Of all the “Car of the Year” awards coming out, the one that really caught my eye was the Detroit News Car of the Year: the Buick LaCrosse e-Assist.
As I watch Buick’s lineup and fortunes improve with each passing month, I can’t help but feel a little hometown warm-and-fuzzies for a brand that could have been sent to the scrapyard a decade ago, or just two years ago, when GM was being overseen by the White House.
Seeing Buick’s comeback, in fact, gives me hope for the city of Detroit. If Buick can be revived, why not all of Detroit?
Explaining the choice of the LaCrosse, the Detroit News’ Scott Burgess said: “It’s the first mainstream vehicle anywhere, to introduce a mild hybrid system that is going to reshape our roadways for years to come.” Burgess went on: “Known as eAssist, this drivetrain is a legend in the making. Everyone will eventually drive a system like this in whatever car they purchase — that’s how important it is.”
The eAssist system uses a small electric motor, a lithium-ion battery pack, a start/stop system and regenerative braking that converts energy otherwise lost to electricity. The boost in eAssist allows the LaCrosse sedan to do better than many subcompact cars, let alone other large cars, on long
Archive for December 23rd, 2011
Of all the “Car of the Year” awards coming out, the one that really caught my eye was the Detroit News Car of the Year: the Buick LaCrosse e-Assist.
Last week, I got into the holiday spirit and posted some of my favorite Christmas memories, as well as a shot of Phil and me on my Facebook page, decorating this year’s tree. I guess it’s true that Christmas brings out the best in all of us, because your responses have been so wonderful.
They’ve also been funny! “Wow! My tree is looking pretty sad right now,” wrote Floridian Dee Cameron DeRoman on Facebook. “Can you come help me decorate it?”
by guest blogger Maya Rodale,writer of historicaltales of true love and adventure.
I’ve always been one of those “ugh, winter” people, but last year didn’t seem so terrible–in spite frigid temperatures and snow and slush–because I finally figured out how to make it work for me. Look, it’s not my favorite season, but it doesn’t have to be a long, dark, frigid slog. Here are my tips for surviving winter:
Surrender to the season. There will be bone-chilling cold, beautiful blizzards, and the wretched wintry
In this past year I’ve become acutely aware of the mounting stress that has been rising in our work culture. More than ever we’ve become a round-the-clock operation. Now, in a slumping economy, we are hounded with external pressures, overwhelmed with information overload, asked to deliver more with less, work longer hours, and have less personal time for renewal activities. What are the results I’m seeing from people in this past year?
Exhaustion, lack of focus, reduced health and
A plush chunk of talking bacon may not be exactly what your kids hope to find under the Christmas tree. But consider this: Instead of jousting to snag the latest video game or Barbie — and furnishing your children with the same stuff as their friends — you can give them a huggable doll shaped like breakfast meat.
Sure, it may seem counterintuitive, but as anyone who grew up playing with a Slinky, a Squirmle or Silly Putty can attest, it’s often the strangest toys, the ones that freak us out or make us squeal, that become our childhood favorites. They also allow kids to explore a culture through its toys, bringing the sense of discovery that comes with traveling right into your living room.
Indeed, there are toy manufacturers and home-crafters across the globe that cater to kids’ taste for the bizarre. A few of the odder toys out there seem geared to kids from certain
In a well-produced, documentary short film, writer and academic Pete Brook takes an odd trip around the United States: He travels what he calls a “hidden” network of American prisons, speaking with inmates and narrating his thoughts along the way.
Far from what we’ve come to expect from typical travel videography — there’s no time-lapse or tilt-shift here — the seven-minute film can still be thought of as travel journalism, with an admittedly large twist.
Put another way, the clip has much in common with the best travel writing: Stark landscapes, intriguing characters, local slang and unexplored places.
And it has one other feature that’s almost always present in the most riveting narratives: a mystery, the question of what happens next, that persists even after the story ends.
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com
We’ve known it for years. In fact, most of us have been claiming this would happen and were just waiting. Then the 2010 Census only confirmed what we already knew. There are 50.5 million residents of the United States that are of Hispanic or Latino origin, and more than half of the increase in the total
By Refugio Mata
So what does immigration have to do with Occupy Wall Street? Well, for starters, it’s all about corporate greed.As a blogger forProject Economic Refugee, I’ve been yelling at the top of my lungs since 2007 about the urgent need to re-focus our national conversation on immigration. It has not been easy.
The problem is that not at a lot of people are talking about one of the major root causes of our immigration problems: the displacement of people from their homelands as a consequence of policies like NAFTA or the austerity measures from the International Monetary Fund that have decimated livelihoods across entire industries. Take for example, the outrageous case of the Mexican farmers that ended up as undocumented immigrants in the U.S. after being displaced by genetically modified corn from the U.S.
In the fight for immigrant rights, we have witnessed powerful and inspiring moments of defiance against the status quo long before the Occupy Wall Street movement ever took
Okay, the year is galloping to a close. Here’s a rundown of LOTS of titles from the past three weeks. Keep scrolling!
RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES ($39.99 BluRay Combo or $29.98; FOX) — I did NOT spend the entire movie thinking, “What great special effects! Man, the apes mix in with the humans so convincingly!” Nope. Instead I was caught up in the character of Caesar (Andy Serkis), the result of human experiment who is raised with love but realizes he and his people are in fact in
Now that they have gathered more than half a million signatures on petitions to recall Gov. Scott Walker, recall organizers have upped the ante.
On Dec. 15, the same day Democratic Party Chair Mike Tate made the dramatic announcement that volunteers had gathered 507,533 signatures in just one month, state Democrats and United Wisconsin, the groups overseeing the recall effort, set a new goal of 720,277 signatures. That’s 33% of the 2010 general election turnout, as opposed to the 25% required by law to launch a recall.
But some activists say even that number is too low.
“My advice was always to talk about 1 million — to say, ‘We are one million strong,’” says social media and technology consultant Bryan Bliss, who works with the activist group Wisconsin
Treasure this past week in Washington. It’s not often — no, it never happens — that that consumers get a multitude of good tidings from Washington. Is it too much to hope that this is the start of a trend? Of course. The FCC then approved AT&T’s purchase of Qualcomm spectrum without strong interoperability (and poor media ownership rules, to boot.)
Still, think of
With Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich now the leading contenders for the Republican nomination, the doctrine of “American exceptionalism” — or, more precisely, President Obama’s alleged lack of belief in it — has become a key battleground in the 2012 presidential election. At a November debate in South Carolina, Romney launched a sharp attack: “We have a president now who thinks America is just another nation. America is an exceptional nation.” Ten days later, Romney accused Obama’s foreign policy of adhering to the view that “America’s just another nation with a flag.” “President Obama,” he continued, “seems to think that we’re going to have a global century, an Asian century.” Romney’s own view is that “America is an exceptional and unique nation … we have to have an American century, where America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.”
Gingrich, whose most recent book is entitled A Nation Like No Other: Why American Exceptionalism Matters (2011), is even more committed than Romney to placing the issue at the center of his
This is the travel image I took this year that received the most positive and loud feedback from friends, family and fans.
If you can’t tell, it’s Paris, La Tour Eiffel. Does such “voting” actually make it the best when it’s not my favorite photograph that I took while traveling this year? Who judges best? When it comes down to it, the reality of choosing anything to be best is usually a team effort and a collaboration. It’s also
Today Politifact Editor Bill Adair probably ruined his outlet’s chances of ever being taken seriously again as an objective debunker of political spin. What a shame. There’s a glaring need for somebody to play that role, and Politifact was in a unique position to fill it. Its parent newspaper is owned by a foundation, which should relieve them of some of the pressures that for-profit publishers place on editors.
Unfortunately, Bill Adair has ruined their chances of filling that role with a series of errors in judgment that culminated with today’s intemperate rant.
There are good and bad ways to respond when a media outlet’s criticized
It is clear from reading public comments attached to various articles and blogs on ABC’s upcoming new show Work It, which revolves around two masculine men forced by economic circumstances to seek work as women, that the general public does not comprehend why the transgender community is upset about it (also here, here, and here). (I expect similar comments to be attached to this post, so if you’re writing to say, “It’s just a joke,” save it.) If transgender people were on a full and equal footing with the rest of society, if we were completely respected as a minority group, if we had full protections under the law like those based on race or religion, then I suppose we could view it as a little good-natured ribbing and take our lumps the same as anyone else.
The problem is that we are not. Here are just some of the findings in a survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality. Transgender people surveyed:
Were four times more likely to have a household income of less than $10,000 a year
Had double the rate of unemployment
Had twice the rate of homelessness
Additionally, of the transgender people surveyed:
90 percent had experienced harassment or mistreatment on the job
47 percent had been fired, not hired, or denied promotion because of being transgender
71 percent had attempted to avoid discrimination by hiding their transition
16 percent had been forced to work in the underground economy
53 percent reported being harassed or disrespected in places of public accommodation
22 percent had been denied equal treatment by government agency or official
We are the most discriminated-against minority group in
Steve Doocy, soulmate to 30 Rock’s Kenneth Parcell and cheerleader-in-chief for the annual “War on Christmas” pity party at Fox News, posed an interesting question. Interviewing the group church ladies behind a “Merry Christmas from Jesus” billboard campaign, he asked them what their Lord and Savior would say if he showed up at this festive time of the year. “We thought and thought, and we thought maybe he’d say, ‘I miss hearing you say, “Merry Christmas,”‘” responded the grandmotherly woman in the Santa sweater.
Seems more likely to me the first words out of Jesus’ mouth would be “What the…???”
Nothing about Christmas would be the least bit recognizable to the Jewish itinerant preacher who was born, as near as anyone can estimate, sometime in the spring roughly 2,015 years ago. The holiday that fervent Foxers strive to defend has no Jewish roots at
Yesterday the European Central Bank (ECB) announced that it will hand out $645 billion in three-year loans to European banks, which the ECB printed out of thin air, like Monopoly money! The interest rate will be 1 percent per year.
