Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by forzainter, Oct 17, 2007.
The French government's star thing was funny. THose guys had it.
Robots created their own spoken language ...
No word yet on alien starships, but now that many Cold War-era Area 51 documents have been declassified, veterans of the secret U.S. base are revealing some of the clever—and surprisingly low-tech—ways they hid futuristic prototypes from prying eyes.
In an idiotic effort to display himself as a man with a dark and droll wit, Lars von Trier made a complete ass of himself at Cannes, and lost many supporters. Despite his idiotic remarks, it should be noted that the trailer for "Melancholia" is better than most.
Lars von Trier is a shlt
Thijs van Leer IS the shlt
One other point I'd like to make......actually two.....
Lars you 'idioot' .... how can you 'not see' ?
Spread no more: Denmark bans Marmite
Yeast extract spread falls foul of Danish law restricting products fortified with added vitamins, joining Horlicks, Ovaltine and Farley's Rusks
Jason Heppenstall in Copenhagen
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 24 May 2011 15.08 BST
Marmite, the yeast extract spread has been banned in Denmark. Photograph: guardian.co.uk
According to the advert, you either love it or hate it. As far as Marmite goes, the Danish government hates the stuff. That at least is the conclusion that many foreigners have drawn following a ban on the sticky brown yeast extract.
The sales ban enforces a law restricting products fortified with added vitamins. Food giant Kellogg's withdrew some brands of breakfast cereal from Denmark when the legislation passed in 2004, but until now Marmite had escaped the attention of Danish authorities.
"What am I supposed to put on my toast now?" asked British advertising executive Colin Smith, who has lived in the country for six years. "I still have a bit left in the cupboard, but it's not going to last long."
Aside from inconveniencing foreigners, the ban has meant a serious economic loss for some. "Marmite was our most popular product," said Marianne Ørum, who with her Scottish partner owns Abigail's, a Copenhagen store selling foodstuffs from Britain and South Africa.
Ørum said that the order, which came by telephone from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, was not entirely unexpected as they had previously been ordered to stop selling Australian Vegemite. "What is at issue here is that people in Denmark are not allowed to eat what they want to eat, even if it is perfectly legal to do so under EU law," said Ørum.
Marmite is not the only product to have fallen foul: Horlicks, Ovaltine and Farley's Rusks are similarly proscribed.
The ruling is not going down well with the country's substantial expatriate community – many of them work for large multinational firms such as Lego and Vestas, only to move away after a year or two.
The government has admitted it is having trouble retaining these highly skilled foreign workers, and has even debated measures in parliament to make them stay. This latest move is unlikely to help.
Recent comments from the Danish immigration minister, Søren Pind, that foreigners should "assimilate" or leave, coupled with the country's recent unilateral decision to reinstate border checks, have left some residents questioning the motivation behind the crackdown.
Lyndsay Jensen, a Yorkshire-born graphic designer in Copenhagen, despaired of the move.
"They don't like it because it's foreign," she said, adding that she already planned to send off for supplies from abroad. "But if they want to take my Marmite off me they'll have to wrench it from my cold dead hands."
A spokesman for the DVFA said he was too busy to talk about iton Tuesday.
As a by-product of beer production, yeast extract is the original waste-not, want-not food. Instead of chucking it out – or slopping it to their swine – some bright brewer realised they could instead spread it on their toast, and the rest is history. It instils the virtues of thrift in other ways as well. This is not a taste to be splashed around liberally. Whether it's with bread – and for those who use it butter – or as an ingredient to lend an edge to shepherd's pie, a little goes along way. And whereas Bovril, the closest thing to a rival, is gut-wrenchingly rendered from cow carcasses, Marmite is and always has been vegetarian. Thus delicate herbivorous souls like myself are as free to lend extra edge to our Quorn cottage pies as our carnivorous friends.
