Thursday, September 30, 2010
Two giant planets circling a dying star about 223 light-years away sweep past one another closer than any other planetary pair, demonstrating orbital mechanics that break the bounds of what scientists thought possible.
The planets, which are about the size of Jupiter, likely formed 2.5 billion to 3 billion years ago from of disk of dust and gas circling a massive newborn star, now known as HD200964.
Typically, gravity ends up balancing planet pairs so that the inner world completes two orbits for every one made by its outlying sibling, among other configurations. HD200964's inner Jupiter is making four orbits for every three completed by its partner.
The closer the planets, the trickier the balancing act due to the planets' increasingly powerful gravitational influences on each other.
"The tighter you get the planets, the more fine-tuned their steps have to be or they're going to force each other out," astronomer John Johnson, with the California Institute of Technology, told Discovery News.
The synchronicity at HD200964 is particularly exquisite. An orbital dance brings the two giant planets as close as about 33 million miles to one another. In our solar system, Jupiter and its nearest neighbor Saturn are never closer than 10 times that distance. The planetary pair orbiting HD200964 is separated by a distance similar to the divide between Earth and Mars.
"They're an island of stability in a sea of instability," said University of Florida's Eric Ford. "In the case of HD200964, it is particularly dramatic because it's a pretty small island."
Astronomers have been keeping a close watch on HD200964 for about five years, teasing out details from weird wobbles in its light waves, due to the planets' gravitational tugs. They then run the data in computer models. The star is among 450 similar targets being scanned for planetary systems.
"One of the things we'd like to understand is how planet formation is impacted by the type of star," Ford told Discovery News.
HD200964 is not the only star in the study that has closely orbiting planets. A pair of planets circling 24 Sextanis, located 244 light-years away, pass as close as about 70 million miles from one another.
Johnson estimates that about 20 or even 25 percent of massive stars like HD2000964 and 24 Sextanis have large, Jupiter-class planets.
By Irene Klotz Discovery News July 30, 2010
Dance of the Planets Gets Intimate : Discovery News
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
The conventional wisdom is to be first across the finish line, first in our class in grades, first in line for chow, first for tickets to the Beyonce concert and first to be interviewed by a prospective employer. A, B, C and D work just fine. E doesn't. You do not want to be the first candidate interviewed.
Advertising genius Pat Fallon taught me long ago that ad agencies that pitched new business first or early in competitive reviews almost never won the account. Those who were positioned sixth or seventh in a typical review had far better chances.
Give any savvy ad agency an opportunity to select a time slot for a client pitch and they'll always take the last one, the one closest to the moment when the choice of agencies is made. These people make their living understanding human nature.
Clients tend to dismiss the first pitches they hear as they would preliminary fights on a boxing card. They're just not taken terribly seriously. They're on the card to give them an opportunity to see what's out there, to try out their questions and sharpen their reactions in preparation for the main event.
The same kind of buildup is used in assembling a concert program. You start with the aptly named "warm-up" acts. They're the appetizers. The headliner is the main course.
A similar pattern emerges in the selection of films and stars for Oscars. Those that win rarely make their box-office debut at the beginning of a given year. The strongest contenders are those appearing at year-end. They end up with far better recognition and recall value in the eyes of Academy members.
Want to see true creative ingenuity in action? Watch what happens when a prospective client tries to schedule an agency pitch.
"We wish we could take the Monday 8 a.m. slot, but all our account people will be having open-heart surgery that day. They should be up and around by Wednesday afternoon, though."
With most openings, the company's job specs are likely to be vague at first, becoming clearer only after they have had the opportunity to interview (and argue about) a couple of candidates. You don't want to be the test dummy, smashed into a wall, so the company can design a better set of wheels for someone else.
If you are going for a job interview, try to learn how many candidates have already been seen. If you ask, and the recruiter dodges the question, consider yourself to be among the first or second entrants, and be prepared with a good, believable reason why a later time would be better. Perhaps a conflicting business trip or prior engagement prevents you from doing an early interview. Particularly in this economy, people are so anxious about getting a job that they are willing to schedule anything at any time, often to their own great disadvantage.
