Friday, September 27, 2013

Minneapolis' Best Security System Companies Revealed -


Minneapolis, Minnesota (PRWEB) September 27, 2013

Cops in Minneapolis do an excellent job in providing protection throughout the different areas. Unfortunately, there are times when their response comes in too late because the alarm did not sound off and they were contacted too late. This same situation occurs among firemen and emergency medical response teams.

When security systems fail to work the way they are supposed to a series of horrible things could happen. That is why deciding which system to install in a home and businesses is very critical. After all, what is the point of having an alarm system when it would be useless during emergencies? aims to help people avoid making mistakes when it comes to choosing top rated security systems for home and business.

The team of experts behind the website starts by testing out the different wireless, DIY and other types of security systems that are available in the market. They do more than just read the product description, they run the product and spend a great amount of time observing how it functions during certain emergency situations.

After the thorough testing, the security system reviews are then written. People who read the reviews get a clear picture as to how the systems really work.

Protect America is one of the top security system companies the experts reviewed. Aside from the exemplary performance of the system, the company also gives out Protect America discount codes which consumers can use to lower the amount that they need to pay.

Another reliable company is Vivint. Their system is very simplistic. However, the company has proven that it is wrong to judge a book by its cover. Even if the system looks simple on the outside, the performance of their device is unmatched even by other more expensive systems.

Since Vivint does not want to be left behind when it comes to convincing people that they are the best, they also launched the Vivint discount codes. Customers can save a whole lot of money while still enjoying the best products that the company offers.


Checking out the reviews in is like asking a trusted friend or a relative for their recommendations about security systems. With this website, everything that consumers need to know before buying a security system is just right at the tip of their fingers.

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Source: Prweb

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Representational pic - Salman Ansari/DNA

The honeymoon glow surrounding new Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan is set to wear off. His first policy review has disappointed a market perhaps expecting RBI largesse to add to positive sentiments in the wake of US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's opting to keep quantitative easing (QE) going for the time-being. But while the Sensex may suffer in the short term, Rajan has given a welcome indication of his priorities by raising the repo rate - the rate at which banks borrow from the RBI - by 25 basis points to 7.5 per cent. The Fed's decision has brought the RBI and the finance ministry a little breathing space, no more.

When it is reversed - and it will be, whether soon or further down the line - the systemic issues that had sent the rupee into free-fall over the past couple of months will resurface. Playing to the market has little benefit under the circumstances; a long-term approach is needed.

Seen in this context, cutting the repo rate would have simply meant feeding into an exaggerated market cycle that lacks the necessary basis in strong fundamentals, a precursor to another round of economic shocks the next time external vagaries act up. In contrast, addressing the current account deficit (CAD), the primary domestic cause, along with the prospect of the Fed's easing QE, for the rupee's recent decline is an imperative.

Tackling inflation is a key component of this. Consider the decline of the household sector's savings from 23.6 per cent of GDP in 2008-09 to 22.3 per cent of GDP in 2011-12 with financial savings taking the greatest hit. This is a direct consequence of high inflation, eating into households' abilities to save - for instance, vegetable prices have been graphing upwards steadily, notching up a 350 per cent rise between 2004 and 2013 - and widening the gap between savings and investment. In other words, the CAD.

This sets off a vicious cycle where inflation causes a widening CAD, which in turn exerts downward pressure on the rupee, making imports costlier and causing more inflation. Stabilising this cycle is key to bringing about economic stability and creating a conducive atmosphere for the investment required for growth; it must remain the RBI's focus. Easy money via a looser monetary policy would, in any case, be a stopgap solution. Given that supply side bottlenecks are the primary constraints on growth and spurring inflation as well, it is for the government to act.

There are several factors that must be addressed here. One is the need to boost manufacturing activity. The government must create a healthier atmosphere for private investment; this entails cutting red tape, introducing transparency and streamlining project clearance and implementation processes.
Improving the abysmal quality of the agriculture supply chain is another.

Boosting energy production - by breaking Coal India's monopoly for instance - to cut down on imports is also necessary. There are no quick fixes, but the work to make the necessary structural changes must begin now. Given the upcoming elections in 2014, there will, of course, be political pressure on the RBI to take the easy way out. It must resist.

Source: Dnaindia

SAN DIEGO -- Before the dodgers">Los Angeles Dodgers took the field Saturday night to face the San Diego Padres, Don Mattingly gathered his players in the clubhouse for an impromptu meeting.

He didn't have a particularly long or motivational speech prepared. He simply outlined where the Dodgers are and what they have to do during the final games of the regular season before the playoffs start.

"They all know where we're at," Mattingly said. "It's about where we're going, not about where we've been."

[+] Enlarge

Where the Dodgers are going will actually have a lot to do with how they play over the final week of the regular season. Despite clinching the NL West and their first playoff berth since 2009 on Thursday, the Dodgers still have no idea who they will play when the playoffs start and more important, where they will be to open the postseason.

After Saturday's 4-0 win over the Padres, the Dodgers are tied in the overall NL standings with the Pittsburgh Pirates, one game ahead of the Cincinnati Reds, two games behind the St. Louis Cardinals and 2 1/2 games back of the Atlanta Braves.

It would be natural to assume the Dodgers are still eyeing to claim the best record in the National League and home-field advantage in the playoffs, but the truth is they are more concerned about going into the playoffs healthy and rested.

"We feel like we can win anywhere," Mattingly said. "We feel like we can win on the road, but you want to be healthy. I would also like to be at home. I would much rather have home-field advantage but do I want home-field advantage and not have Hanley [Ramirez] or Adrian [Gonzalez] in the lineup? No. The priority is I'm going to try to get these guys as healthy as I can and keep them sharp."

The Dodgers have certainly been a strong road team this season. They have the best road record in the National League and the second-best road record overall. They won a franchise-record 15 consecutive road games this summer and celebrated clinching the division on the road by celebrating in the Arizona Diamondbacks' pool.

So Mattingly is more than comfortable taking his team on the road to open the postseason as long as his team is healthy.

"We're going to play, we're going to keep playing," Mattingly said. "But not at the risk of [playing someone hurt]. When medical says Hanley is a little tight, I'm not going to use him. We're going to be more safe than sorry later."

Mattingly said he would meet with players nursing injuries and decide which ones would sit on which days after talking to the medical staff. Some of the players Mattingly plans on talking to on a daily basis about playing time are Ramirez, Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, who have battled various injuries to various degrees this season and are now all able to play if needed.

"Is having home-field advantage more important than having Hanley?" Mattingly said. "For me, I'm going to say no to that right now. Is it more important than having Adrian? I'm going to say no to that right now."

