Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Help Lou Stelling Get Better Soon

Lou Stelling was brutally assaulted and has suffered devastating injuries. Here's how YOU can help make sure he gets the financial support he needs on the long road to recovery. Learn More

ALBANY, NY - District Attorney P. David Soares has announced the indictment and arraignment of 6 suspects believed to have been involved in the recent Center Square robberies.

ROSCOE ERVIN (IRVING), 20, and a juvenile offender both of Clifton Park and QUAVUAN YOUNG, 18, were arraigned Tuesday, June 29th on a sealed indictment consisting of (2) counts of Assault in the 1st Degree, a Class “B” Violent Felony, (2) counts of Robbery in the 1st Degree, a Class “B” Violent Felony, and (1) count of Robbery in the 2nd Degree, a Class “C” Violent Felony.

The indictment unsealed on Tuesday alleges that on June 13th, between approximately 9:00 P.M and 11:00 P.M near the corner of Robin Street and Morris Street in Albany. ERVIN, YOUNG and the juvenile offender used a wooden limb to cause serious physical injury to a man walking home from the Capital Region Pride Parade. From this attack the defendants stole a credit card, identification card and cell phone.

BRITTANY EASTER, 19, and JAMEELA FREDERICK (Pictured),16, both of Albany, along with ERVIN (IRVING), YOUNG and a different juvenile offender were arraigned Monday, 28th on an indictment consisting of (4) counts of Robbery in the 2nd Degree, a Class “C” Violent Felony.

The indictment alleges that on June 17th, at approximately 11:25 P.M in the vicinity of 184 Lancaster Street in Albany, the defendants forcibly robbed two women walking on the street.

EASTER and FREDRICK face up to 15 years in state prison.

The juvenile offender in the June 17th incident faces up to 7 years in prison.

ERVIN (IRVING) and YOUNG face up to 25 years in state prison for the June 13th incident and up to 15 years in state prison for the June 17th incident.

The juvenile offender involved in the June 13th incident faces up to 10 years in prison.

B.o.B - Airplanes ft. Hayley Williams of Paramore [Official Music Video]

There has been quite a bit of chatter regarding what the "song of summer 2010" may be - I think I have found it - I hear this on hip-hop radio, top 40 radio, indie radio, public radio and even on something calling itself an "adult music" station. It's cool, clever and catchy!

Save it as an mp3
Save VIDEO for your smartphone as 3gp or flv or mp4
(3gp high-quality setting is best for smartphones!)

See Also: Paramore and you can follow the band on twitter, or get yourself a Tee-Shirt!

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#wordless wednesday

Seen in Delmar, NY. A British double-decker!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Around The Blogosphere 29 June 2010

Inquiring minds want to know: Why is Dudus called Dudus? Annie Paul has the answer.

College students take note: " doesn't matter what you major in, a job is a job, and if you are qualified and work hard at whatever it is, you deserve it." [dEtaiLs]

Global Voices' Alexey Sidorenko writes about the Russian government's attempts to control cyberspace - and its apparent fear of the new media.

PageNine writes the about the US Government giving up parts of the state of Arizona to Mexico!

Here's a sLiDe ShOw from the recent Creators Project event at Milk Studio in NYC's meatpacking district, including M.I.A.

Fancy a bit of fashion? Checkout Elle met du léopard sur son balcon...

And now for some music:

Just for Albany ::: Citizen One has links and information, including a MAP of areas included under the city's new Residential Parking Permit System!

What is the Dollar Value of Entrecard Credits?

I've been trying to figure out what the current "exchange rate" (vs. 2009) might be for US Dollars against Entrecard credits. I googled, and came up with results like "From my transactions, I would have to value entrecard credits at around $3.30 per 1000 entrecard credits." Another individual "...went on e-bay and purchased 10000 entrecard credits for 35 dollars! so we're looking at $3.50 for 1000..."
Here's a link for ya ::: What is the DOLLAR VALUE of Entrecard credits... any suggestions or calculations on this?

Tsvetana Pironkova ::: The Venus Williams Killer!

Can the Williams sisters be toppled in this year's Wimbledon?

Venus has been knocked out by Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova! She had already beaten Williams before, and she came into the match convinced she could win. Williams confidence evaporated. Pironkova, ranked 82nd in the world, entirely outplayed the second-ranked player in the world. Sister Serena, however, is holding strong. But let's wait and see what happens...

Twitter Quitters

I got some great news in my email today:

* TheECI has stopped following you
* itztommygunz has stopped following you
* ExpectedEnd has stopped following you
* _Mapamundo_ has stopped following you
* ChaiBabyTea has stopped following you
* drjimurban has stopped following you
* AccessRiches has stopped following you

This is GOOD. I didn't ask these people to follow me. They only did so hoping I would follow them back (something I never do, except on rare occasions).

I've also stopped accepting Friend Requests via Facebook, after it became apparent some individuals were phishing for information, while other people who are actual friends of mine, compromised my Facebook account because they were hosting a "parasite" who was trying to exttract information about myself and other friends of mine on the service.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Around The Blogosphere 28 June 10

For reasons unknown (to me), I'm getting a lot of incoming traffic today on a couple of old posts: one about the Zodiac and the other concerning black market Harry Potter stuff...

My all-time favourite Zodiac book is one I picked up as a teenager at a garage sale: "The Mysteries of the Zodiac" by Prof. A.F. Seward (pictured at left) "World's Foremost Astrologer."

First printed in 1928 (the edition I posess), this little booklet's aim is true. I've read all the signs but I clearly identify with everything the good Prof. wrote about Scorpio. No doubt when the manual's copyright ran out someone re-published it, but I would trust only the original, if you can find it! Last year I saw a 1915 copy listed on eBay for $3.99!

What's really cool about the book: in the back there is a "coupon" for a personalized astrological forecast for $1. It bears Seward's boardwalk address and declares "This Coupon is never out of date --- send it in anytime." I've been wondering what would happen if I did send it in? Should I?

