Every Day Feels Like Valentines Day!

Every Day Feels Like Valentines Day! by tomsjohnFebruary 14 is a bitter-sweet date for many, as the ones who have a date on the day seem superior to the ones who dont have a date. So where do the ones that are hitched for life come in? Do they get to celebrate Valentines Day, all dressed up, to share an overpriced special meal? Well the married souls, unlike the unlucky undecided unwed couples, have found the love of their life, so everyday should technically be Valentines Day!If you were expecting a rant on a discontented married life, tainted with jealousy upon seeing the happy young couples celebrating love, sorry to disappoint you. This isnt one. In fact, most days feel like Valentines days for us. Alright, there are days when both of us want to go for the others throat, but that, in a way, deepens the bond between us. We dont need a special day in a year to celebrate Valentines Day by going on dinner cruises or romantic dates. The same thing thats available 364 days of the year, will be overpriced, just for a couple of red hearts, balloons and an ambience thats supposed to send those sparks flying. But once in a couple of years, why not give in to the stereotype? So what if we join the bandwagon and indulge in something as exclusive as the currently trending Valentines Day special Sydney Harbour dinner cruise?No harm done; we get to celebrate whats touted to be a special day of love, with the rest of the world. But to all you couples out there, try to make every day feel like Valentines Day. Go out to fancy places that wine and dine you to heaven (and back to earth when the bill comes). Feel the same enthusiasm when you sit on the park bench, with your heads resting against each other, sharing a corn dog. Stargazing could be something you both love, lying on a comfy mattress on the roof, admiring the twinkling stars, enjoying the silence and each others company. Every day feels like Valentines Day, with little gestures that add up and matter in the end. Any day can be a special day to receive a bunch of red roses. A post-it with a little message or funny love poem can be a great saviour, when dealing with the stress at work or at home. Something as small as setting your phone caller-tune to a favourite song, can go a long way and make that day a Valentines Day. It doesnt take much effort to make any day special. One neednt go out of their way or spend a pile of money to make memories (a pair of diamond earrings doesnt hurt though). Create occasions where both of you get some you & me time. Never leave anything unspoken, talk things through before they mushroom and escalate. The both of you know whats best for each other, you dont need an outside opinion from people who barely know the both of you. So all it takes is a little something to make any day feel like Valentines Day! Popular Valentine’s Day Dinner CruisesArticle Source: eArticlesOnline.com

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Latest trial of the One Laptop Per Child running in India; Uruguay orders 100,000 machines

Thursday, November 8, 2007

India is the latest of the countries where the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) experiment has started. Children from the village of Khairat were given the opportunity to learn how to use the XO laptop. During the last year XO was distributed to children from Arahuay in Peru, Ban Samkha in Thailand, Cardal in Uruguay and Galadima in Nigeria. The OLPC team are, in their reports on the startup of the trials, delighted with how the laptop has improved access to information and ability to carry out educational activities. Thailand’s The Nation has praised the project, describing the children as “enthusiastic” and keen to attend school with their laptops.

Recent good news for the project sees Uruguay having ordered 100,000 of the machines which are to be given to children aged six to twelve. Should all go according to plan a further 300,000 machines will be purchased by 2009 to give one to every child in the country. As the first to order, Uruguay chose the OLPC XO laptop over its rival from Intel, the Classmate PC. In parallel with the delivery of the laptops network connectivity will be provided to schools involved in the project.

The remainder of this article is based on Carla G. Munroy’s Khairat Chronicle, which is available from the OLPC Wiki. Additional sources are listed at the end.

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Despite 6 warnings Israel bombed and killed 4 UN observers

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

An Israeli bombardment killed four United Nations Observers, despite multiple warnings by UN peacekeeper. The peacekeepers at the post said the area within a kilometer of the post was hit with precision munitions, including 17 bombs and 12 artillery shells, four of which directly hit the UN observation post. The fatal strike with a “precision-guided weapon” according to UN military personnel hit the post at about 7.20pm. The victims were Austrian, Canadian, Chinese and Finnish UN-observers.

The Irish foreign ministry said that Israel ignored repeated warnings from Lieutenant-Colonel John Molloy, a key UN liaising officer, that its bombs were falling close to United Nations observers in southern Lebanon. The warnings came allegedly before an Israeli bomb killed four of the U.N. observers. “On six separate occasions he [Lieutenant-Colonel John Molloy] was in contact with the Israelis to warn them that their bombardment was endangering the lives of UN staff in South Lebanon”. “He warned: ‘You have to address this problem or lives may be lost’,” an Irish foreign affairs spokesman said.

Suzanne Coogan, a spokeswoman for the Irish Defence Minister Willie O’Dea said Molloy “warned the Israelis that they were shelling in very close proximity to the post, and his warnings were very specific, explicit, detailed and stark.” She concluded, “Obviously those warnings went unheeded.”

Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern said “Evidence that we have would suggest that this was either an incredible accident or else was in some way directly targeted”.

In 1996 over 100 civilians were killed by the Israeli bombing of a UN compound in Lebanon in an incident known as the Qana shelling.

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Japanese H-IIA rocket launches satellite into orbit

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has successfully launched another of their H-IIA space rockets. Its payload, the MTSAT-2 satellite designed to control air traffic and track weather patterns, has successfully separated from the rocket. It is due to be inserted into a geostationary orbit on the 21st of February.

The satellite is owned by the Civil Aviation Bureau and the Japan Meteorological Agency, part of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

The rocket was launched from the Tanegashima space centre in the southern region of Kagoshima, at 15:55 (06:55 GMT). It is the ninth in a series of H-IIA rockets, which form the main part of the Japanese space program. A previous H-IIA rocket was launched less than a month ago.

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How To Drive The Irs Crazy

By Wayne M. Davies

Looking for an easy way to increase your business deductions? Look no further than your driveway.

First, the general rule: your vehicle is deductible to the extent you use it for business.

So, if you drive your car 100% for business, all car-related expenses are deductible.

But if you use it less than 100% for business, do not despair. Less-than-100% use is very typical among small business owners and the self-employed — you’ll still come out way ahead by keeping good vehicle expense records.

For example, if you drive your car 75% for business, then you get to deduct 75% of your vehicle expenses.

Now to the fun part.

There are two methods for reporting your car expenses:

1. Actual Expense Method

2. Mileage Method

With the Actual Expense Method, you have to keep track of all your vehicle related expenses, such as:

— gasoline

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— oil

— maintenance & repairs

— insurance

— license & registration

— wash & wax

— supplies & equipment

— depreciation expense (including Section 179 deduction)

— lease payments

— loan interest

— state and local taxes

So you add up all those deductions and multiply the total by your business use percentage, which is determined by dividing business miles by total miles driven.

The Mileage Method works like this: instead of tracking all the actual expenses listed above, you

only need the number of business miles driven, which is multiplied by the standard mileage rate published each year by the IRS.

For 2003 the mileage rate was 36 cents per mile.

For 2004 the mileage rate was 37.5 cents per mile.

For 2005 there are two mileage rates: 40.5 cents/mile

from January 1 through August 31, and 48.5 cents/mile

from September 1 through December 31.

For 2006 the mileage rate is 44.5 cents per mile.

If you drove your car 10,000 miles in 2005, your deduction is at least $4,000 (depending on how many miles you drove during the last four months) — regardless of what your actual expenses might have been.

NOTE: There are 2 actual expenses that are also deductible under the Mileage Method — interest and taxes.

Now for the obvious question: Which method is better?

Well, here’s how I look at it. If you want to get the highest deduction, you should “run the numbers” under both methods and then use whichever method results in the higher deduction.

You are allowed to pick whichever method you want.

But once you pick a method, be careful to follow the rules on “switching” from one method to the other: You can switch from the Mileage Method to the Actual Method, but generally are not allowed to switch from the Actual Method to the Mileage Method.

Having said that, let’s be practical. If you hate recordkeeping, use the Mileage Method. It’s much simpler and faster. You won’t have to keep all those receipts.

Even the Mileage Method requires some recordkeeping, however. You should keep a log that documents the business use of the vehicle. Here are 3 IRS-approved car logs:

1. Daily Log. Yep, you just record all business miles for all 365 days of the year.

2. 90-Day Log. Here’s a little-known rule — instead of keeping mileage records for the entire year, you can get by with just a representative portion of the year — and a 90-day period is considered an adequate representation of the entire year.

So you would keep a Daily Log for a 3-month period, say January through March. To get your annual mileage total, you multiply the 3-month total by 4.

3. One-week Log. Here’s another short-cut: The IRS also allows you to keep a log for just the first week of each month. Then you multiply that week’s mileage by 4 to get the monthly total.

Regardless of which method you use, there’s a goldmine of deductions sitting right there in the garage.

About the Author: Wayne M. Davies is author of 3 tax-slashing eBooks for small business owners and the self-employed. For a free copy of Wayne’s 25-page report, “How To Instantly Double Your Deductions” visit




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Wikinews interview with America’s Got Talent finalists Celtic Spring

Thursday, August 31, 2006

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Irish American dance and fiddle band Celtic Spring was recently a finalist in America’s Got Talent. Talent was a NBC television series search for America’s next big talent, featuring singers, dancers, magicians, comedians and other talents of all ages. The series was hosted by Regis Philbin, and judged by former tabloid editor Piers Morgan, singer Brandy, and actor/singer David Hasselhoff.

The mother of the family, Mary McCauley Wood, talked to Wikinews about their group’s performances and the America’s Got Talent experience.

