Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Oregon Dressage Society News and Announcements ? Fort ...

FVC Dressage show Profit/Loss Statement for this year shows a loss of $8.50.? Entries were down in comparison to shows over the past few years.? A discussion was held about ways to improve attendance.? It was determined the chapter?s show committee should discuss this situation and come back to the Chapter with recommendations.


Jessica Kern from 4-H has submitted a request to borrow the Fort Vancouver Chapter dressage court for an upcoming show.? Lorraine Nettles moved to loan the court to Jessica Kern and it was seconded by Marilyn Watson.? All members in attendance voted in favor.


ODS Region 6 Youth Camp will be held for the third year this summer.? It will be held at DevonWood August 6 ? 9.? It is for youths from 8-21 years of age.? The cost of the camp is $300.


Chapter member Ann Robitaille offered to donate a percentage of sales of Arbonne (http://dreamsdocometrue.myarbonne.com) (nutrition and skincare products) towards a Fort Vancouver Chapter scholarship fund for the ODS Region 6 Youth Camp.? Ann has donated $350.00 from Arbonne sales made at her booth during recent dressage shows.

Lorraine asked whether the Chapter would like to place an advertisement in the Executive Horse Council Equine Services Directory for next year.? Advertising costs are $45 for ? page, $80 for ? page, and $150 for a full page ad.? Lorraine Nettles moved that the chapter place a ? page advertisement next year.? Nancy Connolly seconded, and all chapter members present voted in favor.


Carol Ramsey announced an event occurring at Sauvie Island Stables August 25 & 26.? This event will include a clinic by Judy D. Kurilo, as well as an Indoor Ride-A-Test of choice, outdoor Trail Obstacles, and a Trail Pace event.? As more information becomes available, it will be posted on the Sauvie Island Stables website: http://www.sauvieislandstables.com/lessonsandclinics.html


Lorraine Nettles moved that the chapter add an educational event to the schedule.? This event will be a Healing Energy demonstration on August 30, 2012 at 7:00 pm Summerfield Farm in Ridgefield.? Nancy Connolly seconded this motion and all members in attendance voted in favor.? More details will follow.


Heather Olsen clinic will be held at Summerfield Farm in Ridgefield July 7-8, 2012.


Ernst Herrmann clinic will be held at Summerfield Farm in Ridgefield August 25-26, 2012.


Oldenburg Inspections (http://www.isroldenburg.org/?pid=inspection_tour%schedule#WA) will be held Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 10:00 am at Rockn? B Farm 22212 NW 31st Avenue in Ridgefield, WA.


Hannoverian Inspections (http://www.hanoverian.org/2012-tour-dates/) will be held Monday, September 17, 2012 at HorsePower Farm 9610 NE 202nd Avenue Vancouver, WA ? http://www.horsepowerfarm.com/Home.html

Source: http://www.oregondressage.com/news/2012/fort-vancouver-chapters-august-2012-notes/

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Blocking the effects of amyloid b in Alzheimer's disease

ScienceDaily (July 27, 2012) ? During Alzheimer's disease, 'plaques' of amyloid beta (Ab) and tau protein 'tangles' develop in the brain, leading to the death of brain cells and disruption of chemical signaling between neurons. This leads to loss of memory, mood changes, and difficulties with reasoning. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Alzheimer's Research & Therapy, has found that up-regulating the gene Hes1 largely counteracted the effects of Ab on neurons, including preventing cell death, and on GABAergic signaling.

The exact mechanism behind how Ab contributes to Alzheimer's disease is not yet fully understood, however researchers from Centro Andaluz de Biolog?a Molecular y Medicina Regenerativa (CABIMER) in Spain recently discovered that Ab interferes with the normal activity of nerve growth factor (NGF). One of the actions of NGF is activating the protein Hes1, a transcription factor required to turn on other genes. Without this factor GABAergic signaling within the brain decreases.

Using gene therapy techniques, Pedro Chac?n and Alfredo Rodr?guez-T?bar augmented the amount of Hes1 in cultured neurons. Increasing the amount of Hes1, directly or by activating the protein NF-kB (which in turn up-regulate the cell's own Hes1), abolished the effect of Ab and prevented neuron death. Additionally another growth factor, TGFb, which can also activate NF-kB, was able to prevent the effects of Ab on neurons by improving levels of Hes1.

Pedro Chac?n explained, "Ab usually decreases the length of dendrites and GABAergic connectivity of neurons, however these effects were completely reversed by Hes1, NF-kB, and TGFb. When we grew neurons in a concentration of Ab which normally kills most cells, 50% of the neurons with extra Hes1 were able to survive."

These results demonstrate that neurons can be protected from the effects of Ab by increasing the amount of Hes1 in the cells. By clarifying the roles of NGF or TGFb in Hes1 protection this research provides strategies for limiting the effects of Alzheimer's disease.

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The above story is reprinted from materials provided by BioMed Central Limited.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:

  1. Pedro J Chacon and Alfredo Rodriguez-Tebar. Increased expression of the homologue of Enhancer-of-split 1 protects neurons from beta amyloid neurotoxicity and hints at an alternative role for transforming growth factor beta1 as a neuroprotector. Alzheimer's Research & Therapy, 2012 (in press) [link]

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.

Source: http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/~3/Mr_DgbycBS4/120730214110.htm

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Monday, July 30, 2012

????? Beta ??? Windows Server 2012 Essentials?

? Windows Server ???????????????????????????????? Windows Server 2012 ? RTM ????????? Windows 8 ?????????????????????????????2012?????????????????????????? Windows Server Essentials ???? Joe Nalewabau????????????????????????????????????????????

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??-- Jeffrey


?????? Windows Server Essentials ?????????? Joe Nalewabau?????????????????? Beta ?? Windows Server 2012 Essentials ?? Essentials 2012??
?????????Beta ???????????????????????????????????????????? Windows Server Essentials 2012 Beta Essentials ?? ???????? Beta ?????????????? Essentials 2012????????????????????????? RTM ???????????? Beta ?????????????????
?? David Fabritius ?? ????????????Essentials 2012 ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Essentials 2012 ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
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??? Essentials 2012 ?????????????????????

  • ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Essentials 2012 ???? Home Server ? Storage Server Essentials ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????
  • ??????? 25 ?????? SBS 2011 Essentials ???????????????? 25 ?????????????????? Windows Server Standard???????????????????? SBS ???????????????? Web ??????????

    ????? Essentials 2012 ??????????????????????? Windows Server 2012 Standard???????? Windows Server 2012 Standard ??????? Essentials 2012 ???????? Essentials 2012 ??????????????????? 75 ???? 75 ?????????? Windows Server 2012 Standard ???????????/????????? Essentials 2012 ?????????????????

  • ??????????????? (???????)?Essentials 2012 ?????????????????????????????????????? SBS 2011 Standard ???????????????????SBS 2011 Essentials ???? Office 365 ???????????????????????????? Exchange ????????

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    3. ?? Exchange??? Exchange ????????? Essentials 2012 ???????????????????????????????????????????????? Exchange ??????????????????????????????????????? Exchange ?????????????????????? Beta ????????

? Windows Server 2012 ? Windows 8 ?????
Windows Server 2012 ???????????????????????????? Windows Server ??????????????????????????????? Windows Server 2012 ? Windows 8 ????????????

  • ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Essentials 2012 ???????????????????????????????
  • ???????????????? Windows 8 ????????????????????????????????????????????? Essentials 2012 ???????? Windows 8 ????????????????????????????? Essentials 2012 ?????? Windows 8 ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????
  • ?????????? SBS ?????????? SBS ?????? Windows Server ?????????????? SBS ???????????????????? (LOB) ?????????????????????? Essentials 2012 ???? Windows Server 2012 ??????????????? Windows Server 2012 ?????????????????? Essentials 2012 ???????????????????? Essentials 2012 ??????????????????? ISV ??? Essentials 2012 ?????????

