Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Top 50 Things To Do To Stop Global Warming

Global warming is a dramatically urgent and serious problem. We don't need to wait for governments to solve this problem: each one of us can bring an important help adopting a more responsible lifestyle: starting from little, everyday things. It's the only reasonable way to save our planet, before it is too late.

Here is a list of 50 simple things that everyone can do in order to fight against and reduce the Global Warming phenomenon: some of them are at no cost, some other require a little investment but can help you save a lot of money, in the middle-long term!

  1. Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (cfl)
    CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb. This simple switch will save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

  2. Install a programmable thermostat
    Programmable thermostats will automatically lower the heat or air conditioning at night and raise them again in the morning. They can save you $100 a year on your energy bill.

  3. Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer
    Almost half of the energy we use in our homes goes to heating and cooling. You could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has more tips for saving energy on heating and cooling.

  4. Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner
    Cleaning a dirty air filter can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

  5. Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases
    Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances to choose the most efficient models available.

  6. Do not leave appliances on standby
    Use the "on/off" function on the machine itself. A TV set that's switched on for 3 hours a day (the average time Europeans spend watching TV) and in standby mode during the remaining 21 hours uses about 40% of its energy in standby mode.

  7. Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket
    You’ll save 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple action. You can save another 550 pounds per year by setting the thermostat no higher than 50°C.

  8. Move your fridge and freezer
    Placing them next to the cooker or boiler consumes much more energy than if they were standing on their own. For example, if you put them in a hot cellar room where the room temperature is 30-35ºC, energy use is almost double and causes an extra 160kg of CO2 emissions for fridges per year and 320kg for freezers.

  9. Defrost old fridges and freezers regularly
    Even better is to replace them with newer models, which all have automatic defrost cycles and are generally up to two times more energy-efficient than their predecessors.

  10. Don't let heat escape from your house over a long period
    When airing your house, open the windows for only a few minutes. If you leave a small opening all day long, the energy needed to keep it warm inside during six cold months (10ºC or less outside temperature) would result in almost 1 ton of CO2 emissions.

  11. Replace your old single-glazed windows with double-glazing
    This requires a bit of upfront investment, but will halve the energy lost through windows and pay off in the long term. If you go for the best the market has to offer (wooden-framed double-glazed units with low-emission glass and filled with argon gas), you can even save more than 70% of the energy lost.

  12. Get a home energy audit
    Many utilities offer free home energy audits to find where your home is poorly insulated or energy inefficient. You can save up to 30% off your energy bill and 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Energy Star can help you find an energy specialist.

  13. Cover your pots while cooking
    Doing so can save a lot of the energy needed for preparing the dish. Even better are pressure cookers and steamers: they can save around 70%!

  14. Use the washing machine or dishwasher only when they are full
    If you need to use it when it is half full, then use the half-load or economy setting. There is also no need to set the temperatures high. Nowadays detergents are so efficient that they get your clothes and dishes clean at low temperatures.

  15. Take a shower instead of a bath
    A shower takes up to four times less energy than a bath. To maximise the energy saving, avoid power showers and use low-flow showerheads, which are cheap and provide the same comfort.

  16. Use less hot water
    It takes a lot of energy to heat water. You can use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead (350 pounds of carbon dioxide saved per year) and washing your clothes in cold or warm water (500 pounds saved per year) instead of hot.

  17. Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible
    You can save 700 pounds of carbon dioxide when you air dry your clothes for 6 months out of the year.

  18. Insulate and weatherize your home
    Properly insulating your walls and ceilings can save 25% of your home heating bill and 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Caulking and weather-stripping can save another 1,700 pounds per year. Energy Efficient has more information on how to better insulate your home.

  19. Be sure you’re recycling at home
    You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide a year by recycling half of the waste your household generates. Earth 911 can help you find recycling resources in your area.

  20. Recycle your organic waste
    Around 3% of the greenhouse gas emissions through the methane is released by decomposing bio-degradable waste. By recycling organic waste or composting it if you have a garden, you can help eliminate this problem! Just make sure that you compost it properly, so it decomposes with sufficient oxygen, otherwise your compost will cause methane emissions and smell foul.

  21. Buy intelligently
    One bottle of 1.5l requires less energy and produces less waste than three bottles of 0.5l. As well, buy recycled paper products: it takes less 70 to 90% less energy to make recycled paper and it prevents the loss of forests worldwide.

  22. Choose products that come with little packaging and buy refills when you can
    You will also cut down on waste production and energy use!

  23. Reuse your shopping bag
    When shopping, it saves energy and waste to use a reusable bag instead of accepting a disposable one in each shop. Waste not only discharges CO2 and methane into the atmosphere, it can also pollute the air, groundwater and soil.

  24. Reduce waste
    Most products we buy cause greenhouse gas emissions in one or another way, e.g. during production and distribution. By taking your lunch in a reusable lunch box instead of a disposable one, you save the energy needed to produce new lunch boxes.

  25. Plant a tree
    A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill by 10 to 15%. The Arbor Day Foundation has information on planting and provides trees you can plant with membership.

  26. Switch to green power
    In many areas, you can switch to energy generated by clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar. The Green Power Network is a good place to start to figure out what’s available in your area.

  27. Buy locally grown and produced foods
    The average meal in the United States travels 1,200 miles from the farm to your plate. Buying locally will save fuel and keep money in your community.

  28. Buy fresh foods instead of frozen
    Frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce.

  29. Seek out and support local farmers markets
    They reduce the amount of energy required to grow and transport the food to you by one fifth. You can find a farmer’s market in your area at the USDA website.

  30. Buy organic foods as much as possible
    Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than soils from conventional farms. If we grew all of our corn and soybeans organically, we’d remove 580 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere!

  31. Eat less meat
    Methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters. Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath.

  32. Reduce the number of miles you drive by walking, biking, carpooling or taking mass transit wherever possible
    Avoiding just 10 miles of driving every week would eliminate about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year! Look for transit options in your area.

  33. Start a carpool with your coworkers or classmates
    Sharing a ride with someone just 2 days a week will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 1,590 pounds a year. eRideShare.com runs a free national service connecting commuters and travelers.

  34. Don't leave an empty roof rack on your car
    This can increase fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10% due to wind resistance and the extra weight - removing it is a better idea.

  35. Keep your car tuned up
    Regular maintenance helps improve fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. When just 1% of car owners properly maintain their cars, nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide are kept out of the atmosphere.

  36. Drive carefully and do not waste fuel
    You can reduce CO2 emissions by readjusting your driving style. Choose proper gears, do not abuse the gas pedal, use the engine brake instead of the pedal brake when possible and turn off your engine when your vehicle is motionless for more than one minute. By readjusting your driving style you can save money on both fuel and car mantainance.

  37. Check your tires weekly to make sure they’re properly inflated
    Proper inflation can improve gas mileage by more than 3%. Since every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, every increase in fuel efficiency makes a difference!

  38. When it is time for a new car, choose a more fuel efficient vehicle
    You can save 3,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year if your new car gets only 3 miles per gallon more than your current one. You can get up to 60 miles per gallon with a hybrid! You can find information on fuel efficiency on FuelEconomy and on GreenCars websites.

