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Gangnam Style’ hits one billion views

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2012 at 5:30 am

Gangnam Style’ hits one billion views

South Korean rapper Psy performs at KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball concert in Los Angeles, California in this December 3, 2012 file photo. Psy’s infectious viral hit song, ”Gangnam Style,” made history on December 21, 2012 as the first ever video on YouTube to reach 1 billion views, adding yet another record to the song’s juggernaut journey into mainstream pop.Picture taken December 3, 2012.[Photo/Agencies]

File photo of South Korean rapper Psy performing at KIIS FM's Jingle Ball concert in Los Angeles

South Korean rapper Psy’s infectious viral hit song, “Gangnam Style,” made history on Friday as the first ever video on YouTube to reach 1 billion views, adding yet another record to the song’s juggernaut journey into mainstream pop.

The song, first posted on YouTube on July 15, clocked the 1 billion milestone at 10:50 a.m. EST and YouTube marked the occasion with a dancing Psy doodle next to their logo.

The song also became YouTube’s most watched video last month, overtaking Justin Bieber’s “Baby” video, which previously held the title.

“I didn’t even imagine ‘Gangnam Style’ would get 1 million views, let alone 1 billion views! Is this the Tru-PSY show?” the rapper said in a statement.

This has been a whirlwind year for rapper Psy, 34, who is the first Korean pop (or K-pop) artist to achieve mainstream success in the U.S. after “Gangnam Style,” named after the affluent Gangnam District in Seoul, captured viewers’ attention.

The rapper recently performed for President Barack Obama, met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and won the best video award at the MTV Europe Music Awards in November.

The video shows the outlandishly dressed Psy rap in Korean while performing an invisible horse-riding dance, which has become a pop culture trend, spurring many copycat and parody videos.

The popularity of the song has sparked growing international interest in Asian pop music, throwing a spotlight on the K-pop industry, which now aims to follow Psy into mainstream Western pop music.



Edible paper

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2012 at 3:18 am

Fast food chain Bob’s in Brazil wrapped their hamburgers in edible paper so customers could eat them straight away.

Brazilian Fast-Food Chain Puts Burgers in Edible Wrappers Extra crinkly protein, anyone? By David Kiefaber

  • December 18 2012
  • Brazilian fast-food chain Bob’s has come up with edible packaging for its burgers, just to make the point that people love its food so much that they can’t even wait to unwrap it before digging in. That’s kind of cheating, isn’t it? Making the wrappers tasty enough that no one threw them out rigs the game a little too much, don’t you think? If people would ravenously tear through and ingest regular paper to get at these burgers, now that would be impressive. Besides, Ron Swanson already proved that a good burger isn’t about presentation as much as it is about good meat, so I don’t even know what we’re talking about here.


Obama WILL back tough new gun laws: President says he now supports bill to ban assault rifles as NRA breaks its silence over Sandy Hook school massacre

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2012 at 3:00 am
Obama WILL back tough new gun laws: President says he now supports bill to ban assault rifles as NRA breaks its silence over Sandy Hook school massacre

By David Mccormack

19:09 GMT, 18 December 2012

The White House has given its clearest indication yet that President Obama will do everything in his power to reinstate a ban on assault weapons following Friday’s horrific massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

After keeping relatively quiet about gun control during his first term, the President is now poised to push for new gun control measures.

Obama has long backed such a ban, but the White House has said the president can’t act alone and until now there has been little appetite in Congress to enact new gun laws.

Touching: The most poignant portion of the speech came when President Obama read the names of each of the 20 young victimsThe White House says President Barack Obama is ‘actively supportive’ of efforts on Capitol Hill to reinstate an assault weapons ban
Presidential embrace: Mr Obama talked to grieving father Robbie Parker, appearing to connect on a personal level
 Emilie Alice Parker

Presidential embrace: On Sunday Mr Obama talked to grieving father Robbie Parker about the loss of his daughter Emilie Parker, pictured right in a photo released by the family


Then on Sunday, Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein announced that she plans to introduce legislation to reinstate the ban early in the new year.

