While many businesses are suffering through the recession, one website that is thriving is the free fashion swap site www.swapstyle.com which has received a massive 300% increase in direct hits to the site over the past 8 months.

Swapstyle.com was the world's first fashion swap site, and has since grown to become the largest clothes swapping community online. It is the perfect way to look stylish in a recession, while making fashion green by being environmentally sustainable.

"I'm now receiving emails from women around the world saying what a difference swapstyle.com has made in their lives since the down turn in the economy, and that it has helped curb shopping addictions and lessen credit card debt by enabling them to be in control of their spending habits and still be able to have the rush of receiving a new dress. There is definitely a direct correlation to the down-turn in the economy and the huge increase in women joining swapstyle.com" says Chesher

swapstyle.com was created by Emily Chesher, 30, also known as The Swap Queen, in 2003 while she was a fashion design student. Living on her meek student budget Chesher couldn't afford to buy the fashion items that she adored, plus she was disillusioned by the negative environmental impact created by the fashion industry. Thus she put her mind to creating swapstyle.com - a free fashion swap website that allows women world-wide to swap clothes 24/7 from the comfort of their own home.

Chesher says, "swapstyle.com is free to use, and was created six years ago. When I created swapstyle.com there were no other online clothes swap sites - we were the first! The economy and the environment weren't at the forefront of people's minds, and I had a lot of people telling me that I was crazy - that the idea would never take off"

Fast forward to 2009. With economic and environmental concern, swapstyle.com has had to increase its servers on a monthly basis to keep up with the huge demand from members uploading swap items. From shoes to bags, cosmetics to designer fashion and vintage clothes, there are tens of thousands of members world-wide swapping and saving thousands of dollars a year through the site.

Not just a clothes swap site, swapstyle.com also offers a strong social networking platform in which members chat in forums, create personal profile pages and make friends. "It has become a really thriving online community," says Chesher. "It was always my dream to have swapstyle.com be a space where money didn't matter anymore. I found it refreshing to have an area online where we could enjoy fashion without having the guilt of spending attached" No guessing why one of the sites tag lines is experience guilt free shopping.

Chesher was also disillusioned by the environmental impact that fashion was having on the planet. "The waste created from the fashion industry is huge. We live season by season, sometimes only wearing an item once. It brings a smile to my face knowing that Ive created a easily accessible economically, socially and environmentally sound solution to an age old problem."

With its tag line 'open your world-wide wardrobe', fashion savvy women are taking heed and saving thousands of dollars by getting their fashion for free by swapping.

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Tom Hanks' new film Angels & Demons blurs the line between facts and fiction surrounding a secret society and the Vatican, but the film has angered some researchers calling it "disinformation" and a "whitewash" of what they call a real satanic secret society that continues to exist today.

"It's sad that a great actor like Tom Hanks has become a pawn of Satan and is aiding the cover-up of the existence of the Illuminati today and is a part of Dan Brown's fraud," says Mark Dice, author of The Illuminati: Facts & Fiction. "Brown's book, as well as the film, serves only as disinformation and a whitewash of the real Illuminati."

It's sad that a great actor like Tom Hanks has become a pawn of Satan and is aiding the cover-up of the existence of the Illuminati today and is a part of Dan Brown's fraud
Brown's book, as well as the film, serves only as disinformation and a whitewash of the real Illuminati.

A large subculture of people believe that the Illuminati secretly pull the strings in world events and worship Satan. Mark Dice is an expert on secret societies and insists the Illuminati is active today as an international mafia and is responsible for the 9/11 attacks and the global economic crisis we are facing today.

In his new book, The Illuminati: Facts & Fiction, Mark Dice points to the Skull and Bones fraternity at Yale University, the secretive Bilderberg Group, and the Bohemian Grove as evidence that the Illuminati continues to exist today and did not go into extinction in the 1780s as many believe. "If you read the original writings of Adam Weishaupt, the founder of the Illuminati, it becomes undeniable that their plans have been very successful and the organization continues to thrive," he insists.

Dice is upset at what he calls blatant lies and inaccuracies in Dan Brown's depiction of the Illuminati, and believes Brown himself is working for the secret society as a disinformation agent to make people think the organization is a fictional creation.

Angels & Demons is the film adaptation of Dan Brown's novel of the same title, who also wrote the controversial Da Vinci Code which also starred Hanks. In the new film, Hanks is apposed by the Illuminati, a secret society that historians and scholars agree was created in Bavaria Germany in the late 1700s, which is plotting to blow up Vatican City with an anti-matter bomb. Officially the Illuminati were disbanded when their sinister plans of world domination were discovered by authorities and their members exposed in 1786.

The Illuminati plotted to secretly infiltrate key positions of power in politics, morally corrupt society, and ultimately abolish Christianity. "They have been very successful in achieving their goals," says Dice. "Many people think they were simply a gentlemen's club espousing enlightenment philosophies, but when you read their own writings you realize they were an immoral organization of devious power-hungry men."

In The Illuminati: Facts & Fiction, Mark Dice has compiled evidence of the Illuminati including the group's original writings from the late 1700s and also debunks some of the conspiracy theories that involve the group. "They're not plotting to vaporize Vatican City with an anti-matter bomb like in Angels & Demons, but people would be surprized when they find out that the truth is stranger than fiction when it comes to the Illuminati."

Mark Dice has made international news for rebuking various Hollywood celebrities for their ridiculous behavior, including Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton, 50 Cent, Tom Cruise and others. He has also demanded that Duke University change the name of their "Blue Devils" sports team to something not offensive to the Christian community, and launched a campaign to remove the Georgia Guidestones occult monument from public property.

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"American Idol" finalists Lil Rounds and Anoop Desai aren't closer to becoming household names. Both singers were dismissed Wednesday after it was revealed they received the fewest number of viewer votes on the popular Fox singing competition.

"I'm so really disappointed," Desai said after his ouster. "I really am."

The third lowest vote-getter after this week's disco-themed performances was Allison Iraheta.
For the past several weeks, the judges have not been favorable to Rounds, the 24-year-old mother of three from Memphis, or Desai, the 22-year-old college student from Chapel Hill, N.C.
While the panel seemed to prefer Desai's rendition of Donna Summers' "Dim All the Lights," judge Simon Cowell called Rounds' performance of Chaka Khan's "I'm Every Woman" a "mess."

"I'm actually going to miss your family screaming at us every week," Cowell told after Rounds after she was eliminated.

The acerbic judge correctly predicted Rounds would be dismissed following her performance Tuesday. The once adored R&B crooner, who originally wowed the panel with Stevie Wonder's "All I Do" at her audition, had been dubbed a copycat by the judges for the past several weeks. Desai had also fallen from grace after being selected as the judges' final wild card pick.

Two finalists were sent packing Wednesday — instead of the usual one — because the judges' used their new one-time-only power to save Matt Giraud from elimination last week.

Before the double dismissal, the seven finalists donned bell bottoms and shades to perform a group number of The Jacksons' "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)," which was choreographed by Paula Abdul. The five singers remaining in the competition are Iraheta, Giraud, Kris Allen, Danny Goeky and Adam Lambert. Another finalist will be booted next week.

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Tangent Software today announces that plan.pack.go has made its way into the Top 20 Paid Applications in the Travel category of the US iTunes Store since its launch on April 9, 2009. This simple yet highly customizable iPhone and iPod touch application is designed to assist frequent travelers pack effectively for their trips. Whether it is a business trip, a vacation or simply a weekend getaway, plan.pack.go radically simplifies the way travelers prepare themselves.

plan.pack.go helps travelers organize their packing before a trip. Users may add items as and when they come to mind and check them off when they are packed. It provides users peace of mind that they are well prepared before leaving home.

"I'm constantly forgetting to pack certain things when I travel, that's why when I saw this app I knew I had to purchase it. This is my first review on the app store, but I felt this was such a useful app that I had to write a review on it," said Brett Hamlin, an early adopter of plan.pack.go. "What I love about plan.pack.go is the simplicity and ease of use. The developers have included pre-made templates, which comes in very handy when I create my Do-Not-Forget lists. All I need to do is check an item from the comprehensive list of items the developers have cleverly included and enter the quantity I will need. It also lets me create my own items, but I doubt I'll ever need to do so as the items in the preloaded list are pretty exhaustive. It's very easy to use and I can't wait to use it again for my next trip."

