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‘Big Brother’ contestant Parker Somerville sounds off about the show and his aspirations

Category : Uncategorized

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

In the past two months, Parker Somerville, a videographer for the website TMZ.com, transitioned from an average guy leading an ordinary life, to living in an extraordinary voyeuristic existence, and back again to the beginning. Simply put, it was a transition from reality to reality, with a two-week detour in reality television. Somerville was a former contestant on the CBS reality TV staple Big Brother, currently in its ninth installment.

Evicted on Day 14, Somerville hoped to have another chance to play the game, but came in second in the special “America’s Choice” poll to bring back a former HouseGuest (the poll results were eventually not used at all and nobody was brought back). Now freed from a three-week sequester, Somerville was interviewed by Wikinews reporter Mike Halterman and he discussed his thoughts on Big Brother, how he and his fellow HouseGuests were portrayed and received, and what he plans to do now that his experience is, for the most part, over.

Somerville will return to Big Brother on finale night in five weeks. Please check your local listings for time and channel. Big Brother airs on CBS in the United States, Global in Canada, and E4 in the United Kingdom.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=%27Big_Brother%27_contestant_Parker_Somerville_sounds_off_about_the_show_and_his_aspirations&oldid=4567527”

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Wikinews Shorts: April 14, 2007

Category : Uncategorized

A compilation of brief news reports for Saturday, April 14, 2007.

Russian opposition leader and former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov was among 170 people detained by Russian authorities during a security operation against a rally organised by The Other Russia. The Other Russia is an umbrella coalition that gathers opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Today the regime showed its true colours, its true face,” said Kasparov. “We were arrested when we were doing nothing. There was no action. We were just walking along,” he told reporters.

Sources

  • “Kasparov arrested at Moscow rally” — BBC News, 14 April 2007
  • Christian Lowe. “Kasparov defiant after arrest in Moscow march” — Reuters, 14 April 2007

A key deadline with respect to North Korea’s nuclear programme has passed. North Korea said it remained committed to closing the reactor at Yongbyon.

North Korea has insited that some US$25 million be unfrozen at a Macau bank. The United States says the funds have been released, but that North Korea has yet to withdraw any of it.

US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill was quoted as saying, “It’s certainly worrisome to all of us to see them approaching this date rather lethargically.” Hill continued, “The Chinese wanted us to show some patience for a couple of more days. There’s a sense that the communication lines are open and the North Koreans understand the fact that these accounts are accessible to them.”

Sources

  • “N Korea reaches nuclear deadline” — BBC News, April 14, 2007
  • Lindsay Beck and Ben Blanchard. “China urges patience on North Korea deadline D-day” — Reuters, April 14, 2007

United Kingdom mental health charity, Young Minds, has called on the UK government for mental healthcare reforms to give vulnerable children more protection. The charity also claims that at least a third of young people under psychiatric care are detained against their will.

The charity’s comments come in response to the proposed Mental Health Bill which Parliament is set to debat next week.

Sources

  • “Mental care ‘must protect young'” — BBC News, Saturday, 14 April 2007

A bus and a truck collided and burst into flames in Chihuahua, Mexico. The accident occurred near Ciudad Juárez, across the border from El Paso, Texas. Police sources tell Reuters that at least 21 were killed and most of the victims were passengers on the bus. El Universal puts the toll at 23.

Sources

  • “At least 21 killed in Mexican bus crash” — Reuters, April 14, 2007
  • “Suman 23 muertos por choque en Chihuahua” — El Universal (Mexico City), April 14, 2007

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_Shorts:_April_14,_2007&oldid=4497648”

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Wikinews interviews Kent Mesplay, Green Party presidential candidate

Category : Uncategorized

Sunday, June 29, 2008

While nearly all coverage of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third-party candidates. These prospects represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.

Wikinews has reached out to these candidates throughout the campaign. We now interview Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Kent Mesplay.

Why do you want to be President?