If you can't avoid being first, try to leave the interviewer with something to think about: "I know you'll be talking with other candidates, and it might be hard to remember the first person you talked to, but I'm committed to doing everything I can to work for your company, and I'd like to be asked back for a second interview. These are challenging times, and I believe I can make an immediate impact in strengthening this business. When you bring me back in, I will give you a detailed plan."
I'm proud to have known the late Norman Vincent Peale, who told the story about the eager job applicant who sees a help-wanted ad and rushes down to apply. By the time he arrives, there are at least 200 people lined up waiting to be interviewed.
After waiting in line for some time, he bolts out, runs to the front, where a woman is ushering them in one at a time, and says, "My name is Bruce Madison and you tell the people who are doing the hiring in there that I'm 253 in line and don't hire anyone until they've talked to me."
He got the job.
Mackay's Moral: The second mouse always gets the cheese.
by Harvey Mackay September 19, 2010
Early birds may get the worm, but late birds get the job
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
There aren't two twilights. There are three: civil, nautical and astronomical. Some people say there is a fourth - actual twilight - but this is confusing enough as it is so we'll stick to three.
In a nutshell, twilight is the period before sunrise and after sunset when the sun's light is not shining directly on Earth but is diffused by the upper atmosphere, casting various degrees of illumination on us.
Unless you are sailor or astronomer, you really don't have to worry about all this. Come to think of it, you probably really don't have to worry much about civil twilight, but I suppose you might have your reasons for doing so.
Civil twilight is the period before sunrise and after sunset when the sun is 6 degrees below the horizon.
During civil twilight, there is enough illumination to work outside without artificial lighting. It's a good time to do stuff in peace and quiet while there aren't many people around, like sneaking over to your neighbors' driveway to "borrow" their Republic.
Nautical twilight is the period after sunset and before sunrise when the sun is 12 degrees below the horizon.
This is when the horizon at sea can be made out but it is still dark enough to see the major stars. That means sailors can use a sextant to get their morning or evening bearings.
I don't know how many sailors still use sextants, but I suppose there are some.
Astronomical twilight is the period before sunrise and after sunset when the sun is 12 to 18 degrees below the horizon.
The hours between the night and morning twilights are when it is dark enough to do some serious astronomy.
by Clay Thompson, columnist The Arizona Republic Sept. 19, 2010 12:00 AM
This is about types of twilight (not the vampire kind)
Politics involve constant compromise. Business does too: negotiating contracts, hiring, closing sales.
You know what you need, are prepared to give up, and will never budge on. Do you know whether the other party knows what it wants, needs and is willing to give on?
Do you carry a Visa card? Its genesis was the result of a genuine compromise. Karl Weick shares its story in "Managing as Designing."
In the early 1970s, National BankAmericard Inc. turned around the Bank of America's faltering credit-card business in the United States. Soon after, BankAmericard licensees around the world also wanted NBI's help. The problems were enormous: Each licensee had different marketing, computer and operational systems, as well as different language, currency, culture and legal systems. After nearly two years of tense negotiations, the organizing committee met to try to resolve three deal-breaking disagreements. Positions had hardened and compromise seemed unlikely.
The final meeting was contentious. The Canadian banks refused to participate and withdrew, so the committee's chairman, Dee Hock, said they would reconvene the next morning to plan how to disband. Before adjourning, Hock invited everyone to dinner.
After dinner, the servers placed a small wrapped gift in front of each person. Hock asked everyone to open them.
He said: "We wanted to give you something that you could keep ... as a reminder of this day. On one cuff link is half of the world surrounded with the phrase 'the will to succeed' and on the second cuff link is the other half of the world and the phrase 'the grace to compromise.' We meet tomorrow for the final time to disband the effort after two arduous years. I have one last request. Will you please wear the cuff links to the meeting in the morning? When we part, we will take with us a reminder . . . that the world can never be united through us because we lack the will to succeed and the grace to compromise. But if . . . our differences dissolve before morning, this gift will remind us that the world was united because we did have the will to succeed and the grace to compromise."
Then Hock sat down. Absolute silence, until one of his friends exclaimed, "You miserable (expletive)!" The room erupted in laughter.
