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20 / 20 - Twenty easy cures for twenty common health problems

Problem: YOUR LDL HAS GONE TO HELL
Prescription: AN 8-OUNCE GLASS OF APPLE JUICE


Natural antioxidants in apple juice help reduce your risk of heart disease, according to a University of California study. Researchers at the school had 25 men and women drink a glass of apple juice every day for 6 weeks. At the end of the trial, it took 20 percent longer for bad LDL cholesterol in the volunteers' bloodstreams to oxidize and cause trouble. "The longer it takes for cholesterol to oxidize, the lower your overall risk of heart disease," says Dianne Hyson, R.D., the study author.>

Problem: YOU DRANK TOO MANY BLOODY MARYS
Prescription: LOTS OF VIRGIN MARYS

Only time and aspirin can heal the effects of crazed celebration, but for a major hangover, reach for the red stuff -- tomato juice. "If you're throwing up, it's likely you're low on potassium, calcium, and sodium," says Linda Van Horn, Ph.D., R.D., a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University. "That combination is what leaves you feeling sick and exhausted." Tomato juice is a good source of all those nutrients, along with additional water to make up for the fluids you've lost.

Problem: YOU'RE STARTING TO GO BALD
Prescription: DINNER AT A STEAK HOUSE

Order top round steak instead. It's the leanest cut of meat available on most menus. Going lean instead of eating fatty cuts of meat won't keep you from going bald, but it may slow down the process. According to a study from Australia, men who ate lean cuts of meat were less likely to go bald than those who ate fatty cuts of meat.Another plus: "Beef is an excellent source of zinc," says Thomson. "And not getting enough zinc can lead to sudden hair loss."

Problem: YOU'RE WORRIED YOU'LL START WANDERING AIMLESSLY THROUGH THE CITY
Prescription: A BAG OF ALMOND M&M's

Chocolate-covered nuts may prevent or delay the development of Alzheimer's disease. It's not the chocolate that protects you, though; it's the E in the almonds. A National Institutes of Health study found that the antioxidative properties of vitamin E reduce deterioration in the brain as you age. Just 2 ounces of almonds contains your entire recommended daily intake of E.

Problem: YOU CAN'T BREATHE
Prescription: A FEW FISH FILLETS EACH WEEK

"Magnesium helps to improve lung function and reduce the frequency of asthma attacks," says Michael Dacey, M.D., a critical-care physician in Rhode Island. "Emergency rooms use magnesium to treat patients having acute attacks," he says. Plus, recent research found that asthmatics with magnesium deficiencies spent more time in the hospital than those whose diets were rich in the stuff. For men with severe asthma, Dr. Dacey recommends eating at least one serving of fish, seafood, or spinach each day.

Problem: YOU'VE GOT SORE JOINTS
Prescription: HALF A CUP OF COOKED, MIXED VEGETABLES

The more cooked vegetables you eat, the lower your risk of developing arthritis, according to a recent Greek study. Researchers studied the diets and health of 330 people and found that those who ate the most cooked vegetables were 75 percent less likely to develop arthritis than those who consumed the least. One possible reason: Heat destroys the vegetables' cell walls, allowing your body to absorb more of the nutrients that would otherwise pass through your system.

Problem: YOUR GUMS BLEED WHEN YOU BRUSH YOUR TEETH
Prescription: AN A.M. GRAPEFRUIT

Inflamed gums hurt, and they can also mean you aren't getting enough vitamin C, says Cyndi Thomson, Ph.D., R.D., an assistant professor at the University of Arizona. When you don't get enough C, collagen in your body starts to break down. And that process starts in your gums. "One grapefruit provides your entire daily requirement of vitamin C," she says.

Problem: YOUR BREATH STINKS
Prescription: EIGHT GLASSES OF WATER THROUGHOUT THE DAY

Instead of sucking on breath mints, keep a bottle of water by your side. "Bad breath is caused by sulfur compounds in your mouth, and sipping water frequently helps wash away those compounds and trigger the production of breath- neutralizing saliva," says Anthony Dailley, D.D.S., founder of the Center for Breath Treatment in San Francisco.

Problem: YOU'VE GOT DIARRHEA
Prescription: A GLASS OF TWO OF WINE

It's not Pepto's pink color that makes you feel better; it's a compound called bismuth subsalicylate, which is also found in high levels in both red and white wine. According to one study, drinking a glass or two of wine is just as effective at controlling diarrhea as taking a single dose of most over-the-counter remedies. The bismuth compound appears to prevent diarrhea by slowing or stopping the growth of bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli, before they can make you any sicker.

Problem: YOU'RE WORRIED ABOUT HEART DISEASE
Prescription: DRINK A BEER (but just one)

Beer may lower your risk of heart attack, according to a University College of London study. Researchers followed men in the Czech Republic and found that those who drank an average of one beer a day had the lowest risk of heart disease. But men who drank an average of two or more beers a day lost that extra protection. Doctors theorize that ethanol in the beer thins the blood and helps protect the heart.

