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Showing posts from June, 2013

'Fabulous': Millions of Facebook users 'like' gay marriage

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Facebook says roughly 70 percent of its users in the United States now have friends who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, which might help explain why the social network saw well over 3 million mentions of today's Supreme Court decisions in favor of marriage equality.

Within 24 hours of the United States Supreme Court's two landmark decisions on same-sex marriage, Facebook saw an unprecedented spike in user activity around the issue, the social network said Thursday.

A Facebook spokesperson told that more than 4 million mentions of its top 10 keywords related to the court's decisions on California's Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act — terms like "doma," "gay," "unconstitutional," "prop 8," "marriage" and, of course, "equal."

In the United States alone, this also led to more than 15 million interactions (likes, comments on one another's status updates, and posts) related to the Supreme Cour…

Death at 1000 metres

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Chillas in northern Pakistan looks like a ghost town after gunmen shot dead at least nine foreign tourists.



The streets are quiet. Barely a soul stirs, save for one fruit vendor who every few seconds bashes his produce with a duster to chase away the flies.

Chillas, northern Pakistan is a ghost town. The killings by the Pakistani Taliban of the foreign mountaineers has everyone spooked.

The remaining foreigners have shipped back to the capital.

The hotels are empty, except for a few Pakistani families trying to enjoy the scenery.

And what spectacular scenery it is. I am at the foothills of the Himalayas. Rising in the distance is the snow drenched Nanga Parbat mountain.

For centuries it's been called by locals "killer mountain" and for good reason. Many have lost their lives trying to reach the top.

For rock climbers it's a tougher challenge than Everest, which is highest peak in the world. It's dangerous because its terrain is jagged and unforgiving.

Only experi…

10 Qualities of Exceptional Interviewers

By: Jeff Haden
Ghostwriter, Speaker, Inc. Magazine Columnist

Everyone agrees no business is better than its employees. So if hiring the right people is so important... why are most interviewers satisfied with being mediocre interviewers?
Maybe they assume the burden of greatness lies solely with the employee. (“Hey, it’s his job to impress me.”) But that's short-sighted and, well, stupid.
To find the best employees you possibly can, you must be the best interviewer you possibly can.
Here are the key qualities of skilled interviewers:

1. They understand their real needs.
A great employee doesn't just fill a slot on the org chart. A great employee solves at least one critical business need.
So while credentials, qualifications, and experience are important, never forget you’re not hiring a position: You’re hiring a result. You don’t need a Sales Director; you need someone who will sell. You don’t need a VP of Ops; you need someone who can produce on time.
Identify your real busine…

Malaysia haze takes its toll

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Schools in the capital Kuala Lumpur and surrounding Selangor have been closed and children advised to stay indoors.

It's been 16 years (think it was 1997 but better check wasn't 98) since Indonesian forest fires first shrouded Singapore and Malaysia in a smoky, choking cloud of pollution.

In that time governments in all three countries have done an awful lot of talking about what is euphemistically known as the "haze". Asean, the regional grouping, got involved with the Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution back in 2002, a document now ratified by all of Asean’s ten members, except Indonesia. But none of the talk appears to have had much impact on the ground.

As I write this, Kuala Lumpur's Twin Towers, symbol of Malaysian modernity and development, are all but invisible. The only buildings that I can see are the ones immediately next door. The rest of the city, if I can make it out at all, is an eerie, landscape of shadows.

Schools in Kuala Lumpur and surro…

Nelson Mandela now in critical condition

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Nelson Mandela has taken a turn for the worse and is now in critical condition at a South African hospital, officials said Sunday.

"The doctors are doing everything possible to get his condition to improve and are ensuring that Madiba is well-looked after and is comfortable. He is in good hands," President Jacob Zuma said in a statement, referring to the 94-year-old former president by his nickname.

Zuma and African National Congress Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa visited Mandela at the Pretoria hospital and were briefed on his condition by the medical team, the statement said. They asked the world to pray for the anti-apartheid icon and his family "during this difficult time."


A portrait of former South African President Nelson Mandela rests against the wall as messages written by visitors are seen on the wall at Regina Mundi church in Soweto township, a flashpoint during the anti-apartheid struggle, in Johannesburg, South Africa, 23 June 2013.

Mandela, who has …

Tweets of the week - North West, Paula Deen and Putin

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Serena Williams, Paula Deen and Vladimir Putin

For the week ending 21 June, here is the news making waves in America - all in 140 characters or less.

1. So what's the mayor of Vancouver up to these days? Presumably sticking up a Tim Horton's or something.

Politics editor at Business Insider Josh Barro (@jbarro) pondered which Canadian mayor will next cause a major scandal after the mayor of Montreal was arrested this week and charged with fraud. Recently, two news organisations said they had viewed a video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine - which he denied.

2. Pro tip for @serenawilliams or others discussing rape: if "I'm not blaming the girl, but…" exits your mouth, stop there. There is no "but."

In an interview with Rolling Stone, tennis star Serena Williams made off-hand comments about a 16-year-old gang rape victim that many, including writer and producer Jamil Smith, (@JamilSmith) found highly inappropriate. Williams later apologised.

3.…

Real Estate Investment - FAQ

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Q:What are the four types of returns available from investment real estate?
A: Spendable (cash flow) income, principal reduction or equity buildup, appreciation and leverage.

