Archive for January 7th, 2012
While the bluefin tuna is widely acknowledged to be a threatened fish, the price paid Thursday for one 593-pound catch is more a show of nationalism and marketing saavy than a sign of how endangered the tuna has become.Bluefin tuna is a long-lived, highly migratory fish prized by sushi eaters for its red meaty flesh. The Eastern and Western Atlantic stocks of bluefin tuna have been so severely plundered that they were proposed for listing as an endangered species in 2009 – a designation strongly opposed by Japan, which consumes around 80 percent of the bluefin caught in the world. A recent investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists found that the black market trade in the Eastern Atlantic stock included nearly one in three fish caught.It would stand to figure that the price paid by Kiyoshi Kimura, a Japanese restaurateur, would have been far higher had these black market fish not been driving down the price. But his big bid has more to do with national pride and salesmanship than the economics of scarcity.Every year, the first auction of a Japanese-caught Pacific bluefin tuna attracts the attention of the sushi-loving nation (continue reading…)
While tens of thousands of Mexicans have lost their lives in the ongoing drug war, millions more have become devoted to death. Saint Death (Santa Muerte) is a skeletal folk saint whose cult has proliferated on both sides of the border over the past decade. The Grim Reapress (she’s a female figure) has rapidly become one of the most popular and powerful saints on both the Mexican and American religious landscapes. Although condemned as satanic by both Catholic and Protestant churches, she appeals to millions of Mexicans and Latin American immigrants in the U.S (continue reading…)
At the same time that Rick Santorum’s 19-year-old daughter Elizabeth emerged on the campaign trail talking about “gay friends” who support her father, Santorum’s former Senate communications director, a gay man named Robert Traynham, popped up on “Hardball” defending Santorum. This, as Santorum continues to get booed and jeered at campaign appearances all over New Hampshire for his stance on marriage equality.
More interesting is how Traynham, now a political analyst with a show on the Comcast Network in DC, seems to have previously purged his former boss from his past, perhaps seeing him as radioactive to a career in media. Pittsburgh blogger Sue Kerr had written a blog post just a week ago (before Traynham surfaced in the media) titled, “What Ever Happened to the Gay Guy Who Worked for Santorum?” in which she noted that Traynham has gone on to an illustrious career but doesn’t mention anywhere in his bio on his website that he worked for Santorum:
Traynham in fact only says in his bio that he worked for a “member of the US Senate.” It seems odd that Trayham would cover up his past for severals years, only to come out now — unless perhaps Santorum or his campaign reached out just when they need to soften the candidate’s image, no matter how ridiculous an effort that may be.
Traynham claimed to Chris Matthews in a jaw-dropping interview that, while Santorum disagrees with him on the issue of marriage — for religious reasons — he has “never ever, heard him say anything” against gay sex, and that he would “never work for him” if he did (continue reading…)
From the Caribbean to South Africa to Western Europe to China, it’s easy for avid equestrians to add some horseback riding into almost any trip — you can even ride horses in New York’s Central Park. But why not experience something more than a simple follow-the-leader trail ride?
Experience unique gaits, watch exciting festivals, marvel at the power and beauty of the equine acrobat and explore ancient landscapes best viewed from the back of a horse. Each of these trips offer something more for horse lovers who want a memorable experience with a new four-legged friend. Of course, if your traveling companions aren’t such horse-fanatics, there’s still plenty of reason for them to visit these particular places too.
Learn more about animals and travel:
Exotic Animals of the World that You Can Ride
7 Affordable Places to Go on an African Safari
Endangered Species You Can Find Outside of a Zoo
Watching a Medieval Bareback Race in Italy
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The Tuscan town of Siena has been holding its Palio since medieval times (continue reading…)
After 10 long years of wavering and indecision, the World Trade Center powers that be have finally agreed on a master plan. The cavernous hole known as Ground Zero has a new group of skyscrapers transforming New York City’s downtown skyline. A brand-new, beautiful and livable urban area has surfaced with innovative and fresh restaurants, hotels and public spaces.