I run for president to help improve society, pointing out that we are more secure when we live in a sustainable manner. As of this writing our culture is based on the consumption of limited materials such as petroleum, coal and uranium with great emphasis placed on the consumption of “goods” that are produced and purchased with little regard for the well-being of future generations. Government, ideally, provides an independent, objective forum through which solutions to the needs and wants of our time can be raised, discussed and implemented in a thoughtful, respectful manner. In contrast to this ideal, our current central, national government exists largely to protect and preserve the status quo of relatively few stake-holders, having undue political influence and acting in a manner not in the best interest of the majority of people. We cannot blindly consume our way to peace and stability.
A Green presidential administration would put the needs of current and future generations above the rude demands and expectations of the well-heeled political donor class. It is not important that we have a new president bearing the face of change. We need vital, core change to our political institutions to decentralize control, empower rational science-based decision-making and cut the damaging influence of corporate money on public policy. This change is unlikely to arise from within the current two political parties that are intrinsically corrupted by the ubiquitous “greased-palm” bribing handshake with corporate entities. We need to only ask how many corporate media conglomerates regularly advertize the question, “Should a corporation have the legal status of a super-person?” to realize the extent of the current dilemma. A corporation should never have been considered to have the legal rights of an individual. The Green Party is independent from business interests. This political arm of the environmental, peace and justice movements represents meaningful change to public policy and to our fragile, centralized, short-sighted way of life.
Green solutions are largely local solutions: more community gardens and small farms, reasonable use of fresh water, grey-water and waste-water, including more water storage and community responsibility for the entire water stream, energy-efficient housing and transportation, health care for all, protecting besieged ecosystems. Practically, what this means is a higher base-line of essential services with the costs shared and supported broadly. To be clear, our basic physical security deserves support, not gaming at the hands of profiteers. A common wealth for all citizens is possible, with local regional flavors in commerce and culture atop this “baseline” of security. To be danced out of the way, one finds the current heavy-handed players of agribusiness, pharmaceuticals, energy, insurance and the congressional-military-industrial complex all dependent upon “corporate socialism” for subsidies and protection from real, meaningful, positive change and shielded from probing questions as to why, for example, we so frequently go to war.
Mottos include “sustainability is security” and “freedom to debate.” I run to help define, popularize and grow the Green Party, to be an advocate for: single-payer health-care, renewable energy, increased energy efficiency, rail transport, organic local agriculture, indigenous rights, wise water use, banning lobbying/bribery, over-turning the legal fiction that a corporation is a person, and equal media exposure for all political candidates, having open debates between all political parties and beating those “swords into plowshares” by focusing on improving diplomacy, communication and basic physical security in water, food and energy in particular to mitigate the negative effects of global climate change and to provide emergency readiness. Also, I get bored easily and this keeps me busy.

Have you ever run for political office before? (President, senate, congress, city councillor, school trustee… etc.) Have you ever been a member of a political party, other than the one you’re currently in?

I ran for president in 2004 and 2008, being one of the four “finalists” at the nominating conventions. Also, I ran for U.S. Senate in California as part of a contested race in the Green Party Primary Election in 2006. I plan to run for U.S. Congress in 2010 and I am now taking the steps to begin running for the 2012 presidential race. I have been a member of both main U.S. parties and I cannot adequately express my disgust for them both. I encourage people everywhere to register Green, vote Green and support Green Party efforts at achieving and maintaining ballot access within the current hostile political environment. Ideally, we can together displace one of the two major parties; such is the near-majority level of disapproval of the antiquated mainstream parties and the desire for a true alternative.

Have you ever campaigned for another political candidate?

In 1996 I helped organize a press conference for then-presidential candidate Ralph Nader, after having helped support efforts to draft him as a candidate.

What skills or ideas do you bring from this position, or previous positions, that will benefit the Oval Office?

I believe in the separation of power within government, including economic power. Due to the influence of money in politics and within government we do not have a political system that works well to advance the needs and concerns of “we the people.” There are few, muted voices within our government supporting the dispossessed, the disenfranchised, the “left out,” the lower echelon within our socio-economic strata. Especially now, with high energy costs, questionable food supplies, shredded social safety nets, job loss due to outsourcing and other losses, loss of civil liberties and rights, the consolidation and concealment of governmental power, the “fascist” confluence of military-industrial business with governmental power, threats of unstable weather, retaliation by terrorists and opportunistic foreign governments following our model it is a good time to not be silent. I have lived with and among many different cultures, religions and peoples, I have a multi-cultural background and a mixed ancestry, I value art, music and science, I am both intuitive and analytical and I enjoy solving problems. Our nation would benefit greatly from my services. Plus, I am not “on the take.”

Campaigning for the American presidency is one of the most expensive exercises in the world. How do you deal with the cost and fundraising?

Small contributions from many people not expecting a return of favors approximates public funding of campaigns. In order to “get the word out” about my existence as a candidate it is necessary to adapt and adopt alternative, low-cost strategies. With my campaign team steadily growing I anticipate utilizing modern low-cost communication methods to help “spread the word.” Fund-raising is among the least palatable activities that I have to endure as a candidate and I will be the first to admit that I have done very little fundraising. The reader who is a U.S. Citizen of voting age is encouraged to support my candidacy by visiting my web site, www.mesplay.org, and making a small donation in accordance with Federal Election Commission guidelines. Also, simply e-mailing friends helps tremendously with these small campaigns.

