Following a chance encounter, hairdresser De France allows wild child Doret to leave his juvenile home and stay with her at the weekends. Upon discovering the child's father,Renier, wants nothing to do with him, she takes him into her care on a permanent basis, battling to keep him on the straight and narrow, and away from local drug dealer Di Mateo. It sounds like the basis for a nineties TV movie, the type that usually starred Meredith Baxter Birney, and in many hands it could have amounted to such. The writing directing duo The Dardenne Brothers steer away from any schmaltz and sentimentality thankfully. Their best choice was to avoid a classic narrative structure, there's no typical beginning or ending, it's just a few weeks in the lives of the characters. The story may be cliched but the characters and the actors portraying them give it a vitality. I'm a big fan of underwriting characters, it allows the viewer to fill in the blanks and you become a lot more invested than if a screenwriter is shoving their idea of a great character down your throat. The Dardennes tell us almost nothing about the people in this story which is probably why I found them so engaging. The backstories forming in my mind are probably totally different to those of any ten other people who might watch this. Doret is incredible, a non-actor who was plucked off the street. There are very few great child actors as they almost inevitably make the the mistake of acting above their years, coming across as small adults rather than children. Doret makes no such mistake, possibly because he simply doesn't know how. He's completely natural and his awkward, uncomfortable movements are perfect for the character. I usually despise child characters in films but I was absolutely behind this one. It sounds crazy but the three best performances of the year so far have come from two twenty year old actresses and a twelve year old amateur. After a somewhat failed stint in English language productions, De France is back on home soil and should stay there as she won't get many roles as good as this in the anglicized world. With her muscular arms she looks like she could beat up any grown man but plausibly struggles to control Doret in his wilder moments. Kitchen sink dramas like this aren't usually known for being easy on the eye but Alain Marcoen's cinematography is full of eye-popping colour, proving that grittiness doesn't have to equal ugliness. The Dardennes end this in a way which will likely aggravate many viewers but I found it a perfect denouement.March 29, 2012
Saturday, March 31, 2012
The latest DSLRs from Canon and Nikon will likely be the premier cameras for photographers and videographers. Rosa Golijan looks at the chan... Read more
When you're on your way somewhere, you probably want to know how long it's going to take to get there, and now Google Maps incorporates real-time traffic conditions in its directions to help factor that in.
As posted on the Google Lat Long Blog, typing in a starting point and a destination will give users an estimated time with current traffic conditions -- a valuable tool for those on the go who don't want to waste valuable gas idling in traffic.?
You could already view a layer of live traffic on routes, but this added bit of information now gets crunched when calculating routes.?
If that sounds familiar, it's because Google Maps used to show estimates of trip times based on traffic. But users found it wasn't always the most accurate gauge of real conditions, so?the feature went away last year. Now it's back, and it's supposed to be better because it's constantly being refreshed.
Where does the fresh data come from? Android users. Those who have their location services enabled (i.e., those who have no problem with being tracked, albeit anonymously) and have opted to use the My Location feature on Google Maps for mobile?contribute to the traffic info:
When we combine your speed with the speed of other phones on the road, across thousands of phones moving around a city at any given time, we can get a pretty good picture of live traffic conditions. We continuously combine this data and send it back to you for free in the Google Maps traffic layers. It takes almost zero effort on your part ? just turn on Google Maps for mobile before starting your car ? and the more people that participate, the better the resulting traffic reports get for everybody.
This new feature comes with other changes to Google Maps, notably?Street View, which has exploded?all over the world, with new images for international voyeurs to feast their eyes on in Thailand, the Amazon, Poland and Japan, where the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
Check out Technolog on?Facebook, and on Twitter, follow?Athima Chansanchai, who is also trying to keep her head above water in the?Google+?stream.
The Obama administration has announced a new policy to handle the risks posed by legitimate biological research that could, in the wrong hands, threaten the public.
The move comes in response to a huge debate over recent experiments on bird flu virus that got funding from the National Institutes of Health. Critics say the work created mutant viruses that could potentially be dangerous for people, or give terrorists a road map for making a bioweapon.
A committee that advises the government called the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) is again meeting Friday to discuss those flu studies. Late last year, it recommended keeping some details secret. But a panel of experts, including flu virologists assembled by the World Health Organization, called for full publication.
The new policy is aimed at preventing this kind of controversy from happening in the future. It covers federally-funded research ? both ongoing work and future proposals. And it calls for special reviews of work that involves a list of 15 particularly nasty pathogens and toxins, including highly pathogenic bird flu virus, anthrax, and Ebola.
Funding agencies will have to evaluate certain kinds of experiments to see if they pose special risks. The idea is "to really upfront ask the questions: Should they be done? And if so, under what conditions should they be done," explains Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH.
If an agency wants to fund an experiment that might yield potentially dangerous information, Fauci says, scientists could be asked to hold back on publishing details in order to receive funding.
Or, in some cases, the work might need to be classified. Fauci notes that the NIH does not do classified studies. "We would have to refer it to an agency that does classified research because we don't," he says.
He says the NIH has already taken a look at the ongoing projects it's funded and believes very few will need more scrutiny under the new policy.
"We're not talking about a very large number of studies that are going to get looked at again and might be altered," Fauci says. "We are talking about really, really a little bit more than a handful of studies among hundreds of grants."
And so far he says it doesn't look like even these raise significant concerns.
The new policy was welcomed by Richard Ebright, a professor of chemistry at Rutgers University who has long called for better control of biological research that could be misused.
"My first reaction was that this is an important step forward. An overdue step, but an important one," Ebright says.
He notes that a high-profile panel of experts recommended that the government set up a comprehensive oversight system back in 2004. "It was widely expected that a policy would be developed and announced perhaps in 2004, perhaps in 2005," Ebright says. "We're seeing it now perhaps six years late."
The policy will apply to government agencies ranging from the NIH to the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Homeland Security, he notes. He thinks this policy could prevent another controversy like the one currently swirling around bird flu experiments ? but only if agencies take real action.
"If the funding agencies propose only public relations or window dressing as risk mitigation," Ebright says, "then we'll have only public relations and window dressing and more of these problems arising."
Meanwhile, it's still unclear what will happen with the bird flu studies and the fight over how much information to make public.
