Proof Positivity: Haiti Moves On

In January 2010 Port-au-Prince, Haiti  was rocked with a 7.0 sized earthquake.   Thousands were feared dead.  Enough of that I’m not hear to tell you about what was depressing and happened in the past.  I am here to tell you what is happening now in Haiti.

Honeywell breaks ground in Jacmel, Haiti for a new school.

Honeywell which invents and manufactures breakthrough technologies that address tough challenges linked to global megatrends such as personal, commercial and homeland security; safety in the air and on the ground; and energy efficiency for factories, refineries, homes, buildings, cars and trucks, has invested it’s time in to Jacmel, Haiti.

Jacmel, Haiti is expected to have a brand new school as of January 2011.

“Six months ago, Honeywell committed to contributing $1 million in aid to the region, including a 100 percent match of employee donations, to fund rebuilding projects in Haiti and we are on target with that promise,” said Tom Buckmaster, President of Honeywell Hometown Solutions, Honeywell’s Corporate Citizenship initiative.  “With the dedicated assistance of Mayor Edwin Zenny along with Operation USA, we’re confident that today’s ground breaking will help support education and overall community resources.  Honeywell has also made business jets available to relief agency Operation USA for airlift support to deliver medical supplies and transport medical staff.  We are dedicated to helping Haiti rebuild.”

This project will help to ensure the school can withstand a future earthquake and it will be made with sustainable building materials. Some of the special features of the school include  new computer lab,  a sustainable community garden, and regulation-sized athletic field.

A partnership between Honeywell and Operation USA has not only helped to bring this school to fruition, but also helped to create a scholarship fund  to help support expenses the students may incur during the school year, including mandatory school uniforms, books and supplies.


Proof Positivity: Kids Who Care

Kohl’s has announced the  recipients for their Kohl’s Kids Who Care  Scholarship Program which award $10,000 and recognizes outstanding volunteerism.  The winners are between the ages of nine to eighteen.  Kohl’s has also promised a donation of $1,000 per winner to the charity of their choice.

“Through incredible acts such as creating a thriving literacy program at a homeless shelter, harvesting and selling honey to benefit cancer research and leading a local movement to promote teen health, our 2010 winners exemplify the true meaning of volunteerism and demonstrate that regardless of age, people are capable of remarkable and inspiring accomplishments,” said Julie Gardner, Kohl’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “For the past 10 years, Kohl’s has been proud to recognize and support the education of extraordinary kids and hope their selfless acts will inspire more young people to make a positive difference in the lives of others.”

This year’s winners were selected from more than 27,000 youth nominees nationwide for volunteer efforts reaching far above and beyond what is normally expected of children. These remarkable efforts include raising funds to provide education to underprivileged kids, starting organizations to raise awareness and money for childhood diseases and providing toys, books and supplies to local families in need.

National scholarship recipients include:

  • Selchia Cain, 17, Kansas City, Mo. – Selchia started a local movement called “Health Hype: Super Size Your Minds…Not Your Bodies” to combat the rising problem of teen obesity in her area.
  • Charles Dewey, 18, Corona, Calif. – Charles founded a literacy program at the Circle of Hope Family Shelter for the homeless, growing a weekly three person volunteer effort to a four times per week 22-volunteer initiative.
  • Eileen Garrido, 11, Downey, Calif. – Born with a serious heart condition, Eileen founded the Beating Hearts Foundation and raised more than $930,000 in seven months for hospitals that treat children with cardiovascular diseases.
  • Carolyn (Carly) Houlahan, 15, Devon, Pa. – Carly co-founded Hives for Lives, a sustainable honey business that has donated more than $160,000 to cancer hospitals and research centers across the country.

  • Pearce Quesenberry, 12, Wilmington, Del. – Diagnosed with a rare brain cancer, Pearce started the Pearce Q. Foundation, which has directly helped more than 1,200 children and family members impacted by childhood cancer.
  • Ben Sater, 18, Plano, Texas – Ben founded KidSwing, an annual children’s golf tournament for kids, by kids, that has raised more than $800,000 for community-supported Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.
  • Pooja Shah, 17, Fremont, Calif. – Pooja founded Just Start, Inc., a nonprofit supporting after-school programs for 600 low-income second and third graders at more than 40 elementary schools in California.
  • Ashlee Smith, 11, Reno, Nev. – Ashlee founded Ashlee’s Toy Closet, and collected and donated more than 100,000 toys to kids in her community affected by natural disasters, personal tragedy and illness.
  • Elizabeth (Lily) Toomey, 9, West Hartford, Conn. – Born with a congenital heart defect, Lily raised awareness of and funding for heart health by speaking at American Heart Association events, raising $100,000 for the cause.
  • Jonathon White, 11, Stuarts Draft, Va. – Jonathon worked to collect, fold and pack approximately $500,000 worth of toys, clothes, school supplies, books and hygiene items for distribution to local families in need.

