NASA sets launch date for Space Shuttle Discovery

Saturday, March 7, 2009

After almost two months of delay, NASA has set March 11 as the launch date for Space Shuttle Discovery. On February 22, NASA had stated that they indefinitely delayed the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery, which was originally scheduled for takeoff on February 12. Launch was then further delayed until February 25 before being delayed indefinitely on February 22. NASA cited the need for additional time to evaluate the shuttle’s hydrogen fuel flow control valves.

Liftoff is set for nighttime on Wednesday, March 11, at approximately 9:20 p.m. (EST) from Launch Complex 39A in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The official countdown to launch will commence Sunday, March 8.

“The team came through, worked hard and was efficient. It’s time now to step back and think of everything else we need to watch before launch on the 11th. There’s no better team than this one and I thank them for putting the right analysis together,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations at NASA.

NASA wanted to perform additional tests on the valves which control the amount of hydrogen fuel pumped into the external tank when the shuttle is taking off before making a decision to launch. When Space Shuttle Endeavour went into space in November 2008, one of the valves broke. NASA fears that if one breaks off on this mission, then it could damage the outside of the shuttle.

The current scheduled mission, STS-119, is set to fly the Integrated Truss Structure segment (“S” for starboard, the right side of the station, and “6” for its place at the very end of the starboard truss) and install the final set of power-generating solar arrays to the International Space Station. The arrays consist of two 115-foot-long arrays, for a total wing span of 240 feet, including the equipment that connects the two halves and allows them to twist as they track the sun. Altogether, the four sets of arrays can generate 84 to 120 kilowatts of electricity – enough to provide power for more than 40 average homes.

Commander Lee Archambault will lead Discovery’s crew of seven, along with Pilot Tony Antonelli, and Mission Specialists Joseph Acaba, John Phillips, Steve Swanson, Richard Arnold, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata.

Putting The “Living” Into Your Living Room Furniture

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By Mark Woodcock

What kind of room is your living room? Is it that kind of room with all of the fancy furniture and accessories, possibly antiques or family heirlooms, where no one dares to enter, that is meant for “company”? Or is your home’s living room the place that might be considered the family room, the place where everyone gathers, family and friends alike, to watch television, play games, entertain, talk, or just relax? Whatever the purpose of the living room is in your home, the living room furniture and accessories is a necessary (and often expensive) component in setting a certain preferred mood or theme, and should be representative of you and your family’s personality.

Most families spend the vast majority of their time together in the living room. That is most likely because that is where all of the “fun” things to do in the house are, like the television, stereo, perhaps even game systems. Next to the kitchen, the living room is the heart of the home. That is why it is important that your living room furniture be durable, accommodating (meaning that there is enough seating for family and guests), and comfortable.

When furnishing your living room, you should think about what your family uses it for. Do you primarily watch television in there? Do you merely entertain company in the form of good conversation in there? Do you do a lot of reading or other activities such as sewing or crafts in there? Will guests be sleeping in there? Do you play games together in there? Deciding how you want to use the room will help you choose the appropriate pieces of furniture, and save you money in the long run.

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The basic living room furniture pieces are usually a sofa, one or more chairs (of various types), a coffee table, maybe some end tables, and lighting. When you are looking for a sofa, determine if you will be accommodating overnight guests in your living room. If so, you need to explore the sleeper sofa. Sleeper sofas have come a long way from the thin and lumpy mattress with a bar in your back, and provide a very comfortable place for your guests to slumber peacefully. If you don’t need a sleeper sofa, then think about the size your sofa needs to be. There are large sectionals that accommodate several people at once. There are sofa and love seat combinations that allow you more freedom in furniture arrangement. Determine what will fit in your room, and purchase accordingly.

When shopping for living room furniture, you need to determine if you need other types of seating besides a sofa. There are cushiony, comfy chairs and there are more formal occasional chairs. Depending on the activities that take place in your living room, the furniture should accommodate accordingly. There should also be enough seating to accommodate a good number of people, if you have a large family or entertain guests regularly.