As much as Mattingly would like to have home-field advantage in the NLDS and potentially the NLCS, he said angling for a particular matchup in the playoffs is not part of his thought process right now either. The Dodgers have a winning record against the Cardinals (4-3) and Pirates (4-2) and have a losing record against the Braves (2-5) and Reds (3-4).

"It's too close over there with Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Cincinnati," Mattingly said. "We're still within range of Atlanta. We should play it out and worry about ourselves without a fear of who or where we play and set ourselves up again to be ready to play. If we're healthy and playing up to our capabilities, I like our chances. If you talk to our guys, we're not afraid to go anywhere. I think when you start looking at [Clayton] Kershaw and [Zack] Greinke to start out and [Hyun-Jin] Ryu and Ricky [Nolasco], we feel like we can beat anybody anywhere. We feel like we're as good as anybody and can match up with anybody."

Kershsaw, who has a 1.88 ERA and will likely be the first Dodger since Sandy Koufax to end a season with a sub-2.00 ERA, said the Dodgers will have to win on the road at some point if they want to win it all and didn't see much difference in doing it earlier or later in a series.

"We have to win wherever we play," Kershaw said. "If we go on the road Game 3 or Game 1. Donnie talked to us today about that. We have to go out and play regardless."

It's always better to have home-field advantage in the playoffs but many Dodgers believe this team's turnaround was born on the road this summer and that they will continue to have success on the road in the postseason.

"I think we come together as a team on the road," said A.J. Ellis, who hit the winning home run to clinch the division in Arizona on Thursday and hit a two-run homer in Saturday's win in San Diego. "Los Angeles is so big and spread out. It's kind of like 25 guys going to 25 different locations. You see the guys on the field, but a lot of us have families at home and live far away so we hustle out of the clubhouse to get home. But on the road we spend time together and bond together. It creates that camaraderie and chemistry. It's that underdog, us against the stadium mentality. We really relish playing in front of crowds like that."

Source: Go

Australian "Crocodile Dundee" actor Paul Hogan has sold his Malibu home to "Thor" actor (and fellow-Aussie) Chris Hemsworth for $4.8 million.

The 6,382-square-foot house changed hands a few months ago in June -- a good find by real estate blogger Real Estalker.

Hunky Chris' new five-bedroom home sits on an acre of land and is blocked from view by gates and a wall of greenery. Lookie-loos can probably spot it from the group of paparazzi parked out in front. No doubt they'll be hoping younger brother Liam comes to visit with rumored eiza-gonzalez-liam-hemsworth_n_3953266.html">new flame Eiza Gonzalez (or ex-fiance Miley Cyrus) on his arm -- a pap's dream come true, if ever there was one.

Indoors, the home boasts a gourmet chefs kitchen, library, a master suite with a sitting area and two walk-in closets and four additional en-suite bedrooms. Outdoors there is a one-bedroom guest house, a three-car garage and a lanai, or covered veranda, from which to take in all those ocean views and natural daylight.

Hemsworth has a baby daughter named India Rose with wife Elsa Pataky. In addition to dropping $4.8 million for their family home, Hemsworth also dropped 30 pounds for his role in his upcoming movie "Rush," set for release Sept. 27.

The Levin Group, Malibu, had the listing. Ben Bacal of Sotheby's International Realty represented the buyer.

Photos courtesy of

Source: Huffingtonpost

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Louisa Oakley Green, author of Loitering at the Gate to Eternity , Megan and I talked about the world of the psychic and how it affected each one of us. For Louisa, the process of coming to believe that there is more to life than meets the eye was a slooooooow process.

Married to a psychic who comes from a long line of seers, she ultimately witnessed so many psychic happenings that she could no longer deny life beyond the physical self. In her book, she interviews psychics from all walks of life. This not only validates what she knows to be Truth; it opens up the door for the skeptical, the non-believer, and even the secret psychics who walk among us.

She may feel that she is the bystander of the family. But Megan and I agreed that writers tap into the spiritual realm and become a channel for what comes forth, and therefore she is not as much of a bystander as she thinks she is!!
For me, as soon as I read by my life changed. My soul sister Jillian and I would talk for hours about Ms. MacLaine's experiences. The book awakened my dormant psychic and I will be forever grateful. I began to understand the feelings, hunches, dreams and visions that I had always carried with me. I began to study about the psychic experience and open my soul to my latent gift. I stopped thinking that I was weird! And I also stopped being afraid.

I had psychic experiences as a child but because I did not understand them, I became afraid and shut most of it down. But, seriously, it seeped into everything I did anyway! During this time of psychic awakening, I had a dream that my boyfriend at the time was going to cheat on me. He called me to say that he was going to the library for the day and I said, "No, you're not. You are going to meet Marisa at the train and go to lunch with her." He was stunned! He felt pretty uneasy after that and eventually we went our separate ways. Which was great because, Jeff, my husband and the love of my life, was only a few years away from me at that time.

In fact a psychic told me about Jeff! He said that my soul-mate was was younger than me, worked in the business world and that that he was going to love me for me. Even though I thought he was wrong about the business part (I always thought I'd marry someone in the arts ~haha!), I knew he was right about the soul mate, because I could feel him close by energetically. Sure enough, Jeff is four years younger than me and in the business world! We talk about:

*the psychic in everyone *awakening to deeper understanding of life ! Louisa will be at Sages Pages on Sunday 9/22/13 from 1-4 for a book signing !

Listen to the podcast and remember your eternal self

MORE 'GOOD VIBRATIONS WITH KRISTIN' Kristin Ace of Morristown is a professional actress, writer, storyteller and healer. She created Good Vibrations with Kristin as an avenue to combine her gifts and talents for uplifting conversations to raise the vibration
Follow @morristowngreen of the Earth and all that tune in. To learn more about Kristin please visit

Source: Morristowngreen

ST. PETERSBURG - The Russian Oscar committee has announced Fyodor Bondarchuk's World War II action-drama Stalingrad as the country's contender in the best foreign-language movie Oscar race.

The $30 million Non-Stop Productions and Art Pictures Studio production is based on an original script by Ilya Tilkin and has no novelistic source. Tilkin studied museum archives and diaries of the Stalingrad Battle participants to write the script. The story involves the Germans trying to take a residential building in Stalingrad (now modern-day Volgograd) that has been stubbornly holding out with a remaining young female resident and several Russian soldiers.

STORY: Hot 'Stalingrad' Director Signs With Resolution, Magnolia

The house is based on the legendary Pavlov's House, which was a fortified apartment building during the Battle of Stalingrad. It gained its name from Sergeant Yakov Pavlov, who commanded the platoon that occupied the building and defended it during the battle.

