Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top !00 Washington Twitters

1.
Barack Obama (BarackObama)
Washington, DC
http://www.barackobama.com
2,983,189
744,707
477
34 months ago
2.
NPR Politics (nprpolitics)
Washington, DC
http://www.npr.org/templates/...
1,785,188
115,747
11,137
32 months ago
3.
John McCain (SenJohnMcCain)
Washington, DC
http://mccain.senate.gov
1,694,004
69
882
11 months ago
4.
GeorgeStephanopoulos (GStephanopoulos)
Washington, DC
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/
1,612,800
594
1,202
14 months ago
5.
Scott Simon (nprscottsimon)
Washington, DC
http://www.npr.org/blogs/sund...
1,287,148
59
1,262
11 months ago
6.
Newt Gingrich (newtgingrich)
Washington, DC
http://Newt.org
1,279,658
104
1,339
11 months ago
7.
Jared Cohen (jaredcohen)
Washington, DC
http://www.childrenofjihad.com
255,989
40
701
8.
The FCC (fcc)
Washington, DC
http://www.fcc.gov
194,724
23
208
9.
NPR News (nprnews)
Washington, DC
http://www.npr.org
143,233
82,237
11,415
33 months ago
10.
PTI (PTIShow)
Washington, DC

96,971
88
1,269
14 months ago
11.
Craig Luecke (RocklandUSA)
Washington, DC
http://rocklandusa.com
58,331
59,619
3,695
24 months ago
12.
Tony Reali (AroundTheHorn)
Washington, DC
http://sports.espn.go.com/esp...
45,517
96
1,903
10 months ago
13.
National Geographic (NatGeoChannel)
Washington, DC
http://natgeotv.com/
37,765
5,251
2,789
13 months ago
14.
Jim Long (newmediajim)
Washington, DC
http://www.vergenewmedia.com
35,736
25,638
35,043
39 months ago
15.
Heritage Foundation (Heritage)
Washington, DC
http://tr.im/mtj7
32,552
33,740
7,829
26 months ago
16.
AddThis (addthis)
Washington, DC
http://addthis.com
29,195
22,497
108
17 months ago
17.
Walt Mossberg (waltmossberg)
Washington, DC
http://walt.allthingsd.com
29,145
180
592
32 months ago
18.
(JimAlger)
Washington, DC
http://www.GetCommonSenseRadi...
27,052
940
7,279
11 months ago
19.
thepolitico (politico)
Washington, DC
http://www.politico.com
26,486
15
8,652
27 months ago
20.
(ovi8)
Washington, DC
http://www.alexovechkin8.com
25,474
19
37
12 months ago
21.
The Hill (thehill)
Washington, DC
http://www.thehill.com
21,986
22,534
7,171
34 months ago
22.
Brain Line (brainline)
Washington, DC
http://www.brainline.org
21,927
22,952
1,185
11 months ago
23.
The White House (TheWhiteHouse)
Washington, DC
http://www.whitehouse.gov/
21,137
3
1,532
28 months ago
24.
HSUS (HumaneSociety)
Washington, DC
http://www.humanesociety.org/
20,853
20,068
2,971
17 months ago
25.
National Wildlife (NWF)
Washington, DC
http://www.nwf.org
20,490
19,936
1,979
33 months ago
26.
CQ Politics (cqpolitics)
Washington
http://www.cqpolitics.com
19,644
238
12,237
17 months ago
27.
U.S. Senate Votes (SenateFloor)
Washington, DC
http://www.senate.gov/pagelay...
19,250
6
561
26 months ago
28.
Library of Congress (librarycongress)
Washington, DC
http://www.loc.gov/blog
18,308
1
597
31 months ago
29.
Daniel Adams (SteelyDaniel)
Washington, DC
http://www.ingamenow.com/
18,134
17,999
5,904
32 months ago
30.
NPR (NPR)
Washington, DC
http://npr.org
17,403
0
1
22 months ago
31.
catoinstitute (CatoInstitute)
Washington, DC
http://www.cato.org/
17,186
15,239
3,090
18 months ago
32.
Smithsonian (smithsonian)
Washington, DC
http://www.si.edu
16,641
75
2,343
22 months ago
33.
U.S. House Updates (HouseFloor)
Washington, DC
http://gov.mtopgroup.com/hfloor
16,252
9
14,962
30 months ago
34.
Paula Gardner (itsonlywords)
Washington
http://itsonlywords55.wordpre...
15,935
16,397
62,667
13 months ago
35.
Minger (Minger)
Washington, DC
http://www.minger.net
15,808
17,002
1,957
39 months ago
36.
Chuck Obama (chuckobama)
Washington, DC
http://my.barackobama.com/pag...
15,139
15,739
391
14 months ago
37.
Get More Followers (cordm)
Washington

15,012
4,872
379
9 months ago
38.
U.S. FDA (FDArecalls)
Washington, DC
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Rec...
14,003
15
842
13 months ago
39.
Greenpeace USA (greenpeaceusa)
Washington, DC
http://www.greenpeace.org
13,766
7,530
891
33 months ago
40.
Mark Batterson (MarkBatterson)
Washington, DC
http://markbatterson.com/
13,349
77
3,146
29 months ago
41.
Dr. Mark Drapeau (cheeky_geeky)
Washington, DC
http://www.markdrapeau.com/about
13,318
1,574
32,453
21 months ago
42.
USA.gov (USAgov)
Washington, DC
http://USA.gov
13,159
248
612
22 months ago
43.
Charles Major (Iamamogul)
Washington, DC
http://www.becomeamogul.com
13,042
12,793
2,842
12 months ago
44.
Will Marlow (willmarlow)
Washington, DC
http://www.willmarlow.com
12,731
12,515
796
30 months ago
45.
@tFarkas (TrendyDC)
Washington, DC
http://www.womenoncourse.com/...
12,531
13,376
15,776
46.
RNC (RNC)
Washington, DC
http://www.GOP.com
12,336
1,020
871
25 months ago
47.
Guardian Angel (JobAngels)
Washington, DC
http://www.jobangels.org
12,132
11,721
4,630
11 months ago
48.
Mike Martoccia (mmartoccia)
Washington, DC
http://mikemartoccia.posterou...
11,369
12,499
3,731
24 months ago
49.
NRA News (nranews)
Washington, DC
http://www.nranews.com
10,936
89
3,948
14 months ago
50.
FreedomWorks (FreedomWorks)
Washington, DC
http://www.FreedomWorks.org
10,616
10,185
1,361
20 months ago
51.
Myles Marlow (MylesMarlow)
Washington, DC
http://www.facebook.com/myles...
10,495
9,645
638
10 months ago
52.
Nick Dodd (Nick_Dodd)
Washington, DC
http://twitter.com-value.info/
10,376
9,831
1,884
17 months ago
53.
Rock the Vote (RockTheVote)
Washington, DC
http://www.rockthevote.com/pl...
9,665
5,944
286
17 months ago
54.
Danielle Brigida (starfocus)
Washington, DC
http://blogs.nwf.org/arctic_p...
9,550
8,389
3,427
22 months ago
55.
Senator Chris Dodd (SenChrisDodd)
Washington, DC
http://Dodd.Senate.Gov
9,476
148
512
16 months ago
56.
Daniel Schorr (danielschorr)
Washington, DC
http://www.npr.org/templates/...
9,255
43
43
10 months ago
57.
Roll Call (rollcall)
Washington, DC
http://www.rollcall.com
9,197
129
1,303
17 months ago
58.
Spotlight on Poverty (povertynews)
Washington, DC
http://spotlightonpoverty.org
8,976
9,515
1,339
10 months ago
59.
Dipnote (dipnote)
Washington, DC
http://blogs.state.gov
8,680
5,991
2,074
27 months ago
60.
Paul Morphy Chess (paulmorphychess)
Washington, DC
http://mattfullerty.com/chess...
8,646
9,180
18
61.
NPR Live (nprlive)
Washington, DC
http://www.npr.org/community
8,125
6
302
14 months ago
62.
Rick Klein (thenote)
Washington, DC
http://blogs.abcnews.com/then...
7,927
1,405
4,012
13 months ago
63.
Jawn Murray (jawnmurray)
Washington, DC
http://www.BVBuzz.com
7,884
445
5,463
64.
washingtonian (washingtonian)
Washington, DC
http://www.washingtonian.com
7,632
1,292
2,166
22 months ago
65.
wonkette (wonkette)
Washington
http://wonkette.com
7,425
5
5,198
23 months ago
66.
Dick Armey (DickArmey)
Washington, DC
http://www.FreedomWorks.org
7,340
6,029
84
20 months ago
67.
Frank Gruber (FrankGruber)
Washington, DC
http://bit.ly/frankgruber
7,335
3,018
9,584
34 months ago
68.
Sen. Tom Coburn M.D. (TomCoburn)
Washington, DC
http://coburn.senate.gov/
7,323
25
284
13 months ago
69.
Allyson Kapin (WomenWhoTech)
Washington, DC
http://www.womenwhotech.com
7,268
2,146
5,732
25 months ago
70.
Suzanne Malveaux (suzannemalveaux)
Washington, DC
http://www.cnn.com/CNN/anchor...
7,255
3
412
71.
wusa9 (wusa9)
Washington, DC
http://www.wusa9.com
7,245
5,928
13,347
18 months ago
72.
Heather Huhman (heatherhuhman)
Washington, DC
http://corporate.comerecommen...
7,159
4,079
7,221
14 months ago
73.
The Diane Rehm Show (drshow)
Washington, DC
http://wamu.org/programs/dr/
6,991
2
400
20 months ago
74.
Abraham Harrison (abrahamharrison)
Washington, DC
http://www.abrahamharrison.com
6,783
6,759
924
13 months ago
75.
Political Updates (PoliticalUpdate)
Washington, DC