Another type of living room furniture that is commonly seen is some kind of table. Beginning with the coffee table, you can add surfaces to play games, hold drinks and knick-knacks, even a place for someone to prop their weary feet upon. Coffee tables are often large enough to place sofas and chairs around, and provide a multitude of functions. There are also end tables, which provide a base for lighting fixtures, knick-knacks, magazines, and often act as accent pieces. If you want to use your living room for game playing, and the room is large enough, you can also consider a small game table in a corner.

Lighting, though not considered furniture, is a vital accessory to include with your living room furniture. If you plan on reading, crafting, or playing games in your living room, then you will need good lighting. Ambient lighting is also nice in the living room for entertaining and relaxing.

No living room furniture setting is complete today without the entertainment center. It provides a place to store all of your home entertainment equipment, including the television, stereo, game systems, VCR, DVD player, and speakers. These come in a variety of sizes, colors, and types, and also come in a variety of prices. Again, what you buy depends on your needs and the size of your room.

When you are furnishing and decorating your living room, there is no need to use a particular theme. As long as the colors and patterns coordinate and follow your family’s style, it will be a great room to be in. By accessorizing with pictures, wall hangings, shelving, plants, or other personal touches, your living room will be a comfortable place that your family will enjoy spending time in. Your living room furniture is merely the basis upon which family memories are made.

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US Representative Anthony Weiner resigns over sexual conduct

Friday, June 17, 2011

Anthony Weiner announced his resignation yesterday afternoon as a Democratic representative from New York to the U.S. House of Representatives, a position he has filled for twelve years. He has been under pressure from politicians within his own party after a sex scandal engulfed his life and that of the Democratic party.

Weiner told reporters it was “impossible” to continue in his role after the events of the last few weeks, including revelations that he was involved in sexual relationships with a number of young women over the internet, including sending lewd photos of himself, and then lying about his actions to reporters.

He announced his resignation at a press conference in a Brooklyn senior center where 20 years ago he began his political career and apologized for his “personal mistakes”. His wife, Huma Abedin, did not accompany him, but Weiner apologized to her in his speech, saying that he hopes “most importantly, that my wife and I can continue to heal from the damage that I’ve caused.” He took no questions from reporters.

On June 6, Weiner had admitted to corresponding with women he met on the internet, including exchanging lewd photos. But on June 11 he declared in an emotional interview he would not resign. Under pressure from Democrats, Weiner requested a two-week leave of absence from his position in order to obtain treatment to become “a better husband and healthier person.”

However, Democratic politicians became increasingly anxious to put the growing scandal behind them, as it distracted members from more important issues such as problems with Medicare and the need for more jobs. As the scandal gained momentum, a variety of politicians, including Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, called on him to resign. President Barack Obama said he would resign if he were in Weiner’s place in an interview with ABC News.

“Weiner exercised poor judgment in his actions and poor judgment in his reaction to the revelations,” Pelosi said in a statement after Weiner announced his resignation. “Today, he made the right judgment in resigning.”

The scandal came to light May 27 after Weiner accidentally sent a photograph of his crotch on his public stream on the social networking website Twitter, and then tried to cover it up by blaming hackers for posting the picture, denying all responsibility.

Weiner later admitted sending online messages to other women, including to a 17-year-old high school student in Delaware, though a police investigation uncovered nothing illegal. On Wednesday, a former porn actress revealed that she had engaged in an online relationship with Weiner and that Weiner had asked her to lie about the nature of their contact.

More photos have continued to emerge, including one showing his nude genitals, and others showing him half naked. On Wednesday, the National Enquirer published images of Weiner cross-dressing while he was a college student at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. In one photo, he is seen wearing a bra and pantyhose, while in another he is oiled and wearing swimming trunks.

Congressman Weiner exercised poor judgment in his actions and poor judgment in his reaction to the revelations. Today, he made the right judgment in resigning.

Colleagues said Weiner wanted to wait for the return home of his wife, Abedin, before making a final career decision. He has been married for almost a year to Abedin, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child. She is a top aide to Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, and the couple’s wedding was presided over by former President Bill Clinton. She returned home to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday morning after having traveled with Clinton in the Middle East and Africa since June 8.

Weiner’s district covers parts of Brooklyn and Queens, boroughs of New York City. He ran an unsuccessful campaign for mayor of New York City in 2005, and he was considered a potential candidate for future races. Known to be an outspoken supporter of liberal causes, he has irked conservatives and Democratic leaders. In 2009, he pushed for government-run health care, even though Obama had opposed the idea.