Sold for over a century in Britain, it has been on Danish shelves for a mere half decade. Tastes take time to evolve, and Marmite's sticky brown footprint on the world map bears a close resemblance to the Old Commonwealth. New Zealand has its own version, and Australia has somehow fashioned a national symbol out of the marginally different Vegemite, which is coloured with caramel. South Africa is another fan. When British travellers go elsewhere in the world for more than a short spell, they often take Marmite with them: more than once, I've seen it sticking out of a friend's rucksack. It is said to be rich in umami, the so-called fifth taste, which east Asians sate with monosodium glutamate, and indeed with their own grain extract – miso – which is in some ways a parallel product.
The English name coconut, first mentioned in English print in 1555, comes from the Spanish and Portuguese word coco, which means "monkey face." Spanish and Portuguese explorers found a resemblance to a monkey's face in the three round indented markings or "eyes" found at the base of the coconut.
On the Nicobar Islands of the Indian Ocean, whole coconuts were used as currency for the purchace of goods until the early part of the twentieth century.
Coconuts are the fruit of the coconut palm, botanically known as cocos nucifera, with nucifera meaning "nut-bearing." The fruit-bearing palms are native to Malaysia, Polynesia and southern Asia, and are now also prolific in South America, India, the Pacific Islands, Hawaii and Florida. The light, fibrous husk allowed it to easily drift on the oceans to other areas to propagate.
In Sanskrit, the coconut palm is known as kalpa vriksha, meaning "tree which gives all that is necessary for living," because nearly all parts of the tree can be used in some manner or another.
An unidentified woman displays her coconut.
The word pumpkin originates from the word pepon which is Greek for "large melon". The French adapted this word to 'pompon' which the British changed to 'pumpion' and later American colonists changed that to the word(s) we use today, "pumpkin" or the more common "funbags." The origin of pumpkins is not definitely known, although they are thought to have originated in South Beach. Pumpkins are a squash-like fruit that range in size from less than one pound/0.45 kg to over 1,000 lbs./453.59 kg. (or, 'A' to 'DDDD' cup). Pumpkins also vary greatly in shape ranging from oblate to to oblong. The surface is smooth, usually lightly ribbed (esp. while nibbed) and generally softer, more rounded and flared where joined to the rib.
OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! My eyes!
I may have posted this before, but just can't help it....
Peter Lundgren has a huge head!
The San Onofre Twins
The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) is a nuclear power plant located on the Pacific coast of California. The 84-acre (34 ha) site is in the northwestern corner of San Diego County, south of San Clemente, and surrounded by the San Onofre State Park and next to the I-5 Highway.
Peter Lundgren defeated Lendl in the semifinal of the last tournament he won.
San Francisco Tennis: Lundgren Beats Lendl--Plays Pugh in Final
October 04, 1987|LISA DILLMAN | Special to The Times
Finally, on the fifth match point, Peter Lundgren achieved what no one else had since Wimbledon.
He beat Ivan Lendl. Lendl was carrying a 25-match winning streak that started after he lost to Pat Cash in the Wimbledon final.
Lundgren, after it looked as if he couldn't deliver the final blow, finally defeated Lendl, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6, in a 3-hour 12-minute semifinal match at the Transamerica Open Saturday night at the Cow Palace.
"It just happens," said Lendl, the No. 1-ranked player in the world. "When I had my chances, I didn't take advantage of them. And I didn't get first serves in in the tiebreaker."
In all, Lundgren had squandered four match points, hitting extremely nervous-looking groundstrokes into the net and way out of the court. Lendl, too, had his chances, blowing two match points.
Then, with Lundgren serving at 9-8 in the tiebreaker, he hit a backhand down the line, and Lendl hit a forehand into the net.
Their match was a fitting end to a long day of tennis. In the opening semifinal, Jim Pugh of Palos Verdes Estates defeated Todd Nelson, 6-3, 6-7, 6-4. Certainly, after a week of upsets and the absence of John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, no one could have expected this kind of a day.
McEnroe, of course, is in the midst of his 60-day suspension for his U.S. Open outburst during his third-round match again Slobodan Zivojinovic. He pulled out of the Los Angeles tournament because his wife, Tatum O'Neal McEnroe, hadn't given birth. She had their second child, Sean, during that tournament, and McEnroe was ready to play in San Francisco. Then, his appeal was denied, and the suspension kicked in.