6,681
3,802
3,656
13 months ago
76.
Alex Howard (digiphile)
Washington, DC
http://digiphile.wordpress.co...
6,677
3,616
15,018
34 months ago
77.
1Sky (1Sky)
Washington, DC
http://www.1sky.org/
6,453
6,913
1,505
21 months ago
78.
Christy Harvey (MicCheckRadio)
Washington, DC
http://www.miccheckradio.org
6,357
6,019
1,303
79.
Peter Corbett (corbett3000)
Washington, DC
http://www.istrategylabs.com
6,348
742
6,051
33 months ago
80.
BusinessDotGov (BusinessDotGov)
Washington, DC
http://www.business.gov
6,253
2,158
1,762
19 months ago
81.
SB on Social Media (SBoSM)
Washington, DC
http://www.smartblogs.com/soc...
6,210
4,320
1,830
14 months ago
82.
USNewsAndWorldReport (usnews)
Washington, DC
http://www.usnews.com
6,174
1,286
25,791
31 months ago
83.
Amanda Carpenter (AmandaCarpenter)
Washington, DC
http://www.washingtontimes.co...
6,048
432
1,450
20 months ago
84.
David All (DavidAll)
Washington, DC
http://davidallgroup.com
6,018
1,527
6,475
34 months ago
85.
Weekend Edition (NPRWeekend)
Washington, DC
http://npr.org/blogs/sundayso...
5,948
511
1,341
23 months ago
86.
G Gordon Liddy (GGordonLiddy)
Washington, DC
http://www.liddyshow.com
5,944
3,860
2,963
15 months ago
87.
Matthew Gagnon (MatthewGagnon)
Washington, DC
http://www.matthewgagnon.com
5,872
4,309
3,369
15 months ago
88.
Shonika Proctor (teenbizcoach)
Washington, DC
http://www.renegadeceos.com
5,846
4,652
9,975
19 months ago
89.
Adam Isacson (adamisacson)
Washington, DC
http://adamisacson.com/
5,835
227
3,511
34 months ago
90.
sarahstanley (sarahstanley)
Washington, DC
http://sarahstanleyinspired.com
5,822
3,438
22,381
14 months ago
91.
Nico Pitney (nicopitney)
Washington, DC
http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
5,480
3,871
240
22 months ago
92.
Gabe Acevedo (GabeAcevedo)
Washington, DC
http://www.gabesguide.com
5,421
5,479
2,696
13 months ago
93.
DCist Updates (DCist_Updates)
Washington, DC
http://www.dcist.com
5,395
1
827
18 months ago
94.
Shireen (digitalsista)
Washington, DC
http://www.shireenmitchell.com
5,346
2,643
15,358
21 months ago
95.
Shonali Burke (shonali)
Washington, DC
http://www.WaxingUnLyrical.com
5,289
2,984
17,042
21 months ago
96.
Lianne Farbes (LianneFarbes)
Washington, DC
http://www.liannefarbes.com/c...
5,288
815
18,367
27 months ago
97.
fox5newsedge (fox5newsedge)
Washington, DC
http://www.myfoxdc.com/subind...
4,844
4,785
6,739
16 months ago
98.
Amie Adams (mammaloves)
Washington, DC
http://mammaloves.blogspot.com
4,822
3,713
13,176
30 months ago
99.
Real World (RealWorldDCNEWZ)
Washington, DC
http://www.facebook.com/group...
4,813
136
1,841
100.
Dave Saunders (davesaunders)
Washington, DC
http://www.facebook.com/daves...
4,809
4,959
4,949
28 months ago

Saturday, December 26, 2009

D.C. police kill man they say lunged at them with knife

A man who reportedly lunged at officers with a knife was fatally shot by police Saturday in Northwest Washington, D.C. police said.

Officers fired at Tremaine Flythe, 32, of Northwest, about 1 p.m. during separate confrontations in the 400 and 600 blocks of Kenyon Street, police said.

At both spots, police said, Flythe lunged at the officers "in an attempt to inflict bodily harm."

The officers were "in imminent fear of their lives" and fired their service weapons, the police said in a news release.

They added that the officers were sent to the area in response to a 911 call, but details were not available.

Flythe was being investigated in connection with an earlier offense, police said, but no information about the offense was provided.

The officers, both assigned to the 3rd Police District, were not identified. One has been on the force for five years, the other for six, police said.

The matter is under investigation.

Source:washingtonpost.com/

Americans in Pakistan terror probe

Police in Pakistan are trying to determine whether five arrested Americans planned to attack a complex that houses nuclear power facilities.

The young Muslim men from the Washington DC area were picked up in Pakistan earlier this month in a case that has spurred fears that Westerners are travelling there to join militant groups.

Pakistani police and government officials have made a series of escalating and, at times, seemingly contradictory allegations about the men's intentions, while US officials have been far more cautious, though they, too, are looking at charging the men.

A Pakistani government official said that the men had established contact with Taliban commanders and planned to attack sites in Pakistan.

Earlier, local police accused the men of intending to fight in Afghanistan after meeting militant leaders.

The men had a map of Chashma Barrage, a complex that along with nuclear power facilities houses a water reservoir and other structures, said Javed Islam, a senior police official in the Sargodha area of Punjab province.

He stressed the men were not carrying a specific map of any nuclear power plant, but rather the whole of Chashma Barrage.

The detained men had also exchanged emails about the area, Islam said.

"We are also working to retrieve some of the deleted material in their computers," he said.

Pakistan has a nuclear weapons arsenal, but it also has nuclear power plants for civilian purposes.

Source:AFP

D.C. may get free health clinic

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - A nonprofit group that offers free health clinics for the needy around the world said it is seeking to come to the District of Columbia early next year.


Get listed here Remote Area Medical had been planning to stage a dental, vision and medical clinic next month at the D.C. Armory in southeast Washington. But organizers said they were surprised by a five-figure fee they were quoted to rent the armory.

The nonprofit group has organized more than 500 clinics worldwide, and for a time, a D.C. visit was left up in the air. But organizers now tell the newspaper a three-day event is likely to be held in March on the grounds of the former D.C. General Hospital, home to a city-funded health center.

