Saturday, April 30, 2011

Payday Loan

A payday loan (also called a paycheck advance) is a small, short-term loan that is intended to cover a borrower's expenses until his or her next payday. The loans are also sometimes referred to as cash advances, though that term can also refer to cash provided against a prearranged line of credit such as a credit card (see cash advance). Legislation regarding payday loans varies widely between different countries and, within the USA, between different states.

The basic loan process is simply that a lender provides a short-term unsecured loan to be repaid at the borrower's next pay day. Typically, some verification of employment or income is involved (via pay stubs and bank statements), but some lenders may omit this. Individual companies and franchises have their own underwriting criteria.

In the traditional retail model, borrowers visit a payday lending store and secure a small cash loan, with payment due in full at the borrower's next paycheck. The borrower writes a postdated check to the lender in the full amount of the loan plus fees. On the maturity date, the borrower is expected to return to the store to repay the loan in person. If the borrower does not repay the loan in person, the lender may redeem the check. If the account is short on funds to cover the check, the borrower may now face a bounced check fee from their bank in addition to the costs of the loan, and the loan may incur additional fees and/or an increased interest rate as a result of the failure to pay.

Some jurisdictions impose strict usury limits, limiting the annual percentage rate (APR) that any lender, including payday lenders, can charge; some outlaw payday lending entirely; and some have very few restrictions on payday lenders. Due to the extremely short-term nature of payday loans, the difference between nominal APR and effective APR (EAR) can be substantial, because EAR takes compounding into account. For a $15 charge on a $100 2-week payday loan, the APR is 26 × 15% = 390% but the EAR is (1.1526 − 1) × 100% = 3,685%.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Police Story

Police Story is an anthology television crime drama that aired on NBC from 1973 through 1978. The show was the brainchild of author and former policeman Joseph Wambaugh and represented a major step forward in the realistic depiction of police work and violence on network TV. It was produced by David Gerber and Mel Swope.

Although it was an anthology, there were certain things that all episodes had in common; for instance, the main character in each episode was a police officer. The setting was always Los Angeles and the characters always worked for some branch of the LAPD. Also, notwithstanding the anthology format, there were recurring characters. Scott Brady appeared in more than a dozen episodes as "Vinnie," a former cop who, upon retirement, had opened a bar catering to police officers, and who acted as a sort of Greek chorus during the run of the series, commenting on the characters and plots. Tony Lo Bianco and Don Meredith made several appearances as Robbery-Homicide Division partners Tony Calabrese and Bert Jameson. Other recurring characters included surveillance specialist Joe LaFrieda, played by Vic Morrow, and vice officer turned homicide detective Charlie Czonka, played by James Farentino.

The anthology format made the show an excellent venue to try out characters and settings for series development, and, during its broadcast run, Police Story generated three spin-offs. A first-season episode, "The Gamble," starring Angie Dickinson, became the pilot for the successful Police Woman series, which ran from 1974-1978. "The Return of Joe Forrester," a second-season episode starring Lloyd Bridges, was developed into the weekly series Joe Forrester. "A Chance to Live," an episode from the fifth season, with David Cassidy, became Man Undercover.

In later seasons, perhaps because of the expense of maintaining the anthology format on a weekly basis, Police Story became a series of irregularly scheduled TV-movies.

Police Story was a precursor to later shows such as Hill Street Blues, ABC's NYPD Blue and NBC's own Homicide: Life on the Street in 1993.

Numerous actors, sports figures and former real cops who were familiar to audiences in the 1960's and 70's made appearances on the series, including Ed Asner, David Janssen, Claude Akins, Robert Stack, Mike Connors, Stuart Whitman, Lenore Kasdorf, John Saxon, Cameron Mitchell, Martin Milner, Vince Edwards, Robert Forster, Jan-Michael Vincent, Alex Cord, George Maharis, Wayne Maunder, Howard Duff, Chad Everett, Don Meredith, Sylvester Stallone, Michael Cole (2 episodes), and Eddie Egan.

Two episodes received an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Episode in a Television Series: "Requiem for an Informer," written by Sy Salkowitz (from the first season), and "Requiem for C.Z. Smith," by Robert E. Collins (second season). In 1976, the show won the Emmy for best drama series.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Telegram Sam

Telegram Sam was the third UK number one single for the British rock group T. Rex. The song also appeared on their 1972 album The Slider.

Perhaps best known for bringing the term "main man" into popular culture, it was number one for two weeks, before being knocked off the top by "Son of My Father" by Chicory Tip (which also kept "American Pie" by Don McLean from reaching #1).

The lyrics feature numerous figures such as Bobby (who is a natural born poet who is just outta sight), Golden Nose Slim (who knows where you been), Jungle Faced Jake (make no mistake) and Purple Pie Pete. It also contains these lines Marc Bolan wrote to refer to himself: Me I funk/but I don't care/I ain't no square/with my corkscrew hair, a line which industrial rock band KMFDM would borrow for their song "Me I Funk". The riff is similar in character to their massive hit from the previous year, "Get It On". "Telegram Sam" wasn't as successful as "Get It On" worldwide, and it only peaked at #67 in the Billboard Hot 100.