The next morning, everyone was wearing the cuff links. By noon, agreement was reached on every issue, and Visa International was born.
Mackay's Moral: Compromise is the art of dividing a cake so that each party thinks it gets a bigger piece.
by Harvey Mackay September 13, 2010
Mackay: Compromise is art to get the job done
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Five minutes after Malee's Thai Bistro owner Deirdre Pain posted it at 11:30 one evening, her e-mail account was flooded with applicants. Her BlackBerry, which makes a short "ping!" each time she gets new e-mail, chimed non-stop, like a winning slot machine. She got more than 400 responses, said Pain, who posted the ad two weeks ago.
They included seasoned servers as well as former business owners and out-of-work teachers. Several pleaded for work.
"They just kept coming and coming and coming and it was so overwhelming," Pain said. "If I had my way, I would be hiring them all, so people can have a job."
As thousands of Arizonans look for work - the state's official unemployment rate was 9.6 percent in July - throngs of job seekers have become an increasingly familiar sight.
Many major companies have now become accustomed to handling a tidal wave of applicants for certain job openings.
As word spread about as many as 1,000 job openings at McDonald's this week, more than 15,000 people went to Phoenix area restaurants to apply for work. The chain brought in extra managers to help interview the influx of job seekers, a spokeswoman for the fast-food chain said.
In July, 800 to 1,000 people applied for 40 part- and full-time jobs at Cabela's, an outdoors store in Glendale.
For employers, especially ones who have not hired in the past few years, the experience can be both eye-opening and gut-wrenching. And smaller businesses, such as Pain's, often don't have the staff to sift through hundreds of queries.
"You read these stories about joblessness and there are no faces to that these stories," Pain said. "And all of the sudden, I had a very front-line, in-my-face, 'this is the reality of what is going on here.' And it's frightening and it makes me profoundly sad."
That flood of interest is a mixed blessing. The queries can include outstanding candidates and desperate applicants who are a poor fit, employment experts say. But there are ways for job seekers and businesses that want to hire workers to get a better outcome, they say.
Being specific, both when employers craft a job posting and when job hunters apply for jobs, will help spare both sides some frustration.
Employers should have a detailed recruiting strategy to narrow the pool of applicants, said Allison Nawoj, corporate communications manager for CareerBuilder. That game plan may include posting jobs on industry-specific websites, she said.
Also, the job description should be detailed, specifying the desire for concrete experience, skills and information about the company, said Holly Schor, director of community marketing for Jobing.com. Some applicants may choose not to apply because the job isn't right for them, Schor said.
And not all jobs have huge competition, Schor said. Businesses have been surprised when their job postings got less response than expected.
It appears that some fields, including nursing, technology and some entry-level posts, tend to draw a larger number of applicants, Schor said.
Job seekers: Customize
To stand out in a crowded field, job seekers should customize their resume and cover letter for each prospective employer. Talk up specific attributes about the company, such as a recent award the business won, in the cover letter.
Pain and her staff developed criteria to whittle down the applicant list. They wanted servers with at least some experience and they wanted workers with a great attitude. They hired three who will start training next week and they plan to hire a few others soon.
Other job seekers, such as the thousands of Valley residents who applied for the McDonald's jobs this week, are still waiting to find out if they will be employed.
"I'm praying I get one because I'm trying to pay for school," said Phoenix resident Timesha Little, 19, as she filled out a job application at a Phoenix McDonald's on Wednesday.
"I believe in God and have my rosary in my purse, so hopefully that helps."
by Jahna Berry The Arizona Republic Sept. 11, 2010 12:00 AM
Tips for job applicants, businesses
While it's true that every Ferrari is innovative by definition, it's equally true that in the course of the Prancing Horse's history, certain cars have marked a genuine departure from the current range. This is very much the case with the Ferrari 458 Italia, which is a massive leap forward from the company's previous mid-rear engined sports cars.
The new model is a synthesis of style, creative flair, passion and cutting-edge technology, characteristics for which Italy as a nation is well-known. For this reason Ferrari chose to add the name of its homeland to the traditional figure representing the displacement and number of cylinders.
