Archive for August 29, 2012

Hurricane Isaac Hits the Gulf Coast

Hurricane Isaac has reached Louisiana, only a day to Hurricane Katrina’s anniversary. With strong winds of 80mph, the hurricane made a landfall to the southeast of the state on Tuesday evening covering several towns.

The National Hurricane Center has classified the Hurricane Isaac as Category 1. They do not expect it to cause much damage but the hurricane is carefully being monitored and analyzed to prevent a recurrence of the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina.

Less than seven years since the Katrina disaster, this storm has caused anxiety in Louisiana. Both tourists and locals have heeded warnings and left town, while others have taken residence in boarded-up houses. Residents have been warned to be prepared as the hurricane is likely to be accompanied by stronger winds, heavy rains, storm surges and flooding.

METAIRIE, LA - AUGUST 28:  Louisiana Governor ...

METAIRIE, LA – AUGUST 28: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Mitch Landrieu, the mayor of New Orleans argued that this storm is quite a concern. This is because it is occurring during the night, which is hampering response units. It has also caught most residents by surprise.

Authorities are concerned at the slow moving pace of the storm. The model at the “National Hurricane Center” shows the storms moving forward at a slower speed and this should concern people living in Louisiana. They fear this could mean the storm hovering over the city for some time, causing heavy rains and much flooding. Officials are preparing for evacuation in case the storm continues unabated.

In Charleston, motorists were stranded as Hurricane Isaac caused heavy rains that flooded the streets. Flooding has also been reported in Mount Pleasant and North Charleston. It is believed that these rains will continue into Thursday but is expected to be less than what it is now.

Although authorities do not expect a Category 1 storm to cause a repeat of the Katrina, precautions are being taken to ensure there is less damage and loss of life. The residents of Louisiana have been told to keep off streets that are likely to be flooded.

President Obama has assured the nation that action is being taken to ensure resident’s safety. He has acknowledged that the nation was experiencing a huge storm. He urged the residents to heed directions offered by the “Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

Flooded I-10/I-610 interchange and surrounding...

Flooded I-10/I-610 interchange from Hurricane Katrina (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the failure of the levees during hurricane Katrina, more than $ 13 billion was used in constructing floodwalls, gates, spillways and pumps in New Orleans. Officials expect the new levees to hold through this storm. However, nothing is being taken to chance and authorities are getting prepared in case of a need to evacuate residents.

Further, shelters have been set up in Louisiana. Millions of bottles of water, packaged meals and traps have been stockpiled in preparation for any eventualities. Residents can also get up to date information, developments of the storm and follow along through online resources and news websites. These are posts updated hourly as the storm develops. There are also safety tips, links and resources that can be accessed online to keep the residents informed and prepared.

Top 5 Career Paths for 2012

The negative impact the global economic troubles have had on the worker cannot be underestimated. Many otherwise successful jobs have been terminated and others are concerned about the future of their careers. Despite the lack of available employment opportunities, it has been understood that some skills are in short supply and this translates to well-paying careers. Such careers are in high demand, pay well and have low unemployment levels.

Below are FIVE promising career choices for 2012:


With an annual average salary of more than $300,000 being an actuary is perhaps one of the best careers for 2012. A bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Science or from a related field plus various certifications is what it takes to be an actuary.

Actuaries are individuals who analyze the likelihood of an event or outcome occurring. Actuaries work for various companies in evaluating risks and advise on the best way to avoid negative situations so as to ensure profitability. Excellent analytical and mathematical skills are necessary for any actuary. There are very many actuary jobs in the market today which do not match the number of job seekers in this category. This is therefore one of the best careers for 2012.

Life as a Consultant

Life as a Consultant (Photo credit: Ikhlasul Amal)

IT Security Consultant

The typical annual salary of an experienced IT Security Consultant can be as high as $200,000 and this makes IT Consultancy one of the best careers for 2012. A bachelor’s degree and optional certificates from Cisco and Microsoft are required for one to get the job. These individuals are in high demand in businesses which protect their client’s network as well as stored information. They ensure the information is secured from unauthorized access.