Q:Why must you consider the effects of inflation when establishing your investment goals?
A: Most of the people over the age of 65 are practically broke because they failed to consider the effects of inflation on their investment funds. You can plan on needing twice as much in ten years to do what you can today on your present spendable income.

Q:How do you determine if it makes sense to refinance your home to obtain investment capital?
A: Use the formula in Module 3 which tells you how much you must earn on the borrowed cash in order to offset the added mortgage payments on your home.

Q:Why is it extremely important to carefully analyse a property that can be purchased with no money down?
A: Any property that is 100% leveraged will probably be at break-even basis or below. It is important to realise that anything o…

Early Mars atmosphere 'oxygen-rich'

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The study dealt with differences between rocks from Gusev Crater on Mars (above) and meteorites

Mars' atmosphere could have been rich in oxygen four billion years ago - well before Earth's air became augmented with the gas.

That is the suggestion put forward by the author of a study in Nature journal, which outlines an explanation for differences between Mars meteorites and rocks examined by a robot rover.

Dr Bernard Wood said the idea fits with the picture of a planet that was once warm, wet and habitable.

But other scientists were sceptical.

While the rise of atmospheric oxygen on Earth was probably mediated by life, Martian oxygen could have been produced through the chemical "splitting" of water.

Prof Wood and his colleagues from Oxford University looked at the chemical composition of Martian meteorites found on Earth and data from Nasa's Spirit rover, which examined surface rocks at Gusev Crater on Mars.

Both are igneous rocks (of volcanic origin), but they s…

'Standing Man' goes viral, inspires silent protests in Turkey

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Erdem Gunduz, center, stands on Taksim Square during a protest that was quickly dubbed "duranadam" or "standing man", in Istanbul, Turkey, early on June 18, 2013. Gunduz was briefly searched and questioned by police, media reports said.

By Reuters
A Turkish man has staged an eight-hour silent vigil on Istanbul's Taksim Square, scene of violent clashes between police and anti-government protesters in recent weeks, inspiring hundreds of others to follow his lead.

Erdem Gunduz said he wanted to take a stand against police stopping demonstrations near the square, Dogan news agency reported.

He stood silently, facing the Ataturk Cultural Center, which was draped in Turkish flags and a portrait of Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, from 6 p.m. (11 a.m. ET) on Monday.



Erdem Gunduz stood for several hours unnoticed before his presence on the flashpoint square went viral on the social network Twitter. He was then joined by hundreds of others. Turkish police inter…

Summer solstice: It's all about sex

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In many parts of the world there is no better time to work on your mojo than on the longest day of the year. In Belarus girls and boys take the opportunity to celebrate the midnight sun on Ivan Kupala Day by bathing in lakes.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
In many cultures, the longest day of the year is marked with celebrations meant to fan the flames of love and lust.

In Sweden, Midsummer is followed by a baby boom nine months later.

In Eastern Europe, the solstice is celebrated on Kupala Day, a kind of Slavic St. Valentine's.

In some villages in Northern Greece, women gather around to exchange bawdy rhymes on the morning of the solstice.


During the Swedish national holiday of Midsommar the usually cool, calm and collected Swedes turn to their raucous Viking roots and consume a copious amount of vodka and dance around -- according to some -- a rather phallic-looking Maypole. Perhaps unsurprisingly research shows a lot of babies are born nine months after the festivities.

In the Northern Hemisph…

Sri Lanka Vs Australia - Watch it Live...

Live Link:

http://espn.go.com/watchespn/index?ex_cid=watchsynd_noauthplayerclick&id=979675

Three teams queue up for semi spot
Match facts
Monday, June 17, The Oval
Start time 1300 (1200 GMT)

Big Picture
Amid the vexing appearances of rain in the last few days, three of the four teams will nervously wait for the result of the final Group B match. Sri Lanka, who more often than not make it to the knockouts in ICC tournaments, just need a win; if they win big - that is, by about 90 runs in a full 50-over game - they can better England's net run rate and finish top of the group. Australia, who have looked a shadow of their usual selves, need to win by about 125 runs to lift their NRR above that of New Zealand and knock them out. If they bat second and Sri Lanka score 200, Australia will need to chase the target down in about 27 overs. New Zealand, who looked good to make it to the next round till a day ago, need Australia to win but not absolutely thump Sri Lanka. The London weather…

Warren Buffett Fast Facts

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Here's in depth-look at the life of Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.



Personal: 

Birth date: August 30, 1930

Birth place: Omaha, Nebraska

Birth name: Warren Edward Buffett

Father: Howard Buffett, politician and businessman

Mother: Leila (Stahl) Buffett

Marriages: Astrid Menks (August 30, 2006-present); Susan (Thompson) Buffett (April 19, 1952-July 29, 2004, her death)

Children: with Susan (Thompson) Buffett: Peter, 1958; Howard, 1954; Susan, 1953

Education: University of Nebraska, B.S., 1950; Columbia University, M.S. in Economics, 1951

Other Facts:

Attended the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School but dropped out to go to the University of Nebraska.

Nicknamed the "Oracle of Omaha."

Collects an annual salary of $100,000.

At the age of 13, Buffett filed his first tax return for income from newspaper routes.

Lives in the same

Why Turks are good at protesting

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Why Turks are good at protestingWidespread use of social media and political humour have given the recent demonstrations a viral effect.