  39. Try car sharing
    Need a car but don’t want to buy one? Community car sharing organizations provide access to a car and your membership fee covers gas, maintenance and insurance. Many companies – such as Flexcar - offer low emission or hybrid cars too! Also, see ZipCar.

  40. Try telecommuting from home
    Telecommuting can help you drastically reduce the number of miles you drive every week. For more information, check out the Telework Coalition.

  41. Fly less
    Air travel produces large amounts of emissions so reducing how much you fly by even one or two trips a year can reduce your emissions significantly. You can also offset your air travel by investing in renewable energy projects.

  42. Encourage your school or business to reduce emissions
    You can extend your positive influence on global warming well beyond your home by actively encouraging other to take action.

  43. Join the virtual march
    The Stop Global Warming Virtual March is a non-political effort to bring people concerned about global warming together in one place. Add your voice to the hundreds of thousands of other people urging action on this issue.

  44. Encourage the switch to renewable energy
    Successfully combating global warming requires a national transition to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass. These technologies are ready to be deployed more widely but there are regulatory barriers impeding them. Take action to break down those barriers with Vote Solar.

  45. Protect and conserve forest worldwide
    Forests play a critial role in global warming: they store carbon. When forests are burned or cut down, their stored carbon is release into the atmosphere - deforestation now accounts for about 20% of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Conservation International has more information on forests and global warming.

  46. Consider the impact of your investments
    If you invest your money, you should consider the impact that your investments and savings will have on global warming. Check out SocialInvest and Ceres to can learn more about how to ensure your money is being invested in companies, products and projects that address issues related to climate change.

  47. Make your city cool
    Cities and states around the country have taken action to stop global warming by passing innovative transportation and energy saving legislation. 194 cities nationwide representing over 40 million people have made this pledge as part of the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. Find out how to make your city a cool city.

  48. Tell Congress to act
    The McCain Lieberman Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act would set a firm limit on carbon dioxide emissions and then use free market incentives to lower costs, promote efficiency and spur innovation. Tell your representative to support it.

  49. Make sure your voice is heard!
    Americans must have a stronger commitment from their government in order to stop global warming and implement solutions and such a commitment won’t come without a dramatic increase in citizen lobbying for new laws with teeth. Get the facts about U.S. politicians and candidates at Project Vote Smart and The League of Conservation Voters. Make sure your voice is heard by voting!

  50. Share this list!
    Send this page via e-mail to your buddies, digg it, add it to your favourite bookmark site (like reddit); and if you're a blogger, blog it: the more people you will manage to enlighten, the greater YOUR help to save the planet will be (but please take action on first person too)!

If you wish, you can download this page as PDF or ZIP: print it (on recycled paper sheets, of course), stick it to your office/room walls, or send it to your friends!

Buffalos Attack Lions

Buffalos Attack Lions. - Funny video clips are a click away

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Top 100 Horror Movies

100. Return of the living Dead 2 (1988 Directed by Ken Wiederhorn)

99. Silver Bullet (1985 Directed by Daniel Attias)

98. Mimic (1997 Directed by Guillermo del Toro)

97. April Fools Day (1986 Directed by Fred Walton)

96. Deranged (1974 Directed by Jeff Gillen and Alan Ormsby)

95. Cabin Fever (2002 Directed by Eli Roth)

94. Fright Night (1985 Directed by Tom Holland)

93. Pumpkin Head (1989 Directed by Stan Winston)

92. House of Wax (1953 Directed by André De Toth)

91. Creepshow (1982 Directed by George A. Romero)

90. Cujo (1983 Directed by Lewis Teague)

89. The Blob (1958 Directed by Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr. and Russell S. Doughten Jr. (uncredited) )

88. Christine (1983 Directed by John Carpenter)

87. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996 Directed by Robert Rodriguez)

86. House on Haunted Hill (1959 Directed by William Castle)

85. House of 1000 corpses (2003 Directed by Rob Zombie)

84. Children of the damned (1963 Directed by Anton Leader)

83. Manhunter (1986 Directed by Michael Mann)

82. Children of the Corn (1984 Directed by Fritz Kiersch)

81. Resident Evil (2002 Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson)

80. People under the stairs (1991 Directed by Wes Craven)

79. Alone in the Dark (1982, Directed by Jack Sholder)

78. Candyman (1992 Directed by Bernard Rose)

77. The Fog (1980 Directed by John Carpenter)

76. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984 Directed by Charles E. Sellier Jr.)

75. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954 Directed by Jack Arnold)

74. Phantom of the Opera (1925 Directed by Rupert Julian, Ernst Laemmle)

73. Child's Play (1988 Directed by Tom Holland)

72. The Hitcher (1986 Directed by Robert Harmon)

71. IT (1990 Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace)

70. When a Stranger Calls (1979 Directed by Fred Walton)

69. The Ring (2002 Directed by Gore Verbinski)

68. Return of the living dead (1985, Written & Directed by Dan O’Bannon)

67. Final Destination (2000 Directed by James Wong)

66. Nosferatu (1922 Directed by F.W. Murnau)

65. Frankenstein (1931 Directed by James Whale)

64. Scream (1996 Directed by Wes Craven)

63. Dracula (1992 Directed by Francis Ford Coppola)

62. The Lost Boys (1987 Directed by Joel Schumacher)

61. Pet Semetary (1989 Directed by Mary Lambert)

60. The Wolfman (1941 Directed by George Waggner)

59. The Mummy (1932 Directed by Karl Freund)

58. Darkness Falls (2003 Directed by Jonathan Liebesman)

57. Seven (1995, Directed by David Fincher)

56. Don't Look Now (1973, Directed by Nicolas Roeg)

55. The Birds (1963 Directed by Alfred Hitchcock)

54. Event Horizon (1997, Directed by Paul Anderson)

53. the Stepford Wives (1975 Directed by Bryan Forbes)

52. Salem's Lot (1979 - Directed by Tobe Hooper)

51. Prom Night (1980 Directed by Paul Lynch)

50. Puppet Master (1989 Directed by David Schmoeller)

49. R-eanimator (1985, Directed by Dennis Paoli)

48. The Grudge - Ju-On (2004, Directed by Takashi Shimizu)

47. Phantasm (1979 Directed by Don Coscarelli)

46. Polterguist (1982 Directed by Tobe Hooper)

45. Amityville Horror (1979 Directed by Stuart Rosenberg)

44. The invisible Man (1933 Directed by James Whale)

43. The Omen (1976 Directed by Richard Donner)

42. Rosemary's Baby (1968 Directed by Roman Polanski)

41. Misery (1990 Directed by Rob Reiner)

40. Day of the dead (1985, Written and directed by George A. Romero)

39. Cemetary Man (1994, Directed by Michele Soavi)

38. Hell Raiser (1987 Directed by Clive Barker)

37. Bride of Frankenstein (1935 Directed by James Whale)

36. Ginger Snaps (2000, Directed by John Fawcett)

35. Hostel (2005, Directed by Eli Roth)

34. The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971 Directed by Robert Fuest)

33. Dawn of the dead 2004 (2004, Directed by Zack Snyder)

32. The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988, Directed by Wes Craven)

31. Saw (2004, Written and Directed by James Wan)

30. Feast (2005, Directed by John Gulager)

29. 28 Days Later (2002 Directed by Danny Boyle)