What are you/were you looking for in a running mate?

My running mate would likely represent a demographic that I do not, such as being female and non-white, since I am a white male. As to character and experience, I would want to be supported by someone with great practical public experience who has remained in integrity with the original idealistic hopes and dreams that once drew them into the public eye or political arena.

Can you win the 2008 Presidential election?

I can win the 2008 presidential election by becoming the Green nominee, by inspiring otherwise non-voters to register Green and to grow Green Parties in those states where they are not yet granted ballot access and to subsequently vote in some creative, time-urgent manner circumventing the severe limitations put on candidates and parties by the secretaries of state through the country. I would have to win many of the states where the Green Party is on the ballot and I would have to find a manner allowing erstwhile green voters to legally vote in those states where we are not on the ballot.

If you can’t make it into the Oval Office, who would you prefer seeing taking the presidency?

I cannot support candidates who foolishly support nuclear power and weapons, who do not recognize the need for peace and who do not offer real, meaningful, substantive systemic change.

What should the American people keep in mind, when heading to the polls this November?

When heading for the polls this November U.S. citizens should support Green Party candidates, policies and values. Thank you.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_interviews_Kent_Mesplay,_Green_Party_presidential_candidate&oldid=1976721”

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RuPaul speaks about society and the state of drag as performance art

Category : Uncategorized

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Few artists ever penetrate the subconscious level of American culture the way RuPaul Andre Charles did with the 1993 album Supermodel of the World. It was groundbreaking not only because in the midst of the Grunge phenomenon did Charles have a dance hit on MTV, but because he did it as RuPaul, formerly known as Starbooty, a supermodel drag queen with a message: love everyone. A duet with Elton John, an endorsement deal with MAC cosmetics, an eponymous talk show on VH-1 and roles in film propelled RuPaul into the new millennium.

In July, RuPaul’s movie Starrbooty began playing at film festivals and it is set to be released on DVD October 31st. Wikinews reporter David Shankbone recently spoke with RuPaul by telephone in Los Angeles, where she is to appear on stage for DIVAS Simply Singing!, a benefit for HIV-AIDS.


DS: How are you doing?

RP: Everything is great. I just settled into my new hotel room in downtown Los Angeles. I have never stayed downtown, so I wanted to try it out. L.A. is one of those traditional big cities where nobody goes downtown, but they are trying to change that.

DS: How do you like Los Angeles?

RP: I love L.A. I’m from San Diego, and I lived here for six years. It took me four years to fall in love with it and then those last two years I had fallen head over heels in love with it. Where are you from?

DS: Me? I’m from all over. I have lived in 17 cities, six states and three countries.

RP: Where were you when you were 15?

DS: Georgia, in a small town at the bottom of Fulton County called Palmetto.

RP: When I was in Georgia I went to South Fulton Technical School. The last high school I ever went to was…actually, I don’t remember the name of it.

DS: Do you miss Atlanta?

RP: I miss the Atlanta that I lived in. That Atlanta is long gone. It’s like a childhood friend who underwent head to toe plastic surgery and who I don’t recognize anymore. It’s not that I don’t like it; I do like it. It’s just not the Atlanta that I grew up with. It looks different because it went through that boomtown phase and so it has been transient. What made Georgia Georgia to me is gone. The last time I stayed in a hotel there my room was overlooking a construction site, and I realized the building that was torn down was a building that I had seen get built. And it had been torn down to build a new building. It was something you don’t expect to see in your lifetime.

DS: What did that signify to you?

RP: What it showed me is that the mentality in Atlanta is that much of their history means nothing. For so many years they did a good job preserving. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a preservationist. It’s just an interesting observation.

DS: In 2004 when you released your third album, Red Hot, it received a good deal of play in the clubs and on dance radio, but very little press coverage. On your blog you discussed how you felt betrayed by the entertainment industry and, in particular, the gay press. What happened?

RP: Well, betrayed might be the wrong word. ‘Betrayed’ alludes to an idea that there was some kind of a promise made to me, and there never was. More so, I was disappointed. I don’t feel like it was a betrayal. Nobody promises anything in show business and you understand that from day one.
But, I don’t know what happened. It seemed I couldn’t get press on my album unless I was willing to play into the role that the mainstream press has assigned to gay people, which is as servants of straight ideals.

DS: Do you mean as court jesters?

RP: Not court jesters, because that also plays into that mentality. We as humans find it easy to categorize people so that we know how to feel comfortable with them; so that we don’t feel threatened. If someone falls outside of that categorization, we feel threatened and we search our psyche to put them into a category that we feel comfortable with. The mainstream media and the gay press find it hard to accept me as…just…

DS: Everything you are?

