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Bye-Bye Birdie Yes, You Can Scare Birds Away

by

Alex Kecskes

While most birds are loved by man, pest birds represent a significant and ongoing problem. According to the FAA, bird strikes cost civil aviation almost $500 million a year. Keep in mind that just one bird can destroy an expensive jet engine in just seconds. The fact is, bird strikes on military airfields endanger our troops, can jeopardize the mission and ruin equipment. It’s easy to see why many people look for ways to scare birds away.

Growers don’t much care for pest birds either. Native and non-native bird species have been known to cause crop losses in vineyards–typically 30 percent to as much as 100 percent. Pest birds can quickly devour seeds and ripening fruit. Many growers pull out all the stops to scare birds away.

In the cities and urban areas, pest birds can wreak havoc with building facades, statues, schools, public playgrounds and parks. Bird droppings can destroy the paint on cars and buildings. They leave an unsightly mess and can carry a number of communicable diseases. Diseases transmitted by birds include aspergillosis, salmonellosis, thrush, avian tuberculosis, coccidiosis, cryptococcoses, encephalitis, histoplasmosis, Newcastle disease, toxoplasmosis and West Nile virus. No wonder so many municipalities have spent considerable sums of money to scare birds away.

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The feral pigeon is by far the most prolific urban pest bird in the world. Originally descended from the domesticated rock dove, they are now wild and live in close proximity to man. Feral pigeons are scavengers, scrounging for food in cities and town centers, where they are often eagerly fed by the general public. Feral pigeon populations are on the rise due to a lack of natural predators, the constant supply of food and their ability to breed year around.

Other pest birds include the house sparrow, the starling and the gull. Gulls are scavengers and feed from scraps of food in town centers as well as sewerage outlets and domestic garbage dumps. Starlings often gather in huge flocks where their droppings ruin structures and monuments. Small but still a nuisance are sparrows, which often clog rain gutters and downspouts, and frequently cause electrical equipment shorts and fires.

To scare birds away without harming them can prove to be quite a challenge. Fortunately, there are a number of pest bird deterrents that are available to humanely discourage birds from landing, roosting and nesting.

For pigeons and large birds, consider the use of the highly effective Bird Spike strip. Harmless to birds, the intimidating spikes simply discourage birds from landing. Some bird spikes are made of stainless steel, others use rigid unbreakable polycarbonate spikes (the poly spikes are less expensive).

For flat even areas, the Bird Spider has proven its worth as an effective pest bird deterrent. The spindly spider arms whip around in the wind to scare birds away. Spiders come in several diameters to deter various bird sizes. Harmless to birds, spiders are easy to maintain and easy to install. Similar to the spider, the motorized whirly-gig utilizes rotating arms to scare birds away. Ideal for parapet walls, roofs, signs, and billboards, some of these products are powered by batteries and others are even powered by solar energy.

Next up are the growing number of balloons and banners of iridescent reflective foil and shiny tape, which create an Optical Distraction Zone. Some of these bird scare products feature lifelike reflective predator eyes. Others have “day-glow” backsides to scare birds away at night. One of the many things that make these bird scare products so appealing is their low cost and easy installation. They’re ideal for use on boat docks, pool areas, overhangs, gazebos, and other troublesome areas.

We know people get irritated whey they walk across a carpet, reach for a doorknob and get shocked. It’s the same with birds. Electric Shock Bird Repellers have been used for years to scare birds away. Ideal for pigeons, seagulls and larger birds, these electrified tracks mildly zap birds that try to land. Easily mounted on ledges, signs, rooftops, and flat or curved surfaces, many electric tracks have a low profile tracks, so they can’t be seen from below.

While screaming at birds or blasting loud horns can scare birds away, there are bird deterrents that use ultrasonic sounds that annoy birds–annoy them enough to discourage them from landing. These audio deterrents imitate distress calls and predator calls. They’re ideal for enclosed areas like parking garages, overhangs and sheds, where pigeons, sparrows, starlings or seagulls sometimes gather in flocks.

