December 16, 2008

Literature and Visual Arts in Romanticism

In visual art and literature, Romanticism found recurrent themes in the evocation or criticism of the past, the cult of "sensibility" with its emphasis on women and children, the heroic isolation of the artist or narrator, and respect for a new, wilder, untrammeled and "pure" nature. Furthermore, several romantic authors, such as Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne, based their writings on the supernatural/occult and human psychology.

The Scottish poet James Macpherson influenced the early development of Romanticism with the international success of his Ossian cycle of poems published in 1762, inspiring both Goethe and the young Walter Scott.

An early German influence came from Johann Wolfgang Goethe whose 1774 novel The Sorrows of Young Werther had young men throughout Europe emulating its protagonist, a young artist with a very sensitive and passionate temperament. At that time Germany was a multitude of small separate states, and Goethe's works would have a seminal influence in developing a unifying sense of nationalism. Another philosophic influence came from the German idealism of Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Schelling, making Jena (where Fichte lived, as well as Schelling, Hegel, Schiller and the brothers Schlegel) a center for early German romanticism ("Jenaer Romantik"). Important writers were Ludwig Tieck, Novalis (Heinrich von Ofterdingen, 1799) and Friedrich Hoelderlin. Heidelberg later became a center of German romanticism, where writers and poets such as Clemens Brentano, Achim von Arnim, and Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff met regularly in literary circles. Important motifs in German Romanticism are travelling, nature, and ancient myths. The later German Romanticism of, for example, E. T. A. Hoffmann's Der Sandmann (The Sandman), 1817, and Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff's Das Marmorbild (The Marble Statue), 1819, was darker in its motifs and has gothic elements.

Romanticism in British literature developed in a different form slightly later, mostly associated with the poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whose co-authored book Lyrical Ballads (1798) sought to reject Augustan poetry in favour of more direct speech derived from folk traditions. Both poets were also involved in utopian social thought in the wake of the French Revolution. The poet and painter William Blake is the most extreme example of the Romantic sensibility in Britain, epitomised by his claim “I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's.” Blake's artistic work is also strongly influenced by Medieval illuminated books. The painters J. M. W. Turner and John Constable are also generally associated with Romanticism. Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley and John Keats constitute another phase of Romanticism in Britain.

In predominantly Roman Catholic countries Romanticism was less pronounced than in Germany and Britain, and tended to develop later, after the rise of Napoleon. François-René de Chateaubriand is often called the "Father of French Romanticism". In France, the movement is associated with the nineteenth century, particularly in the paintings of Théodore Géricault and Eugène Delacroix, the plays, poems and novels of Victor Hugo (such as Les Misérables and Ninety-Three), and the novels of Stendhal.

In Russia, the principal exponent of Romanticism is Alexander Pushkin. Mikhail Lermontov attempted to analyse and bring to light the deepest reasons for the Romantic idea of metaphysical discontent with society and self, and was much influenced by Lord Byron. The poet Fyodor Tyutchev was also an important figure of the movement in Russia, and was heavily influenced by the German Romantics.

Romanticism played an essential role in the national awakening of many Central European peoples lacking their own national states, not least in Poland, which had recently lost its independence when Russia's army crushed the Polish Rebellion under the reactionary Nicholas I. Revival and reinterpretation of ancient myths, customs and traditions by Romantic poets and painters helped to distinguish their indigenous cultures from those of the dominant nations and crystallise the mythography of Romantic nationalism. Patriotism, nationalism, revolution and armed struggle for independence also became popular themes in the arts of this period. Arguably, the most distinguished Romantic poet of this part of Europe was Adam Mickiewicz, who developed an idea that Poland was the Messiah of Nations, predestined to suffer just as Jesus had suffered to save all the people.