"Telegram Sam" was the first single to be issued by Marc Bolan's own T.Rex Wax Co. label, and was released on 21 January 1972. The b-side featured two songs in the UK, "Cadilac" (as printed on the EMI label of the original single) and "Baby Strange", the latter also included in the album The Slider.

"Telegram Sam" was written by Bolan about the music business accountant, Sam Alder, who sent Bolan, by telegram, news that "Get It On" had reached number one in the UK. Alder also worked with King Crimson and Roxy Music (especially Bryan Ferry).

In 1980, it was covered by the gothic rock band Bauhaus as a single.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kibbeh

Kibbeh or kibbe is a Levantine Arab dish made of burgul (crushed wheat) or rice and chopped meat. The best-known variety is a torpedo-shaped fried croquette stuffed with minced beef or lamb. Other types of kibbeh may be shaped into balls or patties, and baked or cooked in broth.

Kibbeh is one of the most characteristic foods of Levantine cuisine. It is widespread in Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Cyprus (where it is called koupes or koubes), Egypt (where it is called koubeiba), the Arabian Peninsula, Armenia, Israel and several Latin American nations which received part of the Syrian and Lebanese diaspora during the early 20th Century, such as Brazil,Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras or Mexico.

Kibbeh is probably best known as a 7 to 15 cm-long torpedo-shaped bulgur shell stuffed with a filling of spiced minced lamb and fried until brown. British soldiers in the Middle East during the Second World War used to call these kibbeh "Syrian torpedoes".

In Levantine cuisine, there are a variety of dishes made with bulgur and minced lamb that are called kibbeh. The northern Syrian city of Aleppo (Halab) is famous for having more than 17 different types of kibbeh.

Kubbat Halab is an Iraqi version of kibbeh made with a rice crust and named after Aleppo. Kubbat Mosul, also Iraqi, is flat and round like a disc. Kubbat Shorba is an Iraqi-kurdish version made as a stew, usually with tomato sauce and spices. Raw kibbeh (Kibbe nayye), a meat and bulgur mix served raw like steak tartare is popular in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq. It is often accompanied by arak and various salads. Kibbeh is sometimes served with a sesame seed tahina dip.

Fried, torpedo-shaped kibbehs have become popular in Haiti, Dominican Republic and South America - where they are known as quipe - after they were introduced by Lebanese and Palestinian immigrants.

Kibbeh nayyeh is frequently served as part of a meze in Lebanon, garnished with mint leaves and olive oil, and served raw with green peppers, scallions and pita.

Kibbe can also be a mixture of chopped meat (lamb or beef), burghul, onion, mint and spices pressed into a flat baking pan. Then it is scored with a knife into diamond shapes about one or two inches in length, topped with pine nuts or almond slivers and butter, then baked in the oven until done.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Roberto Canessa

Roberto Jorge Canessa Urta (January 17, 1953, Montevideo, Uruguay) is one of the 16 survivors of the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, which crashed in the Andes mountains on October 13, 1972, and a Uruguayan political figure.

At the time of the accident, Canessa was a 19 year old medical student. His fianceé was Laura Surraco, the daughter of a doctor.

It was Canessa who suggested to his fellow survivors that in order to stay alive, they should eat the flesh of the deceased victims of the crash. Together with Fernando Parrado, he spent 10 days trekking through the Andes in search of help for the survivors.

After the rescue, Canessa recounted how his drive to escape from the mountains was fueled by the thought of his mother and his girlfriend. He later married Laura Surraco, and they have two sons and a daughter. He works as a cardiologist and motivational speaker.

Canessa was a candidate in the 1994 Uruguayan presidential elections. He lost to the former President, Julio María Sanguinetti Coirolo, who was returned to power.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Z Movie

The term Z movie (or grade-Z movie) arose in the mid-1960s as an informal description of certain unequivocally non-A films. It was soon adopted to characterize low-budget pictures with quality standards well below those of most B movies and even so-called C movies. While B movies may have mediocre scripts and actors who are relatively unknown or past their prime, they are for the most part competently lit, shot, and edited. The economizing shortcuts of films identified as C movies tend to be evident throughout; nonetheless, films to which the C label is applied are generally the products of relatively stable entities within the commercial film industry and thus still adhere to certain production norms.

In contrast, most films referred to as Z movies are made for very little money on the fringes of the organized film industry or entirely outside it. As a result, scripts are often laughably bad, continuity errors tend to arise during shooting, and nonprofessional actors are frequently cast. Many Z movies are also poorly lit and edited. Latter-day Zs may not evidence the same degree of technical incompetence; in addition to bargain-basement scripts and acting, they are often characterized by violent, gory, and/or sexual content and a minimum of artistic interest, readily falling into the category of exploitation, or "grindhouse" films.

