Friday, August 31, 2012

People merge supernatural and scientific beliefs when reasoning with the unknown, study shows

ScienceDaily (Aug. 30, 2012) ? Reliance on supernatural explanations for major life events, such as death and illness, often increases rather than declines with age, according to a new psychology study from The University of Texas at Austin.

The study, published in the June issue of Child Development, offers new insight into developmental learning.

"As children assimilate cultural concepts into their intuitive belief systems -- from God to atoms to evolution -- they engage in coexistence thinking," said Cristine Legare, assistant professor of psychology and lead author of the study. "When they merge supernatural and scientific explanations, they integrate them in a variety of predictable and universal ways."

Legare and her colleagues reviewed more than 30 studies on how people (ages 5-75) from various countries reason with three major existential questions: the origin of life, illness and death. They also conducted a study with 366 respondents in South Africa, where biomedical and traditional healing practices are both widely available.

As part of the study, Legare presented the respondents with a variety of stories about people who had AIDS. They were then asked to endorse or reject several biological and supernatural explanations for why the characters in the stories contracted the virus.

According to the findings, participants of all age groups agreed with biological explanations for at least one event. Yet supernatural explanations such as witchcraft were also frequently supported among children (ages 5 and up) and universally among adults.

Among the adult participants, only 26 percent believed the illness could be caused by either biology or witchcraft. And 38 percent split biological and scientific explanations into one theory. For example: "Witchcraft, which is mixed with evil spirits, and unprotected sex caused AIDS." However, 57 percent combined both witchcraft and biological explanations. For example: "A witch can put an HIV-infected person in your path."

Legare said the findings contradict the common assumption that supernatural beliefs dissipate with age and knowledge.

"The findings show supernatural explanations for topics of core concern to humans are pervasive across cultures," Legare said. "If anything, in both industrialized and developing countries, supernatural explanations are frequently endorsed more often among adults than younger children."

The results provide evidence that reasoning about supernatural phenomena is a fundamental and enduring aspect of human thinking, Legare said.

"The standard assumption that scientific and religious explanations compete should be re-evaluated in light of substantial psychological evidence," Legare said. "The data, which spans diverse cultural contexts across the lifespan, shows supernatural reasoning is not necessarily replaced with scientific explanations following gains in knowledge, education or technology."

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The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of Texas at Austin.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:

  1. Cristine H. Legare, E. Margaret Evans, Karl S. Rosengren, Paul L. Harris. The Coexistence of Natural and Supernatural Explanations Across Cultures and Development. Child Development, 2012; 83 (3): 779 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01743.x

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.


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Time to make some tough cuts

NFL teams have until 9 PM EDT on Friday, August 31 to cut their rosters from 75 players to 53 players. We?ll track all the moves that every team makes to get down to 53 players right here.

Arizona Cardinals: Waived cornerback Crezdon Butler.

Atlanta Falcons: Have waived linebacker Pat Schiller and center Tyler Horn, per the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Baltimore Ravens:? Placed sixth-round rookie WR Tommy Streeter on injured reserve.? Safety Omar Brown, nose guard Ishmaa?ily Kitchen, and guard/tackle Jack Cornell have been released, according to The Ravens have also waived running back Anthony Allen, linebacker Nigel Carr, offensive lineman Cord Howard, defensive linemen Terrence Moore and Nick Jean-Baptiste, linebacker Chavis Williams, wide receiver Dorian Graham.

Buffalo Bills: Cut defensive lineman Dwan Edwards, according to ESPN.

Carolina Panthers: Released offensive tackle Matt Reynolds, defensive tackles Ogemdi Nwagbuo and Ryan Van Bergen, along with linebackers Kion Wilson and David Nixon and cornerbacks Darius Butler and R.J. Stanford.? Also released receiver Seyi Ajirotutu, per the Charlotte Observer.

Chicago Bears:? Will release quarterback Josh McCown, linebacker Xavier Adibi, cornerback Greg McCoy, and cornerback Cornelius Brown, according to the Chicago Tribune. ?The Bears also plan to waive fullback Tyler Clutts. Receiver Brittan Golden says via Twitter he?ll be waived. Safety Mark LeGree, cornerback Isaiah Frey, and running back Armando Allen are also among the Bears? final cuts.

Cleveland Browns:? Released tight end Dan Gronkowski, per PFT.? The Browns have also released quarterback Seneca Wallace and tight end Evan Moore.

Dallas Cowboys: Fifth-round draft pick Danny Coale was among the players informed he?d be cut on Thursday. Others let go include guard Ronald Leary, defensive end Clifton Geathers, defensive tackle Ben Bass, outside linebacker Adrian Hamilton, offensive tackle Pat McQuistan, guard Daniel Loper, center Harland Gunn, offensive tackle Jeff Adams, quarterback Rudy Carpenter, fullback Shaun Chapas and linebacker Orie Lemon.

Detroit Lions:? Lions released punter Ryan Donahue.

Green Bay Packers:? Reached injury settlement with receiver/kick returner Shaky Smithson (ankle), per the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The Packers have also cut wide receiver Dale Moss, offensive lineman Reggie Wells, safety Anthony Levine, tackles Andrew Datko and Shea Allard, tight end Brandon Bostick, center Sampson Genus, and guard Greg Van Roten. Waived wide receiver Tori Gurley, offensive lineman Tommie Draheim, defensive end Lawrence Guy, wide receiver Curenski Gilleylen and cornerback Otis Merrill, per the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Houston Texans: Announced the following cuts: quarterback Case Keenum, center Cody Wallace, fullback Moran Norris, linebacker Shawn Loiseau, tight end Logan Brock, defensive end Keith Browner, defensive end David Hunter, receiver Juaquin Iglesias, defensive end Mitch King, offensive tackle Nate Menkin, linebacker Rennie Moore, tight end Phillip Supernaw, center Cody Wallace, guard Cody White, linebacker D.J. Bryant, nose tackle Loni Fangupo, running back Jonathan Grimes, receiver Jeff Maehl, fullback Moran Norris and safety Eddie Pleasant. Wide receiver Jerrell Jackson said on Twitter that he had been cut. Offensive lineman Rashad Butler is heading for injured reserve.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Waived quarterback Jordan Palmer, tight end Colin Cloherty, running back Richard Murphy, cornerbacks Rod Issac and Trumaine McBride, defensive end Odrick Ray, linebacker J.K. Schaffer, and offensive tackles Will Robinson and Lee Barbiasz, per Vito Stellino of the?Florida Times Union.

Miami Dolphins:? The Dolphins have released receiver B.J. Cunningham, receiver/kick returner Clyde Gates, defensive end Jamal Westerman, and linebacker Cameron Collins, according to the Miami Herald.? Released receiver Roberto Wallace, according to the Palm Beach Post.? PFT has learned defensive tackle Ryan Baker also has been waived.

New England Patriots: Have released veteran James Ihedigbo and backup quarterback Brian Hoyer, along with veteran offensive lineman Dan Koppen, according to the Boston Globe. They also cut wide receiver Deion Branch, also per the Boston Globe.

New Orleans Saints: Cut kicker John Kasay, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

New York Giants: Defensive tackle Marcus Thomas was released on Friday morning and defensive end Matt Broha was also let go. The Newark Star-Ledger reports that linebacker Greg Jones has been waived, along with receiver Dan DePalma, receiver David Douglas, sixth-round rookie Matt McCants, and receiver Isaiah Stanback.? The New York Daily News reports that linebacker Jake Muasau, defensive end Matt Broha, tight end Larry Donnell, and defensive end Craig Marshall have been released.? Safety Tyler Sash has been placed on the reserve/suspended list.? Running back Danny Ware announced on Twitter that has has been released.