In the United States, the romantic gothic made an early appearance with Washington Irving's Legend of Sleepy Hollow 1820) and Rip Van Winkle (1819), followed from 1823 onwards by the Leatherstocking tales of James Fenimore Cooper, with their emphasis on heroic simplicity and their fervent landscape descriptions of an already-exotic mythicized frontier peopled by "noble savages", similar to the philosophical theory of Rousseau, exemplified by Uncas, from The Last of the Mohicans. There are picturesque "local color" elements in Washington Irving's essays and especially his travel books. Edgar Allan Poe's tales of the macabre and his balladic poetry were more influential in France than at home, but the romantic American novel developed fully in Nathaniel Hawthorne's atmosphere and melodrama. Later Transcendentalist writers such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson still show elements of its influence, as does the romantic realism of Walt Whitman. But by the 1880s, psychological and social realism was competing with romanticism in the novel. The poetry of Emily Dickinson—nearly unread in her own time—and Herman Melville's novel Moby-Dick can be taken as epitomes of American Romantic literature. As in England, Germany, and France, literary Romanticism had its counterpart in American visual arts, most especially in the exaltation of untamed America found in the paintings of the Hudson River School. Painters like Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt and Frederic Edwin Church and others often combined a sense of the sublime with underlying religious and philosophical themes. Thomas Cole's paintings feature strong narratives as in The Voyage of Life series painted in the early 1840s that depict man trying to survive amidst an awesome and immense nature, from the cradle to the grave.

Source: Wikipedia

Glitter In The Air Lyrics

Have you ever fed a lover with just your hands?
Closed your eyes and trusted, just trusted
Have you ever thrown a fist full of glitter in the air?
Have you ever looked fear in the face
And said I just don’t care?

It’s only half past the point of no return
The tip of the iceberg
The sun before the burn
The thunder before lightning
The breathe before the phrase
Have you ever felt this way?

Have you ever hated yourself for staring at the phone?
You’re whole life waiting on the ring to prove you’re not alone
Have you ever been touched so gently you had to cry?
Have you ever invited a stranger to come inside?

It’s only half past the point of oblivion
The hourglass on the table
The walk before the run
The breathe before the kiss
And the fear before the phrase
Have you ever felt this way?

La La La La La La La Laa

There you are, sitting in the garden
Clutching my coffee,
Calling me sugar
You called me sugar

Have you ever wished for an endless night?
Lasooed the moon and the stars and pulled that rope tight
Have you ever held your breath and asked yourself will it ever get better than tonight?

Source: Metro Lyrics

Chino Bandido

Chino Bandido Takee-Outee was founded in November 1990 by Frank and Eve Collins, husband and wife. The blend of Mexican and Asian cooking styles and flavors came about from Eve’s Chinese background and both Frank and Eve being native Arizonans. The original store was only 1000 square feet, seated 16, and was modeled after those “hole-in-the-wall” restaurants that Frank and Eve love. As soon as they realized that people wanted to stay in to eat, as opposed to taking it out, they expanded the restaurant year by year, until the restaurant grew to over 5,000 square feet, seating about 150.

In June 2005, we finally opened the Chandler location. It is tucked into the corner of San Marcos Square (behind the Walgreen’s) on the southeast corner of Dobson and Chandler Blvd. With 6,000 square feet and an outside patio, we have tried to create a spacious, comfortable dining area. Most of the parking is on the east side of the building, so be sure to drive around back for the closest entrance!

In the fall of 2005, New Times awarded Chino’s Best of Phoenix for “Local Eatery We Wish Were a Chain.” On January 29, 2007, AOL users voted Chino’s in First Place for Best of Phoenix “Cheap Eats” category.

Source: Chino Bandido


Pythagoras of Samos (Greek: Ὁ Πυθαγόρας ὁ Σάμιος, O Pūthagoras o Samios, "Pythagoras the Samian", or simply Ὁ Πυθαγόρας; born between 580 and 572 BC, died between 500 and 490 BC) was an Ionian Greek mathematician and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. He is often revered as a great mathematician, mystic and scientist; however some have questioned the scope of his contributions to mathematics and natural philosophy. Herodotus referred to him as "the most able philosopher among the Greeks". His name led him to be associated with Pythian Apollo; Aristippus explained his name by saying, "He spoke (agor-) the truth no less than did the Pythian (Pyth-)," and Iamblichus tells the story that the Pythia prophesied that his pregnant mother would give birth to a man supremely beautiful, wise, and beneficial to humankind.[1]

He is best known for the Pythagorean theorem, which bears his name. Known as "the father of numbers", Pythagoras made influential contributions to philosophy and religious teaching in the late 6th century BC. Because legend and obfuscation cloud his work even more than with the other pre-Socratics, one can say little with confidence about his life and teachings. We do know that Pythagoras and his students believed that everything was related to mathematics and that numbers were the ultimate reality and, through mathematics, everything could be predicted and measured in rhythmic patterns or cycles. According to Iamblichus, Pythagoras once said that "number is the ruler of forms and ideas and the cause of gods and demons."