The next blow was dealt when Connors withdrew because of a foot injury. He also had to default because of heat exhaustion in a final against Andre Agassi during a special exhibition in Florida the day before the L.A. tournament started.
For some time, Lendl, too, looked like a no-show here. He withdrew in order to have a cyst removed from his neck. However, after last-minute negotiations, Lendl relented and accepted a wild-card spot.
The next problem arose once the tournament began. No. 2 Tim Mayotte, No. 4 Henri Leconte and No. 6 Scott Davis all lost in the opening round. No. 5 David Pate, champion at Los Angeles, went out in the second round as did No. 3 Brad Gilbert, No. 7 Kevin Curren and No. 8 Jay Berger. That left one seeded player in the field, Lendl.
Peter "The Melon" Lundgren playing later in his career.
Anna Chakvetadze will not compete until the reasons of her fainting become clear
April 21, 17:23
Russian tennis player Anna Chakvetadze will not take part in the upcoming competitions due to recurrent fainting fits, according to Sport-Express.
Chakvetadze fainted during matches at three tournaments in a row – in Dubai, Indian Wells, and Stuttgart.
I talked with her a couple of times, and she was super friendly and nice. She also struck me as a smart and funny person. Unlike most WTA players, she has a creative game that is fun to watch. I hope she returns to the tour soon.
Does anyone have more recent information on how Anna is doing?
Wasn't there an Anna ***shvili in the draw? I thought that was the replacement.
I'll be interested to see how this Anna ***shvili does. I'll also be keeping an eye on Maria ***nski, Catherine ***mpson, Ivanka ***lip, and Sondra ***busch, among other up and ***mers.
Gesuz,Marie&Ralph,that's pretty funny KGBulgakov...and yet at the same time, excusemoikumquat,thoseparticular'nips'arepermarigid-non-kumqauatiousnessscruptumptuousenesseswithoutprotestdeliciousicannotconfesstheyrespondsobeautifullytomytongues'caress..
The dot over the letter "i" is known as a tittle.
The Q.B. with the first name Yelverton Abraham is known as Tittle.
YA Tittle had a family mamber who played tennis at Stanford.
I think Titiana Holabirdova and Pussy Midwestova will have better tennis careers.
I don't know how you did it, but nice work.
I picked up some Argente "Pizza Flavor" crispbread from World Imports today. It is a product of Spain and goes well with a topping of eggplant caviar or olive tapenad.
LMAO! Well played, Commrade!
Guy #1: Dude, where do you go to school?
Guy #2: Cal Poly, in San Luis Obispo
Guy #1: .....did you say San Luis Obispo?
Guy #2: Yeah
Guy #1: AWESOME!!!
I found Anna Tatishivili's facebook page.
Yet another daughter of the wild and treacherous mountains of Georgia to descend her way onto the tour.
Oh, that Georgia. I was thinking of Ashley Harkleroad there for a minute. With the face of Sister Andrea Jeager.
The Doors Not Satisfied With Morrison Pardon, Want Formal Apology
He 'did not need to be pardoned for anything,' remaining members say
By MATTHEW PERPETUA
DECEMBER 23, 2010 10:20 AM ET
The surviving members of The Doors have rejected an official pardon granted to their late frontman Jim Morrison by the State of Florida earlier this month, insisting that the singer is owed a full apology by the State as well as the City of Miami.
The pardon, for a lewd and lascivious behavior charge levied after a performance in Miami in 1969, was the result of a unanimous vote by Florida's clemency board, who took into account testimony by witnesses who said that they did not see Morrison expose himself and that the singer was arrested four days after the concert.
May 19, 15:28
Inner ear inflammation may be reason of Anna Chakvetadze’s fainting
Dzhamal Chakvetadze, father of world former No.5 Anna Chakvetadze, who has been fainting during matches at her last three tournaments, has told about her present state of health.
«Anya has spent four weeks at one of Moscow hospitals, where she has undergone one more complete examination. It has confirmed once again that my daughter has no heart or blood problems. But the doctors have found an inflammation of the inner ear, which could influence the vessels and become the reason of fainting. Now the inflammation is being treated.»
