Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Myth of Free Government Money: A Perennial and Pernicious Scam

Why do so many entrepreneurs believe in the Tooth Fairy?

The late-night TV infomercial is so alluring: "Come to our seminar and find out how you can get your government grant to start a small business!" a breathless announcer intones. "Just $300." A smiling entrepreneur assures in a taped testimonial: "I got $40,000 for my small business!"

The bright, red words: "Free Money!" fill the screen. It's an old story, and one that makes small-business consultants, counselors, and advice columnists (this one included) cringe. Whenever such ads run, we brace ourselves for calls and e-mail from entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs who can't wait to get their hands on that free government money — which doesn't exist. Why are people who supposedly want to be hard-headed, no-nonsense business types so gullible? This is a subject the Smart Answers column has addressed before, but I periodically revisit it. That's because these aren't harmless hoaxes. Seminar sellers and book hucksters routinely con people into shelling out hundreds of dollars to hear lectures or purchase directories that contain information readily available (yes, really for free!) in any public library or on the Internet.

"I've been working in small-business development for 16 years, and this urban legend never goes away," sighs John Rooney, a professor at the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Southern California. "Interest and calls peak when some new book or ad kicks in."

"BRIGHTEST TECH MINDS." Common sense and the most basic awareness of business principles should tell entrepreneurs that no one besides Mom and Dad (maybe) will give you no-strings money to start a for-profit business. "If the government was in the position of providing all of the funds for free to people who start their own businesses, we wouldn't last long," says Mike Stamler, a spokesman for the U.S. Small Business Administration in Washington, D.C. "Not to mention that the American people would never stand for the government setting individuals up in business at no cost, and all at taxpayer risk."

Yet, the myth persists. Like most con artists, the free-money hucksters take a grain of truth and distort it. There are a few highly specific grants for small businesses. A look at the details shows the money is hardly free. It comes with a host of restrictions and quid pro quos. For example, some local agencies give small grants to businesses that locate in poor areas and guarantee jobs to people in an underemployed community, says Phil Borden, director of the Women's Enterprise Development Corp., a Long Beach (Calif.) nonprofit business assistance center.

There are also some very restrictive, difficult-to-obtain grants given to small businesses to research new technologies for the government. "There is something called the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program that gives entrepreneurs up to $100,000 to research an idea that's considered promising and up to $1 million to create products from it, if the research pans out," Borden explains. "The problem is, the promising ideas have to do with things like how to capture a satellite in orbit and repair it. The people who compete with intricate, detailed proposals for these grants are experts in engineering and science and have the brightest technology minds in the country. The notion that this kind of money is available to folks off the street is a joke."

READY VICTIMS. Still, the free-money hucksters find ready victims because people want to believe there's a way around the hard work of raising capital. "So many people say they heard it from a friend or saw it on TV. Of course, they've never actually met anyone who got any free money. It becomes like the Holy Grail of small business, and a lot of entrepreneurs get caught up in this idea that it's out there," Rooney says.

The true believers are amazingly persistent. "About six or eight years ago, there was a scam like this that produced a run of calls," says the SBA's Stamler. "The huckster at the heart of it implied that these grants were there, but the government didn't want to let everyone know about them," Stamler recalls. "He told people not to take 'no' for an answer when they called us."

Rooney says he once ordered a "free-money" book advertised on television.The author claimed every entrepreneur was entitled to a government grant. Rooney received a directory of farmer's subsidies, Housing & Urban Development programs, and government-loan applications.

What about those testimonials from happy entrepreneurs? Listen closely, Stamler says. They usually say they "got" so much government money for their small business — they don't say how. Most of those featured entrepreneurs have gotten small-business loans, he says. The SBA guaranteed more than $16 billion in loans during fiscal 1999 through its three major financing programs.

LEGITIMATE SOURCES. The irony is that in this boom time for small business, there are many sources of loans or equity financing for startups. "Money's not that hard to get from friends and family if you've got a really good idea," says Rooney. "I've seen college students raise millions with their ideas. Why waste your time with the snake-oil salesmen when you could be talking to professionals who know what they're doing?" After all, it's not as though the average startup needs many millions to get off the ground.

As Jim Weidman, spokesman for the National Federation of Independent Business points out: "Most new businesses are started with a very small amount of money, around $5,000. So people come up with it out of their personal savings or borrowing from their relatives, unless they are buying an ongoing enterprise or starting a business that needs a lot of initial funding for inventory, working capital, or buying or leasing a building."

For more information on funding for startups, visit the SBA's Web site at It features extensive information on small-business loans and startup funding. For information on venture capital, visit the Venture Capital Resource Library,, the Capital Network,, or,

No Right Brain Left Behind

No Right Brain Left Behind

No Right Brain Left Behind

By Marco R. della Cava, USA TODAY

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — On a recent foggy night, the newest wave in educational thinking crashed into this city’s oldest high school.

And its waters weren’t warm.

“It worries me that we’re not thinking big enough, that we’re not preparing our kids for a world that will be terribly different from the one we grew up in,” says Patrick Bassett, scanning the rapt faces of a few dozen parents in the auditorium of 103-year-old Mission High School, whose alums include poet Maya Angelou and rocker Carlos Santana.

“We need kids to be more risk-taking, more entrepreneurial,” he says. “More than ever, we need the right brain to mix with the left.”

Although Bassett, president of the National Association of Independent Schools, has been quietly delivering this “Right-Brain Future” talk for a few years, recent economic events have lately sent him on the road non-stop. “My reception has shifted dramatically,” he says. “More people seem to want to hear this message.”