Physician Assistant

A Physician Assistant earns more than $180,000 per year and is thus a lucrative career with great prospects. A Masters Degree and Licensure are the minimum qualifications for getting the job. A Physician Assistant works in various clinics, hospitals and private practice alone or with a medical doctor. Many of them work in the rural areas and thus make access to medical services easier for this important segment of the population. Some take on extra training leading to specializing in areas for instance pediatrics or emergency medicine among others.

Marketing Consultant

With an average income of about $ 190,000, a marketing consultant is yet another of those best careers we rarely notice. One is required to have a bachelor’s degree plus a strategic mind to fit in this career. A marketing consultant’s role is development and implementation of strategies aimed at increasing the sales of a company’s products. One can be self employed or employed within the marketing department of an organization.

Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical Engineers earn as much as $ 160,000 per year and are consequently well paid professionals. A bachelor’s degree from a relevant field is what it takes to take on this job. Biomedical Engineering is concerned with improvements in the research, practice and administration of clinical medicine. Biomedical Engineers therefore create artificial organs& limbs, drug therapies, medical instruments and medical technologies. The demand of biomedical engineers is expected to increase in the future making it one of the best careers of our time.

These are among the best careers for 2012 and beyond. It is always a good idea to gain skills in the fields of technology, construction, entertainment, marketing and finance. These are services that are always in demand and need hard workers. It’s important to remember that if you provide quality products and services then you will be wanted in the workplace for employment opportunities. If you are unsure of the type of work you are interested, there are a variety of career aptitude tests online.

Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney

As presidential candidates reach the end of their campaigns, the time comes for them to pick their vice presidential nominees. Choosing a running mate can have a huge impact on the outcome of the election. In the previous presidential election, McCain’s choice of a female candidate, Sarah Palin, seemed like a smart choice that was sure to court the female vote. However, Palin ended up hurting McCain’s campaign and contributed to his loss. The current Republican presidential candidate has learned from the past and spent a great deal of time and consideration in choosing his running mate.

After weeks of speculation, Romney announced that Wisconsin representative Paul Ryan would be his running mate. This choice makes a sharp contrast to President Obama’s bid for reelection, especially on the economy and the debt. Paul Ryan has gained a reputation for being a budget slasher and a firm Republican.

After announcing that Ryan would be the candidate, both men began a tour of the swing states Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina. In all of these stops, Romney praised Ryan for his leadership abilities and his strong stance on the budget. Romney also made it a point to hammer the president about his recent comments on small businesses in the now infamous “you didn’t build that” speech.

Romney’s choice for vice president is a strong move that he hopes will regain campaign points that he has lost in recent polls. The public seems to be focusing on his tax returns and his tenure at the Bain Capital equity firm. By choosing Ryan and pointing to his focus on building a balanced budget, Romney hopes to rid himself of scrutiny and move forward in the election.

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Soon after the announcement, Democrats were prepared with statements on Ryan’s budget proposals which the Democrats declared would help millionaires and hurt the senior population. The most common statement was that the balanced-budget plan proposed by Paul Ryan would increase the taxes on the middle class. They also declared that Ryan’s conservative views were not in line with most American’s values and would hurt the country in terms of women’s health and civil rights. The upcoming election is going to be focused on the budget and the economy and will certainly be one to watch.

Whether a Democrat or a Republican, it’s easy to see that Paul Ryan makes a formidable political opponent. As a seven-term congressman, he is used to the rhetoric used among politicians and is a gifted public speaker capable of showing a strong public image. After being introduced as the GOP vice presidential nominee, Ryan made a speech that admitted President Obama had inherited a hard situation. He went on to state numerous failures in President Obama’s agenda. Ryan is a sincere candidate who makes harsh criticisms, however, he presents a mature and measured person to audiences, a sharp contrast to the often awkward Biden.

Paul Ryan is a strong candidate for the GOP party. He contributes strongly to the Romney campaign and the election is going to be a close battle.