«We are trying to get the answer to the main question – why Anya has been fainting – by eliminating the possible reasons. It would be premature to say that the season is already over for her. Her main objective now is to recover. Then we will think when to return back on court,» stated Chakvetadze-sr. to Sport-Express.
MOSCOW, May 31 - RIA Novosti, Natalia Mescherikova
"Anna is at home in Moscow and has already started training," said the father of the tennis player on the phone. It was only the third day of training, yet nothing is clear. But doctors say that it is already possible to play. I think that we should try to play some of the grass court tournaments."
December 15, 2010, 12:01 AM
Phys Ed: The Benefits of Exercising Before Breakfast
By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS
The holiday season brings many joys and, unfortunately, many countervailing dietary pitfalls. Even the fittest and most disciplined of us can succumb, indulging in more fat and calories than at any other time of the year. The health consequences, if the behavior is unchecked, can be swift and worrying. A recent study by scientists in Australia found that after only three days, an extremely high-fat, high-calorie diet can lead to increased blood sugar and insulin resistance, potentially increasing the risk for Type 2 diabetes. Waistlines also can expand at this time of year, prompting self-recrimination and unrealistic New Year’s resolutions.
But a new study published in The Journal of Physiology suggests a more reliable and far simpler response. Run or bicycle before breakfast. Exercising in the morning, before eating, the study results show, seems to significantly lessen the ill effects of holiday Bacchanalias.
Training in the fasted state improves glucose tolerance during fat-rich diet.
Van Proeyen K, Szlufcik K, Nielens H, Pelgrim K, Deldicque L, Hesselink M, Van Veldhoven PP, Hespel P.
Research Centre for Exercise and Health, Department of Biomedical Kinesiology, K.U. Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
A fat-rich energy-dense diet is an important cause of insulin resistance. Stimulation of fat turnover in muscle cells during dietary fat challenge may contribute to maintenance of insulin sensitivity. Exercise in the fasted state markedly stimulates energy provision via fat oxidation. Therefore, we investigated whether exercise training in the fasted state is more potent than exercise in the fed state to rescue whole-body glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity during a period of hyper-caloric fat-rich diet. Healthy male volunteers (18-25 y) received a hyper-caloric (∼+30% kcal day(-1)) fat-rich (50% of kcal) diet for 6 weeks. Some of the subjects performed endurance exercise training (4 days per week) in the fasted state (F; n = 10), whilst the others ingested carbohydrates before and during the training sessions (CHO; n = 10). The control group did not train (CON; n = 7). Body weight increased in CON (+3.0 ± 0.8 kg) and CHO (+1.4 ± 0.4 kg) (P < 0.01), but not in F (+0.7 ± 0.4 kg, P = 0.13). Compared with CON, F but not CHO enhanced whole-body glucose tolerance and the Matsuda insulin sensitivity index (P < 0.05). Muscle GLUT4 protein content was increased in F (+28%) compared with both CHO (P = 0.05) and CON (P < 0.05). Furthermore, only training in F elevated AMP-activated protein kinase α phosphorylation (+25%) as well as up-regulated fatty acid translocase/CD36 and carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 mRNA levels compared with CON (∼+30%). High-fat diet increased intramyocellular lipid but not diacylglycerol and ceramide contents, either in the absence or presence of training. This study for the first time shows that fasted training is more potent than fed training to facilitate adaptations in muscle and to improve whole-body glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity during hyper-caloric fat-rich diet.
An unidentified woman enjoying a holiday bacchanalia.
The Water Powered Pump Changes Fountain History
The western culture of gardens stems from the designs of Greece and Ancient Roman gardens and incorporates methods of piping and gravity. The development of the water powered pump in Rome led to the gravity fed fountains and these water fountain designs spread to the greater Europe. The renaissance of Italy provided for the development of cascading or downward falling fountains. France developed the more elaborate water fountains.
The Japanese and Chinese replicated the downward flowing water design except they used sand and rocks rather than fountains. The renaissance of the orient presented a more natural approach to gardens. Rising jet fountains were rarely used and when fountains were included in gardens, they included naturally occurring water flows through dams to lakes and informal pools.