RP: Everything that I am.

DS: It seems like years ago, and my recollection might be fuzzy, but it seems like I read a mainstream media piece that talked about how you wanted to break out of the RuPaul ‘character’ and be seen as more than just RuPaul.

RP: Well, RuPaul is my real name and that’s who I am and who I have always been. There’s the product RuPaul that I have sold in business. Does the product feel like it’s been put into a box? Could you be more clear? It’s a hard question to answer.

DS: That you wanted to be seen as more than just RuPaul the drag queen, but also for the man and versatile artist that you are.

RP: That’s not on target. What other people think of me is not my business. What I do is what I do. How people see me doesn’t change what I decide to do. I don’t choose projects so people don’t see me as one thing or another. I choose projects that excite me. I think the problem is that people refuse to understand what drag is outside of their own belief system. A friend of mine recently did the Oprah show about transgendered youth. It was obvious that we, as a culture, have a hard time trying to understand the difference between a drag queen, transsexual, and a transgender, yet we find it very easy to know the difference between the American baseball league and the National baseball league, when they are both so similar. We’ll learn the difference to that. One of my hobbies is to research and go underneath ideas to discover why certain ones stay in place while others do not. Like Adam and Eve, which is a flimsy fairytale story, yet it is something that people believe; what, exactly, keeps it in place?

DS: What keeps people from knowing the difference between what is real and important, and what is not?

RP: Our belief systems. If you are a Christian then your belief system doesn’t allow for transgender or any of those things, and you then are going to have a vested interest in not understanding that. Why? Because if one peg in your belief system doesn’t work or doesn’t fit, the whole thing will crumble. So some people won’t understand the difference between a transvestite and transsexual. They will not understand that no matter how hard you force them to because it will mean deconstructing their whole belief system. If they understand Adam and Eve is a parable or fairytale, they then have to rethink their entire belief system.
As to me being seen as whatever, I was more likely commenting on the phenomenon of our culture. I am creative, and I am all of those things you mention, and doing one thing out there and people seeing it, it doesn’t matter if people know all that about me or not.

DS: Recently I interviewed Natasha Khan of the band Bat for Lashes, and she is considered by many to be one of the real up-and-coming artists in music today. Her band was up for the Mercury Prize in England. When I asked her where she drew inspiration from, she mentioned what really got her recently was the 1960’s and 70’s psychedelic drag queen performance art, such as seen in Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis, The Cockettes and Paris Is Burning. What do you think when you hear an artist in her twenties looking to that era of drag performance art for inspiration?

RP: The first thing I think of when I hear that is that young kids are always looking for the ‘rock and roll’ answer to give. It’s very clever to give that answer. She’s asked that a lot: “Where do you get your inspiration?” And what she gave you is the best sound bite she could; it’s a really a good sound bite. I don’t know about Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis, but I know about The Cockettes and Paris Is Burning. What I think about when I hear that is there are all these art school kids and when they get an understanding of how the press works, and how your sound bite will affect the interview, they go for the best.

DS: You think her answer was contrived?

RP: I think all answers are really contrived. Everything is contrived; the whole world is an illusion. Coming up and seeing kids dressed in Goth or hip hop clothes, when you go beneath all that, you have to ask: what is that really? You understand they are affected, pretentious. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s how we see things. I love Paris Is Burning.

DS: Has the Iraq War affected you at all?

RP: Absolutely. It’s not good, I don’t like it, and it makes me want to enjoy this moment a lot more and be very appreciative. Like when I’m on a hike in a canyon and it smells good and there aren’t bombs dropping.

DS: Do you think there is a lot of apathy in the culture?

RP: There’s apathy, and there’s a lot of anti-depressants and that probably lends a big contribution to the apathy. We have iPods and GPS systems and all these things to distract us.

DS: Do you ever work the current political culture into your art?

RP: No, I don’t. Every time I bat my eyelashes it’s a political statement. The drag I come from has always been a critique of our society, so the act is defiant in and of itself in a patriarchal society such as ours. It’s an act of treason.

DS: What do you think of young performance artists working in drag today?

RP: I don’t know of any. I don’t know of any. Because the gay culture is obsessed with everything straight and femininity has been under attack for so many years, there aren’t any up and coming drag artists. Gay culture isn’t paying attention to it, and straight people don’t either. There aren’t any drag clubs to go to in New York. I see more drag clubs in Los Angeles than in New York, which is so odd because L.A. has never been about club culture.

DS: Michael Musto told me something that was opposite of what you said. He said he felt that the younger gays, the ones who are up-and-coming, are over the body fascism and more willing to embrace their feminine sides.

