffered by scuba divers who rise to the surface too rapidly. Scientists had long assumed that whales were immune to the bends.

* Solar power is the law in sunny Spain.
Renovations and new structures are now required to have solar panels incorporated in their designs. The Spanish government estimates that use of a single two-meter solar panel reduces a home's yearly water heating bill by up to 70 percent. Global demand for solar power has grown about 25 percent a year, with Japan, Germany and the U.S. as leading market.

* A blow to drug resistant bacteria.
Using a molecule called apramycin, scientist have eliminated DNA that allows bacteria like E. coli to resists antibiotics. Since apramycin is likely toxic to humans, a more benign molecule is now being sought for use against the growing problem of drug resistant diseases.

(abstracted from GEONEWS)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:09 AM   1 comments
The peripatetic king of fairy tales turns 200

Hans Christian Andersen would be furious to know that the world remembers him best for a story about an ugly duckling. The intensely insecure Dane desired enduring fame-- but not as a children's author.

Born in 1805 in one of Denmark's poorest neighborhoods, Andersen rose to fortune and glory as a literary star.

He conceived his first international hit, the novel The Improvisatore, during a trip to Italy. Later journeys through Europe, Turkey, and Scandinavia inspired characters and plots in his novels, travel books, and plays.

Travel fueled Andersen's fame and sharpened his wit, but success never eased his restlessness or self doubt. Unlucky in love and painfully aware of his modest roots, he never stopped feeling like an outsider.

He sought solace in travel, wandering the world well into his old age. Andersen died in 1875, wealthy but alone. His work endured, however, and today his fairy tales "The Little Mermaid" are read in nearly 150 languages, from Abkhazian to Zulu. If he were alive, Andersen probably would'nt be satisfied. But for millions of readers, he has become what he most desire: a poet of the ages.

(abstracted from GEOGRAPHICA/by: Neil Shea)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:57 AM   0 comments
Sunday, March 27, 2005
The most destructive and common tsunamis are spawned by earthquakes. To Deform the sea bottom and displace enough water to propel wave pulses for a thousand miles or more, a quake has to be colossal, at least a magnitude of 7.5. Typically, s tsunamiquake occurs at a thrust fault, where an ocean plate dives under a continental plate, dragging it down until the fault snaps, causing an earthquake that lifts the seafloor.

Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula and the coastline border of Peru and Chile are among the most "Tsunamigenic" in the world.

A classic aboveground eruption is just one of the ways a volcano can disturb the ocean and generate a tsunami. Waves can also be triggered by submarine events-- eruptions, cascades of ash, or the collapse of a volcanic explosion of Krakatau and the collapse of its caldera stirred up 130 foot high waves and killed some 36,000 people.

The submarine Loihi Volcano southeast of the Big Island of Hawaii and the Izu village arc off the east coast of Japan are being closely watched.

The volcanic displacement of water from landslides, usually set off by earthquakes, and from rock and icefalls can create powerful local tsunamis. The highest recorded swept Lituya Bay, Alaska, in 1958, when a quake triggered rockfall threw up a 1,720 foot wave--267 feet higher than the Empire State Vuilding.

Continental shelves where sediments collect and the unstable flanks of volcanoes are landslide prone. Scientist are keeping an eye of the west coast of the U.S. off Santa Barbara, California and the east coast of southern Virginia and North Carolina.

A Hollywood style, doomsday tsunamic washing over New York City and pouring inlands as far as the Applachian mOuntains could happen if an asteroid of three to four miles in diameter hurtle into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. While no known asteroid or comet has hit earth during recorded history, 35 millions years ago one blasted a 53 mile wide crater under what is now the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay. The resulting waves -- possibly thousands of feet high-- roared inland for hundred of miles.

With luck, some other planet.

(abstracted from GEOGRAPAHICA/find more tsunami facts and links to the latest research in our Online Extra at national geographic.com/magazine/0504
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:37 PM   0 comments
Renaissance secret solved:

One the richest,most powerful clans in history, Italy's Medici Family came to the end of its rule in 1737, when Gian Gastone de'Medici died without an heir. The famous dynasty of merchants-turned-bankers that financed the Renaissance artists such as Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Botticelli, is still dead. It's just not buried anymore.

In May 2004, a teac of Italian and American scientists in Florence opened the first of 49 Medici graves slated for exhumation. By running tests such as CT scans and DNA analyses on the remains, the team hopes to learn how the Medici lived, and more importantly, how they died.

"There were a lot of illnesses in epidemic form at the time", says team member Arthur Aufderheide, a paleontologists at the University of Minnesota. "If we know the pattern of infectious diseases in history, perhaps we might find some clues about treating them today."

Some Medici suffered from malaria, and historical records say Grand Duke Francesco I died of the disease. But maybe he did'nt. Many historians suspect that Francesco and his wife were poisoned by his brother --- the next Grand Duke--- in 1587. The family was famous for its cut throat politics. Michiavelli wrote his cynical primer on sovereignty, The Prince, to impress a Medici, and during nearly 300 years in power, the family installed three of their own as popes and married off two daughters to become queens of France.

Now the truth about Francesco's death may finally be established. The scientists exhumed his remains in December 2004. The soon plan to test his bones for traces of arsenic.

The postmoretem exams have already solved some other mystery. Researchers have diagnosed Cosimo I,with a hereditary rheumatic disease, suggesting that his ancestor Piero I, known as Piero the Gouty, may not in fact have suffered from gout. Cosimo's wife, Eleonora di Toledo died of malaria, and testing shows she may have some additional health problems. Scientists investigating her remainds found traces of a substance once used to treat syphillis.

In Italy reaction to the Meeici exhumation has been mostly positive. The project has enjoyed the support of the Florence museum superintendent and received the blessing of a Medici descendant.

But two of the most famous Medici won't be telling any tales. Lorenzo the Magnificent and Cosimo the Elder are now scheduled to rise from their graves. Moving their fragile marble tombstomes is considered too risky. After all, they were carved by Michelangelo.

Abstracted from GEOGRAPHICA by: Scott Elder)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:12 PM   1 comments
*** 1. Minoan, circa 1630, B.C. When the volcano on the Greek Island of Santorini exploded, the waves that followed swept Crete--- and may have sped the Minon civilization's demise. The Tsunami is said to be a source of the Atlantis myth.

*** 2. Cascadia, 1700 Massive waves originated with a giant eathquake off the cost of the American Pacific Northwesat. Some 300 year old records desribing damage from this event have been found in Japan.

*** 3. Lisbon, 1755 The Portuguese capital was laid waste by an offshore earthqauke and the waves that follow3d -- events mentioned in Voltaire's Candide. Felt as far away as Barbados, it is to have wrought damage across the Atlantic.

*** 4. Sanriku, 1896 More than 20,000 people died when this tsunami hit Japan's northeast coast with little warning. National Geographic reported on the disaster in September of that year.

*** 5. Aleutian, 1946 Originating off Alaska, the tsunami reached Hawaiian shores within five hours. It spurred the developement of the Pacidif tsunami warning system.

*** 6. Chile, 1960 A magnitude 9.5 quake-- the largest on record -- triggered waves that claimed 2,200 lived across the Pacific. This disaster alerted officials to a need for public eduction about how to respond to tsunamis: Though warning were posted in Hawaii, spectators came to the waterfront to watch.

*** 7. Papua New Guinea, 1998 This tsunami mystified observers when its dealy waves struck along a very limited coast line, killing more than 2,000 people. Scientist have since learned that its cause was an undersea landslide-- at the time a little-recognized tsunamai trigger. Such landslides are now known to be a treat to many coasts.

(Abstracted from GEOGRAPHICA/The World by Numbers by: Tim Appenzeller, check at nationalgeographic.com/magazine.0504)
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:54 AM   0 comments
Saturday, March 26, 2005
No one knew at the time, but 1948 launched three men toward their destinies.

PEOPLE WHO LIVED THROUGH TUMULTOUS YEARS LIKE 1914 OR 1941 OR 1968 recognized them at the time for what they were: pivotal and world changing. But sometimes it is only after the pasasage of a generation or two, as a phase of history rolls on and its direction becomes clearer, that its point of origin emerges, 1948 was one of those years.

The nations turned away from depression and world war to what became America's vast peacetime imperial consumerism -- the automobile-and-suburb culture. The baby boom was in utero, or in deiapers. George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were approaching the terrible twos. In LIFE, an ad for Mutual Life Insurance showed a drawing of a man just about Richard Nixon's age (35) - hair Brylcreemed straight back like Nixon's-- bending over a child about 2 years old sleeping in a crib. The father in the ad says.Goodnight, Mr. President....and big dreams".

That summer, Nixon, a freshman member of the House Un-American Activies Committee, presided over the Alger Hess case -- a gaudy, sensational, two-year-long pageant of congressional hearings and court trials that would bring the cold war home, divide Americans and launch the young Nixon on a trajectory toward the White House.

Congressman Lyndon Johnson was locked in a fight for his political life in Texas-- an epic run for the U.S. Senate against the popular conservative former Governor, Coke Stevenson. Johnson beat Stevenson, in a runoff primary election, by 87 suspect, late-counted votes from south Texas.

Freshman Congressman John Kennedy, recovering from his first onset of Addison's disease, learned that his sister Kahtleen -- the third of the golden trio of Joe Jr., Jack and "Kick"- had been killed in a plane crash while flying with her married lover for a holiday on the Riviera. Joe Jr. had died toward the end of the war in another plane, which blew up over the English Channel. Jack fell into a period of morbidity. The Kennedy family concealed the truth about Kathleen's aristocratic lover. Kennedy ever after concealed the truth about his Addison's disease; if voters have known that Kennedy suffered from a dibilitating illness, his future political career, and his election as President, would have been impossible.