Farmers and growers have long used this next category of bird deterrents to scare birds away. Known as Foggers or Misters, these disperse a food-grade, non-lethal aerosol of methyl anthranilate. The chemical has been approved by the EPA and won’t harm birds. It simply irritates birds that fly through it, convincing them to avoid the area. Some misting systems feature multiple remote spray nozzles to allow specific areas to be treated and pinpointed.

To get additional information on the products listed in this article such as plastic bird spikes, bird misters, bird repellers, and more, please visit http://www.birdbgone.com

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Bye-Bye Birdie Yes, You Can Scare Birds Away }

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pichilemu, Chile – Last Saturday, Chile was hit by a 8.8 earthquake. Many coastal towns were also hit by a tsunami, and Pichilemu was one of them. Its inhabitants were surprised by the giant waves that destroyed the most of the costanera and that reached the city square.

Pichilemu, that means in Mapudungun language small forest, is one of the most famous Chilean resort towns in the central zone of Chile. It is recurrently visited by surfers from all the world, because the Punta de Lobos beach is considered one of the best for surf practice worldwide.

Central Pichilemu was not severely damaged by the earthquake, but the tsunami caused significant destruction. The Fishermen Creek, located in front of the beach, was completely destroyed, and its machines are now unusable. Most of the Agustín Ross architecture that characterized the city, three of them being National Monuments of Chile, were damaged. The Agustín Ross Mirador, a famous location in front of the beach, located less than 200 meters from the Fisherman Creek, was completely destroyed. Its famous balustrades were washed away or thrown asunder. Many restaurants, kiosks and a circus were affected by the tsunami.

The rural parts of Pichilemu, like Ciruelos, Rodeillo and Espinillo feature houses constructed from adobe. Many were more than 100-years old, and were destroyed or are now uninhabitable.

The most powerful aftershock was produced almost 40 kilometers in front of the coast of Pichilemu, at the 03:10 local time (07:10 UTC) in March 2, with an intensity of 5.5 in the Richter scale, according to the USGS.

The Intendant of the O’Higgins Region, Juan Núñez, had a meeting with the Governor of the Cardenal Caro Province, Loreto Puebla, the Mayor of Pichilemu, Roberto Córdova, and naval and military authorities, juntas de vecinos representatives. They decided to leave the Carabineros police force to maintain the security of the city.

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The Arturo Prat square was severely damaged by the earthquake and later by the tsunami. In the left picture, can be seen some kiosks, all of them were destroyed, as can be seen on the right picture.Image: Diego Grez.

A boat that was originally in front of the Fisherman Creek of Pichilemu, was thrown almost a block away by the powerful tsunami that hit Chile last Saturday.Image: Diego Grez.

A fair was located in front of the beach, called Feria Internacional Artesanal, where Peruvian and Chilean craftsman were selling their crafts. All of their premises were destroyed, and later looted by the people that were passing by the costanera.Image: Diego Grez.

This is how looked the Agustín Ross ‘Mirador’ (balcony) in the past. Image: Diego Grez.
The Famous Agustín Ross balcony (mirador), before and after the earthquake and tsunami.Image: Diego Grez.

A strong aftershock was originated around Pichilemu, in March 5, 2010, at 12:34:32 AM at epicenter (03:34:32 AM UTC).Image: USGS.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pichilemu, Chile – Last Saturday, Chile was hit by a 8.8 earthquake. Many coastal towns were also hit by a tsunami, and Pichilemu was one of them. Its inhabitants were surprised by the giant waves that destroyed the most of the costanera and that reached the city square.

Pichilemu, that means in Mapudungun language small forest, is one of the most famous Chilean resort towns in the central zone of Chile. It is recurrently visited by surfers from all the world, because the Punta de Lobos beach is considered one of the best for surf practice worldwide.

Central Pichilemu was not severely damaged by the earthquake, but the tsunami caused significant destruction. The Fishermen Creek, located in front of the beach, was completely destroyed, and its machines are now unusable. Most of the Agustín Ross architecture that characterized the city, three of them being National Monuments of Chile, were damaged. The Agustín Ross Mirador, a famous location in front of the beach, located less than 200 meters from the Fisherman Creek, was completely destroyed. Its famous balustrades were washed away or thrown asunder. Many restaurants, kiosks and a circus were affected by the tsunami.