Here’s the Cliff Notes version: As traditional jobs in the left-brain world of finance shrink, the USA’s economy will increasingly be tethered to creative innovations rooted in right-brain thinking.

Sachin Desai, 45, attended Bassett’s lecture with his wife, Sejal, 44. Both are software engineers; their sons are 12 and 8.

“Growing up in Britain, it was all about linear thinking,” he says. “But my kids are American, a place known for coming up with unique solutions and ideas. I fear we’re losing that. So it’s critical these kids become creative thinkers.”


Patrick Bassett, left, chats with Andrew Odenyo during the Episcopal High School Leadership Institute, a five-day program in Alexandria, Va. Bassett says schools need to teach kids how to be creative, risk-taking and entrepreneurial. ( Truth Leem)

No right brain left behind

An impediment has been a No Child Left Behind educational system that is too geared to test-taking, says Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, the book that inspired Bassett to hit the lecture trail. “What’s troubling is that our system is obsessed with standardization at the very time when the future of our economy depends on the opposite.”

Some schools have gotten that message. At High Tech High, a charter school in San Diego, students are encouraged to use those skills to practical ends such as dreaming up new sources of energy or calculating ways to stretch the West’s limited water supply, says the school’s CEO, Larry Rosenstock.

Teaching Career Links

“You want kids who are math whizzes, yes. But you want them to also have the creative talent to apply those math skills to find answers to big questions.”

Barrett praises other schools that are pushing students to think outside the box. He cites Fay School in Southborough, Mass., whose students last year teamed with peers at South Saigon International School in Vietnam. Using video chats and a specially created online wiki-space, they designed a “socially conscious business model” that involved both selling products and creating public service announcements to build awareness for disaster relief.

“That’s the future,” he says. “Kids being analytical and creative to come up with solutions for us all.”

Continue reading on the next page.

Not set in stone

The good news for parents of children who seem predisposed to either a right- or left-brain orientation is that neither aptitude is set in stone, says Po Bronson, co-author with Ashley Merryman of NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, out in September.

Bronson says brain mechanisms controlling intelligence and creativity are in flux through age 25. “People told me as a kid that I had a math brain, and that I shouldn’t write,” says Bronson, a onetime Wall Streeter who went on to write five best-selling books.

“In the end, creativity is mainly an attitude,” he says. “It’s about coming up with an original answer to something as opposed to the one we’ve always seen.”

Still, for those who display both left- and right-brain talents, the world is not yet their oyster.

Stephen Welch, 22, of Woodstock, Ga., is a graduate of Georgia Tech in Atlanta. An engineer and a guitar player, he has been accepted at the University of California-Berkeley’s engineering program and Boston’s Berklee College of Music. He fears either choice will deny one side of his identity; he plans to take a year off to think about it. “I’m struggling,” he says. “I feel like it’s an either/or situation.”

Not so straightforward

That dilemma is not likely to be resolved anytime soon. Reflecting on Bassett’s presentation is Ben Quinones, a father of three girls under 10 who attend the private Children’s Day School here. He half-jokes that the lecture “was inspirational, daunting and all about figuring out what you’re doing wrong.”

As a lawyer turned CEO of semi-conductor start-up Lakota Technologies, Quinones says he sees firsthand the importance of not only fact-driven left-brain skills, but also more intangible right-brain weapons of creativity and adaptability.

“Things were so different, so straightforward when I was in school,” he says, almost wistfully. “But globalization is driving this. For my kids, simply grasping a set of left-brain skills will never be enough.”

READERS: Do you consider yourself more “right brain” or “left brain”? What about your kids? Do you think the education system cultivates both or should it change?

© 2008 YellowBrix, Inc.

10 Ways to Make Extra Summer Income for Educators


Mancow Leading Charge To Vote Patti Blagovich Off!
More Notes
3 oz. Tequila
1 can frozen concentrated lime aid
2 cans of lager beer chilled as cold as possible

1. Add Tequila and frozen lime aid to a 2 liter container or jug and stir until combined. (don't add any water or juice)
2. Add beer and mix.
3. Pour into Margarita glasses.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Top 25 Cities for Tech Jobs

Democratic Group Proposal: A Kindle for Every Student

Democratic Group Proposal: A Kindle for Every Student

Democratic Group Proposal: A Kindle for Every Student

Photo courtesy flickr user "Yutaka Tsutano" under a Creative Commons 2.0 attribution license.

Jason Mick/DailyTech

July 16, 2009

The U.S. Democratic Leadership Council believes it has a solution to children lacking the tools they need to succeed — buy them all Kindles. The DLC proposes giving each of the nation’s 56 million K-12 schoolchildren a Kindle, at a taxpayer expense of $11.2B USD (assuming a unit bundle cost of $200. The Kindle 2 currently retails for $299 on

Government leaders believe the costs could fall to $80 per unit by 2012. However, a key problem to any deal is the fact that reading textbooks on the smaller 6" screens is a bit hard. The 10" screen units, like that of the Kindle DX, currently retailing for $489, would likely be required. Another problem, jokingly suggested by some, and which could turn serious, is the potential of the children smashing the relatively fragile units.

There have been many drives across America aimed at putting a computer in the hands of every child. However, many children lack other essential educational tools, such as a graphing calculator, that may be needed even more. Efforts to trump up donations for such hardware haven’t received the same high profile as the computer drives.

A-Kindle-A-Child certainly sounds catchy and certainly has Amazon drooling, but the proposal requires some serious thought and contemplation.