"We have constructed the application to be elegantly simple, intuitive, practical and easy to use," said Michael Tan, founder of Tangent Software. "Making the Top 20 List is indeed a significant milestone for our company and it strongly affirms our confidence in the product's appeal to our traveling customers."

plan.pack.go features two different methods of adding items to a packing list. A user may select items by performing a narrow-down search on the vast selection found in the built-in catalog. If an item required is not found in the catalog, users can create them on the fly. Alternatively, some users may find browsing through the catalog, which is organized by categories, a simpler approach.

The use of category navigation buttons and the involvement of the accelerometer, which enables flipping between the list of packed and yet-to-pack items, makes it possible for single-handed use during packing. Attention is given to the use of sound, motion, visual and motor feedback. This together with the adoption of a visually appealing interface further enhances the overall user experience.

"It is my philosophy that every successful application is 80% designed and 20% customized to individual needs," said Michael Tan. "We plan to continually provide free updates to the application, tailoring to the needs of our customers based on constructive reviews and feedbacks on the iTunes Store. We anticipate that adoption of plan.pack.go in other regions will soon follow the encouraging trend set in the US."

plan.pack.go is priced at USD 1.99 and is currently available as a download from any Apple iTunes Store worldwide. For additional information and a preview video of plan.pack.go, visit www.tangentsoftware.net/planpackgo/

About Tangent Software:

Founded in 2008 and based in Singapore, Tangent Software is the premier iPhone development company in Asia bringing innovative applications on the iPhone and iPod touch with worldwide distribution. The company's products include plan.pack.go, Upcoming Events, Upcoming Birthdays and Net Acronyms.

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Are you doing it? That's the question being asked to millions of Facebook users by the Feel Your Boobies Foundation. A new Facebook application gives users the ability to send a "Feel Your Boobies, Are you doing it? ®" reminder to their friend list and download a virtual car magnet to put on their profile. They are then linked to the website at FeelYourBoobies.com to get an actual physical free car magnet so they can spread the message on the street too. And the campaign is working. The Foundation has just received a testimonial from Holly Rose, a Facebook user in Phoenix who credits the campaign for her early breast cancer diagnosis. "My girlfriend posted a "Feel Your Boobies®" badge on her profile. I did that night and found a lump. I just had it removed last week and start chemo in a couple weeks. Had it not been for my friend who posted it on Facebook it could have progressed even further. I'm 39 and I'm going to live thanks to you," says Rose.

Since the launch date of the Facebook application, in early April, thousands and counting free feel your boobies® car magnets have been shipped. "We are really excited about the response to this new element of our social media campaign," says founder, Leigh Hurst. "We think this is a truly unique way to spread our message because we are able to utilize viral components both online and offline equally. Prior to creating a presence on Facebook we realized 90% of the people visiting our website said they found us because they saw a car magnet on the road. This led to the idea of modeling our online social media initiatives after our already successful offline gorilla marketing. Getting a testimonial from someone whose life has been saved because of our campaign is the greatest success we could have hoped for." The message is spreading. Currently Feel Your Boobies is the 3rd largest Healthcare Cause on Facebook. "Donating our time to work on this project was an easy decision," says Mark Wayman from Social Gears, the Silicon Valley-based company responsible for developing the application. "It's great to be a part of creating something that is really making an impact"

Funded by merchandise sales, individual donations and corporate sponsorships, the Foundation seeks ways to provide "a friendly reminder when you least expect it" as stated clearly in their mission and tagline. "By using a provocative slogan and fun imagery in unexpected places, we aim to make people giggle first and because laughter is contagious they want to immediately share the reminder with their friends and family members. Facebook is the perfect platform to do this," says Nicole Lennol, Creative Director for the organization. "And as proven by the messages and testimonials we've received as a result of our "Are You Doing It?" campaign, people are actually doing more than giggling, they're actually feeling their boobies," she adds.

About Feel Your Boobies

Founded in 2004, Feel Your Boobies® is a breast cancer awareness non-profit organization whose mission is to utilize unexpected and unconventional media to remind women, especially those under 40, to "feel their boobies". Getting in the habit of knowing is what is normal for you increases the chances of noticing a breast lump or other changes when they occur. Learn more at http://www.feelyourboobies.com

About Social Gears

Social Gears, LLC is a creative and technical team passionate about the opportunities presented within the world of social networks. A social application venture of the international technology company Network Earth, Social Gears formed in November 2007 to create applications for Facebook, MySpace and other social networks and mobile platforms. Learn more at http://www.socialgears.com

Feel Your Boobies ® is a registered trademark. Reproduction or duplication of the trademark without written permission from the Feel Your Boobies Foundation is prohibited.

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HNHSoft announces the release of its mobile English-Chinese Talking Dictionary - the first language translation software that supports Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch platforms. For Apple aficionados, conducting business while in China just became a lot easier. Finding just the right word has always been the bane of the traveler to new lands. How many of us are still embarrassed by the memory of asking for the applesauce instead of the hotel lobby? Or the pool instead of the art museum? And as an ambassador for his or her company, a business traveler can see the importance of putting the best words forward.

Worry no more, business travelers. HNHSoft's Talking Dictionary and Talking Phrase Book download in minutes onto mobile Apple iPhone and iPod Touch handhelds. This is the first product of its kind developed for use on Apple platforms. These innovative language tools contain over 90,000 entries and over 120,000 translations. Travelers can learn the pronunciation of words or phrases phonetically, see them written in the appropriate alphabet, and hear them pronounced in the natural voices of real people. Travelers can choose to turn on the setting that Romanizes Chinese characters (the so-called Pinyin in the official Chinese language), and view the Chinese characters in Simplified or Traditional form.

The translation tool can translate from English to Chinese and from Chinese to English. Travelers love the "study" feature, which allows a user to build and save a customized list of words and return to this list later. This feature comes in handy when a traveler wants to save frequently used words in one place.

For those not traveling as far as China, HNHSoft will release its Talking Dictionaries and Talking Phrase Books in five European languages that support Apple iPhone and iPod Touch platforms in late spring 2009. HNHSoft licenses the European language data and brand from the 157-year-old Larousse Publishing House.

Note: HNHSoft's Talking Dictionaries and Talking Phrase Books already support Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Java enabled smart phones, Palm OS.

Check out the HNHSoft website at http://www.hnhsoft.com for more information.

About HNHSoft:

HNHSoft was co-founded by Song Han and Wei Huang, both of Burlington, Mass., and Jian Zhang, Ph.D. Mr. Zhang is chief technology officer and general manger of HNHSoft's R&D center in Beijing, China. The United Nations Chinese Language Program (UNCLP) adopted the HNHSoft Talking Dictionary as its official teaching tool in 2008, bringing cutting-edge voice and mobile technologies to UNCLP's language teaching programs. "Our Program chose HNHSoft's product over others after extensive research.", Dr. Yong Ho, director of UNCLP said, "We found that the Dictionary's contents are comprehensive and authoritative."

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According to the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics, more than 5 million people will graduate this spring. Graduation marks an important rite of passage of achievement.

The best graduation gifts are practical and encourage a graduate's transition to next stage of life, which includes new responsibilities and opportunities. With this in mind, Magazines.com offering magazine subscriptions for graduates at significant discounts off cover prices. Magazines.com recommends BusinessWeek, Bon Appétit, The Economist and National Geographic magazines for graduates.

Graduation ceremonies have existed for a long time; the first graduation ceremonies were first held by European universities in the Middle Ages. Harvard was the first American university to hold a commencement ceremony in 1642.

About Magazines.com

Magazines.com is the oldest, the largest and the most dependable magazine subscription service on the Internet. We are a privately-held company based in Franklin, Tenn., a suburb of Nashville.

With more than 2,000 titles available, Magazines.com offers people a fun, easy way to discover new magazines and helps them track subscriptions. Magazines.com is the leading independent agent selling subscriptions, serving customers online at Magazines.com.