If there had been no Hiss case, if Johnson had lost, if Kennedy had told the truth about his disease-- history would have been different. The dramas turned on secrets, Nixon probed the hidden communist lives of Hiss and Whittaker Chambers. Kennedy locked the truth of his medical condition in a secret compartment. Johnson went to desperate lenghts to prevent the disputed ballot box from being opened.

It was an era of secrets -- political, personal, atomic. The cold war, just beginning, took from upon a battlefield of deadly concealed knowledge, of espionage and counterespionage, the terrible prize of which was the secret of the power to destroy the world. The Saturday Evening Post still gave Americans a Norman Rockwell version of themselves as an essentially loveable and virtous people. The first programs in the new medium of television worked the same vein. But the war -- as war always is--had been a violent exploration of the possibilities in the direction of apocalypse. Americans asked what they always ask about themselves: Are we a good people or a bad people?

In 1948 Alfred Kinsey published his report on Americans previously concealed sex lives. The Nobel Price in Medicine went to a Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Muller, for his work in developing the "miracle" compound DDT. Fourteeen years later, during the Kennedy Administration, the New Yorker would begin serializing Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, George Orwell transposed two numbers to t=get 1984.

Gandhi was assasinated by a Hindu militant from an organization called Mahasabha (The Secret Society). The Marshall Plan began. The state of Israel was born. IN the summer of the Berlin airlift, Lyndon Johnson clattered across Texas in history's fist campaing-by-helicopter-Lyndon swooping down ex-machina to meet and greet the astonished farmers.

1948 was the year when three future U.S. Presidents passed through formative ordeals and emerged reborn -- launced toward their destinies. All three of those destinies would be literally or politically fatal years later, in the Vietname-Watergate era, which, in turn, formed the U.S.'s present leaders. The year 1948 was the seedbed.

(abstracted from TIME ESSAY by: Lance Morrow)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:35 AM   0 comments
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the chief architect of Pope John Paul II's tradictionalist moral policy, has long been a bugaboo for liberal catholics. But they had stopped worrying that the German might one day ascend to St. Peter's throne. His hard-line views and blunt approach had earned him the ephithet of panzerkardinal and too many enemies. Well, their worrying may now resume. Sources in Rome tell TIME that Ratzinger has re-emerged as the top papal candidate within the Vatican hierarchy, joining other front runners such as Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan and Claudio Hummes of Sao Paolo. "The Ratzinger solution is definitely on", said a well-placed Vatican insider.

There are no immediate signs that John Paul's health has taken a turn for the worse, and he has publicly ruled out becoming the first Pope in eight centuries to retire voluntarily. But as his long papacy grows ever longer, some feel the next conclave will seek a shorter term "transitional" figure. Ratzinger, 77, may fill that bill. His doctrinaire ways have been tempered of late by a deft and more pragmatic approach to issues such as rising Western secularism and Islamic fundamentalism. During the recent U.S. controversy about giving Communion to pro-choice candidates, Ratzinger authored a careful letter to American bishops reasserting the Vatican's anti-abortion stance without dragging the Holy See into election year threatrics. "There was a stigma, "said the Vatican official of Ratzinger. "He rises above that now".

Moreover, John Paul's very public health woes may prompt the Cardinals to push his successor to impose a mechanism to avoid another pontificate slowed by illness. Ratzinger, who sought ways to adapt church governance for modern times, might be willing to agree to an age limit and pass on the job after a few years.

(abstracted from TIME/NOTEBOOK by : Jeff Israely)
posted by infraternam meam @ 6:02 AM   0 comments
Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn

Benefits: Relieves pain, tenderness and swelling.
Risks: Stomach irritation and bleeding. Drowsiness. Unpublished data suggests it may promote heart disease, but other studies indicate a cardioprotective effect. If you experience blurred vision, skin rash, ringing in the ears or signs of internal bleeding, such as bloody vomit or dark stools, contact your physician.

Advil, Motrin

Benefits: Relieves pain, tenderness and swelling.
Risks: Stomach irritation and bleeding. May interfere with the cardioprotective benefits of aspirin. Get immediate medical attention if you exprience blurred vision, skin rash, ringing in the ears or signs of internal bleeding.

Sudafed, Dimetap, Drixoral Nasal Dedongestant

Benefits: Relieves stuffy nose and opens airways.
Risks:Nervousness, restlenssness and difficulty sleeping, particlarly if combined with caffeine. Should not be taken by anyone with high blood pressure, glaucoma or kidney disease. Call your doctor immediately if you experience fast or irregular heartbeat, tremors or hallucination.


Benefits: Directly inhibits production of stomach acid. Works best when taken for several days.
Risks: Stomach pain, mild rash, constipation. Can mask more severe problems such as gallstone or a narrowing of the esophagus. Increased the risk of developing pneumonia 89% in a recent study of elderly patients (presumably because of the acids in the stomach where no longer strong enough to kill pneumonia-causing germs).

Bayer, Bufferin, Ecotrin and others

Benefits: Relieves pain, fever, redness and swelling. Can save your life if taken during a heart attack. May lower the risk of a future cardiac attack or stroke.
Risks: Stomach pain and gastrointestinal bleeding. Should not be given to children with fever or vitral infections since a rare but serious blood disorders may result. Call your doctor immediately if you experience ringing in the ears, skin rash, difficulty breathing or signs of internal bleeding.


Benefits: Releives pain and fever but not the stiffness, redness or swelling of arthritis.
Occasional stomach upset. Because so many products contain acetaminophen, it is relatively easy to overdose unintentionally. Administration of an antidote within eight hours provides the best chance of recovery. Although the mixture of any painkiller with alcohol may cause liver damage, doctors believe the combination with acetaminophen may be particularly problematic.

Nenadryl, Alavert, Claritin, Clor-Trimeton and others

Benefits: Relieve itching, sneezing , runny nose and watery eyes.
Risks: Depending on the formulation, dry mouth, increased appetitite, weight gain. Older types of cause drowsiness (and may even be used as mild as sleep aids) Children are at greater risk of suffering seizures. Nightnmares, inrritabilty and unusual excitement are also more likely to occur in children.

Tagamet, Zantac, Pepcid

Benefits: Indirectly reduces production of stomach acid.
Risks: Headaches, diarrhea, dizziness.May be less effective when used with antacids. The combination of Tagamet (cemetidine) and Valium can trigger confusion. Use of these drugs increased the risk of developing pneumonia 63% in a recent study.

(abstracted from TIME/HEALTH by: Christine Gorman)
posted by infraternam meam @ 5:29 AM   0 comments
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Legistlation would be required to deny her legal right to the title
"She automatically becomes queen when he becomes king".--Andrew MacKinlay, British Member of Parliament.

LONDON---In the latest twist in the royal wedding saga, the British government revealed Monday that Britons will have to get used to Queen Camilla.

That's because Camilla Parker Bowles will, by law, automatically become queen when and if Charles is crowned.

While the public has come around to supporting the marriage, opinion polls still show strong opposition to Parker Bowles taking the title queen.

But any attempt to change the rules to bow to popular sentiment would be exceedingly difficult. It would require not only a new law in Britain, but also legislative changes in 15 other nations where the British monarch is head of state.

Ever since Prince Charles office announced the wedding in February, preparations have been riddled with reversals that have prompted many observers to liken the nuptials to a farce.

Charles and Parker Bowles were set to get married at Windsor Castle, but were forced to choose a decidedly more down scale venue-- town hall.

Then Queen Elizabeth II dropped her plans to attend her son's wedding, immediately prompting speculation of royal snub.

On Monday, Constitutional Affairs Minister Christopher Leslie said in a written statement responding to a lawmaker's question that the royal marriage would not be "morganatic"-- in which the spouse of inferior status has no claim to the atatue of the other.

"This is absolutely unquivocal that she automatically becomes queen when he becomes king", said Andrew Mackinlay, the lawmakers who raised the questions.

The Department for Constitutional Affairs confirmed that interpretation, saying legislation would be required to deny Parker Bowles the title of queen.

"I'm perfectly happy for the Prince of Wales to marry whoever he likes, but altering the constitution, is parliament's business and this does require an alteration to the constitution". Mackinlay said.

"It should'nt be done for one man and one man alone", he added.

Prime Minister Tony Blair was in no hurry to deal with the issue.

"The position at the moment is limited to what the title would be on her marriage in terms of any future events, let's wait until futrue events arise." Blair's official spokesman said.

Announcing his wedding plans last month, Charles said his future wife would be known by the lesser title Princess Consort when and if he becomes king.

Immediately after their April 8 wedding she will become Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, and will not be called Princess of Wales -- the tile used by the late Princess Diana.

In making the wedding announcement, the prince subtly left the door open for changing his mind about Parker Bowles future status, saying "it is intended" that she would use the title Her Royal Highness the Princess Consort.

Some commentators believed that Charles was seeking to buy time to win over public acceptance of his wife as queen. After all, for years he said he had "no plans" to marry Parker Bowles".

(abstracted from CHICTRIB/Associated Press by: Robert Barr)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:50 AM   0 comments
John Z. DeLorean, an automotie innovator who left General Motors Corp. to develop a radically futuriostic sports car, has died at age 80.

He was among just a handful of U.S. entepreneur to start a car company in the last 75 years.