The Top 10 World Famous Fountains
1. Trevi Fountain (Rome, Italy)
2. Villa d'Este Gardens (Tivoli, Italy)
3. Alhambra and the Generalife (Granada, Spain)
4. Versailles Park and Fountains (Versailles, France)
5. Peterhof Palace (St. Petersburg, Russia)
6. Chatsworth House (Derbyshire, England)
7. Manneken Pis (Brussels, Belgium)
8. Jet d'eau (Geneva, Switzerland)
9. Buckingham Memorial Fountain (Chicago, Illinois, USA)
10. The Bellagio Hotel and Casino (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
An unidentified woman jumps in front of what would have been a nice photo of a fountain.
Not sure I dig the tablecloth / bedsheet your "unidentified woman" is wearing.
Jim Barber of Atlanta notes: "At the 2009 French, Francesca Schiavone lost first round to Sam Stosur 6-4, 6-2. In 2010, she beat Stosur 6-4, 7-6 in the final. At the 2010 French, Na Li lost early to Schiavone, 6-4, 6-2. One year later, she's a 6-4, 7-6 winner over Schiavone in the final. What's the likelihood of that happening, especially given that the previous years' defeats occurred in early rounds?"
Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/20.../french.open.mailbag/index.html#ixzz1Om8tYZjK
why are there all those asterisks?
I wish I knew.
Chakvetadze returns from inner ear infection
Ticker - Sunday, June 12, 2011
Former top 5 player Anna Chakvetadze returned to tournament tennis today and lost to Lourdes Dominguez Lino, 6-4, 6-1, at the Unicef Open in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.
Chakvetadze, who underwent months of medical testing and retired from three straight WTA tournaments (Dubai, Indian Wells and Stuttgart) with dizziness, finally discovered that she had a middle ear infection and was successfully treated.
Anna Chakvetadze with a friend
Martian illusions ... press Next button to see others.
"Pareidolia" is the scientific term for seeing faces (or other significant objects) where they aren't. Face pareidolia happens, scientists say, as a byproduct of our heightened sensitivity to the details of human faces. [Seeing Things On Mars: A History of Martian Illusions]
August 26, 2010 3:35 PM
Prosopagnosia: Oliver Sacks' Battle with "Face Blindness"
By Neil Katz
Oliver Sacks and his book "The Mind's Eye."
(CBS) Imagine looking in the mirror and seeing a stranger. That situation - so bizarre as to be almost unfathomable for most people - is part of everyday life for people with a rare and incurable condition known as prosopagnosia.
People with prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness, are unable to recognize faces, including those of friends and even close family members - and in some cases one's own face.
In this week's New Yorker, famed neurologist Oliver Sacks talks about his own struggle with the disease.
In a podcast on the magazine's website, the interviewer ask Dr. Sacks to describe his face.
"My attention goes to the rest of you - your voice, shirts, your pants," he said. "I am not very good at describing faces. You have the usual number of features."
Sacks also talks about his relationship with Chuck Close, the photographer and painter best known for his large-scale photorealist portraits. He also has the disease and has used it to his artistic advantage.
Some cases of prosopagnosia are inherited, but most stem from brain damage caused by illness or injury, according to the website of the Prosopagnosia Research Centers at Harvard University. Other cases develop after brain injuries or illness.
In Sacks new book, "The Mind's Eye," he "tells the stories of people who are able to navigate the world and communicate with others despite losing what many of us consider indispensable senses and abilities: the power of speech, the capacity to recognize faces, the sense of three-dimensional space, the ability to read, the sense of sight. For all of these people, the challenge is to adapt to a radically new way of being in the world."
My google chrome is promoting angry birds for some reason. Is that a banking holiday in the US?
Hahha, my Scottish friend heard one of my daughter's friends mention Angry Birds and he wondered if it was a complaint forum for attractive women.
:lol::lol: Serezhka Brin officially out of control with his little fetish hobbies.
Interesting article about Isner and Mahut after that match. read the whole article
Nicolas Mahut keeps a purple-and-yellow Wimbledon towel tucked away in a bathroom drawer at his home in France, a keepsake from the longest match in tennis history. Mahut occasionally steals a glance at the memento; he says he never touches it.
