Monday, August 17, 2009

'Project Runway' Returns to the Air

From the Yawner File

Reality fashion show Project Runway returns to television Aug. 20 after a 10-month hiatus.

Delayed for months by a dispute between rival networks, the sixth season of the popular fashion design contest comes back with a three-hour time slot on Lifetime Television August 20, along with a companion series about runway models and an all-star challenge with eight favorite designers of the past.

Host and model Heidi Klum, designer Michael Kors, fashion editor Nina Garcia and urbane mentor Tim Gunn with his catchphrase "make it work" are all back to guide 16 fledgling designers in a competition to launch their own fashion line.

The biggest change will be the switch from New York to Los Angeles -- home of the biggest celebrity red carpets in the world.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Women Shopping; Men Fretting

The economic crisis has not affected the spending habits of some women as much as it has men, according to this news item from Reuters.
Gender marketing expert Diana Jaffe said the uncertainty about jobs caused by the economic slump posed a threat to male identity, prompting men to cut back on spending. Meanwhile, women are taking steps to cheer themselves up with a treat.

"Women are also worried about their jobs, but not to the extent that they feel their mere existence is being threatened and so they are in the mood to buy despite the crisis," Jaffe said.

Some men have stopped themselves from splurging on flashy goods that could be deemed as tasteless during times of austerity, while others don't have the capacity to think about spending on luxury items, Jaffe said.

Friday, July 31, 2009

House Votes for Restricting Wall Street Pay

From the It's-About-Damn-Time File:

WASHINGTON – The House voted Friday to slap restrictions on how Wall Street executives are paid after nine banks that took government bailout money rewarded thousands of their employees with bonuses topping $1 million each.

Bowing to populist anger and defying President Barack Obama's suggestion that government rely on incentives instead of intervention to curb excessive salaries and bonuses, the House passed the bill on a 237-185 vote.

"This is not the government taking over the corporate sector. . . . It is a statement by the American people that it is time for us to straighten up the ship," said Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Don't Tase Me, Bro - Times 3

According to a report by the Associated Press:

Taser International unveiled its first new stun gun since 2003 Monday, a device that can shock three people without being reloaded.

Or, one person three times.

Taser CEO Rick Smith said, "This is as big a step as when firearms went from a muzzle loader to the revolver. If I was a cop I'd want to carry one."

Of course he would like every cop in the U.S. to carry one at $1,799 a pop. Pun intended.

The gun will come in handy if a Texas deputy stops a car load of little old ladies.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

New Killer African Virus

A new killer virus has been discovered in Africa.

ATLANTA - Scientists have identified a lethal new virus in Africa that causes bleeding like the dreaded Ebola virus.

The so-called "Lujo" virus infected five people in Zambia and South Africa last fall. Four of them died, but a fifth survived, perhaps helped by a medicine recommended by the scientists.

It's not clear how the first person became infected, but the bug comes from a family of viruses found in rodents, said Dr. Ian Lipkin, a Columbia University epidemiologist involved in the discovery.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mexico Places Bounty on Drug Lords

File this in It's About Time:

MEXICO CITY – Mexico's government on Monday offered $2 million each for information leading to the arrest of 24 top drug lords in a public challenge to the cartels' violent grip on the country. The list indicated that drug gangs have splintered into six main cartels under pressure from the U.S. and Mexican governments.

The two most powerful gangs — the Pacific and Gulf cartels — each suffered fractures that have given rise to new cartels, according to the list published by the Attorney General's Office.

The list offers 30 million pesos ($2 million) in rewards for 24 top members of the cartels and 15 million pesos ($1 million) for 13 of their lieutenants.

Mexico's drug violence has killed more than 9,000 people since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 as gangs battle each other for territory and fight off a government crackdown. Some of that violence is spilling over into the United States, especially the Southwest, where kidnaps and killings are on the rise.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Democrats Lead List of Richest Senators

Of the richest U.S. senators, Democrats fill seven of the top ten slots, according to a study conducted by nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

On the House side, Republicans fill six of the top ten.

Authors of the study said it's impossible to give a precise net worth for members of Congress because their individual assets and liabilities are disclosed in broad ranges. To conduct the study, the Center for Responsive Politics determined a member's minimum net worth and maximum net worth and then calculated an average, which was used to rank the members.

Because the law does not require them to do so, members of Congress don't disclose the value of their homes unless they produce income. As a result, a member's true net worth is likely to be much higher than what gets reported.

"Members of Congress don't make it easy for the public to keep tabs on their personal holdings and any conflicts of interest those holdings present," said Dan Auble, who manages the center's database of lawmakers' financial information.

A listing of the richest members of Congress follows:


1 John Kerry (D-Mass.)........$336,224,883

2 Herb Kohl (D-Wis.)........$241,545,513

3 Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.)........$103,560,020

4 Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)........$93,715,011

5 Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)........$89,509,099

6 Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)........$84,171,162

7 Gordon Smith (R-Ore.)........$46,127,014

8 Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)........$33,308,537

9 Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)........$32,428,089

10 Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.)........$31,421,472

House of Representatives

1 Jane Harman (D-Calif.)........$397,412,077

2 Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)........$343,457,521

3 Robin Hayes (R-N.C.)........$173,409,173

4 Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.)........$165,748,714

5 Michael McCaul (R-Texas)........$64,073,077

6 Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)........$62,468,047

7 Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.)........$50,297,547

8 Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.)........$47,350,092

9 Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.)........$43,716,445

10 Gary Miller (R-Calif.)........$39,978,021

Source: Center for Responsive Politics