28. Black Christmas (1974, Directed by Bob Clark)

27. Silence of the Lambs (1991 Directed by Jonathan Demme)

26. Audition (1999, Directed by Takashi Miike)

25. The Thing (1982, Directed by John Carpenter)

24. Aliens (1986 Directed by James Cameron)

23. High Tension (Directed by Alexandre Aja)

22. Suspiria (1977, Directed by Dario Argento)

21. Jaws (1975 Directed by Steven Spielberg)

20. Zombi 2 (1980, Directed by Lucio Fulci)

19. The Eye (2002, Directed by the Pang Brothers)

18. Frailty (2001, Directed by Bill Paxton)

17. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974 Directed by Tobe Hooper)

16. May (2002, Written and Directed by Lucky McKee)

15. White Zombie (1932, Directed by Victor Halperin)

14. Carrie (1976 Directed by Brian De Palma)

13. Shaun of the Dead (2004, Directed by Edgar Wright)

12. Friday the 13th (1980 Directed by Sean S. Cunningham)

11. Dead Alive (1992, Directed by Peter Jackson)

10. Evil Dead (1981 Directed by Sam Raimi)

9. Psycho (1960 Directed by Alfred Hitchcock)

8. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984 Directed by Wes Craven)

7. The Shining (1980 Directed by Stanley Kubrick)

6. Night of the living Dead (1968 Directed by Dean Lachiusa George A. Romero)

5. Halloween (1978 Directed by John Carpenter)

4. Dawn of the Dead (1978, Written and Directed by George A. Romero)

3. The Descent (2005, Directed by Neil Marshall)

2. Alien (1979 Directed by Ridley Scott)

1. The Exorcist (1973 Directed by William Friedkin)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Man domesticates a crocodile

A Costa Rican man has made an unlikely friend in a 5 metre, 450 kilogram crocodile. Gilberto Graham has seemingly domesticated the massive crocodile, starting his own show in the Costa Rican city of Limon.

In the show Graham cavorts with the crocodile in the water and gives commands that the animal follows. When asked if he doesn't fear attack, Graham said that he trusts the animal. "I've tried it many different times. I've been with the animal and tested him to see if he would betray me. He may get a little mean when there are a lot of people watching and he feels pressure."

Graham found the reptile wounded by a bullet five years ago after it had been shot by a farmer who wanted to keep it from eating his cattle. Graham claimed that he cured and fed the crocodile. Little by little they got to know each other and Graham gained the animal's confidence.

Reuters 1392/07 Keywords: animals, co-operation, training, frienship, odd couples, quirky, nature, ITN Source

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mellencamp: U.S. Should not Respond to 9/11 or Pearl Harbor

Singer John Mellencamp on the ‘Charlie Rose Show’ said the removal of the Taliban after 9/11 was wrong, but further Mellencamp stated if the United States knew exactly where Osama bin Laden was it would be wrong to drop a bomb on OBL’s head.

Mellencamp: I think what would have been appropriate is exactly what we’re going to have to do right now.

Rose: What’s that?

Mellencamp: Talk to people.

Rose: Who do we go talk to? Do we call him up and say, “Osama, can we talk about this? We’re not real happy about this. Can we talk about it?”

Mellencamp then said we should talk to “the Muslims” and ask “where are we so far apart here?”

Later in the interview Mellencamp says he doesn’t know how he’d respond to the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II because he doesn’t really know what happened. He says he’s read books, but he doesn’t know if history is always right.

From his comments on believing Osama bin Laden and Islamists want to negotiate and the best course of self-defense, which Mellencamp says he fully supports if he has to, is to just talk to people that see it as their mission to kill the Infidel. Mellencamp should open a book from time to time and perhaps read any of the number of missives by Islamists the world over. A pacifist he isn’t as he claims, a delusional fool he is.

Salt Lake City Killer Was a Muslim (Confirmed)

The media did everything they could to avoid mentioning it, but it’s confirmed today that the mass murderer who terrorized a mall in Salt Lake City was a Bosnian Muslim: 6 minutes of horror.

Police said Talovic had a juvenile record of only four minor offenses. None of his arrests were for violent crimes.

The man had lived at a house with his mother and three younger sisters near the Utah State Fairpark. Neither his mother nor his sisters would answer the door or respond to phone calls Tuesday, although a person inside would pick up the phone and then quickly hang up.

Ajka Omerovic, who said she was Talovic’s aunt, visited the home Tuesday afternoon. She told the Deseret Morning News that Talovic had been “a good boy.” She said the family are Muslims from Bosnia who had lived in the vicinity of Sarajevo.

UPDATE at 2/14/07 10:31:52 am:

At Wikipedia, the PC police are deliberately suppressing the display of the word “Muslim” in the article about Sulejman Talovic: Talk: Sulejman Talovic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (Hat tip: RedWhiteAndJew.)

While I support the change because of the need for proper documentation in this type of discourse, Sulejman is a name of Arabic origin, the name of a dozen or so Muslim notables. Local radio news in Salt Lake City (KNRS-AM) is reporting that Talovic was Muslim. I hope that once documentation is established on this fact, that the possibility that he is Muslim will be recognized as relevant.

—His religious background is completely irrelevant to the shooting. If he were a Christian, you would not hear anything about his religious affiliation. Having his possible affiliation as a Muslim stated in the article only makes it look as though Islam was a factor in his crime.

Young Democrats Defending the Indefensible

Here’s video of Jane Fleming of the Young Democrats of America, defending the ranting bigotry of leftist bloggers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan: Dem Fleming defends bigoted Edwards bloggers.

Jane Fleming also defended radical Shi’ite imam Al-Husainy and his speech about doom, oppression, and occupation at the DNC winter meeting.

Is there anything the Democrats won’t defend? (Besides the United States, I mean.)

UPDATE at 2/14/07 10:53:59 am:

In the video, Fleming claims that only the right-wing Catholic League objected to the moonbats’ remarks. She’s lying: lgf: Catholic Democrats: Edwards Should Fire Bloggers.

My List: Elvis Perkins

Antonio Carlos Jobim and Elis Regina: Elis and Tom
"It was recorded in Los Angeles in the Seventies," says Perkins of this classic from the Brazilian bossa nova legends. "The production of it, the sound, her voice -- there's nothing wrong with that record."

Nina Simone: "Why Keep On Breaking My Heart" [Listen]
"This song has an impossible percussion fill that takes it from a slow, languid opening -- just her and an electric guitar -- into this explosion of island-rhythm jazz," Perkins says of Simone's track from 1966's Wild Is the Wind. "It's a wonderful moment."

Bright Light Quartet: "Sweet Roseanne" [Listen]
"It's one acoustic guitar and four or five guys singing," says Perkins of this early American group recorded by Alan Lomax. "Apparently it was a song they were throwing around but weren't going to record. Those songs often turn out to be something great."