Congratulations to all of these children.

Proof Positivity: Proof Positivity

The Gift of Literacy


Imagine not being able to read.  About 1/4 of the adult population – that’s about 44million – possess level 1 literacy skills (the lowest so far).   I believe that learning to read can happen at any time but it’s more benificial to start at a young age.   “Researchers found that children from both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking, low-income families, had better language comprehension and cognitive development if their mothers began reading to them at an early age.
Many studies have demonstrated the benefits of parents reading to preschoolers in terms of improved language development.”

Starting Nov. 14, and ending Dec. 24 Borders® and Waldenbooks® stores nationwide are conducting a company-wide, community-based holiday book drive that’s expected to benefit hundreds of thousands of needy children across the nation.  The drive is for kids who may not have a book to call their own.  Customers can also choose to donate Borders’ own “Beckett the Bear,” a cuddly plush panda bear knowing that the books and the bears will go to a local non-profit organization, carefully chosen by each store.

Borders collected and delivered more than 600,000 books donated by generous customers during its August company-wide book drive. Recipient organizations included Reach Out and Read Michigan, Boys Town, the Ronald McDonald House and numerous other organizations.

“As avid readers we take for granted the access we have to books in our everyday lives, but the fact is many children don’t have books of their own,” said Mike Edwards, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer for Borders Group.  “We know that through our book drives, we are helping foster literacy, which is vitally important to families and to communities.”

Proof Positivity: TV Good For A Child?

  The original article was written by Steve Johnson from The Chicago Tribune. A me5new study just came out.  TV isn’t so bad for your kids after all.  Television helps develop visual and language skills.  It has potential for boosting test scores in children who are disadvantaged. Proffesor of child development Aletha Huston states, “It’s the content that matters.  If used correctly, television can be a wonderful medium for kids.  It can be a way of exposing them to the world.  It can be  a resource for kids to get to places and times they wouldn’t get to.”

Studies show that 350,000 of  sixth, ninth, and twelvth grade showed that the ones who watched more TV did better on tests than those who watched less.

Though TV is no replacement for positive parenting I think this is good news for parents who want that stay at home job and can’t afford an in home babysitter.  Then, there are the parents who just don’t pay attention at all.  Maybe their children aren’t left behind maybe they are beyond everyone else.


Have A Dinotastic Time

Dinosaurs Unearthed is now making its U.S. debut at Cincinnati Museum Center,  highlighting some of the most thought-provoking paleontological discoveries of the past decade.


Dinosaurs Unearthed features a display of roaring, moving dinosaurs reaching up to 55 feet long and 22 feet high.  Something that will have a lot of people talking is the never-before-seen set of full-size, feather-covered dinosaurs.


In recent years, paleontologists across the globe have discovered and studied fossilized evidence that many famous dinosaur species, including Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor, may have been covered in feathers to help camouflage, travel or even keep themselves warm.


To compile the exhibit’s contents, Dinosaurs Unearthed producers worked closely with Dr. Xu Xing of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Science in Beijing. Dr. Xu is widely considered to be the world’s foremost expert on feathered dinosaurs.


“A selection of feathered dinosaur models illustrates the diversity of new forms discovered in recent years,” says Glenn Storrs, PhD, Cincinnati Museum Center’s Withrow Farny curator of vertebrate paleontology. “The feathered dinosaurs of China confirm the long-suspected evolution of modern birds from extinct dinosaurian ancestors. With each discovery, another evolutionary “missing link” is added to our understanding of the fossil record.”


Accompanying the exhibit is the OMNIMAX film, Dinosaurs Alive. Which takes visitors on a  journey back to the early Triassic period all the way through the late Cretaceous, following the tiniest of dinosaurs to the largest creatures that walked the earth.


