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Thursday, May 15, 2008

rokssana65's profile - StumbleUpon

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U.S. weekly initial jobless claims rise 6,000 to 371,000 - MarketWatch

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The number of people filing for the first time for unemployment benefits rose 6,000 to a total of 371,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis in the week ended May 10, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
The four-week average of initial claims, which smoothes out one-time factors such as bad weather or holidays, fell 1,000 to 365,750.
In the week ended May 3, the number of people collecting benefits gained 28,000 to 3.06 million, while the four-week average of continuing claims increased 15,250 to stand at 3.02 million. These levels marked the highest since March 2004 and April 2004, respectively.
John Ryding, chief U.S. economist for Bear Stearns, wrote to clients that the level of initial claims is consistent with "fairly flat payrolls" so far this month.
Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics, is expecting new highs in jobless claims over the next few months.
"The tax rebates will lift retail sales for a couple of months, but they will not change the fundamental outlook, so companies will continue to lay off staff in order to try to maintain earnings," Shepherdson wrote in a research note.
Compared with last year, both initial and continuing claims are up about 23%.
Initial claims represent job destruction, while the level of continuing claims indicates how hard or easy it is for displaced workers to find new jobs.
The insured unemployment rate, representing the proportion of those covered by unemployment insurance who are receiving benefits, remained at 2.3%.
The level of claims has been volatile in recent weeks, reaching a recent peak of 406,000 in late March.
During recessions in the past, first-time claims have typically risen to at least 400,000 and remained there. In this downturn, rather than fire workers, employers have been cutting hours and forcing them to work on a part-time basis. Last week the Labor Department reported that productivity of the American workplace increased in the first quarter, as hours worked fell 1.8% -- the biggest such decline in five years.
U.S. weekly initial jobless claims rise 6,000 to 371,000 - MarketWatch
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Breaking: CBS Snags GameSpot In $1.8 Billion CNET Acquisition [Breaking]

cbsgamespot.jpgCBS Corporation just announced an agreement to buy CNET for $1.8 billion dollars. Through the deal, all of CNET's network sites, including GameSpot, TV.com mp3.com, CNET news.com, UrbanBaby, CHOW, Search.com, BNET, MySimon and TechRepublic all become property of CBS.

CBS' existing online network already includes CBS.com, CBSSports.com, CBSCollegeSports.com, MaxPreps.com, CBSNews.com, last.fm, Wallstrip, MobLogic, and the CBS Radio and CBS Television Stations digital media

platforms. CBS says its distribution net, the Audience Network, comprises 300 partner sites and reaches 82% of U.S. web users.

"CNET Networks operates some of the most important premium online brands, serving the most sought after online audiences," said CNET CEO Neil Ashe. "Today's announcement brings together two organizations that complement each other and working with Leslie, Quincy and the talented people at CBS, we look forward to taking our business and our brands to the next level."

Full announcement follows the jump.

NEW YORK and SAN FRANCISCO, May 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) has entered into an agreement to acquire CNET Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: CNET), it was announced today by Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation. Under the terms of the agreement, CBS will make a cash tender offer for all issued and outstanding shares of CNET Networks for $11.50 per share, representing an equity value of approximately $1.8 billion. The acquisition will make CBS one of the 10 most popular Internet companies in the United States, with a combined 54 million unique users per month, and approximately 200 million users worldwide.

"There are very few opportunities to acquire a profitable, growing, well-managed Internet company like CNET Networks," said Moonves. "CBS stands for premium content and unparalleled reach, and CNET Networks will add a tremendous platform to extend our complementary entertainment, news, sports, music and information content to a whole new global audience. Together, CBS and CNET Networks will have significant additional exposure to the fastest- growing advertising sector and can accelerate our growth through a number of new content, promotion and advertising initiatives. We could not be more pleased with the prospect of adding CNET Networks and its tremendous team of people to the CBS family. I look forward to working with Quincy Smith, Neil Ashe and the considerable combined talent at both companies, as we build upon our success."