The ECB will not be lending this money to the government of Greece, even though that government is running a budget deficit of just under 10 percent of GDP — and the Greek GDP dropped by 5 percent this year. The government of Greece is now paying 37 percent per year on its 10-year bonds, when it can borrow anything at all.
The ECB will not be lending this money to the people of Spain, even though official unemployment in Spain is now at 23 percent. Spain’s Economy Minister said recently that “Spain faces its deepest recession in half a century.” Tough luck; their Christmas tree has nothing under it.
And when the European banks get this $645 billion, to whom will the banks be lending? Anybody, or nobody. No strings
It’s almost 2012, and I for one am really looking forward to some wild off-road RV-driving with John Cusack as we try to outrun the apocalypse. You’re probably asking yourself, “What’s the point of making New Year’s resolutions if the world is just going to end?” That’s a great question. I like where your head is at. But if you listen closely to the trailer for Roland Emmerich’s Teen Choice Award-nominated film 2012, you’ll notice that the world isn’t supposed to end until December of 2012, meaning we’ve still got 12 more months to account for, so let’s make them
Recently, I was nosing around a local bookstore in search of a perfect Christmas read for my father-in-law. He’s a history buff; last year I gave him the stellar book Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. He’s still raving about it. What can I possibly give him this year to top that?
As I shopped, I was distracted by
Recent legislation from Governor Snyder and the Michigan state legislature has sought to strip away power from local municipalities and from the people. America was founded with a republican form of democratic government that creates layers of federal, state, and locally elected officials. It is intended that the citizens of the United States would have the most direct access and opinion on the matters and issues closest to them. In the past few months, the Michigan state government has be actively denying the citizens’ right to an American form of government.
At the top of the list is the whole concept of the Financial Manager, which is a hostile takeover of the people’s
Nota bene: 2012 is a critical year on the Baby Boomers’ timeline. In 2012, the oldest boomers will turn 66, the magic age at which they can claim the whole enchilada of the Social Security benefits they have earned and, as an added topping, the penalty for working and collecting benefits goes away. Big news, right?
Maybe, maybe not.
While it’s nice to be able to start tapping into the system you have paid into lo these many years, and the fact that Social Security recipients got a whopping 3.6 percent raise for 2012 (the first since 2009) may make that first check a bit sweeter, here’s the big “but” coming: About 10 million workers will be paying higher Social Security taxes in 2012 to afford the country’s largess.
The ceiling amount of a worker’s earnings that are subject to Social Security tax will increase in 2012 to $110,000, up from $106,800 this
As I alluded to last week, I got off to a bit of a rocky start with the Mission: Impossible movie series, with my initial outrage at how the first film in 1996 blowtorched the legacy of the TV show whose name it appropriated turning to apathy at how little of its name the 2000 sequel managed to embody. Thus, it really wasn’t until 2006, and director J.J. Abrams’ Mission: Impossible III, that I was willing to board the Tom Cruise-starring spy franchise, appreciating how it modernized key facets of its brand while preserving those things that made it unique (a maneuver Abrams repeated three years later with his canny Star Trek restart).
Sadly, despite marking a considerable qualitative uptick, that third Mission underperformed in relation to its two predecessors, and so when it came time to embark on the fourth installment (which dispenses with Roman numerals in favor of a sub-head — the cinematic equivalent of fudging your birth date to seem younger), the mission placed in front of studio and star was to convince audiences that this 15-year old series still had something fresh to offer, and that Cruise could still put butts in seats even after a stream of bad publicity over the years accumulated like barnacles on his once-spotless superstar bona fides.
Like alter-ego Ethan Hunt, Cruise drafted an array of faces new and familiar to help him accomplish this. The good news starts with the fact that Abrams returned (in a producing capacity) to help shepherd the story, and the better news comes in the unexpected choice of director Brad Bird, making an impressive live action entre after a career spent crafting some of the finest animation ever produced, from early (read: good) Simpsons to The Iron Giant to The
The history of Hanukkah squeezes us between two competing narratives: one of idealization and one of consternation.
The former encourages us to view Hanukkah as a holiday of liberation, when the Maccabees overthrew their Hellenistic occupiers in pursuit of faith and freedom. The Jews wanted a homeland free of outside ruler and were willing to pick up arms in self-defense.
The latter emphasizes the un-miraculous nature of the conflict and the fact that, when “free” during the Hasmonean period (which followed the Maccabean conquest), Jewish leaders at times engaged in programs of forced conversion and other unsavory acts. Freedom from Hellenistic domination did not liberate Jews from internal strife and harsh rulers.
Perhaps it is because of this awkward duality in our historical narratives that we often retreat to the broader themes and rituals of Hanukkah rather than the complexities of its underlying history. Don’t argue about what happened, this approach