The film features a fresh-faced young cast of relative unknowns in the Russian roles and veteran actors Heiner Lauterbach ( Das Experiment) and Thomas Kretschmann ( The Pianist) as the two main German officers in the story. Ironically enough, Kretschmann, who has been typecast in Nazi roles, had already starred in a 1993 film called Stalingrad directed by Joseph Vilsmaier, in which Kretschmann played a lower-ranking soldier. Moreover, director Bondarchuk, also an actor, portrayed an Ivan in a little-seen 1989 Soviet Production also called simply Stalingrad.

Slated to be released wide in Russia - a minimum of 1,500 screens - on Thursday, October 10, the film will be initially given a limited release in Volgograd as of Saturday, Sept. 28 and Moscow as of Wednesday, October 2 in order to meet Oscar release deadlines. The Chinese release of the film is planned at 3,200 screens - an unprecedented number for a Russian film.

The film was first screened in nearly-finished form (some end credit visuals were missing) on Thursday, Sept. 19 at St. Petersburg's newly built Velikan Cinema for exhibitors and other industry figures as part of the KinoExpo film-industry trade show.

Walt Disney Studios Sony Pictures Releasing (WDSSPR) representatives dutifully kept known journalists, recognized on sight, out of the screening. Producer Alexander Rodnyansky and director Bondarchuk were in attendance. In their remarks before the screening, both thanked the industry audience for their "trust" and emphasized that the screening was being held to foster good word of mouth among the industry.

A host of high-brow Russian filmmakers - from Alexander Sokurov (Faust) to Alexei Uchitel (The Edge) to Sergei Bodrov (Mongol) were in the audience and congratulated Bondarchuk after the screening.

Russia's Oscar contender short list included Nikolai Lebedev's hockey biopic Legend No. 17, Yuri Bykov's Major, Boris Khlebnikov's A Long and Happy Life and Renata Litvinova's Rita's Last Fairy Tale.

Source: Hollywoodreporter

The White House's decision to "decertify" Bolivia's drug control efforts for the sixth time is no surprise. Since Bolivian President Evo Morales expelled the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2008, the US has portrayed Bolivia as uncooperative and incapable of curtailing illicit drug production and trafficking. The White House's corresponding Memorandum of Justification lacks objectivity and attempts to hold Bolivia to higher standards than Peru and Colombia (which are both fully certified), or even the US. As a result, as in previous years, it fails to acknowledge that although problems persist, Bolivia has made steady progress in drug control according to the US's own yardsticks.

Some of the most glaring contradictions and inaccuracies presented include:

1- Last year's inaccurate determination pointed to a whopping 36% increase in potential cocaine production from 2010 to 2011 as a key cause for decertification. Yet, the US figure reported for 2012 potential production is 41% lower -a dramatic reduction; although the Memorandum only cites an 18% drop, there is no explanation provided for the dramatic rise and fall in figures. The Memorandum calls this supposed dramatic change an "incremental positive step," compared to what they characterize as Bolivia's "overall negative counternarcotics performance."

2- Accusations that Bolivia does not comply with United Nations drug regulations highlight the selective arguments employed in the justification, given that the US directly violates the UN Single Convention with legalization of marijuana in two states.

3- The US accusation that the Bolivian government has a "disinclination to be transparent with the international community" is ironic. The US government does not explain its methodology to arrive at estimates for coca and potential cocaine production. Furthermore, between September 2012 and July 2013, the US retroactively changed its statistics for potential cocaine production and estimated coca cultivation for Bolivia and Colombia without any explanation to the international community.

Even after the expulsion of the DEA and the precipitous drop in aid money from the US, Bolivia has reduced coca leaf cultivation and potential cocaine production, and increased seizures and destruction of cocaine laboratories. The Presidential Determination seems particularly unfair considering the only other coca-producing countries, Peru and Colombia, produce far more coca and cocaine (in spite of their close cooperation with the DEA).

Source: US White House

Comments on Memorandum of Justification

Sections from the Memorandum of Justification are in the highlighted boxes.

Bolivia's ability to interdict drugs and major traffickers was seriously compromised by its 2009 expulsion of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) personnel, harming its ability to conduct counternarcotics operations and cooperate on international illicit drug interdiction.

The illegal drug trade continues in Latin American countries where the DEA continues to operate, just as it did during 35 years of DEA presence in Bolivia. The US places selective blame on Bolivia, suggesting that collaboration with the DEA is indispensible. For example, Peru cultivates more than twice as much coca leaf as Bolivia does, and has 145 metric tons more cocaine production potential-almost double Bolivia's-all the while cooperating with the DEA. A great deal of comparatively inexpensive Peruvian cocaine paste comes through Bolivia, not because the Bolivians are permissive, but because coca leaf costs half as much in Peru.

The DEA highlights its key role in intelligence exchange between countries, and the US claims that since its expulsion, Bolivia has become "a convenient venue for drug smuggling." It is time to step back from that reasoning. Beyond resentment for the expulsion, there is no impediment to intelligence exchange, and Bolivia would readily accept it. Instead, drug control officials in neighboring countries argue that the DEA blocks these exchanges in spite of their intelligence-sharing agreements Bolivia. Furthermore, it would be naïve to think that the DEA has no intelligence capacity in Bolivia. The DEA has access to the Brazilian drone surveillance of potential trafficking sites and coca fields. At least one long-term DEA officer stayed on in Bolivia after the agency's expulsion as regional director for the US Narcotic Affairs Section. According to one analyst, "What strikes me is the US desire to punish Bolivia for not keeping with the program, as opposed to givin g credit where it's due and mitigating harm (such as through sharing intelligence) where it's needed."[i]

US Fiddles with Figures: Cites Only "Incremental Positive Steps in Coca Control"
The 2012 United States Government coca cultivation estimate for Bolivia is 25,000 hectares, a 2 percent decrease from the 2011 estimate of 25,500 hectares.

There is actually a 17% decrease in the amount of coca cultivation reported by the Obama administration for 2011 in 2012 ( 30,000 hectares) and the figure reported in 2013. The administration quietly reduced coca cultivation estimates for the previous five years[ii] without explanation or noting the reduction. A similar shift occurred in the potential cocaine production statistics. (Note: according to Law 1008, the anti-drug law passed in 1988 under extreme pressure from the US, 12,000 hectares of coca are allowed for li cit, traditional use.)

Source: US White House

Source: US White House

[Bolivia] failed to develop and execute a national drug control strategy.

A copy of the Bolivian Strategy to Fight Drug Trafficking and Reduce Surplus Coca Leaf Cultivation 2011-2015 is available on the Organization of American States website.

...This reservation encourages coca growth and adds to the complication of distinguishing between illegally and legally grown coca.