In other Kindle news, according to Mobile Today, Amazon is close to finalizing a deal to distribute the Kindle in the UK. Amazon is reportedly “close to finalizing a launch date” and is in “advanced negotiations with a mobile operator for an MVNO” — likely T-Mobile or O2. The units are reportedly being manufactured by Qualcomm, which is also securing a carrier. They will reportedly feature both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.

Unusual Recycling: LCD Screens Find New Use in Human Medicine

Unusual Recycling: LCD Screens Find New Use in Human Medicine

Unusual Recycling: LCD Screens Find New Use in Human Medicine

Photo courtesy flickr user "cogdogblog" under a Creative Commons 2.0 attribution license.

Shane McGlaun/DailyTech

July 14, 2009

Researchers recover PVA from the screens to use in medicine

Around the U.S., tons of electronic devices are thrown away each year and many of the devices ultimately end up in landfills. There are a number of recycling programs around the country, but some researchers think that better uses for old electronics are available than simply recycling them.

A compound that is found inside of LCD screens could be a key component in medications according to researchers at the University of York. The specific compound is polyvinyl-alcohol (PVA), which is widely used in LCD TVs. LCD panels are typically incinerated or buried in landfills when they are no longer usable.

The group of researchers has found a way to recover the PVA from the screens and turn it into a substance that may be suitable for use in tissue scaffolds to help the body regenerate. The researchers also say that the chemical could be useful in medications and other items to deliver drugs to a specific part of the body.

Professor James Clark said, “With 2.5 billion liquid crystal displays already reaching the end of their life, and LCD televisions proving hugely popular with consumers, that is a huge amount of potential waste to manage. It is important that we find ways of recycling as many elements of LCDs as possible so we don’t simply have to resort to burying and burning them.”

The new technique that the researchers developed produces a product that is called ’"Expanded PVA." Expanded PVA is created by heating the LCD material in water using a microwave oven and then washing the material in ethanol.

The reason that PVA is being looked at so closely for medications and other medicinal uses is that the chemical produces no response from the immune system of the human body.

In February of 2009, we reported that another use for technology after the end of its useful life had been found. Some tech trash can be recycled and used in a new type of asphalt that is stronger than traditional asphalt used in roadways.

furious at Hate Crimes vote

Late Thursday night, the Senate voted 63-28 to end discussion
on 2009's version of the Hate Crimes bill and to make it an
amendment to the Defense Authorization bill.

Just as we've been warning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
found a way to abuse the rules and prevent an honest vote!

I am outraged by this blatant manipulation and I am not alone.
While Reid crowed about his great "victory," John McCain and
other Senators bitterly protested the underhanded way he
attached the Hate Crimes bill to vital defense funding

"While we have young Americans fighting and dying in two wars,
we're going to take up a Hate Crimes bill that has nothing
to do whatsoever with defending this nation...,"McCain complained.

Meanwhile, all seven Republican members of the Senate Judiciary
Committee went on record to say their committee never even got
a chance to review the bill - a blatant departure from
proper procedure.

The reason for all this subterfuge? Reid strong-armed the
system and by-passed a fair and open debate in order to
deliver a political prize to homosexual interest groups -
pure and simple!!

++Harry Reid has stooped to a new low as Majority Leader

Senators are now being forced to make a choice between
approving a vital defense spending bill and voting against
the dangerous, unneeded Hate Crimes amendment.

And Reid cynically used the cover of Sonia Sotomayor's
Supreme Court confirmation hearings in hopes that
grassroots Americans like you would not take notice!

++ We have one last chance to protest this travesty

The sneaky late-night cloture vote was designed to silence our
voice in this battle. But today, Friday, is a "no-vote" day
in the Senate. And the earliest the Defense Authorization
bill and its Hate Crimes amendment can come to a vote is Monday.

I know it's a long shot, but there could still be some
Democratic defections, especially if they "feel the heat."
And there are still some technicalities in the bill that
could cause more delays before a final vote can take place.

Even if the Senate's Defense Authorization bill passes along
with its Hate Crimes amendment, it still has to be reconciled
with the House version. So, the battle is not completely over yet!

We need to be heard up until the last possible minute! And
we must not allow Reid and his crowd to think no one noticed
what they've been doing.

Also, please take time today to pray that God will cause
the tide to turn against the Hate Crimes Law. All things
are possible to the wondrous God we serve.

Matthew, we have had a major impact in this battle. Now,
Harry Reid and his operatives are hoping they can get off the
stage before the rotten tomatoes start flying.

Many courageous conservative Senators don't want them to get
away with this outrage. I don't either.

We've already done so much to stop this dangerous bill, but now
I think we should take two more vital steps...


I hope you will fax your senators today - even if you've already
done it many times before. Your continuing protest will tell
them you oppose the way in which the Hate Crimes amendment is
being smuggled through the Senate.

I want to tell Harry Reid and his crowd that they have stirred
up a hornet's nest with their intolerable manipulation!

Please go here to schedule your faxes:

As always, you can send your own faxes. We have provided all
the information you need at the above link. Either way --

+ + Action #2 -- Call Harry Reid and your Senators

Also, call Majority Leader Reid and tell him you oppose the way
he sneaked the Hate Crimes bill through the Senate as an amendment.
Our sources have informed us that Senate phone lines have been
jammed all week with protests. Let's keep it up!

Outraged citizens like you forced Reid to take drastic steps to
sneak this bill through. Now we have a chance to make him
reconsider the cost of his hollow, dishonest "victory."

