Friday, July 31, 2009
(photos via FilmJunk)
One Man Is Being Paid $110,000 to Live on an Australian Island Resort and Blog About It, Weekly
By NICK WATT
May 6, 2009—
"It's probably the best job in the world, now that the Australian tourism bureau has finally selected somebody to live on an island and write about life as a beach bum.
The new hire will get to live in a fantastic house on a paradise island in Australia's Great Barrier Reef for six months and get paid $110,000 to do it. The only requirement: write a weekly blog. That's right, weekly, not even daily.
Within the first 48 hours of the contest, the tourism group received more than 7,500 online applications. In the end, 34,000 people applied. Each made a 60-second video resume. They were told to be creative and they were.
Sixteen finalists flew to Australia for the final, "grueling" selection. Let's just say, it involved massages.
The job requirements are quite simple: The ability to speak English and swim.
The contest is part of a publicity stunt to drum up tourism in the area.
Tourism Queensland CEO Anthony Hayes said the idea has helped inject millions of dollars into the industry during a tough period.
"We think we've just ticked over $110 million in international publicity and probably another, hopefully, $20 or $30 million coming this week," Hayes said.
The tourism bureau announced the winner this morning : Ben Southall, a 34-year-old Brit who claims he once kissed a giraffe.
"Well, it's going to be tough; yes, it's going to be horrible learning how to sail, how to dive, to go bush walking," Southall said.
As caretaker, Southall will live at Blue Pearl, "a beautiful three-bedroom home on Hamilton Island featuring stunning views of the Whitsunday Islands, modern facilities and exquisite furnishings."
"I hope I can sell the reef as much as everybody is expecting," Southall told Reuters after he was crowned the winner at a ceremony on Hamilton Island. "My swimming, hopefully, is up to standard."
Southall once worked as a tour guide in Africa, but most recently has worked as a charity fundraiser. In his application video, he expressed a love for adventure, and featured photographs of himself riding an ostrich, running a marathon, scuba diving and kissing a giraffe."
Thursday, July 30, 2009
A Montreal-based nonprofit called Yellow Bird Project. They work with an amazing range of indie rock musicians to create unique t-shirt designs that benefit an array of charities, each chosen by the musicians.
Some of the Musicians Participating:
Bon Iver, Broken Social Scene, Au Revoire Simone, The Shins, Of Montreal ...
Take a minute and take a look. Seems like a great thing to get involved in.
Yellow Bird Project
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Some of the dopest words in UCLA slang 6:
Bromance: Extremely close platonic friendship between two males.
Roll mad deep:
Sister from another mister:
Spit game at; spit some game at:
Walk of shame:
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
This recipe for strawberry lemonade from Nicole over on So Haute! looks divine... Click the link for instructions and more photos!
5-6 large lemons
1 lb strawberries
5 cups cold water (approx)
A concoction of simple syrup made from 1 1/2 cups sugar dissolved into 1 cup of warm water.
"A compact fluorescent light is a type of energy-saving bulb that fits into a standard light bulb socket or plugs into a small lighting fixture, and right now, compact fluorescents seem to be gaining in popularity. But did you know they can also be toxic to your home and the environment?
Fluorescent lights are filled with a gas containing low-pressure mercury vapor and argon, or sometimes even krypton. The inner surface of the bulb is coated with a fluorescent coating made of varying blends of metallic and rare earth phosphor salts. Fluorescent light bulbs are more energy efficient than incandescent light bulbs of an equivalent brightness, and the efficiency of fluorescent lighting owes much to low-pressure mercury photon discharges. But fluorescents don't produce a steady light, and they burn out more quickly when cycled frequently; they also contain items such as fluorine, neon, and lead powder as well as mercury.
Measuring the environmental impact of mercury use in a particular product is more complicated than you might think. Mercury is an essential element in millions of fluorescent lamps throughout the world, and as those lamps are thrown into landfill, the mercury can escape and contribute to air and water pollution. (It can easily leach into groundwater supplies.)
According to www.lightbulbrecycling.com, each year an estimated 600 million fluorescent lamps are disposed of in U.S. landfills, amounting to 30,000 pounds of mercury waste. Astonishingly, that's almost half the amount of mercury emitted into the atmosphere by coal-fired power plants each year. It only takes 4mg of mercury to contaminate up to 7,000 gallons of freshwater, meaning that the 30,000 pounds of mercury thrown away in compact fluorescent light bulbs each year is enough to pollute nearly every lake, pond, river and stream in North America (not to mention the oceans).
Controlling the waste
Many state governing agencies have adopted their own regulations regarding the disposal of fluorescent lights. In California, Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, it is unlawful for anyone to dispose of fluorescent bulbs as universal waste. These laws are based on the well-documented toxicity of the heavy metal mercury.