Popular soap opera ‘The Young and the Restless’ celebrates 35 years on the air

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The popular American soap opera The Young and the Restless, currently the reigning Emmy Award-winner for best daytime drama, celebrated 35 years on the air Wednesday.

The 35th anniversary also comes after the series, known colloquially as Y&R, marked its 1,000th straight week as the highest-rated soap opera in a daytime slot. In addition to keeping the #1 spot every week since December 1988, Y&R has also been the top-rated soap in the African-American demographic since 1991.

A trend-setter since the beginning, Y&R relied on character-driven storytelling, accentuated with understated sexuality from its cast, which at that time was mostly young, in order to bring in teenage and twentysomething viewers who were ignored by soap producers and networks up to that time. These traits immediately set Y&R apart from other soap operas, and other soaps have since mimicked Y&R’s formulaic approach to offering something for everyone, especially younger viewers.

Since premiering on March 26, 1973, Y&R has become a worldwide cultural institution in its own right, racking up an impressive 100 Emmy Awards between the writers, producers, cast and crew since 1974. The show has aired in over 100 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Italy, and Turkey, and reaches a worldwide audience of ten million daily. So far-reaching was Y&R’s appeal that Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci chose the serial’s theme song as accompanying music to her floor exercises at the 1976 Summer Olympics. In Australia, where Y&R has aired since 1974, the show was canceled by the original network that aired it in 2007, prompting a widespread fan backlash in that country. It was quickly moved to a pay channel.

Over the past 35 years, countless characters, marriages, divorces, births, deaths, and every joy and trauma in between have visited the residents of Genoa City, where Y&R is set. To commemorate the milestone, Mike Halterman from Wikinews interviewed three actresses who have played long-running characters on Y&R, and asked them to share their memories. All three responded to questions about what being on Y&R means to them, what their favorite storylines were, what they perhaps would have wanted to do all over again, and what they’d love to tell their fans directly.

Below are portions of all three interviews.


  • 1 Wikinews interviews Y&R cast members
    • 1.1 Questions asked to all three
    • 1.2 Questions asked to Melody Thomas Scott
    • 1.3 Questions asked to Michelle Stafford
    • 1.4 Questions asked to Tricia Cast
  • 2 Sources

Two killed, 47 injured in coach crash in Cornwall, England

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Two people have been killed and 47 people have been injured as the result of a coach crash in Cornwall, England. The vehicle, which was carrying 48 passengers as well as the driver, were travelling back from a journey to the village of Mousehole to see Christmas lights. The accident occurred at 2215 GMT yesterday in the village of Townshend, not far from the town of Hayle. Road conditions at the time were icy, which may explain why the accident occurred. The first police car that arrived at the scene lost control on the icy road and crashed into the already overturned coach. The two officers in the car were uninjured, however the earlier crash had caused the deaths of two women. One of them died at the scene of the accident and the other was later killed as a result of the injuries suffered. 47 people were injured, five of them seriously.

The sequence of events that is believed to have happened, according to Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, is that the coach went off the road, collided with a tree, going through a hedge before finally overturning, causing the vehicle to end up on its side. 60-year-old Ann Ellis, who comes from the village of Illogan in Cornwall, was physically involved in the crash. Desribing her experience of this incident, she said: “All I can remember is a big bang and we just went over. I got trapped under somebody else and there was someone on top of me. It was difficult to breathe but two gentlemen dragged me out. I was shaken, really shaken. I think we all were. It was horrific.”

I was shaken, really shaken. I think we all were. It was horrific.

Derek Smith, lives near where the accident occurred. He said that “[w]e were just going to bed when we heard a knock on the kitchen door. She was covered in mud and had no shoes or socks on and was shaking as she stood there. I could hear this commotion going on.

She said to ring the police and ambulance as their coach had turned over and there were 50 people in it and some of them were injured. My wife rang 999 and the lady was in a real panic. We gave her some socks and boots straightaway because she was freezing as she had nothing on her feet.”