Source:hometownannapolis.com/

Friday, December 25, 2009

Woman knocks down pope at Christmas mass


Pope Benedict XVI is assisted as he leads the Christmas mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 24, 2009. A woman jumped over a barricade at the start of Pope Benedict's Christmas Eve mass on Thursday and lunged at the pope, who was knocked to the floor in the confusion but then resumed the service apparently unharmed.Photograph by: Max Rossi, ReutersVATICAN CITY — An apparently deranged woman knocked Pope Benedict XVI to the ground after vaulting over security barricades in a dramatic start to Christmas Eve mass at St Peter's Basilica.

Video footage showed the woman in a red sweatshirt leaping over the barricade and grabbing the 82-year-old pope as he began the traditional procession to the altar on Thursday.

The pontiff emerged unharmed and later delivered his homily undaunted, speaking out against selfishness as Christians across the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.


"Conflict and lack of reconciliation in the world stem from the fact that we are locked into our own interests and opinions, into our own little private world," said the spiritual leader of the world's 1.1 billion Catholics.

The woman, described as "apparently unbalanced" by the Vatican spokesman, was arrested by Vatican police, the ANSA news agency reported.

In Bethlehem, thousands of pilgrims celebrated Christmas in the traditional birthplace of Jesus, with festivities on a scale unseen since the outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian fighting in 2001.

At midnight mass, the top Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land called on the faithful to pray for peace in the troubled region.

"Its inhabitants are brothers who see each other as enemies," the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fuad Twal told worshippers. "This land will deserve to be called holy when she breathes freedom, justice, love, reconciliation, peace and security."

Live rock music mingled with traditional carols in Manger Square as thousands of pilgrims and Palestinians joined the festivities, providing some respite for a town living in the shadow of a huge Israeli-built wall.

"This is the place where God gave us his son, so it is very special for me to be here, for me and my whole community," said Juan Cruz, 27, from Mexico.

In the United States, a huge winter storm forced scores of churches to cancel Christmas Eve services as blizzards and freezing rain brought treacherous holiday travel conditions for millions.

At least 19 deaths were attributed to the storm system spanning two thirds of the country.

"This is a holiday mess," said Chris Vaccaro, a spokesman for the National Weather Service. "Its effects run the gamut from severe thunderstorms in the Gulf Coast to ice in New England to really what is a raging blizzard in the lower plains."

The northern parts of the massive system were expected to drop up to two feet (60 centimetres) of snow by Christmas Day while blizzard warnings were issued from North Dakota to Texas.

U.S. President Barack Obama left the freeze far behind, starting a family holiday in his native state of Hawaii cheered by a major health reform victory.

Snow, ice and stormy weather also brought fresh misery to Christmas holiday travellers across Europe, causing disruption on roads, rail and air travel.

Icy temperatures blasted Britain, with Scotland bearing the brunt of the freezing weather as temperatures sank to minus 15 degrees Celsius (five Fahrenheit) in some parts of the country.

The Eurostar rail service linking mainland Europe and Britain, which suffered days of chaos this week when its trains were affected by snow, was running to a "modified timetable".

Russia's former imperial capital of St. Petersburg was covered in the heaviest snowfall since 1881, with 14 centimetres (5.5 inches) of snow snarling traffic.

In the Philippines, thousands of people displaced by an erupting volcano prepared for a "White Christmas" of a different kind as Mount Mayon sprayed ash and politicians bearing gifts trooped to crowded evacuation centres.

Local authorities warned residents not to venture to within eight kilometres (five miles) of the crater because of the hazards posed by scalding ash and red-hot lava.

Rescuers were combing waters off Manila for at least 23 people missing after a ferry smashed into a trawler Thursday, the latest in a spate of deadly disasters. At least four bodies have been found.

Iraq was hit by a string of attacks Thursday that killed 27 people ahead of Christmas and the Shiite ceremony of Ashura, which commemorates the death of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.

Venezuela's firebrand President Hugo Chavez sought to put a damper on festivities, telling countrymen to end the gift-giving "insanity" of Christmas and instead reading children stories about independence hero Simon Bolivar.

"For the love of God, let's halt this, let's put the brakes on this consumerist, capitalist insanity, that leads us to lose our spiritual values," he said.

And in the City of London, a restaurant asked diners to sign a legal waiver before tucking in to traditional Christmas pudding in case they hurt themselves on silver charms inside.

Source:calgaryherald.com/

Monika Jagaciak: "Moon over the land attractive!

24h) - Appeared in Fashion Week Autumn Winter this year, her 15-year-old Monika Jagaciak, model exclusive Gaga Agency, Finland has caused shocks catwalk with professional style, a new beauty perfect age too young when compared to the level she forums ...
Although there is much controversy about the age regulations on the floor for a fashion her early success and perfection as Monika, but one can not deny the impression, of the way and features of the model Teen age is bringing.

New at the age of 13, she had dreams Monika is becoming a model professional and span steps on catwalk. With a height of 1.77 m phu sky measurements of 80-57-86 and was approved for the wings of her dreams come true. Monika to form a non-business call or detected from the street as the other young models. The contrary, the little girl was looking to broker a model entrance exam and become a member of the IMG in Finland.

In the village model, they call the name Monika Zac, but this long-legged young loves the name is personality. Activities in the village for two years but the new model Monika has gained quite a lot of success in his career. Especially the show of the brand's reputation has her name on the list. Monika had many interview on fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle ... and face ads for fashion brands like Chanel, Calvin Klein, Hermes ...









Interesting interview on the Ryder Ponny Monika Jagaciak:

- Jac name any of her gender, but in the form commonly known as Jac or Monika?

The name is my management company IMG model set for Paris, I never had the nick name at all while in school. A few friends often call me Monika so I enjoyed when you have a new name. I always think that modeling is part of my life. Jac and I'm here is part of my life. When at school and at home people still call me Monika but most of my colleagues will not know the name and I love the name Jac ...







Monika Jagaciak supermodel young conductor with fun Christmas

- She started modeling work like?

My story is very interesting and sure to become a model, the first heart I have to love it. One day, my sister told me: "Why do not you try that?" So I did. Then I was her only 13 years old and 1.75 cm high. I find a model management company in the Netherlands and I just try to go when they call a shopping center here. When DSO, I took the step to true enthusiasts. Company IMG has contacted me from the day it started and I are both excursions to other Asian countries again. Parents are encouraged to follow my step this business. They said: "It's a good idea ... if that's the dream. So every time I go to determine what the parents are respectful of my choice.

- Tell us something about some of her town? How school?

I live in a city of fewer than 10,000 people and often go to school with two sets of uniforms to the school. And he may find that is where all people have known each other as a child. It was a surprise to the shocked, not much has changed! Places that still exist when I return. People here also know about my job interview a few of the magazines in Finland.





Age 15 - Young and dresses in designer colors

- What to do after she completed his work at the show season?

Last month, I was home within a week and really surprised that I still retain images of school and still remember his timetable as an example as homework. With this interview, my parents also supported. They always want me to be rest and relaxation they usually mix my drink tea when I return back home.

- Looks like she is a great friendship with Frida Gustavsson after meeting two times?

We work together in Japan from a year ago. Then I met them at a show together and to IMG for the entrance examination. We often spend time together talking about fashion. Every time preparing the catwalk, we smiled and said very happy. She is a close friend of me and bring me much joy. She and all the great peace and a good friend of all people.

- So, Zac restless about her standards of beauty technology, we want to know all about this technology?

It is "beauty from vitamins"! I always find the similarities between the body keeping the external information processing by the vitamin in the nature of the lotion applied. This means that vitamins such as C, E, B2, zinc. Of course I use them daily with your favorite products such as zinc cream and cream of Vichy's anti-dry skin La Roche-Posay.

- Tip of her beauty to do with fans?

My advice would be to supplement the vitamins in the diet.

- Brand name makeup that her favorite?

I like the makeup of the Chanel brand ... But this is quite expensive, it is for the high income. Their fragrance is very good.


Monika Jagaciak super sexy on the beach!

- After the span step fashion in the past season, she can tell us about your feeling with the form of clothing and accessories what is the trend of year?

I often have highly appreciated in the style of the design they bring to market trends of fashion, the design identity of each individual. All the samples that are noted. This season I like Calvin Klein, always fashionable and elegant. Alexander Wang is a young vibrant look, Marni true to the name of it - with the design featuring separate left Balmain is always impressive and stylish.

