Law School Discussion


do you like to know whats going on in the news?

Yes, I live it
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No, i like to keep my head in the sand
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Voting closed: April 24, 2006, 12:53:12 PM

Various news links


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Re: Various news links
« Reply #210 on: February 19, 2007, 09:53:24 AM »
a true hero to all american men...    :'(

BOISE, Idaho - Hit the mute button for a moment of silence: The co-inventor of the TV remote, Robert Adler, has died.

Adler, who won an Emmy Award along with fellow engineer Eugene Polley for the device that made the couch potato possible, died Thursday of heart failure at a Boise nursing home at 93, Zenith Electronics Corp. said Friday.

In his six-decade career with Zenith, Adler was a prolific inventor, earning more than 180 U.S. patents. He was best known for his 1956 Zenith Space Command remote control, which helped make TV a truly sedentary pastime.

In a May 2004 interview with The Associated Press, Adler recalled being among two dozen engineers at Zenith given the mission to find a new way for television viewers to change channels without getting out of their chairs or tripping over a cable.

But he downplayed his role when asked if he felt his invention helped raise a new generation of couch potatoes.

"People ask me all the time — 'Don't you feel guilty for it?' And I say that's ridiculous," he said. "It seems reasonable and rational to control the TV from where you normally sit and watch television."

Various sources have credited either Polley, another Zenith engineer, or Adler as the inventor of the device. Polley created the "Flashmatic," a wireless remote introduced in 1955 that operated on photo cells. Adler introduced ultrasonics, or high-frequency sound, to make the device more efficient in 1956.

Zenith credits them as co-inventors, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded both Adler and Polley an Emmy in 1997 for the landmark invention.

"He was part of a project that changed the world," Polley said from his home in Lombard, Ill.

Adler joined Zenith's research division in 1941 after earning a doctorate in physics from the University of Vienna. He retired as research vice president in 1979, and served as a technical consultant until 1999, when Zenith merged with LG Electronics Inc.

During World War II, Adler specialized in military communications equipment. He later helped develop sensitive amplifiers for ultra high frequency signals used by radio astronomers and by the U.S. Air Force for long-range missile detection.

Adler also was considered a pioneer in SAW technology, or surface acoustic waves, in color television sets and touch screens. The technology has also been used in cellular telephones.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published his most recent patent application, for advances in touch screen technology, on Feb. 1.

His wife, Ingrid, said Adler wouldn't have chosen the remote control as his favorite invention. In fact, he didn't even watch much television.

"He was more of a reader," she said. "He was a man who would dream in the night and wake up and say, 'I just solved a problem.' He was always thinking science."

Adler wished he had been recognized for more of his broad-ranging applications that were useful in the war and in space and were building blocks of other technology, she said, "but then the remote control changed the life of every man."


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Re: Various news links
« Reply #211 on: February 19, 2007, 07:38:49 PM »
AI soon?

Google to rule the Earth
February 18th, 2007 @ 7:12 pm | Duncan Riley | 72 comments

aiIn a speech Friday night to the Annual American Association for the Advancement of Science conference, Google co-founder Larry Page let slip with a truth we all suspected:

“We have some people at Google [who] are really trying to build artificial intelligence (AI) and to do it on a large scale…It’s not as far off as people think.”

Yep, you read that right, Google is trying to build real AI. The worlds most dominant online company, with the largest conglomeration of computing power the world has ever seen, is trying to build artificial intelligence, and according to Page it isn’t that far away either. The term Googlebot is about to take on a whole new meaning, and in the not to distant future as well.

But Google is a good company, you may well say, after all Do No Evil is the company mantra. But true artificial intelligence not only has serious ethical and moral implications, self aware intelligence may also not be controllable, after all it thinks for itself and makes decisions based on that reasoning, as we all do. What if Google creates AI with the logical reasoning of Hitler or Stalin? or even George W Bush?

Food for thought…literally


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Re: Various news links
« Reply #212 on: February 22, 2007, 06:54:11 AM »

Korean Men Use Brokers to Find Brides in Vietnam

HANOI, Vietnam — It was midnight here in Hanoi, or already 2 a.m. back in Seoul, South Korea. But after a five-hour flight on a recent Sunday, Kim Wan-su was driven straight from the airport to the Lucky Star karaoke bar here, where 23 young Vietnamese women seeking Korean husbands sat waiting in two dimly lighted rooms.