Reflecting Absence, dedicated on September 11, 2011, is the contemplative memorial which marks the footprints of the old towers; the building of One World Trade Center is moving along at an encouraging pace. It will reach its 1,776-foot apex 2012.
I had the opportunity to visit the 9/11 Memorial recently, reserving my free timed pass to visit ahead of time, due to ongoing construction on surrounding WTC projects (continue reading…)
New Year’s resolutions: the pledges we make for the new year to atone for our sins of the year before. Maybe you told a few white lies, partied a little too hard or claimed that Justin Bieber was your baby daddy (actually, we think that may have just been her).
But that’s all in the past starting in 2012, the year that’s going to be the best ever! Not only have we started working on our own resolutions, but we’ve come up with a few for some hotels and their wild, raucous — and sometimes home-wrecking — guests.
Check out our resolutions list that’ll set these hotels (and their notorious guests) on the straight and narrow.
For Ashton Kutcher at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego: Be faithful to your (ex-)wife.
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Everyone now knows that Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s six-year marriage is heading to Splitsville. There were numerous cryptic tweets from @mrskutcher pre-divorce announcement and rumor has it that news of Ashton Kutcher’s infidelity (that he never explicitly denied) was the main cause of the break-up. Back in October, 22-year-old Sara Leal told US Weekly that she had a one-time fling with Kutcher — on the night of his sixth wedding anniversary no less — after meeting him at a party at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego (continue reading…)
Recently, I had the privilege of working with the Exalted Warrior Foundation to bring yoga to wounded veterans at Haley VA Hospital. I would love to inspire everyone to give back in their own way by sharing my experience and ideas for adapting yoga for people with big challenges. This work is for anyone with a caring heart who wants to make a difference. Maybe you will choose to share the gift of yoga as well!
What drew me to working with people’s trauma was having worked my own way through trauma and realized that there is a way out of these hells (continue reading…)
If you want to really win friends and influence people at work:
Be on time and prepared for meetings. That alone will make you shine like a star.
Turn in work ahead of schedule. Forget procrastination, get things done early
Turn in work error-free. I need to practice this one, if you haven’t noticed that my columns invariably have some typos or grammatical errors.
Return email and voicemails the same business day (if only to acknowledge receipt of it with a message telling them when you’ll get back to them) (continue reading…)
President Obama’s campaign team should spend big bucks now on massive television ads to define Mitt Romney as the job killing rich snob who favors privatizing Medicare that he is. Miss this moment as the GOP frontrunner is introduced to millions of Americans and Democrats risk letting Romney define himself as he sees fits.
When President Bill Clinton was up for reelection his team wisely chose to spend millions defining Bob Dole very early in the GOP campaign, long before the eventual Republican nominee was a shoo-in. Most famously, and somewhat ironically considering today’s events, Clinton’s operatives hammered Dole as a partner with Newt Gingrich’s vow to make sure that Medicare would “wither on the vine.”