Senator Feinstein said the bill would ‘aim at limiting the sale, transfer and possession of assault weapons, along with the capacity of high-capacity magazines.’

She said that her bill – along with a similar bill in the House of Representatives – will be proposed on the first day of the next Congress when politicians return after the holidays.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says Obama would ‘actively support’ Feinstein’s bill and would also support legislation to close the gun show ‘loophole,’ which allows people to buy guns from private dealers without background checks.

The National Rifle Association, meanwhile, which had been unusually silence following Friday’s shootings issued a statement Tuesday which offered it condolences to the families of the victims and announced that it would be making a ‘meaningful’ announcement on Friday to ‘make sure this never happens again.’

The NRA statement, emailed by spokesman Andrew Arulanandam read ‘National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters – and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown.

‘Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting.

‘The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.

‘The NRA is planning to hold a major news conference in the Washington, DC area on Friday, December 21.’

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., plans to introduce legislation to reinstate a ban on assault weapons early next yearSen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., plans to introduce legislation to reinstate a ban on assault weapons early next year
The National Rifle Association has broken it's silence on Friday's tragedy in Newtown and claims that on Friday it will make an announcement to 'make sure this doesn't happen again'
The National Rifle Association has broken it’s silence on Friday’s tragedy in Newtown and claims that on Friday it will make an announcement to ‘make sure this doesn’t happen again’

The nation’s addiction to guns was highlighted when it was revealed that more than two million guns were purchased in America during the month of November.

On Black Friday alone, the FBI was asked to process 154,000 background checks for prospective gun owners.

President Obama has pledged to address gun violence in the coming weeks following Friday’s deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

He spoke Tuesday with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat and avid hunter who is now spoken out in support of a national discussion on preventing further gun violence.

On Sunday night at a memorial service for the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre, the President said the U.S. wasn’t doing enough to protect its children and pledged a huge effort to ‘prevent more tragedies like this.’

In one emotional meeting, the President embraced Robbie Parker, whose six-year-old daughter Emilie was one of those senselessly murdered.

In one of the most religious speeches of his presidency, Mr Obama talked about how the ultimate goal for a society is to protect their children.

‘You are not alone in your grief,’ President Obama said. ‘All across this land our world too has been torn apart. All across this land we wept with you and pulled our children tight. Newtown, you are not alone.’

Showing he stands with Connecticut: The President flew to Newton on Sunday afternoon and spent hours meeting with victims families prior to the memorial serviceShowing he stands with Connecticut: The President flew to Newton on Sunday afternoon and spent hours meeting with victims families prior to the memorial service

Senator Joe Manchin has said Congress and weapons makers should come together on a 'sensible, reasonable approach' to curbing rifles like the one used in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School Senator Joe Manchin has said Congress and weapons makers should come together on a ‘sensible, reasonable approach’ to curbing rifles like the one used in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School

‘If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. By that measure, can we truly say as a nation that we are doing our obligations?’ he said.

He made several references to the prospective – and likely – legal battles that will come as politicians fight for tougher restrictions on guns in the wake of the shooting.

He avoided specific plans, but took aim at the arguments made by activists who point to the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms as a reason to keep guns accessible.

‘Are we prepared to say that such violence visited upon our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?’ he said.

Yet the President also made clear that the cause of gun violence is a ‘complex’ range of issues, perhaps an acknowledgment to those who are against stronger gun control.

‘We will be told that the causes of such violence will be complex and that is true. No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society,’ he said.

Emotional: President Obama spoke slowly and deliberately during the memorial service on Sunday night

Touching: The most poignant portion of the speech came when President Obama read the names of each of the 20 young victims


‘But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than this,’ the President added.