Brian Eno: Thursday Afternoon [Listen]
Perkins loves this 1979 album from Eno's ambient phase: "The fact that he can pull off sixty minutes of nothingness is really heavy."

Scalia's daughter charged with DUI


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's daughter was arrested this week and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and child endangerment, officials said Wednesday.


Ann S. Banaszewski, 45, of Wheaton, was arrested Monday evening while driving away from a fast-food restaurant in the suburb 20 miles west of Chicago, police said. Three children were inside Banaszewski's van when someone called police to report a suspected intoxicated driver, said Deputy Chief Tom Meloni.

Meloni would not release Banaszewski's blood-alcohol level. He also declined to give the children's ages or say whether Banaszewski had a previous record.

She was released on a personal recognizance bond. The DuPage County Circuit Court had no information Wednesday about a whether a court appearance had been scheduled.

A message left at Banaszewski's home was not immediately returned and Meloni did not know whether she had an attorney.

Scalia, who began serving on the Supreme Court in 1986, has nine children.

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EMI in talks to dump copy protection

LOS ANGELES — The music industry is looking ahead to life without copy protection.

Major label EMI — home of Coldplay and Norah Jones — is in discussions with online music stores about selling its music without copy protection, or digital rights management (DRM), according to two sources with direct knowledge of the talks who would not speak for attribution because discussions are ongoing.

Last week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs created a huge stir when he called on the music industry to dump DRM, saying it hinders sales. Yahoo Music general manager Dave Goldberg predicts that by Christmas, most of Yahoo's catalog will be DRM-free.

"The labels understand that DRM has to go," he says. "It's nothing but a tax on digital consumers. There's good momentum behind DRM going away."

He says sales would increase by 15% to 20% without DRM. Consumers have bitterly complained about DRM, which puts rules on how a song can be used. For instance, songs bought at Apple's iTunes Store can be easily played only on an iPod, and not on digital devices from Microsoft and SanDisk.

EMI spokesman Adam Grossberg wouldn't comment on the DRM-free proposal.

Big four music labels EMI, Warner, Sony BMG and Universal long have said they must have their work protected against piracy. Last week Warner reiterated its support for DRM.

Meanwhile, online piracy has continued to grow. Some 15 billion songs were downloaded for free via unauthorized file-sharing services in 2006, says measurement firm BigChampagne. Album sales continue to tumble — down 15% so far in 2007 according to Nielsen SoundScan — and labels are exploring options.

EMI, in fact, offered a non-copy-protected song from Jones on Yahoo Music and eMusic in late 2006.

Without restrictions on entire catalogs, "Sales would explode," says David Pakman, CEO of eMusic, the No. 2 online music retailer behind Apple's iTunes. "DRM has been holding the market back." His company is the only legitimate digital music service selling unrestricted songs, in the MP3 format. Its songs work with any music player, including the iPod.

By taking the DRM-free plunge, EMI "would slow the loss of its sales, and get a lot of attention for its artists," says James McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research. "EMI wouldn't have to worry about pirates, because anyone who wants to pirate music is already doing it. The paying customer is a different breed."

Russ Crupnick, an analyst with researcher NPD Group, says ending DRM would put all the music services on an equal footing. "If I'm a label, I'm thinking this is a good thing. I don't want Apple to totally control the market," he says.

Mahatma Gandhi

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. - Mahatma Gandhi

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. - Mahatma Gandhi

Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love. – Mahatma Gandhi

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. – Mahatma Gandhi

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent. – Mahatma Gandhi

Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man. – Mahatma Gandhi

All paths leading to God are equally good. - Mahatma Gandhi

Poverty is the worst form of violence. – Mahatma Gandhi

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy? - Mahatma Gandhi

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. – Mahatma Gandhi

It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business. – Mahatma Gandhi

The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice within. - Mahatma Gandhi

It may be long before the law of love will be recognised in international affairs. The machineries of government stand between and hide the hearts of one people from those of another. - Mahatma Gandhi

As soon as we lose the moral basis, we cease to be religious. There is no such thing as religion over-riding morality. Man, for instance, cannot be untruthful, cruel or incontinent and claim to have God on his side. - Mahatma Gandhi

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Mahatma Gandhi

Truth never damages a cause that is just. - Mahatma Ghandi

Fear is not a disease of the body; fear kills the soul. – Mahatma Gandhi

They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them. – Mahatma Gandhi

Whenever I see an erring man, I say to myself I have also erred; when I see a lustful man I say to myself, so was I once; and in this way I feel kinship with everyone in the world and feel that I cannot be happy without the humblest of us being happy. – Mahatma Gandhi

An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody will see it. – Mahatma Gandhi

It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err. – Mahatma Gandhi

Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding. – Mahatma Gandhi

Love the sinner but hate the sin. – Mahatma Gandhi

All crime is a kind of disease and should be treated as such. – Mahatma Gandhi

No culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive. – Mahatma Gandhi

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, always. – Mahatma Gandhi

It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence. – Mahatma Gandhi

The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. – Mahatma Gandhi

Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory. – Mahatma Gandhi

UC Berkeley Students Offer Drug Offenders Scholarships

(U-WIRE) EUGENE, Ore. - The biggest problem with question 31 on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form, which asks whether a student has been convicted of possessing or selling illegal drugs, is not that it will strip students of their financial aid, but rather that it will scare people off from applying to college in the first place - at least according to University of Oregon Director of Student Financial Aid Elizabeth Bickford.

In her experience, the extreme minority of students who initially answered yes to the question soon realized that their convictions didn't affect their aid. Those who do answer yes - that they were convicted of selling or possessing drugs when they were older than 18, while they were receiving federal financial aid and have not completed a drug treatment program - can easily get their aid reinstated, Bickford said.

But the political opposition to question 31 is gaining momentum.

On Jan. 24 at UC Berkeley, the student government passed a bill creating a small scholarship for students who have lost their aid because of drug convictions. The scholarship - a one-time payment of $400 to an affected student - is the brainchild of Associated Students of the University of California Senator David Israel Wasserman. In an interview, Wasserman said he campaigned for office on the platform of creating this scholarship.

"It's an unjust penalty to deprive someone of the means to an education," he said. "We're putting our money where our mouth is."

In terms of a college education, especially at UC Berkeley, $400 is not a great deal of money, but it's enough to pay for a semester's books, Wasserman said.

However, a similar scholarship at Western Washington University has existed for four years with no applicants, the school's student government Board Programs assistant Erin O'Reilly said.

He also said he had not encountered any students requesting the scholarship, and that UC Berkeley's financial aid office told him that no students currently on campus had lost their aid. But the scholarship is not just a scholarship.

"It's a very important statement," Wasserman said.

The Aid Elimination Provision of the Higher Education Act that created question 31 is the target of the scholarship's political aims.

"We plan to use this as a larger lobbying tool," Wasserman said. "It's important that we take a stand. It's important that we use our voice so they can hear us in Washington."

The Aid Elimination Provision has been the object of several lawsuits on behalf of the lobbyist group Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, with which Wasserman worked closely to draft the bill, both he and a spokesman for the group said. SSDP is currently heading a campaign to repeal the law - a campaign supported by more than 70 groups including the United States Student Association, the National Education Association, the National Lawyers Guild, the Washington State Bar Association and the National Black Police Association.