Problem: YOU'VE GOT hic--, hic--, hic-- SPASMODIC CLOSING OF THE GLOTTIS
Prescription: A SPOONFUL OF SUGAR

If the thought of Dick Cheney's heart health doesn't scare away your hiccups, try this: "Pouring a spoonful of sugar under your tongue can cure a bad case of the hiccups," says Marla Tobin, M.D., a family physician in Higginsville, Missouri. Like hiccups themselves, the science behind the cure isn't clear, but Dr. Tobin theorizes that the sugar granules excite nerves in the back of your throat. Once stimulated, the nerves block other nerve signals within the body, including the one that might be causing your hiccups.

Problem: YOU HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Prescription: AN 8-OUNCE GLASS OF ORANGE JUICE

A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that increasing the amount of potassium and calcium in your diet will significantly lower your blood pressure, whether it's elevated or not. "The minerals protect your kidneys from high levels of sodium, a known hypertension risk," says Van Horn. Calcium-fortified, not- from-concentrate orange juice is a good source of both calcium and potassium, along with vitamin C. Another plus: According to English researchers, people with the most vitamin C in their bloodstreams are 40 percent less likely to die of heart disease than people with lower levels of the nutrient.

Problem: YOUR LEGS SEIZE UP AFTER YOU LEAVE THE GYM
Prescription: A BANANA

You try to take care of your body by working out. It thanks you by cramping up. In most cases, though, those cramps don't mean you overdid it at the gym. "Muscle cramps after a workout tend to be a sign of a deficiency," says Thomson. "Exercise depletes the nutrients your muscles need to function properly." The alternative to pain and cursing: Replenish your magnesium and potassium immediately by eating a banana and drinking a glass of water to fight off dehydration. "That should be enough to eliminate cramps before they occur," says Thomson.

Problem: YOUR TEETH HURT
Prescription: A CUP OF TEA

Although you wouldn't know it from looking inside the average Englishman's mouth, a cup of tea with a meal may help to prevent cavities. "Tea is a natural source of tooth-protecting fluoride," says Shelby Kashket, Ph.D., a senior investigator with the Forsyth Institute for Dental Health Research in Boston. Tea also contains polyphenols, the same stuff that keeps gum from sticking to your teeth. Drinking a cup before a meal will give your teeth a Teflon-like coating that'll keep cavity-causing sugars from sticking to your chops.

Problem: YOU'RE BLACK-and-BLUE ALL OVER
Prescription: A COUPLE OF SIDES OF BROCCOLI

That excuse about walking into a door only lasts so long before people start asking questions. "If you're constantly getting bruises or turning black-and-blue, it may be a sign that you aren't taking in enough vitamin K," says Thomson. Although asparagus and some kinds of lettuce are good sources of vitamin K, broccoli is better. One serving of cooked broccoli has 250 micrograms, more than twice what you need each day. Eating at least a couple of cups of broccoli throughout the week will help strengthen your blood-vessel walls, making it harder for them to break -- and for you to bruise.

Problem: THE WORLD IS A CONSTANT BLUR
Prescription: HALF A CUP OF COOKED GREENS

Just opening your eyes can make you susceptible to disease. "Basic elements like light and oxygen increase a person's chances of developing vision problems such as cataracts," says Joanne Curran-Celantano, Ph.D., R.D., a professor of nutrition at the University of New Hampshire. "But eating half a cup of cooked greens every few days gives you enough antioxidants to delay the formation of vision problems by years."

Problem: THE FBI WANTS ANSWERS, NOW
Prescription: A CUP OF COFFE

Caffeine does more for you than wake you up in the morning. According to Dutch research, taking as little as 32 milligrams of caffeine (the amount in just 2 ounces of coffee) before a test helped volunteers improve their memory, as well as their overall reading speed and level of mental alertness. To maximize the benefit, down the coffee at least half an hour before you really need to be thinking clearly. Looking for a bit more long-term acuity? Keep drinking coffee or caffeinated soda, but pass on the artificial sweetener. A recent study suggests it may impair short-term memory levels.

Problem: YOU'RE A FEW SWIMMERS SHORT IN THE FALLOPIAN-TUBE RELAY
Prescription: A BOWL OF CEREAL

There may be a link between low sperm counts and folic-acid intake. In a study conducted at the USDA Western Human Nutrition Research Center, researchers found that men with the lowest sperm counts also had the least folic acid in their diets. "It appears that men who are trying to conceive need folic acid for proper DNA synthesis and sperm production," says Lynn Wallock, Ph.D., a research chemist and the lead study author. Cereals are one of the best sources of folic acid. One bowl of Wheaties or Raisin Bran, for example, has 25 percent of your daily requirement.

Problem: YOU HAVE A FAMILY HISTORY OF PROSTATE CANCER
Prescription: LOW-FAT VANILLA ICE CREAM

Can't stomach another tomato, no matter how much cancer- fighting lycopene it has? Cancel the pizza delivery and head for the freezer instead. In a study recently presented at the Society for Experimental Biology's annual conference, researchers revealed that the more boron there is in your diet, the lower your overall chances of developing prostate cancer. Vanilla ice cream is one of the very best sources of boron, with 25 micrograms per cup.