Director Ed Wood is often described as the quintessential maker of Z movies, yet his work reveals the ambiguity of the category. Certain very-low-budget pictures of his such as Glen or Glenda (1953) and Jail Bait (1954), though broadly and risibly incompetent, are also entertaining on their own terms and evidence an intriguing artistic vision.[2] Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) is often labeled the worst film ever made. It features an incoherent plot, bizarre dialogue, inept acting, intrusive narration, the cheapest conceivable special effects, and cardboard sets that the actors occasionally bump into and knock over. Stock footage is used throughout, whole sequences are used multiple times, boom mics are visible, and actors frequently appear to be reading from cue cards. Outdoor sequences contain parts filmed during both day and night in the same scene. The movie stars Maila Nurmi, in her Vampira persona, and Béla Lugosi, who died before it was made. Test footage of Lugosi shot for a different project is intercut with shots of a double with a different physique, height, and hair color, who covers his face with a cape in every scene. The narrator refers to the film by its preproduction name, "Grave Robbers from Outer Space."[3]

The Creeping Terror (1964), directed by Arthur J. Nelson (who also stars in the film under the pseudonym Vic Savage), uses some memorable bargain-basement effects: Stock footage of a rocket launch is played in reverse to depict the landing of an alien spacecraft. What appears to be shag carpet is draped over several actors shambling about at a snail's pace, thus bringing the monstrous "creeping terror" to the screen. The movie also employs a technique that has come to be synonymous with Z-movie horror: voiceover narration that paraphrases dialogue being silently enacted onscreen.

Harold P. Warren, a fertilizer salesman who never worked in film before or since, directed Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966). The film is famous for its incompetent production, which included the use of a camera that could not record sound, disjointed dialogue, and seemingly random editing. The entire soundtrack was recorded by just three people, who provide the voices for every character. The movie features a character named Torgo, who is intended to be a satyr. The actor wore his prosthetics incorrectly, making it look like he simply has very large knees. In one scene, the clapboard is clearly visible. Like Plan 9, it frequently tops lists of the worst movies ever made.

The latter-day Z movie is typified by such pictures as Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold (1995) and Bikini Cavegirl (2004), both directed by Fred Olen Ray, that combine traditional genre themes with extensive nudity or softcore pornography. Such pictures, often after going straight to video, are fodder for late-night airing on subscription TV services.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lithium

Lithium is a soft, silver-white metal that belongs to the alkali metal group of chemical elements. It is represented by the symbol Li, and it has the atomic number 3. Under standard conditions it is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element. Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly reactive and flammable. For this reason, it is typically stored in mineral oil. When cut open, lithium exhibits a metallic luster, but contact with moist air corrodes the surface quickly to a dull silvery gray, then black, tarnish. Because of its high reactivity, lithium never occurs free in nature, and instead, only appears in compounds, usually ionic ones. Lithium occurs in a number of pegmatitic minerals, but is also commonly obtained from brines and clays. On a commercial scale, lithium is isolated electrolytically from a mixture of lithium chloride and potassium chloride.

The nuclei of lithium are not far from being unstable, since the two stable lithium isotopes found in nature have among the lowest binding energies per nucleon of all stable nuclides. As a result, they can be used in fission reactions as well as fusion reactions of nuclear devices. Due to its near instability, lithium is less common in the solar system than 25 of the first 32 chemical elements even though the nuclei are very light in atomic weight. For related reasons, lithium has important links to nuclear physics. The transmutation of lithium atoms to tritium was the first man-made form of a nuclear fusion reaction, and lithium deuteride serves as a fusion fuel in staged thermonuclear weapons.

Trace amounts of lithium are present in the oceans and in all organisms. The element serves no apparent vital biological function, since animal and plants survive in good health without it. Nonvital functions have not been ruled out. The lithium ion Li+ administered as any of several lithium salts has proved to be useful as a mood-stabilizing drug due to neurological effects of the ion in the human body. Lithium and its compounds have several industrial applications, including heat-resistant glass and ceramics, high strength-to-weight alloys used in aircraft, lithium batteries and lithium-ion batteries. These uses consume more than half of lithium production.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Phidippus whitmani

Phidippus whitmani is a species of jumping spider.

While the male is strikingly red on top, with a black band in the frontal eye region and sometimes with white setae on the forelegs, the female is of a rather inconspicuous brown color. It is one of the species of jumping spiders which are mimics of mutillid wasps (commonly known as "velvet ants"); several species of these wasps are similar in size and coloration, and possess a very painful sting.

P. whitmani occurs in USA and Canada. The species name is possibly a reference to poet Walt Whitman.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Buick Roadmaster

The Roadmaster was an automobile built by the Buick division of General Motors. Buick first used the Roadmaster name between 1936 and 1958. In 1991, Buick again applied the Roadmaster name to its full-size rear-wheel drive sedan and station wagon models as a replacement for the Buick Estate.

The origins of the Roadmaster name date to 1936 when Buick renamed its entire model lineup to celebrate the engineering improvements and design advancements over their 1935 models. Buick's Series 40 model range became the Special, the Buick Century took the place of the Series 60 and the Series 90 — Buick's largest and most luxurious vehicles — became the Limited. Buick's Series 80 became the Roadmaster.