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America's Most Dangerous Cities

Posted by Wayne | Saturday, April 25, 2009

In March 2008, Kwame Kilpatrick was charged with eight felonies, including perjury and obstruction of justice. In August, he violated his bail agreement and was thrown in jail. His actions were deplorable for anybody, but Kilpatrick was no Average Joe--he was the mayor of Detroit.

Unfortunately for the Motor City, Kilpatrick, 38, is just one ripple in the area's sea of crime. Detroit is the worst offender on our list of America's most dangerous cities, thanks to a staggering rate of 1,220 violent crimes committed per 100,000 people.

"Detroit has, historically, been one of the more violent cities in the U.S.," says Megan Wolfram, an analyst at iJet Intelligent Risk Systems, a Maryland-based risk-assessment firm. "They have a number of local crime syndicates there--a number of small gangs who tend to compete over territory."

Detroit was followed closely on the list by the greater Memphis, Tenn., and Miami, Fla., metropolitan areas. Those three were the only large cities in America with more than 950 violent crimes committed per 100,000 people.

Behind the Numbers

To determine our list, we used violent crime statistics from the FBI's latest uniform crime report, issued in 2008. The violent crime category is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. We evaluated U.S. metropolitan statistical areas--geographic entities defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget for use by federal agencies in collecting, tabulating and publishing federal statistics--with more than 500,000 residents.

Though nationwide crime was down 3.5% year over year in the first six months of 2008, the cities atop our list illustrate a disturbing trend: All 10 of the most dangerous cities were among those identified by the Department of Justice as transit points for Mexican drug cartels.

Run by crime lords like Joaquin Guzman Lorea, these gangs--and their violent turf wars--are spreading into the American Southwest and beyond. Places like Stockton, Calif., nearly 500 miles from Tijuana, have seen an uptick in related violent crime.

"Stockton is a major transit point along the I-5 corridor on the way to Seattle and Vancouver," says Wolfram. "A lot of it is similar to crime happening in the Southwest. For the most part, it's drug gang on drug gang."

Motown Blues

The situation in Mexico has escalated in recent years, but Detroit has been dealing with the same problems for decades. An industrial boomtown during the first half of the 20th century, the population of Detroit proper swelled from 285,000 in 1900 to 990,000 in 1920, reaching a peak of 1.8 million in 1950.

Only half that number still lives within city limits. Starting in the 1960s, Detroit began a precipitous decline. Most scholars blame rapid suburbanization, outsourcing of manufacturing jobs, and federal programs they say exacerbated the situation by creating a culture of joblessness and dependency. Residents fled to the suburbs and to other regions of the country entirely, leaving behind a landscape littered with abandoned buildings.

"Factories that once provided tens of thousands of jobs now stand as hollow shells, windows broken, mute testimony to a lost industrial past," wrote Thomas J. Sugrue in his book The Origins of the Urban Crisis. "Whole sections of the city are eerily apocalyptic."

Detroit isn't the only city on the list that's suffering from abandonment issues.

In Las Vegas, Nev., for example, the housing boom created loads of excess inventory. When the market tanked, homeowners suddenly found themselves with properties worth far less than the mortgages they'd taken out. In the worst cases, banks foreclosed, leaving people without homes--and with more debt than they'd had to begin with. As a result, Sin City is even emptier than Detroit.

"Detroit has trouble showing improvement in its crime rate because dedicated, desperately needed and appropriate resources are not invested in public safety. Painfully, it is not a priority," says Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney Kym L. Worthy. "I wish that those with the resources would view domestic terrorism like they do terrorism across the water. It used to be that we were keeping our head above water and treading quickly. Now we are drowning, and no one seems to really care. All they tell me to do is cut some more."

Few Signs of Improvement

Making matters more difficult, as municipal budgets shrink during this recession, crime-fighting funds are often among the first casualties.

"There's less public spending during downturns," says Wolfram. "Police departments and incarcerations systems are tough to fund."

The news has been bad for decades, but there may yet be hope for Detroit. The city's new mayor, Kenneth V. Cockrel Jr., assumed office on Sept. 19, 2009--and hasn't committed a single felony.

Top 5 Most Dangerous Cities:

No. 1 Detroit, Mich.

(Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich., metropolitan statistical area)

Population: 1,951,186

Violent Crimes per 100,000: 1,220

No. 2 Memphis, Tenn.

(Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark. metropolitan statistical area)

Population: 1,295,670

Violent Crimes per 100,000: 1,218

No. 3. Miami, Fla.

(Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla. metropolitan statistical area)

Population: 2,401,971

Violent Crimes per 100,000: 988

No. 4 Las Vegas, Nev.

(Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., metropolitan statistical area)

Population: 1,834,533

Violent Crimes per 100,000: 887

No. 5 Stockton, Calif.

(Stockton, Calif., metropolitan statistical area)

Population: 684,406

Violent Crimes per 100,000: 885

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Manny Pacquiao faces the toughest fight of his career in a hotly-anticipated clash with Britain's Ricky Hatton next week in Las Vegas.

"For me, this is not a regular fight," said the Filipino southpaw. "I consider this fight to be the toughest of my boxing career. After all he is undefeated at 140 pounds."

The former four-weight world champion challenges Hatton hfor his IBO light-welterweight title on May 2.

The Briton has never lost at his natural weight while Pacquiao, who declined to make any predictions about the fight, will be boxing in the division for the first time.

"I want to let my fists do the talking in the ring," 'Pac-Man' Pacquiao, ever respectful of his opponents, added in a teleconference call on Friday. "This is not an easy fight.

"Ricky Hatton is a different kind of fighter than I have been fighting before. He's a good fighter and a strong fighter. I expect him to be in 100 percent condition. He has a lot of energy and throws a lot of punches."

Widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Pacquiao said he and his team had been repeatedly watching video tapes of previous Hatton fights.

"He has a strong left hand, so we have studied that and prepared for that," the 30-year-old added.

But Pacquiao would not detail how he and trainer Freddie Roach planned to neutralise the Englishman's strengths.


"We're ready for Ricky's style," he said. "We have been working on different techniques. I don't want to tell you what they are. I want to surprise you."

Pacquiao enhanced his impressive resume by outclassing 10 times world champion Oscar De La Hoya in December and promoter Bob Arum believes the Filipino now merits consideration as one of the greatest fighters ever.

"I personally have never seen such explosiveness combined with speed in all my years of boxing," said Arum, who has promoted boxing greats such as Marvin Hagler, Floyd Mayweather Jr and De La Hoya.

"I believe Manny's body of work establishes him as one of the best fighters in the history of boxing."

Idolised in the Philippines, Pacquiao has always strived to perform well for his fans.

"All I'm trying to do is give happiness and enjoyment to the people," he said.

Remarkably, his success in the ring has even led to temporary ceasefires in the 40-year guerrilla war being fought between Philippine troops and the Maoist-led New People's Army .

Steffani Cacho, Western Mindanao Command information officer, was quoted as saying in December: "If Manny fights, the guns will be silent."

On Friday, Pacquiao said in reply: "If that's a reason for them to be silent, I can fight every day."

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Company layoffs is kind of normal nowadays since global crisis hits every country on the globe. It is so stressful to know who stays and who goes may come down to things we can't control -- seniority, for instance, or full-time vs. part-time status, or the number of people in a given job category. But there are a few variables that can be controlled, and they can make a big difference in how valuable you are as an employee: Dedication, visibility, and special skills.

Here are five tips for keeping up with the things you can still control.

1.) Designate one day per week when you will come in early. Get there before the boss does; if you can manage it, get there before everyone else does, too. It doesn't have to be the same day each week, and it doesn't have to be by much, but that little extra bit of facetime can go a long way toward keeping you on the office radar and reminding people that you are, indeed, dedicated to the company.

2.) Designate one day per week when you will stay late. Later than your boss, later than everyone else, if you can, for the same reason stated above. Facetime, facetime, facetime.

3.) Look busy. A New York Times article about looking busy struck a chord with me, not because I'm lacking in things to do around the office, but because I hadn't thought about it before. I work at a computer -- I'd have to try hard not to look busy -- but if you're not at a desk job, then make sure you look like you have plenty to do, even if that means refolding the shirt display eleventy billion times a week.