Iraq ends Earthquake Rescue

Hundreds of villages in Iran were flattened by an earthquake that occurred yesterday in the northwest. Today, the country wrapped up rescue efforts to save the people who were affected by the incident. Officials came up with a new toll of 1,380 injured and 227 dead in the incident.

Moustafa Mohammad Najjar, Iranian Interior Minister, told state television that rescue and search operations were officially stopped. He added that the government was now committed to ensuring the survivors’ needs in terms of food and shelter were going to be handled. He further conveyed the newer and more precise toll than the one provided by his ministry earlier. Meanwhile, local officials were verifying information that was gathered initially during the first hectic hours after the disaster occurred yesterday.

According to the United States Geological Survey, the first earthquake had registered on the moment magnitude scale at a strong 6.4. The US Geological Survey is used to monitor international seismic activity. The second, registered at 6.3, followed about 11 minutes later.

The largest city in the area, Tabriz, and surrounding towns were lucky to experience relatively minor damage. However, a large number of outlying villages which are mainly made of weaker materials like concrete bricks and mud were decimated.

The Interior Minister said that out of the 600 villages found in the zone, about half of them were destroyed or damaged. He added that the President had given orders for the reconstruction of the homes to begin. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said it was important for home construction to be started immediately to prevent locals from exposure to harsh winter conditions which normally occur in the region towards the end of the year.

The earthquakes left homeless an estimated 16,000 people. Roads in the area were seen to be congested with a wide range of emergency vehicles including ambulances. At the same time, Red Crescent trucks ferrying tents were seen plying the route.

A highlight by rapid rescue operation showed village residents knew each other quite well. Though the buildings were small, they knew exactly where to look. All the same, there were many tragedy stories.

In the village of Mirza Ali Kandi, a 13 yea-old girl (by the name of Zeinab) outside a Red Crescent tent told AFP her experience during the earthquake. She said she saw her 16 year-old sister and 8 year-old brother die in front of her eyes.

Zeinab said she was outside their home playing when the first quake hit. She ran inside the house to look for her brother only to see him under a huge a pile of rubble. She tried to get him out of the rubble in vain. During her rescue efforts, she heard her sister scream. When she turned, she saw her sister had a big stone on her head and this is when she decided to run outside their home. She continued by adding that she wished she was in the same predicament as her brother and sister. In conclusion, she said other people who experienced the disaster were more fortunate. There were other horror stories being told by survivors who were able to coherently recount what happened during the disaster.

Popular Fashion Trends this Summer

Every individual wants to step out in style and look beautiful. With the fashion trends changing from one year to another, one would have to keep up with the latest fashion trends. Just like the previous year, you can easily find the latest fashion trends for 2012.

The latest fashion trends will always be the most popular trends. One of the most popular highlights for girls this year this year is the use of soft colored clothing. They are available in various designs and styles. Peppy colors like pink, yellow, blue and green are the preferred choice.

Bitru Fariel - Eco Fashion Week AW 2012

Bitru Fariel – Eco Fashion Week AW 2012 (Photo credit: Jason Hargrove)

With the increase in concern for the environment, people are also opting for eco-friendly clothing. Currently, consumers are opting for eco-friendly fabric or clothing that is manufactured using eco-friendly methods. Cotton and bamboo are some of the materials preferred for making eco-friendly patterns. Another popular trend is the use of mix style clothing. Color tones of the trousers and shirts you are wearing need to be matched. With this in mind, the 80’s look may be making a comeback. A good number of fashion designers and stores are offering 80’s punk dresses and picking several up can give you a stylish look.

For girls this year, flower dresses are becoming extremely popular. Floral prints are available in a variety from jeans to gowns to skirt. Animal prints are also making a comeback in 2012. Most of the premier fashion stores are selling animal prints. Popularity of short skirts is still high with their availability varying in terms of materials, sizes and designs. Some of the leading variations in skirts are bubbles, twirls and tutus. An important part in the latest trends is the lace styled Victorian clothes (very popular among girls).