“Do I have to look at them and decide now?” Mr. Kim asked, as the marriage brokers gave a brief description of each of the women sitting around a U-shaped sofa.

Thus, Mr. Kim, a 39-year-old auto parts worker from a suburb of Seoul, began the mildly chaotic, two-hour process of choosing a spouse. In a day or two, if his five-day marriage tour went according to plan, he would be wed and enjoying his honeymoon at the famed Perfume Pagoda on the Huong Tich Mountain southwest of here.

More and more South Korean men are finding wives outside of South Korea, where a surplus of bachelors, a lack of marriageable Korean partners and the rising social status of women have combined to shrink the domestic market for the marriage-minded male. Bachelors in China, India and other Asian nations, where the traditional preference for sons has created a disproportionate number of men now fighting over a smaller pool of women, are facing the same problem.

The rising status of women in the United States sent American men who were searching for more traditional wives to Russia in the 1990s. But the United States’ more balanced population has not led to the shortage of potential brides and the thriving international marriage industry found in South Korea.

Now, that industry is seizing on an increasingly globalized marriage market and sending comparatively affluent Korean bachelors searching for brides in the poorer corners of China and Southeast and Central Asia. The marriage tours are fueling an explosive growth in marriages to foreigners in South Korea, a country whose ethnic homogeneity lies at the core of its self-identity.

In 2005, marriages to foreigners accounted for 14 percent of all marriages in South Korea, up from 4 percent in 2000.

South Korean news organizations have reported that many of the foreign brides were initially lied to by their husbands, and suffered isolation and sometimes abuse in South Korea. Partly in response, the Ministry of Health and Welfare is now moving to regulate the international marriage industry, which emerged so suddenly that the Consumer Protection Board can only estimate that there are 2,000 to 3,000 such agencies nationwide.

After an initial setback — his first three choices found various reasons to decline his offer — Mr. Kim narrowed his field to a 22-year-old college student and an 18-year-old high school graduate.

“What’s your personality like?” Mr. Kim asked the college student.

“I’m an extrovert,” she said.

The 18-year-old asked why he wanted to marry a Vietnamese woman.

“I have two colleagues who married Vietnamese women,” he said, adding, “The women seem devoted and family-oriented.”

One Korean broker said the 22-year-old, who seemed bright and assertive, would adapt well to South Korea. Another suggested flipping a coin.

“Well, since I’m quiet, I’ll choose the extrovert,” Mr. Kim said finally, adding quickly, “Is it O.K. if I hold her hand now?”

She went over to sit next to him, though neither dared to hold hands. She spelled out her name in her left palm: Vien. Her name was To Thi Vien.

In South Korea, billboards advertising marriages to foreigners dot the countryside, and fliers are scattered on the Seoul subway. Many rural governments, faced with declining populations, subsidize the marriage tours, which typically cost $10,000.

The business began in the late 1990s by matching South Korean farmers or the physically disabled mostly to ethnic Koreans in China, according to brokers and the Consumer Protection Board. But by 2003, the majority of customers were urban bachelors, and the foreign brides came from a host of countries.

The widespread availability of sex-screening technology for pregnant women since the 1980s has resulted in the birth of a disproportionate number of South Korean males. What is more, South Korea’s growing wealth has increased women’s educational and employment opportunities, even as it has led to rising divorce rates and plummeting birthrates.

“Nowadays, Korean women have higher standards,” said Lee Eun-tae, the owner of Interwedding, an agency that last year matched 400 Korean bachelors with brides from Vietnam, China, the Philippines, Mongolia, Thailand, Cambodia, Uzbekistan and Indonesia. “If a man has only a high school degree, or lives with his mother, or works only at a small- or medium-size company, or is short or older, or lives in the countryside, he’ll find it very difficult to marry in Korea.”

Critics say the business demeans and takes advantage of poor women. But brokers say they are merely matching the needs of Korean men and foreign women seeking better lives.