Mercury (also called 'quicksilver') is a heavy, silvery transition metal most commonly found in thermometers, barometers, and other scientific apparatus. It is used in the electrical industry and in laboratory and medical instruments. Mercury is a known neurotoxin, and elevated blood mercury levels may lead to retardation and deformities in children. Chest pains, dyspnea, coughing, hemoptysis, and sometimes interstitial pneumonitis leading to death may follow acute inhalation exposure to mercury vapor. In America, 1 in 6 children born every year have been exposed to mercury levels so high that they are potentially at risk for learning disabilities, motor skill impairment and short-term memory loss.
If Americans adopt the use of even more compact fluorescent light bulbs, this ratio is like to substantially grow. Breaking one mercury light bulb in your home can contaminate your home to such a degree that hazardous materials experts are needed to remove the mercury. (At great cost, too. A typical mercury removal effort involving the breaking of a single fluorescent light can cost several thousand dollars.) The idea of allowing mercury to be placed in an easily breakable consumer product is fraught with public safety risks. In fact, it required a special exemption from the EPA to allow mercury-fluorescent lamps to be sold to consumers in the first place."
“ALL FIGURED OUT–This chart is used by judges as [a] guide in picking Miss Universe. First six show figure flaws, seventh is perfectly proportioned. (1) Shoulders too square. (2) Shoulders too sloping. (3) Hips too wide. (4) Shoulder bones too pronounced. (5) Shoulders and back hunched. (6) Legs irregular, with spaces at calves, knees, thighs. (7) The form divine, needs only a beautiful face.” (via: rachel hills)
Monday, July 27, 2009
Recessions have their milestones. There is the start, of course, in this case December 2007; the worst months, the winter and spring of this year; the gradual return to economic expansion, late this year maybe; and, finally, adding jobs.
That last one is a tough call, because this recession in some very important ways is not only deeper than any we’ve had since the 1930s but is particularly hard on family income and savings. And without family income and savings, consumption — and the jobs it produces — are put off.
Most Americans don’t consider a recession really over until work is once again plentiful, and the unemployment rate — which is now at 9.5 percent — finally starts going down. Ask economists when that will occur this time and they hesitate. No sooner than next summer, nearly all of them say. And that’s a guess, verging on wishful thinking.
“It is going to take a while for manufacturing and construction to stop losing jobs, and it will take time for businesses to be confident enough to go out and hire,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com, who says the necessary confidence won’t return before next summer.
When it does, the hiring is likely to be spotty and cautious. Health care and education, for example, have added workers throughout the recession and as that steady hiring continues in post-recession America, the overall job numbers will finally begin to rise — not from a surge in the hiring of health care workers and teachers, but because fewer and fewer jobs will be disappearing in other sectors.
“You are combining a very deep recession with what at this point looks like a sluggish recovery,” said Jan Hatzius, chief domestic economist at Goldman Sachs.
Steep recessions — and few in American history have been steeper than this one — are usually followed by vigorous, steep recoveries that include job growth, particularly in manufacturing and retailing, as people make purchases they had put off. The result is a chain reaction in which stores reorder, factories hum and workers are hired. Satisfying pent-up demand, this process is called.
But this time is clearly different. The pent-up demand is not present — not with 6.46 million jobs gone in just 18 months and hundreds of billions of dollars in wages extinguished. Credit is harder than ever to get for those who might want to spend again, and there are fewer and fewer spenders. People who do have jobs are saving (not spending) more of their incomes than they have in years, trying to replenish wealth lost in the stock market and in the declining value of their homes.
And, perhaps most important, millions of workers on short schedules will very likely get their hours back before their bosses hire new people.
“We are talking the equivalent of adding back four to five million jobs just by restoring hours lost in this recession,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy and Research. “That process of adding back hours won’t start before next June,” he says, “and I’m not confident it will begin even that soon.”
So much for a surge in hiring or spending. If there is what seems like a job surge next April and May, that will be because the Census Bureau is hiring 1.2 million census takers in those months for the 2010 census. The work is part time, but it will bolster the national employment rolls — only to be subtracted once the work is done in July.
Coming out of steep recessions in the past, home building, like manufacturing, flourished and the hiring of construction workers surged. Nearly half a million construction jobs returned after the steep 1981-1982 recession. Not this time. Too many homes were built during the bubble years before 2008, and too many office buildings. The glut has to be worked off before there is much new construction, or hiring.
The recovery, then, given the circumstances, is likely to come not with job growth, but “a diminution in job loss,” as Mr. Hatzius put it. Like some other forecasters, he expects the economy to start growing by the end of the year.
Maybe that is already happening. But it is growth without jobs — yet another jobless recovery, like the last two, this time on a giant scale. We came out of the 2001 recession into a recovery in which fewer than 60,000 jobs were lost each month, on average, not the hundreds of thousands a month very likely to disappear in the recovery to come.