A particularly poignant moment came in the speech when Mr Obama read the first names of all 20 children who died in the shooting.

‘We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage?’ he said, referring to the four other mass shootings that have taken place since Mr Obama was elected.

In the hours that followed Friday’s tragedy, a number of public figures spoke out in favor of greater gun control legislation.

‘The country needs [Obama] to send a bill to Congress to fix this problem,’ said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a statement after the Newtown attack.

‘Calling for “meaningful action” is not enough. We need immediate action,’ he said. ‘We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership – not from the White House and not from Congress.’


Shocked: The President was close to tears on Friday when he first spoke in the aftermath of the tragedy

Former Astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who was shot in Tucson last year, called on lawmakers and the president to ‘stand up and do what is right.’

‘This time our response must consist of more than regret, sorrow, and condolence,’ he said in a statement on Facebook. ‘This can no longer wait.’

The president was seen as loathe to revive a public gun debate ahead of the 2012 election campaign, because it was seen as such a divisive issue. But during the second presidential debate in October he said that he is ready to take new action on gun control, including the reintroduction of the assault weapons ban.

A 10-year federal ban on the sale of some semi-automatic weapons – dubbed ‘assault’ weapons – expired in 2004 and has not been renewed despite several attempts. Obama had said in 2008 that he would push for renewal in his first term, but that effort never materialized.


As an Illinois state senator from 1997-2004, Obama supported banning all forms of semiautomatic weapons and tighter state restrictions generally on firearms, including a failed effort to limit handgun purchases to one per month.

2005: In the U.S. Senate, Obama votes against protecting firearms makers and dealers from lawsuits over misuse of their products by others. The bill is signed into law by President George W. Bush.

2008: During his first presidential campaign, Obama supports a return to the federal ban on assault weapons, which began during the Clinton administration and expired under Bush.

He also endorses requiring background checks for buyers at gun shows. The National Rifle Association attacks him as an anti-gun zealot – a stand the group continues to take.

April 2008: Obama is criticized for elitism after sounding dismissive of gun owners in a talk to campaign donors. He said voters in struggling small towns in Middle America ‘cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them’ to explain their frustrations.

September 2008: Obama seeks to reassure gun owners: ‘I believe in people’s lawful right to bear arms. … There are some common-sense gun safety laws that I believe in. But I am not going to take your guns away.’

Nonetheless, gun sales go up when Obama wins, apparently because of fear that new restrictions are imminent under his administration.

2009: As president, Obama signs legislation allowing people to carry concealed weapons in the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and other national parks and wildlife refuges and another measure that lets people carry guns in their checked bags on Amtrak trains.

2010: The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence gives Obama a grade of ‘F’ for failing to push even the gun restrictions he supported while campaigning.

2011: Obama says the shooting that severely wounded then-Rep. Gabriel Giffords and killed six people should lead to ‘a new discussion of how we can keep America safe for all our people.’

He calls for ‘sound and effective steps’ to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, including strengthening background checks on gun buyers. But he’s short on specifics and no new initiative is proposed by his administration.

March 2012: Obama calls the fatal shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida ‘a tragedy,’ saying Americans should do some soul-searching and ‘examine the laws’ to figure out why it happened.

He didn’t call for any legal changes in response to the case, which mostly brought attention to some states’ ‘stand your ground’ laws making it easier for a shooter to claim self-defense.

Indeed, most gun regulations are imposed by states. The primary federal law is the Brady law requiring background checks on firearms purchasers.

July 2012: Obama says he’s heartbroken by the Aurora, Colorado movie theater massacre and calls on the country to unite in prayer for the victims. ‘If there’s anything to take away from this tragedy it’s the reminder that life is very fragile, our time here is limited and it is precious.’

Asked whether the shooting should prompt a new review of gun laws, White House spokesman Jay Carney declines to comment beyond reiterating Obama’s existing stance in support of ‘common-sense measures that protect Second Amendment rights of Americans, while ensuring that those who should not have guns under existing law do not get them.’