Latest fashion trends are sometimes followed blindly by people. Since everyone has their own style and personality, one would need to buy clothing that is comfortable and fashionable.

Sushil Kumar Brings Home a Silver Medal

It has been a summer of mixed feelings. India, a country whose voice is always ready to reverberate in the world, has put up a hit-and-miss show at the London Olympics 2012. But while there has been much to decry, there is much to laud as well. As the parties begin tonight after the closing ceremony, India raises a toast to Sushil Kumar. This young and dynamic freestyle wrestler may not have struck gold by losing to fellow-finalist Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu. However, he has nevertheless made his nation proud by winning the Silver Medal at the final. Indeed, all that glitters is not gold.

For Sushil Kumar, it has been about living up to expectations. Hailing from modest origins in a village near Delhi, Sushil had always nursed the dreams of making it big as a wrestler on the global stage. Since 2003, the 29-year old wrestler had tried his best to be a part of the global events. His run at Athens Olympics in 2004 was terribly lambasted. However, it was four years later when he returned with a new power and responsibility. With all his dedication and determination, he fought back hard at Beijing Olympics and won the Bronze medal at the end of the series.

Indeed, since then, the expectations have been high. Sushil Kumar, along with boxer Vijender Singh, was touted as one of the most sought after players. People had placed their expectations on him for his run in the London Olympics this year. He delivered it bang for the buck when he ousted gold-medalist Ramazan Sahin in his first confrontation. This was enough to propel him into the quarterfinals of the event. Thus, this was how Sushi Kumar proved to the people that he is worthy of being in the limelight for his immensely powerful feats.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12:  Tatsuhiro Yonemi...

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 12: Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu of Japan in action against against Sushil Kumar of India during the Men’s Freestyle (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

His second bout saw him locking horns with Uzbek star Ikthtiyor Navruzov. This was in the quarterfinals. While the ace Uzbek wrestler was a formidable opponent, Sushil’s determination and dedication won out. This again made him a sensation and it catapulted him into the semi-final confrontation with yet another ace player. This was Akzhurek Tanatarov of Kazakhstan. Tanatrov turned out to be a hard nut to crack. However, with India’s support and devotion with him, Sushil Kumar emerged as the victor again. This soon left the Indian fans and devotees euphoric. Thus, they were soon sure that their blue-eyed boy in blue would bring home a lot of glitter.

Indeed, it was a match that was being hotly anticipated. The rival to the headfast Sushil was Japan’s most loved hero. The tussle began ambitiously and it looked for a while that Kumar may do it again. However, for some reason, the Midas touch was missing and the brilliant Yonemitsu made the most out of it. He notched up his score while Sushil valiantly tried his best, albeit in vain. However, this is not a time to be depressed. It is a time for us to raise Sushil high in the air and welcome him with his Silver medal.

Researchers find a Breakthrough method of improving Chemotherapy

A team of experts from South Carolina‘s School of Pharmacy have discovered new set of drugs which can decrease the unfavorable effects caused by chemotherapy treatments. This latest finding can be applied to various types of cancers and is assumed that it can greatly improve the efficiency of chemotherapy and at the same time extend the remission time. Up to now, chemotherapy is considered as being the best cancer treatment despite the fact that it normally causes damages to the body.

Research leader from South Carolina College of pharmacy Igor Roninson claims that conventional anticancer drugs usually damage good cells and supports the development of existing cancer cells. According the expert, many of the drugs used in chemotherapy usually have adverse side effects despite the fact that they normally fight dangerous tumor cells.

The research that led to this latest discovery was supported by many organizations which include the Senex Biotechnology, Athens University and USC. The research was focused on Roninson’s research in 2000 which supported the fact that proteins usually stop separation of aging and damaged cells and in the process promote production of multiple cells which support the development of cancerous cells and many aging related ailments. The resent research carried was able to provide enough evidence that supported Roninson’s discovery.