75-year-old Charles Parker, who is living in St. Agnes in the county, was also injured in the accident, suffering injuries to his leg and his head. “The roads were so icy,” he explained. “I heard a cracking noise and all of a sudden we had turned over. I remember later being helped out of the coach through a window. We were close to a house and they took most of the people in there. Then helicopters turned up. It was very frightening.”

Inspector Matthew Shaw, who comes from Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, explained “[i]t seems from initial investigations that the coach has slipped on ice. The road is covered in a sheet of ice, it’s treacherous, it’s difficult to even walk down there.” The amount of time taken to transport the injured passengers to a hospital was four hours.

Facial Changes As A Result Of Palatal Expansion In Adult Patients Using The Homeoblock Appliance}

Submitted by: Theodore Belfor


Palatal expansion in adult patients is a relatively new concept. Ever since Grays Anatomy the bible for dental students studying anatomy, we all believed that the cranial sutures fuse solid when we become non-growing adults. In an interview for Dental Press Magazine of Orthodontic and Facial Orthopedics in 2002, Donald H Enlow, author of three books on Cranium Facial Growth and 170 scientific articles, Dr Enlow, when queried Is there any craniofacial growth after 20 years of age? Answered,yes. Futhermore, he states, A capacity for facial remodeling in adults is retained throughout life. He also states,We must utilize three-dimensional evaluation based on an individuals actual growth and development. The Homeoblock functional appliance produces noticeable facial changes in adult patients in four to six months. We have viewed these changes in three-dimensions using stereophotogrammetry. In an article published Quantification of facial morphology using stereophotogrammetry–demonstration of a new concept. It is concluded that stereophotogrammetry is a suitable 3-D registration method for quantifying and detecting developmental changes in facial morphology. (1)


Maxillary arch changes using the Homeoblock appliance have been reported and published in the Functional Orthodontist (2). The purpose of this paper is to look more closely at the facial changes that occur when we remodel the maxillary dental arch wider in the course of palatal expansion. To observe and understand these changes a review of the anatomy of the region is included.

Zygomatic bone (green)

Maxilla (orange)

Malar bone (in contact with the temporal frontal sphenoid and maxilla) (beige)

Four muscles from left to right

Zygomaticus majo

Zygomaticus mino

Levato Labii Superiorus

Obicularis Oris

Looking at the anatomy of the area we can see how the remodeling of the maxilla can easily affect the malar and the zygomatic bones. Since the muscle attachments are on the bone we can see how the muscles which insert into the muscle and soft tissue around the mouth can also affect the fullness of the lips. Optimal development of the lateral aspects of the face especially the malar and zygomatic bones make it easier for the patient to smile. The paper will examine three dimensional images of patients, pre and post treatment with the Homeoblock appliance. We choose the profile view to illustrate the changes most clearly. It is concluded that the Homeoblock appliance creates observable changes around the eyes, in the area of the cheekbone and around the mouth.

Case Reports

Patient A

The first patient is a sixty year old female that presented to the office for teeth straightening, and porcelain laminate veneers. A three-dimensional Stereophotogrammetry image was taken using a 3dMD facial capture system.

The pre and post photos clearly show changes around the eyes, at the area of the cheekbones and around the mouth consistent with remodeling the underlying maxillary and zygomatic bone structures wider.

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Patient B

The second patient a fifty year old female was treated six months with a Homeoblock appliance to reduce age lines in the face. Stereophotogrammetry images were taken pre and post treatment. The photos were then evaluated using the 3dMD facial capture software to evaluate the changes that occurred.

Pre and post profile

3dMD software was used to evaluate facial changes. An increase in facial width of almost 4 millimeters was observed.

Pre and post full face photos

Pre and post intra oral photos showing the Homeoblock appliance in place.

Patient C

The third patient is a thirty-six year old female that presented to the office for teeth straightening with the Homeoblock appliance. She was treated for thirty months wearing the appliance in the night time only to straighten her upper and lower teeth.

Pre and post profile after six months of treatment

A full face view that superimposes the post face over the pre face photos are used to illustrate where the development took place in the purple color.