RP: I think they are redefining what femininity is, but I still think there is a lot of negativity associated with true femininity. Do boys wear eyeliner and dress in skinny jeans now? Yes, they do. But it’s still a heavily patriarchal culture and you never see two men in Star magazine, or the Queer Eye guys at a premiere, the way you see Ellen and her girlfriend—where they are all, ‘Oh, look how cute’—without a negative connotation to it. There is a definite prejudice towards men who use femininity as part of their palette; their emotional palette, their physical palette. Is that changing? It’s changing in ways that don’t advance the cause of femininity. I’m not talking frilly-laced pink things or Hello Kitty stuff. I’m talking about goddess energy, intuition and feelings. That is still under attack, and it has gotten worse. That’s why you wouldn’t get someone covering the RuPaul album, or why they say people aren’t tuning into the Katie Couric show. Sure, they can say ‘Oh, RuPaul’s album sucks’ and ‘Katie Couric is awful’; but that’s not really true. It’s about what our culture finds important, and what’s important are things that support patriarchal power. The only feminine thing supported in this struggle is Pamela Anderson and Jessica Simpson, things that support our patriarchal culture.
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Benefits Of Outsourcing To Printing Services In Orange County

byAlma Abell

There are many companies that have a lot of printing to do. Such companies face challenges getting the best printing services, especially if they try to do their own printing without having the best set up. If you run such a firm, you can easily overcome such problems by outsourcing your jobs to Printing Services Orange County that specialize in professional printing jobs.

There are several benefits of doing this. The first thing you need before you can even dream of making any printout is the printer. Buying printers may sound like an easy task, but it is not. There are special printing tasks that need special machines. Architectural designers need plotters to make great prints of their designs. These machines cost exorbitant amounts, and you need to have a good maintenance team to keep them in their best form.

By their size, such big printers also need lots of space. This will only mean you have to pay for more office space. With a larger office, your running costs as a company will increase, taking part of your profits. You can easily outsource such tasks to a company that will handle it well and save you the agony of having to repair printers and service them regularly.

To keep a good printing team in your company, you must also hire employees with professional experience. Such employees will need many things such as medical insurance, spending allowances and wages that only add to your monthly expenses. Such bills will figure into your budget for as long as you continue running your organization in that style. Whether the printing team works or not, you will always pay their wages.

You can easily avoid paying such wages and having so many people in your office without anything to do. Outsourcing Printing Services will help you get rid of extra faces at the office. You will only pay when you have printing work to do. You will not have to worry about the printers or their maintenance and service. In general, sending your jobs to professional Printing Services Orange County will make your company run better, giving you more time to enjoy life. Learn more here.


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Curiosity Rover analysis suggests chemically complex lake once graced Mars’s Gale crater

Category : Uncategorized

Sunday, June 4, 2017

In an analysis published on Friday in Science, scientists announced data collected from the Curiosity Rover show that Mars’s Gale Crater was once a chemically stratified lake, meaning the aquatic environment differed markedly between deep and shallow water. According to the report, “all of the physical, chemical, and energetic conditions necessary to establish a habitable environment were present on Mars between ~3.8 billion and 3.1 billion years ago.”

Analysis shows the chemical index of alteration fluctuated over time in a way that suggested the lake varied between hot, wet periods and colder, drier periods. The shallow water would have been rich in oxidants brought in from the atmosphere and groundwater, and the deeper water would have been oxidant poor. Phosphates, carbon, nitrogen, iron and sulfur, indicating chemistry suitable for life, have also been found there in a variety of compounds.

Lead author Joel Hurowitz of Stony Brook University explained, “These were very different, co-existing environments in the same lake[…] This type of oxidant stratification is a common feature of lakes on Earth, and now we’ve found it on Mars. The diversity of environments in this Martian lake would have provided multiple opportunities for different types of microbes to survive.”

The scientists also evaluated the fineness of the sediment, meaning the sizes of individual particles of dirt, dust and sand. Curiosity found larger grains near the edges of the lake where sediments from incoming rivers and streams would have fed it, and smaller ones in what would have been the deep lakebed, which is consistent with particles dropping out of the water as the current slows down. “We could tell something was going on,” Hurowitz said in a statement. “What was causing iron minerals to be one flavor in one part of the lake and another flavor in another part of the lake? We had an ‘Aha!’ moment when we realized that the mineral information and the bedding-thickness information mapped perfectly onto each other in a way you would expect from a stratified lake with a chemical boundary between shallow water and deeper water.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Curiosity_Rover_analysis_suggests_chemically_complex_lake_once_graced_Mars%27s_Gale_crater&oldid=4411448”

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Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing 298

Category : Uncategorized

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a Boeing 777, was shot down by a surface-to-air missile on Thursday according to US officials, over disputed eastern Ukraine by an unidentified party.