In fact, in 2011, the year Bolivia withdrew from the UN Single Convention, the US registered a 13% drop in the coca crop, a trend that continued in 2012. The reservation merely validates the status quo in Bolivia, and there is no indication that it will increase production. Furthermore, Bolivia has a complex monitoring system that benefits from direct participation from coca farmers and collaboration with the UN, the US, the European Union, and Brazil, and the system provides the most accurate estimates in the Andes[iii]

The United States remains concerned about Bolivia's intent by this action to limit, redefine, and circumvent the scope and control for illegal substances as they appear in the UN Schedule I list of narcotics.

Bolivia's withdrawal and reentry to the Convention followed established Convention guidelines. The 15 objections from UN member countries fell far short of the 60 votes required to impede the initiative. As a result, Bolivia re-entered the convention as a full member.

This is a textbook case of "the pot calling the kettle black." The US also currently violates the stipulations of the UN Single Convention. In November 2012, two US states, Colorado and Washington, legalized marijuana, also included in the UN Schedule I list. In August 2013. "The United States-architect and major proponent of the prohibitionist UN drug control treaties-is rightly choosing not to block the state-level implementation of legal, regulated marijuana markets." According to John Walsh of WOLA.

The European Union provided funding for the completion of a study to identify the amount of legal cultivation needed to support traditional coca consumption. The unwillingness of the Bolivian government to share this report in a timely way demonstrates its disinclination to be transparent with the international community.

Although the long-delayed results of the coca study have been a source of substantial friction with the international community, this does not indicate a lack of transparency on other drug control issues. For example:

  1. In January 2012, the US, Bolivia, and Brazil signed a trilateral agreement to improve "Bolivia's ability to measure excess coca cultivation and verify progress in meeting coca eradication targets." President Obama called the project, which began in March 2012, "the kind of regional cooperation we need." The US Embassy in La Paz noted, "The use of this technology combined with the presence of Brazil and United States as parties and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime as a project participant will make the reported amount of hectares eradicated more transparent and precise."
  2. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime recognizes "close collaboration and information exchange between UNODC and the Government of Bolivia" for its coca monitoring study.
  3. In August 2013, a European Union representative stated, "We're very satisfied with the cooperation in the work we are doing with our Bolivian partners, " and added that "it is possible to trace every euro of assistance from its origin to its beneficiary." He highlighted that the EU planned to increase its funding to Bolivia by 17%.
While Bolivia continues lo make drug seizures and arrests of implicated individuals, the Bolivian judicial system is not adequately processing these cases to completion. Bolivian law requires that an arrestee be formally charged within 18 months of arrest. An overwhelming majority of the incarcerated population in Bolivia, however, has not been formally charged in accordance with Bolivian law. The number of individuals who have been convicted and sentenced on drug charges in Bolivia has remained stagnant over the last several years and has not increased in proportion of the number of arrests.

Unlike many statements, this one is painfully true. However, the White House fails to mention that Bolivian judicial delay and prison overcrowding have their root in Law 1008, the strict anti-narcotics law that the US obligated Bolivia to pass in 1988. Please see AIN updates (Bolivian Prison Deaths Highlight Flaws in Judicial and Penitentiary Systems and Prison Detainees in Bolivia: Bad Fruit in a Slow Judiciary System) as well as this report by Puente Investigación Enlace ( Bolivia y la retardación de justicia en procesos de la ley antidrogas "1.008") for more analysi s and information.


In conclusion, although the Presidential Determination is disappointing, Bolivia's decertification does not come as a surprise given the US government's seeming unwillingness to recognize Bolivia's drug control efforts. The determination continues the trend of politicized reporting on drug control in the Andean region, and it is a failure by the White House to provide internal consistency. The determination is perhaps most discouraging considering the efforts Bolivian government has made in drug control, including the implementation of innovative, collaborative, conflict reduction strategies such as community coca control. The determination continues the trend of subjective reporting on drug control in the Andean region. It further erodes US credibility in the international community, and reinforces the urgency of reform US international drug policy to ac company encouraging developments in domestic efforts.

Source: Ain-bolivia

Sometimes, a song hits the mood of the week so perfectly that you can't possibly ignore it. And thus the master of music, DarkPippi, ends out this long week with the pitch perfect I'm Gonna Drink (500 Kegs). It's an older video, of course, but with the launch of a new Brewfest -- and honestly, a very long week -- I think we're already for 500 kegs.

DarkPippi is well known for incredibly music parodies. If you're not familiar, make sure to check out our exclusive interview for some behind the scenes information. It's easy to see why DarkPippi stands alone.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at

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Filed under: Machinima

Source: Joystiq

House Republicans, President Barack Obama said Friday, have gone beyond a Capitol stalemate and have moved to "holding the whole country hostage."

Speaking at a Ford assembly plant outside Kansas City, Obama delivered an extensive attack on the conservative Republicans seeking to hold up a budget extension and the raising of the debt ceiling if Obama's signature health care law is not defunded.

Even House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) opposes the tactics the House GOP is now employing, the president said.

"They will send our economy into a tailspin, just like Speaker Boehner said," Obama said. "Now they've gone beyond just holding Congress hostage, they're holding the whole country hostage."

The remarks were the third time this week Obama made the case against Republican attempts to defund his health care law. In Missouri, he tried to explain to Americans what the debt ceiling means and how a default would affect them, Obama offered an extended metaphor comparing the nation's debt to the monthly payments on a new car.

"This is the United States of America, we're not some banana republic, this is not some deadbeat nation," he said. "We don't run out on our tab. We're the world's bedrock investment. The entire world looks to us to make sure the world economy is stable. We can't just not pay our bills."

Read more about: Barack Obama

Source: Politico

Nature's Creative Edge in Fruitport

FRUITPORT, Mich. (WZZM) - A unique annual floral event starts Friday night in Muskegon County.

The Nature's Creative Edge outdoor floral art exhibit is kind of like ArtPrize in the woods. The event brings the Midwest's best and most creative floral arrangers to the area to come up with original masterpieces among nature.

Artists have been in the area all week, participating in workshops and collaborating on some very interesting works, made mostly of plants, flowers, and other materials from nature.

Nature's Creative Edge is in Fruitport at the corner of Sternberg and Hilton Park roads.
It costs 15-dollars and the money goes to a scholarship fund for students who want to become professional florists.

It runs until 9:00pm Friday night, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm Saturday and 4:00pm to 7:00pm on Sunday.

Jon Mills

Source: Wzzm13

Logan County declared a Major Disaster by FEMA

Posted: 09/20/2013 08:38:12 PM MDT

The Logan County Office of Emergency Management issued another flood update this evening.

There is still a No Flush Limited Use Order in effect. This includes showering, laundry and dishwashing.

The temporary pipe that was laid is helping relieve the pressure on the sewer system.