Intra oral pre and post photos showing completed treatment with the Homeoblock appliance


The issue of facial esthetics and functional orthodontics is very timely. There is a growing focus on esthetics, which needs to be balanced with good functional outcomes. The Homeoblock appliance has several components in combination, including a base-plate with a unilateral bite block and a mid-line expansion screw. We postulate that the unilateral bite block exerts cyclic, intermittent forces on the periodontium of the associated teeth during function (such as swallowing during sleep). These forces are detected by mechanoreceptors on the cell surfaces of the periodontal and periosteal cells. Due to signal transduction(3), a cascade of events is initiated, resulting in gene transcription and mRNA biosynthesis(4). Downstream, osteogenic cells are activated, and adapting to the axial forces, remodeling occurs. The change in vertical dimension (opening the bite) affects also the spatial relations of the contra-lateral teeth(5), which have lost their normal occlusal contacts. These changes are also detected by receptors in their periodontal and periosteal cells. Consequently, remodeling occurs due to signal transduction, adapting to decreased forces in accord with the functional matrix hypothesis(6-7).

The Homeoblock appliance has also a base-plate that does not contact the palatal vault. Consequently, swallowing of saliva creates a relative negative pressure between the palatal mucosa and the fitting surface of the device. As the dorsal surface of the tongue exerts forces on the polished surface of the device during swallowing, tension is exerted on the mucoperiosteum of the hard palate and the midpalatal suture is separated. Thus, the developmental mechanisms of sutural homeostasis are activated(8). Despite the fact that most osteogenic activity is normally observed during early to late childhood, it is now understood that palatal, maxillary and circum-maxillary sutures retain biosynthetic potential into late adulthood (9), and it is possible that mechanical stimuli up-regulate genes that are not typically expressed during normal development(10). It is postulated that the Homeoblock device maintains physiologic forces on the midpalatal suture, resulting in slow expansion (250m per week). Recent research suggests that a sutural width >300m results in bone deposition(11) while a sutural width

2. Singh GD, Diaz J, Busquets-Vaello C, Belfor TR. Soft tissue facial changes following treatment with a removable orthodontic appliance in adults. Funct Orthod. 2004;21(3):18-23.


3. Sandy JR. Signal transduction. Br J Orthod 1998; 25:269-274.


4. Mao JJ, Nah HD. Growth and development: hereditary and mechanical modulations. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2004;125:676-689.


5. Iscan HN, Sarisoy L. Comparison of the effects of passive posterior bite-blocks with different construction bites on the craniofacial and dentoalveolar structures. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 1997;112:171-178.


6. Moss ML. The functional matrix hypothesis revisited: The role of mechanotransduction. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 1997;112:8-11.


7. Singh GD. On Growth and Treatment: the Spatial Matrix hypothesis. In: McNamara JA Jr (ed). Growth and treatment. Craniofacial Growth Series. Monograph 41. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2004.


8. Mao JJ, Wang X, Mooney MP, Kopher RA, Nudera JA. Strain induced osteogenesis of the craniofacial suture upon controlled delivery of low-frequency cyclic forces. Front Biosci 2003;8:A10-17.


9. Kokich VC. The biology of sutures. In: MM Cohen Jr (ed). Craniosynostosis: Diagnosis, evaluation and management. New York: Raven Press, 1986.


10. Mao JJ, Nah HD. Growth and development: hereditary and mechanical modulations. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2004;125:676-689.


11. Borke JL, Yu JC, Isales CM, Wagle N, Do NN, Chen JR, Bollag RJ. Tension-induced reduction in connexin 43 expression in cranial sutures is linked to transcriptional regulation by TBX2. Ann Plast Surg 2003;51:499-504.


12. Moss ML. The functional matrix hypothesis revisited: The role of mechanotransduction. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 1997;112:8-11.


13. Singh GD. On Growth and Treatment: the Spatial Matrix hypothesis. In: McNamara JA Jr (ed). Growth and treatment. Craniofacial Growth Series. Monograph 41. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2004.


14. Lima AC. Spontaneous mandibular arch response following rapid palatal expansion: a long term study on Class I malocclusion. MS thesis, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2004.


15. Belfor TR, Singh GD. Developing facial symmetry using an intra-oral device. J Cosmetic Dent 2004;20:76-80.


16 Belfor TR, Singh GD. Developing dental arch symmetry using the Homeoblock device. Int J Orthod 2004;15(3), 27-30.


17. Singh GD, Diaz J, Busquets-Vaello C, Belfor TR. Soft tissue facial changes following treatment with a removable orthodontic appliance in adults. Funct Orthod. 2004;21(3):18-23.