The NSABB will wrap up its second meeting on this issue Friday and is expected to again offer advice on whether to publish the full details. But its recommendations are not binding on the government, the scientists or science journals.
Ron Fouchier of Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, one of the scientists who did the work, spoke earlier this week on a live webcast of a science show called This Week in Virology.
"Regardless of what the U.S. government and Dutch government say, the authors and the journals are going to have the last vote on the publication issue," Fouchier said.
Finding the Best Stock Market Investing Advice
In a recent Market Watch article, Jane Bryant Quinn asks..."what about the financial planners who advise pre- and newly post-retirement clients to hold a substantial portfolio stocks? Are there flaws in that asset allocation?"
"The resounding answer: NO. They've kept the faith in a financial portfolio that's 50 percent to 60 percent invested in stocks for people facing a retirement of 20 to 40 years." Will investors still believe them when the next wave is over? The current problem is that those heavily invested portfolios are now devastated, leaving many investors, especially retirees, asking themselves why they listened to their advisor's stock market investing advice in the first place.
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About the Author:
How to Invest in the Stock Market
How to Build a Retirement Fund by Investing in Stocks
Investing in Hard Asset Stocks Vs. Investing in Commodities
How to Understand the Mark to Market Rule
Using Market Fear To Your Advantage
About the Author:
Business Ethics ESL Lesson Plan: Warm-up (Pair Work)
1) What?s the best way to invest for your future?
2) What companies do you feel overcharge or abuse their customers?
3) What is the purpose of a corporation or financial institution?
4) Have you ever quit a job for ethical reasons?
5) What are the values of the company you work for?
Reading: Why Greg Smith Left Goldman Sachs (March, 2012)
Greg Smith has created a significant buzz on Wall Street. When he resigned on March 14th as an executive director at Goldman Sachs, one of the world?s largest investment banks, he decided to publish his resignation letter in the New York Times. Needless to say, he has definitely burned his bridges with his former employer. After 12 years at Goldman Sachs, which he writes was ?long enough to understand the trajectory of [the company?s] culture?, Smith claims he could no longer in good conscience identify with what the company stood for. He complains of a shift in the company?s practices from protecting client interests towards a culture of money-grubbing in which the client?s interests are sidelined. According to Smith, the mission today is to get clients to trade whatever brings the biggest profit to Goldman. He writes:
?Integrity? It is eroding. I don?t know of any illegal behavior, but will people push the envelope and pitch lucrative and complicated products to clients even if they are not the simplest investments or the ones most directly aligned with the client?s goals? Absolutely. Every day, in fact.?
He described an environment where colleagues callously boast about ripping off clients, whom directors refer to as ?muppets.?
Smith concludes his letter by stating:
?I hope this can be a wake-up call to the board of directors. Make the client the focal point of your business again. Without clients you will not make money. In fact, you will not exist. Weed out the morally bankrupt people, no matter how much money they make for the firm. And get the culture right again, so people want to work here for the right reasons. People who care only about making money will not sustain this firm ? or the trust of its clients ? for very much longer.? [299 words]
Business Ethics ESL Lesson Plan: Comprehension & Follow-Up Questions
1)??? What prompted Greg Smith to resign?
2)??? True or False: Smith accused Goldman Sachs of illegal business practices.
3)??? Who are ?muppets??
4)??? What does the phrase morally bankrupt mean?
5)??? What effect does Smith hope his letter will have?
6)??? Your Opinion: Do you commend Greg Smith for how he resigned?
7)??? Your Opinion: What surprised you about the article?Answers
1 ? He resigned because of a shift in the company culture away from protecting client interests towards pursing profits at the expense of the clients.
2 ? False.
3 ? The muppets, in this situation, are the clients. Smith's claims his coworkers referred to clients as muppets, most likely because of the way they can manipulate them.
4 ? It means that the employees had no moral values.
5 ? He hopes it will make the board of directors wake up, and decide to improve the culture of the business by making it client-focused once again.
6 ? ?
7 ? ?
Business Ethics ESL Lesson Plan: Vocabulary Matching
Match the words with their meaning as used in the news lesson.
- burn your bridges ? destroy a relationship so you cannot return somewhere
- trajectory ? the curved paths sth thrown in the air will travel
- in good conscience ? honestly
- money-grubbing ? trying to get a lot of money (disapproving)
- integrity ? the quality of being honesty or having strong principles
- erode ? wear away; crumble; deteriorate
- push the envelope ? go beyond the limit of what is usually done
- lucrative ? profitable
- callous ? without caring about other people's feelings
- rip sb off ? cheat sb by making them pay too much
- focal point ? the center of interest or activity
- weed out sth ? remove or get rid of unwanted things from a group
Business Ethics ESL Lesson Plan: Connect the below idea(s) to make a sentence.
Business Ethics ESL Lesson Plan: Dissatisfied Employees
What can companies do to prevent dissatisfied or disgruntled employees from making their feelings public?
Business Ethics ESL Lesson Plan:? Role-Play (Pair Work)
|It?s March 13th. Your friend, Greg Smith, tells you he plans to resign tomorrow. You don?t believe he should. Try to think of reasons why he shouldn?t. (Possible reasons: 1) money 2) businesses are all the same 3) if he wants to make a difference, then stay and fix the problem, etc.)|
|It?s March 13th. Tomorrow, you plan to quit your job. Tell your friend (Student A), about your plan to resign and also post your resignation letter publicly.|
Business Ethics ESL Lesson Plan: Thrasymachus? Challenge
In Plato?s The Republic, Thrasymachus challenges Socrates to tell him why it is better in life to be just. Thrasymachus argues that it is not only more profitable to be unjust and immoral but also more rational to be so. He argues that the unjust life is more pleasant and offers more rewards. The life of the moral man, however, is wretched and unhappy. How would you respond to Thrasymachus? challenge?
Business Ethics ESL Lesson Plan: Situations
Discuss the below situations with a partner. Share your ideas with the class when finished.
1. If you are overworked and underpaid, is it okay to conduct personal business on company time?
2. If you and two other members of a five-person team did all the work on a project, would you tell management about this? Is it okay to put the other co-workers in a negative light?
Business Ethics ESL Lesson Plan: Mission, Vision, and Values (Optional Pair Work)
Combine you and your partner?s last names to make the name of a financial institution. Next, draw up a basic company mission statement that outlines its core values.