The Ferrari 458 Italia is a completely new car from every point of view: engine, design, aerodynamics, handling, instrumentation and ergonomics, just to name a few.
A two-seater berlinetta, the Ferrari 458 Italia, as is now traditional for all Ferrari's road-going cars, benefits hugely from the company's Formula 1 experience. This is particularly evident in the speed and precision with which the car responds to driver inputs and in the attention focused on reducing internal friction in the engine for lower fuel consumption than the Ferrari F430, despite the fact that both overall displacement and power have increased. However, Ferrari's track experience makes its presence felt in the Ferrari 458 Italia not only in terms of pure technological transfer but also on a more emotional level, because of the strong emphasis on creating an almost symbiotic relationship between driver and car. The Ferrari 458 Italia features an innovative driving environment with a new kind of steering wheel and dashboard that is the direct result of racing practice. Once again input from Michael Schumacher - who was involved from the very start of the Ferrari 458 Italia project - played an invaluable part.
The Ferrari 458 Italia's Pininfarina design provides further evidence of the complete departure from the past that this new car hails. The Ferrari 458 Italia has a compact, aerodynamic shape, underscoring the concepts of simplicity, efficiency and lightness that inspired the project. As with every Ferrari, the car's styling has been very heavily influenced by the requirements for aerodynamic efficiency, as can be seen from the downforce of 140 kg at 200km/h generated by the new model. The front features a single opening for the front grille and side air intakes, with aerodynamic sections and profiles designed to direct air to the coolant radiators and the new flat underbody. The nose also sports small aeroelastic winglets which generate downforce and, as speed rises, deform to reduce the section of the radiator inlets and cut drag.
The new 4499 cc V8 is the first Ferrari direct injection engine to be mid-rear mounted. It has a very low piston compression height typical of racing engines which contributed to achieving its compression ratio of 12.5:1. Equipped with the traditional flat-plane crankshaft, the engine delivers 570 CV at 9000 rpm and, with an outstanding power output of 127 CV/litre, sets a new benchmark not only for the whole Ferrari range and the history of company, but also for the entire market segment. Maximum torque is 540 Nm at 6000 rpm, over 80 per cent of which is available from 3250 rpm. Specific torque is a record 120 Nm/litre. However, what is truly extraordinary is the amount of torque available while still maintaining high levels of power at low revs.
The car's soundtrack is also typical Ferrari, with an exciting, powerful growl emerging from the engine before it channels through to the exhaust's three rear tailpipes.
The Ferrari 458 Italia is equipped with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission which increases performance whilst providing very smooth shifts even at full throttle. The engineers have developed specific, sportier gear ratios to match the power and torque curves of the new V8, guaranteeing high torque even at lower engine speeds and allowing the car to reach its maximum speed in top gear.
This new Ferrari is also a major leap forward when it comes to cutting emissions. Despite the fact that the new engine is significantly more powerful than the V8s that preceded it, the Ferrari 458 Italia produces just 320 g/km of CO2 and fuel consumption is 13.7 l/100 km (combined cycle), the best in the entire segment.
The engineers also focused on weight reduction during the design phase for similar reasons. Consequently, the Ferrari 458 Italia has a dry weight of 1380 kg with a power-to-weight ratio of 2.42 kg/CV. Weight distribution is also optimal with 58 per cent over the rear axle. The result of the engineers' endeavours can be summed up in to two simple statistics which together perfectly encapsulate the Ferrari 458 Italia's exceptional performance: 0-100 km/h acceleration in under 3.4 seconds and a maximum speed in excess of 325 km/h.
For the new chassis, once more in aluminium, Maranello's engineers incorporated various types of advanced alloys along with aerospace industry-derived manufacturing and bonding techniques.
With regard to vehicle dynamics, the Ferrari 458 Italia's suspension features twin wishbones at the front and a multi-link set-up at the rear tuned for maximum roadholding and superlative handling. Along with a more direct steering ratio, the Ferrari 458 Italia thus offers extremely rapid turn-in and body control whilst maintaining superior ride comfort.