In one of the many tests carried out, Hippokratis Kiaris who is a co-author from Athens University injected mice with a frequently used drug that helps treat cancer and later on injected both the untreated and the drug treated mice with cancer cells. Once he administered the treatment, he noticed that the growth of tumors was much more rapid in pretreated mice as compared to those that were untreated with the anticancer medication. He also noted that a good amount of blood of the pretreated mice had higher protein content. Based on this discovery, the researchers believe that the new set of drugs can benefit a lot of people, especially those who are suffering from cancer.

The Top 5 Stanley Kubrick Movies

When Stanley Kubrick died in 1999 I felt a personal sense of loss. Not only was he never going to finish AI (which ended up being butchered by Spielberg) it also marked the end of a relationship I had with Kubrick since a young man. Since the age of 14 after watching Full Metal Jacket (a late night Channel 4 showing) I remember being captivated by the cold camera work, the pinpoint dialogue delivery, the swooping visuals that seemed almost romantic compared to the ruthless characters that sometimes paraded Kubrick’s work. Just as I was about to embark into media college and start my career as a film maker, my hero had passed. I had intended to meet the visionary, it was a distant goal to work with him. But ultimately he left us with a legacy of films that no other film maker could counter, even the mighty “hitch”.

5: Lolita (1962)

Regarded as controversial as the book in its day (Kubrick was told to raise the age of the girl from 12 to 14 to appease the censor) this little black and white movie with a milky faced James Mason and a sultry Sue Lyon with her “knowing” way and playful nature; also gave Peter Sellers ample room to flex his black comedy muscles. The film turned the book from an essay on primordial lust to a telling tale of frustration and cold war anxiety.

Space Station from "2001 : A Space Odysse...

Space Station from “2001 : A Space Odyssey” (Photo credit: Euclid vanderKroew)

4: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

As a comment on the nature of mankind’s need to conquer, almost to the detriment of our own well being. 2001 blows the audience through a mind boggling river of questions; ultimately leaving more asked than answered. But just like the ape that spins the bone turned weapon into the air, only to watch it snap into a space station thousands of years into the future; maybe 2001 is better taken as an overall gesture of need. The need to command, the need to explore, the need to want more than sometimes is good for us.

3: A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Kubrick returned to the themes of sex in 1971 but instead of the repressed lust Mason had for Lolita, Alex and his “droogs” were not shy of picking the fruits of sin. But this time Kubrick also pierced that ever deeper hole in human nature; free will. Although we are abhorred by Alex and his exploits (played triumphantly by a young Malcolm McDowell) we also feel remorse when he is “conditioned” to be “good”. Regardless of his will or want, Alex must now do as “we” say. And that uncomfortable seat which mankind finds itself sometimes; was thrown aside and cheered against when at the end of the film, Alex is evil again. Ready to do us wrong.

Editors Note: I saw this on the re-release in 1999 after Kubrick’s death. It suffered a self ban by Kubrick after he received death threats upon the films’ release. Still the best film I have ever seen inside a cinema.

Cover of "The Shining [Blu-ray]"

Cover of The Shining [Blu-ray]

2: The Shining (1980)

When Kubrick decide to do horror, people gasped. One could only imagine he orgasmic sex and blood spectacle he had in mind. But when The Shining was released in 1980; the critics were confused as much as shocked. This film had hardly any of the usual Kubricks’ traits, and yet is still feels very “Kubrickian”. Not just a pan shot, bust the best an shots, not just a zoom shot but the best zoom shots. And those long steadicam takes, whispering around The Overlook corridors; ready to be jumped out on or bumped into. Truly a haunted house movie of biblical proportions.

1: Full Metal Jacket (1987)

It’s no coincidence that I think 87 was Kubrick’s best year, he had reached the height of his infamy and we were a good 12 years away from what would be a terrible Eyes Wide Shut (1999).