Business Ethics ESL Lesson Plan: Discussion Questions1) Why should companies value anything other than their own profits?
2) What are the pros and cons of exit interviews?
3) What repercussions do you think await Greg Smith?
4) Whistle-blowing: Is Gregory Smith a whistle-blower?
5) Banking: Would banking services improve if banks were public?
6) How can the business culture described by Smith be changed?
Business Ethics ESL Lesson plan copyright Matthew Barton of Englishcurrent.com
Friday, March 30, 2012
PureShield Inc. Announces Bio-Protect 500: The New EPA Approved Antibacterial Laundry Detergent Additive!
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Online video platform provider Brightcove, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCOV) is well positioned to benefit from the changing manner of video consumption, evolution of video content on the Internet, proliferation of high speed Internet access, emergence of social media, and an increasing number of different mobile devices.
Brightcove offers Video Cloud, an online video platform that enables its customers to publish and distribute video to Internet-connected devices. The company's Video Cloud platform offers various features and functionalities such as uploading and encoding, content management, video players, live video streaming, distribution and syndication, social media, advertising and monetization, and integrated video analytics.
According to Cisco, internet video represents about 40 percent of consumer internet traffic and is expected to grow to about 60 percent by 2015. The increase is driven by the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets, higher connection speeds, lower creation costs as well as the rich?consumer experience offered through video.
During 2011, Brightcove's customers delivered and average of approximately 743 million video streams per month with its Video Cloud platform.
"In our opinion, the Brightcove Video Cloud does a better job of organization and categorizing video content and driving that content across Web sites and devices compared to free video sharing sites, in-house solutions and other online video platform players," RBC Capital Markets analyst Robert Breza wrote in a note to clients.
Brightcove started trading Feb.17 on the Nasdaq. The company sees a sizable growth opportunity at more than $5.8 billion by 2015 at a CAGR of 26 percent from 2011.
In terms of business model, Brightcove prices its products on a subscription basis or as software as a service (SaaS) as it lowers the upfront risk of deploying an in-house, perpetual-based software license solution on top of either new or existing hardware.
The robustness of the product and subscription model has built a highly diversified customer base of over 3,872 in 50 different countries which represents less than 1 percent of potential customers.
"We believe that when corporations weigh the costs and complexities of building a video content distribution platform and the numerous shortcomings of video-sharing Web sites, they are likely to realize that turning to an outside video content distribution platform provider, such as Brightcove, makes the most sense for their video libraries," Breza noted.
The analyst noted that the company has high customer retention as the recurring dollar? rate has been in excess of 93 percent in each quarter of 2011, and trended above 86 percent in each quarter of 2010.
In addition, Brightcove has significant international operations and presence for a company of its size and maturity. During 2011, more than half of all Video Cloud video streams were to international locations. In 2011, the company generated approximately 34 percent of its revenue from customers located outside of North America, up from 32 percent in 2010.
"We expect the current and additional international opportunities to represent a significant area of growth and to trend toward a 50/50% mix over the long term," the analyst said.
Brightcove's total revenue has progressed from $8.5 million in 2007 to $24.5 million, $36.2 million, and $43.7 million in 2008, 2009, and 2010, respectively. Revenue in 2011 totaled approximately $63.6 million, which reflects a year-over-year growth rate of approximately 46 percent.
Breza expects about 21 percent growth in 2012 and believe the company can accelerate its revenue growth rate to approximately 32 percent in 2013.
"Given the early stage of its growth profile, Brightcove has yet to turn a profit, but we estimate that should change over the next several years as the company ramps up and scales against its expense base," said Breza, who has an "outperform" rating on Brightcove shares.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Forming Y??? Retirement Investments
Investing f?? ???? future retirement ??n ?? overwhelming. A number ?f people t??k ?? m?n? years t? finance t???? retirement. S?m? ??? putting t???? savings ?nt? ?n IRA investment ?n? ??m? place ?t ?nt? 401k plans. E?????n? ??f?n?t??? prefers t? save t???? money ?n safe retirement investments. W??n ??? m?k? ? plan f?? ???? retirement investments, ? number ?f productive ways ??? ?n existence. F???t ?f all, ??? m??t ?? aware ?n ??w t? create ? portfolio t??t w???? lead t? ??tt?? retirement years. Y?? w???? n??? t? ??t ???? resources ?? assigned t? t?? investment options. It w???? provide contentment ?n? n???? ?f ??? w???? finance f?? ???? retirement investments. T??? ?? ???? important. A??? figure ??t w??t t? ?? w?t? IRA investment, 401k investment, ?n? ?t??? retirement investments w??n ??? retire.?
W??n investing, ??? m??t n?t depend ?n ???? financial advisor.
T???g? professional ???? ?? ?t hand, t?? decision ?t??? lies ?n you. S? ??? m??t understand t?? difference ??n???n?ng excellent advice ?n? excellent sales pitch. At t??? point, ??? m??t n?t ?? confused w?t? t?? two. Y??? priority ?? t? ???? ? safe retirement investment. A?? investments ??? considered risky ???n t???g? t???? ??? safe ones. It m??t ???? t?? expectations t??t problems ??? m??? ??k??? t? occur. B? prepared t? face t??m ?n? ???? alternatives.
On?? ??? ???? started ???? retirement investments, ??? m?g?t w?nt t? ??n????? t?? following. Educating ???????f ????t t???? investments ?? highly essential. It ?? ???? great t? attend seminars t? ?? fully knowledgeable ????t investing w?t? ???? retirement account. Conduct ? wide search t? gather ?? m??? information ?? ???????? ?? ??? build ???? portfolio effectively. On?? ??? start building ???? retirement investments, seek professional help. Y?? m?? n??? t? search f?? experts w?? ??? ??f?n?t??? familiar w?t? t?? ins ?n? outs ?f investments ?n ? retirement account. A? ?n investor, ??? m?? n??? t? search f?? advisors w?? ??? reliable. Y?? w???? t??n ???? t? deal w?t? ???? retirement savings account ?ft?? ????ng arrangements. Also, k??? ?n mind t??t ??? m??t ???? ? layout w?t? ??? n? matter w???? ??? go. W??n ???? retirement plan ?? ready, divide ???? investments. Y?? m?? compare investments t? employees w?? n??? t? ?? specific jobs.