He was the first man to call himself a philosopher, or lover of wisdom,[2] and Pythagorean ideas exercised a marked influence on Plato. Unfortunately, very little is known about Pythagoras because none of his writings have survived. Many of the accomplishments credited to Pythagoras may actually have been accomplishments of his colleagues and successors.

Source: Wikipedia

Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Simon Nimoy
(born March 26, 1931) is an American actor, film director, poet, musician and photographer. He is best known for playing the character of Spock on Star Trek, an American television series that ran for three seasons from 1966 to 1969, in addition to reprising the role in several movie sequels.

Early life

Nimoy was born in Boston, Massachusetts to Yiddish-speaking Jewish immigrants from Izyaslav, Ukraine.[1][2][3][4] His father, Max Nimoy, owned a barbershop. His mother, Dora (Spinner) Nimoy, was a homemaker.[5][6] Nimoy began acting at the age of 8. His first major role was Ralphie in Clifford Odets's "Awake and Sing," at 17.[7] He studied photography at UCLA, but left before completing his degree. He graduated from Boston College in 1953, and has an MA in Education and an honorary doctorate from Antioch University in Ohio.

Nimoy spent much of his early career doing small parts in B-movies, TV shows such as Dragnet, and serials such as Republic Pictures' Zombies of the Stratosphere. In 1961, he had a minor role in The Twilight Zone episode "A Quality of Mercy".

Nimoy served in the U.S. Army Reserve, being discharged in November 1955 as a sergeant[citation needed]. According to the National Archives and Records Administration[citation needed], Nimoy's U.S. Army service record was destroyed in the 1973 National Archives Fire.,-Leonard.jpg


Stage and screen

Nimoy's most famous role is the half-Vulcan, half-human Spock from Star Trek: The Original Series, which ran from 1966 to 1969. He earned three Emmy nominations for playing this character.

As a foretaste of what was to come, Nimoy and William Shatner (who would go on to play Spock's commanding officer, Captain James T. Kirk) found themselves on the opposite side of the Iron Curtain in the 1964 episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., "The Project Strigas Affair". With his saturnine looks, Nimoy was predictably the villain, with Shatner playing a reluctant U.N.C.L.E. recruit. Nimoy went on to reprise Spock's character in a voice-over role in Star Trek: The Animated Series, in two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and in six Star Trek motion pictures featuring the original cast. He will perform an older Spock in the upcoming Star Trek movie directed by J. J. Abrams.

Before his success in Star Trek, Nimoy had acted in more than 50 movies or television shows. Although most of these were popular TV shows, he also appeared in The Balcony, an adaptation of a play by Jean Genet. Following the cancellation of the original Star Trek series, Nimoy immediately joined the cast of the spy series Mission: Impossible, which was seeking a replacement for Martin Landau. Nimoy was cast as an IMF agent who was an ex-magician/ make-up expert, "The Great Paris." He played the role from 1969 to 1971, on the fourth and fifth seasons of the show. (As noted by Patrick White in The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier, Landau had been an early choice to play Spock.) It was during the run of the show that Nimoy fell ill with a stomach ulcer.

He co-starred with Yul Brynner and Richard Crenna in the Western movie Catlow (1971). Nimoy also appeared in various made for television films in this period, such as Assault On The Wayne (1970), Baffled (1972), The Alpha Caper (1973), The Missing Are Deadly (1974), Seizure: The Story Of Kathy Morris (1980), Marco Polo (1982) and he received an Emmy award nomination for best supporting actor for the TV film A Woman Called Golda (1982). Nimoy played other guest roles in a number of TV series including Bonanza, Get Smart, The Outer Limits, Combat!, Perry Mason, Night Gallery & Columbo. He played a murderous doctor and was one of the few criminals at whom Columbo ever really became angry. In the late 1970s, he hosted and narrated the television series In Search of..., which investigated paranormal or unexplained events or subjects. He also has a memorable character part as a mad scientist-type New Age psychologist in Philip Kaufman's remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It was during this time that Nimoy won acclaim for a series of stage roles as well. He has appeared in such plays as Vincent, Fiddler On The Roof, The Man in the Glass Booth, Oliver!, Six Rms Riv Vu, Full Circle, Camelot, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The King And I, Caligula, The Four Poster, Twelfth Night, Sherlock Holmes, Equus and My Fair Lady. When a new Star Trek series was planned in the late 1970s, Nimoy was to be in only two out of every eleven episodes, but when the show was elevated to a feature film, he agreed to reprise his role.