LA Times Blog ::: Melrose Place Actress Amy Locane Involved in Fatal DUI Accident

Stephanie Ragusa, the Tampa FL teacher who had sex with two of her middle school students was sentenced today. Text messages exchanged between Ragusa and of her student sex-partners were released today as well.

A mixed martial arts fighter has died from brain injuries in his professional debut. The Aiken County coroner said Monday that 30-year-old Michael Kirkham died from bleeding inside the brain.

#mugglesmonday ::: Harry Potter Trailer

Get ready for a deeper darker authentic Harry Potter. The new full-length trailer for the two-part epic 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' is out! Have a look! (I haven't seen this much good vs. evil since the principal characters were wielding light sabres : this time it's a wand-waving showdown.)

Hello CMF Ads, Goodbye SWEEEVA!

I have added CMF Ads to my sidebar. So now you have Entrecard, Adgitize AND CMF, all on this blog! Plus now you can enter your social network of choice without leaving my blog, by scrolling down to the bottom and clicking on the left hand side widget within the orange coloured toolbar!

Sweeva may be great for some, but did nothing for this blog! So it's on hiatus... maybe permanently! We'll see!

#musicmonday ::: Mercy Me, The Ecology!

Hmmm, let's see... The Iceland Volcano, The Gulf Oil Spill... and now this:

The Great Lakes Alliance says Congress needs to take a more aggressive role in stopping the voracious Asian carp from getting into Lake Michigan. Scientists fear the giant carp could destroy the Great Lakes $7 billion-a-year fishing industry. As for solutions, there is talk of "permanent separation of the Mississippi River system and the Great Lakes." Wow! All because of a fish!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Entrecard "To EC or not to EC"

This post is for satisfied Entrecard members, as well as those considering quitting or actually leaving the program, and folks just curious about it. Some call it "the virtual business card"... but be warned it is time-consuming, unless you're already online doing other things, "the care and feeding of EC becomes a job in itself"...

1 - You have nothing to lose by trying Entrecard. I first encountered EC at a time when my blog traffic suddenly inexplicably fell off a cliff. To this day I have no answer why visitors dropped. I checked everything: loading time, posts appearing in search engines like Google and yahoo, availability of posts listed on digg... nothing was out of order. If anything, my posts were being catalogued and appeared on Google within MINUTES after I published them! I did find a discrepancy most alarming: comparing a daysworth of traffic across three different site metering services, I found a gap of nearly 100 visitors between two of them! Most recently, I notice that certain older posts, dating back to 2006, have remarkable "staying power" on Google, while other posts from 2009 and early 2010 have disappeared from Google, but DO appear on the first search page in Bing. WTF?

2 - What about the quality of entrecard traffic? Well, this is something that has been debated for years. Here's an excellent post dating back to late 2007 on a now-abandoned blog which details one blogger's experience with EC: BE SURE TO READ THE COMMENTS on The Quality of Entrecard traffic. (Stay on the site: Most of the links don't work anymore!)
3 - What's the best way to spend Entrecard credits?

+ Once a week (usually Wednesday) I go through the list of blogs that have dropped ECs on my blog and view their stats. Anyone who has dropped on me for 8 days or more and has a fair cost to advertise (below 500EC) gets a visit from me and I place an ad.

+ Advertise on blogs that advertises on many sites.
A. Go to the Campaign page and click browser.
B. Select “Biggest Advertiser” but don’t set the maximum price. Click Search.
C. Now advertise on any site with a cost out of proportion to those around it. For example, say the top 6 biggest advertisers all cost 1024ec to advertise on, but #7 costs only 64ec. Advertise on the 64ec because they are spending a lot of credits to get their card out there.

For those into calculations, here's another method:

D. Go to the Campaign page and click browser.
E. Select “Most Popular” and set the maximum price to 16ec. Click Search.
F. Now advertise on any site with a number in the top right of the card of 80 or more. (5×16=80) This means you are paying one ec or less for each display of your ad. Obviously choose the highest ones first. EXAMPLE: I purchase a 16ec ad that dispalys a score of 484. That means I am paying 1ec to have my ad viewed 6 times. (484/5) / 16 = 6.0625

4 - To Drop Cards Or Not, Does Entrecard Work? I have found some cool sites that I will continue to visit long after Entrecard is gone (if it goes, that is!). I suppose if you’re actively dropping cards you’ll eventually pick up on some sites worth their weight; you may get better traffic results from leaving good comments on good blogs!

REMEMBER you don't HAVE TO drop 300 EC's a day... just do whatever amount you can once you get started. You can experiment with blogs from different categories to see which ones help drive the most traffic to your blog and which blogs you can form an alliance with.

I've noticed many bloggers see their Alexa rating rise as a result of Entrecard, which may be a good reason to keep it on your blog. But don't rely on EC as your sole source of new traffic: once the card is up you have to get out and hustle: leave comments on other blogs and in forums, and make sure your posts get recognized by Digg, StumbleUpon, Wikio and other blog networking services!

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Ketchup on the News

Before: $1.29 After: 99¢

Just getting ready to place the old ketchup bottle in the recycling bin, when I noticed two interesting things: #1, the price went down. #2, Hunt's (God Bless 'em) got rid of the High Fructose Corn Syrup!

Dave the Comment Killer

FYI READERS! Since I switched on Blogspot's "moderate comments" feature I've intercepted and shot down 38 spam comments! The dummies actually think I'm going to approve them? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!

Economic Indicator

I haven't glanced at the "want ads" or "classifieds" in the local paper in years. I was shocked to find just TWO part-time jobs offered in the Sunday Times Union! I know the photo of the paper isn't all that great, but it's proof (to me) that the economy just ain't what it used to be! Just a few years ago, there would be anywhere from 20 to 50 PT jobs listed in the newspaper. Or do you think the reason for this is not so much the economy as it is that newspapers are "going out of style" ? ? ?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Joe Bruno's Secret

New Yorkers (and some beyond) have followed the career of former State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno. There's always something going on with Joe, and for the most part that's been a good thing. His "theft of services" conviction now hangs on what attorneys and the judge can hammer out as a result of a recent federal ruling.