- Besides modeling, she also has something more interesting please?

Previously, I did not have time to do a certain job besides work and school. If I have free time, I like the sport or fine art drawing.

Source:32.24h.com.vn/

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wizards: Gilbert Arenas Stored Firearms In Locker


Washington, DC -- (Sports Network) - The Washington Wizards said point guard Gilbert Arenas stored firearms in his locker at the Verizon Center and that the NBA is investigating the matter.

"The Washington Wizards have learned that Gilbert Arenas stored firearms in a locked container in his locker, unloaded and without ammunition," the team said in a statement. "The Wizards organization and Arenas promptly notified the local authorities and the NBA, are cooperating fully with law enforcement during its review of this matter and will have no further comment at this time."

Arenas told the Washington Times that the incident happened around December 10. Arenas said after his new daughter was born he didn't want the guns in his house and around the kids anymore. Arenas told the newspaper he took the guns to his lock box at the Verizon Center and then about a week later turned them over to team security, and told them to hand the weapons over to the police.

The 27-year-old Arenas hasn't faced any criminal charges related to the incident, although action could be coming from the league. According to the Times, the league permits players to have guns, but doesn't allow them to carry weapons on NBA property.

Sportscaster George Michael dies at 70; was mainstay of D.C. sports TV scene


WASHINGTON — George Michael, a mainstay on the Washington, D.C., sports television scene for decades who reached a national audience with "The George Michael Sports Machine" highlights show, has died. He was 70.

Michael's daughter, Michelle Allen, said Michael was surrounded by family and friends when he died Thursday morning from complications of chronic lymphocytic leukemia at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

"He waged his battle against cancer with the same drive and determination that made him a one-of-a-kind in the broadcasting industry," the family said in a statement. "Whether it was covering a sports story, working on his horse farm, or spending time with family and friends, he approached everything in life with passion."

"Sports Machine" began shortly after Michael's arrival at WRC TV in Washington in 1980 as "George Michael's Sports Final," a late-night local feature. Then in 1984 it grew into the first nationally syndicated sports highlights show, eventually airing in 194 markets across the United States and in 10 foreign countries.

It was a trendsetting program, gaining its footing in the days before cable television and ESPN were widely available. The show was also the first to give regular national TV exposure to once obscure sports like NASCAR and professional rodeo.

In a statement, WRC called Michael a pioneer in sports broadcasting and a dynamic force in its newsroom.

"He was a gifted interviewer, a master storyteller, and one of the hardest working journalists out there," the station said.

Washington Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder said Michael was a "consummate reporter and a valuable friend." Michael regularly interviewed the team's coaches and served as the longtime Redskins Welcome Home luncheon master of ceremonies.

"I doubt we'll ever again see a sports reporter who was so admired by the people he covered," Snyder said in statement.

Michael won more than 40 Emmy Awards and members of the "Sports Machine" staff received more than 100 Emmys for their work on the show. He also helped jump-start the TV careers of several national sports personalities, including David Aldridge, Bonnie Bernstien, Tony Kornheiser, Joe Theismann and Michael Wilbon.

Jeff Martinez, 40, of Sterling, Va., who worked on "Sports Machine" first as an intern and later as an associate producer from 1991 to 1995, said Michael was a perfectionist.

"You had to bring your A-game every day," Martinez said. Michael had no problem letting a staffer know "if you weren't performing what he thought your potential was."

Martinez also said Michael was supportive when he was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, which affects the digestive system, allowing him to take a leave of absence.

"He definitely took care of his own ... he was very very caring," he said. "Rather than pressuring me to come back to work sooner than I needed to, he was always there calling me and making sure I was doing well."

The show ran until March 2007. Michael said in late 2006 that significant layoffs and staff cuts announced at NBC, which owns WRC, prompted his decision to end the show.

"I told them, that if I have to lay anyone off, if I have to get rid of any of my staff, then I'm going to take the first bullet," Michael said.

Michael continued to appear on air for the next couple of years, hosting the station's weekly half-hour shows, "Redskins Report" and "Full Court Press."

Michael's family said plans for a memorial service are not yet complete. Besides his daughter, Michelle Allen, he is survived by his wife of 31 years, Patricia, and his son, Brad.

"The passion that he brought to television was the same as he brought to being a father," Allen said. "He appreciated everything and he appreciated his fans."

Source:http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5i_Mekk_n9wiYDkUA38gimk-LLyeA

Capitals In The 2000's: A Decade In Review


Like Dan Snyder and the Redskins, the Washington Capitals began this decade with a new owner. A young former businessman and sports fan Ted Leonsis, purchased the team in 1999 from original owner Abe Pollin. Both owners have spent the first decade of this millennium learning through experience how to run a professional sports team. Both have had a mixed bag of successes and letdowns and both are still waiting to win a championship. In the past ten years Ted Leonsis and the Capitals have had considerably better regular season success than the Redskins, Wizards, and Nationals. The Caps have won four division titles this decade and finished in second place twice while neither the Redskins, Nationals, or Wizards have won their division. Shockingly, however, the Capitals have only advanced in the playoffs once in the 2000’s, equal to that of the Wizards, and less than the Redskins who did it two times.

How could it be that the Capitals have been so disappointing when it comes to winning in the playoffs? There is no clear answer, but the consensus is that the Caps are on the right path and will get their fair share of chances in the next few years. Comcast SportsNet anchor Russ Thaler explains the last ten years for the Caps as the “decade that Ted Leonsis learned how to be a successful owner.” Thaler said that through trial and error Leonsis has built a “winning team from top to bottom,” eventually engineering a “Caps emergence on the D.C. sports scene.”

When Ted Leonsis took over the Capitals in 1999 the team was one season removed from a Stanley Cup appearance. The season before he bought the team was marred by injuries and they had missed the playoffs. Leonsis’ first two regular seasons as owner were out of a storybook, as the Caps twice captured the Southeast Division Title. Both years ended prematurely with playoff series defeats to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In the offseason of 2001, Leonsis and the Capitals decided the best way to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins was to acquire their best player. The Caps traded three young prospects to the Pens for five-time Art Ross Trophy-winner Jaromir Jagr. Later that year Washington signed Jagr to a seven year, $77 million dollar contract, the highest in NHL history at the time. When Jagr came to the Caps he was arguably the best player in the National Hockey League. His acquisition brought considerable hype to a team that played in a city that had previously flown under the sport’s radar. Though Jagr and the Capitals failed to make the playoffs in his first season the team set a franchise record for home game attendance.

In the summer of 2002 the Capitals continued to aggressively build their roster, they signed Jagr’s former linemate from Pittsburgh, Robert Lang. The Caps did not make the playoffs the next year but were back in the postseason in 2003. In the 2003 playoffs they lost a devastating series to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Caps won the first two games against Tampa Bay, only to get swept in the next four. In Game Six, in D.C., the loss became especially painful as the two teams fought through overtime. The Lightning got the victory when a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty led to a Lightning power-play where Martin St. Louis scored the game-clinching goal.

Comcast SportsNet managing editor Joe Yasharoff saw Jaromir Jagr’s years in Washington as having “highlights here and there, but overall he absolutely didn’t live up to the hype.” He was brought in to make the Capitals a Stanley Cup contender but the plans just never materialized. The loss to the Lightning precipitated an effort by the Caps to scrap their roster and rebuild. In 2003, over budget and with a league lock-out looming, the Caps traded away many of their roster’s centerpieces including Steve Konawalchuk, Peter Bondra, Sergei Gonchar, and Jaromir Jagr. They went on to win the NHL Draft Lottery and secure the number one overall pick.

In finishing at the bottom of the league the Capitals received draft lottery odds with the third best chance to get the first pick. With extraordinary luck they drew the number one pick and were able to select Russian phenom Alexander Ovechkin, a prospect that Yasharoff described as a “once-in-a-lifetime player.” Ovie’s arrival changed everything, it drastically altered the course of a franchise and forever changed the landscape of Washington, D.C. professional sports.