After directing a few television show episodes, Nimoy broke into film directing in 1984 with the successful third installment of the Star Trek film series (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock). Nimoy would go on to direct the most successful (critically and financially) film in the franchise to date, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) and move beyond the Trek universe with Three Men and a Baby, the highest grossing film of 1987. Nimoy also did occasional work as a voice actor in animated feature films including the character of Galvatron in The Transformers: The Movie in 1986 and The Pagemaster in 1994.

Literary works

Nimoy has written two autobiographies. The first was called I Am Not Spock (1977) and was controversial, as many fans[who?] incorrectly assumed that Nimoy was distancing himself from the Spock character. However, Nimoy's stated intention[citation needed] was to remind the public at large that Spock and Nimoy were not the same person. In the book, Nimoy conducts dialogues between himself and Spock.

His second autobiography was I Am Spock (1995), and the title was meant[citation needed] to communicate that he finally realized his years of portraying the Spock character had led to a much greater identification between the fictional character and the real person. Nimoy had much input into how Spock would act in certain situations, and conversely, Nimoy's contemplation of how Spock acted gave him cause to think about things in a way that he never would have thought if he had not portrayed this character. As such, in this autobiography Nimoy maintains that in some meaningful sense, he really is now Spock, and Spock is he, while at the same time maintaining the distance between fact and fiction.

Nimoy has also written several volumes of poetry, some published along with a number of his photographs. His latest effort is entitled A Lifetime of Love: Poems on the Passages of Life (2002). His poetry can be found in the Contemporary Poets index of The HyperTexts.[8] In the mid 1970s Nimoy wrote and starred in a one man play called Vincent based on the play Van Gogh by Phillip Stephens.

In 1995, Nimoy was involved in the production of Primortals, a comic book series published by Tekno Comix that involved a first contact situation with aliens that had arisen from discussion between him and Isaac Asimov. There was a novelization by Steve Perry.

Music career

During and following Star Trek, Nimoy also released five albums of vocal recordings on Dot Records, including Trek-related songs such as "Highly Illogical", and cover versions of popular tunes, such as Proud Mary. The albums were extremely popular and resulted in numerous live appearances and promotional record signings that attracted crowds of fans in the thousands. The early recordings were produced by Charles Grean, who may be best known as the composer of "Quentin's Theme" for the mid-sixties goth soap opera, Dark Shadows. These recordings are generally regarded as unintentionally camp, though his tongue-in-cheek performance of "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" received a fair amount of airplay when Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings films were released.

In addition to his own music career he directed a 1985 music video for The Bangles' "Going Down to Liverpool". He makes a brief cameo appearance in the video as their driver. This came about because his son Adam Nimoy (now a frequent television director) was a friend of Bangles lead singer Susanna Hoffs from college.

He released a version of country music legend Johnny Cash's song I Walk the Line.

Nimoy appeared in Hearts of Space program number 142 - "Whales alive"

Current work

Starting in 1994, Nimoy began to narrate the Ancient Mysteries series on A&E including "The Sacred Water of Lourdes" and "The Last Days of the Romanovs". He also appeared in advertising in the United Kingdom for the computer company Time Computers in the late 1990s. He had a central role in Brave New World (film), a 1998 TV-movie version of Aldous Huxley's novel where he played a character wonderfully reminiscent of Spock in his philosophical balancing of unpredictable human qualities with the need for control. Nimoy has also appeared in several popular television series--including Futurama and The Simpsons--as both himself and Spock.

In 2003, he announced his retirement from acting in order to concentrate on his photography, such as his recent exhibit for nude pictures of BBW women and models, but has subsequently appeared in several popular television commercials with William Shatner for He also appeared in a commercial for Aleve, an arthritis pain medication, which aired during the 2006 Super Bowl. Nimoy also provided a comprehensive series of voiceovers for the 2005 computer game Civilization IV. He also did the TV series Next Wave where he interviewed people about technology. He is the host in the documentary film The Once and Future Griffith Observatory currently running in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater located at the recently reopened Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California. In January 2007, he granted an interview to Fat free film where he discussed his early career and the benefits of being typecast.[9]

On July 26, 2007, it was revealed at Comic-Con that Nimoy would return to reprise his famous role as Spock one more time in the upcoming movie Star Trek, while Zachary Quinto will play his younger self.[10]

On November 9, 2008 he narrarated "Shining Through the Broken Glass: A Concert to Commemorate Kristallnacht".