The integration of the E-Diff and F1-Trac (now controlled by the same ECU) and their respective mappings is even greater, resulting in a 32 per cent increase in longitudinal acceleration out of corners compared to previous models. The evolution of the control logic, with even faster and more accurate calculation of levels of grip, ensures even greater roadholding, better handling and ease of control on the limit.
The same ECU also governs the high-performance ABS, providing even more precise control over the logic threshold and greater efficiency. The brakes also feature a prefill function whereby the pistons in the callipers move the pads into contact with the discs on lift off to minimise delay in the brakes being applied. This combined with the ABS has cut the 100-0 km/h braking distance to a mere 32.5 metres.
The Ferrari 458 Italia's interior is another area of the car that exalts its sporty personality. The driver is welcomed by a new layout and a revolutionary ergonomic interface where the main controls are all clustered on the steering wheel.
With the Ferrari 458 Italia, Maranello has brought a highly distinctive new car to its 8-cylinder range. The company now offers two models that share a common, race-derived DNA, both exceptionally sporty and fun to drive in true Ferrari tradition, but aimed at two very different kinds of client. While the Ferrari California was created for owners requiring a more versatile sports car with a practical edge, the Ferrari 458 Italia is designed for owners for whom the priority is uncompromising on-road performance with occasional track day capability, but who still demand a car that is useable in day-to-day driving like all Ferrari's recent models.
Ferrari 458 Italia - Technical specifications
- Length: 4527 mm (178.2 in.)
- Width: 1937 mm (76.3 in.)
- Height: 1213 mm (47.8 in.)
- Wheelbase: 2650 mm (104.3 in.)
- Dry weight: 1380 kg (3042 lbs)
- Weight/power ratio: 2,42 kg/CV (7.16 lbs/kW)
- Weight distribution (front/rear): 42%/58%
- Type: V8 - 90°
- Displacement: 4499 cc (274.5 cu in.)
- Maximum power: 570 CV (425 kW) @ 9000 rpm
- Maximum torque: 540 Nm (398 lbs/ft) @ 6000 rpm
- Specific power output: 127 CV/l
- Compression ratio: 12.5:1
- Front: 235/35 ZR20 8.5"
- Rear: 295/35 ZR20 10.5"
- Maximum speed: >325 km/h (>202 mph)
- 0-100 km/h: <3.4>
- Fuel consumption + emissions
- Fuel consumption: 13.7 l/100 km
- Emissions: 320 g CO2/km
- Dual-clutch, 7-speed F1
- E-Diff3, F1-Trac, high-performance ABS
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
• Avoid objective statements.
At the top of many resumes, applicants often include a job objective. But not in the correct fashion.
"This should be about what you have to bring to the party not what you're looking for," says Linda Baugh, president of American Career Executives in Phoenix.
Instead use an overview, suggests Allen Plunkett, president of Phoenix Staff Inc.
"The overview is the new objective," Plunkett said. "It says more specifically how you match the job you're responding to instead of speaking to what you think you should do."
• Do not include a photo of yourself.
This is a common practice in other countries, but here in the U.S. many recruiters will automatically throw away a resume with a photo attached because it puts them at risk for accusations of favoring attractive candidates. It leaves room for discrimination, Baugh said.
"You can cause more trouble by putting it (a photo) out there," she said.
• Don't get personal.
Exclude descriptions of race, religion, marital status, etc. It does not enhance your resume and it puts the recruiter in an awkward position because they now know aspects about you that they legally can not ask you, said Richard Baumgarten, vice president for Recruiting at United HR in Phoenix.
• Avoid subjective language.
Employers hear the terms innovative leader, motivated team member and creative thinker from everyone. Plunkett says using this language does little to distinguish you from the crowd.
"You're falling into the sea of sameness," he says.
• Do not include references.
If the company is listed on your resume, it is assumed that they can call them for a reference if needed. So do not include references on your resume. It only wastes space that can be used for more helpful information about your career experience.
• Avoid including club membership or hobbies.
Leave this information out except for cases where involvement in that organization is related to the job you are applying for, or if it is an interest shared with the person hiring you. For example, when applying for an accounting job, include that you are a member of the American Accounting Association.
• Don't use the same resume every time.