4.) Be busy. Take on extra work if you can. I've noticed that, over the past few months, my mindset has changed from "They don't pay me enough to deal with that" to "Well, they pay me." A friend of mine whose husband was just laid off explained it this way: We've gone from a sense of entitlement -- not "I deserve a bonus because I'm great" but "I've worked here for 15 years, I ought to be able to work part time if I need to" -- to having to buckle down and compete with everyone all over again. Your company is going to want to wring every last bit of effort out of you in exchange for that paycheck; it's a lot more palatable if you beat them to it.

5.) Expand your skill set. Think of it this way: If you were just entering the workforce, you'd consider an unpaid internship, right, just to get the experience? Try to choose something you haven't done often before and, when the project is complete, add it to your resume, and show your boss that you have skills above and beyond the ones they hired you for.

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"American Idol" is boogeying toward another elimination.

Tuesday night's worrisome theme is "disco," and a number of finalists have impressed judges with groovy versions of '70s classics.

As expected, the seemingly unstoppable force known as Adam Lambert had Simon Cowell and the gang wrapped around his finger. The 27-year-old "Idol" frontrunner wowed the panel with his restrained, emotional delivery of "If I Can't Have You."
Paula Abdul who had a dreamy look on her face _ said she felt Lambert's "pain." The judge called the theater actor fascinating, brilliant and a shoo-in for the finals of the Fox singing contest.

In another bold declaration, she also told Danny Gokey he'd make it to the final stretch.

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Embracing the newest hair style celebrity trend, this new 29 pc set of professional styling pins and snag-free elastics to create your own sexy, messy style on the go. Available for $12.95 at jasperjack.com. Hair Jack from Japan is represented by Madeline Johnson Marketing & Public Relations www.mjmpr.com.

"Up dos" are no longer the formal stiff looking buns and knots that women used to fashion during proms, weddings or other formal occasions. Instead modern up dos are softer, sexier and more feminine. Modern hair up dos can be done quickly and can be worn during any occasion. Hair Jack from Japan at www.jasperjack.com is the style secret for a quick DIY up do.

Apply mousse or styling wax to hair and secure into a loose pony or pigtails. Coil it round and pin into place. Remember to keep it loose and for a very new style, close to the neck. To instantly update the style, you can also wear it slightly to one side of the head.

Celebrity Hair Guru, Mika Fowler, Style Directorof Gavert Atelier, Beverly Hills, California offers her Do's and Don'ts for a sexy, messy up do like Angelina Jolie's red-carpet style.

1) Plan your style out. Give it a little thought -
Don't go messy every where. Choose either a messy bun or sexy loose face-framing hair.

2) Separate your hair from ear-to-ear in one section. Work with back part of hair to make bun then use front hair to softly frame your face.

3) Don't use a comb or a brush -Work with your hands.
Working with your fingers automatically gives some loose texture which looks soft and messy.

4) Day old dirty hair is best -
If your hair is too clean, you should use a styling wax to give enough texture and some "piece-e-ness".

5) If you can, use a curling iron or waffle iron to give your look more texture and volume. (curling the hair in different directions)

Hair Jack from Japan is the secret to creating catwalk glamor hair by professional fashion runway hair styling pros.

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Like many young artists today, Lady GaGa defies categorization. But a general description would go something like this: go-go-dancing diva who writes her own disco-electronica pop songs. Oh, and Lady GaGa performs only in her underwear.

“I thought about my fantasy show,” explains Lady GaGa, whose name is a riff on Queen’s famous “Radio Ga Ga” song. “What would I be really jealous of if I saw it in New York? Hot chicks in bikinis!” Formerly Stefani Germanotta, a graduate of Manhattan’s all-girls Convent of the Sacred Heart, she’s a slim 21-year-old with thick black eyeliner and a big brunette bouffant reminiscent of that other crazy rock chick, Amy Winehouse. But while the latter favors bottles of whiskey, Lady GaGa’s vices, if you can call them that, are anything skimpy and shiny. She loves spangles, lots and lots of spangles, dripping from the raunchy stage gear she often crafts herself.

Lady GaGa is one of the hottest acts on New York’s club scene, spreading the word of burlesque rock, or whatever it’s being labeled. Earlier this year she was signed to Interscope Records and finished her first album, to be released next year. In August she and her sidekick, Lady Starlight (Colleen Martin by day, a makeup pro for MAC Cosmetics), played Lollapalooza, by turns dazzling and shocking audiences with their wild performance, a romp of provocative go-go moves set to catchy tunes and beatbox drums. Their show, however, may have been overshadowed by Lady GaGa’s brush with the law—she received a citation for indecent exposure while just walking around the concert grounds.

“For HotPants,” she says, still irritated at the perceived injustice of it all. “The cop pulled me over on his bike, the mean old man.” Okay, so her pair of black American Apparel Hooters-like shorts showed a little too much derriere, but that’s all part of Lady GaGa’s artistic shtick. Even when she’s just running around her Lower East Side neighborhood, she might wear something along the lines of a strapless bra, sheer red leopard-print tights, high-cut briefs and six-inch heels.

However, she clearly has an appreciation for equally dramatic but more substantial clothes. At the W shoot, to which she brought her mother, Cynthia, Lady GaGa spots a fancy Dior jacket and says tremulously, “I’m going to cry. Nude? Feathers?” Then she deadpans, “Lady GaGa goes bankrupt after using up all her album money on Dior resort—not even Dior couture.”

Indeed, she does like expensive things, which for a fledgling artist can be tricky. “I love Dolce & Gabbana. I love Versace. I love the crazy, more eccentric stuff,” she says, holding up her own Jimmy Choo bag. “I can’t pay my rent, but I’m f---ing gorgeous.” She also favors Choo shoes, but for performances, she opts for teetering stripper heels she buys at, well, “specialty” stores around 42nd Street. This is a practical matter, she notes. “They’re made to be more comfortable, so that I can dance onstage but still have the height.”

As for the rest of Lady GaGa’s show getups, they consist of any number of bras that she has customized and spangled beyond recognition—a lacy bra she draped with thick chains, for instance, or one $2.99 deal from Conway that she covered in a mosaic of mirrors. The intended effect? “It’s supposed to look,” she says, “like my boobs are two disco balls.”

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Susan Boyle is 48 years old from Lothian. She lived with her parents in a four-bedroom Council house, and when the father died ten years ago, she cared for the mother and singing in church choirs.

She was not the glamorous type. she did, the complex crime to choose a color on the edge of her skin color and a very flattering shape with a home made chopped hair, Bushy eyebrows and a face without a hint of makeup.

Susan Boyle is not a traditional trainer - her experience is limited to church and karaoke. Previously worked as a church charity worker, she is currently out of a job, lives with his cat Pebbles, and she told Britain's Got Talent, she has never been kissed.

Britain's Got Talent's Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle has a wonderful voice and a way sweet, shy and simple. She Become Star from “Britain’s Got Talent” Sings sings exclusively for AC360°. She was sang a 'I Dream A Dream' from Les Miserables. Susan Boyle’s brought the live audience to their feet and awed the judges.

The video (which can be found here) is great fun to watch, because Susan Boyle herself is very appealing, her voice is great, and because it’s always satisfying watching a high point in someone’s life.

Susan Boyle Appears On American TV , Susan Boyle gets American Offers

Susan Boyle is making a big splash across the pond and Shown on American TV today.Susan Shown via a live link on Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer and on NBC Today.

Kathie Lee Gifford broke down in tears after see the clip of her performance, I dreamed a dream about the ITV talent show.

The wonderful Susan Boyle was such a big hit on Saturday night’s Britain’s Got Talent show after this performance She has many offers of work pouring in already.

Susan Boyle shocked the nation when she ambled on stage and Belted out "I Dream a dream" from Les miserable. Simon Cowell will now offer her a record contract agreement if she wins the show or not. Patti said on CBS early show, she was brought to tears to see Susan performance on "Britain's Got Talent".

Susan Boyle Hates The Way She Looks

Britain's Got Talent Susan Boyle has show to The Mirror that she hated how she looked on Saturday night's show. Susan ask the news paper : "You say that television makes you look fat and it did"

Susan, 48 told the newspaper: "You say that television makes you look fat and it did. "I looked like a garage. It was mortifying to see and a bit of a shock. I was not aware that I could reduce people to tears, and I hope it was not because of it."