Dole never really recovered from the early Clinton onslaught. Romney wouldn’t either, if the Obama team has the sense to go for it now (continue reading…)
LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant’s injured right hand looks like a boxing glove, and his fellow Lakers’ legs are exhausted from a brutal early-season schedule.That’s still not enough to make Bryant flinch while carrying Los Angeles to yet another home victory over the Golden State Warriors.Bryant scored 26 of his 39 points in a dynamic second half, Pau Gasol added 17 points and 11 rebounds, and the weary Lakers hung on in the fourth quarter for a 97-90 victory over their upstate rivals Friday night.Matt Barnes had 16 points and six rebounds before fouling out for the Lakers, who won their fifth straight home game while playing their NBA-high ninth game in 13 days. Los Angeles bounced back from a passionless first half with another strong effort from Bryant, who has three straight 30-point games.”The important thing was for us to try to pick up our energy on both ends of the floor and play with a little bit more life,” Bryant said.Bryant’s two missed layups in the opening minutes were another reminder of the 13-time All-Star’s struggles with a torn ligament in his right wrist. Before the game, Lakers coach Mike Brown acknowledged Bryant is receiving painkilling injections before every game, but said he isn’t worried about Bryant’s ability to hold up during the jam-packed NBA schedule.”We went through stretches where we couldn’t score, and so he carried us,” Brown said. “That’s what great ones do.”With 7-footers Andrew Bynum and Gasol openly struggling with exhaustion, most of the Lakers’ offensive burden fell on Bryant. He handled it with his usual vicious effectiveness — even if he didn’t approve of his own methods.”I shot 28 times. I shot too much,” Bryant said.Golden State led 39-35 after an unsightly first half for both teams, who combined for 23 turnovers. Bryant heated up after halftime, scoring 17 points during the third quarter on a variety of jumpers and drives.The Lakers then outlasted the injury-depleted Warriors in the fourth quarter for their fifth win in seven games.Monta Ellis scored 18 points and David Lee had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors, who have lost seven straight road games to the Lakers. Golden State dropped to 2-5 before returning to Oakland for a three-game homestand.”A lot of the shots they were making in the fourth quarter were Kobe Bryant fadeaways from 17 feet,” Lee said. “That’s a tough shot to defend. He had a very good game tonight, but he was really the only guy that killed us statistically. It’s tough when he has a night like that.”Rookie Klay Thompson scored 14 points as Golden State played without high-scoring guard Stephen Curry, who sprained his right ankle Wednesday in San Antonio, and center Andris Biedrins, who also has an injured right ankle.Nate Robinson scored nine points two days after signing with the Warriors, who scored eight consecutive points to trim the Lakers’ late 11-point lead to 85-82 with 3 1/2 minutes left. Los Angeles responded with Barnes’ fast-break layup sandwiched between two quick baskets from Gasol, putting the Lakers back in control.Kwame Brown had 13 points for the Warriors while enduring the usual cascade of boos from the Staples Center crowd for the former Lakers big man. Golden State hasn’t beaten the Lakers at Staples Center since March 23, 2008, losing 32 of the last 35 road meetings overall.”We’ve just got to get tough mentally,” Brown said. “We have such a young team, and we don’t have a real superstar. When the refs starting biting the whistle, we’ve just got to get tougher. They’ve earned the right to get those calls by winning championships.”The Lakers’ ineptitude from 3-point range is among their biggest problems. After a franchise-record 0-for-11 performance in Portland one night earlier, the Lakers missed their first six 3-pointers against the Warriors, running their skid to 0 for 22, before Troy Murphy hit a 3 late in the second quarter.Game notes Thompson is the son of Mychal Thompson, the longtime Lakers big man and current broadcaster for the club. Klay Thompson scored a Pac-10 tournament-record 43 points for Washington State at Staples Center last March. … Lakers F Josh McRoberts missed his third consecutive game with a sprained left big toe. Barnes started in his place. … Fans near courtside included Charlize Theron, Vanessa Hudgens and Warriors owner Peter Guber.
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Joe Adams had his fourth punt return for a touchdown this season and Arkansas (No. 6 BCS, No. 7 AP) matched a school record with its 11th victory, beating Kansas State (No. 8 BCS, No. 11 AP) by a 29-16 score in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic on Friday night.All-SEC quarterback Tyler Wilson threw two touchdown passes, including a 9-yarder to Kobi Hamilton with 4 minutes left in the third quarter after Kansas State (10-3) scored 16 consecutive points.Adams’ 51-yard return early in the second quarter gave the Razorbacks (11-2) a 10-0 lead before they even gained a first down. It was the first punt return for a touchdown in the Cotton Bowl in 51 years.