New York Jets: Made 19 of the 22 moves?early Friday morning. They waived?safety D?Anton Lynn (the son of running backs coach Anthony Lynn) and quarterback Matt Simms (son of former Giants quarterback Phil Simms). They also waived:?Wide receivers Joseph Collins and Eron Riley, tight end Tarren Lloyd, offensive linemen Paul Cornick, Fred Koloto, and Matt Kroul, defensive linemen Jay Richardson, Damon Harrison and Martin Tevaseu, linebackers Ricky Sapp, Marcus Dowtin and Brett Roy (injury settlement) defensive backs Donnie Fletcher, LeQuan Lewis, Julian Posey and Ryan Steed and punter Spencer Lanning.

Philadelphia Eagles:?Released cornerback Joselio Hanson, per Adam Caplan. The Eagles have also waived wide receiver Mardy Gilyard, in addition to tight end Chase Ford and linebacker Keenan Clayton.? League source tells PFT that sixth-round rookie guard Brandon Washington and rookie safety Phillip Thomas have been waived. More Eagles cuts: wide receivers Chad Hall and Marvin McNutt, guard/center Steve Vallos, tight end Brett Brackett, defensive tackle Landon Cohen, fullback Emil Igwenagu, tackle D.J. Jones, linebacker Adrian Moten, defensive tackle Ollie Ogbu, linebacker Ryan Rau, defensive end Monte Taylor, and defensive tackle Frank Trotter.

St. Louis Rams:?Cornerback Kendric Burney, tight end Ben Guidugli, and center Tim Barnes have been waived. Released defensive end Vernon Gholston. Released fullback Ovie Mughelli, per

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Released running back Mossis Madu, defensive tackle Frank Okam, safety Larry Asante, safety Cody Grimm and defensive back Keith Tandy, per Pewter Report. They?ve also released defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, who is headed back to Chicago, per the Chicago Sun-Times.

Tennessee Titans:? Released receiver James Kirkendoll, per Cut offensive lineman Kyle DeVan, tight end Brandon Barden, offensive lineman Michael Jasper, defensive end Malcolm Sheppard, tight end Cameron Graham and wide receiver D.J. Woods, per the Tennessean.

Washington Redskins: Released running back Tim Hightower according to 106.7 The Fan. The Redskins have also cut cornerbacks David Jones, Brandyn Thompson, and Travon Bellamy, defensive linemen Doug Worthington, Marlon Favorite, and Delvon Johnson, linebackers Donnell Holt, Bryan Kehl, and Brian McNally, wide receiver Terrence Austin, offensive linemen Erik Cook, Willie Smith, Tom Compton, and Grant Garner, running back Tristan Davis, and quarterback Jonathan Crompton, according to various reports.


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Bao-Bao's Blog: Trip Report, Pt. 23: A Bar Boy's Retirement Home

Anyone who's been reading this for a while already knows I've collected stories from a lot of bar boys (or gogo boys or Rented Admirers, whichever label you prefer to use). ?Since I speak precious little Thai?I've been very fortunate to have friends who have acted as translators and go-between help. Not that one really needs to speak Thai to enjoy visiting or traveling through Thailand, but personally I think it's only polite (and respectful) to have some words and phrases memorized - hence book report one, and we'll cover others as we go along. But getting back to bar boys: there have been posts about visiting their room, how one found a farang partner and happily left the business, being mistreated by abusive bosses, doing double duty while working in club, one about my first interviewee, and one telling of a young man?whose?life was cut far too short by HIV, to reference just a few I've collected. There are also a few other related stories you can look through if you click on the Gogo Boys label in the right-hand column.

As to the girls or ladies working the same club/gogo/sex trade - also known as the World's Oldest Profession - I still haven't conjured up the interest to try interviews with any of them, but my possibly rash assumption is that the underlying details would be much the same. That's an error I intend to rectify next trip.?[Yes, I?did?say that before the last trip, too. Mea culpa.]

But that's far enough to stray - back to today's topic.

My friend was driving us through Chantaburi on our weekend getaway and had stopped at a spot a ways off of our charted course to get drinks. Naturally, I wandered off, camera in hand. ?I'd seen the masts of some fishing boats above the shrubbery a short ways away and wanted to get a better look. Rounding a corner I came to a wooden footbridge over the end of a narrow side canal.

The simple bridge crossed the shallow water to a house on the opposite side, where a small house stood. On the somewhat hobbled together stoop were a few potted plants and some wind chimes, making their music under the eaves of the roof near a tattered Thai flag... and a man, leaning on the railing and smoking a cigarette. He saw me taking pictures of the boats nearby and waved a greeting to me, smiling.

I said hello to him and went back to watching another man, sitting barefoot in one of the boats and singing to himself as he mended one of his fishing nets. ?He didn't hear me, so he didn't look up until the man on the porch called to him and got his attention. He looked over to me, waved, and went back to his work.

Satisfied with the images I'd gotten, I'd turned to go back to the car when I saw my friend coming to collect me so we could be on our way. ?He reached me just as the man outside the house called to him, and they spoke briefly in Thai; my friend pointing at me, and them both laughing a little. "I told him you're a visitor from America who has to take pictures of everything," he smiled, as the man called out again, waving us over to him. ?We crossed the bridge - me hoping it would hold the both of us and keep me (and my camera) from landing in the water below.

Approaching the porch I could hear a woman speaking to someone, and soon two small faces peered out from around the edge of the open doorway. They stared for a minute until I said "Good morning" to them, and then quickly disappeared, giggling. ?A minute later they peeked out again while my friend spoke briefly to the man. Turning to me, the man spoke to me in Thai. My friend translated. "He wants to know what you're doing out in the countryside," he said, and I replied with a short?explanation?about enjoying seeing Thai life away from the city. Through my friend I asked how long he'd been fishing. All his life? ?Did he come from a fishing family?

His name was Wut, and it turned out that he did - his family had been fishing for several generations, but that he'd done other work for a while in the past. ?Out of curiosity I'd asked what else he'd done, and he chuckled and said that during a rather trying financial stretch for the family when he was about 20 he'd followed one of his friends to Bangkok to seek his fortune and help the family.

I ought to have left it at that, but something made me ask my friend to inquire what he'd done in Bangkok. ?Wut said something to my friend, who seemed a little surprised. "He said he worked in a bar for a couple of years," I was told, and Wut winked at me and said - in English - "boy bar". ?I managed to keep what would have been a surprised look off of my face, but even having a pretty good idea of the Thai?mai pen rai?view regarding sexuality his frankness did take me by surprise.

I just smiled and said "you were a good son to help your family," and was ready to leave it at that, but my friend sensed a story, and being far more?knowledgeable?about cultural boundaries of propriety than I asked him a few other things, and they spoke quickly back and forth while I stood there, uneasily, wondering if we weren't prying into an area we should have steered clear of.

"He said it was a long time ago - a good 25 years ago, and he doesn't care if he talks about it now," said my friend. It was an opportunity I'd never had before, so we took some time and listened to Wut's story. While the World's Oldest Profession is just that, his tale was from a viewpoint based in a very different world I'd never heard. He was only at it for about two years, had worked steadily and with a purpose, saved his money and got out relatively unscathed.

It was one of the less colorful stories I've heard, but again, it was clear it came from a different era entirely. I was really grateful to have heard it, and I'll post Wut's story one of these times.

When we'd finished visiting with Wut we said our goodbyes and went back to the car, got back on the road and headed further South to our destination.