Treat your resume as a template. Many job applicants send out the same version to multiple companies, which is one of the top reasons applicants get rejected for being overqualified, Plunkett says.
Plunkett advises tailoring your resume to a specific job.
"Focus in on that particular company and what experiences will relate to this job," to succeed, he adds.
by Courtney Godfrey Special for the Republic Sept. 4, 2010 08:27 PM
7 tips to make your resume stand out
In a career of more than 50 years he won three Pulitzer Prizes, made Richard Nixon's enemies list and ruined Ronald Reagan's breakfast.
The political cartoonist with an unmistakable style died at 86 Saturday at his home in the Los Angeles suburb of Rancho Palos Verdes surrounded by his family, his son David Conrad said. The death was from natural causes, David Conrad said, but he did not offer specifics.
Paul Conrad took on U.S. presidents from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush, mostly in the Los Angeles Times, where he worked for 30 years and helped the newspaper raise its national profile.
He was fierce in his liberalism and expressed it with a stark, powerful visual style. Southern California political junkies for decades would start their day either outraged or delighted at a Conrad drawing.
The Times said in a Saturday story that its longtime publisher came to expect that his breakfast would be interrupted by an angry phone call from then-Gov. Reagan or wife Nancy, peeved by a Conrad cartoon that made them look foolish.
Conrad's favorite target was Nixon. At the time of the president's resignation, Conrad drew Nixon's helicopter leaving the White House with the caption: "One flew over the cuckoo's nest."
"He always said he was most proud of being on Nixon's enemies list," David Conrad said.
In a 2006 interview with the Associated Press, Conrad compared his favorite target to then-President George W. Bush.
"I felt two ways about Nixon. First, how did an idiot like that become president?" said Conrad, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native. "And, secondly, how soon can we get rid of him? Almost the same thing applies to Bush."
One of Conrad's final images showed Bush as Sisyphus, rolling a huge boulder labeled "Iraq" up a hill.
Democratic politicians weren't safe from his barbs either.
After Jimmy Carter admitted that at times he had "lusted in his heart," Conrad drew him mentally undressing the Statue of Liberty.
Conrad and his identical twin, James, were born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1924, the sons of a railroad worker who dabbled in art. The Times said Conrad later joked that his first political cartoon was a scrawl on the bathroom wall at his elementary school.
After serving in the Pacific during World War II in the Army Corps of Engineers, he majored in art at the University of Iowa, and an old family friend convinced him to draw cartoons for the college paper.
His first job after college was at the Denver Post, where he worked for 14 years before moving to Los Angeles.
Conrad worked in the heyday of political cartoonists, and he was among the elite.
His total of three Pulitzers is matched by just two other cartoonists in the post-World War II era.
Conrad's drawings were anything but busy or complex. They were always a single panel and often a single figure, rendered in sharp, long lines that made his subjects look bony and sometimes sinister. He rarely used dialogue and kept words to a minimum.
In addition to David, Paul Conrad is survived by another son, two daughters, and his wife of more than 60 years, Kay.
by Andrew Dalton Associated Press Sept. 5, 2010 12:00 AM
Obit: Pulitzer-winning political cartoonist Paul Conrad, 86
A huge bronze eagle statue that welcomed visitors to the Scottsdale Airpark for nearly 20 years has been laying in storage, its wings clipped by construction work on Scottsdale Road and the Scottsdale Quarter shopping and office complex.
But two Airpark business advocates are leading a drive to create a park with desert landscaping on roughly 3 acres northeast of Scottsdale and Thunderbird roads and install the statue, titled "One With the Eagle," as the centerpiece. Scottsdale's public-art program owns the statue, and the city owns the land, which until this summer had been used as a maintenance yard.
John Meyer, designated broker with Airpark Property Specialists LLC, believes the corner is destined for much more.
"This is a frog-turning-into-a-prince story," he said. "The maintenance yard is going to be a botanical garden."
Meyer and Laureen Leston, principal with Airpark's Business Development Resources, envision the park as a gateway to the Airpark and a destination in itself. The 18-foot-tall statue and its 6-foot base would anchor a miniature version of Phoenix's Desert Botanical Garden, with desert plants and an information kiosk. A giant compass design, created with rocks, would serve as a rainwater-collection basin and help point the way to the Scottsdale Airport runway.