“But this business will get more difficult as those countries get richer,” said Won Hyun-jae, the owner of i-Bombit, another agency. “Now, even a disabled Korean man can find a Vietnamese bride. But eventually Vietnamese women will ask why they have to go marry a Korean man when life in Vietnam is good.”

For now, Vietnam remains a popular source of brides, second only to China. Marriages with Vietnamese women are considered so successful that the local government of at least one city, Yeongcheon, in South Korea’s rural southeast, subsidizes marriage tours only to Vietnam.

At Incheon International Airport to the west of Seoul, an increasingly familiar scene unfolds in front of the arrival gates in the mornings. Korean men, holding telltale bouquets and often accompanied by relatives, greet their Vietnamese brides as they arrive on overnight flights from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.

On the Marriage Tour

It was also at the airport that a tense-looking Mr. Kim and another client began their marriage tours. Three brokers for Interwedding and i-Bombit arrived.

Mr. Kim, urged on by an older sister, decided to go to Vietnam after a last-ditch effort to meet a Korean woman in December failed. A high school graduate, he lives with his mother and his sister, and he works on the assembly line of a small manufacturer of car keys. Though he lives in one of the world’s most wired societies, Mr. Kim does not use the Internet.

The other client was Kim Tae-goo, 51, who grows ginseng and apples on the 2.5 acres of land he owns in Yeongju, a town southeast of Seoul. Mr. Kim had recently divorced a Chinese woman he married after the death of his first wife, a Korean woman. He lives with his 16-year-old daughter and his elderly mother. His 21-year-old has left home.

Ahn Jae-won, a Korean broker who has long been based in Hanoi and is married to a Vietnamese woman, began: “The women have come out looking their best for you. But don’t expect them to look as pretty as Korean women. There is a big gap in our G.D.P.’s. Don’t be condescending. Don’t lie. If you lie, they’ll find out eventually and feel betrayed and run away.

“The parents know that their daughters will marry a Korean man. The authorities know this is happening, but there’ll be trouble if we do it in front of them. So I seek your understanding. Once we land in Hanoi, even though it’ll be very late, we’ll go meet the women right away. It’s safer to do this at night.

“One last thing. Other companies allow you to sleep with the women on the first night. We don’t. Only on the bridal night. We must, after all, keep our decorum as Korean men. Is that O.K. with you?”

The two nodded.


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Re: Various news links
« Reply #213 on: February 22, 2007, 06:54:42 AM »
Introductions and a Choice

And so, at the Lucky Star karaoke bar here, the older Mr. Kim addressed the Vietnamese women, most in their early 20s.

“My 16-year-old daughter lives with me, and I’m a farmer,” he said, after informing the women through the brokers that he would also send $100 a month to their parents in Vietnam. “Is that O.K. with you?”

“I know how to farm,” said Bui Thi Thuy, 22, one of the two women Mr. Kim eventually focused on.

Asked whether she had any questions, Ms. Thuy said she had none. But the other woman, an earnest 28-year-old in a light-green jacket, asked, “If I marry you, will you love me and take care of me forever?”

“Of course,” Mr. Kim answered, then quickly settled on Ms. Thuy.

After a few hours’ sleep, the new couples and the brokers squeezed into a small van for the four-hour ride to the women’s home province, Quang Ninh, about four hours east of Hanoi. There, the couples would be interviewed by the local authorities before registering for their marriages.

The road out of Hanoi, a wide highway flanked by new factories owned by multinationals like Canon, eventually narrowed to two lanes crisscrossed frequently by cows. Farther out, farmers could be seen working the soil by hand, and signs of Vietnam’s booming economy grew fewer.

Most of the Vietnamese women marrying Korean men came from the rural areas around Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Both Ms. Vien and Ms. Thuy had friends who had married Korean men and lived, happily it seemed, in South Korea. Like many Vietnamese, they were also avid fans of Korean television shows and movies, the so-called Korean Wave of pop culture that has swept all of Asia since the late 1990s.

The Korean Wave

The Korean Wave has transformed South Korea’s image in the region, presenting the country as having successfully balanced tradition and modernity, a place that produces coveted Samsung cellphones and cherishes family ties.

