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Monthly Archives: April 2010

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CNN: World’s 50 best restaurants list released

1. Noma (Copenhagen, Denmark)

2. El Bulli (Roses, Spain)

3. The Fat Duck (Bray, England)

4. El Celler de Can Roca (Girona, Spain)

5. Mugaritz (Errenteria, Spain)

6. Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy)

7. Alinea (Chicago, Illinois)

8. Daniel (New York)

9. Arzak (San Sebastián, Spain)

10. Per Se (New York)

The Daily Beast: Big Fat Story Financial Giants
CNN Money: Goldman Sachs reports $3.5 billion profit
AP: Goldman Sachs earnings up 91 percent
AP: UK regulator begins Goldman Sachs probe

AP: Are school lunches a national security threat?

WASHINGTON — School lunches have been called many things, but a group of retired military officers is giving them a new label: national security threat.

That’s not a reference to the mystery meat served up in the cafeteria line either. The retired officers are saying that school lunches have helped make the nation’s young people so fat that fewer of them can meet the military’s physical fitness standards, and recruitment is in jeopardy.

A new report being released Tuesday says more than 9 million young adults, or 27 percent of all Americans ages 17 to 24, are too overweight to join the military. Now, the officers are advocating for passage of a wide-ranging nutrition bill that aims to make the nation’s school lunches healthier.

The officers’ group, Mission: Readiness, was appearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday with Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The military group acknowledges that other things keep young adults out of the armed services, such as a criminal record or the lack of a high school diploma. But weight problems that have worsened over the past 15 years are now the leading medical reason that recruits are rejected.

Although all branches of the military now meet or exceed recruitment goals, retired Navy Rear Adm. James Barnett Jr., a member of the officers group, says the obesity trend could affect that.

“When over a quarter of young adults are too fat to fight, we need to take notice,” Barnett said. He noted that national security in the year 2030 is “absolutely dependent” on reversing child obesity rates.

Recruitment isn’t the only problem posed by obesity. According to the report, the government spends tens of millions of dollars every year to train replacements for service members discharged because of weight problems.

This isn’t the first time the military has gotten involved in the debate over school lunches. During World War II, military leaders had the opposite problem, reporting that many recruits were rejected because of stunted growth and inadequate nutrition. After the war, military leaders pushed Congress to establish the national school lunch program so children would grow up healthier.

The program was established in 1946, “as a measure of national security,” according to the original bill language.

Today, the group is urging Congress to eliminate junk food and high-calorie beverages from schools, put more money into the school lunch program and develop new strategies that help children develop healthier habits.

The school lunch bill, currently awaiting a Senate vote, would establish healthier options for all foods in schools, including vending machine items. The legislation would spend $4.5 billion more over 10 years for nutrition programs.

The Army is already doing its part to catch the problem earlier, working with high schoolers and interested recruits to lose weight before they are eligible for service, says U.S. Army Recruiting Command’s Mark Howell. He added that he had to lose 10 pounds himself before he joined the military.

“This is the future of our Army we are looking at when we talk about these 17- to 24-year-olds,” Howell said. “The sad thing is a lot of them want to join but can’t.”

USA Today: Facing unfit recruits, military leaders target food in schools

GQ: ¿Qué Pasa, Lou?
According to Lou Dobbs, we’ve been completely wrong about him. Wrong about his stance on illegal immigrants. Wrong about his reasons for quitting CNN after twenty-seven years. And wrong about his newfound political aspirations. Well, we might actually be right about that last thing. Jeanne Marie Laskas meets the man we thought we knew.

“How do you feel?” Lou turns to me and says. We’re in the back of his silver Audi midmorning on a steel gray New Jersey day, and we’re heading from the country, where he lives, to the city, where he does his radio show, about an hour and a half away. He’s working on a Wendy’s cheeseburger, a Diet Coke, and a small chocolate Frosty.

“How do I feel?” I ask. He throws his shoulders back, like, How hard a question is that? He’s a Brahman bull of a man with puffy hands and a dainty silver bracelet, and he’s in truck-driver attire: orange thermal shirt, green overshirt, John Deere cap.