Now you want to know Joe Bruno's "secret" - that's why you are reading this - two things: "Sincerity" and "Thank-You." In all of his relationships with other people, public or private, Joe Bruno was first and foremost SINCERE. His attention was on YOU when he spoke with you. He wasn't looking around, wasn't checking his cellphone... he was ON YOU. He listened when YOU spoke. And the engagement, whether a personal conversation or in corresponding by whatever means, always ended with a genuine Thank-You.

Now think for a moment. Recall the events of the last few days. Did you give folks you encountered along your way a look at the REAL you? Or did you just not bother. Did you thank or praise a co-worker? Or did you complain about that person behind his or her back? Just as Joe Bruno always sought out the good in others and worked that through interaction, I challenge YOU: as you go about your day, recognize others. Smile at the goofy little kid who is looking at you. Let the people cross the street who left the curb late -wave to them or nod or smile. Better idea: hit the library or google up that old book "Everything you need to know you learned in Kindergarten."

Moments in time... A School Closes

School's Out Forever (caption on a Times Union photograph) A teacher comforts a student on the final day of New Covenant Charter School. 1999-2010.

It's always interesting (fascinating to me) when people mourn the loss of something inanimate. Every morning for weeks on Talk1300 (Albany NY area radio) the morning host would scold groups who want to save an old building or landmark, yet the same fellow was incredulous when an old company from his hometwon announced it was closing its doors. "You don't miss what you've got til it's gone," especially if it was in the place where you grew up.

The closing of the New Covenant Charter School in Albany reminds me of the part in the movie "Avatar" where the earthlings are discussing how they set up schools and tried to get on the good side of the tall blue people. But there was something missing. And there was an ulterior motive: mining.

At New Covenant, like most other charters, a school was set up to improve the HOPES and teh educational experiences of children who were falling thru the cracks in the public education system.

There was this great concept. They came and built a cutting-edge school. They staffed it and hired a special management company. All was well. Or so it seemed.

In reading an article that appeared in Friday morning's Times Union, there was a reference to a badly deteriorating situation at the school. Teachers lacking materials for students. Fights breaking out. Student-against-teacher violence. This didn't happen because the school was ordered closed. It happened when the out-of-town management company cut the cord, letting the school "float away." If the charter school board decided New Covenant must be closed, so be it. But the teachers, students and parents deserved a "clean break" and not a "deteriorating situation" to close out the school year. Charter School management companies should be required to take a "no SCHOOL left behind" stance, even if a school is ordered to shut down.

During the month of August WAMC will air a special report I'm preparing on Capital Region Charter Schools. If you listen to RoundTable, you'll likely hear it.

Global Economy ::: Tropical Storm Alex and Myths About Oil

There are concerns that gulf oil operations & key shipping ports will be affected by a tropical storm, as well as key Gulf shipping ports. Crude oil prices rose on Friday as a result of the tropical storm warnings.

Storm may slam BP oil cleanup sites (Sue Chang / Marketwatch) ::: Tropical storm Alex, moving toward the coast of Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, is expected to move into the southern Gulf of Mexico by Sunday night, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Saturday. In doing more googling, I found other sources saying "Computer models no longer show Tropical Storm Alex passing over the spill when it leaves the Western Caribbean." That bit of info was "5 hours ago" as opposed to Marketwatch's report from 27 minutes ago (that's as of 2:51pm New York Time).

The Oil Spill has stolen the spotlight. People are distracted by it for now, temporarily placing the global economy (recession) on the back burner. There is no agreement on how to make recovery happen.

On, Alex Epstein writes "Prominent scientists and economists claim oil will soon run out and ruin us. It doesn't. Why not? Because, in a market, when demand increases or available supply decreases, prices go up, and thus entrepreneurs have an incentive to discover better methods of locating and extracting oil--or substitutes for oil. Over time yesterday's "impossible" oil becomes today's "easy" oil, and entrepreneurs forgo using oil when they can find a cheaper substitute." - Epstein continues, giving solid examples.

Stretch your imagination beyond its usual field of protection. Consider whether oil (crude, black gold, texas tea) might just be the "blood" of our Mother Earth. That the entire planet is a living breathing being (just as we have millions of microbes and parasites and other creatures that dwell within and upon US) which is capable of replenishing itself? THINK.

And what about the stuff we call "Natural Gas" - this vapor may well be another component of the being Earth. Nowadays, environmentalists and others are deeply concerned about horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, as well as the chemicals that are used to fracture rock in order to release the gas. (Not to mention the tremendous amounts of water required in the process).

Of great interest at this time is the Marcellus Shale, a black shale formation extending deep underground from Ohio and West Virginia northeast into Pennsylvania and southern New York. A technical paper from Penn State and SUNY-Fredonia, estimates original gas in place at 168-516 Tcf and recoverable reserves of as much as 50 Tcf.

Back in the 1970s scientists were deeply concerned about global cooling. Nowadays, it's WARMING that's worrying them. I wonder, could "bleeding" oil and "venting" gas from the planet be contributing to "Global Warming" and could scientists be missing the mark - that we may in fact be heading for "Global Cooling" in the form of another "Ice Age" - and if we are - how much of mankind will be able to survive?

See Also:
NY State Sues BP

Almighty Oil

Updates on the Gulf Oil Spill

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Around The Blogosphere 26 June 2010

Study ::: 43% of Online Americans ADDICTED to Social Networking!

Buffalo Pundit weighs in on "Carl Paladino for Governor of New York" -

Miss Info uploaded Drake x Jimmy Kimmel “Tweet Tweet”

Annie Paul continues posting about Dudus Coke ::: "...questions linger over why Christopher Coke didn’t turn himself in to Jamaican authorities before May 24th thus saving the 74 lives expended in the military operation to take back Tivoli from the ‘rebels’ who had barricaded it supposedly to defend Coke. It was their alleged attack on four police stations that provoked the intense assault by the Jamaican armed forces in which so many lives were lost in West Kingston."