Reid's Majority Leader office: 202-224-5556

Reid's D.C. Senate office: 202-224-3542

Also, call your two senators and tell them you STRONGLY OBJECT
to the way the anti-faith Hate Crimes bill has been handled:

Sen. Lugar 202-224-4814

Sen. Bayh 202-224-5623

Talking Points:

1. I am very disappointed that the Senate fast-tracked the Hate
Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (S. 909) by attaching it as an
amendment to the Defense Authorization Act.

2. This Hate Crimes legislation is so controversial that it
should have been considered as a stand-alone bill, not rushed
as an amendment. It wasn't even reviewed by the Senate
Judiciary Committee!

3. I oppose the Hate Crimes Prevention Act and urge you to
oppose it as well. It is an attack on faith and family
while granting special rights based on "sexual orientation"
and "gender identity," terms which are not even clearly
defined in the bill.

We've come to the climax of a very long, hard struggle only to
be cheated out of a fair hearing on Hate Crimes legislation.
Let's end this battle with a long, loud PROTEST and pray for
the miracle we now need.

Go here to send your faxes:

Thank you for your steadfast perseverance,

Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman
Liberty Counsel

'Harry Potter' star Emma Watson teams up with Marilyn Manson for movie musical 'Cinderella' - report

'Harry Potter' star Emma Watson teams up with Marilyn Manson for movie musical 'Cinderella' - report

Thursday, July 16th 2009, 9:53 AM

Knippertz/AP; Ufberg/WireImage

White-faced Marilyn Manson and fresh faced Emma Watson are teaming up for a musical version of 'Cinderella.' He's producing, and she will star.

Emma Watson is taking the next step in her fairy-tale career.

The actress is taking on another role based on a story for young people as the lead in a new film version of "Cinderella," Perez Hilton reports.

Lest anyone think Watson's all sugar and spice, the consummate good girl in the "Harry Potter" movies is teaming up with an extremely naughty boy for the project - though sometimes it's hard to tell whether he's a boy or a girl.

Watson will be working with Goth shock-rocker Marilyn Manson, British paper The Sun first reported on Tuesday.

Manson is producing the film, though it's unclear if he will also direct or write songs for the as-yet-untitled project, Hilton reports.

Watson will sing as well as act in her first major non-Harry Potter role (she previously leant her voice to the animated "Tales of Despereaux," and appeared in the TV film "Ballet Shoes") .

The actress, who's already showed off her more sophisticated side in British Elle and as a spokesmodel for Burberry, clearly isn't afraid to take a few risks.

Your request is being processed... Emma Watson's Wardrobe Malfunction

Hermione herself, Emma Watson, charmed David Letterman and everyone watching when she sat down to push the new Harry Potter movie Wednesday night.

The Potter movie premiered Tuesday in London in the pouring rain, and her vintage dress at one point needed a little readjusting and she accidentally showed a flash of underwear.

'Tell us what's going on here,' said Letterman as he held up a picture of the incident.

'This was a small wardrobe malfunction, it happens,' Emma laughed, adding, 'At least I'm wearing underwear.'

She added, head in hands, 'I'm still learning, I'm still learning!'

Watson also confirmed to Dave that she will be starting college in the US this fall, although the institution of higher learning went unnamed.


Kangaroo Meat Could Help Australia Cut Gas Emissions

Kangaroo Meat Could Help Australia Cut Gas Emissions

Dave Hansford in Wellington, New Zealand
for National Geographic News
August 22, 2008

Replacing much of Australia's beef and lamb with kangaroo meat could significantly cut the continent's greenhouse gas emissions and save its native terrain, according to a new proposal.

A recent study suggests phasing out some 7 million cattle and 36 million sheep from Australian rangelands—semiarid land that doesn't naturally produce the grass livestock requires—and replacing them with kangaroos.

Because of their unique gut microbes, kangaroos emit much less methane than sheep and cattle, said lead author George Wilson, of Canberra consultancy Australian Wildlife Services.

"Methane is a very dangerous greenhouse gas—much more potent than carbon dioxide," he said.

Sheep and cattle are responsible for about 11 percent of Australian agricultural emissions, according to a government survey. Each cow produces 1.84 metric tons of greenhouse gas equivalents a year, and each sheep gives off more than 300 pounds (140 kilograms).

Kangaroos, meanwhile, emit less than seven pounds (three kilograms) of greenhouse gases. Under the study's proposal, that could translate into savings of 16 million tons of greenhouse gases annually—or 3 percent of Australia's total emissions.

The findings were published online last month in the journal Conservation Letters.

Profitable Pests?

Wilson estimated some 30 million kangaroos (including red kangaroos) already roam Australia's rangelands, where farmers typically regard them as pests. His proposal calls for the rangelands to be filled with five or six times that number.

The animals would become an asset to farmers, he said, if Australia includes agriculture—the sector that emits the most methane and nitrous oxide—in its Emissions Trading Scheme, a system the government is devising to impose charges on greenhouse polluters.

The government hopes to implement the scheme by 2010 but says it will not include agricultural emissions for another five years at least because of the difficulty in measuring them.

Wilson said the emissions saved by raising kangaroos could be worth about $650 million Australian (U.S. $570 million), based on current European carbon prices.


The impact would be strongest if livestock owners were required to purchase carbon permits to keep raising cattle and sheep, although such a scheme is far from being determined.

"If we let the kangaroo population rise to 175 million by 2020, farmers could be earning the same amount of money as they would be from cattle without that charge," he said.