The rural parts of Pichilemu, like Ciruelos, Rodeillo and Espinillo feature houses constructed from adobe. Many were more than 100-years old, and were destroyed or are now uninhabitable.

The most powerful aftershock was produced almost 40 kilometers in front of the coast of Pichilemu, at the 03:10 local time (07:10 UTC) in March 2, with an intensity of 5.5 in the Richter scale, according to the USGS.

The Intendant of the O’Higgins Region, Juan Núñez, had a meeting with the Governor of the Cardenal Caro Province, Loreto Puebla, the Mayor of Pichilemu, Roberto Córdova, and naval and military authorities, juntas de vecinos representatives. They decided to leave the Carabineros police force to maintain the security of the city.

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  • 2
  • 3
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The Arturo Prat square was severely damaged by the earthquake and later by the tsunami. In the left picture, can be seen some kiosks, all of them were destroyed, as can be seen on the right picture.Image: Diego Grez.

A boat that was originally in front of the Fisherman Creek of Pichilemu, was thrown almost a block away by the powerful tsunami that hit Chile last Saturday.Image: Diego Grez.

A fair was located in front of the beach, called Feria Internacional Artesanal, where Peruvian and Chilean craftsman were selling their crafts. All of their premises were destroyed, and later looted by the people that were passing by the costanera.Image: Diego Grez.

This is how looked the Agustín Ross ‘Mirador’ (balcony) in the past. Image: Diego Grez.
The Famous Agustín Ross balcony (mirador), before and after the earthquake and tsunami.Image: Diego Grez.

A strong aftershock was originated around Pichilemu, in March 5, 2010, at 12:34:32 AM at epicenter (03:34:32 AM UTC).Image: USGS.

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How A Commercial Cleaning Company Can Help Your Business

by

Claire Winters

It’s fair to say that an office ought to be kept tidy and clean at all times. Some employers may keep the office clean by having their staff clean the area right before they are dismissed for the day. This isn’t always a good idea for a number of reasons. Even if it only takes 15 minutes or so to conduct a quick cleanup, that period of time could still be better spent on work-related matters. Additionally, it can lower the morale of employees if they have to do the cleaning when it is clearly not part of their job description. That is why it is always better to hire professional Hartford cleaning services.

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All aspects of an office ought to be kept clean at all times. Floors should be mopped, swept or vacuumed, windows must be cleaned both inside and out, restrooms should look and smell fresh and clean, and walls should be washed down at times, too. When a business is kept clean at all times, it will be presentable at any time customers, clients, patrons or even employees from other areas of the business stop by. If an individual who owns the company or is in upper management drops by and sees a cluttered office, that tells them there’s a problem. Worse still, what if a health inspector shows up out of the blue for an annual inspection?

A basic cleaning will include a total run through of the office. Speak with them about having your floors mopped, vacuumed or having a buffer used on them to make the floors shine and remove scuff marks. The trash will also be taken out right before the bins reach capacity. When trash bins aren’t taken out daily, rodents or insects may come around. Bathrooms could become unsanitary very easily, so a cleaning company will mop floors, clean toilets, wipe down counters, wash mirrors and generally get the bathroom prepared for both customers and employees.

A professional cleaner is capable of doing a much more efficient job than your employees can. They’ve been trained to clean businesses properly using the appropriate equipment, and they will do exactly what you ask them to do. When searching for a commercial cleaning company in Hartford who uses “green” cleaning products, you should have no problem finding one, as many of them do use eco-friendly products now. More and more businesses are heading toward being more green, and even more customers are demanding it.

Are you looking to become more familiar with what green cleaning is? It means using spray cleaners that are made out of natural herbs and oils rather than manufactured chemicals that could potentially have an adverse effect on the environment. In addition, it means utilizing recyclable trash bags and herbal air fresheners. Not only do eco-friendly products benefit the earth, they also help the employees and customers who come through your office. The presence of fumes can bring about asthma and other respiratory difficulties for those that are sensitive to fumes emitted by sprays. When employees are affected in an adverse way by products that aren’t beneficial to their health, they may become sick and their work is affected as a result. Working with eco-friendly cleaning products will stop the issue.