December 2012: In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school massacre, the president says he will ‘use whatever power this office holds’ to stop massacres like the slaughter at the school. He also hints at a fresh effort to curb the spread of guns, saying there is no ‘excuse for inaction.

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Nine Ways to Find Peace of Mind

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2012 at 2:33 am

Nine Ways to Find Peace of Mind

By Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

We are an anxious nation…in fact, we are an anxious world. There is no question that uncertainty seems to have increased dramatically in the last few years. We worry about terrorism. We worry about war. We worry about losing our jobs. We worry about the dangers confronting our children. And on and on and on.

This worry is understandable, given the state of the world at the present time, but there is no question in my mind that, with the right tools…

All of us can rise above any situation that life hands us. All of us can live a fulfilling life in the middle of the turmoil.

All of us can find a sense of peace and purpose.

Un-Set Your Heart

Un-Set Your Heart

Un-setting your heart means letting go of your picture of how you want it all to be. It means letting go of trying to control things over which you have no control. One of the prime causes of our suffering is our wanting things to be different than they are. Yes, we all want a peaceful world instead of a world filled with weapons of mass destruction.

Yes, we all want health instead of illness. Yes, we all want healthy, happy children instead of children who break our hearts. But sometimes life doesn’t hand us what we want. And when we un-set our hearts from our needing it all to be a certain way, we can breathe a sigh of relief and open the door to a more powerful way of living.


Create a Wondering Life Instead of a Hoping Life

Create a Wondering Life Instead of a Hoping LifeIt helps us un-set our hearts when we replace the words “I hope” with the words “I wonder.” Let me demonstrate. Instead of “I hope the war ends quickly,” make it “I wonder if the war will end quickly.” Instead of “I hope the stock market goes up,” make it “I wonder if the stock market will go up.” Instead of “I hope I keep my job,” make it “I wonder if I’ll keep my job.” Notice the relief in this simple shift.

Even with difficult situations in our lives, substituting “I wonder” for “I hope” keeps our hopes from being dashed and opens up the possibility of our learning and growing from whatever happens.

Choose the Path of Trust

Choose the Path of TrustWhen you fully understand that you have little control of the external world, you then have two choices: you can choose to see yourself as a “poor-me” victim at the mercy of circumstances or you can choose to develop the trust that, no matter what happens in your life or in the world, you will have the inner strength to create something good from it all. Hopefully you will choose the latter!

Increase Your Inner Sense of Power

Increase Your Inner Sense of PowerOne way to help you develop trust in yourself is to cut off negativity in the mind by saying to yourself over and over again, “Whatever happens in my life, I’ll handle it!” Those of you who are familiar with my work know that it is one of my favorite affirmations. I suggest you emblazon this powerful affirmation on your mind. If you say it often enough, you will ultimately believe it. And if you really believe that you can handle anything that happens in your life and in the world, what could you possibly have to fear? Nothing!

So when the “what-if’s” are driving you mad, simply cut them off by saying over and over again, “Whatever happens, I’ll handle it!” You’ll feel a sense of confidence wash over you. “What if I lose my job? I’ll handle it.” “What if my children have difficult times? I’ll handle it. Whatever happens in my life, I’ll handle it!”



Collect Heroes

Collect HeroesHeroes to me are people who have created much good in this world as a result of horrible experiences in their lives. A few heroes come to mind: Christopher Reeve, who created so much good as a result of his paralyzing accident; Viktor Frankl, who created so much good out of his experience in a concentration camp; Ram Dass, who created so much good as a result of his debilitating stroke; Marc Klaas, who created so much good after the murder of his daughter. As you collect heroes, you understand this important thought: “If they can learn and grow from their experiences, I certainly can learn and grow from mine!” As you collect your heroes, your trust grows and your worry about the future gets smaller and smaller.