But does the university need such a scholarship? Bickford, the university's director of financial aid, said no.

"In my experience, I don't know if a scholarship would be helpful or necessary," Bickford said.

Associated Students of the University of Oregon President Jared Axelrod said he is against the Aid Elimination Provision and supports Wasserman's scholarship.

"I think it's great," Axelrod said.

UC Berkeley's student senators "really put their neck out there and took a stand," Axelrod said. "It [took] a lot of courage."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Why Lazurus Laughed by Wei Wu Wei

We have only to eliminate the ego-notion by succeeding in the difficult task of understanding that it does not exist except as a notion.

Many Roses Coated in Chemicals

Feb. 13, 2007 — It's probably the last thing most people think about when buying roses — by the time the bright, velvety flowers reach your Valentine, they will have been sprayed, rinsed and dipped in a battery of potentially lethal chemicals.

Most of the toxic assault takes place in the waterlogged savannah surrounding the capital of Colombia, the world's second-largest cut-flower producer after the Netherlands. It produces 62 percent of all flowers sold in the United States.

With 110,000 employees — many of them single mothers — and annual exports of $1 billion, the industry provides an important alternative to growing coca, source crop of the Andean nation's better known illegal export: Cocaine. But these economic gains come at a cost to workers' health and Colombia's environment, according to consumer advocates.

The U.S. requires imported flowers to be bug-free, but unlike edible fruits and vegetables they are not tested for chemical residues.

The tropical climate that drew U.S. flower growers to Colombia and neighboring Ecuador is a haven for pests. So growers facing stiff competition from emerging flower industries in Africa and China apply pesticides and fungicides, some of which have been linked to elevated rates of cancer and neurological disorders and other problems.

Colombia's flower exporters association responded by launching Florverde, which has certified 86 of its 200 members for taking steps to improve worker safety and welfare. Florverde says its members have reduced pesticide use by 38 percent since 1998, to an average of 213 pounds of active ingredient per 2.4 acres per year.

"Every day we're making more progress," said Florverde director Juan Carlos Isaza. "The value of Florverde is that these best practices have now been standardized and are being adopted by the industry."

Nevertheless, 36 percent of the toxic chemicals applied by Florverde farms in 2005 were listed as extremely or highly toxic by the World Health Organization, Isaza acknowledged.

A survey of 84 farms between 2000 and 2002, partly financed by Asocolflores, the exporters' association, found only 16.7 percent respected pesticide manufacturer recommendations to prevent workers for 24 hours from re-entering greenhouses sprayed with the most toxic of pesticides.

Carmen Orjuela began suffering dizzy spells and repeated falls in 1997, while working at a flower farm outside Bogota. During the peak season before Valentine's Day, she said her employer forced workers to enter greenhouses only a half-hour after they had been fumigated.

"Those who refused were told they could leave — that 20 people were outside waiting to take their job," said Orjuela, who quit in 2004.

Orjuela's employer, Flores de la Sabana, denied ever disregarding manufacturer-recommended re-entry times, but a 2005 toxicology study from Colombia's National University obtained by The Associated Press confirmed that Orjuela's illness was "directly related to an important exposure to potentially toxic chemical substances." A government arbiter finally ordered the company to pay her a pension equal to the $200 monthly minimum wage earned by most workers.

Government oversight is relatively strict in the United States — in California, each flower farm's pesticide use is available for review on the Internet. But there are no reliable statistics about chemicals used by Colombia's 600-plus flower farms, in part because only a third belong to Asocolflores, which does keep good records.

Although the industry has made huge strides thanks to Florverde, accidents continue to happen.

Prehistoric Lovers Remain Entangled

Feb. 13, 2007 — Archaeologists working on the eve of Valentine's Day carefully began digging up the bones of a prehistoric couple on Tuesday, hoping to keep their 5,000-year-old embrace undisturbed forever.

The skeletons unearthed last week were being scooped out of the earth to undergo tests before going on display in the northern Italian city of Mantua, archaeologists said.

The pair, buried between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago in the late Neolithic period, are believed to be a man and a woman who died young, because their teeth were found intact. Archaeologists have hailed the find, saying that double burials from that period are rare and none have been found in such a touching pose.

"We will work to keep them together," said Elena Menotti, the archaeologist who led the dig. "Removing the turf in one piece will preserve the position and allow us to collect more data on the burial."

The burial was unearthed on the outskirts of Mantua during construction work. The site is 25 miles south of Verona, the city where Shakespeare set the story of "Romeo and Juliet," and the discovery fueled musings in the media about prehistoric love.

Menotti also has said there is little doubt the couple's pose was born of a deep love, but warned it could be impossible to determine the exact nature of their relationship and how they died.

Anna Nicole's Will Names Stern; Was Wedding in Works?

Where there's a will, there's an executor. And where there's Anna Nicole Smith's will, there's a trail of contention.

Smith's Los Angeles-based attorney, Ron Rale, appeared on CNN's Larry King Live Monday, saying that Smith had indeed written a will and that both he and Howard K. Stern were named as its executors.

"I'll represent right now that I will be working in a capacity on behalf of her estate...there is a will that was executed by Anna Nicole," he said. "Just to be specific, Howard [K.] Stern is named first as executor. And I'm the second executor."

While Rale claimed that he had in fact seen the will, written by Smith in 2001 (while son Daniel was still alive and daughter Dannielynn still five years away), the lawyer did not disclose what was contained within the document. He did say that he was still uncertain as to how her estate, and the potential $474 million she stands to inherit from her oil tycoon ex-husband J. Howard Marshall II, would be allocated.

"How it's going to unfold, I can't tell you right now. But that's—this is developing for us, too."

"We're kind of jumping ahead because there's no probate officially pending right now."

Rale was joined by several more Anna Nicole Smith players on the show, including Stern's sister, Bonnie Stern, who defended allegations that her brother was somehow a party to either Smith's death last week or Daniel's death last September, saying that reports painting him as some sort of ill-intentioned puppetmaster could not be further from the truth.

"Anna Nicole controlled what Anna Nicole did," she said. "He did not feed her pills. He did not get her medication. Anna Nicole got her own medication and she did what she wanted to do."

Her statement conflicts with reports last week that Smith was taking prescription medication at the time of her death that had Stern's name on the labels. Seminole Police in Hollywood, Florida, where Smith died last week, confirmed that pills were present in her hotel room; however, officials declined to reveal whose name was on the prescription.

As for Smith's death, Bonnie Stern said that her brother was "completely devastated."

"He was freezing, sweating, under the covers, crying, just completely devastated. His whole world was gone, is the way he put it. 'My whole world is gone.' "

In a later interview with the Associated Press, Stern's sister confirmed that Stern was not in the room with Smith when she collapsed at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel on Thursday, but that he had been aware she was sick.

Bonnie Stern said that her brother told her Smith had been running a 105-degree fever throughout the morning and that the private nurse, who later found Smith's body, had been "icing her down."

"When he left her, she was sleeping," she said. She also claimed her brother was gone from the room—to where she didn't say—for just two hours before learning of Smith's death.