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Arkansas’ only losses were to No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama, the SEC West rivals who will play in the BCS national championship game.Kansas State also was trying to match its school record with 11 victories, but still finished a surprising season in coach Bill Snyder’s second Wildcats turnaround. K-State won 11 games six times during a seven-year span in Snyder’s first tenure before his three-year retirement, and almost reached that mark again in his third season back.Wildcats quarterback Collin Klein tied the Big 12 record with his 27th rushing touchdown this season and matched the FBS record for quarterbacks.After being held to 15 yards on 12 carries in the first half, Klein finished the opening drive of the third quarter with a 6-yard TD run that got the Wildcats to 19-16. That came after Klein had a 15-yard run on the previous play.That matched the Big 12 record for rushing touchdowns held by 1998 Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams of Texas. The only other FBS quarterback with 27 rushing touchdowns in a season was Ricky Dobbs for Navy in 2009.The only other 11-win seasons for the Razorbacks were by the Lou Holtz-coached team in 1977 and coach Frank Broyles’ only undefeated season at Arkansas in 1964.A member of that 1964 team that won the Cotton Bowl over Nebraska was Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys owner who attended the game in his $1.2 billion stadium that opened in 2009. He was part of a loud crowd of 80,956.The Cotton Bowl was the only non-BCS game with both teams in the top 15 of the Bowl Championship Series standings — Arkansas came in sixth, Kansas State eighth. It also is the only bowl featuring the SEC vs. the Big 12, the top two conferences in the BCS computer rankings.Adams matched the SEC single-season record with his fourth punt return for a TD. He was the only FBS player this season with multiple punt return TDs, along with rushing and receiving scores.After fielding the ball near midfield, Adams took a few steps back before squirting through a gap past several defenders. He got all the way to the opposite sideline and got his path cleared by one last block from Javontee Herndon downfield.The Razorbacks didn’t even get a first down until 12 1/2 minutes left in the first half when Dennis Johnson opened a drive with a 28-yard run. That drive ended with the second of Zach Hocker’s three field goals, a 22-yarder.Arkansas led 19-0 when Wilson threw a 45-yard TD pass to Jarius Wright with 4 minutes left in the first half.Kansas State, which has lost its last four bowl games since beating Arizona State in the 2002 Holiday Bowl, blocked the extra point and Nigel Malone returned it for two points.It was 19-9 at halftime after Klein threw a 3-yard TD pass to Andrew McDonald with 26 seconds left in the first half. That score was set up after Wilson was sacked by Adam Davis and fumbled at the Razorbacks 13.Wildcats defensive end Meshak Williams was injured at the end of the first half, when he made helmet-to-helmet contact with Emmanuel Lamur when both were trying to tackle Wilson, who put his head down to avoid the hit.Williams remained down on the field for several minutes being tended to by medical personnel and then placed on a stretcher. He gave a thumbs-up signal when being placed on a cart, then when he was being driving off the field extended his right arm high and flashed a Wildcat sign.Kansas State officials gave no updates on his specific injury or condition.
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ORLANDO, Fla. — Derrick Rose and Luol Deng each scored 21 points and the Chicago Bulls held off a fourth-quarter surge by Orlando to beat the Magic 97-83 on Friday night for their sixth straight victory.Carlos Boozer added 20 points for Chicago, which led by as many as 17 before the lead was trimmed to three. The Bulls closed the game on a 17-6 run.