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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Calorie limits don't extend life span but might keep you healthier

For 75 years, scientists have documented a curious fact: If rats and mice eat 30% to 40% fewer calories than normal, they live 15% to 40% longer than is typical for their species. The observation has offered humans hope that our own maximum life span could one day be extended, enabling people to live well past their 100th birthday.

A new study of monkeys pours cold water on that notion ? while at the same time offering some heartening health news.

Among a colony of rhesus monkeys tracked for more than 20 years, animals whose calories were restricted to 30% below normal lived no longer, on average, than monkeys whose eating was unrestricted, scientists found. But the diet did offer clear benefits, notably in warding off cancer.

It appears that "we are seeing a separation between what we call 'health span' from 'life span' ? they are not hand in hand," said Rafael de Cabo, an experimental gerontologist at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore and senior author of the study.

The report, published online Wednesday by the journal Nature, suggests that what has proven true for rodents and various other animals may not hold true for primates ? humans included ? at least under the conditions that were studied. The findings are likely to disappoint the hundreds of people in the U.S. who practice a strict regimen of calorie restriction in hopes of postponing their appointment with the Grim Reaper.

But the results also have some researchers scratching their heads. The results are quite different from a 2009 study of monkeys in a colony in Wisconsin that found a clear survival edge from age-related diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease in calorie-restricted animals. That study also saw a trend toward longer life for monkeys on the diet when all causes of death were considered.

Figuring out whether differences in diet, the animals' genetic makeup or something else caused the results to diverge could offer important clues to the ways in which calorie restriction ? and aging ? work, De Cabo said.

The new study tracked 121 male and female monkeys at the National Institutes of Health's animal center in Maryland starting in 1987. One group of 35 animals ? the "old onset" group ? were 16 to 23 years old when the study began. (Rhesus monkeys mature around age 4 or 5 and live to 27, on average, in captivity.) The rest were in a group that included juvenile and adolescent monkeys, as well as younger adults up to the age of 14.

All the monkeys received the same food, but the control animals could eat as much as they wanted during daylight hours. The rest were limited to only 70% of what they ate before the experiment began.

In the older group, there was no overall difference in age of death between calorie-restricted and free-eating animals. That was true when all causes of death were considered together as well as when deaths from age-related illnesses were calculated separately, the authors found.

Longevity under both conditions was above the norm, however. And four of the older animals in the calorie-restricted group and one from the control group have broken rhesus monkey longevity records by living beyond 40 years.

That fact especially intrigues gerontologist Rick Weindruch of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, author of the earlier monkey study.

"To me this is really important ? that five animals either reached or exceeded what has been thought to be the maximum life span of the species," Weindruch said.

Among the younger animals, the scientists didn't find any survival edge for dieting animals. But they did find reduced rates of diabetes and stark differences in cancer rates.

So far, no monkey in the calorie-restricted group has been diagnosed with cancer, De Cabo said, whereas six cases have occurred in the controls and are believed to have been the cause of death of five of them. That is in line with rodent studies, which have also found that calorie restriction seems to ward off cancer.

There were other differences too. Calorie-restricted monkeys weighed less and looked younger than the animals that ate freely. They also appeared "younger" in some metabolic respects, with lower blood levels of triglycerides and glucose in the old group and lower cholesterol levels in males of both age classes.

The fact that diseases of old age can be warded off even if life span isn't necessarily extended suggests "that health and longevity are not the same thing," said Steven N. Austad, a biogerontologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, who wrote a commentary accompanying the report.

This could be considered encouraging, he added: "In the ideal scenario, we'd stay healthy to a relatively decent age and then we'd suddenly fall over at the appropriate time. That would be a good thing. What we don't want is people living longer and longer in worse and worse health."

Scientists aren't sure how to explain why the new study produced different results than the Wisconsin study, in which only 13% of the calorie-restricted monkeys died due to some age-related disease compared with 37% of the control monkeys.

But they have some ideas. Chief among them: The food served was very different, even though the overall amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats were similar in both studies.

The Wisconsin diet consisted of purified ingredients mixed together and was high in sugar, perhaps explaining why so many of the free-feeding monkeys in that study developed diabetes. The Maryland monkeys ate a diet made from natural ingredients that contained more plant micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, among other items.

As a result, all of the monkeys in the new study may have been healthier overall, regardless of whether they were calorie-restricted.

Though the final word on whether calorie restriction extends life span is not in ? nearly 50% of the younger monkeys are still alive ? the authors wrote that they are unlikely to find a survival edge when all is said and done. But it's still possible they will, De Cabo said, especially if the cancer difference grows starker.

Even if the strategy turns out not to be the elixir of youth, that wouldn't devastate 54-year-old St. Louis resident Joe Cordell, an avid practitioner of calorie restriction for the last 10 years.

"I would like to live to the outer limits of what human beings normally live," said the 5-foot-9, 129-pound lawyer, who eats berries, apple peel and walnuts for breakfast and favors giant salads for dinner.

But, he added, "I would be delighted to take 90 to 95 years without cancer, without heart disease, without diabetes or other chronic illnesses. To me, that would have warranted this."


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UN: Iran accelerates uranium program

By NBC News staff and wire reports

Iran has doubled the number of uranium enrichment machines it has in an underground bunker, a U.N. report said Thursday, showing Tehran has continued to defy Western pressure to stop its atomic work and the threat of Israeli attack.

The U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in its quarterly report on Iran that the number of centrifuges at its Fordow site -- buried deep underground to withstand any such hit -- had more than doubled to 2,140 from 1,064 in May.?The new machines were not yet operating, it said.

?? as Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation? the Agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities,? the report said.

?? the Agency considers it essential for Iran to engage with the Agency without further delay on the substance of the Agency?s concerns,? it added. ?In the absence of such engagement, the Agency will not be able to resolve concerns about issues regarding the Iranian nuclear program, including those which need to be clarified to exclude the existence of possible military dimensions to Iran?s nuclear program.?

Arizona Senator and former GOP presidential candidate, John McCain, joins Morning Joe to discuss his Wednesday speech at the RNC, what's happening in Iran and Israel and if military action should be taken in Iran and how Romney can be impactful during his Thursday RNC speech.

Iran's supreme leader repeated this week that Iran's nuclear program was entirely peaceful.

"Our motto is nuclear energy for all and nuclear weapons for none," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told a developing nations summit in Tehran.

S. African telecom firm helped Iran evade US sanctions, documents show

But the expansion in enrichment infrastructure and the increasing in stockpiles of potent nuclear material revealed in the report will do nothing to allay fears or reduce the diplomatic sanctions and pressure on Iran.

The report showed that Iran had produced nearly 190 kg (418 pounds) of higher-grade enriched uranium since 2010, up from 145 kg (320 pounds) in May.

At schools, in shops, and on the streets of big cities and small towns, daily life plays out in Iran.

Iran says it needs this material, which is much purer than fuel needed for electricity generation, for a medical research reactor, but it also takes it significantly closer to making potential bomb material.

UN chief denounces Iran to its face over calls to destroy Israel

The IAEA also expressed concerns about Parchin, a military site south of the capital that it wants to inspect for evidence of past nuclear weapons development.

"Significant ground scraping and landscaping have been undertaken over an extensive area at and around the location," it said.

Five buildings had been demolished and power lines, fences and paved roads removed, the report said, "extensive activities" that would hamper its investigation if granted access.

"The activities observed... further strengthen the Agency's assessment that it is necessary to have access to the location at Parchin without further delay," the IAEA said.

John Batchelor, The John Batchelor Show host, weighs in on the reports Israel could possibly attack Iran before the November elections.

Iran says Parchin is a conventional military facility and has dismissed the allegations about it as "ridiculous."

Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, meeting U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Tehran on Thursday, was quoted by Iranian state TV as saying: "The West has put sanctions on Iran for years, however the Iranian nation continues to resist and make progress."

A Western diplomat said the doubling of enrichment capacity at Fordow was a "worrying trend," showing that Tehran continued to expand its program.

Reuters contributed to this report.

More world stories from NBC News:

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University of Iowa rejected Colorado movie theater massacre suspect

Published August 30, 2012

Associated Press

  • July 23, 2012: In this file photo, James Holmes, accused of killing 12 people in Friday's shooting rampage in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, appears in Arapahoe County District Court with defense attorney Tamara Brady in Centennial, Colo.AP

The University of Iowa rejected the suspect in the July 20 shooting rampage at a Colorado movie theater when he applied to a graduate program last year.

Records released Thursday show the director of the university's graduate program in neuroscience told colleagues in a January 2011 email that they were not to offer admission to James Eagan Holmes "under any circumstances." A second professor agreed.

Program director Daniel Tranel and psychology professor Mark Blumberg didn't elaborate on their reasons in the emails.

An email from Tranel indicates Holmes was among seven applicants who visited campus one weekend. He recommended four be offered admission and was undecided about two. Holmes was the only one he recommending denying.

Holmes later enrolled at the University of Colorado Denver, but withdrew before the shooting.


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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pool Construction in Longyan | Indoor Swimming Pool Guide

The best quality materials will be wasted without proper installation. For your pool construction in Longyan, workmanship quality is key and if you can afford it, you should call pool construction experts. If you do not want to spend lots of money, you can supervise your pool construction carefully.

Indoor Swimming Pool Construction in Longyan

Be aware that if they are not experts with over 5 years experience in indoor swimming pool building, most construction workers in Longyan will not be familiar with the specialized materials and techniques required. Hence, before the construction begins, you have to make sure that each pool worker understands the importance of the materials and their proper installation.

 Indoor swimming pool construction in Longyan

Also, coordinate carefully different suppliers work and where they overlap. If you can, daily review construction and installation of materials to find problems before they become hidden from view.
These tips will ensure your swimming pool construction in Longyan at good quality standards for a reasonable price.

Selecting a Contractor for your Swimming Pool Construction in Longyan

In Longyan, any contracting job including swimming pool construction or repair that costs over $500 must be performed by a contractor who holds a current, valid contractors license usually in the classification for which they are contracting. Contractors who build or repair swimming pools must be licensed as swimming pool specialty contractors.

A general building contractor may also contract for swimming pool construction in Longyan provided the general building contractor holds the swimming pool specialty classification, or the general building contractor hires a licensed swimming pool specialty contractor to perform the work in Longyan.

Other contractors like plumbers, landscapers, solar workers, etc., should work within their specific areas of licensure in Longyan, and cannot be responsible for the overall project.

Homeowners who are considering swimming pool construction may work with a salesperson. The law does allow licensed contractors to employ registered home improvement salespersons (HIS) to solicit, negotiate, sell, or execute contracts, including swimming pool construction and repair.

Tips for Choosing your Pool Contractor in Longyan

- Get referrals: It is a good idea to ask friends or family for referrals before hiring a pool contractor or service company. You may also get referrals from trade associations, such as a local builders? exchange or a Longyan swimming pool and spa association.
- Get references: You should ask for references from the contractor, at least one current and one completed in Longyan. When you call to talk with the client about the job, be sure to ask how the project was handled and about their satisfaction with the contractor, sub-contractors and employees, as well as the end result for the completed job.
- Get bids: It is important to get at least three bids in Longyan so you can compare them.
- Verify the license or registration: Make sure to verify that the contractors license or registration is in the name that is presented to you and that it is current and active. Ask the contractor or salesperson to see their identification and check that the name of the Longyan swimming pool company with which you are doing business is listed.
- Have a contract: make sure everything is in writing. This includes materials, schedule and clean-up. Changes, details and payment scheduled should be written down in detail. Do not sign anything until you completely understand the terms. A plan and scale drawing of the shape, size, and dimensions must be included as part of your swimming pool contract in Longyan.


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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Top 3 sources to purchase new windows!

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Guggenheim Architect To Design Facebook HQ?s New 3,400-Employee Tree-Topped Engineering Building

Share price be damned, Facebook is expanding. It?s just announced that Guggenheim Museum architect Frank Gehry will design a 3,400 employee engineering office connected to its Menlo Park Headquarters by an underground tunnel. Engineers will hack away in one giant room, separated from the product and ads teams in the main campus. Construction will begin in early 2013

Below you can see a detailed view of models for the new building complete with a tree-filled rooftop garden?as Gehry and Mark Zuckerberg discuss its design.

Everett Katigbak, Facebook?s Environmental Design Manager, gave some specifics of the new building:

It will be a large, one room building that somewhat resembles a warehouse. Just like we do now, everyone will sit out in the open with desks that can be quickly shuffled around as teams form and break apart around projects. There will be cafes and lots of micro-kitchens with snacks so that you never have to go hungry. And we?ll fill the building with break-away spaces with couches and whiteboards to make getting away from your desk easy.

Gehry previously designed the?Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa, Spain and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA. He uses custom?architecture software designed by his in-house team

The news comes just a month after Facebook opened its first international engineering office in London. This joined Facebook?s 18 or so other international officies in Hyderabad, Tokyo, Auckland, and the international headquarters in Dublin. Facebook?s offices in the states include engineering and ads hubs in Seattle, New York, and Austin, plus data centers in Oregon, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Facebook announced the Menlo Park headquarters now at 1 Hacker Way, formerly the Sun Microsystems campus, in February 2011. At the time it noted it had also purchased the?22 acre lot across the highway, with plans to fix it up when it needed the space. That time is fast approaching as ground will break on the construction of the west campus in a few months.

And while it might not be as nerdy as the 42-foot wide QR code on the top of the main campus, the idea of taking a stroll through a rooftop tree garden to help your brain work through a tough coding problem sounds pretty awesome.

February 1, 2004


Facebook is the world?s largest social network, with over 845 million monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks. The original...

? Learn more


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Venture Capitalists Poised to Profit from Public Schools

Republic Report with the headline reposted a story from Reuters on the major venture capitalists boosting investment in the education market.

Note that the private firms are capitalizing in an environment that is represented by severe austerity. For instance, the article notes that students are often charged fees for basic things, such as riding a school bus or enrolling in honors English.
The opportunities to exploit for investment range from curriculum to tests to school management.

Aug 1 (Reuters) - The investors gathered in a tony private club in Manhattan were eager to hear about the next big thing, and education consultant Rob Lytle was happy to oblige.

Think about the upcoming rollout of new national academic standards for public schools, he urged the crowd. If they're as rigorous as advertised, a huge number of schools will suddenly look really bad, their students testing way behind in reading and math. They'll want help, quick. And private, for-profit vendors selling lesson plans, educational software and student assessments will be right there to provide it.

"You start to see entire ecosystems of investment opportunity lining up," said Lytle, a partner at The Parthenon Group, a Boston consulting firm. "It could get really, really big."

Indeed, investors of all stripes are beginning to sense big profit potential in public education.

The K-12 market is tantalizingly huge: The U.S. spends more than $500 billion a year to educate kids from ages five through 18. The entire education sector, including college and mid-career training, represents nearly 9 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, more than the energy or technology sectors.

Traditionally, public education has been a tough market for private firms to break into -- fraught with politics, tangled in bureaucracy and fragmented into tens of thousands of individual schools and school districts from coast to coast.