M?n? investors succeed n?t ??????? t??? attain ??? t?? ??g?t decisions. If ??? refrain f??m making t?? wrong decisions, ??? w???? ??f?n?t??? prosper. An?t??? t? gain success ?? w??n ??? buy ? ???t??n investment ?t ? reasonable price t??n sell ?t ? higher amount. Y?? ??? n?t fully assured w??n ??? ??? investing. Avoiding mistakes w???? give ??? m??? opportunities t? succeed. T?? main key t? ????ng ? safe investment ?? t? kn?w ??w t? stay ?w?? f??m bad investments. Y?? ????? avoid falling f?? critical investments w??n ??? identify w???? ?? which.
W??n ??? investment continuously grows, ?t w???? lead ??? t? ???? t?? ???t ?f ???? retirement years. G? t????g? ????? details ?f ???? portfolio ?n? ?f possible, ?? ?t w?t? ???? custodian. It w???? ?? ??tt?? ?f ??? w???? spend ? longer time t? ???? larger amounts ?f funds. W? expect longer life spans don?t we. An? ?? imagine t??t ??? ??n ?? spending m??? time ?n t?? retirement phase. Thus, ?t w???? ?? great t? ???? large saving f?? w??t???? investment plan ??? ???? chosen. W? w???? t??n realize t??t it?s ??tt?? t? ???? accurate transactions w?t? ??g???? t? ??? funds f?? ??tt?? golden years.
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Tags: Forming, investments, retirement
Summary Judgement: Though not without its flaws, Tetris Battle is one of the few facebook games I?ve seen that is actually a?game.
In previous posts I?ve made my position on ?Social? gaming quite clear. To summarize: ?Social? gaming can be viewed through a lens of Marxism in that it alienates gamers from play through repetitive actions/faux-stimuli, which simulate assembly line mentalities.
To put it more bluntly, ?Social? gaming sucks the devil?s ass.
Tetris Battle does not change that rule. Rather it stands as an exception, therein.
On some levels, it seems identical to every other facebook game out there. To start, there are two types of in-game money: Tetris coins and Tetris cash. Everybody collects the former at the end of a match; while the latter is a premium currency that the game miserly doles out after leveling up. T$ can also be acquired through through real world transactions, or engaging with the game?s sponsors. Also similar to every other facebook/Free2Play game out there, Tetris Cash unlocks game play advantages (faster movement speed on the pieces, additional blocks in the upcoming queue, etc.) more rapidly than if a player uses the generic Tetris coins.
Under normal circumstances, those reasons would be more than enough to make me hate this game. Yet there?s one thing that Tetris Battle offers that so many other online games do not: actual player on player competition where somebody wins, and somebody loses.
Regular Tetris is about building solid lines out of falling shapes. The core of Tetris Battle, however, involves sending cleared lines into an opponent?s matrix. Clear two lines, and send one to a foe. Score a triple to send a pair of lines into an enemy?s grid. Landing a tetris forces a rival to deal with four unwelcome lines. There are additional ways to make a player?s life miserable through chaining together single line clearances, advanced T-spin lines and clearing a matrix of all blocks. Rounds last two minutes with a winner determined through most lines sent and fewest matrices filled. Save for the ability to ?hold? a piece for future use, something that I have used to rain back to back tetri on my unworthy opponents, all other standard rules of Tetris apply.
But what of fairness within a game environment where those with the deepest wallets can buy the most advantages? Setting aside the obvious fact that Free2Play games are a microcosm for the world in that respect, the game does two things to keep the playing field level. First, the advantages that it gives out aren?t that big of a deal. In theory, it is nice to know the next five pieces in the drop order. But who is really going to make 100% use of that knowledge? Unless you?re an expert level chess player who happens to be tweaking on Crystal Meth, the average person doesn?t have the cognitive ability or reaction time to think five moves ahead while engaged in a fast paced competition of spatial relations.
The other thing that keeps Tetris Battle?s competition on an even keel is its match making system. The game employs an efficient ranking structure that ensures a similar skill level between players. From time to time, I have engaged in the odd outlier match against. There was this one South Korean opponent who pasted me 72 lines to 12. But for the most part, the system gets it right far more often than it fouls things up.
As of this review, the game is lacking a grudge match system where friends can throw down with other friends. A greyed out ?Challenge? option on the game?s main screen suggests said option might be in the works for future updates. Speaking of things that are missing, the iconic Tetris music isn?t there. Instead, the game offers some mellow lounge/elevator music during each round. Tetrisbattle.com brags that this game is an officially licensed product, so I have no idea why they wouldn?t deploy half of what makes Tetris so memorable?
Overall, Tetris Battle is a pretty positive experience. Judicious use Tetris Cash will avert the need to spam friends with thousands of requests to help unlock additional game play modes. That little detail in and of itself is a huge selling point for me. There?s nothing I hate more than having to beg for my friends? attention because I want to play a game on my own. Alerting the world to a need for extra pickles in Hamburger City, or whatever, is probably the most tacky part of the entire ?social? gaming experience. For that reason alone Tetris Battle is worth of your attention.
And now, for no particular reason, the best ever orchestral rendition of the Tetris theme.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Want a rehabilitation partner who offers unconditional love, acceptance, and motivation? Get a dog! Highly trained assistance, therapy, and service dogs have been in the news as companions for wounded service members, autistic children, and disabled adults. Melissa Fay Greene's powerful story, "Wonder Dog," in The New York Times followed the Winokur family as they integrated Chancer the golden retriever into their family to help their son Iyal. Chancer was custom trained by the wonderful nonprofit corporation 4 Paws for Ability to attach to Iyal and help him reduce the fearsome rages that resulted from fetal alcohol syndrome.
Therapy dogs help wounded service members stick with occupational therapy, calm the intrusive images of PTSD, and navigate with prosthetic legs.
Family pets have their own valuable role in helping a person recover after brain injury. When my husband Alan suffered a severe anoxic brain injury?following a heart attack and cardiac arrest, our dog Molly became his steadfast rehab partner and constant companion.
Molly the rehab coach
Alan was hospitalized for four months of intensive medical treatment and brain injury rehab. When he came home, he was just starting to regain his abilities to read, write, walk, speak, and remember. He struggled to relearn all the self-care activities we take for granted, including organizing his morning routine, and following through on a task. Apraxia, the inability to perform complex motor movements due to memory loss, made it harder to put clothes on in the right order.