Roadmasters produced between 1936 and 1958 were built on Buick's longest wheelbase and shared its basic structure with senior Oldsmobiles. Between 1946 and 1957, the Roadmaster was Buick's premium and best appointed model, and was offered in sedan, coupe, convertible and station wagon bodystyles between 1936 and 1948. In 1949 a hardtop coupe, designated "Riviera" joined the model line up; a four-door hardtop joined the model range in 1955. 1949 had the beginnings of tail fins for Buick, and Buick's new automatic transmission, the Dynaflow.

The 1953 Buick Roadmaster station wagon, Model 79-R, was the last wood-bodied station wagon mass-produced in the United States. Its body was a product of Iona Manufacturing which built all Buick station wagon bodies between 1946 and 1964. Priced at US$4,031, the wagon was second in price to the Buick Skylark. Only 670 of these final woody wagons were produced for 1953.

In 1959, Buick again introduced a model range that represented a significant shift in its body design, and the Roadmaster was renamed the Electra.

Buick revived the Roadmaster name for a B-body station wagon in 1991, replacing the Estate station wagon in the lineup. Using the 115.9" wheelbase that was introduced for the 1977 model year, the wagon was called the Roadmaster Estate Wagon. A sedan joined the wagon for 1992, with its own distinct sheet metal, although it shared parts with other full-size GM models. The Roadmaster wagon was a badge engineered Chevrolet Caprice Estate (also sold as the Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser) the three variants differing mainly in grille design and trim. In 1993, the newly-redesigned Cadillac Fleetwood continued using a 121.5" wheelbase, an elongated version on the chassis used on the Roadmaster.

Simulated woodgrain side and back panels (made of vinyl) were standard on the Roadmaster Estate wagon, although a delete option (WB4 wood delete) was available for credit. The "Vista Roof", a fixed sunroof over the second row seats that was not available on the Caprice, was standard as well. The Estate Wagon could seat up to eight with an optional third row seat. All these wagons initially used Chevrolet's 5.0 L small-block V8, but both Buicks used the larger 5.7 L version from 1992.

GM discontinued both the Roadmaster sedan and the Roadmaster Estate Wagon in 1996, ending production on December 13 of that year. This was blamed on the smaller but more expensive and luxurious Park Avenue growing in size; the Roadmaster trim levels never exceeded that of the smaller but still full-sized Buick LeSabre. Another reason was largely a response to the SUV craze, as the Arlington, Texas factory where RWD GM cars were built was converted to truck and SUV production. When discontinued, the Roadmaster Estate and the similar Chevrolet Caprice wagon brought up the end of the era of the full-size family station wagon, and an end to General Motors' production of rear-wheel drive, full-size cars.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Book of Kells

The Book of Kells, sometimes known as the Book of Columba, is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables. It was created by Celtic monks ca. 800 or slightly earlier. The text of the Gospels is largely drawn from the Vulgate, although it also includes several passages drawn from the earlier versions of the Bible known as the Vetus Latina. It is a masterwork of Western calligraphy and represents the pinnacle of Insular illumination. It is also widely regarded as Ireland's finest national treasure.

The illustrations and ornamentation of the Book of Kells surpass that of other Insular Gospel books in extravagance and complexity. The decoration combines traditional Christian iconography with the ornate swirling motifs typical of Insular art. Figures of humans, animals and mythical beasts, together with Celtic knots and interlacing patterns in vibrant colours, enliven the manuscript's pages. Many of these minor decorative elements are imbued with Christian symbolism and so further emphasise the themes of the major illustrations.

The manuscript today comprises 340 folios and, since 1953, has been bound in four volumes. The leaves are on high-quality calf vellum, and the unprecedentedly elaborate ornamentation that covers them includes ten full-page illustrations and text pages that are vibrant with historiated initials and interlinear miniatures and mark the furthest extension of the anti-classical and energetic qualities of Insular art. The Insular majuscule script of the text itself appears to be the work of at least three different scribes. The lettering is in iron gall ink, and the colours used were derived from a wide range of substances, many of which were imports from distant lands.

The manuscript takes its name from the Abbey of Kells that was its home for centuries. Today, it is on permanent display at the Trinity College Library, Dublin. The library usually displays two of the current four volumes at a time, one showing a major illustration and the other showing typical text pages.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Smoke

Smoke is a colloid and comprises a collection of airborne solid and liquid particulates and gases emitted when a material undergoes combustion or pyrolysis, together with the quantity of air that is entrained or otherwise mixed into the mass.

It is commonly an unwanted by-product of fires (including stoves, candles, oil lamps, and fireplaces), but may also be used for pest control (cf. fumigation), communication (smoke signals), defensive and offensive capabilities in the military (smoke-screen), cooking (smoked salmon), or smoking (tobacco, marijuana, etc.). Smoke is used in rituals, when incense, sage, or resin is burned to produce a smell for spiritual purposes. Smoke is sometimes used as a flavoring agent, and preservative for various foodstuffs. Smoke is also a component of internal combustion engine exhaust gas, particularly diesel exhaust.