The 48-year-old singer has taken the Internet by storm, the U.S. has gone crazy. Susan will prepare us to a special performance on Thursday morning, CBS "Early Show" from her kitchen in Scotland.

Demi Moore Cries Watching Susan Boyle's Audition

Holly wood star Demi Moore has reportedly released that she cried when she watching Susan Boyle's audition on Britain's Got Talent.

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher has admitted that they were moved from Britain's Got Talent singer Susan Boyle.Above five million people have now seen Boyle's rendition of "I dreamed a dream" on YouTube.

Susan First song released

The Daily Record has identified the only CD ever made of the singing sensation Susan Boyle.

Susan made her first recording back in 1999 when she sang blues ballad "Cry me a river" for a charity CD. 1000 copies of the disc was ever produced.

Watch the video about Susan Boyle performance:

Susan Boyle - Singer - Britains Got Talent 2009 - For more of the funniest videos, click here

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Singer would make her big-screen debut as a striptease dancer.

There are reports out there that Christina Aguilera is interested in starring in "Burlesque," a film about a modern-day striptease dancer, sources tell E! Online.

Although the site doesn't have further information about how far along Aguilera is in the process of securing the role, there is word that "Dancing With the Stars" favorite Julianne Hough has also met with producers about co-starring as a pregnant showgirl.

Steve Antin, whose sister is Pussycat Dolls creator Robin Antin, wrote the script and is reportedly going to direct the film as well. Screen Gems, the studio behind the project, has confirmed that the movie in development, but added that it's "too preliminary to comment on." The studio is aiming for a January 2010 production start date.

A rep for Aguilera had no comment about the casting news when reached by MTV News.

Playing a burlesque dancer on film wouldn't be too difficult for Aguilera, who got saucy covering Labelle's "Lady Marmalade" for the "Moulin Rogue" soundtrack. She followed that up with her stint as "Dirrty" Christina on her 2002 album, Stripped, posing topless for the cover. Then, in 2006, she embraced her inner pin-up for Back to Basics. This would be the first major film role for the singer.

While she's kept quiet on the possibility of making her mark on the big screen, Aguilera has talked a bit about the follow-up to her recent best-of release, Keeps Gettin' Better: A Decade of Hits. She told MTV News that said she wants the new album to have a more "futuristic" vibe: "It's a challenge and an exciting new project for me to reinvent what I am doing yet again, and come up with something new and fresh."

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Burned Kim Kardashian

Posted by Wayne | Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kim Kardashian may love the red carpet, but she has vowed to stay out of the media spotlight for a while.

The reality star pledged to steer clear from photographers’ lenses after getting a hearty sunburn in Mexico.

“I am so sunburned and need help,” Kim wrote on her official blog on Friday. “I’m in Mexico and I was sunbathing when I fell asleep with my huge Prada butterfly sunglasses on and now look at me! I’m going to have to hide from cameras for days.”

Kim said her burn has made her the butt of jokes from her fellow holiday-goers.

“Everyone here is making fun of me!” she noted. “My whole body is burned but my face looks the worst because of the glasses. I will never wear sunglasses when sunbathing again!”

And she might want to think about some sunscreen too!

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Reasons Why Rihanna Chose Dubai

Posted by Wayne | Saturday, April 18, 2009

When news broke that Rihanna might be returning to the stage sometime soon, some people were surprised by her city of choice: Dubai. Although happy that she’s moving on with her life and getting back to performing, American fans are probably wondering, “Why Dubai?”

Well, let me tell you…

The first time I visited Dubai was a few years ago when I was 18 years old. I went to see a good friend of mine who lived there and had always told me that Dubai (or “Du-bay” as he used to call it) was one of the best cities in the world. Since then … I’ve been back four times. He was right!

Reason No. 1: Dubai is famously known as the entertainment and party capital of the Middle East. Take it from me, Dubai knows how to get down. There’s a fine balance, though, between Dubai’s strong Islamic culture and the party lifestyle. Alcohol is allowed, but you can’t get too crazy. Rih might even have to go easy on the more risqué costumes for her shows.

While she doesn’t have to cover up completely, Rihanna isn’t going to want to offend anyone, so a couple of raunchier outfits might have to stay back at home. Either way, Rihanna is going to have an amazing time!

Reason No. 2: Back when I first visited Dubai, the world-famous Burj Al Arab — regarded by some as the only “seven-star” hotel in the world — had just been completed and looked like nothing I had ever seen before. Like a huge ship’s sail rising 321 meters out of the ocean, the hotel is one of the most beautiful and luxurious in the world. The service is incredible. The option of being picked up from the airport by one of the Burj Al Arab’s fleet of white-on-white Rolls-Royce Phantoms — or even the white-on-white helicopter — says it all!

I’m thinking Rihanna should make a move for the hotel’s Royal Suite. Reserved for only the world’s richest, the most famous and heads of state, the Royal Suite is described on the hotel’s Web site as “stately and opulent” and takes the word “luxury” to another level. At 780 square meters, the suite has its own private elevator, private cinema, a marble-and-gold (yes, real gold) staircase, leopard-print tufted carpets, Carrarra marble floors, mahogany furniture, a dining area, the suite’s own Arabic majils-style lounge (a reception area), a library, a master bedroom with rotating four-poster canopy bed and a second bedroom with adjoining marble bathrooms with spa bath, walk-in shower and Hermes body products. Oh, I nearly forgot to mention the 24-hour butler on hand at the ring of a bell (yes, he waits outside the door).

Reason No. 3: Dubai boasts some modern-day wonders of the world. These mega-projects range from the world’s tallest man-made structure (the Burj Dubai, towering at 818 meters) to the first ski slope in a desert to the largest man-made islands, the Palm and the World (an archipelago designed to look like a map of the globe). Dubai is known as “the City of Lights,” “the City of Gold” and now it can add “the City of Records” to its list. But it’s not just the modern city that is attractive — Old Dubai is simply beautiful. Famous for wind towers lining either side of the Dubai Creek and its Arabian architecture, the Bastakiya district is a tantalizing glimpse of a centuries-old Middle East. Historical buildings, mosques, museums, the market — there’s a lot for Rih to do on her day off.

Reason No. 4: We all know our girl Rihanna hails from Barbados and loves the sun, and she’ll fit in just fine in Dubai. The weather is incredible. Situated on the south-eastern shore of the Persian Gulf, Dubai (especially around May and June) gets hot! The white-sand beaches are stunning, so Rih better pack a bikini!

Reason No. 5: As Busta rapped in “Arab Money,” the city’s got money! No doubt, Rihanna is probably getting a very big cheque indeed! Go get ‘em!

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The four "American Idol" judges used their one-time-only veto power on Wednesday to spare Matt Giraud from being sent home after the hit talent show's fans cast the fewest votes for his performance of "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?"

"Matt, it's good news," Simon Cowell told the singer, who broke down in tears after the judges' unanimous decision allowed him to stay in the competition at least one more week. The audience, which had chanted "Save, save, save!" cheered wildly.

Giraud first had to perform the Bryan Adams song from the film "Don Juan DeMarco" one more time, and Cowell said Giraud had actually done better on Tuesday. He began by saying, "I don't really see that you have really any chance of winning" as the other judges voiced disagreement.

Cowell also told the other finalists, who surrounded Giraud in an emotional group embrace, "I wouldn't be so quick to congratulate him," because the save meant two singers will be sent home next week and the veto had been used.

Giraud, 23, from Kalamazoo, Michigan, had drawn tepid feedback with Randy Jackson saying, "You fell down more places in that song tonight ... it wasn't one of your best performances." With more than 36 million votes cast since Tuesday's broadcast during "American Idol"'s movie-themed week, fans apparently agreed.

Anoop Desai, 21, and Lil Rounds, 23, were the other bottom-three finishers for the second consecutive week. Desai also landed among the bottom three two weeks ago.

The other remaining finalists are Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey, Allison Iraheta and Kris Allen.

Highlights of Wednesday's live broadcast included the return of season three finalist Jennifer Hudson, who triumphed over what many considered a premature elimination by landing a plum role in the hit film "Dreamgirls," and winning a best supporting actress Oscar. Hudson performed "If This Isn't Love" from her debut album, which recently won her a Grammy award.