While apt to be remembered as the mand behind a car modified for time travel in the "Back to the Future" movies, Mr. DeLorean left a powerful imprint in automaking built in unique, souped up ears.

Mr. DeLorean, died late Saturday at Overlook Hospital in Summit, N.J. of complications from a recent stroke, said Paul Connell, an owner of A.J. Desmond and Sons Funeral Directors in Royal Oak, Mich. which was handling arrangements.

A Detroit native, Mr. DeLorean broke the mold of staid Midwestern auto executives by "going Hollywood", and pushed GM to offer smaller models, auto historians said.

While at GM, he created what some consider the first "muscle car" in 1964 by cramming a V-8 engine into a Pontiac Tempest and calling it the GTO.

Built only 8,900 cars

"John DeLorean was one of Detroits larger-than-life figures who secured a noteworthy place in our industry's history," GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said Sunday. "He made a name for himself though his talent, creativity, innovation and daring..At GM he will always be remembered ad the father of the Pontiac GTO, which really started the muscle car craze in the '60".

Mr. DeLorean was a rising executive at GM who many believe was destined for tis presidency before he quit in 1973 to launch the DeLorean Motor Car Co., in Northern Ireland. Eight years later, the DeLorean DMC 12 hit the streets.

Its hallamrks, such as an unpainted stainless steel skirt and the gull wing doors, have been ignored by mainstream automakers. The angular design, however, earned it a cult following, and the car was a time traveling vehicle for Micahel J. Fox's character in the "Back to the Future" films of the late 1980's.

But the factory produced only 8,900 cars in three years, said John Truscott, membership director of the DeLorean Owners Associations.

Mr. DeLorean's company collapsed in 1983, a year after he was arrested in Los Angeles and accused of conspiring to sell $24 million of cocaine to salvage his venture.

Mr. DeLorean used an entrapment defense to win acquittal on the drug charges in 1984.

The British government lost $94 milion over its heavy subsidies for the plant in West Belfast, granted with the hope that the venture's 2,000 jobs would weaken support for the Irish Republican Army.

Mr. DeLorean was later cleared of defrauding investors, but continuing legal entanglements kept him on the sidelines of the automotive world.

(abstracted from CHICSUNTIMES/Jeffrey Gold)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:27 AM   0 comments
A first grader brought dozen of little bags of crack cocaine to his Chicago Heights elementary school Friday and began passing them out to classmates, calling them "candy", officials said Sunday.

Adults at Lincoln School, which has fewer than 200 students in the kindergarten through eighth grades, learned what was going on through other kids and alerted the police.

"He lives in a household where apparently there's drug dealing, and when he sees these little bags of rock cocaine around the house, they're telling him it's candy", Chicago Heights Deputy Police Chief Michael Camili said.

A member of the household is believed to have stashed "40 bags of rock in his book bag...when he gets to school he finds them in his book bag, and he knows this is 'candy' because this what (people in the house) say it is," Camili said. "Then he sarts handing it out. It's insane".

'All bases were covered'
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services was contacted. A DCFS spokeswoam had no information when contacted Sunday. The boy's guradians are being sought, arrests are "pending" Camili said.

Nobody apparently was hurt in the incident. But a person familiar with the situations was angry with the reponse by police, saying that "somebody could have been hurt because they didn't go around and talk to kids about it" and make sure all drugs were recovered.

However, Chicago Heights District 170 Supt. Dollie Heisel said that "all bases were covered, truly," and she's confident "anything that was given out was retrieved".

There was rumor -- which police could'nt confirm-- the boy who passed out or shown the drug to other kids at a community center in the south suburb Thursday.

The neighborhood around the school can be "a tough area", with street drug dealing sometimes visible from school grounds, school officials said.

While the district takes a tough stance on drugs, the boy, who is 6 or 7 , isnt likely to face discipline because he didn't know what he was doing. Helsel said.

"He was a darling little child; he had no idea of what he had. The ruckus, I'm sure, upset him", she said. " It breaks your heart to see that."

Camili was tunned by the case; "I've been here 29 years, I've never seen anything like it".

(abstracted from CHITRIB/by Robert Herguth/Staff Reporter)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:08 AM   0 comments
Police on Sunday were searching for two men -- on weighing 300 pounds and the other only 130 -- who aleegedly had set out to rob a drug house by posing as cops.

Instead, the pair apparently went to the wrong house and victimized two "hardworking homeowners" by mistake.

Within minutes of entering the home in the 1700 block of North Lawndale, the pair realized "Oops, this was the wrong spot," said Grand Central Area Violent Crimes Sgt. Max Guajardo.

The pair had broken into the house with guns drawn, claiming they were police officers looking for drugs, authorities said.

Went to police in handcuffs.

The heavier home invader sported a leather holder around his neck holding a tiny gold star, similar to a Chicago Police star, Guajardo said. That man also claimed to have a piece of paper that authorized him to search for drugs.

The pair handcuffed the male homeowner, ordered him to lie on the ground and took $200 out of his wallet at gunpoint, Guajardo said. Then the two fled, leaving the man's wife and 3 year old boy unharmed.

The male victim was still handcuffed behind his back when he walked into the Grand Central District to report the 9:30 pm Friday incident.

The attackers were described as both Hispanic. One was roughly 35 years old. One was roughly 35 years old, 5 feet 11 inches, 300 pounds, wearing a long sleeve gray shirt and blue jeans; the other was about 24 years old, 5 feet 6 inches, 130 pounds, wearing a green jacket, dark pants and a New York baseball cap.

(abstracted from CHICTRIB/by Rosalind Rossi/Staff Reporte)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:56 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Wellness Astrology by: Ted PanDeva Zagar

His (Pope's) chartwheel depicts Earth as a circle in the center surrounded by a sky that is divided into 12 houses. The 1st house starts at the eastern horizon, with the western horizon starting the 7th House. The 10th House cusp is the point directly overhead.

The pope's planetary pattern strongly influenced his career and wellness destiny. Sagittarius and its associate House (9th) and planet (Jupiter) rule religion. John Paul has his two most influential spheres -- Sun and Moon -- plus Mercury and Venus in the 9th House at 27,29,18 and 14 degrees of Taurus respectively.

Pisces and its associate House (12th) and planet (Neptune) govern spiritual and mystical matters. The last portion of John Paul's 6th House of Service/Work contains 8 degrees (out of 30) of the zodiac sign of Pisces. Saturn (career) is in the 12th House. Significantly, the two planets of religion-musticism (Jupiter-Neptune) are tightly conjoined at 10 and 8 degrees of Leo, respectively (11th House).

The 6th House also governs wellness and illness. John Paul has the 12th degree of Aquarius on the cusp of the house. The only planet in that portion of the sky is Uranus, conincidentally the planetary associate of Aquarius. This makes the month of Aquarius. This makes the month of Aquarius (Feb. 20 to March 20) doubly significant for John Paul in matters of wellness.

Having a birth sky featuring four planets in Taurus, the pope has great sensitivity in the throat, thyroid, tonsil and neck regions.

He was hospitalized with a problematic larynx on Feb.1, the annual date when the Sun enters his 6th House. At the same time Uranus - following an 84-year-cycle- returned to its original place in the chart (5 degrees Pisces). As this is the planetary ruler of John Paul's wellenss fortunes and misfortunes, great significance is placed upon this rare event.

On Feb. 24 the Sun caught up to transiting Uranius when the pope required a tracheotomy, fulfilling his mega-Taurean sensitivities and destiny.

Voice your higher choice and know that lovs is the brightest star!

posted by infraternam meam @ 4:27 AM   0 comments
*** The time most suitable for yoga is in the morning before breakfast when the mind is calm and fresh and the movements can be done in ease.

*** A person must seek a place of guietude, which is well ventilated, free from dust, insects, unpleasant smell, draft and moisture. There should be no distraction whatsoever.

*** You must empty your bowels and bladder, clean your nostrils and throat of all mucus, consume a glass of lukewarm water and then begin the exercise after 15 minutes.

*** Always remember that you should begin with the easy postures and then proceed to the difficult ones. One must follow the graded steps.

*** In the beginning, all movements should be practices lightly and you must cease if fatigue shows.

*** Yoga must pep up and not impart weariness and despondency.

*** Periods of relaxation are advisable if a particular exercise proves to be tiring.

*** Yoga trainers recommend a balanced diet (sattwik). There should be an interval of 4 hours between meals.

*** The ratio of meals should be: 30 percent grains and cereals: 20 percent dairy: 25 percent vegetables and roots: 20 percent fruits and honey: 5 percent nuts.

*** Regarding the quantity of food, it should be moderate (mitahara), only that which satisfies one's appetite.

*** One should avoid overeating, fasting or eating once a day.Stale or non-nutritious food is harmful.

*** The clothing should be loose and as scanty as possible, because maximum amount of the skin should be exposed to air.

*** Form fitting cotton/Lycra pants and shirts are the best.

*** The breathing should be long and deep. The mouth should be closed and inhale and exhale only through the nose.

*** Always take a mat of Kusa or any other grass or hay for sitting postures.

*** For lying postures use a wool carpet, and spread a clean sheet over it.

posted by infraternam meam @ 4:07 AM   0 comments
March 2, 1919--
Melchora Aquino a.k.a. Tandang Sora died at the age of 107. Tandang Sora was born January, 1812 in Banilad, Caloocan. Later in life, she has six children to Fulgencio Ramos who died early. Being a single mother, she supported her children through rice and sugarcane production from their 25 acres land.