Based in San Francisco, CNET Networks owns many of the Internet's leading entertainment, news and information sites including CNET, ZDNet, GameSpot.com, TV.com, mp3.com, CNET news.com, UrbanBaby, CHOW, Search.com, BNET, MySimon and TechRepublic. The company, which reported significant profits in 2007 on revenues of $406 million, has a large international footprint, particularly in China.

Upon closing, CNET Networks' sites will be combined with CBS's stable of dynamic and growing interactive businesses. These include CBS.com, CBSSports.com, CBSCollegeSports.com, MaxPreps.com, CBSNews.com, last.fm, Wallstrip, MobLogic, CBS Radio and CBS Television Stations digital media platforms, and the distribution network of the CBS Audience Network, which is made up of more than 300 partner Web sites and reaches 82% of all online users in the United States.

"The core businesses of CNET Networks and CBS Interactive represent near perfect category symmetry in premium online content," said Quincy Smith, President, CBS Interactive. "Together we will have a terrific opportunity to not only grow our established businesses, but to build new attractive verticals of content as well. This is the beginning of an era for both CBS and CNET Networks; plus, it's going to be great to work with Neil and his team, many of whom I have known for many years."

"We're thrilled to join CBS and combine our interactive media experience with CBS's world-class content," said Neil Ashe, Chief Executive Officer, CNET Networks, Inc. "CNET Networks operates some of the most important premium online brands, serving the most sought after online audiences. Today's announcement brings together two organizations that complement each other and working with Leslie, Quincy and the talented people at CBS, we look forward to taking our business and our brands to the next level."

"We look forward to completing the acquisition of CNET Networks and the terrific benefits it brings to CBS as Quincy, Neil and their combined teams build upon our success," Moonves concluded. "At the same time our strong cash flow allows us to pay among the highest dividends in the industry, and we are committed to continue to pay our attractive dividend to return value to shareholders."

The Board of Directors of CNET Networks has unanimously approved the merger agreement and unanimously recommends that CNET Networks stockholders accept the tender offer and tender their shares.

The transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.

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we ran a review

A couple of weeks ago we ran a review of Mary Roach's latest book, Bonk: The curious coupling of science and sex, in which Roach explains how scientists have tackled human sexuality using strange and often hilarious experiments. We invited readers to send in their sex questions for Mary Roach, and you can read a selection of the Q&As below.

Does the female orgasm serve a biological purpose?

A few years back, a biologist at Indiana University, Elisabeth Lloyd, devoted an entire book to this question called The Case of the Female Orgasm. She evaluated ten theories purporting to explain the evolutionary function of female orgasm, and found all of them lacking. Her conclusion: female orgasm belongs in the same file with male nipples. Male and female embryos start out with the same equipment, and then part ways. Men are left with nonfunctioning breasts; women are left with nonfunctioning penises. Not everyone agrees with her, however. You're welcome to refer to a recent discussion in The New York Times.

I am a happily married woman. However, I like to masturbate once in a while because I am able to give myself multiple orgasms. After having the "real" orgasm, I can have 10-15 "small" ones. To have these, I do not really need to entertain sexual fantasies - even thinking about eating chocolate can give me one. As a scientist, this situation makes me extremely curious. Is this a rare condition? How can I have orgasms by just thinking "nice, happy" things?

Orgasm is a reflex of the autonomic nervous system that is triggered by a delightful variety and/or combination of stimuli. Alfred Kinsey once interviewed a woman who could be brought to orgasm by stroking her eyebrows. In my research I found a case study of a woman who had an orgasm each time she brushed her teeth (followed by a mild epileptic seizure). Barry Komisaruk and Beverly Whipple, researchers at Rutgers University, have studied a dozen or so women who can "think" themselves to orgasm. Some use imagery, some use breathing techniques. The woman I met who could do it (she demonstrated her skill for me on a bench outside a sushi bar in Oakland, California) had taught herself using imagery and breathing skills learned in a weekend workshop given by sex educator Annie Sprinkle. It took her two years to master the technique.