According to a 911 tape released by the Hollywood police department Tuesday, Smith was unconscious and not breathing when her private nurse, whose name has not yet been released, found her.

Monday, February 12, 2007

8 Things You Must Do If Your Identity Is Stolen

The dreaded phone call comes in: there has been some suspicious activity on your credit card and the bank would like to verify that you were the one spending thousands of dollars online. Shocked and appalled, it strikes you that your identity has been stolen and that you must act quickly to protect yourself from further damage. While the news can be overwhelming at first, and you most likely want to figure out how this even happened to you, there are a few steps you should immediately take to preserve your credit and your hard-earned money.

1) Call one of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion)* to place a fraud alert on your credit report. It is unnecessary to call all three since the one that you contact will inform the other two agencies in addition to sending you a copy of your credit report for review. A fraud alert is extremely important since it requires companies to verify your identity before issuing a line a credit, thus preventing thieves from opening new accounts under your name.

2) If the perpetrators were able to open new accounts, contact each creditor and notify them of the fraudulent activity. They will close the accounts and most likely have you fill out a fraud affidavit.

3) For those accounts that you opened and are now compromised, contact the creditor and inform them that your identity has been stolen. Not only will they close the accounts, but many will read through the most recent charges to help you determine how long the abuse has been going on and how much has been charged to your name.

4) Contact your local police and alert them to the fraud under your name. A detective will be assigned to your case and ask for details such as where the charges occurred, how much was spent, and how your identity was stolen (internet, lost wallet, etc.). When you are finished providing the detective with all of your information, be sure to write down the detective’s name and the case number since many fraud affidavits will ask for these.

5) File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (the FTC) by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT.

6) Change all of the passwords that you use online. Since the thieves may have acquired your information through one of your password-protected accounts, think of a completely different word and try not to use the same one for all of your accounts. Also, while it may be inconvenient to type your passwords each time you want to log-in, never save your passwords online or on your computer.

7) If you lost your entire wallet or you believe that someone is using your driver’s license, visit the DMV, Secretary of State, etc. as soon as possible to get a new driver’s license number and card. Even if you just renewed your license, you will be required to take a new picture and pay all of the regular fees.

8) KEEP RECORDS!! Throughout your dealings with creditors, companies, and detectives, always write down the name of the individual you spoke with, their employer, the date and time, and a short summary of your discussion. Keep all of this information in a centralized location and make sure that it is in a safe place since it can be used as evidence in your case. While you may be more diligent at the beginning, important information may come to light later so be sure to track everything until all of your disputes are resolved.

Identity theft doesn’t have to ruin your life or your credit. By staying calm, getting organized, and taking these crucial steps, you can bounce back from this stressful situation and stop thieves dead in their tracks.

* Equifax, P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241, 888-766-0008
* Experian, P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013, 888-397-3742
* Trans Union, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA, 92834, 800-680-7289

The greatest story ever sold is a fantasy covered in blood.

Want an easy way to save 3+ months’ salary? Don’t buy a diamond engagement ring. If your fiancée, friends and family scream hellfire, calmly explain:

It’s just marketing. The whole “A Diamond is Forever” and the idea of a diamond engagement ring is not an ancient tradition to be revered and followed. It is Sprite’s “Obey Your Thirst.” It is Nike’s “Just Do It.” It is Gary Dahl’s “Pet Rock.” Not only did De Beers understand it had to control supply (buying up and closing down any diamond mine discovered), they had to control demand. They had to make it sentimental. And Americans were the perfect suckers. They targeted the US specifically for our marketability. This campaign is less than 70 years old yet has become so ingrained in our culture that the diamond engagement ring has become the ultimate symbol of how much the relationship, the girl, and love itself is worth.

Diamonds aren’t rare. Fine, using marketing tactics can’t be blamed since that’s part of the game of capitalism. But another part of the game is competition. It’s all well and good if marketers can convince consumers to buy them instead of the competition based on a nice slogan, but the competition should be there to protect the consumer. All gems are valued based on their rarity (as are most things in life). But diamonds are abundant. De Beers has a huge vault where they keep most of the world’s supply of diamonds. If it ever got released into the market, the way it would be if they weren’t a monopoly, diamonds would be worth nothing. It’s literally a pretty rock.

Diamonds have no resale value. The reason a “diamond is forever” is because you’re basically stuck with it. You’ll never be able to resell it except to a pawn shop. Even a jeweler (the few who would be willing to buy it) would offer a fraction of what you paid.

Synthetic diamonds will flood the market. Synthetic or “cultured” diamonds are already being made and within the next few years, will be efficiently made for the mass market. These are real diamonds. They are made in a machine that replicates the environmental forces that make diamonds. The only difference is that they’re better. They have less flaws. And they cost a fraction of the going rate. Want a 2-carat pink diamond? That’ll be a few thousand dollars.

Moissanite looks just like a diamond. Jewelers had to upgrade their equipment to detect Moissanite from diamonds when it came into the market. It’s undetectable with the naked eye. And it’s actually more brilliant. A 1-carat ring is under $1000.

Who is the ring for, anyway? Seriously. As The Dilettante so poignantly put it, “For women, comparing jewelry is our phallic posturing contest: look at how big MY dic….er, I mean, diamond is.” It’s fun to show off for about 30 seconds. After that there is little to show for the debt incurred for the shiny piece of rock. That money could have gone into furniture, an amazing trip (or many nice ones), your future kids’ college funds!!

Are these reasons still not enough? Watch Blood Diamond. It is high time Hollywood dared to broach the subject of diamonds, especially when they had a hand in marketing it to the public in the first place. Blood Diamond, is an explicit example of the blood and war that has spanned the entire history of the De Beers’ diamond cartel. The story of Sierra Leone isn’t an isolated event, nor is the conflict over just because the movie says there’s peace in Sierra Leone now.

What are conflict/blood diamonds? Conflict/blood diamonds are used by rebel groups to fuel conflict and civil wars, and by terrorist groups to finance their activities.

The Kimberley Process is just PR. It’s an agreement that is supposed to prevent conflict diamonds from getting into the market but ended up being more of a PR stunt since it’s based on a system of self-policing. The UN reported in October 2006 that due to poor enforcement of the Kimberley Process, $23 million of conflict diamonds from Cote d’lvoire alone entered the legitimate market. Sure De Beers won’t buy diamonds coming out of Cote d’lvoire, but they’ll turn a blind eye to the smuggling of diamonds from there through Ghana and Mali where they are certified as being conflict-free.

Percentage in the market. During the height of the diamond conflict in the 1990s, the diamond industry reported that no more than 4% of the diamonds in the market were conflict diamonds, when in reality it has been shown to be closer to 15% .

Asking for conflict-free certificates is not enough. In April 2006 after a scathing report by Partnership Africa Canada about activities in Brazil, an internal review showed that 49 of 147 Kimberley Process certificates were fraudulent. Besides these fraudulent certificates, real certificates could still be issued if conflict diamonds were smuggled and mixed with legally traded ones before being certified.

Children in India are cutting and polishing the diamonds. Children in India can become “bonded” – forced to work to pay off the debts of their family. These children end up working in the diamond factories.