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  • ?? Web ?? (RWA)?RWA ?????????????????????? Essentials 2012 ?????????????????? RWA ????????????? iPad ??? Windows 8 ????????????RWA ????????????????????????????????????
  • ?? Windows 8 Metro ????????????? Essentials 2012 ???? Windows 8 Metro ???Windows 8 ??????????? LaunchPad??????????? Windows 8 ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Windows 8 ????????????? Windows 8?????????? Essentials 2012 ???????????????
  • ??? Windows Phone ??????????????? Windows Phone 7 ????????? Essentials 2012 ??????????????????????????????????????????
  • ??????? Web ???????????????????????????????????????Essentials 2012 ???? Web ???????????????????????????????????????? Windows 8 Metro ? Windows Phone ??????????????????????????????????????? Essentials 2012 ?????????

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Essentials 2012 ?? Microsoft ??????????????

  • Office 365 ???? SBS 2011 Essentials ???????? Office 365 ??????????????????????????? Essentials 2012 ????????????? Office 365 ?????????????????? Office 365 ??????? Essentials 2012 ?????? office 365 ????????????????????????????????????
  • Microsoft ???????Essentials 2012 ????? Microsoft ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Essentials 2012 ????? SDK??????????????????????????????????? SBS 2011 Essentials ? WHS 2011 ??????? Essentials 2012 ??????
????? Beta ??? Essentials 2012 ????????????????????????????????????????????????? Essentials 2012 ????????????


Source: http://blogs.technet.com/b/windows-server-china-blog/archive/2012/07/30/download-the-beta-release-of-windows-server-2012-essentials-today.aspx

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CyanogenMod 10 preview build now available for Verizon's Galaxy Nexus

CyanogenMod 10 preview build now available for Verizon's Galaxy Nexus

We know it didn't take much time for the Tenth iteration of that CM greatness to reach Google's popular Nexus 7 and Samsung's most colossal Galaxy handset on the block, but one other Android big shot was still yet to join the "preview build" bash. The marvelous news is Verizon Galaxy Nexus owners can now also take part in the early adoption process, as CyanogenMod's Brint Kriebel has said via Mountain View's social network that CM10 for Big Red's GNex is out and up for grabs. That said, he's let it be known the goods aren't exactly fully baked, though he has been rockin' it as his "daily driver" for about two weeks -- which, needless to say, is quite a good sign. Those interested in going a step further can hit up bekit's Google+ page, where you'll find the rest of the underlying details.

Filed under: ,

CyanogenMod 10 preview build now available for Verizon's Galaxy Nexus originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 29 Jul 2012 07:37:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Droid Life  |  sourceBrint Kriebel (Google+)  | Email this | Comments

Source: http://feeds.engadget.com/~r/weblogsinc/engadget/~3/X6g8uNOWsk4/

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Romney would back Israeli military strike on Iran: adviser

"Mitt Romney would respect an Israeli decision to make a unilateral military strike against Iran aimed at preventing Tehran from obtaining nuclear capability, a top foreign policy adviser said Sunday as he outlined the aggressive posture the Republican presidential candidate will take toward Iran in a speech in Israel later in the day."

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/NWSav/~3/jwj_FHpYXww/romney-would-back-israeli-military.html

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James Taylor named in England squad for second South Africa Test

James Taylor England

James Taylor has moved up the England ranks, from Under-19 level to the captaincy of the Lions, for whom he averages 61.60 in 10 matches. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Action Images

James Taylor, the diminutive son of a National Hunt jockey, has been handed the big task of helping rescue England's series after their crushing innings-defeat against South Africa at The Oval.

Taylor has replaced Ravi Bopara ? who has withdrawn for personal reasons ? in an otherwise unchanged 13-man England squad for the second Test, which starts at Headingley on Thursday. This is despite the fact that Taylor has had difficulty adapting to life in division one with Nottinghamshire this season, having moved up from Leicestershire of division two.

But these days current form with a county is less important than it once was, and the 22-year-old Taylor was identified as a batsman of immense promise by the England management structure some years ago.

He also has a successful habit of being able to step up a level, as befits the shortest man on the county circuit (in the official books he is either 5ft 7in or 5ft 6in but that exaggerates his true height by two or three inches).

He played minor county cricket for Shropshire before moving to Leicestershire in 2008 and has also moved up the England ranks, from Under-19 level to the captaincy of the Lions, for whom he averages 61.60 from 10 matches.

His century in the current championship match against Sussex at Trent Bridge, as well as other recent contributions, suggest that he is adapting to life in division one, which is just as well because he would be up against arguably the strongest attack in world cricket at Headingley.

The Notts director of cricket, Mick Newell, said: "On his own admission he had some difficulties against a higher standard of attack at the start of the season. But conditions for batting were difficult for everyone, and no one really got any runs, apart from Michael Lumb and Nick Compton.

"He has started to put together big scores in the championship and he has shown glimpses of excellence in one-day cricket [he has made 345 runs at 69 in the CB40].

"He is a good technical cricketer, he knows how to occupy the crease against quality bowlers and I have seen improvement in his game this season. He is a very strong back-foot player and he works very hard on his game."

The man himself is relishing the challenge. Taylor said: "I've always backed myself to play at the highest level and even though I'm young I've played a lot of cricket and I've got a lot of runs behind me.

"The next goal is to get a place in the XI and if I get that opportunity I have to take it with both hands. I've always tried to keep my feet on the ground and strive to become a better player and that will always be my mantra."

Taylor must have strong hopes of playing. Even though England's bowlers looked in need of reinforcement at The Oval they have proved themselves over the past couple of years and the coach, Andy Flower, appears to be ideologically wedded to the notion of fielding a four-man attack.

If Taylor does take his chance Bopara, whose problems are understood to have nothing to do with cricket, will be left to wring his hands. Although the jury is very much out on his future as a Test cricketer, England were expected to play him for the remainder of the series so they could finally make a judgment on him.

Taylor's selection is also a reminder to Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow that there is still work for them to do. The national selector, Geoff Miller, said: "We were outplayed during the first Test last week but it is important that this squad regroups and focuses on preparing for the second Test."

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/jul/29/james-taylor-england-south-africa

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Phytoestrogen Effects On Breast Cancer Recurrence | Dr. Margileth

Discover how phytoestrogen in products such as soy affects breast cancer recurrence rates.

Breast Cancer Answers Ask A Question

Breast Cancer Answers PDF

David A. Margileth, M.D.:?In Soy foodstuffs there are what is called phytoestrogens which are very weak estrogens.? There has always been a question of or a dilemma of whether taking such products may be estrogen-like and increase the risk of recurrence of breast cancer.? I think the most current data would indicate that it probably does not.

So that taking modest amounts of soy products is okay but taking very large amounts I guess I have to say we don?t have any clearcut data but the amount of soy that most people would take probably is totally appropriate and would not increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence.

Dr. David A. Margileth practices medical oncology at St. Joesph Hospital in Orange, CA specializing in oncology, hematology, and internal medicine (board certified). His selected area of interest is breast cancer. Dr. Margileth graduated from Baylor College of Medicine in 1971 and has since spent time treating patients at the National Cancer Institute and Methodist Hospital in Houston, TX.
This information should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use the information provided on this site solely at your own risk. ?If you have any concerns about your health, please consult with a physician.

Related posts:

Source: http://www.breastcanceranswers.com/phytoestrogen-effects-on-breast-cancer-recurrence/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=phytoestrogen-effects-on-breast-cancer-recurrence

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What is an eating disorder? Video #5 | Diet-Fitness-Health-Healthy ...

www.katimorton.com What is an eating disorder ? Video #5 This video is about the DSM definition of what an eating disorder is. I felt that it was important to go over what the criteria are because many people misuse the term eating disorder. An eating disorder is described as someone who has a severe disturbance in their eating behavior. The most important term in that definition is the word ?severe.? This isn?t something that they only think about when they are eating or when planning an event that will have food at it. This severe disturbance takes up most of their thoughts and practically runs their life. When ?normal eaters? make plans to get together with friends they get excited to catch up and eat at their favorite restaurant. Someone with an eating disorder would not be excited. An event like this would cause them great anxiety and they may even try to cancel the event multiple times. I hope that clears up any confusion and stay tuned for more videos clarifying the types of eating disorders, such as, anorexia, bulimia, and compulsive eating. It is my hope that leveraging social media whether it is YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn can help me reach more people and spread the word about eating disorders and how destructive they can be to the people who suffer from them as well as those closest to them. TRANSCRIPT:

this is my first video so no negative comments please. Everyone?s eating disorder is different so I don?t want people thinking I know everything about them. because I don?t. I know everything about mine. And only mine. This is just to share some of my experience. I hope this doesn?t trigger anyone. If you have or have had an ED please take it into consideration about watching videos like this because I know it triggers me.
Video Rating: 5 / 5


Source: http://myveryhealthy.com/todays-healthcare/what-is-an-eating-disorder-video-5.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-is-an-eating-disorder-video-5

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Tips: Business Networking on LinkedIn ? Hometown Business Alliance

[unable to retrieve full-text content]LinkedIn isn't just a place for personal promotion and career networking ? businesses can do a lot on the professional network. In Dan Sherman's Maximum Success With LinkedIn, that point is stressed heavily.LinkedIn looks ...