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German BND claims U.S. exaggerated Iraq WMD claims

Sunday, November 20, 2005

One of the most important arguments in the run-up to the Iraq war made by Colin Powell in his United Nations speech and President Bush in his State of the Union address was that Iraq had an active biological weapons program and possessed mobile biological weapons labs. According to an investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee, the main source for this information was an Iraqi defector codenamed Curveball who was a source for the German central intelligence agency BND.

Several German intelligence officials responsible for Curveball have now told the LA Times that the Bush administration and the CIA have repeatedly exaggerated his claims and ignored warnings of the BND that the source was unreliable. Recounting his reaction after seeing Powell’s United Nations speech one German intelligence officer said: “We were shocked. Mein Gott! We had always told them it was not proven…. It was not hard intelligence.” This corroborates reporting by the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit from 2003 and 2004 based on statements of unnamed senior German intelligence officials.

Nine months earlier, in May 2002, a fabricator warning was posted in Curveball’s file in U.S. intelligence databases. Powell was never warned that his United Nations speech contained material that both the DIA and CIA had determined was false, even though several people present at Powell’s CIA meetings were fully aware of this.

At this time German intelligence officers would not let the CIA meet directly with Curveball, but allowed a CIA doctor to draw blood samples. Questioning the validity of Curveball’s information in front of his CIA supervisor, the doctor was advised to “Keep in mind that this war is going to happen regardless of what Curveball said or didn’t say and the Powers That Be probably aren’t terribly interested in whether Curveball knows what he’s talking about.”

Shortly after Powell’s UN speech and several days before the invasion, United Nations weapons inspectors attempted to directly verify several key claims made by Curveball, but concluded that they were unsustainable. The White House insisted on its WMD claims based on Curveball’s information.

Even after the invasion, when more and more of Curveball’s accounts were shown to be pure fabrication, the CIA and the Bush administration relied on Curveball’s information. When U.S. forces discovered trucks with lab equipment and Curveball claimed that these were identical to the ones he has been reporting about, the CIA rushed to publish a White Paper claiming that these trucks were part of Saddam Hussein’s secret biological weapons program and Bush claimed publicly that “We found the weapons of mass destruction.” Several days later, twelve of the thirteen WMD experts who analyzed the trucks agreed that the equipment was not suited for biological weapons production, with the only dissenting voice coming from the author of the original White Paper.

The White Paper remains posted on the CIA website to this date, and President Bush has not yet retracted his statement that Iraq produced “germ warfare agents” made in his State of the Union address or his postwar assertions that “we found the weapons of mass destruction.”

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Rocket Spanish Download A Whole Education In Speaking Spanish

By Jorge Chavez

Did you ever day-dream about being able to speak Spanish? Understand what people speaking Spanish were saying, be able to talk with them? Travel in Latin America or Spain and be able to get out of the tourist traps, take a taxi, visit the restaurants, see the sights and make friends where the real people live?

It’s not as hard to learn Spanish as you might think. The Internet, new teaching methods and digital media have revolutionized the way languages are learned. This has brought learning another language into the cost and time-requirement range of millions who could not afford it before but can now.

Don’t think in terms of traditional classroom learning. This is the 21st Century, we’ve gone beyond that. Modern interactive courses, available at low cost, can help you learn fast and easy. There are excellent digital media learning courses that you can download and study whenever and wherever you want to.

The 31-lesson learning course by Rocket Spanish, for example, can be downloaded in a few minutes (depending on your connection speed) and you can start with it immediately. It comes in MP3 format which can be downloaded from your computer to your iPod or other MP3 player. Or it can be burned into CD’s to be played on the CD player in your car or anywhere.

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You will hear Spanish spoken by native speakers, interact with them and learn to pronounce words and speak as they do. The advantage of learning from skilled native speakers is that you can learn to speak Spanish without an accent, or at least with minimal accent.

Also, with your lessons on digital media, you can listen to them again, take a refresher course, anytime! Even while you are on the plane to Acapulco or Cancun!

With traditional classroom learning, it takes years to become fluent. But with an interactive learning course you can learn a language in only weeks or maybe months. Using natural methods (learning Spanish like you learned English, through learning basic conversation and then expanding from there) you will be able to carry on a basic conversation within a few days!

Spanish is an excellent language to start with. There are many common words between English and Spanish, so you already know more Spanish words than you realize! And with Spanish it’s easy to get started. You can make yourself understood with a 2,000 word vocabulary! That’s enough to make and pay for purchases, ask directions, order in a restaurant, take a taxi… most basic activities.

Spanish is very useful to know. Not only is it the fourth most prevalent language in the world, it is the most prevalent language in the Americas. There are 41 million Hispanics in the U.S., of which 17 million don’t speak English, or don’t speak it very well.