It’s taking me a moment to catch up to Lou’s abrupt change in subject. Feelings? We had been talking about NAFTA, how he supported it—”I was there before Clinton, for Chrissake!”—and how this position, along with so many others, goes completely against the Lou Dobbs–ian economic-isolationist mythology that exists in American culture today. Mythology—that’s been his main point. As in: a false collective belief. As in: so much utter bullshit. And: “I let the liberal mainstream media define me. That was my mistake. I was stupid, and I was arrogant.” He’s made this point often over the past few days, not with rage so much as regret, and after he said it this last time, he fell silent, gazed with some interest out his window, so apparently he’s found some reason for switching subjects.

“Uh, I feel good,” I answer.

“Happy?” he says.

“Well, sure—”

Read the entire article at GQ

Urlesque: 50 Hilarious TV Screenshots and Freeze Frames

BBC: Thailand’s red-shirt protesters reinstate TV station

BBC: Greece ‘must seek IMF bail-out’, investors warn

BBC: Israeli PM Netanyahu pulls out of US nuclear summit

Times Online: George W. Bush ‘knew Guantánamo prisoners were innocent

Politico: The Salahis are back

The Huffington Post: 50 Best Book People To Follow On Twitter

New York Mag: Oprah’s New Show: How She Won by Backing Down

Has anyone else seen the train wreck that is High Society (a show on the CW) and the clowns that make up it’s cast? It’s beyond horrifying. Not only is the show unwatchable but the cast consists of ignorant, uneducated, red-neck, bigots cloaked in Chanel dresses and Louboutain heels. Yes, I meant what I said. The most infuriating is Jule Kirby. Her parent’s should be beyond appalled by her behavior. To see her in action watch her here. Trust me this video won’t disappoint.

The New York Observer: CW Says They Couldn’t Write Jules Kirby’s Lines Even If They Tried

The folks at Gawker hate it too: High Society: You Should Never Make Love in This Town Again

New York Times: Bringing You a Signal You’re Already Paying For

SAN FRANCISCO — Faced with withering criticism for its spotty iPhone service, AT&T blames in part a shortage of cellphone towers near homes and businesses. But it has a solution: put a miniature cell tower in your living room.

There’s a catch, though. You have to pay for it. And that is making some customers angry.

The size of a couple of decks of cards, these mini-towers act and look like Wi-Fi hot spots at cafes, and redirect cellphone calls from congested cell towers to home Web connections.

“It’s a fabulous idea, especially if you can’t get service, but to charge for it is insulting,” said Christina Zachariades, 28, of Manhattan who already pays $130 a month for iPhone service but cannot receive or make calls in her fifth-floor apartment on the Upper East Side. “How much more do I have to pay to get the service required for me to use my phone?”

Despite complaints like this, the technology is poised for big sales, thanks to price drops but also because of the entrance into the market by AT&T. Other companies — Verizon, for example — have already marketed their mini-towers for niche use to customers in places with limited cellphone signals, like basements or homes with particularly thick walls.

But although AT&T says its mini-towers will help in that kind of situation, it also acknowledges that it wants to help iPhone users who cannot get consistent signals.

The company, which has been testing such devices in a few markets, plans to officially start selling this month what it calls “MicroCells” in a few places for $150.

Even though the calls would be offloaded to an Internet service provider, AT&T customers would be charged for the minutes of phone service in their existing wireless plans unless they pay an extra $20 a month for unlimited calling. (The call volume is not expected to clog the Internet’s pipes.)

Over the long term, basic economics favors mini-towers in homes over big towers, said Pasquale Romano, chief executive of 2Wire Inc., a company in San Jose, Calif., that is developing one of the devices.

He said it did not make sense for carriers to spend money building large towers in residential areas because most people are not home during the day; as it is, AT&T already plans to spend $8 billion this year on improving its wireless coverage, including on big towers, according to public filings.

And the mini-tower, Mr. Romano said, will pay consumers a big dividend. “It’ll make your cellphone work perfectly at home,” he said.

Read the Full Article at The New York Times

Washington Post: Obama weighs new peace plan for the Middle East

Politico: How to Fix CNN

BBC: Rare Flawless Blue diamond on sale in Hong Kong

Oprah: Watch Here

BBC: Proper nouns come into play in Scrabble rule change

NY Post: Harvard students to get nightlife lesson

Urban Daddy: Má Pêche Opens Today!