Produced by the Maryland Science Center and in association with the American Museum of Natural History, the film explores the early roots of paleontology in the Gobi desert, and sweeps the audience through the beautiful landscapes of Mongolia, New Mexico, and into the famous halls of the American Museum of Natural History in New York.


Dates, hours and admission


  • Feb. 13 through Sept. 7
  • Dinosaurs Unearthed
    • Non-members: $15 adult, $10 child
    • Members: $10 adult, $7 child
    • Exhibit hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; final entry into the exhibit occurs at 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and at 6 p.m. on Sunday
  • Dinosaurs Alive
    • Non-members: $7.50 adult, $6.50 seniors, $5.50 children (ages 3-12)
    • Members: $5.50 adult, $4.50 child
    • Standard show times are Monday: 1, 2, 3 and 5 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday: 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 p.m.; Friday: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9 p.m.; Saturday: hourly, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., 9 p.m.; and Sunday: hourly, 11 a.m. through 6 p.m.

Get Out And Take A Breath Of Fresh Air From Mother Nature

Connecting with nature calms and soothes both children and adults, and it is something that both children and adults can do for a wealth of benefits, for free. REAL School Gardens, a nonprofit organization that brings gardens to elementary schools, sees the evidence everyday among thousands of children who spend time outdoors not just for recess, but also for learning.


“Our students absolutely love to go into the garden, whether it is to plant something, work on a science lesson, sit and read, or have lunch and observe their surroundings,” says librarian Melissa Forsythe at Dickinson Elementary School in Grand Prairie, the newest school to join REAL School Gardens. “I remember a second-grade student heading back to class after spending time in the garden saying, ‘This is just like going on a field trip without leaving the building.'”


REAL School Gardens’ mission is to deepen children’s connection to nature, and ultimately, cultivate future generations of environmentally responsible citizens. Research has found that daily exposure to nature enhances children’s cognitive abilities and stimulates their imaginations. Other research has found that children whose school grounds include diverse natural settings are more physically active, more aware of nutrition, and more civil to one another.


“At our core, we love and need nature,” said Clare Walker Leslie, author of Keeping a Nature Journal, who recently led a workshop for the REAL School Gardens community. “It’s a part of our ancient structure, and when it’s taken away, we feel weird.”


Fort Worth may be best known for its cowboy culture and iconic art museums, but thanks to REAL School Gardens it now boasts more school gardens, 54, than any other city in the Southwest.


Leslie’s visit to Fort Worth was part of REAL School Gardens’ effort to cultivate new support so it can expand to new area school communities. It was some of the famous wealth of Fort Worth that prepared the ground for REAL School Gardens several years ago. The Rainwater Charitable Foundation, started by financier Richard Rainwater, provided funding to establish REAL School Gardens in 2003. Now, in its sixth year of operations with its first executive director, Jeanne McCarty, the organization is thriving and wanting to share its model with other school communities around the country.


Currently the organization works with more than 28,000 children in 54 public elementary schools in North Texas.


PR Newswire

Proof Positivity: Long Nails

me4Can you imagine having nails so long that they curl?  In 1979 Lee Redmond stopped cutting her fingernails which measured a total of more than 28 feet long in 2008, with the longest nail on her right thumb at 2 feet, 11 inches, according to the Guinness Web site.  Lee Redmond

Ms. Redmond’s nails were no more following a car accident on Tuesday.  She was not hurt in the accident.

I, personnally, grow my nails long and I am so active I break them just as often.  I don’t understand how you could grow nails like this not that I want to debilitating is the word that comes to mind when I think of nails like this.

A lot of little girls will be very happy as The Jonas Brothers new 3D and on IMAX 3D screens at midnight, on Thursday night, February 26. 

As a bonus available to every “Jonas 3D ticket-buyer, Fandango users will receive a free download of the Jonas Brothers music video, “Tonight.”

Jonas 3D has the potential to be the one of the season’s hottest ticket-sellers,” says Rick Butler, Chief Operating Officer of Fandango. “According to a recent Fandango survey, the vast majority of Jonas’ respondents say that the 3D presentation is a ‘very important’ factor motivating them to buy tickets to the film. It’s clear that passionate Jonas Brothers fans have been looking forward to seeing their favorite band in a way they’ve never been able to see them before.”