Drink your worries about the world away while helping Gulf residents affected by the BP spill.

"FREE" sometimes bears consequences.

The sun is NOT shining on Al Gore these days... his "Current TV" is also struggling as it searches for identity in this new digital media world.

RIP journalist Jean-Léonard Rugambage, shot to death Thursday night in front of his home.

A dalliance with porn has landed Indonesian pop star Ariel in some VERY hot water!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Around The Blogosphere 25 June 2010

Welcome digital devotees! I've been busy ferreting out some of the blogosphere's best articles so you information hunter-gatherers can spend more time on Facebook!

6 Things You Should Never Reveal on Facebook

AT LAST! Jerry Seinfeld Breaks His Silence About Lady Gaga!

DRAKE fans! Miss Info has uploaded the MTV Drake “Better Than Good Enough” special in full.

Annie Paul weighs in on Dudus Coke.

Lyle Daggett ::: A poem of mine, about the oil gushing in the Gulf of Mexico, has been posted in Poets for Living Waters!

Chicago History Journal ::: Newspapers’ freedom to publish, though embraced in 1789, wasn’t enforced until a Chicago publisher stepped in nearly a century and a half later. [...more...]

APPLE threatening online advertising???

DroplistEntrecard / Adgitize the E-Z way with Chinaren's Double-Drop List!

Here's a LINK to my blog on Feedage.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Almighty Oil!

A videotape posted on the Russia Today news site shows an amateur cameraman filming oil-slicked streets in River Ridge, a suburb of New Orleans.

The camera pans across oil running down the streets and into storm drains. The videographer, who isn't identified at the RT Web site, describes it as "the same brown bubbly stuff we saw yesterday in the Gulf under the Bay St. Louis Bridge."

He continues: "You can see it. It's raining oil. It is literally raining oil in River Ridge. ... Is this not crazy, dude?"

Because oil generally doesn't evaporate, it shouldn't be possible, under normal circumstances, for it to rain down from the skies. But Charlie Paxton of the National Weather Service tells WTSP in Tampa that "a water spout could pick up some oil and carry it a short distance."

Another possibility is that the dispersant BP has been using to thin the oil, Corexit, may have made some of it light enough to be absorbed in the atmosphere.

Around The Blogosphere 24 June 2010

Bloggers Eduardo Avila, Rebecca Wanjiku and Daudi are writing about 2010 FIFA World Cup at Digital News Africa. An Arizona restaurant is selling "Lionburgers" (made with big cat meat) ... don't tell kitty-lovin' Marzie, she'll DEFINITELY freak out!

Sword-Wielding Osama bin Laden hunter Gary Faulkner is coming Home Free...

It’s Spitz-o-phrenia! Can the Disgraced Former NY Governor Really Make a Big Prime-Time Comeback?

I found another "art blog" similar to Poulili's called Altered Pages... Altered Thoughts. It's a blogspot blog with an entrecard widget. "This blog was made purely for the love of altered art and an inability to throw away a piece of paper." Here's a bit of film art - Photographie : David Fokos via Ambiome.

ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKING blog investigates "Facebook Groups as Alternatives to Ning Sites."

For those wishing to engage in Net Commerce, I recommend "Internet Marketing – Tips on How to Get Started and Make Money Online", ..::AdGitizeR::.., and $martBloggerz.

And here's an interesting idea: an iPad stimulus plan!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New York State Sues BP

NOAA Gulf oil spill map shows deadly oil plume moving closer to St. Petersburg, Florida

As noted in The New York Times, even the frantic preparations to protect the most vulnerable coastlines likely will not prevent devastating harm to key species as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill hits shore.

New Yorkers need not worry that the seafood on their dinner plates has been contaminated by the Gulf Coast oil slick, according to what fish industry experts say.

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, as trustee of the $132.6 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund), announced today that he has hired the law firm of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC to represent the Fund in a class action against BP Plc. DiNapoli said the Fund will seek lead plaintiff status in the action that stems from BP’s disastrous Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April.

“It’s my duty to protect the interests of the Fund and the retirees and employees who rely on it,” DiNapoli said. “BP misled investors about its safety procedures and its ability to respond to events like the ongoing oil spill and we’re going to hold it accountable.”

DiNapoli said he is seeking to lead the class action against BP to give the Fund and other investors their best chance at recovering damages sustained from the decline in shareholder value subsequent to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. DiNapoli said the Fund held more than 19 million shares at the time of the event.

The Fund provides benefits to more than one million active and retired state and local government employees, police officers, and firefighters. In addition to investment earnings, the Fund is funded by contributions by state and local government employers and employees.

Cinergy In New York's Crosshairs

Cinergy, which advertises limited benefit health plans on late night television, the Internet and through telemarketers, will face a hearing where it will answer charges that it is not fit to be allowed to sell insurance in New York State.

Limited benefit health insurance plans normally provide less than comprehensive hospital/medical coverage, but with healthcare bills being the leading cause of personal bankruptcy filings nationally, many consumers searching for affordable coverage buy limited benefit health plans as one way to insure against potential liability. Limited benefit health plans may leave consumers with large medical bills. If injury or illness occurs and an insured files a claim, they may find that they have less coverage than they thought.

"Health insurance is too important to take chances with," Superintendent Wrynn said. "Consumers need to have confidence that the coverage they think they are paying for is the coverage they get. We will not allow anyone to take advantage of New Yorkers' need for affordable health insurance by using misleading marketing techniques."

At the hearing, Cinergy Health Inc., a Florida company, along with sublicensee Steven Trattner, must answer charges that they "have demonstrated untrustworthiness and/or incompetence to act as insurance producers within the meaning of section 2110(a)(4) of the Insurance Law." The company, which generated more than $26 million in 2008 marketing limited benefit and associated health plans, and Mr. Trattner will have to show cause why they should not be fined or their licenses suspended or revoked. An unlicensed company or individual would not be able to do any insurance business in New York.

