Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Beyond my wildest imagination

Keith Richards Wins Mailer Prize for Distinguished Biography

Last night at a party at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in NYC, Keith Richards was awarded the Mailer Prize for Distinguished Biography for his bestselling memoir Life. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, Richards made quite the scene as the only rocker at the literary event. The Chronicle wrote: "Wearing tinted glasses, a long scarf [...] read more>>

'Second Paris' built towards end of First World War to fool Germans

Second Paris built towards end of First World War to fool Germans
Left, A map showing fake roads and a camouflage railway that was lit up at night to give the illusion of a moving train.

Details of the incredible creation emerged as the French capital prepares to commemorate the 93rd anniversary of the Armistice.

According to archives unearthed by Le Figaro newspaper, military planners believed German pilots could be fooled into destroying the dummy city rather than the real one.

It was situated on the northern outskirts of Paris and featured sham streets lined with electric lights, replica buildings and even a copy of the Gare du Nord – the station from which high-speed trains now travel to and from London.

"It's an extraordinary story and one which even Parisians knew very little about," said Professor Jean-Claude Delarue, a leading historian based in the French capital.

"The plan was kept secret for obvious reasons, but it shows how seriously military planners were already taking the new threat of aerial bombardment".

FCC plan will give cheap computers and internet service to the poor

The Federal Communications Commission and cable and computer firms will announce Wednesday a program to provide low-income homes with $10 monthly broadband Internet service and $150 computers.

The plan aims to solve one of the more vexing problems in the government’s quest to connect all Americans to the Internet: Even when people have the ability to subscribe to high-speed service, 100 million households don’t choose to do so.

Drip, by drip, the truth is coming out about Solyndra

Fundraiser George Kaiser and his business associates discussed lobbying the White House to help Solyndra, new e-mails show. Kaiser’s representatives have previously said Kaiser did not personally lobby White House.

Rest in peace, Bil

Bil Keane, The Man Behind The Family Circus, Dies

November 9th, 2011 by elizabethc

The writer and illustrator behind the long-running comic strip The Family Circuspassed away yesterday.

Love it or hate it, The Family Circus was well-known for its depiction of the hardworking, nuclear American family, with mom, dad, and kids Billy, Dolly, Jeffy and PJ, as well as assorted pets over the years. Some of the most famous recurring gags included the classic dotted-line representing a child’s path to humorously demonstrate why it takes kids forever to do anything, children mispronouncing words with hilarious effect, and a lot of kids saying the darndest things.

Running since 1960, and now in syndication, the strip was beloved by many, and was often seen in recent years as a beacon of innocence and purity in a world that had outgrown it. While the strip often invited parody and ridicule from more cynical types as being old-fashioned and outdated, legions of fans nevertheless adored it for its nostalgia and themes of traditional family values and simplicity.

Keane was good friends with (and predeceased by) fellow funny-writersErma Bombeck and Charles M. Schulz. He was 89 when he died.

Tonight at 8 pm ET on CNBC

GOP presidential candidates businessman Herman Cain shakes hands with Texas Governor Rick Perry as former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney looks on at the start of the CNN Western Republican debate in Las Vegas, Nevada in October. (Richard Brian/Reuters )

The Republican debate Wednesday is supposed to focus on the economy. It’s likely, though, that Herman Cain's sexual assault allegations will dog him throughout the debate.

I guess we know where there is a job opening

In this image released by NBC, actor Eddie Murphy appears on the 'Today' show to promote his new movie 'Tower Heist' on Oct. 26 in New York. (Peter Kramer/NBC/AP)

Eddie Murphy Oscars: The news of Murphy's departure came Wednesday, a day after pal Brett Ratner quit as producer of the Feb. 26 show.

Eurozone debt fears hammering markets

The Dow falls more than 400 points at midday as reports emerge that Germany and France may move ahead with a plan to shrink the number of countries using the euro.

Europe's reckoning has arrived

In the European economic crisis, all roads lead through Rome. The markets have raised the price of financing Italy's mammoth debt to new highs, and on Tuesday Silvio Berlusconi became the second euro-zone prime minister, after Greece's George Papandreou, to resign this week. His departure may keep the world's eighth largest economy solvent for the time being, but it hardly addresses the root of the problem.

In Italy, as in Greece, Spain and Portugal and eventually France, the welfare-entitlement state has hit a wall. Successive governments on the Continent, right and left, have financed generous entitlements with high taxes and towering piles of debt. Their economies have failed to grow fast enough to keep up, and last year the money started to run out. The reckoning has arrived.

If the first step in curing an addiction is to acknowledge it, there is little sign of that in Europe. The solutions on offer are to spend still more money, to have the Germans bail out everybody else, or to ditch the euro so bankrupt countries can again devalue their own currencies. France's latest debt solution includes raising corporate, capitals gains and sales taxes.

Medicine becoming more personalized every day

Gene test helps tailor 'smart drugs' for individual cancer patients

Doctors say they have used a wide-ranging genetic test for mutations in cancer cells to help them treat lung tumours

For the first time, researchers from Harvard Medical School have devised a way of screening patients for mutations in 14 key cancer genes - at the same time.