That is a political problem, of course, particularly if the nation is not yet adding jobs as the Congressional election approaches next year. Mr. Zandi estimates that the stimulus package is likely to generate 2.5 million jobs. The president’s Council of Economic Advisers put the number at 3.5 million by the end of next year. Either way, that is not much of an offset for an economy that has already lost nearly two million jobs since the stimulus was enacted in February.
Such numbers suggest that if the goal is a job surge coming out of the current recession, then another stimulus package is needed, and a big one, perhaps as much as $1 trillion packed into a single year of spending, some economists say. Consumer spending and business investment provided such a kick coming out of steep recessions in the past.
In their absence this time, job growth will inevitably resume as the recession gradually ends, but at a trickle, not a torrent. Health care and education seem certain to lead the way, with isolated help from the oil industry, pipeline construction companies, utilities, computer design firms and the federal government.
Mr. Zandi projects that once the employment rolls begin to grow again, in the second half of next year, nearly half the hiring will come from public schools, hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient care centers and physicians’ offices. Not that the numbers will be so great — on the order of 100,000 jobs a month, or less, for all these categories together. That increase is needed to care for aging baby boomers and a bulge in the population of young people.
Hotels and restaurants are also likely to expand their staffs as people relax a bit. And retailers, too, are expected to add workers cautiously, after downsizing hugely during the recession.
There might even be a surprise, adds Robert Barbera, chief economist for the Investment Technology Group. “Some new and exciting area of job growth may emerge,” he said, “although I can’t guess where that might be.”
Sunday, July 26, 2009
The nominees for a 2009 Emmy award in Outstanding Main Title Design....
Taking Chance (HBO)
United States Of Tara (Showtime)
Lie To Me (FOX) – Video not available
Friday, July 24, 2009
It's almost that time of the year again... COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON!
As most know, Colt McCoy will be returning to Texas for another year even though the door to the NFL was wide open.
And his reasoning: "I came back to win, I think we have a great chance." Read the USA Today article on him here.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Volcano Choir is an assembly of Wisconsinites Jon Mueller, Chris Rosenau, Jim Schoenecker, Daniel Spack, Justin Vernon, and Thomas Wincek. You might find these old friends also frequenting records and stages under different monikers, Collections of Colonies of Bees and Bon Iver. The collaboration predates the meteoric rise of Justin Vernon's Bon Iver project, with original songwriting dating back to the summer of 2005, right around the time the Bees first toured with Vernon's previous band DeYarmond Edison.
"We started collaborating three years ago and just this year we started to realize we had nine or 10 tracks almost done. I sing on it, but there aren't a lot of lyrics-- it's definitely more on the experimental side of things." - JUSTIN VERNON
In case you didn't know, she's also half of Frou Frou (remember Let Go in Garden State and The Holiday?).
Here's a video for her new song Canvas. ENJOY!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Neufvoin are an up-and-coming indie band who create beautifully-arranged catchy pop melodies with guitars, synthesizer textures and a few other instruments. Apparently, they also like playing with bots and droids. Robot is taken from their debut Robokop EP, six songs produced by Rubik frontman Artturi Taira that journey many different musical landscapes. (Music Alliance Pact)
Sunday, July 19, 2009
forty-five thoughts for my daughter and my virtual daughters
By Francesca Lia Block.
i always believed if i had blond hair, pixie face
everything would be all right
not realizing that culturally idolized beauty
is not only foolproof
but potentially dangerous
if you believe in your own unconventional beauty
when you are young
you will accomplish twice as much and suffer half so
turn off lightbulbs and light a candle
walk don’t drive
plant a tree
dancing is an antidepressant
kindness is the new status symbol
every day please try to eat something green
and something orange
that grow out of the ground
tell me how mad you are
that your father and i parted
i will always listen
though i can’t ever take away the pain
expectations are for what you yourself create
they rarely work when applied to others
turn off the television
tv is a depressant
yoga is an antidepressant
don’t feel guilty about wanting pretty things
they would not be so alluring
if you weren’t supposed to want them
just don’t value them over compassion
use your words even when you are a grown-up
and people no longer think it is entirely acceptable
when you say, that hurt my feelings
if you can digest chocolate eat it sometimes
same goes for ice cream
(i don’t really need to tell you those things do i?)
do your homework because it is part of the game but
don’t spend too much time worrying about grades
fall in love with someone kind who loves your body
and your mind
if you have a dream that won’t let you go, that
tickles your solar plexus, heed it
turn dark feelings into paintings or poetry
music is a kind of food
if you are sad talk to a happy woman who loves you
it will always help
move your body when you are sad or angry
avoid the following:
genetically modified ingredients
sodium lauryl sulfate
mercury in certain fish
neurotic thoughts about food
(is that a contradiction?)