The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. on July 29, 2010 at the New York State Insurance Department's New York City office, 25 Beaver Street.

Last year, the Department cracked down on companies selling limited benefit health insurance plans in ways that mislead people into believing they have full heath insurance coverage. The Department moved to protect New Yorkers by stopping one company from selling the product in New York and from advertising nationally and began an examination of the marketing practices of all companies selling this product.

Cinergy marketed the plan that led to the Department's crackdown, and committed multiple violations of the Insurance Law while doing so, according to the citation the Department issued to Cinergy. Major charges against Cinergy include creating and using television advertisements that were false and misleading, in that the advertisements:

• stated that the insurance covers "doctors, hospitals, accidents, pregnancy, labs, diagnosis, emergencies and surgery" and that there are "no annual limits or deductibles for surgery," when in fact there were limitations on the coverage such as a limit of $100 per visit for five doctor's visits per year. By not indicating the significant limitations in the coverage, the advertisement created the misleading impression that the limited medical benefit plan actually offered major medical or comprehensive coverage, which it did not;

• stated that "Most Pre-Existing Conditions Are Accepted," without defining or describing "pre-existing condition," and without disclosing that the policy actually had a six-month waiting period for pre-existing conditions;

• did not contain the expected benefit ratio for the policy, which is the portion of future premiums that the company expects to return as benefits;

• prominently displayed the "Cinergy Health" logo and name throughout the duration of the advertisement, while the name of the insurer providing the coverage, AMLI, the actual plan provider, was shown inconspicuously for only a few seconds; and

• failed to provide the full name of the insurer providing the coverage, together with the city in which it had its principal place of business.

Cinergy's telephone sales staff made false and misleading statements to potential enrollees regarding the nature of the coverage, the cost of the coverage and other benefits, and the identity of the entity that was actually providing the coverage, the citation says. In addition, Cinergy issued a "Member Handbook" to enrollees that contained false and misleading statements regarding the nature of the coverage, the cost of the coverage and other benefits, and the identity of the entity that was actually providing the coverage.

Cinergy was cited for numerous other violations of the Insurance Law, including compensation violations, using unapproved forms and using unlicensed agents.

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Around The Blogosphere 23 June 2010

Bai Ling is leaving Iraq. Photo ops abound.

How does YOUR web browser perform?

She was a "has been" long ago: a pop artist who used internet marketing techniques to launch her career now finds that career more than dead in the water. Christina Aguilera is now just an irrelevant chart-flopper!

Sokari ::: if you speak portuguese this is a piece on #nigeria #football from brazillian blogger Guiherme Freitas # The sea as woman # #Wikileaks questions around the safety of Julian Assange # Gorging on #TrueBlood # #Worldcupwatch #FIFA demands # #ZiggyMarley & #AngeliqueKidjo “Africa Land” download #Africa #Music #wavingflags # #NigerDelta top of the world [...]

Denford Magora's Zimbabwe Blog ::: This is what a Limpopo man died for: the match between Germany and Australia on June 13 in the ongoing FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Limpopo is on the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa. The 61-year old man fought for the remote with his wife and children and resorted to changing channels by hand when they overpowered him. He was beaten to death...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lil Boosie ::: Dead? Not Dead?

Despite rumors that Lil' Boosie (aka Torrence Hatch) committed suicide, he is alive and well — and in a cell — in the East Baton Rouge Parish prison, where he was recently booked on muder charges.

Around The Blogosphere 22 June 2010

Adgitizer ::: Attention Entrecard & Adgitize Members!

posted by Poulili at Evelyn Poulili Dumont Illustratrice Infographiste © -Soutenez-moi ou pas sur la galerie concours d'Amkaphone. C'est tout nouveau et là je pense à mes potes illustrateurs - trices, vous aussi proposez vos visuels.

Angela's Pinky World ::: 10 Αποτυχημένα Pole Dancing (video)

Pat Austin ::: And So it Goes in Shreveport - Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is now fighting the deepwater drilling moratorium in court.

Blazing Minds ::: How To Remove Possible Spammers From Your Twitter Followers

My Open Wallet ::: Ads in Free iPhone Apps

Online Social Networking ::: Facebook Groups as Alternatives to Ning Sites

Monday, June 21, 2010

#musicmonday MLTR 25 Minutes (Smallville Cut)

Happy Monday everybody! Here's an adaptation of Michael Learns To Rock's megahit "25 Minutes" by Video Editor Janith. It's one of a handful of music videos that eclipse the original "official" version. Just mouseover the picture, wait for the snapshot box to appear and you can play the video right through snapshot, with the option to view "fullscreen." ENJOY! If youtube is down or you can't access the song, here it is on Vodpod.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Gia Carangi ::: The Last Photo Shoot

Gia Marie Carangi born 29. January 1960 in Philadelphia. She is regarded as the USA's "first supermodel." She may have been a beauty, but let's face it: she's no model for anyone! And as a human being, her lifestyle was anything but super...

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SIMPLY GIA: An American Girl

Gia Carangi began her modeling career in 1977, stepping in a pile of luck to become a supermodel, after a photog snapped pictures of her dancing at a disco. Those pictures ended up on an exec's desk at Vogue magazine: the rest is fashion industry history!

Wrong GIA?
Looking for Gia Ramsey?

Click here to view 2016 Playboy Cybergirl Of The Year Gia Ramey-Gay's 30 Sexiest Instagram Photos!

Gia's career was short but spectacular. Her last cover was a shoot for Cosmopolitan in the winter of 1982. [source: diva] During the winter of 1985, Gia began to suspect that she might have Aids.

In 1986 Carangi was officially diagnosed with AIDS, which was a newly recognized disease at the time. As her condition worsened, she was transferred to Philadelphia's Hahnemann University Hospital. Her mother stayed with her day and night, allowing virtually no visitors... On November 18, 1986, Carangi, 26 at the time, died of AIDS-related complications. sadly, no one representing the fashion world attended her funeral.