Source: http://www.hometownbusinessalliance.com/blog/tips-business-networking-on-linkedin/

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Your Child and Skin Cancer- What You Should Know ...

Dr. Asarch was recently quoted in an article for SHE KNOWS?titled ?Checking Your Child for Skin Cancer?. Here are some of the notable quotes?

How can you help prevent your child from getting skin cancer?

??Sunscreen ? especially on vacations,? says Dr. Woolery-Lloyd. ?One study showed that children who went on sunny vacations had a greater number of atypical moles.?

And what about newborns and infants? ?Avoiding the sun when the baby is born is a start and you can start applying sunscreen after the age of 6 months. However the best prevention for all children is to stay in the shade. Since most skin cancers are a result of cumulative sun damage, the less exposure to sun damage and burns, the better the long-term preventive value.? says Dr. Hellman.

Dr. Richard Asarch, a board certified Denver dermatologist, also reminds parents that sunscreen needs to be applied daily and?not just on sunny days. ?Even on a cloudy day, up to 80 percent of the sun?s UV rays can pass through the clouds. Apply an SPF of at least 30 15-20 minutes before sun exposure to allow a protective film to develop.? Asarch continues, ?Re-apply every two hours or after excessive sweating or swimming. Use enough sunscreen to generously coat all exposed skin.??

?Be aware of the myths

If you still believe your child may not be at risk for developing skin cancer, Dr. Asarch urges you to consider these myths:

  • Tanning or getting a base tan helps prevents skin cancers?? False.
  • There is little risk of sunburning on cloudy days?? False.
  • The sun is more intense at the hot summer beach than in the cool mountain elevations?? False. Check the UV index for the area you live in to determine the risk.
  • My child is not at risk because he has dark skin?? False. While it is true that skin cancer is less likely in darker pigmented skin, it is not risk free. Sun protection is essential for all skin types, tones and pigmentations.

Read the full article on SHE KNOWS?HERE.

*?Tell your friends about Dr. Asarch on Facebook or Pinterest!

**Read Dr. Asarch?s original article on Skin Cancer and Children below.

The development of skin cancer in children is not common as basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma development is related to a cumulative exposure to ultraviolet light. Children, in general, do not accumulate enough UV exposure to create these tumors until later in life.

However, sun exposure can be more dangerous for children than adults. As we age, our skin develops a protective melanin pigment to help prevent sun burns. In infants and young children, this pigment is under-developed leading to a higher risk of sun burns and damage. Protection from UV exposure is essential for all children, but particularly important for those with very fair skin, moles -or whose parents have a tendency to develop moles- and a family history of skin cancer, including melanoma.

Skin type can also be indicative of a child?s risk for developing skin cancer. If your child has many freckles, moles or very fair skin, he or she is more at risk of developing skin cancer. Frequent exposure also plays a role. For example, a child who lives at a high altitude and sunny climate may develop skin cancer quicker than a child who lives at a lower altitude. A sunny climate usually means a child will be outdoors more frequently year round and the intensity of the sun?s rays is increased at a higher altitude. Checking your cities UV index will help you determine how risky sun exposure is. Of course, protection from UV exposure with a broad-spectrum sunscreen or block of at least 30 SPF on all exposed skin year-round is recommended.

The first indication of skin cancer in children would be a change in the shape, size or color of a skin growth, including moles and birthmarks. An annual skin check with your Dermatologist will help track these skin growths for changes. More frequent home checks are the easiest method of noticing new or changing growths.

Use the ?ABCDE rule,? which stands for asymmetry, border, color, diameter and evolution, as a guideline for spotting dangerous skin changes. Has there been change in a mole or birthmark where one half of the blemish does not match the other half (asymmetry)? Has the border of the blemish become blurred or ragged (border)? Is there a change or spread of color (color)? Has the blemish grown in size or evolved in any other way (diameter, evolution)?

Most moles do not pose a threat, however some have the potential to become cancerous. If you notice visible changes or your child complains of itching, burning or tenderness to the touch in any skin blemish, see your Dermatologist as soon as possible.

It is not recommended to use sunscreens before 6 months of age, making it essential to keep infants out of the sun whenever possible.? If your infant must be in the sun, dress them in clothing that covers the body, including hats with wide brims and seek shade.

After 6 months of age use a broad-spectrum sunblockthat offers a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. If your child is prone to skin

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irritation or allergic reactions, select a physical sunblock or chemical-free sunscreen containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide

?Sun Protection Facts:

  • ?Repeated exposure to UVA and UVB rays causes damage to the cells of the epidermis resulting in the production of wrinkles, age spots and actual skin cancers.
  • Cumulative sun damage can lead to basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma.
  • Physical Sun blocks (Zinc Oxide &Titanium Dioxide) provide broad spectrum protection blocking both UVA and UVB rays and are gentle enough for daily use.
  • Chemical Sunscreens are combinations of many active ingredients with no single chemical ingredient blocking the entire UV spectrum (unlike physical sun blocks)
  • Sunblocks are only effective if you use them appropriately every day.
  • Even on a cloudy day, up to 80% of the sun?s UV rays can pass through the clouds.
  • Apply SPF 15-20 minutes before sun exposure to allow a protective film to develop.
  • Re-apply every 2 hours or after excessive sweating or swimming
  • Use enough sunscreen to generously coat all exposed skin.
  • Try to avoid sun exposure between10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the strongest sun of the day.
  • Seek shade when your shadow is shorter than you are.
  • Snow and Sand can increase the need for sunscreen due to their reflective properties.
  • Protect your skin by wearing long sleeves, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses whenever possible.
  • Check your cities UV index to determine your risk.


Sun Protection Myths:

  • Tanning or getting a base tan helps prevents skin cancers?? False.
  • There is little risk of sunburning on cloudy days?? False.
  • The sun is more intense at the hot summer beach than in the cool mountain elevations?? False. Check the UV index for the area you live in to determine the risk.
  • My child is not at risk because he has dark skin?? False. While it is true that skin cancer is less likely in darker pigmented skin, it is not risk free. Sun protection is essential for all skin types, tones and pigmentations.


Source: http://blog.dermasparx.com/your-child-and-skin-cancer-what-you-should-know/

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Watch Futurama - The Six Million Dollar Mon S-7 E-07 - Short Articles

Recently on Futurama Season 6 Episode 6 ?The Butterjunk Effect?, Amy and Leela employ the future sport with Butterfly Derby. They soon become enslaved Nectar, a nutritional supplement that will boosts their performance.

On this week?s instance title ?The Six Thousand Dollar Mon?, Hermes makes physical updates by replacing his physique parts with robotic prostheses when he tires of being inferior to machines.

Futurama is an U . s citizens animated science fiction humor sitcom created by Matt Groening and developed by means of Groening and David X. Cohen for the Sibel Broadcasting Company. The series follows the adventures of a late-20th-century New York Location pizza delivery boy, Philip J. Fry, who, after being unwittingly cryogenically frozen for starters thousand years, finds employment at World Express, an interplanetary delivery company within the retro-futuristic 31st century. The series was envisioned by Groening inside late 1990s while working away at The Simpsons, later bringing Cohen aboard in order to develop storylines and people to pitch the exhibit to Fox.

