July 17, 2014
Today Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia, appointed by Republican Governor Jeb Bush, ruled against Florida’s constitutional amendment banning marriage equality, making the Sunshine State the latest to see such a ban struck down in court since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its historic marriage rulings last June.
Read more @ HRC Blog
May 23, 2014
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Blame it on the World Cup. That’s what Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is doing to explain why airlines are slashing flights to the crisis-plagued South American nation.
Alitalia and Panama’s Copa Airlines this month became the latest carriers to cut flights to Caracas over the socialist government’s refusal to allow them to repatriate proceeds from ticket sales inside Venezuela. Foreign airlines say they have the equivalent of $4 billion trapped in the country when sales are converted at the official exchange rate of 6.3 bolivars per U.S. dollar.
Maduro, who previously has threatened to punish airlines that leave the country, said Thursday that “bourgeois” news media opposed to his government are spreading lies about airlines’ reasons for suspending flights.
Echoing comments a day earlier by Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, Maduro said carriers aren’t abandoning Venezuela but rather are temporarily adjusting flight schedules to meet demand for flights to carry soccer fans to Brazil for the World Cup tournament beginning next month.
“Some European airlines have reprogrammed their flights during the World Cup,” Maduro said on state television from an airport in the state of Apure, where he was inaugurating a new domestic air connection with the capital. “They’re diverting flights to Brazil.”
Air Canada, TAP of Portugal and Avianca of Colombia are among other airlines that have reduced flights to Venezuela in recent months, citing the repatriation problems spurred by a shortage of U.S. dollars. Several U.S. carriers have restricted ticket sales, making it difficult to find seats on remaining flights out of the country.
It’s not just airlines facing problems in Venezuela. Food processors, pharmaceutical companies and carmakers are also having difficulty obtaining dollars from the government’s tightly managed currency system, leading to shortages of everything from toilet paper to car parts. The supply restrictions are putting pressure on prices, which have skyrocketed more than 50 percent over the past year.
Associated Press writer Joshua Goodman in Bogota, Colombia, contributed to this report.
(Source, thank you yahoo.com )
May 10, 2014
10 Reasons Why Having Sex Is Good For Your Health
(As the article below mentions my name, I got it from Google Alerts. It was written by by Parul Tyagi and published in EzineArticles I do believe that the writer is going too far (in my opinion, sex is good because it is good) but I decided to republish it here…By the way, I also believe the writer or the article is quite optimistic in saying that we can have a 2-3 min orgasm. It never happened to me… )
Paulo Coelho’s book titled “Eleven Minutes” suggests that the “act of coming together” just takes about 2-3 minutes, while the remaining 9 minutes are no more than an attempt to reach the “crescendo” when a hormonal discharge provides ecstasy like none other!
Scientists have often debated that sex is extremely beneficial for our health, but the lack of sex in good measures can have negative effects. On the other hand, too much sex can also be harmful; if you indulge in sex for more than 3 times a week, you are exposing yourself to the risk of a weaker immune system as well as vulnerability to infections…
1. The balance of your mental and emotional health is definitely influenced by sex. While abstinence often leads to anxiety or paranoia and even depression…having sex can cure cases of light depressions. After having exercised sex, the brain releases endorphins that decrease stress and induce a wonderful state of euphoria.
2. For all you women, having regular sex means freedom from expensive salon treatments. An excellent beauty treatment, having sex actually doubles the level of estrogen in women and makes their hair shine with brilliance while making their skin supple and softer.
3. And if you want to live longer, then look no further than your own bedroom. According to a research carried out at Queens University in Belfast, Ireland, having regular sex increases the lifespan in humans. It was found that out of the people of the same age and health, those who had more frequent orgasms faced 50% less death rate than who people who didn’t have frequent orgasms.
4. Sex is an excellent deep-cleansing treatment as well. Since sex is a strenuous but enjoyable exercise, when you have sex the pores of your skin are cleansed leaving a brighter and glowing skin as well as decreasing the risk of developing dermatitis.
5. An inexpensive and pleasurable exercise, sex can make you lose weight. When you have sex after a candlelight romantic dinner, not only do you burn all the fat and carbohydrates you consumed, but you also stay healthy at no extra cost! Consider this: A single session of passionate, mind-blowing sex (even regular sex) can burn about 200 calories. This is equivalent to running for 15 minutes on a treadmill!
6. Ladies, if you like you man to have bulging biceps then have sex more often. Sex is a great way to strengthen muscles. Imagine the effort made by your man through those difficult pushes and flexions! Of course, it all depends on the stunts in your bed…but it’s definitely better than running for miles on miles.