She was called the "Mother of the Philippine Revolution", because she was an active supporter of the Katipunan and supported the Katipuneros of Andres Bonifacio in their battle against Spain. Secret meetings of the Katipuneros were held in her house. while she tended Filipinos who managed to escape by dressing their wounds, feeding them and hiding them from the Spaniards.

Not much is know of Melchora Aquino. When the war broke out in 1896, she was already old, hence she was called "Tandang Sora".

When the Spaniards authorities learned of her involvement in the revolution, she was exiled to the Marianas Islands along with 171 Filipinos charged with rebellion. In 1901, she came back under the American regime and died 16 years later.

March 15,1943---
Gregoria de Jesus, wife of Andres Bonifacio was a native of the town of Kalookan then of Rizal Province. She was born on May 9, 1875. Her father is Nicholas De Jesus, a Gobernadorcillo during the Spanish regime.

Gregoria de Jesus began her revolutionary work at the age of 18. As the wife of Andres Bonifacio, she suffered countless privations in the performance of the dangerous tasks which only women could do undetected by the police. The revolutionary generals spoke admiringly of her extraordinary courage and daring and of her alertness, which saved her from capture.

When the revolution was suppressed by the Americans, Gregoria de Jesus returned to peaceful life. Afterbeing a widow of Andres Bonifacio, she decided to get married to another patriot, Julio Nakpil. She became a devoted wife and mother, but still loyal to the ideals of the revolution, which she also instilled in the minds of her children.

In her last years, when her children were already grown up, she particualrly enjoyed sojourning at the home of her only son, Juan, of whom she was very fond of. Her son was aware of her tender devotion to him and he reciprocated it. He was deeply grieved by her passing in 1943, during the dark days of the Japanese occupation.

(abstracted from PINOY News/Almanac)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:46 AM   0 comments
Monday, March 21, 2005
*** French Fries
Linguists argue over which came first, the French or the frenching. Specifically, some say that even though they originated in Paris (as Pommes Frites), French fries get their name not from the country, but from the fact that they are cut in long strips, or "Frenched". Others contend that the term frenching arose in response to French Fries. Whatever the case, they arrived in the States as French fried potatoes and were shortened in the 1930's to their current moniker. Today they're eaten by the handful by fast food customers who could'nt imagine a hamburger without them. The preferred condiment here is ketchup. In England, it's malt vinegar.

*** Jell-O
Believe it or not, this so-easy it's embarrassing dessert was once the height of haute cuisine. Gelatin, in case you didn't know (or had banised it from your mind), is usually derived from cow bones, hides, and connective tissues. In the 19th century only the gentry ate enough meat to accumulate the spare body parts needed to make this wobbly treat. But in 1845 American invenor Peter Cooper developed a way to preserve gelatin in a stable, powdered form. Two years later, American inventor Pearle Wait developed a fruit flavored version of Cooper's gelatin. His wife Mary, came up with the name Jell-O. In 1899 Wait, unable to create a market for his invention, sold the formula and name to manufacturer and salesman Orator F. Woodward -- for $450. Woodward made it a success by sending out salemsan armed with cookbooks explaining how to create fancy-looking dishes just like the rich folks. Shortly thereafter (and forevermore), desserts made from endered cow parts became staples of picnics, family reunion, and lowbrow wdding recptions.

*** Cotton Candy
If you want a sweet treat with no redeeming nutritional qualities whatoever, this is it. Cotton candy (originally called Fairy Floss)is nothing but raw sugar that's melted, spun into gossamer filaments, and then collected on a paper cone. Ironically, one fo the four men who developed the process in the early 20th century was a dentist named Josef Delarose Lascaux. We're guessing business at his practice picked up after he introduced the confections.

*** Chiclets
Sporting an old-timey logo that makes it look like the brand goes back to Arthurian England (actually, it dates only to the early 1900s). Chiclets package the chew of gum and the crunch of a cnady coating in one impossibly thin box -- even though today's kids would rather go for the Bubble Yum. Maybe it's because Chiclets are so high maintenace, requiring a good three or four pieces just to develop a decent wad. Still, has there ever been a vending machine cooler than the chrome and glass Chiclet gum machine?

*** Kool Aid
The beverage that created thousand red tongues ( and makes an excellent temporary hair dye as well) was invented by Nebraska tinkerer Edwin E. Perkins. He ran a small manufacturing concern called Perkins Products Company, and one of his best selling products was a soft drink syrup called Fruit Smack. In 1927 Perkins, who shipped by mail and hated paying extra postage to cover the glass Fruit Smack bottle,figured out a way to dehydrate the name to Kool-Ade (now Kool-Aid) and a century spanning tradition was born. These days more than 563 million gallons are consumed each year. There's no word as to how much of that winds up on shirts, car upholstery, and long living room couches.

*** Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
The purpose of a convenience food is to transform something difficult into something easy. Yet one of the world's great convenience foods,Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, achieved enormous popularity by taking an already dead-simple dish (cheesy pasta) and doing nothing more than powdering the cheese, sealing it in a packet, and selling it in the same box with elbow macaroni. Introduced in 1937, it took off during the Word War II, when it helped bulk up many a rationing-- trimmed dinner. Variations--spirals and wheels-- were added in 1975 and 1988. All hell broke loose in the mid '90s when the theme was supplemted with such variations as Super Mario Brothers and, Pokemon and Spongebob.

*** Carnation Instant Breakfast
The popularity of Tang might be waning, but this powdered breakfast drink is still going strong. Indeed, you could do a lot worse than downing a glass of this foamy, lumpy beverage. The first Men's Health Nutrition Awards, in 2002, included a nod to a Carnation Instant Breakfast, a serving of which furnished 25 percent of the adult daily requirements for protein, along with half the required calcium. Of course, the label doesn't mention that the drink is also recommended by Carnation to doctors whose patients want to gain weight.

*** Tang
Possibly the orangest beverage ever invented. Tang was introduced by the General Foods Corpoation in 1959. But it really took off (in the most literal sense) when it was selected for use on manned space flights. Not because it was better tasting than real orange juice, but because the just add water powder was eay to store. Kids promptly clamored for the astronaut approved mix, which parents reluictantly provided. It was basically sugar and food coloring.

*** Chef Boyardee
The real Chef Hector Boiardi was born in Italy in 1898 and made a name for himself at the Ritz Carlton and other restaurants in New York City and beyond. He even catered President Woodrow Wilson's wedding. Now he is Americanized name is synonymous with canned Pasta that carries upward of 1,190 mg of sodium per serving. It's hard to iamgine more text book example of entropy.

(abstracted from The Encyclopedia of Guilty Pleasures
by: Sam Stall, Lou Harry and Julia Spalding)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:46 AM   0 comments
Cook County on Thursday paid #1.35 million to the only son of a 37 year old South Side woman who died from internal bleeding while she was being held in a Cook County Jail cell in August of 2000, according to the attorney representing the woman's estate.

Marilyn Bones was arrested on drug charges Aug. 14,2000, and placed in a cell two days later when she couldn't come up with $500 bail.

Bones immediately complained of sever stomach pains and diarrhea. She died of internal bleeding caused by a ruptured ectopic pregnancy.

She was pronounced dead at Cermak Hospital on the jail property, said Bones family attorney, David Buffen.

Despite Bones pleas, jail employees did "little or nothing" to help her as she "slowly and painfully bled to death" for about eight hours, Buffen said.

"She dripped blood into her belly a drip at a time until she leaked a liter and a half of blood". Buffen said.

'There was negligence'

A cook County Sheriff's Department spokewoman declined to comment on the settlement.

Buffen also said a jail guard disregarded Bones requests for medical attention. The guard wrote in a log that Bones would not be allowed to see a doctor until she got up off the cell floor, Buffen said.

"That's where there was negligence", Buffen said.

Bones, who lived in the 5300 block South Peoria, had a 9 year old son when she died.

(abstracted from CHITRIB/by: Mark J. Konkol/ Staff reporter)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:28 AM   0 comments
Sunday, March 20, 2005
TOKYO -- Your eyes probably hurt just thiningking about it: Tens of thousands of Japanese cell phone owners are poring over full length novels on their tiny screens.

In this technology enamored nations, the mobile phone has become so widespread as an entertainment and communication device that reading e-mail, news headlines and weather forecats -- rather advanced mobile feature by global standards-- is routine.

Now, Japan's cell phone users are turning pages.

Several mobile Web sites offer hundreds of novels -- classics, best sellers and some works written especially for the medium.

It takes some getting used to. Only a few lines pop up at a time because the phone screen is about half the size of a business card.

But improvements in the quality of liquid crystal dispalys and features such as automatic page flipping, or scrolling, make it far more enjoyable than you'd imagine.

In the latest versions, cell phone novels are downloaded in short installments and run on handsets as Java-based applications.

"You can read wnenever you have a spare moment and you don't even need to use both hnads," says Taro Matsumura, 24, a graduate student who reads essays and serial novels on his phone.

In the United States, cell phones are increasingly being used for relaying data, including video, digital photos and music. Random House recently bought a state in VOCEL, a San Diego company that provides mobile phone products as Scholastic Aptitude Test Preparation programs.

(abstracted from CHICSUNTIMES/ Associated Press/ by: Yuri Kageyama)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:36 PM   0 comments
If you're interested in answering this survey, fill out and send it to maximonline.com(need not give name)

City/or state :
Favorite Color:


How old are you when you first had sex?
How many sexual partners have you had?
How many partners' name can you remember?
What's the longest you've been in a relationship?
Have you ever cheated on your aprtner? ___ yes ___ no
Have you ever been cheated on? ___ yes ___ no
If you were caught, how?