Alan talked to Molly all day. One morning I called upstairs to Alan, "Honey, put your clothes on and come downstairs for breakfast." As I flipped pancakes in the kitchen I heard Alan conferring with Molly.
"Molly, did you hear what Janet just told me to do?" he said. "Well, that's not easy you know. First you have to put on socks and make sure they match. You have to get your shoes on the right feet, but not until your pants are on. And hold the railing so you don't fall down the stairs."
On and on he went, as Molly sat attentively by with her head cocked to hear every word. Alan was right about the complexity of the task. Getting dressed activated several areas?of his brain. The instruction was processed in the parietal lobe and sequenced in the temporal lobe. His working memory kicked in as he sequenced his clothes, and walking down the stairs required motor skills controlled by the cerebellum. By talking to Molly, Alan learned to cue himself. ?They both showed up for breakfast with brains in high gear.
Molly the psychotherapist
Molly was also gave Alan an enormous amount of emotional support. When he felt anxious,?he talked it over with Molly. When I returned from a quick errand, Alan said, "Molly was worried, but? I wasn't. I told her you said you'd be back in 20 minutes. I told her we'd be safe."
A few weeks after Alan came home, he fell into the throes of?post-traumatic stress disorder?? caused by? all of the trauma, pain, and loss he'd experienced. For several nights, Alan sat bolt upright in the bed, hyperventilating and screaming, "They're trying to kill me, they're choking me!" His eyes were as large as saucers, and sweat soaked his body. Alan had been resuscitated for almost one hour, intubated and on a ventilator, and forcibly restrained many times during his early recovery. Now his body and mind were paying for those experiences.
If I had not been a psychiatric RN, I might not have recognized Alan's night terrors as PTSD. Each time it happened, I put the lights on, sat him on the edge of the bed with his feet on the floor, and wrapped my arm around his shoulders. I said gently, "You're OK, Alan. You're safe in our home. I'm here with you. Take a breath. Nothing bad can happen to you." I stroked his back softly until he became oriented and calmed down. An extra dose of anti-anxiety medication helped him get back to sleep.
During this time period, Molly slept at the foot of our bed. One night we were awakened by Molly yipping and flailing around in a dream. I asked, "Alan, do you want me to put Molly on the floor so you can sleep?"
He said, "Oh no! This is what I do for my dog. You watch. Alan lifted Molly on to his lap and stroked her fur, and said, "You're OK, Molly. Daddy's here. Nothing bad is going to happen to you." When Molly was alert and calm, Alan gently moved her to her spot on the bed.
"See, that's how I take care of my dog," he said as he dozed off. By soothing Molly in the same way I soothed him, Alan also learned how to soothe himself. We used several approaches to?treat Alan's PTSD (more in future posts), but Molly was an irreplaceable part of the treatment.
Molly the personal trainer
Molly also featured prominently in Alan's goals. One of the first goals he set was to be able to walk Molly safely by himself. First, we worked on crossing the street to the local park and finding his way home. When he mastered that, he and Molly became walking pals. Each time Alan bent down to fasten her harness, he asked, "Do you trust me, Molly?" Do you feel safe with me?" Her wagging tail signaled assent, so off they went. They both enjoyed the exercise and stimulation of their walks.
Molly contributed to Alan's healing process in multiple ways that only a devoted and intuitive dog could.
For more information:
4 Paws for Ability
Assistance Dogs International, Inc.
Resources for veterans seeking service dogs
Pennys from Heaven
Janet Cromer, author of Professor Cromer Learns to Read: A Couple's New Life after Brain Injury, speaks nationally on brain injury and family caregiver issues. Visit www.janetcromer.com.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
Proving that what we do has favorable outcomes for patients is certainly paramount, but we need to balance population-based studies with what we know about individual variation in response to treatment and the associated risks. Furthermore, evidence-based medicine does not address the needs that patients have for diagnosis, prognosis, guidance, and sympathy that have always been, and should remain, part of the provision of health care.1 Tyranny of data must be tempered by clinical judgment. This problem is compounded by the recommendations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) that research for prospective new drugs should be targeted at diagnosis, yet the real focus should be on mechanisms of pain. Randomized clinical trials are not the only reliable source of information about treatment utility; they are rarely useful for the assessment of long-term effects, either good or bad. Observational studies do have something to offer. There is going to be tension between those who fund health care and would like to use population-based studies to determine what will be funded, and those who actually provide care to patients and recognize that almost no one is average. If we consider the individual's rights to be preeminent, how do we deny someone the chance to have a favorable response to a treatment that most people would not benefit from? Physicians have always placed their patients foremost. Who is going to fund research on the treatment outcomes that we advocate for, especially treatments that are not drug or device based? Since the mandate of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is to reduce the burden of disease, and since chronic pain produces more disability than the sum of cancer, heart disease, AIDS, and stroke, should we not look to the NIH to fund more pain treatment outcome trials?2 How do we get clinicians to have their patients participate in large trials that are necessary to determine population-based outcomes? How do we get all providers to record outcomes of their patients for such studies? Large national databases have been established in some countries. All patients evaluated and treated in any rehabilitation program in Sweden (including pain programs) are entered into a national register with demographics, diagnoses, and outcomes. In Quebec, all patients coming to tertiary care pain clinics are also entered into a data-base with a minimal 6-month follow up. These records include a structured physical examination, patient-reported outcomes, past treatments, new treatments, medications, and demographics. In Norway, all prescriptions are entered into a national database, which is used for research on opioid and benzodiazepine use and abuse. One way to get such outcomes and demographic data is to make physician reimbursement dependent not just upon the receipt of an operative report or clinic note but also upon follow-up data 6 and 12 months after treatment. All patients should be part of such studies, not just a small number selected for a randomized controlled trial. Why should any health care system fund care that has no known benefit to the patients? For such widespread data collection, we need to have a standardized database for all clinical outcomes studies so that meaningful comparisons can be made.3 We will also have to establish criteria for applying a diagnosis that are not solely based upon the procedure that the physician wishes to perform.