The week the two women met their future husbands, Vietnamese television was showing in prime time a South Korean television series called “Successful Story of a Bright Girl” — the story of a simple country girl who goes to Seoul and captures the heart of a tycoon.

“To be honest, I don’t know much about Korea except what I’ve seen on television,” Ms. Vien said. “But the Korean landscape is beautiful. Korean men look sophisticated and affectionate. They seem responsible, and they live in harmony with their family members and their colleagues.”

A soccer fan able to rattle off the jersey numbers of David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane, she had registered two years earlier with a broker for marriages with Koreans. Her father, a construction worker for a local firm, was able to send his two children — Ms. Vien and her older brother — to college.

By contrast, Ms. Thuy was one of five children of rice farmers. She had registered with the agency soon after graduating from high school.

“A friend of mine married a Korean man and now lives in Seoul,” Ms. Thuy said. “We talk on the phone sometimes. She’s very happy. She says there are so many people and tall buildings in Seoul.”

At age 22, she said, half of her peers had already married. As she waited to marry, she helped with household chores, forbidden by her parents to engage in the farm work that might blemish her looks.

The couples registered for their marriages and underwent medical checkups, running into other Vietnamese-Korean couples along the way.

The younger Mr. Kim wrote a letter in Korean to his bride — trying to allay the anxieties he saw on her face, promising to protect her and surmount the inevitable problems — but found no way to relay its meaning. The couples bought Korean and Vietnamese dictionaries, pointing to words or using broken English.

The In-Laws

About 40 hours after landing here in Hanoi, the Korean men married their Vietnamese brides in a double ceremony. The brides’ relatives waited at a large restaurant here with expectant looks.

“Today is the union not only of two people, but of two countries,” said Ms. Vien’s father, To Minh Seu, 55. “Vietnam and Korea share many similarities. We are both Confucian societies.”

Standing next to her daughter and her new son-in-law, Ms. Thuy’s mother, Nguyen Thi Nguyet, 56, said: “This is a poor country, but conditions are much better in Korea. I hope my daughter will have a better life there.”

But Ms. Thuy’s father, Bui Van Vui, 52, was displeased that his daughter was marrying a man just one year younger than he was. The night before, he had telephoned Mr. Ahn to complain about the age gap between his daughter and Mr. Kim.

“I’m still very worried because of the age gap,” he said as his son-in-law listened to Mr. Ahn’s interpretation. “I’m slightly relieved now that I see my son-in-law for the first time. But I can’t stop worrying.”

“Don’t worry, don’t worry about a thing,” Mr. Kim said.

Still, the father looked grim throughout the ceremony.

“Let’s tell him about the compensation,” Mr. Kim told Mr. Ahn, referring to the $100 he would send every month.

“Later, later,” Mr. Ahn said.

As he left the restaurant after the ceremony, the father turned around at the entrance to take a final look at his daughter. He pressed two fingers against his lips and kissed her goodbye.

Later, Ms. Thuy said: “I was my father’s favorite. He really adores me and is worried.”

She, too, was worried. “I know Korea only from television, but it must be very, very different from reality. I don’t know whether my new family will like me, and I don’t know how I’ll adapt. I’m overwhelmed with worries.”

A New Chapter Begins

Two days later, it was time for the Korean men to return home, with their wives staying behind to complete the paperwork to join them.

At the airport here, Ms. Thuy announced that she had something to tell her husband and asked Mr. Ahn to interpret.

“Please extend my greetings to your mother and children,” she said.

Mr. Kim reached out for a handshake, but the brokers pressed him to give his wife a hug.

“Don’t worry about me,” she said. “I’ll study Korean very hard, and by the time you see me I’ll be good at it. We had only a short time together. But I felt affection between us and started to feel love for you. When you’re in Korea, please call me.”

“I’ll call you in two days,” he said.

The two women would leave Hanoi in three months, the same way half a dozen other Vietnamese brides, visas in hand, did on a recent night. The extended families of these brides had come from the countryside to bid them farewell, some still wearing car sickness patches behind their ears for the long drive here.