Now investors are signaling optimism that a golden moment has arrived. They're pouring private equity and venture capital into scores of companies that aim to profit by taking over broad swaths of public education.

The conference last week at the University Club, billed as a how-to on "private equity investing in for-profit education companies," drew a full house of about 100.


In the venture capital world, transactions in the K-12 education sector soared to a record $389 million last year, up from $13 million in 2005. That includes major investments from some of the most respected venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, according to GSV Advisors, an investment firm in Chicago that specializes in education.

The goal: an education revolution in which public schools outsource to private vendors such critical tasks as teaching math, educating disabled students, even writing report cards, said Michael Moe, the founder of GSV.

"It's time," Moe said. "Everybody's excited about it."

Not quite everyone.

The push to privatize has alarmed some parents and teachers, as well as union leaders who fear their members will lose their jobs or their autonomy in the classroom.

Many of these protesters have rallied behind education historian Diane Ravitch, a professor at New York University, who blogs and tweets a steady stream of alarms about corporate profiteers invading public schools.

Ravitch argues that schools have, in effect, been set up by a bipartisan education reform movement that places an enormous emphasis on standardized test scores, labels poor performers as "failing" schools and relentlessly pushes local districts to transform low-ranked schools by firing the staff and turning the building over to private management.

President Barack Obama and both Democratic and Republican policymakers in the states have embraced those principles. Local school districts from Memphis to Philadelphia to Dallas, meanwhile, have hired private consultants to advise them on improving education; the strategists typically call for a broader role for private companies in public schools.

"This is a new frontier," Ravitch said. "The private equity guys and the hedge fund guys are circling public education."

Some of the products and services offered by private vendors may well be good for kids and schools, Ravitch said. But she has no confidence in their overall quality because "the bottom line is that they're seeking profit first."

Vendors looking for a toehold in public schools often donate generously to local politicians and spend big on marketing, so even companies with dismal academic results can rack up contracts and rake in tax dollars, Ravitch said.

"They're taking education, which ought to be in a different sphere where we're constantly concerned about raising quality, and they're applying a business metric: How do we cut costs?" Ravitch said.


Investors retort that public school districts are compelled to use that metric anyway because of reduced funding from states and the soaring cost of teacher pensions and health benefits. Public schools struggling to balance budgets have fired teachers, slashed course offerings and imposed a long list of fees, charging students to ride the bus, to sing in the chorus, even to take honors English.

The time is ripe, they say, for schools to try something new -- like turning to the private sector for help.

"Education is behind healthcare and other sectors that have utilized outsourcing to become more efficient," private equity investor Larry Shagrin said in the keynote address to the New York conference.

He credited the reform movement with forcing public schools to catch up. "There's more receptivity to change than ever before," said Shagrin, a partner with Brockway Moran & Partners Inc, in Boca Raton, Florida. "That creates opportunity."

Speakers at the conference identified several promising arenas for privatization.

Education entrepreneur John Katzman urged investors to look for companies developing software that can replace teachers for segments of the school day, driving down labor costs.

"How do we use technology so that we require fewer highly qualified teachers?" asked Katzman, who founded the Princeton Review test-prep company and now focuses on online learning.

Such businesses already have been drawing significant interest. Venture capital firms have bet more than $9 million on Schoology, an online learning platform that promises to take over the dreary jobs of writing and grading quizzes, giving students feedback about their progress and generating report cards.

DreamBox Learning has received $18 million from investors to refine and promote software that drills students in math. The software is billed as "adaptive," meaning it analyzes responses to problems and then poses follow-up questions precisely pitched to a student's abilities.

The charter school chain Rocketship, a nonprofit based in San Jose, California, turns kids over to DreamBox for two hours a day. The chain boasts that it pays its teachers more because it needs fewer of them, thanks to such programs. Last year, Rocketship commissioned a study that showed students who used DreamBox heavily for 16 weeks scored on average 2.3 points higher on a standardized math test than their peers.


Another niche spotlighted at the private equity conference: special education.

Mark Claypool, president of Educational Services of America, told the crowd his company has enjoyed three straight years of 15 percent to 20 percent growth as more and more school districts have hired him to run their special-needs programs.

Autism in particular, he said, is a growth market, with school districts seeking better, cheaper ways to serve the growing number of students struggling with that disorder.

ESA, which is based in Nashville, Tennessee, now serves 12,000 students with learning disabilities or behavioral problems in 250 school districts nationwide.

"The knee-jerk reaction [to private providers like ESA] is, 'You're just in this to make money. The profit motive is going to trump quality,' " Claypool said. "That's crazy, because frankly, there are really a whole lot easier ways to make a living." Claypool, a former social worker, said he got into the field out of frustration over what he saw as limited options for children with learning disabilities.

Claypool and others point out that private firms have always made money off public education; they have constructed the schools, provided the buses and processed the burgers served at lunch. Big publishers such as Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have made hundreds of millions of dollars selling public school districts textbooks and standardized tests.

Critics see the newest rush to private vendors as more worrisome because school districts are outsourcing not just supplies but the very core of education: the daily interaction between student and teacher, the presentation of new material, the quick checks to see which kids have risen to the challenge and which are hopelessly confused.

At the more than 5,500 charter schools nationwide, private management companies -- some of them for-profit -- are in full control of running public schools with public dollars.

"I look around the world and I don't see any country doing this but us," Ravitch said. "Why is that?"


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Friday Field Day: Outdoor sports alive and well | Kansas Afield

Aug 24, 2012 by Trevor Graff

Hunting and Angling on the rise

A recent survey conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service showed and increase of hunting and angling by 9 and 11 percent respectively. The accounts for 2.6 million person increase in participation in wildlife associated recreation. Bob Marshall?s recent Field and Stream article details the study.

KDWPT Releases annual hunting regulations

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism released the 2012 hunting regulations online today. Hard copies?won?t be found in stores until Sept. 1, but for those that can?t wait the download is available on the KDWPT hunting regulations page.

Brent Chapman poised to win B.A.S.S. angler of the year

A recent article from Star outdoors editor Brent Frazee detailed Chapman?s rise to the top of the sport.

El Dorado state park named top ?water park?

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation voted El Dorado state park?one of the eight best ?water parks? in the country based on its many?opportunities?for recreational boating and solid fishery. The list included parks in Oklahoma, Minnesota, Florida, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Tennessee and New Hampshire.




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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Manesar IMT: A Township Dream Turns An ... - Real Estate India

??|?? August 23, 2012 ?? 04:09pm ??|Contributed by manoja

Frequent power outages, lack of basic amenities and entry of land sharks keep businesses away

Spurred by the success of Gurgaon as a Millennium City, with its multi-storey offices sporting swanky glass facades, and the manufacturing boom in India, the Haryana government conceived in 1994 an ambitious 4,000-acre Industrial Model Township (IMT) in Manesar to bring in more entrepreneurs to the city.

But instead of shaping up as a township, which Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) promised will ?inspire entrepreneurship and success?, Haryana?s Manesar dream degenerated into a filthy neighbourhood with frequent power cuts and poor civic amenities. A decade after it was conceived, the ?dream township? has been reduced to an infrastructure mess.

HSIIDC records show at least 2,100 plots have been allotted to various industries here till date. But for a few heavyweights like automobile majors Maruti and Honda, most of these plots have ben taken by small and medium-scale units dealing in auto parts, garments and IT services.

A businessman who Newsline spoke to said only 40 per cent of the small and medium units were functional now.

Another businessman, Satish Chand, who heads one of the oldest industrial associations here, puts the figure at 25 per cent.

HSIIDC?s own figures hover around 75 per cent, but these, as most businessmen say, include buildings that are erected but lying idle.