"Hannah Montana" star Miley Cyrus also performed.

"American Idol" pits aspiring singers against one another in a series of competitions that focus on a musical theme each week. It is the most-watched TV show in the United States, with more than 24 million viewers per episode broadcast by the Fox network, a unit of News Corp.

Past winners of the competition such as Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, as well as runners-up such as Clay Aiken have gone on to lucrative music careers as well as in film and on Broadway.

The winner of "American Idol"'s eighth season will be announced during a live finale in May.

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Fox Revenue per 30 minutes: $7 million
Average cost of a 30-second ad: $623,000
Viewers*: 25.6 million

When it comes to prime-time viewers and advertisers looking to reach them, Idol is the Super Bowl of prime time. With a combined average audience of 26 million viewers thus far this season, an average telecast of Fox's singing competition rakes in $7 million more than that of the second most expensive show.

*The American Idol telecast varies in length throughout the season. This figure averages Tuesday and Wednesday.

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FBI called in over Wolverine leak

Posted by Wayne | Friday, April 10, 2009

The FBI are investigating the online leak of an almost finished copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, a month before the film's cinema release.

The Hugh Jackman film was downloaded an estimated 100,000 times from file-sharing websites on Tuesday.

20th Century Fox confirmed the copy had now been removed and the FBI informed.

The studio behind Wolverine stated: "The source of the initial leak and any subsequent postings will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

"The courts have handed down significant criminal sentences for such acts" the studio noted.

'Stolen and incomplete'

Both the FBI and the Motion Picture Association of America are "actively investigating" the crime.

Fox called the leaked movie a "stolen, incomplete and early version".

Viewers reported that green screens and wires attached to actors were still visible.

One user wrote on film website aintitcool.com: "The CGI is missing and the movie looks horrible without it.

"Even if you see the workprint you're still going to have to go see it in the theatre to fully experience the full movie with CGI effects fully intact."

Fox confirmed the film "was without many effects and had missing scenes and temporary sound and music."
'Forensically marked'

A statement from the studio said that once the film was discovered online they "immediately contacted the appropriate legal authorities and had it removed".

The studio added that because their content is forensically marked they should be able to trace the person who uploaded it.

A brief caption at the beginning of the film reads 'Rising Sun Pictures' and is dated 2 March, 2009.

Rising Sun is an Australian visual effects company that worked on the film - but there is no evidence to suggest it was involved in the leak.

In a statement, the company's chairman, Tony Clark, said: "From the reports we've had, the stolen material is a work in progress version of the film with many incomplete sections.

"As we worked on individual sequences within the film, neither RSP nor its staff members have ever been in possession of a full-length version, so it would have been impossible for the movie to have been leaked from here.

"It's common practice for work in progress between us and the production to carry vendor watermarks and for these works in progress to be integrated into various edits of the film for screenings, which would explain why our name appears."

The Federation Against Copyright Theft said a leak of this kind was extremely unusual as pre-release security had been tightened in recent years.

Access to a whole film is severely restricted, with post production workers being given small portions of the movie to work on and measures put in place to stop it being copied on to disc.
Spokesperson Eddy Leviten explained: "No-one working on a film in any capacity wants to see their hard work released through illegal means - piracy is not a fun thing."

'Hurts fans'

Although several reviews of the incomplete film have appeared online, Fox was quick to praise the reaction of web users to the leak.

"We are encouraged by the support of fansites condemning piracy and this illegal posting and pointing out that such theft undermines the enormous efforts of the filmmakers and actors and, above all, hurts fans of the film" the studio said.

In 2007 director Eli Roth blamed an online leak of his horror film Hostel: Part II for reducing box office returns.

In an interview with MTV he claimed: "You could buy Hostel: Part II for a quarter in Mexico City. As a result, in a lot of countries where the piracy was bad, they just didn't even release it."

The leak came as a new campaign against film piracy launched in UK cinemas.

In a change from recent years, the adverts move away from the message that piracy is theft.

Audiences will instead see a trailer, fronted by Dr Who actor Noel Clarke, thanking them for paying to come and watch a film.

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The 2010 Volkswagen Golf on display at the New York International Auto Show has been named World Car of the Year. Introduced at last year’s Paris Auto Show and known as the Rabbit in earlier U.S. versions, this sixth- generation sporty hatchback from VW beat out top finalists Ford Fiesta and Toyota iQ for the highly coveted honor.

Now itself in a sixth iteration, the World Car of the Year award is the decision of an independent jury of 59 automotive journalists from 25 countries. This year’s initial list began with 51 entries from the world’s automakers, whittled down on the basis of merit, value, safety, environment, significance and emotional appeal. In addition to the top three, other finalists for World Car of the Year honors included the Audi A4/Avant, BMW 7 Series, Citroën C5 Sedan/Tourer, Fiat 500, Honda Fit/Jazz, Jaguar XF, Mazda Atenza/Mazda6 and Nissan GT-R. (It has been quite a year for significant new cars.)

The automotive specialists identified the new Golf’s more aggressive styling as part of its appeal. Its front end displays sporty mesh ductwork integrated into a new grille design. Trendy headlight clusters are part of its distinct character. Overall, the Golf VI appears more taut, more sculpted than the car it replaces. The car’s interior is upgraded from that of the previous generation, decidedly more posh, with hardly anything recalling traditional Teutonic asceticism. A cloaked instrument panel integrates neatly with controls and display screen in its center console. Altogether, the car offers an upscale ambience compared with that of its predecessor.

Worldwide, the Golf has a bewildering total of six different powerplant choices, including a 1.4-liter TSI 4-cylinder featuring compound forced induction, both super- and turbocharging. Two engine choices see initial U.S. availability. The standard Golf VI has a 2.5-liter inline-5 gasoline engine rated at 157 bhp and 177 lb.- ft. of torque. A 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injected 4-cylinder TDI diesel produces 137 bhp and an impressive 236 lb.-ft. of torque. VW expects this TDI to add to the success of its Jetta TDI in an evolving U.S. diesel market. Based on European assessments of fuel consumption, the Golf TDI is expected to post ratings approaching 50 mpg.

The Golf has a MacPherson strut front suspension and a four-link system at the rear. Sport-tuned variants lower the ride height by as much as 2.0 inches. The gasoline-fueled Golf gets 195/65R-15 all-season tires. The TDI’s are sportier, wider and of lower profile, 225/45R-17s, also all-season but of higher performance intent.

And then there’s the GTI, the enthusiast’s variant of the new Golf, a separate model really. The GTI is powered by VW’s 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 producing 210 bhp and 206 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s available with either a 6-speed manual transmission or VW’s DSG (as in Direkt Schalt Getriebe, i.e., Direct Shift Gearbox).

The Golf has been an extremely successful model for the Wolfsburg, Germany, based automaker. Since 1974 VW has sold more than 26 million Golfs in 120 countries around the world. In fact, at one time or another, the model has been manufactured in more than a few countries. First-generation Rabbits were produced in the late 1970s in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. VW was the first European automaker to establish production facilities in the U.S. in the modern era.

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10 Reasons Not To Sleep With Him

Posted by Wayne | Friday, April 10, 2009

1. You’re not as detached as you think.
Call it the curse (and blessing) of Sex and the City. Guys finally got the message that just because a woman wants to get naked with him doesn’t mean she wants a marriage proposal. However, it also advanced the idea of unemotional sex, which according to science is more difficult than it seems.

In her book Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both (Riverhead Hardcover, 2007), author Laura Sessions Stepp highlights research studies that conclude having sex releases a different set of brain chemicals in women than men.

Specifically, women get a large dose of oxytocin, the hormone that makes you want to bond and create relationships. Men don’t get the oxytocin warm-fuzzies because of testosterone, making it easier for them to “love and leave,” at least biologically speaking.

Stepp says that evolution has hard-wired us for these tendencies, which can be confusing in our sexually liberated world. So be warned: You may want the sex to be casual… but you could end up with a serious case of attachment.

2. He may be cheating on someone else… with you!
Why is this your problem, you may ask? You’re not the one being unfaithful. But do you really want to be the “other woman?” The one who breaks up a relationship and causes another woman’s heartbreak? We’re guessing not.