7. The more active your sex life, the more attractive and irresistible you become for the opposite sex. Really! An active sex life means that your body gets into the habit of releasing more pheromones, chemicals that attract all those gorgeous, luscious women! No wonder Casanova was so popular!
8. Sex can sharpen your senses; especially enhance your sense of smell. After sex, prolactin is released that activates the stem cells in the brain to form new neurons in the olfactory bulb. This helps to improve your sense of smell.
9. A pain reliever, sex is TEN times more effective than painkillers such as Valium. Just before orgasm, the hormone oxytocin’s level rises almost 5 times, leading to release of large amount of endorphins. Endorphins are natural painkillers and relieve you of pain, minor headaches, and migraines without any after effects. Next time your lady has a headache, treat her with a vigorous session of lovemaking rather than a Valium.
10. The act of Kissing stimulates salivation, which helps clean food particles stuck between the teeth and lowers the acidity level in your mouth. This is the primary cause of tooth decay. So kiss all you want, after all it’s a great excuse!
So my dear friends, sex is not just good for the mind, the body, but the wallet as well!
(Source, thank you http://paulocoelhoblog.com )
May 7, 2014
“THERE’S time to slow down, after you’re dead,” Donatella Versace once said.
But by the looks of these photos, perhaps Versace should slow down a little more.
We’re not quite sure how old the fashion designer looks in the photos, but we can tell you she is just 59.
Versace appeared at the MET Gala preview exhibit last night “embracing the smoky eye for daytime” and a whole lot more.
While Donatella’s unusual look has always turned heads, she insists it’s all down to a little bit of Botox “in the past” and “tonnes of cream”.
Well, that explains it then!
How old do you think Donatella looks?
Donatella and Gianni in 1995
also in 2003
up close in 2004
also in 2004
In 2009, things were starting to go awry
BTW, SHES ONLY 59 YEARS OLD!
(source, thank you http://mobile.news.com.au/)
May 4, 2014
May the Force be with you
Star Wars Day is an unofficial holiday in May created by fans to honor the Star Warsfranchise created by George Lucas. Observance of the holiday spread quickly due toInternet, social media, and grassroots celebrations.
May 4 is considered a holiday by Star Wars fans to celebrate the franchise’s films series, books and culture. The date was chosen as “May the 4th” due to its sounding similar to the series’ phrase “May the Force be with you” in which fans commonly say “May the fourth be with you”.
The reference was first used on May 4, 1979, the day Margaret Thatcher took office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Thatcher’s political party, the Conservatives, placed a congratulatory advertisement in The London Evening News that stated “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.”This reading of the line has also been recorded in the UK Parliament‘sHansard.
In 2011, the first organized celebration of Star Wars Day took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the Toronto Underground Cinema. Produced by Sean Ward and Alice Quinn, festivities included an Original Trilogy Trivia Game Show; a costume contest with celebrity judges; and the web’s best tribute films, mash-ups, parodies, and remixes on the big screen. The second annual edition took place on Friday, May 4, 2012.
Fans (even government officials have celebrated Star Wars in a variety of ways in social media and on television.
Revenge of the Fifth
Star Wars Day became so popular that the following day was jokingly called “Revenge of the Fifth,” a play on the “Star Wars” movie title Revenge of the Sith. On this day, fans let their “evil sides” come out by celebrating the Sith Lords and villains from the Star Wars series.
(source, thank you http://en.wikipedia.org)
May 2, 2014
A song Michael Jackson recorded 31 years ago is out, the first single from the upcoming Xscape album.
Jackson wrote, recorded and produced “Love Never Felt So Good” with Paul Anka in 1983, but it has been “contemporized” by Anka and Jackson estate co-executor John McClain, according to an Epic Records news release.
The song has “a magic combination of the new and the original production that retains the track’s analog, early 80s feel, while also sounding right at home with the disco-soul inflected music of today,” the label said.
The track debuted during the iHeartRadio Music Awards on Thursday night. Online music services, including iTunes, have it for downloading starting early Friday morning, Epic said.
Jackson and Anka worked on the song at about the same time they wrote and recorded “This Is It,” which eventually became the theme song to a documentary based on Jackson’s preparations for a tour that never happened because of his death.
Jackson died at age 50 on June 25, 2009, while preparing for his “This Is It” comeback tour.
Eight previously unheard Michael Jackson songs, originally recorded between 1983 and 1999, will be released on the new album May 13, Epic Records announced in March.
Epic Chairman L.A. Reid chose several producers with the “gravitas, depth and range to creatively engage with Jackson’s work” to update the recordings for release, Epic said.
Timbaland is the lead producer, with contributions from Rodney Jerkins, Stargate, Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon and McClain, the release said.
Sony’s Columbia Epic Records — Jackson’s record label for three decades — signed a longterm deal with Jackson’s estate to posthumously release music from the large archives of his recordings.