Problem: EVERYONE BUT YOU HAS A COLD
Prescription: AS MUCH GARLIC AS YOU CAN STOMACH

The second you notice that familiar tickle in your throat, drop everything and head to your nearest Italian restaurant for a plate of garlic bread and shrimp scampi. "Garlic has powerful antiviral properties that fight infections," says Thomson. "Just a couple of cloves of garlic, mixed into food, will jump-start your immune system and improve your chances of fighting off an illness." If you have to continue the garlic-heavy diet for more than a few days, stick to tomatoey Italian foods, or drink a glass of tomato juice with each meal. Acids in the tomatoes will neutralize the odor-causing oils in the garlic, just as they do other scents -- like skunk spray.

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Who is JOE ARPAIO

TO THOSE OF YOU NOT FAMILIAR WITH JOE ARPAIO, HE IS THE MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF ( ARIZONA ) AND HE KEEPS GETTING ELECTED OVER AND OVER AGAIN.


These are some of the reasons why:

Sheriff Joe Arpaio created the 'tent city jail' to save Arizona from spending tens of millions of dollars on another expensive prison complex.

He has jail meals down to 20 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them.

He banned smoking and pornographic magazines in the jails, and took away their weightlifting equipment and cut off all but 'G' movies. He says:
'They're in jail to pay a debt to society not to build muscles so they can assault innocent people when they leave.'

He started chain gangs to use the inmates to do free work on county and city projects and save taxpayer's money.

Then he started chain gangs for women so he wouldn't get sued for discrimination.

He took away cable TV until he found out there was a federal court order that required cable TV for jails. So he hooked up the cable TV again but only allows the Disney channel and the weather channel.

When asked why the weather channel, he replied: 'So these morons will know how hot it's gonna be while they are working on my chain gangs.'
He cut off coffee because it has zero nutritio nal value and is therefore a waste of taxpayer money. When the inmates complained, he told them, 'This isn't the Ritz/Carlton. If you don't like it, don't come back.'

With temperatures being even hotter than usual in Phoenix (116 degrees just set a new record for June 2nd 2007), the Associated Press reported: About 2,000 inmates living in a barbed wire surrounded tent encampment at the Maricopa County Jail have been given permission to strip down to their government-issued pink boxer shorts.

On the Wednesday, hundreds of men wearing pink boxer shorts were overheard chatting in the tents, where temperatures reached 128 degrees.
'This is hell.. It feels like we live in a furnace,' said Ernesto Gonzales, an inmate for 2 years with 10 more to go. 'It's inhumane.'
Joe Arpaio, who makes his prisoners wear pink, and eat bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic. 'Criminals should be punished for their crimes - no t live in luxury until it's time for parole, only to go out and commit more crimes so they can come back in to live on taxpayers money and enjoy things many taxpayers can't afford to have for themselves.'

The same day he told all the inmates who were complaining of the heat in the tents: 'It's between 120 to 130 degrees in Iraq and our soldiers are living in tents too, and they have to walk all day in the sun, wearing full battle gear and get shot at, and they have not committed any crimes, so shut your mouths!'

Way to go, Sheriff! If all prisons were like yours there would be a lot less crime and we would not be in the current position of running out of prison spaces.

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AP IMPACT: Mortgage firm arranged stealth campaign

WASHINGTON – Freddie Mac secretly paid a Republican consulting firm $2 million to kill legislation that would have regulated and trimmed the mortgage finance giant and its sister company, Fannie Mae, three years before the government took control to prevent their collapse.

In the cross hairs of the campaign carried out by DCI of Washington were Republican senators and a regulatory overhaul bill sponsored by Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. DCI's chief executive is Doug Goodyear, whom John McCain's campaign later hired to manage the GOP convention in September.

Freddie Mac's payments to DCI began shortly after the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee sent Hagel's bill to the then GOP-run Senate on July 28, 2005. All GOP members of the committee supported it; all Democrats opposed it.

In the midst of DCI's yearlong effort, Hagel and 25 other Republican senators pleaded unsuccessfully with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., to allow a vote.

"If effective regulatory reform legislation ... is not enacted this year, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole," the senators wrote in a letter that proved prescient.

Unknown to the senators, DCI was undermining support for the bill in a campaign targeting 17 Republican senators in 13 states, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. The states and the senators targeted changed over time, but always stayed on the Republican side.

In the end, there was not enough Republican support for Hagel's bill to warrant bringing it up for a vote because Democrats also opposed it and the votes of some would be needed for passage. The measure died at the end of the 109th Congress.

McCain, R-Ariz., was not a target of the DCI campaign. He signed Hagel's letter and three weeks later signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill.

By the time McCain did so, however, DCI's effort had gone on for nine months and was on its way toward killing the bill.

In recent days, McCain has said Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were "one of the real catalysts, really the match that lit this fire" of the global credit crisis. McCain has accused Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama of taking advice from former executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and failing to see that the companies were heading for a meltdown.

McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, or his lobbying firm has taken more than $2 million from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dating to 2000. In December, Freddie Mac contributed $250,000 to last month's GOP convention.

Obama has received $120,349 in political donations from employees of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; McCain $21,550.

The Republican senators targeted by DCI began hearing from prominent constituents and financial contributors, all urging the defeat of Hagel's bill because it might harm the housing boom. The effort generated newspaper articles and radio and TV appearances by participants who spoke out against the measure.