The flight, which departed Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in The Netherlands at 10:15 UTC en route to Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia, disappeared from radar at 13:15 UTC near Hrabove, a village in the Donetsk Oblast of Ukraine. 283 passengers and 15 crew were aboard the aircraft, all 298 in total perished. The area the plane was flying over is a conflict zone currently between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatist forces.

United States officials confirmed the aircraft has been shot down, according to data from a surveillance satellite which showed the last trajectory and impact of the missile. The missile is believed to be a Buk M1 surface-to-air missile which are believed to be in the hands of rebels according to reports from the area.

So far no party has claimed responsibility for the attack. Ukrainian officials denied the missile which shot down the airliner belonged to Ukraine. Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine’s foreign minister, said to The Guardian, “We are absolutely sure and we checked yesterday that no missiles have been taken from the Ukrainian army”. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) published on YouTube an alleged wiretap of separatist commanders and Russian intelligence officers discussing the shoot-down and acknowledging the aircraft shot down was civilian.

Meanwhile, Russia’s defense ministry has denied involvement, posting a statement on their website which read, “In view of various types of speculation concerning operations of the Russian armed forces in the areas bordering Ukraine, we affirm that the anti-aircraft means of the Russian armed forces did not operate in that region July 17”.

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said, “This was not an ‘incident’, this was not a ‘catastrophe’, this was a terrorist act”. Malyasian prime minister Najib Razak, said, “If it transpires that the flight was shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice.”

All civilian aircraft have been barred from flying over eastern Ukraine. The US’s Federal Aviation Adminstration issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) prohibiting flight operations by United States carriers over eastern Ukraine. However, questions remain as to why the aircraft was flying over the contested area. Eurocontrol noted airspace was closed up to 32,000 feet. Flight 17 was flying at 33,000 feet just above the restricted airspace. Malaysia Airlines issued a statement saying “The usual flight route was earlier declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). [The] International Air Transportation Association (IATA) has stated that the airspace the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Malaysia_Airlines_Flight_17_shot_down_over_eastern_Ukraine,_killing_298&oldid=4582445”

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Search Engine Optimization, Google, And The Reptilian Code

Category : It Solutions

By Jerry Bader

Search engine optimization dominates the thinking and to a large degree the marketing efforts of many small and medium-sized companies, but have you ever noticed that many of the largest and most profitable companies in the world ignore many SEO techniques.

Of course these companies have large advertising and marketing budgets that drive traffic to their websites and generate leads, sales, and most importantly customers; and they achieve these results without having to twist their Web-marketing message out of shape in order to satisfy search engine criteria.

Their prime interest is in delivering their finely crafted, focused marketing message to their audience, not to search robots. Last I heard search engines are in the business of selling you their stuff not buying yours. But these companies also know something that you don’t; they have a secret that makes their marketing work without the need for search engine appeasement. This secret is not much of a secret, in fact it is out there for all see; unfortunately most search engine crazed entrepreneurs choose to ignore it and instead look for an easy fix, a magic bullet, search engine nirvana.

Google’s Mission

Google’s success is based on two very simple facts: one, it is the best way to find what people are looking for on the Web; and two, it has parlayed this ability into a series of paid-for services. Pretty obvious stuff until you delve deeper into why and how this works. Google understands the same thing most extraordinarily successful companies understand and that is they know what you really want. The keyword here is ‘really:’ they understand the unconscious primal need to survive, to be the alpha-ape, to be first on page one of a search for whatever it is you do, because in the SEO game, if you ain’t on the leader board you ain’t in the money.

The Google Paradox

Here’s the problem: Google can only be successful as long as they deliver relevant search results to a vast Internet audience. If they fail to deliver appropriate search results people will stop using them and their paid-for services will decline. On the other hand, you as a business executive want access to Google’s vast audience, and the only way you think you can effectively gain this access is to appear on that first search page as close to the top as possible; and you really don’t give a damn how you get there. Enter the search engine optimization gurus, boffins, and Svengalis who provide the promise of survival of the most index-able.

YouTube Preview Image

So now we have Google who’s success is based on delivering relevant searches and SEO companies intend on manipulating this ability to place their clients on page one near the top. Google of course being a smart bunch of guys foils the SEOs by constantly changing their methods and algorithms and trumps them by placing paid-for results in the most prominent places. And the game continues, bringing in huge profits to Google and wonderfully large fees to the search engine optimization experts, leaving you paying the shot with little to show for it.