At a planning meeting earlier this summer, artist Pat Mathiesen called the plans exciting and "more than I could ever hope for."
Mathiesen created "One With the Eagle," a figure resembling a Native American eagle dancer, with wings for arms that are reaching for the sky. Airpark and airport business leaders commissioned her work as part of a campaign in the late 1980s to install a monument at the airport entrance.
The bronze was installed in the median of Butherus Drive east of Scottsdale Road, where the ring it holds framed the McDowell Mountains. At its dedication in 1989, U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater said he had landed at airports all over the country and called the sculpture "the finest I have ever seen."
It was removed in early 2008 for storage. The new location on Thunderbird Road is seen as safer and would allow the statue's ring to again frame the McDowells.
For months, Meyer and Leston have been meeting with property owners, city parks and public-art employees, Mayor Jim Lane and local businesses to push the project forward. Desierto Verde, a desert-landscaping company, has drafted a site plan that includes paloverde trees and gardens of cactus, yuccas and agaves.
Meyer and Leston have divided the project into two phases. The first would re-install "One With the Eagle" and landscape a small area around it. The second phase would complete the park, with seating, a greater range of plants and a small pavilion to shade visitors.
The public-art program has budgeted $10,000 for the installation, Associate Director Margaret Bruning said. Meyer estimates the entire project would cost about $200,000, though much of it could be done with in-kind donations of goods and services.
With the city's budget tight, Meyer and Leston know that most of the money will have to be raised from the private sector.
"Historically, the Airpark and the airport are up to the task, and many have come forward already," Meyer said.
Besides funding, the park plan has other issues to deal with:
• Because the site is at the southern end of the airport runway, the plan needs approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. Meyer said the FAA prefers the park be designed for small groups of visitors instead of with the amphitheater proposed earlier.
• Paying for long-term maintenance is undecided. Meyer thinks businesses and property owners could strike an agreement with the city.
• Parking and pedestrian access is being considered. Scottsdale plans a park-and-ride lot on the southeastern corner of Scottsdale and Thunderbird roads, opposite the proposed park.
• "One With the Eagle" would be part of the name, but whether the rest refers to a park, botanical garden or sanctuary is to be determined.
Bruning said the program hopes to win FAA and Development Review Board approval of the installation by year-end.
"One With the Eagle" is a "beautiful example" of Scottsdale citizens' commitment to the arts, she said.
"It was the main entry marker for the Airpark for years, and we're really pleased to bring it back," Bruning said.
by Jane Larson The Arizona Republic Sept. 2, 2010 09:47 AM
Eagle statue may return to Scottsdale Airpark
Behold, the face of the enemy.
(Why, yes, my nose is rather runny, why do you ask?)
Urge to vengeance aside, my main reaction while flipping through this gallery of pollen images was wonder at the intense variety of sizes, shapes, textures and tricks floating through the microscopic world of plant pollen. This group shot ranges from the (relatively) giant orb of pumpkin pollen in the center, to the teensy blue dot that belongs to the forget-me-not. Some of the grains seem like completely alien things, but others bear a striking resemblance to the plants they help create—for instance, I guessed that Venus fly trap pollen went with the Venus fly trap before I read the caption.
All these shots are the work of
Swedish Swiss scientist Martin Oeggerli, who makes amazing art using a scanning electron microscope. The images actually start out in black and white, with Oeggerli going back and adding color, pixel by pixel. The colors can, but don't necessarily, reflect reality, but they do help make textures stand out and make the form more easily readable by your eye
Barbie wouldn't last a day at Monster High.
The latest fashion dolls from Mattel Inc. are a dramatic departure from the toy maker's most recognizable blond: As the offspring of famous monsters, the new Monster High girls are fearless, occasionally furry and a bit freaky.
There's Draculaura, daughter of Dracula, who is vegan and faints at the sight of blood. Her best friend Clawdeen Wolf, whose father is Werewolf, spends much of her time plucking and shaving her excessive, fast-growing hair. And classmate Frankie Stein, who sports stitches just like dad Frankenstein, loves to shop for "scary cute clothes that are absolutely to die for."