Many, it seemed, were visiting the airport for the first time. Some kept riding an escalator up and down, their faces showing the thrill of a new experience.

Then, with the boarding time approaching, they clustered in front of a window looking into the immigration office, noses pressed against the glass, and waved at the brides as they were stamped out of Vietnam and went off to catch the red-eye to South Korea.

all strads fault!


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Re: Various news links
« Reply #214 on: February 27, 2007, 07:03:43 AM »
Study: College kids increasingly selfish                     well duh...

By David Crary
Associated Press
Published on: 02/27/07

New York —- Today's college students are more narcissistic and self-centered than their predecessors, according to a comprehensive new study by five psychologists who worry that the trend could be harmful to personal relationships and American society.

"We need to stop endlessly repeating 'You're special' and having children repeat that back," said the study's lead author, Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University. "Kids are self-centered enough already."

Twenge and her colleagues, in findings to be presented today in San Diego, examined the responses of 16,475 college students who completed an evaluation called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory between 1982 and 2006.

The inventory, known as the NPI, asks for responses to such statements as "If I ruled the world, it would be a better place," "I think I am a special person" and "I can live my life any way I want to."

The researchers describe the study as the largest of its type and say students' NPI scores have risen steadily since the current test was introduced in 1982. By 2006, they said, two-thirds of the students had above-average scores, 30 percent more than in 1982.

Narcissism can have benefits, said co-author W. Keith Campbell of the University of Georgia, saying it could be useful in meeting people "or auditioning on 'American Idol.' "

"Unfortunately, narcissism can also have very negative consequences for society," he said.

The study asserts that narcissists "are more likely to have romantic relationships that are short-lived, at risk for infidelity, lack emotional warmth, and to exhibit game-playing, dishonesty and over-controlling and violent behaviors."

Twenge, the author of "Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled —- and More Miserable Than Ever Before," said narcissists tend to lack empathy, react aggressively to criticism and favor self-promotion over helping others.   more....


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Re: Various news links
« Reply #215 on: February 27, 2007, 07:15:46 AM »
i guess there's no middle ground.  if you grow up hearing you're stupid all your life, you're screwed & if you grow up hearing you're special all your life you're screwed.

so basically, what i'm saying is....WE'RE ALL SCREWED!!


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Re: Various news links
« Reply #216 on: February 27, 2007, 08:08:31 AM »
WASHINGTON - Governors are facing up to some harsh realities: Their states' school children aren't ready for the 21st century, their workers aren't trained for the new jobs created every day, and their businesses aren't competing as strongly as they must to keep ahead.

The only way to thrive amid globalization is to change, and states are past due for a sweeping transformation of education, worker training and economic development, governors agreed Monday after days of discussions at the annual winter meeting of the National Governors Association.

"The plain fact of the matter is the world has changed," said Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat who sought to convince her fellow state leaders that globalization is their problem. "We must have a sense of urgency as governors. ... What we're doing now does not suffice."

Framework for change
Meetings over four days hammered her point home. School teachers, business leaders, scientists, pollsters all delivered the same message - overhaul school curriculums, retrain workers and revamp economic development so that businesses build upon each other, rather than pit one state against another.

They heard from Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway; Robert Rubin, the former Treasury secretary during the Clinton administration; President Bush's top trade negotiator, Susan Schwab, and many more.

"Governors' jobs are no longer to be chasing smokestacks - now it's to build vibrant economies, state by state," said Carl Schramm, president and chief executive of the Kauffman Foundation, which encourages entrepreneurship.

Governors agreed on a framework for change, and are hoping to get federal support through legislation in Congress on workforce training, education, and research and development. Among the ideas:

- Refocus on science, technology, engineering, math and foreign language proficiency. They are seeking programs to encourage students and teachers in those subject matters.

- Make worker training more flexible, coordinate training with regional needs and make progress measurable.

- Create federal "competitive innovation grants" to encourage states to develop regional hubs that build on existing strengths, like computer development in North Carolina's Raleigh-Durham area.

U.S. education a moral issue
Education is the foundation of a 21st century economy, but state systems don't come close to delivering what is needed, said William H. Schmidt, a Michigan State University professor who studies education.