In the United Reports, the series aired in Fox from March twenty eight, 1999 to August 10, 2003 before ceasing output. Futurama was then shown in reruns on Animation Network?s Adult Swim out of 2003 to 2007, until the network?s contract expired. It was revived inside 2007 as four direct-to-video motion pictures; the last of the four was released in early 2009. Comedy Central entered into a partnership with 20th Century He Television to syndicate the existing episodes and air that films as 16 new, half-hour episodes.

In June 2009, producing studio 20th Millennium Fox announced that Comedy Central had purchased the show for twenty six new half-hour episodes, which began airing this year and 2011. The show has since been renewed for your seventh season, set to air inside June 2012 and Summertime 2013.

Throughout its run, Futurama has received crucial acclaim, culminating in a Guinness World Record for ?Current The majority of Critically Acclaimed Animated Series? truly. The show has been recently nominated for 17 Annie Prizes and 10 Emmy Prizes, winning seven of the first sort and five of the latter. It has also happen to be nominated four times for a Writers Guild of America Award, winning two for this episodes ?Godfellas? and ?The Prisoner connected with Benda?, been nominated for your Nebula Award and provides received Environmental Media Prizes for episodes ?The Trouble with Popplers? and ?The Futurama Holiday Spectacular?. Futurama-related merchandise has recently been released, including: a tie-in comic book series and computer game, calendars, clothes, and figurines.

Fox expressed a strong desire inside mid-1990s for Matt Groening to build a new series, and he began conceiving Futurama with this period. In 1996, he enlisted David X. Cohen, then a writer and producer to the Simpsons, to assist in creating the show. The two spent moment researching science fiction courses, television shows, and films. When they pitched that series to Fox around April 1998, Groening and Cohen acquired composed many characters and also story lines; Groening claimed they had gone ?overboard? for their discussions. Groening described trying to obtain the show on the environment as ?by far the particular worst experience of our grown-up life. ?.

Futurama Season 7 Episode 7 Online Free Stream

Source: http://www.short-articles.net/watch-futurama-the-six-million-dollar-mon-s-7-e-07/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=watch-futurama-the-six-million-dollar-mon-s-7-e-07

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

NASA promotes new rover landing with synthetic 'Mars rocks'

NASA is sending synthetic 'Martian' rocks to eight cities in its national 'Get Curious'?campaign to promote the Curiosity Mars Rover, which is scheduled to touch down on the Red Planet on Aug. 6.

By Space.com Staff / July 26, 2012

In this artist's rendering provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech, a 'sky crane' lowers the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover onto the surface of Mars. The mobile robot is designed to investigate Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life.



A set of synthetic Mars rocks will be making a national tour next week to promote the upcoming landing of NASA's giant new rover on the Red Planet.

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The tour is part of a campaign called "Get Curious" that was created to honor the new Curiosity Mars rover, the main element of the Mars Science Laboratory mission, which is due to land on our neighboring world Aug. 6. The $2.5 billion rover is designed to spend at least two years on Mars searching for clues that Mars may have been habitable to life at some point.

"Get Curious" will send large boulders manufactured to look like Martian rocks to eight U.S. cities between July 26 and Aug. 9. No rocks have ever been brought back to Earth from the Red Planet, but these large synthetic constructions are designed to resemble the real thing as closely as possible.

The rocks will visit Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Boston; Detroit; Columbus, Ohio; Houston; Indianapolis; and Orlando.

"We are excited that Columbus was designated a 'Mars City,' and that COSI can be a part of the 'Get Curious' campaign," said Joshua Sarver, senior director of experience design and production at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), the stop location in Columbus, in a statement. "We continually think of ways to captivate our visitors at COSI, and we think the Mars rock in front of the center will attract a lot of attention and pique interest. We are pleased to be able to show our support for the Curiosity rover landing and continue to help raise awareness for scientific discovery and space exploration."

Each ersatz Mars rock will be emblazoned with the URL www.GetCurious.com and a QR code plaque directing people to the campaign's website. The project is sponsored by Explore Mars, a Mars exploration outreach nonprofit, and rocket company United Launch Alliance, which built the Atlas V-541 rocket that launched Curiosity toward Mars in November 2011.

"We at Explore Mars look forward to celebrating the Curiosity landing with not only the space community, but also the general public," said Chris Carberry, executive director of Explore Mars. "This mission will give us insights into whether Mars has, or ever had, conditions favorable to microbial life as well as the possibilities of future human exploration on Mars. We hope this and other space exploration initiatives will inspire Americans of all ages to reach further and dream bigger." [Photos: How Curiosity's Nail-Biting Landing Works]

Landing spots for the rocks are as follows:

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Source: http://rss.csmonitor.com/~r/feeds/csm/~3/iak2rmEdLTg/NASA-promotes-new-rover-landing-with-synthetic-Mars-rocks

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Norm's Notes: The Other ALECs' K-12 Education Agenda Exposed

School street sign(Photo: brianjmatis)This is the fourth and last article in Sarah Blaskey's and Steven Horn's series, "The Other ALECs Exposed."

For over 30 years, corporate America and its allies on both sides of the political aisle have carried out an assault on US workers, pushing down wages, slashing benefits and busting unions.
But after decades of repeated and near-fatal assaults, the US labor movement has waged a fight back, with teachers in the forefront of the battle. Public schools have become the centerpiece of the struggle. Through an array of recent policy initiatives, influential policy wonks are attempting to restructure education fundamentally. According to Jesse Hagopian, a teacher and union activist in Seattle, part of this restructuring process is happening through model bills being enacted systematically in statehouses nationwide.

"Most famously ALEC [the American Legislative Exchange Council] has been ghostwriting bills and passing them out to astroturf organizations around the country to put forward legislation that undermines teachers' unions and helps in this effort to restructure education based on test scores," Hagopian told Truthout.
But ALEC is not the only organization using model bills to push the corporate-friendly education agenda in the states. Rather, a few corporate-funded "Groups," or "Other ALECs," significantly influence education policy in every statehouse nationally. Aside from ALEC, the most influential Groups are two bipartisan trade associations, the Council of State Governments (CSG) and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
These entities ensure that teacher-blaming and union-busting policies constitute the "reform" agenda in the vast majority of states. Dozens of reports of cuts to states' education budgets accompanied by privatization campaigns demonstrate the effectiveness of this coordinated attack on public education.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 34 states and the District of Columbia cut education funding between 2008-2011. For public schools, the financial situation is indeed dire and has worsened in the wake of the 2008 economic crash. The Groups have used the crisis to accelerate the implementation of so-called "reform" policies.
"Eighty-four percent of school districts describe their funding as inadequate and the number of teachers laid off since the economic crisis began is likely to top three hundred thousand without federal assistance to the states," wrote Gillian Russom in the newly released book, "Education and Capitalism."
The economic crisis has created a rationale for ALEC and other stealth lobbyists to push privatization campaigns while claiming that they are necessary "reforms" for improving our failing education system, according to Brian Jones, a teacher and New York-based activist featured in the education documentary "The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman."
"For the charter operators, 'reform' means more money, bigger salaries, etc. For the politicians, it means they get to shout to working and poor people about how they're reforming education, while doing a huge favor to wealthy, powerful interests," Jones told Truthout.

A Battle Brewing in the Windy City
In early June, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), which represents more than 26,000 of the city's teachers and other school employees, called a strike authorization vote. The vote took place in the immediate aftermath of what many see as labor's drubbing in the Wisconsin recall elections, which failed to unseat Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
Adding to the challenge for CTU, in 2011, the Illinois legislature passed SB 7, which mandates that 75 percent of a teacher union's membership vote "yes" to authorize a strike, rather than a simple majority of voters. To put that into perspective, when the CTU organized a 91 percent voter turnout, it needed at least 83 percent of those members who voted to vote "yes" for its potential strike to be legal.
Though they might not have realized it at the time, the Chicago teachers, who ultimately voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if they do not reach an agreement with the school district on a raise to compensate for an increase in their working hours, were directly challenging the corporate model for education that CSG and ALEC have both promoted in recent legislative cycles.