Inside Freddie Mac headquarters in 2005, the few dozen people who knew what DCI was doing referred to the initiative as "the stealth lobbying campaign," according to three people familiar with the drive.

They spoke only on condition of anonymity, saying they fear retaliation if their names were disclosed.

Freddie Mac executive Hollis McLoughlin oversaw DCI's drive, according to the three people.

"Hollis's goal was not to have any Freddie Mac fingerprints on this project and DCI became the hidden hand behind the effort," one of the three people told the AP.

Before 2004, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were Democratic strongholds. After 2004, Republicans ran their political operations. McLoughlin, who joined Freddie Mac in 2004 as chief of staff, has given $32,250 to Republican candidates over the years, including $2,800 to McCain, and has given none to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics.

On Friday night, Hagel's chief of staff, Mike Buttry, said Hagel's legislation "was the last best chance to bring greater oversight and tighter regulation to Freddie and Fannie, and they used every means they could to defeat Sen. Hagel's legislation every step of the way."

"It is outrageous that a congressionally chartered government-sponsored enterprise would lobby against a member of Congress's bill that would strengthen the regulation and oversight of that institution," Buttry said in a statement. "America has paid an extremely high price for the reckless, and possibly criminal, actions of the leadership at Freddie and Fannie."

Nine of the 17 targeted Republican senators did not sign Hagel's letter: Sens. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Christopher "Kit" Bond and Jim Talent of Missouri, Conrad Burns of Montana, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and George Allen of Virginia. Aside from the nine, 20 other Republican senators did not sign Hagel's letter.

McConnell's office said members of leadership do not sign letters to the leader. McConnell was majority whip at the time.

Eight of the targeted senators did sign it: Sens. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Jim Bunning of Kentucky, Larry Craig of Idaho, John Ensign of Nevada, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, George Voinovich of Ohio and David Vitter of Louisiana. Santorum, Crapo and Bunning were on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee and had voted in favor of sending the bill to the full Senate.

On Thursday, Freddie Mac acknowledged that the company "did retain DCI to provide public affairs support at the state and local level." On Friday, DCI issued a four-sentence statement saying it complied with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations in representing Freddie Mac. Neither Freddie Mac nor DCI would say how much Goodyear's consulting firm was paid.

Freddie Mac paid DCI $10,000 a month for each of the targeted states, so the more states, the more money for DCI, according to the three people familiar with the program. In addition, Freddie Mac paid DCI a group retainer of $40,000 a month plus $20,000 a month for each regional manager handling the project, the three people said.

Last month, the concerns of the 26 Republican senators who signed Hagel's bill became a reality when the government seized control of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae amid their near financial collapse. Federal prosecutors are investigating accounting, disclosure and corporate governance issues at both companies, which own or guarantee more than $5 trillion in mortgages, roughly equivalent to half of the national debt.

Freddie Mac was so pleased with DCI's work that it retained the firm for other jobs, finally cutting DCI loose last month after the government takeover, according to the three people familiar with the situation.

Freddie Mac's problems began when Hagel's legislation won approval from the Senate committee.

Democrats did not like the harshest provision, which would have given a new regulator a mandate to shrink Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae by forcing them to sell off part of their portfolios. That approach, the Democrats feared, would cut into the ability of low- and moderate-income families to buy houses.

The political backdrop to the debate "was like bizarre-o-world," said the second of three people familiar with the program. "The Republicans were pro-regulation and the Democrats were against it; it was upside down."

Sen. Richard Shelby, the committee chairman at the time, underscored that in a statement Wednesday, saying that with Democrats already on their side, it was not surprising that Freddie Mac and Freddie Mae went after Republicans. "Unfortunately," said Shelby, R-Ala., "efforts then to derail reform were successful."

In a sign of bad things to come, Freddie Mac was already having serious problems in 2005. Auditors had exposed massive accounting issues, so improved regulation was one obvious remedy.

Once Freddie Mac's in-house lobbyists failed to keep Hagel's bill bottled up in the committee, McLoughlin responded by secretly hiring DCI.

DCI never filed lobbying reports with Congress about what it was doing because the firm was relying on a long-recognized gap in the disclosure law.

Federal lobbying law only requires reporting and registration when there are contacts with a legislator or staff.

"To have it stealthy, not to let people know who is behind this, in my opinion is unethical," said James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University who long has taught courses about lobbying.

Goodyear is a longtime political consultant from Arizona who resigned from the Republican convention job this year after Newsweek magazine revealed he had lobbied for the repressive military junta of Myanmar.

McLoughlin, Freddie Mac's senior vice president for external relations, was assistant treasury secretary from 1989 through 1992 in the administration of President Bush's father. McLoughlin served as chief of staff to Sen. Nicholas Brady, R-N.J., in 1982 and to Rep. Millicent Fenwick, R-N.J., from 1975-79.

Seven of the 17 targeted Republican senators were in the midst of re-election campaigns in 2006, and according to one of the three people familiar with the program, Freddie Mac and DCI hoped those facing tough races would tell their Republican colleagues back in Washington that "we've got enough trouble; you're making it worse with Hagel's bill."

Five of the seven DCI targets who ran for re-election in 2006 lost, and Senate control switched to the Democrats.