"Completely Different Farming"

Peter Ampt, of the University of New South Wales, said Wilson's proposal "would require a completely different farming model."

Ampt, who is not involved with the study but is aligned with the cause, said: "Kangaroos are highly mobile and they don't herd very easily, so if you tried to apply a conventional farming model to kangaroos, there are a few obstacles."

The proposal would require farmers to "manage" kangaroos under a quota system as a wild resource, he said.

"It's a good model for conservation on private land," he added, because kangaroos would become valued instead of being regarded as pests.

"It costs an awful lot to run sheep and cattle on rangelands," he added. "You've got to maintain fences, stock water, you've got to bring them all in regularly and drench and vaccinate them. You don't have to do any of that with kangaroos."

Ampt also said conventional grazing has been "responsible for the loss a whole raft of small animals—bilbies and betongs and all those little creatures, which were incredibly important ecosystem engineers."

But How's It Taste?

The Australian government says kangaroo meat is increasingly popular.

Already available in Australian supermarkets, the meat could also be at grocer near you. The industry estimates that it exports to more than 55 countries and is looking for growth in the U.S. and Asian markets.

Ampt said the meat is "not unlike venison."

According to a government fact sheet, the meat's "growing appeal stems from its well-flavoured, slightly gamey taste."

Industry groups have posted free recipes online, and Ampt offered a little advice of his own.

"The way to cook it on a barbie," Ampt said, referring to a barbeque grill, "is you roll it in some olive oil with a bit of garlic and a few herbs, and then you sear it on the barbie lightly, then let it sit for a while. It's really delicious."


the next two posts have a lot of odditiez.

101 uses for a man

101 uses for a man

Scientists can now grow synthetic sperm, so do we need men any more? Well, there are a few things they're still good for

Sunbeam Lawnmowers advert from 1950s

1 Whistling at you in the street on your 41st birthday (this should be a state-funded initiative).

2 Model railways, the running and maintenance of.

3 Pigeon fancying.

4 Particle physics.

5 Eating up the elderly tub of coleslaw in the back of the fridge after an evening at the pub.

6 Opening all those terrifying brown envelopes that the bank will insist on sending you.

7 Catching spiders.

8 Bringing you tea in bed in the mornings.

9 Forgetting your anniversary, but then wildly overcompensating with a completely over-the-top gesture, preferably involving diamonds.

10 Making your limited capacity for grooving look positively Madonna-esque by dancing around you wildly, arms and legs jerking like a demented puppet.

11 Lending you (often without knowing it) a razor.

12 Parking.

13 Ensuring that the children learn to play happily on their own by applying special male method of childcare, namely sitting on the sofa reading the paper while they set fire to the house.

14 Keeping Coleen Rooney in handbags by continuous funding of endless, dreary football games.

15 Explaining the rules of cricket, slowly and in words of one syllable, every two years.

16 Baring his bottom on stag nights.

17 Helping to keep you fit and supple by generously leaving towels, socks and other items of personal attire dotted around the floor for you to pick up.

18 Supporting the luxury car market with the purchase, on his 50th birthday, of a meno-Porsche.

19 Patronising you at parties.

20 Being the Pope.

21 Cartography, and all its many delights.

22 Trying very hard to distract you in the delivery room by telling you about the time he got really badly constipated and had to go to hospital and, you know, the consultant said that sometimes the pain can be almost as bad as the agony of labour . . .

23 Using the last drop of milk before, very helpfully, putting the empty carton back in the fridge.

24 Looking nice in a dinner suit. Every man has an inner James Bond.

25 Stocking the iPod with obscure (albeit largely unlistenable) punk music from the 1970s, even though he went to a nice grammar school and has never even owned a pair of DMs, let alone used them to stamp on a hippy’s head.

26 Driving up very close behind you on the motorway and flashing his lights repeatedly. So sweet to notice your new highlights . . .

27 Being a rock star. Florence and the Machine is all very well, but no match for, say, the raw guitar strut of Caleb out of Kings of Leon (silly name, silly beard, very sexy boy whichever way you cut it).

28 Loading all the glasses the wrong way up in the dishwasher.

29 Overfeeding the dog.

30 Saying, “Oh, so that explains it” in a cryptic voice the day you get your period.

31 Making the inventor of the electric nose-hair clipper very, very rich.

32 Doing lots of very important pointing and shouting.

33 Hunting — and gathering — on the wild Burgundian plains.

34 Catching man-flu.

35 Feeding your children raw barbecue sausages (“It’ll build up their immune systems!”).

36 Removing dead mice from the house.

37 Losing the keys for the roofbox.

38 Blaming you for losing the keys to the roofbox — then finding them in his coat pocket.

39 Making sure that every last pot and pan in the kitchen gets used to its full potential when cooking special Daddy spagbol for Sunday lunch.

40 Building large, pointy metal tubes, filling them with explosives and firing them into the air.

41 Encouraging Britain’s thriving shed manufacturing industry.

42 Insisting that only he can be trusted to drive on the right-hand side of the road in a foreign country and then going the wrong way round the roundabout at the exit from the airport, careering into an oncoming Fiat Panda, arguing furiously with the police and ensuring that the first night of your Italian holiday is spent in a Sicilian jail.