Have you ever been to relationship counseling? ___ yes ___ no

If yes, why?

Did it work? ___ yes ___ no ___ of course not
What is the ideal number of partners for a man to have had?
For a woman?
Do you think you are more or less sexually experienced that your partner?
___ more ___ less

Do you prefer a partner more experienced or less experienced that you are?
___ more ___ less

Virgins: a blessing or a curse?
How old is the oldest person you've had sex with?
How old would you go?
How many times a week do you have sex?
How often do you think a typical person your age has sex weekly?
What's the longest you've gone without it?
How many one-night stand have you had?
What's been your fastest turnaround time between first encounter and the nasty?
Have you ever made a booty call? ___ yes ___ no
What's your favorite perversion?

What's the strangest thing your partner has asked you to do?

Did you do it? ___ yes ___ no
Finger in the butt,:good of bad? ___ yes ___ no
What's the craziest thing you have ever done?

Have you ever had a threesome ___ yes ___ no
Have you ever used the services of a prostitute? ___ yes ___ no
Have you had anal sex? ___ yes ___ no
Have you ever had sex in public? ___ yes ___ no
Where's the strangest place?

Do you like to role play? ___ yes ___ no
Which sex act do you most look forward to performing one day?
How often do you masturbate?
Record for a single day?
Do you indulge at work? ___ yes ___ no
How frequently do you look at porn?
___ never ___ sometimes ___ weekly ___ daily

Have you ever had cybersex? ___ yes ___ no
Have you ever had sex with a co-worker? ___ yes ___ no
What relation do you have?
Where ?
Which celebrity would you most have sex with?
What is your preferred appraoch to pubic hair on women?
___ trimmed ___ bare ___ natural

Lights on or off ? ___ on ___ off
Dirty talk or silence? ___ talk ___ silence

How much foreplay is enough?

What percentage of the time do you use condoms?
Have you ever had STD? ___ yes ___ no
How would you describe your sexual prowess?
___ amateur ___ average ___ swordsman
How long do you really last?

Have you ever been unable to perform? ___ yes ___ no
Have you taken Viagra? ___ yes ___ no
How would you describe your partner's performance?
___ amateur ___ average ___ little tramp
Have you ever measured yourself? ___ yes ___ no
If it were 100 percent safe, would you have penile-enlargement surgery?
___yes ___ no

Do you enjoy performing oral sex? ___ yes ___ no
What is the perfect breast size?

Are boo jobs cheating? ___ yes ___ no
How long should a man stay in bed after sex?

What is your favorite part of woman's body?

What, if anything, occupies more of your mental activity than sex?

What was your msot glorious sexual achievement?

(abstracted from MAXIMONLINE.COM)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:07 AM   0 comments

Czech Republic --A Slovakian born man pulled a locomotive using braided cables attatched to 14 rods skewered through the skin of his back. Ladislav Hanzel, resembling Mr. Clean, dragged the 88-ton behemoth along a railway in Brno for 27 seconds, hauling it roughly 15 feet before giving up. The feat not only earned the chunky engine that could a Czech record, but gave hope to young Eastern Europeans who dream of one day achieving their own pointless, short lived glory.

Chile--A Santiago pharmacist expecting a shipment of mushrooms by mail opened a package and found that she'd been delivered a human brain instead. Horrified at receiving gray matter rather than the fungi she needed for testing. Susana Erana rang up the cops. Los Policias discovered that the brain was mailed from the town of Curico and originally intended for a Santiago morgue. According to a police spokesperson blessed with exceptional powers of deduction, "Something went wrong".

China -- An electrician received an on-the-job shock so powerful that it blew a book size hole in his chest and left his heart exposed to the open air. After the accident, Zhu Ming,a 34-year old from the Jiangsu province, underwent two operations to clear out charred tissue but had to wait nearly three months before the grisly gaping maw in his torso could be patched up. Physicians predict a full recovery for Zhu MIng as long as he avoids infection and overzealous post touchdown chest thumping.

Costa Rica -- A vacationing German professor woke up in an airport to find his leg missing. Ronald Jurisch, a 50 year old from Dessau, had gone to a San Jose hospital to treat a diabetes-related swelling in his left leg. "I heard the word 'amputate' and protested but they gave me drugs and I blacked out" Jurisch explained, "Then I woke up in the lounge." Back in Fatherland, he needed 23 surgeries to repair the damage done by the loco doctors in Costa Rica.

(abstracted from MAXIMONLINE.COM)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:46 AM   0 comments
Saturday, March 19, 2005
BALUT. That much-loved, most maligned Filipino delicacy: favourite of beer drinkers all over the country, degree zero for culinary nestiness (used as a stunt on TV's Fear Factor), the dreaded food test for the foreigners (and Filipino American).

Say it: Balut. Balut. Your lips gently press together at the beginning, your tongue flicks quickly towards your palate, your lips move as one in the shape of a narrow ooo, and end with your tongue teasingly poking behind your teeth,

This is, however, in contrast to how Balut is sold in the Philippines, by ambulant vendors who yell in the streets, "BaluuuuuuuuT!".

But there is little sensual per se about Balut; it is, after all, an aborted duck fetus. As opposed to, say, eating an ordinary chicken egg with yolk and all, the Balut is already fertilized and ready to go, as it were, with an actual, healthy, living duck embryo (incubated up to 18 days in a hatchery). And this where, of course, the Balut gets its notoriety; the duck really looks like a duck, eyes, pink little limbs, gray feathers, useless beak and all.

My fondest memories about Balut had more to do with buying them. They were always sold late at night (my father would bring home after playing mahjong until midnight), but sometimes we would go out ourselves. In Los Banos, they were sold by this gaunt, gray-haired woman who would squat by the side of the road. The Balut would be swaddled in cloth, and nestled unwrap the rolled up blanket that kept the eggs warm, give us a thimbleful of salt in a twist recycled graphing paper, and count her memory in the light of the candle anchored with melted wax on the pavement. (I remember these were windless, humid July nights). We would then ride home, feeling the heat of the eggs in our laps.

Instructions for eating Balut:

** Boil water gently in a pot, and put the Balut in it for a few minutes.

** Untwist the salt and put it in a dish (A dipping dish, the kind used for soy sauce or patis, works very well.)

** Hold the Balut upright and, with the underside of a spoon, make a crack at the top of the egg.

** Chip away pieces of eggshell with your finger until you have a hole about the diameter of a finger(This could be bigger, it depends).

** Sometimes you'll see some kind of gauzy membrane. Pierce it.

** You can peek inside the Balut now and see the broth. Is this albumen? (I always preferred to think of it as amniotic fluid).

** Continue removing the eggshell. Depending on the how you cracked it open, you may then see an undifferentiated mass of stuff the feels like slightly runny, soft-boiled egg in texture. Dip the stuff in the salt and eat it.

** Or you may encounter a hard-spherical section that looks like a seed. Throw that away. (My godmother swears that it's all calcium and good for you, but it's tasteless and hard for me.)

** Or you may finally get to the jackpot: the duck fetus. You may pick it up by the head- at which point the body unrolls from its fetal position and its little legs dangle-dip it also in the salt, and pop it into your mouth.

** Wash down with a cold bottle of San Miguel beer.(I think I may have been drinking it with milk when I was in dlementary school- now that sounds disgusting. Balut and milk).

Answers to frequently asked questions:

** Yes you can feel the feathers on your tongue.

** As a former American professor discovered, entering a pitch-black closet so you dont' have to see it makes no difference; you can still smell the faint, slightly gamey, deliciously menstrual aroma.

** no, the duck eyes are closed.

** Of course, it's dead.

** No, I have never been able to buy good Balut in the United States, and I won't try to. One time my schoolmate, Tim (can't remember his last name, but he lived in Mountain Province once and was studying Heidegger and Japan for his dissertation). Jenny Franco ( I wonder where she is now), and I drove to Queens to Roosevelt Avenue to buy Filipino food. I bought a six pack of San Miguel beer and two Balut eggs, which were simply horrible - they were all pinkish and looked under-incubated, and they tasted rotten.

** No, you cant't pop the whole thing in your mouth. To begin with there's too much, unless you have a big mouth. You have to separate the Balut into its component parts to appreciate it, and that requires reverent contemplation of the duckling, forever asleep.

** Yes, it tastes great and I miss it.

(Abstracted from PILIPINAS2.0 by Benito Vergara)
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:58 AM   0 comments
Friday, March 18, 2005
FOOD IS SO EMBEDDEDin our lives (Filipinos)that a lot of our metaphors and idiomatic expressions are based on food. We are nakikisawsaw when we join a group of people doing something. We are uhaw sa atensyon or binubusog ng pagibig.When a deal smells fishy we call it lutong macauIf the same deals leads to questionable results, we'll call it panis. In the 1980's, we signaled dissatisfaction by making the universal "up yours" sign but we gave it a local name: ngatngatin sign.When people or events gag up on you, you're lutong-luto na.

Our ex-future president and Da King Fernando Poe Jr. made popular the favourite phrase for people who've had enough: Kapag puno na ang salop. For those of you who've never used, or much less seen a salop, it's that square box that rice vendors use to measure rice. The vendors would keep pouring rice into the salop until it's heaping with it. Then they level the heap by passing a wooden stick to the brim. The whole saying is "Kapag puno na ang salop, kailangan ng kayusin."