To be honest with you I have no clue who the Jonas Brothers are but the hype that they bring is like my being a kid and loving New Kids On The Block.   

Another Kudo For The Walsh Family

From The U.S. Attorney’s Office:


After a ten-day trial before Judge Patti B. Saris, Jeffrey Shields of Bath, Maine, was civilly committed to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a sexually dangerous person. Shields is the first individual in the country to be civilly committed to federal custody as a sexually dangerous person.


In July 2006, Congress enacted the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, Pub.L. No 109-248, 120 Stat. 587 (2006), to combat sexual violence and to protect children. The legislation created, for the first time, a federal civil commitment program for sexually dangerous persons. To commit an individual under its provisions, the Government must establish that an individual: (1) had engaged in child molestation or sexually violent conduct in the past; (2) suffers from a mental illness, abnormality or disorder; and (3) would, because of that illness, abnormality or disorder, have serious difficulty in refraining from future acts of child molestation or sexually violent conduct in the future.


Evidence presented during the trial proved that Shields had numerous prior sexual offenses against children. In May of 1988, Shields was convicted of making obscene phone calls to two boys in Wakulla County, Florida. In January of 1989, in Camden, Maine, Shields fondled the genitals of a thirteen-year-old boy after luring him to an abandoned building. In April of 1989, Shields committed an indecent assault on a nine-year-old boy in an elementary school bathroom in Florida. In July of 1989, Shields sexually assaulted a fourteen-year-old boy in the bathroom of a private school in Bath, Maine and in September of 1989, Shields sexually assaulted a six-year-old boy outside the same school. In March of 1998, in Portland, Maine, Shields engaged in unlawful sexual contact with a twelve year old boy. While on probation for his 1998 offense, Shields was arrested by the Portland MainePolice for possession of child pornography and Shields later pled guilty to federal child pornography charges.


At trial, three psychologists opined that Shields suffered from pedophilia, a recognized mental disorder. In finding Shields sexually dangerous, Judge Saris found that, as a result of his pedophilia, Shields would have serious difficulty in refraining from future acts of child molestation if released into the community.


“When the Adam Walsh Act was passed in 2006, it sought to strengthen federal laws to protect our children. The civil commitment of Jeffrey Shields is one step toward keeping our children safe from sexual predators,” said U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan.


Pursuant to the provisions of the Adam Walsh Act, upon finding that he is a sexually dangerous person, Shields is committed to the custody of the Attorney General.


The case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark Gradyand Eve Piemonte-Stacey, of Sullivan’s Civil Division.


Nice Day For A White Wedding

This one makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it.  The winners of “Ben and Kelly’s White Wedding at a White Castle” contest are Rosemary Coones, 23, and Clinton Smith, 25, of Louisville. The lucky couple will be married on Saturday, February 14, 2009, Valentine’s Day, 2 p.m. at the White Castle located at First and Market (105 E. Market St., Louisville, KY 40209.) The couple entered and won the “White Wedding” contest sponsored by the “Ben Davisand Kelly K Show” on DJX 99.7 radio in Louisville, Kentucky.

Clinton Smith described their selection as the winning couple as “a blessing.” Clinton works nights at a warehouse so that Rosemary can attend classes during the day to become a nurse. They had originally planned to be married at the Otter Creek Park, but those plans fell through when Metro Louisville recently closed the park’s facilities due to the city’s budget shortfall.

Rosemary and Clinton will receive a 1.25 carat white gold wedding set for him and her from Gumer & Company jewelry valued at $5,000; a fully-catered reception featuring White Castle’s Silver Tray service; deluxe Valentine’s Dayovernight accommodations at the Galt House Hotel and Suites; a white limo; flowers; wedding photos; hair and make-up; and much more. A complete listing of wedding package details and donating businesses can be found on the radio station’s web site






Besides the unusual location, this wedding will break with other nuptial traditions. For one, the cake will resemble a stack of White Castle burgers. And, instead of traditional wedding music, Epic recording artists “White Tie Affair” (as heard on the MTV’s “The Hills”) will perform during the ceremony. The group’s music selection is expected to include the traditional Wedding March and also the song “White Wedding” originally popularized by singer Billy Idol in the 1980s. Packets of salt and pepper will also be thrown at the couple after the ceremony to “season their marriage.”