Personal life

Nimoy has long been active in the Jewish community. As a teen he was active in BBYO, the Jewish youth organization; he won their award for distinguished alumni.[citation needed] He speaks and reads Yiddish. One of his better-known roles was that of Tevye the milkman, in the musical Fiddler on the Roof, based on the series of short stories by Yiddish author Sholom Aleichem. In 1997, he narrated the documentary A Life Apart: Hasidism in America, about the various sects of Hasidic Orthodox Jews. In October 2002 Nimoy published The Shekhina Project, a photographic study exploring the feminine aspect of God's presence, inspired by Kabbalah (esoteric Jewish mysticism). His photographs, which show nude women draped in tefillin (phylacteries), which are typically worn by Jewish males, aroused considerable controversy in the Jewish community.[citation needed]

Nimoy has been married twice. In 1954, he married actress Sandra Zober, whom he divorced in 1987. He had two children with her, director Adam Nimoy and Julie Nimoy, who both appear in an Oldsmobile commercial, with the famous tagline, "This is not your father's Oldmobile". In 1988, he married actress Susan Bay, who is the aunt of director Michael Bay.[11]

Nimoy introduced the Vulcan nerve pinch in an early TOS episode ("The Enemy Within") where Spock was supposed to KO the evil Kirk in the Engineering room. He suggested the "pinch" as a non-violent alternative. Nimoy also devised the Vulcan Salute - a raised hand, palm forward with the fingers parted between the middle and ring finger - based on the traditional kohanic blessing, which is performed with both hands, thumb to thumb in this position: a position thought to represent the Hebrew letter shin (ש). (This letter is often used as a symbol of God in Judaism, as it is an abbreviation for one of God's names, Shaddai. This usage is seen, for example, on every mezuzah.) Nimoy says he derived the accompanying spoken blessing, "Live long and prosper" from this source, as the last phrase of the blessing is "May the Lord be forebearing unto you and give you peace" (Numbers 6:24-26).[12] Nimoy was asked to read the verses as part of his narration for Civilization IV.

A political liberal, Nimoy recently contributed the maximum $2,300 to Barack Obama's 2008 US presidential campaign.[13]







  • Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock's Music From Outer Space (Dot Records), (1967).
  • The Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy (Dot Records), (1968).
  • The Way I Feel (Dot Records), (1968).
  • The Touch of Leonard Nimoy (Dot Records), (1969).
  • The New World of Leonard Nimoy (Dot Records), (1970).

Source: Wikipedia

Candystand Sold: Wrigley's Acquired by Funtank

Funtank, LLC, a newly formed online entertainment publisher, announced today that it has acquired one of the world wide web's most heavily trafficked online gaming destinations,, from the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company for an undisclosed fee. was among the web's first branded gaming portals and over the past 11 years, has grown to become one of the most successful, garnering nearly 10-million user visits per month.

Funtank, whose sister company, WDDG, Inc., has managed and maintained since 2005, will open the site to select brands and advertisers later this year. Since its launch in 1997, has been widely regarded as a pioneer in the online branded gaming and entertainment space, with a massive audience that is both geographically and demographically diverse, proving to be a highly attractive opportunity for potential advertisers.

"Over the past 11 years, Wrigley and its predecessors have done a remarkable job molding and growing into one of the web's most successful and well regarded branded casual gaming sites," said James Baker, CEO of Funtank. "We look forward to accentuating the website's point-of-difference by maintaining the high standards in content quality that has made so beloved without wavering from its long-standing commitment to family entertainment.

"While Wrigley will no longer own, the Company sees the value for its brands and plans to maintain a presence on the site, signing on as its first and exclusive confectionery

" has been and will continue to be an excellent tool to connect our brands with our consumers, but now Wrigley's involvement in the site will be as an advertiser and not as the operator," said Martin Schlatter, Wrigley's Global Chief Marketing Officer. "We look forward to working with Funtank and see this as a win-win for both companies."