Then when we're angry we say naghalo na ang balat sa tinalupan Try translating that in English and you'll end up gooping for a word for tinalupan! And don't forget what the oldies would always preach to us: ang pag-aasawa ay hindi kaning mainit na iluluwa kapag napaso.I think that is one of the best and crispest lessons ever phrased about marriage.

Of course, all other cultures use food and eating to express themselves too. But Filipinos take the cake, if you know what I mean. Here's more proof. Rice is just rice to other nations. But for Filipinos, it's gotta be palay, then bigas and finally, kanin when boiled. It transforms into sinangag the next morning. Compare this to the names Americans use for rice: unhusked rice, uncooked rice, cooked rice (or steamed rice) and fried rice. How creative.

We even have a name for that sticky goo water turns into as you boil it with rice. It's called amand back in Pampanga when I obviously come from (it's the surname, stupid), we sometimes put the am into a cup and sweeten it with sugar and nice pre-dinner snack. My mother swears by the medicinal powers of am.

Speaking of Pampanga, famous for its great cooks (and also for the boastfulness of its people, so they say, which to me is baseless), I think it's the only province that has a term for this quirk: when you eat adobo, for example, and you pour its sabaw into the kanin -- what do you call that action! I asked my friends from a handful of provinces and all they came up with is the verb sinasabawan. Kapampangan have a different term for sabaw and the act of addin it to rice. We call sabaw as sabo whole the act is called manambula.

While we are at it, I find it hard to use the word "sauce" to translate sabaw You'll agree that it doesn't capture the meaning of sabaw.

What I'm trying to belabor here is that we gain a bit of insight by looking at the way people eat, and by comparing it with other cultures. Take the French, for example, who are also fond of food, They like it subtle. Their typical dinner is like a stripping act, slowly progressing from teaser to climax: hor d'oeuvres and some pre-dinner drinks (called aperitif) then follows a procession of courses so long you'd think you deserve a college degree after dinner.

In comparison, we just pile up on the table all the dishes we prepared, and let the guess help themselves! Sure, there are some families who serve dinner in courses-- but probably inheriting this tradition from the Spanish.

Because they don't have rice, the French, and Europeans in general, like their ulam less tasty. Now there's another difference. To Westerners, a meal is a meal and we consider it weird if they eat adobo by itself, without rice. To us, meal should have kanin and ulam or you're just nagpapapak. I think this is why our viands are tastier-- because, we compensate for the thinner taste when we mix an ulam with rice. This may explain why their taste is "subtle" while we like it really tasty.

What's the ultimate proof that we like eating? Eating is so important to us that we honor our heroes by naming food after them. After Ninoy Aquino's assassination, one carinderia in Quezon Avenue named itself "Goto Ninoy". And of course there's that fish called lapu-lapu. Now I did my usual research into this topic but it's still not clear whether the fish was named after the hero or vice versa. But I strongly doubt that someone would actually name their kid after a mean-looking fish. In any case, eating lapu-lapu to honor a hero sounds as far-fetched as the thought of Americans eating a nice plate of basted washington with cranberry sauce on Thansgiving . You can't beat that.

(Abstracted from PILIPINAS2.0 by Ruben Canlas Jr.)
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:02 AM   0 comments
Chinese use chopsticks, westerners use forks, Filipinos (traditionally, at least) use their hands.

1. Place a small amount of the main dish, called "Ulam", on top of a little bit of rice, using your dominant hand.

2. Pinch your index finger and thumb together as if you are about to pick up a piece of cheese.

3. Include your other three fingers in the pinch.

4. Spread the pinch so that your fingers and thumb are shaped around the rice and "ulam".

5. Place your thumb behind the food.

6. Lean your head forward and lift your hand to your mouth.

7. Place your fingers near your lower teeth and shove the food into your mouth with one big push of the thumb.

(Abstracted from PILIPINAS2.0)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:54 AM   0 comments
Did You Know That.....

** The popular toy, the yoyo, was invented by 16th century hunters in the Philippines.

** The Philippines became the first Asian country to win five major international beauty pageant crowns -- two for Miss Universe, in 1969 and 1973, and three for Miss International, in 1965, 1970, and 1979.

** The biggest game preserve and wildlife sanctuary in the Philippines is located in Calauit Island of Palawan, which has the largest land area among the Philippine province.

** Fernando Amorsolo was officially the first National Artist of the Philippines. He was given the distinction of National Artist for Painting in 1972.

** The largest fish in the world, the Whale Shark, locally known as Butanding, regularly swims to the Philippine waters.

** The world's shortest and lightest freshwater fish is the dwarf pygmy goby (Pandaka Pygmaea), a colorless and nearly transparent species found in the streams and lakes of Luzon. Males have an average length of 8.7 mm and weigh 4-5 mg.

** There are 12,000 or so species of seashells in the Phillipines. The Conus Gloriamaris or "Glory of the Sea" is the rarest and most expensive in the world.

** Of the 500 known coral species in the world, 488 are found in the Philippines.

** Of the eight species of marine turtle worldwide, five are reported to be found in the Philippines: the Green Turtle, Hawkbill, Leatherback, Olive Ridley and Loggerhead.

** The Basilica of San Sebastian is the only steel church in Asia and was second building to be made out of steel, next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

** The largest bell in Asia hangs at the belfry of the 221-year old Panay church. It is 7 feet in diameter and 7 feet in height, and weighs 10.4 tons. It's tolling can be heard as far as 8 km. away. It was casted from 70 sacks of coins donated by the townspeople as a manifestiation of faith and thansgiving.

(abstracted from PILIPINAS 2.0)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:37 AM   0 comments

"Every word was coined by a resourceful individual or borrowed as a result of language contact in a certain place at a certain time," writes Anatoly Lieberman in hisnew book "Word Origins and How We know Them: Etymology for Everyonw"( Oxford University Press)

It may sound simple, but etymology -- the study of word origins-- is in fact murky and tedious, if unfailingly fascinating. Lieberman's book is an examination of the process of determining how a word originated, and it shows how complex his craft can be.

"The art of etymology consists in seeing through a word's disguise". writes Liberman a professor of medieval literature and linguistics at the Unviersity of Minnesota who is laboring on a comprehensive etymological dictionary of the English language.

The the word "speed". Liberman says the root of "speed" can only be determined by what linguistics call "internal reconstruction", which basically amounts to an educated guess. Liberman writes that by analyzing a family of related words including the Old English word, "spowan", the Old Slavic wrod "speti", and the Latin "spes", linguists can speculate that the root of all of these words must have been "spodi". But he puts an asterisk in his book by the word to show the existence of "spodi" is hypothetical.

"Speed" gisguised its origins by changing not only its spelling but its meaning, too. The word originally meant "prosperity", as in the phrase, "God send you good speed", but over time, "Speed" came to mean the manner in which prosperity is achieved.

The number of unexpected turns words can take is nearly infinite. Liberman explains the phenomenon of "misdivision" or an unintended combiantion of words. The word "nickname" is a misdivision of the phrase "an ekename_--in which "ekename" is Old English for "other name". The N or "an" was accidentally added to the second word, and it stuck as "nickname".

"Tawdry", Liberman says, is a misdivision of "Saint Audrey". Medieval historians wrote that Saint Audrey, queen of Northumbria in the 7th Century died of a throat tumor. They claimed this tumor was divine retribution for the fancy necklaces she liked to wear. Eventually, "tawdry" came to mean "gaudy" or "showy".

"Every decipherment presupposes that the code can be broken; in this respect, the etymologist is like a decoder", Liberman writes.

"Word Origins" also shows word lovers that English etymology means more than just knowing Latin and Greek. The number of languages that influenced English, and the complexity of the ways they did, go well beyond what Latin and Greek can teach us.

In his closing chapter, Liberman asserts that most popular books about words merely recycle examples listed by the Oxford English Dictionary--- a 20 volume set of definitions and notable citations of words throughout history.

Liberman says by e-mail that while the OED is a masterpiece, it "gives the user the results rather than tracing the paths of research. It never tries to explain how thousands of cognates have been netted and why other candidates have been rejected.

Meanwhile, many people continue to confuse the word "etymology" with "entomology" the study of insects. If nothing else, Liberman's book should at least help clear that up. But in spite of misunderstanding and outright myths (no, the word "sir loin), Liberman's book shows that while it takes specialists to make confident claims about the word origins, the rest of us can enjoy the fruits of their labor.

"Etymology, like geometry and physics, is for experts, "Liberman says by e-mail. But he adds: "My title (Etymology for Everyone") means that every person interested in language and knowing the most elementary things about it can be told how engrossing the science of etymology is and how professionals arrive at their results".

E-mail Nathan Bierman at onlanguage@gmail.com

(abstracted from CHICTRIB by: Nathan Bierma)
posted by infraternam meam @ 12:56 AM   0 comments
Thursday, March 17, 2005

SAN ANGELO, Texas -- Opal Petty, who won a landmark law suit against the state after she was held against her will in mental insitutions for 51 years, has died. She was 86.

Ms. Petty died March 10 in a San Angelo hospital.

She was 16 when her family committed her to a state hospital in 1984. While state officials say she has been diagnozed with schizophrenia, her attorneys and a witness in the law suit said she had briefly suffered from a psychotic depression but was never schizophrenic.

Dr. Jeff Nelson, a psychiatrist, said Ms.Petty's psychotic symptoms quickly subsided and she should have been released. But she remained institutionalized until she was placed in a foster home in 1985.

In her lawsuit, Ms. Petty said she suffered irreperable harm by being held in a "prison like environment" for so many years. Nelson said Ms. Petty suffered from "institutional syndrome" that left her with a withdrawn personality.