"The more pressure we relieve, the less chance of backup in houses and businesses, but there still is a tremendous amount of pressure in the system," the city of Sterling Public Works office said.

The flood water levels at the headworks station underground are making it impossible to safely assess the condition of the plant equipment, at this time.

"Our crews are monitoring the situation daily, with continuous pumping through the

weekend, and will have better operational data on Monday unless something drastically changes that needs to updated over the weekend," Public Works said. "We've been able to tell from the flows of waste water that we've had some great cooperation from our community members, but we did see a significant increase to the inflow of the wastewater treatment plant last night and this morning; so we are asking for continued cooperation from our community members with the No Flush , Limited Water Use order."

An assessment team yesterday, from EPA, Army Corps. of Engineers, CDPHE, and a technical specialist from FEMA to help the city. They assessed what the city is doing and said the actions were appropriate for the current circumstances.

The city reminds the public that the city water is safe to drink.

Other Updates:

All river crossings, County Road 49 to Red Lion Road County Road 39 and State Highway 55 are closed.

The request for a voluntary minimal flush for the town of Merino is still in effect.

According to Tom Henley, Area Manager of Xcel Energy, 60 meters on the east side of I-76 should be re-lit by 7 p.m. tonight. The residences or businesses whose meters are not re-lit will have a door flyer with

contact information for Xcel Energy.

Along County Road 370 there are 60 customers whose meters still need to be assessed for damage.

It will take until early next week to determine the level of damage and to determine what is needed to repair meters. Water needs to go down before assessment can be complete. There will be no repairs at that time. Repairs will follow only after the assessment has been complete and plans made to restore service.

The Bulk Distribution Center now has available the flood/home cleaning kits. Also, available are supplies for people who are homebound or disabled. The distribution center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday. For information on delivery of these supplies to homebound or disabled persons, please contact Jeremy at the Logan County Office of Emergency Management at 970-522-8600.

This number will also be available limited hours to take calls this weekend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Calls outside those hours will be answered by the Sterling dispatch center.

The Salvation Army will be serving meals throughout the weekend at Sterling Middle School.

The Northeast Colorado Health Department will be holding clinics for the public to receive a tetanus vaccine if needed. Individuals who may receive this vaccine are those who have had direct contact with the flood waters. Anyone who has had a tetanus vaccine within the last ten years does not need one.

They will be held at NCHD Sterling office on Monday Sept. 23, Wednesday Sept. 25 and Friday Sept. 27. The clinic will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on those dates. For questions please contact Tammy Hort at 970-522-3741.

There will also be a clinic at the Merino Community Center, Monday, Sept. 26, starting at 6 p.m.

In other news, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced this afternoon that Logan and Arapahoe Counties have been added to the list of counties declared a Major Disaster in Colorado. Individuals in these counties will now be eligible for individual assistance grants from FEMA.

Source: Journal-advocate

Sega's Kinect

You plug it into your games console, it watches you move and it turns your wavy arms and kicking feet into killer kung-fu moves. No, not Kinect: Sega's 1993 Activator, which Destructoid called "the crappiest game peripheral ever made". The idea was sound but the implementation wasn't: your $80 didn't quite deliver the full-body tracking the ads implied - your movements were mapped to basic up, down, left, right, A, B, C and so on - and it was bulky, ugly and a pain to set up.

Seiko's smart watch

Samsung's Galaxy Gear is a very old idea: Seiko was making smartwatches such as the RC-1000 back in 1984. The RC-1000 was little more than a very simple PDA that you could control from a PC, but then again the Samsung Galaxy Gear doesn't do very much either.

Apple's premature iPhone

The MessagePad Newton was the iPhone a decade too early: battery technology was primitive, with early models sucking triple-A batteries dry in the blink of an eye; today's bright, capacitive touchscreens were many years away; and wireless connectivity and mobile broadband were yet to deliver on their promises. The Newton was a nifty tool, but it arrived too early to be the world-conquering monolith that 2007's iPhone would become.

Source: Stuff

As the Securities and Exchange Commission's chief of enforcement from 2001 to 2005, the era of landmark fraud settlements with Enron, WorldCom and Tyco, Stephen Cutler earned a reputation as a tough and, at times, feared regulator. He was particularly dismayed by chief executives, chief financial officers, general counsels and compliance officials who, even if not directly implicated in wrongdong, created a culture in which it was ignored, tolerated, or even worse, tactily encouraged.

In a speech in 2004 to the General Counsel Roundtable, he said: "You've got to talk the talk; and you've got to walk the walk. Both are critical to maintaining a good tone at the top." And he called for more accountability: "Hold all of your managers accountable for setting the right tone. That means disciplining or even firing them when they have failed to create a culture of compliance. Human nature being what it is, there will be those who break the rules. But if managers don't do enough to prevent those violations, or let them go unaddressed for too long, then they should be held responsible - even in the absence of direct involvement in those violations."

How times have changed.

As general counsel of JPMorgan Chase & Company, Mr. Cutler is now on the receiving end of the lectures, which this week came from George S. Canellos, a successor to Mr. Cutler and currently the co-chief of enforcement at the S.E.C. On Thursday, the S.E.C. and other regulators announced that JPMorgan had agreed to admit wrongdoing and pay nearly $1 billion in fines for its conduct in the "London Whale" matter, in which the bank's chief investment office lost more than $6 billion and bank officials misled regulators about the losses. The S.E.C. faulted JPMorgan's "egregious breakdowns in controls" and said that "senior management broke a cardinal rule of corporate management" by failing to alert the board to the full extent of the problem.

The S.E.C. didn't name any of those senior managers, but made reference to the "chief executive," who is Jamie Dimon. Mr. Cutler oversaw both the legal and compliance departments during those events. (Mr. Cutler no longer oversees compliance.)

And the London Whale affair isn't JPMorgan's only regulatory problem. The bank faces multiple other regulatory actions and investigations, ranging from manipulating energy markets, to mortgage-backed securities fraud, to failing to disclose suspicions about the Ponzi scheme operator Bernard Madoff, to conspiring to fix rates in the setting of the global benchmark interest rate informally known as Libor. As the allegations have mushroomed, JPMorgan has gone with almost dizzying speed from one of the world's most admired banks to one tainted by scandal.

And all of this happened on Mr. Cutler's watch. "You have to say, he didn't run a tight enough ship," said John C. Coffee Jr., a professor of law and expert in corporate governance at Columbia University. "It's not just the London whale episode. I wouldn't call that the crime of the century. But taken with everything else, the energy manipulation, the mortgage fraud cases, the Libor rigging, it suggests that there was not enough investment in compliance and the general counsel was not proactive enough. He's done a very good job at defending the firm but not enough at preventing it in the first place."