National Precedent and IL SB 7
In October 2011, the CSG Suggested State Legislation (SSL) Committee - the well-respected bipartisan committee that selects state-level model bills for CSG to publish - voted to include IL SB 7 as a nationally distributed model bill in its 2013 SSL Volume.
The Illinois bill's summary statement acknowledges the similarities between SB 7 and legislation recently passed in other states that also aims to limit or altogether abolish teachers' unions. But the statement also claims that SB 7 is uniquely effective and explains:

"The legislation in Illinois was enacted by a Democrat-controlled legislature and signed by a Democratic governor, unlike in Ohio, Idaho and Wisconsin. Perhaps a more important difference is that the Illinois bill passed with support from the state's three largest teachers unions, which helped to counteract opposition from the rank-and-file or other unions."
SB 7 was drafted by a consortium of corporate-friendly organizations, including Stand for Children and the Illinois Business Roundtable. Adding insult to injury, it was also endorsed by unions - including the CTU, though teachers later voiced strong concerns with the union leaders' position.
Mike Klonsky wrote that the three unions that originally signed onto the bill "accepted a spanking in order to avoid a real beat-down." The "beat-down" seems to reference what happened in Wisconsin after Walker's Act 10 passed and unions were stripped of the majority of their collective bargaining rights.
Due to the initial success of SB 7's more seemingly "humane" form of union-busting, overseen by a Democratic Party gubernatorial office, the bill's policies have now become bipartisan-endorsed model legislation, now destined for cookie-cutter replication across the country.
The bill's summary explains that the law "establishes new standards for teacher tenure, empowers school districts to remove poor performing teachers from the classroom and updates regulations about teacher strikes."
Tenure can only be achieved after four years, except for "top-rated" teachers who can take the three year fast track. SB 7 also set new guidelines, including a 120-day waiting period, designed to make going on strike nearly impossible for teachers' unions.
The implicit purpose of laws like SB 7: weaken the last and biggest bastion of organized labor in the country. Furthermore, SB 7 is merely one of a dozen or so CSG model bills from the past five years geared toward privatizing K-12 education and undermining teachers' unions.

The Corporate Playbook for Public Education
In Part Two of this series we described a "corporate playbook" for influencing state-level legislation through nonprofit organizations like ALEC and CSG. As a reminder, the playbook works approximately like this (with variants depending on the group):

  1. Donate to a "Group" (like CSG and/or ALEC), thus gaining access to the Groups' legislative membership.
  2. Use corporate money to get lobbyists on boards and task forces associated with the Group.
  3. Use lobbyists' positions on the task forces to set the education agenda for these Groups. Groups are where state-level legislators receive most of their job training.
  4. Use free time at educational events to "schmooze" powerful legislative leaders.
  5. Write, introduce and influence the passage of business-friendly model legislation through CSG and ALEC.
  6. Lobby your model bills into enactments in as many states as possible.?
This playbook process describes how state-level education policy is shaped by corporate America.
Most major Groups' education platforms reflect some aspect of the big-business model for education.
For instance, CSG seeks to build a "culture of entrepreneurship" and create a "skilled workforce" ready for 21st-century labor tasks. The NCSL Education Task Force promotes "flexibility," charter schools and "common academic standards" based on testing. ALEC's education task force promotes "efficiency" and "parental choice" in schools.
Sarah Knopp, a high school teacher of economics and an activist in her union in Los Angeles, told Truthout that these new policies pushed by the Groups "reflect both a restructuring of education and a continuation of the past."
Public education has always been a "sorting ground" for the next generation of workers.
"Around the time of WWII, when mass participation in industrial manufacturing became the norm, high schools began to resemble factories," she explained. "And now we're going through another shift that nevertheless maintains the same basic goal - conditioning the behavior of students and preparing them for today's economic hierarchy."

The Financiers of Education "Reform"
Why is education policy driven by near bipartisan consensus at the state level? Follow the money.
Many of the same foundations sponsor both CSG and ALEC, giving these billionaire donors disproportionate amounts of influence when it comes to state-level education policy. One of the most notable sponsors of the corporate-friendly education agenda is Bill Gates, through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Gates Foundation alone gave $400,000 to a CSG program dedicated to "reforming" public education and pushing charter schools. Gates also financially supports a CSG initiative to collaborate with Boeing to create "fair and reliable measures of teacher effectiveness that are tied to gains in student achievement." None of these contributions even account for Microsoft's sizable donations to CSG.
What interest does a billionaire like Gates really have in shaping education policy?
"Part of it is promoting free market ideology," explained Russom. "Charter schools, closing and 'econstituting' schools deemed to be 'failing,' judging schools and teachers based on test scores - all these measures help to promote an ideology of competition and undermine the idea of a public sector where people have a guaranteed right to education and other services. Major parts of the reform agenda of these business foundations are also intended to undermine unions."
In 2011, CSG launched a Gates-funded education initiative, Policy Academies for Newly Elected Legislators (PANEL), specifically targeting recently elected state officials. A fifth of all state legislators elected in 2010 had never been in office before. PANEL was designed to educate these legislators on how to transform education to make students "career ready." Democrats and Republicans co-mingle and feel right at home at PANEL.
Michelle Rhee, chancellor of the Washington, DC, public schools from 2007- 2010 and notorious for championing the charter school agenda, also spoke at the 2011 CSG Southern Legislative Conference, cheerleading for the charter school cause during her presentation to the Education Committee.
"Crafting a system that recognizes and rewards the best teachers and identifies those who are in need of improvement and either quickly accelerates their professional skills or moves them out of the classroom, helps to advance the opportunities for all children," Rhee said at the conference.
The 2012 CSG National Leadership Conference featured other lecturers including Ulrich Boser, senior fellow of the Center for American Progress, who spoke on the "return on education investment," and Adam Miller, of Astellas Pharma US, who introduced a new plan for teaching science in schools. Neither have actually been teachers nor worked in a school, yet they are the education "experts" nonetheless, tasked with educating the legislators in attendance.
Out of this process, corporations apparently hope to leave with business-friendly policy resolutions and model bills. Models from the well-respected and bipartisan CSG rather than partisan and now-stigmatized ALEC may be preferred.

CSG's "Model" for Public Education
CSG has a slew of recent, or soon-to-be released, models for public education legislation that deserve a brief primer.

Charter Schools
In the 2010 SSL Volume, CSG published model language intended to open states' regulations to allow virtual charter schools. Then in the 2012 SSL Volume, CSG published the "Charter School Collaborative"based on a 2010 Colorado enactment.
Despite Gates and Rhee telling legislators otherwise, a 2009 Stanford University Study showed that only 17 percent of charter schools examined "provide superior education" to their public school counterparts. This datum suggests educational improvement isn't the motive behind the charter school agenda.

Knopp explained that the 83 percent of charter schools that do not perform better than public schools "are simply there to grab market share and privatize a public good."
With regard to the 17 percent of charter schools that outperform public schools, Knopp offers the following explanation: "In order to remain competitive, the American economy needs a small percentage of highly skilled and intelligent workers. This is where those few high-performing charter schools come in. They skim the talent off the top."
Teacher Tenure/Education Identifier Initiatives
In the 2012 SSL Volume, CSG also promoted a model "Educator Identifier System," based on a Colorado pilot program designed to compile information on "teacher effectiveness" and use the information to close the "teacher gap."
The teacher gap is defined by the model as a "documented phenomenon that poor or minority students are more likely to be taught by less-qualified or less-experienced teachers than those students' more advantaged peers."
This type of legislation promotes a blame-the-teachers mentality that is at the heart of the education "reform" lobby. Knopp calls these policies "business accountability models" and says they have growing relevance in education today.
"Pilot programs to measure teachers based on their students' test scores, usually known as Value-Added Metrics, such as the ominously named Educator Identification System legislation in Colorado are almost everywhere," Knopp told Truthout.
CSG has also endorsed the "Value-Add Metrics" Knopp mentioned above as the solution to the testing question and wrote, "Value-added assessment assumes that teachers are the most important factor in student learning and that the amount of 'value' the teacher 'adds; to each student can be precisely measured."
Russom argues, however, that "Value Added Measures" are "completely unstable and inaccurate" in measuring any teacher's classroom success. She points to another motivator behind legislation that promotes so-called educator effectiveness - union busting, an easy way to get rid of unruly teachers. But the testing causes problems in the classrooms, too.
"They [standardized tests] rapidly lead to a narrowing of the curriculum - more test prep, less arts and authentic curriculum as teachers' own job security begins to depend on their students' scores," Russom said.