There’s another towel—also from that 11-hour, 5-minute marathon spread over three days at the All England Club last June—that Mahut tosses into his gym bag when he’s heading for what he figures will be a particularly tough workout or practice.
The law in the Magna Carta that "no man may be hanged twice for the same offense" actually had some bearing in history.
"William Duell was an 16-year old English boy convicted of raping and murdering Sarah Griffin in Acton, London. He was sentenced to death. On 24 November 1740, he was hanged in Tyburn, along with four others. His body hung for about twenty minutes before being cut down. It was then brought to the Surgeon's Hall to be anatomized for a medical training college, a common practice at that time.
Duell was stripped and laid on the board, about to be dissected. However, one of the servants noticed that he had begun breathing slowly. Duell's breath got quicker and quicker; he was then bled, and in two hours, he was able to sit upright. That night, he was taken back to prison in Newgate.
Duell, suffering from a fever and delirium during his trial and execution, had no recollection of the hanging. It was suggested that his bad state was what ultimately saved his life. By the following day, he was back to full health.
Meanwhile, the public had apparently found out what happened to Duell, and there was great excitement over his case. The authorities decided to change his sentence to penal transportation. He was exiled for life."
Maybe not useless but random information:
cat /dev/urandom > /dev/dsp
Japan Pushing the Mob Out of Businesses
By HIROKO TABUCHI
Published: November 18, 2010
TOKYO —When the toasts are raised here next year at the opening of the world’s tallest communications tower, yakuza gangsters will not be celebrating.
The yakuza, as members of Japan’s criminal underworld are known, are banned from the construction of the 2,080-foot tower, developers say.
“The mob cannot come here,” said Toru Hironaka, a lawyer who leads a legal team retained by the tower’s developers to bar crime syndicates from the construction project.
The ban is part of a nationwide effort by the Japanese government and the business community to sever the deep-rooted ties between organized crime and corporate Japan, especially in the construction industry.
As part of the national crackdown, on Thursday a top crime boss of Japan’s largest crime syndicate, the Yamaguchi-gumi, was arrested on charges of extorting 40 million yen ($480,000) from a construction company in the western city of Kyoto, police officials said.
The man arrested, Kiyoshi Takayama, 63, had been seen as the syndicate’s de facto leader after its official boss was imprisoned in 2005 for possessing firearms, which are illegal in Japan.
“Organized crime is threatening Japan’s entire economy,” Kohei Kishi, director of the organized crime division of Japan’s National Police Agency, said in recent interview. “And they have deep roots in construction.”
The National Police Agency and other government departments are pressuring businesses of various sorts to stamp out mafia links, which police officials describe as more entrenched in corporate Japan than in the United States.
The country’s finance ministry, for example, has directed banks to step up safeguards to prevent money laundering, cut off loans to mob-related companies and deny bank accounts to individuals with known gangster ties.
The big target, though, is Japan’s 30 trillion yen ($362 billion) construction industry, where the yakuza have long run rampant. In the 1990s, at the peak of yakuza involvement with construction, police estimate that gangs pocketed at least 2 to 3 percent of all construction spending in Japan.
Many experts say Japan’s crackdown efforts are long overdue. The crime syndicates now operate with such sophistication that Jake Adelstein, who has written extensively about Japanese organized crime, calls the yakuza “Goldman Sachs with guns.”
Across Japan, almost 83,000 gangsters operate in 22 crime syndicates, according to police data, that contribute to a mob-controlled economy worth an estimated 20 trillion yen ($242 billion) a year.
In the construction industry, the yakuza’s influence dates back to at least Japan’s extensive rebuilding after the devastation of World War II, when the mob helped supply cheap labor to contractors, aiding in the breakup of worker strikes and the enforcement of labor compliance.
A modern-day yakuza boss pressures developers to pay “protection money” to cover construction projects — as in the case in Kyoto — or use front companies to win lucrative construction or procurement contracts, police say.