Lalit Jalaan bought a two-acre plot for Rs 8 crore in 2009 to set up what he claimed was the country?s only diamond saw-blade plant, meant for cutting stones. ?It was basically because of the fancy infrastructure promises that we decided to invest so much money in the land,? he said. His plant today runs to about only a third of its capacity because of power shortage and rising cost of diesel, he said.

Eight other industry owners who Newsline met said they suffered power cuts of up to eight hours a day in recent months.

HSIIDC?s Assistant General Manager Vikas Gupta said: ?We have provided power stations. However, supply of electricity is the responsibility of the Power department.?

Businessmen say frequent power cuts push up operating costs and add to wastage of man hours. Jalaan said his diamond saw-blade plant that has an annual turnover of Rs 12 crore runs up a bill of Rs 28 lakh just for operating its diesel generators.

The industry association is now preparing for a legal battle with the state, for having slapped a new fixed cost on them without any improvement in services.

LAND PRICES go sky-high

Filmmaker Ameena Sherwani recalls how she was ?one of the very first entrepreneurs? to come to Manesar in 2001. ?Most others were property dealers with all sorts of start-up proposals,? she says.

?A decade later, when I complained about lax facilities, this is what an HSIIDC official had to tell me:?Madam, why do you care about your business? Now that value of your property is over Rs 3 crore, just sell it?,? she says.

IMT Manesar has turned a hotbed for land speculators and property dealers over the years. Owing to its prime location on NH-8 and a Supreme Court ban on further land acquisition, the monied managed to monopolise real estate here and squelched the chances of small-time entrepreneur, say businessmen.

M C Bhargav, president of the Manesar Industrial Welfare Association, said: ?This nexus between land dealers and property owners resulted in small entrepreneurs being pushed out of Manesar.?

The influx of property dealers also had land prices soaring. The land acquired for about Rs 4 lakh an acre a decade ago is today being sold at Rs 4 crore or more. Gurgaon-based property consultant Rajeev Sethi said: ?This rise in price is abnormal as there is no infrastructure in IMT and more than half the factories are shut.?


Manesar boasts of a labour population of close to 40,000 and little infrastructure to provide for these workers. The workers shell out an average of Rs 3,500 to Rs 5,000 per month for a shared room, which has few amenities.

However, government officials say they have provided dwelling units for workers. ?There are 36 dormitory units and 192 single-dwelling units, housing roughly 700 people,? says Gupta. Evidently, the fact that this accounts only for a miniscule fraction of the total labour population of 40,000 workers is lost on the officials.

Lack of proper sewage system adds to the woes of those living here, especially when it rains.

In Aliar village, rainwater inundates the wide roads of Sector 8 making traffic-movement sluggish in the area. Mahesh Yadav, an IT engineer based in Manesar, said: ?Even a moderate spell of rain, brings the water up to your knees.?

?Providing power is not our responsibility?

In an email interview, Vikas Gupta, Assistant General manager, HSIIDC, responded to queries from Newsline

When was IMT Manesar, planned, conceived, built and allotted?

Land acquisition proceedings for development of IMT Manesar were initiated in 1994-1995. Initial allotments of industrial plots to Maruti Vendors were made in 1997, and, other allotments commenced in 1999. Over the years, HSIIDC has allotted more than 2,100 plots for setting up of industrial ventures by entrepreneurs.

How big are most firms in Manesar? Are the majority of businesses small to medium scale or is the economy dominated by the likes of Maruti and Honda?

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. and Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. are the two mother plants located in IMT Manesar. Majority of the other units are small/medium scale ones, which include ancillaries of Maruti Suzuki, Honda and Hero MotoCorp.

What is the current economic condition of Manesar? Are most of factories functional or non-functional?

Most of the industrial units at IMT Manesar are functional. Of the total number of plots here, industrial projects have been taken off in more than 70 per cent of the plots. A number of projects are under implementation.

Is there a yearly audit that allows HSIIDC to keep a tab on economic activities in Manesar?

HSIIDC does keep a tab on the activities at the various units. Audit survey is carried out periodically. Besides, site visits are also carried out at regular intervals.

How many hours of electricity does the Corporation feel it provides factories or other industrial units in Manesar?

HSIIDC is entrusted with the task of providing industrial infrastructure, including electrical infrastructure, here. Power stations have already been set up by HSIIDC. However, supply of electricity is the responsibility of the Power department.

How does HSIIDC propose to solve the sewage and drainage problem in villages and their environs?

Development works in villages are primarily looked after by Development & Panchayat Department and the DRDA Department through BDPOs concerned. Some works are also carried out by the Agriculture Marketing Board.

HSIIDC has also been earmarking 1 per cent of the total cost of the project for development works of public benefit in the villages falling within the acquired land for its projects. The works undertaken by HSIIDC include creating/upgrading road network, water supply, street lighting, school infrastructure and medical centres/health facilities. The corporation has also doubled the funding under the Village Development Scheme from 1 per cent to 2 per cent of the total cost of development of the a particular project.

Why have the land prices spiked up so much?

Once a major chunk of an Industrial Estate is sold (more than 95 per cent in case of IMT Manesar), the majority of transactions of sale/purchase by third-parties is based on the collector rate, fixed by the District Administration. Allotment rate at that stage, is fixed keeping in view the collector rate of that area, which in the case of Manesar is Rs 14,000 per sq yard (Rs 6.77 crore per acre).

Pricing of plots in any industrial estate is a function of the cost of acquisition of raw land, administrative costs, survey and demarcation, payment of government fees, planning, development and provision of basic amenities. The overall costs so incurred is then loaded on to the net saleable area, which has also been done in case with IMT Manesar. Enhanced compensation, ordered by the courts, is also included.






Source:?The Indian Express??By:?Akshat Khandelwal???Publish:?21-August-2012

News Published Under:?? Gurgaon | No Comments ?



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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Agricultural Business 101 | Economics Marketing Industry

Here are some common terms and phrases that are used in the agricultural business.

Agricultural Accounting
Just like in any other industry, what farmers use for their accounting varies quite a bit. What some farmers don?t know is that there are specific aspects of agricultural accounting that, when used correctly, can help manage their farm better and help them become more profitable.

Production Analysis
This feature helps farmers understand their costs on a per unit basis for crops and livestock. Knowing your cost per unit gives you a better idea of how profitable you are, which can in turn affect each step you take.

Farm Information Tracking
Farmers need to gather and track information from different sources: by farm, field, landlord, and more. An agricultural accounting system should be able to help set up each of the sources to be tracked, and allow you to easily pull out the information you need by that source. This is not only useful for you, but also for providing information to those requesting it, such as managers, your bank, landlord, and more.

Book, Market, and Tax Asset Value Tracking
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There are so many ways farmers can improve and streamline their accounting by implementing agricultural accounting specifically, rather than just using a basic program without these features.


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Friday, August 3, 2012

Immigrants prove big business for prison companies

MIAMI (AP) ? The U.S. is locking up more illegal immigrants than ever, generating lucrative profits for the nation's largest prison companies, and an Associated Press review shows the businesses have spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying lawmakers and contributing to campaigns.

The cost to American taxpayers is on track to top $2 billion for this year, and the companies are expecting their biggest cut of that yet in the next few years thanks to government plans for new facilities to house the 400,000 immigrants detained annually.

After a decade of expansion, the sprawling, private system runs detention centers everywhere from a Denver suburb to an industrial area flanking Newark's airport, and is largely controlled by just three companies.

The growth is far from over, despite the sheer drop in illegal immigration in recent years.

In 2011, nearly half the beds in the nation's civil detention system were in private facilities with little federal oversight, up from just 10 percent a decade ago.