Innovation Zones
CSG also influences education policy by promoting models for Innovation Zones (2012) and Promise Zones (2010). Through these market-oriented programs, schools are forced to compete with each other for customers - aka students - and through this competition somehow create better learning environments for students.
"The problem is that the business model, based on profits and competition between 'winners' and 'losers,' and serving basic human needs are as incompatible in education as they are in the healthcare market," Knopp said, as she spoke of her experience with "Zone of Choice" policies in the Los Angeles Unified School District, where she teaches.

Labor at the Chicago Crossroads
All of the CSG models and resolutions combined - SB 7, charter school initiatives, teacher identifier and effectiveness programs based on standardized testing, "Innovation Zones," and so many other still unmentioned CSG policies - create a bipartisan rubber-stamp for business-friendly education laws.

Contrary to popular wisdom, elements within the Democratic Party are playing a key role in this state-level privatization campaign. These state initiatives dovetail with the federal agenda promoted to some extent by both Democrats and Republicans in Washington, as recently covered in an in-depth three-part series on The Real News Network.

Exhibit A:?Democrats for Education Reform is one of the key groups pushing for charter school expansion, standardized testing and school closings.
"The bipartisan Council of State Governments is pushing bills to promote these policies at the state level," Russom added. "So while the Democrats will continue to get millions in funding for their election campaigns from teachers' unions, they are carrying out the education agenda of the 1 percent that's destroying our schools."

This is why Russom thinks the CTU struggle is so important. This labor showdown is unfolding in Chicago, a hot bed for Democratic Party education "reformers" like Barack Obama and his former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, now the city's mayor. CTU's strike vote may undermine the effect of spreading bills like SB 7 to other states.

"If the CTU can win most of their demands through this kind of powerful organizing, it will set back the neoliberal agenda in Chicago and will also send a message to unions and communities that we can fight back and get broad community support for a different kind of agenda," said Russom.

Russom is not alone in the inspiration she takes from the CTU strike. Teachers and indeed many unionists in general are beginning to wake up, look to CTU's lead and ask, what can we do to fight back?

"I think what they are doing in Chicago has the potential to revive the labor movement in this era of Occupy when so many people see the problem in society as the 99 percent of us versus the one percent who have gotten incredibly wealthy at our expense," Hagopian said.

Source: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-other-alecs-k-12-education-agenda.html

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Customer service is not dead! | Shawn Casemore's Blog: In Pursuit ...

During a recent trip to Ottawa Ontario, I stopped for gas at a local gas station, only to have my car swarmed by four people; two who immediately began to clean the windsheild; one who cleaned the back window; and one who asked how they might be able to help me today. Customer service is not dead!

Despite this rare demonstration of how a ?full service? gas bar should operate, I am still amazed by the amount of business many organizations loose as a direct result of improper training and engagement of front line staff. Here was a situation I dealt with earlier in the week.


I required a quote from an organization to provide services for my company. There was no existing relationship, however I was willing to move forward and engage the company quickly. Here was the telephone conversation I had with the customer service rep who answered my call:

Customer service: ?Do you have an account with us??

Me: ?No.?

Customer service: ?Well, we need an account setup in order to provide you with a quote.?

Me: ?Okay, I can email you all of the particulars to allow you to setup the account, is that what you need to provide me with a quote??

Customer service: ?I don?t setup accounts sir and I can?t provide you with a quote until you have an account set up.?

Me: Umm. So you can?t provide me a quote??

Customer service: ?No sir, I can?t help you without an account.?

Me: ?Okay, thanks.? (hangup).

Now, could I have asked some different more specific questions in order to help this individual understand what I was asking? Yes. But if this is the way I am treated at the front door, who wants to go inside?

If you are struggling to bring in new business or expand existing business, try shopping your own business and listen to how your front line people deal with customers and prospects. You just might find the root of your problems without ever having to increase your marketing budget.

? Shawn Casemore 2012. All rights reserved.

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An expert in Operational efficiency and effectiveness, Shawn provides thought provoking insights and ideas on how to increase efficiency and effectiveness to improve profitability and reduce risk.

Source: http://shawncasemore.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/customer-service-is-not-dead/

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6 Common Sense Real Estate Negotiating Tips For Buyers

6:00 AM By Article Directory

'; div.innerHTML = summary; } //]]> 6 Common Sense Real Estate Negotiating Tips For Buyers 6 Common Sense Real Estate Negotiating Tips For Buyers

Buying real estate is a many layered process. At nearly every stage of the process there are opportunities for negotiation. The skill of calm discussion to reach an agreement can be unfamiliar for many buyers and even with the assistance of the experienced real estate agent, the fact that the buyer has a personal stake in the outcome makes it important for them to be armed with some common sense tips to make the process go more smoothly.

Negotiating for buyers is something to be ready for before any real estate transaction. Most of these tips are just common sense and that can be helpful in this fast paced situation.

The following tips can be extremely helpful in the negotiation process of a real estate transaction:

1. Don't focus only on the price

The seller's price is not the only point to dwell on. There are several aspects of the sale that can be modified to save money for the buyer. Be aware of how choosing the closing date you prefer can be of value to you and remember that negotiating for buyers often means asking the seller to contribute toward closing expenses as well as pay for needed repairs and other contingent requirements.

2. Don't move too slowly

Before beginning your real estate search, be sure to have your approved financing ready. This allows you to shop only within your price range and to make a quick and viable offer when you find that right property. Failure to be qualified and ready with financing can mean disappointment when you cannot make a fast move on a desired property. Negotiating for buyers means being ready to offer immediately when the right property comes along. Keeping everything always in writing will help ensure that your negotiated terms are clearly agreed upon.

3. Keep all negotiations professional

The process of negotiating for buyers can be a stressful one. The topic at hand is the future home of the buyer, and there are emotional investments being made, even in the earliest stages of the buying process. It is important to stay calm and even detached from the emotional aspect so that your mind is focused on the business points that are in question. The assistance of your agent should be helpful here, their dispassionate demeanor can help keep the attention on the actual contract issues and not the nervousness of the buyer and seller.

4. Don't make a low-ball offer without reason

Offering an amount that is significantly below the seller's asking price can be justified in some cases. Perhaps the structure needs a great deal of work to be brought up to code, this would support a lower than asking price offer. If the comparable sales in the area were also lower than the current asking price, this is another good reason. Simply offering a much lower bid than the posted price in an attempt to force the seller to counter-offer can be seen as insulting and could end the negotiating process entirely. Proceed with caution when making a less than full price offer.

5. Don't be afraid to ask

Negotiating for buyers means knowing that there are several things that can be requested. If there is a piece of furniture or other non real property item that interests you, it does not hurt to ask the seller if that item can be part of the deal. When respectfully brought up as an addition to the deal in progress, the seller may be happy to comply. Remember that your flexible attitude throughout the entire interaction can work to your benefit.

6. Don't obsess!

Relying on your professional real estate agent can take some of the burden off of you as a buyer, but try not to fixate on the negotiating process, try to relax. This common sense "take time out to breathe" attitude can keep you more able to focus on the points that require your attention.

Source: http://business-negotiation.blogspot.com/2012/07/6-common-sense-real-estate-negotiating.html

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Romney distances self from 'Anglo Saxon' remark

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to the VFW convention at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nev., Tuesday, July 24, 2012 before a major foreign policy address before he embarks on an international trip. (AP Photo/The Sacramento Bee, Jose Luis Villegas) MAGS OUT; TV OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to the VFW convention at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nev., Tuesday, July 24, 2012 before a major foreign policy address before he embarks on an international trip. (AP Photo/The Sacramento Bee, Jose Luis Villegas) MAGS OUT; TV OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

(AP) ? Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is distancing himself from an unnamed adviser quoted in British media as suggesting that President Barack Obama doesn't understand the "Anglo-Saxon" heritage shared by Britain and the U.S.

Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams said Wednesday that if an adviser did say that, the adviser wasn't reflecting Romney's views.

Vice President Joe Biden and top Obama strategist David Axelrod criticized Romney over the comments reported in the Daily Telegraph.

The London paper quoted an unnamed adviser saying that Romney believes the U.S. relationship with Britain is special because of shared "Anglo-Saxon heritage" and that the White House doesn't appreciate that shared history.

Biden says the comments are a "disturbing" start to Romney's overseas trip.

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/89ae8247abe8493fae24405546e9a1aa/Article_2012-07-25-Romney-Obama/id-c13be245a9614278bb058800e7ee52bf

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

UK PM's ex-aide, Murdoch protege face hacking charges

Facundo Arrizabalaga / EPA, file

Andy Coulson, one-time communications director for Prime Minister David Cameron and former editor of News of the World, is among those who face charges in the British phone-hacking scandal. He is shown here on May 10.

By NBC News and wire services

Updated at 11:55 a.m. ET: LONDON --?British authorities on Tuesday charged an ex-aide to the British prime minister, a former protege of media mogul Rupert Murdoch and six others in the ever-widening phone-hacking scandal. Prosecutors accused those charged of key roles in a lengthy campaign of illegal espionage that victimized hundreds, including top celebrities Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.

The announcement was a major development in a saga that has transfixed and at times horrified Britons and one that shows no signs of ending. A senior police official told The Associated Press earlier this week that her force was investigating more than 100 claims including computer hacking and illegal access to medical records stemming from the scandal.

Prosecutors said?Tuesday that Andy Coulson, Cameron's communications director for four years until 2011, and Rebekah Brooks, who oversaw Murdoch's News International, would face charges of conspiracy to intercept communications.

The alleged offenses were committed between 2000 and 2006 when both served as editor of the News of the World, the salacious Sunday tabloid that Murdoch was forced to close a year ago amid public disgust at the phone-hacking revelations.

Among the alleged victims were two former British home secretaries, former England soccer manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, Hollywood stars Jolie and Pitt, former Beatle Paul McCartney and a minor member of the royal family, Lord Frederick Windsor, the son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

Brooks and Coulson are also both accused of involvement in hacking the telephone of Milly Dowler, a missing teenage girl who was later found murdered in 2002.

Coulson: 'I will fight these allegations'
It was the revelation that News of the World journalists had hacked her phone that triggered a furor that engulfed Murdoch's News International and ultimately led to the closure of the 168-year-old tabloid.

"I am extremely disappointed by the [prosecutors'] decision today. I will fight these allegations when they eventually get to court,? Coulson said in a statement quoted by Britain's The Guardian newspaper.

"I would like to say one thing today about the Milly Dowler allegation. Anyone who knows me, or who worked with me, would know that I wouldn't, and more importantly that I didn't, do anything to damage the Milly Dowler investigation," the statement said.

Brooks sounded a defiant tone.

"I am not guilty of these charges," she said in a statement. "I did not authorize, nor was I aware of, phone hacking under my editorship.

"The charge concerning Milly Dowler is particularly upsetting not only as it is untrue but also because I have spent my journalistic career campaigning for victims of crime. I will vigorously defend these allegations," her statement said.

Others being charged are senior tabloid journalists Stuart Kuttner, Greg Miskiw, Neville Thurlbeck, James Weatherup and Ian Edmondson.

Also being charged is private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, whose extensive notes have been at the center of the scandal since it was first unearthed.

External link: Read the phone charges in full here

The maximum sentence for the phone-hacking charges is two years in prison or a fine -- or both.

'Astonishing development'
The development is particularly embarrassing for Cameron because Coulson was also charged with hacking the phones of David Blunkett and Charles Clarke, two former home secretaries from the now-opposition Labour Party. The home secretary is Britain?s top law enforcement official, roughly akin to an American attorney general.

"That is an astonishing development and I think that is almost inevitably going to rebound on Cameron," Steven Barnett, professor of communications at Westminster University, said. "That is going to pose some very, very awkward questions for the prime minister."

Alison Levitt, Principal Legal Adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions, said she had concluded there was sufficient evidence to charge the eight suspects with 19 offenses over the illegal accessing of voicemails on the cellphones belonging to politicians, celebrities and sports figures.

Former UK PM accuses Murdoch of misleading inquiry into phone-hack scandal

News International had for years denied that phone hacking was widespread after the tabloid's former royal reporter and private detective were jailed in 2007 for the crime.

Poor judgment?
Coulson resigned in the aftermath, and took up the role as director of communications of Cameron's Conservative Party, helping to shape his campaign to become prime minister.

Neil Hall / Reuters, file

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, shown leaving London's Southwark Crown Court on June 22, will face charges in the phone-hacking scandal

Critics say Cameron appointed Coulson in order to secure the backing of the journalist's former boss, Murdoch, and say the appointment showed a shocking lack of judgment.

Complete UK news coverage on NBCNews.com

The involvement of Coulson and Brooks -- a close friend of Cameron?s -- turned the long-running hacking story into a national political scandal that has laid bare the collusion between senior politicians, the police and the media.

Brooks, her husband and her personal staff have already been charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice over the hacking case, while Coulson has been charged in Scotland with perjury after he denied in an unrelated court case any knowledge of phone hacking.

Brooks, wooed by a string of politicians and prime ministers first in her role as editor of the News of the World and Sun tabloid, and then as the head of Murdoch's British newspaper arm News International, was one of the most powerful women in Britain, instantly recognizable by her long, curly red hair.

She was also close to Cameron, socializing with him over Christmas breaks, and both were embarrassed earlier this year when an inquiry into media ethics read out text messages sent between the two.

Rupert Murdoch not 'a fit person' to run major company, UK lawmakers say

Cameron used to sign his frequent text messages to Brooks with an affectionate "LOL", which he thought stood for "lots of love."

Damaging, but not fatal, to Cameron's political fortunes
Paul Farrelly, an opposition Labour lawmaker who questioned Rupert Murdoch and his son James as part of a parliamentary committee investigation into the hacking, said Tuesday's developments were damaging, but not fatal, for Cameron.

"My view is that what happens to Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks reflects on David Cameron's judgment in both the appointment of Coulson and in being seen to be so close to a certain newspaper empire," he said.

"Because it's been going on so long, it's in no way fatal to his premiership. What is more important to the survival of his premiership and the coalition is the economy," Farrelly added.

NBC News correspondent Duncan Golestani, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

More world stories from NBC News:

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Source: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/07/24/12922171-uk-pms-ex-aide-murdoch-protege-face-charges-in-phone-hacking-scandal?lite

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Living Wills: Key Lessons from the First Wave ? The Harvard Law ...

Editor?s Note: Margaret E. Tahyar is a partner in Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP?s Financial Institutions Group. This post is based on a Davis Polk publication.

The first wave filers ? the largest and most complex domestic and foreign bank holding companies ? have now filed their living wills and the public portions have been posted on the FDIC?s and the Federal Reserve?s websites. Based on our experience advising a number of banking institutions on their resolution plans, and based on the public portions of the plans, we believe there are lessons to be learned for second and third wave filers, even in this early stage of an iterative process. At the same time, these lessons should be drawn carefully in light of the fact that the business models and legal structures of the second wave filers are somewhat different from the first wave filers, and those of the third wave filers are very different. Any lessons learned from the first wave should also be tempered by the fact that the standard format for the living wills that the regulators required in the first wave is likely to change for second and third wave filers. With that in mind, we suggest the following key lessons from the first wave filers based on what is known immediately after their public filings.