love your curls though they tangle
your pale skin though it can burn in the sun
your nose though it is broader than some
your sturdy legs and feet
forget barbie she does not possess imagination
remember you are a botticelli angel
the planet we live on is perfection
love her like a goddess
love yourself as her daughter
there is a planet full of different kinds of beauty
the idea that only one type of woman is beautiful
of everything i brought to the world in these
you and your brother are by far the most astounding
because of this i will always love your father
matter never vanishes, only changes
remember that when someone you love dies
your round head on my breast when you were born
is the memory
i will keep with me when i leave this body
when i am gone i will still be near you
this is how i know: when you were born
it was not a meeting
but a reunione
Saturday, July 18, 2009
General California Facts
Entered Union: Sept. 9, 1850 (31st state)
Motto: Eureka (I have found it)
State Colors: Blue and gold
State Song: I Love You, California
Nickname: Golden State
California Facts, Government
Governor: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Senators: Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein
Tree: California redwood
Bird: California valley quail
Animal: California grizzly bear (1953)
Fish: California golden trout (1947)
California Facts, State Geography
Land area: 155,973 sq mi. (403,970 sq km)
Water area: 7,734 sq mi
Coastline: 840 mi
Highest point: Mt. Whitney - 14,494 ft
Lowest point: Death Valley - 282 ft below sea level
Geographic center of state: In Madera Co., 35 mi. NE of Madera
Number of counties: 58
Largest county by population: Los Angeles
Largest county by area San Bernardino, 20,062 sq mi.
Some Interesting California Facts
- California is the most populous state in the U. S. One out of every eight people live here.
- Only Alaska and Texas have a larger land area than the state of California.
- Three out of ten of the largest U. S. cities are in the state of California: Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose.
- California is the country's top agricultural state, growing half of the food for the country. Almost all almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, kiwifruit, olives, persimmons, pistachios, prunes, raisins, clovers, and walnuts are grown in California.
- California contains the lowest and the highest points in the continental U. S. You can travel from 282 feet below sea level in Death Valley to 14,494-foot Mount Whitney in less than a day.
- California is home to the oldest, largest and tallest living things. The bristlecone pines of the eastern Sierras are 4,600 years old, General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park is the largest and California coastal redwoods are the tallest.
Friday, July 17, 2009
interventionsd.comPros: With an honest effort to make the pool area and its surroundings look and feel like a rock star haven, Intervention is the place for music lovers and wannabe idols.
Cons: Although it might seem like an oasis marked with gorgeous women and men who idolize the likes of Rafael Palmero and Barry Bonds, if you aren’t ready to be seen or judged, don’t come here. This is a haven for those who want to flaunt what they have, so be sure you are bringing something to the table.
EUPHORIA AT IVY HOTEL
Pros: If you’re into contemporary furniture and contemporary company, Euphoria is the place to be. With wrap-around views of downtown, it’s a haven for the hipsters who want nothing more to relax with big sunglasses and a mojito in hand — and the staff here understands that.
Cons: Price, cost and affordability are three words you should never even think about when coming here. If you do, it could be torture. Any money you bring is already lost, so just suck it up and have fun with it. So what if a drink is $15? At least you’re drinking it next to the go-go dancers that make the top of the bar their home.
SHINE AT KIN LOUNGE, MANCHESTER GRAND HYATT
kinlounge.comPros: As if the beautiful clientele wasn’t enough of a reason to go, the view of the harbor is second to none. Partying poolside with ocean views in the distance is the way to go, but if you don’t care too much for standing, you can try reserving one of the many daybeds or bottle-service tables.
Cons: It’s brand-new, so it has something to prove and has to do it fast. Only open a little over a month, Kin Lounge has already added a Silent Disco (partiers wear wireless headphones while they dance) to its event calendar, which was a bust, but hopefully SHINE will be able to pick up most of the slack for this new, lavish and colorful rooftop oasis.
SIRĚN POOL AND UBER LOUNGE AT SÈ HOTEL
sesandiego.com Cons: It’s brand-new, so it has something to prove and has to do it fast. Only open a little over a month, Kin Lounge has already added a Silent Disco (partiers wear wireless headphones while they dance) to its event calendar, which was a bust, but hopefully SHINE will be able to pick up most of the slack for this new, lavish and colorful rooftop oasis.
Cons: If you’re young and looking to get wild with your friends, this isn’t the place. Don’t expect skimpy bikinis and an outrageous clientele — this pool is reserved for people who simply want to enjoy their day in style. If you live anywhere close to the water, getting here is quite a challenge as well; expect a taxi fare.
via: san diego magazine