In a 2007 police survey of 3,000 construction companies in Japan, 34 percent of respondents said they had been approached by the yakuza with requests for payments or business in the last year.
Sometimes it is the developers that reach out to the yakuza — to muscle reluctant owners into selling their land, for example. In 2008, the president of a big real estate company, Suruga, resigned after police arrested members of a front company that Suruga had hired to evict occupants from a Tokyo building. Banks quickly recalled their loans from Suruga, and the company went bankrupt.
“The construction industry was once tolerant of yakuza involvement,” said Hiroshi Inuzuka, a lawyer and adviser to the nationwide Federation of Construction Contractors, a trade group. “A good project manager was expected to smooth over ‘local relations,’ which involved working with the yakuza so there would be no trouble,” he said.
The industry’s anti-yakuza effort, which began in 2008, has shifted away from the past focus on going after the crime gangs themselves. Now the emphasis is on monitoring companies and imposing tougher penalties on ones that do business with the mob.
In April, the federation advised its members to adapt a clause in all contracts that would void obligations if a contractor was found to have links with the yakuza.
The new Tokyo tower — which is called the Tokyo Sky Tree — has become a prominent symbol of the crackdown. Companies involved include the railroad operator Tobu Railway and the Obayashi Corporation, one of Japan’s biggest contractors.
In late 2008, the companies working on the Sky Tree teamed up with local businesses to form an anti-yakuza committee. It is one of more than 100 similar committees that have been formed here in the past few years.
Mr. Hironaka, the tower’s anti-mob lawyer, says movement to and from the construction site is closely monitored by guards and with closed-circuit video. Contracts are scrutinized to make sure that no construction equipment or materials — not even boxed lunches or gloves for workers — come from companies with mob affiliations.
“The site is water-tight,” Mr. Hironaka said. “It will take a lot to get past all that.”
Local governments, whose public works projects account for the bulk of construction spending in Japan, have also joined the campaign to extract the yakuza from the building business. Next month, Tokyo is set to ban any company or individual affiliated with the yakuza from city contracts — from office supplies to public works — along with threats of penalties and public disclosure for companies found to have mafia ties.
Morio Umeda, who runs a public anti-yakuza advice center in Tokyo and runs seminars for companies on dealing with the yakuza, says inquiries are rising as more companies try to sever ties with the mob. In 2009, similar advice centers across the country received more than 4,200 consultations about organized crime from companies in construction or real estate, about 12 percent of total consultations.
“I tell them that they should not be afraid, that they should go to the police even if they are warned not to,” said Mr. Umeda, a former anti-yakuza officer with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. “But especially at busy construction sites, it can sometimes be difficult to be aware of who’s coming and going.”
And the mob is threatening to fight back. Last month, police say, a gunshot was fired into the wall of a construction site linked to Takenaka Corporation, one of Japan’s biggest general contractors, the fourth shooting at construction sites in Tokyo this year. Although no one has been hurt, the shootings have resonated in a country where guns are almost unobtainable for everyone except gangsters.
Those close to the yakuza call the attacks a sign of desperation.
“It’s the ice age” for organized crime, said Yukio Yamanouchi, a former legal adviser to the Yamaguchi-gumi, who still defends members of organized crime.
“They looked for new earnings in the mainstream economy, but that’s triggered a backlash,” Mr. Yamanouchi said. “Now, some yakuza are worrying where their next meal will come from.”
➜ bin git:(master) ✗ cat /dev/urandom > /dev/dsp
zsh: permission denied: /dev/dsp
➜ bin git:(master) ✗ bash
bash-4.0$ cat /dev/urandom > /dev/dsp
bash: /dev/dsp: Permission denied
what's /dev/dsp ? Display ??? Don't have it on OS X.
➜ bin git:(master) ✗ cat /dev/urandom > /dev/dsp
zsh: permission denied: /dev/dsp
➜ bin git:(master) ✗ bash
bash-4.0$ cat /dev/urandom > /dev/dsp
bash: /dev/dsp: Permission denied
They even have statues of these 2 at SW19.