Angeina Jolie starred in HBO’s 1998 picture "Gia", a film that examined the harsh reality of sex, drugs and drama, and even documented the destruction of Carangi’s life and career.
I really don't see all the fuss over Gia : she represents everything any aspiring young woman SHOULDN'T want to be! Far more tragic is the death of a young model who REALLY DESERVES TO BE REMEMBERED:

Life is like a monster sometimes. "Death comes like a thief in the night," "Only the good die young," (insert your own cosmic explanation here).
RIP Mariana Bridi

Incredibly beautiful 20-year old Brazilian model Mariana Bridi da Costa's feet and hands were amputated as a result of a severe and drug-resistant infection. She passed in Janauary 2009. Twice she came close to representing Brazil in the Miss World competition. Her death attributed to complications related to a rare form of septicemia caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

The Espirito Santo State Health Secretariat released a statement noting that the bacteria was known to be resistant to multiple kinds of antibiotics.

Bridi had been in the hospital since the third of January.

From the AP story: "Bridi had been in the hospital in the city of Serra in southeastern Brazil since Jan. 3. She fell ill in December and doctors originally diagnosed her with kidney stones, local media said.

Doctors originally diagnosed her with kidney stones in December, local media said. But as her condition worsened, she was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection that spread."

The infection reduced the oxygen in her limbs, requiring her feet to be amputated last week and her hands this week. Doctors have no idea as to what cause the infection.

Doctors removed part of Bridi's stomach as they tried to contain internal bleeding. At the time of her death, she was no longer breathing on her own.

Horrible. Awful. Terrible. Unfathomable. Sad. Scarey. Imagine this is the slow beginning of some sort of malady that may be the 21st century equivalent of the flu epidemic, the one that took out a large chunk of the world's population in the early 1900s. Like Polio did up until 1954, Like Aids did in the 1980s, influenza frightened people and baffled doctors.

I'm NOT suggesting you worry about that happening. I AM suggesting that you take a moment to appreciate your own life and those of the friends and family around you. Be glad that your song and dance has not yet ended, and prepare for the day that it surely will.

And say a prayer for Mariana's soul. She must have gone through hell the last three or four weeks.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Free Printable Father's Day Cards!

Preserve your good relationship with father!

Dear old Dad's day is upon us! It's not too late to download, print and personalize a FREE Father's Day card!

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Train Your Blogging Brain ::: THINK "MONETIZE"!

During these difficult economic times, bloggers are looking for ways to make a few extra pennies online...

At a press conference earlier this month, I ran into a young lady, an aspiring new photographer who is nearly at the end of an internship. I asked her "what are your plans when you're finished interning?" and she said something like "I don't know, I guess I'll look for a job." I told her start looking now. Certainly, it will be difficult (as we all know, newspapers are "dying") but not impossible. Film director Richard Rodriguez once said that individuals can succeed in whatever career they choose as long as they are willing to be original and "be scarey."

I didn't know it when I was talking to the intern, but the photo website FLICKR is now partnering with Getty Images to allow Getty to contact Flickr users and ask them if they would like to include their photos in Getty's massive stock photography database. There's a button on each FLICKR account where users can proactively tag photos to alert the world and Getty Images that they are interested in selling them. For a budding photog, thuis is a way to begin earning extra money IMMEDIATELY. Just take a few extra photos, and be sure the shots you upload to FLICKR are different from the ones you are taking for your employer. In a newstown like Albany or New York City, it shouldn't be too difficult to capture a few good shots! FLICKR users should look for the "Want to license your photos through Getty Images?" link on the lower right side of the dashboard screen.

Bloggers (like me) who typically upload original photographs and artwork may want to use FLICKR instead of picasa or photobucket to store and link to those images.

Enabling the "Request to License" feature will bring your photographs to the attention of Getty's editors. You make the decision whether you want a public badge on the photo announcing your request, or not. Your images will be available for licensing requests. When someone requests to license your picture(s), a Getty editor will contact you and help you arrange the terms of the license and the fee. Check out the official announcement from Flickr HeRE for additional information.

Many bloggers take stabs at making a few extra dollars online: after all, if you're on the computer 4 or 5 hours a day, shouldn't there be a way you could earn money while doing that? "Pay to Click" and "Pay per page view" webistes have been around since the mid-1990s. I recall there once was a free internet service that displayed rotating ads at the top of your browser screen while you were online.

There are a lot of "make money while blogging" programs that have either fallen by the wayside or pay so poorly that they're not worth signing up for.

Blogger Aldon Hynes recently posted an article entitled "Writing for an audience," citing two great articles "Are Page Views Meaningless?" and "Journalists Won’t Report on News Unless it Drives Pageviews." Hynes: "Whether you are writing for profit or to be heard, you are more likely to be successful writing something special, something unique that will capture people’s interest than writing with the pack.

Pack journalism is nothing new. It was around before the Internet, and will probably be here for years to come. I do not believe that the Internet will result in journalism becoming more pack following. Yes, some people may follow Sam Whitmore’s advice, and managed to continue scraping by as journalists. Others will follow their dreams and passions and write interesting copy that improve their lives and the lives of others. Every writer needs to choose how they approach their intended audience." Hynes is partially right. Once newspapers disappear (Don't think they will? Nobody ever thought movie theatre newsreels would disappear, either!) there will be room for both the pack journalists and the individual copywriters to co-exist.

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Justin Bieber Breaks Neck ::: Did he run into another glass door?

The pop sensation has been caught many times (some videos have made their way to YouTube) bouncing his noggin off doorways, stautes and trees! It's only natural that Bieb Rumours become the successors to "Rickrolls" on the net: 16-year-old Justin Bieber seems to be the latest target for Internet pranks. Last week he "died" and then Bieb had syphilis and now, he "broke his neck in a horriffic car crash."

Friday, June 18, 2010

It's Mulberry Time!