  • The Regulators Are Still in Learning Mode and Standards Are Still Evolving. Resolution planning is as new to the regulators as it is to the banking sector, and many staff at different levels of both the Federal Reserve and the FDIC are involved. In addition, for some banking institutions, international regulators are also part of the discussion. We expect that second and third wave filers will benefit from the regulators? increased experience, including improvements in the standardized format for filing that was required of the largest bank holding companies as well as increased consistency in the messages about expectations.
  • Resolution Planning Will Continue to Evolve After the Initial Submissions.Resolution planning will take more than one year to fully develop. As noted in the public portions, in the first wave the regulators provided baseline assumptions including:
    • No exercise of the recovery plan;
    • An idiosyncratic scenario specific to the banking institution that does not affect the global financial markets generally;
    • The baseline stress assumptions from the Federal Reserve?s stress tests;
    • All material entities have failed; and
    • No reliance on extraordinary government support.

    It is expected that in future years the required economic scenarios will become more stressed. This expectation of different assumptions in later years means that senior management should look ahead to how different resolution plan strategies might fare in a more stressed environment and possibly adjust resolution planning accordingly.

  • Resolution Planning is Driven by Legal Entity Not Business Units. Banking institutions are business lines in life but are legal entities at death. This fundamental mismatch between the most efficient way to manage a business and create shareholder value and the most efficient way to resolve it at the point of non-viability requires a temporary paradigm shift by business leaders. We believe it is best to first develop a preliminary top-down resolution strategy by focusing both on how systemic risk can be minimized and how the value of the business lines can be preserved in a resolution that occurs on a legal entity basis. This requires, as a first step, that core business lines, critical operations, critical services and shared services be mapped to legal entities. The second step is to map each material legal entity to its applicable insolvency regime and to evaluate the interactions of the legal regimes and other resolution processes as well as major impediments by considering the fate of the core business lines, critical operations, critical services and shared services on a legal entity basis. Prepare for some surprises in the interconnections and interdependencies among legal entities. These unexpected interconnections and interdependencies will reveal the risks of what might be cut off during a resolution proceeding.
  • Create a Preliminary Top-down Strategy First and Then Create the Focused Data Gathering Plan. Resolution planning is data heavy, and the FDIC and Federal Reserve regulations require a rich array of data. This data will have to be gathered, be evaluated and be reliable not only every year but also after a material change in the banking institution. Our experience is that it has been more efficient for a banking institution to first develop a well-defined top-down resolution strategy on a preliminary basis before beginning the data-gathering process. That strategy can later be changed if the data provides a different picture than expected. Without an initial overarching strategy, however, there is a risk of expensive back-tracking or the gathering of data that is neither relevant nor useful. The data-gathering plan during the first year should create processes that are repeatable and that can become systems-driven in later years.
  • Internal Education and Buy-in at an Early Stage Makes for a Less Intrusive and More Efficient Process. Key people in the business units should be educated about the objectives of resolution planning and the entity-by-entity nature of the process before being asked to provide input. This means that some initial education, including senior business manager involvement from the critical business units and demonstrated support from top corporate management, will save time and make the process for creating the resolution plan much more efficient in the long run.
  • There Are a Finite Number of Resolution Strategies.There are only a limited number of resolution strategies. As included in the public portions and discussed publicly by the regulators, they include:
    • The sale of assets and business lines, either before a bankruptcy proceeding or under the supervision of the bankruptcy court;
    • The recapitalization of the insured depository institution outside of an FDIC receivership;
    • The purchase and assumption of some or all of the assets and liabilities by a third party buyer out of an FDIC receivership;
    • The creation of a bridge bank for the insured depository institution followed by a sale or public offering, or a recapitalization of the bridge through a conversion of debt for equity; and
    • An orderly wind-down.
  • There are Many Ways to Mix and Match Resolution Strategies Among the Bank and Non-bank Affiliates.The art, and the challenge, for a credible resolution strategy is in finding the right mix and match of the available resolution strategies among the bank and non-bank affiliates. To accomplish this, an understanding of both bank insolvency and bankruptcy laws is essential. For example:
    • At what point does the publicly-listed holding company or service company enter a Chapter 11 proceeding?
    • If there is a runway period leading up to the Chapter 11 proceeding, what liquidity would be placed where among the non-bank affiliates?
    • What other assumptions should be made in any runway period?
    • Does it make sense to delay the SIPA proceeding for a broker-dealer or to start it at the same time as the Chapter 11 proceeding of its holding company?
    • How should cross-defaults, cross-collateral and netting be treated?
    • Should asset sales be made before bankruptcy or with the blessing of the bankruptcy court?
    • How should international cooperation be modeled?
    • Where are shared services, technology and intellectual property located and how can their continuity be assured?

    The answers to these questions will vary widely among banking institutions based on differences in business model, legal entity structure and past business and legal decisions.

  • There Will Be Impediments, and the Resolution Plan Should Propose Some Solutions. As banking institutions are developing their resolution plans and formulating their resolution strategies, it is helpful to also develop a list of potential actions that could be taken, either by the banking institution or the regulators, in the future to address impediments to resolution. Thinking about solutions signals to the regulators that the banking institution has taken the resolution planning process seriously and anticipates issues that the regulators are likely to identify, as well as provides the banking institution an opportunity to define the solution.
  • Tailored Plans for U.S. Regional Banking Institutions. One key way in which the plans of the large U.S. regional banking institutions will differ from those of the first wave filers is that many of the largest U.S. regional banking institutions will be able to use a tailored 165(d) plan with the result that the focus of their plans will be on the insured depository institution. We recommend that any regional bank that can, use the tailored plan. Those who are not eligible for the tailored plan should create identical insured depository and 165(d) plans.
  • Foreign Banks Should Build From Their Home Country Resolution Plan. Many foreign banks in the second and third waves will have the benefit of having already undertaken or finished their home country resolution plans. Unfortunately, the home country resolution plan is not a substitute for the U.S. resolution plan. Many EU regulators are, for example, focusing as much on recovery planning as resolution planning while in the U.S., recovery plans are sharply separate from resolution planning. Moreover, the data and other elements required for the U.S. resolution plans often differ from those required for home country resolution plans. Once the home country plan is developed, foreign banks should meet with the U.S. regulators as soon as they can. Meeting at inception can save time on assumptions for the U.S. plan, and will ensure that any inconsistencies between U.S. and home country requirements can be flagged and addressed as early as possible. There should be tight coordination between the U.S. and global living wills project teams.
  • Tailored Plans for Foreign Banks. Tailored plans will also work well for many foreign banks as long as their insured depository institution (if any), branches and agencies are more than 85% of total U.S. assets. We suspect that those foreign banks with a smaller U.S. footprint and with an insured depository institution will reap the most benefit from the tailoring provisions. There are tricks and traps for those with relatively large broker-dealers or with investments in other types of U.S. assets. We are hopeful that between now and next year, the U.S. regulators will refine their thinking so that foreign banks with a limited U.S. banking footprint may be able to vastly simplify their U.S. plans and work more directly from their home country plans. This cautious optimism must be tempered by the home country situation and the availability of liquidity from the head office even during a home country failure.
  • Time is Short for the Second Wave Filers. Time is shorter than many think for the second wave filers, who should be devising their strategies and creating their data retrieval plans beginning in the fourth quarter of 2012. Our experience has been that in the design of the strategy portions, the early engagement of senior management, who have limited time to spare, is critical. Thereafter, most firms have settled on a pattern of a dedicated project management office with full-time internal personnel combined with the use of outside consultants. The requirement of board review and approval has generally led to two board meetings, an initial meeting in which the requirements are explained and the strategy is outlined and a second meeting to approve the entire plan. This implies that for second wave filers, the board should have a preview of the resolution plan by late spring 2013.
  • Many Third Wave Filers Should Wait and See. By contrast, those banking institutions that are third wave filers could benefit from a wait-and-see approach. We believe that the vast majority of domestic U.S. banking institutions in the third wave have similar legal structures and therefore similar strategies. Moreover, there is a benefit to waiting out the regulatory learning period, especially since the path to credibility and resolution planning ought to be easier for these banking institutions. The situation is a bit more complex for foreign banks in the third wave because many of them will need to preview their U.S. resolution plans as part of their home country plans and because the availability of a tailored plan is not certain under the regulations.

Source: https://blogs.law.harvard.edu/corpgov/2012/07/24/living-wills-key-lessons-from-the-first-wave/

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