Jurors in 1989 found the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation negligent and awarded her $505,000. She ultimately received about %350,000 after the award was reduced in accordance with a state law limiting damages in lawsuits caused by the actions of state employees.

"What a life she lost because of what the state did to her", said Jim Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, who represented Ms. Petty. "She lost having a family; she lost having relationships and went through that terrible process of institutionalization."

After she was released, Ms. Petty lived near relatives in the San Angelo area for nearly 20 years, using part of her award money to buy a bungalow. She worked at a workshop for people with mental retardation.

The rest of the money from the award covered her health care expenses. Harrington said. She also went to Disneyland.

During her years of institutionalization, Ms.Petty bought six dolls with the token wages she earned. She will be buried with the dolls, which were like the children she never had, said Linda Kauffman, the wife of Ms. Petty's nephew, Clint Denson.

"She changed our lives much more for the better",Kauffman said. "She changed the system,because of her case and the class action."

(abstracted from CHICTRIB/Associated Press)


Long after his retirement from boxing, Muhammad Ali still packs a punch.

The latest honor for the former world heavyweight champion is Germany's OTTO HAHN freedom medal. Ali will receive the award for his work in civil rights in America and his worldwide efforts as United Nations peace ambassador.

Other winners is named after a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, include Mikhail Gorbachev, Yehudi Menuhim and Simon Wiesenthal.

The German Society for the United Nations said Ali will be given the medail Dec. 17 and recognized his ability to deal with Parkinson's disease that "has been unable to halt him in his commitment to society."

(abstracted from SUNTIMES/QuickHits by: Elliott Harris)


SINGAPORE -- The drinks aren't the only things ice cold at the Eski Bar, a new nightspot in tropical Singapore. The room temperature is so chilly that staff wear heavy coats and ski caps, and patrons get a 10 percent discount if they show up in winter wear.

The bar contains decorated, industrial strength freezer, with the mercury ranging from 28 degrees Fahrenheit to just above zero. The goal is to attract thirsty clientele who need a break from the round the clock sweltering Southeast Asian heat.

So far, the gimmick is working. The director of Eski Bar, which officially opened this month near Singapore's Chinatown district, plan to open another one, larger outlet next month.

The decor features ceiling and wall lights shaped like melting ice cubes, as well as a transparent plastic curtain at the entrance to keep out the heat. Beer and white spirits such as vodka are served ice cold, and one cocktail is called Sleeping Polar Bear.

(abstracted from SUNTIMES/Associated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:37 AM   0 comments
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Where The Jobs Are

In some jobs, the scarcity of qualified applicants is boosting wages: The average nursing salary last year was $54,574 up to 10% from 2003. Nurse managers can earn $100,000. Demand also is high for physician's assistants, who average $66,600, and for medical clerical workers who earned $26,690. Qualified workers are also being sought after in the electric-utility industry.

A college education means a higher paycheck. The hottest degress accounting, electrical engineering, business administration, economics/finace, computer science, marketing and information sciences. As whole,the 2004 graduating class encountered a more welcoming job market that its predecessor. Business majors received an average starting salaries of $33,188; economics majors, $40,906; computer engineering majors, $51,572; English majors $31,169; psychology majors $27,791. The job onlooks for 2005 graduates is even brighter;Employers says they'll increase hiring 13% and a majority of them plan to raise starting salaries too.


Occupation............ Starting salary
Nurse......................... $30,000 - $45,000
Health Technician............. $25,000 - $30,000
Plumber ...................... $30,500 - $41,500
Electrician................... $20,000 - $30,000
Engineer...................... $45,000 - $52,000
Technical support ............ $27,500 - $56,500
Debt mediator ................ $30,700 - $34,000
Accountant.................... $29,500 - $40,500
(Sources: Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Different salaries of different ages and professions:
Ronald Smith, 26
Blackjack dealer
Minot, N.D.

Lindsay Lohan, 18
Los Angeles, Calif.
$10 million

Brian Koonce, 39
Registered nurse
Omaha, Neb.

Beth Wrege, 50
Water specialist

James Baker, 61
Wilmington, Del.

Leone Kramer, 39
Hartford, S.D.

Jen Kunishima, 31
Pet Boutique owner
Honolulu, Hi.

Daniel Gleaton, 24
Touth Minister
Clovis, N.N.

Erica Eddings, 24
Exec. asst.
Forests Heights, md.

Allen Esterman, 45
Short order cook
Hampton, Va.

LeBron James, 20
Basketball player
Cleveland, Oh.
$21 million

Zachary Rasmussen, 36
SFC, US Army

Joe Givens, 45
Transit operator
Snoqualme, Wash.

Donna Tang, 63
College instructor
Tucson, Az.

D.J. Paris, 31

Dot Baker, 55
Legal secreatry
Sumter, S.C.

Anna Hotaling, 39
Martial arts teacher
Ann Arbor, Mich.

Ron Harvey, 29
Indianapolis, Ind.

Nick Mamatas, 33
Horrow writer
Berkeley, Calif.

Mary Ann Thomas, 61
Child care provider
San Antonio, Tex.

Nicholas Ruiz, 25
Intern architect
Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Mai Tran, 42
CEO, tech firm
Fort Collins, Colo.

Lola Peterson, 59
Flower shop owner
Carroll, Iowa

Dwayne Johnson, 37
Crawfish processor
Lake Charles, La.

Condoleeza Rice, 50
Secretary of State
Wash. D.C.

Kamen Petkov, 37
Orchestra mgr.
Springfield ,Ill.

Jessica Sobolowski, 28
Professional skier
Cordova, Alaska

Priscilla King, 33
Insurance agent
Columbus, Miss.

John Travolta, 51
Ocala, Fl.
$25 million

Wayne Burton, 64
NASA scientist
Moorseville, Ala.

Dawn Heltzman, 34
State trooper
Hamilton, N.J.

Matt Nelson, 47
Social worker
Wasilla, Alaska

Tiffany Baker, 21
ER technician
Oklahoma city, Ok.

Lance Armstrong, 33
Professional cyclist
Austin, Tex
$19 million

Jennifer Talty, 27
Pratville, Ala.

Mike Bemiss, 60
Airport screnner
Bakersfield, Calif.

Jeffrey Jones, 47
Job salary specialist
Lawrenceville, Ca.

James Fabrizio, 57
Building restorer
Plainville, Conn.

Karen Stately, 44
Brentwood, Tenn.

David Alexander, 54
Washginton, DC

Rose Zappa Jenhert, 53
Home organizer
Forest Hill, Md.

Nathan Tungerberg, 33
C0-owner, talent agency
Minneapolis, Minn.

Lance Lindsey, 26
Landscape architect
Charlotte, NC

Jessica Simpson, 24
Los Angeles, Ca.
$4 million

Janet Bish, 50
RN/hospice manager

Amy Ivanoff, 44
Artist/gallery owner
Powell, Wy.

Ronnie Kuley, 36
Fairfax, Va.

Jennifer Kirmse, 25
Bank branch mgr.
Pexico, Kan.

Leo R. Bernier, 53
City Clerk
Manchester, NH.

Angelina Jolie, 29
Los Angeles,Ca.
$27 million

Greg Peay, 47
Half truck driver
West Jordan,Utah

The U.S. economic news slowly began to improve in 2004-- but many Americans are still struggling in a challenging job market.

More and more companies are giving bonuses instead of raises to keep fixed costs low.

Despite the long awaited job market turnarond, 2004 was a tough year for msot workers. Job creation wasn't strong enough to lower the 5.4 % unemployment rate or to boost wages. The median weekly salary was $638. The median salary for men was $713; for women, $573. Adjusted for inflation, average hourly pay -- $15.68 -- shrank by 0.7%. Experts say that average white collar job pay raises-- 3.5% in 2004 and 3.5% projected for 2005-- are the lowest in almost three decades.

(Abstracted from PARADE/CHICTRIB/Special Report)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:06 AM   0 comments
Monday, March 14, 2005
WASHINGTON---People of Arab descent living in the United States tend to be better educated and wealthier than other Americans, the Census Bureau says.

There are about 1.2 million U.S. residents whose ancestry is soley or partly Arab, less than a half-percent of all Americans. The details in Tuesday report covered the 850,000 people who identified themselves in the 2000 census as having only Arab ancestries.

Arabs are nearly twice as likely as the typical U.S. resident to possess a college degree-- 41 percent to 24 percent. Better education typically translates into higher income, and that was highlighted in the report: The median income for Arab family was $52,300 about $2,300 more than the median income for all U.S. families.

The proportion of U.S. Arabs working in management jobs was higher than the U.S. average, 42 percent to 34 percent.

Since the data stops at 2000, it was not possible to measure the impact of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks.

Helen Samhan, executive director of the Arab American Institute Foundation, lauded the bureau for a report that shows "how integrated Arabs are in American life. It is a community that is well rooted and well invested in the Unites States".

"That is something that many Americans don't pay attention to when usually the Arab community is only covered in a negative sense," she said.

The findings cover those who responded to the 2000 census "long form" questionnaires as having an ancestry from a predominatly Arabic speaking country or area of the world. Lebanon was the country of origin of the most U.S. Arabs (440,000), followed by Egypt and Syria (about 143,000 each).

The population numbers, first released in 2003, showed the states with the largest Arab populations were California (191,000) New Yrok (120,000) and Michigan (115,000). the nation's Arab population is 57 percent male and has a median age of 33, two years younger than the U.S.population overall.