A Freddie Mac e-mail on May 4, 2006 — the day before Hagel's letter — details the behind-the-scenes effort that Freddie Mac and DCI generated to hold down the number of Republicans signing Hagel's letter urging a full Senate vote. It said:

"What I'm asking is that DCI get a few of their key well-connected constituents from each state to call in to the DC office of their Republican senators and speak to the (legislative director) or (chief of staff) and urge them not to sign the letter. The following could be used as a short script."

The proposed script read: "We can all agree that Fannie's and Freddie's regulator should be strengthened but unfortunately, S.190 goes too far and could potentially have damaging effects on Georgia's — example — home buyers."

According to the third of the three people familiar with the program, "DCI was asked to help keep senators from signing; it was a big part of their effort that year and it was viewed as a success since many DCI targets did not sign the letter."

DCI's progress after the first four months of the campaign was spelled out in a 19-page document dated Dec. 12, 2005, and titled, "Freddie Mac Field Program State by State Summary Report."

A snippet of a senator-by-senator breakdown of the efforts says this about Maine's Snowe:

"Philip Harriman, former state senator, co-chair of Snowe's 2006 campaign, personal Snowe friend, major GOP donor and investment adviser, has written the senator a personal letter on this issue. Dick Morin, vice president Maine Association of Mortgage Brokers, has been in direct contact with Sen. Snowe's committee staff, has sent a letter to Snowe, and is pursuing a dozen(s) of letters from his members."

On Wednesday, Snowe's office issued a statement saying that she "literally gets hundreds of 'Dear Colleague' letters seeking support for their positions that she does not sign. Had this legislation come up for a vote in 2006, she certainly would have considered it on its merits — as she does every vote. Just last July, she voted for the housing bill that established a new, stronger regulator."

Rosario Marin, a staunch McCain supporter who spoke at the GOP convention in September, was among the people DCI used in carrying out the campaign.

Marin, the U.S. treasurer during the first term of the Bush administration, went to Missouri and to Montana, Burns' state, where she spoke out against Hagel's bill.

At the time, Burns, who ended up losing his re-election bid, was caught up in a Washington influence peddling scandal centering on disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Marin's visit triggered a local newspaper story in which the reporter contacted Burns' staff for comment. Burns' office told the newspaper the senator was not supportive of the latest version of Hagel's bill.

On Wednesday, Marin, now state consumer services secretary in California, issued a statement confirming that her trips to Missouri and Montana were in her capacity as a DCI consultant.

The December 2005 summary listing 17 Republican targets outlines the inroads DCI was making.

"On day one" of the effort, Sen. George Allen of Virginia had not addressed Hagel's bill and his legislative aide for housing was not assigned to it, the report said.

"Today," the report added, "the senator is aware of the issue and ... at the moment he is undecided." Allen's deputy chief of staff "has said that the senator will take into consideration before he decides that Freddie Mac is located in Virginia and is one of the largest Virginia employers."

"Grasstops/opinion leaders James Todd, president, the Peterson Companies wrote to both senators," the report added. "Milt Peterson, the founder and CEO of the company is one of Allen's major donors."

In the end, Allen, who lost his bid for re-election in 2006, did not sign Hagel's letter


















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Wedding Speech....Greatest Fear for Many

Did you know that a recent survey discovered that public speaking is the number one fear in a person's life and rated above death? Well I have to admit that I used to belong to that group, but nowadays I have started to enjoy public speaking due to some simple tips I will share with you, and of course because of much practice I have had these last years. I still get butterflies in my stomach right before I start talking, but once I start, I forget all about it.

It seems like that is the same with a lot of other people and amongst them are famous public speakers, so you are not alone.

Opener
A good speech has a good opening and a good closing. Start by introducing yourself. Once you have their attention it would be nice to follow your introduction with something interesting or funny--whatever suits your style. The beginning of your toast is the time that people are focusing on you and really hearing what you say. Often people remember the beginning best because they are well focused on the speaker.

Middle
You could tell a story about the couple that not many guests have heard. Please remember to keep it short while excluding unnecessary explanations. The best stories are short and straight to the point; this way you keep their attention at all times. It is a good idea to not have it longer than 3 to 4 minutes.

Closing
Most speeches at a weeding are closed like a normal weeding toast, that is, by wishing the happy couple all the best in the future and by raising your glasses. You can read them a poem, or something in that nature, if you want to be a little different.

How to Start
It does not matter if you are standing up on a stage or at your table; it is always a good start to look around at all the guests to establish eye contact before you start. This will also make you look more confident. Also, stand straight with your weight equal on both feet.

Dealing with Nervousness & Shaky Knees
If your knees are shaky then it is a good idea to lean onto a table, but by all means don't sit down: that is not a good way to hold a speech. By standing, all, or at least most of the visitors, will see you. By standing you show the newlyweds your respect.

Shaky Hands
If your hands are shaky then you can stop them from shaking by keeping them behind your back, holding onto something, or just leave your index card on the table where you can see it.

Be Forthright
If you are really nervous, then it is always a good idea to tell it to the guests. You could for example say, "I am sorry for my shaky voice, but this is not exactly my dream come true to stand up here in front of you all so please bear with me."

Since most people have the same fear of public speaking, 99% of them will understand you really well. Plus, when you're at a wedding the odds are that you know most of the people, so don't you worry.