In many other industrial countries, by the end of eighth grade students are two years ahead of American students, he said. "That's why Europeans view the first two years of our university system as basic high school catch-up."

"These children, we're putting them at a disadvantage. This makes it more than an economic issue, it makes it a moral issue," Schmidt said.

One of the speakers was GOP pollster and strategist Frank Luntz, who told governors that they need to engage the public on the need for change but find the right way to talk about it.

"Innovation is about the future," he said. "This is not about us versus them, us versus the Chinese or Utah versus Alaska. ... That's not how the public views innovation. They see it as everyone wins."

But he warned that while many Americans see the country as being powerful, they don't see it as being particularly innovative and many are worried about how the country will manage the challenges of the future.

While many governors said they recognized the need for change, making it happen was much more difficult.

"I'm trying to move the economy of Tennessee from a low-skilled, assembly-line approach to a more high tech approach," said Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat. "We're not going to be successful with trade barriers. It's going to have to be through a very flexible economy and engaging in innovation and change."


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Re: Various news links
« Reply #217 on: February 27, 2007, 08:11:01 AM »

Claims about Jesus’ tomb stir up tempest
Experts blast suggestions that his bones were found in 1980
By Marshall Thompson
The Associated Press
Updated: 5:32 p.m. ET Feb 26, 2007

JERUSALEM - Archaeologists and clergymen in the Holy Land derided claims in a new documentary produced by James Cameron that contradict major Christian tenets, but the Oscar-winning director said the evidence was based on sound statistics.

"The Lost Tomb of Christ," which the Discovery Channel will run on March 4, argues that 10 ancient ossuaries — small caskets used to store bones — discovered in a suburb of Jerusalem in 1980 may have contained the bones of Jesus and his family, according to a press release issued by the Discovery Channel.

One of the caskets even bears the title, "Judah, son of Jesus," hinting that Jesus may have had a son. And the very fact that Jesus had an ossuary would contradict the Christian belief that he was resurrected and ascended to heaven.

Cameron told NBC'S TODAY show that statisticians found "in the range of a couple of million to one in favor of it being them." Simcha Jacobovici, the Toronto filmmaker who directed the documentary, said the implications "are huge."

"But they're not necessarily the implications people think they are. For example, some believers are going to say, well, this challenges the resurrection. I don't know why, if Jesus rose from one tomb, he couldn't have risen from the other tomb," Jacobovici told TODAY.

Goes against conventional wisdom
Most Christians believe Jesus' body spent three days at the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem's Old City. The burial site identified in Cameron's documentary is in a southern Jerusalem neighborhood nowhere near the church.

In 1996, when the British Broadcasting Corp. aired a short documentary on the same subject, archaeologists challenged the claims. Amos Kloner, the first archaeologist to examine the site, said the idea fails to hold up by archaeological standards but makes for profitable television.

"They just want to get money for it," Kloner said.

Cameron said his critics should withhold comment until they see his film.

"I'm not a theologist. I'm not an archaeologist. I'm a documentary filmmaker," he said.

The film's claims, however, have raised the ire of Christian leaders in the Holy Land.

"The historical, religious and archaeological evidence show that the place where Christ was buried is the Church of the Resurrection," said Attallah Hana, a Greek Orthodox clergyman in Jerusalem. The documentary, he said, "contradicts the religious principles and the historic and spiritual principles that we hold tightly to."

How possible is it?
Stephen Pfann, a biblical scholar at the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem who was interviewed in the documentary, said the film's hypothesis holds little weight.

"I don't think that Christians are going to buy into this," Pfann said. "But skeptics, in general, would like to see something that pokes holes into the story that so many people hold dear."

"How possible is it?" Pfann said. "On a scale of one through 10 — 10 being completely possible — it's probably a one, maybe a one and a half."

Pfann is even unsure that the name "Jesus" on the caskets was read correctly. He thinks it's more likely the name "Hanun." Ancient Semitic script is notoriously difficult to decipher.

Kloner also said the filmmakers' assertions are false.

"It was an ordinary middle-class Jerusalem burial cave," Kloner said. "The names on the caskets are the most common names found among Jews at the time."