Over the last 11 years, has experienced overwhelming success due to word-of-mouth advertising, its ever-expanding collection of top-quality, free online games, and its incredibly loyal visitors, who spend nearly 13-minutes on the site per visit. Over the years,'s portfolio of games has swelled to well over 100, most of which are exclusively available on the site. will be managed out of Funtank's New York City offices. Please visit the site at

About Funtank, LLC

Funtank is a leading distributor of branded online gaming and entertainment. It owns and operates, one of the web's premier branded gaming portals, the site is visited by millions of consumers each month who flock to the site's suite of over 100 flash and shockwave games. Funtank is located in New York City.

For more information about Funtank, please visit

Source: Post Chronicle

Major security flaw in Internet Explorer
Microsoft has warned users of Internet Explorer (IE) 7 that hackers have been attacking a vulnerability in the current version of the web browser that, in a worst-case scenario, could potentially lead to remote takeover of their computer – and the threat is rising rapidly.

Basically, a vulnerability in the browser has left it, according to Microsoft, ‘exploitable’, while the older IE 6 and Beta 2 version of IE 8 are also potentially vulnerable.

On Microsoft’s Threat Research & Response blog, authors Ziv Mador and Tareq Saade said that “a significant number of users have been affected” by the vulnerability, with an increase of over 50pc in the number of reported attacks since Sunday, 13 December.

“Based on our stats, since the vulnerability has gone public, roughly 0.2pc of users worldwide may have been exposed to websites containing exploits of this latest vulnerability.”

Microsoft is also warning that the new exploits for IE 7 are being hosted on pornography sites.

“Our investigation of these attacks so far has verified that they are not successful against customers who have applied the workarounds listed in this advisory. Additionally, there are mitigations that increase the difficulty of exploiting this vulnerability,” Microsoft said in an official statement.

The workarounds advised by Microsoft are: enable a firewall, apply all software updates and install antivirus and anti-spyware software. Further information on securing your computer is available at

Source: Silicon Republic

Bush's Shoe Incident Becomes Online Game

Yesterday's news is today's viral video game. President Bush's close encounter with a size 10 shoe in Baghdad on Sunday has already been turned into an online time-waster.

"Bush's Boot Camp" puts players in the role of an agent tasked with protecting the president by shooting at a barrage of shoes. Unlike reporter/shoe-hurler Muntadar al-Zaidi, who hurled his footwear at the president during a press conference in Iraq on Sunday, the game's supply of shoes to toss at Bush is unlimited. Each shoe costs the virtual Bush a bit of health, and the game ends when his health reaches zero.

T-Enterprise, the company behind "Bush's Boot Camp," isn't new to Flash games based on current events. The Glasgow-based company has already released games based on Paul McCartney's divorce from Heather Mills and Sarah Palin's environmental record. Like those games, "Bush's Boot Camp" includes links to articles on the incident in its "information" section.

"We're hoping the agents will use this game as a training aid for future footwear attacks on world leaders," T-Enterprise's Sadi Chishti quipped to the UK's Telegraph.

Source: MyFoxNepa

Arne Duncan

Arne Duncan (born November 6, 1964) is an American education administrator who is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools. He is expected to be President-elect Barack Obama's nominee for Secretary of Education.[1]

Early life, education and basketball career

Duncan was raised in Hyde Park, Chicago, where his father Starkey Duncan was a psychology professor at the University of Chicago, and mother Susan Morton runs The Sue Duncan Children's Center for African American youth on Chicago's South Side. Duncan spent a great deal of his free time at his mother's center tutoring children and sharpening his basketball skills with the neighborhood children. Some of his childhood friends were John W. Rogers, Jr., CEO of Ariel Capital Management (now Ariel Investments) and founder of the Ariel Academy, Illinois Senator Kwame Raoul, actor Michael Clarke Duncan, singer R. Kelly and martial artist Michelle Gordon.

Duncan attended the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. He then graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in sociology in 1987. At Harvard, Duncan was co-captain of the basketball team and named a first team Academic All-American.[2]

From 1987 to 1991, Duncan played professional basketball in Australia with the Eastside Spectres of the National Basketball League,[3] and while there worked with children who were wards of the state. While in Tasmania he met his future wife, Karen.

He currently resides with his Australian American wife, Karen, and his two children in Hyde Park.