Before the Presentation
This is very important; you have to practice the speech at least 5-7 times before the presentation. You start by writing it down word for word and then you practice at least 2-3 times in front of a mirror or a friend with the whole speech in your hands.

Then in step two you make a small index card (2x4 inches) containing all your keywords on which you use to help you remember the rest of the speech. For example if you have a sentence going like, "I remember when John, Stacy and I went on that trip to Iceland and..." then you just put the word Iceland on the index card. That one word will help you remember the whole story. This way you only have to write down 5-8 words to remember a speech that is 5-8 minutes long.

After you have written down your keywords, practice the speech another 2-3 times in front of the mirror or your friend. On the wedding day it should be enough to practice once in the morning with the index card and you should be good to go.

Article Written By
Torfi Gudmundsson



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Interesting story

Ed Begley Jr and 'the Science Guy' Go Head-to-Head in Eco-Rivalry

Back when we were kids, we always wanted what the neighbors had. Namely, Yodels, MTV, and a swimming pool. Now, we've outgrown our transfat envy, and don't really know who our neighbors are. But another throwback from our youth, Bill Nye the Science Guy, carries on the tradition of neighborly one-upmanship with his neighbor, actor Ed Begley, Jr.


This beef has nothing to do with who drives a faster car or has a bigger walk-in closet. The Science Guy and Begley are in fact locked in competition over who can make their home and its environs more environmentally sustainable.

The endearingly nerdy competition began almost as soon as Bill Nye moved into the neighborhood two years ago. A cute 83-year-old neighbor recounts "Bill announced it: 'I'm going to best Ed Begley at his own game. I'm going to get him.'"

Nye claims that Begley started it by coveting Nye's new solar panels while filming a segment of Begley's green living show 'Living with Ed.' The sought-after panels include a system which tells Nye when he's making more power than he's using.

Begley's comeback was a series of gnarly rain barrels which he uses to water the plants. Other features of his estate are an Astro Tuft lawn to cut down on water use, an outdoor solar oven, and a picket fence made from recycled plastic milk containers squished into boards. But Begley's still jealous of Nye's copper rain gutters and the solar-powered electric fence around his vegetable garden. Begley keeps snails away from his crops with a tray of beer. They flock to the beer like frat boys to a keg, and then drink themselves to death before touching the vegetables.

Nye admits that Begley's winning the friendly competish, having a 20-year head start and all. He also credits Begley for inspiring some of the changes he's made around his house. But Nye is miles ahead of EB in the aesthetics department. "Ed claims ...that he doesn't care how things look as long as they function well," Nye said. "I'm not in that camp. Things have to look good or don't bother."

We like this dorky eco-competition. So do many other neighbors, who now approach the duo for sustainability tips and info on how to make their own homes greener. We guess sometimes coveting your neighbors goods is really pretty ok. [Source: USA Today]


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Obesity - America's Problem

OBESITY - It's the fastest-growing cause of disease and death in America.  And it's completely preventable.  Nearly two out of every three Americans are overweight or obese. One out of every eight deaths in America is caused by an illness directly related to overweight and obesity.  Statistics tell us that 20% of the US population will die because of

a completely preventable illness related to overweight or obesity is not taken care of appropriately.  Because of overweight or obesity, 20% of the US population will spend


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The Effects of Divorce on America

by Patrick F. Fagan and Robert E. Rector



Each year, over 1 million American children suffer the divorce of their parents; moreover, half of the children born this year to parents who are married will see their parents divorce before they turn 18.  Mounting evidence in social science journals demonstrates that the devastating physical, emotional, and financial effects that divorce is having on these children will last well into adulthood and affect future generations.  Among these broad and damaging effects are the following:


  • Children whose parents have divorced are increasingly the victims of abuse.  They exhibit more

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Weird science

"Professor in special electric mask surrounded by school children, 1930"