For all of you hunter-gatherers, nature afficiandos and raw food lovers throughout the Albany area, it's Mulberry time! I tweeted an alert this morning that fresh, free mulberries were available at the corner of Allen & Mercer in Albany, where the big tree at the corner is loaded with luscious large blue-black mulberries! There are several other trees areound the city (I mapped them all when I was a member of a bicycle-nature club back during the summer of 2006).

The Mulberry ::: For whatever reason, this scrumptious little fruit tree can be found dotting city streets in Albany (look around)!
The ripe fruit is edible and is widely used in pies, tarts, wines and cordials. The fruit of the Black Mulberry, native to southwest Asia, and the Red Mulberry, native to eastern North America, have the strongest flavour. The fruit of the White Mulberry, an east Asian species which is extensively naturalised in urban regions of eastern North America has a different flavour, sometimes characterised as insipid. The mature fruit contains significant amounts of resveratrol. It is known, though, that unripe fruit and green parts of the plant have a white sap that is intoxicating and mildly hallucinogenic. Aha!

Black, red and white Mulberry are widespread in Northern India and Pakistan and Iran, where the tree and the fruit are known by the Persian-derived names Toot (Mulberry) or Shahtoot (King's or "Superior" Mulberry). Jams and sherbets are often made from the fruit in this region.

Mulberry leaves, particularly those of the White Mulberry, are also ecologically important as the sole food source of the silkworm, the cocoon of which is used to make silk. Other Lepidoptera larvae also sometimes feed on the plant including Common Emerald, Lime Hawk-moth and The Sycamore.

Mulberries can be grown from seed, and this is often advised as seedling-grown trees are generally of better shape and health. However, they are most often planted from large cuttings, which take root readily.
So, why are these trees in Albany... who brought them here?

My first introduction to the Mulberry was through my best friend Don, who brought over a bottle of "fresh mulberry juice" one day. There were many Mulberry trees scattered throughout Arbor Hill and the South End, most of them cut down in the mid-1970's through mid-1980's, a greater number lost when the old South End was demolished to make way for the Empire State Plaza.

What Kind of New Car Should I Buy?

The Kia Soul is "a new way to roll" - so say the adverts for the car: at first I wasn't too crazy about "box" cars, but now that I'm seeing more of them around, they're cool. (I still have trouble accepting the little Mercedes "smart" car!)

I'm looking for a new car, weighing all the options. Should I go with a good high miles-per-gallon traditional vehicle or wait until carmakers like Kia offer hybrid models? In doing research, many of the hybrids have MPGs in nearly the same range as conventional vehicles. What kind of saving is that? Right now I have a nice car that gets 32mpg. I wouldn't think of trading it in for one of those dinky Suzukis that get an advertised 27mpg.

Back to the Kia Soul, which has "substance" to it - I test drove one the weekend before last and really liked the way it handled, you know: the "feel" behind the wheel. Kia Soul is also right in that coveted 30mpg zone... along with Mitsubishi Lancer. The Mazda Mazda3 is a great looker with just a few miles per gallon less on the highway than the others.

My friend Bob is more into comfort and luxury, less concerned about the price at the pumps, so he's hot to trot over the Maserati Gran Turismo, an awesome vehicle (and of course Bob will be attaching his Ham Radio antenna and other miscellaneous equipment like fog lights and those deer-whistle-thingies to it) to behold!

I'm tempted to go back to the dealership and take another look at the Kia Soul. I know I can get good financing, adnit looks like BP and the other oil barons don't dare raise the price of gasoline now that the cat is out of the bag that "there's plenty of oil in them thar hills" (and oceans!)

Our Own Backyard Big Screen TV!

The nice weather has FINALLY arrived, you're going to notice more summer-related posts here on this humble weblog! I previously mentioned that we have created and installed and are now testing our homemade wi-fi antenna, which is giving us great signals scooped for FREE out of the skies...

Have you ever watched that TV show one of the Ion-TV channels (55.3 in Northeastern/Central New York state) where a bunch of people are trying to equip an apartment using only stuff they've collected for FREE at the curb?

On a recent episode, one of the junk scroungers brought home a large flat-screen TV. The interesting thing about this is the comment the junkie made "many times people throw flat screens out thinking they are broken, when in fact they are not!" Well, wouldn't you know that the following week I was driving thru one of the student neighborhoods, you know: the areas bordering city college campusses... lo and behold, a college kid was placing a HUGE flat screen against the telephone pole by the curb. I stopped the car, opened the window and yelled "hey kid, can I have that thing for parts? I have one just like it and the outer casing has a crack in it - I wanna try and fix it!"

You wouldn't believe his answer: "Oh you can have it. Nothing's wrong with it. I'm going back home and there's no room for it in my car. I'll just get a new one in the fall." As Homer Simpson would say, "D'oh!" It's nice to have rich parents - or - little regard for electronic equipment, whichever the case!

Now we've got a beautiful flat screen that's working beautifully and we want to hook it up outside on the deck so we can not only watch local digital TV for FREE, but also connect a netbook to it so we can watch youtube and straming videos on the big screen in the evenings. Problem: how to protect it from the elements. (We wanted to mount it permanently).

We searched for and found "outdoor tv enclosures" - and VOILA! Problem solved! Now dig this: we chose a model with an 'all-weather enclosure' that protects the screen from the elements and from vandals too!

Here's the "secret" of "discarded" flat-screen techology: pick it up, bring it home. Google to see if you can find a manual and/or other instructions/tips online. Most of these units have a RESET button. Sometimes it is HIDDEN and not easy to find! Plug the unit in, trigger the reset, and you've got picture! Some models also go dark when the picture controls are messed with and get "stuck" - so be sure to play with those as well, plugging and unplugging and re-setting the unit each time you power up or down!

$tart $aving ONLINE Right Now!

I know: summer's a time for play. But take a few minutes while you're online and use that time wisely to plan for the future: the back-to-school season in September and the holiday shopping and gift-giving season that follows. Those days will be here before you know it, and now is the time to plan and develop what I call a $avings & $pending $trategy...