Because a cleaning crew can not be in your office every second of the work day, it’s smart to remind employees to pick up after themselves. Simply request that all employees clean up any messes they make anywhere in the office, whether it’s in the office lobby or in their own cubicles. In addition, it requires wiping up that coffee spill in the break room. Whenever employees make a mess in the microwave or around the coffee pot and then are expecting others to clean it up for them, it can become a problem. Indicate to them that they should treat the office with respect, just as they want their own personal belongings to be respected, and this should help keep issues to a minimum so that a commercial cleaning company can handle the rest.

If you have unique needs for your office or home, like carpet cleaning, pressure washing, recycling services or redoing your acoustical ceiling, then be sure to ask about

Hartford cleaning services

from Advantage Maintenance. To learn more about Advantage Maintenance, visit their web site at

advantagemaintenanceinc.com

.

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How A Commercial Cleaning Company Can Help Your Business

}

NB this story is also covered in the article Archbishop Desmond Tutu calls for African Pope.Monday, April 4, 2005 Retired Anglican Arch-Bishop Desmond Tutu has called for the Catholic church to appoint an African as new pope. “We hope the cardinals when they meet will follow the first non-Italian pope by electing the first African pope,” said Tutu on SABC TV at a press conference in his Cape Town home.

Nigeria’s Cardinal Francis Arinze, currently number four in the church hierarchy, is seen as the best hope for a pope from the third world. If Arinze is elected he will become the first African pope since Gelasius I in 496 AD.

“There should be democracy in the Catholic Church. Europeans should allow an African to become the next pope,” said 21 year old Nigerian student, Ifeoma Ezinwa, at the Saint Monica Catholic Church in Igbogbo, Lagos. “The church is growing in Africa. If Arinze gets to that position, he would work for its faster growth,” she continued.

However Steve Uwagba, a Nigerian accountant, thought that “International politics in the church may not allow him to get the papal seat. The odds of international politics and conspiracy against Africa weigh heavily against him.”

Tutu also added that “We know that [the pope] was a champion for world peace. And more than any other pope [he] went around the world galvanizing the faithful who turned out in droves to meet him. We also want to pay tribute to him for his concern for the unity of humankind. He was the first Pope, I think, to gather together … leaders of other Christian denominations, calling them to prayer for the world,”

The archbishop of Cape Town Njongonkulu Ndungane – Tutu’s successor – offered his condolences to the world’s catholics. “Our sincerest condolences go out to Catholics worldwide on the death of their great leader. We thank God for his ministry and that he has now been relieved from pain,”

Father Stephen Chukwu of St Augustine’s church in Ikorodu on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria said to a congregation of three thousand, “The whole world is standing still. People are held spellbound because the mighty has fallen. The whole church mourns because a leader and a revolutionary has gone,” he told the crowd, many of whom wept and sobbed.

“Who would ever believe that a pope could come from outside Rome? He was an ideal man and he led an ideal life. He held tenaciously to the teachings of the Apostles. He was against killing and abortion,” he declared. He was not a friend of the wealthy or the mighty. He was a friend of those in the gutters. He preached and fought for democracy.

After mass Mary Okoli, a 42 year old teacher said “My hope and prayer is that we get an African, especially a Nigerian, to replace him and continue his good work,” “We are particularly grateful for the attention he paid to Africa and the developing world during his papacy. His concern for the poor marked him as a truly caring leader and we share the grief and loss of the Catholic Church at his passing. We also pray for the Catholic Church as it contemplates the election of the next Vicar of Christ,” he said in a statement.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

In a report on cloud computing issued this week, the environmental group Greenpeace rated ten top Internet companies, including Apple, Google, Twitter and Amazon, on several factors such as each company’s willingness to be transparent by providing information on its energy sources and the energy efficiency of its data centers.

In the report entitled “How Dirty is your Data”, Apple, while receiving good marks for transparency, rated at the bottom for energy efficiency, primarily because its huge, new data center in North Carolina, called iDataCenter, relies largely on coal. Although Apple claimed its California operations used cleaner energy than that produced by most grids, iDataCenter has an estimated energy demand three times Apple’s current use, significantly increasing Apple’s environmental footprint. As Apple increases the online products it delivers from its iTunes platform, it will enlarge its cloud computing operations further.