In that stroke of luck in landing Alex Ovechkin, the Caps curbed the trend that has plagued the district’s other franchises. The Wizards and Redskins have had terrible misfortune in drafts of late and have been adversely affected by wasted picks. The Capitals were not only fortunate enough to be able to draft Ovechkin but the pace at which he has developed is unbelievable. Alex Ovechkin came into the league as a can’t-miss prospect but was still overshadowed by the “heir apparent” to Wayne Gretzky,
Sidney Crosby. Ever since Crosby was in middle school he was tabbed as the successor to the greatest player to take the ice. Since both have entered the league, however, the “Great Eight” has shown a closer resemblance to the “Great One.”

At just 24 years old, Ovechkin has already claimed the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year and two Hart Memorial Trophies as league MVP. His emergence as a superstar and most valuable player was quicker than Lebron James and Tim Lincecum. He is the best hockey player in the world and he resides in Washington, D.C.

Russ Thaler points to Ovechkin as a rarity in the nation’s capital in the sense that he “started here, made his name here, and became a winner here.” In the last decade there have been few players that D.C. sports fans can point to with the same career path. Most of the aging stars that have come through the turnstiles -Michael Jordan, Jaromir Jagr, Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders, Jerry Stackhouse, Brandon Lang, Jason Taylor- failed to bring success to Washington. Any success Ovechkin has will be in Washington, the Capitals locked him up with a 13-year, $124 million contract extension in 2008.

In Ovechkin’s professional career the Capitals have certainly become winners in the regular season. However, they still have not made a deep run in the playoffs. They missed out entirely in Ovie’s first season but have made the postseason in the two seasons since, each time losing in a game seven. In Ovechkin's first playoff series, the Caps rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to force a seventh game against the Philadelphia Flyers, only to lose the game (and the series) 3-2 in overtime.

That offseason, the Capitals front office made a tough decision in letting long-time goalie Olaf Kölzig go via free agency. Kölzig had played his entire career in the Capitals organization. He helped the Caps reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 1998 and won the Vezina Trophy in 2000 for the NHL’s best goalie. The decision was unpopular but was in the team’s best interest. Kölzig had been one of the most popular players in team history but he was past his prime. The Capitals replaced him and were able to win the division once again the next year and return to the playoffs.

The playoff exit for the Capitals in 2009 was one that D.C. fans would like to forget. Dismissed a year earlier in Game Seven of the first round, Washington was triumphant in their first series in '09, defeating the 7th seeded New York Rangers. The Caps had fallen into a 0-2 series deficit before newly promoted goalie Semyon Varlamov helped them top the Rangers in seven games.

In the second round, hockey fans got their dream matchup. The Caps faced their longtime playoff nemesis and 2008 Stanley Cup runner-up, the Pittsburgh Penguins. The series showcased possibly the three best players in professional hockey: Ovechkin, Crosby, and Evgeny Malkin.

For most of the series, the showdown lived up to the hype and more. Ovechkin and Crosby dueled under the spotlight created by a personal rivalry stemming from the regular season. An exchange of words created an almost Magic and Bird-type aura around their competition. The series was highlighted by an outstanding Game Two in which both Ovechkin and Crosby scored hat tricks. By the time Game Seven got underway, even the most casual hockey fans were glued to their television set. What ensued was a Capitals letdown of epic proportions. The Penguins immediately took control, jumping out to a 4-0 lead just 2:13 into the second period. The game was capped off by two Sidney Crosby goals as Pittsburgh took the series on their way to a Stanley Cup Title.

Despite the crushing loss to Pittsburgh, the Washington Capitals should have plenty of chances for playoff success ahead of them. Just because they didn’t get past the second round in this decade does not mean it won’t happen soon. The Caps are a young team with a core of legitimate star players and an excellent minor league system. They will more than likely make a deep run towards a Stanley Cup in the near future, maybe even this spring.

Source:csnwashington.com/

DC Sports In The 2000's: A Decade In Review


We continue our look at the trials and tribulations, the failures and successes of DC's four pro franchises in the past decade. In Part 1, we analyzed the Redskins' performance over the last ten years. In Part 2, we broke down the Wizards' journey in the 2000s. In Part 3, we hit the ice with the Capitals, their a dynamic owner and their two-time MVP. In our fourth and final installment, we take the field with a new team in search of an identity, the Nationals.

Source:csnwashington.com/

Arenas firepower included weapons in locker


Photograph by: Brent Smith , ReutersWASHINGTON, Dec 24, 2009 (AFP) - Washington Wizards star playmaker Gilbert Arenas stored unloaded guns in his locker this month at the team’s home arena, the club said Thursday as the NBA began an investigation of the matter.


The Wizards said in a statement that there was no ammunication in his locked container and that both the NBA and local law-enforcement authorities were notified of the situation.


Arenas and the club "are cooperating fully with law enforcement during its review of this matter and will have no further comment at this time," the club statement said.


NBA labor regulations allow players to own firearms but ban them from having weapons at league facilities or while traveling on NBA-related matters.


"We’re aware of the situation and are working to gain a full understanding of the facts and relevant legal issues," an NBA statement said.


All-Star guard Arenas told the Washington Times that he brought his guns from his home to the arena after the birth of his daughter Hamiley earlier this month, wanting the guns out of the house.


"I wouldn’t have brought them to D.C. had I known the rules," Arenas told the Times. "After my daughter was born, I was just like, ’I don’t need these anymore.’"

Arenas said about a week after he brought them to his locker, he handed the guns to team security so they could be given to police.


Arenas, two weeks shy of his 28th birthday, had been suspended for the Wizards’ 2004 opener after failing to properly register a handgun while living in California the year before during his tenure with Golden State.


Three left knee operations had limited Arenas to only 15 games over the past two seasons, but Arenas is averaging 22.2 points this season, his second under a six-year contract worth 111 million dollars.

Source:canada.com/

Washington DT Haynesworth fined US$10,000; Giants RB Jacobs hit for $7,500


NEW YORK — Washington Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth has been fined US$10,000 by the NFL and New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs has been hit for $7,500.

The players were fined Thursday for an altercation late in New York's 45-12 victory at Washington. Haynesworth struck Jacobs after a play ended and Jacobs struck back.

Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall also was involved, but was not fined.

The league also fined Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams $5,000 for a tackle at the knees on Carolina Panthers quarterback Matt Moore.

Source:http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5hj7urk-6BDYVvAh7tZw_GBGgHilA

George Michael: The man who was must-see TV


Through word of mouth in the community of people that revolved around and adored George Michael, I'd come to know in recent days that he was sicker than he would ever let on. And anyway, when the phone rang one recent Sunday morning George was in vintage form. He was having a good day and was in full voice, which is to say very loud, jumping from one topic to another. The Redskins stunk, the Wizards stunk, he hated a column I'd written a few days earlier. It was George unplugged, George wanting to know the latest, the same old George who'd just gotten off the phone with The Squire or Abe or Dan, George who hadn't slept because he'd been watching some NBA game on the West Coast until 1:30 in the morning.

After the conversation ended, my wife asked how George was doing, how he really and truly was. And I told her I had no idea. Like typical men, I didn't ask and he didn't tell me. In this case, I didn't have the courage to ask. He was fabulous in those 30 minutes, like it was 10:50 p.m. and he was minutes from a newscast. And if that was going to be the last conversation we'd ever have -- and it was -- then that's the way I wanted to remember George Michael: funny, informed, irreverent, a little profane, always engaged.

I spent Thursdays with George for 13 years, 40 Thursdays a year for nearly a dozen of those years. "Redskins Report" with Sonny and Riggo during football season, "Full Court Press" with Tony Kornheiser and David DuPree during basketball season. My professional life has been greatly influenced by two indomitable men named George. Solomon, who brilliantly ran The Washington Post sports section for a quarter-century and Michael who became the only sportscaster in America to develop a dominant national profile while working a local gig nightly for a quarter-century.

Before cable TV was in millions of homes George Michael brought us the world weekly, with a tiny little band of men and women who worked on Nebraska Avenue and produced an unthinkable volume of award-winning work. Every other sportscaster worked in a confined space; George worked wherever he wanted and did it all: football, basketball, baseball, hockey, golf, tennis, 'rasslin', rodeo, racin', here, there, everywhere. You think there was anybody else who could comfortably engage Wayne Gretzky, Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Cal Ripken, and tell them on-camera they were full of it? There wasn't.