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Dwight Howard led the Magic with 28 points and 15 rebounds.The Bulls (7-1) are off to their best start since winning 12 of 13 to open the 1996-97 season. The latest victory began a brutal stretch for Chicago that includes seven games in nine nights.Orlando (5-3) lost at home for the first time this season. It was the Magic’s first game against a 2010-11 playoff team since their opener at Oklahoma City.Rose went through some scoring lulls but kept Chicago’s offense on schedule, handing out 10 assists and coming within two rebounds of a triple-double.The Bulls dominated inside and held a 46-37 rebounding edge. They also had 27 assists.The Magic bench, which had been playing well this season, was 3 for 15 from the field.The game featured several momentum shifts in the first three quarters.The Bulls briefly opened a 17-point lead early in the third before three straight Magic 3-pointers pulled them within 62-54.That came after Chicago built a 10-point lead at halftime.The Bulls made their early run even though Rose was held scoreless in the second quarter. Kyle Korver picked up the slack with nine points and Boozer added eight, including a jumper at the halftime horn.Rose got off to a strong start with 12 first-quarter points.The Magic jumped out to a 10-2 lead, prompting a quick Bulls timeout. But Chicago responded with a spurt of its own that included six straight points by Rose to tie it at 17.Orlando regained its footing, outscoring the Bulls 10-9 the rest of the quarter thanks to six points by Howard, who was 6 for 8 in the period with 14 points and five rebounds.Game notes Bulls G Richard Hamilton suited up but did not play with a sore left groin. … Magic swingman Quentin Richardson was inactive, recovering from a chemical burn on his ankle after a self-treatment mishap in which he iced his sore ankle with Icy Hot and then applied ice to it. Rookie G DeAndre Liggins also didn’t dress after having an allergic reaction to shellfish. … HBO’s “Real Sports” will feature a profile this month on Magic coach Stan Van Gundy and younger brother Jeff, who are sons of a coaching father. Stan said there was “probably not” any doubt they would both become coaches. “I’ve never really considered anything else,” he said. Jeff was a courtside TV analyst for Friday night’s game and the former NBA coach’s name often comes up when there are coaching vacancies. Asked what he thought Jeff’s chances of getting back on the sideline were, Stan said “50-50.” “He likes what he’s doing now, but I think he misses it,” he said. “I think he misses the competition and the whole process of coaching. So it’s certainly possible.”
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Welcome back, everyone, to our weekly political roundup! We’ve been away for three weeks, two of which were taken up by our annual year-end political awards columns, and last week was way too close to New Year’s Eve to think straight (that’s our excuse anyway), so we just tossed up a frivolous column to fill the space. But it’s a new year, so it’s time to reapply nose to grindstone and get down to brass tacks and all those other Puritan work-ethic metaphors.
I have to say, while the Republicans have been having their three-ring primary circus, President Obama has been looking better and better. Both in comparison to the Republican field (of nightmares, so to speak), and also because Obama’s been making progress on his own.
The best news came today, as the official unemployment rate came down to 8.5 percent. This is one of those things that actually filters out of the wonktastic universe (in which we all live) to the American-at-large Joe-Sixpack public (continue reading…)
Early morning, early in a new year. The fog has attached itself to every building downtown, like scarves draped across shoulders. It’s cold, but not cold enough, so I strap on my shoes and decide to go for a run through the town.
Almost by divine hand, I head towards the waterfront, setting my sights on the Ferry Building (continue reading…)
Most men are stoic when it comes to physical pain and are willing to hang tough until it subsides. If that doesn’t work, they have no problem seeking out the most effective physical therapy to help them heal quickly and get back in their game, which for some men is just being able to walk without pain.
However, emotional pain is a very different matter. Many of the same men who’re in touch with and take excellent care of their bodies have no clue how to process and heal from their emotional traumas (continue reading…)
Why are there no banking statesmen is a question I’ve asked before , and it is the unstated question underlying a recent Financial Times editorial: “Restoring Faith in the Banking System.” While the editorial focuses on the “culture within banking institutions,” the real problem is leadership or, more accurately, the utter lack of enlightened leadership in finance today.
The leaders in banking and finance today are unanimous in their unrestrained zeal to fight financial reform as hard as possible while whining about being picked on and not appreciated. The just-won’t-shut-up JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is the poster child for this ignorant and, ultimately, self-defeating, narcissistic reasoning, but he is by no means alone.
With so many worldwide still suffering from the worse economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, with un- and underemployment and foreclosures at historic highs, with poverty rising and the middle class declining, with hopelessness again ever-present at too many family tables, with dreams deferred or just dead, rich-beyond-Croesus Wall Street bankers are self-centeredly complaining about how tough they have it. It’s enough to make any decent, honorable, honest, self-respecting person sick (continue reading…)
Our family will always remember this holiday season as the time Sugar died. Sugar was a mixed breed, mostly lab/border-collie type. She exhibited the best character traits of every gene she carried and seemed to bear none of any breed’s drawbacks. She was a real credit to her species.