43 Not calling when he says he will.

44 Doing those really strange man-bonding handshakes.

45 Alphabetising your record collection.

46 Being able to wear the same pair of shoes for 25 years before buying a new pair.

47 Accidentally stroking your bottom while directing you to your chair.

48 Codpieces, the wearing of.

49 Eating full-size Mars bars.

50 Inventing Prog Rock.

51 Drinking warm fermented hops.

52 Listening to Wagner.

53 Being a murderous despot (go on, name a female murderous despot).

54 Letting the lawn grow free and wild. It’s not a lawn, it’s an eco-meadow!

55 Warming the bed.

56 Making those trips to Ikea such a stress-free delight.

57 Reading, and actually understanding, instruction manuals for small electrical devices.

58 If not exactly fixing the car, then at least looking purposeful until the AA turns up.

59 Ordering a lovely big bowl of chips in a restaurant which you then eat most of — without, of course, having actually ordered any yourself.

60 Mixing the perfect gin and tonic.

61 Remembering the rules to Canasta.

62 Standing behind you for emotional support as you creep downstairs to investigate those strange noises . . .

63 Remembering the relevance of minor characters in The Sopranos

64 Constructing your son’s 10,000-piece Lego Death Star.

65 Doing price comparisons for car insurance.

66 Setting the sat-nav.

67 Finishing off that glass of wine you poured an hour ago but never got round to drinking.

68 Having more hair on his legs than you.

69 Working out how to fold up the wretched double buggy.

70 Doing up the zip on your dress.

71 Keeping the local Indian takeaway in business.

72 Eating the child's leftovers (it makes the eco-wash on the dishwasher much more effective).

73 Sky Plus-ing The Wire.

74 Making sure there’s always enough party ice in the freezer.

75 Sweetly buying you size 12 underwear when in actual fact you’re at least a size 16.

76 Helping the children with their trigonometry homework.

77 Always having at least three glasses of water in the vicinity of the bedside table – even if two of those glasses are at least a week old.

78 Going to the dump.

79 Eating cornichons.

80 Delivering a rip-roaring best man speech.

81 Leaving all the drawers and cupboard doors in the house very slightly open.

82 Being Father Christmas, and beards in general.

83 Opening jars (as loosened by you).

84 Regularly contracting obscure and incurable tropical diseases (as diagnosed on Google), only to recover miraculously just in time for the cricket.

85 Snoring.

86 Carving.

87 Watering the toilet seat. What is it, a plant?

88 Doing the Atkins diet. Fried eggs, sausages, lard: what’s not to like?

89 Wearing comedy swimming trucks.

90 Loving his mummy.

91 Making fire.

92 Putting things very helpfully in the general vicinity of the washing machine – but never switching it on (or hanging the stuff out afterwards).

93 Managing to ruin a perfectly plumped-up sofa within precisely three seconds.

94 Keeping all those lovely old gentlemen-only clubs from going under.

95 Going up into the loft.

96 Making sure there are at least four radios in the house that are tuned to John Humphrys at any given time.

97 Presenting Top Gear.

98 Doing air guitar.

99 Suddenly remembering a very pressing telephone call whenever there’s even the whiff of a dirty nappy.

100 Diving, in exotic destinations.

101 Never (or only very occasionally) wanting to borrow your favourite dress.

101 uses for a woman

101 uses for a woman

Last week, we compiled 101 uses for a man. ‘Having the last word’ could make it 102, it seems, as men list female foibles

housewives washing up

1 Finding at least one thing about your appearance worth complimenting (“I’ve always loved your ... earlobes”).

2 Finding at least one thing about your new haircut worth criticizing.

3 Lending you (often without knowing it) moisturizer.

4 Keeping Darfur on the agenda by being interested in what George Clooney is up to.

5 Employing, through her retail habits, tens of thousands of children in the developing world.

6 Leaving lots of little bits of ground apricot kernel in the bath after her weekly exfoliation.

7 Never being too embarrassed to dance with you, despite your two left feet.

8 Compensating for your lack of colour co-ordination (they know the colors that go — and the ones that don’t).

9 Answering all the boy-band questions in the pub pop quiz.

10 Remembering the birthdays of friends, family and long-forgotten godchildren.

11 Having a unique method of navigation (“No, the other left”).

12 Fishing, outrageously, for compliments.

13 Reminding you about Mother’s Day. Twice.

14 Saying that you’re not romantic enough and then complaining about your choice of restaurant.

15 Looking great in a little black dress. Every woman has her inner Audrey Hepburn.

16 Being paranoid about running out of petrol (you know the car will do 50 miles after the warning light comes on, but would it hurt to fill up now?).

17 Restocking the dishwasher after you’ve done it.

18 Gaydar (“My best friend from uni, are you sure?”).

19 Writing thank-you notes after Christmas.

20 Saving the planet, one toilet-roll tube at a time.

21 Making summer in the city endlessly diverting.

22 Spotting lipstick on your collar.

23 Finding something to like about your football team, even if it is only that Cesc F√†bregas “has a nice smile”.

24 Moaning that you never cook dinner, and then getting all control freakish when you try to take over the kitchen.

25 Being the Queen.

26 Asking questions to which there is no winning answer.

27 Wearing the lingerie that you bought her on Valentine’s Day at least once.

28 Saving Hugh Grant and Colin Firth from being unemployed.

29 Making divorce lawyers rich.

30 Monitoring your breath (they can detect garlic-bread consumption at ten paces).

31 Wearing your pajamas.

32 Getting the kids to school on time ... with their homework, dinner money, PE kit and the signed letter allowing them to go on the school trip on Friday.

33 Cajoling you into turning up on parents’ evening.

34 Randomizing your CD collection by putting the wrong artists in the wrong cases.

35 Being able to say something nice about your mum’s clothes, hair, garden or cooking no matter how tense things got last Christmas.