A lawyer whose company was an S.E.C. target during Mr. Cutler's tenure said this week, "I have to admit to a certain amount of schadenfreude," adding: "At the time, he did a lot of grandstanding about lawyers being gatekeepers and the moral compass for the organization and how we should have prevented all this. He sounded great on the soapbox. Now I've been following JPMorgan and it's pretty ironic."

This lawyer was among the many I contacted who didn't want to be named. Indeed, I quickly realized that I was wasting my time trying to get people to offer unconflicted comments about Mr. Cutler or anyone else at the bank, since a) their firm represents JPMorgan; b) they represent someone for whom JPMorgan is paying the legal bills; or c) they're trying to get into category a or b. James Cramer joked on CNBC's "Mad Money" this week that JPMorgan should just buy the Manhattan law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, famed for its high-stakes litigation practice.

Brad S. Karp, chairman of Paul, Weiss, worked with Mr. Cutler when he headed S.E.C. enforcement and has represented JPMorgan in various matters over the years. "JPMorgan is fortunate to have Steve lead its legal function during this period of unprecedented regulatory activity," he said. "Steve is an extraordinary talent, with absolute integrity, an unwavering ethical compass and seasoned judgment. There is no better general counsel on Wall Street."

Speaking on background, nearly all the lawyers I interviewed praised Mr. Cutler's judgment, experience and legal skills. He remains a trusted adviser to Mr. Dimon. And the lawyers stressed that no one person, not even the general counsel or head of compliance, can prevent all wrongdoing in a company the size of JPMorgan. As the country's largest bank, it is only to be expected that it's going to have its share of regulatory and compliance issues, the lawyers said.

Still, Mr. Cutler acknowledged that the array of regulatory issues at JPMorgan had been "humbling." When I visited him this week at his office at the bank's Park Avenue headquarters, there was a surprising atmosphere of hushed calm given that the bank had announced the settlement and acknowledged wrongdoing that morning. He told me he hadn't changed the view he articulated as enforcement chief. "You have to get the culture right," he said. "It's critical. That was true when I was at the S.E.C., and now I've seen it from the inside. I totally believe this. But I've discovered that it's necessary but not sufficient."

Institutions like JPMorgan, he said, and their senior managers can never lose sight of execution. "Just because you haven't had any problems doesn't mean you can stop testing and auditing. You have to trust but verify." To that end, JPMorgan said this week that it would spend an additional $4 billion and commit as many as 5,000 employees to compliance and risk-management functions, including a new office of oversight and control. "We made mistakes," Mr. Cutler acknowledged. "But we've spent a lot of time on self-reflection. What lessons can we learn? How can we do better? We're trying to implement that."

Donald Langevoort, a professor at Georgetown University School of Law who has written about compliance issues, said, "JPMorgan is throwing manpower at the problem, but whether a body count can be effective remains to be seen." He said he knows Mr. Cutler, "and I have confidence in him, and I'm sure he did whatever he could."

The problem, from his vantage point, is that Wall Street attracts risk-takers, which is how banks like JPMorgan make money. "JPMorgan is by no means unique," he said. "None of these big banks really want compliance people causing traders and investment bankers to second-guess themselves too much because that gets in the way of making money. No one will say this, but it's more effective to run the risk of noncompliance and pay a few fines, which is just a cost of doing business."

Mr. Cutler disputed that: "I can't tell you the number of times I've heard Jamie Dimon tell someone to do the right thing, and I don't care what it costs."

Mr. Cutler said that two of his "proudest days" as general counsel were May 10 of last year, when JPMorgan publicly disclosed the London Whale problem and acknowledged that it was the result of a badly conceived, executed and vetted trading strategy, and two months later, on July 13, when the bank told investors what had gone wrong and restated its first quarter results. "People and companies will inevitably make mistakes," he said. "So the question is, how do you deal with it? We may not have been perfect, but we tried to get it right."

Source: Nytimes


STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, ENGLAND - Visitors to Shakespeare County Raceway during the annual Yanks Weekend could be forgiven for thinking they had stumbled into a regular Sunday meet at a typical American dragstrip - were it not for the British accents and license plates, that is, and the track name's incongruous association with the playwright, born a few miles down the road.

Among the racecars present last spring were some hallmarks of Americana, including a '71 Chevrolet Camaro called the Bootlegger and a '57 Bel Air with "Honky Tonkin' " lettered on its doors. A Show 'n' Shine event featured dozens more Detroit products, restored to original condition and parked amid tents and campers on the grassy grounds of a former Royal Air Force base in Warwickshire.

Even in this setting, which emphatically favored speed over style, Norman Dawood's 1949 Cadillac Series 62 Club Coupe drew a crowd of admirers.

"I have other classic cars," said Mr. Dawood, who owns such quintessentially British automobiles as a 1966 Aston Martin DB6 and a 1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III. "But no other car gets anything like the looks that this one gets."

When Mr. Dawood, a Londoner who runs a translating and subtitling business, saw the black fastback on eBay, listed by a seller in New Jersey, he bought it without hesitation. With characteristic understatement, Mr. Dawood admitted that the car was "a bit of an impulse purchase."

Like many fans of the big American cars that British enthusiasts call Yank Tanks, Mr. Dawood was particularly drawn to Cadillacs from 1949, which was the second model year to feature the auto industry's pioneering foray into tailfins. Discreet compared with the towering appendages that arrived a decade later, the fins had been inspired by a clandestine look at the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, a fighter plane with twin tails, given to General Motors' designers working on the '48 models.

It was the '49s, however, that were first to be fitted with a new 331-cubic-inch overhead-valve V-8, which became a standard-bearer for G.M. The engine's considerable power can still be felt on the highway, where Mr. Dawood's car easily keeps up with the flow of modern traffic.

Mr. Dawood's Club Coupe, also known as a Sedanette, lacks power steering but has several options, including a Hydra-Matic transmission - which added $174 to the 1949 sticker price of $2,966 - as well as power windows and seats. Befitting a Cadillac, it is fitted with the modern conveniences of its day, including a cigar lighter, multiple ashtrays and enough headroom for a driver to wear his fedora.

It is impractical to keep a behemoth '49 Cadillac in London, where compact cars ply narrow roads, so Mr. Dawood stores it here, about 100 miles to the northwest. That it was a sunny day, so uncharacteristic of a British spring, when he drove it to the Yanks Weekend, was fortunate, as the driver's window was stuck open, its power lift mechanism having given out.

The window malfunction is emblematic of a series of small problems, some potentially incapacitating, that plague Mr. Dawood's Cadillac, and indeed many of the American classics increasingly bought on the Internet by British collectors.