It is fairly common for women, once they've had an orgasm, to be able to bring themselves quite easily and quickly to a succession of smaller "aftershocks" (especially with the help of a vibrator.) This is true not only for orgasms obtained through masturbation but also through intercourse. To be able to do this just by thinking about chocolate, however, is, as far as I know, a rare and delightful talent!

When and why did humans switch from the standard mammalian estrous cycle to being continuously sexually minded? Does this relate to the fact that women's breasts are permanently enlarged, rather than only during lactation as with other mammals?

Humans, unlike many other mammals, have "concealed ovulation" - that is, males cannot tell at a glance whether females are ovulating or not. Human female reproductive and sexual organs don't swell, as they do in other primates, advertising their fertility - so yes, the breasts are related. One school of thought holds that this permanent swelling adapted to help increase the likelihood of pair bonding. In order to be sure he's spreading his seed, the male needs to stick around for at least 30 days. The hope, from an evolutionary perspective, is that he'll bond with the female during that time.

Is there an evolutionary advantage to the female hymen and do any other animals exhibit a tissue with similar function?

Desmond Morris theorized that since breaking the hymen is painful, the membrane is nature's way of making sure young women don't enter into a sexual relationship lightly, thus squandering their genetic material upon a union with some cad who isn't likely to stick around to help raise the child. There are, however, two problems with this notion.

First, it's not all that painful. Studies suggest that as few as 30% of women report bleeding, suggesting that the hymen is often not torn at all, but simply stretched. Second, we would then have to assume that the hymen served the same purpose in horses, whales, moles, hyenas and the many other mammals that have them. This seems unlikely. Short answer: no-one knows what they're for.

At what age does the average human stop having sex?

According to researcher Cindy Meston at the University of Texas, Austin's Female Sexual Psychophysiology Lab, there's very little data on people over the age of 60. Older people are less likely to have partners, and thus it's hard to discern whether it's a lack of desire/interest or simply the fact that they don’t have a partner.

Are there any "anaphrodisiacs" - substances which might be the opposite of aphrodisiacs? I've heard that saltpetre might work, but that sounds like an old wives tale.

Anything that lowers testosterone (so anything that has a negative impact on serotonin or dopamine) will lower one's libido.

Has anal sex always been a popular pursuit as it is today, or has its popularity been artificially boosted by the porn industry? Is anal sex physiologically pleasurable or is the pleasure all social/psychological?

I believe that men have always enjoyed being on the giving end of anal sex simply because it's a tighter squeeze. As for being on the receiving end, men obtain pleasure from it because it stimulates their prostate gland. Women have only a vestigial prostate gland, thus it's not the same sort of pleasure for them.

Does circumcision make it harder for a man to have an orgasm?

Some argue that, yes, removing part of the foreskin removes a bunch of nerve endings and lowers sensitivity but others say no. This is a hotly and endlessly debated topic.

After a male has ejaculated, how long does it take for the scrotum to refill with semen?

The time is hugely variable. Like the refractory period, this amount of time gets longer with age.

we ran a review
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McCain: Most Troops Will Be Home by 2013 - The Caucus - Politics - New York Times Blog

Updated | 10:59 a.m. COLUMBUS, Ohio — Senator John McCain declared on Thursday that most American troops will be home from Iraq by 2013 and that Iraq will be a functioning democracy with only “spasmodic’’ episodes of violence, a striking departure from his refusal so far to set a date for U.S. withdrawal.

In a speech in the heart of Ohio, a major battleground state in the fall election, Mr. McCain set forth a sweeping, extraordinarily positive vision of what the world will look like 2013, when he says he will have been in the White House for four years.

“By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom,’’ Mr. McCain said at the Columbus Convention Center. “The Iraq War has been won. Iraq is a functioning democracy, although still suffering from the lingering effects of decades of tyranny and centuries of sectarian tension. Violence still occurs, but it is spasmodic and much reduced.’’

The United States, Mr. McCain added, “maintains a military presence there, but a much smaller one, and it does not play a direct combat role.’’

During his primary battle, Mr. McCain frequently accused Mitt Romney of setting a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq, a charge Mr. Romney denied.

In comments to reporters after his speech, Mr. McCain insisted that his speech should not be interpreted as setting a date for withdrawal, and that he was simply projecting victory in Iraq. He took issue with a reporter who characterized his speech as a “magic carpet ride,’’ saying: “I don’t think it has anything to do with fantasy, I think it has everything to do with setting goals and achieving.’’

In his speech, Mr. McCain also projected that “concerted action’’ by the world’s democracies will have persuaded Russia and China to cooperate in persuading Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions and North Korea to discontinue its own.

In Afghanistan, he said, an increase in actionable intelligence will have led to the capture or death of Osama bin Laden, and “there is no longer any place in the world al Qaeda can consider a safe haven.’’ He added: “There still has not been a major terrorist attack in the United States since September 11, 2001.’’

On domestic policy, Mr. McCain projected that the United States will have experienced several years of “robust economic growth;’’ a reduction in the corporate tax rate; and the beginning of a phase out of the alternative minimum tax.

Mr. McCain also pledged to appoint Democrats to his administration, hold weekly press conferences and take questions in Congress, much as the prime minister of Great Britain does in Parliament.

In a clear criticism of President Bush, Mr. McCain also said that “when we make errors, I will confess them readily, and explain what we intend to do to correct them.’’

The Democrats responded that Mr. McCain was living in a dream world.

“The reality behind Senator McCain’s new rhetoric is that his plans either ignore the problems he identifies or actually makes them worse,'’ Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement shortly before Mr. McCain began his speech.

McCain: Most Troops Will Be Home by 2013 - The Caucus - Politics - New York Times Blog
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IMG_4931.jpg (JPEG Image, 504x378 pixels)

IMG_4931.jpg (JPEG Image, 504x378 pixels)
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15 Funniest Alarm Clocks - Part 1

There are several gadgets indispensable for our these days life style and just to enumerate a few we have the cell phone, the watch, laptops, memory sticks, and for some, portable media players, but there is none of you that doesn’t use an alarm clock, right? We all have jobs to wake up for early in the morning or at least important appointments that we have to attend, from time to time, and the handiest device to alert us when the time has come is the cell phone that can be easily set to ring at that specific hour. If only all cell phones could play the alarm while being turned Off! I don’t enjoy unknown people calling me by mistake at 2 o’clock in the morning so maybe I would prefer to keep it turned Off and use an alarm clock which is specially designed for this kind of job.

Everything’s fine now that we know what to get but some of us have a problem with waking up in the morning and each of us need specific sound and intensity. We thought at this fact and managed to gather 15 of the coolest alarm clocks existent on the market. We called it 15 Funniest Alarm Clocks and you’ll see why.

15 Funniest Alarm Clocks Part 1

The Pillow Alarm Clock

This alarm clock is designed for those that want to be woken up in the morning without disturbing the other in the same room. It is called the Pillow Alarm Clock because it’s flat and small enough at 90 x 70 x 13mm to fit under your pillow, and is meant to awake you discretely with vibrations. It features dual alarm setting, snooze button, buzzing/vibrating alert, temperature display, date, time, 12/24 time format, a green backlight, clock stand, keylock and a nice leather cover.