Wedding has Connection to “Safe Place”

The public is invited to attend the ceremony and reception that follows by making a donation for the YMCA’s Safe Place of Louisville at the door.

“We want to increase the public’s awareness of Safe Place and its services that help teens,” said Judge Byer, who will be performing the wedding ceremony and is also chair of the Board of Directors for Safe Place in Louisville. “The wedding at White Castle is a unique way to capture the public’s attention,” she added.

Safe Place Services is also hosting a catered rehearsal dinner for the coupon on Friday, February 13at its headquarters on Crittenden Drive in Louisville.

PR Newswire

Proof Positivity: Octomom

me3All over the news media there’s talk of  Nadya SulemanA.k.A. Octomom everywhere.  I won’t speak of  my personal views here but I will talk about the nickname given her.  I am a big comic book fan and the image placed in my head is a combination of Doc Octopus and a pregnant Wonder Woman with Angelina Jolie type lips.  She would need Doc Oct’s arms to take care of all of those kids and a lasso of truth to figure out when they are lying.   Please Nadya wear Doc Oct’s outfit though I don’t want to see you in spandex. 

I do wonder when all of this media hype will be over.  It will be nice when I don’t have to hear about her monetary status or whatever.  In the mean time I will visualize a comic book character in my mind.

Digital has been delayed until June 12th.  In some areas this won’t matter the change will go through any way.  Pushing it back doesn’t really do anything and do we really need tv any way?  All of the programs that I like I can find online and I guarantee you if it’s on the news it probably isn’t any of your business to begin with.  I think I only like the news when it’s doing something good like sending Amber alerts or community service events.

The Sneak Thief of Sight

In an effort to combat one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide, the World Glaucoma Association and the World Glaucoma Patient Organization have set March 12, 2009, as the second annual World Glaucoma Day. The day will be marked by awareness and educational events organized by eye care institutions and local patient support groups on every continent.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States and the leading cause in African-Americans. About 50% of persons with glaucoma in the United States are unaware that they have it, while this number can reach 90% in developing countries.


Known as “the sneak thief of sight,” glaucoma is characterized by gradual loss of vision resulting from death of the cells in the eye which transmit visual images through the optic nerve to the brain. As the optic nerve becomes increasingly damaged, permanent vision loss occurs and can result in blindness. Early detection is the key to treating and halting the effects of glaucoma.


“Because glaucoma strikes so silently and gradually, it is absolutely crucial to educate people about the value of early detection,” said Robert Ritch, MD, professor and chief of glaucoma services at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, co-founder of the World Glaucoma Patient Association, and member of the World Glaucoma Day committee for the World Glaucoma Association. “For a disease that causes permanent blindness, it is truly unacceptable that so many people remain unaware of its impact and consequences.”


Persons at high risk for glaucoma should have their eyes examined for the disease at least every two years by an eye care professional. Persons most at risk include those with a family history of glaucoma, African-Americans over the age of 40, people who are very nearsighted or farsighted, and all persons over the age of 60.

Inaugural Music To Make A Debut

inaugural-musicMade available yesterday is the music from the Presidential Inauguration.  Air And Simple Gifts has been released by Sony Masterworks exclusively via the iTunes Store.  The work, written especially for the talents of cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, pianist Gabriela Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill by the American composer John Williams, was first heard at noon on January 20, 2009, by millions of people around the globe, as Barack Obama officially became President. The recording of Air and Simple Gifts is available to the public on February 11, 2009.

Reducing Asthma Attacks

For anyone who has experienced an asthma attack they can be terribly frightning.  According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Asthma attacks are the leading cause of hospitalizations for children in New York City.

Recent research suggests that there are many causes for asthma attacks, ranging from air pollution and roach droppings to immune system changes that result from the presence, or lack of, certain microbes (allergy-causing organisms that can’t be seen with the naked eye). The biggest problem, however, is that few parents realize just how toxic the home environment can be for young asthmatic children.

With proper home care some of the hospital visits can be avoided.

According to Sandra Eger-McTernan, RN, MSN, CPNP, a VNSNY pediatric nurse specialist, “While there are a number of different views on the causes of pediatric asthma, there are several surefire steps that parents can take at home to reduce the risk of hospitalizations.”