18. Belfor TR, Singh GD. Treating malocclusions and improving orofacial form and function in adults. J Amer Acad Gnathol Orthop 2005;22(1), 14-17.


About the Author: Dr. Theodore R. Belfor graduated from New York University College of Dentistry in 1966 and has been in private practice for 40 years.He has been published in CRANIO, The New York State Dental Journal, Philippine Journal of Orthodontics, Indian Dentist, Dental News (Lebanon), Novoe V Stomatologii (Russia), APEX (UK), The Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry, Aesthetic Dentistry Today, Dentistry Today, The Journal for the American Academy of Gnathologic Orthopedics, The Functional Orthodontist, International Journal for Orthodontics, Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy, Anti-Aging and Cosmetic Surgery Magazine. For more information visit website:


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Australian Stingers stung by US at FINA World League Final gold medal match

Sunday, June 3, 2012

In the gold medal match at water polo’s FINA World League Final tonight between the Australia Stingers and United States women’s national water polo team, Australia lost 4–6 to the USA in the last major competition before the 2012 Summer Olympics. The victory made for seven World League Super Final titles for Team USA.

At 7:00 p.m. Chinese local time, 9:00 p.m. Australian local time, the game got under way, with a Tweet from Australian Water Polo for fans at home who could not watch the game live. The Australians were down at quarter time, 1–2 with the team’s only goal coming from Bronwen Knox off a pass by Kate Gynther. By half time, Australia had battled back to take the lead 4–3, only to finish the third period tied 4–4 with the United States, and eventually lose 4–6.

In the lead up to the World League Final, the Australians spent time in Singapore before departing for China. While in Singapore, players had an opportunity to relax at the pool and several, including Knox, Rowena Webster, Nicola Zagame, and Melissa Rippon were very active on Twitter.

The team arrived in Shanghai and the Shanghai Institute of Sport a week before the start of the FINA Super League Finals. During their week-long preparation, they worked on strength and fitness training. When away from the pool, they did not have access to Twitter, Facebook, or television and had to entertain themselves using other means. Players finally explored the city six days after their arrival.

With limited opportunities for amusement in the hotel room during the competition, assistant coach Ryan Moar updated his Twitter account and played with a toy helicopter. Several of the players who were active on Twitter before departing for China stopped updating, including Webster, Rippon, and Zagame. Knox and Moran continued to provide updates on Twitter and Instagram throughout the competition.

Australian game days during the tournament included warming up poolside before the start of their games, and cooling down in the pool after them. Going into their match against the USA, they notched an 8–7 victory over China, an 18 to nil victory against Germany, and a 9–7 overtime shootout win against Russia.

On gold medal game day, Jane Moran updated her Twitter account to say “Final of World League Super Finals today v USA – goooo Stingers! ‪#stingerspride”. About eight hours prior to game time, the team finished their final training session. Earlier in the afternoon, prior to game time in Australia, Channel 9 ran a feature on the team. Prior to the start of the game, the Australian Stingers official team Twitter account mocked Team USA for their team-branded k tape. During the pre-game warm up, team members did a variety of things including playing with their phones, warming up, and getting their arms taped. It was business as usual for the team that had beaten the United States the previous month at the VISA Water Polo International.

The bronze medal match between the China women’s national water polo team and Greece women’s national water polo team preceded the gold medal game, which Greece won 8–7, with quarter scoring of 1–2 in the first, 4–2 in the second, 1–2 in the third, and 1–2 in the fourth. In the other match, the Russia women’s national water polo team easily beat the Germany women’s national water polo team 18-4.

David Beckham to miss World Cup with injury

Monday, March 15, 2010

Soccer player David Beckham has had surgery for an injury to his Achilles tendon. As a result, he has been ruled out of playing in this summer’s World Cup.

Beckham, a 34-year-old midfielder who would have played for the English national team, snapped the tendon on his left leg, and underwent surgery today in Finland. The injury will end his season, and rehabilitation for the wound is expected to take up to six months. The doctor performing the operation said that training could not begin until June, and it would be at least another month before Beckham could return to playing competitively.