“Apple’s decision to locate its iDataCenter in North Carolina, which has an electrical grid among the dirtiest in the country (61 percent coal, 31 percent nuclear), indicates a lack of a corporate commitment to clean energy supply for its cloud operations,” Greenpeace said in its report.

About 2 percent of worldwide energy use is consumed by data center computer servers, and this amount is increasing by 12 percent a year, Greenpeace reports, an energy demand that is more than that of Russia.

Greenpeace said many IT companies do not reveal the environmental impact of their energy consumption, and concentrate more on energy efficiency that on using clean energy. Most of their energy is supplied by coal and nuclear energy. Companies are locating their data centers in areas that afford cheap, abundant coal-powered electricity.

Yahoo was praised by Greenpeace for placing its data centers near sources of clean energy and its minor use of coal-based power.

IT brands at the vanguard of this 21st century technological shift are perpetuating our addiction to dirty energy technologies of the last two centuries.

Greenpeace noted that Google says that it is conscious of the need to use renewable sources of electricity to power cloud computing, but it does not acknowledge the size of its carbon footprint. The company claims it has seven data centers worldwide, but it is estimated to have 20 to 30.

The carbon footprint of cloud computing is a recent emphasis of Greenpeace in its attempt to disprove the belief that the biggest polluters are manufacturers.

[T]he data centers of Amazon, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Twitter, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Apple, and Akamai . . . are probably not much different from the business where you work every day when it comes to dependency on coal for electricity generation. And ditto for the home that you return to every night.

In a response to the report, Timothy Prickett Morgan criticized Greenpeace for focusing on data centers which are responsible for using about 3 per cent of the US power generation and globally account for 1.5 to 2 percent. He noted that “the data centers of Amazon, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Twitter, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Apple, and Akamai . . . are probably not much different from the business where you work every day when it comes to dependency on coal for electricity generation. And ditto for the home that you return to every night.”

Morgan quotes data from a 2008 report by the International Energy Agency and cited by the World Coal Association, now known as the The World Coal Institute, that showed coal plants produce over 40 percent of the global electricity. The Institute determined that United States receives half of its power from coal plants. Some other countries, such as South Africa, Poland and China, use more coal. “The world is still dependent on non-renewable energy sources – coal and nuclear with a smattering of oil and gas – to generate electricity,” he says, suggesting the IT companies should not be singled out.

Morgan is also critical of Greenpeace’s methodology in gathering the data, as it included only a sample of the data centers of these companies, and some that were not yet completely operational. He noted that because the companies were not always cooperative in disclosing information, Greenpeace estimated a portion of the data. He said that the reader has to “drill down into the report” to see the the complete picture.

Another criticism of Greenpeace is its definition of coal and nuclear power as “dirty energy”. Because it does not discharge greenhouse gases, nuclear power is rated more favorably than coal by some environmental organizations. Greenpeace is adamantly against nuclear power’s radiation risks.

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Submitted by: Beth And Jim Hood

As graduation season approaches families everywhere are planning the usual celebrations and gatherings. Whether its high school or college, graduation is a significant achievement that deserves acknowledgment. But whats an appropriate gift for a new graduate? Especially when moneys tight? Whatever your budget, here are some ideas for gifts that are useful and will certainly be appreciated by any new grad.

1. Money

Every poor student loves to get money! And they need it. Lets face it, in this economy, who doesnt? But new grads, especially those without jobs or who are just starting out on their own, certainly can use cash. As long as you dont care how or where its spent, money is always a well-appreciated, appropriate and popular graduation gift.

2. Stock

Consider what field your new grad is entering and their interests. If you dont want to make a big investment you can buy as little as one share of stock in many publicly traded companies and have it framed. It then becomes a multi-faceted gift it can become artwork to replace those old posters that have been hanging on the wall, plus it may inspire and remind a young graduate to save and invest. And of course you hope it will also increase in value over the years.

3. Career/College Major Guidebooks

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Especially important in a recession, new grads need to have a clear idea of where theyre going. Now more than ever, no one can afford to spend money on a college major that will never be used. For those entering the work force, following the wrong career path can lead to painful struggles and unnecessary failures.