George Michael left us as Wednesday night turned into Thursday morning.

Those closest to him, starting with his saintly wife Pat, were relieved because the suffering had become too great. In the 70 years before that he was an American original. He outworked just about everybody, never conceded stories to newspapers like just about every other TV sportscaster, was at times an insufferable perfectionist and commanded a room no matter who else was in it. Twenty-five years ago, before I began spending Thursdays with George, I walked into a room -- I don't recall the occasion -- and there stood Joe Gibbs, John Thompson and Sonny Jurgensen all being hassled in full voice by George Michael. It took awhile before I realized he could do it not because his personality was so outsized, which it was, but because they found him outside of all the showmanship to be credible. They respected him. Even better, they trusted him.

Just about everybody did.

By will and force of personality as much as anything, George Michael made himself must-see TV in Washington. When the Redskins stunk you wanted to know what George thought. When Abe Pollin decided to build a downtown arena you wanted to know what George was going to say.

Didn't mean he was the sweetest man in the world. God, George had a temper.

Source:washingtonpost.com

Top Washington Capitals of This Decade


The Capitals started out as a strong team in the beginning of this decade. They were a playoff team all the way until they stripped themselves down in the 2003-2004 season to rebuild for the future.

That season saw a lot of players leave, including long-time Caps Peter Bondra and Sergei Gonchar, superstar Jarmior Jagr, and Robert Lang, who led the league in points at the time of his trade.

Then they went through a dark time but gathered pieces that have made the team a legitimate Cup contender, i.e. Alex Ovechkin. There have been a lot of good players that have played for this team and right now there's currently a lot of them. Here's a look at the top 10 of this decade.

Source:bleacherreport.com/

Mtv Star Chung Voted Vogue’s Style Queen 2009


MTV chatshow host ALEXA CHUNG has beaten supermodel KATE MOSS and style icon SARAH JESSICA PARKER to the title of Vogue magazine’s best dressed woman of 2009.

The British beauty, a former model, has caused a stir in the U.S. since moving Stateside to host her own talk show on the music channel - and is often invited to high-fashion events and runway shows.

And it seems Chung has taken some tips from her couture connections - fashion bible Vogue has listed her atop its most stylish females countdown.

The 26 year old was closely followed by French actress Audrey Tautou, and then Sex And The City star Parker.

U.K. TV talent show The X Factor has also made its mark on the fashion world, with judges Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue in at number four and five respectively.


Harry Potter starlet Emma Watson, a model for Burberry and Chanel, comes in at number six, while blondes Sienna Miller and Diane Kruger also made it into the top 10 along with Indian newcomer Freida Pinto. Formerly undisputed style queen Kate Moss is last on the list at number 10.

Source:blog.taragana.com/

Long before Pacquiao, there was this global Filipina


2009 would be remembered as the year the Philippines honored a woman who was way ahead of her time
IF YOU WANT TO FEEL GOOD AS A Filipino—and who doesn’t?—even in a year of floods and massacres, see the Slim Retrospective at National Museum. You have until March to see this exhibit, truly world-class both as curatorial work and as a production.

While 2009 is known as another Pacquaio year, it should also be remembered as the year Philippine fashion paid tribute to Salvacion Lim Higgins (Slim), the designer who won global acclaim as early as the ’60s.

Her coffee-table book, “Salvacion Lim Higgins, Slim, Philippine Haute Couture 1947-1990)” was launched last November at National Museum, with the opening of retrospective exhibit of her clothes on 48 mannequins.

In 1964, at the New York World’s Fair where the Bayanihan was performing, the famous photographer Cecil Beaton went backstage after the performance because he wanted to see up close the Bayanihan’s Maria Clara-inspired costumes that were done in black and white. Beaton’s admiration was reported in media.

Lladro, the world-renowned Spanish porcelain brand, later issued a limited edition of the “Singkil” showing the Muslim princess in a costume designed by Slim.

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, has in its collection a Slim jusi gown that belonged to former US First Lady Mamie Eisenhower. In 2004 Smithsonian included it in a rare traveling exhibit called “First Ladies: Political Role and Public Image,” alongside the works of fashion greats like Charles Worth. The jusi gown was presented to Mrs. Eisenhower by then Philippine First Lady Leonila Garcia on a state visit in 1958.

I met Salvacion Lim Higgins only once—the woman future generations would know popularly as “Slim” (or Slim’s, to refer to her school)—when I interviewed her about her fashion show. This must have been in the late ’70s—a very brief face time with her that hardly allowed me to know the woman.

But then, always having been lucky in career (provided it didn’t involve corporate political reptilians, that is), I had my second chance to really know this woman, the likes of whom could come only once in Philippine fashion.

It happened two years ago, when her children Sandy and Mark invited me to help document and review the career and contribution of their mother in Philippine fashion—indeed, the creative evolution that was her life—for a coffee-table book the two would produce this year

Source:Lifestyle.inquirer.net/

Hot Pink Success In Intimate Apparel

A handful of women-owned small businesses are redefining undergarments, from shapewear to nipple concealers.





Kerry O'Brien, founder of Her Look



Your back fat is showing.

So are your panty lines and your unsightly "toe scrunch." Also, your cleavage is subpar.

Don't worry, ladies. There's a fix for each of these female troubles, plus others you might not have known you had. The fixes are the brainchildren of a small companies owned by women--many of them accidental entrepreneurs who started out trying to address their own fashion and beauty crises. The solutions are front and center at your favorite boutique or upscale department store, with chic packaging and witty names.

There's the Slim Cognito Shape-Suit, a suck-you-in bodysuit from Spanx. Tip Toes, flower-shaped insoles from Foot Petals, keep little piggies from hanging over the fronts of sky-high sandals. Low Beams, adhesive nipple concealers from Her Look Enterprises, guard against "the glaring side effects of blasts of cold air," the company says. There's even a remedy for humdrum pubic hair: Specially formulated dye in hues including Auburn Betty, Blond Betty and Fun Betty--that would be hot pink.

"Sophisticated women who spent time and lots of money getting their hair color just right, had no solution for coloring the hair down there. They were totally overlooking this crucial beauty area," says the Web site for Betty Beauty, a New York company.

These firms aren't all new. Spanx, the modern girdle maker, has been in business since 2000, Foot Petals since 2001. But now remedial products have reached a critical mass and are big business. Shapewear, the term of art for flab-compressing undergarments, is a $750 million industry, according to NPD Group, a market research firm.

Source:forbes.com/

Avatar merchandising bonanza?


LOS ANGELES -- The Hollywood studio behind Avatar is banking on the film to drive its biggest US product licensing push in years, starting with toy figures and expanding to items from home decor to party goods.



The News Corp.-owned 20th Century Fox is making that gamble even though consumers know virtually nothing about the blue, cat-like characters in Avatar who will be at the heart of the merchandising effort.


Fox has used its Avatar licensing deals, including one with Mattel Inc. for toys, as a way to recoup on what is one of the most expensive films in history, costing at least $237 million to produce, analysts said.


But if the movie, which opened on Friday and tells of a soldier infiltrating an alien race, crashes at box offices, stores may be left with shelves of unpopular Avatar products, literally standing with their tails between their legs.


Howard Roffman, head of licensing for Lucasfilm, the company behind Star Wars, said he would be "very nervous" to launch a retail push now, as Fox has done with Avatar. "The economy is not good, retailers are challenged, licensee companies are challenged, so my hat’s off to people who rise to that and get a program out there," Roffman said.


Last year, the Warner Bros. release Speed Racer bombed at box offices when it was released in May, and analysts say it crippled sales of toys tied to that movie.


But if all succeeds, Fox and its partner companies could turn Avatar into a major merchandising franchise, and perhaps even enter the same universe as the $18-billion retail phenomenon Star Wars, the movie franchise that has long been an inspiration for Avatar director James Cameron.


Is "The Force" with them?


By moving aggressively, Fox stands to avoid what happened to Star Wars when it opened in 1977. Then, no toys were out when parents started clamoring for them and at Christmas, kids received empty boxes with certificates for Star Wars toys.


Fox sees Pandora, the extra-terrestrial globe where Avatar is set, as a rich fictional world that can be mined for retail products.


"In the US market, this is the largest launch that we have had probably in recent memory -- if ever," said Robert Marick, executive vice-president of Fox Licensing.


He declined to give specific sales projections.


For comparison, the recent film G.I. Joe was based on a decades-old brand that consumers already knew, and Hasbro forecast toy sales of $100 million for 2009, said Chris White, analyst with Wedbush Morgan. "Avatar will be a sliver of that, it will be a lot less than G.I. Joe," he said.


Since October, Mattel has been selling Avatar figures with an "i-TAG" that can be held near a computer’s webcam. The computer scans the tag and launches an image of the character moving on-screen, or even fighting with another character.


Last month, News Corp’s HarperCollins published several books on the film, including Avatar: A Confidential Report on the Biological and Social History of Pandora. JEM Sportswear and Awake Inc. launched T-shirts, sweatshirts and fashion tops.


This month, videogame maker Ubisoft released James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game. Fox hopes to one day launch home products such as bedding, as well as costumes, party goods, toy building sets and other products, Marick said.


Still, some analysts wonder if the strange-looking characters of Avatar will connect with children.


Even Tim Kilpin, general manager of Mattel’s girls, boys and games division, acknowledged that because the movie is new "there’s going to be some ramp-up to awareness."


"We think before too much longer, a lot of people will know these [Avatar] stories and these characters," he said. -- Reuters


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Avatar leads US box office despite storm
LOS ANGELES -- Titanic director James Cameron’s Avatar, a 3D extravaganza hyped as a giant leap in cinematic prowess, ruled the worldwide box office during its first weekend even as North American sales were hit by an enormous snow storm, its distributor said on Sunday.


The film -- one of the most expensive ever made -- earned an estimated $232.2 million from North America and 106 foreign markets, according to News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox, provisionally the ninth-biggest opening of all time.


Moviegoers in the US and Canada chipped in $73 million, far short of enthusiastic forecasts in the $85-million range. Top contributors to the $159.2 million foreign total included Russia ($21 million), France ($19 million) and the U.K. ($14.2 million).


Avatar edged ahead of 2006’s The Da Vinci Code ($232.1 million) among worldwide openings, while the disaster picture 2012 slipped to No. 11 with $230.5 million. If the number is confirmed when final data are issued on Monday, Avatar will set a new opening record for a nonsequel.


The record for a worldwide opening is $394 million, set in July by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The Avatar opening also fell far short of the $275-million opening for The Twilight Saga: New Moon last month.


Blue people wow critics


Avatar garnered almost as much attention for its reported budget of at least $300 million as for its eco-friendly tale of a disabled ex-Marine sent from Earth to infiltrate an alien race of 10-foot-tall blue people in order to save his polluted planet. Inter-species romance ensues between computerized characters representing actors Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana.


It marks Cameron’s first dramatic feature since 1997’s Titanic, the biggest film of all time before accounting for inflation. He spent the intervening years waiting for movie-making technology to catch up with his vision for the followup. Production took two years.


His new film won breathless reviews from critics. "You’ve never experienced anything like it, and neither has anyone else," said the Los Angeles Times.


Despite the buzz, the weekend haul ranks as merely the sixth-biggest of the year in the US and Canada. The 2009 record was set last month by The Twilight Saga: New Moon, with $143 million. The all-time record of $158 million was set last year by The Dark Knight.


A blizzard along the East Coast crippled business for all movies. Holiday-shopping distractions also had an impact. Fox said Avatar sales in New York fell 18% on Saturday from the previous day. The drop was 86% in Baltimore and 75% in Washington DC. But the studio hoped business would rebound as the weather improved.


Fox distribution president Chris Aronson dismissed the industry forecasts, saying the studio had been hoping for an opening in the mid-$60 million range. He said the 163-minute running time reduced the number of daily screenings.


On the other hand, ticket sales for Avatar were inflated by premium pricing for screenings in venues equipped with 3D technology. Such venues accounted for 59% of the total cinema count and 71% of sales, Fox said.


Exit polling for the film was strong across the board, and he was surprised that 62% of moviegoers were aged over 25. Men accounted for 57% of the audience.


Profit, Oscar hopes


The big issues are whether Fox will make money on the picture, and how it will fare at the Academy Awards. Media analyst Rich Greenfield of Pali Capital last week upgraded News Corp. to hold from sell, saying Fox was unlikely to lose "a massive amount of money" on the film.


The rough rule-of-thumb is that the studio and theaters split the gross evenly. Fox is also on the hook for worldwide marketing costs of $150 million, and must share some profits with Cameron. DVD sales will add to the windfall, although critics sayAvatar is best appreciated in a 3D theater environment.


As for the Oscars, for which nominations will be announced on Feb. 2, the film is making some early headway, picking up key Golden Globe and Critics Choice nominations. -- Reuters

Source:bworldonline.com/

Arts Agenda: Museum Weekend


No doubt you'll be shocked to hear it's a slow week in the art galleries this week. There are no openings and many shows are closing in the next week or two, so be sure to check the website or give the gallery a call if you plan to head down to one. Instead, this is a good weekend to see our museum offerings. Remember, December 25 is the one day of the year the Smithsonians are actually closed, and while summer tourist season is over, the holidays tend to bring out the crowds on the surrounding days. Don't let that stop you though, just be prepared and wear layers in case it gets toasty in there. So, what's worth seeing out there?

National Gallery of Art: We're big photography fans around here, so recommended is In the Darkroom: Photographic Processes before the Digital Age and see how images came about before USB cables and Photoshop. And of course, don't forget to plan some time for a little ice skating. (The NGA isn't a Smithsonian, but they're also closed Dec. 25.)

Smithsonian American Art Museum: The 2009 Renwick Craft Invitational exhibit and Graphic Masters II both come to a close in early January, so head over to see those soon. Same goes for 1934: A New Deal for Artists; this exhibit is a visual history of FDR's Public Works of Art Project and how it not only helped the economy but create a new sense of national pride as well.

National Portrait Gallery: In the same building, see a celebration of performing artists and athletes in BRAVO! and Champions. Twentieth Century Americans features the great political and scientific figures who molded the last century's major cultural movements. Be sure to spend some quiet time in the Kogod Courtyard while you're there.

National Museum of African Art: See the wildly media diverse works of Yinka Shonibare MBE. The Nigerian-born British artist creates paintings, mixed-media installations, sculpture and photographs, often expressing themes of race and European culture.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden: Anne Truitt's work in Perception and Reflection closes in early January and exhibits the work created since 1974 of this Washington, D.C. artist. Her artwork features large-scale sculptures melding ideas from minimalism, abstraction, and the Washington Color School.

Anacostia Community Museum: The African Presence in Mexico is on the D.C. leg of its international tour from the National Museum of Mexican Art, and was originally designed for students as a way to reach out to two cultures that historically have stayed quite separate from one other. See also the museum's permanent exhibition, Separate and Unequaled: Black Baseball in the District of Columbia.

Corcoran Gallery of Art: The Corcoran's major John Singer Sargent exhibitions are closing the first week in January. Get away from the inland winter cold with Sargent and the Sea featuring over 80 seascapes. Then see the Corcoran Collection's pieces to finish off your study of this Gilded Age artist. See their web site for holiday hours.

The Phillips Collection: Man Ray, African Art and the Modernist Lens examines "the role of photography in shaping international understanding of African objects as art in the 1920s and 1930s." See it before it closes on Jan 10.

Source:dcist.com/

Project FUNDway rewards aspiring fashion designers - local students to show runway collections


(Rendering by: West Potomac fashion design student Alessandra Degregorio)

On Thursday, December 3, the Greater Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce (GWFCC) will hold the first-ever Project FUNDway competition for local students aspiring for a career as fashion designers. The three student finalists, Michael Edwards, Samuel Mintah and Adegbemisola Ademisoye, will compete for a $5,000 fashion design scholarship. Taking its cue from the hit reality television show, Project Runway, the finalists will be judged on the design, construction, individuality and quality of a four-piece mini-collection they each created for this competition.

“The mission [of this competition] is to fund a way [for students] to go to school and study fashion,” said Maggy Francois, vice president of education and training for GWFCC and fashion design director for Project Stitch Studio at the West Potomac Academy of Fashion Design. Francois also stated that the students are not only aspiring designers, but also want to be writers and to learn the “business side of fashion,” which is what this contest seeks to teach them.
In addition to putting together a cohesive four-piece collection, the students are also responsible for the production of their own runway show – including searching for models, music selection and purchasing the materials for their garments.
Interested students from Washington, D.C., as part of the submission guidelines, had to present a garment design, write an essay about why they want a career in fashion and submit their grades in school in order to be eligible. Due to overwhelming interest from students in neighboring metro areas, Francois said next year’s competition will be open to students in Maryland and Virginia as well.
In addition to benefiting local students, this event, sponsored in part by the DC City Council and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development for the District of Columbia Government, seeks to put Washington, DC on the map as a capital city of style by investing in the talent of its residents. Earlier today, the GWFCC released the first-ever report on the state of the DC fashion industry. The Fashion Census Survey Report and the Fashion Action Plan: Identifying the Needs of the Independent Fashion Industry in Washington, D.C.surveyed over 80 local fashion-related businesses and found that Washington, D.C. boasts over 1,900 retail stores and the overall retail industry generated $6 billion in general sales tax revenue for fiscal year 2008.
Download the PDF report here.
Although Washington, D.C. has not traditionally been known for its fashion forwardness, a strong and growing network of designers, merchants and business owners in the fashion sector view these initiatives as a step forward for DC’s burgeoning fashion economy.
Project FUNDways has been garnering considerable local media coverage in advance of the event. Tomorrow at 9:30am on FOX 5 Morning News, the finalists will talk about this contest as an opportunity to support their fashion career goals.
“It’s hard to find scholarships for fashion in this area,” said Francois. “Kids in DC want a fashion program…and want to be visual.”
To learn more about the student finalists and the Project FUNDway contest, visit http://www.gwfcc.org/

Source:examiner.com

Chantix to see Competition from New Anti-Smoking Vaccine


Washington, DC: It's all over the television now—ads for Chantix that depict a smiling, real-life Chantix user going about her everyday business without a cigarette between her fingers, while the announcer rattles off a warning about potential Chantix side effects, including suicide and aggression. Chantix side effects, for some, can be nasty.

And now a new vaccine that works in similar fashion to Chantix may be coming to a family doctor or pharmacy near you.

Many companies over the years have experimented with vaccines that do what essentially Chantix does—block neuron receptors in the brain that react to nicotine, producing the dopamine that's largely responsible for the pleasure that comes from smoking.

Now a company in Rockville, Maryland has announced the testing of an experimental vaccine. Nabi Biopharmaceuticals is in the midst of Phase 3 trials of what it calls NicVax, which shares a common modus operandi with Pfizer's Chantix. What’s more, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has entered into an agreement in principle with Nabi to undertake the cost and marketing of the new vaccine.

NicVax causes the immune system to create antibodies that bond with the nicotine molecule if it enters the bloodstream. The result is a molecule too large to pass along to the brain, essentially making the body immune to nicotine.

If smokers can't get a buzz from lighting up a cigarette, the thinking goes, there's no reason for them to continue the habit. Antibodies created by NicVax are thought to stay in the body for long periods, lowering the chances that a smoker will quickly return to the habit.

The Washington Post reported earlier this month that Nabi will realize a financial windfall from GSK, provided that Nabi completes Phase 3 testing sometime in 2011.

Under the terms of the agreement with GSK, Nabi will reap $40 million for the exclusive worldwide licensing of NicVax. GSK could wind up paying Nabi as much as $500 million if Nabi meets a number of developmental and marketing milestones in the coming years. That figure does not include royalties Nabi would earn if NicVax makes it to market.

Analysts predict there is still a vast amount of money to be made from the smoking cessation market. Chantix, on the market for three years, is already worth a reported $800 million in sales to Pfizer, in spite of a spate of negative publicity.

While smokers have declined steadily over the past few decades, the trend has flattened in recent years: 20.9 percent of Americans counted themselves as smokers in 2004, compared with 20.6 percent in 2008.


Source:Lawyersandsettlements.com/

Bridgeport teens take message on dating violence to Washington, D.C.


Dating violence is not an easy subject to approach publicly, especially for teens. But two Bridgeport teens traveled to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness about this important topic at the highest level of government.

Katie O’Neill and Quentin Pugh, both members of YouthSpeak, were part of a round-table discussion Dec. 3 with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder at the Department of Justice.

Sitting at the table with them were eight other youngsters from the Northeast, along with some parents and program coordinators for Start Strong, an initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“Finally someone was listening to us,” Quentin said of the round-table discussion. He said both Duncan and Holder listened intently to what he and his peers had to say, taking notes and asking questions.

“They wanted to know what they could do to help,” Quentin said.

Dating violence is commonly defined as one partner maintaining control over the other through abusive behavior, which can be exerted through physical force or emotional threats. Most victims are women.

This type of coercion effects youngsters at many levels, Katie said, and often translates into increased truancy, drop-out and teen pregnancy rates.

“People are sometimes shocked by our statistics,” she said. “One in three teens have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship.”

The teens invited to the session by Holder all are involved in the Start Strong initiative, with the goal of “Building Healthy Teen Relationships.” The Johnson Foundation, together with Blue Shield of California Foundation, committed $18 million dollars to Start Strong.

They chose 11 sites, including Bridgeport, through RYASAP, out of 500 applicants from around the country to help promote healthy relationships to 11- to 14-year-olds.

RYASAP will receive $1 million to implement its MYO Program, or “Mine, Yours, Ours — What’s Right in a Relationship.” It will collaborate with local partners such as the Center for Women & Families of Eastern Fairfield County and the Greater Bridgeport Adolescent Pregnancy Program to educate sixth- to eighth-graders on teen dating violence.

It is hoped that by reaching youth during this important period of development, they will be better equipped to deal with dating issues as they move through adolescence and into adulthood.

In financing these types of programs, the Johnson Foundation is trying to tackle the problem at its roots.

“Intimate-partner violence is one of our nation’s most serious public health problems,” Dr. James Marks, director of the foundation’s Health Group, said in a press release. “In addition to severely physically injuring women and men, it undermines the fundamental idea of family as a place of support and nurture.”



Getting involved

Quentin said YouthSpeak, a RYASAP outreach program, took up the issue of dating violence early this year, when news of the violent breakup between pop music star Rihanna and rapper Chris Brown made headlines.

That set off a discussion about dating violence in their youth group.

The group meets every Wednesday after school at Playhouse on the Green. Quentin, a senior at Fairfield College Preparatory School in Fairfield, and Katie, a senior at St. Joseph High School in Trumbull, co-chair the group.

They researched different Web sites about dating violence and started an awareness campaign.

They reached out to the community and organized a “Speak Out” event, with skits showing the difference between a healthy, a mediocre and a bad relationship. They also organized a “fashion statistics” show, which they took to the streets of Bridgeport last October.

Quentin said healthy relationships and dating violence are not topics taught in school, but he thinks they should be.

In fact, it will be a topic that Bridgeport students will learn more about once the Start Strong message is taught in the schools.

Paige Nelson, RYASAP youth and community director and head of the Start Strong initiative, accompanied the teens to Washington. Also traveling with them was Katie’s mother, Maria O’Neill, principal of St. Andrew School in the North End.

O’Neill said it was a “phenomenal experience” to see her daughter speak to the U.S. attorney general and education secretary.

As a mother and school administrator, she said she was especially concerned about the digital messaging youngsters engage in. “The parent is just a silent bystander,” O’Neil said.

Nelson, the Youth and Community director for RYASAP, said a lot of educational issues such as truancy or teen violence are tied up in “relationship stuff.”

“The kids have to battle a lot of incorrect models,” she said.

Source:acorn-online.com/