"The American car scene in the U.K. is just growing and growing because of the Internet," said John Pryor, president of the National Association of Street Clubs, a co-sponsor of Yanks Weekend.

"More people are buying classic American cars now because they can fix them more easily, and we're now seeing dedicated shops opening up here," said Mr. Pryor, who recently traded in his 1959 Vauxhall Victor for a '56 Chevy.

While the Cadillac was en route from the United States, Mr. Dawood found a copy of a British magazine, Classic American.

"I couldn't believe my eyes," he said. "On the cover was a car identical to the one I'd just bought, belonging to some Scottish earl. The article was about a guy who specialized in restoring American cars, and I thought, 'This is brilliant. How lucky I am to find someone who already knows all about this exact one?' "

A few days after Yanks Weekend, typical British spring weather had returned, and Mr. Dawood was doing 65 miles per hour on the M4 highway, a frigid rain blowing in through the open window. He was on his way to see the specialist in the article, Mike Sargeant, 37, the owner of Tornado Automotive in Henley-on-Thames, about an hour west of London.

The cars crammed into the Tornado garage, some of the greatest hits of American automotive design, were in various states of repair. On the lift sat a red 1958 Oldsmobile 88 convertible that Mr. Sargeant said was the first off the production line that year. Underneath it was Mr. Sargeant's 1936 Ford, a decrepit three-window coupe that he was rebuilding as a hot rod. A 1965 Ford Mustang, completely disassembled, sat near the shell of a Chevy El Camino.

Mr. Sargeant is also restoring a Dodge Charger and a Plymouth Road Runner, both 1968 models, that he said belong to John Crichton-Stuart, the 7th Marquess of Bute, a former Formula One driver (known then as Johnny Dumfries) - and the owner of the 1949 Cadillac Mr. Dawood saw on the cover of Classic American.

"I've got an interest in everything old," Mr. Sargeant said. "I like that '50s American kind of style, I like '50s rock 'n' roll, '50s rockabilly. I love the clothing, everything. I'm quite '50s-oriented, really."

Mr. Sargeant said he was drawn to American cars by his father, John, who has a black '57 Chevy drag race car that he bought 14 years ago from a seller on an American air base in Britain, once a common source of vintage American cars.

John Sargeant, who raced his Chevy at the Yanks Weekend, said the catalyst for his interest in drag racing and American cars was the 1964 British Drag Festival, which featured demonstration runs by the American drag racing star, Don Garlits.

"You catch the bug real bad" he said. "I'll be 66 this year, and I'm still going at it."

Trifive Chevys - the models from 1955, '56 and '57 - are perennial favorites in Britain. "They've been coming in for years and years, but now I deal with a lot more late '60s cars and '70s cars than I ever used to," said Mike Sargeant, who favors a slicked-back 1950's-style haircut and blue coveralls. "The muscle cars have become very popular. People are now looking to the rarer cars, the Road Runners, Challengers, the Barracudas, stuff like that."

Cadillacs, however, are still an anomaly in Britain.

"They are hard to restore, and parts are hard to find," Mr. Sargeant said as he disassembled the door to reach to the window mechanism of Mr. Dawood's '49. "The body parts are very complicated."

For Mr. Sargeant, the Internet has been a blessing and a curse. "It's made things so much easier," he said. "Before, if you had an old car, you either had to repair what you had or you'd go to Hemmings Motor News and search for a part. It was a nightmare, you'd be phoning America, someone would mail you some photos in an envelope and you'd go, 'Yeah, that's the one,' and mail it back."

Mr. Sargeant said he often felt like a doctor breaking bad news to a patient when a car arrived with unanticipated problems.

"Norman paid a tremendous amount of money for this car, and the first person to see it in the country was me," he said. "He sent me the photos, and it looked stunning, but when I got it off the loader I was shocked. I'd never met Norman before, and I had to break the news to him that the car he bought was a complete mess," he said.

The car was running, Mr. Sargeant said, but barely. The wiring harness was a fire hazard and had to be replaced. Mr. Sargeant's shop also rebuilt the brakes, as well as the front and rear suspensions.

A "horrible sort of brown finish" on the dashboard and steering column was painted black. And then the problems with the windows started.

When the window problem was solved, Mr. Dawood's Cadillac was back on the highway, the blustery weather at bay, again drawing stares and waves from other motorists as the car's modern-at-the-time heater gave the car's cavernous interior the cozy feel of a warm living room on a frosty day.

Source: Nytimes

Friday, September 20, 2013

ADVISORY, Sept. 20, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --


Advertising Week 2013, the world's premier annual gathering of marketing and communications leaders each year in New York City, will visit the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square. Advertising Week celebrates its 10 th anniversary this year from September 23-27.

In honor of the occasion, Matt Scheckner, President & CEO, Stillwell Partners and Executive Director of Advertising Week will ring the Closing Bell. Mr Scheckner will be joined by legendary icons of the advertising industry including: Twinkie the Kid, Charlie the Tuna, Ernie Keebler, Charmin Bears, Jared The SUBWAY Guy, Vlasic Stork, Serta Counting Sheep, Travelocity Roaming Gnome, Kool-Aid Man, Mr. Peanut, Smokey Bear, Lucky Charms Leprechaun, Red M&M, Ms. Brown, Sparky the Fire Dog, French's Mustard Man, Buzz the Bee, The Frank's RedHot Hot Sauce Bottle, Angry Birds and Crash Test Dummies.


NASDAQ MarketSite - 4 Times Square - 43 rd & Broadway - Broadcast Studio


Monday, September 23, 2013 - 3:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Samantha Tannenbaum
(917) 509-8766

NASDAQ MarketSite:

Christine Barna
(646) 441-5310

Feed Information:

Fiber Line (Encompass Waterfront): 4463

Gal 3C/06C 95.05 degrees West
18 mhz Lower
DL 3811 Vertical
FEC 3/4
SR 13.235
DR 18.295411
MOD 4:2:0

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For multimedia features such as exclusive content, photo postings, status updates and video of bell ceremonies please visit our Facebook page at:

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A live webcast of the NASDAQ Closing Bell will be available at:


To obtain a hi-resolution photograph of the Market Close, please go to and click on the market close of your choice.

About Advertising Week:

Since its creation in 2004, Advertising Week has drawn hundreds of thousands of participants from around the world to New York City for a week long think-tank comprised of over 200 different distinct programs that focus on the power of advertising and its neighboring industries. Above and beyond celebration, the mission of The Week is to inspire young people to join the craft; focus the industry and public at-large on the social impacts of advertising; address the most important issues facing the industry and shine a bright light on the business and economic influence of the advertising, media and marketing industries. The Week is produced by Stillwell Partners. Stillwell also produces Advertising Week Europe which returns to London March 31 - April 4, 2014.