Bone-box controversy resurrected
Archaeologists also balk at the filmmaker's claim that the James Ossuary — the center of a famous antiquities fraud in Israel — might have originated from the same cave. In 2005, Israel charged five suspects with forgery in connection with the infamous bone box.

"I don't think the James Ossuary came from the same cave," said Dan Bahat, an archaeologist at Bar-Ilan University. "If it were found there, the man who made the forgery would have taken something better. He would have taken Jesus."

None of the experts interviewed by The Associated Press had seen the whole documentary. Osnat Goaz, a spokeswoman for the Israeli government agency responsible for archaeology, declined to comment before the documentary was aired.


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Re: Various news links
« Reply #218 on: February 27, 2007, 11:18:56 AM »
State's blacks narrow income gap with whites
Ratio of 63 cents to dollar higher than national average

Staff Writer

Nashvillian Willard Fletcher, 62, a high school graduate who grew up in a segregated Chestnut Street neighborhood, considered moving to upstate New York for work in the 1970s.

But he remained in Nashville, rejecting the urgings of a family member living in New York who said the pay and work would be better there.

"I changed my mind," Fletcher said. "I didn't really want to move up there because I knew it was cold and snowed up there."

Today, Fletcher's income exceeds that of most Tennessee families. He lives in a state where racial income disparities have closed faster over the last five decades than the rest of the nation, U.S. Census Bureau data show.

The income gap between black and white Tennessee families almost mirrors that of families in New York and is closer than the gap in every other Southern state except Kentucky.

Median family income for black families in Tennessee is $33,500. That means half of Tennessee's black families earn more, half earn less.

But when compared with the $52,800 income for the state's white families, black families' income translates into about 63 cents on the dollar.

In Southern cities like Nashville, Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., racial inequalities in income are closing most rapidly, experts said.

"These places are new economy towns. … This is not the Old South of textile mills and furniture manufacturing," said Jacob Vigdor, associate professor of public policy studies and economics at Duke University.

These areas rely on post-industrial businesses like finance and pharmaceuticals, Vigdor said, one reason why income gaps have narrowed here and grown in Rust Belt states like Michigan.

Since 1959, the income gap grew by more than 14 percent in Michigan. Meanwhile, Tennessee's gap narrowed almost 20 percent.

The South has also benefited from a wave of well-educated blacks like Michael Carter, who have relocated to the Midstate from other regions.

Carter grew up in inner-city Detroit but moved away in 1980 at a time of sharp declines in automobile employment.

"It was a quality-of-life change that I was looking to pursue for myself and my family," Carter, 56, said. "When you look at that area compared to Nashville, it's truly night and day."

Carter settled in Franklin, Tenn., and founded a day-spa company in 2004.

Every region of the country except the South saw a net decline in black residents from 1995 to 2000, census data show. The South saw a net increase of 346,546 residents, with more than 19,300 of them bound for Tennessee.

Blacks and whites living and going to school together also has contributed to the South's narrowing of the income gap. Even though the South has some segregated neighborhoods, communities here are not as divided by race as the Northeast and Midwest.

Residential segregation contributes to poverty and restricts access to jobs, said University of Maryland associate professor of sociology John Iceland.

"Social networks are often based on where you live," Iceland said. "If you live in an area which is already of lower socioeconomic status, you're probably less likely to have contacts to people with better jobs."

School integration — which researchers associate with a narrowing of test score differences between white and black students and a later narrowing of income gaps — had its greatest effects in the South, said Vigdor, the Duke University professor.

Busing and other integration measures led to dramatic change in places like Tennessee, where many all white schools existed in the same districts with all black schools. Because of the civil rights movement, many black students suddenly found themselves studying in superior white schools.

"In the Chicago public schools, which are overwhelmingly minority, you can't really have meaningful integration," Vigdor said. "In the Detroit public schools, which are overwhelmingly black, you can't really have meaningful integration.

"It's in places like Davidson County where you can have meaningful integration."

Gap closed during 1960s

The 1960s — a decade marked by civil rights activism and the passage of laws to create fairness in jobs and housing — was a decade of marked income growth for African-Americans in the South.