Focus of the Learning

Focus on the LearningYes, you can learn and find strength from anything that happens to you, just as the heroes mentioned above have done. I certainly learned from and found strength as a result of my own experiences with cancer and divorce. If you see ALL situations in life as a way of learning and growing, it helps you let go of your need for things to be a certain way.


  • War = a way of learning
  • Peace = a way of learning
  • Illness = a way of learning
  • Health = a way of learning
  • Poverty = a way of learning
  • Wealth = a way of learning
  • Depression = a way of learning
  • Joy = a way of learning

So despite what is happening in your life and in the world, constantly remind yourself “I can learn from this.” When you can see the opportunities inherent in all situations, good or bad, it truly helps you embrace all the uncertainty in your life.

Embrace the Thought, “It’s All Happening Perfectly”

Embrace the Thought Its All Happening PerfectlyThis is another affirmation I use over and over. And it truly helps me let go of my needing things to be a certain way. “Susan, how can things be happening perfectly when there is possibility of war, terrorism, illness, poverty, and violence?” My answer to that is that we cannot know the “Grand Design,” the great mystery of it all, and as we say “It’s all happening perfectly,” we begin looking for the good in any situation that life hands us. When we look for the good, we always find it. Yes, so much good can come from so much that is bad. In that, it truly is happening perfectly.

So when things seem very difficult in your life or in the world, just keep repeating this reassuring statement until it becomes an automatic part of your thinking. This always helps me to have trust, not only in myself, but also the Grand Design.

Focus on the Blessings

Focus on the BlessingsI have learned from my heroes that, no matter how horrible life may seem on the outside, it is so important to focus on the beauty. As we go about our daily lives, we take so many wonderful things for granted. It’s now time to notice. Strangely, this is hard to do, especially when we have our eyes focused on the bad. It sounds ridiculous, but we actually have to train ourselves to notice all the beauty in our lives. And train ourselves, we must… because focusing on the blessings is an absolute necessity for diffusing our fears about the future.

A suggestion: As you go about your day, stop for a moment and notice when something wonderful happens. Then say to yourself while still in the glory of the moment, “I have had this.” This is the acknowledgment that “No matter what happens tomorrow, I have had this today.” It is in the noticing of the little things that you truly get the feeling of a life well-lived… that wonderful hot shower, that kiss from a loved one, the fact that your car started, that great dinner you are eating, the warm rays of the sun, a candy bar, a wonderful television show…

Get Involved

Get InvolvedPositive action has an amazing effect on our psyche. As we take action, we begin to feel more powerful and our fear about the future decreases considerably. Keep repeating to yourself: “My life has meaning and I will do whatever I can to make this a better world.”

Then ask yourself, “What am I called to do?” Make a list of what comes to mind, and begin taking action. When you remember that your life has meaning, it makes it so much easier to push through the fear and live a life that matters. And your self-esteem grows and grows. Just as importantly, you will have found the secret of creating a joyous and fulfilling life.

As you make these tools a part of your daily life, you experience a whole new sense of purpose and power emerging from within, and you look forward to the future with an attitude of great possibility — for yourself and for your world.


Pakistan militants kill 5 women from U.N.-backed polio vaccination program

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2012 at 2:08 am

Pakistan militants kill 5 women from U.N.-backed polio vaccination program

December 18, 2012, 11:10 AM

KARACHI, Pakistan Gunmen shot dead five women working on U.N.-backed polio vaccination efforts in two different Pakistani cities on Tuesday, officials said, a major setback for a campaign that international health officials consider vital to contain the crippling disease but which Taliban insurgents say is a cover for espionage.


Pakistan is one of only three countries where polio is endemic. Militants however accuse health workers of acting as spies for the U.S. and claim the vaccine makes sterile. Taliban children commanders in the troubled northwest tribal region have also said vaccinations can’t go forward until the U.S. stops drone strikes in the country.