Even the sneakiest guy can give away clues that he’s taken:
He only gives you his cell phone number and always leaves the room to take calls.
He’s quick to suggest hanging out at your place but never offers up his own digs.
He avoids taking you to certain neighborhoods (and not because they’re dangerous).
Suddenly no one has a name. He was out with “the guys” or “people from work.”
He becomes defensive when you ask him questions about his weekend plans, where he hangs out, etc.

Even if you’re not planning a long-term relationship with the guy, you should steer clear of him and his unfaithful ways. And if you’re hoping your night of passion leads to a hand-holding, boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, just know that once a cheater, always a cheater.

3. He’s a taker.
“Taking” isn’t always about money. A guy can be a taker in other ways – time, attention, your sexual generosity.

But first, the money: There’s no right or wrong about who pays for dates, as long as you’re both okay with the arrangement. However, if you open your wallet more often than you’d like and you’ve expressed this to him, then it’s probably time to cash in and call it quits.

He may also exploit your attraction in other ways. Can you pick him up from the airport? (Cabs cost so much!) Do his laundry? (He’s out of soap.) Host a couple of his buddies to watch the game? (You’re such a good cook.) Buy his mom a birthday present? (He has no idea what to get.) If any of these sound familiar, you’ve got a taker.

Unfortunately, this attitude usually continues in the bedroom. Don’t expect this guy to be attentive to your needs and preferences – most likely, his pleasure comes first and probably last.

4. He’s clingy.
It’s true that some women like this quality. But too often clingy turns into possessive, demanding and selfish.

Beware of someone who moves at the speed of light when trying to win you over. It’s usually a sign that he’s uncomfortable being by himself, or he’s looking for a woman to help solve his problems. Asking for intimacy too quickly or spilling loads of very personal information could be acts of desperation, and that’s definitely a bad sign in a significant other.

Signs that he’s clingy include:
He calls you several times a day and wants to talk for hours at a time, even when you have important things to do.
He becomes short-tempered or whiny when you want to spend time with anyone else.
He’s excessively close to his mom (or both parents). He may be expecting you to mother him the way she does.

5. He just got out of a relationship.
Timing can be everything. While a rebound relationship might work out for the best, a recent breakup is usually a big, glaring red flag. If you’ve been through a bad split, you know that it takes a long time to completely recover. And if your guy is newly single, he’s still going through the recovery process.

Most likely, he’s not ready for another long-term commitment, even if he thinks he is. Without knowing it, he may be seeking another relationship to prove to himself that he is still desirable and worthy of love and affection… especially if he didn’t initiate the breakup. He could also be looking for validation that he wasn’t at fault.

In short, he may be using you to fill his loneliness, whether he realizes it or not. Of course, guys aren’t always that introspective and may take a far simpler approach. You know those movies in which a guy’s buddies tell him he has to “nail some chick” to heal his broken heart? Don’t be that chick. Not unless you’re 100% sure your interest in him lies only below the belt.

6. He’s bad in bed.
Alas, usually you don’t discover this until you’re already in bed. However, there are clues that you’re in for a ho-hum hump.

First, think twice if he’s a bad kisser. Men who are terrible kissers are rarely good in bed. Perhaps it’s because they never learned proper technique, or they think they kiss just fine. If it’s the latter, he’s not going to be receptive to constructive criticism in bed.

Also, does he seem more interested in “scoring” than in you? Some guys are simply looking to add another notch to their bedpost. Men like this probably won’t take the time to find out what works for you between the sheets. Instead of a steamy, sexy romp, you could get a “wham-bam, thank ya, ma’am.”

Beware of factors that could take the wind out of his sails: he smokes, he’s taking medications for depression, he has a big belly, he’s not getting enough sleep. Any or all of these could result in erectile dysfunction. Unless he’s willing to compensate with other activities, your night of passion won’t end with a bang.

7. STDs
Unfortunately, women are more susceptible to STDs than men. It has nothing to do with promiscuity; women are simply more vulnerable to infection than men because of our anatomy. It’s easier for men to transmit infections to women than vice versa. STDs are also more difficult to detect in women.

There are more than 25 known STDs – some curable (chlamydia, gonorrhea), some not (HPV, herpes, HIV/AIDS). Many can be transmitted through oral sex – you’re not playing it any safer that way. In fact, having unprotected oral sex puts you at especially high risk for gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, and hepatitis B. Condoms offer partial but not total protection against genital warts and genital herpes.

All this is enough to make a girl stay home and exclusively date Ben & Jerry. However, there’s no reason to swear off sex. Just go armed with condoms and questions about your future bedmate’s sexual history.

8. You’re drunk.
There are SO many reasons why this is a big don’t. Being intoxicated usually results in regrettable behavior and poor decisions. Like swinging from a chandelier… or forgoing a condom.

Between STDs, pregnancy risks and generally unscrupulous guys, being drunk isn’t the best time to make decisions about whom to, ahem, open yourself up to.

Those three Long Island iced teas may give you the courage to approach the hot guy you’ve been eyeing. But how do you know he really likes you? After all, your judgment is impaired. To him, you could be the slutty, sloshed girl who he hopes won’t puke in his bed.

Need another reason not to boink while under the influence? In the era of Web cams and sex tapes, your drunken fling may not stay private.

9. You’re not over your ex.
The same issues from 5 apply to women, too. Breakups are painful, and too often we try to forget that pain by getting naked with a new guy. (See related article: Are You Over Your Ex?)

However, jumping back into the dating scene may not be the bandage your broken heart needs, says Sandra Ann Miller, author of A Girlfriend’s Guide to Getting Over Him (SAME Ink, 2006). And sleeping with someone else isn’t revenge on your ex… unless your new flame is George Clooney.

“Put yourself on a guy diet for a while, and put all the attention on yourself,” Miller says. Hang out with friends, pick up interests or hobbies that have been neglected – in general, get to know yourself again.

As for the new guy, if he’s as great as you think, he won’t shut you out for not putting out. Become friends first, so when you’re ready to take it to the next level, you’ll know it’s for the right reason

10. You’re not even attracted to him.
Sometimes we sleep with people we’re simply not attracted to. Maybe you’re lonely, bored or looking for confirmation that you’re desirable. In which case, you’re using him.

Despite positive portrayals of strong, sexy women who bed down with men casually, this may not be good for your mental health, particularly if you’re feeling vulnerable enough to have sex with a guy you don’t even like. In that case, the only person you’ll end up hurting is you.

You might think that shagging someone you don’t like will make you feel attractive and empowered, but those feelings are fleeting. Chances are you’ll actually end up feeling used, empty or guilty. The underlying problem hasn’t been addressed. And what about his feelings? You may not be attracted to him, but he could be hoping to develop a relationship with you.

Seek out a therapist’s help; he or she can help you figure out why you’re engaging in potentially destructive behavior.

Should You See A Sex Therapist?
Never in the mood? Unsatisfied in the bedroom? Got intimacy issues? Constantly fighting with your partner about sex or the lack thereof? Your sex life may benefit from some professional help.

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The latest stop on Britney Spears' Circus tour featured a little too much smoke and not enough mirrors.

The pop star has issued an apology to ticket holders of last night's Vancouver show after smoky conditions on stage led to a 30-minute delay of the concert—a delay that came just three songs in after Spears walked off stage without explanation, leaving the crowd to sit (and boo) in the dark arena.

"The building is awfully smoky," an announcer finally explained to the sold-out crowd, per the Vancouver Sun. "It's become uncomfortable and unsafe for the performers, including Ms. Spears.

"Please extinguish all cigarettes…The show will resume as soon as the air around the stage is clear."

A spokesman for Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment, which owns GM Place, the Vancouver venue where the concert was held, said that despite initial reports claiming the smoky air was a byproduct of toking-up concertgoers, the smoke was believed to be from cigarettes, not marijuana.

(The rep did not comment on why anything was being lit up in the first place, given as smoking indoors is illegal there.)

"We want to apologize to all the fans who attended our Vancouver show tonight for the brief pause in Britney's set," reads a statement on Spears' blog. "Crew members above the stage became ill due to a ventilation issue."

