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Figures & Facts
PARIS – Looking at the shows that kicked off Paris' haute couture week on Monday, you'd never know the world was the midst of the most serious financial turmoil since the Great Depression.
Designers here delivered opulent, flamboyant collections that, instead of reflecting the gloomy economic reality, transported the viewer into a world of beauty and fantasy. "My job is to make women dream," Christian Dior designer John Galliano told The Associated Press. "Of course I'm aware of the credit crunch, but it is not a creative crunch - not at the house of Dior, anyway."
Estranged couple saws house - man moves half to parents' place, wife lives in precariously perched, upright half
Cambodian wedding ceremonies are blissful and beautiful affairs. However, the country's convoluted - and probably costly - divorce process has knocked a simple and efficient solution into the mind of an estranged Cambodian couple on how to separate marital assets easily and equally, including dividing a house into two halves. Literally.
A Cambodian couple who separated after 40 years of marriage may have taken things too literally when it came to splitting their assets: the husband cut the house in two. "It is the strangest thing I've ever seen," said May Titthara, who wrote about the case for The Phnom Penh Post, an English-language newspaper in the Cambodian capital. "People there never saw this happen in a divorce. It is very interesting for them."
Moeun Rim and his wife, Nhanh, split the building following an argument. Mr Rim has removed his share of the property and the couple have also divided their land into four parts; two for their children, and two for them. Divorce cases in Cambodia can be costly and may take a long time to settle. read more »
"SOS Amazon": 1st action of Amazon tribes, sending message "Wake Up, World!" at 2009 World Social Forum in Brazil
BELÉM, Brazil, Jan 27 (IPS) - A human banner made up of more than 1,000 people, seen and photographed from the air, sent the message "SOS Amazon" to the world, in the first action taken by indigenous people hours before the opening in northern Brazil on Tuesday of the 2009 World Social Forum (WSF).
The mass message reflects "our concern about global warming, whose impact we will be the first to feel, although we, the peoples of the Amazon, have protected and cared for the forests," Francisco Avelino Batista, an Apurinán Indian from the Purus river valley in the Brazilian Amazon, told IPS.
"SOS Amazon": every second we lose 1.5 acres of rainforests once covering 14% of earth land surface, now a mere 6%
The Disappearing Rainforests
We are losing Earth's greatest biological treasures just as we are beginning to appreciate their true value. Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years.
* One and one-half acres of rainforest are lost every second with tragic consequences for both developing and industrial countries.
* Rainforests are being destroyed because the value of rainforest land is perceived as only the value of its timber by short-sighted governments, multi-national logging companies, and land owners.
* Nearly half of the world's species of plants, animals and microorganisms will be destroyed or severely threatened over the next quarter century due to rainforest deforestation. read more »
SAN FRANCISCO -- A reticulated giraffe calf was born at the San Francisco Zoo on Jan. 26, and both mother and calf appear to be doing well, zoo officials announced. The calf was born sometime between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. and was standing on all fours and appeared to be healthy today, zookeepers said. "The calf appears to be really strong and was getting up and down on its own," said Ingrid Russell-White, curator of mammals at the zoo.
It was nursing about every 30 minutes today and appeared well-hydrated, Russell-White said. Its mother, Bititi, was showing a strong nurturing instinct and gently nudging the youngster to show it how to nurse, according to zoo officials.
They have also been keeping another female giraffe nearby to help keep Bititi calm, Russell-White said. Zookeepers are hoping the second female, Kristin, will pick up a few tips from Bititi, Russell-White said, because keepers suspect she may be pregnant as well. The calf is Bititi's second. Her first, a male named Bulldozer, was born July 11, 2007. The newborn is its father Floyd's fifth offspring.
Giraffes have a 14-to 15-month gestation period and calves can be up to 6 feet tall at birth. Female giraffes give birth standing up, their calves facing a daunting, 6-foot drop into the world. The newcomer is the fifth giraffe to be born at the zoo since 2004.
The Ox is the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. This powerful sign is a born leader, being quite dependable and possessing an innate ability to achieve great things. As one might guess, such people are dependable, calm, and modest. Like their animal namesake, the Ox is unswervingly patient, tireless in their work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaint.
Ox people need peace and quiet to work through their ideas, and when they have set their mind on something it is hard for them to be convinced otherwise. An Ox person has a very logical mind and is extremely systematic in whatever they do, though they have a tremendous imagination and an unparalleled appreciation for beauty. These people speak little but are extremely intelligent. When necessary, they are articulate and eloquent.
People born under the influence of the Ox are kind, caring souls, logical, positive, filled with common sense and with their feet firmly planted on the ground. Security is their main preoccupation in life, and they are prepared to toil long and hard in order to provide a warm, comfortable and stable nest for themselves and their families. Strong-minded, stubborn, individualistic, the majority are highly intelligent individuals who don't take kindly to being told what to do.
The Ox works hard, patiently, and methodically, with original intelligence and reflective thought. These people enjoy helping others. Behind this tenacious, laboring, and self-sacrificing exterior lies an active mind. The Ox is not extravagant, and the thought of living off credit cards or being in debt makes them nervous. The possibility of taking a serious risk could cause the Ox sleepless nights. read more »
10 questions for Viggo Mortensen, Golden Globe and Academy Award-nominated actor and renaissance man
You've explored poetry, painting, photography and music in addition to acting. Which is your favorite? Arielle Davis, NEW YORK CITY
I don't really separate them. To be an artist, you don't have to compose music or paint or be in the movies or write books. It's just a way of living. It has to do with paying attention, remembering, filtering what you see and answering back, participating in life.
You're famous for your multilingual talents. Which language are you most comfortable with? A. Patrick Watts MARYVILLE, TENN.
I was raised speaking English and Spanish. And I also speak Danish. And I can get by in French and Italian. I've acted in Spanish and English, but when something has to do with emotions, sometimes I feel I can get to the heart of the matter better in Spanish.
You're quite a renaissance man. Do you see a little of yourself in Frank Hopkins? read more »
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