In Tennessee, the income gap for black families improved from 53 cents for every dollar earned by white families to 63 cents on the dollar.

Boston University Professor Robert Margo said the decade was the third seismic shift of black economic fortunes in American history, with the first coming in land ownership and school access after the Civil War and the second coming as the World War II economy boosted demand for unskilled factory labor.

African-Americans moved into middle-class jobs in accounting, law and medicine, and relocated from inner-city ghettoes to suburban neighborhoods, Margo said.

"African-Americans in that generation took advantage of lots of opportunities that opened up for the first time," Margo said.

The South also did not suffer the losses of Los Angeles, Detroit and other cities after 1960s race riots depressed property values and negatively affected blacks' income, Margo said.

"Even though Martin Luther King is assassinated in Tennessee, the South does not experience the intensity of rioting that occurred in many Northern major urban areas in the late '60s," he said. "So you don't have the same type of urban decline, the same forces going on."

The civil rights movement left its mark on a generation, including businessman Francis Guess.

Guess, who grew up in Nashville's public housing, was among the few black students to enter Vanderbilt's business school in 1972.

"Coming out of the civil rights movement era, I realized that a lot of people had opened that door at Vanderbilt for me and people who looked like me," Guess said. "We had an obligation to try to take advantage of their sacrifice."

The gains since the 1960s have been less dramatic.

From 1999 to 2005, income has either declined or been flat for all families. But throughout the country, the declines have been felt deeper in the pocketbooks of blacks than whites.

Blacks are disproportionately affected in times of economic downturn because they are more likely to be in jobs that require less education and are thus less secure, experts said.

"If people can read, and it's an open society," said Fisk University historian Reavis Mitchell, "then the race matter quickly disappears."

who knew the south was better than the NE or Midwest?


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Re: Various news links
« Reply #219 on: February 27, 2007, 11:32:14 AM »
5-year-old gives up her year's savings for U of M mummy-- $6.75

Geni Gallant is 5 years old and passionate about ancient Egypt.

She's so passionate, in fact, that when the Oklahoma native found out that the University of Memphis' Institute of Egyptian Art and Archeology needed money to buy new cases for its mummy collection, she saved up for a whole year to donate to the cause.

This weekend, Geni and her parents, Jeff and Angie Gallant, drove six hours from their home in Broken Arrow, Okla., and presented the museum with Geni's gift -- all $6.75 of the loose change she accumulated in her piggy bank.

"Geni's donation was so touching," said museum director Dr. Mariam Ayad. "The fact that she's so little and saved money for the entire year shows a lot of dedication and commitment to our cause."

As a token of appreciation, Geni and her family received a personal tour of the museum's collection on Friday. The Gallant family also participated in the museum's family day on Saturday in which kids learned Egypt-related crafts like how to write their names in hieroglyphics and create masks of the gods.

Geni, who has wavy brown hair and large eyes, is talkative and matter-of-fact.

"I know almost everything about ancient Egypt," she explained during a group tour of the museum's collection.

Geni loves mummies because "they come in pretty cases" and was only 3 when she caught the Egypt bug. She saw a pharaoh in the film "Moses, Prince of Egypt" and became intensely curious about the gods, myths and particularly the mummies of the ancients.

"We started going to the library and checking out every book on Egypt that we could find," Angie Gallant said.

About a year ago, Angie, who is a homemaker and Jeff, who is a federal prosecutor in Tulsa, decided to take Geni on a road trip to see an actual mummy. An Internet search revealed that the two mummies at the University of Memphis were the closest. So last February the family drove here for the museum's annual family day.

"We stayed the entire day, and Geni participated in all the events with a razor focus," Angie said. It was also during that trip that Geni got her hands on a brochure for the museum's fund-raising campaign, aptly called "We're dying for a new home."

Angie told her daughter that if she felt passionate about helping the museum, she should save up for it.

And while Geni's donation isn't enough to buy another mummy case, the Gallants hope it helps raise community awareness about the museum.

"This might encourage others to open their pocketbooks," Angie said. "Geni's gift wasn't much, but it was given from the heart."

ugh, shown up by a 5yr old?