Justify Full

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Eminen's new video "We Made You" mocks women who have dominated the news in the last year. Set up as a spoof of the Bret Michaels reality show Rock Of Love, Em pokes fun of Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Aniston, Amy Winehouse, Ellen DeGeneres and Sarah Palin.

Though critics can find fault with all of the portrayals, The O'Reilly Factor host Bill O'Reilly defends just one of the women-Sarah Palin, the Alaska Governor who was the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate.

O'Reilly, a longtime hip-hop antagonist, calls Eminem's depiction of Palin crude. A Palin lookalike dressed in a low cut bustier and business suit sits atop of an office desk, flirting with a shirtless Eminem posing as Palin's husband.

O'Reilly is upset the media has not condemned Em for the video. "Eminem is obviously on an obscene rant about Sarah Palin," O'Reilly says in Wednesday's broadcast. "Totally obscene. Totally inappropriate. Nothing good about it."

O'Reilly feels that political analysts for Media Matters, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and NBC should have called Eminem to task for his treatment of Palin.

"The video means nothing," O'Reilly says. "It plays before kids who are confused. But the hypocrisy and the dishonesty of the media does mean something in this country. It is out of control and is demonstrable by this."

I know that O'Reilly dishes politics, is a Palin supporter, and wants to blast other media outlets for letting Eminem's political dig slip through the cracks. It is an interesting perspective. However, if he finds offensive and "crude" Eminem's implication that former beauty queen Palin is a sex symbol, I wonder if O'Reilly only feels that way because she is a politician?

What about the video's insensitive and mocking depictions of Amy Winehouse, Jessica Simpson, Ellen DeGeneres, Kim Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan? Are those okay?

Like it or not, "We Made You" is Eminem's typical satire. In my opinion, Tina Fey's pre-election Palin impressions on Saturday Night Live were much more damaging to Palin's image than this Eminem video.

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Lil Rounds continued her streak of disappointment on "American Idol."

The 24-year-old Memphis mom's eyes welled with tears as judge Simon Cowell derided her performance of "What's Love Got To Do With It" Tuesday night as a "second- or third-rate version of Tina Turner."

"I have no idea who you are," Cowell told Rounds. "You're not making the impact you should be making on the show. ... You've got to start becoming more original."

She has lost momentum in recent weeks, while Adam Lambert has emerged a serious front-runner on the popular Fox network competition.

The 27-year-old actor from Los Angeles received a standing ovation from none other than Cowell following his rendition of "Mad World" by Tears for Fears.

The theme on this week's performance show was songs from the year the contestants were born. All of them — except for 16-year-old Allison Iraheta — were born in the 1980s.

Cowell and his fellow judges loved Matt Giraud's slick take on the Stevie Wonder hit "Part-Time Lover." They also gave Danny Gokey high marks for his cover of Mickey Gilley's version of "Stand By Me." They praised Anoop Desai's performance of Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors," although Cowell deemed the North Carolina college student a "singing yo-yo" for his erratic work.

And for the second week in a row, Cowell criticized Iraheta for something other than her singing. Last week, he picked on her outfit; this week, he advised the 16-year-old rocker to "start being talkative and likable. Because I still don't know much about you."

Iraheta, who has an easy laugh and can do an uncanny impression of Gokey, performed Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me." Judge Randy Jackson compared her to original "Idol" Kelly Clarkson, declaring: "She could sing her face off and so can you!"

Cowell suggested Scott MacIntyre go back to what he does best — playing the piano — after the 23-year-old from Scottsdale, Ariz., tried his hand at the electric guitar.

"It's my punk side coming out," MacIntyre joked.

Kris Allen generally gets good reviews, but the judges' panel mostly soured to the heartthrob's cover of "All She Wants To Do Is Dance." Cowell used some of his favorite words — "indulgent, boring, forgettable" — to describe it, causing audience members to shout their support of Allen: "You're hot!!!"

Responded Cowell: "So am I, but it's not about that."

One of the eight remaining finalists will get the boot on Wednesday night's results show. In a new rule this season, judges can save a contestant they feel has been wrongly eliminated by voting viewers.

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In a blaze of publicity, Australian actor Hugh Jackman zoomed in by helicopter and flying fox to an event to promote the latest X-Men movie, saying he was "heartbroken" that the film had been leaked on the Internet.

At the start of a world tour to promote "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," Jackman unveiled 20 minutes of footage from the action blockbuster to fans and media on Cockatoo Island in the middle of Sydney Harbour, where some of the film was shot.

"Jumped from chopper, arrived to work via flying fox and apoligised (sic) to AUS (Australian) media for Opera House slip up," Jackman wrote on the social networking service Twitter.

The Sydney-born actor was referring to a message, or tweet, sent out on his new Twitter account on Monday in which he mistakenly called the Sydney Opera House the Opera Center.

His Twitter account is just one of the social networking tools being used to promote the comic-book superhero film. Jackman also stars in a YouTube clip in which he urges fans to vote for their city to host the film's premiere later this month.

Jackman, who not only stars in the movie but also produced it via his company Seed Productions, said he was upset for everyone involved in the movie that an unfinished version was posted online last week almost a month before its launch.

The leak sent production company 20th Century Fox, a unit of News Corp, into a spin to try stop spoiling one of the year's most anticipated movies.

Columnist Roger Friedman of Fox News, another News Corp unit, was fired after posting a review of the pirated movie.

"It's a serious crime and there's no doubt it's very disappointing -- I was heartbroken by it," Jackman told a news conference widely reported by the Australian media.

"Obviously people are seeing an unfinished film. It's like a Ferrari without a paint job."

Jackman said he was heartened by the fact that most of the online community condemned the leak and he was confident that the culprit would be caught.

"The FBI are onto it and they're taking it very, very seriously," said the 40-year-old actor, who was voted the "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine last year.

"X-Men Origins: Wolverine" is a prequel to the three X-Men movies in which Jackman plays Wolverine, a fictional Marvel Comics character and a role that won him international fame.

The movie is described as the first chapter in the X-Men saga in which Wolverine is united with other legends of the X-Men universe in a revolution that pits the mutants against forces determined to eliminate them.

The film opens to the public in Australia on April 30 and in the United States on May 1.

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Supermodel Naomi Campbell lashed out Friday at what she sees as latent racism in the fashion industry, which she said gives preference to "blond, blue-eyed models" over black women.

"You know, the American president may be black, but as a black woman, I am still an exception in this business. I always have to work harder to be treated equally," she said in a Glamour interview appearing on Monday in Germany.

"In the past, there were more opportunities for black models but the trend towards blond women has again become extreme. In magazines, on the catwalk, I see blond, blue-eyed models everywhere," she added.

In 2007, the London-born Campbell, along with fellow models Liya Kebede and Tyson Beckford, launched a campaign against what they said was discrimination in the fashion world.

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LOS ANGELES – David Alan Grier may have to take his dancing back to Broadway, because the comedian was eliminated from "Dancing With the Stars."

The 53-year-old was bounced from the ballroom Tuesday despite having improved his score by two points during the last-chance dance-off.

Grier and professional partner Kym Johnson earned 24 points out of 30 for their Viennese Waltz Tuesday, beating Lawrence Taylor in the dance-off duel by four points. Judges praised the pair's improvement, but fans failed to keep the couple in the competition.

Viewer votes are combined with judges' scores to determine which couple is eliminated each week.

"From week one, Kym and I planned on being in the dance-off on week five, so my evil plan is coming together," Grier joked before he was eliminated.

After learning his fate, he said the best part about appearing on the hit ABC show was getting to know his fellow contestants.

"There's so much support and camaraderie backstage that it's been awesome," he said. "My biggest goal was to try and make Kym proud."

Fans apparently spared the show's lowest scorer, reality star Steve-O, from elimination. He and professional partner Lacey Schwimmer earned just 18 points for their pantomime-inspired Viennese Waltz Monday, but escaped Tuesday's dance-off.

Tuesday's results show also featured appearances by a legend and a teen sensation. Etta James performed her signature classic, "At Last," and Disney star Demi Lovato sang her new single, "La La Land."

Besides Steve-O, remaining competitors include rapper Lil Kim, rodeo champ Ty Murray, former football star Lawrence Taylor, Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson, country singer Chuck Wicks, "Bachelor" star Melissa Rycroft and actor Gilles Marini.

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