Demonstrating the electrification of hair in 1930

Explosions. Bunsen burners. Adoring crowds in evening dress - or school uniform - eyes wide with wonderment. Can we recapture the excitement of science, asks historian Lisa Jardine. Inside many of our historic buildings, spaces survive which seem to hold particularly strong memories of events that took place within them. One of my favorites is the Faraday Lecture Theatre at the Royal Institution in London, one of our oldest establishments dedicated to the promotion of science. "Faraday Lecture Theatre" The refurbished lecture hall. Since shortly after the Institution's foundation in 1799, the world's greatest scientific communicators have stood in front of its baize-covered desk, at the centre of the steeply-raked 300-seat theatre to enthral the general public with their ideas and experiments. What a contrast with today. Last week,Ofsted reported that at both primary and secondary school level, science lessons were dull and there were not enough practical experiments. Teachers no longer entertain classes with explosions of powdered magnesium; gone are the bunsen burners for heating noxious mixtures in fragile test-tubes. Science is a fascinating and exciting subject," said Chief inspector Christine Gilbert. "Yet for many pupils, it lacks appeal because of the way that it is taught."Crowd pleasers. It was in the Faraday Lecture Theatre, in June 1903, that French scientist Pierre Curie and his Polish wife Marie Sklodowska Curie demonstrated the remarkable properties of their newly discovered element, radium. The Curies in the lab"Marie and Pierre in 1903. The occasion was one of the Institution's celebrated Friday evening discourses, a fashionable event for which those who attended were expected to don full evening dress, and which caused such congestion on Piccadilly that Albemarle Street, on which the Institution stands, had to be designated the first one-way street in London, to cope with the crush of carriages. The Curies were the scientific stars of the moment: everyone in London wanted to meet them. In the packed theatre, eminent scientists rubbed shoulders with leading members of London's high society, craning their necks in anticipation. Actually, it was Pierre Curie who conducted the radium experiments, since propriety and the rules of the Royal Institution prevented a woman from participating in a Royal Institution discourse. Most of those present, however, understood that this research had been carried out by a perfectly-matched scientific partnership, whose complementary abilities were clearly evidenced by their many published papers. By 1903, the Curies had produced an impressive sequence of joint papers on the two new radioactive elements they had discovered - polonium and radium - but both Marie and Pierre had also published key results on both the physics and chemistry of radioactivity independently. At the end of that year, indeed, they were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics, "in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel". Own lab rat As a sign of the high regard in which she was held, Marie sat in the front row of the Faraday lecture theatre, alongside the most senior scientist present at that occasion, the former President of the Royal Society and towering figure in the investigation of electricity, Lord Kelvin. "Lisa Jardine" The lecture theatre had to be decontaminated, because of the dangerous level of radiatio In a partially darkened room, Pierre showed how radium emitted a ghostly light. He placed a piece of radium on a photographic plate which had been wrapped in thick layers of newspaper. Removing the paper, Pierre Curie revealed how the clear image of the radium had been transmitted through its wrappings, on to the plate.Finally, rolling up his sleeve, he showed a livid red area of damaged skin, where he had bound a sample of radium wrapped in a thin layer of rubber to his arm for 10 hours. Marie, he explained, had suggested that this property of burning the skin might make radium a useful treatment for cancer.As he moved his precious radium samples around, Pierre Curie's fingers fumbled badly. So incapacitated was he by his badly scarred hands and a general feeling of fatigue and debilitation, that he had not been able to tie his dress tie before the lecture. Neither he nor his wife was aware of the lasting damage being caused to their health by repeated handling of radioactive substances. Neither took any precautions when working at close quarters with radium.So in this case, one of the lasting memories I began with was a real one: years after Pierre's Royal Institution performance, it was found that the effects of his mishandling of his material still lingered on the premises - the lecture theatre had to be decontaminated, because of the dangerous level of radiation.It is hard today to decide which attitude on that celebrated occasion was the more blinkered: the absolute inability publicly to recognise a great woman's scientific achievement, or the assembled company's unreserved celebration of radioactivity. For now, I'll stay with the former."Bunsen burner"Tools of the tradeAmong those in the admiring audience at the Curies' lecture was another distinguished woman scientist, the physicist Hertha Ayrton. A year earlier she had been the first woman proposed for candidature as a Fellow of the even more prestigious Royal Society, for her "long series of experiments on direct [electrical] current arc, leading to many new facts and explanations".After a flurry of activity on the part of the existing Fellows it was agreed that Hertha Ayrton's candidature was ineligible, because she was a married woman. Even had she been single, it was decided that "the Statutes of the Society are framed on the footing that only men can be elected, and we think that no woman can be properly elected as a Fellow, without some alteration in the Statutes".Hertha Ayrton and Marie Curie - encouraged by the statutes of the Royal Institution to attend its lectures, but not allowed to take part in its serious business - became close friends. When, in 1909, the Westminster Gazette attributed the discovery of radium to Pierre Curie, it was Hertha who protested in a letter to the editor."Errors are notoriously hard to kill," she wrote. "But an error that ascribes to a man what was actually the work of a woman has more lives than a cat."But let's go back, to all that messing about with dangerous substances - substances we now know could kill - for the entertainment of the public in the Faraday lecture theatre in the 1900s.Pupils want practical science lessons to make the subject more funFrom the beginning, the Royal Institution was a place where science was both useful and fun. Its mission was declared to be: "Teaching the application of Science to the common Purposes of Life". And the public flocked to its scientific demonstrations throughout the 19th Century.So why are so many people today happy to admit that they find science difficult and dull? Some of the blame may be laid at the doors of our education system, as the Ofsted report suggested. But there must be more to the flight from science.People who would never admit to a lack of understanding of art or literature are happy to confess to total incomprehension where science is concerned. Yet our lives today depend as never before upon the outcomes of innovative science and technology. Without medical science, our lives would be shorter and more painful; without physics and chemistry, domestic conveniences that ease our everyday lives could never have been developed.If, however, the reason for the general public's disenchantment with science is to be laid at the door of scientists unable or unprepared to communicate their subject so as to engage the interest and enthusiasm of non-specialists, then the Royal Institution is continuing a long tradition actively to counter such a trend.You should be able to say 'where shall we go tonight? I know, let's go to the Royal Institution'Susan GreenfieldIt has just reopened after a major refurbishment of its original Albemarle Street premises by architect Terry Farrell - a refurbishment which thankfully leaves the Faraday lecture theatre improved but fundamentally unchanged, while transforming the rest of the buildings into an Aladdin's cave of enticing spaces fostering science education and communication.In her address to the distinguished audience of scientists and friends gathered at the official reopening, director Susan Greenfield expressed the hope that evenings at the RI might once again be considered as thrilling a prospect as going to the cinema or out to dinner. "You should be able to say 'where shall we go tonight? I know, let's go to the Royal Institution'."And if you do decide to attend one of those captivating, cutting-edge Friday evening discourses, you can still enjoy arriving in evening dress, as you might for a night out at the opera. That is no longer mandatory - but it means that memories of the glory days of science still seem to hover over the Faraday lecture theatre.