There are woeful inadequacies in pain education for medical students and advanced trainees.4?10 This shortfall has been noted for many years, and it remains, at least in the United States, the major cause of poor pain treatment. In Europe, this problem has begun to be addressed. In Nordic countries (Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland), doctors who have completed clinical specialty training can enroll in a pain course. The Danish government will not allow any Danish doctor to practice as a pain doctor without having completed this course. Portugal also has such a course with a similar curriculum.
All physicians who deal with clinical illnesses will be confronted with chronic pain patients. For this reason, no one should receive a medical degree without learning core knowledge about both acute and chronic pain, including cancer pain and nonmalignant pain. There are hospitals that require all interns to spend a minimum of 1 week in the pain clinic. Some pain clinics also get residents for a minimum of 2 weeks from almost every specialty, but this practice has not yet become compulsory. The huge number of pain patients mandates that the overwhelming majority of health care for patients with chronic pain must come from primary care providers. Pain specialists can see only those who have special needs for advanced forms of therapy. The crisis in opioid therapy discussed below is primarily due to the prescribing traits of primary care practitioners, not pain specialists. The problem involves not only how physicians are educated, but also what types of people are selected to become physicians. Those who have a biomedical fixation are not likely to deal successfully with chronic pain patients. It seems to me that other health care disciplines have advanced further than medicine in this arena. Medical school curricula are the last vestige of the feudal system in the modern era; change will not be an easy task. The length of the educational process is fixed, and the hours available for teaching are not going to increase. What can be deleted from the existing curriculum to make room for pain? Since most of the faculty of most medical schools are ignorant of pain, how do we get them to replace existing curricular content with pain information? The prevalence of chronic pain and the inadequacies of our current graduates must be used to agitate for change. I cannot say that I am optimistic about this process, but we must do better by our students. A few North American schools of medicine have successfully addressed this issue and have shared their programs in publications.11,12
Pain management is plagued by factionalism. There is no organization that speaks for all of us, and there are no agreed-upon educational or certifying steps; many practitioners function within silos, unaware of what others are learning, saying, or doing. Competing accreditation organizations for individuals and professional societies produce confusion for the public and for organized medicine. Different agendas underlie the efforts of the myriad of professional organizations and publications that claim to represent pain medicine. Guidelines are promulgated that are said to be evidence-based, but often reflect what the members of the guideline-writing committee do for a living or where they stand on a political spectrum, particularly in reference to opioids.13,14 All guidelines reflect the values and preferences of those who write them; they are not really scientific, even though they are said to be based on "evidence." Perhaps we need a David to consolidate the pain professionals and lead us to victory over the Philistines who surround us.
Health care has never been based exclusively upon scientific evidence; indeed, acquisition of such evidence has been relatively novel in the history of medicine, and it is only recently that providers have had the opportunity to apply treatments that have scientifically demonstrated efficacy. Nowhere is this situation more clearly demonstrated than in the use of opioids to treat chronic pain. The first principle here was that acute and chronic pain were very different phenomena; this insight was one of Bonica's most important early contributions. His pain clinic was founded at the University of Washington in 1960, and within a decade its clinicians were swamped with patients who complained of chronic pain yet were taking significant doses of multiple opioids (and other drugs) prescribed by multiple physicians who had no idea what their patients were actually consuming. From this clinical experience, we developed the mantra that it was not wise to treat chronic pain patients with opioids, and we developed treatment strategies to get these patients off their drugs (using the "pain cocktail" approach) and rehabilitate them.15 It did not enter our minds that there could be significant numbers of chronic pain patients who were successfully managed with opioids, because if there were any, we almost never saw them.
In the mid-1980s, several papers were written that challenged the opprobrium surrounding opioids in the management of chronic pain patients.16 The authors appeared to generalize experiences from the treatment of cancer pain patients and reported on a small number of chronic noncancer pain patients who were carefully followed for limited times and "appeared" to do well, meaning that their reports of pain levels were improved but no functional changes were noted. Aberrant, drug-seeking behavior patterns were not observed. These publications fed into the concept that anyone who said "ouch" was entitled to receive opioids in whatever dose they seemed to need. Soon thereafter, the marketing of OxyContin? and the implication that opioids were good for all chronic pain patients led the charge in widespread use of opioids for chronic pain patients in the United States. Opioid prescriptions written by primary care practitioners and pain specialists soared, diversion became a very large problem, and deaths and emergency room visits ascribed to opioids escalated. The inevitable pendulum swing is now occurring, and there is much more concern about opioids for chronic pain patients. Side effects and risks of improper use are now hotly debated.
The fundamental question about efficacy of opioids for chronic pain patients has been lost in the political, economic, and ethical arguments. Scientifically valid data about treatment outcomes are sparse. Pain management in the United States has been badly hurt by this debacle. Similar things have happened in Canada, where the politicians are trying to enforce a special license for prescribing opioids, with mandatory teaching as a prerequisite. In Europe, opioid prescribing has not had such extreme highs and lows; problems with opioid prescriptions for nonmalignant pain were identified earlier than in the United States, and remedial actions were implemented in many countries.17 In many countries and in many U.S. states, the rational use of opioids is now impeded by regulatory agencies and insurers in the attempt to control excessive prescriptions without regard for what is best for a particular patient. Another result of the opioids-for-all movement has been the "pill mills" that seem to be most prevalent in the southeastern United States. Yet another is the expectation by chronic pain patients that they are entitled to receive opioids whenever they hurt. This crisis is primarily due to lack of evidence for the results of chronic opioid administration. Although the treatment of chronic pain may be a basic human right, that does not mean that all patients are entitled to large doses of opioids.18 On the other hand, what is legal to put in one's mouth has never been determined by medical science; it has always has been a social convention. The ethical resolution of this crisis is only to be found in research on this topic, not from consensus panels or legislative mandates. Who is going to fund this research?
The fundamental principle of capitalism is that money motivates behavior. This tenet certainly applies to health care providers; the way the United States favors the reimbursement of procedures over cognitive activities has led to the proliferation of interventional pain specialists and enormous increases in injections and operations for pain in the past 20 years, as well as a reduction in the number of comprehensive multidisciplinary pain clinics. This change has occurred in spite of very little evidence that interventional procedures are beneficial for most chronic pain patients. In countries that have centralized allocation of health care resources, this phenomenon has been controlled to a much larger degree.