Bookmark our Web page for hyperlinks to more information)

(abstracted from DAILYHERLAD/associated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:46 AM   0 comments
Sunday, March 13, 2005
MELBOURNE, Fla.---The family of a bedridden nusing home patient who died after being bitten by hundreds of fire ants will get almost $2 million under a settlement with the home's owner Gerogia-based Mariner Health Care, the nation's third largest long-term health care company, agreed last week to pay Earl Dean Griffith's widow and children $1.875 million. Trial was to start in their lawsuit this week, Florida Today reported Friday. A spokesman for Mariner Health Care did not return a call seeking comment.

Griffith, 73 was recuperating from surgery at the Atlantic Shores nursing home for a month when ants swarmed his bed and bit him on July 26,2001. He died of shock from the ant poison in his body, the medical examiner said.

(abstracted from CHICTRIB/Associated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:35 PM   0 comments
Saturday, March 12, 2005
NEW YORK --From a romaing dinosaur to new rides to an online computer game. Disney will offer new attractions and spectacles to all of its parks this year to mark the 50th anniversary of Disneyland.

The flagship park in Anaheim, Calif., opened in July 1955. A celebration kicks off May 5 with festivities there and at the other Disney parks in Florida, France and Japan, said Jay Rasulo, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, at a press conference in Manhattan.

The newest Disney park-- in Hongkong-- will also open this year, Sept. 12. The park offers both classic Disney attractions and regionally inspired design elements, such as extensive gardens.

In Anaheim, the anniversary celebration will include spontaneous block parties, a new fireworks show, a new parade and a new attraction. Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, in which guests pilot their won ship through an interactive space mission. Summer skies over Disneyland Paris will light up with a new musical fireworks show "Wishes", inspired by a similar show from the Florida park, and Tokyo Disneyland will feature Raging Spirits, a new high-speed reide with special effects.

Walt Disney World in lake Buena Vista, Fla., will feature several attractions imported from the other Disney parks-- the Soarin' ride from Anaheim; the "Cinderellabration", a musical from Tokyo ; and "Lights,Motors,Actions! Extrem Stunt Sow" from Paris. And a new critter will be roaming through the Animal Kingdon--an automatic dinosaurs.

The Disney Cruise Line is marking the annivarsary with its first West Coast itinerary, departing Los Angeles to Mexico for 12 one-week cruises.

An interactive computer game, called Virtual Magic Kingdom, will be launched May 5 on the Disney Web site, www.disney.com. "It's really a vehicle to link people to the them park when they're not at the theme park." said Rasulo. Players will be able to visit the virtual parks, design their own creatins, accumulate points and status and even link their real world Disney experiences to the game. For example, if you buy certain Disney merchandise, you'll be able to type a code number in and have the item show up as a prop in the game.

Finally, a global ad campaign -- launched domestically Jan. 1 but also airing in different languages in France, Japan and Hongkong-- invites people to "come Home" to Disney---wherever destination that might be-- for "the biggest celebration in 50 years".

(abstracted from the DAILYHERALD/Assocaited Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:11 AM   0 comments
Thursday, March 10, 2005
What is it all about the House of Windsor that stirs so many inquiring minds? Is it the way their freakishly large ears pink up to nicely when they tromp around Balmoral in giant rubber boots? Is it the fairytale accoutrements of castles and horse drawn carriages? Perhaps. But more likely it's all the juicy revelations suggesting that the Queen and her kin are just a human as the rest of us. Rumors of infidelity, same sex liasons, addictions, topless sunbathing, and other royal screw ups make for fascinating tabloid reading -- the grainier the accompanying photo, the better. Even ancients scandals have an undeniable allure, whether they involve Queen Victoria's possible love affair with her Scottish manservant John Brown or the sensational antics of King Edward VIII, who would have made a terrific guest at the Jerry Springer show.

You can't help but get misty about the woman who has sat on the throne of the United Kingdom since 1952. Maybe it's because Elizabeth Alexandria Mary Windsor sort of reminds us of our own grandmother-- if our own grandmother rode around in a gilded carrriage and never left the castle without putting on a pair of full length white gloves. And let's not think too deeply about the fact that we probably know more about Her Majesty's royal likes and dislikes than we do about those of our own grannies. Sure, she's had some bad press, and maybe she was'nt the best mother-in-law, but after 50+ years on the throne, she still has a hat to match every outfit, savors her gin and tonics, and speaks perfect Queen's English. But then. how could she not? Every monarch should be so cool.

Media analysts have called it morbid, explosive, and an out of-control, merchandise-driven myth machine. But the truth of the matter is that everybody remembers what they were doing when they heard about Princess Diana's fatal 1997 encounter with pillar 13 of the Pont de l'Alma underpass in Paris. A 2002 History Channel poll revealed that Brits considered Di's death to be their nation's most historic 20th century moment, edging out World War II. The sentiment is almost as strong on this side of the pond, where the princess's face launched thousands of magazine covers and fans of the royal towhead fill their bookselves with sappy requiems such as Diana: The People's Princess and Diana: The Lovely Princess-- as well as a few juicy tell-alls, such as Windsor insider Lady Colin's Campbell's The Real Diana. We can't seem to get enough of this story, with its tragic heroine and an entire cast of bad guys -- the paparazzi, the icy mother-in-law, and the cheating husband. Years from now, long after we've put away our "Shy Di" commemorative plates and Dodi Fayed is but a line on a Trivial Pursuit game card, we'll probably still get a little misty during the piano interludes of "Candle in the Wind."

Fans of James Bond movies like their women sexy, submissive and saddled with nasty-sounding names. For hardcore acolyte, the unveiling of each installment's sophomoric, sexually charged moniker is as highly anticipated as Q's latest gadgets. Admittedly, making up new ones gets harder (and not so obvious) wordplays are taken. Who could top such "triumphs" as Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress in Dr. No), Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles in Moonraker), and the never-to-beimproved-upon Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman in Goldfinger)? The Addition of Pierce Brosman as Bond in 1995's Goldeneye spawned an attempt to bring the franchise's views on women into the '90s (or, at least, the late '70s).

Cursed and blessed with more tragedies and triumphs than the complete works of Shakespeare, the Kennedy clan has captured American imaginations ever since Rose started birthing boys in 1913. No need to recap here the specific incidents, but suffice it to say that whether you're a defender of all things Hyannisportian or a closed scandalmonger, there's endless fascination in following the exploits of America's unofficial royal family.

Frederick Mellinger-- the same famed Fred who is Frederick's of Hollywood--wedged his way into lingeries history on Aug. 2,1981. The butt-floss revolution began when Mellinger mass-marketed his "Scanty panty", now known simply as the THONG. Formerly worn only by trashy hos and exotic dancers, his creations are now crammed up the cracks of mainstream soccer moms and socialites alike, making these tiny- T-shaped drawers the fastest-growing segment of the $2billion a year women's panty business. Frederick's alone sells about 75,000 pairs a week, but the bottomless bloomers are also sold everywhere from Bergorf's to Wal-Mart. So why have women tossed their traditional undies for these skimpy skivvies? If you'd ever spent a day at the office or for a night on the town, trying to nonchalantly dig a pair of cheek-creepes out of your derriere you'd know. With THONGS, it's Destination Butt Crack as soon as you slip them on. However, their dearth or posterior fabric actually makes them comfortable, unlife full-bottomed panties that bunch up into a wicked wad. An even bigger advantage. THONGS eliminate VPL (visible panty lines) When wearing them under snug-fitting pants or skirts, your tush remains smooth and naturally rounder --unlike the "rump roast tied in twine" look created by VPL.

Remember, in the video for the title song from his album Thriller, how Michael Jackson said, "I'm not like other guys"? Well, truer words were never spoken. Yet hard as it is to believe, there was once a time when his fans could proclaim their devotion from rooftops without drawing a second look. Back when he served as the diminutive front man for the Jackson 5, and during his early 20s as the force behind the album Off the Wall and Thriller(which has sold over 50 million copies to date) Jackson may well have been the undisputed King of Pop. But during the 90s his high pitched squeling and dance-friendly melodies were muscled off the charts by grunge and rap. Still dressed in what looked like castoff's from the Beat It video, he became a Lawrence Welk -like anachronism. His home has an amusement park, complete with rides and a petting zoo; "married" one of his groupies and then "fathered" two children via artificial insemination, dangeld his son off a hotel balcony in front of dozens of photographers; and underwent so much plastic surgery that his face looked like a waxwork model left under a sun lamp. All of which makes it harder and harder for fans to say, "I like Michael Jackson", without drawing quizzical stares.

When a band called Bjorn & Benny,Agnetha & Anni-Frid soldiered out of Sweden in 1974, it looked like just another phonetically challenged novelty act. But thanks in large part to music clips creatred by fellow Swede Lasse Hallstrom (who would go on to direct The Cider House Rules and Chocolat), the popularity of the quartet (sensibly renamed ABBA) endured long after it stopped performing "Waterloo" and "Dancing Queen" in 1982. Credit this to its two-tiered fan base. On one level were the proudly fanatical ABBAnatics; on the other, those who joyously bobbed their heads to "Super Trooper" and "Knowing me, Knowing You",but would'nt own up to it in public. A resurgence began with the the 1994 film Muriel's Wedding, which appropriated many of the band's greatest hits for its soundtrack. It climaxed with the all ABBA Broadway smash Mamma Mia! (which had all the insight of a Love American Style episode). Nevertheless, it gave the group a longevity and a standing equaling, if not the Beatles, then at least the Bee Gees.

by: Sam Stall, Lou Harry and Juila Spalding)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:57 PM   0 comments
About Me

Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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