Smoke inhalation is the primary cause of death in victims of indoor fires. The smoke kills by a combination of thermal damage, poisoning and pulmonary irritation caused by carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide and other combustion products.

Depending on particle size, smoke can be visible or invisible to the naked eye. This is best illustrated when toasting bread in a toaster. As the bread heats up, the products of combustion increase in size. The particles produced initially are invisible but become visible if the toast is burned. The composition of smoke depends on the nature of the burning fuel and the conditions of combustion.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Serif

In typography, serifs are semi-structural details on the ends of some of the strokes that make up letters and symbols. A typeface that has serifs is called a serif typeface (or seriffed typeface). A typeface without serifs is called sans-serif, from the French sans, meaning “without”. Some typography sources refer to sans-serif typefaces as "grotesque" (in German "grotesk") or "Gothic", and serif types as "Roman".

Serifs are thought to have originated in the Roman alphabet with inscriptional lettering—words carved into stone in Roman antiquity. The explanation proposed by Father Edward Catich in his 1968 book The Origin of the Serif is now broadly but not universally accepted: the Roman letter outlines were first painted onto stone, and the stone carvers followed the brush marks which flared at stroke ends and corners, creating serifs.

The origin of the word serif is obscure, but apparently almost as recent as the type style. In The British Standard of the Capital Letters contained in the Roman Alphabet, forming a complete code of systematic rules for a mathematical construction and accurate formation of the same (1813) by William Hollins, it defined surripses, usually pronounced "surriphs", as "projections" which appear at the tops and bottoms of some letters, the O and Q excepted, at the beginning or end, and sometimes at each, of all." The standard also proposed that surripses may be derived from the Greek words συν (together) and ριψις (projection). In 1827, a Greek scholar, Julian Hibbert, printed with his own experimental uncial Greek types. He explained that unlike the types of Bodoni's Callimachus, which were "ornamented (or rather disfigured) by additions of what I believe type-founders call syrifs or cerefs." The oldest citations in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) are 1841 for "sans serif", given as sanserif, and 1830 for "serif". The OED speculates that serif was a back-formation from sanserif. Webster's Third New International Dictionary traces serif to the Dutch noun schreef, meaning "line, stroke of the pen", related to the verb schrappen, "to delete, strike through". Schreef now also means "serif" in Dutch.

The OED's earliest citation for "grotesque" in this sense is 1875, giving stone-letter as a synonym. It would seem to mean "out of the ordinary" in this usage, as in art grotesque usually means "elaborately decorated".

Monday, April 18, 2011

Miss You

"Miss You" is a 1978 hit song by The Rolling Stones, from their album Some Girls.

"Miss You" was written by singer Mick Jagger jamming with keyboardist Billy Preston during rehearsals for the March 1977 El Mocambo club gigs (yielding Side Three of the Love You Live album). Although guitarist Keith Richards is credited for co-writing, Jagger is generally regarded as the principal composer.

Mick Jagger and Ron Wood insist that "Miss You" wasn't conceived as a disco song, while Keith Richards said "...Miss You was a damn good disco record, it was calculated to be one". In any case, what was going on in discos did make it to the recording. Charlie Watts said that "A lot of those songs like Miss You on Some Girls... were heavily influenced by going to the discos. You can hear it in a lot of those four-to-the-floor and the Philadelphia-style drumming." For the bass part Bill Wyman started from Billy Preston's bass guitar on the song demo.[1]. Chris Kimsey, who engineered the recording of the song, said Wyman went "...to quite a few clubs before he got that bass line sorted out.", which Kimsey said "made that song". Jagger sang a good part of the chorus using falsetto "ooh"s often in unison with harmonica, guitar, and electric piano.

Unlike most of Some Girls, "Miss You" features several studio musicians. In addition to Sugar Blue, who according to Ron Wood was found while busking on the streets of Paris, Ian McLagan played understated Wurlitzer electric piano, and Mel Collins provides the saxophone solo for the instrumental break.

The 12" version of the song runs over 8 minutes, and features additional instrumentation and solos, particularly on guitar . It was remixed by Bob Clearmountain, then an upcoming mixer and engineer . This song, the first edit the Rolling Stones did for a 12" single, also contains an additional set of lyrics in the second verse, after the line "Hey, let's go mess and fool around you know, like we used to". However, this version did use some "repeats & tape-loops" in order to construct its length.

"Miss You" became The Rolling Stones' eighth number-one hit in the US on its initial release in 1978. It reached number three in the UK. The song was originally nearly nine minutes long, but was edited to nearly five minutes for the album version, and to three-and-a-half minutes for the radio single, although an eight-and-a-half minutes long "Special Disco Version" was also released on 12-inch single - featuring the track at its longest and most complete. The B-side of the single was another album track, "Far Away Eyes", a tongue-in-cheek country and western tune sung by Jagger in a pronounced drawl.