Despite early speculation that the injury could mark the end of Beckham’s 18-year career, a spokesman rejected the claims, saying, “This is not the end of his playing career as has been suggested.” In the same statement, it was said that even if Beckham is unable to play in the World Cup, he will continue to play as a member of an American team, the Los Angeles Galaxy, during the end of the season.

Beckham sustained the injury near the end of a game on Sunday night, when he suddenly stopped running and limped from the field on his healthy leg before collapsing on the sidelines. He was treated on the field for about five minutes before being carried off on a stretcher.

Contemporary Furniture Trends

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By Kirsten Whittaker

Fashion trends no longer dictate the way we dress or decorate our homes. Eclecticism and contrasting style directions reign in home design. More and more people develop a taste of mixing contradictory furniture trends in their home decor, combining contemporary furniture with vintage finds and exotic art pieces.

Uncertain economy, the rise of natural disasters, persistent war conflicts and terrorist threats has resulted in the further insulation of people within their home cocoons. This cocoon lifestyle has given a boom to houseware and furniture industry, since more and more people turn to home entertainment and dinner parties instead of going out.

The cocoon boom, which originally started after September 11, 2001, transformed the modern home into a family sanctuary and hideaway. Casual living remains as the major theme with contemporary furniture today, with an emphasis on home entertaining and informal dining.

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From modern furniture to accessories and dinnerware, people look for items that possess a strong sense of personal style. The casual living trend in modern furniture translates into multi-functional furniture with clear non-cluttered design and extended seating furniture pieces such as extra-long and curved couches and sofas.

Modern furniture today encourages family values, promotes quality family entertainment, supports traditional values and generally helps people connect. Another noticeable trend in home dcor is a return to formal for special occasions. People tend to make a greater effort preparing for special occasions or dinner parties and spend more time selecting dinnerware, candles, photo albums, seasonal decorations and table linen. Another important modern furniture trend is sensuality which means luscious fabrics, soft warm colors and simple shapes.

Many furniture items are adjusted for use for the targeted group of single men. This means sleek minimalist design and an emphasis on the use of multi-media applications. Flat screen TVs are accommodated in hi-tech entertainment centers, and flat loudspeakers are incorporated into lean, spacious sofas, covered with dark trendy upholstery fabrics. This trend is also reflected in one-of-a-kind furniture items, such as art pieces having a functional meaning. Wide use of LED lighting technology helps transform a coffee table into a futuristic object that will change colors depending on a situation.

Speaking of materials used in modern furniture today, light woods still dominate. Oak, cherry, and birch are the most popular woods, with rattan and bamboo on the rise. Many woods are artificially stained to resemble exquisite tropical woods, for example, zebrano, mahogany, or palisander. A varnished solid front is often combined with a veneered body. Stainless steel, polished or brushed, and aluminum are used widely, often combined with innovative satin glass and boldly colored fiberglass.

In the upholstery, modern furniture designers favor refined large abstract patterns or sophisticated monochrome surfaces. Stripes and checks, as well as floral patterns are slightly out of fashion. The most popular materials are wool, cotton and leather, with wool felt gaining popularity.

The main characteristic feature of modern furniture is its understatement. Giorgio Armani, a couturier turned furniture designer says, that a subtle richness, not an obvious beauty, is most important in contemporary furniture design. Like a beautiful woman, furniture today reveals itself over time.

About the Author: For more information about comtemporary furniture please visit the

Comtemporary furniture and home furnishings



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Interview with Glen Stollery of

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Glen Stollery is a New Zealand website developer who created the site in mid 2005. The site, which is a parody of Tom Cruise and his involvement with the Church of Scientology, became the centre of controversy when it was served with a number of cease and desist orders initiated by the Church. On March 19, 2006, Glen issued a media release stating that his web hosting provider, YouTube, had removed videos of Tom Cruise which formed part of the site. The release suggested that YouTube had taken this action under external pressure from Cruise or Viacom.

Responding to a query by Wikinews reporters, YouTube stated “We have not received a DMCA notification letter from Viacom.” The Church of Scientology was offered the opportunity to respond to the claims made by Stollery during the interview. No reply was received.

This exclusive interview deals with these issues and others relating to the website. It was conducted with Glen via email between March 21 and April 3, 2006.