36 Giving builders something to whistle to.

37 Giving Italians something to pinch.

38 Hearing your sotto voce cursing from three rooms away.

39 Coming over all Florence Nightingale, when you both know it’s just a cold.

40 Making the prospect of moving into a studio flat and losing half your income seem desirable.

41 Showing you no sympathy for your hangover (maybe you’ll think twice before ordering J√§germeister chasers next time).

42 Being able to have a 15-minute phone conversation when a five-minute one will do.

43 Knowing when the sheets need changing.

44 Enthusiastically dancing with children and old people at weddings so that you can concentrate on propping up the bar and making salacious comments about the bridesmaids.

45 Buying that really nice-smelling shampoo.

46 Communicating with animals, plants and babies.

47 Staying awake all night worrying about when your teenage children will come home.

48 Not making fun of you for falling asleep during Match of the Day.

49 Fixing your bow tie.

50 Buying you new pants and socks.

51 Choosing your aftershave (you thought Lynx was OK?).

52 Preventing you from becoming a sports bore by filling up the diary to coincide with all major sporting events.

53 Criticizing you for never tidying up, but using the bed as a table on which to store assorted underwear and hosiery, and filling the car with bits of make-up.

54 Encouraging you to get in touch with your sensitive side.

55 Singing the soprano aria Vissi d’Arte from Puccini’s Tosca.

56 Making you fashionably late by coming downstairs in a dress, going back up, changing, and coming back down again in a remarkably similar dress. Then asking you if you preferred the first one.

57 Encouraging your kids’ artistic talents, despite all the mess that they’ll make with the glue, paint and egg boxes.

58 Breastfeeding.

59 Having a strong opinion on the seating plan, flowers and colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses at your wedding.

60 Remembering all those little details about your children that alcohol, stress and old age have wiped from your memory.

61 Preventing the early onset of Alzheimer’s by making you guess which tiny, imperceptible slight she is cross with you about today.

62 Being more embarrassing than you are when drunk.

63 Solving the recession by buying “investment” fashion items.

64 Reminding you that the mightiest power on the planet is not Russia, or Iran, or the British Army, but a humble sex hormone called estrogen.

65 Breaking biscuits in half before eating them.

66 Breaking your heart.

67 And then sleeping with your best friend.

68 Reminding you of the nutritional benefits of broccoli and half a grapefruit — and that Kettle Chips, cheese and chocolate biscuits are the reason that you’re a stone heavier than you were three years ago . . .

69 . . .And then eating two Mini Magnums during Newsnight.

70 Letting you be the knight in shining armor when she didn’t really need rescuing.

71 Knowing everything about your kids’ education when you struggle to remember which class they are in at school (“Is it 9, er, K?”).

72 Being an expert in internet shopping, yet incapable of replacing the printer cartridge.

73 Proving that the application of logic, contrary to the views of most philosophers, is not a necessary prerequisite for winning an argument.

74 Providing the essential sports equipment for Finland’s annual wife-carrying competition (where the winner receives his wife’s weight in beer).

75 Pretending that she’s grateful after you’ve spent all Sunday tidying the shed.

76 Indulging you when you describe how the goal you scored on Sunday was up there with the one that Ricky Villa scored against Manchester City in the 1981 FA Cup final.

77 Diagnosing your child’s latest development problem.

78 Moaning about how all the school shirts she ironed are now scrunched up at the bottom of your son’s wardrobe.

79 Tidying away important documents into the recycling bin.

80 Giving away your most unfashionable clothes to charity (without you realizing).

81 Obsessing about your ex-girlfriends enough to make you feel like a Lothario.

82 Loving you enough to lie about how many men she has slept with.

83 Giving you the biggest half of whatever it is that you’re sharing.

84 Checking any hand washed dishes for “missed bits”.

85 Justifying the premium that you paid to protect your no-claims bonus.

86 Sharing your most intimate secrets with her friends.

87 Spending enough on her highlights to make you feel OK about buying yourself a new iPhone, Sky subscription or Premier League season ticket.

88 Asking, “Does this taste funny to you?”.

89 Covering beds in enough pillows to suffocate an entire old people’s home.

90 Spitting in a handkerchief and then rubbing it on your face because you’re grubby.

91 Asking who left the toilet lid up.

92 Spending so long in the shower that the drain overfills and floods next-door’s garden.

93 Salvaging the dinner you’ve totally messed up.

94 Looking worse than you with a mustache.

95 Borrowing your favorite jumper and making it smell like a girl.

96 Losing the plot in films.

97 Going through the other DIY jobs that need doing while you balance on a ladder trying to fix something else.

98 Buying things and hiding them at the back of the wardrobe.

99 Calling you just after you’ve pulled out of the car park to let you know about that other essential item that she wanted you to get.

100 Giving you a very good reason for being late for work.

101 Propagating the human race.

General assembly of China Pakistan Xiaolong JF-17 Thunder fighter jet begins in Pakistan

July 16, 2009

General assembly of China Pakistan Xiaolong JF-17 Thunder fighter jet begins in Pakistan

Filed under: Pakistan — Tags: , , , , , , , — Farooq Hussain @ 5:40 am

The JF-17 Thunder, also known as the Xiaolong fighter, is being co-developed by China and Pakistan. Currently, general assembly of the fighter has begun as scheduled at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, which marks a milestone of the co-production of this aircraft.