Guidebooks are a great resource for graduates who need help in taking the next step. They can also help graduates who already know what they want map out a path to get there.

4. Gift cards

There was a time when giving a gift card was considered impersonal, but those days are long gone. Today gift cards can be purchased almost anywhere and for just about anything.

Personalize the gift by thinking about what your graduate may need or want and go from there. Your options are limitless. Combine a movie theater gift card with a restaurant card and youve given the graduate a night on the town. Not as much fun, but always useful might be gift cards to a supermarket, drugstore, gas station or hardware store.

5. Handmade or Personalized Items

Who says a gift has to come from a store? Some of the most memorable and meaningful graduation gifts arent purchased at all. One-of-a-kind handmade items are often kept for years as special keepsakes.

Consider making a personalized scrapbook for your grad. You can include pictures of friends and events, clippings, and other items like library receipts, test papers, playbills and memorabilia from school.

Another homemade gift idea is a gift basket. Customize it for a graduate heading off to college by filling it with items for the dorm, quarters for laundry and a t-shirt with their new college logo.

For grads entering the workforce, fill a basket with office supplies or other items related to their new job. And if your graduate is moving to a new city, you could include maps, a subway pass and take-out menus to make their transition a little easier.

6. Group Gift

Sometimes what a new grad needs most is out of the reach of individual family members. In that case, it might make sense to combine resources and chip in for a bigger gift. If you know your graduate needs a computer, suggest everyone buy a gift card to a specific computer store. A group gift can be a great way to help a struggling grad take a big bite out of a much-needed purchase.

Graduations are one of lifes grandest celebrations. They mark our significant achievements and the start to a new phase of life. And while each graduate and every situation is unique, the most important part of any graduation gift is the thought behind it and the acknowledgment of the hard work and effort it took to get to this special day.

About the Author: Beth and Jim Hood are the authors of Wheres the Map? a guidebook to help young grads plan their future. Go to

wheresthemap.com

for a free download of their Dream Team Action Guide or more info on post-grad options including taking a gap year and applying for a gap year scholarship.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=377698&ca=Education }

Monday, November 19, 2007

Drag—dressing in the clothing atypical of your born gender—in recent years has found mainstream success. Films such as Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar have prominently featured drag performers. But they have all focused on men in drag as women.

Murray Hill is a comedian, emcee and performer. He is also a drag king. Called “The Hardest Working Middle-aged Man in Show Business”, The New York Times christened him “the current reigning patriarch of the downtown performance community.” He is seemingly everywhere, emceeing a bingo night at the now closed, Jimmy Fallon-backed Mo Pitkins’ House of Satisfaction on Avenue A, or hosting the Polyamorous Pride Day in Central Park. Hill has become a legend in New York’s “anything goes” counterculture theater scene who is beginning to find mainstream success; which would be a first for a drag king.

David Shankbone’s examination of New York City‘s culture has brought him to the whip’s end of a BDSM dungeon, on the phone with RuPaul, matching wits with Michael Musto, grilling Gay Talese, eating dinner with Augusten Burroughs and quizzing the bands that play the Bowery Ballroom. In this segment he talks to downtown legend Murray Hill, former New York City mayoral candidate and comedian, on the last night of Mo Pitkins’ House of Satisfaction.

Contents

  • 1 Murray Hill the performer
  • 2 Murray Hill the person
  • 3 Drag as performance art for women
  • 4 The gay community and drag artists
  • 5 Drag queens and drag kings: the differences
  • 6 The direction of New York downtown culture
  • 7 Sources

Saturday, March 21, 2009

In an appearance on the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Thursday night, United States President Barack Obama told host, Jay Leno, that he had bowled at the White House bowling alley and scored a 129.

“It was like the Special Olympics or something,” the President said.

The Special Olympics is an international organization that promotes self-confidence and social skills for people with intellectual disabilities. It organizes the Special Olympics World Games which is recognized by the International Olympic Committee and is similar to the Paralympic Games which are for people with physical disabilities.

Even before the taped show was aired, Barack Obama called the chairman of the Special Olympics to apologize. He phoned Timothy Shriver from Air Force One on the way back to Washington, D.C.. Tim Shriver is also the son of Eunice Kennedy Shriver who founded the Special Olympics.