About NASDAQ OMX Group:

The inventor of the electronic exchange, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc., fuels economies and provides transformative technologies for the entire lifecycle of a trade - from risk management to trade to surveillance to clearing. In the U.S. and Europe, we own and operate 26 markets including 3 clearinghouses and 5 central securities depositories supporting equities, options, fixed income, derivatives, commodities, futures and structured products. Able to process more than 1 million messages per second at sub-55 microsecond average speeds with 99.99% uptime, our technology drives more than 70 marketplaces in 50 developed and emerging countries into the future, powering 1 in 10 of the world's securities transactions. Our award-winning data products and worldwide indexes are the benchmarks in the financial industry. Home to approximately 3,300 listed companies worth $6 trillion in market cap whose innovations shape our world, we give the ideas of tomorrow access to capital today. W elcome to where the world takes a big leap forward, daily. Welcome to the NASDAQ OMX Century. To learn more, visit Follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter ( (Symbol: NDAQ and member of S&P 500)


Source: Globenewswire

The funeral for Mrs. Minnie Louise "Blondie" Franklin, 74, of 2415 Belleville Road, Orangeburg, will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, at North Orangeburg United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Lillie Washington officiating. Burial will be in Old Nazareth Cemetery, Ridgewood Drive, Orangeburg.

The casket will be placed in the church at 10 a.m.

Mrs. Franklin passed away on Monday evening, Sept. 16, at The Oaks in Orangeburg, following an extended illness.

Born on May 6, 1939, in Orangeburg County, she was the daughter of Jacob and Rose Spencer Gadson. Minnie was a member of North Orangeburg United Methodist Church. Minnie was married to the late Mr. Tommie "Bee" Franklin.

Survivors include loving children Ray (Leondra) Franklin of Walterboro, Ronnie (Sheila) Franklin of Orangeburg, and Rhonda M. Franklin of Tampa, Fla.; 10 grandchildren; 15 great-grands; brother-in-law Mr. Sam (Janet) Sprinkle of Orangeburg; sister-in-law Mrs. Carolyn Evans of Orangeburg; and sister Miss Elonora Middleton of Tampa.

Bethea's Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Online condolences may be made to

Friends may call at the residence of her niece, Mrs. Delores Jackson, 115 Tyke Court, Orangeburg, and the funeral home.

Source: Thetandd

Toronto-based PBR&B progenitor Abel Tesfaye, cryptically known as The Weeknd, is still riding the wave from his proper big label debut Kiss Land (which we enjoyed very much) doling out clever promotional treats for fans like handing out his personal phone number and making his first live television appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live just a week ago. No here stranger to eerie, seriously NSFW yet cinematic music videos, he's following up his creepy Drake collaboration "Live For" with what is basically a short film for Kiss Land's fourth single, the terrifying dirge of vindictive jealousy "Pretty." And the results are horrifying.

There's nothing subtle or nuanced about the imagery here other than the Michael Mann sheen of grey metal and glass that seems to cover every corner of Toronto as Tesfaye leaves the airport with his driver in search of the girl who left him for another man. Intercut with nude shots of his ex showering and eventually making arty love to her new partner, we see Tesfaye quiet and almost psychotically still in the backseat of his chauffeured town car. He eventually arrives at her house, pulls out a massive Desert Eagle, and promptly blows the couple away while they are in the throes of passion.

It's gorgeously shot mayhem, a slow motion ballet of shell casings, splattered blood, and naked bodies designed to put pretty window dressing on what is a pretty ugly revenge fantasy. Tesfaye maybe attempting to challenge his listeners/viewers with a "provocative" artistic statement, but all I see here is subtle-as-a-sledgehammer exploitation that leaves me feeling really cold and on the verge of clinical depression.

We know Tesfaye goes dark. I just never thought his darkest depths could be so mindless.

Source: Idolator

By Will Greenwald

On one hand, it's nice to see a new pair of headphones branded by a celebrity who isn't a rapper. On the other hand, Snooki Couture is the kind of celebrity brand that makes me wish I was testing Death Grips here or 2 Chainz instead. The $59.99 (list) headphones aren't meant to inspire good audio quality to begin with, but even the low price and famous Jersey Shore pedigree can't excuse their poor performance.

You're better off going wireless for $10 more with the very solid Outdoor Technology DJ Slims or saving big bucks while keeping the style and still improving the sound by getting the $20 Editors' Choice RHA MA150 earphones and a cheap leopard print headband.

The headphones find just the right balance between tacky and uncomfortable. The plastic band itself doesn't feel too bad, but it makes the cups put uncomfortable pressure on the small on-ear cups that wedge up against the shape of your ear with their oval design. Admittedly, I have a very large head, but I suspect that almost most people wiil find the shapes of the earcups uncomfortable. The headband has a removable outer band with a bow on it so you can swap out designs between leopard spots, silver sequins, and gold sequins (the headphones come with your choice of one of the headbands). The designs really make you appreciate the subtlety and nuance of the Haus of Gaga.

A bright spot: There's a removable cable, which is an unexpected touch in this price range-it's easier to replace a cable than a whole pair of headphones. The port on the headphones is very narrow and recessed, and while the included thin cable has no trouble connecting, you might encounter problems replacing it with a cable with a thicker plug.

When you get a pair of leopard-print headphones with a bow on them, you clearly want to rock out with the most powerful low-end and crisp high-end possible. Sadly, our bass test track, The Knife's "Silent Shout," didn't fare too well on the Snookis. The pair didn't distort at maximum volume, but that's because they didn't get particularly loud at maximum volume to begin with. The headphones suggest at bass as an abstract concept, discussing it on a philosophical level more than actually making it part of the conversation itself.

Low-end-neutral tunes don't fare particularly well, either. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major has crisp violins, but the cellos almost completely disappeared from the mix, and the harpsichord notes sounded tinny and robotic, as if they were being synthesized poorly. Midrange and mid-high fared decently, but everything outside of that range exhibits an empty, radio-like feeling. Fatboy Slim's "Don't Let The Man Get You Down" doesn't do any better with a distinct sound of needle static on vinyl that slowly fades to the samples from Five Man Electrical Band's "Signs" and the bass and drums that rise behind it. With these headphones, the song keeps an empty, artificial feeling long and the percussion sounds like tin cups getting hit with hammers.

The Snooki Couture headphones are overpriced at $60, with pitiful sound. You might be able to forgive the gaudy designs, but audio quality isn't something you can brush aside based on personal taste. If you really want some stylish headphones, consider the similarly priced, excellent-sounding Editors' Choice Griffin Woodtones. Wood looks a lot better than animal patterns or sequins any day.

Source: Pcmag