The Xiaolong fighter made a successful maiden flight on August 25, 2003 at the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group of the China Aviation Industry Corporation (CAIC). It is a multi-purpose light fighter aircraft, jointly developed by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group of the CAIC and Pakistan. The aircraft has the comprehensive combat capability of a third generation fighter, and is lightweight and low-cost. This aircraft fully meets the requirements imposed by modern warfare and the market for military aircraft.

Iran claims Israel spy ring broken

Iran's revolutionary guards ratcheted up the war of nerves with Israel yesterday by claiming to have broken a spy network run by Mossad, the Israeli espionage agency.

The guards' commander-in-chief, Muhammad Ali Jafari, said they had arrested Israeli-trained agents and seized hi-tech communications equipment.

Two days ago, Iran announced it had hanged a businessman who allegedly admitted spying for Israel.

Jafari said the latest group arrested had confessed to having been trained in Israel to carry out assassinations and bombings. He did not specify how many people had been held. But he told the semi-official news agency Mehr that the group had sought information about the revolutionary guards, military intelligence officials and Iran's nuclear programme, which Israel and the west fear is designed to produce an atomic bomb.

Mossad had provided money to buy cars and equipment, said Jafari. "The arrested people confessed that they have been specially trained in Israel for bombings and assassinations." Iran routinely accuses Israel and the US of spying against it, but yesterday's allegation was the latest in a string of such claims in recent days.

Ali Ashtari, 45, whose execution was announced on Saturday, was the manager of a company selling communication and security equipment to the Iranian government. The Iranian authorities said he had admitted during a trial last June to spying for Mossad for three years. They claimed he had been recruited to intercept the communications of officials working on military operations and the nuclear programme. Israel has denied the claims.

Similar allegations have also been made against a prominent Iranian blogger, Hossein Derakhshan. Jahan News, a website close to Iran's intelligence services, reported that he had been arrested last week. Jahan said Derakhshan had confessed in custody to spying for Israel.

Israeli hawks ready to fly on Iran

What's in the water at Carleton University?

"Whereas cystic fibrosis has been recently revealed to only affect white people and primarily men, be it resolved that: (the Carleton University Student Association) discontinue its support of this campaign."

"Whereas cystic fibrosis has been recently revealed to only affect white people and primarily men, be it resolved that: (the Carleton University Student Association) discontinue its support of this campaign."

What is in the drinking water at Carleton University in Ottawa? More specifically, the reasoning behind the above resolution to cancel an annual fundraising event for cystic fibrosis gives us all a legitimate case to question what is in the water that seems to be feeding the lunacy at the Student Association meetings.

Representatives of the CUSA said the resolution's claim the disease only affects whites and males is grounded in recent medical research and they knew this because a member of their executive said so. This would be quite a surprise to the tiny children of all races-- and both genders--who are born with this horrific disease that constantly fills their lungs with fluid and thick mucous. In fact, one of every 3,600 babies born in Canada has this disease and many don't survive past their mid-30s.

Frankly, the CUSA has the right to raise funds for what-ever cause they choose. The problem is these supposedly enlightened student leaders made the decision without bothering to check the specious claims of their colleague and without debate; instead, they made the decision on the basis of race and gender. Even more disturbing is the CUSA president, who was quoted as saying the specific reason they cancelled the event was "irrelevant" and the motion itself "doesn't have to be fact or anything really."

In other words, the CUSA isn't keen on allowing those pesky things called facts to interfere with their decisions. As a result, they come off clearly as a group far more concerned about making a political statement than helping charities.

Due to a storm of outrage, the decision has now been reversed. But these decisions seem to be the norm on this campus. Over the past decade, student leaders at Carleton have become rather notorious for their politically correct stupidity and for instituting discriminatory policies that make a mockery of the open sharing of opinions that should be the hallmark of a university. In the 1990s, the CUSA banned the Red Cross from holding blood donor clinics on campus because it had the audacity to ask male donors if they had had sex with men. If so, the individual was prohibited from giving blood. This all took place in the aftermath of the tainted blood scandal of the 1980s, yet the insular student body decided the Red Cross's scrutiny of our blood supply must stop--even if it risks the public health --just for the sake of making a political statement.

In 2001, they attempted to cancel an abortion debate and investigated the pro-life group for hate crimes because they were bringing in a speaker who dared to oppose abortion. In '04, they banned a pro-life display from campus (the same one currently being censored by theUof C) and in '06 it passed a motion affirming its pro-abortion stance and banning pro-life groups from campus. It was later overturned, as the CF decision has now been, but the initial decisions are enough to demonstrate the CUSA as demagogues who only believe in free speech if it agrees with their position.

It's a worrying development when dissent on social issues is not tolerated on university campuses--and it's a problem that will eventually affect us all. These are supposedly the next generation of Canada's leaders --if they don't have the intellectual capacity to consider other opinions at a university, they aren't going to do any different when it comes to public debate. Conflicting ideas are an intrinsic part of a democratic society, a workplace or even a home, so it's almost frightening to think of how these kids will respond when they finally grow up and enter the real world that has to be shared with those who hold opposing opinions.

The bedrock principle of free speech is society should not prohibit the expression of ideas which we find offensive or disagreeable. But these kids seem to believe in a modern, liberal notion that an individual has the right to not be offended by anything they see or hear. Thus, to maintain a "non-offensive" climate, unwelcome views are suppressed, not debated.

At best, the CUSA has been taken over by opportunistic individuals who want to push society's buttons and grab the media limelight. At worst, they're students whose only interest is in activism and they will go away when student loans run out.

Susan martinuk is a freelance columnist. Her column appears every Friday.


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