“He expressed his disappointment, and he apologized in a way that was very moving. He expressed that he did not intend to humiliate this population,” Shriver said on Friday in an interview on Good Morning America.

“Words hurt, words do matter,” Shriver added. “People with special needs are great athletes and productive citizens.”

“The President made an offhand remark making fun of his own bowling that was in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics,” White House deputy press secretary, Bill Burton, said. “He thinks that the Special Olympics are a wonderful program that gives an opportunity to shine to people with disabilities from around the world.”

Meanwhile, Kolan McConiughey, a top Special Olympics bowler told the Associated Press that he doesn’t think Obama bowls like a Special Olympian.

“He bowled a 129. I bowl a 300. I could beat that score easily,” McConiughey said. McConiughey has five perfect 300 games on his track record as a bowler and averages a score of 212.

“I’d tell him to get a new bowling ball, new shoes and bring him down to the lane,” said McConiughey, offering bowling advice to the President. “Keep his body straight, his arm straight and keep his steps straight. He has to practice every single day.”

Maria Shriver, sister of Tim Shriver, said the President’s comment “hurts millions of people throughout the world.”

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is married to Maria Shriver, said, “He [Obama] loves Special Olympics, and he would do everything he can to help Special Olympics.”

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters, “I know that the President believes that the Special Olympics are a triumph of the human spirit, and I think he understands that they deserve a lot better than — than the thoughtless joke that he made last night. And he apologizes for that.”

Friday, November 2, 2012

Incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have returned to campaigning after taking time out due to Hurricane Sandy.

On Wednesday, Obama visited New Jersey, meeting with Governor Chris Christie in Atlantic City, and spoke to victims of the storm at a community center in Brigantine. Obama earned the praise of the Republican governor who said “[Obama had] sprung into action immediately”. The President’s reaction to the storm also earned him positive polling, with a Washington Post/ABC survey saying 8 out of 10 respondents thought Obama had responded in a “good” or “excellent” manner to the storm.

After restarting the campaign, Obama has campaigned in Wisconsin where he has attacked Romney’s proposed policies as being the same as those of George W. Bush. “Governor Romney has been using all his talents as a salesman to dress up these very same policies that failed our country so badly – the very same policies we’ve been cleaning up after for the past four years – and he is offering them up as change.” said the President.

Yesterday, the independent mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg gave his endorsement to Obama. With several areas of New York affected by flooding from Hurricane Sandy, the former Republican mayor said Obama’s stance on climate change factored in his decision. Writing an editorial for Bloomberg View, the mayor asserted: “Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it may be — given the devastation it is wreaking — should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”

Bloomberg said Obama had taken action to deal with climate change; has proposed measures to reduce emissions from cars and power plants. Bloomberg explained he could not support Romney as the Republican challenger had changed his position on several issues. “In the past he has taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care – but he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the very health care model he signed into law in Massachusetts,” said Bloomberg.

Bloomberg did however have some criticism of Obama. He said that Obama had “engaged in partisan attacks and has embraced a divisive populist agenda focused more on redistributing income than creating it.” Responding in a statement, Obama said he was “honored to have Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement”.

Romney spoke at an event in the city of Roanoke, Virginia, criticising Obama’s proposal to create a cabinet-level position for business development. In his speech in Virginia, Romney stated: “I don’t think adding a new chair in his cabinet will help add millions of jobs on Main Street. We don’t need a secretary of business to understand business. We need a president who understands business and I do.” Romney also launched a TV advert which stated that the idea represents a broader failing of the Obama presidency by suggesting that Obama’s “solution to everything is to add another bureaucrat.”

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After speaking in Roanoke, Romney spoke in Doswell, Virginia. His speech was interrupted by a protester who shouted “Climate change caused Sandy! Let’s get real!”

Romney plans to make a last-minute campaign stop in Pennsylvania on Sunday.

Jill Stein, the presidential candidate for the Green Party of the United States, was arrested on Wednesday in Winnsboro in east Texas for misdemeanor criminal trespassing while trying to bring food and confectionery to environmental protesters who have been camping in trees for over a month to protest the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Stein has been released pending a court date.

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