  • Go green. The use of four or more household cleaners in one home can increase the incidence of asthma in adults and children. However, children breathe at a faster rate than adults, which puts them at greater risk for harm. Look for environmentally-friendly cleaning products with non-toxic ingredients.
  • Beware of scents: Household air pollution that cause or worsen asthma in children can come for surprising sources, including incense, perfumes and air fresheners, fresh paint and new carpeting. As much as possible, children should be breathing fresh air at home. (Just because something smells good, doesn’t mean it isn’t polluting the air or isn’t potentially dangerous.)
  • Air things out. Open the windows after cleaning your home with chemicals. Many people believe that the smell of bleach implies a clean home or nursery, but it can be harmful.
  • Be smoke-free. Households with children should be “no smoking” zones. If you smoke cigarettes, make it your goal to quit and never allow guests to light up in your home.
  • Make your home dust free. Damp mop often. Wipe down all surface areas, picture frames, bookshelves. Avoid collections of furry toys. Vacuum carpets often.
  • Make your home fur-free. Avoid keeping pets in the home. If you must have pet, keep it confined to areas other than your child’s bedroom and keep the bedroom door closed at all times.
  • Keep food in the kitchen. Food should be stored and eaten in appropriate locations and not in your child’s bedroom or other rooms, and keep surfaces free of standing water as it can attract allergy-causing roaches.
  • Turn on the AC. Use air conditioners when possible, but remember to clean out air filters every year. Avoid humidifiers as they can be a breeding ground for unhealthy molds. When using fans, clean the blades and ensure the area is dust free prior to use.
  • Spread the word. Ask those who care for your children, like babysitters or relatives, to take the above precautions in their own homes, if your child spends more than several days a week there.
  • Get vaccinated. Children who have had 12 or more severe respiratory (lung) infections in the first few years of life are at a significantly increased risk of asthma. To reduce the risk of lung infections, asthmatic children should get the flu shot every year.
  • Wash up. Frequent hand washing by both parents and children can lessen the risk of childhood lung infections. Make an effort to teach your kids this healthy habit as early as possible.

Proof Positivity: Homelessness

me2  Homelessness is a serious issue all over the world.    My own husband was kicked out by a family member he should have been able to trust.  He paid his rent but was still kicked out and the next thing he knew he was sleeping in a monestary.  Just because you’re homeless this doesn’t mean that you are mentally unstable or that you’re lazy.  

“We walk past them everyday, see them on the street and in doorways, we watch them on the Movie and on the news. When times are tough and recession hits their numbers increase, every country has them in varying numbers but not everyone cares.”  My friend Aussiecynic wrote a wonderful two part interview with a man named Matt who began a blog called Homeless Tales.  It’s a wonderful piece so head on over and Go Smell The Flowers.
 Go Tell Tales Part 1 Garden Special New Beginnings          Go Tell Tales Part 2 Garden Special New Beginnings

Another article I want to point out is from Imaniceperson “Momof3 writes “Yesterday I was shopping at Wal Mart and on the way out I saw a lady in the parking lot with a sign that read, “Mother of 3 Needs Help, electricity is shut off. Please help”.


We finally have a video camera and as soon as I know how to get video loaded into youtube we will be airing maybe once a week.  Video will be here soon woo-hoo!

$10,000 and I Do

Valentine’s day is one of the four most popular days to get a marriage proposal.  It also a day for the opportunity to win $10,000 for your wedding.  On average brides and grooms spend 20 percent of their wedding reception budgets on alcohol and bartender fees.

 “I Do with Mirassou” contest from Mirassou Winery, plus a trip to New York City for a one-on-one dream wedding planning session with a editor gives the opportunity to cut a portion of the cost.

Rebecca Firszt of New York City states ”

When Brad and I told our friends and family that we’d gotten engaged, the most popular response was “Finally!” We met at a high school youth symphony rehearsal and started dating shortly thereafter. In college, Brad left school early to perform in the Buffalo Philharmonic. The long-distance relationship was so hard on us that Brad left his position to move back to NYC. It’s been a challenge to afford NYC rent while paying tuition for Brad to finish his degree. Our favorite date-night activity is catching a summer Philharmonic concert in Central Park and drinking Mirassou Merlot with an all-cheese dinner.