Just as an aside, I can tell you that most of our website traffic and subsequent inquiries and worldwide clients come from Google searches, and our website is mostly Flash, concentrates on Web-video and audio, and basically ignores most search optimization tricks. We rely on providing our audience and Google with relevant material.

Back to Basics

The lesson here is clear: sound marketing practices based on the way people think and act should be your number one priority, not blind faith in the manipulation of some constantly changing mathematical formula that is increasingly playing second fiddle to paid-for placement.

Persuasion Techniques

The ability to make money on the Web is not based on traffic but rather on your ability to communicate. High volume expensive traffic that leaves your site within seconds serves no financial purpose. You should be spending your marketing dollars on methods that grab visitors’ attention and deliver a focused, informative, entertaining and memorable marketing message that resonates with your audience’s unconscious desires formed in the primitive reptilian portion of the brain.

The Lustication-Justification Process

Sales are generated by creating what Clotaire Rapaille, the reigning superstar of market research, refers to as the process of lustication and justification. Lustication is the psychological trigger of desire that makes your audience want to buy your product or service, while justification is merely the rational excuse used to expend resources.

Decoding the Motivating Triggers

Rapaille’s work is all about decoding the motivating triggers that prompt a purchase. Once found, the job of the marketing effort is to stay on code. The major research effort is to get past the excuses, the justifications, the rational left brain thinking that appeases the accountants, engineers and programmers, and to get down to the nitty-gritty, the elements and primal coding that make us tick.

Rapaille believes words carry more than their literal meaning and are ripe with unconscious associations, not a surprising revelation since all communication whether verbal or nonverbal is based on the associations we make over a lifetime of experience. These shared associations form the basis of the code we are looking to play upon in our marketing.

Where most corporations and advertising agencies use focus groups as an exercise designed to cover their collective asses, Rapaille takes a different approach. As a trained psychiatrist, he organizes his version of focus groups in stages. During the first stage he allows his subjects to gain a sense of accomplishment by justifying their reasoning through logical and rational thinking that he completing ignores. In the second stage, he pursues the more relevant hidden aspects of desire, and that’s the ultimate sales trigger he’s looking for.

An Affordable Solution

Most businesses certainly can’t afford the fees of someone like Clotaire Rapaille, but if you free yourself from conventional thinking and the need to justify and rationalize everything you do then maybe you to can find the hidden triggers of desire that form the code you need to base your marketing on.

Humans have two fundamental needs, survival and improvement; these essential requirements are subdivided into our need for food, shelter, reproduction, acceptance, community, status, and knowledge; these are motivational triggers for everything your audience does and for every cent they spend. While you’re knocking your brains out competing for top spot on a Google search, the big boys are delivering what people really want, and laughing all the way to the bank.

If you want your share of the Internet pie, you best discover what really satisfies your audience’s hunger, because that’s the basis for a marketing message and website presentation that works.

About the Author: Jerry Bader is Senior Partner at MRPwebmedia, a website design firm that specializes in Web-audio and Web-video. Visit

mrpwebmedia.com/ads

,

136words.com

, and

sonicpersonality.com. Contact at info@mrpwebmedia.com or telephone (905) 764-1246.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=226067&ca=Internet


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Soft drink foes cheer victory, lament remaining junk foods in schools

Category : Uncategorized

Monday, May 8, 2006

Last week’s announcement that most soda manufacturers will stop selling their sugary products in U.S. schools did not mention that avoiding lawsuits was part of the motivation for the self-imposed ban. Some of those who threatened legal action to stop the soda sales are patting themselves on the back over the agreement, while lamenting that the deal did not go far enough, and now plan to press for more restrictions.

“Though there is room for improvement — sugary “sports” drinks still will be sold in schools, for instance — this voluntary agreement is certainly good enough that CSPI will drop its planned lawsuit against Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Cadbury-Schweppes and their bottlers,” said Michael F. Jacobson, the executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest . “I hope this settlement contributes to the momentum that is building in Congress for legislation that would require USDA to update its standards for foods sold outside of school meals. That would enable USDA to eliminate the sale of candy, cookies, French fries, potato chips, and other snack foods, as well as sports drinks, that are standard fare in school vending machines and stores.”

In the wake of the announcement of the agreement by the three largest soft drink companies, their bottlers and the public health advocacy group, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Jacobson thanked his team of litigators for “negotiating effectively with the soft-drink industry over the past six months, and for demonstrating that the judicial system can play an important role in spurring public health advances.”