The companies also have raked in cash from subsidiaries that provide health care and transportation. And they are holding more immigrants convicted of federal crimes in their privately-run prisons.

The financial boom, which has helped save some of these companies from the brink of bankruptcy, has occurred even though federal officials acknowledge privatization isn't necessarily cheaper.

This seismic shift toward a privatized system happened quietly. While Congress' unsuccessful efforts to overhaul immigration laws drew headlines and sparked massive demonstrations, lawmakers' negotiations to boost detention dollars received far less attention.

The industry's giants ? Corrections Corporation of America, The GEO Group, and Management and Training Corp. ? have spent at least $45 million combined on campaign donations and lobbyists at the state and federal level in the last decade, the AP found.

CCA and GEO, who manage most private detention centers, insist they aren't trying to influence immigration policy to make more money, and their lobbying and campaign donations have been legal.

"As a matter of long-standing corporate policy, CCA does not lobby on issues that would determine the basis for an individual's detention or incarceration," CCA spokesman Steve Owen said in an email to the AP. The company has a website dedicated to debunking such allegations.

GEO, which was part of The Wackenhut Corp. security firm until 2003, and Management and Training Corp. declined repeated interview requests.

Advocates for immigrants are skeptical of claims that the lobbying is not meant to influence policy.

"That's a lot of money to listen quietly," said Peter Cervantes-Gautschi, who has helped lead a campaign to encourage large banks and mutual funds to divest from the prison companies.

The detention centers are located in cities and remote areas alike, often in low-slung buildings surrounded by chain-link fences and razor wire. U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents detain men, women and children suspected of violating civil immigration laws at these facilities. Most of those held at the 250 sites nationwide are illegal immigrants awaiting deportation, but some green card holders, asylum seekers and others are also there.

The total average nightly cost to taxpayers to detain an illegal immigrant, including health care and guards' salaries, is about $166, ICE confirmed only after the AP calculated that figure and presented it to the agency.

That's up from $80 in 2004. ICE said the $80 didn't include all of the same costs but declined to provide details.

Pedro Guzman is among those who have passed through the private detention centers. He was brought to the U.S. by his Guatemalan mother at age 8. He was working and living here legally under temporary protected status but was detained after missing an appearance for an asylum application his mother had filed for him. Officials ordered him deported.

Although he was married to a U.S. citizen, ICE considered him a flight risk and locked him up in 2009: first at a private detention facility run by CCA in Gainesville, Ga., and eventually at CCA's Stewart Detention Center, south of Atlanta. Guzman spent 19 months in Stewart until he was finally granted legal permanent residency.

"It's a millionaire's business, and they are living off profits from each one of the people who go through there every single night," said Guzman, now a cable installer in Durham, N.C. "It's our money that we earn as taxpayers every day that goes to finance this."

The federal government stepped up detentions of illegal immigrants in the 1990s, as the number of people crossing the border soared. In 1996, Congress passed a law requiring many more illegal immigrants be locked up. But it wasn't until 2005 ? as the corrections companies' lobbying efforts reached their zenith ? that ICE got a major boost. Between 2005 and 2007, the agency's budget jumped from $3.5 billion to $4.7 billion, adding more than $5 million for custody operations.

Dora Schriro, who in 2009 reviewed the nation's detention system at the request of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, said nearly every aspect had been outsourced.

"ICE was always relying on others for responsibilities that are fundamentally those of the government," said Schriro, now the New York City Correction Commissioner. "If you don't have the competency to know what is a fair price to ask and negotiate the most favorable rates for the best service, then the likelihood that you are going to overspend is greater."

Private companies argue they can save Americans money by running the centers more cheaply.

Pablo Paez, a spokesman for Boca Raton, Fla.-based GEO, said in an email his company supports public-private partnerships which "have been demonstrated to achieve significant cost savings for the taxpayers." He declined to answer specific questions.

But ICE Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations Gary Mead said the government has never studied whether privatizing immigrant detention saves money.

"They are not our most expensive, they are not our cheapest" facilities, he said. "At some point cost cannot be the only factor."

One fundamental difference between private detention facilities and their publicly-run counterparts is transparency. The private ones don't have to follow the same public records and access requirements.

President Barack Obama has asked for less detention money this year and encouraged the agency to look at alternatives to locking people up. He also ordered DHS to stop deporting young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally, which could reduce the number behind bars. Congress, however, can approve more detention spending than DHS requests.

Beyond civil detention centers, private companies are also making more money locking up non-citizens who commit federal crimes.

To deter illegal border crossers, federal prosecutors are increasingly charging immigrants with felonies for repeatedly entering the country without papers. That has led thousands of people convicted of illegal re-entry, as well as more serious federal offenses, to serve time in private prisons built just for them.

A decade ago, more than 3,300 criminal immigrants were sent to private prisons under two 10-year contracts the Federal Bureau of Prisons signed with CCA worth $760 million. Now, the agency is paying the private companies $5.1 billion to hold more than 23,000 criminal immigrants through 13 contracts of varying lengths.

CCA was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2000 due to lawsuits, management problems and dwindling contracts. Last year, the company reaped $162 million in net income. Federal contracts made up 43 percent of its total revenues, in part thanks to rising immigrant detention.

GEO, which cites the immigration agency as its largest client, saw its net income jump from $16.9 million to $78.6 million since 2000.

"Another factor driving growth ... for the private sector is in the area of immigration and illegal immigration specifically," Chief Financial Officer Brian Evans told investors in GEO's 2011 3rd quarter earnings call.

CCA warned in its 2011 annual earnings report that federal policy changes in "illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them."

Utah-based Management and Training is not publicly held, so it does not post earnings.

At just the federal level, these companies, their political action committees and their employees have spent more than $32 million on lobbying and on campaign contributions since 2000 ? with the national political parties getting the largest campaign contributions.

An AP review of Federal Election Commission data found the prison companies and their employees gave to key congressional leaders who control how much money goes to run the nation's detention centers and who influence how many contracts go to the private sector.

James Thurber, head of American University's Center for Congressional & Presidential Studies, said amid the heated national debate over immigration, the companies have been savvy not to donate heavily to those sponsoring legislation, which could spark backlash.

There are more discrete and more powerful ways to influence policy, Thurber said.

"Follow the money," he said. "If the money is being increased significantly for illegal immigration, then that is a shift in policy ... a significant shift."

The top beneficiaries of the campaign contributions include:

? The Republican Party. Its national and congressional committees received around $450,000. Democrats received less than half that.

? Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain. He received $71,000, mostly during his failed presidential bid against Obama, well after he dropped support for a bill that would have given illegal immigrants a path to citizenship and reduced detentions.

? House Speaker John Boehner received $63,000.

?Kentucky U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers received about $59,000. Rogers chaired the first subcommittee on Homeland Security and heads the powerful House Appropriations Committee. He often criticizes ICE for not filling more detention beds.

? Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. He received $58,500. The lawmaker from Tennessee, where CCA is headquartered, led the Senate at the height of the nation's immigrant detention build up from 2003 to 2007.

More than campaign contributions, though, the private prison companies spent most of their money each year on lobbying in Washington, peaking in 2005 when they spent $5 million.

In just 2011, CCA paid the Washington firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld $280,000 in part to "monitor immigration reform," federal reports show.

They also lobbied heavily against a bill that would force them to comply with the same open records requirements governing public facilities.

Owen, the CCA spokesman, said the company ramped up lobbying to acquaint new lawmakers with the industry.

"In recent years, federal elections have been very volatile, resulting in a lot of new faces in Washington," he said. "The result of that volatility means a lot of people at the federal level who may not be familiar with the work we do."