Education career

Duncan has extensive experience in educational policy and management, but has not been a teacher. In 1992 Duncan became director of the Ariel Education Initiative, a program to enhance educational opportunities for children on Chicago's South Side that was started by John W. Rogers, Jr., and in 1998 he joined the Chicago Public Schools.[4] He became Deputy Chief of Staff for former Schools CEO Paul Vallas in 1999.[5]

Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Duncan to serve as CEO of Chicago Public Schools on June 26, 2001.[6]

He was a fellow in the Leadership Greater Chicago's class of 1995, and a member of the Aspen Institute's Henry Crown Fellowship Program, Class of 2002. In May 2003, he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Lake Forest College.

President-elect Barack Obama has chosen him for Secretary of Education. [7]

Source: Wikipedia

Kristian Laliberte

Thursday evening, amid the many small, yappy guests of honor at a benefit for New York Animal Care and Control, the Daily Transom ran into publicist and man-about-town Kristian Laliberte. Already an occasionally notorious figure on the New York social scene, Mr. Laliberte is currently in the process of taking his brand to the national stage with Social Heights, a reality show chronicling his activities, along with those of semi-boldface names Timo Weiland, Annabel Vartanian, Kerry Cassidy, Devorah Rose, Teddy John, and twins Derek and Daniel Koch.

The show has so far billed itself as “Like The Hills…but in Manhattan and a little older, and more mature,” and preliminary filming began this summer in the Hamptons. When asked to describe the show, Mr. Laliberte said, “It’s sort of more of a documentary, like a docudrama. There are definitely parts of it that are scripted, in some ways. You know, there are scenes that the producers ask you to put yourself in…It’s more of a cross breed.”

So, we wondered, to what extent is the show based on “reality” (insofar as this group inhabits it)? Will what people see on the show have anything to do with their actual lives, or are they just a bunch of kids playing soap opera?

“It’s both. It’s story lines that are maybe a little exaggerated or things from your life that they’ll maybe try to embellish. Or, you know, they’ll try to push you into situations that they know will cause drama…There are multiples takes, they walk into the room and say, you know, say that again.”

Of course, we couldn’t help but ask whether the recent financial crisis would affect filming. Would the stars be able to maintain the consumptive powers that landed them the gig in the first place?

“Well, it’s affecting everybody! Luckily, I don’t work in finance.”

How was the downturn impacting Mr. Laliberte’s PR business, then?

“I think, right now, we’re pretty strong. Our clients are sticking with us. And, especially in sort of the upper echelon of women’s wear and men’s wear, definitely sales have stayed strong. But, in the more ready-to-wear markets, I’ve seen sales kind of declining.”

He concluded, “I think the people at the top sort of stay at the top, and there’s an increasing disparity between the rich and the poor.”

And what kind of impact has this mess had on Mr. Laliberte’s primary occupation, the party circuit?

“I think that people are being more conservative… There’s a dichotomy: On one side, people are skimping on certain things and then, on the other side, you see these fabulous clubs again. There are extremes on both sides. From being in the PR industry, maybe deciding not to serve hors d’oeuvres. Or, instead of a big name DJ, let’s get an unknown. Instead of paying an appearance fee for an actor, maybe go with a socialite.”


Ron and Joy Holiday Cat Dancers!

PHOTO! Here is a picture of Ron and Joy Holiday from “Cat Dancers”. Ron and Joy Holiday appear in tonight’s HBO documentary “Cat Dancers” along with their adorable white tigers.

Cat Dancers (8 pm HBO) tonight is from filmmaker Harris Fishman. The story starts with the Holiday’s love affair back in Maine, follows them to becoming dancers at Radio City Music Hall, and then how their life changed after being given a leopard cub as a gift, and eventually meeting Chuck Lizza.

Reviews tonight online about the broadcast are very positive, with critics agreeing the show is fascinating, original, and clearly entertaining.

Catch it tonight on HBO.


Fantasy cartoon "Delgo" a box office dud

"Delgo" seems to follow all the rules for a good, fast-paced cartoon.

It mixes forbidden romance with palace intrigue, fanciful creatures, scenery-destroying duels and fierce battles between armies. Yet nothing catches fire. The story line and characters are all terribly derivative, and audiences young and old are left with the feeling that, as the saying goes, they don't have a horse in this race.

Animated films generally do well during the holidays, but "Delgo's" makers create quite a problem for their film: The action and violence are too intense for some youngsters -- including the one behind me at a screening who demanded to leave less than five minutes into the film -- and the story is far too dull for most adults. The Freestyle Releasing film earned just $512,000 in its first weekend of wide release.