Nine years after we first met, Brad proposed to me underwater while scuba diving. We would love to have a beach ceremony and reception in Florida, where we’re both from. And if we’re fortunate enough to win this generous prize, we’ll serve enough cheese and Mirassou wine to keep our guests stuffed for days!”

800-Megawatt Clean Coal Power Plant

Consumers Energy announced today that it has revised the schedule for its new 800-megawatt clean coal unit and now expects it to be in operation in 2017.   The utility originally planned to have the plant available to serve customers in 2015.


The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) review of the company’s applications for the plant’s environmental permits has taken nearly a year longer than originally expected. That delay already had caused Consumers Energy to re-evaluate the schedule for the plant, which it plans to build near Bay City.


The utility revised its schedule for the plant’s completion date after the MDEQ recently told the company it was putting a hold on issuing the draft environmental permits for the plant until it has completed an analysis of the need for the clean coal plant and alternatives.


John Russell, the president and chief operating officer of Consumers Energy, said the company remains committed to moving forward with the plant, despite the regulatory delay.


“We continue to believe that the best way to provide reliable and affordable power to Michigan’s families and businesses is with a balanced energy portfolio that includes renewable energy, energy efficiency, and new baseload generating plants,” Russell said.


Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy, provides natural gas and electricity to nearly 6.5 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

Bringing Hope Home

Today, Golden Globe and Grammy Award winner and Oscar nominee Queen Latifah, Grammy award winning musician Wyclef Jean and New York/New Jersey radio personality and actress Angie Martinez kick off the ‘Bringing Hope Home’ bus tour in Newark to raise awareness about the foreclosure problems facing families and the resources available to help them avoid losing their homes.


Stops on the tour include a visit to a community-based development organization, a visit with a family facing foreclosure, tours of neighborhoods whose communities have been affected by concentrated foreclosure and a project that redevelops foreclosed homes into affordable housing. The tour will end with a roundtable discussion of community leaders who have seen the affects of foreclosure on the Newark community firsthand.


Queen Latifah says she can’t imagine the fear people must feel when they are faced with losing their home. “This is about helping families and saving communities,” she said. “Newark is my home town and I want people to know there are a number of resources out there to help them keep their home.”


The tour will highlight a number of community resources available to homeowners as well as national ones – including talking to your lender about refinancing options, meeting with a HUD-approved counselor in your area by logging onto the HUD website, or calling the Homeowner’s HopeTM Hotline at (888) 995-HOPE which provides free help to homeowners 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


The campaign will continue in 3 additional cities – Atlanta, Miami and Cleveland – and is being sponsored by the HOPE NOW alliance made up of non-profit counselors and mortgage industry participants committed to help as many homeowners as possible prevent foreclosure and stay in their home.


Faith Schwartz, HOPE NOW’s executive director says that people can’t just ignore the problem and hope it goes away. “The worst thing people can do when faced with problems making their mortgage payments is nothing. If you do nothing you will lose your home,” she said. “Half of all foreclosures happen to people who never asked for help. We’re here to tell them that help is just a phone call away.”

I Wish I Thought Of That

Inventor come up with some interesting things and some of them are so simple that I wish I thought of that.  Not this group of inventors though.  These guys are beyond me.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame has announced its 2009 class of inductees. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the integrated circuit, this year’s class represents advances related to or enabled by integrated circuit technology.

   The 2009 class of inductees:

    *Martin M. (John) Atalla: MOS transistor
    * Alfred Y. Cho: Molecular beam epitaxy-MBE
    * Dov Frohman-Bentchkowsky: EPROM
    * George Heilmeier: Liquid crystal display
    * Larry Hornbeck: Digital micromirror device-DMD
    * John Macdougall, Ken Manchester: Ion implantation
    * Carver Mead: VLSI method for designing chips
    * Gordon Moore: Semiconductor production
    * Frank Wanlass: Complementary metal oxide semiconductor-CMOS

    *  Ross Freeman: Field programmable gate array-FPGA
    * Jean Hoerni: Planar process
    *Dawon Kahng: MOS transistor
    * Gordon Teal: Silicon transistor
    * Robert Widlar: Linear integrated circuits
“Virtually every electronic device in use today relies on advances in integrated circuit technology,” says Fred Allen, Vice President of Selection for the National Inventors Hall of Fame. “By honoring the accomplishments of this year’s inductees, we are acknowledging their contributions that have done no less than make our modern way of life possible.”