The prison companies' influence at the state level mirrors that in Washington, although the money is even harder to track since many states, such as Arizona and Illinois, where the companies have won lucrative detention contracts, don't require corporations to disclose what they pay lobbyists.

The AP reviewed campaign contribution data from the three companies' political action committees and their employees over the last decade, compiled by the National Institute on Money in State Politics. From 2003 to the first half of 2012, state candidates and political parties in the 50 states received more than $5.32 million.

In the 10 states where the companies' committees and employees contributed the most, the AP found they also spent at least $8 million more lobbying local officials in the last five years alone. It is impossible to know how much of this lobbying money was aimed only at immigrant-related contracts. But that money generally went to states along the border, such as Florida and Texas, which have high numbers of immigrants, as well as states such as Georgia and Louisiana, where large numbers of immigrants also are detained.

ICE has begun providing more oversight as part of the Obama administration's pledge to overhaul the nation's system for jailing immigration offenders. It recently scrapped plans for CCA to build a 1,500-bed immigrant detention center in a high-end Miami suburb following months of local protests.

But it remains committed to adding more private beds. Plans are on track to build or expand private immigration jails in Newark, N.J., in the suburbs of Chicago and along a lonely stretch of California's Mojave Desert.


Burke reported from San Francisco.


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BuildOn ? Blog Archive ? AMETEK PERMANENT MAGNET 116867 ...

Home ? Wind

Posted: August 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm 4 views


Price Posted: $156.90
Grab-it Now: $0.00
Posted: 2012-07-25T20:06:19.000Z
Ends: 2012-08-01T20:06:19.000Z
Location: 92707
Sellers Auction: This content is for members only.


AMETEK PERMANENT MAGNET 116867-00 965922-101 WIND TURBINE GENERATOR MOTOR 38VDC ?Most items ship within 24 hours after confirmed payment is received!? SearchBy8 ? 44277 | Location: A72 | Lister: Rob | Tester: Tony | Tech: | Quan: 1 | List: 1 | Duplicate: False | Plan: D (Single Item) | Amazon: Size: 0x0x0 Weight: 10 | Start: $156.90 | BIN: $0.00 | Type: Auction | $hippingBump: $0 | Date: 7/16/2012 | Condition: Used | CONSIGNOR VIDEO | RESEARCH LINK | Created: 7/16/2012 | Home & Garden > Home Improvement > Electrical & Solar > Alternative & Solar Energy > Wind Generators Photos are of A REPRESENTATIVE item and all of the components for sale. CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL PHOTOS PRODUCT DETAILS TESTING & FUNCTIONAL NOTES: This item was fully tested and is in good working condition. The items for sale are fully functional and are Guaranteed Working! Bid with confidence! REPLACEMENT or MONEY BACK GUARANTEE: When you receive a Guaranteed item from OC Depot, it should perform as described. In the rare situation that this is not the case, we will send a replacement upon safe return of the original item within 14 days of receiving the item. If a replacement is not available we will honor the terms of our Money-Back Guarantee. COMPONENTS INCLUDED IN THIS AUCTION: ? AMETEK PERMANENT MAGNET 116867-00 965922-101 WIND TURBINE GENERATOR MOTOR 38VDC Unless stated otherwise, accessories such as Power Cords, Software, AC Adapters, and/or other Cables are not included. COSMETIC NOTES: This listing is for used item in acceptable cosmetic condition with scuffs and scratches associated with normal use. The items for sale are fully functional and are Guaranteed Working! Bid with confidence! The Environmentally-Friendly packing materials that we purchase are more costly. We buy and salvage used packing material for Reuse because it?s better than simple recycling. We buy Carbon Offsets to mitigate the environmental impact of our freight shipping. Unlike others, we sell on consignment and can?t deduct shipping from the sale price. Our negotiated UPS discounts are indeed passed along to our customers. We pack items to endure rough transit, leading to higher materials costs, labor and weights. The total shipping weight of this item is 10 Pounds. A few extra dollars will protect the environment, and your item! STORE & PAYMENT POLICIES: Paypal payment is due within 7 days of the auction close. California residents pay 7.75 % Sales Tax. Import duties, taxes and charges are not included in the item price or shipping charges. These charges are the buyers responsibility. By bidding, the buyer accepts ALL terms and policies listed in this auction. If buyer disagrees with any of the terms stated herein they will not bid. OCDepot is not the owner or seller of these goods, but merely a bailee acting on behalf of the seller. OCDepot is responsible for holding all goods until the sale is completed and the purchase has been shipped. Buyers who fail to pay within 7 days of auction close may be assessed a late payment fee. After 7 days have elapsed OCDepot may choose to assess a restocking fee AND re-offer the item for sale. Canceled transactions will be subject to a restocking fee which is equal to 30% of the purchase price of the item. Minor errors or omissions do not invalidate the stated purchase terms. In the rare case of a major or gross mistake as determined by an OC Depot representative, we will typically go beyond the stated purchase terms. Please contact us prior to leaving and give us the opportunity to resolve any issues. DOMESTIC SHIPPING POLICY: Our automated and streamlined shipping practices provide for a fast and risk-free transaction where most items ship within 24 hours of receiving confirmed payment! The buyer pays one shipping charge which covers postage, packaging, handling, delivery confirmation, and tracking. Insurance may be extra for some items. Buyers can not arrange their own shipping. Local pickups are available for a $10 handling fee. Items of 1 pound or less typically ship by USPS Priority mail, while heavier items typically ship by UPS Ground. We reserve the right to select the shipping carrier and because UPS does not deliver to PO boxes the buyer must provide a physical shipping address. Our system automatically uses the shipping address indicated by /PayPal and ignores the Notes section. We use experience-proven shipping materials and packaging techniques. Products may be disassembled prior to shipping as appropriate to ensure their safety and minimize shipping costs. Problems are rare however if an item is damaged on arrival, buyer agrees to notify us within 3 days with a contact phone number, and make the item and the original packaging available for inspection for another 10 days. We will notify our shipping carrier who will then have an opportunity to assess the nature of the damage. After our shipping carrier has made their determination we will then effect a timely resolution. In the rare event that actual shipping charges are more than the amount quoted in the auction, buyer will be presented with the option of canceling the purchase or paying the actual shipping cost (Packaging and handling fees are waived). INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING POLICY: Import duties, taxes and charges are not included in the item price or shipping charges. These charges are the buyers responsibility. Please check with your countrys customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to bidding/buying. At the bottom of this auction page under ?Shipping, payment details and return policy? you will be able to see or calculate the shipping cost for your country. This single shipping charge covers postage (typically via Airmail), packaging, handling, customs forms, and our trip to the post office. Because International shipping issues are outside of our control the buyer agrees that we have completely fulfilled our obligations once we ship your item and obtain a customs receipt. To be clear, having the item shipped across International borders invalidates any otherwise stated guarantee or warranty. In the rare event that actual shipping charges are more than the amount paid, Buyer will be presented with the option of canceling the purchase or paying the correct shipping and handling costs. Canadian buyers may have the choice to use UPS or USPS at the time of checkout. We recommend UPS, but will ship by whatever method is communicated to us directly thru /paypal. UPS shipping is done daily, is typically cheaper, and may incur higher customs fees (we do have a special agreement with UPS that discounts these fees to $10 for items under $200). USPS shipping is done 1-2 times per week, is typically more expensive, and tends to have lower custom fees for items over $200. OCDepot Sales Policies 2010 Online Consignment Depot at ?> at ? src=?> at ? src=?> at ?> at ? src=?> at ? src=?> 04.08.033

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