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Economic woes push Vancouver 2010 Olympic organizers to consider canceling the evening award ceremonies

Whistler, B.C., mayor Ken Melamed says residents don't support the proposed cancellation by Olympic organizers of the evening award ceremonies at Whistler Village

(quote)

WHISTLER, B.C. - Vancouver 2010 Olympic organizers are considering canceling the evening award ceremonies and giving the medals out at sport venues to save money.

Gary Lunn, the minister of state for sport, said that in tough economic times the Vancouver Organizing Committee has to look at its bottom line.

"They are looking at all of their options and that is the right thing to do in today's economic climate . . . They have to prepare for the unknown," he said.

A statue of runner Harry Jerome stands against the Vancouver skyline

But Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed said residents do not support the cancellation.

"We know there are challenges but this would be a huge blow to Whistler," he said.

Whistler is planning to throw a $18.5-million party, slated to run 24 hours a day for the duration of the Olympics, which will include concerts, shows and celebrations.

The party will be held at Whistler Village and at the Celebration Plaza Olympic venue, the construction of which is due to be completed in September.  read more »

Plan in Brazil bears vision of forest protector shot to death 20 years ago trying to save the Amazon rain forest

Amazonian landscape, with a shaft of light

“Development” or destruction of the planet? The value of a standing forest could be more than the value of a forest burned and logged in the name of development. How many more trees would be cut, forests burned down in the name of development in days not far behind us, and time ahead?

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RIO DE JANEIRO — Twenty years ago, a Brazilian environmental activist and rubber tapper was shot to death at his home in Acre State by ranchers opposed to his efforts to save the Amazon rain forest. After his death at age 44, Francisco Alves Mendes, better known as Chico, became a martyr for a concept that is only now gaining mainstream support here: that the value of a standing forest could be more than the value of a forest burned and logged in the name of development.

This month, Brazil took what environmentalists hope will be a big step forward in realizing Mr. Mendes’s vision. The government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva introduced ambitious targets for reducing deforestation and carbon dioxide emissions in a nation that is one of the world’s top emitters of this heat-trapping gas.

Francisco Alves Mendes, pictured in 1988, was killed by ranchers opposed to his efforts to save the rain forest  read more »

Cartoons: Noah’s Ark - recession edition, Christmassy profit chart, Obama’s senate seat for bail-bonds, & more...

cartoon: Size of bailout request vs. Automakers’ mode of transportation arriving at hearing

Not Lincoln’s seat too?

At least, it’s Christmassy.

funny photo: a surprising episode on the road on wedding day

No…you can’t use that for collateral.

cartoon: Hey, it is my turn, my term!

Noah’s Ark: Recession Edition

Images courtesy of John Klossner, Mike Peters / Dayton Daily News / King Features Syndicate, P.C. Vey, humor-in-photos-and-pictures.blogspot.com, Nick Anderson / Houston Chronicle, Hajo / CWS, and Riber / Cagle Cartoons

10th anniversary of the first launched module of the International Space Station (ISS)

In December 1998, the crew of Space Shuttle Mission STS-88 began construction of the International Space Station - Astronaut James Newman is seen here making final connections the U.S.-built Unity node to the Russian-built Zarya module

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Last month marks the 10th anniversary of the first launched module of the International Space Station (ISS). The module Zarya was lifted into orbit on November 20th, 1998 by a Russian Proton rocket lifting off from Baikonur, Kazhakstan. In the decade since, 44 manned flights and 34 unmanned flights have carried further modules, solar arrays, support equipment, supplies and a total of 167 human beings from 15 countries to the ISS, and it still has a ways to go until it is done. Originally planned to be complete in 2003, the target date for completion is now 2011. Aside from time spent on construction, ISS crew members work on a good deal of research involving biology and physics in conditions of microgravity. If humans are ever to leave the Earth for extended periods, the ISS is designed to be the place where we will discover the best materials, procedures and safety measures to make it a reality.

Expedition Three, STS-105 and Expedition crews assemble for a group photo in the Destiny laboratory on International Space Station  read more »

Nobel Prize’08: Japan attracts top talents. Share chemistry prize, split physics award with American scientists

Alfred Bernhard Nobel (Stockholm, 21 Oct. 1833 - Sanremo, Italy, 10 Dec. 1896), a Swedish chemist, engineer, innovator, armaments manufacturer & the inventor of dynamite. He owned Bofors, a major armaments manufacturer

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Wikipedia

The Nobel Prize (Swedish: Nobelpriset) is a Swedish prize, established in the 1895 will of Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel; in his will, he used his enormous fortune to institute the Nobel Prizes. The synthetic element nobelium was named after him. It was first awarded in Peace, Literature, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, and Physics in 1901. An associated prize, The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, was instituted by Sweden's central bank in 1968 and first awarded in 1969.

In the Swedish capital of Stockholm, December 10 means Nobel Day. For the prizewinners this is the high point of a week of speeches, conferences and receptions. Years of hard work are rewarded with a medal from the Swedish king, followed by a gala banquet.  read more »

Inaugural 2008 Asian Beach Games in Bali, Indonesia promote sports & culture: 6000 athletes, 71 events, 19 sports

Andi Edinata of Indonesia comes out of the water during the Men's Triathlon on day nine of the 2008 Asian Beach Games at Mertasari Beach on October 26, 2008

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About a month ago in Bali, Indonesia, the inaugural 2008 Asian Beach Games came to its conclusion. Intended to promote sports and culture, the games (held every two years) encourage tourism, support local economies and allow host countries like Indonesia to present a more global face to the world. The 2008 games brought 6,000 athletes to compete in 71 events in 19 sports. Sports included well-known games like beach volleyball and triathlon, and some sports better known to asians, like sepak takraw, kabaddi and pencak silat. The next Asian Beach Games are scheduled to be hosted by Oman in the year 2010.

Indonesian team against Myanmar, Asian Beach Games 2008, Bali, Indonesia

The Indonesian team in action against Myanmar during the men's beach sepaktakraw on day six of the Asian Beach Games at Sanur Beach on October 23, 2008 in Bali, Indonesia.

Dragon Boat Races, 2008 Asian Beach Games, Bali, Indonesia  read more »

Humor - updated stock market & business terms: Value Investing - art of buying low & selling lower. And more...

I thought we were just buying a house!

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CEO -- Chief Embezzlement Officer.

CFO -- Corporate Fraud Officer.

BULL MARKET -- A random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.

VALUE INVESTING -- The art of buying low and selling lower.

P/E RATIO -- The percentage of investors wetting their pants as the
market keeps crashing.

BROKER -- What my broker has made me.

Stock market stock exchange boom bust; Sheep: I used to be a bull... Now I’m an out and out bear

STANDARD & POOR -- Your life in a nutshell.

STOCK ANALYST -- Idiot who just downgraded your stock.

STOCK SPLIT -- When your ex-wife and her lawyer split your assets
equally between themselves.

FINANCIAL PLANNER -- A guy whose phone has been disconnected.

MARKET CORRECTION -- The day after you buy stocks.

Sheep: I used to be a bull... Now I’m an out and out bear

CASH FLOW-- The movement your money makes as it disappears down the toilet.

YAHOO -- What you yell after selling it to some poor sucker for $240 per share.

WINDOWS -- What you jump out of when you're the sucker who bought
Yahoo @ $240 per share.

INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR -- Past year investor who's now locked up in a nuthouse.

PROFIT -- An archaic word no longer in use.

(unquote)  read more »

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