These days, everybody is looking for ways to save and s-t-r-e-t-c-h their dollars! Since we installed our homemade wi-fi "scooper" antenna on the roof, we've been able surf the web for FREE via netbook from every room in the house, on the deck and in the backyard! It's a thrill to be be able to watch streaming video on the go! I'm in the process of adapting the old dial-up PC to connect with the wi-fi as well!

The speed of broadband is amazing and especially helpful when it comes to sites like, where you can sign up and avail yourself of free deals and coupons! If you're looking for really cool computer stuff, check out the HP Coupons as well as the Dell promo codes! If you want to save money and organize your personal finances, there's the amazing Mint! There's more too: Home Depot, Travelocity and many many more! In the weeks and months to come, I'll be focusing more and more on ways to save and budget, and I'll tell ya the first site you should bookmark is for FREE online coupons, deals, discounts and promo codes. Look at it this way: THEY'RE OUT THERE ALREADY, SO WHY NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM?

Here's another tip: you always get bombarded with adverts touting "free credit report" - well, here's the URL for the FREE one:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I Read All About It...

In these modern digital days we are often so pressed for time... this noonhour I availed myself of an unusual luxury: the opportunity to relax and enjoy Thursday's Times Union.

A couple of stories caught my eye: the scramble for "high speed rail" has been talked about for several years around these The Capital District was once a major rail hub.

Truth be told, had GM (now Government Motors) not taken great pains to ruin the national trolley car and light rail systems, the USA wouldn't be as deep in the energy mess as we are (and if you haven't done so already) BE SURE TO WATCH the film about the EV1 "Who Killed The Electric Car" ::: the answer of course, GM. Just like BP would have had us believe oil was scarce and we should pay $3.55 a gallon for gas, GM recalled and crushed the marvelous EV1 so it could manufacture and sell HUMMERS! Talk about GREED!

Above the railroad story there's a yawner about the incompetentcy of New York State government when it comes down to the budget process.

Has this happened to you? Your mobile phone loses all data, either by accident or equipment failure.

The third story that I enjoyed was about the sporting event that all North Americans will be watching tonight on tee-vee ::: it ain't the world cup! The link I selected directs you to ESPN, not the TU.

Pop Clips » 17 June 2010

A-List Blogger Perez Hilton posted a photo of Miley Cyrus on his Twitter page that seemed to show the 17 year old stepping out of a car without underwear, and all hell broke loose.

"That's, like, some idiot being an idiot."
-- Miley Cyrus on Ryan Seacrest's radio show
Cyrus is going to share screen with Bret Michaels on ABC's "Good Morning America" live from Central Park tomorrow.

Do YOU have any thoughts on the Hilton-Cyrus brouhaha? I've altered my comments section to make it easier for folks to leave legitimate ones!

My computer has been acting really strange... Entrecards I've visited on other blogs have been displaying some weird messages like "#Cookie script" and "java:error" - I'm wondering if the computer's registry could be corrupted? Nope, just checked, it's okay...

While on Entrecard, I've run across articles by various bloggers debating the merits of the program. I'm sticking with it, because of my association with EC I now have at least 30 blogs in my reader that regularly publish what I consider to be outstanding content, incluidng stand-outs like Orient Lodge, People You Need To Know, The Fitness Diva, HealthnutwannabeMom, SFI and so many more.

Folks from around the upper Hudson Valley remember Mike Tyson from back in the old days under the tutelage of Cus D'Amato. Min has the latest on what Mikey's been up to :::
Miss Info :::Mike Tyson remininsces about his friendship with Tupac, also Pac’s Birthday Show in Atlanta - Had he lived, Wednesday, June 16 would have been Tupac Shakur’s 39th birthday. And Shaheem/MTV sent over this fascinating memory shared by Iron Mike.

Dallas Penn :::Takin’ It To The Streets 2010 - Takin’ It to the Streets 2010…


The other morning I tweeted "Funny on Fly92 everyday we hear the same 2 or 3 songs during 5 2 drive, like "Beautiful Girls" 4:53 AM Jun 16th via txt"

For years and years from the 1950s through the 1970s, when AM radio was king, WTRY in its "Great 98" heyday spoiled the Capital region silly with its eclectic mix of pop hits, cutting edge music and "exclusives." It's the radio station that drove songs like "Don't let Me Sleep Too Long," "Hey Joe" (Tim Rose version)," and David McCallums's "Communication" to Number One in sales in the area.
60s-70s radio was very regional. If you looked at the WTRY Top 30 side by side with one from KRLA in Los Angeles and tossed in a few sound surveys from Denver and Montreal, you would find songs that were #1 at one station, not appearing in any of the other lists, and vice-veresa.
In retrospect, New York City's WABC was the template for todays consultant-driven "corporate radio approach" to music programming, wher it's not unusual to hear the same songs, sometimes in the same order, played over and over and over again. Oddly enough, New York City broke out of the WABC template in the mid to late 1980s when stations like Hot103 (now Hot97) arrived on the FM scene.

Locally, Albany-Schenectady-Troy suddenly became a consultant's heaven. Whenever people talked about radio here they mentioned how the same songs are played over and over again ad nauseum.

About a month ago I blogged that I was impressed with Fly92's playlist, and hoped it would last. Usually when something is "working" in Albany, a higher-up decides "change" is needed, and that's the end of that. But with the rise of Fly92's popular "Five to Drive" I've noticed the same songs getting airtime within 35 minutes before or after the daily 0735 airing of the contest. Coincidence or poor programming?
In January 2003, a WFLY-FM program director was provided use of a Miami hotel room for playing "Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda" by Brian McNight and putting it on the Albany, N.Y., station's playlist... ~ Michael Gormley
The proper defense to accusations of playing the same few songs over and over might involve borrowing the old WABC philosophy, applied whenever anyone questioned 770's choice of music: "We only play the hits." In actuality, WABC could create a hit with almost any 45. One rock group frontamn stated "If it gets played on WABC, it's automatically a national hit."
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