Adults might want to occupy their minds counting the sources of "inspiration." First, there is "Romeo and Juliet" as two teens from warring tribes fall for each other. Delgo (voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr.) is an adventurous lad from the Lockni, beings that control the mystical powers of the land. Kyla (Jennifer Love Hewitt) is a princess of the winged Nohrin, who rule the sky.

Their separate domains plus a third belonging to the outcast evil empress (the late Anne Bancroft) play like remnants from "The Lord of the Rings" and "Star Wars" sagas with strange landscapes, fantastical creatures and militaristic responses to any and all crises. The Lockni have a simian quality to their faces, so you can probably throw in "The Planet of the Apes" movies, too.

The trouble is that the more directors Marc F. Adler and Jason Maurer move into the weird and strange, the duller the film becomes. Fairy-tale invention trumps character and story ingenuity at every point. There also is a level of slapstick throughout that relegates the film to very young and undemanding viewers.

The filmmakers have loaded their voice cast with names including Val Kilmer, Malcolm McDowell, Louis Gossett Jr., Eric Idle and Burt Reynolds. They could have saved their money, though, as few give their characters any vocal distinction.

Source: Reuters

Hummer owner reports break-in on 300 block of 8th Street

The following information was obtained from Huntington Police Department reports:

BREAKING AND ENTERING: The owner of a 2007 Hummer reporter his vehicle was broken into while parked on the 300 block of 8th Street on Friday. The owner reported his driver's side window was broken and a number of items were stolen from the vehicle. More than $2,000 cash and two purses were reported stolen.

STOLEN VEHICLE: A resident on the 1200 block of 10th Avenue reported his ATV and trailer stolen on Friday. The owner reported the items had been stored on the east side of his home.

BREAKING AND ENTERING: Five people parked in a parking lot in the 800 block of 3rd Avenue reported their cars broken into and a number of items stolen from their vehicles. The owners reported about $2,700 worth of items were stolen from their vehicles between Friday night and Saturday morning.

BURGLARY: A resident of the 600 block of 10th Avenue reported a break-in on Sunday. She reported DVDs, CDs, a Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation 2 were stolen from her residence. Stolen and damaged items reportedly totaled $1,045.

BURGLARY: A resident in the 1400 block of 28th Street reported her apartment was burglarized early Monday morning. The woman reported a flat-screen TV, a Sony PlayStation 2, video games and DVDs stolen. The stolen items had a value of $1,630, she said.

Reports from the Cabell County Sheriff's Department provided the following information:

EMBEZZLEMENT: Bobbie Malone, 24, of Huntington was arrested Thursday on charges of felony embezzlement and false reporting following an incident on Nov. 11.

According to the report, an employee reported in November that she was held at gunpoint and forced to give two armed gunmen money while working at the Exxon gas station on Davis Creek Road in Huntington. The Sheriff's Department said it determined the employee assaulted herself, stole the money and reported it as a robbery.

Malone posted $7,000 bond when she was arrested.

BREAKING AND ENTERING: A man house-sitting for a relative reported $2,194 worth of firearms stolen from the house in the 6900 block of Left Fork Road in Barboursville. Authorities reported a window in the house's utility room was the point of entry. Seven guns and one paintball gun was reported stolen.

Reports from the Western Regional Jail listed the following felony bookings:

Jamie Ann Warner, 32, was brought in at 11:10 p.m. She is charged with uttering and fraudulently using a credit card. Both are felonies.

Robert Daniel Skonberg, 30, was brought in at 1:15 a.m. He is charged with speeding, reckless driving, driving under the influence and fleeing while driving under the influence. The latter is a felony charge.

Source: Herald Dispach

The fate of approximately 5 lakh applicants who applied for the DDA Housing Scheme 2008 is to be decided on Tuesday.

The computerised draw of lotteries will be carried out before a jury comprising senior bureaucrats, professors from IIT and media experts.

The DDA offer of five thousand flats attracted over 7.5 lakh buyers but about 5 lakh, 67 thousand forms came back to the DDA in the final count.

Out of these 352 are three-bedroom units, 889 are two-bedroom ones, 3,231 are one bedroom flats, while 286 are expandable.

These flats which will cost anywhere between 7 lakhs and 77 lakhs would be available in areas like Vasant Kunj, Rohini, Dilshad Garden, Paschim Vihar, Motia Khan, Dwarka and Pitampura.

The results of the same would be available on the DDA website from 1500 pm onwards.

Source: IBN Live