A member of my daughter’s household, Sugar was one of my “grand dogs,” for whom it was my privilege to dog-sit if her parents went somewhere she was not welcome (continue reading…)
Today I want to give you my skunk rinse recipe, and here’s hoping you never have to use it!
If, heaven forbid, your dog or cat is ever sprayed by a skunk, you should have this recipe on hand. The sooner you apply the solution to your pet’s fur, the sooner he’ll get relief and smell better.
Skunk Rinse Recipe
Tomato juice isn’t nearly as effective as this recipe, and it’s easy to follow.
In a pail, mix:
1 quart hydrogen peroxide (the 3 percent hydrogen peroxide variety)
cup baking soda
2 teaspoons Dawn dishwashing liquid
If you have a large breed dog, you may need to double, triple or even quadruple the mixture.
Wear dishwashing or other household gloves if you like during the whole de-skunking process.
Don’t wet down your pet. Apply the mixture to your pet’s dry coat from the collar back toward the tail. Don’t pour it near the eyes because the hydrogen peroxide solution can burn them.
Lather the mixture into your pet’s coat and skin (continue reading…)
I’m a sucker just like everyone else. I’ve proclaimed to the universe and to the God-of-New-Year’s that I would lose 10 pounds, keep my house tidy, go to the gym three times a week and only have french fries once a month. I’ve tried swearing off of just about everything over the years. It’s never worked (continue reading…)
As a young writer in my 20s, one of my mentors, bestselling author and sociologist Joseph Chilton Pearce, said to me, “When I really want to learn about something, I write a book on it. Then the real research begins as I begin to hear people’s stories, and huge amounts of information begins to comes straight to my doorstep. Then I can write an even better book the next time!”
This is my experience. After writing seven books on the gritty areas of spiritual life and hearing readers’ responses, and then opening my therapy practice focused on spiritual practitioners, I have found myself privy and privilege to a vast body of information and emerging collective themes (continue reading…)
It was anything but a normal school day when former ambassador Alan Keyes made a campaign stop at Manchester Memorial High School ahead of the 2000 presidential primary. Students joined faculty and staff in the library to listen to the social conservative’s stump speech, but the appearance quickly turned bizarre when a student asked him a question about gay rights.
“You’re a victim of homosexual propaganda,” responded Keyes.
Keyes fortunately received only 6 percent of the vote in the Republican primary, but this exchange is indicative of the spectacle that descends upon the Granite State every four years. It is an honor to return to my hometown this January as one of the throngs of journalists who will descend upon the Queen City to cover it.
As a volunteer for Arizona Senator John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign, I was among the countless Granite Staters and others from across the country who readily embraced this quadrennial rite of political passage. I was among a group of volunteers who stood along Elm Street in downtown Manchester in subfreezing weather on a Sunday morning and proclaimed “We’re freezing for a reason!” as we held campaign posters (continue reading…)
Fewer things are more all-American than the Super Bowl, Fourth of July parades, and Miss America. Most of us grew up watching as these gorgeous women teetered on stage in conservative swimsuits and dazzling evening gowns. I clearly recall the interview portion, which is where you hear the contestants espouse their views about starving children or literacy or some other safe cause. I never thought I’d see the day a lesbian was in the ranks talking about human rights, marriage equality, and gay teen suicide.. (continue reading…)
When ordinary people say “no” to injustice, the world changes. It does not change without effort; meaningful change requires collective action, vision, and organization. Change under the law requires strategy and great attorneys. But without the courage of ordinary people who refuse to accept inequality, change is not possible.
Three ordinary people who stood up against injustice and became heroes died in the past two months (continue reading…)
Although your intentions for 2012 are strong, you may realize that your past New Year’s resolutions haven’t delivered the results you want and need. Obviously it’s not a lack of desire because I believe you truly want to make change, but life gets in the way, doesn’t it? Nevertheless, I believe you have all that you need to succeed, but like most of us, you need a path to get through the obstacles to your success. As Peter Drucker said,
Making New Year’s resolutions that last requires a smarter approach. Too often they are set in a few moments rather than giving the process the serious attention it deserves — or, better said, that you deserve (continue reading…)