15 Funniest Alarm Clocks - Part 1

The Throw Alarm Clocks

About the ball-shaped clock we’ve talked before in one of our recent articles but it’s cool enough to mention it again in our collection.
It is specially designed for those that get really nervous early in the morning when the alarm rings and feel like wanting to throw away that stressing clock that just doesn’t want to stop ringing.
It has the shape of a ball so you can throw it as fast and as much as you want because even when it hits the room’s walls it doesn’t break. And actually this is the only way you can make it stop ringing. It is made of resistant and slightly flexible vinyl, and shows the time, the date, while you can set the alarm on the LCD display. You can also choose between several ball shapes - Cricket, Golf, and Football Special Edition Silver or Normal – and it also comes with a circular stand which prevents it from falling off the desk.

15 Funniest Alarm Clocks Part 1

The Puzzle Alarm Clock

Even if in the picture is a child’s hand this doesn’t mean it’s designed for little children only and we believe it’s a funny alarm clock even for older children and those that still feel children.
The Puzzle Alarm Clock solves the problem of getting your but out of bed fast.
When the alarm rings, the 3 jigsaw puzzle pieces shoot out and to stop the ringing you have to solve the puzzle assembling it back.
It measures 18 x 11 x 4 cm and is powered by 3 AA batteries.

15 Funniest Alarm Clocks Part 1

The Grenade Alarm

That’s more an alarm than a clock but you could use it just to have some great fun by placing it near a sleeping friend. It gives you the chance to play the role of an alarm clock yourself. For that you have to pull the pin and yell “Fire in the hole!!!” then leave the grenade near your friend and run. He will wake up instantly at the loud sound that blasts out and will be able to stop it only by placing the pin back in.

15 Funniest Alarm Clocks Part 1

The Disco Ball Alarm Clock

This is the party-style waking up with cool lights show.
The Disco Ball Alarm Clock is made of pink plastic and powered by 3 AA batteries and 1 LR44 battery measuring 110 x 120 x 160 mm.

15 Funniest Alarm Clocks Part 1

The Running Alarm Clock

And here comes the Running Alarm Clock that runs away when the alarm rings.
It was designed by a smart engineering student with great sense of humor that wanted to give the sleeper one chance to wake up at the set hour. If he/she hits the snooze button and goes back to sleep then the clock gets really inpatient and starts to run around the room until he/she catches it.
The good thing is that it allows you to set the snooze time that can be of up to 9 minutes after which it starts to run away.
It measures 14 x 9 x 9 cm, is powered by 4 AAA batteries and has the following features: you can drop it from 3 feet height, can run on wood and even carpet, shows the low battery warning, flashes when beeping or running, has a random alarm beep pattern, and has the ability to disable its wheels.

15 Funniest Alarm Clocks Part 1

The Book Clock

The Book Clock is cool because it looks like a set of real books but with integrated discrete clock hands. You could say it looks funny or stylish, both versions making it a great clock for room decoration.
Its stainless steel hands are moving on reinforced heavyweight card and paper, and you can choose between the three-color model and the classic black one.
It powers from 1 AA battery and measures 20 x 20 x 15 cm.

15 Funniest Alarm Clocks Part 1

Police Alarm Clock

This clock imitates the sounds of police sirens and the specific spinning blue light when its alarm rings.
It is 6-inch high and shows the time and alarm on an LCD display.
When it’s the time it starts ringing and you can hear a voice waking you up: “This is the police! You have t’ll the count of three or we’re coming in!”
You can set the sound and visual effects via the Try Me button. It has a cool metallic silver finish, comes with a sleep squad badge, and measures about 14.5 x 12 x 11.5 cm, powered by 3 AA batteries.

This is all for today. To find out about Part 2 from the 15 Funniest Alarm Clocks collection you may subscribe to our news feeds via “Get email delivery” in the sidebar and receive the next article in your email in full format.
15 Funniest Alarm Clocks - Part 1
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0H-Suzie-Q's profile - StumbleUpon

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Wallpaper Me: Free Celebrity Wallpapers - winter_20

Wallpaper Me: Free Celebrity Wallpapers - winter_20
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Portfolio Natural - nature photography fine art prints in limited and numbered editions

Portfolio Natural - nature photography fine art prints in limited and numbered editions
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