By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times August 13, 2010
Watch out, Barbie: Mattel's edgy Monster High is in session - Los Angeles Times
Sunday, September 5, 2010
In the new film "Mao's Last Dancer," the 11-year-old peasant boy Li Cunxin is chosen by Jiang Qing - Madame Mao - to go to Beijing and become a ballet dancer.
When actor Joan Chen was 14 in Shanghai, during the turbulent years of the Cultural Revolution, she was chosen by Madame Mao to become a movie star.
She starred in a series of propaganda films and became a huge star, in part because, as one writer put it, she looked "strikingly like the idealized young peasant woman of old Communist posters, healthy and clear-skinned."
She eventually came to the United States and has had a varied and successful film career, moving from exotic-beauty roles in empty-headed Hollywood epics such as "Tai Pan" to serious roles in independent films.
She is best known for being the last empress in Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Last Emperor," and as the evil mill owner in David Lynch's TV series "Twin Peaks."
Chen has crossed into film direction, too, with 1998's "Xiu Xiu the Sent-Down Girl," filmed without permission in China and Tibet, which won her a slew of international awards, and later "Autumn in New York," a dreadful star vehicle for Richard Gere.
She has also returned to China for many film roles, and she divides her time between her home in San Francisco (she became a U.S. citizen in 1989) and China. She continues to split her career between big-budget films, small indie films and Chinese films.
Question: Is there something in Li Cunxin's story in "Mao's Last Dancer" you recognize from your life?
Answer: They're very similar. He got picked out of a classroom when he was 11, and I was picked when I was 14. He, to become a dancer, and me, to become an actor. And we came to the U.S. the same year. But he got it figured out much faster than I ever did.
Q: Was it intimidating to be chosen by Madame Mao?
A: It was happiness. This was an opportunity you wouldn't let get away from you. Your child would be taken care of if he works hard.
Q: What was your experience of the Cultural Revolution?
A: It's the most important 10 years for our generation; it influenced our lives and our world view. We saw at a very young age. My grandfather committed suicide when I was 6, because he was persecuted. And we were so ashamed. My brother and I didn't want people to know. And I wanted so badly to be one of the Red Guards. To be on the "right" side. But when you grow up a little more, you saw such naked human nature. The cruelty and the kindness, all very naked and exaggerated and all very memorable.
Q: How has China changed since your childhood?
A: Things are different now, completely different. We actually got to film this movie in China, which says a lot. China has opened up more than before. It's very much that everybody is just interested in making money now. And the biggest difference in show business is that it's no longer just a propaganda machine. It's the entertainment business, and you must be commercially viable now.
Q: How has the U.S. changed since you came here?
A: It is maybe my own perception of America that has changed. But the America we came to is the one you saw in films, and came to in order to realize your creative dreams, and in which people wanted to help. The great abundance shocked and confounded me, the great material abundance. America was somehow looked up to very much back then in my mind. Today's America has changed. The wars of recent years have changed America's position in the world. There is the sense, in "Mao's Last Dancer," of what America has been for thousands of immigrants. That is what America is, and we lose sight of that today.
Q: Has being beautiful been a handicap as far as being taken seriously as an actor?
A: I don't know. You're given what you're given and work with that. To be born pretty is fortunate. Even being typecast as an exotic beauty I now see as fortunate. Now that I look back, hey, I was working.
Q: Did it bother you when "Autumn in New York" got trashed?
A: I couldn't believe that a Chinese woman who did one little film would get to direct Richard Gere. They lost their director and needed the film to be shot quickly, before they lost the fall weather, so the job fell into my lap. It was a hard stumble, but a great experience. In a way, I'm glad I got to make a bad film, because now I'm not afraid of taking on another film for fear of failure.
Q: Did you do "Judge Dredd" for the paycheck?
A: I may have. But you can always try to find something to do, even in a bad film, that you haven't done before. I did my own physical fighting in that film, which was fun. Millions of people work for a paycheck. Do actors do jobs for paychecks? Yes, they do.by Richard Nilsen The Arizona Republic Aug. 26, 2010 12:00 AM
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