In 2010, Rolling Stone magazine rated "Miss You" number 498 in its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pica

Pica is a medical disorder characterized by an appetite for substances largely non-nutritive (e.g. metal [coins, etc.], clay, coal, soil, feces, chalk, paper, soap, mucus, ash, gum, etc.) or an abnormal appetite for some things that may be considered foods, such as food ingredients (e.g. flour, raw potato, raw rice, starch, ice cubes, salt). In order for these actions to be considered pica, they must persist for more than one month at an age where eating such objects is considered developmentally inappropriate. The condition's name comes from the Latin word for magpie, a bird that is reputed to eat almost anything. Pica is seen in all ages, particularly in pregnant women, small children, and those with developmental disabilities.

Pica in children, while common (usually only in young children or children with autism or another mental or developmental disorder), may be dangerous. Children eating painted plaster containing lead may suffer brain damage from lead poisoning. There is a similar risk from eating dirt near roads that existed prior to the phaseout of tetra-ethyl lead in gasoline (in some countries) or prior to the cessation of the use of contaminated oil (either used, or containing toxic PCBs or dioxin) to settle dust. In addition to poisoning, there is also a much greater risk of gastro-intestinal obstruction or tearing in the stomach. This is also true in animals. Another risk of dirt-eating is the possible ingestion of animal feces and accompanying parasites. Pica can also be found in animals, and is most commonly found in dogs.

The scant research that has been done on the causes of pica suggests that the disorder is a specific appetite caused by mineral deficiency in many cases, in females named typically iron deficiency, which sometimes is a result of celiac disease. Often the substance eaten by someone with pica contains the mineral in which that individual is deficient. More recently, cases of pica have been tied to the obsessive–compulsive spectrum, and there is a move to consider OCD in the etiology of pica; however, pica is currently recognized as a mental disorder by the widely used Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). Sensory, physiological, cultural, and psychosocial perspectives have also been used by some to explain the causation of pica.

Mental health conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia can sometimes cause pica. It was suggested that stress associated with traumatic events is linked to pica disorder. Some of the traumatic events common in individuals with pica include maternal deprivation, parental separation or neglect, child abuse, disorganized family structure and poor parent-child interaction. Pica may also be a symptom of iron deficiency anemia secondary to hookworm infection.

However, pica can also be a cultural practice not associated with a deficiency or disorder. Ingestion of kaolin (white dirt) among African-American women in the U.S. state of Georgia shows the practice there to be a DSM-IV "culture-bound syndrome" and "not selectively associated with other psychopathology". Similar kaolin ingestion is also widespread in parts of Africa. Such practices might stem from health benefits such as clay's ability to absorb plant toxins and protect against toxic alkaloids and tannic acids.

Unlike in humans, pica in dogs or cats may be a sign of immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, especially when it involves eating substances such as tile grout, concrete dust, and sand. Dogs exhibiting this form of pica should be tested for anemia with a CBC or at least hematocrit levels.
ccompanying parasites. Pica can also be found in animals, and is most commonly found in dogs.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos

Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos are a fictional World War II unit in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, they first appeared in Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #1 (May 1963). The main character, Sgt. Nick Fury, later became the leader of Marvel's super-spy agency, S.H.I.E.L.D..
In addition to Fury, the elite special unit of US Army Rangers nicknamed the Howling Commandos consisted of:

- Corporal Timothy Aloysius Cadwallader "Dum Dum" Dugan,
- Private Gabriel Jones (an African American serving in an integrated unit, though the U.S. armed forces were not in real-life integrated until after the war, in 1948)
- Private Robert "Rebel" Ralston
- Private Dino Manelli (modeled after Dean Martin)
- Private Isadore "Izzy" Cohen, the first demonstrably Jewish American comic book hero.
- Private Jonathan "Junior" Juniper — who, in an unusual and daring move for comics at the time, was killed in action after a few issues (#4, Nov. 1963).

As the magazine Jack Kirby Collector wrote in 1999, "Today that's no big deal but in 1963, comics heroes simply didn't die; not permanently, anyway. Suddenly, with the death of 'Junior' Juniper, the series acquired some real cachet. It now played like a true-life war drama where people got killed and never came back. You wondered who would be next."
- Private Percival "Pinky" Pinkerton, a British soldier, replaced Juniper in issue #8 (July 1964).
- Private Eric Koenig, a defector from Nazi Germany, joined the squad in issue #27 (Feb. 1966).

Occasional other members would join for an issue or two before being killed, transferred, or otherwise leaving (such as Fred Jones in issue #81). Also daringly for the time, the series killed Fury's girlfriend, British nurse Pamela Hawley, introduced in issue #4 and killed in a London air raid in #18 (May 1965).

Fury's company commander was Captain Samuel "Happy Sam" Sawyer.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Charger

Charger plates or service plates are larger decorative plates used to dress up dinner tables at parties, weddings, and other special events. While charger plates have been around since the 19th century, they returned to popularity in the late 1990s. Since food is not actually served on chargers, they are often called underplates or chop plates.