Reid “was granted unlimited access to the treasures representing four decades of material on which Jackson had completed his vocals,” the announcement said.
“New” music is not always met with a warm reception from fans and the Jackson family. Some questioned the authenticity of the vocalson a 2010 album, although the estate and the record company said sound experts verified Jackson’s voice.
(source, thank you http://www.cnn.com/)
April 27, 2014
Pope Francis declared his two predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II saints on Sunday before hundreds of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square, an unprecedented ceremony made even more historic by the presence of retired Pope Benedict XVI.
Never before has a reigning and retired pope celebrated Mass together in public, much less at an event honoring two of their most famous predecessors.
Benedict’s presence was a reflection of the balancing act that Francis envisioned when he decided to canonize John and John Paul together, showing the unity of the Catholic Church by honoring popes beloved to conservatives and progressives alike.
Francis took a deep breath and paused for a moment before reciting the saint-making formula in Latin, as if moved by the history he was about to make.
He said that after deliberating, consulting and praying for divine assistance “we declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II be saints and we enroll them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole church.”
Applause broke out from a crowd that stretched from St. Peter’s to the Tiber River and beyond.
Benedict was sitting off to the side of the altar with other cardinals. He had arrived in the square on his own to cheers and applause, wearing white vestments and white bishops’ miter. He stood to greet Italy’s president and later Francis when he arrived, and sang along during the hymns that followed the canonization rite.
Italy’s interior ministry predicted 1 million people would watch the Mass from the square, the streets surrounding it and nearby piazzas where giant TV screens were set up to accommodate the crowds eager to follow along.
By the time the ceremony began, Via della Conciliazione, the main boulevard leading from the square, nearby streets and the bridges across the Tiber were packed.
Polish pilgrims carrying the red and white flags of John Paul’s beloved homeland had been among the first to push into the square well before sunrise, as the human chains of neon-vested civil protection workers trying to maintain order finally gave up and let them in.
“Four popes in one ceremony is a fantastic thing to see and to be at, because it is history being written in our sight,” marveled one of the visiting Poles, David Halfar. “It is wonderful to be a part in this and to live all of this.”
Most of those who arrived first at St. Peter’s had camped out overnight nearby on air mattresses and sleeping pads. Others hadn’t slept at all and took part in the all-night prayer vigils hosted at a dozen churches in downtown Rome.
By mid-morning, the scene in the square was quiet and subdued — perhaps due to the chilly gray skies and cumulative lack of sleep — unlike the rollicking party atmosphere of John Paul’s May 2011 beatification when bands of young people sang and danced in the hours before the Mass.
Benedict had promised to remain “hidden from the world” after resigning last year, but Francis has coaxed him out of retirement and urged him to take part in the public life of the church.
In a dress rehearsal of sorts, Benedict attended the February ceremony in which Francis installed 19 new cardinals. But celebrating Mass together with Francis was something else entirely, a first for the 2,000-year-old institution and a reflection of Francis’ desire to show the continuity in the papacy, despite different personalities, priorities and politics.
Pope John XIII, who reigned from 1958-1963, is a hero to liberal Catholics for having convened the Second Vatican Council. The meetings brought the church into the modern era by allowing Mass to be celebrated in local languages rather than Latin and by encouraging greater dialogue with people of other faiths, particularly Jews.
During his quarter-century papacy from 1978-2005, John Paul II helped topple communism through his support of Poland’s Solidarity movement. His globe-trotting papacy and launch of the wildly popular World Youth Days invigorated a new generation of Catholics, while his defense of core church teaching heartened conservatives after the turbulent 1960s.
“John Paul was our pope,” said Therese Andjoua, a 49-year-old nurse who traveled from Libreville, Gabon, with some 300 other pilgrims to attend. She sported a traditional African dress bearing the images of the two new saints.
“In 1982 he came to Gabon and when he arrived he kissed the ground and told us to ‘Get up, go forward and be not afraid,'” she recalled as she rested against a pallet of water bottles. “When we heard he was going to be canonized, we got up.”
Kings, queens, presidents and prime ministers from more than 90 countries attended. Some 20 Jewish leaders from the U.S., Israel, Italy, Francis’ native Argentina and Poland were also taking part, in a clear sign of their appreciation for the great strides made in Catholic-Jewish relations under John, John Paul — and their successors celebrating their sainthood.
(source, thank you http://www.usatoday.com/)
April 22, 2014
Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.
In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature’s equipoise was later sanctioned in a Proclamation written by McConnell and signed by Secretary General U Thantat the United Nations. A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. Nelson was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in recognition of his work.While this April 22 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations. Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues.