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Posts Tagged ‘Associated Press’

NY, NJ ponder new boardwalks without the boards – Yahoo! News

December 12, 2012 Leave a comment

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. AP — They’re the places where generations of families savored fast-melting ice cream cones and chowed down on garlicky slices of pizza, where teens scoped out potential dates, where a tipsy Snooki tottered unsteadily, and under which the Drifters sang about falling in love.

For all their nostalgia, boardwalks are still a major economic engine for shoreline communities in New Jersey and New York. Tourists and residents alike spend their money on food and drinks there, or on games of skee ball or balloon darts to win a stuffed animal. So weeks after Superstorm Sandy, towns are racing to rebuild their boardwalks by May, for reasons both sentimental and financial.

They will need the tourism money this summer more than ever as they try to rebuild homes and other infrastructure. The expensive efforts are forcing decisions not only about how much to spend, but also whether to rebuild with environmentally sensitive wood or more durable materials.

The destruction in Seaside Heights has become emblematic of the storm because of a roller coaster that plunged into the ocean. Yet Sandy also destroyed the boardwalk where families eat belly-busting foods like zeppoles — fried dough laden with powdered sugar — and where Snooki and company partied their way through the MTV reality show “Jersey Shore.

Mayor Bill Akers said 75 percent of his town’s budget comes from tourism, with the remaining 25 percent raised from local taxpayers.

“You can see how important it is for us to get the boardwalk back up and running, and to make sure we have a summer season,” he said. “It’s something we have to get done.”

via NY, NJ ponder new boardwalks without the boards – Yahoo! News.

Who’s watching? 3-D TV is no hit with viewers – Yahoo! News

September 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Español: Cámara de TV en 3D con las cámara ind...

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Phil Orlins knows everything about producing TV in three dimensions. The ESPN producer has captured the undulating greens of Augusta National and the flying motor bikes of the X-Games for ESPN’s 3-D channel. But he can only guess how well his shows resonate with viewers. That’s because 3-D audiences are so small they can’t be measured by Nielsen’s rating system.

“The feedback on The Masters was fast and furious. You could go on Twitter at any moment, and there’d be comments coming in every minute about 3-D coverage,” said Orlins while giving a tour of a production truck at this summer’s X-Games. “But then you go to some other events where it’s pretty quiet.”

Orlins’ problem is that fewer than 115,000 American homes are tuned into 3-D channels at any one time. That’s less than a hundredth of the 20.2 million-strong audience that saw television’s highest-rated show, “NCIS,” this week. 3-D viewership is so tiny that The Nielsen Co.‘s methods are unable to capture any meaningful data about viewers’ programming preferences.

ESPN 3D is one of nine 3-D channels that launched in the years following the late 2009 release of James Cameron‘s “Avatar.” The 3-D blockbuster won three Oscars and ranks as the highest-grossing film of all time, garnering $2.8 billion at the global box office.

“Avatar” was supposed to change everything. Enthusiastic television executives expected the movie to spur 3-D’s transition to American living rooms, boosting sales of TVs and, they hoped, getting people to pay for 3-D channels.

That never happened.

via Who’s watching? 3-D TV is no hit with viewers – Yahoo! News.

N.Y. man nears 3 millionth mile in beloved ’66 Volvo – Bottom Line

While buying a new car is a status symbol for many folks, Irvin Gordon takes pride in keeping his old jalopy going. And going … and going.

The Bay Shore, N.Y., retiree expects to hit 3 million miles in his 1966 Volvo P1800S sometime next year. And he has held a solid lock on the Guinness Book of World Records since 2002 when an entry for High Mileage Vehicle was created for him after passing the 1.6 million mile mark.

“It’s just a car I enjoy driving,” the 72-year-old former teacher told The Associated Press.

Before his retirement Irvin clocked 125 miles a day commuting. But he is an inveterate road-tripper. Before his divorce he would routinely pack up the family and head off to Canada, the Midwest, Texas. Even today, divorced and with his children grown, he continues to pile on the mile traveling alone.

“I have had coffee in every state,” said Gordon. “I am my own travel channel.”

Irvin said it took him 21 years to reach the first million miles, another 15 to get to 2 million. Now, however, he’s driving more than ever, an estimated 85,000 to 100,000 miles annually as a retiree.

Ironically, he loves to go visit auto shows. But he’s looking, not buying. He said he has no interest in retiring the old Volvo – as a 93-year-old Florida woman did earlier this year when her 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente was put to pasture with 576,000 miles on it.

via N.Y. man nears 3 millionth mile in beloved ’66 Volvo – Bottom Line.

Strange Random Car Quote:

“If someone were to ask me for a short cut to sensuality, I would suggest he go shopping for a used 427 Shelby-Cobra. But it is only fair to warn you that of the 300 guys who switched to them in 1966, only two went back to women.” ― Mort Sahl

Paris plane crash spurs cultural growth in Atlanta – Yahoo! News

Montage of Atlanta images. From top to bottom ...ATLANTA (AP) — Fifty years ago, a group of 106 influential cultural and civic leaders from Atlanta traveled to Europe to visit famous museums and demonstrate the ascendant southern city’s commitment to culture.

The Atlanta area’s population in 1962 had recently hit a million people, but political and business leaders worried the growth wouldn’t continue if the city didn’t improve its museums and venues for theater and music. The city’s cultural development would be altered forever by the trip, but in ways that had to do more with its tragic end.

The group was on its way home June 3 when its chartered Air France plane crashed on takeoff at Orly Field in Paris, killing all but two flight attendants. It had been the worst single plane crash to date.

“The community was just in shock,” said Joe Bankoff, outgoing president and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta. “I mean, to lose over 100 people in a moment was just unbelievable. But to lose such a cross section of Atlanta was particularly important.”

On the flight were artists, company leaders, the first woman elected to the city’s school board and other leaders. Among the sites on their packed agenda were the Louvre in Paris, the Coliseum in Rome and London Bridge.

Out of the city’s grief grew a sense that something needed to be done to memorialize them, to improve on its tiny art museum in an old house and struggling art school.

“These people were heads of companies in Atlanta. They were the wives who did a lot of the volunteer work at the art association,” said Susan Lowance, who had traveled with the group but had decided to stay in Europe longer to visit friends.

She believes the development of the arts center is a fitting tribute to her friends.

“These were people who had a stake in what was going to happen, and what happened was wonderful,” Lowance said.

Atlanta is now home to a world-class art museum that has collaborated with the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Louvre, a Grammy-winning symphony orchestra and other top-notch cultural institutions.

via Paris plane crash spurs cultural growth in Atlanta – Yahoo! News.

Strange Random Culture Quote:

Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle. This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future. – Albert Camus

US Census covering Great Depression to be released – Yahoo! News

1940 US Census Poster

NEW YORK AP — It was a decade when tens of millions of people in the U.S. experienced mass unemployment and social upheaval as the nation clawed its way out of the Great Depression and rumblings of global war were heard from abroad.

Now, intimate details of 132 million people who lived through the 1930s will be disclosed as the U.S. government releases the 1940 census on April 2 to the public for the first time after 72 years of privacy protection lapses.

Access to the records will be free and open to anyone on the Internet — but they will not be immediately name searchable.

For genealogists and family historians, the 1940 census release is the most important disclosure of ancestral secrets in a decade and could shake the branches of many family trees. Scholars expect the records to help draw a more pointillistic portrait of a transformative decade in American life.

Researchers might be able to follow the movement of refugees from war-torn Europe in the latter half of the 1930s; sketch out in more detail where 100,000 Japanese Americans interned during World War II were living before they were removed; and more fully trace the decades-long migration of blacks from the rural South to cities.

Henry Louis Gates Jr., a Harvard University professor and scholar of black history who has promoted the tracing of family ancestry through popular television shows, said the release of the records will be a “great contribution to American society.”

Gates, whose PBS series “Finding Your Roots” begins March 25, said the “goldmine” of 1940 records would add important layers of detail to an existing collection of opened census records dating to 1790.

via US Census covering Great Depression to be released – Yahoo! News.

Strange Random Great Depression Quote:

“The Great Depression left a mark on all of the civilized world. It was a defining moment like a giant earthquake that reminds us of how little control we have over human destiny — despite our technology and innovation.” – Will Eisner

 

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Florida family charged in $40 million psychic scam – Yahoo! News

September 2, 2011 Leave a comment
Panorama of the New River and the Fort Lauderd...

Image via Wikipedia

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. AP — Rose Marks and her family of fortunetellers offered hope, but prosecutors said it came with a steep price.

The Florida family claimed to confer with gods, spirits and even Michael the Archangel to cure diseases and break curses, asking for and accepting jewelry, gold coins and luxury cars in return.

In all, authorities said, the family amassed a $40 million fortune from a psychic scam dating back 20 years.

They used “magicians’ tricks” to frighten victims, who lived as far away as Denmark and Japan, to give them the money, prosecutors said. The victims included a best-selling author who gave $20 million.

Marks, 60, and eight family members pleaded not guilty last week. Their lawyers said they believe their Gypsy religion gave them the ability to heal psychically and that business was legitimate.

“They try to do that and they get paid for it,” defense attorney Fred Schwartz said.

Marks moved her family to Florida 13 years ago. Her children and grandchildren moved into her posh, waterfront home in Fort Lauderdale after her husband died of brain cancer in 2006.

Often using the alter ego “Joyce Michael,” the women of the family extracted valuables from their victims to support their lavish lifestyle, prosecutors said. Neighbors saw luxury cars coming and going, but saw little of the family.

Their nearby business, Astrology Life, advertised life coaching and $20 special readings.

via Florida family charged in $40 million psychic scam – Yahoo! News.

Strange Random Psychic Quote:

“If it’s the Psychic Network why do they need a phone number?” – Robin Williams (American actor)

 

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Paris gets its first 24-hour baguette dispenser – feel le pain | World news | The Guardian

August 9, 2011 1 comment
French baguette

Image via Wikipedia

Few things in France are treated with the reverence and respect of bread in general and the baguette, the long wand of dough made from a recipe defined in French law, in particular.

It is a bread on to which some still trace the sign of the cross before cutting into it every morning for breakfast, when it is mostly spread with butter and jam.

But now one entrepreneurial baker has come up with an idea that sounds as sacrilegious as putting Dom Pérignon in wine boxes: selling baguettes in a vending machine.

Jean-Louis Hecht has taken advantage of the August holiday period, when many of France’s 33,000 boulangers shut up shop, to install Paris’s first 24-hour automated baguette dispenser.

“This is the bakery of tomorrow,” Hecht told the Associated Press. “It is answering a real need. People who work at night or early in the morning can get their fresh bread. To me it’s a public utility.”

via Paris gets its first 24-hour baguette dispenser – feel le pain | World news | The Guardian.

Strange Random Bread Quote:

“The first time I tried organic wheat bread, I thought I was chewing on roofing material” – Robin Williams

 

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