Richard Daynard, a law professor and president of the Public Health Advocacy Institute, which threatened the soft-drink industry with lawsuits, said in an institute press release, “The industry agreement with the Clinton Foundation and American Heart Association comes after sustained pressure from potential litigation and negotiations with public health groups and their lawyers. It is a credit to the role of litigation and the legal system as a component of effective public health strategy.”

“This agreement demonstrates the potential of public health litigation to help control the obesity epidemic,” he said.

In an email exchange with the James Logan Courier, Margo Wootan, director of Nutrition Policy for the Center for Science in the Public interest, said, “Last week’s announcement that soft drink companies will pull all sugary sodas from schools is great step toward improving school foods. This agreement is the culmination of the tremendous national momentum on improving school foods — from the local policies (in LA, NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia, DC, etc.), state bills (in 2005, 200 bills were introduced in 40 states to get soda and junk foods out of schools), the strong bipartisan bill pending in the U.S. Congress, and threats of litigation against soda companies.”

“While today’s agreement is a huge step forward, it is by no means the last step” wrote Wootan, ” We still have a lot of work to do to improve school foods.”

The agreement, announced Wednesday morning by the William J. Clinton Foundation, means that the nation’s biggest beverage distributors, and the American Beverage Association, will pull their soda products from vending machines and cafeterias in schools serving about 35 million students, according to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative between the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association.

Under the agreement, high schools will still be able to purchase drinks such as diet and unsweetened teas, diet sodas, sports drinks, flavored water, seltzer and low-calorie sports drinks for resale to students.

The companies plan to stop soda sales at 75 percent of the nation’s public schools by the 2008-2009 school year, and at all schools in the following school year. The speed of the changes will depend in part on school districts’ willingness to change their contracts with the beverage distributors.

Some food activists criticized the deal for not going far enough and undermining efforts to go further.

Michele Simon, the director of the Center for Informed Food Choices, based in Oakland, Ca., called the deal “bogus” and a “PR stunt” by “Big Cola” in an effort to “sugar coat it’s image.”

“This announcement could potentially undermine ongoing grassroots efforts, state legislation, and other enforceable policies,” wrote Simon in an article at www.commondreams.org,” For example, in Massachusetts where a stronger bill is pending, a local advocate is worried about the adverse impact, since legislators could easily think that Clinton has taken care of the problem and ignore the bill. What was already an uphill battle—getting schools and legislatures to take this problem seriously—was just made worse, not better, by this bogus agreement.

“Even from a health standpoint, the deal is hardly impressive. Diet soda full of artificial sweeteners, sports drinks high in sugar, and other empty-calorie beverages with zero nutritional value are still allowed in high schools,” Simon wrote, “Also, parents concerned about soda advertising in schools will not be pleased with the agreement. Not a word is mentioned about the ubiquitous marketing children are subjected to daily in the form of branded score boards, school supplies, sports bags, and cups (just to name a few), which is required by exclusive Coke and Pepsi contracts. “

She’s not the only one criticizing the deal.“ While the initial details are promising, PHAI is concerned about some aspects of the agreement as it is being reported,” Daynard said in the press release. “The continual sale of “sports drinks” is a cause for concern. While they have a role for marathon runners and others engaged in sustained strenuous sports, for most students “sports drinks” are just another form of sugar water. Furthermore, the change in beverages offered must be carefully monitored and cannot depend entirely on the schools’ willingness and ability to alter existing contracts. Soda companies have spent decades pushing these unhealthy drinks on children and should bear the responsibility for their removal. PHAI is also concerned about the enforcement of this agreement and its silence on industry marketing activities in the school system,” he said.

“Importantly, the agreement doesn’t address the sale of chips, candy, snack cakes, ice cream, or any of the other high-fat, high-calorie, high-salt foods that are sold widely in schools,” said Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “This is a voluntary agreement and is not enforceable, we need Senator Harkin’s school foods bill to lock in the beverage standards and give them the force of law.”

Even the diet drinks, which will still be offered, need to go, said Ross Getman, an attorney in Syracuse, NY. Getman has advocated that soda should not be sold in public schools and that long-term “pouring rights” agreements, which give a company exclusive access to sell their brands at a school, are illegal for a variety of reasons.

Getman, who contends that some diet sodas are contaminated with benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, said the soda “industry gets an “F” for incomplete” for “the industry’s failure to pull all soda from school and to recall products.”

Schools account for about $700 million in U.S. soft-drink sales, less than 1 percent total revenue for Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Cadbury, the nation’s largest soda companies.

Ten of the largest U.S. school districts have already removed soft drinks from vending machines, according to Getman. States including California, Maine and Connecticut have also banned sugary sodas in schools.

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News briefs:July 14, 2010

Category : Uncategorized

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