No matter how health care is financed, pain management must be included within the pay line. Concerted action is needed on the part of the pain world to influence those who will make such funding decisions; whatever happens to pain management will be part of the grand scheme for the provision of health care. We must be vigilant, for we could be completely omitted from what will be funded. We need to create public demand for our services and secure legislative recognition for the importance of pain management. We need to develop champions in the political arena who will work on behalf of providers and our patients to facilitate the delivery of first-class pain management. This usually means access to multidisciplinary diagnosis and management. Access is compromised both by a shortage of such clinics and by the long patient waiting lists. In Sweden, the government body responsible for health care recently put forth a proposal that every county should have a board to which difficult pain problems would be sent for review. The problems would be evaluated, and if it was deemed necessary, the patients would then be sent for evaluation and treatment to a team composed of a physician, a psychologist, and a physiotherapist. Two Swedish counties have begun this process.
Eleven years ago I contributed an essay to Pain: Clinical Updates and outlined five issues that deserved our attention: defining the mission of pain management, producing outcomes data, showing the public why we matter, figuring out how to get paid for what we need to do, and learning how to continue to provide sympathetic care to our patients. Although some progress has been made on each of these points, it is not enough to make me feel comfortable about our specialty. Of all these issues, I believe that the one that is most critical is the education of health care providers. Pain physicians in academic medicine are the only ones who will address this shortfall, and we must make progress in this area. This endeavor should be independent of the political and economic issues that have enveloped medicine and over which we have little control. We need to redouble our efforts to provide better education for our students and trainees; no one else will do it if we default. And we need to do so with evidence-based clinical data to add to the vastly expanded basic science knowledge of neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, and neuropharmacology. If we fail, I look forward apprehensively to a legislatively mandated curriculum for medical schools: who knows what will be taught then? To be at the whim of legislators or government administrators will, I fear, be the death knell for both scientific and humanistic pain medicine. Health care providers need to care about patients and not see them as customers. The good for the individual patient must take precedence over costs and health system needs. The essence of health care is caring for the patient.
1. Barondess JA. The care of the patient. Pharos 2011(Summer):7?10.
2. National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2006 with chartbook on trends in the health of Americans. Hyattsville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2006.
3. Turk DC, Dworkin RH, Burke LB, Gershon R, Rothman M, Scott J, Allen RR, Atkinson JH, Chandler J, Cleeland C, et al.; Initiative on Methods, Measurement and Pain Assessment in Clinical Trials. Developing patient-reported out-
come measures for pain clinical trials: IMMPACT recommendations. Pain 2006;125:208?15.
4. Institute of Medicine Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care, and Education. Relieving pain in America: blueprint for transforming prevention, care, education, and research. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2011.
5. Green CR, Wheeler JR, Marchant B, LaPorte F, Guerrero E. Analysis of the physician variable in pain management. Pain Med 2001;2:317?27.
6. Chang HM, Gallagher R, Vaillancourt PD, Balter K, Cohen M, Garvin B, Charibo C, King SA, Workman EA, McClain B, Ellenberg M, Chiang JS; American Academy of Pain Medicine Undergraduate Education Committee. Undergraduate medical education in pain medicine, end-of-life care, and palliative care. Pain Med 2001;1:224.
7. Upshur CC, Luckmann RS, Savageau JA. Primary care provider concerns about management of pain in community clinic populations. J Gen Int Med 2006;21:652?5.
8. Fishman S. Listening to pain. Waterford Life Sciences; 2006. p. 3.
9. Benedetti C, Dickerson ED, Nichols LL. Medical education: a barrier to pain therapy and palliative care. J Pain Symptom Manage 2001;21:360?1.
10. Lippe PBC, David J, Crossno R, Gitlow S. The First National Pain Medicine Summit?final summary report. Pain Med 2010;11:1447?68.
11. Vadivelu N, Kombo N, Hines RL. The urgent need for pain management training. Acad Med 2009:84:408.
12. Murinson BB, Nenortas E, Mayer RS, Mezei L, Kozachik S, Nesbit S, Haythornthwaite JA, Campbell JN. A new program in pain medicine for medical students: integrating core curriculum knowledge with emotional and reflective development. Pain Med 2011;12:186?95.
13. Perret D, Rosen C. A physician-driven solution: The Association for Medical Ethics, the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, and ethical challenges in pain medicine. Pain Med 2011;12:1361?79.
14. Schatman ME. Editorial: The suppression of evidence-basis in pain medicine and the physician-driven quest to re-establish it. Pain Med 2011;12:1358?60.
15. Sizemore WA. Behavioral aspects of managing medications for chronic pain not caused by cancer. In: Loeser JD, Egan KJ, editors. Managing the chronic pain patient. New York: Raven Press; 1989. p. 117?27.
16. Portenoy RK, Foley KM. Chronic use of opioid analgesics in non-malignant pain: report of 38 cases. Pain 1986;25:171?86.
17. Eriksen J, Sj?gren P, Bruera E, Ekholm O, Rasmussen NK. Critical issues on opioids in chronic non-cancer pain: an epidemiological study. Pain 2006;125:172?9.
18. Cousins MJ, Brennan F, Carr DB. Pain relief: a universal human right. Pain 2004;112:1?4.
John D. Loeser, MD
Departments of Neurological Surgery and Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195, USA
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Phillip Price holds a one-shot lead at the Trophee Hassan II after the second round was suspended on Friday with all three Australians yet to complete their rounds.
Price, though, carded a flawless six-under 66 to move into 10-under at Golf du Palais Royal in Agadir, Morocco, where the start of play was delayed by almost six hours because of strong winds.
Price is a shot clear of Spaniard Jose Manuel Lara, who shot a seven-under 65, while Swede Joel Sjoholm shares third with South African James Kingston.
Kingston was through 17 holes when play was suspended, one of several players unable to finish their second rounds because of the earlier delay.
Price, famous for beating Phil Mickelson in the singles to help Europe win the 2002 Ryder Cup, said he was thrilled with his round after the lengthy delay.
"It was rather unpleasant this morning so I'm very pleased," Price said.
"I had a 5:25 alarm call this morning and then a five-and-a-half-hour delay. Thankfully I managed to have a little 20-minute power nap in the locker room during the delay and that really helped. "
"I was very surprised by how calm it became throughout the day after this morning. It was really windy when we started to go out there and shoot six-under is really pleasing. "
"But it was frustrating to go to the tee twice and not be allowed to tee off because it is difficult to get yourself in the right mood and then be called off."