The opening scenes of jar heads getting their melons shaved instantly threw us into war, destroying the little of “you” that is left before “charlie” has a chance. Some of the scenes, the bunk bed beating scene, Gomer Piles suicide scene, and the execution of the drill sergeant (the last father figure to die before we see our protagonist in combat) are drilled into the mind. But the scenes are nothing to the overall sense that Full Metal Jacket gives, the soldiers and commanders are like robots, answering only in foul rhetoric and knee jerk gay jokes. The enemy are all faceless and have no voice except for sexually explicit taunts. Full Metal Jacket bears keen witness to a boy becoming a man in a world of children.

Airport X-Ray Scans Causing More Problems

Getting through security at an airport in America can often be a huge task to take on. Not only do we have to take our shoes off and make sure there are no pennies in our pockets, we also have to limit the amount of liquids we bring on board. The x-ray scanners that are now popping up in more and more airports are causing more problems. The main reason for this is the risk of radiation and people who don’t want it.

These scanners are currently used in 36 airports throughout the United States. There have not been any long term studies done to show whether or not they are safe, which is why so many people opt for a pat-down instead. Although the T.S.A. says the scanners were assessed by the FDA and public health offices, a lot of scientists think they pose as quite a risk to individual health.

X-ray machines and metal detectors are used to...

X-ray machines and metal detectors are used to control what is allowed to pass through an airport security perimeter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even when these are functioning properly, they still beam radiation for a short amount of time onto the person being scanned. The T.S.A. also hasn’t released full information about how they work, which worries a lot of people. One scientist in particular has a problem with the number of times these machines are checked for problems. The T.S.A. says they are checked once a year while x-ray machines at hospitals are checked on a daily basis. This could mean thousands of people per day being scanned with large doses of radiation and not even being aware of it. This could prove to be extremely unsafe for children, pregnant women and many other types of people.

The good news is that there are optional pat-downs people can choose instead. These are going to require a lot of touching, but they don’t carry the same risks as the x-ray scanners do.

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Benefits of Different Types of Insurance

Insurance is what will help you in case of any uncertain events. When you do not contain insurance, it is one of the most important things which you require. But, it is difficult for most people to choose what type of insurance will be suitable for them. It is best to understand about different kinds of insurance which is available and their benefits, so you can be able to protect yourself.

With insurance, you can relax in knowing you have protection when you need it most. The most essential type of insurance for the consumer is health insurance. It offers people health care benefits and lets you to visit a clinic at a cheap cost. Otherwise, it might cost much more to visit a Doctor and get the treatment you desire. Most of the time, you will in the position to pay a premium amount plus the standard costs based on the medical facility. Some other policies have you to pay the cost before till the deductible is met.

A car crash on Jagtvej in Copenhagen, Denmark.

A car crash on Jagtvej in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you drive a vehicle, you will most often be required to obtain Auto Insurance. It protects the car or motorcycle in the time of any accident or theft. When you are purchasing a new vehicle and financing it, you must contain full coverage, but after sometime, you can choose the type of coverage which you need on the car or motorcycle. In most areas, it is a law to have Insurance on your vehicle.

If you own a home or purchasing a new home, then you must know about home insurance. This insurance will protect the home from flood or storms. With the climate changes which happens over the course of time, it is essential to ensure that the home is protected for every kind of damage. When you are not in the residence, you contain choices to insure your belongings. When you rent your residence, then you can consider getting renters insurance. Fundamentally this kind of insurance helps to protect the important things inside the property which you are renting from any one or organization.

Certain thing which plenty of people do not like to discuss about is death. Taking about it is scary, but it is necessary to think about your future and protect the family members. With the help of life insurance you mainly contain the policy on the life. If suddenly anything happens to you, your beneficiary will get that amount. It will assist the family members when they transition to the loss of support and money.

When you are planning on building a business or own a business, then you must require investing your money on business insurance. Business insurance helps to protect your capital from number of things. It is also vital to obtain the kind of insurance which fits for your business requirements. You can also have the facility to improve or downgrade the insurance coverage when you want to do certain times. There is variety of several kinds of insurance. Certain kinds of insurance are needed by law and some others are optional. But in all the cases, having insurance can be a benefit to the people who has it.

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