Children in conflict zones are being used as soldiers. The images in Blood Diamond with child soldiers are very real. They are drugged and brainwashed to handle the manslaughter they are forced to do.

Jennifer Connelly says in the movie Blood Diamond, “People back home would not buy a diamond if they knew it cost someone their hand.” Now you know.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Anna Nicole Fitted for TrimSpa Suit

While Anna Nicole Smith isn't exactly the poster child for easy living, she sure made losing weight look like a piece of cake.

At least, that's what three Los Angeles women who are suing the reality TV star think.

Janet Luna, Myra Luna and Yvonne Rodarte filed suit Thursday against Smith and TrimSpa Inc., accusing the company and its spokeswoman of using deceptive business practices to peddle the weight-loss supplement and of violating California's unfair competition law.

By either expressing or implying via its advertising campaign that TrimSpa X32 (Completely Ephedra-Free Formula X32) "causes rapid and substantial weight loss" by suppressing users' appetites, the company is defrauding consumers and cheating its competitors, the plaintiffs allege in court documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

One of the more high-profile commercials features a newly svelte Smith in a slinky evening gown boasting "I'm back" to a flashbulb-popping crowd. "TrimSpa baby!" the former Playboy Playmate says.

In their suit, the three women claim that they were injured as a result of the defendants' dirty dealings. They did not detail the nature of the alleged injuries, however, so it's unclear whether the plaintiffs didn't lose weight or suffered other physical consequences.

One of the plaintiffs, Janet Luna, appears to be a minor because the suit was filed on her behalf by guardian Mauro Luna.

TrimSpa parent company Nutramerica Corp., manufacturer Goen Technologies Corp. and exec Alexander Szynalski (aka Alexander Goen) were also named as defendants.

"The Defendants have created an elaborate scheme to cheat consumers" with their false and misleading advertising, the complaint states. "It is quite apparent that Defendants wish to keep the money they have gained due to their unfair actions, rather than refund it to the consumers."

Representatives for Smith and TrimSpa were unavailable for comment.

Rodarte and the Lunas are seeking unspecified damages, as well as an injunction preventing TrimSpa & Co. from continuing to market the herbal supplement as a fast-acting, safe and easy-to-use appetite suppressant and requiring that the plaintiffs pay restitution to other unsatisfied consumers (i.e. the "general public," the suit reads).

TrimSpa is available over the counter but is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Last month, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission fined Goen Technologies Corp. $1.5 million for making unsupported claims in advertisements. The makers of several other supplements, including Xenadrine and CortiSlim, were also slapped with fines.

In other Ms. Smith Goes to Court news: a hearing is set for Wednesday in L.A. in the ongoing Anna Nicole-Larry Birkhead baby daddy drama. Smith's legal team was able to postpone the Jan. 23 deadline by which she was expected to submit daughter Dannielynn Hope for paternity testing, claiming that a Bahaman judge also needed to sign off on the L.A. court's order.

Agricultural pests: White death

THOUGH the example comes from China, the sort of problem that African agricultural researchers have to grapple with (see article) is well illustrated by a paper in this week's Science about the whitefly Bemisia tabaci—an insect that is not actually a fly, but is related to aphids and leafhoppers.

Whiteflies are pests in every continent that they are found in—and they are found in every continent except Antarctica. They cause damage directly, by consuming plant juices, and indirectly, by spreading viral diseases. But Liu Shusheng, of Zhejiang University, in Hangzhou, and his colleagues have found a strain of the species that delivers a double whammy. Not only does it spread diseases, but it is also vastly more successful when it lives on plants infected with the diseases in question than when it subsists on healthy plants.

Though classified as a single species, Bemisia is actually a complex of “biotypes”, and biotype B, which arrived in China in the late 1990s, is rapidly taking the place over from the wimpy natives. Among the pathogens spread by whiteflies in China are tobacco curly shoot virus and tomato yellow leaf curl virus. These predate the arrival of biotype B, but the new arrival does particularly well on plants infected by them.

Dr Liu found that type B insects lived six times longer on infected plants than uninfected ones, and their population per infected plant might rise as high as 13 times that on an uninfected one. That mutualism does not seem to apply to the aboriginal whiteflies of China.

The virus, then, helps the insects multiply and in doing so helps itself to spread. Why that should be true only for this particular biotype is unknown. Finding the answer would make a lot of farmers happier.

2 Days, 2 Letter Bombs In U.K.

A suspected letter bomb exploded at a business center southwest of London Tuesday, injuring two people, police said.

Emergency services were dealing with a small explosion at 9 a.m. (4 a.m. EST) at a company in Oaklands Business Centre, Wokingham, Thames Valley police said in a statement.

Police said it was "likely" that an item of mail had ignited and caused the "small explosion."

It was too soon to say whether the explosion was linked to a letter bomb that detonated in central London Monday, injuring one person, police said.

On Monday, a padded envelope exploded at an office belonging to Capita Group PLC, which administers the $16 daily fee for vehicles meant to cut down on traffic in central London and collects television licensing fees.

Vantis PLC, a tax and accounting company, confirmed it was targeted in Tuesday's attack. Vantis also handles government contracts.

Army bomb-disposal units surrounded the company's office, which is part of business park comprised of red-brick office buildings.

Two ambulances and a crew from Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service were also at the scene. Police taped off the road directly outside the building and evacuated staff, but officers and other emergency services workers could be seen walking near the offices.

Workers from neighboring offices said they were still at their desks when police in white suits prepared to enter the building to gather evidence.

The Irish Republican Army used letter bombs in the early 1970s as part of its campaign to end British rule in Northern Ireland, targeting numerous British government offices. The tactic maimed dozens of people but killed nobody.

In recent years, animal rights activists have also sent letter bombs to people involved in animal testing.

Six Deaths Tied To Frigid Temperatures

Homeless people packed shelters, students got a day off from school, and drivers had to take their time as millions of people bundled up to meet subzero temperatures tied to at least six deaths.

The arctic cold front dipped into the nation from the Dakotas to New England. Water pipes burst and car batteries balked, forcing many businesses to close.

The highs Tuesday will only be between 0 and 10 above, from the Upper Midwest to interior sections of the Northeast, said CBS News meteorologist George Cullen (audio). "Coastal areas along with the cities from Philly to Boston will be in the upper teens to low 20's."

The cold contributed to two weekend deaths in Kentucky: an elderly man who wandered away from his home Sunday and a motorist whose car slid on ice and overturned in a river, authorities said. An 8-year-old girl and her mother were killed in a wreck on an icy road in Michigan, state police said. The body of a 47-year-old man was found outdoors in Ravenna, Ohio, and police said drunkenness contributed to his death. The medical examiner's office said 25-year-old Tamika Mitchell died in Chicago from both the cold and drug use combined.

Authorities were unsure whether to attribute other deaths to the extreme cold.

CBS News correspondent Cynthia Bowers reports hundreds of schools should be back in business after a surprising day off Monday. In Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, the school buses wouldn't start, and it was far too cold to let any child walk to school.