Amy Winehouse Gives Disastrous Performance In Belgrade, Gets Booed Off Stage
Amy was seen stumbling across stage, forgetting lyrics, and even going so far as moaning into the mic, which she later drops, and then having to have her backup singer finish the song for her.
When Spies Don’t Play Well With Their Allies
By MARK MAZZETTI
Published: July 20, 2008
Of course, there are few examples in history of spy services really trusting one another. After all, people who earn their salaries by lying and assuming false identities probably don’t make the most reliable business partners. Moreover, spies know that the best way to steal secrets is to penetrate the ranks of another spy service.
But circumstances have for years forced successful, if ephemeral, partnerships among spies. The Office of Strategic Services, the C.I.A.’s predecessor, worked with the K.G.B.’s predecessors to hunt Nazis during World War II, even as the United States and the Soviet Union were quickly becoming adversaries.
These days, the relationship between Moscow and Washington is turning frosty again, over a number of issues. But, quietly, American and Russian spies continue to collaborate to combat drug trafficking and organized crime, and to secure nuclear arsenals.
The relationship between the C.I.A. and the I.S.I. was far less complicated when the United States and Pakistan were intently focused on one common goal: kicking the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan. For years in the 1980s, the C.I.A. used the I.S.I. as the conduit to funnel arms and money to Afghan rebels fighting Soviet forces in Afghanistan.
But even in those good old days, the two spy services were far from trusting of each other — in particular over Pakistan’s quest for nuclear weapons. In his book “Ghost Wars,” the journalist Steve Coll recounts how the I.S.I. chief in the early 1980s, Gen. Akhtar Abdur Rahman, banned all social contact between his I.S.I. officers and C.I.A. operatives in Pakistan. He was also convinced that the C.I.A. had set up an elaborate bugging network, so he had his officers speak in code on the telephone.
Louis XIV, king of France, was the longest reigning monarch in the history of Europe. He became king at the tender age of five upon his father’s death in 1643. Actual control of the government was in the hands of his First Minister Jules Cardinal Mazarin until Mazarin’s death in 1661. Louis then ruled until his death at age 76 in 1715. Louis, also known as the “Sun King” and “Louis the Great” was an absolute monarch who favored a centralized state. Politics aside, he was also known for his love of food.
Le Potager du Roi, (the King’s vegetable garden) was built between 1678 and 1683 by Jean-Baptiste La Quintinie, the King’s gardener at Versailles. Quintinie, who had been appointed “Director of All Royal Fruit and Vegetable Gardens”, was assigned one million square feet of land to produce a garden capable of meeting the court’s demanding needs for fresh produce. One of the many types of fruits and vegetables grown was the cucumber. In fact, Quintinie, borrowing from a technique used for cultivating melons, grew his cucumbers under glass. The glass acted as a greenhouse by capturing the sun’s warmth and thus expedited maturity.
Cucumbers, a member of the gourd family, have been cultivated by man for at least 3,000 years. They originated in the foothills of the Himalayas, probably in or near present day India. They eventually found their way to Egypt and were subsequently cherished by the ancient Romans and Greeks. Incidentally, the first documented use of the phrase “cool as a cucumber” was in the poem “A New Song” by English poet and playwright John Gay in 1732.
The skin, (if it is not waxed), and the seeds of cucumbers are edible. As the cucumber matures however, the seeds can start to become bitter. Thus, it is a good idea to scoop them out. The English cucumber is a long and narrow cucumber which is marketed as seedless but actually will contain a few seeds.
Cucumbers are available year round with a peak season from May until August. Choose specimen’s with firm, smooth skins, devoid of any blemishes or soft spots. They can be stored in the fridge in a bag for up to ten days. Cucumbers are high in potassium and fiber with moderate amounts of Vitamins A and C, as well as folic acid, phosphorous, and magnesium.
Although they can be cooked, cucumbers are most often eaten raw in salads, in cold soups, in cucumber based sauces, and as hors d’oeuvres. Cucumbers are also the vegetable of choice for pickles. Pickles are made by placing cucumbers in a seasoned brine or vinegar solution.
I like the unnamed person putting cucumber slices on her eyes. It was like a punch-line, i then understood why Mike is educating us about cucumbers today !
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