Starting on the back nine, Price went bogey-free with a hat-trick of birdies from the 15th helping kick-start his round.
Overnight leader Damien McGrane is tied for fifth at seven-under after managing par through five holes.
Brett Rumford, meanwhile, remains the best of the Australians at one-under for the tournament. Rumford is nine strokes behind the leader but didn't even get the chance to start his second round on Friday.
Rumford is alongside Andrew Dodt, who is on par through four holes in his second round, and two strokes ahead of Marcus Fraser, who is one over through three.
During my time at TechCrunch I?ve seen thousands of startups and written about hundreds of them. I sure as hell don?t know all the secrets to building a successful company, but there are a few things I?ve seen that seem like surefire ways to ever-so-slightly grease the road to success. Here?s an easy one: make a video demo and prominently promote it somewhere where new visitors can find it. One that shows off the core function of your product without making people think they?re watching an ad or a pitch. And answer, as thoroughly as possible in 2-3 minutes, what it is that you?re bringing to the table.Jason was spot-on with his assessment.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
By Paul Steinhauser, CNN Political Editor
(CNN) ? Rick Santorum has a very good chance of scoring a major victory in Saturday?s Republican presidential primary in Louisiana, but the big question is whether it will still matter.
Polls released the past couple of days indicate the former senator from Pennsylvania with a double-digit lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, among those likely to vote in Louisiana?s contest.
But since Romney?s 14-point victory over Santorum, his nearest rival in the battle for the GOP nomination, in the Illinois primary on Tuesday, the conversation appears to have changed.
?Santorum can?t lose this and it doesn?t look like he will. He will argue that the victory proves Romney can?t win in the South, the bedrock of the Republican Party. But will anyone be listening,? CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley said. ?Inside the party, there is a full-blown push to close this thing down,? evidenced by the support for Romney from Jeb Bush and Jim DeMint.
Jeb Bush, the brother of former President George W. Bush and the popular and influential former Florida governor, endorsed Romney after his victory in Illinois, and urged that it was time to close ranks around Romney. DeMint, the conservative senator from South Carolina and kingmaker among tea party supporters, all but officially backed Romney Thursday.
A week-and-a-half ago, Santorum narrowly edged out Gingrich and Romney to capture primaries in Alabama and Mississippi. But he lost in a landslide to Romney last weekend in Puerto Rico, and then fell again in Illinois.
?Santorum can?t just win, he has to win big. He?s the one who needs to ?shake up? this race. Another ho-hum win in the South doesn?t cut it. He?s on a political bridge to nowhere and is running out of time to change destinations,? said Bruce Haynes, a GOP strategist and managing partner of Purple Strategies, a bipartisan public affairs consulting firm.
According to a CNN estimate, Romney has 563 delegates, more than twice the 251 Santorum has in hand, and nearly halfway to the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.
Twenty delegates are up for grabs Saturday in Louisiana?s primary, which is closed, meaning only registered Republicans can vote in the contest.
Santorum has spent much of this week campaigning in Louisiana. Speaking to voters Friday in West Monroe, he said that the state has an opportunity ?to do what?s been done five, or eight or 10 times in this race, and that is to change the dynamic in this race.?
One question: How much, if at all, will a controversial comment from Santorum on Thursday suggesting that if Romney were the nominee, it might be better for voters to stick with President Barack Obama in November?
?You win by giving people the choice. You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who is just going to be a little different than the person in there,? Santorum said in a speech in San Antonio, Texas. ?If we are going to be a little different, we may as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk in what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.?
Friday, Santorum clarified, saying, ?I have said repeatedly I will vote for whoever the Republican nominee is and I will work for them. Barack Obama is a disaster but we can?t have someone who agrees with him on some of the biggest issues of the day and that is the problem with Gov. Romney. He doesn?t provide the clear choice we need.?
Gingrich, who came in last in Illinois after being edged out by Rep. Ron Paul of Texas for third place, has campaigned nonstop in Louisiana since Tuesday. At an event Friday in in Port Fourchon, he pointed to gaffes by both of his major rivals over the past few days.
?We don?t know what is going to happen tomorrow yet. I think Sen. Santorum?s mistake last night is likely to prove expensive. I think the Etch A Sketch comment by Gov. Romney?s communications director is probably not helping him. We have won two straw polls among tea parties by huge margins in the state in the last week and I am cheerful about going forward,? said Gingrich, referring to a recent incident in which a Romney adviser likened to redrawing Romney?s political profile to using an Etch A Sketch.
Gingrich won South Carolina?s primary in January and carried his former home state of Georgia earlier this month, but lost in neighboring Tennessee and Alabama, and Mississippi. If he loses again in Louisiana, will the chorus of calls for him to end his bid for the nomination grow louder?
?Newt Gingrich is going to get out, or not, on his own schedule, and in keeping with his own pocketbook. It?s probably time to stop calling every race ?do or die? for Gingrich, since recently he has been ?not doing? and carrying on,? said Crowley, anchor of CNN?s ?State of the Union.?
?Gingrich?s campaign is a conversation in search of an audience. Voices from all quarters of the GOP are growing hoarse from calling on Gingrich to drop out. It?s clear he?s not listening, and he?ll drop out when it suits his own purposes, whatever they are,? said GOP strategist Haynes.
Of the top three candidates, Romney, the overwhelming front-runner, has the least at stake. He has yet to win in the Deep South and isn?t expected to reverse the trend in Louisiana. Friday was the only day this week he spent campaigning in the state.
?You?ve got a lot of delegates here. I want, well I?d like all of them. I?m probably not going to get all of them but I want to get as many as I can. So I want to ask you to get out there and vote and give me a good send-off,? Romney told voters in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie.
Ron Paul, in the single digits in the polls in Louisiana, only briefly campaigned in the state and isn?t expected to impact Saturday?s results.
After Louisiana, the primary calendar picks up again on April 3 with contests in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Friday, March 23, 2012
- iPhone? More like MyPhone
I don't know if anyone has noticed, but this status bar looks so much better than the iPhone. Somebody clever enough needs to make an iPhone version. Bigger battery an icons etc.
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