Insurgent opposition to the campaign grew last year after it was revealed that a Pakistani doctor ran a fake vaccination program to try and help the CIA track down al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, who was hiding in the town of Abbottabad in the country’s northwest.

The Taliban have targeted previous anti-polio campaigns, but this has been a particularly deadly week. The government is in the middle of a three-day vaccination drive targeting high risk areas of the country as part of an effort to immunize millions of children under the age of five.


The women who were killed Tuesday — three of whom were teenagers — were all shot in the head at close range. Four of them were gunned down in the southern port city of Karachi, and the fifth in a village outside the northwest city of Peshawar. Two men who were working alongside the women were also critically wounded in Karachi.


The attacks in Karachi were well-coordinated and occurred within 15 minutes in three different areas of the city that are far apart, said police spokesman Imran Shoukat. In each case, the gunmen used 9 millimeter pistols. Two of the women were teenagers, aged 18 and 19, and the other two were in their 40s, he said.


Two of the women were killed while they were in a house giving children polio drops, said Shoukat. The other two were traveling between houses when they were attacked, he said.


On Monday another person working on the anti-polio campaign, a male volunteer, was gunned down in Karachi. Taliban militants also killed three soldiers in an ambush of an army convoy escorting a vaccination team in the northwest.


Officials in Karachi responded to the attacks by suspending the vaccination campaign in the city, said Sagheer Ahmed, the health minister for surrounding Sindh province. The campaign started on Monday and was supposed to run through Wednesday, he said.


Immunization was suspended in Karachi in July as well after a local volunteer was shot to death and two U.N. staff were wounded.


Janbaz Afridi, a senior health official in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where the fifth woman was killed, said the shootings would not stop the local government from continuing its vaccination program in the province and the neighboring tribal region, the main sanctuary for Taliban militants in the country.


“These incidents are depressing and may cause difficulties in the anti-polio drive, but people should not lose heart,” said Afridi. “The government is very serious, and we are determined to eliminate polio despite all odds and difficult conditions.”


The shootings in Karachi all took place in areas mainly populated by ethnic Pashtuns, said Ahmed, the health minister. The Taliban are a Pashtun-dominated movement, and many militants are reported to be hiding in these communities in the city.


Rukhsana Bibi, whose 18-year-old daughter Madiha was killed in Karachi, seemed to blame the organizers of the vaccination campaign for her death.


“Why are you doing this by coming here?” said Bibi, standing next to her daughter’s body at the hospital. “This is a prohibited area. Taliban are here.”


Madiha was the only source of income for the family, which includes seven other children, said Bibi, whose husband is too sick to work.


The woman who was killed in the northwest was also a teenager and was shot by gunmen on a motorcycle as she was working with her sister in the village of Shinkai Hindkian, said Afridi, the local health official. She was rushed to the hospital after the attack but eventually died from her injuries, said Afridi.


Another official in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain, said the woman was shot by her cousin because of a family dispute. He said she was working on the anti-polio campaign at the time, but he claimed the two things were unrelated.


Polio usually infects children living in unsanitary conditions, attacks the nerves and can kill or paralyze. Most of the new cases in Pakistan are in the northwest, where the presence of militants makes it difficult to reach children. A total of 56 polio cases were reported in Pakistan during 2012, said Ahmed, the Sindh health minister.


Despite the obstacles, the government has teamed up with U.N. agencies to give oral polio drops to 34 million children under the age of five. Clerics and tribal elders have been recruited to support polio vaccinations in an attempt to open up areas previously inaccessible to health workers


Also Tuesday, two men on a motorcycle hurled hand grenades at the main gate of an army recruiting center in the northwestern town of Risalpur, wounding 10 people, including civilians and security personnel, said senior police official Ghulam Mohammed.


No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest in a string of assaults in recent days that illustrate the continued challenge Pakistan faces from militants despite multiple military operations against the Pakistani Taliban and their supporters.

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