With a temperature of 12 below zero and wind chill of 31 below, Wisconsin's largest school district, Milwaukee Public Schools, shut down, idling some 90,000 children.

In upstate New York, 34,000 kids got the day off in Rochester because of temperatures near zero. Schools also closed in parts of Michigan and Illinois. A few schools closed even in Minnesota, where February cold is the norm and people usually cope.

Indianapolis officials started school buses at 3 o'clock Tuesday morning to make sure they crank and could get the kids to school on time, reports Bowers, but coming home could be a problem. Five inches of snow are expected to fall, starting at lunch time.

Temperatures in Grand Forks, N.D., dipped to 31 below zero early Monday at the airport, 3 degrees lower than the records set in 1982 and 1967, the National Weather Service said. In northern Minnesota, the temperature crashed to 42 below Monday morning, the weather service said.

Among shelters trying to aid the homeless was Repairers of the Breach, a daytime shelter that has expanded its hours to stay open 24 hours a day since Friday as temperatures plunged below zero. The shelter doesn't have beds but provides blankets, pillows and meals for people who had nowhere else to go because other shelters were full, said MacCanon Brown, executive director.

Fifty-one people stayed Sunday night.

"Once this cold spell hit we were just so aware that there are so many people outside or in unheated places," Brown said. "We know that there would be a lot of deaths and terrible frostbite and hypothermia if we weren't open."

Without her center, "most of them would be living in bushes, unheated garages, abandoned buildings," Brown said. "They do come in our door. They feel very welcomed."

Amtrak shut down passenger service in parts of New York state, where the cold was accompanied by as much as 2 feet of snow. North of Syracuse, some areas had received nearly 3 feet, and the snow was continuing, said Cullen. "These bands, though, are very narrow, as you can go from 30 inches of snow to just flurries in only a 20-mile drive."

In Illinois, the cold forced Amtrak officials to cancel two trains scheduled to run between St. Louis and Chicago Monday evening.

In Kentucky, snowfall of up to 6 inches was forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday in the central and eastern parts of the state, capping several days of below-normal temperatures that dropped into single digits around the state.

"I have long underwear on and I have leg warmers on and I have a sweater on and I have a vest on," said a Baltimore woman.

In Illinois, where temperatures in the northwest part of the state dipped as low as 15 below, a slight reprieve was in sight for Tuesday.

"It's bitterly cold ... (but) the coldest of it is over," said Mark Ratzer, a senior forecaster with the weather service. He said a low-pressure system and accompanying cloud cover should ease bitter temperatures slightly.

Temperatures reached minus 10 at O'Hare International Airport Monday, and with the wind, it felt more like minus 30 in Chicago, Ratzer said.

Frozen pipes closed one downtown Chicago Starbucks for several hours Monday, and employee Jerry Berry, 24, said some customers stood in disbelief for several moments before moving on to the next shop a few blocks away.

"We couldn't brew coffee because it was so cold," Berry said. "(This is) the worst day to have to have a situation like this."

A Buffalo, Minn., teenager who wanted to continue the family tradition of running around the garden barefoot during halftime of the Super Bowl game has learned a painful lesson.

It was 17 below zero at halftime Sunday and 18-year-old D.J. Brown ran outside in his T-shirt and jeans, threw off socks and shoes, and ran around the block for good measure.

D.J. says he was outside only five minutes, but his feet started swelling and blistering when he got back inside. He was treated for second-degree frostbite on both feet and should be fine, but it'll take a few weeks.

D.J., a straight-A student, chalked up his actions to "teenage arrogance."

© MMVII, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

7 Lap Dance Moves That Make Men Melt

Want to make your guy go gaga? It's not just about what you do in bed that counts. Sure, great sex technique will make you a star in his eyes, but knowing how to tease him will make you a legend. Don't believe us? In The Little Bit Naughty Book of Lap Dancing for Your Lover, real-life exotic dancer Rebecca Drury spills the seven secret — and really sexy! — steps that work on every guy, every time. You can thank us later.

The Grinding Circle
Stand about 60 centimeters (two feet) from your partner, with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart and your toes turned out. With your hips, begin to draw a circle, keeping your back arched. Now slowly bend your knees and grind down as far as is comfortable, then up again, continually undulating your hips and dancing erotically. It's really important to keep your back arched and upright. If you lean forward, you risk impersonating a sumo wrestler!

The Turn
As I've said, lap dancing is about showing off all your assets, so remember to turn around occasionally. For the best effect, turn slowly — your lover should barely notice. When you practice, work out which direction is most natural for you to turn in. And don't be overly concerned with how you do it; just take small steps and aim to make the turn blend into and become part of your dance. Keep circling your hips, and remember your arm movements. As far as possible, try to keep your lover in your gaze as you turn.

The Slap and Tickle
Turn your back to your audience and, with straight legs, bend forward slightly, look back at him coquettishly and stroke or lightly slap your bottom. I guarantee this will make him smile. Alternatively, still with your back to him, gently sway from your ankles, opening your legs gradually. Slowly, bend over so that your bottom is brazenly pointing at your man. Bend one knee to the side and straighten the other out to the other side. Glide your hand up the straight leg and raise your head over the corresponding shoulder to look back at him. Slap your bottom hard. Repeat on the other side.

The Lap Dance Grind
Gracefully dance yourself into the triangle made by your lover's open legs, and stand with your back to him and your feet together. Make sure you're as close to the chair as possible. Now bend your knees, keeping your back straight, and gently put your hands on your partner's knees. Lower your bottom toward his lap so that you can just feel his crotch on your skin. Then, keeping your hands on his knees for support, grind down gently, moving your hips in a circular or forward-and-backward motion. Look over your shoulder at your man while you do this, if you can. This is a little tricky, though! Take extra care whenever you go near his groin. If you hurt him, he'll never trust you to dance for him again!

The Breast Stroke
Every woman has her own personal scent that collects between her breasts, no matter what size they are or what perfume she wears. It's a potent aphrodisiac. So this step is guaranteed to get your lover going! Move closely into the space between his knees. Standing with your legs straight, gently lean forward and place your hands on either side of the chair. Once you have a firm hold, push your breasts toward his face; his nose should be nestled in your cleavage. For added effect, try brushing from side to side and stroking the end of his nose with your bra or nipple. Keep moving in a provocative way throughout.

Knee Strokes
Facing your partner, stand between his legs, as close to the chair as you can. Place your knees in the space between his crotch and the edge of the chair. Gently put a slight pressure against his groin with your knees. Lean toward him and blow gently into his ear or on his face. You could even exchange a mouthful of wine with him or pour champagne from your nipples into his mouth. As a variation, try this: Stand up facing your lover, then catch one of his knees between your knees and gently rub up and down his thigh. This is a fabulous sensation. Ask him to do it to you sometime!

The Body Slide
Standing between your lover's thighs, lean forward and put your hands on the back of the chair for support. Put one knee on each of his thighs, then lift your torso, slide your knees into the space in front of his crotch (careful here!) and slide, slowly, all the way down his body until you're kneeling on the floor in front of him. To get up off the floor, use your lover's knees for support and stand up sexily — bring your bottom up first, then flick your hair in his face as you raise your upper body.