Charger plate etiquette and use varies among caterers and restaurants. Some professional catering companies remove the decorative charger plate as soon as the guests are seated. Often a decorative charger plate is left on the table as a large coaster for the soup and salad courses and then removed for the main entree. Others keep the underplate, charger or chop plates together until the end of the entire meal.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pill

A pill is a small, round, solid pharmacological oral dosage form that was in use before the advent of tablets and capsules. Pills were made by mixing the active ingredients with an excipient such as glucose syrup in a mortar and pestle to form a paste, then rolling the mass into a long cylindrical shape (called a "pipe"), and dividing it into equal portions, which were then rolled into balls, and often coated with sugar to make them more palatable.

In colloquial usage, tablets, capsules, and caplets are still often referred to as "pills" collectively.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mudflap Girl

The mudflap girl is an iconic silhouette of a woman with an hourglass body shape, sitting, leaning back on her hands, with her hair being blown in the wind. The icon is typically found on mudflaps, clothing, and other items associated with trucking in the United States. The image is sometimes also known as trucker girl, trucker lady or seated lady.

This famous design was created in the 1970s by Bill Zinda of Wiz Enterprises in Long Beach, California, to promote his line of truck and auto accessories. It was modeled on Leta Laroe, a famous exotic dancer at the time.

The Mudflap Girl is a registered trademark in the United States.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spirit of Ecstasy

The Spirit of Ecstasy is the name of the hood ornament on Rolls-Royce motorcars. It is in the form of a woman leaning forwards with her arms outstretched behind and above her. Billowing cloth runs from her arms to her back, resembling wings.

The Spirit of Ecstasy, also called "Emily", "Silver Lady" or "Flying Lady", was designed by Charles Robinson Sykes and carries with it a story about a secret passion between John Walter Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu, (second Lord Montagu of Beaulieu after 1905, a pioneer of the automobile movement, and editor of The Car magazine from 1902) and his secret love and the model for the emblem, Eleanor Velasco Thornton. Eleanor was John Walter's secretary, and their love was to remain hidden, limited to their circle of friends, for more than a decade. The reason for the secrecy was Eleanor's impoverished social and economic status, which was an obstacle to their love. John-Walter, succumbing to family pressures, married Lady Cecil Victoria Constance, but the secret love affair continued.

Eleanor died on 30 December 1915, going down with the SS Persia, when the ship was torpedoed off Crete by a German submarine, whilst she accompanied Lord Montagu on his journey to India, four years after she had been immortalized by her bereaved lover.

When Montagu commissioned his friend Sykes to sculpt a personal mascot for the bonnet of his Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, Sykes chose Eleanor Thornton as his model. Sykes originally crafted a figurine of her in fluttering robes, pressing a finger against her lips - to symbolise the secrets of their love. The figurine was consequently named The Whisper.

The very first Rolls-Royce motorcars did not feature radiator mascots; they simply carried the Rolls-Royce emblem. This, however, was not enough for their customers who believed that such a prestigious vehicle as a Rolls-Royce motorcar should have its own luxurious mascot, and by 1910 personal mascots had become the fashion of the day. Rolls-Royce were concerned to note that some owners were affixing "inappropriate" ornaments to their cars. Claude Johnson, then managing director of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, was asked to see to the commissioning of something more suitably dignified and graceful.

He turned to Charles Sykes, a young artist friend and a graduate of London's Royal College of Art, to produce a mascot which would adorn all future Rolls-Royce cars and become generic to the marque, with the specifications that it should convey "the spirit of the Rolls-Royce, namely, speed with silence, absence of vibration, the mysterious harnessing of great energy and a beautiful living organism of superb grace..."

Sykes' brief from Claude Johnson had been to evoke the spirit of mythical beauty, Nike, whose graceful image was admired in The Louvre, but Sykes was not impressed. He felt that a more feminine representation might be apt.

It was again Miss Thornton whom he had in mind. Sykes chose to modify ‘The Whisper’ into a version similar to today's; ‘The Spirit of Ecstasy’. He called this first model The Spirit of Speed. Later, Charles Sykes called it "A graceful little goddess, the Spirit of Ecstasy, who has selected road travel as her supreme delight and alighted on the prow of a Rolls-Royce motor car to revel in the freshness of the air and the musical sound of her fluttering draperies." He presented the mascot to the company in February 1911.

Some critics and fans of the Rolls Royce have given The Spirit of Ecstasy the dubious nickname "Ellie in her Nightie", suggesting Eleanor's influence as Sykes' muse.

Claude Johnson devised the description of The Spirit of Ecstasy, he described how Sykes had sought to convey the image of "the spirit of ecstasy, who has selected road travel as her supreme delight......she is expressing her keen enjoyment, with her arms outstretched and her sight fixed upon the distance."

Henry Royce was ill during the commissioning of the flying lady. He did not believe the figurine enhanced the cars, asserting that it impaired the driver's view, and was rarely seen driving one of his company's vehicles adorned with the mascot.