You can use Spanish to communicate with your Hispanic neighbors! You can use it in traveling to Mexico, many other Spanish-speaking countries and Europe where Spanish is widely spoken! You are almost certain to find many uses for Spanish and be delighted to be able to communicate!

So what are you waiting for? Quit dreaming of speaking Spanish, download a course and start learning it! It’s fun, it’s easy and costs less than a couple of computer games!

Go ahead, expand your mind and your horizons! Start now! Do your part to increase international understanding! Learn to speak Spanish!

About the Author: For a great way to learn Spanish: Rocket Spanish For a FREE 6-Day Spanish E-course, see: Free Spanish Jorge Chavez: http://rocket-spanish.ya23.com

Source: isnare.com

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Boeing rolls out first 787 Dreamliner to go into service

Monday, August 8, 2011

Three years after it was first due for delivery, Boeing has rolled out the first 787 Dreamliner that is to be delivered to a customer. Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) were to take delivery in May 2008, but will now receive the aircraft next month.

The plane promises increased fuel efficiency as it is the first model to be built out of plastic and carbon composites, more lightweight than conventional materials. Boeing says they have 800 orders at $200 million per aircraft. Launch customer ANA have ordered 55.

Delayed by Boeing’s outsourcing system to a variety of subcontractors, two models have been developed. The 787-8 holds between 210 and 250 passengers; the 787-9 holds 250 to 290. Airlines choose the seating layout they want.

After the 787, already bearing ANA’s livery, arrives in Tokyo next month, the airline will use its first commercial flight for a special charter from Tokyo to Hong Kong. “We plan to use the 787 to expand our business, particularly our international routes,” says ANA senior vice president Mitsuo Morimoto. “We plan to increase our revenue from international route significantly and the 787 will play an instrumental role in this,” he adds, noting flights to Europe or the US are possibles for 787s.

“We are rolling out the first delivery airplane, the first 787,” enthused Scott Fancher, 787 project manager and Boeing vice president. “That’s an amazing thing for those who have worked on the program five, six, seven years, here at Boeing and our partners around the world.”

Boeing says they must increase the tempo of production from two a month to ten, if they are to meet customer demand. “It’s an extraordinary challenge, no one has ever built a wide body aircraft at the rate of 10 per month before,” claims Flight International writer John Ostrower.

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Loss of integrity in underground city tunnel causes evacuation of Downtown Montreal

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A one-inch settlement of the roof of The Bay tunnel to the Montreal Metro caused authorities to evacuate 12 blocks of the Montreal downtown core.

Several people noticed water infiltration in the tunnel over the last few days. On Friday, August 24, at 1 p.m., while investigating another water infiltration incident, The Bay employees noticed that the ceiling of the tunnel portion of The Bay’s basement sales area had descended one inch over a 7 meter length. They subsequently called police. The police and firefighters evacuated the basement of the downtown Bay store. The police closed de Maisonneuve Boulevard from Aylmer Street to Union Street, over the area of the crack.

At 4 p.m., firefighters evacuated the Parkade Montreal Building and The Bay Department Store after finding pieces of concrete falling from the Parkade Montreal structure, a multi-story carpark with five levels of offices on top. They also evacuated the downtown portion of the Line 1 / Green Line of the Montreal Metro subway, from Lionel-Groulx to Berri-UQAM stations, and evacuated the McGill metro station, which is situated below The Bay tunnel. After consulting with city engineers, Centre 2001, the loading dock of the Bay and its Hertz car rental agency, Les Promenades Cathedrale underground shopping centre and office tower, and a neighbouring office tower to the Parkade were also evacuated. Police cordoned off an area from Bleury Street in the east to University Street in the west, and from Ste-Catherine Street in the south to President Kennedy Street to the north.

The closure of the Metro caused havoc to the Friday afternoon rush hour, as over 40,000 people regularly use the Green Line (Line 1) every day. Montreal Transit Corporation workers issued directions during the day, though some may not have been informed of a provisionary bus service to replace the lost subway service. Loudspeakers announced that commuters should use the unaffected Orange Line (Line 2), which has lines between 5 and 10 blocks south of Line 1 (Green Line), and also connects to Lionel-Groulx and Berri-UQAM stations.

The downtown area is intended to remain closed for at least the weekend, along with portions of the underground city, or RESO. The tunnel was built in 1966. For the last few days, city work crews have been working above the slab in question, digging a one meter trench to install a median and segregate a new bike path on de Maisonneuve Boulevard. The tunnel roof lies five meters below street level.

Residents of Montreal are frustrated with the crumbling infrastructure in and around the city, including the collapse of the de la Concorde Boulevard overpass over Autoroute 19 expressway last year, the shattering of a column holding up the Autoroute 720 Ville Marie elevated expressway last month, and other incidents.

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