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High fuel prices put pinch on Nevada brothels

Sunday June 29, 2:56 pm ET
By Martin Griffith, Associated Press Writer
Nevada brothels that rely on truckers feel pinch of higher fuel prices, report fewer customers

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Rising fuel prices are putting a pinch on the world's oldest profession. Nevada brothels that cater to long-haul truckers are offering gas cards and other promotions after seeing business decline as much as 25 percent from a year ago, industry officials said.

Geoffrey Arnold, president of the Nevada Brothel Owners' Association, said truckers account for up to 75 percent of business at the state's rural brothels along Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 95.

He said business is down about 19 percent at his two northern Nevada brothels along I-80: Donna's Ranch in Wells and Donna's Battle Mountain Ranch.

"We're being affected by the economy like everybody else," Arnold said. "Times are tougher ... and truckers have less money to spend. They're not high-rollers anymore."

Diesel fuel costs roughly $4.70 a gallon, up 67.5 percent from a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Of Nevada's 28 legal brothels, 16 are located in rural areas that are being hurt by truckers' higher diesel costs, Arnold said. Whorehouses closer to Reno and Las Vegas, which rely more on tourists and conventioneers, say business is up this year.

In response to a 5 percent drop in business, the Shady Lady Ranch along U.S. 95 about 150 miles north of Las Vegas plans to offer $50 gas cards to clients who spend $300 and $100 gas cards to those who spend $500.

The brothel also offers special monthly discounts, including an offer of 45 minutes of services for $175 instead of the usual rate of $200.

"Anything that has to do with discretionary income is down," owner Bobbi Davis said. "Instead of spending $500 out here, they might only spend $300. I see it every time they raise gas prices."

Under a promotion under way at the Moonlite BunnyRanch near Carson City, the first 100 customers who arrive with government stimulus checks receive twice the services for the same regular price.

"We're calling it double your stimulus," said BunnyRanch owner Dennis Hof. "The brothel industry is having to get more creative just like all consumer products in America. Everybody has got to deal, and we're doing the same thing."

Sue's Fantasy Club in Elko doesn't need to extend any promotions because it doesn't rely on truckers, said the brothel's manager, who would identify herself only as Victoria.

Business is up from last year because of a booming local economy driven by mining and rising gold prices, she said.

"We would be hurting, too, if we had to depend on truckers," she said.

Hardest hit are independent truckers, who must pay for their own fuel, said George Flint, a lobbyist for the brothel owners' association.

"So there goes your disposable income to have a little fun," Flint told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Since January, the number of long-haul trucks based in Nevada has dropped by 4,100, or 12 percent, said Paul Eons of the Nevada Motor Transport Association.

Arnold predicted the industry would weather the slowdown.

"The customers won't be spending as much, but the brothels will still be there," he said. "After food, the most important activity, at least for men, is sex. Sex is not going away."

The downturn also has affected brothels by leading to an increase in the number of women seeking jobs as legal prostitutes, Arnold added.

As business for escort services and strip clubs goes flat, "more women are interested in joining the (brothel) industry," he said.

Nevada is the nation's only state that allows brothels. Prostitution is legal in 10 of Nevada's 17 counties, but it's illegal in the Reno and Las Vegas metropolitan areas.

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Searching For a HYBRID

With rising gas prices, I have actually considered trading my car in for a hybrid. Hybrids, which combine a gasoline engine with an electric motor and battery, are not only more fuel-efficient but are widely considered much better for the environment.


Just to get an idea of how much money on gasoline you could be saving, the Toyota Prius, our top searched hybrid, receives 48 city miles to a gallon of gas. Honda Civic hybrid receives 40 city miles to a gallon of gas, while the regular Honda Civic receives only 25 city miles to a gallon.


Do you know of any hybrids that did not show up on the list? If so, please tell us about them. Check out more hybrids on AOL Autos or search for hybrids on AOL Search.


Top Searched Hybrids on AOL Search:

1. Toyota Prius

2. Honda Civic Hybrid

3. Ford Escape Hybrid

4. Toyota Camry Hybrid

5. Toyota Highlander Hybrid

6. Nissan Altima Hybrid

7. Mercury Mariner Hybrid

8. Honda Accord Hybrid

9. Mazda Tribute Hybrid

10. GMC Yukon Hybrid


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Judge Rejects 'Obscene' Name Change

Posted: Saturday 06/28/08 04:04 PM EDT
Filed Under: Law News, Nation News, Weird News
A New Mexico appeals court rules against a Los Alamos man who wanted to change his name to "F--- Censorship!" Judge Nan Nash said the proposed name change was "obscene, offensive and would not comport with common decency."

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