Royce made sure it was officially listed as an optional extra, but in practice it was fitted on almost all cars after that year, becoming a standard fitting in the early 1920s. Automobiles change with the times, and the Spirit of Ecstasy was no exception. It was silver plated from 1911 until 1914 when the mascot was made with nickel or chrome alloy to dissuade theft. The only departure from this came in Paris at the competition for the most apposite mascot of 1920, where a gold-plated version won first place. Gold-plated versions were subsequently available at additional cost.

Although it seems unchanged, the mascot had eleven main variations in its life. Lowered height of coachwork forced subsequent reductions in the mascot size. Consequently, several alternations in the original design were made.

Today's Spirit of Ecstasy stands at 3 inches and, for safety, is mounted on a spring-loaded mechanism designed to retract instantly into the radiator shell if struck from any direction. There is a button within the vehicle which can retract/extend the emblem when pressed. She can be made of highly polished stainless steel, sterling silver or 24-carat gold, the sterling silver and gold being optional extras.

The only two Rolls-Royces this mascot does not appear on currently is the first Phantom IV delivered to the then Princess Elizabeth in 1950, which carries the British Queen's mascot of St. George on horseback, slaying a dragon, designed by artist Edward Seago. However this mascot is interchangeable so it can be placed in any of the Royal fleet's cars.

On the other side, Princess Margaret chose Pegasus (by Louis Lejeune) as hood ornament for her 1954 Phantom IV.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Doris Duke

Doris Duke (November 22, 1912 – October 28, 1993) was an American heiress, horticulturalist, art collector, and philanthropist.

Duke was the only child of tobacco and electric energy tycoon James Buchanan Duke and his second wife, Nanaline Holt Inman, widow of Dr. William Patterson Inman. At his death in 1925, the elder Duke's will bequeathed the majority of his estate to his wife and daughter, along with $17,000,000, in two separate clauses of the will, to The Duke Endowment he had created in 1924. The total value of the estate was not disclosed, but was estimated variously at $60,000,000 and $100,000,000.

She was presented to society as a debutante in 1930, aged 18, at a ball at Rough Point, the family residence in Newport, Rhode Island. She received large bequests from her father's will when she turned 21, 25, and 30; she was sometimes referred to as the "world's richest girl". Her mother died in 1962, leaving her jewelry and a coat.

When Duke came of age, she used her wealth to pursue a variety of interests, including extensive world travel and the arts. During World War II, she worked in a canteen for sailors in Egypt, taking a salary of one dollar a year. In 1945, Duke began a short-lived career as a foreign correspondent for the International News Service, reporting from different cities across the war-ravaged Europe. After the war, she moved to Paris and wrote for the magazine Harper's Bazaar.

While living in Hawaii, Duke became the first woman to take up competition surfing under the tutelage of surfing champion and Olympic swimmer Duke Kahanamoku and his brothers. A lover of animals, in particular her dogs and pet camels, in her later years Duke became a wildlife refuge supporter, an environmental conservationist, and a patron of historic preservation.

Duke acquired a number of homes. Her principal residence and official domicile was Duke Farms, her father's 2,700 acre estate in Hillsborough Township, New Jersey. Here she created Duke Gardens, 60,000-square-foot public indoor botanical display that were among the largest in America.

Duke married twice, the first time in 1935 to James H. R. Cromwell, the son of Palm Beach society doyenne Eva Stotesbury. Cromwell, a New Deal advocate, used his wife's fortune to enter the political arena, becoming U.S. Ambassador to Canada in 1940. The couple had a daughter, Arden, who lived for only one day. They divorced in 1943.

On September 1, 1947, while in Paris, Duke became the third wife of Porfirio Rubirosa, a diplomat from the Dominican Republic. She reportedly paid his wife, Danielle Darrieux, $1 million to agree to an uncontested divorce. Because of her great wealth, Duke's marriage to Rubirosa attracted the attention of the U.S. State Department, which cautioned her against using her money to promote political agendas. Further, there was concern that in case of her death, a foreign government could gain too much leverage. Thus Rubirosa had to sign a pre-nuptial agreement; during the marriage, though, she gave Rubirosa several million dollars in gifts, including a stable of polo ponies, sports cars, a converted B-25 bomber, and, in the divorce settlement, a 17th-century house in Paris. While she subsequently had a number of relationships, Duke never remarried. One of Doris Duke´s best friends was the Brazilian Aimee de Heeren, who tried to cheer her up whenever a marriage was over.

She reportedly had numerous affairs, with, among others, Duke Kahanamoku, Errol Flynn, Alec Cunningham-Reid, General George S. Patton, Joe Castro, and Louis Bromfield.

In 1992, at the age of 79, Duke had a facelift. She began trying to walk while she was still heavily medicated and fell, breaking her hip. In January 1993, she underwent surgery for a knee replacement. She was hospitalized from February 2 to April 15. She underwent a second knee surgery in July of that year. A day after returning home from this second surgery, she suffered a severe stroke. Doris Duke died at her Falcon's Lair home on October 28, 1993, at the age of 80. The cause was progressive pulmonary edema resulting in cardiac arrest, according to a spokesman for Bernard Lafferty, the executor named by Duke's last will, who was with her at her death.